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Man! I knew it. I knew there was going to be an episode of this show where the non-blondes dyed their hair blonde to finally, really really become Elle Woods. I had hoped it would happen earlier in the season, when there were 4 non-blondes. (Or even 5. Remember the sad sack Cassie O?). But instead we are down to just 2.
Still, this week was the first time Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search For Elle Woods provided anything visually stimulating.
Baby steps. Baby steps.Last week, Emma was sent home. This was quite shocking to the show’s viewers because she’d always been one of the strongest contestants and had wowed the judges the week before with her rendition of “Serious.” It was even more shocking to Emma, who’d thought she’d already won.
As we start off this week, the rest of the girls wait at the Pink House to find out who’s still with them and who’s been sent to walk the plank. (For those of you who don’t actually watch this show, no one really walks the plank. But wouldn’t that make for a much more interesting send-off?)
Rhiannon says she’ll be sad if Emma doesn’t walk through the door.
Bailey, the southern sweetheart who’s recently started to creep over to the dark side, instructs the girls to look excited no matter who walks through the door. “You can’t be like uh.”
So when almost-loser Autumn walks through the front door, they all do a terrible impression of “excited.”
Autumn comments that she understands everyone is sad to see Emma go. But why? She was so mean? I don’t understand.
Oh wait I get it now. They’re all being totally fake. Duh! Silly me.
Once Autumn settles in, she takes a seat on the giant powder poof in the living room to chat with the others. But she is not all good tidings and words of wisdom. Au contraire, she has a bone to pick with, of all people, Rhiannon.
Last week, during the audition process, Rhiannon kept repeating out loud “I will not go home today. I will not go home.” To Autumn, this sounded like she was banishing her fellow competitors. But Rhiannon explains that she was just reciting it like a mantra to cheer herself up.
And just when you think there’s finally going to be some serious drama. We cut away and Lauren says how everyone’s on edge. Well la di freaking da.
The next morning, a call sheet slides under the front door and all of the ladies gather around to see what the day will bring. This time, they’re going to the salon, which in the land of reality TV can only mean one thing: makeovers. And on this show in particular, can only mean dye jobs.
The 2 non-blondes flip the eff out about the prospect of going blonde, prompting this peculiar dance.
The sheer excitement also prompts Natalie to allow herself to be interviewed for a nationally airing program while looking like this.
Meanwhile, the 3 already blondes are left to be like, “Woo-hoo. A haircut.”
The ladies get ready and head over to the John Barrett salon, where Mr. Barrett and mentor Duff are waiting for them.
The team of stylists sets to work trimming and dying and fussing with the girls. Natalie just can’t shut up about going blonde. She yammers on and on about it, while “so over it” already-blondes Rhiannon and Bailey humor her a little. Bailey tells her that yes her IQ may go down just a little bit because she’ll be having so much fun that she’ll accidentally walk into a wall. That doesn’t really make sense, but ok.
Yet the jokes stop for Bailey once she sees the results of her own hair-do. To us, it may look exactly the same, but to her, she’s practically gone bald. She grabs the ends of her hair, now minus about a half inch, and sobs.
But who cares what Bailey thinks, because clearly this experience was all about Autumn and Natalie.
And Natalie, actually, looks fabulous. She should have gone blonde years ago!
While we’re on the topic of Natalie, I should acknowledge that nearly every week, my commenters note that Natalie is the daughter of Squiggy from Laverne and Shirley. The reason I haven’t mentioned this little factoid is partially because I don’t think I’ve ever seen Laverne and Shirley so I won’t know what I’m talking about. It’s also because I had only a vague recollection of what Squiggy looked like and I was afraid if I googled him I’d see what he looked like and he’d look identical to Natalie and then I’d really not be able to take her seriously. I was already having a hard enough time when judging her on her own merit.
But FINE. Now I’ve gone and looked him up and pretty much everything I predicted would happen has happened.
Aaaaanyway, let’s see the results of Autumn’s blonde transformation.
Oh well, it’ll grow out. Did John Barrett actually do that himself? It’s just…splotchy. It looks like what would happen if I tried to do Autumn’s hair myself.
But there’s no time to just stand in front of the salon mirrors admiring themselves all afternoon. The ladies have another workshop to get to!
They are sent to a studio where they discover Laura Bell Bundy, the current Elle Woods on Broadway, waiting for them. She is there to tell the girls about what it means to be Elle Woods. It means being forgiving and understanding. I don’t know if those were her exact adjectives but they were all good words, so you get the picture.
When Laura (Laura Bell?) explains what it’s meant for her to play Elle, she gets a little choked up, trying to express how it taught her to be more open. Now, she may be playing it off like she’s just overflowing with emotion, but really I think she is crying because she has to leave her role and give it to one of these talentless hacks sitting in front of her.
Does anyone know why Laura Bell is being replaced?
After she dishes out some information and tears for the girls, Laura Bell says, “Okay now I’m going to leave, and you’re all going to dress up exactly like me and get your pictures taken.”
So the girls put on their outfits and make love to the camera, Elle Woods style.
And then Bailey, who copied the exact pose on the current Legally Blonde poster, but the judges (a PR guy and the photographer) actually complimented her on her rip-off. What gives?
Newly blonde and ridiculous Natalie.
And kind-of-fading-away-a-little-bit-lately Rhiannon, who certainly isn’t going to get herself back into the spotlight with these tired poses.
After the cameras are put away, it’s time to decide who is the day’s best model. There are two finalists: Natalie, because she stood on top of some books, and Bailey, because she is a copy cat.
The winner is Natalie. But this time, the winner of the competition does not get to bring a guest along with her to the reward date. And today’s date is lunch with the understudy to Emmett’s character. Gee, Natalie, bet you’re glad you have him all to yourself.
While all of the other girls mock-congratulate Natalie on her victory, Autumn looks perturbed. In her interview later, she explains that it’s because Bailey was awarded honorable mention for her knock-off posing. Autumn, if you’re fighting over honorable mention, it looks to me like you’ve already accepted the fact that you’ll never win this thing.
Before sending the girls off into the night, Duff comes back to the studio to give them all their music for the next rehearsal. This time they’ll be singing the ballad “Legally Blonde,” a song in which Elle gives up on her new legal aspirations and decides to just return home. While watching the footage of this live performance, the ladies all start to cry. Oh the empathy!
I can’t even stand it. This episode is like nonstop waterworks. Autumn is bawling because the lyrics “Just let me be legally blonde” ring true to her and her desperate pleas to be cast as the show’s lead. Okay, this song isn’t about anything like what you’re going through, but whatever. Way to make it your own.
The following day, everyone wakes up feeling refreshed. After spending 45 minutes admiring her blonde locks, Natalie gets dressed for her big date with the understudy.
She meets him at an eerily empty restaurant called Chop Suey. I don’t know about you, but whenever I see a Chinese food place with no costumers, I get a little wary.
During this whole awkward little convo of theirs, it becomes clear that some hair dye must have seeped in through Natalie’s scalp and caused some brain damage because she’s gotten really weird. She kept tossing her hair back and forth, swaying her head like a horse resisting its bridle. She was giggling and sighing, shooting the understudy “come hither” stares and saying stupid things. The whole time practically resting her boobs on the table.
And then she actually stole Bailey’s joke from earlier in the episode! Bailey made a crack about blondes walking into walls and then here at lunch, when on her new favorite topic, Being Blonde, Natalie said she walked into a few walls on her way to the restaurant. I don’t wholly get which walls these are when she only goes from Pink House to taxi to restaurant, but that isn’t the point. Joke thief
After lunch, the ladies meet with Seth and Denis to rehearse the ballad for their next audition.
As they arrive and Seth sees their uniform blonde hair, he makes up a jolly little tune. “Do the curtains match the caaaarpet?”
So do the curtains match the carpet? You know, in the case of Natalie and Autumn, I really hope not or there was some funky stuff going on in that salon.
They run through the piece a few times together before breaking up and taking turns performing it for the coaches individually. And here come the water works yet again.
Autumn tears up and has a breakthrough realizing “I suck at auditions.” What a crappy breakthrough to have, eh folks?
Rhiannon is moved to tears because in her own life she’s been told her looks are the only reason she’s getting anywhere.
And then Natalie can barely finish her song because she is choking back sobs. But why?
“Now that…(sniff)…I’m blonde…I (snort)…just.” Stop right there, Nat. That’s enough about this blonde crapola. K?
I don’t care, missy. You better focus more on your singing and acting or you’re gonna be in trouble…(foreshadowing!)
Am I the only one who thought the end of “Legally Blonde” sounded kind of like “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid?
“Watch and you’ll see/Wish I could be/Part…of your…woooooorld.”
“That’s fine with me/Just let me be/ Legally…blonnnnde.”
“Back to the sun/back to the shore/back to what I was before.”
“Up where they walk/Up where they run/up where they play all day in the sun.”
Oh well, let’s get out of the sea and get back to this ever-so-important audition.
After disappointing the judges in the last two auditions, Autumn knows there’s a lot riding on this performance. Luckily, it’s all about the singing…the thing she knows she can do.
She hits the stage and puts on a great show, leaving the judges to applaud and comment, “You are one gifted girl.”
Well, as they say, “You go girl.”
Up next is Bailey. The judges feel her performance fell flat, and far short of their high expectations for her. When they tell her this, she is moved to tears, talking about how she seriously does get what Elle is going through.
Then we have Natalie. Before she takes the stage, she says “I came all the way from L.A. for this. That’s a long way to go to just go home.” What? No it’s not. I myself make that flight a few times a year and plenty of people do it way more than that. Have you ever heard of direct flights? Of a mere 5 hours of your time? Of drinking two glasses of wine at the airport bar before getting on your redeye, passing the eff out the minute you get on the plane and waking up in the NYC? Hellooooo.
I’ve gotten a bit off topic here, but that’s only because there is nothing to say about Natalie’s lame performance. The judges weren’t particularly impressed. Yes, even despite her new blonde hair.
Lauren, as usual, did a good job and the judges liked her. Yaddi yadda.
Last up was Rhiannon. And this time around, I gotta say, “Help me Rhonda, what has happened to you?” She was weird and squawky and just….yikes.
With auditions done, it’s time to pick who makes it through and who gets sent home. There are only 5 contestants and 3 of them are going to the casting office this week: Natalie, Bailey, and Rhiannon.
Before marching up to the office, Natalie makes one last plea. “If they don’t see me as Elle with the blonde hair, I don’t know what else I can do.”
Well, you can’t do anything.
Which is why you’re going home. Sorry!
But enjoy your new hair.