NBC hasn’t blown anybody away with I Want to Be a Hilton, but the show has been making strides since its first week, when it looked like Kathy Hilton had barely been in front of a television camera. Although the challenges were good, it seemed like Kathy had taken pointers from Paris when it came to her on-camera presence. Luckily for us, the cast of the show has given us plenty of reasons to watch (at least until it conflicts with Big Brother for all of you single tuner Tivo/ non-DVR types). Team Park has won both challenges, partly because they are better, but largely because they are a good team, or at least not as bad as Team Madison. But since Madison features a Vegas showgirl and former beauty pageant winner, it is that guaranteed vortex of self-absorption that keeps us coming back.So far, the main problem for Madison has been between Yvette, and, well, everybody, but Yvette really doesn’t like Latricia the most. She sees Latricia as uncultured and not worthy of even being considered among the rest of the contestants. Latricia sees Yvette and thinks the same thing, but mainly because Yvette is a know-it-all and Latricia can see through Yvette’s faux-cultured ways.
First we had everybody learning the basics of etiquette, and last week we had people try on their philanthropic/Hamptons party hats. This week, we learned that the challenge was going to be centered around the world of fine art, and both teams met inside a museum to watch a cellist, a dancer, a singer, and an actor. There was a real sense that things were getting down to business, or at least that is what Brenden would have us believe. He said that things were really getting serious now that there were only 12 people left. Uh, Brenden? You started with 14, and now you have 12. You still have to remove 11 more people to win, and your team hasn’t lost. To say that the game has had some sudden shift in focus sounds kind of dumb.
After their little refresher, everybody met in Central Park where Kathy gave them directions. The art challenge was going to be a scavenger hunt. They would be given ten clues and would have three hours to come back with as many clues as they could find. She handed each team their clues, a couple of cell phones, and a couple of maps, and told them to get started.
With all of the clues spread out over such a large part of New York and with the limited time they had, both teams debated whether they should stay together or split up. Park has been doing very well in the challenges, but they are already starting to get annoyed with the people on their teams who are trying to speak up and be leaders, namely Vanessa and Brenden. If they win again, I predict that in the next couple of weeks, they will talk about losing a challenge so they can get somebody off of their team. Anyway, Brenden was being kind of a pussy about splitting up, wondering if it was worth the risk. Rashad, realizing that they had two cell phones along with a couple of maps, didn’t wait for the debate and took Jaret with him to start on the first clues.
The clues that everybody received were very Sherlock Holmes-esque type things, with riddles promising a very punny outcome when people figured out what was going on. The clues weren’t all that hard, with one requiring somebody to learn how to play chopsticks, which I think you can learn how to play by accident, as long as you a) have access to a piano or keyboard and b)watched Big at least once in your life. Another was to have your picture taken from a bookstore balcony while reading Edgar Allen Poe. As Park was completing that task, the hardest part was finding the book store. Although they were at the right intersection, they were having trouble picking the bookstore, because the clue said it “sounds like a pasta,” which they took literally to mean rhymes with something like spaghetti, when it just meant it was Italian. They soon found it (there was really only two to choose from), and realized their dream to find the bookstore Waldentoni would have to wait.
As Park was getting their thing done, Madison was still trying to devise some strategy. They eventually decided to split up in different directions after they mapped out the locations for all of the clues on the maps that were given to them. The two groups were Jabe and Latricia, and Jackaay, Ann, and Yvette. I am not sure who thought of putting Ann and Yvette on the same team, but they probably should be shot, or perhaps stoned, or maybe even drawn and quartered if we can find some colonial Europe or Salem Witch Trials type of torture device lying around somewhere.
The main problem with this team was two-fold. First, they are not that intelligent. Yvette really does think she is better than everybody else after all of her vast knowledge gained as a show girl, and Ann thinks that having been in a pageant somehow makes her the one to beat in this competition. Unfortunately, people listen to them mainly because they won’t stop talking, not for any insights. The other problem with these two is that they act like this show is a showcase for their talents, and don’t always think about the team first in every decision. Ann is constantly breaking out into song, like she is practicing for Oliver Twist or something. As for Yvette, besides taking every opportunity to showcase her body, which is admittedly the best on her team, she acts as if her showgirl experience is the equivalent of some prestigious dance training and that everybody is interested in how good she is. Poor Jackaay was limited to simply keeping up with the other two.
Yvette’s selfish nature showed up in the first challenge she attempted, which just so happened to be the one where the participant had to learn some ballet moves and perform them for the judge to receive their clue. When anybody came to a challenge involving their clue, they sort of learned the basics and then moved on. For example, when learning how to play chopsticks, nobody waited around to learn Chopin. While reading Poe, nobody decided to pick up the Telltale Heart after they were done with the Raven. Yvette, however, decided that she was going to show off her ballet talent like it was an audition for Swan Lake. She did her own thing, and the only time she listened to the instructor was when she was asked if she wanted to wear a pink tutu to go along with the leotard she had on. Yvette accepted, of course, and finally decided to perform the required steps, perhaps realizing that she was, you know, BEING TIMED.
If there is one thing that Yvette is good at, it’s messing up. She even managed to screw up Latricia and Jabe in absentia. One of the clues was in French, and with her translating skills, she had deciphered it to be near the areas that Jabe and Latricia were assigned to. Unfortunately, when Latricia and Jabe got to where the French clue was supposed to be, there were no French speaking people, just a hospital. When Jabe tried to relay the news back to the other team, Yvette immediately blamed him for taking the French clue, saying she knew what to do with it. It all made sense if Yvette actually spoke some sort of functional French and/or hadn’t been the one to give them incorrect directions in the first place.
As you might imagine, the last thing Latricia needed was a long walk in the wrong direction. Although Jabe pointed out that she never complained even while he saw her struggle with all the walking, he readily admitted she was sort of slowing him down, and it’s not like they needed any more distractions either. For instance, they were able to figure out that ivories meant piano, but when Latricia heard some piano on the street, she decided to investigate. It turns out some Amish people had a piano in the back of their RV. Problems with this included a) the people she saw were some lubavitches, trying to get their prostelization on and b) the piano they had playing had nothing to do with their clue.
Even with all of the shenanigans they had to endure, Jabe and Latricia managed to get back on time, as did all of Team Park. They decided it was better to be on time than to risk a loss by not finding enough items. Therefore, they were waiting while Jabe and Latricia returned. The whole thing would come down to whether Ann, Yvette, and Jackaay would be able to get back in time. In other words, Park’s chances of winning were somewhere between 99 and 100%, or roughly equal to the chance that Tom Cruise would freak out on television sometime within the next week.
Yvette, Ann, and Jackaay were not just a few minutes late, but over twenty minutes late, meaning the game was not close. Jackaay, who reminds me of the love child of John Gulager and Victoria Jackson, was upset because she had tried to remind Ann and Yvette about the tie-breaker, but neither would listen. Yvette, on the other hand, was more than happy with the outcome, because she had her purple tutu, which she believed made her look like Carrie Bradshaw in the opening credits of Sex and the City. Even when Kathy Hilton was about to lay the smack down, she insisted on doing dance. But at least she asked, because Ann would have just done her stage opera again.
For their efforts, which translates to “You don’t suck as much as Madison,” Park won a dinner at an exclusive restaurant as well as tickets to see “Wicked,” which at the time of this show’s taping was the reigning winner for best in its category, a lot more than we can say for Madison. Madison, obviously, was forced to head to “The Residence” (Elimination Time!!) and see if they were on the list.
Earlier, Kathy had warned that two people were going to be voted off, and we learned that one would be chosen by her, and the other would be chosen by a vote amongst the teammates. It wasn’t much of a contest, because it was easy to see how badly the three girls messed up, but Yvette kept on trying to work to divert attention from her failures. Unfortunately, she is not that great at reasoning, so she had to resort to basically telling complete lies in order to make her look good. Also unfortunate for her, her teammates didn’t let her get away with any deception.
First, when asked why she had been late and wasn’t able to secure more than two items, Yvette blamed Jackaay for being slow and holding back she and Ann. Anybody watching the tape could see that was not the case, but Yvette just continued on from there, then saying that Jabe and Latricia held them up with the whole French clue thing. Well, you know Latricia wasn’t going to take any of that, and when she mentioned the wild goose chase Yvette had sent them on, Kathy had this great look on her face and exclaimed “No!”
Despite all of that, Yvette continued with her creative storytelling. She tried to bring up the French thing again, saying she had tried to keep that clue for herself but Latricia and Jabe had other ideas, to which Latricia said she only knew French fries and French toast (and by the look of it, lots of French dip sandwiches). She then tried to say that Jabe kept distracting her with phone calls, but he said that they had given them phones for a reason, and that was to communicate. Ann tried to jump in and say that Jabe and Latricia called them before the time was over and told them not to bother, apparently hoping Kathy didn’t get any information from the producers on time frames. The whole pathological liar thing was absolutely bizarre to behold, and Yvette claimed later she thought it was her only hope for staying on the show, so she had to deflect some attention away from her, and that was how they did it. She said not all lawyers tell the truth, and when Latricia said she wasn’t a lawyer, Yvette simply stated “Not yet!” as if we are actually supposed to believe she could get into a law school where “Gave blow job to the dean” is not a check box on the admissions form.
When it came time for Madison to vote out the first person to leave today, they chose Ann, meaning it would be pretty much be a slam dunk that Yvette would go home. There was no way they could spin it into making her look good enough not to be dropped. Neither of them helped their cases only minutes before. When Jackaay told Kathy that she, Jabe, and Latricia appreciated the opportunity more, Yvette tried to claim her teammates were jealous because she was at the same level as Kathy. Ann, you guessed it! She broke out into song, this time, serenading us with a little “Wind Beneath My Wings.” There’s nothing like the melodic voice of Bette Midler to keep people’s minds off voting you off, right? Well, it might have worked, because even Kathy cried after Ann was eliminated, although we don’t know if the tears were for the sadness of seeing Ann go, or happiness knowing she doesn’t have to wait for any more impromptu operas or musicals to break out during the show.
When Kathy started naming the people on her list, the final spot was between old rivals Latricia and Yvette. Latricia was there mostly for show, as Kathy tried to create tension by saying the two of them were responsible for their team’s lack of cohesiveness and teamwork. She was partly correct in naming Latricia, who would rather let Yvette die than help her win, but Yvette’s complete lack of concern during the challenge coupled with her storm of lies to backstab her teammates and save herself made Kathy’s choice very easy. Our saucy British tart with the short skirts is gone, and next week, we get to see Latricia on the runway. And who can complain about either of those?
What did you think? Did Kathy make the right choice? How funny was it when people were looking for how to get to Times Square while standing in Times Square? Will Madison ever win?