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All American Girl, Episode 3: 12-3=10Page 2
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Suzanne is next and agonizes over her decision. She passes Natalie and Ali through with flying colors and then sees Carrie, telling her to stop holding back. When she sits down with Tarah, she asks her to step up and be more assertive. I found this somewhat confusing considering the fact that Tarah attempted to completely dominate the dinner party, but Suzanne must have been successfully snowed and viewed Tarah’s sales pitch as mere conversation instead of assertiveness. Regardless, both Carrie and Tarah are now on Probation.
John passes Ashley and Shannon along, but Shauna is placed on the Probation list along with Andrea, who almost got sent home last week.
The next day passes with the young ladies facing the axe preparing for the one minute that will hopefully save their professional careers.
Suzanne sees Carrie first. Knowing that she has to be more forthcoming, Carrie opens up and says, “I’ve gone through tremendous changes here. I’m so blessed to have grown so much and learned that I’m more than just a singer.” Unassertive Tarah strolls in next and lists her skills saying, “I’m a great dancer, a good singer, and an intellectual. I just need to find a way to focus and channel it.” Suzanne comes away from the meeting with the two girls deeply upset. She’s mad, she explains, because both of the girls followed her directions and she has to reward them by eliminating one of them.
John’s girls are shown next. Andrea wastes no time and makes John a promise. “I guarantee,” she says, “that if I move on you will see who I am. I will push, I will drive, I will succeed. I will never quit.” Shauna stands before John and says, “I’m letting you and America see my flaws. I’m going to let you see my heart. I represent All American Girls – the girl in the sandbox and the congresswoman. I am substance and a smile.” I got a substance caught in my smile once. I think it was broccoli. It might have been spinach. I’m not certain.
Geri prepares for Kristi and Jessica. Kristi comes on strong with a gallon of sincerity and a butt kiss so hard that if Geri had stopped short she would have had to have Kristi surgically removed. “I have one minute to crack open my heart,” Kristi begins, “I want to stand before you naked. (now THAT would pick up the ratings!) I put up walls all my life to not let anyone get too close to me, but I’m standing here now in all my vulnerability. I want to grow and you inspire that within me.” Jessica has a speech all prepared but decides to toss it at the last minute and wing it with what she really feels. She says, “My dad used to tell me I was the carpenter of my own life. He talked a lot about having a solid foundation and that’s what I’m all about.”
It is now time for THE CUT. John tells the girls that one of them truly got to his heart and it was Andrea. Shauna, who rehearsed her speech to death in preparation, apparently lacked the sincerity that John was looking for. Shauna is excused from the competition. Suzanne explains just how much she agonized over her choice and informs Tarah that she will move on. She apologizes to Carrie and tells her that she is very proud of her for working so hard. Geri goes last and must eliminate either Jessica or Kristi, who have become fast friends in the two weeks they have known one another. Geri explains that from the beginning Jessica had been Geri’s first choice but that Kristi had worked hard – even with the knowledge that she wasn’t Geri’s favorite. Kristi moves on and is all but heartbroken because her new friend won’t be around anymore. Real or not, it’s actually kind of nice to see one of the girls look outside of herself and actively grieve the loss of a competitor.
At this point the show cuts to a commercial, but not without first promising us that there is a shocking twist coming after the break.
After the commercials, we see the girls sitting out by the swimming pool. There is a strange man with them. It is only when he begins to speak that I recognize him as the show’s host, Mitch. He spends most of his “on air” time narrating and explaining things and so seldom appears onscreen in the flesh that he’s still a stranger to me. He’s about to explain the big twist to the girls. Now given that this show has already thrown more curve balls than Jose Canseco has seen in his career, this one should be a beauty. The big shock is…
I almost weep in relief. Next week you see, the top 10 is supposed to perform live in front of America. The official website promises us photos and bios of the top 10 girls as well. Since this show has already juggled the rules and the numbers more than a mob accountant, I was worried after they cut the field down to only 9 contestants. I’d already watched American Idol and seen an entire hour go by only to learn that nobody was going to be eliminated there, so I wasn’t in the mood for any more shenanigans.
The 9 remaining girls will vote by secret ballot, choosing a girl eliminated earlier in the evening. The girl receiving the most votes will fill the final slot in the top 10. Geri’s Kids and Suzanne’s girls each vote for their old teammates, creating a two-way tie between Carrie and Jessica. John’s team rebels and decides that they are better off without Shauna. The first two girls split their vote, leaving Andrea to cast the final ballot and break the tie. She votes for Jessica, who comes back to a cacophony of cheers and tears.
Next week the 10 remaining girls will perform live and we will finally have the chance to vote as the first of the viewer elimination rounds takes place.
Mr. Barker is co-owner of Movie Boss (www.movieboss.com), a free online movie game, and author of "Zippers," a humor column that looks at mistakes in movies. He can be reached at BBarker@movieboss.com.
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