3/27 Episode 9 recap ~ You Can't Fire Me, I Quit!
* This lovely recap was written by Roseskid. I'm just posting it for her.
Another week has come and gone, and once again we are watching our good friends being awakened by whistle-blowing, loud-mouthed, uniform-wearing soldiers. They were then taken by bus to Ft. Irwin, California, to entertain the troops just before they shipped out to Iraq. It was a wonderful show, which makes tonight’s grimace- and cringe-inducing, humiliating escapade, even more difficult to witness. We’ll watch as our friends slip down an embarrassing slope into a pool of horror, all in the name of entertainment. Sounds like a great show, right? Bah.
Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Three Men and Two Ladies In A Tub/Shower
As the junior entertainers walk into the suite from Ft. Irwin, they are greeted by five
massagists people who will be rewarding them for a job well done, with chocolate-covered strawberries, champagne and massages. They tell them to take a shower first, and everyone runs off to get cleaned up, and I mean ‘run,’ because as the next scene unfolds, all five of them are in the same shower, at the same time, in their bathing suits. I’m not sure why, but this seems a little creepy to me. I have friends I’ve known over twenty years, both male and female, and I’ve never showered with any of them, with or without bathing suits. I’m not sure exactly what that means…maybe I need to get new friends. I do know, however, not everything stays in Vegas, when there are cameras around. Anyway, Delisco and Dave take care of themselves, but Sarah, Joe and Jennifer line up bunny-hop style, and each washes the back of the person in front of them. Of course, Joe is washing Sarah (quite often there are no surprises in reality tv), and I feel dirty just watching them. That man has it bad for Sarah. As the music takes on a bluesy-porn saxophone sound (not that I would know what porn music sounds like, mind you), the cameraman does a s-l-o-w pan from Sarah’s toes to her head. Joe’s obviously not alone in the Sarah Adoration Club. He may be the president, but I suspect the vice-president is the cameraman. Joe scrubs Sarah’s back and stomach with the loofah…those two need to be alone. Fortunately, there’s some humor in the situation, as it’s apparent Delisco has been pilfering Joe’s prop box, because he’s wearing the clear shower cap Joe uses in his swimming gag.
They finally run out of hot water, or their skin gets pruny, because they eventually leave the coed shower park for their relaxing massages and facials. Listening to their oohs and aahs, further reminds me of the sounds of an adult movie (so I’ve been told). *ahem* There’s a great parting shot of Joe in the middle of his facial, and he looks like he’s just reached the end of said movie. *bow chicka, bow, bow*
Being Mislead Down The Slippery Path Of Poor Advice
The following morning, Newton-mail arrives, and they are instructed to go to the Ice Club. Wayne says he has some concerns none of them are ready at this point to headline a Vegas show. I might agree with him, but honestly it’s hard to make my own judgments, based on the fact we haven’t seen much of their talent. He says they all need to greatly improve their act, and he has brought together a group of professionals to give them some advice:
Josh Lieb - comedy writer, and former co-executive producer of The Simpsons.
Stacy Cox - stylist to the stars (I want to know which stars…anyone remember the Icelandic singer, Bjork, and the dress fiasco).
Rick Pessagno - award-winning choreographer.
Doug DeAngelis - Los Angeles-based musical director and composer.
Bob Stein miller - local performance coach.
These fine folks will help them improve the material they’re using, and the way they present it. As always, Frances and Scotty will be watching and reporting. I have such a problem with this episode, but in fairness to Wayne he does tell them there are always things to learn on stage, and people are quick to give you advice. Sometimes you learn what to do, and sometimes you learn what not to do. He hopes they will embrace the ideas, but the final choice whether to use their ideas or not, will be theirs. They will be judged on the choices they make, and he leaves them with the parting words, “good luck, make good choices.” Wayne, if I made a good choice right now, I’d change the channel.
Jumping Through Hoops Afire
Wayne confides in us, the advisors will be giving them some good advice, and a lot of not-so-good advice. It’s up to the entertainers to decide which advice to follow. What comes next is so painful for me to watch, I am literally peeking through my fingers. Because of this, I’m simply going to jot down some quick observations. I cannot bear to give the gory details about how they are innocently duped.
Delisco is steered into an edgy, ignore-the-audience, rap vibe, while wearing preppy clothes.
Sarah is talked into wearing a pink wig, and is told to crawl on the floor while singing, and to keep her back to the audience.
Dave is put into ridiculous costumes, and given a few stupid catch phrases. He also has a Band-Aid put on his face, ala Nelly.
Joe is encouraged to use a small radio with poor sound quality, and told to stop the comedy, sit on the edge of the stage, and talk about himself while the audience is laughing at his jokes, thereby breaking his flow.
Jennifer is put into Avril Lavigne style clothing, and is given some stupid jokes to use between songs, and told not to smile. She is also encouraged to add ridiculous gestures while singing.
About the only time I was entertained during this, was when Josh tells us, “When I look at the five performers, I see some very nice people, some very talented people, but they seem very soft, and very impressionable. And it’s a real shame to abuse them this way, but this is a part of show business…getting crappy advice from jackasses like me.” I can practically hear Homer Simpson saying that exact thing. I’m trying to think positive about Wayne’s lesson plan. I understand he’s trying to get them to recognize where their true talents lie. But couldn’t he simply have had a simple heart-to-heart discussion with them about the pitfalls of being a young entertainer? Wouldn’t that have ended with the same results, without the humiliation factor?
Sarah, Meet Pink And Monica
Sarah comes out wearing a pink wig, black hat, a short black dress with a halter back, and a pair of great-looking black boots. As she’s singing a rather weak version of Melissa Etheridge’s song, Am I The Only One, she’s got her back to the audience just as Rick advised her to do. She ends her performance with a joke. All I’ll say about that, is it includes Clinton, Monica and a cigar. You can fill in the blanks. Wayne and his buddies laugh. I’m cringing.
Delisco, Meet Carlton and Nelly
He begins his routine with a pratfall onto the stage, tells a lame joke, then breaks into Nelly’s song, It’s Getting Hot In Here. He’s sporting a preppy-looking sweater vest and khaki slacks, and strips the vest off and throws it toward Wayne. He injects some humor into his performance, by exaggerating what he’s been taught. I’m still cringing.
Dave, Meet Yourself
Getting a great handle on the show, Dave doesn’t go along with much of the advice. He does wear the 70’s style clothing that Stacy chose for him, but makes some wisecracks about it, and includes it in his skit. He chooses not to use the jokes Josh suggested, and has ditched the Band Aid. He definitely handled this premise the best, and seems to know what works well for him. I relax a little.
Jennifer, Meet Avril
She uses the lame joke offered by Josh, but she tries to make light of the Avril clothes by suggesting they are her younger sister’s, and sings with a harder edge as she was advised. I’m back to cringing.
Joe, Meet Humiliation
Of all the junior entertainers, Joe is the most embarrassing, naïve contestant. I feel horribly for him, and have a very hard time writing about it now. He takes most of what they told him to heart, and it bombs. He appears to be a talented, sweet guy, so I refuse to say anything more about it. Although, I will say he did get his shower cap back from Delisco, and I’m curled up in the fetal position.
It’s REALLY Getting Hot In Here
Wayne starts things off with the confession that some of the advice given was meant to steer them toward the Titanic (my words, not his). Many people (managers, agents, relatives) have advice for new entertainers, and it’s important to use others’ suggestions when they work for you, and discard the ones that don’t. He talks of working at the Coconut Grove years ago, doing a skit he called, The Clown. He says he put on clown make-up, and took it off without a mirror, with clown music in the background. Now, I’m trying to imagine this, and it sounds one hundred times worse than what we just saw. I wonder how much people paid to see a show like that? Sounds to me like unless they got in free, they were ripped off. Anyway, he tells us some of the writers of The Lucy Show saw his performance, came backstage, and told him they could ‘fix’ his act. I remember Lucy’s show well…it had Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance sharing a house together, with three kids, Sherman, Chris and Jerry) . I still have a crush on Sherman, the cute boy with the platinum blonde hair, played by Ralph Hart…I wonder where he is today? Uh, er, sorry, back to Wayne’s story. Apparently Wayne took their advice, did his act with their new material, and bombed horribly. He then went back to his own material and got a standing ovation.
The shakedown goes as follows:
Jennifer - Bad song choice, bad wardrobe, but made a joke out of it. Good performance. Safe.
Dave - Only one to make the decision the advice was wrong. Impressive. Safe.
Delisco - Looked like Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air. At this point Delisco does the Carlton/Tom Jones moves, now that’s entertaining! Poor song choice, but also carried it off. Good job. Safe.
Joe - Dun. Dun. Dun. He should have known better. As creative as he is, why would he let anyone change him? Wayne also tells him something about his carburetor…Joe looks so stricken, I can’t watch or listen anymore. I find myself willing Sarah to give him a hug, but alas, she doesn’t hear me.
Sarah - Never keep your back to the audience. Due to the wig and the hat, he couldn’t see her beautiful eyes. He says he doesn’t think she even understood the Clinton cigar joke she told. (Just how young does he think she is?) But she’s plenty embarrassed, so Wayne softens his critique by saying she made the joke work. If you say so, Wayne.
Sarah and Joe are left to face the music *groan* together, and just before the axe comes down, Joe hugs and kisses Sarah. You gotta love the guy. Wayne tells Joe he is a veteran entertainer with a wealth of experience, and he expected more from him. Joe looks devastated. Honest, Joe, I’d make him stop if I could. Wayne, tells Sarah she may step back into safety, and Joe applauds her. He just gets sweeter by the minute. Hey Joe, if you and Sarah don’t work out, give Fort a chance...we have lots of wonderful, single women online. Don’t be a stranger, you hear? I’m completely baffled, as Wayne says glorious things to Joe such as, “you are absolute star material. There is no doubt in my mind you’ll be a Vegas headliner one day, you’re also one of the nicest and most incredible human beings I’ve ever come in contact with.” Everyone applauds Joe, and Sarah is crying, as Wayne continues, “I want you to know I consider you my friend, and I want you to consider me, yours. This could be your moment, entertain me.” Joe takes a moment, telling us later he didn’t think he’d be able to save himself. Then he tells Wayne thank you, and says he’s going to bow out. Delisco is teary-eyed, and everyone looks genuinely saddened. Dave thinks Sarah should have gone, and tells her. It’s a bad scene.
Scotty, Frannie and Don come back to the suite and have an impromptu jam session with the four entertainers left. As Delisco and Frannie send things off in a gospel vibe, Dave shows his comedic timing, and starts singing he’s got the blues because he needs a conjugal visit. It’s fabulous to see them have such fun after such a crappy day. As Joe leaves, I’m thinking now may be the time for him to call his good buddy, Wayne, for a job, since he thinks so highly of him. That’s my advice, Joe. Take it or leave it.
Have any advice for me? firstname.lastname@example.org.