03/13 Episode 7 Recap ~ Punk'd, Ala Wayne Newton
We begin tonight’s episode with a look back at the excitement of last week. We are reminded when Theresa is cold, she disappears…hmmm did Nathan share some of his magic tricks with her behind the scenes? As Wayne is once again telling the teams about their rewards, I can’t believe what I’m hearing. He tells the Black Team they will be beheaded. Whoa, he calls that a reward? I’d hate to see what happens when a team loses. *Ba-da-bing*. Oh, I get it…he tells them they will be headed to Hollywood to meet the mysterious academy-award-winning writer/director. Okay, that makes more sense…
We’re Off To See The Wizard
Jennifer, Delisco and Dave are on Wayne’s private jet discussing who they might be meeting. Names such as Steve Martin, Tom Hanks, and Mel Gibson are bandied about. When they land, we see that it is none other than Matt, Let-Me-Plug-My-Newest-Adventure, Damon, and Chris Moore. Since Project Greenlight will debut tomorrow on Bravo, could it be that Matt and Chris agreed to ‘assist’ Wayne simply to get some additional buzz for their show? I’m shocked, shocked I tell you. I can’t concern myself with this for long, however, as Matt’s brilliant smile is so dazzling, it’s all I can do to listen to what’s being said. Delisco and Dave seem appropriately impressed, while Jennifer verges on morphing into Star Jones on the red carpet. Matt’s important piece of advice to them is that when he meets someone who wants to break into the business, he tells them, “don’t do it.” That way, he reasons, if they quit, they didn’t want it badly enough…if they continue to pursue it, they will succeed. Our friends seem totally awe-struck, so I guess they had a great time, but frankly, I only feel motivated to brush my teeth an extra ten minutes today. I guess that’s why I’m not in show business.
The Entertainer Meets Fear Factor
Meanwhile, back at Suite Central, Sarah and Joe prepare for their night of clubbing. Theresa, it seems, has come down with a case of the flu and opts to stay home for the evening. Frankly, I’m guessing the flu she has is also known as the ‘you guys go ahead, I don’t want to be the third wheel’ kind of flu. Sarah and Joe unconvincingly feign regret, and I’m surprised the smoke alarm didn’t sound from the friction of their shoes as they darted out the door.
They begin their night of fun by sampling different sushi dishes, seemingly Sarah for the first time. She’s scrunching up her nose, and as she tentatively samples something, I expect Joe Rogan to come around the corner shouting, “Evidently, fear is not a factor for you!” Sarah tells us there is definitely a ‘connection’ between them. *Groan* I’ve heard the word ‘connection’ on The Bachelor enough to last me an eternity. Nevertheless, she doesn’t know if they are meant to be more than just friends (poor Joe…the old best-friend-hole). They do seem to be enjoying themselves, though, and they move on to the burlesque show. There are trumpets, drums, drinks and girls gyrating in front of them, one of them topless. I used to love doing that when getting to know someone when I was single. Make sure to read the previous sentence dripping with sarcasm, and, no, I don’t mean I used to love to ‘dance topless,’ I meant I loved to…oh, you know what I mean. Let’s move on before I find myself in a hole as deep as Joe’s.
Clothes Make The
The next morning dawns with Dave walking around the suite in a towel, but I wish it was Delisco. *sigh* Theresa decides to have Dave help her decide what to wear, and begins trying on different blouses, pants and skirts, stripping to her bra and panties in between. I don’t know what to make of this…I suppose they’ve been together so long, she thinks of him as just one of the girls? She makes a point of saying that since she chose inappropriate clothing during the street performance, she doesn’t want to make that mistake again, and wants to look glamorous, beautiful, and yet like the girl next door. Oh, poor Theresa, Mr. Foreshadow has chosen you to answer his call tonight, I’m afraid, and you might as well begin packing your bags.
They enter center stage, and Wayne explains today’s challenge. They will be performing their acts in front of a live audience, with the help of Paul Bolin and Kelly Clinton. He explains Paul and Kelly have survived all kinds of uncomfortable situations on stage with him. I’m assuming he means uncomfortable due to something or someone besides himself, but I can’t be sure. Our friends are to include either Paul or Kelly in their act, and will have 10 minutes to rehearse with them before show time. This challenge will test their creativity, and their ability to make quick changes. Wayne tells us what the performers don’t know is that Kelly and Paul are going to be making sure whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. This is probably a good test for the contestants, but I also can’t help but think Wayne enjoys getting a little snarky like the rest of us, and that makes me smile…broadly…like Matt Damon.
In order to try to keep this brief, below is a quick breakdown of how the rehearsals played out:
Delisco and Paul harmonize beautifully to, ‘In the Still of the Night.’
Sarah and Kelly haltingly harmonize to a song neither Kelly nor I know.
Dave and Paul perform a mock interview to incorporate Dave’s jokes.
Jennifer and Paul sing, “Crazy,” as if they’ve been performing together for years.
Joe quickly gives Kelly some direction to join his act.
Theresa turns Kelly into a mailbox for her song, “Walking on Sunshine.” It looks as lame as it sounds, trust me on this, and I hope her suitcases are right outside the door, because unless a miracle happens during the show, she’s going to be needing them.
And Away We Go…
Just before the show opens, Wayne informs our crew he’s invited some guests to be in the audience tonight. Their faces light up with anticipation, and they can hardly hide their disappointment when Nathan, Jacquie and Marla come out from behind the curtain. Once the shock wears off, I realize Paul is missing, and it makes me wonder if he’s still wandering around the inside of the Hilton in a drunken stupor. Next time I’m in Vegas, I’m going to keep my eye out for him.
Wayne comes on stage and informs the audience this isn’t just another low-budget Vegas act (my words, not his). No, this act has a devious side to it, and the audience gets to be part of it. Not only will Paul and Kelly be disrupting our performers, the comic Paul Rodriguez, will be playing the part of a heckler in the audience. (I am so thankful contestant Paul wasn’t included…two Paul’s are enough for me.) Wayne also asks some of the audience members to get up and leave in the middle of the show. There is a purpose to all of this, so let’s throw some cheese in the maze, and see how our lab rats perform under pressure.
sucker performer is Delisco, and what seemed so to go so smoothly during rehearsal has now run amok. As he sings, Paul R. calls out to him, “Fat Albert,” and Paul B. begins flinging himself around the stage. As they continue to mess with him, Delisco never breaks his stride, and even high-fives the heckler, definitely proving he can hold his own. But once back stage, he confesses that he is not happy.
Jennifer comes on stage, and as she is belting out her song, Paul R. starts giving her a hard time. She doesn’t let him get to her and even laughs at one point. Paul B. suddenly puts on a Willie Nelson wig, and begins imitating him as he sings along with her. It’s a fabulous impersonation, and Jennifer joins in on the fun, laughing along with the audience and gives props to ‘Willie’ at the end of their duet. Paul B. easily switches to Sammy Davis, Jr., and Jennifer says, “I’ve never sung with so many men.” A few audience members walked out during her performance, and as Marla reminds us, Jennifer didn’t bat an eye. This lady is definitely a professional, who is not easily thrown.
It’s Dave’s turn to suffer, and he doesn’t stand a chance between the two Paul's. Paul B. steals Dave’s punch lines, and basically messes with his head. Paul R. continues to heckle him, but Dave lobs a few zingers back at him. Nathan says Dave “took control” of the situation, as we see him give Paul R. the single-fingered salute. The crowd howls.
Next up is Sarah. She tells us she can’t wait to show what she can do, and little does she know, Kelly can’t wait to show what she can do. As they begin the lovely duet, Kelly suddenly begins to sing off-key, and at a different tempo. Then she starts talking to the audience in the middle of Sarah’s song. I found Kelly’s performance with Sarah the most distracting, and I think Sarah deserves credit for not hauling off and slugging her. Mercifully the song ends, and Sarah can’t wait to get off the stage, but is so frustrated she can’t find her way. Jacquie informs us she doesn’t think Sarah “rolled with the punches…she just walked off, and there was a cold breeze left in the theater when she left.” Yeah, this from someone who was eliminated weeks ago. Uh, okay. Behind the scenes, Sarah is visibly upset.
It’s Theresa’s turn in the fire, and she stands center stage waiting for the song to begin. And waits. And waits. Finally the music is cued for her ridiculous mailbox song. By the way, she’s wearing ripped jeans, and I’m trying to figure out if that’s part of her act. Is she a
mailman, woman, person carrier who has been attacked by a dog, or is this just what she chose to wear? As she’s singing, Kelly is actually pretty quiet, but Paul R. is in rare form. Theresa quickly does what she does best…she forgets the lyrics. She is really thrown, but eventually recovers. Theresa is adorable, but she is seriously delusional, as she tells us backstage she thinks she did really good.
Last up is Joe, and he definitely has been given one of the toughest tasks. His entire act is based on musical cues, so by cutting down his timing, or extending it, he could have been easily thrown. Add to that, Kelly messing up her part, and he has his hands full. But like a champ, he rolls with it, and I thought he did a great job. If he hadn’t told us backstage how angry he was, I never would have known. He has the professional level of confidence and experience, as did Jennifer and Delisco.
He joins the other performers backstage, and as he is telling them what a disaster it was, they tell him the point of the show was to mess them up. Still not quite understanding, Joe says, “maybe it was a test.” They all chime in, “it was a test.” You can almost see the light bulb turn on over his head, like in cartoons, as he finally grasps the realization that this was indeed intentional.
A Day of Reckoning
As they come on stage, Wayne has a Cheshire-cat grin on his face…he is delighted with the success of his fake-out. He acknowledges how talented Paul B. and Kelly are in order to “screw up” as much as they did. (I screw up quite often, but I guess I’ve been looking at it wrong…I’m talented. Wait until my family hears the good news.) Then he introduces everyone to the heckler, Paul R., who comes down to join Wayne. Not surprisingly, Dave is a big fan of his, or at least that’s what he would like Wayne, Paul and us to think. Wink, wink. Wayne says as The Entertainer, our contestants should understand what can happen, will happen, and they need to know how to handle these circumstances.
He begins tonight’s critique with Delisco. He didn’t particularly like his choice of material, but he thinks the high-fiving was a “stroke of genius.”
He thinks Joe handled the editing of his track beautifully. He had a smile on his face, and he was a “consummate professional…congratulations.”
Jennifer is told he loved her choice of material, she was “simply wonderful.” Wayne says there was never a moment he was uncomfortable watching her, and as Paul B. started doing his impressions, she went so far as to introduce who those persons were. He ends with, “that is the sign of a true professional.”
Dave thinks the good news for everyone else, spells trouble for him, and he tells us he’s pretty nervous. Wayne begins by telling Dave, he believes he probably had more distractions than some of the other performers, but there was never a moment when he let anyone get the better of him. He adds, “you’re pure class, man.” I prepare to see Dave melt into a puddle on the floor from relief.
It’s Sarah’s turn to squirm, and Wayne tells her by and large she did a good job with Kelly, but she cannot show her anger on stage, and she did let it show. He follows with, “that is truly unacceptable.” I’m thinking to myself, the good news is she’s no longer letting anger show on her face. The bad news is the anger has been replaced by pure fear.
Wayne lets her tremble, and moves on to Theresa. He says her wardrobe was a terrible choice (that’s probably the last time she asks Dave for help), her song choice was terrible, and when Paul R. started heckling her, she forgot the words to her song. Overall it was “very disappointing.” He continues saying, “when you’ve only got three minutes, you’ve got to do something that will allow you to score…” Every red-blooded male in America, probably sat up and said, “Amen, brotha…I hear ya.” And I’m not talking about sports here.
Dave, Joe, Jennifer, and Delisco are allowed to step back in safety, which leaves Sarah and Theresa. Wayne says this is a difficult choice for him, and he tells Sarah he didn’t like her attitude, but he liked her performance, and she is allowed to step back. She does so with great dramatics.
Theresa is given the huge task of trying to save herself by entertaining Wayne. She shares with us, that she was so nervous the muscles in her butt were shaking. There’s a vision for you. Anyway, she sings a slow, original ballad, but he says, “you’re a sweet girl…but the party’s over, you’re not The Entertainer.” We watch Theresa walk off in slow motion, and she says she feels it was probably time for her to go.
Dave is the overall winner, and he chooses Joe to share the prize with him. Wayne says all three of them will fly on Wayne’s helicopter to Lake Mead. Once there, they will have dinner on Wayne’s yacht, prepared by his personal chef. Dave tells everyone he chose Joe, because he needs to get him away from Sarah’s clutches. Ha, good one, Dave.
Theresa leaves us with a few last words. She says Wayne taught her to be kind to everyone and be more aware of her surroundings. She says this, as she’s walking down a dark, lonely road at night, so I hope she heeds this advice, although I suppose the cameramen will help her out if necessary. She assures us this isn’t the end of her career, but the beginning. As in most fairytales, I’m sure she’ll do just fine.
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