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Season 9 E 10 • 06/14/2008

A junior at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Linnea is a shy girl with big dreams. She's a talented singer and dancer -- in her own mind. Although she's been practicing both for years, she still can't seem to make it past the audition stage when it comes to joining her school's show choir. The biggest obstacle standing in her way? When it comes to stepping onstage, she's totally terrified. Stage fright is why Linnea works behind the scenes as a techie, dreaming one day she'll be able to step into the spotlight. Hoping to face her fears and shake her shy ways, Linnea wants to be MADE into a lean, mean beatboxing machine and win her school's talent show. But is five weeks enough time to turn this timid teen into a one-woman beat machine? When Linnea announces her plans, the kids -- and teachers -- at school don't think she can break out of her shell. And neither does her boyfriend Spencer, who just so happens to be in show choir. But after losing her dad when she was just three, the only person she really wants to convince is her mom. However, her mom thinks it's going to be hard for Linnea to hold back the tears when she gets frustrated or upset. During a seemingly normal day at school, Linnea volunteers to run errands for the office staff rather than attend study hall. But instead of being sent on an errand, she gets instructions from her MADE coach telling her to go to jazz band practice after school. That afternoon, Linnea meets her MADE coach Rabbi Darkside, a well respected Brooklyn-based beatboxer. After hearing him replicate the jazz band instruments with his voice, Linnea gives it a try. But she more or less spits out the same sound for each instrument. Not exactly born to be a beatboxer, it's clear Linnea has a long way to go. When Linnea gets home from school one day, there is a drum set on her porch that she must assemble before Rabbi Darkside arrives. While struggling to put it together, Linnea's mother reminds her that she has a dentist appointment. Flipping out, Linnea doesn't want to go because she thinks Rabbi Darkside will be mad if she leaves the task unfinished. But her mother makes her stop what she's doing and get in the car. Later, when MADE coach Rabbi Darkside arrives at the house, Linnea is still working on putting the drum set together. Luckily, he lets her off easy and helps her finish the job. When it's all assembled, Linnea starts learning how to imitate various drum sounds, and Rabbi Darkside tells her that from here on out she has to beatbox wherever she goes. When Rabbi Darkside takes a tour of Linnea's CD collection, he finds albums by the Jonas Brothers, Clay Aiken and the cast of the Broadway musical Wicked. Not liking what he sees, he trades her crappy collection for a mixtape of the best beatboxers of all time. Early one morning, MADE coach Rabbi Darkside sneaks into Linnea's room and wakes her up by making noise like a siren. He's taking her to the track, where she's going to work on increasing her vocal stamina by running and beatboxing at the same time. But after just one lap, Linnea is completely winded. After being forced to beatbox while ordering breakfast, Linnea must join a drum circle. In a room full of "hippies" banging bongos, she must put what she's learned to the test by keeping up with the rhythm. But the pressure proves to be too much and Linnea starts crying. Clearly, she's got a long way to go before she can step onstage in front of her whole school. The next day, MADE coach Rabbi Darkside decides to surprise Linnea at school to see if she is beatboxing in the halls. But he's disappointed when her friends rat her out for not completing her assignment. When Rabbi Darkside confronts Linnea, she turns into a puddle of tears. Realizing that Linnea freaks out when she's put on the spot, Rabbi Darkside rounds up some beatboxers from Linnea's high school and eases her into the mix. This time Linnea at least gives it a shot. Even though she isn't that great, the other beatboxers tell her not to give up. Stepping it up a notch, MADE coach Rabbi Darkside takes Linnea to a local grocery store, where he wants her to earn $5 by beatboxing outside for the people passing by. After throwing a hat on the ground, he encourages her to start. But, once again, Linnea starts crying. The only words she spits out are "I hate you," causing Rabbi Darkside to walk way. Thinking she'll never hear from Rabbi Darkside again, Linnea is elated to find a plane ticket on her desk the next day. Looks like she's going on a beatboxing tour of the East Coast! Her first stop is Gettysburg, Pa., where she sees legendary beatboxer Rahzel perform. To Linnea's surprise, Rahzel calls her up to show the crowd what she's made of. In front of hundreds of people, Linnea proves she's getting better. But her initial excitement doesn't last long. When reality sets in, she breaks down and rushes off the stage. The next stop is New York City, where Linnea gets to spend some one-on-one time with Rahzel. But even during the private lesson, she freaks out because she is scared of beatboxing in front of him. Frustrated by her constant crying, MADE coach Rabbi Darkside pulls her aside and tells her that if she really wants to win the high school talent show she has to implement a "no more tears" policy. Linnea gets a chance to show off her newfound commitment during Rahzel's show at NYC's Bowery Poetry Club. When she's called up as the special guest, she murders it when she steps onstage! Back in Iowa with a boost of confidence, Linnea hones her beatboxing skills 24/7. Having the vocal basics down, MADE coach Rabbi Darkside thinks it's time to work on her stage presence. He teaches her how to command a room and project her voice. Then, to complete her transformation, Linnea buys some hot threads and hits the salon for a new 'do to complete her hip-hop look. At school, Linnea is excited to show off her new style -- and her new beats. With only hours left until her performance, Linnea gets a boost of confidence when she chats with Butterscotch, her beatboxing idol. During the talent show, Linnea pops out of a box and showcases her newfound confidence by working the crowd into a frenzy. Although she kills it, she doesn't win the big prize. But she gets an honorable mention for her stage presence. With a show-stopping performance under her belt, Linnea proves that stars aren't born, they're MADE.