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In preparation for this week’s episode of “The Cut,” I dug out my authentic 19th century Little House on the Prairie schoolmarm wooden chair. It was the only thing I could think of uncomfortable enough to keep me awake for the entire show. Upon reading the description of this week’s challenge, I was heartened to note that it appeared as though “The Cut” would finally be ripping off “Project Runway” like we expected it to do all along. Oh, sure, the Apprentice atmospherics were still fully in place: the bustling avenue filled with taxis, the slow motion helicopter fly-bys above famous Manhattan landmarks, the steam rising from the sidewalks – but this week the Cutters would actually be dealing with – gasp – fashion! You know, the thing that we (and the contestants) thought the show would be about from the get-go. Call us crazy. Well, we viewers (which may just be me at this point) are crazy I suppose for watching this mess. But the Cutters have real incentive to be there, even in the subzero chill of mid-winter Manhattan. Hilfiger (or HALfiger-9000 as I call him in reference to his monotonous android manner of speaking), met with everyone outside in Bryant Park to discuss the next challenge. One (more) thing that makes watching this show difficult is that it was filmed during January or February when hats, mittens, and coats were necessary. It’s just weird watching the show now in July with a bead of sweat trickling down my cheek from the summer heat – oh, wait… That’s actually a tear now that I realized the show had only just begun and I still had a full hour to endure.As mentioned, HALfiger gathered with the troops in Midtown Manhattan and laid out the challenge. He was wearing a big puffy suede coat and Ray-Bans, which made his movements as robotic as his voice. Surprisingly, no one called out HALfiger for looking like such a total douchebag. Each team would be given $1200 to design and create 3 dresses to be shown on the runway. Even better, each team would also have to beg a random NYC woman off the street to do the modeling for them. Okay, I can get into this… I mean, it is more along the lines of what I’d been expecting, rather than the “Pimp My Ride,” “Wickedly Perfect,” and “Extreme Makeover: Home Editions” I’d been enduring up until now. Of course, we’d also have the completely useless “social challenge” on the side, but they had to pick the teams first. Wes and Fey Tommy had the honors this week and the teams broke down as follows: Tommy went with Princess first (!), Shauna who was busy hawking up her lung, empty-headed Jessica, Hilstalker Chris, and Silent Rob. Wes countered with Deanna (who despite her over-reaching appearance, seems to be alright), Angry Felix, James with the hair, Elizabeth who no one likes, Julie who appeared to be going to JFK’s funeral, and unfortunately, Jeff. Yes, for the 2nd week in a row, the megalomaniac moron went unwanted by both teams. If he wasn’t such a terminal loser, I might feel badly for him.
Wes’s team was dubbed the Yellow Team because they were cowardly and Tommy’s team was to be the Blue Team because they were sad. Actually, no, those were the corresponding colors of their cutting rooms. I guess they thought it would be a unique twist to have entirely different teams from week to week but it just sucks. And speaking of unique twists that suck, it was time to announce the “social challenge.” Each team was to send 2 representatives to a private party at HALfiger’s store in SoHo. Why? Who knows? In the past, these worthless little excursions have provided us with some unintended comedy from Tommy, Jeff, and Princess. But this time, with Wes, Deanna, Chris C, and Rob going to do nothing more than hang out with some people, I couldn’t imagine it would be too exciting. At the least, Silent Rob would have to speak for once. Maybe. After some terribly awkward hugging, the four partygoers were off to buy $500 worth of clothes for themselves for the party. Gee, tough challenge there, HALfiger. Way to put terror in their hearts. For the rest, designing and creating 3 dresses was a bit daunting. The Yellow Team did not have a single person who had any experience with dressmaking. I think James sewed some pillows in a previous challenge, but that was the extent of their skills. Over on the Blue side, Tommy was glowing with glee; “We got this” he crowed. It turns out that this little fop is a women’s haute couture designer and his first pick, Princess, was a pattern maker. With confidence Princess explained to us, the viewer that shit was, indeed, “on and poppin’.” No way could these guys lose, even with teammate Shauna sick in bed and not participating at all. And especially with that cancer Jeff over on Team Yellow. Hey, Jeff, got any brilliant ideas this week?
“Da dress needs ta be sexy. Super short skirt and low cut top.” His pathetic nature is now just getting depressing. His unfortunate headgear choices continue to confound. His idea for the dress was met with stern looks and a universal “shut up.”
Over at Bloomingdales, the four partygoers were buying their outfits. There was a fear that Chris would buy pants 5 sizes too big but he did alright. Silent Rob, however, was having great difficulty spending the $500. Who knew this “social challenge” would actually be challenging? Rob was feeling guilty wasting 500 bucks on himself on overpriced clothes when he has kids at home who could use the money much less frivolously. Sadly, this is what passes for drama on “The Cut.” Eventually he bought some clothes but retained his personal touch – the hand painted t-shirt. Just keepin’ it real, I suppose.
The dresses weren’t making themselves, so both the Blue and the Yellow teams made their way over to B&J Fabrics in the fashion district. Hmmm, B&J, Fashion district, designing dresses… I just can’t think of a joke here at all. The Yellows arrived at the fabric warehouse with barely an idea of what they wanted. They brainstormed and tried to get their shit together. As they were doing so, Tommy and the rest of Team Blue sauntered in with hands on hips and exaggerated shoulder motions. They went straight to the fabrics they needed, paid, and sashayed back out. Boy, Tommy and Princess had such an incredible advantage over Team Yellow, the conclusion was foregone.
Team Yellow finally came to some sort of agreement and bought their fabrics. They also hired a couple seamstresses because they didn’t know how to sew. Felix and James partnered on one dress, Elizabeth flew solo on hers, and Julie was stuck with Jeff. Jeff, still mentally in 7th grade, insisted on putting a bra on the outside of the dress because that would be “sexy.” Julie rolled her beady close-set eyes and called Jeff desperate. Meanwhile, the one-man gay pride parade named Tommy was confidently cutting fabric and already sewing pieces together. He was so supremely confident that he admitted to ditching Princess’s pattern in favor of his own. This was so unfair – with him being a designer and all. I’m surprised Team Yellow didn’t just pack up and go out binge drinking in the face of the designing tsunami Tommy.
Oh yeah, the party thing. Um… some people with some drinks mingle some. HALfiger-9000 shows up and makes small talk. Boy, what a challenge this turned out to be. Actually, Chris from the ghetto, did almost cream his pants over the whole idea of meeting his “idol” one on one at the party. So watching for a bulge in the crotch of his new pants offered some interest. Which begs the question, who knew there were actually people who worshipped Tommy Hilfiger? The one productive thing that happened was that Wes got a leggy blonde model for the next day’s fashion show showdown. This was fortunate because Jeff and Elizabeth had struck out on the streets. Jeff had begged to be part of the scouting effort much to everyone’s dismay. He was looking for a girl who he would be able to describe as, “hot as shit.” Once on the street, he noticed a relatively cute Latina and began approaching her like a zombie from “Night of the Living Dead.” Arms locked straight ahead, glazed over eyes, Jeff stated, “she’s the one.” Elizabeth took one look at her and dismissed her saying, “she’s only 5’5”.” Jeff kept approaching like a sailor on leave for the first time in a year. “Don’t touch her!” Elizabeth screamed. At least since Team Blue was going to easily win this competition, this would finally be Jeff’s week to slink back into non-reality TV oblivion.
One problem on Team Blue was Jessica’s inability to find a model in Times Square. Gee, Jess, get away from all those fat Midwestern tourists who stupidly pay $17 for a burger there and you may find some starving NYC actress/models to help you out. Dumbass… though finally she found a willing young woman. The only other problem on the team was Shauna’s flu. This was a special variant of the bug that made the self-proclaimed fashion whore lose all sense of propriety and wear my 87-year-old grandmother’s nightgown on national TV. In the face of her absence, Tommy continued to affect a very confident attitude. His smugness was now being affected by sleep deprivation, resulting with him coming off as a creepy B-movie villain. He was doing all the sewing and was now far behind the timeline given. “I’m doing an inside/outside thing here so your talking must sto-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-op.” Okay, it’s hard to do crazy gay Tommy’s speech patterns justice, but mix the word “stop” with a campy evil “mwuh huh huh huh huh huuuuuhhhh,” and you’ll get the gist. Fast forward to the finished dresses…
Somehow, Team Yellow produced three dresses and two of them looked half decent to me. The third, Jeff and Julie’s mess, looked like crap. Not only that, they felt the need to carry a poor little black terrier on a chain as an accessory. Brutal. Meanwhile, the obvious victors to be, Team Blue, completed their three dresses just in the nick of time, thanks to Shauna rising from the dead to whip together a dress. HALfiger arrived and once in his “coolest” pose, explained to the aspiring designers about something called ‘the edit.’ They were only going to show one of their dresses on their model and that was the one the team would be judged upon.
Sally Jesse Elizabeth’s dress was chosen, as was Princess’s design for the Blue Team. Just as this show was getting terminally boring, CBS gave me my first taste of Big Brother 6 houseguests. One wacky guy wants to be a Jedi! One girl is going to play sweet and innocent but she’s not! Beau says “faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaabulous” in such a gay way that Tommy on “The Cut” would be impressed. This week, folks, this week. Anyway, back on the show I’m recapping, it was time for Style Forum, the weekly sinister meeting in the grand hall that reminds me of what I think happens at Freemason initiation meetings – perhaps without the cool music. The model that Wes found at the SoHo party certainly looked the part and strutted her stuff in Liz’s green floor length dress pretty well. The dress was a bit frumpy for my tastes, but did have a big “keyhole” in the back, which was nice. (Yes, I just learned the term keyhole on this show.) Next came Team Blue’s creation and it was – HORRIBLE. Only a complete and total fag would make something so hateful towards women. It looked like an 8th grade formal dress from the early nineties; shiny purplish material, puffy pleated skirt, ugh. I really think I last saw this design back on Donna Martin when she was boozing it up at her prom.
HALfiger called out some minor design flaws in Elizabeth’s dress but really came down on Tommy’s. Princess immediately distanced herself from the final product saying that Tommy went totally away from her actual design. The others agreed but HALfiger asked for some more clarification from Madame Princess. “Um, I don’t know, like, you know what I mean?” No, Princess, we don’t. I hate you. Ultimately, HALfiger-9000 computed and analyzed and decided that Elizabeth’s dress was better and that Tommy was “out of style” and sent home. I was somewhat surprised because I’m convinced these shows keep certain people around just for conflict and not talent. Were you?