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"All American Girl" Review

By Shawn McKenzie 03/17/2003

Has the reality show rip-off game become so hard that they aren’t even trying anymore?  ABC’s latest rip-off of the “American Idol” formula is “All American Girl,” and unlike the others that rip off the hit FOX series, this one is a little too general.  After seeing the premiere episode, I’m still a little confused as to what the goal is of the show.


All American Girl” gets started in the now clichéd way by showing the audition process.  They had a nationwide open call for auditions, which results in the selection of 45 finalists.  Of course, some were bad, and some were good, but fortunately, they didn’t stick on this part for a long time.  Since there is no specific thing this show is going after, the auditions looked like “The Gong Show.”  The finalists are chosen by three “coaches” (as opposed to “judges”) who proceed to cut the 45 finalists down to 24, and then continue to reduce the number to 15, with each coach having a “team” of five girls.  According to my guesses, the following is what consists of each team.  Coach Gerri Halliwell, a.k.a. Ginger Spice, formerly of the Spice Girls, has the team that is good at singing and dancing.  Coach Suzanne de Passe, the producer of several TV shows and music groups, including the Jackson 5, has the team that is intelligent and has the intuition skills.  Finally, John Salley, a former NBA basketball player who is now a co-host on FOX Sports’ “The Best Damn Sports Show Period,” has the team that is good in athletic challenges.  Each coach chose their five-team members by analyzing the results of a series of tests, which evaluated talent, intelligence, and athletic ability.  Each girl stood before the coaches and waited for one of them to pick her.  If none of the judges picked a girl, she was out of the competition.  If one picks her, she is on that coach’s team.  If more than one coach picks a girl, the girl decides which team she wants to be on in the competition.  The show then moves to “training camp,” as the coaches train his or her team in their specialty.  Through a weekly elimination process (the specifics I haven’t figured out yet), the coaches will reduce their teams from five to four, then three candidates.  After that, the viewers at home begin voting on who they think should win the title of “All American Girl.”  Sitcom star Mitch Mullany is the host of this mess.


Okay, how do they expect these girls to be well rounded if they are so segmented?  Of course one team will excel in one area where another will fail.  This was proven already during the picking of the teams!  Also, Mitch, you are a funny guy…why are you wasting your talents on this show?  He was a cast member of two early WB sitcoms, “The Wayans Brothers” and “Nick Freno: Licensed Teacher,” and he was hilarious in both.  Oh well, live and learn.  Finally, who determined that the things in this show constitute the “All American Girl?”  I think that title should go to the girl who excels the best in their chosen field, not the one who has the most skills in the most areas.

As you might have figured by now, “All American Girl” did not hook this reality show geek.  I will give it a little more time, since the formation of the teams is the only thing I have seen so far, but I think the show needs to get a little more focused on something specific instead of some generic goal of finding a girl who can sing while playing basketball and making million-dollar corporate deals.  Maybe they need to borrow something else that has become clichéd on “American Idol” and find out “what this competition is all about,” because I certainly don’t know myself.


Ratings System:


Try to catch this show every week...

If a better show is on, tape this one...

If nothing else is on, maybe this will be good...

If this show is on, change the channel immediately!


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