Pop culture, entertainment & all things Fresno

ValleyWho: The battle of 8


Voting for Round 4 — our Only 8! battle — is now open and runs until 8 p.m. Sunday. Go vote. Even if you haven’t voted before, you can still jump in with your vote. Your votes matter. Just ask the ValleyHopefuls who lost by a matter of votes in previous rounds.

Let’s analyze.


Down to the finish: The Al Radka vs. Bob Mathias matchup created another down-to-the wire finish in the Raisin Regional. Mathias won by just 15 votes.

The powerhouses: Singer/actress Audra McDonald and author William Saroyan have resoundingly won every round with 70% or more of the vote. Can either be dethroned?

Beatty boomerang: Once again Ryan Beatty’s 200,000-plus Twitter/Facebook fans rounded back into voting of the final day to overcome a huge deficit and send him into the next round. There have already been signs of backlash, so it will be interesting to see if more people rise up to take down the Beatty machine.


Wave good-bye: Many of us were rooting for The Waving Lady. She was the bracket’s Cinderella, feel-good story as someone getting recognized for making our city feel happier each day. We’re sad to see her out of the running, chomped away by Richard Kiel.


Decisions, decisions: We’ve got some tough calls as we narrow the bracket down to just four FresNotables. Here are the matchups: 

  • Peach Regional: (1) Audra McDonald vs. (6) Pop Laval
  • Citrus Regional: (1) Chris Colfer vs. (2) Philip Levine
  • Raisin Regional: (1) William Saroyan vs. (7) Bob Mathias
  • Almond Regional: (5) Richard Kiel vs. (10) Ryan Beatty

mcdonald-laval.JPGThe Dark Horse? Pop Laval has quietly marched along in each round, winning with 74%, then 68% and 62%. Now he faces the strong Audra McDonald and in the early hours of voting, the two are tied. His photographs are the face of Fresno in many ways. Will he be the one to rise up and take down Audra?

Young start strong: Both Chris Colfer and Ryan Beatty jumped out to early leads in today’s voting. Can Colfer, who struggled in Round 1 against the California Raisins, really unseat Philip Levine, who seems to have a strong backing?

Voting head’s up: Remember that Round 4 voting is open until Sunday night. Encourage people to vote. Voting on Round 5 — our final four — starts Monday, with a twist: You won’t be able to see who’s winning. Blind voting in the last two rounds will add an element of surprise!

The winner will be announced Saturday, March 31 at the Beehive Birthday Party. We hope to see you at Rotary Playland.

Responses to "ValleyWho: The battle of 8"

Stephen says:

OOoooo, blind voting is a great twist! Love it.

Now c’mon people! Chris Colfer we can be proud of, but he doesn’t live here anymore! Phillip Levine we’ve been proud of forever and he still lives here – and is a national treasure!

Now you might say Audra also left, but she comes back always and never fails to mention Fresno and her Fresno pride.

And EdStewart is right – we MUST stop babybeiber!!

Tommy says:

This contest has no credibility anyways…it’s mainly fresno beehivers deciding the fate of the whole valley…lol…this contest is null in void,however entertaining at the same time.

kidcapri73 says:

I kinda lost interest after Al Radka didn’t get by Bob Mathias. I still feel that Radka is truly the most deserving to hold the title, but there are probably a couple of generations of people who don’t know the impact he had locally for as long he did. Also, a lot of transplants from other areas that don’t know who Al is at all. Audra and Saroyan would be 2 worthy candidates of the field remaining.

Mike Oz says:

“The fate of the whole valley” .. Tommy? Really?
You been too engulfed in “Hunger Games” or something?
It’s not like it’s a battle to the death.