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The WB is looking for a new fresh face to move to "One Tree Hill"...

Enter this series.

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN

Katie Wagner
Judges: Faye Dunaway, Vivica A. Fox, Joseph Middleton
Creator: Mike Fleiss
EP: Scott Einzinger, Josh Etting, Mike Fleiss, Jamie Kennedy, Ellen Rapoport
Packager: Next Entertainment, Telepictures, Warner Bros. TV
Airs: Tuesdays at 9pm ET on WB

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"Chapter 1" - March 6

So I'm a glutton for punishment.

Last summer, NBC tried an acting show called The Next Action Star. Since we haven't heard anything from any of the contestants, you can guess how well THAT went. So the WB will try their own acting show called The Starlet. I can hardly wait.

We get the notion that women dream up to be a star or an actress. American Idol may disagree with that, but I digress. 10 women from around the world will compete for a shot at a dream come true. They will take classes on how to show emotions in various genres and then use that knowledge to perform in screen tests to try to be...The Starlet.

It sounds like The Next Action Star to me.

We get the judges -

Faye Dunaway - She is, of course, a multi-award winning actress, and she promises to be tough. "If you lie to them, you will make them bad."

Joseph Middleton, Casting Director - "No is part of the business. You have to be able to take it - and either move on or move out."

Vivica A. Fox - Starlet? No. Actress on a WB Show? Yes. MMMMMMMM Nepotismmmmmmmmmm...

The winner gets a deal with The WB, a contract with 3 Arts Entertainment, and a career launching role (their words, not mine) on One Tree Hill. Oooooh, Aaaaah.

Let's now meet the contestants -

Catie (23, Chicago) - She's always wanted to be an actress since she was a kid - and she wants to work her tail off - but be nice about it. We'll see how long THAT lasts...

Cecile (20, Pretoria, South Africa) - She's another blonde leggie female who's father is a diplomat. She has done television before and she's looking to become a legend.

Andie (19, Havila, CA) - She's a red-headed comedienne - but she really wants to act. She really, really does. She's not competing to be a model - she wants to be an actress. Let's see - a comedienne on a drama show. She's the first one gone.

Donna - (20, NYC, NY) - She said that it's only time before she became a legend. She's African-American, strong-willed, and has the diva-thing set. She is a model - and can get over the model can't act seriously. You have that feeling that she and Andie will be roommates?

Mercedes (24, L.A., CA) - She wants to be the next Cate Blanchett or Meryl Streep. Is it me, or does she look like Sherilyn from the Next Action Star?

Lauren (22, Phoenix, AZ) - She says that it takes more than acting to be the Starlet - it takes presence - and she has it. She also loves to be sexy. She's not too full of herself, is she?

Courtney (20, Ferrysville, OH) - She is a regular working actress on TV and on stage. Based on her talking ("I wanna be the starlet - I can't express how much to you"), I have a feeling the working actress part may be that extra that gets killed in the first 5 minutes of horror movies.

Neva (21, Rincon, Puerto Rico) - She says that she wins because the works the hardest and she kills them - with poison. She's kidding about that... I think. "I want to work hard at this and win. I'm not here to make friends, and if that makes me a B!tch, then so be it." Maybe she's serious about that poison part...

Andria (24, Waco, TX) - She's blonde. She's from Texas. She's a beauty Pageant Queen. She says that she is NOT a Barbie Doll who can't act. I'll hold off the snickering right here.

Michelynne (18, Minneapolis, MN) - She came to L.A. with a little money and was residing at a hostel. Her mom gave her money to pursue her dream, adding that this is the best thing that's ever happened to her. AwwwwBarf.

The ladies are welcomed by Katie Wagner, who welcomes them to the competition. She tells them that they will be judged on their Screen Tests - and the panel of judges have the power to send them home - or to fulfill their dreams. The reward - a 1 year contract with 3 Arts Entertainment a talent deal with the WB and a 'career launching' role on the show One Tree Hill.

The women will be residing at the house of the late Marilyn Monroe. Donna says that she is determined, Michelynne says that she has a skin condition, Andria says that she has the total package, and the women notice...that there are only 9 beds and 10 women. Kate clears that up by saying that there is a tenth bed - in the Diva Suite. Whoever wins the challenge gets to stay in the suite and learn all their lines in peace and privacy.

As for that challenge? They have to play the role of Rachel Marron (a role made famous by Whitney Houston in 'The Bodyguard') and say the following lines -

Rachel: I'll do what I want, when I want. Besides, I'm tired of hanging around with a bunch of deadbeats.
Kevin (Said by the panel): One more time and I'm gone.
Rachel: You remember something Farmer - You work here - you work for me.

Whoever does the best gets the first shot in the Diva Suite. The women get their scripts - and 15 minutes to rehearse. You would think that they could learn this in 15 minutes, right?

It's now time for the first test, as the divas meet the judges for the first time. Andria and Michelynne are stunned by Faye, who tells them to take it seriously and really approach this like you want something.

The women say their lines. Michelynne was good, though she flubbed a line. The other women do ok, but I liked both Cecile and Donna - a lot. They really put emotion in it. Mercedes was good as well. On the other hand, Andie the comedienne sounded like it was the set-up line for a joke and other women were as lively as a flailed fish. Then there's Andria, who added her own script into it, calling Farmer a 'funny little man'. Unless you are an 'A' level actress, you NEVER change the words of the script. Remember when I said that Andie would be the first one gone? Let me change that to Andria, as I really start to chuckle with the blonde beauty queen reference.

The judges go immediately after Andria, and it looks like they would cut her already if they could. They can't yet, but they can pick three people and the Top 3 are Donna, Mercedes and Ceclie. When the women come back, the judges announce that the winner is....Mercedes! Not my top choice, but she was good. "Faye Dunaway just gave me an award. My head was spinning."

After the women retire for the evening and get to see the Diva Suite, we start their early morning training. The training topic - tapping into your emotion. Coach Bobby Shaw-Chance, who has taught people such as Drew Barrymore and Brad Pitt, will be the teacher for the day. She wants them to go back to their emotional base - a physical animal place. They play a drum music and they want them all to be like animals. All of the women were like animals - except Andria, who just stared and smiled. Is there any reason why she isn't going to be toast in 30 minutes?

Bobby tells them to let their heart talk and tells them to find a sadness in their heart and to let it go. Michelynne talks about her poor upbringing and she talks about how she wants to act. She feels in tuned and she gets the idea. Lauren talks about her ex-boyfriend, Catie talks about unrequited love, Cecile is talking about sorrow and Andria is talking about a...happy place. A Happy place? Wha? Is Andria even on the same planet as everyone else?

It's time for the challenge, which is to act in a screen from Smallville with actor Adam Lavorgna from 7th Heaven. No nepotism here, noooooooooosir. Donna talks about pain in a different way - if she gets eliminated now, it would be the biggest tragedy in her life so far. Poor Baby.

The role has Lana Lang, who is distraught and who is looking to Clark for comfort. We see the exact scene taking place in a cave, and the women are taken to that same cave. The women are introduced to Adam and Cecile is excited -but Michelynne is the first person to go. She is nervous - as she forgets her line. She gets it done the second time, and she is ok with it. Lauren feels cried out and she knows that she can do better - but she couldn't cry. She thinks that she blew it and curses out at the camera.

We see clips of everyone else and Catie is overjoyed by doing this, while Mercedes wasn't too thrilled about what she did. Andria wasn't very convincing, while Andie says that she nailed it. I think she went over-the-top and I think it will between her and Andria as the first person to go bye-bye.

So who goes bye-bye? We'll see as the ladies go over to the Sound Stage, which is where the judges are. We start with the individual critiques, with...Neva - Vivica wanted to see more emotion, Faye says that it has to be more intense while Joseph liked the look - but not the acting. Michelynne - Joseph wants to see more drive and passion, Faye was disappointed (this is not the Paris Hilton School of acting') and wants more. Andria - Vivica doesn't want to rip her to shreds, but tells her to study. Joseph says that you need talent to get into the business. As she leaves, Faye whispers that he was this close to telling her to give up. Faye is right, and I don't see any way that Andria is sticking around.

Mercedes - Joseph says It's the best that he's seen so far, and a pleased Faye says that she was acting. Donna - Vivica says that she was crying through the whole scene - but not to do the whole scene crying. Joseph says that she has potential but Faye disagrees and they get into it. Andie - Joseph says that it was too much community theater, Vivica says that she has to build and Faye says that it was one of the worst scene that she's ever seen. Ouch!

Catie - Joseph loved her - but hated her in this one and says that he will forget this performance. Cecile - Vivica thought she was beautiful, Joseph says that there were 5 parts that he thought she could play and Faye loved her dignity about her. Lauren - Joseph said she started and ended great - but got lost in the middle. Courtney - Faye says that crying is not enough, and try to get something out of it. Courtney gets defensive to the judges and Vivica calls her on it. Vivica tells her that there's an arrogance around her and she better start listening as to what the judges have to say. After the analysis, Courtney sees the other girls and says that, 'The judges think that I'm a cocky b!tch!. Well, if the shoe fits...

Time for the Judges thoughts...Courtney - Joseph wants her out, but Faye wants to keep her. Catie - disappointing. Andie - The judges didn't like her either. Neva - Too shy. Andria - Gorgeous, but not talented. Donna - Vivica wants to get rid of her, but Joseph wants to keep her.

My thoughts?

Ms. Starlet? Up in 5 - Mercedes, Cecile, Catie
The Starlet's Extra? Up in 5 - Neva, Michelynne, Donna, Lauren
Starlet's Coffee Girl? The coffee sucks. Go away - Courtney, Andie, Andria

The Starlets congregate as Kate tells them all that the judges have made their decision. The judges agree that the first person has the look of a Starlet - but not the talent. Faye to Andria - 'Don't Call Us. We'll Call You.' So that's the catch phrase, eh? Lame.

But wait - we have another surprise. It won't be one, but TWO people who will be eliminated this evening. The second person has been described as a character actor who needs to listen and it's a difficult profession. It's courrrr.....wait a sec - it's Andie! Courtney is as shocked as I am as she is saved, while an squally shocked Andie says that she thinks her potential wasn't as important to the judges as her looks. Andria says that though she didn't become the Starlet, she persevered and learned things.

My take? I don't think that this is a bad show - but then again, I said the same thing about the Next Action Star. Time will tell if this actually will turn out to be decent - or if this makes the Next Action star look like it should have been Emmy-nominated.

By the way, I wonder why Chico would give this up for the Contender. Let's see who produced this. Ahhh...Jamie Kennedy... and Mike Fleiss - Chico's favorite. Well, now I know, Chico - you want to stick me with a Fleiss show. How thoughtful of you. (C-Note: No prob!)

Next week - A...Lesbian scene. This is a Mike Fleiss show, all right. You suck, Chico. (C-Note: HA HA!) Join us in 7 days as we see women kissing each other and I'll probably have a better judgement on the show.

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