All the expensive special effects in this episode and they use real maggots? Where are the advances in maggot-related movie technology?
We open this episode of Scream Queens with the ladies returning from elimination. Sierra’s upset — on one hand, she’s still here, on the other, her best friend in the house, Rosanna, is not. Her feelings, like her performances, are mixed.
Karlie, too, is worried. So far she hasn’t been the worst, but she hasn’t been the best either, and she interviews that she wants the judges to notice her this week, and says she’s going to go the “extra step.” Be careful what you wish for! The extra step is usually off the edge.
Sarah — who was called out last week for her poor performance — tells the ladies that she will work on her Chicago accent, because it’s so distracting. It’s true — Midwest accents are about as sexy as deep dish pizza and Harry Carey.
Tai’s advice? “Hold your tongue.”
Funnily enough, there’s no dialogue needed for today’s challenge. They’ll be wearing a jumpsuit and having their motions captured and transferred to a digitally animated character. The character is a puppet that’s magically become alive, who must escape before its owners find out. Gabby and Christine can’t be more excited:
After mostly cheap thrills, an expensive one is kind of welcome.
Even Allison is excited, since, as she mentioned in the first episode, she’s a dancer who’s played one of those iPod silhouettes. Her chances of winning: “Like, duh!” Never mind that “Like, duh” isn’t quantifiable, she is off-the-scale confident.
Tai is up first, and, as always, her performance communicates her confidence above all:
Sarah decides to do subtle. “Subtle” is not a word you hear much around Scream Queens. It isn’t her best.
Gabby can’t help looking at the screen her whole performance, which is like looking at the camera for your own performance. A rookie mistake, and also a vain one.
Sierra decides to play her character as if the puppet were a big, scared kid. After two weeks in the bottom two, this character hits home. Her move impresses the competition:
Allison won’t let you forget that she’s a dancer:
Sierra wins the callback, which is the best news she’s received so far. “It’s just a really good feeling,” she says. You know who doesn’t have such a good feeling:
Allison is having a very hard time hiding her anger, so she chooses to go with a sort of anger mask. Jamie compliments her on her body control, but says she didn’t buy the cartwheel out of the window. Allison interviews that Jamie’s criticism was “kind of annoying.” But her face says “murderously infuriating.”
Homa extends on the theme of emotion without words, telling the ladies that a true Scream Queen can cry on demand, and “cry pretty.” Indeed it’s hard to sympathize with someone who looks ugly when they cry. Gabby’s up first. His instructions: “Cry.”
It’s the first challenge she’s failed. Nearly everyone does, though the faces they make while trying to squeeze out a few crocodile tears do bring laughs:
Homa says that tears are all about feeling what the character is feeling. In other words: acting. He calls Sierra up and has her imagine that her sister is dead. I believe she feels conflicted when she successfully cries: Sad about the thought of her sister dying, happy that she got the tears from it.
How insightful is Homa? He has Allison imagine that she has a beautiful baby girl and it is…perfectly healthy. She cries tears of fear and revulsion. Yup, Allison doesn’t like babies. Who’d have guessed? Homa, and me. And everyone.
Karlie gets a complex storyline that requires her to be happy, then sad. She’s working hard, but then Homa says “too hard.” “I’m pissed at myself,” she interviews. Pissed enough to cry though?
When it rains:
Gabby is up last, and she’s not a crier, for good reason: she’s had a tough childhood and an absentee father. “When you look into my eyes, you’re looking into the one man that will never hurt you,” Homa says. It hits close to….homa (4):
The “one man” who will never hurt her? Is trusting one man that much better than trusting no man?
Their first clue for their directors challenge: “The deadliest killers are silent.” They stand around guessing at what it could mean, and, surprisingly, no one says “farts.” Farts are what you think of first, right?
A mime delivers their next clue, which promises no script, but plenty of maggots. Apparently the “deadliest killers” are maggots, not farts. But maggots are still gross. As you might have guessed, their one line of dialogue is, “No.” Exactly what Sarah and Tai were thinking when they heard the word “maggots.”
Allison is “not happy” about it, as you might have guessed. The clue might have said candy (or babies) would be in the scene, she’d still probably be unhappy.
The next day the ladies head to the house where Rob Zombie shot Halloween. Tim introduces them to the maggots, which he plays with like a bowl of M & M’s. No big deal! They’re just wiggly pieces of rice, after all.
In this scene, each actress will return to their house to find it destroyed, then panic as they see the maggots and the decomposing body of their sister. Then maggots shall rain down upon them.
Allison is up first, and she plays her character as if she’s the older sister who’s come home thinking her little sister had a house party. She’s angry for the first half of the scene. This, of course, works well for her.
And it works for Tim too:
Allison is not scared to get right up in the maggots faces. Tough in all kinds of ways, this one. In fact, she’s too tough. Tim asks her to act more revolted by the decomposing body. Maybe she should just think about babies?
This also means she’s first for the rain of maggots. She’s scared, but Allison observes, “I’m not going to let a f***ing maggot be better than me in an acting scene.” I feel like she says this to herself before every acting scene, maggots nor not.
Karlie is next, and she’s too bland and stilted for Tim.
Sierra has a lot to prove, and she’s able to nail her second take, despite getting some maggots in her mouth. That’s the ironic thing about getting the callback — you do so much better when you realize you can’t be sent home.
So many maggots this episode:
Jessica goes a step further for her maggot scene, with the lil’ crawlers landing inside her mouth. Unlike Karlie’s bite of raw meat, this wasn’t an intentional gamble:
Her thoughts on her scene:
She’s nauseous just thinking about it. I’m nauseous just thinking about her thinking about it.
Afterward, Jessica runs to the dressing room, where she strips because — and ew ew ew — the maggots have gotten squished and “peed” inside her bra. Maggot pee. That’s disgusting multiplied by gross.
Sarah is next, and she’s had to see the maggots rain down on all of the other ladies, which has only made her more nervous. She even considers just quitting. So Sarah runs through her scene at top speed. She interviews that she may have a panic attack in the middle of the scene. Maybe she could channel it into a better performance? After all, panicked and attacked is how most people would feel.
Sierra, Allison, Sarah, and Karlie are on this week’s list to talk to Jamie, Tim, and Homa. Sierra is called down because she’s most improved this week. Sierra needed this break:
Tim compliments Allison for looking beautiful and terrified at the same time. Her last shot from the scene? Awesome:
But Jamie tells Allison she needs to work taking constructive criticism, and “softening” her expression. Sierra gets Leading Lady this episode, and Allison can’t help looking angry again. It’s a weird position to be in: she looks beautiful on film, but less so while competing.
And now for the bottom two, Karlie and Sarah. “Karlie, I think you’re so desperate to stand out, it’s causing you to make crazy choices,” Tim observes. Even her just standing there is her trying too hard, according to Homa.
Sarah’s got the opposite problem. She underacts to cope with their fears.
Tim, Jamie, and Homa keep Sarah, so Karlie is given the axe, and she collapses into a pile of tears and shakes.
“I don’t understand. I gave it up more than any of the other girls,” she says. Didn’t anyone ever tell her? Give it all up too soon, and you will lose their interest.