Remember that movie Striptease where a younger, pre-Ashton Demi Moore was forced to slither through the seedy underbelly of the stripping world to support her son? Yea me either, but this week the seven remaining contestants on I Wanna Be A Soap Star must perform an homage to this art film by acting in a scene where they strip in order to support their younger brother. One of these would-be strippers won’t make it out alive. Find out who and why after the jump.
Once again everyone is woken up at the butt crack of dawn and told that they are due on set in an hour and a half. They all retrieve their scripts from their assigned cubby holes and everyone lets out a communal groan when they realize that the scene is about them stripping. Ashlee laments, “I thought the stripping and nakedness was over.” Yves replies, “Hell no, it’s never over.” He continues, “you spoiled little girl. Don’t you understand there is no through! There is no out! You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth! Until you reach over and put your hand in a pile of goo that was once your best friend’s face, that’s Chinatown baby!” ACTING!
The thespians in question are reviewing the scene and attempting to get into the head of the character. Justin says that for his character the stripping is just a means to an end in order to support his kid brother. Travis says his character would do anything to keep his little brother out of the system. Anything? Good to know. Wink, wink, nudge nudge. Ashlee states that the scene isn’t about the stripping, but the emotion behind why the character is stripping. Ashlee can relate since she has a son to support, which is why she is pursuing stardom on Soap Star. Let’s face it, this show is barely a step above bumping and grinding at Dejavu. Jimena describes the scene and literally says that she has to beg the owner of the strip club to ‘give us the job.” Even she thinks she has two faces. She continues and says that her character is “nervous and uncomfortable at first, but then blows him away.” I’m really glad she added “away” because it would be a completely different scene. Monica says her acting method is “to wear pig tails. And this cute little lacey bra I got at Victoria’s Secret. I love love love Victoria’s Secret. And shopping. I snack when I shop. But not too much. Do you shop much? Oh my god, I found the cutest little shoes last week at Nine West.” It goes on and on from there and slowly deteriorates into why Bring it On is the best movie ever.
Monica’s inner dialogue: “I wonder how I’d look with bangs. Am I Indian or Pakistani? I miss Hannah Montana. TRL is awesome!”
Acting coach Eric M. Stuart gives the group some tips about digging deep and finding the character behind the words on the page. He encourages them to find something that genuinely touched them and just hit them. For most strippers this is their dad. Stuart then introduces Julie Pinson, television’s Billy Reed from Days of Our Lives. She struts on stage and claps at everyone while squealing, “oo, good looking people!” Must be hell working with all those fugs over on DOOL. She then tells the actors that they need a back story to make the scene believable and they need to make up that back story in their head, or the technical term, think box. Days is not only full of fugs, but also quite an Algonquin round table of freakin’ geniuses. Julie gives a little more advice about method and smell the fart acting and then leaves, hopefully never to return.
Everyone is taken into wardrobe to squiggle into their stripper clothes. The women’s outfits consist of a once-upon-a-time Britney plaid skirt and a pink shirt that looks like something Flo would wear. The men are given dark slacks and a prison inmate blue button up collared shirt that just needs a teardrop tattoo for these guys to be an extra on Oz. Justin is taken aback and confused by the padded undies offered to simultaneously conceal and enhance the men’s packages. A friend recently told me that male underwear models used to use a piece of white bread for this purpose since it could be molded to the proper shape. I’ve always chosen to use a yam. Anyway, we overhear the costume mistress telling Monica that she can wear the undies that are supplied, but she can choose to wear her thong if she wants. Skanky McSkankalot.
“Yo Arnie, gimme two flat cows, walk ‘em across the grill, don’t cry about it, throw on a Wisconsin blanket and paint ‘em red and yella!”
Pole dancing coaches are brought in to give the stripper wannabes tips about how to show off the goods and make it believable. They encourage the actors to find a body part that they love and focus on it. I don’t see how Yves can pick just one. The female coach tells the ladies to stand with their legs apart, push their butt out and thrust their breast forward. “Do you know why strippers stand like this? Look how tiny it makes my arms look.” What? I always thought it was so they could show off their boobs and butt, arguably the top two rated favorite female body parts.
Travis says that last week he blew the scene because he wasn’t concentrating on the acting and was worrying too much about how his abs looked. This week he’s going to forget about that, and focus strictly on the acting, which means I’ll have to concentrate extra hard on his abs for him. Done and done. Jimena is honest and says she is a horrible dancer and an embarrassment to her Latin people. She may be a goblin, but she doesn’t lie. Watching her dance is a little like watching Celine Dion try to Crump. It’s just painful yet hilarious, and you can’t look away. We’re then treated to a training montage, ’cause “ya gotta have a montage!”
“Step kick kick knee kick touch…..”
At lunch Justin says that this is the most challenging thing he’s ever experienced in his life. He’s a very private person and prefers to keep his personal life personal, so stripping in front of the camera is very hard for him. He seriously contemplates getting up and leaving the show instead of exploiting himself on national television. Um, what exactly is soap acting again? If he can’t perform one strip scene he’ll never be able to have an illicit affair with the woman he thought was his half sister who recently came back from the dead after being possessed by Satan while being held prisoner in a giant bird cage by Stephano on DOOL. This week’s scene partner, Brian Dattilo from DOOL encouraged all of the actors to go with the flow and allow things to simply happen. He basically said you have to have that Tara Reid mentality where you go, “yea my balls fell out. What? Jealous?” Justin may not have this in him. As we break for commercial Justin is saying that he is going to leave ths show.
We come back from commercial and Travis is able to convince Justin to stay. Whew, that was a close one.
When time to perform, Jimena is up first, and despite my opinion that this scene should be titled “Coyote Ugly,” she brings it. She may look like a tree stump with hair but her acting is impeccable. The Swedish Shef tells her that this week she was able to soften her usually hard edge. Mary Beth Evans uses an actor term saying that Jimena really used her shoes. Jimena looked uncomfortable in her heels and Mary really believed that it was the first time Jimena’s character had been in stripper shoes. This is probably true since Jimena always wore hollowed out swamp rat carcasses back on Endor. Bruno was blown away by Jimena’s choices and encourages her to keep it up. Jimena bursts with joy and smiles actually looking beautiful. She then leaves the stage and the light hits her face the wrong way making her once again look like a zombie with syphilis.
It’s just uncanny
Ashlee performs next and not only does she not bring it, she left it at home. After the scene Ashlee is crying backstage and tells the camera that her son was her motivation for the scene, and she didn’t think about him the entire time she was on stage. I actually prefer my strippers to not think about their kids when I’m getting my lap dances. The judges say that nothing was believable, from her lie to the club owner about previous experience to her portrayal of inexperience on stage. Her character was supposed to lie and say that she had stripped for years in Chicago and New York, but not actually have any experience. Bruno says that it seemed as though she was lying about lying and had stripped every day of her life. Shef tells her that not every choice needs to be Tina Turner and he has yet to see her heart break. I’m not exactly sure what this means but I loves me a good Tina Turner reference. Ashlee is nervous about going home this week because she didn’t do her best. Her “Simply the Best!”
Yves goes next, at which point I unplugged my phone, drew the shades and settled in with a box of tissue and a jar of Vicks Vap-O-Rub. Unfortunately I was left with the same feeling as Mary, that the scene was a little confusing. She didn’t feel the raw, smoldering sexuality that he so naturally has. Bruno asks Yves if he has ever known anyone that had to sell their body and Yves replies no. Bruno tells him that that’s the problem because he can’t understand what it’s like. “It’s not about taking your clothes off, it’s about the fact that you’re a whore.” He continues, “a dirty, filthy whore. And a bad, bad boy. Daddy like! Daddy like!” Yves says in his post interview that no, he doesn’t know what it’s like to be a whore. Don’t worry Yves, I’ll show you and you’ll love it. He’s fearful that he is going to be called onto the line at the end of the day and tears well up in his eyes. There’s nothing hotter than a stripper crying.
“Only 8 minutes a day and you can have abs like me.”
Speaking of crying, Travis is next. His dance scene is very Thunder from Down Under as he poses like a model in Latin Inches. Bruno tells Travis that he redeemed himself this week but could have taken it farther. At the end of the scene, he should have been near crying because his character has sunk so low as to be stripping for money, like Cocoa in Fame. Shef says that he has many years of unblemished heterosexuality and yet when Travis stripped he found it hot. He loved every second of it. Besides the extra pounds and bad haircut, this is another thing that Shef and I have in common. Travis is told that he rested on his laurels last time, his sweet, muscular laurels, yet this time he did very well and needs to maintain that energy and be consistent.
After Bo performs, he is critiqued by Mary saying that something just wasn’t right, as if he was standing on the outside looking in and not committing. She also says that like her, he has an ordinary look and has to make people want to watch him. For an actor that’s the equivalent of kicking them until they’re dead. Shef tells him that his choice to play the stripping so comically negated the emotions that he had built up to to that point. Backstage, Bo says he doesn’t understand because he wasn’t trying to be funny. “I was trying to sell it!” Sadly Bo’s idea of selling it is wearing a big goofy grin and dancing like Carlton from The Fresh Prince.
Dad, stop! You’re embarrassing me!
Monica is once again told that she is too young and therefore miscast in the scene. She got too caught up in having to take her clothes off which made her nervous. I disagree as I’d be willing to bet that Monica is the first chick to lose her shirt at a frat party while mumbling, “I’m so drunk” even when the punch isn’t spiked. Bruno says that Monica has the perfect look to be a young soap ingÃ©nue, but young soap ingÃ©nues also have acting skills and the ability to understand a script. Backstage Monica says that she’s not worrying about being killed off because there’s nothing she can do about it. I’m sure the manager of the Sanrio store told her that she could always have her job back. Monica somehow then changes the conversation to a diatribe about why puppies are totally awesome!
After Justin performs, Bruno tells him that this was a really well written scene and it has nothing to do with people taking their pants off. He says he doesn’t care that Justin is taking his pants off, rather why he is taking his pants off in front of his scene partner. Meanwhile Bruno is holding his notebook in front of his crotch and sweating like a summer ham while his voice breaks like Bobby Brady. Shef tells Justin that the competition is really tight right now and his performance just wasn’t bork enough, especially with material as rich as this. Shef tells Justin that this is an extremely huge opportunity and he needs to remember that he’s on national television. Keep things in perspective Shef. This is a show on basic cable and about four people are watching. Mary tells Justin that he needs to open up and wanted to see more passion in the scene. Mary, they’re not auditioning for Passions. That show was cancelled. They’re auditioning for Days of Our Lives. Der! You should have wanted to see more “days” in the scene. Or more “lives”. Or even more “of our.” Justin is hard on himself (as is Bruno, if you know what I mean) backstage and says that he just choked and could definitely go home tonight.
No, honey. I’m not gay. I told you I just go there because it’s the only place in town that has “cold beer.”
When everyone is called on stage the judges shake things up this week. Instead of calling the bottom three to the front of the line, they let the top group take a seat and leave the slackers standing. After the critiques three people are left standing: Monica, Bo and my sweet, sweet baby-cakes Yves. I’m prepared to kick my TV if Yves is voted off, the way I did when Chris Daughtery went home on American Idol. I brace myself as the dramatic music plays, but luckily the judges make the wise choice this week. They tell Monica that she has been killed off and must pack her things and say goodbye. We see in flashback that Shef was opposed to the idea of killing off Monica because she has such a great soap look. Mary and Bruno convince him that of the bottom three Monica is the least talented and it wouldn’t be fair to keep her based on her looks alone. For people so deeply enmeshed in the soap world, they certainly don’t understand what soap fans really care about.
This week Bo and Yves just got lucky because Monica was insecure, which I’m willing to bet happens to a lot of guys when Monica’s around, and quite often two guys at once. Back on stage everyone hugs Monica and they all retire to the bedroom to chat with her as she packs. Jimena toddles into the bedroom with a cocktail in hand and says “OO, ju look so pretty een high heels,” before accidentally spilling her drink on Monica, then wandering off to dance alone in the corner. Pure class, Jimy. Ashlee tells Monica that somebody will write a role that is perfect for her. “You’re gonna be awesome and don’t give up.” Sorry Ashlee but the role of Kelly Kapur on The Office has already been filled. But everything works out in the end.
Will Bo find a way to not be ordinary? Will we soon see Monica working at Orange Julius? Does Yves realize that I’m going to prefer to decorate our love nest in clean lines and Earth tones? Find out the answer to these and many more questions on next week’s episode of
I Wanna Be A Soap Star. To pass the time, please tell us your thoughts.