Cy Young 2010
Episode 3(6/23): Studio 54, Where Are You?
The Cut Episode 3(6/23): Studio 54, Where Are You?
Welcome to another fun-filled episode of The Cut. When I first heard about this show, I was excited because much to my amazement, I loved Project Runway despite not exactly being a fashionista. The first episode of The Cut was a bit of a disappointment to me given that there was nary a clothing design in sight. I probably would have felt the same way about the second episode if I hadn’t fallen asleep in my chair waiting for it to start. At the beginning of this, the third episode, I was a bit dreading the show. I felt kind of like Grasshopper in the Karate Kid wondering what these design assignments has to do with designing clothing. By the end though, I was hooked. How can you beat spontaneous highly inappropriate poetry readings, three contestants acting like they belong in the movie “Heathers,” and a shocking display of ignorance? The hell with clothing lines; bring on the characters. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.
It’s Like Déjà Vu For The First Time
When the episode opens, we review Princess’s near escape from the dreaded and rather lame “You’re Out of Style” line. Instead, Vlada took the walk down the runway. The contestants return to the Soho Loft. Everyone looks a little exhausted. Tommy congratulates James and gives him a little toast. Shauna soaks her feet in a tub and appears every bit her age. One of the contestants comments that the assignments are very clear on what you are and are not supposed to do. Princess who is sitting on the floor with James’s arm draped around her comments that she almost got chopped.
Wes confesses to us that Princess really annoyed him. As far as he’s concerned, she is all talk and no action. He tells Deanna that when it came time for Princess to do her thing and make a pillow, she did a crappy job. Wes seems to have had a revelation. In picking teams, he doesn’t want only the strongest people on his team. He always wants someone weaker than him. Otherwise, there is a strong possibility he will be going home. Deanna tells Wes that she wishes he had been on her team for the last assignment. She was going crazy. Wes tells us that he at first wondered who the hell Deanna was but now she’s proven herself to him.
The contestants are off to Harlem the next day to the Cotton Club where Tommy Hilfiger welcomes them. He tells them that many times in designing a collection he’ll choose a theme from the past and do a lot of research. He’ll go to the library. I highly doubt Tommy himself sets foot in the library. More like he’ll send some minion to the library. He’ll “go to” the internet. This presents an interesting visual. And, he’ll watch old movies. All of these things give him a feel for the era, fabrics, colors, and garments. Authenticity brings credibility.
This week’s design assignment is revealed. The contestants are going to do something interesting and recreate two clubs. The first is The Cotton Club which was popular during the 1930’s Jazz Era. It was the hippest place you could go. The other is Studio 54 which according to Tommy H. was awesome every single night in the 1970’s when it rocked with disco. He should know; he was there. That might explain in part his current haggard look. The assignment includes lifestyle design, interior design, accessory design, apparel design and attitude design. Each team will receive $7500 and 40 extras. The teams will be responsible for the extras’ hair, makeup, and wardrobe. Tommy H. wants to be able to walk into each club within 72 hours and feel the era it belonged to.
It’s time to reshuffle the teams. Tommy asks Felix to step over and pick a team since he was chosen first last week. He gives James the same honor for the same reason. We then learn Felix’s philosophy regarding picking a team. This isn’t a game to him, so he’s not interested in picking a bunch of people he wants to buddy up with. Instead, he decided to choose people he thought could do specific tasks. Me thinks Felix may have regretted this decision in retrospect. After James wins a coin flip, he chooses Studio 54 leaving Felix with The Cotton Club.
Because James was on the winning team the week before, he gets first pick of the wannabe designers. He chooses Tommy. We then get to hear Tommy smugly say that he’s already made himself “indisposable” which makes him sound like nuclear waste. Given that it’s not even a word, he’s certainly not indisposable when it comes to grammar or word usage. Tommy finishes his self congratulatory confessional with a little whip action while proclaiming that both teams wanted him. Whoa there, big fella. Felix chooses Wes next. James picks Chris C. followed by Felix nabbing Liz. Felix explains that he wanted Liz on his team because she’s very responsible, somewhat creative, and adds a touch of class. The rest of the wannabe designers are chosen in the following order: James-Rob, Felix-Shauna, James-Chris S., Felix-Deanna, James-Julie, Felix-Princess, James-Jessica, and Felix-Jeff. Not surprisingly, Jeff is not happy about being the last one chosen. Shauna is pleased with the team Felix picked even though she doesn’t like Elizabeth.
Tommy H. reminds the teams not to forget to focus on the business, the creative, and the social in completing the assignments. He then adds that each week he may offer an invitation to impress him with your social skills. This week he has four invitations to a weekend cocktail party in the Hamptons at the home of his friend and fellow fashion designer Alex Garfield. There are two invitations per team. Although those attending the party will not be judged on the assignment they will be judged on their social skills. Tommy H. asks for volunteers from James’s team. So many hands go up that it is up to James to choose the two who will be going. James decides to go himself and take Jessica who he describes as “an arm charm.” Nice. I can tell you that The Donald would not be impressed with a team leader leaving his minions to fend for themselves in completing the assignment. I, on the other hand, am not impressed at him making a female competitor sound like an accessory. From Felix’s team, Jeff and Princess quickly volunteer for the rough job of going to a luxurious Hamptons home.
Princess then delivers a confessional which turns out to be hysterical later. She tells us that she wasn’t feeling the last assignment and that she definitely has great social skills. She thinks this will be the time to redeem herself. Wes, on the other hand, is still grumbling about her pillow making non-skillz. He feels that if she does half as good as the last time Princess will definitely get herself eliminated.
Julie is not happy that James chose himself to go. In the limousine, it occurs to James that perhaps he made a poor choice. He starts feeling nervous and guilty.
Both Wes and Liz are jazzed about recreating The Cotton Club. Deanna sits on the piano and says she sees herself there. She is also worried because there is nothing there. The place is a complete wreck, and there is a lot of work to be done. Meanwhile, at Studio 54, Chris C. is also pumped declaring,” Its history, we’ve got to redo what it was in the day.” Tommy is concerned that the feng shui of the space is really bad. Chris S. on the other hand is optimistic and excited. He thinks that they can make a VIP Room easily by curtaining off a space with clothing hanging racks and fabric. Chris S. reveals that he took a hot media course in college and did a whole project on Studio 54. With James off playing in the Hamptons, Chris S. decides to step up and show he’s creative and can be a leader.
Tommy has a lot of ideas and knows all about the history of the club. He insists that they definitely need a disco ball and strobe lights. One of his ideas is to change the whole room into a hot pink and fuchsia environment. Just the thought makes me want to put on my sunglasses. He is worried that they are not actually going to be able to duplicate Studio 54 because of the size of the space they have been given. The real club was in a huge space. Instead, Tommy thinks they need to rely on emulating the feeling of the hedonistic atmosphere, the decadent playground, the Circus Seximus that was Studio 54. Hey, they are his words not mine.
Back at the Cotton Club, things are starting to get ugly. Liz urges that what will work in the team’s favor is not trying to reinvent the wheel but rather putting a spin on what we replicate. Wes says that they shouldn’t even try to put a spin on the club. Instead, they need to rely on research. Liz tells the camera in a confessional that she was really excited because her sister recently got married, and the theme for the reception was a 1930’s speakeasy supper club.
When she tries to explain to her teammates that all the research she has done indicates that The Cotton Club tables were set up as horseshoes, the unholy triumvirate of Wes, Deanna, and Shauna start to gang up on her. At this point, I start calling them Heather Wes, Heather Deanna, and Heather Shauna in my head. Shauna jumps in and says she thinks they are making a big mistake. Deanna is annoyed and confesses that Felix and Liz are obsessed with this horseshoe thing. You mean the authentic recreation of the Club, Deanna? Shauna says it is a stupid business idea because it would result in cutting off a whole room where you could make money.
Liz tries to explain her idea saying that after researching all the interiors it is what she’s come up with, and she didn’t really get any input from the others. Wes snaps at Liz that this is her space, use it. Felix confesses that when he saw Deanna and Shauna turn on Liz and Wes going with them, he thought well maybe they have a strong bond because of the first billboard project they all worked on together. No Felix. They have a strong bond because they are all bullies, and they sense a weakness in Liz. The discussion ends when Felix fails to exert himself as leader and says that although he’s in complete disagreement it’s 3-2 and the point is “mute.” This is a pet peeve of mine. The word is moot people, moot.
Ignorance Is Not Always Bliss
When we return from commercial, it is still Day One and the teams have 60 hours left. Felix’s team is at the Cotton Club Prop House. Someone declares that it was like a treasure hunt. Heather Shauna states the obvious, that Liz is not her favorite. According to Shauna, Liz claims she’s an interior expert, but she doesn’t know how to redo anything. It’s true that Liz seems a little deliberate which can get annoying when you are working on a rush project. Frankly, it doesn’t matter. If Liz said Deanna is female, the Heathers would insist she was male.
The Studio 54 Team enters the Studio 54 Prop House. Tommy is getting frustrated because he feels like he is having a little bit of trouble communicating what the club scene was like. Rob, who has now appeared on the screen for 5 seconds this episode, suggests bell bottom pants and platform shoes. Tommy poo poos this idea saying there was a big difference between Travolta and Saturday Night Fever and Studio 54. Tommy who is exhibiting a scary obsession with all things Studio 54 states that it was the hottest club in the world. Tommy is convinced that the Gen Xers have never experienced anything like Studio 54. Personally, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
The Studio 54 Team tries to come up with a theme for their evening. Chris S. suggests they throw a birthday party for one of the club owners, Steve Rubell. He was a wild guy so there are all sorts of things they could do. His team is impressed that the quiet Chris S. is stepping up.
In the Hamptons, James, Jessica, Jeff, and Princess arrive at Alex Garfield’s house. When Alex opens the door, he looks like an average middle age guy wearing a t-shirt and jeans. Princess is beside herself with excitement at meeting THE Alex Garfield of Garfield and Marx. Unfortunately for us and those who will be attending the party, her excitement does not render her mute or moot for that matter.
Alex turns out to be a pretty down to earth guy telling the contestants his name is Alex and although he appreciates the respect, they should quit calling him Mr. Garfield or sir. Otherwise, he threatens to ask them to serve him. He closes his welcome with a toast to a fantastic weekend.
Back at the plebian tasks, it is Day Two and there are 36 hours remaining. The Studio 54 Team is hard at work. Chris S. tells us that lighting is a major component since this is a nightclub. The team is building a façade similar to the one that graced the real Studio 54. Julie thinks that Chris S. is doing a great job and clearly knows a lot.
Tommy and Julie head off to the Studio 54 Costume Shop when the team has 30 hours remaining. Tommy explains that he and Julie had to go make a lot of costume decisions because it is his forte, and he knows what people wore. Julie says that working with Tommy was fine because she thought the guys can do their thing and Tommy and I can do our thing. When she said this, I thought it was kind of funny. I didn’t find it nearly as funny later. Julie then tells us that some times she thinks Tommy kind of loses focus. At this point, we cut to Tommy looking at gowns on a rack that clearly have nothing to do with the Studio 54 task and giving them labels in French. It’s hard to disagree with Julie’s frustration.
Tommy and Julie head off to the Wig Shop. Tommy again tells us that he knows what the people were like and what the adult playground was like. I get it Tommy. You have a psychic link to 1970’s excesses. Julie tells us that she is from St. Louis which is really conservative and that she got married at 20 and started having babies. She says that you don’t get to know a lot of gay people when you are married. Huh? Do gay people live in a special ghetto where married people aren’t allowed?
Next are two of the most painful reality television scenes I can recall. Tommy opines that Julie is from St. Louis and that it is like being from Mars. Julie responds, “I don’t know. Who looks like they are from Mars here, bud?” Tommy adds to the camera that he is no delicate diva. Julie chases Tommy around the wig shop trying to get him to parade in a particular wig assuming he’ll enjoy it. Tommy tells the camera that Julie relished teasing him and that her level of talent is beyond mediocre.
In the car, Julie has answered the phone and is heard asking someone, “Where are you located?” After she hangs up, she asks Tommy if everyone in the city is gay and complains that she doesn’t know how to talk to gay people. I’d suggest trying English Julie or whatever the person’s native language happens to be. Tommy asks her if he is the first gay person and first black person she has met. Julie responds that she “knew” some black people and is sure she knew some gay people. At least she avoided saying some of my best friends are black. Tommy tells us that he is sure Julie felt threatened. He is not used to being disrespected. Julie says that Tommy is the first gay person she’s spent this much time with and that “we have nothing against gay people.” I’m not sure who the “we” is. An incredulous Tommy says, “I’m sure.”
The cocktail party is under way in the Hamptons. Jessica explains that the party was for 30 of Alex’s closest friends. Tommy H. arrives with an attractive blonde. He asks Princess where she sees herself in a couple of years. She replies that she definitely sees herself on top of the world. Princess with a fake grin explains her philosophy to us. She is sucking up and “kissing little buns.” She feels that they all need to do that. James appears to be acting like himself and having a good time. Princess in a statement that screams Foreshadowing has joined the party confidently tells the camera that she’s keeping it real because you can get booted for this.
Alex and Tommy go upstairs where Alex gives his honest assessment of the four to Tommy. I’m not sure whether a lot was edited out of their conversation or whether Alex simply knows that Tommy wants the bottom line. When asked about Jeff, Alex says Jeff should go home to his family. Alex feels Jeff is overcompensating for his insecurities. Alex describes Jessica as a beauty pageant winner who he doubts is for real. Alex nails Princess. Not in that way folks. He calls her too greedy and too raw and feels it would take Tommy too much time to cultivate her. Alex loves James, on the other hand. He says that James is spiritual and has a big presence and that Alex will hire him if Tommy doesn’t.
In a confessional, we learn a little more about what Alex really thinks. Jeff hasn’t turned him off at all, and as a human being Alex thinks he is a great guy. He just doesn’t think Jeff has the goods for the business. We cut to a scene between Tommy H. and Jeff where Jeff is prattling on about wanting to be all things to Tommy’s empire. The most remarkable line is Jeff telling Tommy that he wants to head his sales force and tie their initials together.
Alex says that Princess is a fireball. She has raw energy and sometimes she’s not afraid to say what is on her mind. He finds that a little scary sometimes. Little does he know. Princess has decided the party would be a good time to give a poetry recitation. We’re not talking reading a poem to honor her host, about flowers or even fashion. We are talking a piece all about her in which she describes herself as a hot tamale with a thick body and includes a few bleeped out words. The poem ends with her calling herself juicy. Afterwards, there is complete silence or shock, if you will. I’m pretty sure the guests all left and asked each other if they had really heard that or if they were hallucinating. Frankly, I was expecting one of them to yell, “Run Away” and lead a stampede out the door. Jeff is hoping that Princess’s poem went too far. I think you may be on to something there Jeff. I’m surprised he was able to stop thinking about himself long enough to notice the performance.
Back in Manhattan, it is Day Three and there are only eight hours left in the challenge. Liz and the entire Team Felix have overslept. The Heathers somehow chalk this up as Liz’s fault because she thought they should all get up early. Do the rest of them not have alarm clocks too? In a cab with Heather Deanna, Heather Shauna complains that all Liz does is cause problems. The best slam Heather Shauna can come up with is to call Liz noveau riche. Heather Deanna is delighted. At the Cotton Club, we watch the preparations as the clock ticks down to six then four then one hour. Elizabeth is nervous because of the number of extras they have to prepare. Deanna’s main focus is getting people dressed, and she’s hamming it up in the wardrobe area.
The slackers are back from the Hamptons. Jessica describes Studio 54 as chaos when she returns. Princess says that it is like being back in the 1920’s when she walks into The Cotton Club. After all, what’s a decade between friends?
At Studio 54, Tommy is telling one of the extras that she is a countess from Czechoslovakia. I have to give the guy credit for having an imagination. He is again obsessed with imbuing the club with a feeling that will invoke the era. Perhaps Tommy should have concentrated a bit more on the physical appearance of the club.
Once the 8:30 deadline passes, Tommy H. pulls up to Studio 54 in a limousine along with Andre Harrell the former President of Motown Records who spent time at The Cotton Club in the 1950’s and Studio 54 in the 1970’s. They enter the club bypassing a bunch of the extras behind a barrier begging to get in. Inside there are a lot of dancers along with strobe lights and the disco ball. Chris C. is confident that they have blown Tommy H. away. Chris S. thinks they are going to win because there is so much energy. Tommy says he’s confident in his team because it is not really about the deck-hore. After Team Studio 54 sits him in a throne complete with crown in the VIP area where a girl in a bikini jumps out of a cake, Tommy H. tells Andre it’s time to go back 40 more years.
At The Cotton Club, Tommy and Andre arrive in a 1930’s style car. Liz greets them at the door in a classy black dress. The club looks great and so do the diners. Up on stage is a singer crooning into an authentic looking microphone. Andre says that he felt like they got in a time capsule and were transported back. Tommy H. tells them that they all did a great job and paid great attention to detail. Tommy H. and Andre leave to go deliberate and that he will meet them at the Style Forum.
I’m Pretty Sure He Wanted To Sell Them All For Medical Experiments
Back at the loft, Liz is already nervous. Tommy says that he came here to win and that he doesn’t know what losing means. Just before the wannabe designers leave for the forum, Rob is in his room shadow punching and explaining that the Style Forum is nerve wracking. Wow, he’s up to 10 seconds of screen time. Both teams walk into the Style Forum and silently wait for Tommy H.
When Tommy H. arrives, he says that he wants to talk about the Hamptons for a moment before he talks about the design assignment. He reminds the four who went that they were there not only to represent him but also to show him their social skills. He starts with the best performance by congratulating James. He says that James was a real gentleman and that everyone was very impressed with his social skills and behavior. He then tells Jessica that she’s a real lady. The news he has to deliver when he moves on to Jeff is not so good. Tommy H. informs Jeff that he wasn’t the only one who felt like Jeff spent the whole time talking about himself.
Last, Tommy H. turns to Princess and asks her to tell him about the Hamptons and if she learned anything. This should have been her first clue she was in trouble. Princess, oblivious as ever, says that Mr. Alex Garfield talked very little about himself. Tommy H. inquires if telling stories and making up poems with sexual overtones is her? Just to make sure she gets it, he adds because I think that was really wrong. Princess stupidly tries to defend herself by saying not many people were left. Tommy then throws in the devastating parental comment that he was really disappointed.
Tommy H. moves along to the design assignment teams and reminds them that he told them how important research is. He decides to start with The Cotton Club. First, he asks Elizabeth what she did. She responds that she did research and that they all picked out the props together. She also says that she had a major hand in the interior. When Tommy asks her how she’d judge Wes’s contribution on a scale of 1-10, Liz responds a four to five. Before she can get much more out, Heather Wes interrupts and says I think if you ask other teammates you’ll get a different number. When Tommy asks Heather Shauna, she cattily asks if she can rate Elizabeth too. Shauna and then Deanna give Wes an 8 to 9. Shauna eventually gives Liz a 2. When asked who contributed the least he, of course, says Liz. Shockingly, not, the other Heathers agree. Felix, on the other hand, identifies Deanna as having done the least. Heather Shauna disagrees and again interrupts. Tommy H. has had enough and tells them to stop. He recognizes that the team is clearly divided and thinks it is not a good thing.
Tommy H. turns to the Studio 54 Team and asks them how they developed their design concept. Chris C. says that the party was going to be the key and that Chris S. came up with the concept. Chris S. proudly announces that he took a class and that the overall concept and theme was his. Tommy H. says that it sounds like Chris S. took a leadership position. He then asks if the team had any problems. For some reason, Julie decides to come clean about her conflict with Tommy. The expression on Tommy H.’s face is comical when she explains that she doesn’t know how to talk to some of the maybe gay people. I’m pretty sure she sealed her eventual fate right there.
Tommy H. states that The Cotton Club was very authentic. He was disappointed with Studio 54 on the other hand. Perhaps because he was hoping he’d feel young again when he went there. They didn’t capture the big glamour and Tommy H. didn’t think the VIP Room was authentic. Nor did he think the costumes were complete. Tommy H. announces that Team Felix wins and that Jeff and Princess were very lucky.
According to Tommy H., Team Studio 54 didn’t listen and did not pay attention to authentic details. First, he asks Julie to step into the pit. Then he asks Chris S. to join her. Tommy H. tells Julie that in this business you have to learn to get along with and respect all different people from all different backgrounds. Tommy H. asks Chris if he shared his knowledge with his team. Chris answers that he shared the knowledge he thought they needed. Tommy H. pronounces that if you are going to take credit for the overall vision you have to take credit for its success and failure. He then abruptly announces that Chris is “Out of Style.” Gag. Princess looks shocked. Chris tells us that he didn’t expect to get cut but he kept his integrity and that’s what matters to him.
Tommy H. finishes out by saying he was disappointed in some of what he heard that evening. He won’t tolerate it. On that note, he wishes the remaining contestants a good night.
The Cut Continued
Next week, the contestants appear to get to touch actual fabric, Princess appears to still be overconfident, Tommy gets all verklempt, and Liz and Jeff duke it out.
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Thanks for the great review!
"We all know that we're going to get beat tonight." - Melrose (ANTM Cycle 7) when Monique gets eliminated from the CoverGirl / Queen Latifah challenge. "Hi pretty lady...and Tyra." - Heather (ANTM Cycle 9)
Just Forting Around
Great job, Mariner, and 10 extra points for using the word, "verklempt".
Originally Posted by Mariner
Too cold to run away!
Great recap Mariner, I wasn't going to watch this show, and just keep up with the recaps here, but as usual I got sucked in. I have nothing better to do on Thursday nights anyways.
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