Everyone’s in the Chenbot spirit!
We weren’t planning on covering Making The Band 3 this summer, but we’ve received so many emails and comments about it, that we thought we’d polish off the old Tivo and take a looksie. I kind of wish I were Diddy right now so that I could sit on a couch and yell things like “Hey TVgasm, are y’all ready for the Making The Band Recaps???? ‘Cause it’s gonna go DOWN TONIGHT!!!” Sadly, that might very well be the most exciting part of this entire post. I will now try to humbly fill EdHill’s MTB shoes and relive all the laughter, tears, and melismas that only Aubrey, Aundrea, Dawn, Shannon, and (suppressing laughter) D. Woods can provide.Since last night’s show was actually the third of the season, let me catch y’all up to date with what’s happened so far. Basically, Diddy whittled his cast of skanks and ho’s down to five lucky ladies who would soon become a girl band of some sort. The divas-in-training were the girls I mentioned before: Aubrey, Aundrea, Dawn, Shannon, and D. Woods (né Wanita — yes, spelled like that). Apparently Wanita likes to go as D. Woods when she’s performing as an artiste. Why? I don’t know. It’s a D. Mystery. All I gotta say is that Diddy made a D. Mistake when he D. Overlooked my favorite girl, Taquita. D. Nied!
Anyway, in the first episode of the season, the girls went home to visit friends and family, and then they hit the road, traveling down to New Orleans where they all got to see what was left of Dawn’s neighborhood. Later, they dressed up in old-fashioned prison stripes and gave beads away at Mardi Gras. Oh, and Aubrey got really drunk at all these bars, causing the ever-mousy Aundrea to reel with giggly shock. In episode two, the girls met up with their old vocal coach — you know, the guy who looks like Rowlf from The Muppets — and of course, they trained with the Eva Braun of dance: Laurie Ann Gibson. A few BOOM CAT, BOOM CAT CATs later, the girls went off to sing at the NBA All-Star game — or so I assume. I never actually finished watching the episode. I know — not very diligent of me. But based on previous experiences, I’ll predict that the rest of the episode featured Diddy shouting from his couch, Laurie locking the girls in a cage with a rabid possum, and the screen flashing any time anyone finished a complete sentence.
This week’s episode opened up with the girls in New York City where they’d be living for the duration of the season. “I love New York!” Diddy suddenly proclaimed, adding, “New York gave birf to me!” Incidentally, New York also gave barf to Diddy too, but that’s a whole other story. Anyway, Diddy was all excited to be working with the girls. They would be his masterpiece — you know, like his other great contributions to pop culture: Dream and Da Band.
“These girls like a big, big, big clump of clay, and my name is Leonardo Da Vinci,” Diddy then announced. He then retracted the statement as soon as he realized he couldn’t actually sample any of Da Vinci’s works. So much for “Mo’ Vitruvian Man, Mo’ Problems.”
We then caught up with the ladies as they entered their new digs in trendy Soho, NY. Gone were those flimsy bunk beds (actually, those disappeared last season too). Now the pad had been officially America’s Next Top Model-ized with big, glossy photos of each girl hanging over their beds.
“If I forget where my bed is, I just have to look. Oh, that’s my bed. That’s my face!” D. Woods said D. Happily. Of course, I was left wondering — who forgets where their bed is? And when it happens, does D. Woods blame it on her inner Wanita — or is it the other way around?
Anyway, we then watched the girls run around the apartment, gawking at their new wardrobes and whatnot. After enough general frolicking, a light twinkle echoed through the apartment. Turns out it was Diddy checking in on iChat. Yes, nothing says pimpin’ like the sound of Tinkerbell announcing your presence.
Nevertheless, the girls all gathered around the iChat webcam, and I half expected them to coo, “Good morning, Charlie!” Instead, they sat there as Diddy interrogated them about a variety of topics. First up: Aubrey had dyed her hair brown, causing Diddy to comment, “You look like you got a wig on, just to be honest. You look like you got a bootleg wig on.” He then needled everyone about their boyfriends, pretty much calling them all rats who probably wouldn’t be able to handle the girls’ newfound fame. Diddy relented slightly with Shannon because she was actually married to a guy in Costa Mesa, California, but he compensated for this fleeting friendliness by attacking Aundrea’s man, who happened to be a music producer. “You know he’s definitely a rat, right?” he asked. Look, Diddy, just because Aundrea looks like a long lost character from The Secret of NIMH doesn’t mean you can accuse everyone in her life of looking like a small rodent.
Speaking of little critters, that night, as the girls were all getting ready to sleep under their giant faces, a blood-curdling scream was heard throughout the apartment. It turns out that Aundrea’s boyfriend was hiding in her closet. Oh wait, I’m sorry. It wasn’t her boyfriend. It was a mouse. Yes, there was a mouse in the house! Oooh, I was rhyming there for a second — or as I like to call it, my freestyle. Watch out D. Woods. Here comes my flava.
Anyway, nothing can stir up excitement like a mouse on the loose, and I feel like D. Woods summed up the experience best when she exclaimed, “Fievel is in the house!” Wow. Nice American Tail reference. I never thought Fievel Mousekewitz would ever make his way onto Making the Band 3, but then again, never underestimate the power of a Jewish, anthropomorphic character representing the turn of the century immigrant experience. Speaking of which, am I the only one who’d like to see the girls sing “There Are No Cats In America”? Or perhaps, “There Are No Boom Cats In America.”
Well, the girls all peeked into the closet to check out Fievel, and even though MTV zoomed in and highlighted the little creature, I couldn’t see a damn thing. I wasn’t sure if I was looking at a mouse or a cotton ball. And believe me, I studied the image rigorously. Ultimately, the girls screamed and writhed with fear a little more, leading Aundrea to groan , “I hate mice.” Yes, her self-loathing was staggering.
The next day, with memories of wild mice (that weren’t named Aundrea) still fresh in their minds, the girls headed to rehearsal and discovered that Betty Wright was coming in to help their voices. This was very exciting for me because I had been crossing my fingers all day for some Betty Wright cameo on MTV (personally, I was expecting her to show up on Fast, Inc.. Just goes to show what I know). For those of you who are unfamiliar with the work of Betty Wright (like me), Diddy told us that she was an awesome superwoman/legend in music. Plus, she rocked a pretty sweet purple hat. I mean, it wasn’t Cicely Tyson Legend’s Ball quality, but it was pretty sweet. I will say, however, that as cool as it was to have Betty Wright along for the ride, I couldn’t help feeling how much more entertaining it would be if Betty White was helping out too. Just thinking out loud.
“I will be at the next Legend’s Ball. Mark my word.”
Anyway, Betty Wright — or B. Wri, as I call her — had the girls all sing “Baby baby baby baby baby,” which was fun, but not nearly as addictive as last season’s “Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, uh aaaoowww.” Little known fact — six months later and that ditty is STILL stuck in my head. Well, just when the girls were gettin’ their “baby’s” down, Diddy suddenly entered the room and inspired widespread inhibition. The girls instantly began to suck, especially Shannon, who seemed to have left her singing talents back in scenic Costa Mesa. Diddy bashed her particularly harshly, saying, “Shannon, you need more work than anybody.” And with that, the screen FLASHED with emphasis — just in case we didn’t hear him the first time. Yes, this is a show that’s not afraid to telegraph the simplest moment. Diddy then told Shannon that she sounded “real shaky-bakey,” which had me wondering if perhaps she’d covered herself in bread crumbs and was planning to cook in an oven, but alas, all he meant was that she kind of sounded crappy. This led Shannon to wonder why she couldn’t take her singing to the next level. She was so frustrated she let out a meek “gosh darnit!”, causing Diddy to remark, “You say ‘Gosh Darnit’ comfortably. I felt like I knew you. I felt like I was in your house when you say ‘Gosh Darnit’ … ’cause that was you.” Hey Diddy, wait until you hear her say, “Oh shucks!” It will blow your mind!!!
After the commercial break, we then returned to the saga of the mouse, who had now travelled from Aundrea’s closet to a cupboard in the kitchen. “He was just chillin’ like ‘Hey, what’s up? Could you pass me the peanut butter?’” one of the girls explained. I’m not sure the mouse was hanging out, waiting for some Jiffy charity, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he were hiding from Betty Wright, lest she make him join the girls and sing “Baby baby baby baby baby” for hours on end.
Well, this mouse was amusing and all, but Aubrey had had enough. She was going to take care of things. Next thing we knew, she had a giant knife in her hand, and she was ready to pounce. Yes, somehow this turned into some hybrid of Mousehunt and Halloween. Personally, I thought the knife was a bit excessive, bordering on disturbing, but I could tell Aubrey was not about to let go. She was sort of like Michael Myers and the mouse was Jamie Lee Curtis. This could only lead to a disturbing wire hanger scene.
Insert shrieking violins here.
As we readied for what promised to be the bloodiest rodent elimination in reality show history, Aubrey opened the cupboard and then… pandemonium! The camera jiggled and shaked, glass broke, and in all the chaos, the mouse got away. Blast! Dawn then announced that it was time to take desperate measures (as if brandishing a chef’s knife wasn’t desperate enough). The girls were calling in an exterminator. Dunh dunh DUNH! Apparently the entire concept of a “mouse trap” was a bit too complicated for them.
Later, the girls headed back to vocal lessons where they had graduated from saying “Baby” and were now testing the waters with “Oh… oh… oh…” Just like before, Shannon could not get her act together, and she wound up hitting some crazy awful notes — the kind I only expect from a singing waiter in Vegas. She explained to us that she was feeling tense because she’s a perfectionist. She was focusing so hard on being perfect that she was actually undermining her singing instead. Also undermining her singing: not being able to sing.
We then cut to a snowy afternoon in Soho as Shannon dialed up her hubby and asked for advice. He told her to focus on the words and really try to feel and connect with the song. Easy for him to say. Too bad he didn’t realize that the lyrics were “Boom. Cat. Boom Cat Cat.”
While Shannon tried to connect with her inner Britney, the exterminators showed up, ready to send Fievel to the big sweatshop in the sky. What they didn’t realize was that the ladies of the house were feeling incredibly horny — being in the presence of rodents will do that — and for a moment, the entire scene threatened to turn into a classic porno. Dawn and Aubrey were immediately in love with the exterminators, and conveniently, Aubrey approached the two examples of alleged man-meat wearing her skimpy hot pants. For sure I had sat on the remote and switched on Skinemax, especially when the girls mind-numbingly asked how the exterminators could tell if a mouse was a boy or a girl.
“A male mouse has what we call scrotums,” the guy said. Surely, I expected him to followed up with, “Here, let me show you what one looks like.” But no, that never happened. By the way, big ups to the girls for genitalia awareness.
“Mr. Exterminator, I think there’s a mouse in my hot pants. Will you help me get them off?”
Anyway, that night, the girls continued to sing — or try to sing — and once again, Diddy showed up. It’s kind of funny when he appears because they always act as if Stalin has walked in the room. Shouldn’t they not be surprised at this point? Well, I could understand why they didn’t like him around because the first thing he started to do was yell, “Booo!!! Boooo!!! Booo!!!” Actually, that was me, but then Diddy started to do it too. He then scolded the ladies, asking, “What-ch y’all been doin’ these past couple of months? Been walking around signing motherfucking autographs?” Actually, yes. That’s exactly what they’ve been doing, you know, when they haven’t been spreading their legs for the occasional exterminator.
Diddy then brought the girls into a recording studio so they could hear how terrible they sounded, and because apparently this was a big deal, we cut to commercial. When we returned, the girls were already up there and singing craptastically like usual. Diddy was so not happy. He HATED them. He was going to literally punch them all in the face.
Well, the girls then listened to their singing in playback, and I don’t know what it was, but for some reason, the recording took them from really bad to atrocious. I mean, they were awful. Are we supposed to want to buy CDs from this group (if it ever makes it out of the studio, that is)? Diddy then had the girls sing the refrain “I need you forever! I want you forever! I love you forever!” over and over again, and guess who sucked the most? That’s right. Ms. Costa Mesa herself, Shannon.
“I don’t believe you, Shannon!” Diddy yelled. C’mon Shannon. All he wants is a “Gosh darnit.” He gets off on that!
Apparently, the problem was that Shannon wasn’t connecting with the lyric “I love you forever.” Let’s just hope her husband isn’t watching. Kind of a bad sign. Nevertheless, Diddy was determined to force an emotional epiphany with Shannon, and so he continued to rail her with metaphors, this time saying, “You not going keep us from the championship!”
Well, if there’s anything that can motivate Shannon, it’s talk of championships. She finally confessed that when she thinks of true love, it makes her cry, and she didn’t want to cry because it messed up her singing voice. That was okay though because Diddy wanted her to bawl her eyes out. But would she do it?
And a one, two, three, four!
“I love you forever!” the girls sang again… over and over again. But this time, it looked like Shannon really was emotionally connecting. Her lip began to quiver, her chin curled up, and look! There was a tear! Breakthrough! Granted, it all sounded the same to me, but at least Shannon was finally putting some heart into the music. Afterwards, Diddy pointed to his bare arm and asked, “You see this right here? Right here, it’s called goose bumps.” Well, I’m glad he has them because I wasn’t totally feeling it.
Nevertheless, it was a nice moment, and to commemorate this milestone occasion, Diddy then said, “I’m going to deal with a prick. Good work, y’all.” Ah, such a majestic presence. And with that, Diddy turned and left.
The rest of the girls, meanwhile, were now all crying too. Why? I don’t know. They’d probably say it was because they really felt the emotion too. I personally think they just wanted to be in the crying spotlight too. Mother Hen Betty Wright then gathered all her babies around and inspired them with a speech about how it takes water and sun to make things grow. Yes, the glories of photosynthesis. Well stated, Betty. Well stated.
And that was the end of the episode! Next week (i.e. tomorrow) it looks like Diddy’s sending Aubrey home. But if we know anything about this show, it’s either a) just a scare to motivate her, or b) just a temporary thing anyway. Let’s not forget when Diddy pretended to cut Aundrea last season. That was a good punk’ing.
What did you think about the episode? And what do you think about the season so far?