Monday, March 01, 2004

ESPN Dream Job Week 2 Review

I have to say that Kelly Milligan came through in the clutch last night. He was the lead-off guy with the most pressure on him to get the show off to a good start and he did a bang-up job.

Kelly was followed by Chet Anekwe (pronounced uh-NEK-way) whose tagline was something like, "It's not just the right's the Anekwe." Pretty catchy, I thought, but he didn't really deliver with his performance. I had a hard time understanding him and don't know if it was a trace of his Nigerian accent or what...just didn't cut it for me.

After Chet was Shaggy (aka Zachariah Selwyn). Now Zachariah's writing and delivery were very good I thought, but I think his look could hurt him. Personally, I agreed with Kit Hoover and kind of liked his different personality, but when going for the broadest appeal, it definitely didn't do anything for the other three judges on the show. If he cleans up his appearance, though, he could give Kelly a run for his money.

As was the case last week, they broke up the My SportsCenter highlights with a competition of sorts...last night's was "Fact or Fiction" where they are given one statement and the first person gets to decide whether or not it's a true statement or false statement and then has to argue the merits of his/her position with the second person being forced to take the opposite viewpoint.

Kelly couldn't have asked for a better scenario. As a debater since high school and a corporate attorney now, he was born to make compelling arguments. He was up against Chet Anekwe who really didn't have much of a chance against Kelly. He even pulled, what I thought to be, a low-brow move by using Kelly's line in the first argument in their second debate. I think the only thing that could have been better for Kelly was if he'd have had the chance to go head-to-head against Casey Stern and just annihilate him. All in all, though, it was a great event for Kelly.

The second group started off with the second woman in the group, Lori Rubinson. Now let me start by saying that I have NO problem with female sportscasters...I've always liked Suzi Kolber (not in a Joe Namath kind of way) and I think Linda Cohn does a great job. But I just didn't think Lori was that good. Of the two women on the show, I think Maggie Haskins has a better shot long term if she can build her on-camera confidence. I don't expect Lori to make it much farther than the next one or two rounds.

Next up was Wendy's Wild Card, Alvin Williams. I pretty much knew before the show even aired that he'd be eliminated last night (which he was). I mean, really, what chance does a random winner have against people who truly have the passion and skill for this stuff? He gave an admirable effort, but it was obvious that he just wasn't meant for this. I felt kind of bad for the guy as everyone voted against him, which they should have, but still he seemed like a nice guy.

Finishing up the night was Casey Stern. From an on-camera perspective, he pretty much nailed it. His writing was solid and entertaining and he got his camera cues right. Fortunately for Casey, the anchors do usually sit behind the desk which makes his 5'3" stature a non-issue for the most part. However, for those rare instances when they stand up side-by-side to intro a piece, he could be in for trouble.

From a writing and performance perspective though, I think Kelly and Casey were easily the highlights of the night.

So from here on out, there will be two people cut every week. And here are the next four that I see being cut (in no particular order): Michael Quigley, Chet Anekwe, Lori Rubinson and Zachariah Selwyn (if he doesn't clean up his appearance)...if he does, then I think that Maggie Haskins may also get cut.

It will be an exciting show next week and I can't wait to see it!

And thanks to everyone for supporting Kelly on the show!

Until Next Time...