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[02/01/05 - 12:00 AM]
Melissa Eliminated from UPN's 'The Road to Stardom with Missy Elliott'

[via press release from UPN]

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

Plymouth, Minn. Student Is the Fifth To Be Asked to Leave the Tour

Following a special Monday night presentation of the series, Melissa, a 19-year-old student from Plymouth, Minn., was the fifth performer eliminated from UPN�s new dramality series, THE ROAD TO STARDOM WITH MISSY ELLIOTT, reducing the pool from nine participants to eight.

After Marcus decided to stay with the tour following news that his brother had been killed in a car accident, the bus made a stop at a Louisiana cemetery for an especially poignant road challenge. As Missy explained, "As an artist, I think it's very important for you to get rid of your emotional baggage to accomplish your goals�I want these participants to drop their emotional baggage so they can focus on the competition." During the deeply personal and emotional revelations, Matthew put his lust to rest, Eddie buried his difficult childhood, Nilyne eulogized a lost child and Melissa declared an end to her fear and doubt, saying she was ready for the world to see her for who she really is.

Later, at New Orleans' The Howling Wolf bar, the participants got the opportunity to perform for superstar rap artist and record mogul Jermaine Dupri, but each vocalist had to overcome a series of distractions the judges secretly arranged to occur while they were on stage. While most of the challengers overcame the cell phone rings, clinking bottles at the bar, microphone problems and shifting musical arrangements by the live band, both Melissa and Marcus got rattled and stopped singing.

While the judges were surprised these two in particular cracked under pressure, they did admit that Melissa kept smiling and recovered strong, an accomplishment for the emotional challenger.

Ultimately, the judges offered Melissa and Marcus up to Missy for final elimination for failing to "go on with the show." In Missy's bus, Marcus explained that the judges were familiar with his skills, but Jermaine hadn't heard him before so, "out of respect for the man, I shut up." Meanwhile, Melissa was baffled to find herself facing elimination for a third time in the competition, but didn't want to make excuses. Missy said, "You break under pressure. That's a problem though."

So, with a green lollipop in hand, Missy stood before the pair and explained, "It was hard tonight. Y'all gave me a headache." Then, turning to Melissa, she said, "I've most definitely seen a growth in you, but you still got a lot of growth to do. I love you enough to let you go. You're off the tour."

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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