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Star Search Tournament of Champions – Lost: Dogg. Answers to "Snoop Doggy"by Ken Kellam III -- 05/19/2003
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Friday night, May 16, brought about the last Star Search episode of the season, and possibly the series, as the show is nowhere to be found on CBS's fall schedule (though it may act as a substitute later in the season). Also missing tonight, for unexplained reasons, is tonight's celebrity guest judge, Snoop Doggy Dogg. Nevertheless, the show must go on, especially when it's live.
First are the Junior Singers, with $100,000 at stake. Ten-year-old Tiffany Evans says in five months she went from being a poor kid to being a Star Search champion, and so she feels like all her dreams are coming true and she's on her way, so she's happy for herself. The Ocean City, New Jersey, native gives a crowd-thrilling interpretation of "Stormy Weather." Wonder if Whitney Houston sang like this at her age. Come to think of it, I wonder if Whitney Houston sang like this at ANY age. If I were a judge, it'd be a shame I could only give her five stars. She hold her last note for about 14 seconds, never losing her breath. If you think that's easy, try it. Naomi Judd calls her the poster child for Star Search, and in all her years, she has never witnessed anyone with such phenomenal talent and natural ability, awarding "five beautiful shining stars." Ben Stein says she sang from her heart right into HIS heart, and calls her a once-in-a-lifetime genius of song, and also awards five stars. Ahmed Zappa says he's in awe of her, and if Snoop Dogg were here, he'd also give her five stars, which Zappa does.
Next is 12-year-old Boy Scout David Archuleta from Sandy, Utah. He says that since winning Star Search, he has gained so much confidence and he's not as nervous as he used to be. He then says his life has really been exciting and everyone at school knows him now, and Star Search has really helped him with his dreams. He performs Celine Dion's "I Surrender." While singing with passion and feeling, it's doubtful anyone could've beaten Tiffany tonight, and I'd give him four stars. Naomi says listening to him is Nirvana, and watching him is just a relief because he's not pre-occupied or coached, and he's the real deal. After telling him she'd give ten stars if she could, but instead settles for five. Ben Stein says it was an absolutely flawless performance, and the boy has wonderful control of his voice, and the song, but it IS sort of grading on a curve, and gives four stars. Ahmed Zappa says that Archuletta will be a very rich man, and gives him five stars.
Finally, it's 10-year-old Mark Mejia, who says he was just going to school, and now here he is as a Star Search champion with $100,000, He says it's just so cool, and that he's going to save most of his money for college, but IS going to buy himself a laptop, and that he just feels very very proud of himself. He offers his rendition of The Jackson Five's "Got to Be There." This marks the third time he sings a song by this group, and I'm not sure Michael Jackson ever sounded this good. Any other night I'd give Mejia five stars, but as Stein said, it is sort of on a curve, so it's four stars. Naomi calls him "the future," and gives him four stars, saying she adores him. Stein calls him an overwhelming talent, as well as fantastic, and says he sang beautifully, but he didn't just didn't quite ring Stein's heart the way Tiffany did, giving four stars. Zappa says, "When I grow up I want to BE you. You hit the craziest, highest notes." Calling the tyke "crazy talented,” Zappa gives "four awesome stars."
This makes the score from the judges 15-14-12. The votes from the viewers is 12-9-11 (with a missing judge, the viewer votes are similarly altered so 15 is the highest possible), making the final score 27-23-23, meaning Tiffany takes home get another six-figure check, and she earned every bit of it.
Next is the Young Dancers category. Because the first round of Star Search had supermodels instead of dancers, there are only two competitors here. First is break dancer John Cruz from Riverside, California. He says when he was coming up, he said a lot of "negative" towards himself, and when he talked to his friends, they knew he had "something," and was going to do something with it. He says to win was the greatest experience of his life. Cruz starts out with a routine on his hands, followed by a full mid-air front flip, to Kool and the Gang's "Get Down on It," and finishes on the judges' table, with lots of flips and other moves in between. Stein and Zappa give him five stars while making comments I can't make out. Judd calls him an American original, and awards five stars.
Next are ballet duo Candace and Brandon. He says he didn't think it would work when they first started dancing together. She says she was scared because she'd never done a duet before. She also says the whole thing is still unreal, like the shock hasn't hit them yet. Of course, they just won two days earlier, so that’s not terribly surprising. They perform yet another sensuous routine. In fact, Stein awards them "five super-sensuous stars." Saying it's up to America, Zappa also gives five stars. Naomi proclaims, "Judges united," and awards five stars as well.
The call-in voters make it 13-11 for Cruz, giving him $100,000 more by just two points.1 2 Next-->
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