Recap 06/07/04 - Jojo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling
Hi, my name is Wayner, and I’m a Recapaholic. I started writing for the FORT about eighteen months ago. At first it was just a guest recap here or there. I enjoyed it. No, I loved it. It was a rush. It made me feel popular and important. Soon, I was recapping shows of my own. The high was incredible. Still I couldn’t get enough. I started recapping the shows I was covering and filling in on other shows whenever I could. It seemed so harmless, and I told myself I could stop any time I wanted. But I found myself recapping every chance I got. And when I wasn’t recapping, I was thinking about it, or talking about it with someone else. Pretty soon I found myself recapping alone. I was in trouble, but I wouldn’t admit it, not even to myself. When recapping finally cost me friends, I knew I had to take a break. I wasn’t there to say goodbye to Ross, Rachael, Monica, Chandler, none of the old gang. Oh, wait, I said “friends” instead of “Friends”, didn’t I? Sorry for the confusion. I mean, you didn’t think recapping really cost me my friends, did you? Well it didn’t. And if I could get any of them to return my calls, I’d have them tell you themselves.
You’re probably wondering where Stargazer is, and why you’re stuck with me this week. The answers are Disneyworld, and I was the only FORT writer desperate enough to take the assignment. Truth be told, I’d have recapped an Anna Nicole Smith show this week if they’d asked me. So, let’s get to the recapping before someone tears me away from the keyboard to perform an intervention, shall we?
Reader Discretion Advised
This week’s show opens with a recap of what we’ve seen thus far. Brian McFayden tells us that thousands of hopefuls have been whittled down to a final four. One of them will be given a shot to be named America’s Best Singer. This is my first viewing of “Superstar” (they wouldn’t let me watch TV in the rehab center) and I have to be honest; if not for the fact that I’d seen Mr. McFayden hosting “Cupid”, I’d be wondering if perhaps the show wasn’t also trying to trick this young man into thinking he has the talent to host a Reality TV show. The man is no Ryan Seacrest. And as far as I’m concerned, Seacrest is just above that woman that said “One of you will be leaving Paradise…forever in the pantheon of Reality TV hosts.
But enough ripping on the host, there’s other people to mock. In fact, I should take a moment to issue the recap version of a Viewer Discretion Advisory. If you’re offended by mockery, turn back now. There’s nothing to see here. Move along. Of course, if you’re offending by mockery, then I have one question for you: What on Earth are you doing watching this show?!!! Not liking cruel jokes and taking the time to watch “Superstar” is like going to Starbucks when you hate coffee. It’s like being a vegetarian and going to an all you can eat buffet called “Meat, Meat, Meat.” So, consider yourselves warned. I don’t want any emails telling me what an insensitive bastard I am; I know I’m an insensitive bastard; it’s part of my charm.
We’re shown very brief clips of each of the remaining finalists. In case you’re wondering, they are Jojo, Jamie, Mario, and Rosa. Jamie informs us “Everybody in the house better say ‘Buh-bye’, because Jamie’s here.” Call it a hunch, but I suspect Jamie’s parents might have gone a little overboard on the whole concept of self-confidence.
The “judges” are introduced.
“Mr. Funky Cold Medina” Tone Loc. I like Tone. I like his music. I like his acting, and I thought he was particularly convincing in “S.W.A.T.” Wait, that’s L.L. Cool J. Tone hasn’t done any acting since “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective” ten years ago. Which probably explains why he’s here. But, um, I like him, too. He’s def. And stuff. Yo.
The next judge is “Platinum selling recording star Vitamin C.” Now, there are some of you may think that Ms. C’s real name is Colleen Fitzpatrick. Well, my friends, you’d be wrong. In fact, Fitzpatrick is just another pseudonym she uses in her acting “career” which while once promising, includes recent roles such as “Guitarist in the crowd outside the mansion in “Rockstar.” Her real name, and you heard it here first, is Asorbic Acid. But she’s really attractive and funny. Which probably explains why she’s here.
The final judge, and those of you who have been watching, is Superstar’s answer to Simon Cowell, Briggs. I have nothing witty to add about Briggs. Of course, it’s questionable that I had anything witty to say about the other judges as well. Ahem.
Our host tells us that this week, the budding superstars will be performing in front of a live audience for the first time, and in addition to singing, they’ll have to dance as well. Who are the sadistic monsters behind this show?
Meet Dave Scott: Master Choreographer. Dave tells us that he’s worked with such stars as B2K, Tyrese, and Brian McKnight. I have to be honest with you; while I’m familiar with the last two, the first one could be the illegitimate love child of R2-D2 and C-3PO for all I know. Dave has been brought in to teach the contestants how to dance.
Gimme a J
First up is Jamie, who is thrilled to meet Dave. “When I met Dave it was so cool! I mean, Hello?!! he’s worked with all the big stars.” If so, I wish he’d named them. But she continues. “I’m going to have dancers! I already feel like B.S.” No, wait, that’s from my notes. She actually said she already felt like “Britney Spears.” Of course, now that she is aware of the show’s big super-secret twist, I think my notes are probably more accurate of her feelings.
Dave tells us that Jamie is a sweet little down-home girl, “but when she opens her mouth… I’m sorry I’m pausing. I’m trying to think of a nice way to say “No, she can’t sing.” Clearly, Dave isn’t an insensitive bastard.
Jamie digs her hole a little deeper when she tells us “I do have a lot of dance experience; I was a cheerleader in high school.” Sadly, the producers miss an opportunity; she’ll be singing Celine Dion’s “All By Myself” instead of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Though I suppose Toni Basil’s “Hey Mickey” would have been more her style than Nirvana.
So That’s Where Frisbees Come From
Dave’s next project is teaching Jojo some moves. Jojo, who will be singing Beyonce’s song “Crazy in Love”, is ready. “My friends all love this song, so when I’m up there on stage they’re just gonna bleep Frisbees.” Thankfully, I’m not one of Jojo’s friends. From all accounts, hearing Jojo sing is painful enough on its own; the added discomfort associating with passing a large, flying, plastic disk just seems redundant.
It turns out that Jamie isn’t the only contestant with an insanely over-inflated ego, as Jojo has the audacity to try to offer the professional choreographer some suggestions. He wanted to incorporate his own “Snake action” move, which to my horror, he demonstrates. “If we can ‘corporate that – the no-bone thing – Jojo be pimpin’!” Dave manages to keep a straight face, but later describes the move for us. “His meat just wiggles.” Actually, now that I’ve seen that phrase in print, the image it conjures is actually more horrifying than the move itself.
Rosa spends her time with Dave preparing to perform “Genie In a Bottle” by stumbling around hopelessly. Afterwards she informs us “Before I was a triple threat. Now I’m a quadruple threat; I got the looks, the attitude, the voice, and now I have the moves. She’s partially right; she does have an attitude.
Mario is going to sing Jessica Simpson’s “Sweetest Sin.” Dave comments that “Mario doesn’t even look like he would listen to music – period.” The poor young contestant tells us “Sex appeal is pretty important to a superstar, ‘cause it gives the performer a certain flare.” Yes, a certain flare called “sex appeal.” Much like rocks give the Rocky Mountains a certain rockiness. After the rehearsal, Flareboy says “I’ve got two beautiful women gyrating on me and I felt no attraction to them ‘cause it’s just an art form and it’s business, too.” That Mario; what a pro.
The dance instruction at an end, Brian prepares us for some backstage drama. He tells us that this week, the stage is bigger, there’s more pressure, and it’s taking it’s toll. The next thing we see is Jamie baring, well, an enormous amount of cleavage, which is threatening to take a tumble. A Wardrobe Malfunction Specialist is on hand, sewing up a bit of her top and reinforcing it to keep the FCC happy.
Divas and Drama
Backstage, Rosa’s confidence is at an all-time high. Which is saying something. “Now I’m a Superstar in this business. All these people are not competition for me. Christina Aguilera, J-Lo – she doesn’t even speak Spanish, either – so they better watch out for me. After this performance, Rosa’s gonna take over the world. I’m the great Latin Diva.” If she really wants to surpass J-Lo, she’d better get busy; J-Lo’s already three husbands ahead.
In Jojo’s dressing room, we learn that “At this very moment, Jojo is freaking out.” He doesn’t know his words and he isn’t sure of his moves. “I have a couple of hours to just drill this song, ‘cause if I don’t get it, Jojo’s going home.” You know, there are few things more annoying that someone who refers to himself in the third person. One of those things is someone that keeps you guessing between first and third person, like Bobo does. Yes, I said Bobo. Like the clown.
Mario is feeling good. He’s in his dressing room, pointing at himself in the mirror. The man is bouncing up and down like a prize fighter, and telling himself “You look good. You sound good. You move good.” You should find another adjective, Mario.
B.M. introduces Mario to the audience. Wait, notes again. That was supposed to read “Brian McFeyden.” For some odd reason, Mr. McFeyden is wearing a t-shirt with a woman in a bikini on it. Over this, the man has an open red dress shirt and a sport coat. The only purpose for this getup I can possibly imagine is to make the contestants feel more comfortable in their heinous garb. I mean, he couldn’t have picked this stuff out on purpose, could he? No matter, I’m getting off track.
Brian introduces Mario to the crowd, who go wild. Mario comes out, attempts to sing and gyrate with the dancers. Then it’s time for the judges to pour on the charm. Tone Loc tells him “Star light, star bright. Mario, you are the first star I’ve seen tonight.” That tells us nothing. But Mario takes it has high praise.
I became a Vitamin C fan tonight. Her comments to the contestants were consistently honest, yet delivered in a way that allowed the poor delusional creatures to believe she liked them. “I admire you Mario, I really, really do. Your energy your excitement – that risqué performance – it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen in my entire life, Mario.”
Briggs gave a hilarious, if rehearsed critique. “Stop smiling, because here comes the tough love. I thought you took some liberties with your background dancers. You were a little hands-on. It was inappropriate. If you are crowned the WB’s Superstar USA, then you can man-handle, fondle, grope all the background dancers you want, because that’s what Superstars do. But until then, keep your hand out of the nookie jar. Good job. Thank you.” At that moment, Superstars across the country were frantically trying to explain that Briggs wasn’t serious about the groping, while simultaneously plotting his death for letting the cat out of the bag.
Before we head to commercial, McFeyden asks “How will they react when they find out the show’s secret surprise twist?” Who cares, Bri, we won’t find out until next week. I hate it when hosts do stuff like that! Please tell me he hasn’t been saying that every week.
Ferraris and Cheetos
After the break, we get a break from the performances. Not to spare the contestants any embarrassment. On the contrary, they take them to mansions and Ferrari dealers to give them a taste of the life they could lead if they become superstars. Rosa pictures herself sitting in her multi-million dollar house, in the tub, sipping champagne, having her nails done. Probably by J-Lo, but she doesn’t say.
Jojo’s superstar dreams seem much more within reach. He wants a house in Beverly Hills where he sees himself “Eatin’ Cheetos.” And while sitting in a Hummer at the car dealer, he informs us that “These seats conform to my rear end.” As do most substances known to man, so what’s his point?
The Ferrari dealer tells Rosa that since she doesn’t know how to drive a car with manual transmission, she can get the car in an automatic. Heretic! Why not just tell her she can put ketchup on her lobster and be done with it?
Leaning on a beautiful black convertible, Mario informs us “That car screams power. That car screams “Mario!” No, Mario. That car screams “Get off me, you buffoon!”
Back to the performances. Rosa performs “Genie in a Bottle” with, er, enthusiasm. Briggs tells her “I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the expression “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight” but you didn’t. You brought the most lethal weapon I’ve ever seen – your voice.” There is no truth to the rumors that Iraqi prisoners are being forced to listen to tapes of Rosa’s performance. Honest.
Tone Loc: “You got it goin’ on girl.” Tone is boring me. Sorry big fella.
Vitamin C: “That was a mind-boggling performance. You are remarkably consistent from show to show.” That’s the truth.
The next little adventure for the contestants is to work on their media skills. So they are sent to meet with “Extra!” hostess Dayna Devon. This woman is evidence that human cloning has taken place, and the donor cells were taken from none other than long-time “Entertainment Tonight” hostess Mary Hart. Most of her questions and comments aren’t worth repeating, but one struck me. She said that Jamie had “that wholesome Britney Spears/Jessica Simpson look to her.” I must be out of touch, because I was under the impression that “wholesome” and “Britney” parted ways a long, long time ago.
Jojo arrived to meet Dayna wearing pink fishnet stockings with holes in them. On his arms. I’m not making this stuff up, I swear. I’m not that creative. Dayna asked Jojo to share some of the compliments he’s received from the judges. He reveals that they liked his “Padunkadunk.” Or “Badunkadunk” or something. Which, it turns out is his derriere. “Yes, I’ve been kind of blessed, you could say.” I’m not sure having a butt-name that sounds like a car driving over a speed-bump is a blessing, but to each his own.
Back to the performances again. This time it’s Jojo. Before he comes on stage, the music starts, and two pairs of background dancers begin their slinky moves. We hear Jojo’s voice “Uh-oh, uh-oh, no-no-no-no-no.” For a moment I thought he had panicked and forgotten his words, but then I remembered he was performing “Crazy In Love.” The man prances through a giant star with a flaming background, and asks the crowd “Are you ready to go Jojo Style?” When he came on stage, I could have sworn it wasn’t Jojo, but Corkey St. Clair from “Waiting For Guffman.” It was eerie. And sad. The “singing” was more reciting the words. Clumsily. And the “dancing”? Well, let me just say Jojo Dancer, your life is calling. And it’s pissed.
Vitamin C continues her pattern of telling the truth and making the performers happy. With a smile she tells him “Jojo, that was a ridiculous performance. That slinky move you do? I think we need to call that “The Jojo.”
Tone Loc again keeps is short. “You’ve got a mean mojo workin’.” Is it too late to get L.L. Cool J. in here? Snoop Dog? Anyone?
Briggs tells Jojo to wipe the smile off his face. “So you’re a real crowd pleaser, so what? Half these people are bussed in from local correctional facilities.”
Here We Go
Jamie’s much anticipated performance is upon us. Well, almost. First Brian has to make funny. “She thinks she’s got what it takes to go all the way, and she just might be right.” If the WB wasn’t so cheap, they could have asked some of the guys from high school and found out. Oooh. That was crass of me, wasn’t it? Like McFeyden wasn’t leading us all down that road anyway.
Okay, before I comment on Jamie’s rendition of Celine Dion’s “All By Myself”, you need to know that I hate this song. Mostly because I despise Ms. Dione. That said, even I was horrified at how badly Jamie screeched through it. And she had this odd habit of letting the audience know when to brace themselves for a particularly hideous pitch by saying “Here we go.” She even got on her knees at the edge of the stage and moan/hollered at a pair of young ladies standing next to it. The fragile Celine, having caught wind of the destruction of her masterpiece, was too distraught to perform her Vegas show. At least that’s the rumor. That I’m starting. Right now.
Tone Loc finally manages a more complex sentence. “It’s a good thing I had my shades on, ‘cause I might have been blinded by your light, you know what I’m sayin’?” Actually, I don’t. Did Jamie flash you or something?
Vitamin C: “Again you shock me Jamie. You have a strong voice, and you are so cute that I could eat you with a spoon. But I won’t, because cannibalism is illegal and I am not gay. But if I was gay, I would take you to San Francisco on the next flight.” Vitamin realizes too late that she will no longer be able to brush guys off in bars with the old “I’m gay” line that has served her so well for so long.
Briggs has the lights brought down low so he can get personal with Jamie for a moment. “You and I have had an interesting ride. The first couple of performances I was a little distracted by your bosom. We’ve worked through that. What I didn’t realize until tonight was what a great butt you have.” Holy cow! Maybe she did moon the judges! Jamie takes Briggs’ comment as a queue to turn her butt to him and shakes it for him. Ah, there’s that wholesome, Britney Spears quality we’ve been waiting for.
A Sound That Would Have Killed Spock
Brian tells us that we’ve seen “some truly staggering performances tonight.” He’s so clever – not. Yes, I know. I find it charming when Vitamin C speaks with double meaning, but when McFeyden does the same thing, I’m annoyed. You know why that is? Because Brian McFeyden is annoying.
“The time to eliminate someone has come. Joining me is our elite final four.” The first to move on is…grating, painful organ pitch to build tension - for TWELVE seconds (yes, I timed it)… Rosa! I add the exclamation point out of relief that the Endless Evil Pitch of Suspense comes to an end before my ears begin to bleed, not out of any excitement for the next Latin Diva.
The next to move on is… this time the Dramatic Dirge of Destruction goes on for a mind-numbing SEVENTEEN seconds… Mario! Again, no excitement from me, just relief that although my ears have in fact begun to bleed, I can still see. Personally, I would have liked to see them eliminate Mario. The guy seems too nice to have such a mean-spirited joke played on him in front of a nation. Or at least that’s how I’d feel if I wasn’t such an insensitive you-know-what.
The final contestant to advance is (Lord please allow me to keep my sight during the Interminable Tone of Terror…which goes on for only fourteen seconds this time)…Jamie! I can see! I can see!
Backstage, Jojo tells us that he is a Superstar, and while he thinks those that moved ahead deserved to go ahead (which is odd, what with him never having heard them sing and all) “In my eyes they’re all Superstars.” Apparently the Atonal Pitch of Armageddon during the advancement announcements did in fact blind Jojo. “It’s just a matter of the fact that I shined a little bit brighter.” Uh-oh, uh-oh, no-no-no-no-no.
Don’t know who Jojo Dancer was? Look it up. Or write me at firstname.lastname@example.org