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Star Search, March 19: Half of the Finalsby David Bloomberg -- 03/20/2003
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We know going into the final show of this round of Star Search that it could be interrupted at any time because of war in Iraq. And just in case we don't, Arsenio mentions it at the outset. But he also tells us that it's his job in the meantime to provide great entertainment! Oh, so the comedians won't be performing tonight? Sorry, cheap shot. As it turns out, I'm only half right.
The show does make it through the young singers and young dancers, and then one comedian performs. But that's it. And in most cities in the Western and Pacific time zones, nothing was shown as far as I can tell. The only thing the Star Search website says is:
Please check back for future announcements regarding the conclusion of this tournament.
Yes, they misspelled "interrupted." You just can't get good help these days.
So let's take a look at the first half of the show, especially for those of you who didn't see it at all.
Arsenio begins by telling us - over and over and over again - that the winners get $100,000. Yes, $100,000. Where else can a young dancer get $100,000. Did you know they get $100,000?
Then he informs us that Star Search has been renewed and will be back again in two weeks. This is bad news for Amazing Race fans, who hoped that show would appear on the schedule instead. But if there is any way to make this news better, can we please please lose Naomi Judd along the way?
The judges are introduced - Naomi Judd, Ben Stein, and Ahmet Zappa - plus special guest judge LeAnn Rimes, who of course got her start on the original Star Search, and we see a brief clip of her there back in 1991.
The first category is Junior Singer. We have David Archuleta, 12 years old, who sings "You're All I Need to Get By." I must say, it's a little strange to see a 12-year-old singing about love, but he does a great job, earning a standing ovation from the audience and perfect scores across the board from the judges. Naomi calls him a "miniature Motown little monster," Ben says he is a prodigy, Ahmet smiles and says he hates the kid (on an earlier show, he had said much the same thing - he hates him because he's so talented), and LeAnn says he has really good control and great stage presence.
Next up is Molly Bouchard, also 12, who sings "This Is the Moment." She is also good, but not as good as David and I can already tell she will lose. She just didn't show her talent off as well and didn't have the power in her voice to hit certain notes. She gets straight fours and not much in the way of commentary. The viewing audience actually favors her, granting her a 16 to David's 15. But that still puts him at 35 and her at 32, so David wins!
Next up are the Young Dancers. Jon Cruz, 19, is a very athletic breakdancer. In fact, his routine is almost more like gymnastics with some additional fancy footwork. He gets perfect scores from everybody but Ben, who says he was good, but better last time. Naomi calls him an "acrobatic prankster" (apparently he pulled a practical joke on her while nobody was looking?).
Stephen Boss, 20, is also a breakdancer, but not as athletic. He puts more into the dancing part. If I were judging, it would be difficult to pick, but I lean towards Jon. Apparently, so do the judges. This time, it's all fours except Naomi, who gives him a five. Then again, this is the same one she gave a two the first time out, so I think she still feels guilty about that.
The audience agrees with the judges this time, giving 17 stars to Jon and only 14 to Stephen. Jon wins!
Now it's time for the comedians. We begin (and, as it turns out, end) with Robert Rothstein. He jokes about a guy wanting to start a fight with him in a gym and about how people aren't afraid of cats. Frankly, he sounded kind of like he was always yelling at the audience. Just as he finishes, we switch immediately to news, so he is spared having to see the scores, which I don't think were going to be very good.
Now here I have a question. This is a live show. Why couldn't they have Arsenio step up and do a few words to say we're leaving the studio and going to Dan Rather? It would have been a better segue than computer-graphics that lead us in and not nearly as jarring.
So, we don't know exactly what they will do here. If Robert Rothstein is lucky, he'll get another chance, but that's hardly fair to his competitor. I'll leave it to the network executives to figure out.
Meanwhile, though, I found out that the CD for the first Star Search adult singer winner, Jake Simpson, will be out April 1! You can click here to pre-order it on Amazon.com. And in addition, you can click here to buy the CD-single of Star Search finalists Tiffany Evans and Spencer Day, which is already available. Tiffany was the junior singer winner and Spencer Day was the adult singer runner-up. According to the Star Search website, if you get the CD-single, you can then download some other songs by the finalists as well. OK, I just want to know why they can get a full CD put together for Jake Simpson, but we have to wait months and months for one from Kelly Clarkson…
Anyway, that about wraps it up. As soon as we know what's going on for the finale, we'll let you know as well.
David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline and can be reached at email@example.com.
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