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Lost & Found

Barbara Lorenz
Carly Patterson is gonna be on reality TV. With Cyndi Lauper. On Fox. Those are the teardrops of pride, my friend.

Remember two summers ago when a spunky 16-year-old from Allen won our hearts and the gold medal in women's gymnastics at the Athens Olympics? Then, like, remember how we totally lost track of her because, let's face it, we only keep up with uneven bars and floor exercises every four years? Well, Carly Patterson is back, and this time it'll be hard to miss her.

Unfair Park just got confirmation from Carly's mom, Natalie, that Patterson has earned a spot on Fox-TV's upcoming reality series Duets . It's another Simon Cowell creation, pairing celebrity singers such as Cyndi Lauper, Clint Black, Brian McKnight and Michael Bolton with sorta-famous amateurs such as Patterson. I know, it sounds lame. But you'll watch. And because one of our homegrown stars will be "competing," you'll watch a little closer. Patterson leaves next Wednesday for six weeks in L.A. (the show debuts August 29), during which she'll return to America's mainstream consciousness.

Not that she hasn't been busy since nailing the all-around gold medal on August 19, 2004. Carly, now 18, has been the subject of four books, including this one, starred in a gymnastics movie called Stick It , and last spring graduated from Allen High School. She also is the centerpiece of several Web sites like this one and this one, and there's already an allegedly grassroots campaign cheering for her to succeed on Duets. At first I thought we finally found Carly. But come to think of it, I don't think she was ever really lost. Our lil' girl is gettin' all grown up. And famous. --Richie Whitt

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