Hey hey hey! Welcome back to the Road to Stardom, where I find things . . . oddly quiet! I don’t know; it just seems much more serene with the world’s next biggest-platinum-super-special-VIP-NIC star not around to proclaim his greatness and demean women and such. It’s just quite nice. But since we all loved him so much (I mean, how couldn’t we?), I’ll write something comparable to one of his raps, just so you won’t feel slighted. *throws towel over head*
I . . . rap.
And I . . . recap!
With two syllables
M to the A to the N N Y
Hear me drop some rhymes! *huh!*
Yeah, you’re never going to see that again, so don’t worry. Let’s get on with it, shall we?
We catch up with the contestants who are still surprised that Missy knocked two contestants out of the ring last week. However, they’re keeping themselves busy by doing all the typical things . . . writing, playing pool, leaving dirty clothes around the hotel room . . . the life of the stars. Speaking of which, how ironic is it that they just won a new bus, but now they have no need for it?
First thing in the day, the contestants are summoned to go downstairs and get into the awaiting limo that’s outside The Palms hotel. Inside, they find a letter from Missy, revealing that this is a Road Challenge, and a tough one at that. The contestants will be driven the length of the Vegas strip, singing together inside the limo. Each time the vehicle stops, the contestants must vote out one person, continuing until only one artist remains. If the contestants can accomplish the task within an hour, they will all win a fabulous prize!!! If not, congratulations! They win a free autographed nothing.
With that, they set off on their fantastic voyage. Everyone is improvising the best they can and seemingly all at the same time—it’s a good thing Akil has his trusty guitar handy to keep everyone relatively grounded.
When the limousine first stops, Matthew votes for Nilyne to leave, but is unpleasantly surprised when the rest of the contestants unanimously vote him out. “It’s disappointing to be the first voted out, but I hope they realize I’m a force to be reckoned with,” says Matthew. With a shrug, Matthew turns and walks off . . . perhaps to find Wayne Newton and his pet penguin. There isn’t a whole lot else to do on a Vegas street corner when you’ve buried your lust.
The second stop finds Nilyne receiving the boot, and she’s none too pleased about it as she waves her thumb through the air. “How dare you think you should be the last person in the limo just because you think you’re better than me!” she vents, pretty much summing up her feelings about Jessica and Deltrice.
The limo rolls on, and the harmonies are getting considerably less thick, so Eddie takes a break from his “Double-E double-E, yeah!” and tries his hand at singing, himself. Although his beyond-monotone “harmonizing” with Deltrice and Jessica is hilarious, he should probably never try his hand at singing again. Not surprisingly, he is booted at the next stop.
At this point, it’s fairly obvious that Jessica and Deltrice are going to stick together to the very end, so Akil simply hops out when the limo next stops. However, before walking away, he inquires, “So, which one of you is going to stay?” Surprise surprise . . . there is no answer, just the avoidance of all eye contact.
With the one-man-band gone, Jessica and Deltrice continue singing, but it sounds much less complete. As the limo pulls up, with a few minutes to spare, the two friends deliberate. Jessica begins by stating “If I had to pick someone to stay, I would pick . . . me.” Well, no kidding. Deltrice listens to her case and replies that she really respects Jessica as a performer and a friend, and she decides to gracefully bow out of this one. Though she didn’t come into the competition to make friends, Deltrice says she’s made one in Jessica. The tears flow, the two hug, and it’s a poignant moment—much more thoughtful than rock-paper-scissors. Jessica tells the camera that her grandmother told her that she’d never have any friends . . . but Jessica doesn’t believe that after meeting Deltrice.
Dance Magic Dance
I suppose nobody got hopelessly lost, mugged, or abducted by vacationing Roswellians, because we meet up with the six contestants once again in a dance studio. Missy has “invited” them to practice with her very own choreographer, Hi-Hat. Honestly, this woman reminds me of a classic James Bond villain between the all-white clothes scheme and snazzy name, but she does not dispatch anyone with her hat (or shoe). *sigh*
The contestants attempt to learn the routine for one of Missy’s extravagant, dance-filled videos, and I see hope. They’re no “Thriller” zombies, but then, who is? As they turn in their best efforts for the hip-hop line dancing of sorts, Hi-Hat says she’s thrilled with their enthusiasm. Forget the end result . . . they get a gold star for effort, at least.
Later, the contestants are hanging out in their hotel room when a knockity-knock-knock comes to their door. Why, it’s Missy, and her ever-present posse of dancers! The foursome waltzes in and makes themselves at home, and Missy immediately laughs that Nilyne is lounging on the couch with Eddie. Looks as though N-I-C is old news, indeed, but Nilyne denies it in confessional. Besides, earlier there was a shot that showed Eddie, Nilyne, and Deltrice all on the bed beside one another, and, hold the tabloids . . . I highly doubt we’ve got any scandal of that magnitude.
Missy later questions Nilyne about her feelings on Nic’s trashy low-blows against her in the battle. Did it bother Nilyne as much as it bothered Missy, Teena, Dallas, and Mona? “No, it didn’t bother me,” replies Nilyne.
WHAT? Missy and the Missettes are floored, and Missy says that even as strong as she is as a person, things hurt, and Nic isn’t there because he crossed the line. So to hear Nilyne say that it didn’t upset her . . . it doesn’t look like Miss Missy is particularly pleased. With that, the fearsome foursome takes their leave for the evening, and Missy warns the contestants to keep on their toes, because you never know when she might be in the mood to eliminate them all. Ha ha ha, what a kidder. Or is she?
After the grim warning, room service delivers a platter filled with chips to the contestants’ room. Not tortilla chips, not sour cream and onion, not potato, but the best kind . . . gambling chips. You can’t bet just one! With a total of $600, the wealth is divided up and everyone heads downstairs to try their luck. Everyone, that is, besides Akil, who is not a gamblin’ kind of man. Instead, he sits back and watches Matthew blow his entire $100 share on a single bet. It’s quite the apt message. Perhaps we have the next Clean & Clear Can’t Miss Moment?
Canned Heat in my Heels
The contestants have come to fear and dread going into unknown rooms, because you never know what could be lurking on the other side. Hmm. I wonder if they’ve caught on to the parking lot pattern yet?
As the slick six enter tonight’s darkened room, they are greeted by all the usual amenities . . . flashing lights, judges, and the solitary microphone. Fear strikes the heart—we have arrived at the performance challenge.
Tonight, we shall engage in an interesting combination of “Simon (Mona) Says” and musical chairs. When Mona hits the large, fake-looking button in her hand, music will start, and the contestants must dance, using the choreography they learned earlier from tonight’s guest judge, Hi-Hat. When Mona hits the button again, the music will stop, and the judges will call out one of the contestants to sing, rhyme, or perhaps do an interpretive dance. You never know. They may also give the contestant a topic to improvise about, much like an ungodly activity at a music/drama camp. Not that I’d know about that, mind you.
With that, the music begins, and the contestants commence the boogaloo. The dancing actually looks quite good, except for poor Eddie who is about a step behind everyone else. The judges are, no doubt, looking for things like keeping the eyes up and such; picky details when basic balancing may be in question.
The first contestant called out is Jessica, whom Mona asks to rap about being in Vegas. Jessica obliges, but turns the rap into an ode to her hometown midway through. But once again, details. Think of what Nic would do.
From where I be!
. . . .
The next lucky contestant is Akil, who must rap about being in this competition. He does a nice job—I think, anyway . . . we only hear a few words before they cut to applause—and his human beatboxing continues to amaze.
Deltrice follows with the request to rap about her favorite star, who turns out to be Aretha Franklin. I can’t knock Deltrice’s taste, and I’m not against her singing, but her rapping? Think white-girl Heather, the first casualty of the tour.
After more dancing, Matthew is called out to the center, where Hi-Hat blasts him away with a solar-powered laser. Oh, I jest, I jest. She asks him to rap about his favorite basketball team. Everyone knows that white men can’t jump, but Matthew can think on his feet, and does a decent job, even throwing in a possible double-entendre! Don’t get too carried away now, Mr. Lustless.
At this point, everyone is called out for individual dancin’. None too shabby! Everyone has their individual style, from fluid and graceful to frenzied and robotic. They’re no Napoleon Dynamites, but then, who is?
Next, Eddie is requested to do a verse of an original song. Does he put the singers to shame with his forte of rapping? No! He decides to sing. “He can kind of carry a tune,” says Matthew in confessional. Borrowing a page from Nic’s modus operandi, Eddie croons a love song dedicated to Mona. While it doesn’t fall flat with Mona, it certainly falls flat with . . . pitch. Biz Markie, watch out.
Finally, Nilyne comes up with the task of an original song . . . about Nic leaving the competition. Does she burst into angry-Destiny’s-Child-Independent-Woman-mode? Nope. She sings of sorrow, regret, heartbreak hotel, and so on . . . falling to the ground at the end of her impassioned cry. The oddest part? It actually sounds quite good, and the judges are laughing at the deliberate melodrama. Say cheese!
Dancing in the Street, OR Dancing in the Moonlight, OR Dancing With Myself, OR Dancing With Tears in my Eyes
After the customary deliberation of judges, everyone gathers in the deserted parking lot where the contestants find a private (well, sort of) jet awaiting them. The jet will take Jack and the ladies to Perth, but . . . wait, wrong show. Ahem!
Anyway, the contestants will board the plane shortly and be flown to Hollywood, Hollywood! However, there is, in a very JD Roberto fashion, only room for five of the contestants to make the trip. If Missy gets crazy again and boots two or more contestants, perhaps they can all upgrade to first class.
Unless you just have a horrid memory, you remember the spiel that Mona gives next . . . normally it’s good to be in the spotlight, unless you’re making a jailbreak or in this ceremony. Spotlights, please! When all is finished, the bright lights land on . . . Akil! And Eddie!
Missy summons them individually into her plane, which is much bigger, more beautiful, and magical. Always has to one-up the poor performers! Though I’m sure the Grammys don’t hurt her case.
First up is Akil, who says that he had a little trouble with some of the dancing, but he is just honored to have made it this far and share in the experience of the show. Missy asks him to perform one of his best songs, and Akil whips out his guitar and delivers.
Eddie follows, Missy proclaiming him “The Man with the Colgate Smile.” Eddie doesn’t have to perform or anything and grins that he’s trying to survive among a group of singers. As he leaves, Missy says “he’s definitely a charmer, and we know where he lives.” Oh ho ho ho ho!! Sorry, Nilyne. I don’t think you stand a chance now.
Speaking of Nilyne, as the other contestants wait in the limo, faces pressed to the windows in hopes of seeing the results, Jessica admits that she thought Nilyne would get the spotlight tonight. Nilyne lives up to her “firecracker” persona and explodes. Rivalry! It’s on!
As the final dramatic moment arrives, Missy walks out into the lot wearing gimungous fuzzy slippers, holding her tennis shoes in hand and asking the camera, “If you were in my shoes . . . what would you do?”
Um, buy a new car. Or twelve.
Missy briefly ponders dropping both of them, but Akil protests. “Well,” says the smiling Missy, “I feel energy in my heart to keep one of you, so . . . Akil, why should Eddie go?”
Akil, ever the gentle soul, replies that it’s not his style to put people down, and he thinks Double-E is off the hook as an MC, as the kids say. Eddie, when asked the same question of Akil, says that Akil doesn’t fit the mold of the standard MC, but also admits that Akil’s music is “real,” and would be a breath of fresh air for today’s music scene.
With that, Missy ponders, head a-tilted and sucker in hand, and finally declares . . . Eddie, you’re off the tour. Eddie and Akil hug, Missy and Eddie hug, Nilyne continues to rant, and that’s it, mis amigos. Eddie may not have been a singer, but he’s a very talented guy. Best of luck to him, and if all else fails, he can always become a spokesman for Reeboks and Colgate!
Try walking in my shoes. You’ll stumble in my footsteps, keep the same appointments I kept. firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com