Well what a short strange trip it’s been. We started out all fresh faced and ready to work ... no wait, that was the contestants. We were the ones convinced that the idea of Fame meets Star Search, was an idea that couldn’t miss. Then came reality, poor planning, bad production, and no sense of direction. There was a reason Star Search was on for all those years, they had planned things out. No such idea occurred to Debbie and Co who came up with this mess. We all lost- The audience and the participants. All three of us that watched the finale probably did so because they had to. Either they had been doing media for this chaos, or they had a family member on stage. The rest of the world tuned out in droves. At least no one quit their day jobs...
Poor Moy. They put a duster on her head instead of letting her be herself, and she said she knew she was gone. Ally said she was ready to go back and wait tables. Bad self-esteem. With the public recognition and the talent, they should be lining up to hire her. Tyce said he followed his dream. Well if your dream was to be a bad idea for a week on a show no one was watching – I guess you achieved it.
Debbie and Joey come out and greet everyone for the final show. Joey looks sedated and Deb enjoyed dress up so much last week, she’s morphed into Liza Minneli this week. I swear, if she starts singing New York New York, I’m switching the channel. Maybe she tried to convince Joey to look like David Guest and that’s why he sedated himself.
They re-intro the finalists and the ‘panel’. It’s really not necessary as we know they will tell us the contestant names again 20X during the show. As for the panel of experts, they might as well go for a beer til the shows over. They only get 30 seconds each now anyway.
They announce a special treat. Yay ! Have they dressed the kids in Versace or hired a sound crew? Nope, one more time its “Ready to Work” from all 12 finalists. Actually a pretty good idea. I notice Tyce is no-where to be seen. His 15 minutes of ‘fame’ was reduced to 15 seconds.
Not content to leave the one good production they did alone, they have to sample MJ and JJ’s ‘Pressure’ into the song, complete with someone doing the Mikey squeals. Yes, “It makes me want to scream” too. Still they look like they are having fun except for Justin. They finally fixed Alex’s Hugh Grant hair. These kids would look good on tour, and according to the “Wire” record site, a soundtrack is in the works. Everyone knows the big money is always made in T-shirts and licensed crap anyway. Placemats anyone?
Now that the pressure is off (according to Deb), Serena gets the first performance. They do a recap of Serena from her first song at 2, through dance lessons and her stint with Gladys Knight (was she a Pipette?)Finishing, with her appearance on Fame. She likened boot camp to training for the Olympics. With Debbie screeching at me , I’d just compare it to – Uh – boot camp. No wonder she nearly crashed when receiving the call to come, while driving on the freeway.
She performs ‘America the Beautiful’ , a song I used to be impressed by, before Celine got ahold of it. Serena doesn’t make me cringe like Celine does , so I guess its ok. The hair does everything to improve her looks. When she is done, they run her off stage really fast. What’s up with that?
Oh, its Harlemm next. That’s why they got Serena off so quickly. Harlemm’s trip through memory lane does not mention the Gerry Woo years or the albums, or even getting a standing ovation at the Apollo. I don’t know why, as that’s way more impressive than the footage of him slagging away at the computer as an office clerk. But then image Dahling... Chinese-American man wakes up at 35, and decides to become Tom Jones is way more interesting. He says he’s the “last frontier” and shouts out to Johnny W, he wants to go to China and sell a billion records. That’s like him saying he wants to go to Hong Kong and “start” a movie studio, because there aren’t any. Very naïve Gerry. It’s a whole country that has their own music scene already, and one that doesn’t particularly care for Americans. Stick here, the audiences love you the way you are.
Oddly, as his last song he chooses “the Sun Will Come out Tomorrow”, He looks more like Daddy Warbucks than Annie, but hey it’s Harlemm. Little dancing, but a big voice. Like Johnny, I’m waiting for what he’s going to do next.
After, they at least let him stay on stage til the commercial break.
Next is the pride of the academy, Brandon. He says it’s weird being recognized, but he loves it. In his trip down memory lane, he notes that the Tennessee folks thought he should be playing basketball or football. He decided he wanted to be a performer. He took all of the panels opinions to heart, and tried to give America what it wanted.
He picks “When a Man loves a Woman”. He can’t do any worse than Michael Bolton did on that song, so he’s ahead of the game. He actually does it as well as a sixteen yr old can. I’d love to see him sing the same song in 10 or 15 yrs when he’s been around the block a few times.
As a break, they next show the kids having a field trip to Wilhemina. Oh what fun, they discuss how they are going to be marketed as a commodity. Sweet little lambs that most of them are, they have no clue what a marketing machine actually is. It’s cute how at this stage of the game- it’s exciting.
Shannon is the last to perform. Her trip down memory lane includes her first solo at 6 in the pink tutu, and her stint as a Portland Trailblazers “dancer”. Aww, another basketball cheerleader makes good in reality TV. I have to wonder why it was kept so quiet. The others were at least up front about it. Maybe because being currently employed as a dancer would have had a negative impact.
She reaches into the old disco ball for “I will Survive”. Weirdly it has some kind of salsa rhythm to it. Can I smack the person who does the arrangements (Pretty please?)
The show was moving along wonderfully, then I heard that dreaded Millionaire Muzac again.
Serena and Harlemm on stage with the game show lights, and damn if they didn’t re-intro them again. (Screams) Oh gee Sue-Ellen Who do ya suppose these two are? All ten of us watching know, get on with it. Serena is gone, Harlemm is one of the final 2.
Next, they do the exact same thing with Brandon and Shannon. Hello production crew, this is NOT good suspense. Shannon moves on and Baby Brandon goes.
We are treated again with the F12 doing “Sing the Body Electric” .They had practiced it with the F4 at front , but I think Alex was the best. Too bad we didn’t have these better performances earlier in the show run.
The final words from the Judges.
JoJo says, he’s proud of them both, but thinks Harlemm is the one.
Carnie Says, she’s always liked Harlemm, but she loves Shannon too, and is torn
Johnny says, they both stole the show, but as it’s a competition when you log onto Wire records tomorrow, You’ll see Shannon as the winner.
(Word to Johnny, I did log onto Wire, the afternoon of ‘tomorrow’, and cobwebs were there. No sign the competition had ended.)
So for all of you who did the same, and logged on to find the winner. Harlemm was the winner. He said he had always wanted to be a popstar and release a record. (In his excitement he had forgotten he had already done both)
Harlemm performs a perfectly horrid song “chosen especially” for him. “I Love You, Love Me” . It made N’Sync drivel sound like Dylan.
Johnny welcomes him to WG entertainment, and then as he doesn’t “want to see talent go to waste”, asks Shannon to come along.
Congratulations to Harlemm. One for the old fogies, and the short guys, and the bald guys, and the Asian guys. You won, but I don’t know how many folks actually watched, and they took Shannon anyway. Oh well at least you got the room service for a year...(but you have to listen to Debbie’s awful screeching for a year too)
Good Luck !