***Note from the Editor: Please welcome our newest recapper, the hilarious, the gorgeous, FOZZIEBARE!!
The new season of I Wanna Be a Soap Star has shot out of the gate like a big, gay bull. Sure, this Soapnet series doesn’t have the same following as American Idol, or the media attention of Big Brother, but that doesn’t mean it’s not just as riveting and entertaining. We already have a closet-case deacon, a ghost-chasing Asian, and a backstabbing Muppet with a mean streak. I’m not trying to over-hype it, but if you’re not watching this show, you are missing the best show in the history of the world ever! Intrigued? Please read on.
“No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die.”
After the initial casting special, the chosen five men and five women are brought before our illustrious panel of experts. Staple judge Michael Bruno is back and trying to look harsher and meaner than in years past, complete with a ponytail and a permascowl. I believe he actually thinks that he is the villain of this show, so much so that next season he’ll probably come back with an eye patch and a leather jacket.
New judge Hogan Sheffer is the head writer for Days of Our Lives, and there to assure that they don’t cast a fatty or a Jew. Meanwhile, Hogan looks like the Swedish Chef after a shave. The Paula Abdul of this season is veteran Days of Our Lives actress Mary Beth Evans, who played Kayla of “Patch and Kayla” fame. So far, Mary Beth has not done anything to give me cause to mock her. You’re playing a dangerous game, Mary Beth. A very dangerous game.
As the contestants stand before the judges, they are instructed to turn to the person next to them and give them the hottest, steamiest, soap kiss they can muster. Of course the contestants are standing in grade school boy-girl-boy-girl formation, much to my, and at least one contestants, chagrin. While we’re on the topic, why don’t they do this make-out challenge in lieu of a hello on American Idol or Top Chef, or at my office’s new-hire orientation, for that matter? A good uvula swab is a great way to introduce oneself to a stranger. I’m going to start this trend. Anyway, the kissing couples are then given their first scene, succinctly titled, “Two lovers meet for a romantic interlude but one of them has a secret.”
The first couple is Corey and Patricia, and I can almost guarantee you that Corey has a secret. From his introduction video the previous week, we learned that he was a deacon in his church, a self-proclaimed Momma’s boy, loves to roller skate, and just doesn’t have the time for a relationship right now; which all adds up to ragingly gay. I honestly don’t think Corey realizes this yet and has convinced himself that he actually buys Men’s Health for the articles.
The rehearsal process between these two is awkward at best, especially considering Corey literally gags a couple times before going in for a kiss. Patricia, a cat-eyed vixen who could be any age from 22 to 59 (with a little work done), is patient as Corey repeatedly forgets his lines. She states that she feels good about the upcoming scene since she’s a professional and Corey’s a professional, right before we cut to a scene where he blows another line and she gently asks him if he had time to go over the script again. During the actual scene before the judges, things go fairly well until Corey again forgets a line and just freezes, holding Patricia’s hand as she stares at him with those big, creepy cat eyes, waiting for her cue. After what seems like an eternity, Corey makes up something and they almost get back on track.
The judges are not kind. They tell Corey that he’s a good actor and has a great voice but that his bird legs are laughable, and Patricia is beautiful but boring. They then ask which one of them forgot their line and Patricia sells out Corey so fast you’d think they had a car battery hooked up to her nipples. Corey later says in an interview, while self consciously tucking his licorice whip legs under his sweater in a fetal position, that he was not happy about her betrayal, but as the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, cum on me. I mean shame on gay. I mean gay sex. I mean Usher. Why am I talking!?”
Corey, just do what I did when I’d kiss my last boyfriend: Close your eyes and think about Denzel.
Next up are Travis and Monica. Travis is a blue-collar BMX rider who’s got the bad boy thing down pat, and Monica is an ethnically ambiguous ingÃ©nue with sass. While dressing for the scene, Monica said she laughed at the bustier-garter belt combo because she has one just like it at home. Monica, you little vixen. These two share a scene in front of the judges that goes well, although Monica chooses to play the final scene a little differently than the rest of the cast when her husband begins banging on the hotel door. Travis’ character asks, “Who is that, your dad?” to which Monica’s character replies, “No, my husband,” with arched eyebrows and a coy smile, implying that she’s hoping for a mÃ©nage Ã Travis.
The next couple is Yves, a stunningly handsome European with cheese-grater abs and a winning smile, and Jimena, a Seinfeldian two-face Brazilian with a hoochie coochie accent. Mary Beth and the Swedish Chef both agree that the scene was unremarkable, not too good, not too bad, but when Michael Bruno gives his critique he says it’s “tax time.” Bruno tells them that the scene was a total mess, Yves didn’t react well to the twist at the end and Jimena’s accent was too thick. Jimena is clearly hurt during her post-critique interview, stating, “He crazy mang! No soy tengo gusto burrito, ariba!”
Next up are Joyce and Bo. Joyce is a tall, lanky Asian with a sexy Katie Holmes haircut. She and her husband enjoy cooking together and professional ghost hunting on the weekends. During the casting special we see the two of them in a haunted house with spectrometers, pleading for a spirit from the other side to give them a sign. Bo is a bland and forgettable blond that will either be gone next week, or be the victorious champion of the season. These two make the choice to play the scene as if Bo is a younger boy and Joyce is the seductive older woman; however, the judges don’t get it. They tell Bo that he came off as goofy, and they had no idea what Joyce was trying to do. Maybe the spirit from the other side should have sent her an acting coach.
Lastly, we have Ashlee and Justin. Ashlee is a statuesque ebony goddess with flowing hair that looks as if it was spun from the finest spiders in all of Middle Earth. Justin is another blonde (ugh), with vanity muscle arms and bicoastal tattoos on each of his guns. When getting into costume for the scene, Ashlee didn’t know how to put on the lingerie. Luckily, Monica was there to show her how to do it. “Once you get on the zipper mask and cover him in Thousand Island dressing, you’re halfway there!”
The scene comes off very much like a typical soap scene with the woman being seductive and the man constantly brooding. Mary Beth and the Swedish Chef give bad news, saying that they didn’t believe it, the seductive attitude was fake and simply “not very good.” Michael is, oddly, the nice one, saying that he wanted the scene to keep going so “all the clothes could come off.” Hear that, Justin? If this whole soap star thing doesn’t pan out, you’re pretty much guaranteed a job as Michael Bruno’s latest “ward.”
Once all of the scenes are performed it’s time for the brutal deliberation, where the judges sit around a table with glossy 8×10 headshots like cops looking for clues in crime scene photos. Michael’s bitchy, saying that he doesn’t think Corey has what it takes to be a soap star. Mary Beth is sweet, saying they Ashlee was beautiful but not much of a stand-out. The Swedish Chef comments on Monica, saying, “Flurdy flurdy flurdy, bork bork bork.” One person is going home, and based on the deliberation chat, it looks as though Ashlee and Corey are in trouble. Just like on The Bachelor, the black ones are always the first to go.
The Swedish Chef dining incognito at The Ivy
Back at the chorus line line, all the potential soap stars are standing before the judges, awaiting their fate. They each get critiques that we’ve heard before, but it’s fun to watch them quake and try to pretend like they’re not scared. Each contestant is asked to turn to their partner and stare into their eyes. Dramatic music swells as we await the inevitable vote-off, or “kill-off,” since Soapnet is so masochistic. Will it be Ashlee with her faux seduction, or Corey with his skinny chicken legs and Patty LaBelle posters?
Scenes of all the contestants breathing deeply and praying silently flash on screen. Silence fills the air. Come on, guys, the tension is killing one of these people! Or maybe not, since we’re told that no one will be going home this week. Everyone exhales a sigh of relief and they’re instructed to unpack since they will all be staying one more week. Kind of a rip-off but this just means there will be 10 guests for me to mock next week. Now that’s tax time!
Upon the final interview, everyone is unpacking and getting ready for bed in their ONE shared bedroom, complete with iron bunk beds and a cement floor. I can only assume this is to prepare them for the prison scene they will eventually have to perform. (You remember that time Erica Kane was sent to the big house and shanked a stoolie before making the newbie her “meat”?) Patricia informs the camera that things are great so far, but they won’t all get along much longer. Eventually the claws are going to come out. This woman has cat eyes AND claws? She’s a mutant! Run, Corey! RUN!
Yves strides in the room as everyone prepares for bed and asks the group if anyone is offended by him not wearing a shirt at night.
Corey and I are both very fine with it. What did you think? Do you have a favorite so far? Who do we hate? Who’s a bitch? Who’s a bigger bitch? Discuss.