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VH1 is returning an American TV classic to the airwaves with a breath of the new millennium...

But first they need to cast it. That's where you, the viewing public, come in.

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Host:
Todd Newton
Judges:
Bill Oakley, Nancy Matalon, Mary Jo Slater, Tim Palmer
EP: Jeff Margolis
Packager: Jeff Margolis Productions, Sony Pictures TV, VH1
Airs: Sundays at 9:00pm ET on VH1


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"Battle of the Lauries" - September 19

We have our first three people forward thanks to the judges, but now we have to whittle them to two based on your votes, America. They'll fight it out for the role of Keith Partridge on October 10, but first, it's time to cast his somewhat waifish sister. Remember, we judge on resemblance, singing, and acting ability. Once again, the eight hopefuls are...

Emily Stone; Phoenix
Rachel Kimsey; Utah
Allison Considine; Dallas, PA
Alana Allen; New York City
Alison Miller; Tallahassee, FL
Christina Grace; Langley, VA
Essie Shure; Chicago
Alexis Mero; Ann Arbor, MI

Remember, one by one, the performers will wow first, then sing, then act. At the end of the night, the judges will cut the field to three. Those three are presented to you, the public, to vote via phone or via website (VH1.com) on which one will be the successor to... that chick who wrote off the series to further her chances of schtupping Harry Hamlin in an LA law firm.

Just as last week, original castmates David Cassidy, Shirley Jones, and Danny Bonnaduce will be on hand to help feel out the talent both on stage and at Partridge Family Boot Camp. One thing you'll notice off the bat - the wardrobe department is huge. One other thing you'll notice... Laurie Partridge was an Iron Chef... or something.

The first round is based on looks, charm, and the requisite "How bad do you want it?" question. Based on that as well as singing and acting, we're making first cuts to five. Instead of the whole cut-off score deal, we get just the top five. Works out better this way, don't you think?

Christina: 18.6, advances.
Alana: 19.7, advances.
Allison: 17, does not advance.
Rachel: 19.4, advances.
Alexis: 20.3, advances.
Essie: 16.9, does not advance.

That leaves Alison and Emily... Alison... has 17.7. Emily has 21.4, and is considered an early favorite.

First, Alexis, who likes to rock-climb and show up guys. She has to show up on "Sk8er Boi". And dare I say it... WORSE than Avril. The original was gritty, and this was... popcorn. Good for this comp, but bad for me personally. Then it turns to "bad for this comp, AND bad for me personally".

Tim: 8.5 Mary Jo: 8.3 Bill: 8.7 Nancy: 8.5.

But the judges don't seem to mind. David's in the audience with David Petruzzi, Leland Grant, and Lucais Reilly of last week's show. One of them will go home tonight. The other two move on to the final battle. But for now, let's get back to the stage with Rachel Kimsey, a performer in a Wild West stunt show. Hopefully she'll come out guns a-blazin' with "Daydream".  She's sexy and perky... That's pretty much it, though.

Tim: 7.0 Mary Jo: 6.5 Bill: 7.1 Nancy: 6.9.

Next up, Emily Stone, who used to be blonde before the boot camp, believe it or not. Her song: a catchy little tune by Meredith Brooks whose title begins with B... and ends with an "itch." And she owns it. This is how you work a crowd. Not necessarily one of "those" performances, but probably one of the best ones tonight, if not THE best.

Tim: 7.8 Mary Jo: 9.5 Bill: 8.5 Nancy: 8.1.

Unlike Emily, Alana Allen, who wants to make a decent living performing, is STILL a little blonde. She thinks of Laurie as the "angel", and the perfect song for an angel is "Nothing Compares 2 U". Hmm... Not bad. VERY good. Another one of the best.

Tim: 7.5 Mary Jo: 8.5 Bill: 8.3 Nancy: 8.0.

Finally, near-dead ringer for Susan Dey Christina Grace, she of the life-timeline, graces the stage with "California Dreamin'". She makes the song her own... but she should've made it either Alana's or Emily's, because she is all over the place tone-wise. Strikes me as coming from the throat and not from the diaphragm. Sing from your diaphragm, dammit!

Tim: 6.5 Mary Jo: 6.8 Bill: 6.6 Nancy: 7.0.

After the requisite intro of the judges... halfway into the show, we get the requisite parade of suck. I'll save you the details and just say... thank God they're not on the show. Now, it's time to cut. Rachel and Christina are on the south end of the cut, as Alana, Emily, and Alexis move onto the Blue Screen of Death.

But before we do that, we get into the head of your typical attractive, sort of ditzy, relatively smart teenage girl from the 1970s who happens to play keyboards for a mom-and-pop garage band. As you can see... very normal.

Now to the Blue Screen, which features original Partridge footage sans Laurie. That's where Alana, Alexis, and Emily come in. This is their opportunity to give their own interpretation of the role. The scene involves "the one time at Hanley's Department Store" and a "D" in Laurie's diary. Yeah, every girl has one of those.

Alexis is pretty much dead on, Emily has slight microphone issues (that's what you get when you try to be subtle), and Alana... well, in every group, there's got to be one hot chick who totally blew it.

One of them will be the next Laurie Partridge, but what about Keith? We revisit David Petruzzi, Lucais Reilly, and Leland Grant from the last show... with finals results. Leland... IS IN! Lucais... is out. David joins Leland. We'll see them in the final on October 10. Meanwhile, it's all about Alana Allen, Emily Stone, and Alexis Mero. One of them is the new Laurie, and it's your job to determine who. Remember, you can vote all week online at VH1.com up until the live show on Sunday. So hey, why not give it a shot. Results... and the Battle of the Dannys (including an abnormally tall one) next time.

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