#1.Carole Lombard def. #2.Myrna Loy, 187-166.
"Singers and Dancers"
#3.Ginger Rogers def. #1.Irene Dunne, 264-214.
If you had said before the third round started that Irene Dunne would receive over 200 votes— and lose by fifty!—many would have called you a liar and a lunatic, but that's exactly what happened this week in Monty's Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney when Ginger Rogers more than doubled the record for votes in a single contest and bested Dunne, 264-214.
It was a brutal fight from the very beginning, with the two actresses trading the lead back and forth until Rogers raced ahead on Saturday afternoon.
After the beat-down, Rogers stood over Dunne's prone body, shouting, "I am the greatest! I am the greatest! Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee! I am the greatest 'cause I beat Irene!"
She also announced that from now on, she wishes to be known as Muhammad Ali Rogers.
Rogers' vote total smashed the old record by 153, a performance so utterly astounding, many contended afterwards that it could only have been the product of computer manipulation, fraud—or worse!
"Did Kennedy cheat in Illinois?" Rogers snapped. "Did the Patriots cheat in the Super Bowl? Probably. But just try to prove it!" Then she danced away, backwards and in high heels.
"What was I going to do?" Dunne said privately. "Call her out for cheating better than me? Which is a quote, I think, from Richard Nixon's autobiography."
Former baseball commissioner Ford Frick further fanned the flames of controversy by announcing that Ginger's vote total would carry an asterisk in the record books. "While it's true that Ginger was a better dancer than Babe Ruth," he said, "Ruth did his dancing in a 154-game season and that should be reflected in the record books."
Afterwards, men in white coats gently steered Frick away from the microphones and into an awaiting ambulance. "I have always depended upon the kindness of strangers," he said as they led him away. "How about lending me $12 until payday?"
In the other match here at the Monkey, #1 seed Carole Lombard outlasted a determined Myrna Loy, 187-166, a savage struggle that left both actresses bruised and battered.
"Ain't gonna be no rematch," Lombard said wearily.
"Don't want one," Loy answered.
There were upsets and titanic matches in the other brackets as well.
In the 1950s Debbie Reynolds and Janet Leigh defeated favorites Doris Day and Marilyn Monroe; in the 1960s, Ann-Margret defeated #1 seed Julie Andrews; and as of 10 p.m. Saturday night, top seed Rosalind Russell trailed Lucille Ball in the 1940s bracket.
"Story of my life," said Monroe. "I always get the fuzzy end of the lollipop."
"Bring me a light breakfast," Russell moaned from her bed, "black coffee and a side car. Oh, oh. And a cold towel!"
After her stunning defeat to Ann-Margret, British acting legend Dame Julie Andrews shrugged and said, "Oi, as some daft rotter once put it, 'A spoonful o' sugar 'elps the medicine go down.' So I'm gonna stir a spoonful o' sugar into a pint o' bourbon, which is me own recipe for an Old Fashioned, and get bloody roaring drunk! Now bugger off, guv'nor!"
Round four officially starts Monday, which is to say, late Sunday night. Ginger Rogers will take on Greta Garbo, while Carole Lombard faces Joan Crawford. Should be fun.
And remember: no cheating!
Goodbye, Eleanor Parker
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