Ten Skippy-smooth survivors returned for a second day of auditions, doing more play-byplay, plus a newscast. The two finalists also conducted on-air interviews. Among the 10 was 24-year-old Laura Downhour, who works at a Starbucks in Lansing, Mich., while also doing weekend weather on local TV. Her white-knuckle teleprompter readings, of her own well-written scripts, were strangely riveting. "She's like an ice skater who falls but keeps getting up to finish the routine," marveled Brian Baldinger, a 13-year NFL veteran and Fox sportscaster, on hand as a "celebrity judge."
Likewise destined for a blue blazer someday is 23-year-old Matt Rodewald, who currently makes $150 a night in Bud-sodden singles as a minor league beer vendor in suburban Chicago. "I've wanted to broadcast since I was nine, babbling into a rolled-up program at high school games," he said.
But for the moment he and Downhour and the others must bow down before the winner: 22-year-old Rutgers alumna Kathryn Tappen, a striking blonde middle-distance runner from Morristown, N.J., who gave hope to viewers everywhere when she said that the one question she will never ask an athlete, in her new role on CSTV, is this: "How are you feeling right now?"
We like her already.