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Sometimes the Best Move is Not to Play - March 31

Is it possible that NBC has actually learned something from ABC’s Millionaire debacle? That’s right, the one where they ran three episodes of Millionaire a week, celebrities and all, until they ran it into the ground. It’s possible…especially since they are going to give it a rest after May Sweeps. Now the cynic in you may be thinking that that’s exactly why they are doing it - save the big ammo for sweeps time. Logically, however, that’s a nice more for the show – you don’t want to burn it out, and you also want to get enough time to tweak out the show and add new bells and whistles to it.

The next question becomes will NBC do what ABC didn’t do – be smart enough to try to add real programming to their slate. ABC just kept riding Millionaire without even thinking about getting good programming on until it was too late. Although FOX has had very mixed results with their attempts at throwing something after Idol to see what would stick (Stacked? It did survive past one season. Free Ride? Eh. Unan1mous? Jury’s still out. Life On A Stick? Buh-Bye) but I do give it credit for giving House new life and for at least trying to trot out new product. Let’s see if NBC can learn their lesson.

The biggest difference is the way the show is being treated. NBC is treating DOND like a television entity, and not just some quick moneymaker. On the last State of Play on DOND, we made a bunch of suggestions. It seemed like NBC listened. If they keep the same care now as they did then, then DOND will be garnering the huge ratings for a long time to come.

Just no celebrities, please. We beg you.
 

We weren’t surprised when Lisa was eliminated. We were surprised, however, when Miss McFever wound up in the bottom…or were we? No one was on their game last week, and when that happens, complacency sets in. When complacency sets in, then people don’t vote and singers are at risk of leaving. Of course, Katharine’s group will make sure that she does not return to the bottom, which will help some people and brutally cripple others. Let’s see what we have…

Of course, we start with the deposed. In this case, you needed some fantastic efforts, and we instead got someone who tried too hard at songs that were too tough. The voting audience called you on it and you left the show. I did say that one of the three R&B females (Lisa, Mandisa, Paris) would be leaving, long before they should be, and in this case, it’s you.

So who gets to sigh some relief this week?

I’m not saying that you are the favorite to win this quite yet, but I do think you are the safest this week. There are now only two R&B singers, and I think that you are going to get most of Lisa’s vote. Now the question becomes how do you want to play this competition. Do you want to not lose and sing something safe, or do you want to win and show us that you can do some rockin’ country action?

You are also safe, though I think you are not getting as much of Lisa’s vote. Like Paris, you can make a huge statement on this show, because country is a major home for some nice gospel music. That being said, don’t get too gospelly, or you are going to alienate some more audience – and no one can afford to do that.

You can go out and sing the theme from Gilligan’s Island and be safe this week, because your fans will be coming out of the woodwork to bail you out. You can certainly do country and a dynamite effort will not only put you back in the contenders spot, it will make people wonder how in the world you got down there in the first place and will pledge to keep you out of there.

I consider you country, but my family considers you more rock-a-billy with a touch of soul. Like Katharine, this week is in your wheelhouse and you can do yourself a lot of good in converting some votes over to your side.



So everyone at GSNN hates your persona – myself included. However, my role is to be neutral and I know you are also very safe. However, I am sensing that you are behind Taylor, while Bucky is on the edge of the cliff. If you can outperform him on Tuesday, you can knock him off and take his votes, which will keep you on the show longer and cause my colleagues to tear out what remaining hair that they have.

Though I think you are safe, this is a CRITICAL week for you. Can you rise up to the challenge that Simon Cowell has set up for you and do something different? If you can, then you put yourself back up as a threat to make it to the final 2. If you can’t, then you are going to start on the path of Anwar Robinson, be exploited by the judges (mostly Simon) and probably not make the Top 4. The choice is yours…

I don’t think that you are bottom three worthy, per se, but someone has to be down here, and that someone is probably going to be you. Not only do you have to deal with a chaos theory shift, but you have not been on your game for the last two weeks. You need to step it up this week, or else there could be a problem in your future.

Next week will probably be the showdown between you and Elliott. This week will probably be the showdown between you and Bucky. You MUST out sing him…or do better against Elliott than Bucky does against Kellie. A bad vocal performance in a country field that may give you problems could be the end of the road…

…and I’m even expecting that Ace is going to be considered the worst singer of the night. But I don’t think he’s the only that’s going to be leaving. His whole base knows he is in trouble, and Simon will probably say something nasty to spark even more people calling in. The fact that this is country week is going to work against you this week, because you’re not going to suck badly enough that will spark your contingency to vote. You MUST pull out your best performance to date and not only blow out Ace, but probably blow out Kellie as well, because if you don’t, then, to quote the country show Nashville Star, you’re going to be hitting the bricks.

So I think that Bucky finally gets to be that opening act, but the door is wide open for Ace to walk through instead. We’ll see in a couple of days who’ll be singing their last song.

Gordon Pepper is secretly a fan of improv comedy... just not of "Free Ride". Give him an ep or two of old-school Whose Line anyday. E-mail him at gordon@gameshownewsnet.com.

 

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