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They can sing, they can dance, but who can do it all?

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From the producers of "American Idol" come another search -- for the All-American Girl. Forty-five young women will be whittled down to one.

And did anyone care? They cared enough to move the show to a cabler outside of broadcast.

Recaps by Anthony Rojas, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Airdate:
March-July 2003, ABC, ABC Family
Host:
Mitch Mullany
Creator: Simon Fuller
EP: Simon Fuller, Nigel Lythgoe
Packager: 19 Entertainment, Buena Vista Television


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March 12, 2003

(Gordon, I can see why you gave me this show to cover. 2 long hours, Thanks! NOT!!)

(Gordongram: What's up with all the hating? What do I look like, a bottle of Hater-Ade?)

Hello Everyone! I have the absolute pleasure of covering many women who will compete for the title of the "ALL AMERICAN GIRL". What would Dr. Evil say?? Oh yea! Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiighhhtttt!!

The judges are Suzanne de Passe (Former President of Mo-town productions), John Salley (Former NBA star and co-host of the show 'Best Damn Sports Show Period'), and Geri Halliwell (Former Spice Girl). First, let me go over the rules. Since this is the first show, it's always a mess to write about. So I'll write, as I go.

DAY 1: There are 45 girls and by the end of the day, half will be cut. They must perform on stage in front of the Judges to show their particular skill. First girl up is Tara Paige (20yr old; Phoenix, AZ) She does her rendition of a 1950s dance. (She dances well and received good praise from the judges.) The next girl up is Natalie White (21yr old; Anderson, IN). She also dances (I have no idea what she was doing), but out of the 2 minutes these girls are allowed to perform, she uses a whopping 30 seconds. The Judges weren't too impressed here.

We next see a couple of clips of the girls performing dancing, singing, comedy, or any hidden talent they think they have. The next girl they showed was Venice Monagan (25yr old; New York, NY), who is dressed up as Michael Jackson and holding a bear (yes a bear) with a towel over it. Sounds familiar? Any who, She dances the 'moon walk' and reenacts the 'baby scene with the bear on stage.' Little does she know that one of the judges (Suzanne) was one of the reasons Jackson 5 signed with Motown prod. Suzanne wasn't a happy camper after viewing this.

(Gordongram - So I guess you could say that it was an over-the-top performance? Yuk yuk yuk yuk yuk)

Then Jaime Preston (25yr old; Las Vegas, NV) came up and sang 'I will survive.' She sang ok, very short and even tries to add points by winking at John Salley, the only male judge. Geri was quick to point that out to Jaime and say that's a no-no.

After the first part of the day, with all of the girls on stage, They called up the first 6 girls and told them based on their strong performances, they automatically moved on to stage 2.

For the second part of the day, all of the girls who did not automatically move on must perform something different to the judges so that the judges don't miss anything. Then only a total of 22 girls will move on to Stage 2, where they will be judged on Personality, Performance Skills, Intelligence, and Athletic Ability. At the end of the day, the judges will compete for 5 girls to be on their team. On later shows, you, the American public, will have to vote for the final 10 girls, and each week one girl will be eliminated based on least votes, until there is only one girl left, the 'ALL AMERICAN GIRL', Got it? So on to the rest of the girls.

The second part begins with some more brutal singing, dancing, instruments, stand-up comedy and even poetry. The rules are a bit different here; They could be rejected or accepted on the spot after their performance.

Venice (Michael Jackson impersonation) comes up again and tries to impress the judges with her violin, but the judges quickly tell her that she's not right for this competition. Natalie (3 0secs girl) comes up next and plays and sings Alicia Keys' 'Fallen.' The judges immediately accept her to stage 2.

Most of the girls did better towards the end but eventually more eliminations would have to begin. The judges compromised behind stage on who they think should be in the final 24. They gathered all of the remaining girls, and in lines of rotating front and back, the judges picked which girls that did not get as much spotlight made it to stage 2.

STAGE 2: Athletic Ability (bikini time!!!)

Athletic competition was based on speed, dexterity and agility as each girl had to compete in an obstacle course ranked in time. The course consisted of them swimming across a length of a pool, climbing over a netted wall, crawling under a cargo net, stepping through a tire track and finally, at the end, grabbing a basketball and shoot it through the hoop. The girls had only 3 chances to get the basketball in the hoop. If they made it in one try, then they would get 5 seconds taken off their total time. (Pretty simple huh? Heh heh heh...maybe not; but who cares, its bikini time!!!)

(Gordongram - I bet you're really hating me now, eh? =P)

Most of the girls found something challenging. For some it was the diving in to the pool. For others, it was the swimming. Some of the girls could barely climb the netted wall or even crawl under the cargo net. The tire track seemed easy - but then came the basketball shot.

First up is Ashley, She did well in the course and even made the shot in her first try for a total of 44 seconds. Andrea, with an unorthodox swimming style, finished up the course strong as her first shot hits nothing but net in 39 seconds. Kira blew away everyone with an impressive run (as she also makes her first shot) with the event's best time of 30 seconds.

STAGE 3: Dancing

The next round of competition is geared towards their dancing. The girls went through dancing exercises with a professional choreographer before they had to perform on stage in front of the judges. After two hours of rehearsal, the girls are called up in 3 groups of 8.

Just before the performances start, Rachel received an anxiety attack, couldn't perform on stage for group 3 and was rushed to the nurses station because her sugar level was low after her dance workouts. Rachel was one of the worst dancers and felt worried that the judges would feel that she was trying to avoid the dance competition.

The first group of 8 girls did great, according to the judges. The second group of 8 ladies started extremely slow but made it up with a good finish. The third group of ladies (7, minus Rachel) seemed like the best out of all three groups with a strong performance from start to finish.

While the judges were reviewing there notes, (Guess who) Rachel returns. Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. But that ploy does not work - Rachel does not make the final cut.

STAGE 4: INTELLIGENCE TEST

All the ladies then took a test for intelligence, more than 2/3 of them passed. The other third didn't know how many states there were in the U.S. or where the national capital was.

STAGE 5: PERSONALITY

Next, the girls have to tell a story on stage about themselves or anything that the judges could use to evaluate their personality with. One by one, the girls went through personal interviews with the judges. The judges asked basic questions like 'why we should pick you', and picked out a weakness or a strong point that the women have. Blah, blah, blah. You think this show will have good ratings? At this point it's so bad that you have to just watch it for the hell of it. Once again, thank you Gordon for making me recap this show. I'll kill you later.

(Gordongram - You didn't want to kill me during the bouncy bikini obstacle course, did you? Nooooooooooo...)

STAGE 6: Coach/Judges grouping

In the final stage of the evening, the Coaches competed in choosing their 'team' of 5 girls. As each girl is led on stage, any judge who wants the girl on their individual team will raise their hand. If none of them raise their hand, the girl on stage is eliminated from the competition. If more than one judge wants that particular girl, then its up to the girl herself to choose which team she wants to be on after she hears from each judge why they want her. Got it? (Silly, but you have to make the judges do something.)

One by one, each girl cames up and 11 of the 24 don't make a team. Suzanne ended up with 5 girls on her team, John with 4, and Geri with 4 as well. Because groups consisted of 5 girls, John and Geri each had to pick a girl from the remaining girls that they eliminated the first time.

Suzanne's group - Natalie, Evelyn, Tara, Kerry and Alley
John's group - Ashley, Kelly, Shauna, Shannon and Andrea
Geri's group - Monica, Cari, Jessica, Melanie and Christie

These are your final 15 girls and starting soon, America can vote on who you think should move on. Thanks for reading this (I hate first episodes, they are so long) and I'll see you next week. (Gordon, I hate you, its 2am). (Gordongram - I have a feeling that there will be much banter throughout this series...)


March 26, 2003

Hey Everyone!! First let me start by saying, America and I are praying for the families and friends of the Troops in Iraq to come home safely and soon. (Gordongram - My thoughts exactly)

Ok two weeks later, three groups of five and each group will lose one member. FUN! FUN! FUN!! Gordon, I hate you! When will this show be cancelled?! (Gordongram - Ahhhh - feel the loooooove...) Only ratings will tell. Anyway let me get started:

Day 1: All of the girls went through a series of beauty, fitness and singing competitions. Evaluations were handled by Veronica, beauty specialist; Daniel, fitness trainer and Michele, vocal coach.

The fitness section went by real quick as Geri's group looked like the weakest here. Next up, beauty specialist Veronica takes some shots at girls and points out all of their imperfections. All of the girls got made over and I was impressed with the results.

Each group was then evaluated for their vocal talents. In Suzanne's Group, they all sang well. Suzanne said in singing, she thinks Evelyn is the weakest and also the one with a bad temper. Geri's Group was so-so in this portion and the girl who didn't do well here was Christie. John's group didn't do any better than the last two. John had two girls who just sucked and had no emotion in singing; Andrea and Kelly.

Day 2: The judges watched their girls, one by one and together, dance. Some girls were nervous and some felt they had to show something - especially after their singing in Day 1. In Suzanne's group, they danced pretty well and so far it's hard to judge who will be the one out here, but maybe Evelyn's singing in Day 1 will give her the ax. Geri's group, on the other hand did ok, but the girl who didn't do well in this portion was Christie and so far she seems like she's 0 for 2. In John's group, it was obvious he was going to pay attention to Andrea and Kelly. Andrea danced well, but Kelly looked like she was trying too hard and didn't look good at all. What do I know? Let's see the results in Day 3.

Day 3: ELIMINATION

Suzanne's Group
Alley, Natalie, Tara, and Kerry are Safe
Evelyn - OUT

Geri's Group
Monica, Cari, Christie, and Jessica are safe
Melanie- OUT Geri: 'You can sing but you're not an all-rounder'

John's Group
Ashley, Shannon, Shauna, and Andrea are safe
Kelly - OUT John: 'I know you can dance, but in order to be an All-American Girl, I don't think you have what it takes.

Well I think the only shocker to me was Melanie's, but it's only the beginning. Next week there will be another 3 girls eliminated; one from each group again. So my prediction for next week would be Alley from Suzanne's group, Christie from Geri's group and Andrea from John's group. See you next week, if there's still a show!


April 2, 2003

I can't believe this show is still here. Anywho, lets get the party started.

A week later and 3 more girls are about to get the ax (1 from each group) then the final 9 (3 a group) will be eliminated by you America (YAY!)

On to the show. Gordon, just shoot me now.

(Gordongram: If I shoot you now, then I have to cover this dredge for a few more weeks. Not a chance.)

Day 1: THE GIRL'S APT

Each team got their own APT and each group was told they had to throw a party for their judges. They will be judged on Charisma, Social Skills and Personality. Sounds like fun, NOT!

The groups seemed stressed as they have to not only live with each other they have deal with other on a full time basis. Let's see how it takes its toll.

Geri's team though seemed more relaxed and bonded. Geri was the first judge to show up and was greeting by singing from the group saying 'Welcome to our party', which was cool and Geri seemed to love it. I bet that will make her final decision even tougher.

Things start to change though as the girls are hit by a surprise. Each judge brought a guest with them to test the girls personality.

John brought with him Cheryl, a event producer, who will help him see how they deal with criticism. Geri brought John, a Comedian, to test the girl's humorous side. While Suzanne wants to know how informed they are with help of her guest, Loretta, a Congresswoman.

In Suzanne's group, Carri was asked by Loretta, 'What would you change in the world?' She seemed to bullsh** her way through it and Tarah cut her off and finished the answer with more bull.

In John's group, Cheryl was very critical on everything - food, decoration and the girls clothing. The girls didn't look comfortable at all here and that's part of John's plan to see how they deal with pressure.

Geri's group was a bit more fun, especially since they were being judged on humor and they already bonded. They told jokes, of course, and laughed throughout dinner.

Once each of the guests leaves, the Judges get some alone time with the girls. In Suzanne's group, they talked about what book they were currently reading and Tarah tried to make herself look good by saying how she wrote a novel and girls at this point, seemed to be frustrated with her immaturity.

Geri's group still looked relaxed and talked about their first loves. This showed Geri their openness to talk about anything.

In John's group, the conversation starts off light and then it starts to get emotional. I guess they tried to make John's decision even more difficult with the guilt trip.

Things went in another direction from here. Each Judge will automatically send two of their four girls to the next round, leaving two left both being put on probation to let them know that one of them is going home. Those two, in each group, would have to persuade their Judges by preparing a 1 minute speech in less than 12 hours on why they should stay. 'Got me?' good.

Now, Geri picked Monica and Kira to move on, so Jessica and Kristi are on probation.

Suzanne picked Natalie and Ali to move on, so Carrie and Tarah are on probation.

John picked Ashley and Shannon to move on, so Shauna and Andrea are on probation.

My predictions at this point, to leave, are Shauna, Tarah and Kristi.

So now with moment of truth being here, we begin with Carrie and Tarah in Suzanne's group.

Carrie: 'I felt like quitting in the beginning but I've grown to understand what I need to do and it has brought the best in me and I won't stop being that way, I'm going to only get better.'

Tarah: 'I'm a great dancer and I have a great voice, although I need to find my style. I got a lot of athletic training and academically well rounded, I think I have a lot of potential and if I channel in the right direction I think I would shine through.'

'Huh?' is right on Tarah's speech; it sounded like such bull the whole time.

John's group:

Andrea: 'I guarantee that if I move on to the next round, you will see who I am. When I do move on, I will excel, I will succeed, I will push, I will drive and I will win. I will not let you down. That's why I am the All American Girl.'

Now, doesn't that sound like a well thought out speech?!

Shauna: 'I know how lucky I am to be here, the All American Girl has heart and I have heart. I have shown flaws but I have heart. I am representing all American girls. I have substance and I am your All American Girl.'

I'm not even going to say a word on the last speech, I'll let you ponder. Geri's group:

Kristi: 'There was a time when I was younger and I had a very trusting heart and I got burned. I used to let something that was trying to entertaining me not get to me and I know I've shown flaws but by showing my imperfection and vulnerability and getting better shows that I'm the All American Girl.'

Jessica: 'When I was a little girl, my dad told me that I was the carpenter of my own life and that everything I did, built my life to what I would be doing tomorrow; my attitudes and the choices that I made. He always talked about a solid foundation and that's what I'm all about. In my heart I feel like I have what it takes.'

Now that the judges seen their speeches, its time for their heartbreaking decisions.

John picks Andrea, Suzanne picks Tarah, and Geri picks Kristi to stay.

Carrie, Shauna and Jessica get the boot. Don't let the door hit your butt. Damn, I bit my tongue; another surprise -

The three girls who were cut get another chance, one of them will be saved for next week's show to make 10 finalists. This time around, the judges' decision doesn't count. The 9 girls must select in a secret balloting who they want back of the 3.

The 9 girls voted and Carrie got 3 votes from her own team, Jessica also got 3 votes from her team and now the vote comes down to John's team. Jessica gets one vote making her vote total 4, and Carrie got another vote so she also has 4. Now its down to Andrea to make her vote - and she selects Jessica, which means that Jessica makes it with 5 of 9 votes.

Your finalists:

Suzanne's group: Natalie, Tarah, Ali

Geri's Group: Jessica, Kristi, Monica, and Kira

John's Group: Shannon, Andrea, Ashley

So now that we have the final 10 girls, You, America must vote, and it should be interesting. See you next week and don't forget to vote!


April 17, 2003

So ABC decides to give Bachelor 3 a two hour special, which moves ALL AMERICAN GIRL to the following week, which gives me a break from this dreadful show. Smart move, but they moved it to Thursday in prime time. That's equivalent to a 3am Manhattan access channel; meaning no ratings and a whopping 2 million viewers. Ouch! To make it worse, they really didn't try to advertise this move very much because I ended up recording only the last hour of the two hour special. This recap will be short and I'll try to make sense of it. So here we go...

We start with 10 girls, and two will be eliminated in a few minutes by a panel of judges (just for this week - you guys get to vote from now on), as the girls tried to make a good impression to the live audience. All 10 girls, one by one, did a quick 15 second dance in front of the crowd. At this point, it almost seemed like the crowd was forced to cheer as most the girls couldn't dance except for Monica (the former cheerleader) and Tarah ( a former winner of a dance competition at the age of 8).

The early part of the 2nd half of the show has the girls standing before the crowd and they call out 5 girls - Natalie, Jessica, Ali, Shannon and Tarah - to the front line. The remaining back line is safe; so out of these 5 girls, 2 are out. Shannon makes it, then Natalie, down to the last 3 Ali, Tarah and Jessica. Tarah was the first to be let go and then Ali, as Jessica moves on to the top 8.

The eight remaining girls are battling for America's vote and it's up to you to vote for the All American Girl. The girls start off the 2nd half of the show by performing 'I'm so excited'. They sung ok, but singing was never a big deal throughout this series. Cancel the show already!! I hate you Gordon. Why can't they have a bikini contest?!

(Gordongram - Because a bikini contest would make the guys happy, and ABC doesn't want to make us guys happy because their demographic is...well, I've given up trying to figure out what their Thursday night demographic is. Gee, I wonder how Millionaire did in this time slot. From Millionaire, to Push, Nevada, to this drivel.)

The remaining girls are gathered on stage and are all asked one question that they would have to answer after the commercial break. They were asked, 'If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be and why?' Keep in mind the girls have head-phones on, so they can't hear what each girl is saying; here are their responses:

Natalie: God has made me what I am today and I'm happy for who I am.
Shannon: I would change my impatience
Ashley: I want to be cool, and people are cool and I want to be cool.
Jessica: I want my rib cage fixed so that I have I have a better body.
Christie: I wish I was more confrontational when it comes to talking to people.
Kira: I need to be more decisive, I love to spend money shopping.
Andrea: I need more confidence; I like to freak out on the little things.
Monica: I would like to change my big teeth.

Next up, the girls dance to the tune of 'Disco Inferno'. One by one, they dance solo to impress the crowd. Shannon did well and so did Natalie, but Jessica and Andrea looked like they were spinning around rather than dancing.

The girls were now put to a test on climbing a rock wall. The first group (Monica, Ashley, Jessica and Andrea) had to slide down a pole, then climbed the rock mountain. Andrea had a slow start, clipping on to the Harness and she was the last to start climbing - but she still beat the other 3 girls. The 2nd group (Kira, Christie and Ashley) competed for the same setup but Natalie had to sit due to medical restraint because her arm has torn ligaments. As the 2nd group was close to the end, it was down to Shannon and Kira - they had to look at the replay to name Kira the winner of group 2.

Each judge had to choose one of there members to speak in front of the crowd. John picked Ashley, Geri picked Jessica and Suzanne only had Natalie left. The three girls pleaded to the audience and to America of why they should be picked.

Next week, two girls will be eliminated from the top 8. After each show, the telephone, text message and online vote polls will be open up to two hours after. Don't watch the show (it's not worth it, watch Friends or something). But if you want to vote, go to ABC.com for the best route. See you next time.


April 24, 2003

Well I think now I'm convinced that ABC is trying to get rid of this show, because once again when you think the show is on Thursday at 9 or 10, they show it at 8pm - the same time with NBC's powerhouse Friends and CBS's powerhouse Survivor. So I just so happened to turn to it at 830 and noticed I missed half the show, poor me (NOT!). So here's the 2nd half of the show-

At this point of the show, there was only 6 girls of the 8 there. So this means they booted the 2 girls with the least votes. The two girls missing were Ashley and Shannon, both from John's group.

The girls have to participate in using gymnastic rings swinging over the audience from point A to point B and back.

Two girls go at a time and the first group were Andrea and Monica. Andrea took full control of this event and breezed through it to the finish. Monica, on the other hand, had some problems as she eventually was stuck at one point and gave up.

in the second group were Jessica and Christi and they both did well, but Jessica edged it out for the win. The 3rd group had Natalie and Kira and Natalie burst to the lead (bad shoulder and all) and finished it. Andrea was the fastest of the 6 girls to finish with 33.04 seconds.

Next up, each coach has to plead to the audience why they should choose their pick for the All American Girl.

1st coach was John and since Andrea was only person in his group left, it was easy for him to choose her.

John: 'This is the All American Girl, I put her through hell and she has stepped up and fought through it and she is the only choice you have.'

Geri still had all 4 girls in her group - Geri: 'I'm not going to make a plea. I'm going to tell you the truth. They all overcame there weaknesses and came through. The fact that they are all still here and all still together shows they have heart and what it takes to be your All American Girl. I will leave it up to you because any of these 4 could be the one.'

3rd coach Suzanne also had one girl left in Natalie - Suzanne: 'Over my career, I had the opportunity to work with some really talented group of people. Natalie embodies what it takes and what really makes her special is that she has great character, heart and determination. All those qualities should be what the All American Girl is about and I hope you will choose Natalie.'

With 6 girls remaining and despite show ratings being so low, the show is still on. The results will be shown next week as they will eliminate 2 more girls and the final four will move on for more competition. If you have my prediction, I think it should be Jessica, Andrea, Natalie, and Monica in the top four. That would leave Christie and Kira out, but with my luck I'll be completely wrong. Tune in next week to find out.


May 1, 2003

So ABC decides once again to move AAG. This time completely off ABC. Sounds like it's gone, right? Wrong! They decided to air it on ABC family for its last two episodes and make the last one an 8 hour compliation marathon! Poor me. WHY me?! Then it gets even better; ABC.com said the show will be on Abc family at 10pm Thursday. The show was a no-show, instead they played Who's line is it anyway. (laughing) Is this the end? I damn hope so... but if not there's still 6 women and 4 will move on to the final four for the final two episodes. Will we see this show? Only ABC knows because I for sure don't, neither does America and will you miss it? You probably dont even watch! Anyway, if there's a show I will send it to Gordon to post it here for you (and I hope I won't have to) but we'll see. Until then, go love a section.
 

 

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