Last week, Robin bid a teary goodbye to Mariela, possibly the best dancer on the show, whose skill to kick her leg high above her head did not ensure her a place in the final three. Chelsea, meanwhile, retained her boa for at least another challenge. Will she be as lucky this challenge? Will the girls finally reveal why they all have the same color of dark nail polish on? Will Asia stop making those finger tapping motions while she sings? All shall be revealed in due time! (Except that bit about the nail polish.)
Between Challenge Bitchiness.
Thinking back to the elimination choice between her and Mariela, Chelsea says she feels responsible for taking Mariela’s dream from her. She mopes around a bit, but eventually overcomes her alleged sadness to exhibit extreme cattiness in the kitchen. Anastacia, having decided to start eating better, fixes herself a huge plate of steamed vegetables because there’s no good protein around, and sits down to eat with Chelsea. Chelsea scoffs at Anastacia’s turn to healthy eating and remarks that Anastacia is just going to starve herself. Anastacia is having none of it, tells Chelsea to stop her inane remarks and that her comments really bother her because she’s not starving herself. Chelsea does the little “whatever” head gesture and laugh, and Anastacia leaves the room, plate unfinished. Chelsea, sweetie, I’m pretty sure the troll-haired, fat version of yourself would be mortified at your comments to someone who clearly has body image issues.
Soon enough, Melissa R. finds a “play me” video and the girls all stare at the larger than life screen to watch yet another inspiring message from the PCDs. This time around they say that having a personal style is key to being a PCD, and the PCD preferred style is “sassy but classy”. Jane Pratt surely would have something to say about that. The girls then go to the studio where they are met by Mikey and Robin. Robin then introduces Melody, one of the PCDs, who apparently is the style maven of the bunch. She looks fairly plain and wears a lot of white/light makeup in her lipgloss and around her eyes, like she’s trying to cover up a lot of partying. She is dressed rather ordinarily for this scene, and tosses out the sage advice that any PCD has to have an overall stylish look.
While Melody is around, Robin introduces the next immunity challenge: the girls are going to have one hour to learn a routine from Jazz-Hands™ Mikey (or should I start calling him neck-wider-than-head Mikey? Or Britney-Spears-Look-a-Like Mikey?). After that, they will show off their newly-learned moves and four of the remaining five will have a chance to be backup dancers for the real PCDs at a show. Asia, ever the Mensa member, solemnly tells the camera that a few weeks ago they saw the PCDs perform, but this time it will be totally different because they will be on stage with the PCDs. Like, OMG!, she is soooo profound.
Boob Pads and Other Crimes Against Nature.
The girls are in the rehearsal space with Mikey working on the background dance moves. Suddenly, in the middle of it all, he asks Melissa R. if she has her “boob pads” in. Melissa R. tells us that she hasn’t had issues with the sexiness up until now, but she’s starting to wonder what her parents will think. She apparently has lead a very sheltered life, and although she does possess a set of the aforementioned “boob pads” she’s not really comfortable wearing them around all day, plus she’ll get sweaty in them. Mikey chastises her for not wearing the boob pads and comments that if he had bigger boobs, he’d certainly feel more feminine. Mikey, that can be arranged these days. Maybe you too could be a PCD.
Mikey then gives us the low-down on Anastacia, saying that, for as big of a girl she is, and as beautiful as she is, she dance small and is bland. He then calls out Chelsea for dancing like a dead chicken. Who knew dead chickens could even dance? He privately says that he is impressed with Chelsea’s ability to learn the dances quickly for a non-dancer, but he doesn’t say anything nice about the actual execution of the dance moves.
Robin Antin: Evil Genius
After their time with Mikey, the girls all pile into the tour bus and head to the venue where the PCDs are taping their performance. Right there in the parking lot, the five contestants are made to perform the routine to see who is going on with the PCDs. After making several screwed up faces (as much as Botox allows, at any rate) and whispering in Mikey’s ear, Robin announces that Melissa R. and Asia are going to perform. After a pause, she adds Melissa S.’s name to the pool. After some more consternation, she says that she is going to leave both Chelsea and Anastacia off the list and back at the bus. Anastacia is mortified that she didn’t easily beat out dead-chicken-can’t-dance Chelsea. Adding insult to injury, Anastacia is forced to watch the other three get made up and ready to perform and then be trapped in the bus with jabberjaw Chelsea through the performance. She likens the experience to being in prison with Chelsea. At least there, she could use a shank.
Robin doesn’t stop at the mere trapping two girls who don’t mix well in the bus. Oh no, she has to go on to tell the three performing that they absolutely cannot mess up, any one little thing will cause total failure, and that the pressure is really REALLY on but, at the same time, they can NOT be nervous. Like that’s going to happen.
Bring on the Bling.
The Melissas and Asia get the full PCD makeup and hair experience and get their little outfits to be backup dancers. They have to go on mid-song, and Melissa R. is ready to jump the gun three times before they are cued. Once the appropriate time arrives, they go out and shake their asses and dance the silly dance Mikey made up. Nicole clearly is the singer and the other PCDs are her backup dancers, so the three contestants are really far in the back. But they do a good job and have fun. As a thank-you from the venue, the three girls get gift bags containing Giantto watches, which look to run about $600. Not too shabby of a swag bag, I must say.
After the show, Melissa R. finds the whole situation becoming more real for her, and realizes that if she wins, her whole life will change and wishes things were going a bit slower. Asia is happy that she’s come as far as she has, given all the adversity she’s had to overcome in her life. However, on the ride back to the house, Chelsea and Melissa S. get into it a bit because Melissa S. makes some snide comments about Chelsea’s dancing. Secretly, Melissa S. must be jealous of Chelsea’s voice because inexplicably she has Chelsea’s bangs in the interview segments.
Old School Burlesque Sans Will Ferrell.
Once again the girls find themselves in the rehearsal space with Robin and Mikey. They announce that the winner of the immunity challenge is Melissa R. because she really showed her own style, was relaxed in her performance and embodied everything that is a PCD. Melissa S. tells us she’s worried about being eliminated because for every other challenge she’s either been in the bottom two or had immunity.
Robin then gives the girls their next song assignment: the five will work together as a group and perform an old school burlesque show to a medley of the theme from “Pink Panther”, “Big Spender”, and “Fever.” Asia, wanting to make sure we all understand the depth of this challenge, says in a private interview that the medley is where the three songs are put together in one. Thank god she clarified that point.
While the girls rehears, we get to hear some of their private thoughts on the competition. Anastacia really wants to prove herself to Robin, works hard at the rehearsal, and feels the pressure. Robin is critical of her in the practice room. Chelsea is asked to sing on a swing, and Melissa S. comments that everyone knows they put Chelsea in the swing because she can’t dance worth a damn. Later on, Melissa S. is catty toward Chelsea at yet another dining room scene, but I’m mostly distracted by the fact that these people chew with their mouths open. I’m pretty sure that isn’t sexy or sassy.
Really Sad Burlesque.
At the PCD Lounge, Mark McGrath shows up, wearing a vest and slouchy shirt from around 1994, and introduces the usual suspects: Robin, Lil’ Kim and Ron. Ron appears to have had his few hairs cut and Lil’ Kim is sporting a fetching headband. Robin tells the girls that old school burlesque is really close to her heart and that’s what she founded the PCDs on twelve years ago.
Growing up in fairly close proximity to New Orleans and having been to bars on Bourbon Street since I was eight, I know from burlesque—the good, the bad, and the in between. I’ve even seen decent burlesque in, of all places, Seattle and that rainy night’s show in a room full of folks of alternative sexualities was far more sexy and seductive than what came up next. What these girls did isn’t so much burlesque but more like if the Village People had reimaged burlesque. The slow, deliberate pacing, meaning to tease out the tension and sexiness is just thrown out the window. The girls don’t do the long striptease but toss off their patent leather accoutrements like they were on fire to reveal a faux corsets and tacky boots. Melissa S. writhes uncomfortably around in a cast-iron bathtub, unable to stop slipping and find the microphone. Chelsea sings on what appears to be the backseat of an old car. Some guys peripherally dance around in sad little sailor outfits. Meanwhile the singing is alright. Chelsea does fine, Asia does more of the finger drumming on the microphone with too much vibrato, and Melissa R. does a good job. Anastacia sings fine, but she likely would do better if she were not dancing at the same time. These girls give it the best they can, given what they had to work with.
After the performance is over, Robin declares that they did a great job and really respected the old school burlesque. Ron says he has been enjoying watching everyone progress, and Lil’ Kim says the decision who to eliminate is going to be a tough one. Going down the line, Ron says that Anstacia had a hard time singing and dancing at the same time and Robin said that she never really overcame the issues she had in practice. Robin thought Melissa R. nailed the performance, but she’s safe anyway. Robin and Lil’ Kim were both impressed by Chelsea and how much she’s grown. Melissa S. gets the criticism that she is just not unique. And Lil’ Kim just can’t take her eyes off of Asia, but Ron helpfully suggests that’s because she’s painfully off key. With that, the girls go back stage to await their fate.
Another Boa Bites the Dust.
At the judging table, they immediately dismiss discussion about Melissa R., noting that she has immunity, not that she was in any danger of going home this week. Ron is ready to boot Chelsea but Kim and Robin like her and want to see if she’ll grow more as a dancer. Ron is also tired of Melissa S., saying that she’s merely OK, but nothing fabulous; Kim likes Melissa S. though, despite her problems with finding the mic in the bathtub dance. Ron thinks Anastacia has a great voice and is a goddess, but Kim thinks she’s clumsy and awkward. Robin thinks Asia has the moves down but Ron isn’t sold on her vocal ability.
Decisions made, the girls are called back in. Of course Melissa R. is safe, as is Chelsea and Asia. Robin admonishes Chelsea to “show more” yet again and Asia to improve her vocals. It is now down between Anastacia and Melissa S. Robin tells Anastacia that she has a beautiful tone to her voice but she is struggling with her presence on stage. She then tells Melissa S. that she is wildly inconsistent in the quality of her performances and is doubtful that she brings originality in the performance. Despite the more pointed comments to Melissa S., she is allowed to advance to the next round and Anastacia has to hang up her boa. Anastacia takes the news well, much as Mariela did last week. She says she’s found some life-long friendships and has grown and learned a lot and will continue to perform. She’s probably glad to get away from Chelsea and get some real protein.
Anyone else hate the integrated commercials with Mark McGrath from the Viper Room? If so, shoot me a PM.