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ValleyWho pits famous Fresnans in head-to-head match ups
And the winner is... I so called it (down there around update number IV). After wunderkind popstar-in-waiting Ryan Beatty took out William Saroyan, it was pretty much obvious he had the backing to win the whole deal, seeing as he still has pretty close ties here on the homefront, which makes for a nice little grassroots showing.
Now, the old-man, stay-off-the-grass curmudgeon part of me want to lament the win as a sure sign of the downfall of western civilization and take it as a personal affront to everything good (music, writing, cultural). BUT, I have to say: I like the kid, especially, after watching this video. He's making moves and working hard and you have to respect that.
So, to Ryan Beatty and all his fans (and to the Beehive and Mike Oz is particular): Good work and congratulations. Hope to see y'all this time next year.
Update V: Holy S. You know the world has gone topsy-turvy when Ryan Beatty (a 16-year-old whose official web-page bio says he's from CLOVIS) beats out William F'in Saroyan (a guy who was born and died here and was known for, you know, being the VERY EPITOME OF FRESNO).
Not that I'll fault Beatty. He's the real deal right now and he's buddy-buddy with Ryan Seacrest and has been on Access Hollywood. Sure, Saroyan won a Pulitzer AND an Academy Award, but that was in the 1940s.
To his credit, Beatty did give Saroyan some Twitter love.
Oh, and Chris Colfer beat Audra McDonald, but, whatever.
Update IV: It all comes down to Saroyan. Of my top picks, he's the only one who has survived to the final four, beating out Olympian Bob Mathias. I did predict Chris Colfer over Philip Levine, but had him losing to Pop Laval in the final four. WHICH, sadly, can't happen because Audra McDonald bested Laval in the Peach Region. And that Ryan Beatty kid just won't quit.
So now we have McDonald vs. Colfer and Saroyan vs. Beatty. All-in-all, not a bad final four. I am glad there is a represented in the woman in the final four, and being a book lover I'm happy Saroyan still has an audience. Colfer is a good choice based on current trends.
And Beatty ... Regardless of what you think of him (or don't think because you don't know enough about him, or whatever), you have to respect the fact that he's managed to create such a groundswell of support. But he hasn't been up against a real heavy-hitter (even though he beat Steve Perry). This is his round to lose. If he somehow manages to beat Saroyan (and that's a big if), he'll be primed to take the whole thing.
Update III: We are in the final eight now. So, far I've called it pretty darn close. I was spot on for the final two in both Peach and Citrus regions, though I misjudged the popularity of Bob Mathias in the Raisin regional. As for the Almond Region ... That was my throw away, I guess. But who would have thunk it would come down to Ryan Beatty and Richard Kiel? I mean, seriously. This wasn't no lightweight competition. There were some heavy hitters. Congrats to both of them. However they did it, well played guys.
I'm sticking with my picks through the next round. Pop takes Audra, Colfer tops Levine and Saroyan beats everyoneone. I'd like to say Kiel beats Beatty, but that kid is proving to be tenacious.
Update II: We are now well into the game and ... I just don't know. I'm a little worried about the Almond Region quite frankly. The idea that the Waving Lady or Ryan Beatty could win this whole thing is disconcerting (no offense to either of them personally). I've got got three top picks in play.
Update: Round one is over and I have to say ... there were some suprises. Anthony Taylor over K-fed for instance ... who knew? I killed it in the Citrus region, save for Trent Dilfer taking out Fashawn (I should have known better. Sorry Fash.) Alan Autry totally ruined it for me in the Almond Region, but three of my four top picks are still in play though so I am feeling pretty good.
The Fresno Beehive's ValleyWho game is one of those things I'm super sore I didn't come up with. It's essentially a March madness style bracket that pits Fresno's most famous sons and daughters head-to-head to see who is the ultimate cultural icon. Voting begins tomorrow and the results will be revealed March 31 at the annual Beehive Birthday bash. You can check out the bracket here.
My intial thoughts: Pretty good mix of celebrity and Freslebrity, although excluding its own writers/bloggers doesn't make much sense. Mike Osegueda could probably beat a good dozen of the other seeds. Dude has his own day and theme song.
Here are my picks:
Peach region: A tough one. Comes down to Audra vs. Pop Laval and I'm giving it to Pop.
Citrus region: This was an odd one. It came down to Chris Colfer vs. Phillip Levine and I have to give it to Chris. Not that I want him to win, but things being as they are...
Raisin region: Doesn't really matter who else is in this region, Saroyan takes it. Sorry.
Almond: I went with my heart here and choose the people I want to see move on. In the end it came down to Alan Autry and Boogaloo Sam. I'd be happy with either, but I'll go with Alan.
Final four: I think Pop Laval tops Chris Colfer and Saroyan knocks off Autry.
Final pick: William Saroyan rules all. Serious. Have you read "The Human Comedy."