The Surreal Life – Making the Lousy Single Pt. 1 & 2
Eggs boil unattended in the surreal house. Dave walks by, pauses to stare at the boiling eggs, then wanders out of the kitchen. Flav walks into the telephone room and finds Brigitte passed out on the sofa. He tries to shake her awake, to which she responds, “I’m hungry!” Flav remembers that Brig was a slut with Enrique the dancer and the surfing Willis brother, but cannot stay mad at her. He gets her up, leads her to the kitchen and cooks her two frying pans full of sausage. Brig remembers that Flav said he loved her the same way as the other surreal lifers, but she cannot stay mad at a man who knows how to handle his sausage. The sick and demented love birds are back on track.
Meanwhile, Dave finds The Surreal Times on the front step and joins the rest of the groggy houseguests to read the cover, which says, “It’s Time To Face The Music.” Apparently, the six houseguests are to write and produce a song by midnight that night, and doughboy Jordan is to the be song’s sole producer. As if his ego weren’t big enough…
Everyone splits off to begin working on the song. Charo pulls out her guitar and plays flamenco music as Brigitte, through her bourbon haze, tries to remember anything in Danish. Flav has made his way to the phone room to call his mama, who he tells that the group is making a song, and it is going to be a hit, yo. And that his “hock” is “card” for this project. Give it a minute. You’ll figure it out.
Hours pass. Ryan wears roller skates. Jordan keeps doo dah dee-ing in an awful falsetto. Dave is piddling with the drums. Flav is banging out a tune on the piano, pleased with the progress that he and Jordan are making. After Ryan has stared at Jordan for awhile, she gets up and goes to talk to Charo, proclaiming that the lyrics are crap, and that this is not a group effort, but rather a mess mastered by the two egomaniacs. Charo says that everyone needs to add their own flair to the song so together they can make a crazy salad. Yes, they would make not only a crazy salad, but also a suckass song.
Jordan tosses on his cheap black sunglasses and tells the group it is time to head to the studio. Flav is not ready to go yet, though, as he is on the phone with Antisa, his stylist, who he is asking to meet him at the studio. I think to myself – My GOD!! Flav seriously pays someone to make him look like that?! In that case, I think paying a hitman to off the stylist would be money well spent. I bet Antisa goes home every night after working on Flav and she and her friends just laugh and laugh. In fact, I bet initially giving him gold teeth and a clock around his neck was done on a dare and he was too high to notice. Dave thinks it is crazy for Flav to have a stylist coming to meet him. They only have a total of 12 hours to finish their song and there is no time to spend any of those hours getting cornrows and extra clocks.
As the group pulls up to Conway Studios, Charo is very excited, as this is her home away from home. As everyone is setting up, John, the group’s engineer for the day, walks up to Jordan and says that he would like to get everyone together to figure out the direction of the song. Jordan says no, that he does not want to give anyone any options. He knows the direction of the song and screw the rest.
In another part of the studio, Antisa has arrived and is busy brushing out Flav’s fro as Brigitte looks on. As she is about to reveal what she believes to be the most important information ever conveyed, Flav lets out an “Oooh! Eeee! Owwww! Ohhh!!” Brig tells Flav that he misses so much of a conversation because he is constantly making odd noises, and that if she were getting her hair done, she would not make obnoxious sounds. Flav explains the noises are a necessity in this case because he is terribly tender headed. Brig shrugs off this explanation and continues that his gold teeth and clocks are fine while performing, but that she does not want a man “with no gold teeth and with no clocks.” That confuses me… does that mean she wants a man with gold teeth and clocks? Anyway… he says the only way he will get rid of the get up is if she marries him. Uh huh… apparently, Flav’s hock is card for Brig again.
Meanwhile, Jordan has pulled Charo into a room with him and the engineer. He wants her flamenco style to add a little seasoning to his bland and boring song. As Jordan continues to play the piano and sing doobeedoos badly, he tells Charo to just play the guitar like she is singing. To forget the technicalities like chords and notes and just sing with the guitar. Charo stops, lifts her head and sees Jordan even more clearly for the dumbass he is. She tells the camera that he is a musical f*** up.
Charo gets up, leaves the room and begins to rant about how Jordan is vandelizing the music with his lack of chord knowledge and disorganization. Ryan is still whining and crying about how she hates pop music, or R&B music, or whatever the hell kind of music Jordan is making, and she wants no part of it. Brigitte is yelling out “Oooh! Eeee! Owwww! Ohhh!!” as Antisa styles her short blonde hair into teeny tiny little cornrows. How’s that tender head, Brig? These women are a three ring PMS circus. Dave is commenting to the camera about how Jordan is to be the team leader, and yet he is walking around the studio like a yokel. The engineer even joins in on the insults as he says, “I’m sure this song will be really popular somewhere. Maybe Germany.” In the background, I can still hear Ryan complaining, “But I don’t wanna sing this song. I hate this song. I hate this music!” SHUT UP, RYAN.
Trying to make Ryan feel better about singing his suckass song, he brings in Lou Pearlman. Come on, you all know and love Lou Pearlman, right? He “discovered” such great acts as the Backstreet Boys, N’Sync and Britney Spears! Plus, in every documentary ever done on those bands and Mr. Pearlman, he has come off as a pedophile – or at the very least, a really dirty old man. But I digress. Apparently, the pedophilic Pearlman’s appearance is supposed to convince Ryan that it is ok to sing crap music as long as you make a buck. It does not work and he leaves after having contributed nothing other than a gratuitous appearance on VH1. Jordan continues with his attempts to convince Ryan that his craptacular song is awesome, but works her into such a frenzy that she yells at him through tears that she is not a pop star, she is a rock star!!! Uh, Ryan honey, just so you know – you are not a star at all. And you can’t sell out when you’ve never sold. You are just a really pretty girl who happened to make it on American Idol, but that has not done a damn thing since. You should have accepted that modeling contract, because music isn’t your bag, baby. She storms away from Jordan and the group, hanging her head and pushing the cameramen out of the way. She finds the restroom and slams the door behind her yelling, “It’s just like American Idol all over again!!!”
Time passes … (as in a week, as this is where this week’s episode begins)… and Ryan is still blubbering in the bathroom. Brig walks up and knocks on the door. Ryan yells “GO AWAY!”
as if Brig is trying to come in and comfort her. Brig keeps knocking and tells Ryan to open up because she is about to pee her pants. Ryan continues to yell for her to leave as Brig basically holds herself so she will not make a mess on the floor.
In the other room, Flav has finally acknowledged that Jordan is a loser as a producer and that he is not doing his job. Time is running out and they still have not convinced Ryan to do the vocals. Ryan finally opens the door to what is apparently the only restroom in the studio and says that she is so mad. Brig says she was mad, too, because Ryan almost made her mess up her outfit. After Brig is relieved, she says to Ryan that she needs to just pretend to be Brig and get out there and do her job. Oddly, this works and Ryan leaves the bathroom and heads in to record a scratch of the vocals. As she sings the song – which sucks, but I admit is not as bad as Ryan was making it out to be – Jordan says, [UNDERSTATMENT ALERT!!!] “Ryan is being a little bit bitchy.” No, really Jordan? You think?
After Ryan finishes her scratch vocals, next up to record his part is Flav on drums. Just so you know, Flav may sit behind the drum set and bang on the cymbals with sticks, but that a drummer does not make. He is awful and all over the place – kinda like his freshly styled hair. In the sound room, Charo and the engineer are laughing, but Jordan seems to think Flav sounds great! This shocks the rest of the group and engineer who are now checking their ears. After Flav leaves to the tune of many praises from Jordan, Jordan himself hits the recording booth to sing what I guess are going to be backing vocals. He sings a bunch of ooooooooooohs in his awful and off tune falsetto. The entire time, Charo is giving the sign for “cut” and says that he sounds like someone is squeezing his balls – and not in a good way, I’m guessing.
After he finishes, and Charo and John the engineer both say how badly it sucked, Jordan says that the vocals will work and they are keeping them. As Flav enters the booth to lay down some more backing vocals, the engineer says that they are running out of time and need to concentrate on the lead vocals, namely Ryan. Jordan says to just use the scratch of her vocals which were good enough. John says no can do, as he recorded them as just a warm up so the quality is poor. Jordan says to use them anyway. So Flav does his vocals, then Jordan sends Dave into the booth to record some air trumpet with his mouth, all the while ignoring the pleas of the engineer to record lead vocals instead of all the extras. This sends Charo into a full blown RAGE! She gets up and goes outside to “breathe some air.” She is pissed that the song sounds like crap, pissed that Jordan is so self obsessed that he is ignoring everyone else’s suggestions and direction, and pissed that air trumpet takes precedence over vocals. She goes into a room and storms around yelling incoherently. Ryan joins her and they commiserate over the mess that is Jordan and his pop star past.
Jordan joins Charo and Ryan and tries to figure out why they are so upset. As Charo spits Spanglish at him and calls him an egomaniac and a moron, Jordan sort of grins and says they just need to finish the song, and he leaves. Then Flav carefully wanders into the room to get the scoop on what is going on. Charo complains about Jordan and his ego as Ryan continues to wail about how she is not a pop singer and she is selling out. Flav is a little confused by why Ryan does not want her voice to be heard with such supermusicians as himself and Jordan, but despite his lack of understanding, he tells Ryan that if she does not want to sing the song, then don’t sing it. Ryan finally feels like she has an option and passes the buck to a passed out Brig, who apparently has not contributed to the single yet. Charo and Flav agree that this would work and head out to wake up Brig. As Flav shakes her awake, she says, “I’m hungry!” What IS it with her and being terribly hungry as soon as she wakes? Must be a European thing. Anyway, she sends Flav on a search for strawberries. He comes back with an orange, and apple and a banana. She, of course, opts for the banana. However, she never wakes up enough to sing.
Ever the peacemaker, Dave steps in and says to Ryan that they want her to sing as she is “heads and tails” above the others. Mixing up your metaphor there, Davey. After telling her how great she is, but also saying they are not going to make her do anything she does not want to do, Ryan agrees to see the lousy song. She heads for the booth and actually ends up having a good time recording. After she finishes, everyone tells her how great she is vocally and that she definitely has the voice to sing R&B. I still think she should focus more on modeling and less on singing, but that’s just me. And I was a fan of hers during AI.
After a nap and a banana, Brig is finally awake and ready to do whatever she needs to do to be a part of the song. Ryan suggests that she say something sexy at the beginning, which is exactly what she does. After she finishes her 2 line speech, Ryan proclaims Brig a sexpot and offers to have sex with her. Pervy Jordan’s ears perk up.
After 12 long hours and many battles later, the single is finally done… and we get to see their VH1 video, “Livin’ My Life”. Which sucks. Just like the song.
Tune in next week when the surreal lifers head to a deserted and haunted hospital! I am finally looking forward to an episode! Yippee!
Feel free to write me with whatever is on your mind at firstname.lastname@example.org