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Star Search, May 2: A Good Night for Comedy, But Not for Adult Singersby Ken Kellam III -- 05/05/2003
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Well, May 2nd brings another installment of Star Search. Host Arsenio Hall starts off by saying he's on his best behavior because he is "this close," (holding his thumb and closest finger apart mere inches) from being fired. Anyone who has heard his jokes about pedophilia and crack pipes isn't too surprised. He introduces us to the guest judge, Wayne Brady from Whose Line Is It Anyway.
Before the competition gets underway, we get a glimpse of past performers who benefited from their appearances on the show, despite not winning. One is young singer C.J. Johnson, who says he is now working with former guest judge Brian McKnight. The other is comic Loni Love, who says because of the show, she ended up with an agent, manager, and a spot in the HBO Comedy Festival. Arsenio then encourages the viewers to vote, as they represent half of the vote, and get to break any ties. That's a point that apparently wasn't so clear last week, when there WAS a tie.
The Junior Singers are up first. Ten-year-old New Jersey native Courtney Zahn is just as intense on a soccer field as she is onstage, and gives an intense rendition of "Cabaret" that has the audience clapping rhythmically. Naomi Judd says Courtney scored in soccer, scored just now, and she's got Broadway scores in her future. She says Courtney also has a strong voice, great eye contact, and gets five stars. Ben Stein says he saw the Broadway premiere of "Cabaret," that they'd be awed someone her age can do it as beautifully as she can, and that he can see her on Broadway, and also awards five stars. Ahmed Zappa says she's got a huge, enormous, super gigantic voice for that little body, and gives her four stars, saying she was "so good." Wayne Brady says if he had her control he'd be on Broadway right now. Calling her absolutely incredible, he awards her four stars.
She's up against 12-year-old Tony Zoller from Houston, Texas, who was adopted at the age of three days. He says being adopted doesn't mean you're different, but special, and that Boy Scouts has taught him leadership, something that comes in handy onstage. He belts out "I think she likes me," made famous by former guest judge Billy Gillman. Naomi says if she were 40 years younger he'd be carrying her books, and he's a charm-a-rama, so she has to give him five stars. Ben Stein calls him the best country singer they've ever had on the show. Citing amazing voice, talent, and self-possession on the stage, which Stein says Zoller owned, Stein also gives him five stars. Ahmed Zappa wants to know how he can be as cool as Zoller, saying the lad was "bad to the bone," and worked the audience. Zappa then calls him awesome and gives four stars. Brady says he did a great job, has a great package, looks great, and was winking to the girls. Saying Zoller needs to tune things up a bit but that he's an incredible performer, Brady gives him just three stars.
This puts Courtney ahead 18-17, and the call-in vote ends up at 17-15, making it a 35-32 win for Courtney.
The young dancers are next. First up are three teenage females calling themselves "Freestyle." We learn that Janet Jackson is their main source of inspiration. Ben Stein says as a group they were fabulous, but no one really popped out as being great. But the group was good, so they get four stars. Ahmed says they were all great and apparently Stein doesn't have eyes. Calling them "bad to the bone," (the second time tonight he's used that phrase), he awards four stars. Brady says they were great and they made him want to get up onstage with them. After pointing out to Stein that of course no one was going to stand out since they were a group, Brady gives them four stars. Naomi says Ben Stein thought they were going to give him a lap dance, and that a friend of hers does Janet Jackson's choreography, and she can see them right there, and gives three stars.
Up next are teenagers Candace and Brandon. We find out Brandon's brother is currently in the service in Baghdad, and Candace says she and Brandon have become really great friends despite their age difference (she's 16, he's 13). They give a ballet-type performance filled with moves of elegance. Stein says it's very lovely, but too much like a ballet-school recital," and only gives three stars, prompting boos from the audience. Zappa says it would've been five stars but they didn't hit all the moves they were going to make, and that they'd be really great if they had a little more practice, and gives three stars. Brady tells Zappa, "Normally I would agree with you because you are a world-renowned modern-dance artist," and his obvious sarcasm delights the crowd. He mentions level of precision, and says they were absolutely beautiful, but won't wind up on music video because what they do is art, and awards five stars. Naomi calls their routine, "elegant, a moving experience literally and figuratively," and gives them five stars.
The score stands at 16-15 in favor of Candace and Brandon, and they also end up winning the call-in vote by a whopping 19-10 score, leading to a 35-25 win.1 2 Next-->
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