American Idol Episode 31 - Top 7 Elimination Review

Submitted by The Critic on Wed, 2006-04-19 18:53
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What a great show last night's American Idol American Songbooks was. Everyone stepped up and delivered but unfortunately for one of them, not quite enough. Before we find out who is joining the jury, oh hang on, wrong show - anyway... let's check out our weekly review of our American Idol Polls.

Despite his new look, Ace Young (3%) finds himself firmly at the bottom of your favourites as you pick to go this week. The gap between the bottom three is usually close but this week Ace is at the bottom quite clearly. Finding herself in the bottom three for the first time though is Kellie Pickler (6%) which should be much of a surprize to her after her self confessed butching of her song. Finally, Paris Bennett (7%) continues her bottom of the pack run rounding out our three.

Katharine McPhee (31%) takes the lead for the first time as your favourite with Chris Daughtry (24%) in second with Taylor Hicks (21%) a close third. Elliott Yamin (8%) languishes towards the bottom in the 4th place.

When it comes down to who you want to see go home Ace Young (42%) is by far your preferred contestant to be eliminated. Kellie Pickler (30%) is second and Paris Bennett (10%) rounds out your three.

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Stay tuned for details as they come to hand.

Tonight Rod Stewart Rod Stewart is performing. He is singing Rod Stewart - It Had to Be You...The Great American Songbook - The Way You Look Tonight The Way You Look Tonight which was supposedly the song that Katharine McPhee wanted to sing but Rod tore up during their rehearsal because he was going to sing it.

Next week's theme on American Idol is Classic Love Songs and the idols will be coached by Andrea Bocelli Andrea Bocelli.

Safe: Taylor Hicks, Kellie Pickler, Elliott Yamin, Katharine McPhee

Bottom Three: Chris Daughtry, Paris Bennett

Going home: Ace Young

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American Idol Episode 30 - Top 7 Performance Review

Submitted by The Critic on Tue, 2006-04-18 18:05
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Last week it was Bucky Covington who was crowned the departed after singing Queen Queen's Queen - The Platinum Collection - Fat Bottomed Girls Fat Bottomed Girls. We're fast approaching the half way mark of the finals series and tonight our Top 7 will sing it out for a place in the top 6 in the hopes of becoming the next American Idol.

Tonight our American Idols are performing their take on the Rod Stewart - It Had to Be You...The Great American Songbook American Songbook and are being coached this week by none other than Rod Stewart Rod Stewart.

Stay tuned for details as they come to hand.

Chris Daughtry
Song choice: Rod Stewart - What a Wonderful World - Single - What a Wonderful World What a Wonderful World
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5701
TXT Vote to 5701
My Thoughts: This is a beautiful rendition from Chris. It's really great to hear him do something that displays a more subtle side of his voice. This possibly one of my favourite performances of Chris'.
Randy: For everyone who thought there wasn't another side to you, you just slayed them. That was the bomb.
Paula: You have proven to Simon that you are in this to win it and you broke out of the mold. Fantastic.
Simon: I thought it was a great performance.

Paris Bennett
Song choice: Ella Fitzgerald - Ella Fitzgerald: First Lady of Song (Box Set) - These Foolish Things These Foolish Things
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5702
TXT Vote to 5702
My Thoughts: This performance has taken me back to when we first fell in love with Paris at her first audition. It's good but to be honest, I am a little bored. It's more of a vocal recital than an fantastic performance for me.
Randy: You should stand very proud up there tonight. I think this was your best night yet.
Paula: It's like you were born in that era and if you made an album like that it would blow up.
Simon: You bewilder me. You talk like Minnie Mouse and you sing so differently. I loved it.

Taylor Hicks
Song choice: Sam Cooke - The Best of Sam Cooke - You Send Me You Send Me
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5703
TXT Vote to 5703
My Thoughts: I like Taylor's start to this song. His tone is possibly the nicest I've heard so far in the competition. This is really starting to turn into a hot show tonight. That was a great performance. Absolutely loved it!
Randy: What a difference different music can make. All you guys are in your element tonight. You started well and really put your own spin on it in the end.
Paula: The ending was superb and the Soul Patrol will be on fire tonight.
Simon: It started and I thought cabaret. And then it was magic.

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Elliott Yamin
Song choice: Rod Stewart - It Had to Be You...The Great American Songbook - It Had to Be You It Had to be You
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5704
TXT Vote to 5704
My Thoughts: Elliott looks good tonight. There is a hint of Stevie Wonder in his voice tonight. Vocally tonight everyone is on their game. I enjoyed that better than a lot of Elliott's previous performances.
Randy: Excellent song choice. What a difference a couple of weeks make. Very, very nice. Everyone is relaxed and singing well.
Paula: You are contemporizing a genre like Michael Buble but with more soul like Harry Connick Jr.
Simon: It was a good vocal. Tonight more than any other night you need personality. Tonight I am slightly concerned for you.

Kellie Pickler
Song choice: Barbra Streisand - The Third Album - Bewitched (Bothered and Bewildered) Bewitched (Bothered and Bewildered)
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5705
TXT Vote to 5705
My Thoughts: This is a strange song choice. A couple of usual pitch problems. Boring, boring, boring. Kellie is really starting to get on my nerves now. The novlety of having her in the competition has worn off.
Randy: You look like you know what I'm going to say. It was definitely pitchy.
Paula: You gotta give it up for the fashion. I loved the beginning. I can't wait for your acting career to begin.
Simon: The truth was it was a boring song. It wasn't great.

Ace Young
Song choice: Angela Strehli - A Tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Thats All That's All
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5706
TXT Vote to 5706
My Thoughts: One more step for Ace now that he has his hair tied back is to chop those ugly locks off. This isn't too bad for Ace but I wouldn't be surprised if he's the lucky punter being shown the door. I didn't like the ending at all.
Randy: I kinda like the vibe with the suit and the hair. Your falsetto is your money.
Paula: This is a whole new Ace. You're gonna look back on tonight and say "I did great".
Simon: It wasn't bad. It was a little bit nasally in the middle but it was a charming performance.

Katharine McPhee
Song choice: Barbra Streisand - My Name Is Barbra - Someone to Watch Over Me Someone To Watch Over Me
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5707
TXT Vote to 5707
My Thoughts: Oh Katharine! Superb! There was something magical about that performance.
Randy: This is your element. You sailed on this. It was excellent.
Paula: Tonight I feel like I'm watching and falling in love with your essence for the first time.
Simon: I think you made the others look like good amateurs. It was a completely different league.

Voting Numbers and Voting Information

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American Idol Episode 29 - Top 8 Elimination Review

Submitted by The Critic on Wed, 2006-04-12 18:33
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Rocking out to Queen last night saw some interesting performances and tonight we're going to get the chance to see our top 8 perform a medley together as part of this hour long elimination show. But first, our weekly review of our American Idol Polls.

Bucky Covington (3%) is your pick to go this week but only just. One vote seperated Bucky and Ace Young (3%) while Paris Bennett (6%) also finds herself in your bottom three.

Taylor Hicks (24%) comeback performance has seen him rocket into the top spot again while Chris Daughtry (20%), Katharine McPhee (18%) and Kellie Pickler (16%) continue their strong run toward the top 4. Elliott Yamin (10%) languishes in the middle of the pack.

When it comes down to who you want to see go home Ace Young (32%) is just ahead of Bucky Covington (28%) while Paris Bennett (13%) rounds out your three.

Stay tuned for details as they come to hand.

Next week our American Idol contestants will be performing the songs of Rod Stewart Rod Stewart.

The remaining contestants perform a medley of Queen songs which has to include Queen - The Platinum Collection - Another One Bites the Dust Another One Bites The Dust and of course Queen - Queen: Greatest Hits I & II - We Are the Champions We Are The Champions

Safe: Taylor Hicks, Katharine McPhee, Chris Daughtry, Kellie Pickler, Paris Bennett
Bottom Three: Elliott Yamin, Ace Young and Bucky Covington

Going home: Bucky Covington

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American Idol Episode 28 - Top 8 Performance Review

Submitted by The Critic on Tue, 2006-04-11 17:43
American Idol Top 8

After last week's dismal Country show that saw Mandisa Hundley rolling out the door, this week we've got our remaining 8 American Idol contestants performing the songs of Queen Queen.

While there was plenty of commentary around Mandisa's departure being due to the gay vote, my take on it was that the African American audience simply didn't watch because of the theme. If that theory has an ounce of weight then Paris Bennett may very well find herself in danger again this week.

Will Taylor Hicks Be back on his game? Will Kellie Pickler be tonight's train wreck? Will Bucky Covington dedicate his song to last week's eliminated contestant?

Stay tuned for details as they come to hand.

Bucky Covington
Song choice: Queen - The Platinum Collection - Fat Bottomed Girls Fat Bottomed Girls
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5701
TXT Vote to 5701
My Thoughts: I'm finding this quite painful. I think Bucky is going to go down in history as being as obnoxious to listen to as Constantine Maroulis. No star quality in that performance other than his hair flick at the end.
Randy: Nice way to start the show. A little pitchy but I liked it.
Paula: You kept true to who you are and turned it into a country song.
Simon: Good song choice for you but overall I'd class it as quite mediocre.

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Ace Young
Song choice: Queen - Queen: Greatest Hits I & II - We Will Rock You We Will Rock You
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5702
TXT Vote to 5702
My Thoughts: This really comes across weak for Ace. The leather pants are cool but the song really doesn't work for him.
Randy: That's a big song to attempt. It was a 5 for me. It was karaoke for me.
Paula: I like how you tried to change it around a bit.
Simon: I think Randy was being generous. I think it was a complete and utter mess. It didn't work. It was all over the place. It was more like "We will rock you gently". I really hated it.

Kellie Pickler
Song choice: Queen - Queen: Greatest Hits I & II - Bohemian Rhapsody Bohemian Rhapsody
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5703
TXT Vote to 5703
My Thoughts: Well.. she looks good. But boy is she pitchy to start with. It's a good performance but it feels a little contrived. Surprise surprise.
Randy: When I first heard you were doing that I was worried. That's a fly jacket. I think you worked it out. I was entertained.
Paula: It was truly ambitious. Started off a bit hesitant but you showed the rocker chick.
Simon: You're a very brave girl. Apart from the fact that it looked like the night of the living dead, it worked despite how it looked on paper.

Chris Daughtry
Song choice: Queen - Queen: Greatest Hits I & II - Innuendo Innuendo
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5704
TXT Vote to 5704
My Thoughts: It's a little boring for me. Chris is rocking out as you'd expect but it just feels a little disconnected.
Randy: I was expecting big things tonight and that was great.
Paula: The reason the band hasn't done that song live is because they probably don't want to and only you could.
Simon: They don't perform that song live because it's not a very good song. I'll grant you the best vocal tonight but you could have had a moment tonight but once again it was indulgent.

Katharine McPhee
Song choice: Queen - Live At Wembley Stadium - Who Wants to Live Forever Who Wants to Live Forever
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5705
TXT Vote to 5705
My Thoughts: This is a fantastic emotional performance from Katharine. Beautifully done.
Randy: It was a good idea to switch your song. It was a little pitchy but all in all it was pretty good.
Paula: I love it when I see an artist make a choice to change their mind. You stood their with your glorious voice and you handled it like the big singers.
Simon: The lighting director made you look amazing. That was almost a moment. Definitely one of the best tonight.

Elliott Yamin
Song choice: Queen - Greatest Hits III - Somebody to Love Somebody To Love
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5706
TXT Vote to 5706
My Thoughts: Elliott is really getting into his performance but it just doesn't do it for me tonight. I can't make out who Elliott wants to be as a performer which is likely to be detrimental in the long run if the other contestants are known for their style and how they perform.
Randy: Probably the hardest song to sing tonight but I was looking forward to hearing you sing tonight. A few pitch problems but all in all it was pretty good.
Paula: Best vocal tonight.
Simon: You chose a tough one. All in all I think you probably pulled it off.

Taylor Hicks
Song choice: Queen - Live at Wembley '86 - Crazy Little Thing Called Love Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5707
TXT Vote to 5707
My Thoughts: Welcome back Taylor Hicks. The miss kick of the mic stand was hilarious. I am so glad that Taylor has gone back to being an entertainer. Fantastic. Definitely the most entertaining of the night.
Randy: The last two weeks I've been wondering where Taylor has been. Tonight you're back.
Paula: I don't know whether to give you a record deal or a straight jacket.
Simon: Taylor. Are you drunk? I thought it was ridiculous.

Paris Bennett
Song choice: Queen - Stone Cold Classics - The Show Must Go On The Show Must Go On
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5708
TXT Vote to 5708
My Thoughts: Paris looks great again tonight with her extensions. She's certainly putting her stamp on it and overall it's pretty good.
Randy: It started out a little rough but you worked it out in the end.
Paula: Everyone is finding out that you're a powerhouse.
Simon: I found it all a little weird.

Voting Numbers and Voting Information

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Lisa Tucker to Appear on The O.C.

Submitted by The Critic on Tue, 2006-04-11 16:15
The OC

Recent American Idol eliminee Lisa Tucker will guest star on The O.C. on Thursday, April 27th at 9/8c on Fox.

In the episode, Tucker returns to Orange County just in time to attend Harbor School’s Senior Prom. Production of the “The Party Favor” episode begins this week.

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Carrie Underwood wins Two CMT Awards

Submitted by The Critic on Tue, 2006-04-11 15:50
Carrie Underwood - Jesus Take The Wheel

American Idol 4 winner Carrie Underwood has finally had the opportunity to deliver an acceptance speech at a music awards show - twice. Carrie took home the awards for Breakthrough Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year for Jesus, Take the Wheel Jesus Take The Wheel (Video).

"This is my very first acceptance speech so I made a list," Underwood said before thanking everyone from God to "Idol."

Last week Carrie won the Country Recorded Song of the Year at the 37th annual GMA Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville while her debut album Carrie Underwood - Some Hearts Some Hearts was just certified Triple Platinum.

Anti-Gay vote... my ass!!

Submitted by The Critic on Sat, 2006-04-08 20:17
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So Mandisa is gone and according to articles like this one it's not because she performed badly but because the gay community didn't support her due to her profile on the official American Idol website where she Mandisa states that her American Idol is anti-gay author Beth Moore.

So what's wrong with the assumption that it was the gay community that saw the end of Mandisa? A number of things. Firstly, the voting process isn't "the most votes sends you home" it's the least number of votes so the only way the 'gay community' could play their card would be to power vote the other eight contestants but there is a problem with that. The gay community is estimated at 10% of the vote which means there would need to be an enormous amount of voting by a small minority to effect such an upset. I just can't see that happening.

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American Idol Episode 27 - Top 9 Elimination Review

Submitted by The Critic on Wed, 2006-04-05 18:56
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Last night's performance show was again a bit of a let down this week so hopefully Kenny Rogers cand show the contestants how singing country is really done with his new single Kenny Rogers - I Can't Unlove You - Single - I Can't Unlove You I Can't Unlove You.

Onto the weekly review of our polls and our bottom three this week as voted by you is Mandisa Hundley (4%), Paris Bennett (5%) and Bucky Covington (5%).

Ace Young (6%) and Elliott Yamin (7%) aren't much further ahead of the bottom three this week while Kellie Pickler (17%) has jumped into second favourite spot behind Chris Daughtry (25%) while Katharine McPhee (16%) and Taylor Hicks (15%) round out the top of the chart.

When it comes down to who you want to see go home it's a close race but Bucky Covington (34%) leads the poll while Ace Young (19%) and Paris Bennett (5%) round out your three.

Stay tuned for details as they come to hand.

Ryan splits everyone into three groups:

Safe: Taylor Hicks, Kellie Pickler and Chris Daughtry
Safe: Bucky Covington, Katharine McPhee and Ace Young
Bottom Three: Mandisa Hundley, Paris Bennett and Elliott Yamin

Going home: Mandisa Hundley

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American Idol Episode 26 - Top 9 Performance Review

Submitted by The Critic on Tue, 2006-04-04 18:22
Click here to buy American Idol posters!
Click here to buy American Idol posters!

Lisa Tucker was eliminated last week after she ironically went home during the week of 21st Century Hits on American Idol after the judges had told her that she needed to perform songs that weren't so old school. Given the chance to do that and America wasn't impressed and sent her packing.

Tonight's show is all about country which should be right up Kellie Pickler and Bucky Covington street. If anyone is going to struggle tonight then it's likely to be Paris Bennett and Mandisa Hundley.

Kenny Rogers Kenny Rogers is in the house tonight providing all the extra clip material as Stevie Wonder and Barry Mannilow have done for the last couple of weeks.

What's up with Ryan's facial fluff tonight too?

Taylor Hicks
Song choice: John Denver - The John Denver Collection, Vol. 1: Take Me Home, Country Roads - Take Me Home, Country Roads Take Me Home, Country Roads
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5701
TXT Vote to 5701
My Thoughts: I'm not liking this song at all. It just seems boring for what I'm used to from Taylor. There are a few notes that are off as well. What's happened to Taylor? That was just dull for me.
Randy: For me it was a pretty good choice but the vocal was ok. I didn't see any of your personality though.
Paula: The song choice didn't let you shine. I expected more.
Simon: It was safe, lazy boring. It sounded like you chose that song 10 seconds ago without any rehearsal

Mandisa Hundley
Song choice: Shania Twain - The Woman in Me - Any Man of Mine Any Man Of Mine
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5702
TXT Vote to 5702
My Thoughts: I hate Mandisa's outfit tonight. It's really not very flattering at all. Not a bad song choice for her considering I thought she may struggle with the country theme.
Randy: Weird song choice and the beginning wasn't hot for me but you got it together for that last four bars.
Paula: You can sing the phone book. The encyclopedia.
Simon: I thought the song was horrible. It was fun. It was cutsie but I like the four seconds after it finished.

Elliott Yamin
Song choice: Garth Brooks Tribute - Tribute to Garth Brooks: CD 1 - If Tomorrow Never Comes If Tomorrow Never Comes
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5703
TXT Vote to 5703
My Thoughts: I'm more familiar with Ronan Keating - If Tomorrow Never Comes - Single - If Tomorrow Never Comes Ronan Keating's version of the song. Not a bad rendition but not my favourite either. I'm still trying to figure out the marketability of Elliott as although he can sing, he just doesn't seem right for the title of American Idol.
Randy: Finally the competition has started tonight.
Paula: You are such a breath of fresh air to this business. I think you're fantastic.
Simon: I thought it was a good song choice but not a great vocal. It was a bit hesitant and you sounded nervous.

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Paris Bennett
Song choice: LeAnn Rimes - LeAnn Rimes: Greatest Hits - How Do I Live How Do I Live
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5704
TXT Vote to 5704
My Thoughts: This is a great song but Paris seems to be a bit shakey on it tonight. It almost seems a little low for her. Something doesn't sound right though.
Randy: That was a tough song tonight. The front part of it was not good. Just ok for me tonight.
Paula: You have joy when you perform but I don't think you connected with the song tonight.
Simon: I thought it was an excellent choice of song. Early Dionne Warwick.

Ace Young
Song choice: Keith Urban - Be Here - Tonight I Wanna Cry Tonight I Wanna Cry
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5705
TXT Vote to 5705
My Thoughts: This could actually be one of Ace's better performances. I really wish one of the stylists would take to his hair though.
Randy: These are hard songs to bring your own personality to. It was really boring for me but you showed yourself at the end with the falsetto.
Paula: You have the knack for picking the right songs and that was a good contemporary take on the song.
Simon: I think you had a good run tonight with a good song choice.

Kellie Pickler
Song choice: Reba McEntire - Reba McEntire: Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 - Fancy Fancy
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5706
TXT Vote to 5706
My Thoughts: There is a heap of potential for this song to rock out but I just feel let down as it just seems an empty performance.
Randy: Finally you're in your element. Good song choice.
Paula: I think it's great when you sing songs you can sink your teeth into.
Simon: Love the performance, hated the song.

Chris Daughtry
Song choice: Keith Urban - Making Memories of Us - Single - Making Memories of Us Making Memories Of Us
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5707
TXT Vote to 5707
My Thoughts: This is actually quite nice to hear Chris performing a song with some softer tones. It's actually showing off a really nice side of Chris. What a great performance.
Randy: I actually really enjoyed hearing you sing tonight and it was good seeing you change up.
Paula: You showed versatility and still stayed true to who you are.
Simon: I think you guys have chosen boring songs for the last two weeks and I think the audience at home deserve better.

Katharine McPhee
Song choice: Faith Hill - Breathe - Bringing out Elvis Bringing Out Elvis
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5708
TXT Vote to 5708
My Thoughts: This is a very sexy performance from Katharine. It doesn't sound very country though.
Randy: Kinda blusey country. Very nice, I liked it.
Paula: You looked hot. Sexy. Cool.
Simon: That song was just peculiar.

Bucky Covington
Song choice: Gary Allan - Tough All Over - Best I Ever Had Best I Ever Had
Ph Vote: 1 866 436 5709
TXT Vote to 5709
My Thoughts: Bucky seems to have been improving every week. Unfortunately for him I don't think he's building a fan base from it.
Randy: It was alright tonight. Good song choice. Started a bit rough.
Paula: You cand Kellie both shine tonight in your element.
Simon: I'm no expert on this type of music but it sounded ok to me.

Voting Numbers and Voting Information

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Picking on Pickler

Submitted by The Critic on Thu, 2006-03-30 21:12

Apparently redneck hunting season is now open and American Idol's Kellie Pickler seems to have become the prized trophy. If you spend a little time surfing the net you'll find plenty of disparaging talk about North Carolina's sweetheart. The brunt of it is that Kellie is nothing more than a lying fake and is basically trying to be the Paris Hilton/Jessica Simpson/Kelly Bundy of American Idol.

If you want some fascinating reading, the following are well written articles that are certainly eye opening:

Kellie Pickler: Prom Dress and Yearbook - Phillyburbs
The Selling and Marketing of Kellie Pickler - ClydeStuff
Are You Buying Kellie Pickler's shtick-ler - popwatch
The Truth about Kellier Pickler - VoteForTheWorst

Whether or not you believe that she had no clue about calamari, salmon or minx, there are some flaws beginning to appear in her story. Perhaps this really is just another American Idol marketing ploy to suck in the faint hearted so that people would fall in love with this southern hick who has had it so tough and keep watching to see her overcome such tragedy to maybe even win the competition.

Chris Daughtry not giving credit to Live and Paula's constant weirdness are hardly comparable to what seems to be unfolding here. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

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