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Star Search, April 30: Cracks about Crackby Ken Kellam III -- 05/02/2003
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It's nearing the end of the road for Star Search, and this week we see a new group of contenders. Before getting started, we see a montage of how the judges don't always agree with each other. Then host Arsenio Hall announces that on May 16, the winners in the young singer, young dancer, comedy, and adult singer categories will be on hand for a special "Tournament of Champions." As always, things get underway with the Young Singer category.
First up is New Yorker Jeannie Marie, a 14-year-old who not only sings, but draws. She discusses her relationship with her grandfather, who recently passed away, and how she wishes he were here. She performs Avril Lavigne's "I'm in you." She is adept at playing to the audience, who really likes her.
Naomi Judd says the young lady and (guest judge) Billy Gillman would make a great duet together. She also says Jeannie Marie has clean pure tones, but Naomi prefers the girl's lower register. She still thinks Jeannie Marie is good and gives her four stars. Ben Stein says she started out slow and kind of uncertain and nervous, like the song was dominating her, but within 15 seconds she was rocketing into outer space and was totally in charge, giving her four stars. Ahmed Zappa was he was very charmed by the whole performance and he thinks she has a lot of vibrato in her voice, and gives her four stars. Then, it's guest judge Billy Gilman, the same age as Jeannie Marie. He says she has unbelievable breath control. He then says her tones are right there and the richness in her voice is 100%, and gives her four stars as well.
Her opponent is another New Yorker, 13-year-old Jill Shackner from Long Island. She says if she could describe herself in one word, it would be "compassionate." She enjoys singing in nursing homes because she likes to make people there happy. She makes the audience pretty happy by singing "Someone like you" from "Jekyll and Hyde." More stationary than her opponent, she starts off strong, and sounds like she belongs on Broadway, but seems to falter near the end.
Naomi says the girl reminds her of Tinkerbell, and while her voice was technically right on, she was "wobbly" at times and had pitch problems. Naomi also says she doesn't want Jill to be sanitized, but instead, to have that "raw uncertainty of real life," awarding just three stars. Ben Stein says he found her extremely magnetic and compelling, as well as wonderful, and she just drew his heart to her, and gives her four stars. Ahmed Zappa calls her "absolutely crazy talented" but tonight he thinks she was nervous, and tells her to keep doing what she's doing, and gives three stars. Billy Gilman says it takes a lot of guts to go out there, and he knows because he was once in her position. He describes her voice as "wonderful" and says she draws him in when she sings, and that she has a great potential Broadway voice, and awards four stars.
This makes the score 16-14 in Jeannie Marie's favor. Arsenio makes the mistake her calling here "Jeanine," and explains he has a crack pipe in his car. Let's see. We've gone from pedophile jokes to crack jokes. Oh, and he also makes a reference to the audience having crack pipes. Mind you, this is all in the presence of two young teenage girls, and during the so-called "family hour." But that' one of the perils of doing live TV. After the break, we learn America gave 17 stars to Jeannie Marie, and just 12 to Jill, giving Jeannie Marie a 33-26 win, so we'll see her again.
Next up is the young dancer category. The first act is a teen trio known as "Hot under the collar." They've only been together for a month, we find out, as opposed to acts who have performed together for years. Although the performance is suggestive at times for their age, the two males and one female dazzle the crowd with a high-energy performance. Ben Stein says if he could give them 10 or even 100 stars he would, and that they owned the stage, and awards five stars. Ahmed Zappa Says it's wrong the female, Krista, is only 16 because she's so hot, and then he finds out she's actually 18, and tells her to call him. He describes the performance as "excellent" and they really know how to move, and it was great, and awards five stars. Billy Gillman says for their first time together, they kicked butt, and had definition, and it was amazing and gives them five stars. Naomi says she didn't get hot under the collar, but rather, "moist around the armpits." Uh, thanks for the visual, Naomi. She says the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts, and awards four stars, saying they were amazing and dynamic.1 2 Next-->
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