Goodbye, Norma Jean
Well, its been a strange week, folks. When we last stopped by this social experiment, Dan was making his debut as a Hollywood starlet and making plans for his $250,000 winnings. I was sneezing my brains out and dreaming of a day when I would be able to breathe through my nose and John Kerry would be in the White House. My, how quickly our dreams are snatched out from under us. Whose dream will be crushed this week? Let’s find out…
Willy Wonka and the Box-Mail of Doom
Morning greets the Dollhouse and the sleeping beauties are just awakening from their slumber. They groggily begin stirring in their tutti-fruitti colored beds, and enjoy the first few seconds of the day when all is right with the world. When they open their eyes, they remember that they are living in a house that looks like it swallowed a candy factory, and that they now know what it feels like to have your chest waxed.
Albert and Donnell are the first ones up and they stumble upon their latest piece of She-Mail. Dave tells the camera that the guys have learned that no news is good news in Dollville. The box-mail spells nothing but trouble. Albert reads the pink message inside and lets the guys know that today they will be getting an inside glimpse at one of the most important days in a woman’s life – her wedding day! Albert sings a few bars of “Here Comes the Bride” and the guys speculate how pretty Albert will look in a wedding dress. Albert giggles and tweezes his brows in agreement.
Another Day, Another Dress
There is a knock on the door and the contestants open it to find a lovely young couple by the names of Cecelia and Lionel. We quickly learn that they are the latest loonies willing to sell their souls to the reality tv devil for a chance at fame, fun, and the opportunity to shock their families into cardiac arrest. Cecelia and Lionel are getting married the next day and the guys will be playing the part of Cecelia’s ladies-in-waiting, helping her to make her final pitstops on the road to marital bliss. Cecelia tells us that when this opportunity came up, she realized this was her chance to really make her wedding stand out. Cecelia, couldn’t you have gone with the tried-and-true “have a screaming fit at your caterer” or “trip and fall face-first into the cake” moments that really bring out the best in any bride? Noooo, she had to be special and get married on a reality show with crossdressers. Take that, Trista – I didn’t see any crossdressers at your wedding.
The guys show the couple around the dollhouse, asking for their engagement story, looking at Cecelia’s ring, and just mooning over their young love in general. Awww. Several of the men take a moment to talk to the camera about their own weddings and share their joy over being married.
First stop for this wacky crew is the bridal shop. Cecelia will be trying on her wedding dress and the guys are entertaining themselves by trying on veils and tiaras. You know - guys will be guys, after all. Cecelia comes out, a vision in white – and they flit about her with jewels and accessories, much like the little birds that dress up Cinderella in the Disney movie. They are in for a surprise when she asks them to be her bridesmaids, noting that this is something you ask your closest friends to do for you. So, you see, it is only fitting that she ask these five men, who she has known for less than 12 hours. Makes sense to me.
Michael is touched and honored to be asked to participate in Cecelia’s special day. Cree, on the other hand, is completely horrified and can’t comprehend why Cecelia would want them to be her bridesmaids. That makes two of us, although I would imagine the couple is being well-compensated to participate in this debacle. The boys are fitted for their gowns and head on to a flower shop, where they learn to make wrist corsages. Michael finds that he is a natural at arranging flowers. Why am I not shocked? He is a natural at wearing heels and wigs, so why should flowers be any different?
The gals are riding home in the cab and giving Cecelia pre-marriage tips about bubble baths and other manly things. In a totally shocking, unscripted moment, Cecelia remembers that her girlfriends are having a bridal shower for her and asks if she can have it at the Dollhouse, because like, it is so totally cool and stuff. Of course you can, silly – this is a reality show! Anything is possible!
The Bridesmaid of Frankenstein
When the group was at the flower shop, Cree wandered off to sleep in the cooler. I think the cold must have gotten to him, because when they arrive back at the Dollhouse, he completely freaks out. He flies off the hook and starts taking it out on the other guys, saying that it is very disrespectful to take something as serious as marriage and make a mockery out of it. He can’t believe they are being made to do this, it is an embarrassment, it is wrong, and (bleep)ing insulting. He says he won’t whore himself out for $250,000. Honestly, I don’t blame him for feeling that way– but then again, I don’t sign up to participate on reality shows. He is really upset and storms around in his girdle, looking ticked off – in a girdle-y kind of way.
The other guys don’t appreciate being made to feel stupid, bring referred to as whores and idiots, and angry words are exchanged among the group. Cree tears up while telling the camera that no one in the house is particularly deep, and Donnell angrily tells the camera that not only is Cree not a man, he is also not worthy of wearing a dress. Ooo- burn! When Cree relaxes a little, he starts to realize he may have blown his chances in the game by overreacting. He joins the rest of the guys in primping and preening to get ready for their party, but doesn’t look happy about it.
Cecelia, you’re breakin’ my heart, my fakey-cakey heart
The guys are sufficiently dolled up for their first all-girl bridal shower/ bachelorette party. Cree sits moping by himself in a corner. Cecelia’s other girlfriends start arriving – you know, the ones who probably thought they were going to be bridesmaids and are in for a shock. Girls, you may have been Cecelia’s best girlfriends yesterday, but today you have been replaced by her brand new bestest gal-pals who have so much more to offer – like tips on stuffing your bra, and how to hide your testicles in a bikini.
Cecelia has caught wind of Cree’s recent hissy fit and takes him aside to have some girl-talk. She tells the camera that tomorrow is her special day and she wants to be sure everything goes perfectly. What she means is that she doesn’t want Mrs.Doubtfire speaking up at the wrong moment when asked to forever hold his piece - uh, I mean peace. She assures him that she and Lionel are very much in love, and calms his fears that this is some kind of stunt they are pulling in order to get some free wedding money and be on television. He tells us he has had a change of heart and decided to be the best bridesmaid that he can possibly be. Cecelia and Cree rejoin the group and the other guys smell a rat. A two-faced rat-man-girl who doesn’t want to be eliminated from the show this week, that is.
Now that the unpleasantries are out of the way, let the games begin! One of the rules of this little party is that no one is to go by their real names. I’m not sure if that is just to avoid the whole “Cree- I mean, Carmen” problem, or a sly little trick to protect the privacy of Cecelia’s friends. Either way, everyone is ready to play part-ay games and we can get down to the good stuff that bridal showers are made of: sitting around weepy-eyed over how great it is to be a woman. Even some of the boys get a little veklempt over how much appreciation they have for their wives/girlfriends after having walked a mile in their stilettos, and Albert explains that he felt like an undercover female spy. Michael claims that for him, the best part of being a woman is having breasts. You see, guys – one of the best things about being a cross-dressing heterosexual is that you can be attracted to yourself. Yesss!
All types of madness ensue as the bachelorette games continue – the guys and gals are seen furiously jumping into pantyhose at one point, they eat, drink, laugh, poke each other’s false breasts, and eventually end up in a cake fight. When the evening comes to an end, the guys have all had a blast. David proclaims that the girls are much more fun than the guys and Albert and Michael both express that they just felt like one of the gals. Even Cree has something nice to say, which Donnell takes as a personal affront. He is still really mad that Cree seemed to have had a really good time after being so opposed to the whole concept and attacking the other guys for going along with it. Michael, Albert, and Donnell stand around in the kitchen talking about Cree, and their disgust at his behavior and two-facedness is evident. He is clearly the odd-man out now and a likely target for the next elimination.
Extreme Wedding: Freaky Edition
What happens next is not for the faint of heart. Yes, it’s the day that Cecelia and Lionel have waited for all their lives - the day when they are joined in holy matrimony and stun their family and friends by allowing reality show contestants to participate in their ceremony. Everything is all ready for the big day; the bride looks beautiful, the room is all decorated and flowery, the groomsmen look they are choking in their tuxedos – everything is as it should be. Cue the music – the guests turn their heads in anticipation of the lovely ladies. The “bridesmaids” begin entering one by one, greeted by gasps and giggles from the wedding guests. I want to take a moment to congratulate our five contestants. All joking aside, this has got to be one of the most freakishly bizarre moments of their lives, and they are all doing a stellar job at being as proper and ladylike as possible. Looks of nervousness and anxiety cross their faces, but they make it to their assigned positions without incident. It was obvious to me that they really wanted everything to go beautifully for the happy couple, that they took this moment seriously and did their best. Some of the men even got teary-eyed at the appropriate moments. I commend them for that. Now, back to the lunacy!
I’m coming out, so you’d better get this party started
The ceremony is over and it is time for the wrap-party – I mean, reception. The guys are working the dance floor like nobody’s business. Donnell is really shakin’ his groove thing, and I have no doubt that he could easily make a few bucks with moves like that. The groomsmen have finally gotten into the spirit of things, put the weirdness behind them, and all the dudes are dancing together on the dance floor, having a good time and high-fiving each other. Donnell assures us that there was no slow-dancing by the guy-guy couples, for those of you who were worried about that. Heavy sighs of relief can be heard from all around the country, particularly the red states.
Always a bridesmaid, never a dude
Always the party-pooper, Tony shows up out of nowhere explaining that it is time for the next challenge. As is only fitting, the winner will be decided by the bouquet toss. The lucky man to catch the bouquet will win the dude-pass escape for a day and will be safe from the next elimination. There is a lot at stake here, and Tony encourages the guys to give it their all. This is the first chance for the guys to compete as men, and a surge of testosterone crashes through the rooms like a tidal wave. Barefoot and ready for the catch, the guys are jostling for position and nearly fall all over each other as Cecelia gives them the requisite bouquet throw-fakeout. Dave finally has an advantage due to his size, as he is able to hold a defensive stance and push the lighter guys out of the way. When she finally does give it the old heave-ho, the bouquet goes over their heads. Everybody scrambles to locate it and they all dive on top of each other in a huge pileup on the dance floor. The guys are being incredibly aggressive and for a moment it looks as if the punches may start flying.
And the winner is…
Albert emerges victoriously from the pile and leaps into the air, slamming the bouquet to the ground in touchdown fashion. The rest of the guys look dejected as they get up and try to put themselves back together. Albert seems to have ripped a strap off of his dress and there are boobies and booties hanging out all over the place. The wedding is over and the bridal party descends the spiral staircase with everyone blowing bubbles and looking happy. Cecelia is happy that the day went beautifully.
Three Men and a Booby
Back at the house, Donnell realizes he has injured his pectoral muscle in the tackle for the bouquet. He takes off for the hospital and Cree, eager to gain some favor after his recent outbursts, rallies the other guys to make a “get well” card for him. Donnell returns with his arm in a sling and looks less than impressed, but thanks Cree for the card anyway and wipes the lipstick off his butt. It is important to keep up appearances when elimination is just around the bend, you know.
The next morning the guys wake up to find three baby dolls in bassinettes, complete with instructions. Donnell reads the instructions, which explain that these dolls will cry when they need attention and they will need to be fed, rocked, soothed, and cared for. It is apparent that this is the punishment for the guys left behind while Albert and his co-dude are on their excursion. Albert chooses Michael to accompany him, and Michael is so pumped up that he runs over to rattle the bassinettes to be sure the babies are crying as they head out the door. They head off for a day of stunt-car driving and leave the other guys to their nanny duties.
While Albert and Michael are tearing up the dirt doing 180-degree turns and having a blast, David, Cree, and Donnell have varying approaches to baby-care. Dave is a natural, as he is a father in real life. He cradles the doll and gives it what it needs, and it is pretty quiet and well-behaved. Cree’s baby is a bit fussy, but he is trying really hard. He draws energy from the mothering nature of Carmen, his alter-ego, and is triumphant when the baby takes the bottle and stops crying. Donnell seems really annoyed by the process and lets his baby scream at times, even leaving it on the counter as he cooks lunch.
Elimination time is coming and we are treated to a few insights from the men as they ponder who will be kicked out this week. Cree and Donnell want each other out, no doubt about that. Dave says he likes Cree, but wants to honor his promise to give his vote to Donnell. Michael knows he will be a target yet again, and pleads with the guys not to vote against him. He tells them they don’t know how it feels to be up for elimination week after week in a “don’t hate me because I’m beautiful” sort of way. Dave confesses that he felt bad for voting for Michael because he is a nice guy, but he is clearly the most vulnerable.
Here come the brides
As the guys go before the judges this week, they appear in bridal gowns. They come out one by one to receive the compliments and comments of the judges. One by one they saunter out, accompanied by traditional wedding music. I notice that they are getting better and better at this with every elimination. I mean, Dave even looks pretty and graceful as he manages walking with a long train. It quickly turns into a fashion show as Debbie and Morgan pay more attention to the detail of the dresses than to the men. John can’t wait to be put out of his misery and it occurs to me that maybe, like the contestants, he thought he was going to be judging a show called “All-American Male”. Wedding gowns just don’t seem like his cup of tea.
Tony reveals the results of the voting:
Albert (Alberta) – immune, again
Dave (Wynona) - safe
Cree (Carmen) – up for elimination (no surprise here)
When it comes to Donnell (Raven) and Michael (Scarlett), Tony announces that there is a tie between the two of them. The tie will be broken by the winner of the bouquet-toss challenge, Albert. Albert is a little nervous at first, but quickly realizes he is in a good position to eliminate his strongest competition. He says “no hard feelings, guys” and picks Michael, who tells the camera he knew inside that he would be up for elimination again.
Michael and Cree go before the judges for their final questioning before the judges make their choice. Cree is asked to explain what was the hardest part for him. He says a situation came up that challenged him, and he felt he had to be himself and express his true feelings. When he got a new outlook on the situation, he had a change of heart and re-embraced it. He knows that is why he is standing up there, vulnerable to elimination – but he had to be himself and wouldn’t have it any other way. John tells him he had a typical female moment, in that he was loony tunes one minute, then fine the next. Ah, John – you always know what to say to make a gal feel good.
Michael says that he has learned so much about being a woman and that he owes it to himself to continue. There is so much more to it then the dresses and the makeup, he can’t even explain what he is feeling inside. He feels he is doing really well and deserves to stay, so that he can learn more and take it home to his woman. He gets a little choked up and Cree pats him on the back to console him. Cree says he feels very conflicted between wanting his own success and wanting success for his friend.
And the loser is…
The judges announce that they have voted to eliminate Michael. Debbie says that she loves Michael, but he had been up there three times, and she couldn’t keep fighting for him. Morgan says she would normally have eliminated Cree for his meltdown, but she felt he had learned something and articulated it nicely. John says that this is the first time he had wanted to keep Michael in the game, because it was clear that he was the strongest competition. But alas, John is outdone and overruled by the ladies yet again. I don’t think the “women are loony” attitude really won you any credibility points with Morgan and Debbie, John.
Michael is obviously emotional about his elimination, and has trouble removing his wig. It is as if even the wig doesn’t want him to go and is clinging to his head out of desperation. I know how you feel, wig! Don’t go, Michael - you are so pretty! He says he has nothing but good feelings about this experience, and the best part was meeting the other guys. I know that what he secretly means is he’ll really miss having his own rack to play with.
Next week: The fab four make a trip home as their alter-egos.
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