For the first time, All American Girl had some continuity. The show didn’t seem choppy or poorly edited, though viewers are still left wondering what this show is all about. We got to see a bit more of each of the girls’ personalities making it easier to choose our favorites and decide which ones are absolutely obnoxious. Except for Shannon on Salley’s team. I still know absolutely nothing about her. If this is ABCs way of trying to hide the winner by having her fly way below the radar, well, success! The few times they do show her, I invariably think, “Who’s that girl?”
We are now down to 12 girls with 4 girls on each team. In this episode, each group will lose another teammate to judges’ elimination. Host Mitch, who seems nice enough but fairly useless, tells the girls that each team will be throwing a dinner party for their coaches at the teams’ apartments. Yeah, the girls were provided with apartments in which to live. They are nice enough, but nothing like the mansion of the American Idolers. I’m not sure if this has been revealed to the girls, but the purpose of the parties is to see different facets of the girls’ personalities and to find out what the girls are really like in different situations.
Each team runs out shopping to prepare for the fete. Back at Suzanne’s team’s apartment, Tarah is getting on everyone’s nerves. I can see how that might happen. Though I’ve always thought she was a talented dancer, something about her just bugged me from the get go. Apparently, that thing about her that I couldn’t put my finger on was perkiness. I know this because in confessional, both Natalie and Ali complained that she’s too damn perky! I concur… that and she’s trying too hard to be perky, which makes her perkiness all the more annoying. Who isn’t annoying at Suzanne’s is Carrie. In fact, I’m not even sure Carrie helped with the preparations as she’s nowhere to be seen.
Salley’s team also is having to deal with some tension. Apparently Shauna is the quintessential beauty queen, though if she knew I wrote that I’m sure she’d start crying and stomping her feet in protest. Like a beauty queen. If it’s not her way, then it’s wrong. Needless to say Ashley and Andrea are completely put off with Shauna as she’s made it clear that their opinions don’t count. And as usual, Shannon is MIA, though I’m sure she was annoyed with Shauna, too.
In Geri’s team, tension is nowhere to be found. These four girls are having a great time singing and dancing as they prepare for the evening’s festivities, and it’s apparent that Kristi and Jessica have become fast friends. I like Geri’s group. If I had to be on this suckfest of a show, I’d want to be on her team. Granted, I think the fact that the girls MUST have made a beer run has been conveniently edited out of the episode. I mean, it must be alcohol because they are so damn happy!
Dinner is served!
The coaches arrive at their teams’ apartment, each with an unexpected guest. The purpose of the dinner guest is to help the coaches assess the girls’ personalities. When Geri arrives, he team sings her a song of welcome. She is obviously pleased. I am not. I feel like I’m at pledge night of some really weak sorority. But hey, she’s the coach. If she is pleased, it’s all good.
Geri’s special guest for the evening is comedian John Fugelsang. His job is to keep the mood fun as Geri wants to see the girls in a comfortable setting so she can really get to know them. The other teams aren’t so lucky. (See, that’s another reason I would want to be on Geri’s team. She gets the good team that gets along and she gets the good guest!) With this group, it’s as if they are all friends and not competitors. No one is trying to talk over another or vying for Geri’s attention. They are simply having a good time and enjoying each other’s company as they talk about their first loves. The other teams would be so jealous.
Salley arrives at his team’s apartment with Cheryl Cecchetto, event planner to the stars and certifiable bitch. Doesn’t Salley know that one bitch is enough for dinner? Between Cheryl and Shauna, this party has a set. Though Cheryl’s job is to give criticism and feedback to the girls, I believe she’s misunderstood her instructions as she seems bent on giving them a hard time instead. Though Salley said he wanted to find out how the girls handle criticism, I think this was a bit over the top. Cheryl succeeded in criticizing them as well as in ruining their night. After dinner, the girls begin making light conversation, but the conversations turns serious when the topic changes to obstacles each contestant has had to overcome. Shauna takes the opportunity to turn on the tears again when she speaks of the loss of her grandmother. Now wait… I’m not completely without compassion as I know it’s hard to lose someone you love, but Shauna is bugging the crap out of me with all her crying. For pete’s sake, get this girl some Prozac!
Last coach to arrive to her team’s apartment is Suzanne, who has Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez as her guest in order to find out how informed each contestant is. Ugh. I’d rather just take another IQ test and enjoy my dinner instead. No such luck for this team. As if there weren’t enough tension between the teammates, the pressure is on when only one girl can be heard with the congresswoman… Perky Tarah. She may be little, but she’s got a BIIIIIIIIIIG mouth! None of the other girls can even get a word in edgewise. Though they feel it made them look as though they weren’t knowledgeable in front of Suzanne and the Congresswoman, I disagree. I think it just made Natalie, Ali and Carrie look as though they don’t always have to be the center of attention – a lesson Tarah has obviously yet to learn. After dinner, the team moves into the living room and each is asked what book they are currently reading. While Ali, Natalie and Carrie quickly relate their books, Tarah instead jumps into an infomercial on herself and how great she is stating that she has not only been reading novels, but has actually written one of her own which is going to be published as soon as she gets a second. The other girls put on their best game faces, but I’m fairly sure I saw Ali holding Natalie back as she was about to pounce on Perky Tarah. Unreal.
Dinner is done. Now it’s time to get back to the point of the show… oh wait… what is the point of this show? Oh yeah, to find the most perfectly well rounded girl in America. So here’s how they do it. Each of the coaches is to choose 2 members of their teams to advance to the next round of the competition. The remaining two girls are put on a probation of sorts. In order to advance, the each girl on probation has to prove to her coach through a one minute speech that she deserves to be the All American Girl.
One by one, Geri’s girls come and sit in front of her. Without all the hemming and hawing, Geri advances Monica (Yay!!!) and Kira and puts Kristi and Jessica on probation. Kristi must convince Geri that she is deserving of the title All American Girl and Jessica has to let Geri see that she is able to open up and let down her guard a bit.
Suzanne advances Natalie (Yay!!!) and Ali and puts Tarah and Carrie on probation. Carrie must show Suzanne who she really is, as she’s been hiding her personality (and hiding from the cameras) up to this point. Suzanne tells Tarah that she needs to be more assertive. WHAT??!!! Tarah is by far the most aggressive member of the team. She practically knocked her teammates down in order to get to the Congresswoman. At this point, I could easily see Tarah tying up her roomies and putting them in a closet in order to win the competition. Telling Tarah to be more assertive is like telling Christina Aguilera to look sluttier. It’s absolutely impossible.
Salley tells his girls last. He advances Ashley (Yay!!!) and Shannon (Who?!) and puts Shauna and Andrea on probation. Salley tells Shauna he wants her to blow him… away. He tells Andrea that she has to further prove herself from the last time she proved herself in order to stay in this competition. Andrea, honey, Salley has made this competition seem much more difficult and much less enjoyable for you than anyone else. Is it worth it? Just something to think about…
The next days the probation gang gives their one minute appeals. Carrie says she’s grown and learned that she’s not just a singer. You get to see a glimmer of her true personality. She’s great. Tarah rattles of her resume and says how great she is. I swear, she’s a walking infomercial. Annoying!! Andrea tells Salley that she’s going to prove to him who she really is and that she won’t let anyone down. Shauna gives a perfectly packaged, perfectly written, perfectly rehearsed beauty queen speech. At the end she dazzles us with her smile. Kristi says she wants to get naked and reveal the real Kristi. Somewhere in the distance, SSalley sits up and takes notice, though he doesn’t know of what. Jessica throws away the speech she’s written and speaks from the heart. She’s impressive and likeable.
The judges deliberate and worry over their decisions, but now is the moment we’ve all been waiting for… the envelope please.
With each team sitting together in front of their coach, the final decisions are made. Salley says that one of the 2 probationers touched his heart with her speech… and it wasn’t the beauty queen. Andrea advances. Shauna cries. Again. Man, she needs to meet Corey Feldman. They would make quite a pair! A soggy pathetic pair, but a pair nonetheless! Suzanne tells both her probationers that she’s really proud of them, but much to my chagrin, advances Perky Tarah. The other girls roll their eyes in unison. Geri tells her probationers that they are really quite equal in personality and talent. She says that Jessica was always her first pick while Kristi was a consolation prize. With that as an obstacle, Kristi had given her all and had been most impressive. Kristi advances. Geri’s group is happy for Kristi but sad to be losing Jessica.
So now the American public will vote on the remaining nine… oh wait. Nine? NINE?! Can’t be!! Of course not! There’s a twist! Host Mitch gathers all the girls together and tells them they need a top TEN, not nine. Shew! I wasn’t comfortable with nine. It’s always better to have a nice round number like ten. The top nine will now have the chance to individually vote on which of the three cast offs, Carrie, Shauna or Jessica, that they want to keep in the competition. One by one, the girls approach Mitch with their vote. Geri’s team stuck together, each casting a vote for lovely and likeable Jessica. Suzanne’s team stuck together, each casting a vote for lovely and likeable Carrie. Salley’s team did NOT stick together, one casting a vote for Carrie and two casting their votes for Jessica. Geri’s team is back together again and we are down to our final 10!
Stay tuned for next week’s episode where the coaches no longer eliminate the contestants. Instead, the fate of the final 10 rests in the hands of the American public who will decide which one deserves to be called the All American Girl.
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