… And sweaty guys and squirts on shirts and bubble blowing and – you know what? Baseball is gay enough as it is, so no need to make it any gayer, Wes. What the hell am I talking about? In the latest episode of The Cut, Wes gave us his singular vision of what New York says to him: Hot guys with sweaty wieners and nice balls. And I say more power to him – it’s about damn time we move past the 9/11 iconography and into a new age of homoeroticism. Transit cops, grow those mustaches and lose those shirts! Times Square, be the Pink Triangle you truly are! Homeless bums, pig piles on Fridays! Broadway shows, stay just the way you are, sister! But I digress… The show was about more than just Wes’s gay fantasies as there were six others still competing for The Cut’s crown. And the show is definitely picking up steam – Chelsea bath house steam, perhaps, but steam nonetheless.
The episode opened at the SoHo loft where the gang was commiserating over Rob Walker-from-Brooklyn’s recent ejection. Chris, feeling guilty for selling his friend out, kept mindlessly repeating how much he loved Rob. Princess was bawling her eyes out. Um, people, isn’t this a competition? Didn’t Rob suck? Did you really think HALfiger would hire a guy who slopped fabric paint on t-shirts and shoes for a living? Get over it already. At least Wes did, stating, “I don’t care that people are getting booted. That’s one less person to worry about. I want to win and I’m about to get CRAZY!” Score one for the CBS foreshadowing department…Though I’ve been waiting for a night vision scene of a cockroach scampering across the counter, a la Survivor’s nighttime crab-on-beach cliché. Make it happen, CBS, make it happen.As always, the wooden HALfiger gathered the remaining lucky seven and bored them with a tale from his past. This week, they met at Empire State Park (actually, it’s called Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, but that doesn’t exactly fly off the tongue) and HALfiger explained how he made his mark with “iconic imagery.” Instead of the old stodgy models other designers were stuck on, HALfiger brought in some “young, hip, cool kids and let them have fun.” I don’t know what it was, but hearing someone as incredibly boring and robotic as HALfiger explain how he is a trendsetter was a little bit surreal. Anyway, before Liz and Princess were about to choose their teams, HALfiger told them they’d be working as individuals this week. You know, like every single other reality show does with 6 or 7 people remaining. Can this show do anything original?
The challenge for the week was actually pretty cool. One thing about this show is that CBS dumped a lot of money into it, as they’ve had some pretty elaborate challenges. It’s kind of sad to see, when you realize it was obvious the network had very high hopes for their Apprentice/Project Runway rip-off… And now it’s competing with the WB’s “What I Like About You” reruns on Friday nights. (And really, with that comedic powerhouse due of Amanda Bynes and Jennie Garth, how could you even hope to compete?) Strangely, the show seems to be getting better and better as it goes along – and this week was no exception. I’ve been enjoying The Cut recently – and that sort of scare me. Oh TVgasm, what have you done to me?! Anyway, the challenge this week was for each person to set out on their own to secure a fashion photographer and a Ford model to create their own bold iconic vision of New York City. With $2500 each to spend and two days to get their shots, HALfiger’s only command was for them to get a memorable photograph that has never been done before. My IronyMeter 2000 maxed out at that point, realizing that The Cut is the most derivative show… Ever.
Speaking of that, the show immediately became a mini-Amazing Race as the Magnificent Seven scurried across the snow to the seven waiting cabs. What made this scene fun was that the women were in heels and skirts and decidedly un-Amazing Race apparel. I silently prayed for Princess to slip and fall on her face (as happens every Amazing Race mad opening dash) but she didn’t. Damn. And I can’t even think of a clever way to work in the term “Ice Princess,” either. Oh well. They all got in their cabs and roared across town to the pre-determined photographer’s agency. Deanna, having watched TAR before, implored her driver to pass and cut off everyone else. Scared that he had an angry transvestite in his cab, the driver complied and she was first to arrive. This bit of cunning elicited surprise from Liz, who had thought she was first to arrive. I’ll let Deanna explain the shock on Liz’s face: “After she threw up in her mouth a little, Liz asked me, ‘How did you get here first when I had the first cab?’” Without skipping a beat, Deanna reasoned, “Because you’re a bitch.” I have no idea how that correlates, but I didn’t care – I loved it. I learned long ago that “Reality TV logic” is a little bit different from mine.
Each contestant secured his or her photographer and only the last to arrive – Shauna – appeared a bit disappointed. They all had already more or less formed their ideas in their little heads as to what their “iconic vision” was going to be. This surely helped them choose their models, which was the next order of the day. Ah, models… Me likey models. And for once, I was going to be treated to REAL models, signed by the Ford agency – not the wannabe models that infest every other reality show under the sun. As a big fan of Project Runway (which I’ll be happily recapping for TVgasm this season, by the way), I was always interested in the differences between “real models” and the jokers on other shows, like America’s Next Top Model. I mean, those young women, lovely as they may be, would never actually be signed to a top agency like Ford Models! Tyra Banks needs to stop giving them such false hope! It’s not like we’ll ever see one of them agai- “Oooh, Ya-Ya! I’ll take her!” Um, what?
Yes, The Cut’s Dubious Princess scored Top Model 4′s Nubian Princess Ya-Ya, who is contracted with the Ford Agency. Good for her – I actually thought she was by far the most modelesque from that “cycle,” so it’s nice to feel vindicated. Thank goodness her skin seems to have cleared up, or else we’d be seeing her on Surreal Life (Season 1 winner Adrianne Curry), Celebrity Fit Club (Season 4 fatty Tocarra), Kevin Hill (Season 4 winner Eva), or judging the Miss Teen USA pageant (Season 5 winner Naima). As for the others, they all got down to securing their models, with Young Wes demanding a “corn-fed all-American white boy.” You could tell he was already getting excited just looking at the choices. Christ, I fully expected to see his boner.
Now would be a good time to give the rundown on each person’s vision: Liz wanted a shot of her model at Grand Central Station in a ball gown made from the American Flag, showing the “hurry up and wait” nature of New York. Princess was doing hers at the NYSE on Wall Street. Chris wanted a “female version of [him]” in Harlem. Deanna was going for “a youthful powerful girl with a sense of self in the midst of Manhattan.” Felix opted for a “rough-edged immigrant near the Statue of Liberty.” Shauna decided upon a black and white photo of a girl exciting a taxi in Times Square. And then there was Wes. After calling a few sporting goods stores looking for “multi-colored jockstraps,” Wes revealed he was going for the “hot, sweaty baseball player with lots of hot dogs and baseballs and mustard squirted on his chin and shirt.” The funniest part of his idea was just how goddamned excited about it he was. He simply couldn’t get over himself and his idea, getting increasingly wild-eyed and horny. Trust me, if CBS allowed it, he wouldn’t have been using hot dogs and chin mustard as stand-ins for his own apparatus and effluvia. It was actually nice to see a gay man get all hot and bothered by perhaps the gayest fantasy ever aired on network television. And hey, if Wes doesn’t win The Cut, I have a feeling Abercrombie and Fitch Catalog will be calling him soon. The boy knows his homoerotic symbolism, that’s for sure!
Drink for every time Chris wears a different HALfiger hat.
We were treated to some of the gang discussing their ideas with their photographers and designers. Liz, solidifying her Lee Greenwood fan club membership, got all serious with her dressmaker stating, “I have two rules: Do NOT let the flag touch the ground and do NOT cut the flag.” The dressmaker, most likely a recent immigrant, said, “Okay” and did her best to ignore Liz’s humming of, “I’m proud to be an American…” Shauna was not having such a good time talking with her photographer, capitulating to every idea she had. She explained, saying that she’s dealt with these “creative types” before and there’s no sense talking to them. And speaking of “creative types,” after Wes giddily explained his photo idea through his maniacal grin, Felix matter-of-factly stated, “Wes’s photo is extremely gay.” He went on to explain that the ocean is extremely wet and contestant Chris Cortez is extremely into HALfiger gear.
This episode was cool in that there were essentially 7 different story arcs to follow, with each person on their own. Checking back in with each person, here are some choice cuts with my comments: Deanna was in midtown with her wacky looking model with a white cat on a leash (totally corny). Felix was out on a ferry rushing his shot of his model leaping for joy at the sight of Lady Liberty. (Felix explained how he was “real deep right now.” He forgot to say, “Last week? When I quit a few times? Yeah, not so deep then.”) Shauna was having issues in Times Square – not only was her model downright ugly, but her photographer was dictating every angle and every new idea. Chris Cortez was in an opposite situation uptown in Harlem with his hot little blond model. He was barking out orders to his model telling us that he wanted her to look out of place. Right. A half-naked blond model in winter in Harlem. Chris, dude, no need to tell her to look any more “out of place.” Short of zipping her up to Neptune, I think you’ve nailed your shot. He started getting really annoying, repeating over and over and over, “You look lost, y’know, lost. Look lost. You’re lost, look lost.” After he gets booted, I’m hoping that poor model is outside the Style Forum to greet Chris with a hearty, “You lost, y’know, lost. You lost. You lost, yes, lost.”
Princess was working fine with Ya-Ya in the Financial District but I was upset that CBS subjected us to Princess’s yapping about how her shot was “so me!” Yup, Princess, you who can’t conjugate a verb to save your life, will soon be stepping from luxury sedans to head off to your seven-figure Wall Street job. Right… What a “royal” (ahem) pain in the ass. I also enjoyed snippy Liz commanding her (beautiful) model to look defiant and proud in the train station. “I know you’re not an American but try to act like one.” I wished the Eastern European accented retort came, “Yaa, how you say in dis county, like a pet-u-lant bitch?” And finally, baseball fan Wes was having the time of his life at the indoor batting cages with his model. He stated, “I’m totally thinking outside the box.” We know, Wes, we know. You haven’t thought about being inside a ‘box’ in your life, hardee-har-har. He was going for the “Zoolander” Blue Steel look, but was too distracted with his hormones and sexual overdrive. In the end, his model put up with his nonsense and despite all the props and playthings, the final shot was merely a head shot. Huh, huh… I said “head.”
Just before Style Council, each player had to select their one photo that would be judged by HALfiger. Wes went with Liz and Felix to choose pictures and while he was on the phone with Deanna back at the apartment, she blurted out, “Why would you go anywhere with Liz?” Deanna, meet the speakerphone function…whoops. Liz would quickly forget Deanna’s rudeness once she got to Style Forum. That’s because, as a surprise to everyone, their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was there to judge their photographs.
Well, the Messiah himself didn’t actually appear, but judging from the reaction on the Cutters’s faces, I certainly thought Karl Lagerfeld was a deity of some sort. That’s right, fashion designer/photographer icon Karl Lagerfeld crawled out from his crypt and slowly crept across the stage to greet HALfiger. Equal parts Ozzy, Dracula, Liberace, and (dead) Pope, Mr. Lagerfeld muttered some opinion on each photograph as he looked like a shaky old Parkinson’s victim trying to decide whether he wanted to eat the creamed corn, to sit in a corner, to play shuffleboard, or to watch Matlock. I fully expected him to rub his ring covered hands together and seethe, “My pretties…”
As is always the case on The Cut, the random “friend” of HALfiger’s opinion didn’t matter a whit as he was sent back to his nurse off stage so the host could weigh in and make his final determinations. HALfiger liked the photos from Chris, Princess, Wes and Liz – determining her to be the winner. Can’t say I disagree, as though four definitely had the strongest photographs. That meant Felix, Deanna, and Shauna had to take that fateful step into the fiery depths of the abyss called “the 2 inch pit.” Deanna’s photo of the wildly dressed floozy in midtown walking the cat was “too Paris Hilton, too trendy.” Felix’s was too abstract because, as Felix admitted, he “didn’t understand the challenge.” Shauna’s was just too DKNY with the yellow taxicab and too bland. It was evident that Shauna’s effort was the weakest and even as HALfiger said as much, Felix decided to eliminate himself. Wow, just like Bradford on the Apprentice or that skinny guy on Survivor several seasons ago, it looked like we’d have a self-elimination.
However, HALfiger’s circuitry is not wired to handle such self-sacrifice and he ultimately told Shauna and her gray teeth to “take the runway.” Not content with ending the show on that usual note, HALfiger admonished Felix for being “dumb.” Just a wild guess here, but methinks that’s a tall order for our intense skateboarding little Felix, no? So Shauna is gone and Felix lives to fight another week to try to quit or eliminate himself again – and next week two people will be sent home, so he has double the chance!