I am Sofa King not Donald Trump
Remember when Vanilla Ice came out and publicly stated that “Ice Ice Baby” didn’t lift any samples from Queen’s “Under Pressure?” His insane insistence that his song’s hook wasn’t lifted from the operatic rockers was just so ridiculous it became kind of a joke. Well, I imagine Tommy Hilfiger pulled off the same stunt to CBS when he pitched “The Cut.” After he described “The ApprentiCut,” I can only assume the network brass said, “Great, an Apprentice clone starring Tommy Hilfiger. What will you do – mix it up by emulating other reality shows week to week and pretend that you’re doing something original?” Unfortunately for us viewers, the network brass didn’t lay on the sarcasm enough and this show actually got made. And I actually watch it.It’s almost fun to see what show (or shows) “The Cut” will mimic week to week. It’s getting so bad (after only 3 episodes!) that I half expect the aspiring designers to be marooned on a South Pacific island where they have to sing Paul Anka songs for a salty English judge. But I digress – and I also just came up with a pretty cool episode of “AmeriCut Immunity Idol.” You read it here first, folks.
Last week Hilfiger invited a young rapper named Fabolous on to help with the “Pimp My Ride” competition. It was refreshing to hear Hilfiger finally pronounce his name correctly during the opening montage this week. It was not so refreshing to remember that this was Fabolous’ second reality show appearance. The first? Yup, he helped out Kendra at her final task on last season’s Apprentice. I almost think Trump and Hilfiger met at some polo match in Westchester County and – bored out of their minds and drunk on power, money, and Alize, made a bet that resulted in The Cut. But enough about the obvious unoriginality of the show, as there was plenty of other nonsense going on in this week’s episode.
We are finally getting to know each of the contestants and their claws have begun to come out. The show opened with some of the wonderful behind-the-back bitchiness inherent to all reality shows. The gang gathered in Harlem and were made to stand in the falling snow and suffer through another of Hilfiger’s incredibly boring stories – “Be fore I choose a theme I do a lot of re search. Stop. My re search helps me cre ate fa shion. Stop.” Laryngeal cancer victims with electronic voice boxes have more passion behind their words. Maybe I should start calling him Tommy HALfiger-9000, in homage to “2001″‘s disembodied computer voice.
They were in Harlem to stand in front of the historically famous Cotton Club – legendary joint where all the jazz and swing greats played back in the day. Why? Because one team would be extremely making over the club to recapture the look of its heyday back in the 1930’s. The other team would be tasked with doing the same for the equally legendary Studio 54 downtown. Sort of interesting… if I hadn’t seen it before a hundred times on every other network!
Sideshow James and angry skater Felix picked their teams which broke down thusly: Team Studio 54 consisted of James, Chris C from the ghetto, Rob the Brooklyn brotha who never speaks, Christopher the Jared Leto clone, Julie the housewife, and Jessica the former beauty pageant winner. Team Cotton Club was Felix, Wes the effete pretty boy, Elizabeth the designer no one likes, Shauna the gray toothed snob, Deanna the alternachick, Princess the embarrassment, and picked last: Jeff the mentally unbalanced old guy.
Yes, Jeff, the guy who God created the earth for, was picked last. Actually, he wasn’t even picked so much as defaulted to Team Cotton Club. And so began an entire hour of perplexing quotes from the Cutters… “I don’t know what happened. Throughout my life I am always picked first or second or first.” Is he vying to be the next White House spokesman? Or is he really just that stupid?
Since we now expect not only nonsensical quotes from the gang, but also nonsensical “social challenges” on the side, we weren’t surprised when HALfiger produced 4 invitations to a party at his designer friend’s house in the Hamptons. Because, as we learned last week, part of “making the cut” involves proving you have the social skills to handle the media and the professional fashion world. We also learned last week that Princess was terribly gauche in a similar situation and that Jeff was terribly useless. So after Team Studio 54′s captain James decided to send himself and Jessica (his “arm charm,” as he said) to the party, we awaited Team Cotton Club’s decision. If you guessed it would be the last two people you’d ever send to such a thing – Princess and Jeff – you’d be correct. And of course Princess reminded us that she “definitely [has] great social skills.” I guess last week’s debacle was just unfair editing, right? We’ll see…
Her teammate Wes, forgetting the rules of the game, declared that “PrincASS” would “definitely be eliminated” this time. Um, Wes, so you’re saying that your team is going to lose then, right? Actually, I can’t fault him too much because quite frankly, The Cut really makes no sense at all. That and, well, Wes is just so damn cute. I want to put him in a playful headlock and give him tender noogies. And I’m not even gay.
But contestant Tommy sure is. Donning his favorite Doug Henning outfit, Tommy pranced and preened all about, taking charge of the Studio 54 project. He really makes me appreciate the reality shows with gay people on it who are – like the vast majority of gay people everywhere – TOTALLY NORMAL PEOPLE. Just looking at Tommy gives me a headache. Back in the premiere, he gave us the rehearsed quote about how the impromptu striptease in the house was a “circus seximus.” Now, proving just how original and oh-so witty he is, Tommy babbled on all about the atmosphere of 1978 Studio 54 and how it was such a…you ready for this? A circus seximus! Ok, now I’m starting to dig The Cut if it’s going to start using the Cutters’ quotes against them to make them look foolish! There’s hope for this show yet.
Extreme Makeover: Homo Edition.
And man, the unintentional quotation comedy then came fast and furious. Chris C, the intense dude who declared his billboard in the premiere “a monument to history” now termed his team’s Studio 54 project “history, man.” 54 teammate Christopher then bragged how he did a college paper on Studio 54. Err, say what? I totally studied the wrong major. (And look at me now.) Up at the Cotton Club, Felix was diffusing an argument amongst his team by telling them that, “the point is ‘mute’ already.” Bravo editors, bravo. I love TAR and BB for this very reason and it appears that there’s a silver lining to The Cut… Paper thin as it may be.
As the teams and their redesign ideas were coming together in the city, the show switched to some pre-party scenes out in the Hamptons. James and Jessica were enjoying themselves amiably enough, whereas Jeff and Princess were still prattling on about how great they are. Set up: complete. Team 54 sent Tommy Boy and midwesterner Julie shopping for clothes with which to dress their club goers. The two hit it off initially, as they both enjoy shopping and they both understood what club culture in the drug-soaked 70′s involved. Then, suddenly, the mood turned ugly. Tommy and the retailer apparently began speaking in a new language unknown to the white bread woman: Gaylish. Julie tried to interject but admitted she was clueless what their code words meant. “She’s from St. Louis,” mocked Tommy. “Being from St. Louis is like being from Mars.” Oh snap! Julie just got served!
“You LOOK like you’re from Mars,” came the witty retort. Now it was ON! To be honest, I happen to think they are both correct, but that’s just me. From that point, Tommy became more belligerent and rebuffed any attempts at reconciliation. He kept up the insults: “Your level of talent is beyond mediocre!” Wait, does that mean that her level of talent is exemplary? Oh Tommy, even I apparently don’t understand Gaylish! The two continued their bickering in the cab as Julie asked if everyone in New York was gay. Assuming she was in the Village then, um, yes, they are. Tommy then asked if he was the first black guy she’s ever met. Huh? He’s black? Damn, and here I thought he was only doing the gay community a disservice, now it’s the black community too. Where’s Jesse Jackson when you need him?
Back out in the Hamptons, where I can report that all the florists and caterers are gay, the party at designer Alex Garfield’s house had begun. Princess was, according to herself, “keeping it real.” James meanwhile was impressing Garfield and HALfiger-9000. Jeff latched on to HALfiger and annoyed the crap out of him with stuff like how they had the same initials and they could work together on a cross-pollinated logo or something. (I guess their last names both start with H or something.) He went on to say how he’d get hair implants just like him. And he’d begin talking in his monotone compu-voice just like him. Yes, Jeff is almost that pathetic. But Princess, being Princess, was the star of the party. There she was, splayed out on the designer’s white couch like Michelle Pfeiffer on the piano in “The Fabulous Baker Boys.” She was rapping/saying some narcissistic erotic poem silliness that brought the room to a standstill. Jaws dropped to the floor as the partygoers tried to make sense of this strange woman. Princess would be great in the Big Brother environment, so we could watch her pathetic self-destruction 24 hours a day. CBS blew it.
Princess, don’t make a monkey out of me
The final day of designing arrived and Team Cotton overslept. Apparently this was all Elizabeth’s fault so Shauna leveled this devastating insult at her: “She’s nouveau riche.” Oooooohh, burn. Does she kiss her mother with that mouth? Even with those gray teeth? Nasty. The day progressed fairly smoothly and both teams were ready for their judging. First up was Team Studio 54, who had adopted the theme of “Steve Rubell’s surprise birthday party.” Since HALfiger mentioned he was 54 regular back in the day, this knowledge of the inside should go over pretty well. (Rubell was the face of the club back then.) It was, of course, Christopher who came up with this idea since he knew all about the club as a result of the “Ethics, Mores, and Design of Studio 54″ class he took on his way towards his Drug-Addled Clubs of New York Masters degree. HALfiger poked around the faux club, which was filled with actors in 70′s costumes dancing the night away. It was as weird as it sounds. In the VIP room, he was seated on a throne and bestowed with a crown… As lame and corny as that sounds, it appeared that the designer ate it up as he grinned ear to ear. To me, it looked like he was doing an old mattress store commercial during “The Great Space Coaster.” (If you’re under 30, ignore that last joke.)
Uptown at the Cotton Club, HALfiger arrived and was immediately impressed with the decor. It was pretty nice, actually, and all the actors were playing their roles very well. A jazz band rocked the house as – what’s this?! People were smoking in the club?! In New York City?! Oh my… If anyone actually watched this show, I’d expect outcry. As it is, the Studio 54 team could have shown the disco divas snorting lines of blow off of each other’s asses and we’d never hear a peep about it. Even more shocking than the cigarettes was that Cotton team member Rob spoke. 46 minutes into the show he said his first line, ending his record run as the reality contestant who went the longest without speaking on camera. Guinness is still trying to determine if the mime from Big Brother 4 qualifies.
Finally, it was time for Style Forum and someone’s elimination. The laborious trudge into the Forum is so overwrought; it’s a parody of reality eliminations. The Forum itself is a cross between a Greek amphitheater, Grand Central Station, and Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. The “pit” that those on the chopping block must step into is a 2 inch step down. Just like last week, it was obvious that either Jeff or Princess would be sent packing and just like last week that didn’t happen. That’s because Team Cotton won and they were both Team Cotton members even though they had nothing to do with Team Cotton’s success. They both failed miserably at the party in the Hamptons, but…oh, never mind. I can’t hope to make sense of this show.
HALfiger chose Christopher and Julie as the two biggest failures. He made them defend themselves and instead of delicately sidestepping her homophobia (more like Tommyphobia, to be fair), she seemed to revel in her ignorance for some reason. Christopher simply defended his vision. So HALfiger decided that Christopher was the lesser of the two and sent him home. Sigh, HALfiger-9000, I’ll figer you out yet!