Celebrity Circus: Peter Brady Sets Bum and Self on Fire
By T.Vo|Monday, June 23, 2008 | 4:57 pm | 5 Comments
“But Daddy, you said this was Hannah Montana! WAH!”
Last week on the first episode of the fifth ‘Gasm show that starts with the word “Celeb,” I was reminded that things could be worse. I am pretty sure none of you are watching this show. I could be recapping American Inventor all over again. I could be attempting a root canal with the pack of tiny tools included with Ikea furniture (while sitting in an Ikea chair, of course). I could be force-fed Pinkberry until I spewed fake frozen yogurt everywhere. It was pretty atrocious but I was hoping I’d have some company. ‘Cause honestly, would it kill NBC to air this show at 2X the normal speed instead of taking up one and a half hour? That would make Celebrity Circus almost bearable. Almost.
Pudgy Fatone is really ramping up the circus-themed language. Three leotarded professionals are spinning endlessly behind him, in the hopes it will distract us from the hairy tumor eating his face. Oh, wait, that’s just his face.
But I look like Johnny Depp in this! Or at least one of his victims from Sweeney Todd!
His bristly hair is so out of control, it’d make a really efficient toilet scrubber. Just sayin’. Our stars are reintroduced, and I start to fidget on the couch. TV can cause ADHD, right? Antonio Sabato Junior is still topless. All’s right with the world. Dionne’s wearing a bedazzled top that is clearly the collaboration of designers from Forever 21, Frederick’s of Hollywood, and that store on Hollywood Blvd. called Forplay (yep, the name is not missing an e).
C-L-A-S-S-I-E. The new hit single from Fergie.
Rachel’s makeup artist hates her, but loves the colors of toxic ooze and slime. Very Ninja Turtles. Can someone dress her as Gizmo from Gremlins already?
Chris Knight’s costumed as the homeless panhandler you want to set on fire. Blu Cantrell is dead to me. Janet Evans’ outfit did not change from last week, except for the figure skating skirt they threw on top of it.
Why can’t I just recap episodes of Unwrapped? I love that it features Marc Summers, who hosted Double Dare while struggling with OCD. So sometimes the camera will catch him compulsively rearranging the food on the plate, and he never visits the locations he does the voiceovers for. This makes for a much more amusing show. I love Food Network so. And I want to recap how awesome the Drumstick factory is and what makes frozen custard different from ice cream (20% air versus 50% air. Also, custard is served at a higher temperature). Sigh. On with the show.
There was a flashback of last week’s episode that shall be ignored, because I, unlike NBC, do not want to insult your intelligence or imply that you have Alzheimer’s or induce post-traumatic stress disorder. It would probably benefit you to have short-term memory loss. Just remember that Blu threw a hissy fit at Aurelia and basically challenged her to a trapeze-off. Which means tonight’s elimination will be a shitshow.
Who’s first to be safe? Let me skip through 15 minutes of unnecessary dawdling and tell you that Dionne (broken rib and all), ASJ, and Janet Evans (the dark horse!) are safe. You know, people with work ethics and social grace.
Dionne’s doing the Cerceau (giant spinny hula hoop) this week. Think anyone ever puked during practice? She performed her routine halfway through the week and the original music just didn’t work. OH NOES. STRESS. TEARS. Let me psychoanalyze her video confession. Stacey Dash is an uber-perfectionist, and appears to really beat herself up for not doing well. The salt in her wound is that she appears to works incredibly hard but hasn’t ever landed the role that would enable her to break out as an actress. In a bit of foreshadowing and smart editing, she confides she is not confident this week and probably won’t maintain the lead. Thanks for telling me what happens before it happens. Sad panda.
I forget if they ever mention that she selected entirely different music, because what I hear is KT Tunstall’s “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree” and what I see is Bedazzled Ho 40 Feet Up in the Air Without a Net. Or sufficiently pointed toes. The song makes no sense when juxtaposed with her Victoria’s Secret Angel of Sin outfit.
The spinning is slow, as Dionne fumbles for the ring at times. She just looks overly cautious, which doesn’t make for fast rotations or death-defying stunts. However, her split is lovely and she’s really trying. What happened to sassy, bold Dionne? The one who said that the PC phrase for Cher’s virginity was “hymenally challenged”? You know what they say about horse-riding and accidentally losing your virginity? Pretty sure it could happen on a cerceau.
“I think I’ll tryyyyy….defying gravityyyyyy.”
Pudgy tries to reassure her with a slightly condescending “Aww, you had a really tough week but you pulled it together.” Ugh. That’s like getting a pat on the back from the world’s biggest cheeseball. Fail. Dionne looks miserable, but that might be from the insane chafing the imitation Swarovski crystal tummy straps gave her.
NBC cross-promotion genius: MARKING DIONNE WITH THE SYMBOL FROM HEROES.
Aurelia, dressed in a purple-y top that evokes Esther Williams’ last bathing suit, weighs in. Wait, no she doesn’t. Louie word vomits a bit about how if America don’t love Dionne, he will, and is like the conjunction junction train on a runaway track as he stumbles over his words excitedly while Pudgy realizes Louie might’ve had a little speed in his coffee.
Mitch subtly sedates Louie with the world’s smallest elephant dart.
WTF is right, double over with the shock, Dionne!
Dionne is just as shocked as I am. I didn’t think she was that great this week. But on the scale of score-adjusting injuries, a broken rib is only twenty points away from cancer.
ASJ feels like he’s training for the Olympics, since he’s taking on a hand-balancing act this week with Christine, his lovely partner. Hrm. This sounds like rhythmic gymnastics to me minus the fun ribbon dancing. After week one, he’s in second place. In hazy lighting, he looks like the poor man’s John Mayer. It frightens me. This week’s routine involves lots of groping and crotch-sniffing.
And a love story, of course.
The editors had a field day with this montage of ASJ and Christine touching each other in PG-13 rated ways. Blu bitches, “This is family television. Get a room.” Hee.
Crazy lights and special effects are unfolding on the TV, but the tune is Alicia Keyes’ “No One.” Great. I’m trapped in 102.7 KISS FM’s repetitive playlist.
I’d rather have Daft Punk playing at my house.
There is nuzzling, and convincing displays of affection. I hope ASJ’s long-time girlfriend isn’t the jealous type. The poses are erotic and many involve lifts. Until ASJ drops Christine in the worst freak hand-balancing act accident ever. Remember, there’s NO NET! OH GOD. And NBC is forced to cancel the series.
Oh, I wish.
Even though the pace of the poses is slower than actual acrobats/hand-balancers, it’s still impressive how much he accomplished. Too bad he doesn’t stay in character at the end.
Aurelia’s all, “You deed zee good job, eh? You look like zee star in zhose skintight leggings!” Mitch is pretty demure, admitting that ASJ almost looks like a gymnast and how hard it is to be on the bottom. Almost. Thumbs up! Louie’s too busy fanning himself and says he’s never seen this kind of standard in his two years of the UK version of Celeb Circus, and that the US really does it bigger and better. America, fuck yeah! He points out what I noticed, the losing of focus after ASJ finished his last pose. But hell, I’d be excited if I had made it through the whole act without killing my partner.
ASJ is also slowly morphing into Lizard Man. Is that a homage to Mondrian on his wrist? Or a tribute to Ska? As for Pudgy, you be the judge.
Math is really easy on this show.
Janet Evans is currently third in the standings. Her Achilles’ Heel may be grace and fluidity, but she’s got an arsenal of hilarious/awkward facial expressions and I love it. Janet’s routine this week will also involve a love story. Yawn. She admits not-so-subtly that she can’t fake attraction to her (possibly gay) partner Sebastian because she loves her husband. Remember, Sebastian was lusting after ASJ last week. Janet awesomely practices being sexy by walking around in high heels like a girl practicing for prom.
Oh, and if you forgot the eight other million times Pudgy told you, THERE IS NO SAFETY NET. To the bowel-moving twang of Daughtry’s “Home” (sorry, I’ve heard this on loop for the last six months), Janet pulls off the athleticism required for the flying silks, but she needs toe-pointing tips from Rachel. She slides down the length of the flying silks, and awkwardly removes her silver top like a Pi Phi after downing a few cups of Pink Pantydropper — oh come on, you’ve had that drink, right?
Keg stands lead to flying silks, duh.
Like ASJ, Janet appears to lose focus and connection with her partner at the end of the routine. She just needs to watch some more reality tv to get hints on how to act more dramatic and refined, less like a sack of flour. I still love her grit.
Louie exclaims, “DAMMIT, JANET!” and it becomes super-clear what the inspiration for the choreography is. *slaps forehead*
Life imitates art.
Aurelia slices Janet up a bit, saying zee technical side suffered at the expense of Janet trying to be va-va-voom sexy and artistic. Way to rain on her parade, beeyotch.
“I once had to point zee toes and fingers and zee eyebrows and seduce zee man with by wiggling mah ears, mon petit chou, but I deed not forget that I was there to strangle him with zee athleticism of my thighs! Never forget, mon dieu!”
Fortunately, Mitch and Louie adamantly disagree. Mitch thinks Janet had it all, the whole sexy athletic package. Seriously, Janet Evans would out-athleticize everyone else even while pregnant. Louie admits that she still needs elegance but she’s working on it and getting there and calls her his dark horse. Aw. “Dark horse” sounds racist in this day and age, doesn’t it? We can’t all be albino unicorns.
It’s stunning – the scores are keeping the top three on the leaderboard in the exact same positions. Suspense isn’t this show’s strength.
Next, bums practice the sacred art of self-immolation. This is going to be good. But first, Pudgy announces that Peter Brady and Wee Man are safe. Rachel looks on nervously as she fidgets next to Blu (who’s gotta be going home if there is a God). Peter tells us the highlights of his training so far include breaking his arm on the German Wheel, and smashing his crotch into the platform on the trapeze. Poor guy. His act this week is simply titled, “Fire Clown.”
Peter Brady is dressed as the stranger that tries to lure you into his van with the promise of lollipops and puppies. His fellow clown bum are sitting on a bench, reading the paper, and watching a lady sun herself to the tunes of The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations.” The bums get hot under the collar. And under their hats, and the bench, and Peter puts out a flame stick with his mouth. That’s impressive, but not as noble as those self-immolating monks. Fire juggling ensues.
It tastes like burning!
Peter pays homage to Rihanna’s umbrella and sets the frame on fire. OW. Probability that he will singe his eyebrows like that retard in your high school chemistry class? Incredibly high. His acting chops come in handy because he’s got great timing and is generally funny, but perhaps fire clowning is most amusing when someone gets hurt? Is that awful of me to say? It just feels like tricks strung together in the end, but they do only have a minute and a half. He even gets on a balance board and lights the ends. Sense a recurring motif? The finale involves Peter’s clown partner handing him a lit stick of dynamite, which Peter promptly jams down his pants. Everyone flees while Peter Brady’s crotch blows up.
The recessionist vasectomy.
Aurelia is impressed with zee acting, but wanted something more, GIMME MORE, eh? Mitch is pleasantly surprised, but again says he thought there’d be more acrobatics – but that he saw the old (err, young) Peter Brady. Peter guffaws that he just wanted Aurelia to smile. Louie on the crotch explosion: QUITE IMPRESSIVE. He lauds Peter for concealing the danger factor with comic timing so well. “You looked so…enjoyable.”
The tears of a mediocre clown.
Wee Man seems to be relegated to acts that involve wheels and spinning. Wheels that make him look like a hamster. Again, is this intentional? Frenchie persists in calling Wee Man by his Christian name, Jason. They custom-fit a German Wheel for Wee Man, which is pretty rad.
What happens when the Big Brother program doubles its budget.
Well, he’s performing to a song I had to play on the drums for four years in college, a great one by Free (it was our fight song). I’m already predisposed to like this performance. And the Daft Punk green strobe lights are back! And his trainer is behind him in a larger wheel! And another guy in a German Wheel that’s swinging from the rafters! And more scantily-clad dancers to distract us! All Right! Now!
Wee Man does the requisite rotations and balancing of it, back and forth. Then with one hand, which is impressive. Then he climbs on top and balances on it like it’s a unicycle, sans pedals. He’s athletic and balanced, being the pro skater and Jackass, but again, he’ll get killed for not “emoting” and “connecting artistically.” Whoops. He falls off a bit and rolls away when he attempts the cartwheel/rotations and he has to yank the wheel back onto the stage, but I think his showmanship is decent and the crowd is really pulling for him. And I admire people when they fess up to fuckups and keep going.
The finale is him allowing the wheel to coin spin on its side, like a quarter that’s tipped over – you know, the move that broke Peter Brady’s arm. On his second attempt, he does it successfully. It’s just after the music has ended, but no one really cares (except for Aurelia). Go Wee Man!
It was this or becoming the Human Air Hockey Puck.
Looks like some Gladiators stumbled in from the set next door. I wonder if they take turns freaking out the kid sitting next to them.
Wee Man is bracing himself for Aurelia’s bite.
“Zere is so much to zee German wheel, you stunted, clumsy baguette, don’t get lazeee on moi, eh?”
Mitch cautions that even though Wee Man is incredibly likeable and fun, no amount of attitude alone can win this thing. Louie, Louie, exclaims that he loves when Wee Man is a Jackass on tv (flying out of cannons, kicking himself in the head), but not so much on this show. And that he appears to not be putting in effort. Ouch.
Wee Man defends himself and says that he can ditch the choreography and do the maneuvers on the German Wheel. Of course, the judges are all for this and Aurelia condescendingly points her arm towards the wheel. Thanks, Captain Obvious. What ensues is awesome and crowd-pleasing as Wee Man furiously coin spins faster than he did in his performance. Strangely enough, he doesn’t come off as cocky but endearing. I’ve obviously succumbed to Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to this show – I’ve already passed through the stages of anger, bitterness, depression, denial, and acceptance. All in two episodes!
Mini Kerri Strug, bitches.
May your face freeze that way.
The fours from Aurelia and Louie get HUGE boos, while Mitch, playing Paula, gives him a 6 for great attitude, making it a 4.7 average. Dude, don’t say you’re doing it just to reinforce the self-esteem, because apparently my parent’s generation was taught to praise my peers and me the wrong way. Being told “you’re smart” all the time equals quitters who can’t cope with challenge.
After the commercial break, we get some filler involving our contestants and the talented professionals training them. Filler that reveals itself to be edited by misogynists who do nothing to advance the women’s movement. Seriously. The segment just shows Dionne crying and talking about crying and Rachel blubbering and saying defensively, “FYI, I never cry.” Right. But what about the men? Kick a guy in the nads and watch what happens.
See what I mean about the rampant sexism?
MUST BE THAT TIME OF THE MONTH AGAIN. (Don’t trust anything that bleeds for seven days and doesn’t die.)
Well, they stamp the word “Mental” on top of Peter Brady’s face. Hee. Cue montage of extremely flexible and nubile women. I don’t think the 7-time Cirque du Soleil national champ realizes that by basically tucking her leg behind her head, she’s not exactly earning the respect of males. Sad, but true.
I want to be respected as an intellectual.
Rachel and Blu are the remaining contestants to perform. One of them is going home. Here, let me spare you the 10 minutes of stalling that Pudgy does and tell you the person that America found un-American is…Blu. Oh happy day! Democracy works, bitches. My faith in humanity is temporarily restored [don't you dare let me down in November, people].
Frida Kahlo and David Bowie’s leftover makeup put to good use.
Rachel hugs her not-too-sympathetically, and I am waiting with bated breath for Blu to bitch out Aurelia and the judges. The glee factor is at an all-time high, and I’m practically clapping my hands, so don’t disappoint me, Blu!
Pudgy asks Blu what she enjoyed most about this experience, and she says the obligatory “Oh, I had a really great time, I made some great friends, and can now say that I joined the circus in my lifetime…” and then abruptly switches gears. You can see the gleam in her eyes before the words come out of her mouth and aughh, I’m sorry. I just hallucinated.
“I have to make a comment about the comment you [Aurelia] made last week about how you can put your leg up over your head. Well, you know what? I’m telling you on national TV, so let’s see if you can come and sing one of my songs. Let’s make a competition out of it. I could do your tricks and you could try to sing my songs, but I guarantee you I’ll win. THANK YOU, AMERICA!”
Blu Cantrell, everybody.
Don’t save the drama fo’ yo’ mama!
I think Aurelia just got served. It’s on! Aurelia tries to interject, but they just get the audience to clap and the music is cued to segue away from the tension. HEE. I have to give Pudgy credit for smiling with a twinkle in his eye through this entire segment.
Finally. We’re down to Rachel, who’s probably exhausted since these shows take much longer than a mere hour and a half to shoot. My feminist streak is out in full force, because the editors have picked all of the worst segments of Rachel looking wan and worn during training. Seriously, is it necessary to make her appear like the “Before” on Extreme Makeover? For example:
A Botoxless world.
We learn that Rachel tried the traditional hammock (a sling of wide fabric) but was way too tall for it. It kept ejecting her. She describes what it looks like when you’re not 5″2: “You look like a stuffed sausage.”
Be zee fetus bursting from zee womb!
Anywho, the trainers rig a larger makeshift hammock for Rachel out of two of the flying silks knotted together (innovation!). They call it the Beach Hammock presumably because it was invented by trainer Shannon Beach.
Pudgy further hammers the point that Rachel wants to prove that beauty isn’t exclusive of athleticism as he introduces her. Whoa, they’re using En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind” and Rachel’s partner is Sacha, assisted by the gals. I’m kind of worried she’s going to go splat. There are some mishaps/tangles at the beginning that we don’t get to see, because the camera immediately switches to the random Pussycat Doll knockoff dancers on the floor. When we flash back to Rachel, she’s incredibly poised, though, and no one points her toes better than Rachel – she manages to do splits and gets amazing extension with the hammock and remains graceful. More jazz hands and flair and attitude would be great here, but it’s hard to muster that extra oomph when you just want to survive.
Rachel also pulls off a crazy flip where the silks go from supporting her at the waist to catching her under her armpits. Then, she inverts herself and pulls Sacha up, eventually holding him aloft with just one hand. Finally, she grabs the two ends of the silks and slides down, head first. The crowd goes wild and throws peanuts everywhere!
Victoria’s Secret? Sexy Little Things thongs – for when you’re 40 feet up in the air with no safety net.
I can’t even make fun of her, except for the ridiculous ruffles on her top. Chiquita Banana time!
You should never put bananas in the refrigerator. Si, si , si!
Aurelia: I like hard work, eh? And you worked really hard this week.
Pull my finger! You’re an athlete!
Louie: “It’s never worth squeezing into something that doesn’t fit, darling!”
THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID!
Rachel is super gracious about the criticism and applauds her fellow contestants. Aw, I like her. My Stockholm Syndrome is in stage 2. Oh God. I actually don’t want anyone to get hurt or cry or get lit on fire. Except maybe Blu. What am I going to do? Someone stole my sense of sarcasm! Fuck. Give it back! Give it back!
Fortunately, Rachel knows how to get America’s attention and votes.
Oh, my God, the bend and snap works every time!
After Round 2 of acts, Dionne’s still in the lead and Wee Man’s last. If you watched this show (hypothetically speaking, of course), who would you save? Who do you want to send to clown school? I’m a little worried that Janet is going to get sent home because she might get lost in the middle of the pack. But how can you forget those cheesegrater-sharp abs?