This week's show completely threw me for a loop -- and I figured that Jordan had already revealed the biggest surprise.
Erik. The judges are right -- he performs well in every task and is the most eloquent contestant by far, but he's a bit ... genERIK. More precisely, he's great in a more mature, astute, relate to twentysomethings way rather than a young, unhinged, relate to teenagers way. Much Music needs the latter. Bill Welychka has made a career out of excelling at the former. That's not a knock against Bill, who I think is excellent and is one of the best interviewers that Much/MMM has ever had.
Regardless of whether Erik is using the VJ Search as a stepping stone to make it in LA (I have no idea if this is true and I honestly don't care), it seems stupid to rake him over the coals considering that Amanda Walsh, who used her stint as a MMVJ as a stepping stone to move to LA and pursue an acting career, appeared earlier on the show. I'm fairly sure that the irony wasn't lost on the show's producers on account of Amanda's blatant plugs for her new TV gig and the fact that Erik wasn't kicked off the air. Now that I've addressed this issue, I have to clarify that I wasn't concertedly ripping into Amanda Walsh because I still have a huge boner for her -- SWEETIE, YOU'RE ALWAYS WELCOME IN MY HOUSE.
Sean. Still useless, and Robin was correct to note that his interview seemed amateurish. The fact that he's still in the running shows that Much is looking for someone different as opposed to someone with competence. Style over substance -- yes, I'm sure you're all very shocked to hear it. This applies tenfold to Nikki. She gets hotter every week. Her interview was the most casual of the bunch and if she was aiming for the mood of "two girls going shopping", she hit the target dead on. The problem is that "two girls going shopping" makes for dreadfully boring TV. Real conversations don't necessarily have a start and end point. TV conversations, "reality" or otherwise, need to have a narrative and Nikki's interview didn't have it. It was aimless and totally uninformative. Nikki is Erica Ehm: The Next Generation, only 100 times hotter.
The Gradual Breakdown of Casey Jo has been ongoing since the start, and it finally came to a head this week. Her petty unprofessionalism was bound to get her kicked off eventually. It's a Real Job, not high school. Her constant gossip and snickering (notably behind Erik's back in the van in LA) didn't do her any favours, and her interview skills certainly aren't good enough to make up for those deficiencies.
Tim. I thought he'd win, and I still think he will. When Devon Soltendieck won the VJ Search a few years ago, he wasn't more outgoing than Tim is right now. He was young, extremely likeable, and looked the part. Over time, he emerged from his shell and became a damn good VJ. That's what will happen with Tim if he gets the job, and I'm fairly sure that the judges recognized this. Every week, they ask fans to vote by phone and choose which VJ they think will be voted off. Every week, Erik finishes near the top of the voting and Tim finishes near the bottom. I think it's a formality that the fan vote will rescue him from the loser loft and bring him back into the competition. If there are any more fan support components after this, Erik and Sean will likely be eliminated and it'll be down to Nikki and Tim. And even if fan voting *doesn't* come into play once the final four are named, don't think that Much doesn't carefully monitor all those fan polls and won't use the information to help with their final decision.