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We are back in DiddyLand! And Mr. Diddy himself welcomes us on board. Time for another riveting episode of Making the Band!
After last week’s Bitchassney antics, I was pretty sure that episode could never be topped. But this week had lots of drama, some pranks and even voice lessons by Gandhi. You can’t beat that.
The boys — who are still just being called “The Band!” Seriously get a name!!! — are in the studio practicing. The producer tells them to just sing the words “crazy love” without accenting the word “love.” Simple right? Well not so! The boys sing “crazy LOVE crazy LOVE.” The producers make them do it over and over but it’s still funky. Robert tells us that they only have five weeks to create the album, and they still don’t gel. Oh boys! I recognize this foreshadowing again. And all sources point to Diddy NOT being happy.
Yep, your music stinks THAT bad.
Meanwhile, DK is in yet another studio just knocking it out of the park. Dawn tells us that the best thing about being in the group this long is that they know the format. Ok, please. They’ve been together for two years, and one of those years was on a reality show. Yes, they went platinum, we know that. But two years! That is nothing in the music biz. They are but a toddler so far and still haven’t emerged past the “One Hit Wonder” status.
A limo pulls up and Diddy gimps into the studio, still on crutches. By the way, I googled around and tried to figure out why he’s on crutches and came up empty handed. I guess it shall remain a mystery — FOR NOW! Does anyone out there have access to hospital records? We need to crack this! I want to believe that while his servants were carrying him around on a chaise, feeding him grapes and fanning him with large palm leaves, he got dropped and broke his leg. Now those servants probably face a very real and certain death.
Diddy sits down in the studio with DK, Brill and The Band, and everyone looks bored as usual. Seriously, is it so hard to look alive? You are in the presence of Diddy and signed to a major label. Why do you always act so blaise?
First he listens to “Silly Love” by the boys. I’m no producer and I’m certainly not Diddy, but this track is just a hot mess. It’s all over the place and completely out of control. Brian tells us that he’s nervous because Diddy is always so straight-faced. And Robert (Mr. Bitchassness himself) is wearing the ugliest shirt ever. It reminds me of the “Billy Jean” music video when Michael Jackson stepped on different squares and they light up. Awesome for a video; nasty for a shirt.
Well Diddy hates it! He says they need to do the chorus over, the first verse better and do the bridge better too. He said they are stampeding over the beats instead of falling into a pocket. That is Diddy speak for: “It sucks, you bitchasses.”
Brillo’s song “I Don’t Care” is next and it’s not much better. In fact, I think maybe it’s worse. Everyone in the studio boredly bobs along as if they like it, but we know they don’t. Diddy said that Brillo is bowing down to Sony instead of making the song his.
Next up is DK and Diddy enjoys their song so much that he does the chicken head dance. Of course, we expect them to do well because, you know, they are veterans in the industry. They’ve had one whole song. Oh, and I don’t think I’ve adequately pointed it out yet, but Aubrey is rocking the band around her forehead again. This is becoming so common that it’s officially scaring me. She is also wearing more blush than ever in THE HISTORY OF TIME. Anyway, Diddy says that they are not too far off the finished product and that they really sound like a group. He hopes the boys can learn something from the girls.
Now Diddy plays a bit of a random track that is just an absolute mess. It’s a mix of really high synthetic notes, sirens and maybe a car honking? I wonder if this is a practical joke. He asks everyone if they like it, and they say they do, but I’m pretty sure they are just all shit scared to say otherwise. Diddy senses Aubrey’s lack of enthusiasm and questions again if she likes it. She phonily says that she likes it but doesn’t love it. Nice try. Now you must die. You must never disagree with the Diddy!
Diddy explains that there will be a competition. Both DK and The Band will write a song for that track. Mike explains that whoever wins the contest will get the song for their album. I think this is a contest that any sane person would want to lose! And why is Mike’s hat always perched precariously on top of his head? Either put the hat on or take it off! There are no in-betweens in hat wearing! It’s like when people wear upside-down, backwards visors! What is the point?!
Aubrey says that the boys are talented writers but ‘THEY AIN’T GOT NUTHIN ON DANITY KANE SO WHATEVA!” And she says it with a weird Long Island accent and finger to the wind. What is this? I think I recognize this illness. I just saw Britney Spears talking with a British accent the other day. This is familiar…what’s it called…what is it…OH! That’s Right! Bi-polar Disorder!!
The boys and girls (minus Brills) meet up with a couple producers back at the studio. Slam will be producing the boys, and Conrad Dimanche will work with the girls. They all celebrate and get excited. Q says they have a lot of good writers on their team, and so the girls can’t be better than them obviously. Right, Q, because Diddy has just loved everything you boys have done so far! Just loved it! Brian says that the girls shouldn’t take it seriously, it’s just business. All the girls laugh. D says that they came there to make their record — not battle with the boys — but if they have to, then they’ll just…win.
Because the track has these heinous siren noises in it, the girls decide to write a song about “The Chase.” It’s a fliratious, catch-me-if-you-can song. Meanwhile, the boys are writing an equally heinous song called “Danger,” about a girl that you want but is too hot. So hot that she will burn your ass. Let’s make one thing clear: The boys think this song is AWESOME! Worthy of a Grammy even. The producer, Slam, cautiously asks them what the first note is. All the boys speak at once, so I have no idea what they said, and I’m sure that Slam was just as confused. This is not a good sign.
Dawn then tells us it should be no contest because it’s rookies vs. veterans.
Ok, we need to take a little time out right now. I need to write a little note for the ladies of Danity Kane.
Dear Danity Kane Ladies,
You are not veterans of the music business. I know you feel good about yourselves compared to the boys, but so do most people with half a brain and a decent voice. We understand that your album went Platinum. We know this. But need we remind you that Kenny G also went Platinum? Twelve times???!!! You’re cool. We love you. But let’s bring it down a notch. Okay?
Love, Pretty Much Everybody
Over at the boys’ studio, Bitchassness Robert is actually giving Quanell tips on how to sing. Wow Q, I don’t know if I’d want to take advice for the group’s worst member. He says to start beneath the microphone really quietly and rise up, getting louder. Q looks off camera, maybe over to Conrad. I’m sure Conrad is shaking his head. Next Willie coaches Q on how to say the word “Girl” over and over again. Wow.
Then Q sings “Girl,” Willie completely screams, Mike screams, Willie screams again and Mike completely freaks the fuck out. Brian screams and Mike freaks out AGAIN. They must be pretty sure that this song rocks. I question their judgment. They listen to their song and dance around to it. Mike does a really scary dance, and Q tells us that their song should win because it has so much energy. Screaming, off-key, directly into a microphone isn’t energy. It’s abuse.
Q sneaks across the hall in attempt to spy on the girls, so Aubrey — in a completely red outfit, mind you — sneaks over to get a preview of the boys’ song. Willie tries to kick her out, but she says, “I feel like when y’all sell PLATINUM ALBUMS, then you can tell us what to do.” She then says that they shouldn’t talk up their song too much because it might make them feel stupid. And this next part actually happened, I swear I did not make it up: “Because we’re just Danity Kane. We’re just humble and we ride the cut.” Ahem. Humble? Really, Danity Kane? Humble? (Please refer to above letter.)
Dawn says that they look at the boys like little kittens. She says “go do what you do; and we’ll bring home the bacon.” So this is what humble looks like? Again. Please see above letter. Mike says it doesn’t matter because they’re not going to lose.
Later that night, all the boys are sleeping. Well. All the boys except for Q and Robert. Because they can’t sleep, they want to play a prank on the rest of the boys. They pour some sort of unidentified white, powdery substance — baby power, flour, cocaine? — all over their sleeping bandmates. And, I mean, all over them. All over their sheets, heads, bodies, pillows. It’s a very thorough powdering.
They even put toothpaste on Mike’s arm and tie Willie’s sheets to the nightstand, so that when he throws his sheets off, the table should fall over. Mike unexpectedly wakes up, so Robert quietly runs down the hall and Q hides in the closet. Q puts powder lightly on his comforter, so it looks like he was played too.
Just then Brillo gets home. Maybe getting home from a late night with our favorite Orangey friend? He is wearing a completely grey sweatsuit that reminds me of what all boys wear in second grade gym class. He sees Mike sleeping in the living room on a couch. Apparently, to escape the powder, he took his toothpaste-covered self to the couch instead of the shower. Brillo’s brain is working over time to try to figure out what happened. He immediately thinks it’s Q, but then goes back to the living room where he can adequately laugh at Mike. He asks Mike who did it because he’d have guessed Q, except that it’s on Q. Mike doesn’t buy it. “Q did it.”
So Mike takes the kitchen wastebasket and fills it with water. (Remind me never to do anything mean to this guy. HIs revenge is brutal.) Totally covered in powder, Mike takes a gallon jug of milk and pours it all over Robert, who freaks out and punches the jug. And then pours the trash can full of garbage water on Q. In all the commotion, Willie sits up and the nightstand tips over. I have honestly never laughed so loud as when Mike expressionlessly pour water all over Q and then sauntered back to bed. Even when these boys are exercising hijinks, they still look bored!
The next morning, all the girls and boys meet up in the studio, ready for Diddy’s decision on who one the “Battle Track.” Brillo is still there even though he’s not involved. Both songs are played and both groups think they’ve won. I’m not a big fan of either song, but I’ve never really enjoyed police sirens as music. They remind me too much of all that time I spent in the clink back in the day. Orangbrey brags that she caught a lot of boys singing their track.
The door opens and it is not Diddy. But, you know, maybe he was having another mysterious surgery and couldn’t make it or something. Nope! It’s that they all suck! Conrad sits down and asks them all what they think of their tracks. Of course they all think they were genius. Conrad explains that Dids didn’t like either track. Apparently he hated the songs so much that he couldn’t even be bothered with going down there to say so. That’s pretty bad. I wonder what word he’d make up for these songs if he was there? Horribleshitness? Awfulpukebarfness? Goddamnshitfuckpissness? Oh I want to know! Conrad said the tracks were average at best. The words and concepts just weren’t the ingredients for a smash hit. Conrad said he didn’t know what they’d do with that song; maybe have someone else rewrite it. Burn!
Q says he feels stupid that they ever thought the song was good. Uhh. Yeah you do! Conrad asks the girls to leave and keeps the boys behind. This is such the trend, is it not? Poor boys. Robert says he hopes that Conrad is going to announce that the boys won after Danity Kane leaves. Robert have you not learned? The last time you had to stay late was when Diddy pointed out your bitchassness!
Conrad tells the boys that Diddy isn’t happy with ANY of the songs the boys are working on, and they are just not ready to record an album. All recording will stop and they will go to extensive vocal training. Diddy will check in on their development and determine when they are ready to get back to work. And then Conrad adds, “I’m going to pray for you all…cuz this is serious.” Whoa! Conrad is talking like they are going to battle where they might die or something. Maybe they’ll have to face up against BATTLE ROY!
After the commercial break, Diddy tells us that he kicked the group out of the studio because they were not emotionally connected to the music.
From meeting with Conrad, the boys head straight to voice lessons where they meet a man who looks JUST like Gandhi. Seriously, it’s uncanny. He’s even wearing the Indian-style tunic and everything. Wow. This man is named Ankh Ra, and he was their vocal coach during all last season. But I don’t care what his name is. He is the mirror image of Gandhi, and I cannot get over it.
Gandhi listens to the tracks, and you can tell he is not pleased. First he listens to a few seconds of Brillo’s and actually yells “OKAY OKAY!” to get someone to turn it off. His ears are practically bleeding. Gandhi asks Brillo what the story is behind the song, and Brillo just looks terrified. He can’t even respond.
Next he plays The Band’s “Silly Love,” and says it sounds like they are competing and not working as a group. Ooo! There’s a word for that! I think it’s called “Bitchassness!” Gandhi points out that none of the guys seem happy to be in the group. Thank you! I think it’s so odd that the boys seem completely bored and underwhelmed at ALL times. How can they show emotions in their songs when the only emotion they seem to experience is bored?
Back across town, D. Woods is having a “DK Moment.” Apparently it is DK’s second birthday. D tells a little history about the group, and we enjoy a little nostalgia from when the members were first chosen. D pulls out a little birthday card as orchestra music swells in the background, trying to create a dramatic moment. They have a little group hug, and then Dawn brings in a birthday cake. They all put on hats and take pictures. It’s SO cheesy and I want to hate on it. Except that I have a group of really cheesy girlfriends too, and I can totally see us throwing a group birthday party. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it’s true. But still, Danity Kane is two. TWO. Two years as a group is nothing. And surely doesn’t warrant the label “veterans.” And what is that cake made out of? It’s so hard that they can’t cut it, and someone remarks that it tastes like cardboard. Ick. You’d think with all that money from a PLATINUM ALBUM, you could afford a better cake.
They share a little Hallmark moment as Aubrey says that she is thankful that she has four sisters in the other girls. Awww! (Whatever.)
While the girls are eating cake, the boys are working on vocals. Brillo tells us that they’ve been with Gandhi for about 11 hours! ELEVEN HOURS!!!!!!! And the worst part is that you really can’t even tell. They are all dancing around the room with no cohesion. It looks and sounds like a giant mess. Now Gandhi is the one who looks bored. He asks how they are feeling, and no one really answers the question. Finally Gandhi utters the best sentence of the entire series so far: “I didn’t ask how you sound; we KNOW it sounds bad. How are you feeling?” BAM! They all pretend to feel fine, but Gandhi sees right through that. “You all are playin’. And we don’t have no time to play.” The boys take it again from the top. Again, it looks and sounds like a mess. According to Gandhi, “This looks horrendous.” Gandhi rocks.
The next day, they all get on a bus to go to Philadelphia where they will be performing for the Boys and Girls Club. Shannon says that it’s very important to DK because they like to contribute to charities. Yeah, I could tell. It was some serious charity work when D pretended to like Robert that first night. Bitchassness. But I don’t know if making the ears of underprivileged children BLEED counts as anything more than torture.
They’ll be performing in the Wachovia Stadium where the 76ers play.
DK, The Band and Brillo play around with all the kids, sign autographs and take pictures with the kids. Some of these kids look kinda, um, old though. Mike tells us that he was in the Boys and Girls Club when he was younger, so he’s glad they can be there to give back. The boys say that they need to kill the performance so that Diddy doesn’t rethink his decision.
Sound check is running behind, which is making the boys nervous. Aubrey said that “as an established group” they are “used to these things happening.” Okay, you’ve been on ONE TOUR. Just saying. Brillo says that they’ve never worn ear pieces before, so they need a good sound check so they can know how to listen. Hmm. Something is wrong with Brillo’s keyboard. It’s not plugged in right, and he can’t hear it back in his earpiece. Mike says that everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong with the sound check. Yeah, it’s called Murphy’s Law. Don’t mess with Murphy. Bitch.
Now we’re at the arena. It’s minutes from show time. And the place is packed! Well, moderately packed. Ok, not packed at all. Everyone is in the dressing room, and Q says that he’s so nervous that he’s shaking. They’ve never performed together before and the soundcheck didn’t go so great. But Brillo looks like he’s doing well, getting his big Brillo trimmed. Couldn’t he have done this earlier? And not wait until, like, RIGHT before the show?
And then Michael Bivins from Bel, Biv, DeVoe walks in! What?! Apparently, he does artist development now. Shut UP! Last time I saw this guy, he was doing the New Jack Swing! The best part is that while Biv is talking to them, Willie is just flat-out sleeping in the dressing room. I want to believe that he’s praying or meditating, but I fear for the worst.
Ankh tells them that it’s usually normal not to get a full sound check. Aubrey chimes in saying that they spent a full tour with usually no music in their ears, and they were fine. Um, that’s because you were lip synching, Aubrey.
Biv goes out and introduces Danity Kane. They run out on the floor and sing some song I’ve never heard of. And then they perform “Show Stoppin’.” They kind of writhe around on the floor for awhile and do child inappropriate dance moves. At the end of “Show Stoppin’,” they literally just kind of rhythmically hump all over the place. It looks very violent. And then Dawn brings out a tiny boy on the dance floor to hump along.
After getting the crowd fired up, the girls scamper away, and Biv introduces a freshly-shorn Brillo. Brillo sings a verse or two, and The Band slowly creeps up behind him, singing back-up. Girls cheer. Brillo leaves the stage, and then The Band sings the SAME song except a peppy version. Meanwhile, some large girl is passionately singing along in the front row. Really? She knows this song? I have to give it to them. They did all right. You know, if you like that sort of thing.
The show is over, and they’re all mingling with the audience. A girl runs up to Brillo and says, “Oh my God, you don’t know how bad I love you!” Oh, girl, you’re not the only one. There’s a line forming for the Brillohead! You’ll have to get behind his girlfriend, Aubrey, and….Ok, well, it’s a short line.
Back on the tour bus, the girls compliment the boys. Aundrea says that it just comes down to hyping up the crowd. Pearls of wisdom from an old sage in the industry. A veteran, if you will. Robert hopes that Diddy will see the performance and think the boys are ready to work again.
Then Aubrey just completely flashes us as she throws her legs over Brillo. She smiles and looks directly into the camera. Gross. Q and Dawn cuddle up and fall asleep. All is right with the world.
Next week’s preview looks awesome! Looks like we will finally get that Brillo/Girlfriend/Aubrey confrontation that we’ve all been waiting for! I can’t wait! I love the shows about their relationships better than the ones where their actually working. Are you guys as pumped as me!?