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08 Mar 2004

Dream Job Week 3

Reviewed By: Patrick Laverty

The theme of the night is that the judges are getting rough. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more good job and on to the next judge. Now we're starting to see what it takes to be a SportsCenter anchor.

The format for week 3 was to have the contestants paired up and to interview an expert on a story. The contestants were still judged individually, but they needed to show how they could work together. As always, some did this better than others, but most are a little over the top. It's nice that there's a real SportsCenter on immediately after the show to be reminded of how it's supposed to be done.

The pairings for this week were Kelly and Nick, Aaron and Casey, Maggie and Lori, Quigs and Chet, and finally Zach and Mike. Tonight, Dream Job saved the best for last. It seemed with just a little coaching, the last pairing could have moved on and done an hour of SportsCenter and held their own. Here's a quick review of each:

Kelly/Nick: Kelly is the big Texan who talks out the side of his mouth, literally, and Nick is the guy that many people think is arrogant and smarmy, including Al Jaffe. Kelly was way too fast, Nick seemed like he was reading too much and they got to interview ESPN's Sean Salisbury regarding the potential Terrell Owens trade to Baltimore. The interview wasn't too bad despite some long lead-ins to the questions, but Nick concluded the interview with a play on Salisbury's last name, with a reference to steak.

Maggie/Lori: Never mind steroids, the desk was high on estrogen during this part. Lori still seemed out of her league with her writing and her voice is really all over the place. Maggie was better than Lori, especially with her light interview questions to the Red Sox' Curt Schilling when asking about the ARod trade and his relationship with Pedro Martinez. Lori added way too many "umms," and their chosen ending with a reference to smoking was a little bit contrived. My prediction last week was that Lori would be one of the next to go, and at the end, we'll see if that came true.

Aaron/Casey: Aaron sounded more like he was reading than in his first appearance while Casey had a good pace. Al felt the pairing was a little too slapstick and needed to be more serious. During the interview segment, I thought they asked good questions, but my feeling is that I don't like Casey's head tilt while he was interviewing Greg Anthony. It has a bit of a condescending and unprofessional feel to it. I can see these two making it to the final four.

Commercial break. I'm just not sure what it is, but the Kerri and Misty volleyball commercial's a great one. I just might have to watch beach volleyball this year in Athens. I just wish I could figure out who they're playing against.

Quigs/Chet: A horror show for Quigs. He was only slightly better than last week's cut, Alvin Williams. Quigs was looking into the wrong camera, had his head down while on camera, lost his place multiple times during the story and had a couple seconds of dead air time due to getting flustered. The best part of the whole piece is Stuart Scott showing a side we hadn't seen in the previous two shows as he began offering help and advice. He mentioned to Quigs that they all make mistakes and it's natural to worry about the goof and then they just build. When one happens, he needs to let it go. I thought that was really nice of Stu to step out of his host role and offer some help. Chet didn't change much from his previous appearance. He still almost seems as he's interviewing for a dating service. He did well with his time at the desk, but I don't see him as being in this contest for the long run.

Zach/Mike: The best pairing of the night. Zach took Al and Tony's advice from last week, got a haircut, cleaned up the beard a bit and got into a suit. He looked great, he sounded great and worked well with Mike Hall. The only thing I could say that I think Zach flubbed was looking into the next scene's camera while Mike was talking into another. The two interviewed Harold Reynolds about the steroids problem in baseball today. They took their time, asked thoughtful questions and offered good follow up. Neither seemed unnerved tonight, and to me these two are the top two in the contest. Barring disaster, both are certain for the final four.

I'm getting a feel for who I think the judges really like by the way they're giving feedback. They don't offer too much on the lesser competitors while the better ones get the more harsh criticism. I believe the judges already have their favorites and are leaning harder on the ones they like so as to help them more in the long run. This was especially evidenced by the criticisms that Tony Kornheiser heaped on Mike Hall. Even Lavar Arrington was giving good feedback tonight and I think he only uttered "I agree" once. He's actually finding things the contestants do wrong, but more importantly, tonight he did what he was brought on to the show to do, give the athlete's perspective. A couple times Lavar felt the contestants were getting a little out of line or almost disrespectful to an athlete, and he let them know it. The best case of this was when Quigs pushed his interviewee, NY Giants' Dhani Jones a little strongly on a question, and Arrington told him to back off.

In tonight's contest, two are sent to the showers, and the judging was all across the board as five out of the ten received votes to go home. Here's how the voting went:


So with that, Quigs and Lori were sent home. If I can take just a minute to remind people, this is exactly as was predicted last week in this space. The only note of mention from the voting was that Tony issued a stern warning to the contestants when he felt that some people think they're breezing though this competition when they're really not. That's when he named Kelly as one of his cuts just a week after telling him he has the advantage of looking like a Sports Center anchor.

Just as I did last week, here are my rankings on the remaining contestants:

1. Zach Selwyn
2. Mike Hall
3. Casey Stern
4. Aaron Levine
5. Maggie Haskins
6. Kelly Milligan
7. Nick Stevens
8. Chet Anekwe

So unless there is some dramatic change, I can see Nick and Chet getting sent to the showers next week. I personally haven't liked Chet a whole lot, but if I were to lay a wager on the next cut, I would offer a whole lot that Nick will not be one of the lucky six. He's just not scoring very well with the judges.

Posted by: on 08 Mar 2004