Voting for Round 3 — our Sweet 16 — is now open and runs until 8 p.m. Thursday. Get those votes in. If you’re new to this tournament, that’s OK. Your vote still matters. New or old, head to the bracket to vote for your faves.
Much analysis below.
Round 2 Recap
- Easily the most down-to-the-wire matchup was Philharmonic maestro Theodore Kuchar edging architect Art Dyson by a mere THREE votes. Now you know: Every vote counts in ValleyWho.
- While this might be sacrilege to rock fans — teen pop singer Ryan Beatty and his rabid online fanbase was able to pull over another late surge to defeat Journey singer Steve Perry. And now, everybody over 30 weeps.
- Two rounds in, it’s safe to say we’ve got a few powerhouses: Audra McDonald, William Saroyan and Bob Mathias have gotten at least 70% of the vote in both contests. Pop Laval, Kopi, David Mas Masumoto and Bobby Salazar have gotten more than 60% both times.
- The Waving Lady, the 16-seed Cinderella of this tournament, continued to run, knocking off poet/author Gary Soto. Next up for her? Richard Kiel.
- Just because it’s interesting: The No. 5 seeds in each bracket — Bobby Salazar, Kopi, Lorenzo Neal and Richard Kiel — are still alive. That’s the only seeding still viable in each regional.
- A hearty “Get Well Soon” to ValleyWho competitor Jerry Tarkanian, who suffered a mild heart attack last night.
- Somebody better look after Lorenzo Neal — he’s surrounded by dead guys in the Raisin Regional.
Round 3 Preview
- Kuchar vs. Levine is the most distinguished bout thus far — the Philhamonic maestro vs. the U.S. poet laureate.
- Kopi vs. Colfer begs the question: Who gets the all-important KMPH Fox 26 vote?
- Radka vs. Mathias will be known as “Battle of the Dudes Who Have Things Named After Them.”
- Masumoto vs. Beatty — when did you ever think you’d have to make THAT decision?
The Beehive Asks
1. As we enter our Sweet 16, what’s the biggest question in your mind?
DONALD: Will the older generation be able to hold on at all in this online contest, or will the youngsters sweep them away? So far such revered names as Saroyan and Pop Laval have survived, but they face their biggest challenges yet this round.
HEATHER: The biggest question on my mind is, “How is Crazy Bernie doing?“
KATHY: Will members of the arts community that rallied behind and campaigned for local actors in the first rounds get behind the remaining actors? And can any group rally to beat the powerful Beatty fans who have generated two late come-from-behind victories?
MIKE: I’m really curious what David Mas Masumoto thinks of Ryan Beatty’s music.
RICK: What continues to surprise me is how some of the more mature contestants continue to do so well. The general thought is that the Internet is a young person’s world but you can’t tell me that young voters are backing Philip Levine with such enthusiasm. Take that, you young whipper snappers.
2. Whose strength in this contest thus far has been most surprising to you?
DONALD: Bobby Salazar. Come on, people. It’s not even the
best Mexican food in town.
HEATHER: I’m surprised by Laura Berg, who I’d never heard of until the Valleywho. I was sure Jenifer Alcorn would take her out in the last round.
KATHY: The Waving Lady. I can’t decide if her votes reflect that people support her for making our community a happier place or if it’s a camp of voters who want to see a less serious outcome.
MIKE: Laura Berg. Strictly for the reason that I don’t think I’ve seen anybody campaigning on her behalf, rooting for her or, really, saying much at all about her. A quiet but powerful following — well played, Laura.
RICK: It’s a nice surprise to see The Waving Lady do so well. The voting is a nice way to return all the happiness travelers get from her. The sad thing is either she or Richard Kiel will go out this round.
3. Who, of the final 16, would you be most appalled to see win the entire thing?
DONALD: With all due respect to Ryan Beatty’s fans, if this talented but still green singer comes out on top over such greats as Saroyan and
Audra, I’ll cringe until all of Fresno’s cows come home.
HEATHER: I’d be most appalled if William Saroyan took the whole thing. Just kidding. That Ryan Beatty kid is just too new to be crowned Central Valley icon.
KATHY: I’m not really appalled by anyone. I like the mix of serious and off-beat people who remain. But I would be surprised to see Laura Berg go all the way to the end.
MIKE: Al Radka. Since the start of this competition, the guy hasn’t responded to any of my emails. Who does he think he is?
RICK: The Sweet 16 is so strong, I would not be upset with any winner.
- As we enter our Sweet 16, what’s the biggest question in your mind?
- Whose strength in this contest thus far has been most surprising to you?
- Who, of the final 16, would you be most appalled to see win the entire thing?