'Last Comic Standing 5' eliminates Debra DiGiovanni, reveals Top 7
By Steve Rogers, 08/09/2007
Debra DiGiovanni was revealed to be the third Top 10 finalist to be eliminated from Last Comic Standing's fifth season during last night's broadcast of the NBC reality competition series.
Last night's Last Comic Standing 5 episode began with the Top 8 finalists congratulating Ralph Harris for his victory in last episode's three-way head-to-head showdown that resulted in Dante and Gina Yashere's eliminations. The following day, the eight remaining comedians boarded the show's short bus and were transported to Medieval Times California, a Middle Ages-themed dinner theater located in Buena Park, CA.
Once at Medieval Times, the comedians discovered their next stand-up immunity challenge would require them to perform medieval-themed stand-up comedy for the theater's 1,100 patrons. Dubbed "Last Jester Standing," the challenge grouped the comedians into four pairs and then forced them to don period clothing and individually perform a 90-second comedy set. After both members of each pair had performed, the audience would vote (via red and white flags) for their favorite. The winner of each first-round pairing would advance to the second round, where they would be paired with another first-round winner and perform a second set for the crowd. The two second-round winners would then face off in a final third set.
Lavell Crawford easily defeated Doug Benson in the challenge's first performance. Jon Reep slaughtered Ralph in the second first-round matchup. "It was a sea of white [flags], I saw maybe ten reds out of 1,100... sorry Ralph," Jon joked after his victory.
Although Ralph lost in a landslide, at least he wasn't openly booed after he ended his set -- that distinction was reserved for Gerry Dee, who lost -- in what Last Comic Standing host Bill Bellamy termed "a unanimous decision" from the 1,100 person crowd -- the third first-round matchup to Amy Schumer. "I never heard 1,100 people boo in unison, I think [even] Bill booed me," Gerry commented. "Amy could have spoke Chinese, it wouldn't have mattered what she said."
Debra faced off against Matt Kirshen in the final first-round matchup -- a "too close to call" competition that required an aisle-by-aisle vote count before Debra could be declared the winner. "It was like a perfect split down the middle," Debra later explained to the cameras. "Three flags -- I won by three flags," a still-surprised Debra told the rest of the comedians after returning backstage.
Jon easily won his next second-round matchup with Lavell and Amy did the same with her matchup with Debra, setting up a final round showdown between Jon and Amy. Jon triumphed in the pair's final showdown. As the challenge's winner, Jon received immunity from Last Comic Standing's next head-to-head showdown.
"I sort of knew when I heard those final horns blow at the end of my set that Jon was going to take it, he clearly won... it was disappointing but I really wasn't heartbroken, I was pretty proud of myself for making it that far," Amy, one of the competition's least-experienced comedians, commented after Jon's victory.
After the "Last Jester Standing" challenge was over, the comedians voted to determine which three comedians would compete in the next head-to-head elimination challenge, a three-way non-medieval stand-up performance showdown that would end with a comedy club audience picking one finalist as their favorite and eliminating the other two from the competition.
When the votes were counted, Debra had received the most, meaning that she would be one of the comedians that would have to perform in the three-way head-to-head. However although she had received the most votes, Debra had actually only received two votes -- and one of them was from Jon, who had just won immunity from the elimination challenge. As a result, instead of being allowed to decide which two comedians that voted for her she wanted to face off against, Debra was forced to face off against just Matt, the only other comedian that voted for her.
"I know Matt is incredibly funny, I know Matt is incredibly sharp, so I think it's going to be some good competition... I'm a little scared," Debra joked after the voting results were announced.
"Debra's not going to be easy, so I think we're going to be closely matched, I'm not expecting this to be a cakewalk," Matt -- keenly aware that he had already lost their jester challenge matchup to Debra -- commented to the cameras after learning he'd be competing against Debra twice in two days.
After spending the next day fine-tuning their stand-up sets, Debra and Matt faced off at the Last Comic Theatre. When the audience votes were counted, Bill revealed that the head-to-head had resulted in "the closest margin we've ever had in Last Comic Standing history. However unfortunately for Debra, Matt had come out on top in their rematch and Debra was eliminated from Last Comic Standing's fifth-season competition via 55% to 45% audience vote.