Want another metaphor?
That’s kind of like an execution lineup, no?
As always, we begin where we left off:
Gigi’s now treating Alai with compassion, and McKenzie and Shannon are talking about toning it down.
…which prompts McKenzie to make puppet-like motions, of course. Note that I said “talking about.”
And also, there’s this:
And if the Golden Girls theme song isn’t in your head…uh, now it is. Funny, we will soon come to find that if we threw a party, invited everyone we knew, Pam would throw it all under the bus.
But for now, she’s a pal and a confidant.
The parents get a note and a box.
The note says that today they’ll decide which team gets immunity. Ah, don’t you just love it when reality shows allow the opportunity for institutionalized conniving? In the box are scripts for today’s audition: a soap opera. Get your cryin’ clothes on, kids!
Just another day on the job for McKenzie!
Gigi explains that she’s doing her best to lessen the pressure on Alai.
And you know, Alai does seem so much happier and brighter this episode. It’s a nice sign of hope that Hollywood hasn’t trampled her spirit before she’s even really arrived.
Mary Jo works alone, per Marki’s advice to fire her mother as her acting coach.
This lasts for about five minutes before she gets frustrated and calls on her mother’s help. Tween angst ensues.
McKenzie is over-the-top as always and Shannon repeatedly corrects her reading.
How can she not yell, when her soul is howling? McKenzie also kind of adorably breaks down.
It’s easy to sympathize with a kid that’s this conscientious. She goes on, at one point exclaiming, “I can never be better than Cheyenne!” McKenzie, none of us can. I took one look at Cheyenne during the first episode and I said, “I give up.” It’s Cheyenne’s world, we just dust her Oscars in it. But for real, Shannon offers the single best piece of advice that anyone on this show has ever given. Actually, it’s probably the best piece of advice that anyone has ever given, period. She tells her daughter not to compare herself to anyone else — “Just work hard on being a better you.” That, people, is the key to possessing the secret of joy. For real, for real.
Later, Pam and Gigi discuss the immunity decision.
Gigi straight up tells Pam that she’ll vote for her daughter if Pam votes for Gigi’s. Pam agrees to this. However, since Shannon and Sandy are tight, and they’ll most likely form a similar alliance, Gigi points out that…
It’s really awesome that the loner is the one with all the power. Helene agrees.
She resolves to go with the kid who performs the worst, as that will provide the least amount of competition for Cheyenne down the line.
The parents and kids hike to the sound stage the auditions will be shot on.
They’ll be performing alongside soapop vet Andrea Evans. The scene involves the children finding out that their recently deceased mom wasn’t their birth mother — Andrea is. Tears and ranting ensue, or at least, they’re supposed to per the script. Gian is first up.
Marki isn’t feeling Gian’s lack of feeling. He’s not in the moment, says her.
McKenzie slips up and forgets a line, but soldiers on, winning the praise of the judges.
Mary Jo takes unpredictable beats. Danny proclaims her “more than good enough,” which is great. Remember: you don’t have to be the best, you just have to be not the worst.
Alai creates unintended laughs merely from the circumstance — she has to yell out, “That’s a lie!” That’s not a lie; that’s Alai. Yuks notwithstanding, Alai didn’t overplay the scene and did a great job.
And then there’s Cheyenne.
She more than compensates for McKenzie’s toning things down. Her overblown reading causes Marki to note…
…you know what she means, but still: ugh. When lingo attacks.
After auditions, it’s time for the parents to reveal which kid they thought did the best. Or something. Sandy goes with McKenzie, explaining, “I need Shannon to survive in the house!” Well, put your strategy all out there for everyone to fondle, why don’tcha? Shannon, on the other hand, picks Alai, saying that she did the best and so it’s only fair. As planned, Gigi goes with Mary Jo, praising her for doing some “amazing stuff.” At first, Pam says that she doesn’t want to vote. Well, give me the vapors and call me Blanche Devereaux! Danny threatens to send her home if she doesn’t vote, and so after being pushed, Pam goes with Gian. She says it’s “more of a strategic thing.” Well, duh.
And so, even though things didn’t go exactly according to plan, Helene still has the final vote. She’s shown all signs of perceptiveness, and so she probably figured that Gian would be coming home, and ends up going with Alai. Alai is all smiles, not realizing that she was a mere pawn in this game. Perhaps it is something that Alai been accustomed to for a while now.
At home, Gigi tries to figure out what’s up with Pam.
But that is something that Pam will not do. Gigi tries getting her to open up again…
…and Pam’s all, “You’re not gonna get it, Gigi.” By it, I can only assume the biggest gift with the card attached that says, “Thank you for being a friend.”
Mary Jo thinks this whole thing is stupid.
Articulate and insightful, at last Alai gets her chance to shine. See how good for your kids easing up on the pressure can be?
Marki’s parents meeting takes place. It is mostly uneventful, save for Helene’s revelation that Cheyenne’s over-the-top performance was by design: they decided to take that approach since the audition was for a soap opera. Fair enough! Even if the judges didn’t like the result, they can’t really knock the rationale. Sandy flat-out says that she doesn’t want to be there. And for that, basically, she and Gian go home.
Gian’s a total wreck.
He kinda says some disparaging words about Danny Bonaduce on the ride home. That’s the spirit! Taking out your aggression on a third party should have you feeling better in no time. Just ask the parents!