Previously on The Surreal Life, our assorted famewhores dabbled, and in Ronís case redabbled in racy films, and Traci and Brigitte were banished to the B-List for not being fluent in Charo. Iím filling the Chanel shades of perennial superstar Critical this week, and I must say the A-List suits me. I know Iím looking hot in my red carpet-ready Dior gown, but letís see how our Ďcelebritiesí are getting on this week, shall we dahlings?
We open with a quaint little shot of Traci, Andrea, and C.C. chatting around their dinner table. Traci is lamenting her lack of sleep last night, as apparently Chyna and Brigitte were whooping it up in the B-List area. Or is that whoopee-ing it up? I sincerely hope not. Surely Chyna has come far enough in her self-esteem building to understand that no good can come of getting involved with Flava Flavís sloppy seconds. C.C. also finds it remarkable that the two have gotten to know each other so well that they can finish each otherís sentences. Cut to a shot of Brig lying on her bed, and Chyna mounting her to Ö um, I canít quite tell what theyíre doing, but I will hope it is just some heavy-duty eyebrow plucking.
Rob is in the living room, drumming on the coffee table in what may be an effort to earn some musical credibility of some sort. Sorry Vanilla; that ship has sailed. But Rob sees the message alert, and thus alerts everyone to the incoming message. Robin appears on the screen in true Hedonistic mode, reclining in a red silk smoking jacket, and leisurely informing our gang that theyíre all receiving a special reward. They should suit up into their swaggalicious athletic gear and limber up Ė heís bringing surprise guests to meet them. The fame gamers are duly stoked at this news, and trying to figure who the guests will be. I realize that this is VH1, so Iím not bargaining for anyone cooler than the Saginaw Spirit. Although in fairness, I guess that would be mighty cool.
Our Ďcelebritiesí head off to find their new duds, but once there they quickly realize that the A-Listers (Ron, Rob, Pepa, Andrea, Manny, C.C.) are getting hooked up with cool tennis gear and rackets, but the B-Listers (Traci, Brigitte, Verne, and Chyna) are supplied with bargain basement outfits, and no rackets. This upsets Traci, as she says she says itís pissing her off to finally learn what itís like to be on the B-List. I get that she would be a little shocked, but I thought sheíd be glad to feel the change from D- to B. Well, I guess thereís no pleasing some people. Ron sympathizes (or gloats, whichever), and the kids all suit up and head off to the court.
Robin meets them there, and informs the A-Listers that theyíll be receiving private lessons from one David Pate, apparently the best tennis instructor in the world, and enjoying a luxe spread of refreshments. The B-Listers on the other hand will enjoy a spirited afternoon of table tennis, helped along by a stern looking gentleman named Peter Baszo, who is president of the Las Vegas Table Tennis Club, Iíll have you know. The B-Listers will also get to partake of a spread of buffalo wings and beer, at which news they look dismayed. The A-Listers indulge in a hearty laugh at the hot wing buffet, but Iím a little confused; I thought Jessica Simpson had made buffalo wings chic and respectable! Guess Iíd better cancel tonightís reservations at Buffalo Billís. Itís no place for my Dior gown after all.
The Aís start their play, and David buzzes around offering his help. Ron takes the opportunity to let everyone know that heís traded balls with some heavy hitters in the tennis world. Really, Ron? Well, why didnít you call them and invite them over this lovely afternoon? Oh, right, because that was years ago.
Over at the table tennis court, everyone seems to be having a fun time. Peter is in there, presumably helping Traci with her form, and Verneís fetching stray balls. Traci sidles over to the A-List edge and tries to bum some champagne, but the attendant tells her itís for A-Listers only. Burn, B-Lister, burn. Their games over, the groups wave goodbye to their respective coaches, and Andrea dully and unnecessarily sums up what weíve just seen, saying, ďA-List life is like a grand tennis match, and B-List life is: small little ping pong game.Ē Well, duh, I think we got that. Seriously, who is she again?
Back at the house, Ron is feeling amorous. (Gag me with a rusty spoon.) Heís slumming it in the B-List side of the house, directing his special attention toward Brigitte, massaging and kissing her legs and feet. He says you never know what could happen. Oh, I know Ron. And Iím lighting fifty candles as we speak to pray that it never does.
Meanwhile, Verne is again reflecting on his last minute decision to become a part of the game. Because of a prior engagement, heís leaving the house for the day, but he takes time to say goodbye to Chyna, in spite of her slurring him last week. Sweet. Now if heís smart as well as sweet, Iím assuming this little field trip will culminate in the producers receiving a note from a well-paid physician, prohibiting Verne from returning to tacky 70ís wood-paneled hell. But we shall see.
What Happens in Vegas Should Stay Off My TV
Later in the evening, everyone receives a note from Robin telling them they will be spending the evening at the famous Palms resort. The A-Listers receive some promo caps and t-shirts, as well as $100 worth of chips to blow, and of course the B-Listers get skunked yet again. And of course, the B-Listers feel mistreated. But really, itís not as if the Aís are going to be high rollers or anything. In Real Life at a place like the Palms, Iím not sure a hundred bucks can even get you close enough to the blackjack tables to smell the desperation. Pepa laughingly offers to loan Traci 5 of her hundred dollars, but I donít know if she can really spare it.
The A-Listers pile into their sweet ride, and the Bís into their plumbing van, and all arrive at the Palms. The Aís are escorted into the casino, but the rest of the crew must open their own doors and find their own way to the tables. Traci, Chyna, and Brigitte sit themselves down but soon find that even A-List Traci (*snergle*) has no money! Brig takes hold of the situation and tries to charge a bottle of champagne to the other group, but the waitress is having none of that. Thatís Brigitteís breaking point; she gets up to find a taxi. But Ron takes a break from name-dropping all the pro-gamblers who have turned him into a blackjack machine to get up from his winning seat and woo Brig back, offering to loan her some of his chips. The rest of the time at the casino passes pretty smoothly, and the gangs pile into their respective rides back to the house.
Once in for the night, Pimp Daddy Ron comes to Brigitte looking for some payback for his loan earlier in the evening. Seriously, he didnít say that, but thatís so what it was. He goes into Brigís room and seems to be pleading with her to get naked. Brig plays coy and says she ďwants to do it, but canít right now.Ē What, is Chyna Doll watching? Cause that would be weird. Anyway, Ron must have a weak backhand, because he backs off, and contents himself with kissing Brigitte and consequently churning the contents of my stomach into rich, creamery butter. Ew.
Morning breaks, and finds Vanilla in the B-List room. Is he surprising them with some home-cooked brekkie in bed? No. That would be too kind, and big stars arenít like that at all. At all. Instead, Rob is up to some boyish tricks, piling every little knickknack in the B-List room into Brigitte and Chynaís beds. Traci joins in the fun, and eventually Chyna and Brigitte have all manner of crap waiting to be knocked over by their wakening, including plants and half-empty cocktail glasses. The rest of the house is soon up, and the scheme is enlarged by Traci enlisting Ron to pose lasciviously with the gals. Ron decides it would be funnier to toe-tag Brigitte, and so he does. Her tag reads Dead on arrival, too much partying, which Iím sure was funny to someone somewhere. Maybe. Chyna doesnít find any of the prank funny though, and exhorts her housemates to show some respect. I know, Chyna! Weíre dealing with a WWF champion and an ex-wife of Sylvester Stallone here, not just some nobodies.
But thereís no time to dwell on just how much respect each of the women deserves, because theyíre all summoned by Robin. The Luxe Master reminds them all that today someone else will be demoted to the B-List. Todayís challenge is for the A-Listers, and itís all about acting. They seem nonplussed. Me too. Ron tries to convince Brigitte that his toe-tag but was a rip-roaring riot, but she thinks it was stupid. Me too. But, Brig thinks it was awful enough to warrant her up and leaving the house. Everyoneís hovering around trying to get her to calm down, but she only seems to be getting angrier. Ron says sheís weird for not getting ĎAmericaní comedy. Hey, donít lump my witty and urbane humor in with your lame stunt, toe-tag boy.
Ron persists in saying that he was only trying to make Brigitte laugh, but she continues her grandstanding as long as a camera is willing to follow her. This whole deal is bringing down the rest of the group. Rob tries to convince her to stay, talking up her positive energy and so on. And then Brigís meds kick in or something, and she all of a sudden decides to stay. Well, that was ten minutes of my life I couldíve spent watching some real drama. Like Troop Beverly Hills. Seriously, Shelley Longís triumph over the evil Troop Master totally owns Brigitteís little hissy fit. And too, she was rocking the red hair there way better than Brig did in Red Sonja. Also, I could totally go for some Girl Scout cookies right now. But I digress.
Acting the Fool
Anyway, that melodrama over, they all scamper off to find out what this acting thing is all about. Robin meets them at a green screen studio, because green screens are the wave of the future, and if these kids want to have any kind of career, they must master this art form. He introduces their judge for the day, casting director Andrea Burrows, whose work you may have seen but never cared about in such blockbusters as King Kong and Castaway. Ron is excited to act, and sees this as a chance to really show what he can do. What, no hints of all the famous actors whoíve helped you hone your craft over the years? Youíre slipping, Ron.
Rob is up first, and heís understandably nervous. I know if I were a guy whose previous credits included a starring role in Cold As Ice, Iíd never want my image to be committed to film again ever. In life. But, Vanillaís game, and he jumps into his scene as a country sheriff out in a desert, fighting off a monster snake. While heís tackling that, and Iím blushing over typing the words Ďmonster snake,í the B-Listers find themselves in a little waiting room, absolutely resplendent with a vending machine and a bucket of change. They are predictably pouty about it all; Iím assuming they donít quite get that vending machines are where much delicious food is.
Vanilla kicks snake tail in his scene, and then itís Pepaís turn. Sheís an astronaut on the moon whose tank is running low on oxygen. Things only get worse for Pep when a giant asteroid flies in her face. She does a good enough job convincing me that she cared about the blow-up doll who floated into the scene to represent human life, but I keep waiting for her to say ďCanít you feel the music pumping hard, like I wish you would, now push it!Ē Of course it never happens. Foiled again.
Andreaís a bit nervous about her scene and her lines, and Traci offers her assistance. She tells Andrea not to stress over the lines as long as she remembers the subtext. I long to ask Traci to spell and define Ďsubtext.í Andrea says that she forgot that Traci was an actress. Traci says most people forget that sheís an actress. Yeah, just like most people forget that Iím the Queen of England. That gets on my last nerve. Andrea goes into her underwater scene with a little more confidence, but when confronted by a giant octopus, she flounders a bit. (Ha! Didja get that?)
C.C. the Weatherman On the Scene gets his chance to save Blow-Up Doll Wendy (no relation to Chyna Doll)(I think) from a torrentious tornado, and he thinks heís done a pretty good job. But the frown and furrowed brow on Casting Ladyís face seems to tell a different story. Ronís practicing his lines in a corner, and he thinks heís got this in the bag, because heís done some 60 ďmainstreamĒ (read: not nekkid) films. But his profession of love to Fire Woman, the Ball of Flames seems to be lacking some depth of feeling.
Emmanuelís last up, and he continues the parade of delusion among these folks, by saying that heís approaching this in a different way than everyone else, because this is ďhis bread and butter,Ē and heís been doing this for years. Yeah, Manny, but with quite a break in-between gigs, right? I mean, hasnít Webster has been off the air some twenty years? I think you might be running a little low on bread and butter by now. Even so, Emannuel takes his mark at the top of a snow-drenched mountain, and he fights a Yeti like a hero. Sadly though, he wonít be making it back down the mountain. I shed a little tear for Manny. And his slowly dying career, too.
So, thatís all over now, and Andrea is ready to announce her winner. Itís Rob! I have to admit, he was the best of this bunch. Thatís not saying too much, but it is giving him a kicking ride in a race car, so thereís that. As for the losers, Andrea deems Mannyís performance too soapy, says that Ron had no connection or emotional transition, and C.C. didnít relate to anything. Manny, Ron, and C.C. are each headed to the Back to Reality game that evening.
Low Self-Esteem vs. Delusions of Grandeur
C.C. is very disappointed in himself. He keeps repeating, ďI suck. I suck,Ē and berates himself all while Chyna is trying to sympathize with him. And I have to say, I really hate that crap. If someone is going out of her way to lie to you to make you feel better, suck it up and smile, all right? No one wants to hear all your self-hatred all day long. Anyhow, C.C. says he deserves to be in the B-List, because he canít do anything but be a rock star. Hey, guy. Millions of people out there right now would give their eye-teeth to be washed up rock stars. Again I say, suck. It. Up.
Robin flutters in to begin the game, but before he does so he announces to everyone that Andrea has given Vanilla a part in her new film Resident Evil 3. Iím assuming thatís some sort of big deal. Everyone pats Vanilla on the back, but soon enough their attention is stolen, probably by some ants crawling by. Oh, and Inga coming out to re-introduce Robin and start the game. Manny and Ron seem moderately hopeful, but C.C. is convinced heís headed to the B-List. I think at this point it would be better for us all if they just forgo the whole game thing and stick C.C. in with the Bís. But VH1 has rented these podiums and buzzers and dadgummit, theyíre going to use them.
The theme of this weekís game is ďWhose Bastard is This?Ē and the point of this clever competition is to figure out the celebrity face that has been morphed with one of the Fame Gamers. We cycle quickly through hideous mashups of Ron and Jennifer Aniston (Jen probably has no idea why she just felt the need to take a long, long shower of bleach and OxyClean), Jamie Foxx and Pepa, and C.C. and Cameron Diaz; each of the guys has one point each. But then the chops get a little more difficult. It takes a minute for Ron to figure out a mashup of Brigitte and Nicholas Cage. But he does, and this saves him from the B-List. Ron takes this opportunity to remind us that he knows Nick Cage and has hung out with them. ďA-Listers know other A-Listers!Ē he says, with a smug look on his face. Really, Ron? Then why donít you call up old Nick and tell him to get you a job? Whatís that you say, you donít know his number? Then stop it with the name-dropping and posturing, because if you were on the A-List then you wouldnít be on this show.
Weíre down to C.C. and Manny, and the next question will decide which guy gets downgraded to the B-List for the rest of the show. Manny looks cool, calm, and collected, but C.C. is over there sweating like heís wearing polyester. Oh, wait. He might be. But you know what Iím saying. Heís nervous. The last bastard up is pretty tough to decipher, but Manny is quick on the buzzer. He identifies the mashup as Chyna Doll and Michael Jackson, which is what I thought was correct too, but no! C.C. chimes in with the correct answer -- itís actually Chyna and Alec Baldwin. I bet thatís the first time Alecís been mistaken for a Jackson. Sorry.
But C.C. wins, and retains his A-Listness. Robin reminds them all that they are now distinct teams, competing for a grand celeb-type prize, and from now on some loser will be leaving every week. He breaks even more bad news to Team B-List, saying that they can no longer interact with A-Listers, unless invited by an A-Lister, and all meals will be eaten separately. The Aís will continue to enjoy their catered service, while the Bís food will be left in the hallway. Thatís harsh. And maybe a little unsanitary. Manny says his goodbyes to the A-List, and he and the Bís make their way back into their hovel.
Thatís all for now, but next week looks muy interesante. In case you didnít get the ĎNo, Vanilla!í reference up above, our Rob is infamous for once destroying an entire MTV set with a baseball bat, even after darling Chris Kattan implored him to stop. Thereís a bit of mischief (and a hare trigger temper) on that one. So it should surprise no one that next week the crazy comes out in full force, only this time with a guitar. Upon what poor drywall and furniture will he wreak havoc next, and why wonít he just stay away from blunt objects? Stay tuned to find out.