We began last week’s show with a stage full of pink-clad, smiling young hopefuls ready to dance and sing their way into our hearts and prove that they could be the next Elle Woods on Broadway.
Oh how they danced! And sang! For hours on end. Until, mercifully, the judges sent a whole mess of them home and we ended up with 10 exhausted, emotional wrecks who would be the finalists.
In this week’s episode, the judges ask the question, “But, can they act?” Short answer: No. Long answer: No, but that’s never stopped anyone before.
But before they get into all that, it’s time to show the ladies their new home.
“IT’S FABULOUS, BUT A LITTLE SMALL”
“CALM DOWN, WE’RE STILL IN THE ELEVATOR”
As the girls ran into their overwhelmingly pink new apartment, they squealed with delight. Maybe squealed isn’t even the right word for the noise coming out of this group. How can I explain this to those of you who didn’t watch the show?
Ok, you know when you accidentally step on a dog’s tail when it sneaks up behind you? And then it lets out this horrible yelping sound? Now picture that you’ve just done that to the smallest dog in the world. Now picture that instead of one dog, it’s 10. And instead of a generic yelp sound, the dogs are saying “Ohmygod!” Now turn up the volume and add some exaggerated gasps.
That’s the noise.
And it’s all because of this place:
TO AVOID RETINAL DAMAGE, DO NOT LOOK AT THIS PHOTO FOR MORE THAN 10 SECONDS
Casio remarks how the apartment “seemed really personal to each of our tastes.” Don’t know what that means. It all looks just…pink.
After the initial running-wildly-around-the-apartment portion of the evening, the girls pour some drinks and make a toast to themselves and how great everything is working out for them.
COME TO MOMMA
Before you go getting all worked up that MTV has provided this mostly under-aged cast with booze, rest assured that this fizzy beverage is nothing more than sparkling cider. A point made clear when one of the girls – can’t tell who exactly- asks “Is this non-alcoholic?” and Emma responds that yes, in fact, it is.
Now here’s where I wonder what goodey two shoes is asking if it’s non-alcoholic. Call me a drunk (go ahead, really, I don’t mind), but what 19 year old isn’t into free booze?
I bet it’s southern belle Bailey who, without a segue, tells us all “My dad is a pastor back home in South Carolina. And I absolutely love it.”
HIGH ON LIFE, Y’ALL!
Man is this chick getting annoying. Fast.
Well anyway, the girls giggle away well into the night as they unpack and hold up various picture frames and throw pillows, screaming, “Isn’t this the cutest?!”
This is really fun and all, but gosh, I just can’t help feeling like someone is missing.
Hmmm. Who could it be? Who…could…it…be?
Oh right. It’s Duff! The worst mentor ever. Hanging out in her Haylair, modeling dresses with odd color combos and reading advice off her teleprompter. She lets us know that even though it’s all fun and games for the contestants tonight, tomorrow they’re up for one doozy of an audition. “They are about to endure an audition no one on Broadway has ever been through.”
And to that last statement, I ask, Why? Why are they going through something that no other Broadway actor has been through? Just because it’s MTV they’re going to have to go through bizarre challenges that include water balloons and celebrity guests?
The next morning, as the ladies eat breakfast and fight over the bathroom, a pink piece of paper slides under their front door. “A call sheet!” yells Casio, who promptly runs over to it and begins reading aloud.
WELL THAT’S WEIRD. IT SAYS EVERYONE BUT CASSIE O. SHOULD GO SEE A MOVIE TODAY BECAUSE I’M–I MEAN, BECAUSE CASSIE O. IS CLEARLY THE BEST AND WE ONLY WANT HER TO COME TO REHEARSAL.
After the rest of the girls wrestle Casio to the ground, beat her to a pulp and then tear the call sheet from her trembling hands, they discover that they are to be at rehearsal at 10:30. Dress is comfortable and casual.
WE’RE HEEEERE! WOW IT’S SO WEIRD WE ALL SAID THAT IN UNISON. WOW AND THAT TOO. OH MY GOSH! AND THAT!
And look who decided to get off her stool and come hang out. Duff!
I’VE GOT SOMETHING AT 11.
Duff introduces the gals to Marc Bruni, their acting coach. Then she says, “Make me proud. I’ll check in on you later.” And she vanishes like a fart in the wind.
They are left alone with Marc. And he is not all sunshine and funny expressions and “hey girls!” like singing coach Seth.
THAT’S MARC WITH A C. “C” AS IN “CAN YOU GET THE EFF OUTTA MY FACE?”
Right away, the claws come out. “What did the call sheet say to wear today?”
“Casual and comfortable,” chimes the girl chorus.
“Right. Casual and comfortable. Does that include…THOSE HEELS?!” And with that he points to Bailey’s feet.
NOT JUST STUPID LOOKING, BUT ALSO POSSIBLY CAREER DESTROYING.
But don’t worry. Bailey brought a second pair of shoes just in case. Oh thank heavens!
With that outta the way, we better get to work, Marc. I have a feeling these girls are going to have a lot to learn. What shall we start with? Perhaps something by Tennessee Williams? Or maybe we’ll just cut to the chase and get to some Shakespeare? Or maybe Vagina Monologues is more appropriate. Give em each a Vaginalogue.
“We’ll start with tongue twisters,” he says. Good use of your time. “Repeat after me. I pluck mother pheasants. I am a mother pheasant plucker.”
Wait what? That’s awfully silly, Marc.
Oh wait. I see what you’re up to!
“I’m gonna say a bad word!” yells Bailey, covering her mouth. Yes, Bailey. Isn’t Marc Hi-larious?
Hey remember when we were in 5th grade and we all discovered the f word? And it was really funny and we all giggled a lot?
And then remember when we were grown ups?
Yeah, someone explain that to these girls please.
NOW I’M GOING TO HELL!
Ok, Marc. We better switch gears before they melt. What’s next on the ol’ shhhhedule?
“Now let’s learn how to read a scene.”
Yipes. Big step!
So they sit down with the actor who plays Emmett in the musical and go over a scene. And guess who ends up causing trouble? Bailey! We just can’t get enough of her.
“Ummm. Where are you from?” asks Marc.
“Yeah, we can tell. Make sure we don’t hear it.”
YOU WATCH YOUR MOUTH, MISTER, OR I WILL COME OVER THERE AND STRANGLE YOU WITH THE CONFEDERATE FLAG. YA HEAR?
After this warning, Bailey tones it down and her accent is almost totally unnoticeable. Which means…she doesn’t HAVE to talk with that obnoxious drawl all the time.
Later, Duff graces us all with her presence. “I hope everything went great.”
BUT DON’T TELL ME ABOUT IT BECAUSE I DON’T GIVE A CRAP.
Todays acting workshop was really a little competition, and Marc picks the winner based on whoever gave the strongest performance. The winner gets to spend the afternoon with Nikki Snelson.
WHO THE PHEASANT IS NIKKI SNELSON?
She plays Brooke Wyndam in the musical. And they’ll all be auditioning later with Nikki so whoever gets to hang out with her could potentially have a leg up in the competition. (Does anyone know what that expression means? No?)
And the winner is…Bailey! Is anyone else even on this show?
I AM TRULY BLESSED
And it’s all because she could mask her accent during the scene and this really impressed Marc. Bailey gets to pick one of the girls to come along with her. “Oh no. This is going to be tough.” Then in approximately half a second she picks Lindsey.
So the two blondes go off to meet Nikki in the Puma store, where she just happened to be riding an exercise bike and wearing a puma jacket.
PAID EXTRA FOR PRODUCT PLACEMENT. CA-CHING.
Nikki practices the audition scene with Bailey and Lindsey, including the song “Delta Nu Nu Nu.”
Meanwhile at the Pink House, the rest of the girls are having the most miserable sing-a-long ever.
COME ANY CLOSER AND I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL BURN YOUR NEW LEGALLY BLONDE HAT. AND THEN CLOSE THE LID TO THIS GRAND PIANO ON YOUR STUPID HEAD.
Bailey and Lindsey return home, shopping bags and iced coffees in hand, feeling like they are ready to tackle anything. But before the ladies audition tomorrow, they all gather round the big pink dining room table for dinner, where they have a chance to let out some of the emotions they’ve held inside.
Noticing Lauren, the youngest contestant, looking a little down, one of the girls tells her, “Aw. Don’t be a Pessimistic Peggy.”
OK WHATEVER, BAD NICKNAMER BERTHA.
Pessimistic Peggy…wasn’t that one of the Garbage Pail Kids? Anyway, why is little Lauren feeling so down? Well it’s because she is so close to being in a better place than she’s ever been in her life and she’s afraid of losing it. Laur, you’re what, 18? What other place could you have been physically or mentally than in your parents’ house? I mean, unless you were a teenage runaway who lived off the streets and made just enough money from prostitution and petty theft to support your addiction to crack. But you don’t strike me as that sort of individual.
Then morning comes and it’s time to audition!
The ladies are all a big ball of nerves, freaking out left and right about going home, losing their dreams, yaddi yadda. The best demonstration of sincere concern came from Natalie, who nearly caused the eruption of the blood vessels in her face with her attempt to cry in front of the camera about not wanting to be sent home already.
HOLD ON, I THINK WE GOT A TEAR. ARE WE STILL ROLLING?
But the girls’ trusty mentor, Duff, is waiting to great them at the theater and calm them down. “Good luck. Bye.”
AND IN ANOTHER FEW YEARS, YOU CAN BE JUST LIKE ME! WAIT, WHY ARE YOU CRYING?
After sending the contestants off to the dressing room, the judges conspire with Nikki and hatch a plot to really test the girls’ abilities. She will intentionally drop one of her lines, and see how each of the girls reacts. Will they act natural and keep moving forward? Will they panic and run screaming off the stage?
SOON THE ROLE OF ELLE WILL BE MINE ALL MINE!
Well, for the most part, each of them fell somewhere between the two extremes, staring wide-eyed at Nikki, willing her to say her next line.
BLINK BLINK. BLINK BLINK.
Celina did this weird hand move while waiting for Nikki’s dropped line. A sort of waving toward herself, “gimme gimme” movement that looked ridiculous. But when the judges questioned her about this, she told them, “That was me going ‘You can tell me. You can tell me. It’s ok.’”
Ah, now that’s some good improv, Celina. Maybe the judges noticed that too because they seemed pretty forgiving.
They judges were not so kind to Casio, who not only froze when Nikki dropped a line, but then messed up everything she said thereafter.
THE CAP SLEEVE. FRIEND TO NO ONE.
The judges commented, “I’m not seeing you as Elle Woods. There’s no personality, or brightness.” “I just didn’t feel an intensity.” “Mean what you say.”
BASICALLY, YOU SUCK.
And as the audition moved along, all of the girls who were already up got to watch from the wings as their fellow competitors crapped their pants after the dropped line.
So the judges deliberated and debated and came up with a list of 7 girls who would definitely stay, and 3 who they wanted to meet with to tell them how terrible they are. And of the bad 3, one would go home.
Duff lines all the gals up, and reads off their names one by one.
Until we get down to the bad 3: Cassie O., Cassie S., and Lindsey.
WHY GOD? WHY?
Now would be a good time for mentor Duff to say something inspiring to lift these girls’ spirits. “Don’t worry, even if you go home, you can still work for the career you wanted.” “Never give up on your dreams.”
Instead, Duff says “Exit stage right.”
That’s just cold.
The ladies head to the casting office, where the judges pick them apart and give them advice for how they can improve. Now here’s what I never get about these moments in elimination shows–why bother giving advice to all of them when clearly one of them is going home and can’t follow that advice anyway? Just get her out of the picture ASAP so you can focus on the two that still have potential.
So who’s the one who won’t get a chance to follow the judges advice to “elevate her performance to a level even higher than Laura Bell Bundy”?
It’s Cassie O. Damn it. I didn’t like her or anything and her consistently panicked face was growing tiresome, but she was the only girl I had a nickname for.
I KNEW I SHOULD’VE WORN PINK.
So goodbye, Casio. Every time I see a Casio Rapman keyboard (which is never) I will think of you.