By EW Staff
November 01, 2007 at 06:59 PM EDT

From the desk of Alynda Wheat:

Did you notice? No Pageant Princess Taylor! Wish wecould say our favorite little autocrat was missed, but what withtable-flipping, gold-star campaigning, and a crappily contrivedtreasure hunt, there just wasn’t time.

After seven weeks, it seems the evil geniuses behindthe Nation are running out of ways to make their young charges lookbad, because they’re recycling the greed-is-good plot from episode 2.First up was Divad (yes, I know it’s David spelled backwards andthat’s unusual — but you can’t expect somebody named Alynda Wheat to castthat stone), who suddenly decided to sell what everyone used to get forfree. The came fan fave Jared flipping out, and going all Oreo to herHydrox, pissed that he hadn’t thought of it first (and ending up makingmore money anyway).

As if that weren’t enough, campaigning for the goldstar went from virtual (sob stories, attitude conversions, a suddencompulsion to work) to literal, with Divad turning into the mostobsequious child on television since Jason Bateman left Silver Spoons.Lay it on a little thinner next week, kiddo.

But look — there’s a bright shiny spot in the middle oftown! It’’s a kid we’ve never seen before! PopWatchers, meetNathan. Nathan, PopWatchers.

Nathan, it seems, is a precociouslyresponsible home-schooled type person. (Hey, Guylan’s home-schooledtoo! Shouldn’t we develop some sort of conspiracy theory about that?)Turns out, while we were distracted by Hurricane Pageant Princess,there was Nathan, taking guff from Greg every day (welcome to bullying,home-school kid), and doing way more work than God intended for an11-year-old. But lo and behold, hard work paid off and Nathan won his$20K gold star. The best part? It made him almost as excited as thegold-star stickers he gets from his mom.

So funniest moment of the night, PopWatchers? Kelsey,she of the Bush bon mot that you don’t need to be smart to lead,declaring that despite Bill Gates’ millions, nobody ever had a problemwith Microsoft? Or the reward-challenge fashion show at the end? Speak!