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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
 

FACT FILE:
Host:
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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"The Big Show" - September 26

Friends turned into full-blown foes last time, as Malia and Lisa turned on one another and used every trick in the book to get votes. In the end, it was Malia with the most votes, sending the other three candidates to debate. There, Keith, long considered an early favorite, was the victim of Lisa's gender card, leaving Lisa, Park, and Malia still in the running.

Today, we head west to LA, as the candidates head toward their next challenge not on the campaign bus, but in the luxury of limos, on their way to the St. Regis Hotel. Needless to say, it's pretty surreal, but it's back to reality with this note:

"Meet me in the Presidential Suite."

Montel is awaiting with a little surprise... one of 25 copies of the Declaration of Independence, on loan from Norman Lear's action group, Declare Yourself. Leading up to today's challenge: pick a vice-presidential running mate. Assisting is consultant Ed Rollins. "It's always best to have someone who doesn't overshadow you. They have to be compatible with you."

But it won't be just any running mate... it will be one of the former American Candidates, as we welcome back Keith, Bruce, Joyce, Richard, Jim, Bob, and Chrissy. Together, the American Candidate Reunion Show will take to the air with Kim Serafin to endorse one of the three remaining candidates. From that, Malia, Park, and Lisa will choose a running mate.

Going into this week's wireless poll: Do you think that the VP choice matters in a Presidential election?

While listening to the show from the hotel, Ed warns the candidates that in their heads is probably one choice. Well, they'll get two, as they must now present a short list of candidates for vice president. Chrissy would love to be taken on by Malia, while Bruce wouldn't mind being Lisa's running mate. He says he has better organizational skills for the job. Park's one man, Jim, would be honored to do anything to help. Joyce is hoping to be on Malia's short list... or Park's... Malia would want Keith as VP more than anything. Debating what he said earlier about him and Lisa with Maila's feelings about his strengths... Keith still has no answer.

Chrissy touts media coverage as a strength to Lisa, who also sees her name as a strength. After all, her father is the guy the New York Post said would be a VP candidate... right before getting it right with John Edwards.

And then, there's Bob, ever the dreamer. He says he's a change-the-system reformist, which gets Park to asking, "What do you want to change the system to?" No answer. Next stop on the Bob Vanech World Tour, Malia's room. Rashad plays the short-sweet-and-to-the-point role in saying that they have a short list... and he's not on it. Damn. Finally, onto Lisa's room. "Tell me how you think you could mobilize your campaign." Again, no answer.

Thank you, and good night. Next, Richard pledges his loyalty and faith in Park, touting the best numbers and connection on views. Park's CM is won over, but Park still has some major philosophical differences with him.

Keith steps into Lisa's camp for his second interview. He says that they would win if they were on the same ticket together.

Malia and Lisa have a drink outside, but don't think for a moment that they're all happy and friendly-like. No, siree, sir. "Her and I have conflict that we need to work out," says Malia. "I didn't want it to come to 'The two progressive women are cat fighting,'" says Lisa. Yeah, not friends, but at least acquaintances. Bottom line per Malia: "You and I are the future of this country, and if we can't figure it out with this space here... this country's screwed."

Dinner time. And also result time.

Park: Jim and Richard
Lisa: Keith and Chrissy
Malia: Keith and Chrissy

Tomorrow, they'll interview for the candidates, and that night, they'll announce their picks on the Dennis Miller Show. Meanwhile, this is as far as Joyce, Bruce, and Bob go on the Reunion tour. Bye bye.

Result of the polling shows that 83% of the polled believe that a VP choice does matter.

Malia wants the best in Keith, but she doesn't know if Keith wants it. Lisa believes that Keith would be a power presence for Lisa. Keith thinks Malia brings a lot to the table, but agrees fundamentally with Lisa. All of this is stressed in his interviews. Keith agrees to a trust as Malia's running mate, not believing that Lisa would take him seriously.

Park has a harder choice, as he has Richard's groups versus Jim's ideologies. Jim believes he is a fighter and a reformer and will bring added energy to Park's campaign. As for Richard: "I totally give you my heart. Jim is going to cross over like Al Gore. This isn't about agreeing with you on issues. This is about getting you to victory."

Keith returns to Lisa's room to let her down easy. Guess that makes her job easy. Lisa lets her in on the good news, and we have our second ticket. And Park chooses Jim. The tickets are set. Onto The Dennis Miller Show!

On same-sex marriage:
Witter/Gephardt: for
Gillespie/Strock: against
Lazu/Boykin: for

On the death penalty:
Witter/Gephardt: against
Gillespie/Strock: for in the case of premeditative murder
Lazu/Boykin: against, citing fair decisions and class issues

On the war in Iraq:
Gillespie/Strock: "Appeasement doesn't work."
Lazu/Boykin: believes we were led unjustly and lack an exit strategy

On the Patriot Act:
Witter/Gephardt: against
Gillespie/Strock: cites judicial oversight
Lazu/Boykin: thinks that we "bit our nose to spite our face"

After the final sumups, it's time to vote. Two hours later, or one week later, in our case, we'll have the result, as two more will advance to the final stage in competition.

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