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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:
Josh Weinstein, 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 Shirleys" - October 3

It's Mother's Day at ISPF, as we have two Keiths, two Lauries, and soon, two Dannys. First, though, it's all about the mama. Tonight, it's time for the Shirleys to take the stage! Here are the Shirleys one more time...

Mary Kay Twargowski; Pittsburgh
Krissy Todd; Oviedo, FL
Dee Nelson; Boston
Lisa Arnold; Leesburg, GA
Julie Wittner; Los Angeles
Judy Guinosso; Souderton, PA
Suzanne Sole; Chicago
Gabrielle Wagner; Los Angeles

The things these women can do with mops and Swiffers... 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 Shirley Jones, who now joins Newton on stage. Think of it as VH1's answer to "Desperate Housewives".

Enter footage from Boot Camp, including horseback riding with Danny, bowling with Shirley, and watching Danny fawn over his eight moms. And a birthday party for two of them, complete with stripper. Go shorty, it's your birthday... we gon' party like it's your birthday...

Okay, it's serious music time... Three ladies pay, five ladies stay. The first round is based the whole package, including boot camp and rehearsal.

Gabrielle: advances
Suzanne: advances
Dee: does not advance
Mary Kay: advances
Julie: advances

That leaves three Shirleys. Two of them are going home. Krissy... moves on! Lisa and Judy will have to watch this one from the sidelines.

Next, it's time to sing, as we meet Krissy Todd first. As you remember, the former rock singer is the biological mother of Leland Grant, one of the Keith finalists. Her song, "Heartbreaker". Now, she's a sentimental favorite because of the obvious... but to be honest, Nikki McKibbin did a better job of this...

Tim: 6.5 Mary Jo: 8.5 Josh: 8.2 Nancy: 7.2.

Oh, so THAT's the announcer... I want his job. Next up, Gabrielle Wagner, who lives and dies and lives again for her cello. Her dream... to be on Celebrity Poker Showdown. Hey! Her song, "Hot Stuff". Sounds okay, but I wish she'd do some more... Oh, wait, there it is... Okay, good. I wish she wouldn't force it out, though. And the judges agree...

Tim: 6.5 Mary Jo: 6.5 Josh: 6.0 Nancy: 6.9.

Two down, and we're up to Mary Kay Twargowski, aka "Muffy", who is a professional dog walker. She wanted to do this because of her father, who died two years ago. His philosophy, take life by the horn. Her song: "You're So Vain". The best singer to start, but a little forced toward the end. Too bad. It was so fresh and so clean, too...

Tim: 6.8 Mary Jo: 7.3 Josh: 7.0 Nancy: 7.1.

Man! No love from Tim today. Suzanne Sole is next, and she's pro-sass. She sees Shirley as someone who has to have a sense of humor. Yeah, she's nuts. Her song, "You Oughta Know". She sounds like Alanis... No, that's not a good thing. Unless you indeed are Alanis Morissette. No, Suzanne, it's NOT fair.

Tim: 5.9 Mary Jo: 7.2 Josh: 8.5 Nancy: 7.5.

Finally, Julie Whittner, a successful, but miserable business worker. They say that she was crazy, and they're probably right. But that didn't stop her. Her song, "Call Me", and I'm beginning to hope that the judges are looking for showmanship, because it's just another mediocre performance vocally.

Tim: 6.0 Mary Jo: 6.0 Josh: 6.0 Nancy: 7.0.

One of them is the new Shirley Partridge, and if the new Danny is anything like Danny Bonnaduce, "she'll be in therapy by November." A brief tete-a-tete reveals  Tim likes Emily for Laurie (smart man), Mary Jo likes Leland for Keith, Josh likes Suzanne for Shirley, and Mary likes either Keaton or Spencer for Danny.

After we suffer through the "A-for-effort" footage, it's time to say goodnight to two of these ladies. Krissy is not one of them. She moves on alongside Mary Kay & Suzanne. Not the case for Julie and Gabrielle. Well, so much for Celebrity Poker.

Next, we get into the mind of Shirley Partridge, the original sexy independent single mom. Draw your own conclusions, America. Who else can be that original, that sexy, that independent, that single? It's time once again for the Blue Screen of Death round. Another scene from 1974, in which Shirley is more than a bit upset as Danny's plagiarizing of Ernest Hemingway. And Laurie gave him a D. First up, Krissy. I give her a C-. Next, Mary Kay. I give her a B-. Finally, we have Suzanne. She gets an A. Yay for Suzanne.

Who should get cut: Krissy. Who will get cut: Mary Kay. But we'll find that out who joins Keiths Leland Grant & David Petruzzi and Lauries Alexis Mero & Emily Stone... and two of these guys. One more look at the Dannys, Spencer Tuskowski, Alex Oyen, and Keaton Savage... It's Keaton and Spencer!

So the card is three-fourths set: It's Leland vs. David, Emily vs. Alexis, Keaton vs. Spencer, and Shirley #1 vs. Shirley #2 for the next generation of the Partridge Family. The quadruple-header for all the cheddar, NEXT WEEK! In the meantime you can go to VH1.com and keep on voting for your favorites.

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