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It's anything but politics as usual as ten people from all walks of life compete for a $200,000 purse and some prime TV space to air their grievances.

And you get to decide who.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN

Montel Williams
Creator: RJ Cutler
EP: RJ Cutler, Tom Lassally, Jay Roach
Packager: Actual Reality Pictures, Kustom
Airs: Sundays at 9:00pm ET on Showtime

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"AD 2004" - September 12

Keith took yet another challenge, but Bruce got a prize that he couldn't rightly accept - a badly needed infiltration from the cast of "What Not to Wear". But in the end, Park benefited from Lisa's left-right polarization, sending Joyce home.

The campaign bus heads to DC for their next challenge... television. Never mind that you're on television now, but you're nobody in politics if you have yet to say "... and I approved this message." That's right, it's political advertisement time again. Helping out is the Glover Park Group, a leading political ad group.

Welcome to the belly of the beast, "a one-industry town" according to Malia. "Television is the best media, and you better use it effectively or you're going to get crucified in the election," Park adds.

Advice from political strategist for the Gore 2000 campaign, Carter Eskew: political advertising is best if they have "a clear sense of passion, a clear sense of what they want to do for the country. Politics is a competitive sport." Basically, prepare to pull punches.

The challenge this week: create a 60-second ad in six hours. Frank Luntz of last week's challenge will assemble a focus group to judge those ads. The two candidates who are the least presidential will have to debate. One of them will debate no more.

Among the most insecure, Bruce (who thinks the process is excruciating enough without having to condense it into six hours) and Malia (who doesn't test well in focus groups).

We're going to break it down this week from strategy to execution for each player.

Park: Strategy: lump all of his opponents together by name and then contrast himself with that as civilly as possible with a probable focus on abortion. Toughest competition/target: Everyone else. Execution: follow through.

Lisa: Strategy: Be strong, authoritative, and decisive, with probably focus on abortion. Toughest competition/target: Keith. Execution: Goes for specifics against Keith's generals, play on her strengths.

Bruce: Strategy: to show that animal rights activists do care about other issues, and to stand apart from the the liberal democrat alliance that has gotten him to the final five. Toughest competition: The other three, without so much attacking--he's not into pot shots. Target: Park. Execution: begrudgingly goes after the others, but spends most of his time attacking Park.

Keith: Strategy: "Here's a guy who's a descendant of slaves, who has a chance to run for the highest office in the country." Toughest competition/target: Lisa. Execution: Uses issues that play on opportunity for everybody. "I am a part of the American vision. A part of the American tapestry. A part of the American dream."

Malia: Strategy: Play on her youth action vibe. Target: Park. Execution: Play on issues affecting the youth of today, go after Park. 

Onto Loews Theatres for judgment. Their reactions?

Lisa: Range from "First woman president" to "Card-carrying bleeding heart liberal." No one liked the profiles or the talking with the hands. Scary? Yes. But that only means she can win. 27-3, positive.

Bruce: ... He's scary looking. Range from "Geek" to "Nerd" to "Saturday Night Live skit". But one person stands up for him, thinking that some of the best-looking people in the world are also some of the most cold. 17-8, positive.

Park: Range from "Conservative" to "average" to "unrealistic" to "milquetoast". But we do have the teacher/average Joe vibe. But did it work? 12-9, negative.

Malia: Range from "Crisp" to "focused" to "fresh". Very optimistic and convincing. But one person doesn't see where she's going with the 20-something comparisons and another has issue with the accent. 18-9, positive.

Keith: It seems like he was playing on his race, but at the same time, there was a lot of good ground laid about his plan. And one even goes so far as to call the other 29 prejudiced. That takes balls. 23-4, positive.

Time for the vote. Who is the most presidential? According to this crowd... It was Park. My guess, he was going to win because he's the only conservative against a split progressive vote, but you can only play that card for so long.

Second, by one: Lisa
Third: Keith

At the bar, the Boykin and Gillespie camps talk about the race struggle in America and how if Park had said the exact same things that Keith said, then his numbers would go through the roof and about how you have to look and act a certain way if you want to be president. "And suddenly the black guy is the problem."

Onto the debate, Lisa is torn between her feelings toward both players and her feelings toward their merit. Malia believes that she inspires people, that she's been honest, and that she's been herself particularly in the issue of abortion. Bruce believes that that was a dig, and rebuts in kind. In the end of the day, he is both pro-choice and anti-abortion. Malia believes that she has a new face for politics. Bruce sees change in his views from animal rights to human rights as well.

Enough debate. Now to vote.

Keith: MALIA, thank you for being consistent.
Lisa: I think Malia has aligned herself with Keith, so I'm going to vote for BRUCE.

Park's vote is not revealed, but the result is 2-1 in favor... of Malia. Bruce is off the ballot. He expected people to vote for Malia based on the negative jibe. As for the other four, the line grows deeper and the fight looms large. Next stop for the candidates: Philly. Someone grab me a steak, please.

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