***Please welcome our newest recapper, Real Black Sheep!
On this weeks episode of taking the stage, we meet the new kids, re-unite with our old enemies, and learn that even MTV can’t rig high school talent shows!
Welcome to the season premier of the second season of Taking the Stage! For those of you who missed it last year, Taking the Stage follows a bunch of high school juniors/seniors at a well-known performing arts school in Cincinnati. Interestingly enough the show’s producer is Nick Lachey a man who: 1) is a saint for not beating Jessica Simpson to death with a can of tuna and 2) also attended School for Creative and Performing Arts.
The show begins by showing the newly accepted students leaving home for their first day of school. First up is Adam. He used to live in Bumfuck, Kentucky and has been homeschooled for close to his entire life. He interviews that he is nervous about going to school with other kids and learning about big city things like Evolution and Birth Control. He also mentions that his family has had to sacrifice a lot financially by moving to Cincinnati so that he can go to this school. Now, I’m not one to split hairs but as they show him leaving for school, he appears to have his own car to drive to school. Clearly times are hard.
The Car that Welfare Bought
Then there is Emily. At her old school every one knew that she had an eating disorder and now she is looking forward to starting again at a new school. She is cute kind of wide-eyed, like a deer in the headlights. I feel sad for her because I saw Bambi and I know how this will end. Hopefully she took out a good life insurance policy on her mother.
Next up is Anna. Anna is a ballerina and is nervous about difficulties she will face as a result of the foot long titanium rod she has in her back as the result of corrective surgery she had for scoliosis. As touching as this is, I can’t help but wonder if it would be possible for her pick to pick a worse career path. When I think of 12-inches of titanium some careers that come to mind are: paperweight, field goal, or maybe magnet tester. But I guess if MTV is unconcerned with the long-term health effects of dancing with a metal rod stuck in your back then neither am I. Anna is blonde and wears a lot of makeup and makes me think of a Barbie doll but her back reminds me of a robot so I will refer to her as Barbarella.
Barbarella 2.5: Now with Titanium Spinal Column!
Ian is the only rapper. He has a sweet face and dreadlocks whose tips appear to be dyed the same color as his mother’s hair. Wow, really?
I think his roots are showing
The other Emily wants us to know that she is really different from the stereotypical ballerina because she like doesn’t like to wear her hair in a bun. Ooo! You rebel! I imagine she probably spends a lot of time in her room, sticking her tongue out at the mirror, putting on black eyeliner and listening to Avril Lavigne
The Definition of a Rebel without a cause!
Then there is Carlton who is all-American looking and happy to go to SCPA because people at his old school used to “call me names and stuff for liking dance.” I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say that the ‘and stuff’ probably involved wedgies and being shoved into lockers. This school must not be in a great part of Cincinnati because Carlton is dressed like an extra from an Ice-T movie so I will call him Vanilla Ice.
Ice, Ice, Baby
Finally, there is Tyler. Last season Tyler was the resident heartthrob and general douche-bag extraordinaire. He won a lot of competitions, cheated on his girlfriend with Mia, a very poor man’s version of Michelle Branch, and was basically a huge dick-face. He says he’s ready to take over the school and tells his mini-me younger brother to call him ‘Senior Tyler.’ I’d rather call him Senioritis because he makes me want to forget he exists.
His Face is the the Only Strong Argument Against Funding Alzeheimer’s Research
After the credits Vanilla Ice and Bambi walk down the hallway noting that there schedules are screwed up already. Welcome to public school, kids. Vanilla Ice has attempted to display his street cred by wearing not one but TWO gold chains. By the way, if it were the first day how would they know if their schedules were messed up?
Next we see Adam and Bambi in choral together. Adam is almost late because he probably had trouble parking the brand new car his family bought with food stamps. He sits down next to Bambi and I am almost proud of him for resisting the urge to take out his trusty hunting riffle and shoot her on the spot. Their teacher is pretty much exactly what Kelly Cuttrone would be like if she taught high school.
Or had a soul.
For some reason she pronounces choral as ‘Corral’ and I am confused.
Meanwhile in ballet class the ballet teacher chides everyone for dancing off beat. Anna says that ballet at SCPA is hard but she doesn’t want ‘my limitation in my back to limit me.’ I just want her to learn the definition of limitation.
In urban dance class, we meet JC the teacher, who looks like Drake’s older brother. Unfortunately, Drake seems to have inherited all of the talent. They start the class with a hip-hop dance circle. Emily 2 dances in the circle first. She’s ok but Tyler thinks that she is very sexy.
And by sexy, he clearly means spastic
Vanilla Ice goes and looks like a tool. He is immediately followed by Tyler, who, unfortunately for Vanilla Ice is amazing. Tyler finishes his freestyle by literally climbing up the wall and flipping backwards and I almost feel my hatred towards him evaporate. Almost. After class Vanilla Ice asks Tyler if he can join his dance crew, which is as awkward and random as it sounds. It’s painful to watch and in true jerkwad form, Senioritis first says that the group isn’t having any auditions and then that ‘he doesn’t think so.’ He all but laughs in the clearly crestfallen Vanilla Ice’s face. Sad day.
Then there is lunch. Senioritis is talking to his friend who is wearing gigantic Where’s Waldo glasses.
Waldo is talking about all of the ‘crazy’ stretches he has to do in ballet, which he is taking for the first time, and that he thinks by the end of the year he will have a six pack. I think not. Senioritis clearly distracted by what must be a blinding glare from Waldo’s giant glasses says that he is excited to ‘dance’ with more females this year. Only I’m sure it’s not quite dancing he’s thinking. He mentions Barbarella and Emily 2 as being two hot new girls and then the boys turn around from where they are sitting and directly stare at the girls. But it’s cool and they totally aren’t obvious at all. Waldo says he wouldn’t mind taking either of them out, teaching them some moves. Yea, ok. That’s how it starts. First a few dance moves, then the next thing you know, pregnancy pact.
At another table, Vanilla Ice and Ian are discussing the upcoming talent show. Ian apparently has never been to or read about a talent show and is shocked to learn that you can rap at talent shows. One girl even points out that you can do whatever you want at a talent show and Ian’s mouth drops open in shock.
Senioritis, in an effort to avoid permanent vision damage from the solar panels masquerading as glasses on Waldo’s face, sits down at the same table as Emily and Barbarella. He again refers to the girls as ‘females’ and asks if they want to be in his special piece for the talent show, despite the fact that he has never seen Barbarella dance. In her infinite wisdom, Barbarella says that he needs some ‘female attraction’ for the piece and Senioritis pretends to know what she is talking about.
Bambi comes across Adam in the hallway tuning his guitar and he asks her if she wants to sing a duet with him for the talent show. Wtf. He doesn’t know what her voice sounds like! I understand that everyone at this school is probably pretty talented. But for all he knows she could have the vocal register of Barry White.
After the commercial, Senioritis meets up with the Poor Man’s Michelle Branch from last season. They’ve remained friends and she has spent the summer playing with her band. I see she also has gotten bangs thereby signifying her metamorphosis from a wee Wannabe to a washed up, Never Was.
Senioritis, the endless well of sensitivity that he is, wastes no time in telling Poor Man’s Michelle Branch (PMMB) that he has SUPER HOT girls dancing in his piece for the talent show this year. PMMB yells at him to get away from the dancers because his girlfriend that he cheated on with her last season was a dancer. She goes on to ask if he learned nothing last year? I’m not sure what he should have learned. The only lesson I saw was that sometimes dick faces like Senioritis cheat on their girlfriends and experience no consequences. Senioritis then mentions Vanilla Ice and PMMB accuses him of being threatened by another male dancer. Although threat isn’t exactly the first word that comes to mind with Vanilla Ice, Senioritis does deny feeling threatened a little bit too energetically.
Meanwhile back at school, which btw why isn’t Senioritis there, Vanilla Ice weeps to his new friend, Steve Urkel, about the immense pain he is in after having been denied admission to Senioritis’ dance crew (which apparently only consists of two people).
“ddDid I do that?”
Vanilla Ice can’t eat, he can’t sleep. The only thing he can do is watch old episodes of Dynasty and plan on starting his own dance crew to exact his revenge. Then Vanilla Ice whines about how difficult it is for him to be a white male because no one takes him seriously as a dancer in spite of the 100s of years of oppression he has faced. Ok, he didn’t actually say the last part but he clearly fancies himself the Rosa Parks of hip-hop dance. Impressively, Steve Urkel resists the urge to slap him across the face and simply says ‘well you got to step it up.’
Barbarella and Bambi are eating lunch at a picnic table and Barbarella interviews that Bambi is her bestest friend ever. Bambi feels the love and decides to let Barbarella about being hospitalized for her eating disorder. I inwardly cringe because I know that robots are notoriously bad at keeping secrets.
Indoors, Senioritis waits for Emily 2 by her locker and asks her if she is nervous about the talent show. She says that she is and given her freestyle dance earlier and the fact that we have yet to see them practice, I am inclined to think she has a lot of reason to be nervous. But Senioritis isn’t really interested in nerves and he invites her to go to a party with him after the show. He then asks her if she is a ‘party person’ which I assume is jackass’ speak for ‘are you easily able to identify the taste of roofies?’
Poor Man’s Michelle Branch is in her band’s house attempting to practice. The sound is terrible and her voice is completely unintelligible. She stops halfway through the song and her friend Albino Aaron, who was madly in love with her last season, asks if they can practice another song, maybe one written by someone else.
PMMB says no and I don’t feel sorry for him because he clearly knew what a bitch she was before he joined the band. Albino Aaron takes offense at which point PMMB says that she is the one that their audience comes to see and if he doesn’t like that he can stuff it. Albino Aaron claims that she has a big ego, which is true but irrelevant, and FMB storms off. They argue some more and then PMMB says if he has a problem he can start his own band. I kind of agree with her because I don’t think it will make a difference if one or two bands flop. Later, PMMB like many great musical artists, such as Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears, asks her dad’s advice about Albino’s role in the band. Michael Lohan or rather her dad tells her to kick his pasty ass to the curb.
Everyone knows Dads make the best managers, just ask Britney Spears/Lindsay Lohan
Then we get to Senioritis who is rehearsing with his group for the first time. They don’t appear to have a plan or any sort of order. The girls just awkwardly giggle. Barf. Ian apparently knows Senioritis from their old school and is also in the piece. Just as I am having trouble picturing how all this will come together, Ian treats everyone to an awful freestyle about how he likes girls. I have no idea how this will work, but I’m sure they’ll just have Senioritis in the front doing some flips to distract the audience from the shit show going on behind him.
Thankfully, Waldo wore his glasses to rehearsal
Meanwhile, SCPA’s very own Rosa Parks is rehearsing his dance piece for the show.
Vanilla Ice Dances His Way North to Freedom!
It’s pretty mediocre. Adam comes in and complains that he wants to drop Bambi from his act because, shocker, she can’t sign as well as he expected. Vanilla Ice stops singing “We Shall Overcome” long enough to tell Adam that Bambi will probably be crushed, which I definitely agree with. Adam pretends to feel bad for a moment but ultimately decides that it’s more important for him to look good. And that’s showbiz baby.
Poor Man’s Michelle Branch gives Albino Aaron the boot. She claims that the band has adversely affected their friendship though I certainly can’t imagine firing him from it will fill him with warm fuzzies. Albino Aaron points out that kicking him out of the band is not a very friendly thing to do. PMMB fake cries/interviews how difficult it was to fire Albino but I’m sure it couldn’t have been as difficult as it is for Aaron to go outside in full sun.
After the commercial break, Bambi and Adam are rehearsing together. Her voice actually sounds decent but not as good as his. Bambi suggests that she is so nervous it might be better if she weren’t in the show. Given his conversation with Vanilla Ice earlier, I expect Adam to jump at the opportunity to ditch her and to do the song solo. Yet, he seems to have grown a heart and tells her he wont let her quit. Adam interviews that he was really thinking about dumping Bambi but fell victim to her powers of sweet, cuteness. Aww.
It’s the day of the talent show and Poor Man’s Michelle Branch is warming up with the new, Albino-less band. Senioritis wanders in and asks where Aaron is. Now for someone who claims to have remained friends with PMMB, I think Senioritis knows surprisingly little about what is going on in her life. Guilt ridden FMB cries to Senioritis about how terrible she felt kicking her best friend into the bright, bright sunlight of day. Senioritis in true dickface form basically says screw it; you gotta do what you gotta do to get to the top.
Backstage at the talent show, Adam is berating Bambi to look at him while they are performing. Meanwhile Senioritis tells Emily 2 that she should do a kick that she didn’t practice in their routine. Brilliant. They go into the hall to practice the kick and somehow she miraculously injures her hip on the first kick. While this is happening onstage a girl with actual talent is singing an Alicia Key’s song and is awesome. Vanilla Ice’s group goes and the crowd is loving it probably because during the course of their routine they threw a bunch of money into the audience. As they come back stage, they pass Emily 2 sitting in the hallway exaggerating her hip pain so that she doesn’t have to go through the greater pain of looking like a fool in front of her entire school. Senioritis fakes concern for her injuries but is ultimately regretting his decision to put a girl, without say dance talent, in his piece.
Emily 2 pushes through the fake pain and the show goes on. They do pretty well but Senioritis and Waldo pretty much carry the whole thing with a lot of flips. Then Adam and Bambi go and I like their song but in all honesty he is clearly a much strong singer than she is.
It’s finally time to announce the winner of the talent show. Vanilla Ice thinks that it’s between him and Senioritis. I think he’s delusional. And the winner is….Bianca Graham(the Alicia Key’s girl)! Vanilla Ice is shocked. Senioritis, in a display of how NOT threatened by Ice he is says that he’s happy that they didn’t lose to Vanilla Ice’s group.
Poor Man’s Michelle Branch comes out after the talent show and performs sans Albino. As much as it physically pains me to admit it, she actually has a very nice voice. But her overall sound is a little generic. Over her Regina spektor/Ingrid Michelson/whoever -esque song we see all of our hapless losers packing up their instruments. Adam is fully wooed by Bambi’s charms and is really proud of her even though they lost. Bambi thinks that her and Adam have really good chemistry and I hope that in ten years from now they get together and have beautiful woodland creatures.