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Star Search, April 25: Judges Say the Darnedest Thingsby Ken Kellam III -- 04/28/2003
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Well, it's on to the second semi-finals for this round of Star Search. Only this time, the performers are going against two other acts instead of one. After opening with a recap, we get a glimpse of Autumn, a 17-year-old member of the losing dance troup from Wednesday night, who says through tears, "They just killed us, and that's embarrassing." I'm not sure if she meant the judges or the competition, but having seen the last episode, if she meant the latter, she was right.
So here comes Arsenio with a few lame political jokes, and then he introduces the guest judges for the evening, ½ of the group B2K, J-Boog and Raz B. To be honest, I'm so far out of the loop I have no idea who these guys are. Of course, the last time I listened to top 40 radio on a regular basis was probably when they were in pre-school.
The competition starts with the younger singers category. First up is Kaitlynn, described as a 10-year-old Hawaiiin girl who likes to play soccer. She may be just ten, but has the poise of someone twice her age as she belts out "Waiting for life to begin" from the musical "Once on this island."
Naomi says she's a natural born performer but advises her not to get too sanitized, and to let her emotions out, awarding her four stars. Ben Stein says he doesn't see how it could've been any better. Citing pitch, power resonance, keeping the tune, emotion, and stage presence, he gives her the maximum five stars. Ahmed Zappa says she was note-perfect and had a great time tonight, but only gives her four stars. B2K says she was kind of rehearsed and not natural in some moments, but other than that, "She was blowin." After telling her she had a great beginning, she gets four stars.
Next up is the youngest competitor of the night, nine-year-old Courtney, who sings "Colors of the Wind," from the movie "Pocohontas." She has a lot less choreography than her opponent, relying more instead on her voice. Naomi says she'll keep it short and sweet, just like Courtney. Saying the youngster has a "lush, beautiful alto," Naomi gives her five stars. Ben Stein calls it astonishing someone as young as she is can pack as much emotional feeling and depth, and also gives her five stars. Ahmed Zappa says he was totally blown away and floored, and that she totally owns the song. Calling her voice fantastic, he awards her five stars as well. B2K describes her voice as beautiful but feels she was rusing a bit, and her pronunciation was off in some places. However, they say she was great, and will be a wonderful singer in the future, but for now she just gets three stars.
Arsenio than introduces Mark Mejia, who was also on Wednesday night's show. Unfortunately, he refers to Mejia as "she." This time, Mejia performs "New York New York," and gets a workout in the process by putting some hipswing into his routine. Naomi says there's no business like show business, and awards him five stars. Ben Stein gives him four stars, saying he went flat on a number of notes. Ahmed Zappa states, tongue in cheek I believe, that Mejia shouldn't be allowed to do the hip movement, which he calls very strange, but still gives Mejia five stars. Mimicking the movements, B2K says there's nothing wrong with the movements, and gives him five stars.
This leaves the score from the judges as follows: 17 for Kaitlynn, 18 for Courtney, and 19 for Mark. When we return, we learn America has awarded them 13, 14, and 17 points respectively, for final score of 30 for Kaitlynn, 32 for Courtney, and 19 for Mark, meaning he advances to the finals.
Next up is the "Young Dancers" category. The first act is a couple of 20-year-old African-American males who call themselves "Legend and Tempo." Ben Stein say they were fabulously talented, but were better before, and gives them four stars. Ahmed Zappa says they were awesome and gives them five stars. B2K says "five stars" in unison, while Naomi say, "Snack, crackle pop," it was jerky, and she loved it, to the tune of five stars.
Next up are a trio of young males known as the St. Louis Hoofers. Despite their name, they all live in different cities, and so they practice by videotape. Ben Stein says he loved their energy, talent, and enthusiasm, but their choreography was not that exciting, and gives them four stars. Ahmed Zappa says there seemed to be some energy problems, and that they weren't matching each other, but calls them awesome and gives them five stars. B2K says the energy was low, and agrees with Stein's comments on the choreography, giving them give stars. Naomi belts out "judges united," and "bring in da noise bring in da funk." She says they could be in Grease 2, they just need to go back to the drawing board, and gives them four stars.
Finally, we see a quartet called Da Crew, who do a high energy routine which mixes in "Ain't too proud to beg." Citing amazing, original choreography and energy, Ben Stein gives them five stars. Ahmed Zappa calls them "The ultimate" and gives them the ultimate score of five stars. B2K calls them the white B2K, and awards another five stars. Naomi says something about gymnastics, and gives four stars.
That puts the score as follows: 19 for Legend and Tempo, 15 for the St. Louis Hoofers, and 19 for Da Crew. After the break, it is learned that America awarded them 14, 11 and 18 stars respectively, for totals as follows:
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