A few Leading Lady wins…
…and somebody’s in love with herself!
We open Scream Queens with Gabby and Jessica waiting for the other ladies to return from the Grand Ballroom. Jessica tells Gabby that she thought Gabby and Christine would end up on the chopping block. Just FYI! She probably should not say this.
Maybe it’s an innocent observation, but Gabby takes it as an offense.
Why is Jessica so open with her opinion? “I’ve never been in the bottom. I can’t even see being in the bottom,” Jessica interviews. That must be hard when you’re busy imagining everyone else there.
Tai interviews that she lost her focus because of Gabby, and how annoying Gabby is to her. But focusing on where she lost her focus is also focusing on Gabby, so she decides to stop the whole thing and focus on her own acting. Never a bad decision.
This week’s skills challenge is about acting in “altered states.” They’ll be performing a seance where each actress will get possessed by a ghost. The ghost they will be portraying was the town tramp. Duh. Like this show would have them get possessed by the town locksmith or the town mid-level office executive.
Gabby’s up first. The way she portrays the spirit entering her is kind of the way a really bad cold enters you. But, her scene improves by the end.
Jessica is up next, and she says she’ll play it sexy. Again, goes without saying.
Christine has said that sexy is one of her weaknesses. But she commits to doing as sexual a performance as possible. She does some rather awkward self-groping. Some chest heaving. “I f***ed him!” is yelled multiple times. It is…uncomfortable.
Tai decides on a different direction. “Maybe this girl isn’t the town slut. Maybe she got a bad rep from a bad guy,” she reasons. So Tai’s scene is teary and confessional, as her character say she was a victim, rather than a slut.
Tai wins the skills challenge with her chaste character. It just goes to show that sluts never get a break, even in the afterlife.
Back at the house, things are back to normal. As in, slightly on edge. “Tai, you definitely didn’t overact,” Gabby says. Oh, go on!
“I feel like I do sexy best,” Jessica says, to everyone and no one (no one asked). Other things she says she’s wonderful at? Devastation? Rage. This tour through her skills range annoys the other actresses.
Since they’re working on altered states this week, Homa tells the girls that he’ll have them work on playing drunk. You know, for when they score the lead in the Arthur remake. Note also that Homa had them make margaritas for the week they had to learn seduction. There’s a theme here.
Christine goes up first. Her scene: She’s at the office party and she is drunk and ready to admit to her boss that she’s in love with him. Who’s the boss?
Tai decides to play “completely trashed,” but it’s too far. Homa yells at her just as he did last week. It worries her, just as it did last week.
Gabby has to tell her boyfriend (Homa, natch), that she’s no longer in love with him. She botches her scene, losing her character halfway through her speech.
Jessica goes up next and does all the subtle movements that make you look drunk, the little off-balance movements, the slurring. It’s just another thing she does well.
She does so well, in fact, that Gabby begins crying. Homa takes pity on her and allows her to try again.
Her second try is flawless. And Jessica gets pissed. Her argument: it’s not fair that people get second chances. Also not fair, apparently: reshoots, second takes, editing.
“This is the s*** I don’t want to hire,” Homa fires back. “I’m watching you lose right now.” Chin up guys:
And Jessica, for her part, knows she made a mistake as soon as class is dismissed. Tai comforts while she cries.
Script time! Also: Ridiculous stunt to get the scripts time! They must say the name of a killer thrice for their scripts to appear. They debate whether they should, since, you know, they don’t want to get killed. Playing along with this charade is truly the toughest acting challenge of all.
For their Director’s Cut they’ll be playing a woman living in an insane asylum, getting interviewed by a doctor. Silence of the Lambs crossed with Basic Instinct, basically.
Tim calls Jessica to set first. She lays out her choices: Her character will have a New York accent and will have “lived on the streets” before ending up in the asylum. Film inaccuracy alert: in New York, crazy people just stay on the streets. Reagan’s America!
Her scene goes well until she forgets the dialogue. “My first take was horrible,” she interviews. It’s too bad that Jessica’s anti-second chances.
Tim tells her to drop the accent, but she decides to keep it. It’s the right choice: Her second chance is really good. And salty. Because of the accent.
Christine goes a different, more innocent direction. In the greenroom, Gabby stares while Tai keeps accusing Christine of being too cute. It’s Tai’s nicest critique, actually. Tim wants Christine to act more seductive and scary, but he doesn’t get what he wants second take.
Gabby, again, goes with her instincts instead of worrying about making mistakes. Her posture…
…is very Angelina Jolie, i.e., crazy and sexy.
Tim only asks her to do more of whatever she was doing for her second take.
Watching from backstage, Tai says this is the most focused she’s ever seen Gabby. It puts a lot of pressure on Tai, who is up next. She can’t focus on the scene. After the first take, Tim asks her to make fewer turns and shifts. It’s hard for her to connect with the character, which is probably why Tai does this uncharacteristic move:
She knows how that went.
Tim tells the ladies that they all have to go the elimination room tonight, so the house is pretty tense. “You’re only as good as your last performance,” Christine tells Gabby, who wants to know where Christine heard this terrible saying.
Meanwhile Jessica and Tai talk about their weak moments this episode, and Jessica is scared for the first time.
Gabby’s called up to the judges first, and Jamie and Tim give her a lot of compliments. “You drive me absolutely crazy,” Homa tells her in, for sure, the most dad-like moment so far on show — except for that time when he basically said he was like a better version of her dad.
Homa actually praises Jessica, who comes up next, for her outburst, since she was starting to get too self-assured.
Tai gets praise for her skills challenge, then a lot of criticism for her Director’s Cut, where the judges say she just didn’t make a commitment. Christine on the other hand, made a strong choice, but it wasn’t convincing. “I appreciated the commitment but I hated the character,” Homa tells her.
Ultimately Tai gets the axe, while Christine gets the tears.
Still, no tears. Tough until the end, just not the bitter end.