Introduction: Rapper's Delight
As with NCAA Basketball, reality TV contestants who enter the vaunted "Final Four" have cause to celebrate, even if the number "four" seems arbitrary to me, at times.
But now that JW, Jackaay, Jaret and Vanessa are Final Four contestants, the endgame is in sight. And to that, I say "Thank goodness"--both for them...and for those of us who recap this show.
As in the days of yore when victories in great battles were immortalized in song, I thought the impending final battle between these Final Four ought to be immortalized in ballad.
So excuse me a moment while I grab a microphone.
All right. Check it out:
This is the latest recap for I Want to be a Hilton,
coming atcha straight outta Chilton...
...County, where I'm rhymin'.
Chilton famous for its peaches,
Florida for its beaches,
New York for its clubs and...(uh!)
You may know me from The Contender
Now I'm sittin' on my couch
Drinkin' Hyp-NO-tiq and playin' Defender...
On my Atari
This recap ain't gonna be longer
but this ain't excitin'
like marryin' Darva Conger.
So sit back, relax, grab a Twinkie
Post in "What are you eatin' or drinkin'?"
While I'm thinkin'
"Hilton" has their Final Four
And they ain't blinkin'.
So let the FoRT bump this article
As "Hilton" gets farcical
And phat's blowin' it up
like an atomic particle.
In Da Club
This week's episode begins like so many elimination-format reality programs. The interminable recap of last week's events. (Yawn.) The contestants claiming to be shocked and dismayed with the departure of their fellow contestants, although they must be giddy that they're still around...and their "friends" are not.
Even as Jackaay professes shock that "[They] lost three people" in one elimination ceremony, JW feels that the prize is "definitely in my grasp now."
To that, I can only say nothing brings the laughter of your peers faster than misplaced overconfidence. And as anyone who has watched two minutes of reality television knows, hubris such as this will get you killed off faster than saying "Did you hear that?" in a horror movie.
No time for self-reflection, though (Is there ever on reality programming?), as Kathy Hilton introduces this week's challenge. The remaining contestants (JW, Jackaay, Jaret and Vanessa) will be divided into teams of two and have 10 hours to transform a nightclub into a hip New York party. They will be given black books with the names and numbers of New York's hottest club promoters and party-goers and try to convince as many people to attend their party as possible.
(Now, maybe I'm just getting a little too old, but--people actually make a living at this? That is, "New York City Club Promoter, 2001-05" may actually appear on a resume? Without a trace of irony?)
To the winners, the spoils: a set of Cartier Roadster watches. To the losers: shame, ruin and a one-out-of-two chance he or she will go home and not be a Hilton.
Jaret and Vanessa comprise one team, while JW and Jackaay comprise the other.
One of the first decisions the teams will make is to decide on a name for their half of the "Quo" club.
Jackaay laments that JW "had no idea what to do" and comes up with "Status at Quo." (Get it? Get it?!)
Jaret complains that Vanessa seemed "standoffish and bossy." The pair settle on "Lunes at Quo."
Neither team nails down a theme, but I suppose that's moot since I'm sure the theme is the theme of every club (not many) I've ever attended: gyrating drunk people.
"Networking is all about trust," JW pronounces. With that, the Mississippi native is off to convince New York's beautiful twentysomethings that Status at Quo is the place to be.
What's the Frequency, Jaret?
Jaret, on the other hand, is sent to radio station "Power 105.1" to be interviewed by former MTV VJ, now radio personality, Ed Lover. At this point, I would be doing my due diligence by sketching out Ed Lover's background, but Google is not cooperating.
A Google search of Ed Lover biography returns a biography on painter Edward Hopper, which would no doubt thrill the painter, as I'm sure each is a fan of the other. That is, I'm sure Hopper would have been a fan of hip-hop...if he hadn't died in 1967.
Jaret looks nervous to be interviewed on radio, and Ed Lover sets his mind at ease by telling him: "Sit your ass down. You're getting interviewed." And, really, that's funny, because that's the first technique they taught us in Journalism school when we were lectured on how to make an interview subject comfortable.
Meanwhile, JW is contacting renowned party-goer Stacey Nunez, who appears on-screen with the description "New York City Party Girl" under her name.
JW declares, "She's a party girl so she's right up my alley" [emphasis mine], which is the first of many things that he, Jaret, Vanessa and Jackaay will say this episode to make me literally do a spit-take.
After their meeting, JW starts pacing and bouncing around and muttering, "I gotta get down! I gotta win this one! Pow!" to help me with spit-take no. 2.
And for spit-take no. 3, Jackaay takes her turn being interviewed by Ed Lover as she promotes Status at Quo. When asked by Mr. Lover if Jackaay has "something" to share with his listeners, she says, without a trace of irony, "I have a lil' sumpthin'-sumpthin'!" I rewind the tape twice to make sure I heard that correctly.
Ed Lover, on the other hand, is not the least bit fazed. He even calls Jackaay "a white girl with soul!"
"The radio people loved me!" Jackaay squeals.
A Network Is Only as Strong as Its Weakest Link
JW meets with club promoter Aaron Karo, who likes the way that JW works because "The first thing he (JW) brought up is women." And: "JW seems like the type of guy you're friends with right away."
You see, Aaron is working under that unfortunate assumption that "big city slickers" have about anyone with a Southern accent--that is, anyone with a Southern accent is automatically "friendly" and trustworthy in an aw-shucks kind of way.
Aaron has obviously never been to a church picnic in the South and watched the hostilities fly or on the receiving end of a Southern insult that begins as a compliment...but sounds less so half an hour later when one thinks some more about the "compliment."
While JW meets with Aaron, Jackaay meets with model/promoter Justin Brody. One thing I've noticed about Jackaay: When she gets nervous or excited, she screws up her face and resembles Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer...when Spike reveals his true vampire face.
Jackaay's selling point to Justin is that the women in Status will be "more beautiful" than she is. Attagirl, Jackaay. Way to use low self-esteem as a sales tactic.
Justin promises that he can round up 20 or 30 people if he decides to attend the party at Status, to which Jackaay replies, "Oh! Your posse!" for yet another spit-take on my part. Justin looks like he doesn't know what to make of her.
As they part ways, Jackaay tells Justin "Rock on!"
At this point, I nearly had to tear my own ears off.
JW concludes a meeting with another promoter and shouts, "We'll put your name on the VIP list!"
And, oh, dear reader, every once in a while, every once in a while, we recappers witness a moment on reality television that makes up for all the Nanny 911 and Wife Swap recaps.
A passerby shouts at JW: "No, you won't, smartass!"
"New York City Party Girl" Stacey Nunez calls JW and tells him that she can bring 25 people, and she's bringing them to Status.
JW camera talks: "There's no way in hell [Vanessa and Jaret] will beat us."
(I see dead people.)
Crossing the Thin Velvet Line
That night, the doors to Status and Lunes open just after 9 pm. JW works the velvet rope outside while inside Status, Jackaay tries to make sure that all is running according to plan.
When Stacey shows up, she and the people she has in tow go to Jaret and Vanessa's Club Lunes. (Show of hands? Who's surprised by this development? You in the back, put your hand down. No, you weren't.)
When JW finally--finally greets a party promoter and his train he spouts, "Wassup, baby! Let's get hyped!" At that point, I forgot about the spit-takes altogether, tore up my steno notepad and chewed on the pages.
Kathy Hilton, Tell 'Em What Time It Is
At the end of the evening, Kathy Hilton puts in an appearance and declares the winners to be Club Lunes, the victory going to Jaret and Vanessa.
Jaret and Vanessa visit the jeweler and receive their Cartier watches, as promised. They're told the pair of watches cost approximately $10,000.
"I feel like I have a car around my wrist!" Jaret gushes.
JW and Jackaay are not as lucky. Instead of watches, they get the pleasure of Mrs. Hilton's company, who is appearing for this meeting wearing her best blouse from the Florence Henderson collection.
Jackaay thinks her selling point is that she came up with the clever name (which obviously wasn't clever enough).
JW thinks that a tough challenge was made even tougher because they needed to talk to total strangers into coming to "a Mississippi guy's club," which apparently would not be as tough...if they were in Mississippi.
Hilton grills JW about why he snapped at people lining up at Club Lunes while she takes Jackaay to task for not providing "free bottles" to the club-goers as they had promised they would.
"Networking is not just about shaking hands," Hilton chides them. "It's following through on your promises."
Hilton also takes JW to task for looking "so desperate." While she tells them they've both been competitors and compliments JW on his "Southern charm," she feels concerned by JW's attitude.
Jackaay's name is on the list. JW is sent packing.
"I'm taking my country ass back to Mississippi!" JW crows from the back of a taxi cab. "Mama, I'm coming home!"
If you would like to gift a "Roadster" to phat32 (firstname.lastname@example.org), he would like his in silver, with four wheels and a "BMW" emblem.