On this episode, the mothers’ claws come out…
…and the kids are right there to show just how impressionable they are!
The episode begins with Danny busting in the house at 6 a.m. yelling for everyone to wake up. His cock-a-doodle-doing makes him something like a plucked rooster — featherless but red all over. No one’s happy about this, which is best illustrated in Pam’s general appearance.
And really, having everyone get up and immediately appear on camera may be the least humane move this show has ever pulled.
Danny tells them they have an hour to get prepared to convene on his turf. The endlessly savvy Helene realizes that this must mean…
Her correspondingly savvy daughter realizes that this must mean…
…it’s time to turn on.
It turns out that Helene is correct.
First the parents are interviewed. Danny acts like the spark in this psychological powder keg, asking which mother deserves to be voted off. Shannon pipes up by naming Helene, since she lives with her mother.
“Spoken by a true beauty-pageant queen, there,” counters Helene. Shannon shoots back, “I can’t help that!” as though being a pageant queen is hardwired into her DNA. IT’S NOT A CHOICE! Danny asks which kid will end up in rehab first. Shannon and Gigi both agree that it’s Mary Jo. “On her way!” says Gigi, as though the pressure she puts on Alai isn’t enough to drive a fish to drink. At one point, Gigi tosses in, “Pam’s also been married to a man who dresses like a woman,” much to Shannon’s delight.
Pam basically confirms this in a solo interview, explaining that the marriage was short and she doesn’t really talk about her husbands. I wish she would more often: this only makes her whole situation more fascinating. Although, equally awesome is another thing she says during a solo interview: “Gigi is just an evil bitch.” Heh. That’s a season-wide summary of one person’s character arc if ever there were.
Also fascinating: Shannon doesn’t know what a casting couch is. Being in Hollywood must be like being on another planet. She doesn’t understand these creatures and their strange ways! Soon the parents are dismissed and they get about 15 minutes to prep their kids for their interview.
As the moms look on…
…the kids answer Danny’s questions, and they’re just as cutthroat as their parents.
Between kids shouting over each other, Danny wonders who’s the biggest brat. Mary Jo pipes up and says it’s Alai. She adds that Alai shouldn’t be there because, “she’s not that talented.” These kids are just endlessly adorable. Speaking of, Cheyenne does a hyper impersonation of…her mom? One of the moms?
All of the moms? Rocky? And then she launches into an impromptu sales pitch when Danny asks who should be the next kid star (cutting off McKenzie, btw)…
“Um, I think that I’m really the next child star ’cause I just live to perform. Like, singing, see I’ll just sing right on the spot. (Sings a few lines from Heart’s ‘Alone.’) See I’m always ready to perform. I’m always on! On! On!” I would love to know exactly what she’s on so I can get some for myself.
Alai asks if she can deliver a monologue she and her mom wrote.
After Alai’s monologue, the interview challenge is over. At home, more casting couch discussion ensues. Helene points out how common it is to some mild protesting by Shannon. Helene sums up the mindset thusly: “They don’t know what the casting couch is, but you know what? They know how to marry men for money and they know how to have men pay for their fake boobs. So you know what? Pah to that!”
Hmmm. I’m still on the fence as to whether or not “Pah to that!” is a worthy successor to Rocky’s, “So bam!” And speaking of Rocky, I so wish that she were around for the casting couch conversation. No matter where she falls on the matter, you know what she’d have to say about it would be uniquely…her. But I suppose you could say that for any issue.
Then we see Gigi and Shannon talking outside about today’s challenge.
Gigi imitates Cheyenne’s singing, amusingly but not accurately. She also tells Alai of her plans for Pam, since she feels that Mary Jo unfairly attacked Alai during the radio interview.
“I’m gonna rip into her and her daughter so bad she’ll wish that she was never here. And if Helene wants to get into it, I got some stuff to say to her, too. So…” Pass that dish, mom. We’re having resentment family-style tonight!
Meanwhile, Helene and Pam talk because they have some sort of makeshift alliance or something.
“I just hope the end of this doesn’t get really vicious,” says Helene. Uh, too late. Too late by, like, a whole challenge. To wit, Gigi soon comes in and asks to speak with Pam. Pam wonders if this will yield screaming and explains to Gigi, “I’m not gonna give you your drama moment.” If this were a Secret Santa, her words might hold some weight, because you know that no matter what, Gigi’s gonna take her drama moment. And so she does.
She feels as though Pam set Mary Jo up to throw Alai under the bus. Mary Jo has the wherewithal to initiate her own under-the-bus-throwing, thank you very much! Their shouting escalates to the point of hilarity: Gigi tells Pam, “Take your ass back to Celebration, Fla.!” With a name like Celebration, who wouldn’t want to return? The conversation ends with Pam leaving the room and Gigi vowing to kick her ass. You knkow she wouldn’t do it, but hey, it’s the thought that counts.
Danny comes over with a new challenge: the kids will try out for a hosting gig.
Preparation ensues. Alai throws too many words into her reading. Business as usual.
Then, auditions take place.
McKenzie is up first…
She’s pretty big and over-the-top, but it kinda words given the set-up. Marki likes it. When she’s done, McKenzie says, “I don’t know why, but I remind myself of Dr. Phil.” It’s probably the alopecia.
Alai stops after every line, like she’s reading a telegraph. This is how Gigi advised her to do it, so she owns up to it being her fault. That’s more than I’d ever expect from Gigi. Kudos!
Cheyenne is oddly subdued to the point of erasing her identity, according to Marki. It’s like she’s taking whatever McKenzie is hiding under her lettuce.
Mary Jo is bubbly and natural. She’s so great that Marki doesn’t have a single note for her. Imagine rendering Marki speechless! Imagine!
And then: more smack-talking with Gigi.
“If Pam tries to verbally whatever, I will rip her. I will shred her.” Hold on there, Freddy Krueger. What if Pam tries to verbally juggle poodles. That’d be worth not shredding her just to see it play out, right?
While Gigi’s talking, Pam’s listening.
And then, after Alai catches her, the jig is up.
Gigi’s response to the news?
“Tell Robin to come around from the corner and face Batman.” Funny that she calls herself “Batman” but acts like Catwoman. Reow! But also, how awesome would it be to see Gigi dressed up like Batman during the elimination round?
No such luck, though. Marki’s more critical than usual in the parents-only portion: McKenzie got lost, Cheyenne was too fake (she gave too much and too little, respectively, in this week’s challenges), Alai was too monologuey and Mary Jo was too awesome. Marki asks how things are in the house and she might as well be asking if anyone’s ever danced with the devil in the pale moon light.
Pam explains that Gigi accused her of setting up Mary Jo to go after Alai. That’s a chain of communication that spans generations. Gigi flips out…
The highlight? “Where’s the ponytail you wear? It’s probably up Helene’s butt.” Shoving a ponytail up someone’s butt sounds like a logistical nightmare, to say the least.
Anyway, Gigi’s outburst pretty much proves Danny’s suspicions: Gigi, simply, is not ready for Hollywood and she is sent home.
On the way out, Gigi tells Alai to have more confidence, which is a hard thing to just will, especially when you’re being commanded to do so. HOWEVER, it is impressive that Gigi shows affection to both Mary Jo…
…and her daughter.
I really thought that Gigi was going to come down hard on Alai for being eliminated. The shot above is about the most reassuring one that’s ever run on this blog.
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