Their last chance to win our hearts

October 13, 2004|By Annie Linskey

To: Production staff From: Stage manager Re: Presidential Debates: The Ultimate Reality Show

It's the season-ender, folks! Tonight, George and John meet for the final debate before viewers vote. The last politician standing, remember, wins a four-year contract, keys to a D.C. mansion and a vacation home in Maryland, and, oh yeah, a place in history. So let's get it right, OK?

To re-cap:

Episode 1: George, seemingly unaware the camera was on him, grimaced, squinted and blinked while John spoke. Meanwhile, John - already a winner of Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire - hit his stride. The time limit and buzzer threat cut his usual long-windedness short. But at the end, Laura and Theresa came on stage in very similar outfits! Where was wardrobe?!

Episode 1.5: The apprentices, Dick and (the cute) John. At the big "reveal" (confusingly, at the beginning), John came out looking like America's next top model. At least Dick didn't swear, but John kept shifting in his seat. Maybe strap him in place next time?

Episode 2: Loved the audience asking questions and the guys walking around - very Oprah. But what was with those big-boy high chairs? John looked like he was lecturing George, but George was ready this time and fired back. And - thank God - goodbye blinking, hello winking!

Tonight: Arizona, people: heat, desert, sun. Call makeup - both these guys look tired and pasty. What happened to John's tan? Can't run late this time; retirees go to bed so early. Final question: Are we in for a Clay-Ruben, neck-and-neck finish, or a Fantasia-like rout?

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