Even the sound guy’s overacting this week.
We open with Scream Queens‘ strongest (if only by the number of times they haven’t been on the chopping block) contestants, Jessica and Tai wondering if Gabby will once again avoid the axe.
But Gabby returns, and Tai’s friend in the house, Sarah, does not.
“I love Gabby, but I’ve got to maintain my focus here,” Christine interviews. As you recall, she told the judges that her high-maintenance friendship with Gabby was holding her back. Probably not a problem anymore.
You know whose focus is just fine? Tai. She observes that she doesn’t see a room of five potential winners, she sees a room with four losers in it. If she wants to see a winner she’ll look in the mirror, thank you, bye, etc.
This week the ladies will act in front of a green screen, playing a character who faces a giant, Godzilla-type monster. Jamie shows this simulation:
And then tells the girls to make it “as real as possible.” As in, not like the animation they just showed, which looked as real as Max Headroom. Jamie also tells them they need to hit their technical marks to make the scene effective, and that worries Gabby.
Christine is up first. According to Sierra, she plays it safe. And boring:
Note, however, that “boring” is sometimes a bad thing, never a worst thing. “Unforgettable” leads to the axe much faster.
Jessica is next, and she talks us through her choices, which, while subtle, seem smart. For instance, she stands perfectly still when the monster first sees her. As we learned from Jurassic Park, dinosaurs, and their Godzilla cousins, only see movement. Clever girl!
We also hear from Jessica during Tai’s performance:
Or see from Jessica.
Sierra uses words for her critique; she says that Tai’s cockiness has led to overacting. And if Sierra thinks you are overacting… then you are overacting.
Gabby’s up last, and she nails her scene, at least in Jessica’s eyes.
… and in Jamie’s eyes as well. Gabby not only wins the challenge, but gets to watch Tai criticized for her over-the-top performance.
Back at the house, Tai is determined to — if not win Scream Queens– at least beat Gabby. “Yeah Gabby did the best today, so what? I won’t let it happen again, though,” she promises. Or threatens. This sounds like a threat, but Tai’s so tough, everything kinda sounds like a threat coming from her. Either way, this doesn’t bode well for her “focus.”
The class begins with Homa raging at the class for their weak performances. Next Homa throws a brick at the girls. It’s fake, but the girls didn’t know that. He’s teaching them a lesson about reacting convincingly to pain and torture. A lesson they will never forget, apparently.
“Next time I’m in a scene and I have to play scared s***less, I’m going to think of the time Homa threw a brick at me,” Sierra says. Just think of Homa, period! The man is black and white and scary all over.
He teaches them how to control their movements so that their fake, foam props look like they have the weight and feel of the real thing. Fun class!
Next they have to attack each other. Sierra does a convincing attack on Gabby. “I’ve held shovels before” is Sierra’s way of explaining why her scene looked good. Stop bragging!
Tai and Christine are up next. You feel something changing with Tai’s great momentum on the show. She starts overacting again, prompting Homa to get frustrated. Then she forgets to maintain the weight of the pipe she’s welding. “Get your s*** together,” Homa yells. “I’m terrified,” Tai says later, because, if he’s unhappy, that means two out of three judges are unhappy with her today.
Their Director’s Cut instructions arrive via haunted… magnetic letter board? Hard to inject pathos into something kindergartners play with, but it worked for Child’s Play.
Their Director’s Cut challenge is a scene involving a ghost, who will whip them around the room. Wires are involved. Hilarious arm and leg flinging will most certainly be involved.
The ladies immediately recognize that they’ll have to work on their movements. “I’m very in tune with my body,” Jessica says. We know, at least from above, that’s she’s got an expressive face.
Christine and Gabby isolate themselves from the other girls, and from each other while they prepare.
At the Director’s Cut, Tim tells them that they have to make him believe that something unseen is terrorizing them. Imagining Homa should work nicely.
Jessica’s up first. Her first take drags, but she gets it right on the second one. And for her harness scene, Tim has just two words: “Holy s****!” The girl can fling, for sure.
Christine knows she has to “kick ass” going into the challenge. Even without wires, it looks as if a ghost is pulling her around the room.
Being that flexible makes her stiff, so she has Tim shake her before her last scene.
It works! Want a good performance from your actress? Shake her or throw a brick at her. Works every time.
Sierra tries to go for big movement, but ends up with big laughs.
“Less might be more,” Tim says to her. She does better, though her moves still aren’t subtle enough. The same goes for Tai’s performance, which is too energetic and high-pitched for Tim.
Gabby is up last. Watching the other girls go before her has built up her nervousness. She takes it out on her forehead.
But she decides to not worry about her marks and just go on instinct. Her basic instincts? The best instincts:
Back at the house, Tai starts criticizing Gabby’s performance, calling her the worst of the day. None of the other women step in, leaving Gabby to defend herself. The argument gets ugly quickly, even though it’s basically semantics. Gabby says Tai is “talking s***.” Tai says it’s “just her opinion.” Hey, it can be both.
You’d think beating one another up in Homa’s class would have gotten their aggression out already, Tai looks as if she wanted more weapons practice.
The list comes, and it says that Jessica is leading lady. Here’s her celebration:
“I’m afraid to show how I really feel in front of the other girls,” she says. There is enough showing of feelings in the house already. Christine and Tai are also on the list, but Gabby is not. Tai is furious. Not at herself, but at Gabby. Tai interviews that Gabby couldn’t out-act her under any circumstances. Except maybe…this week’s circumstances?
Sierra begins crying because she’s been in this position too often. Christine, who was in the bottom last week, can’t even talk to Gabby while she’s packing, lest Gabby distract her once again.
Christine’s up first in the Grand Ballroom. They compliment her great Director’s Cut performance. It’s only her earlier week’s work that keeps her from becoming Leading Lady. So she had less to worry about than she thought. Finally, a smile from her:
Tai is up, and her facial gestures and movements get called out by the judges. Homa says there’s something “innately strong” about her, but that her performance was “low end.” Fine line, the one between confidence and over-confidence.
Sierra too, gets called out by Jamie and Tim for her over-the-top physicality. Homa says she’s shown a great deal of personal growth, but that she may have hit a plateau. Jamie says (twice) that this is the first week that their decision wasn’t unanimous. So Sierra gets the axe, just by simple majority.
Sierra is tearful again, but her closing interview is optimistic and hopeful, just as she has been since the beginning. The house is a little bit colder without her.