I can’t believe that I’m going to say this, but this show has really grown on me. I actually think that most of these girls seem like nice kids who just want to make it big, and it’s kind of nice that Robin Antin is saving—at least for now—from the skeezy Hollywood machine, living in a nice place with security and proper food. Yes, I’m fond of living in a delusional world, and for the sixty minutes this show is on, I feel happy for these gals. Well, except for Asia, ‘cause that girl gets on my last nerve with her Weston Esterhazy teeth thing. This week, the useless Mark McGrath reminds we’re down to six young lasses, and another will be chucked out find fame and fortune on her own.
The girls are back in their house after Sisely’s dismissal from the competition. Anastacia concludes that Robin has an idea of what she wants for the PCDs, and Sisely just didn’t have it, although she thought Sisely would go further. Anastacia worries that she has a lot to prove to stay on, and she’s also concerned about her physique. Personally, the girl could probably gain 20 pounds and still look great; her hair can balance out a bit more booty many times over.
Gathering in the living room, the girls play their latest video message from the PCDs. Their “inspiring” message this week is that a PCD doesn’t just feel sexy, she is sexy and there is nothing sexier than being sexy. With confidence. And individuality. And creativity. Oh yeah, and not barfing.
The girls then join Robin in the rehearsal space and she introduces Jeff, the PCD manager. Jeff tells the contestants that he’s booked them into the PCD Lounge in Las Vegas. They’ve got an hour to pack, then they’ll head down on the bus where they will learn the music and choreography for their show tonight. This is the immunity challenge, and whomever does the best gets a free pass in the elimination competition. The song they will be singing is “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell. Those guys will sell the right of use to just about anybody, won’t they?
On the bus.
The girls are on the bus with ole Jazz-Hands™ Mikey. That guy is about as annoying as they come and very well may have been one of those losers in the audition round of “So You Think You Can Dance.” I’m not sure, but he certainly fits the overblown ego profile to a T. He’s trying to teach the girls the dance routine in the moving bus as it flies down the desert highway. The girls are falling over themselves, and frankly, this may be an issue for the NTSB. Melissa S. privately says in an interview, “Seriously, who learns choreography in a moving bus? I didn’t get that memo!” Well said, Melissa S., well said.
After a while the girls get some lunch, which looks to be a turkey sandwich and some salad. Princess Asia can’t be bothered to eat such “crap” because, after all, who the hell eats vegetables anyway? All she wants is regular, New York food—a burger and fries.
Shameless Caesar’s Palace Plugs.
Finally the girls arrive in Vegas and get their outfits. Robin has decided that the theme of this performance is “gold” and everyone will wear gold outfits. This would work if they were all singing “Goldfinger,” but “Tainted Love” was an 80s pop song, not a Shirley Bassey tune. Anastacia has trouble finding a dress that fits, and the costume girl pretty much calls her fat. Never mind the fact that she’s a good six inches taller than all the other girls and has curves. In any event, a super tight gold dress on Anastacia looks better than those god-awful pink tights/leggings that Mariela is sporting. Pepto pink and gold lame’ do not go together.
The show is at the PCD Lounge in Las Vegas, which happens to be in Caesar’s Palace and look mysteriously similar to the PCD Lounge in Los Angeles. Robin introduces the performance and tells the girls and the audience that the audience is going to pick their favorite performer, and that girl will win immunity. The show gets underway, and generally consists of some mild rump-shaking, fairly middling singing, and an odd arrangement of the song. Chelsea has pretty much the strongest voice, Anastacia looks uncomfortable in her dress, and Asia is all over the place with her singing.
After the show, the girls are shown up to their huge suite, which is staffed by two butlers. Robin comes up and gathers everyone around the baby grand in the living room of the suite and announces that Melissa S. won the challenge by an overwhelming vote. Melissa S. is thrilled, especially since she’s been in the bottom two for a couple of challenges.
Once Robin departs, food is prepared en suite for the girls. Anastacia eats a lot, which Chelsea comments on greatly in a private interview. She bags on Anastacia quite a bit for a former fat girl with matronly upper arms. Asia is put out that the food isn’t chicken tenders and fries and hates that they cooked there in the suite. Asia privately says that she’s called a diva for her behavior and that makes her mad because being a diva isn’t always a positive thing. Wow, the girl is deep…like a puddle. Later on, as the girls frolic in the hot tubs, Asia orders a burger and fries from room service and is thrilled she finally has “real food.”
Before leaving Vegas the following morning, Robin reveals that the elimination challenge is going to be a trio of duets and she’s picking the pairings. She assigns the following: Anastacia and Melissa S. are going to sing “Un-Break My Heart”, made famous by Toni Braxton; “I Turn To You”, most recently covered by Christina Aguilera, will be performed by Chelsea and Mariela; and “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing”, the awful song sung by Aerosmith in the awful movie “Armageddon” will be performed by Melissa R. and Asia. All three of these “lovely” songs were written by the queen of the cheesy movie ballad, Diane Warren, so clearances must have been a cinch. Anastaica is worried about the pairing because Melissa S. has immunity. Mariela is worried because this is more of a singing challenge, and Chelsea is the best singer there. Asia is worried because Melissa R. is her biggest competition, but then reasons herself out of that corner by saying that, if the contest is based on performance, she’ll win because she’s a better performer. If it’s based on singing, then she’ll also win because she’s a better singer. Maybe Asia needs to check the dictionary regarding the meaning of the word “competition.”
The footage that all the dirty old men were waiting for…
After the bus ride back into LA, the girls are tired and restless at the same time. Asia is frustrated with her performance in Vegas, and is tired. For some reason, Asia and Chelsea start to wrestle. They stop short of actually hurting each other, but do go at it pretty convincingly, so much so that the WWE should come a’callin’ when the PCDs don’t pan out for these two. Unfortunately for those horny old dudes tuning in, this is not the Bachelor and these girls are underage, so there is no drunken wrestling that results in someone being nekkid.
Un-Learn These Habits.
To help the girls sing better, Robin brings in Valerie Moorehouse, vocal coach to the stars, or so she says. Valerie meets with each girl individually, and takes Asia to task for overwrought vocal gymnastics, calling her vibrato-laden, pitchy singing a cop-out. Asia gets steaming mad and just walks away from the training.
Chelsea learns something about preserving her voice; she’s been hoarse lately, and it worries Mariela. Speaking of whom, Mariela’s time with the vocal coach seems fairly productive. Similarly, Anastacia and Melissa S. work hard on their song, but Anastacia is feeling down and out of her element. A talk with a friend from home helps her out, as does a vigorous workout on the machines in the house.
Duets, thankfully not featuring Gwyneth Paltrow and/or Huey Lewis.
Backstage, the girls are getting ready for their duets. Anastacia and Melissa S. are having a hard time getting their performance together. Mariela is banking on her strong performances of the past and Chelsea is still worried about her voice.
Soon enough it is time for Mark McGrath to wonder what the hell happened to his career and introduce the same three judges we’ve seen for the past four episodes: Robin, Ron Fair, and Lil’ Kim. Robin and Lil’ Kim are excited to see who has star quality. Ron wants to see who can convey the songs in an honest and emotional way. Singing cheesy power ballads in an overly emotional way is how I pass time in traffic; who knew it was a career path?!
The first group up is Melissa R. and Asia doing “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing”. Melissa R. is wearing what appears to be a chemise and matching underwear. Her vocal performance is okay at first. Asia then comes out in some kind of zipper get-up that makes the chemise look like a demure outfit. Asia clearly did not heed the advice of the vocal coach and is all over the notes with pitchy vibrato. Melissa R. comes back in the song and starts crying. I think it’s because she sounded terrible on her second verse, but she claims it was because she was thinking of her grandmother. Ouch! That’s no way to refer to Steven Tyler!
Robin thought Melissa R.’s performance was great, Ron admonished that she shouldn’t let emotions mess her up, and Lil’ Kim advised that she should always power through the emotion by continuing to sing. Asia, on the other hand, was taken to task by Ron for the insane vibrato, crazy notes, and the finger drumming thing on the microphone.
Mariela and Chelsea are up next; Mariela somehow has cultivated the annoying whiney yet weak quality to her voice and makes weird pointy motions with her hand. I guess when she has no reason to do high kicks, she doesn’t know what to do. Chelsea sounds pretty good, but mostly like she’s copying Christina Aguilera. Chelsea also has odd arm motions, not unlike a bad contestant on Star Search or Miss America. Ron finds Mariela’s performance not emotionally honest, and Lil’ Kim said she was like a ‘special guest’ on Chelsea’s show. Ron though Chelsea was merely mimicking Xtina, and not being herself.
Finally, Melissa S. and Anastacia take a stab at “Un-Break My Heart”, made famous by those identity theft credit card commercials. Anastacia started out the song, draped on a chair. The girl has got a low voice and maybe with more help from the vocal coach, she could sound awesome but she just doesn’t do it for me. Melissa S. then joined in, sounding every bit like any other dime-a-dozen pop princesses. Oddly enough, when they got together they had a synergistic effect that mad them sound good for a bit, before devolving into the devil’s harmony. Robin liked Anastacia’s initial chair position, and thought she looked great. But backstage, Anastacia was not happy with her performance.
Reclaiming another boa.
With the show over and the girls backstage, the judges discuss each contestant. Robin likes Melissa R.’s singing and dancing. Ron finds Asia’s affectations and singing style bothersome, though Robin still likes her. Melissa S. has immunity, so they don’t care about her. Robin thinks Anastacia is getting better and Ron thinks she would make a great studio recording artist. Robin thinks Mariela is easily the best dancer and could fit immediately into the PCDs if it were based on dance alone. Ron points out she isn’t the best vocalist, and Lil’ Kim doesn’t like that Mariela gave up on her vocal performance. Ron loves Chelsea’s voice, and Lil’ Kim can see her in the finale.
Having made their decision, the judges call the girls back on stage. Robin tells the girls that they continue to impress the judges, making the elimination job a whole lot harder. She then congratulates Melissa R. and Asia who are moving on. Melissa S., who had immunity, and Anastacia also are moving on. The final two comes down to Mariela and Chelsea. Robin tells Mariela that she is the best dancer and is very beautiful, but she continues to struggle with the vocals. She then tells Chelsea that she has beautiful vocals but has a challenge with the dancing. Ultimately the decision came down to who can overcome the weaknesses more quickly, and Chelsea moves on.
Robin becomes emotional at dismissing Mariela; we wouldn’t know it through the botox, except she sheds a tear. Mariela takes it well, and of course Chelsea cries because she does every week. Mariela says in her exit interview that she is taking with her the sense of and ability to be fearless and is pretty positive on the whole experience. Those whiney bastards on The Apprentice could learn a thing or two from these girls.
Next week, the five girls compete for four spots to perform with the real PCDs. It could get messy!
Robin: Mother figure or Madame? I can’t decide; if you can, drop me a PM & we’ll chat.