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As has happened to many The Cut fans in the last few weeks, local affiliates pre-empted the show in favor of horribly bad NFL preseason games. This week, the LA office was hit by a Raiders game and the East Coast office had already deleted the show from their TiVos. As a result, we have a recap, but no screen captures. Worse, cbs.com hasn’t even updated their “photo galleries” for several weeks – Even they don’t care about the show anymore. So we’ve cobbled together some homemade drawings courtesy of B-Side in an effort to appease those of you who are illiterate and just come here for the pictures.
My last two “Cut” recaps were both ridiculously long – but that could be attributed to the fact that the last two episodes were rather compelling. Hell, dare I say that the last couple shows were even more interesting than a Beau or April HOH reign on Big Brother? Would The Cut sustain such lofty heights for 3 shows in a row? In a word – no. In four words – not even frickin close. Once again, the show succumbed to its own screwed up sense of what constitutes a good challenge – thoroughly over-thinking and unnecessarily confusing what could have been pretty interesting. Such is life with HALfiger and his gang. And such is my excuse for a (slightly) shorter recap.As you’ll recall, the dumb factor isn’t the lone province of HALfiger or the producers. Last week, contestant Felix, who has perfected the “intense pouty look,” suggested that he himself was the most “out of style,” because he misunderstood the challenge. HALfiger, in the first instance of not copying Donald Trump, did not send Felix packing a la Bradford on the Apprentice. So we were left to watch the show’s opening scenes wherein Felix intensely defended his stupidity by essentially stating that he was, well, stupid and deserved to go home. I think he’s just going for the brooding artist archetype… Who happens to be a reality whore. Go Felix!
After that vignette (which ended with Wes, Princess, and Chris agreeing that Felix should – finally – go home next), I enjoyed the 11th installment of “HALfiger’s Numbingly Boring Story Time.” I’ve saved all these shows and I will be burning a DVD of his weekly recitations of each episode. Why? I plan on selling them to moms who can’t find a way to put their babies to sleep. This week, we learned that a younger version of HALfiger went to Europe and, get this, supposedly begged and bought clothes off of people’s backs (and presumably legs) in order to bring the fashion back to New York where he “studied” them and tried to create a new look for the States. (Because, I guess, taking a goddamn picture was out of the question?) See, once again that story (if true) is actually fascinating. Yet, once again, HALfiger’s emotionless circuitry completely ruined it and made it as exciting as a farm report. For the moon.
This week, the “Artsy Tommy” HALfiger model (with jeans ripped just so) explained the convoluted challenge: Self-chosen teams of two would have to physically carry/drag/push/pull two heavy mannequins to each of the five NYC boroughs and beg/buy/barter articles of clothing from passersby with which to dress the mannequins (one male, one female) as stylishly as possible. Each team would get $200 and a seamstress and would ostensibly have to create a “look” with their mannequins – and all of this in 24 hours. I can assure you, it all played out as absurdly stupid as you’d think it would.
There was no drama in the team selection as Wes and Deanna immediately gravitated towards each other, as did Chris and Princess. That conveniently left Felix to pair up with Liz, which is fortunate because he’s the only person left on earth who gets along with the mercurial biatch. The teams were given their stark white mannequins and a set of specific street corners that taxis were to take them to in each borough. Upon lifting their inhuman companions, each Cutter noted just how heavy the damn things were. “This assignment is off the chain,” lamented Princess. I thought that phrase denoted a positive situation, but now Princess definitely used it as a negative. Then again, when I call a woman “Princess,” it’s usually with a sneer, so she just confuses me altogehter.
With such a short window of daylight in which to work, Wes and Deanna set out immediately to… Take a nap. After all, they thought, they both own stores and “reconstruct” clothing and work with mannequins, so there was no need to hurry on their part. The other two teams, however, immediately high-tailed it over to the Bronx and started begging for clothes. Adding difficulty to the already difficult challenge, the designated drop-off point in the Bronx was apparently in the South Bronx – a.k.a. “The Last Place on Earth You’d Want to be a Goofy WASP Asking for Clothes off of People’s Backs.” Felix, though not a WASP, was decidedly angry about the assignment. It was kind of refreshing to see a show like The Cut airing the grievances of its participants. To his credit, Felix openly lambasted the overreaching stupidity of the challenge. Really, why in the world would a DEE-signer (I’ve finally DEE-cided to point out HALfiger’s pronunciation flaws) ever have to cart an actual life-size mannequin to the five boroughs and ask people to give them their clothes? Again, I feel the need to point out that Project Runway didn’t do any of this crap and it was an infinitely better show.
Anyway, Chris and Princess also made their way to what appeared to be the worst location of the challenge and set about embarrassing themselves. Mr. I’m-From-The-Ghetto Chris was painfully worried about his safety in the ‘hood. Remember early on in The Cut when he bludgeoned us over the head every five minutes about his “ghetto” upbringing and hard knock life? In Connecticut, the richest state in the richest country in the world? (And to put a finer point on it, from Bridgeport, which is in Fairfield County, the richest county in the country?) Yeah, well, in the Bronx his ghetto dick apparently shriveled up because my man was petrified. Then again, it is pretty difficult looking cool with a giant naked white mannequin slung over your shoulder. The folks they tried to approach essentially recoiled in horror from the cameras and mannequins. They hurled insults like “freak” and “perverts” at the teams. And now that the mannequins were losing appendages, the scene was only getting weirder.
And so, looking like Chewbacca carrying the piecemeal C3PO in his papoose, Chris did his best, “Yo bro, whazzup,” ghetto-lite and the team finally was able to procure some clothes. Felix and Liz, meanwhile, scavenged a razed crack den for some wearable garbage. Isn’t this what kids do in Calcutta? Christ, what is wrong with this show? “Do you think I got a disease?” questioned Liz after wading through sea of used needles and rat carcasses. Back at the SoHo loft, Wes and Deanna were finally thinking about the challenge as they wondered, “Would you want to give Liz anything? Using some crafty TAR-like editing, we were then shown poor Liz dejectedly asking random people for their clothes on the street; being completely ignored each and every time. I laughed. Boy, this task really sucked… I wonder if it could get any worse.
Yup. Taking a page out of Sean Puff P. Daddy Diddy Combs’ “Making the Band” book, the Cutters had to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan with their mannequins. If only they had to bring back HALfiger a cheesecake at 2AM – that would have made my day. (Or better yet, the breast milk from a Cambodian refugee, but now I’m getting too esoteric… Oh, Dave Chapelle, where have you gone?) This exhausting task (those mannequins were heavy and unwieldy, to say the least) completely wiped out Princess. Hell, it completely wiped out Not-so-Ghetto Chris. Maybe now that Deanna and Wes were refreshed from their naps, they’d fare better making the trek. They also fashioned a nice cart for their mannequins from their suitcases, which made transporting them much, much easier. They also used electricians tape to secure the arms and legs, which had the visually humorous effect of making them look like they were “wearing” some German bondage gear. Oh, this ought to be good – pretty white gay boy Wes and Caucasian fashion victim Deanna wheeling naked Gimps around public housing projects in New York City asking people for their pants. I mean, if I didn’t have that recurring dream every night for the last 8 years, I’d have been pretty startled by the image.
As each team made their way through each borough (and it was evident that they were forced to go to some pretty gritty neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn, and The Shaolin…errr, Staten Island), they were finding it a little easier to get clothes once their mannequins were semi-clothed. Felix even scored a pair of Nike Air Jordan 8′s. I’m not familiar with those shoes, but apparently they’re a steal at the 60 bucks he paid for them. Wes was able to snag a nice coat from some guy in a trade for his own jacket. Princess kept yapping, Liz kept bitching, Chris kept marveling at what a real ghetto looked like, and Deanna kept saying, “we can rock out a pretty cool outfit,” over and over and over. With enough street clothes to work with, each team reconnoitered at the loft and pieced together their two outfits.
At Style Forum, HALfiger glanced over the six mannequins and then something in his wiring snapped. He definitely got up on the wrong side of the server farm, as he was pissed off at the world. There was really no explanation for his venom, as the Cutters have pretty much sucked every week all along. HALfiger first critiqued Deanna and Wes’s creations, blasting the jacket lining whip-stitching as “unacceptable.” He proceeded to yell at the two of them for creating “unwearable” fashions for anywhere other than Chelsea or Melrose. (Which is funny to me… HALfiger more or less admitted that he DEE-signs for dopey kids in Tulsa and not anything cutting edge as he likes to pretend he does sometimes.)
He next tore up Felix and Liz for their efforts. Finally, he did say one positive thing about the Chris/Princess effort and declared them the winners. My guess is that there was some seriously contentious bickering left out in the edit. I bet all six essentially told HALfiger that the assignment was too hard and dangerous and gross and didn’t test anyone on any sort of DEE-sign skills. Because that IS all absolutely true. Anyway, HALfiger commanded Wes/Deanna and Felix/Liz to step into the pit. Wes and Deanna were “too fashionable.” HALfiger went on to say that nothing he ever creates could be considered “fashionable,” so what were they thinking? Liz defended herself and Felix by saying that their clothes were at least “wearable.” HALfiger cut her off and declared Wes and Deanna “out of style,” and sent them home. Wow… I have no emotional attachment to this show, but that was still a shocking surprise. The Cut does not, apparently, take any past performances into account since both Wes and Deanna have been very strong throughout. And yet Mr. Pouty Pants Felix who two episodes ago quit twice, last episode he voted for himself to go home, and this episode grumbled throughout remains on the show.
At this point, I just find it funny that I’m still recapping this crappy show. At least it’ll make me appreciate the Fall Season all that much more!