If you want to see the entire Road to the Final Four, click on the thumbnail above to view (and print, if you like) a full-size updated bracket, which we tried to do in the NCAA crossed-out-and-red-for-losers, green-for-winners style. Sorry, we meant to have this available earlier, but you know how it is when American Idol is on — Intern George gets so worked up that he ends up in a puddle behind the coffee table, overcome with nerves, and we have to soothe him with milk and cookies.
(1) SWINTON vs. (1) MISCHA BARTON
“My name is Mischa Barton. I’m an actress. I was such a pivotal part of The O.C. that they killed me off — seriously, that is, like, the highest compliment you can get as an actor, because it means they think the whole world will miss you and cry.
“But I haven’t worked on anything good in a while, and I’m bored. Tired of my clothes. Tired of my icky brown tights. (You know the ones. I used to wear them all the time.) Tired of my stupid headbands that just leave marks on my forehead that take forever to come out, and give me zits. Tired of my spandex faux-jeans, or whatever the hell those were. Instead, I want to be deliciously crazy so that people will like me. I want to be YOU.
“And look, I’m already sort of trying!
“Most people might look at this and think ‘Wow, it looks like a candy wrapper for some kind of urine-flavored marshmallow treat.’” But not you, SWINTON! I bet you’d see it as a CHALLENGE!
“And what about this? You are going to love this:
“The thing in my hair! The wrinkled minidress! The matching jacket with flared cape-like hem! Nobody GETS IT but me. I know that I was going for a quasi-Shakespearian tragic-heroine look, with a leggy spin and a whimsical hairpiece that looks like a robin died while mating with a poinsettia. But nobody else understands my genius.
“But YOU would, SWINTON. You have that same genius. You walk around like Max Headroom’s disapproving grandmother, and it’s not crazy ENOUGH! You wear mustard-colored suits that look like they’re splattered with the innards of a rare, possibly extinct creature, and people giggle and sometimes even call it boring! Then you wear things that actually ARE drab and dreary…
“… but people simply find them hilarious. Because on you, a shapeless mess that washes you out, or a giant blue sheath that’s too modest even for the Queen, comes off as some sort of anti-statement. Like it’s a caftan of TRUTH. Help me find my caftan of truth, SWINTON. Show me how to be you. Show me how to amuse, rather than horrify! I am an eager learner and I have so much potential — I mean, I wore a sort of military-ish jacket kind of like you did once! I even wear weird hats! MOLD ME! SHAPE ME! MAKE ME A BETTER BRAND OF NUTTY!”
“Enclosed is an autographed colleciton of O.C. DVDs.
The future BARTON.”
Two days later, from the desk of SWINTON…
“Received the funniest letter today from some starlet who thinks she is a junior version of me. It’s really quite desperate — apparently she thinks we both have bad taste but that hers is more shocking than satisfying? I’m not sure where she gets her ideas. My taste is resplendent.
One of her arguments is that she thinks we’ve worn similar jackets:
What a lark! This “Mischa” person’s coat has faintly military button holes; mine… also has elaborate button holes. That’s about it. Okay, so I was a bit caught up in looking like a cartoonishly James Bondian Russian soldier that day, but that’s happened to everyone at least once, right? The poor child actually thinks her version of haphazardry is equal to what I am doing. I could hand her an apple and she’d tell me it’s an orange. Oh, sweet obliviousness. She is a tragically dressed creature. It would be sweet if she weren’t asking me to “mold” her. So, note to self: Write her a thank-you note. Then contact attorney to request a restraining order. And then reply to Bjork about coming around for tea and a closet swap. Remember to invite Clooney; he loves a good giggle.”