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[02/17/05 - 12:00 AM]
Akil Eliminated from UPN's 'The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliott'

[via press release from UPN]

AKIL ELIMINATED FROM UPN'S "THE ROAD TO STARDOM WITH MISSY ELLIOTT"

Jersey City, N.J. Teacher Is the Ninth To Be Asked to Leave the Tour

Akil, a 23-year-old teacher from Jersey City, N.J., was the ninth performer eliminated from UPN�s new dramality series, THE ROAD TO STARDOM WITH MISSY ELLIOTT, reducing the pool from five participants to four.

After arriving in Los Angeles by private jet and moving into a mansion, the final five performers were given $500 to shop on trendy Melrose Avenue for clothes. Upon their return, top Hollywood image consultants Emil and Terrell tested their personal sense of style. After convincing everyone to don outrageous outfits, the sombrero-clad Akil eventually changed back into his new clothes. Following a good laugh, Mona explained, "As artists, everything that happens to your career should come as a result of who you are to begin with and everyone's job is to build around that."

Then, the competitors were taken to meet music icon Madonna, an artist known for her integrity. Taking a break from her busy concert tour schedule, the superstar sat down with the group and shared some valuable advice on the music business. Later, the group watched as Missy and her dancers rocked the stage at a live concert performance in L.A. Matthew though was uncomfortable with some of the performance, saying, "That's just not me -- that over-the-top sexual stuff. It's not my style."

Finally, at the performance challenge, judge Teena Marie gave the competitors one hour to each write a verse for a song and perform in synch with her live band. Impressed by their harmony, Mona said, "The reality is that we're down to the cream of the crop, you know. The best that America had to offer and we have to start taking everything into consideration."

While deliberating, Mona expressed, "I want to see (Matthew) loosen up�This exercise was all about emotion. It was all about letting go and being in the moment." Then, Teena added, "Akil was nervous," and agreed that he didn't utilize all of his skills during his verse.

After assembling back at the mansion, the judges ultimately offered Akil and Matthew up to Missy for final elimination. Voice hoarse from her earlier performance, Missy asked each of the men to give her a reason why the other should be eliminated. His first time in the spotlight, Matthew turned the question around, saying "I've got that personality that's going to come across�I'm going to always keep it entertaining." Meanwhile, Akil told Missy, "It's really not my style to put people out there like that�It's your decision. You know what you're looking for."

In the end, lollipop in hand, Missy told Akil he was off the tour, explaining, "He's real talented, but he's kinda lacking that breakout quality that I'm looking for. Most of the time, he falls back in the shadows while he allows someone else to take the spotlight."

On UPN'S THE ROAD TO STARDOM WITH MISSY ELLIOTT, 13 aspiring vocal performers travel coast-to-coast with Grammy Award-winning artist Missy Elliott, living together on the road in an austere tour bus and competing against each other for a record contract, a released single and $100,000. Missy leads the panel of music industry judges, including Grammy Award-nominated R&B artist Teena Marie, Grammy Award-winning producer Dallas Austin, and president of Violator Management Mona Scott.

THE ROAD TO STARDOM WITH MISSY ELLIOTT airs Wednesday (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on UPN.

RATING: To Be Announced





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· ROAD TO STARDOM WITH MISSY ELLIOTT, THE (UPN)





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