By Bill Simmons
Page 2

It's time to vote two fledgling interns off so we can whittle the contest down to five people. Our six-person voting commitee for this round:

Chuck Klosterman -- Author, pop culture guru and the celebrity judge who came up with this week's question.

Mike Philbrick -- Page 2 editor, Holy Cross grad and author of the upcoming book, "Happiness is Seeing Bristol In Your Rearview Mirror."

Kevin Jackson -- Former Page 2 editor, long-suffering Seattle fan and the ESPN.com boss who listens to me complain anbout things like "Why did you take out that Randall Gay joke?" and "Why can't I write that about Stephen A. Smith, it was totally harmless!"

My buddy House -- Doesn't have any credentials other than the fact that he asked, "Hey, when you pick the intern, can I be on the voting committee?" I'm that easy.

My buddy Camp -- Probably my most candid friend, totally unafraid to hurt someone's feelings. Also, he looks like Billy Zabka.

Me -- Guy who will actually have to work with the intern.

Everyone's vote counted as one, and we could vote for either one or two people.

Chuck's take: "This was a very tough decision. I was tempted to vote off Theresa McDonald, simply because of her decision to name-drop 'Zack Attack.' This strikes me as overt pandering. However, she redeemed herself by adding a parenthetical 'h' to her own first name (and by classifying herself as 'unemployed' -- although I'd demand that you hire her immediately had she had classified herself as 'among the unemployable'). Ultimately, I hate to end someone's dream. Nobody likes to be the grizzly who swats the unluckiest salmon. Yet this is what I must do, so I select ... Justin Williams. He can blame me, Trishelle, and/or Mateen Cleaves."

Philbrick's take: "I wasn't a fan of Bank, Bell or Levine. In fact, I'm not a fan of any of these. I'm so sick of putting these up every week. I say everyone sucks and just pick someone! Sorry, I just got totally screwed in the Virtual Waiting Room for Green Monster tickets after waiting for four-plus hours and I'm about as broken as Barry Bonds right now. Fine, if I had to pick the lesser of the evils, I'd say keep Bank and dump Bell and Levine. The girls came through in the clutch (seriously, what could you name faster -- the starting lineup for the Shock or starting lineup for the Hackensack Bulls in "Brewster's Millions"?). I liked Justin's Frank Stallone standards -- and if you try to take points away for sucking up ... well, then he gets them right back with the photo.

Jackson's take: "First, I'd like to applaud the potential candidates for several inspired choices, namely Kevin for picking the exact player I would've chosen (and for many of the same reasons), Yao Ming. I also give some props to Rich for fully projecting his prison stay day-by-day and avenging the "fat Shawn Kemp" on behalf of everyone who lived in Seattle during the decade of the 1990s. It was a tough choice, but I'm voting off Justin, who despite his numerous "Lock Up" references to appeal to the SG, selected a player who was both an obvious choice and ineligible under Bill's rules, Rick Fox. (Plus, the man lost Vanessa Williams, so much help could he really be?) My second choice would be Theresa, who despite being handicapped with having to pick a WNBA player, choose one that truly annoys the hell out of me in Teresa Witherspoon."

House's take: "I thought the law firm of Bank, Bell and Cott performed up to their now-usual high standards. The entries by both Renee and Ms. MacDonald were clever and funny. I found Levine's entry a little schtick-y for my tastes and I didn't think Justin Williams gave his best effort, although spring break could have affected him. So if you're going with 5, my vote would be to eliminate Levine and Williams."

Camp's take: "I liked Bank's stuff -- just remember, Ivy Leaguers have an incredible sense of entitlement and will probably make every effort to take your job. Cott wins points for a good submission -- just remember, as a lawyer, he has no conscience and will never be able to say anything too controversial in case he makes a run for partner or Congressman some day. Teresa M. was thoroughly funny, and not in a "wow that girl is trying to be funny and she's a little bit cute so I should laugh cause I might get some" kind of way. Renee is from Canada, so she can probably drink more than me and still be able to drive. She also has the one-name thing going, and she used "MFer" in her bid. She's a keeper. And I enjoyed Justin Williams's picture so he can stay for one more round. As for my votes, I wasn't impressed by Chuck Bell and have nothing funny or clever to say about him. And even though Rich Levine went to my alma-mater, people from Colgate spend most of their time at work surfing the web and emailing their friends. You don't need that in today's competitive environment. Also, I didn't understand his submission and have too much to do besides deciphering a friggin intern's column."

Simmons's take: "Bank and Cott have emerged as the favorites -- they've been steady every week. Renee keeps getting better every week -- her last three entries have been funny. I like the fact that Levine keeps trying different things with his entries, although I didn't think this week worked as well as other weeks. McDonald did a solid job, as always, although I agree with Klosterman -- the "Zack Attack" reference was a mistake. As for Justin, as Randy Jackson would say, 'It just didn't work for me, man.' And with Chuck Bell, I didn't like the 'Yup these are my reasons' and 'Caged Heat' references at the end, only because they were too familiar. I also think that his last two entries weren't up to the same standards as the first three. So I'm voting for Williams and Bell."

The results: Out of 11 possible votes (Klosterman only voted for one person), Justin Williams received the most with four, with Bell and Levine getting three apiece. Since there was a tie for second, and since we need to end this contest before the summer, my vote counts twice... which means Bell loses the tiebreaker and Williams and Bell are out of the contest. We're down to five.


THE FINALISTS -- ROUND 5: 1-2 | 3-5

THE FINALISTS -- ROUND 5 (ELIMINATED): 1-2




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