Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bright Lights, Mics, and More Lies: Paris' Wannabes Get Introduced To Hollywood...

Paris claimed she had no idea the house could get so catty, but now that the wannabes have dwindled down to the final four, how could it be anything else? Those remaining standing in the fight to insert herself into Paris' life are Plain Jane, the Virgin, the Snitch, and Tanorexic Barbie, who decide it would be fun to "reminisce" by going through the Burn Book, which gives the producers some nice opportunity for filler with purplescale flashbacks of wannabes past. They interview about why they're going to end up as Paris' BFF and not any of the other girls, and it's all very self-indulgent.

Paris talks about how a lot of her time is spent "in photo shoots and on set" and so she needs a BFF who has a sense of style and can handle the bright lights (read: she needs a gopher). So naturally, their first challenge of the episode is to choose from a variety of props and set dressing in order to design the backdrop for one of Paris' photo shoot. The Virgin heads out first to find only a bunch of dirty rakes, brooms, and sad Charlie Brown trees. She wants Paris to be painting one of the trees, but the photographer finds that as boring as the Virgin herself. He tells her she's too quiet and needs to step it up, as she wanders around aimlessly, admitting she has no frame of reference when it comes to this stuff and doesn't know what would look best on camera. But can't she even tell a story? That's all that's really involved here, and we learned basic story structure in elementary school, which is when it appears her social maturation halted. Anyway, she opts to scatter around dead leaves and lay a ladder on its side, as Paris stretches in front of it, with a weird bird and bush perched atop her head. The Virgin actually musters up the cajones to ask the photographer to change his angle, inserting herself into this project, however unsuccessful it may be. That's a turning point for her, but it leads me to believe this little spot of growth may be too little too late, and she may be ousted in forty-five minutes.

The Snitch butts heads with the photographer over the placement of the mirror she absolutely has to have in her shot, and then she pumps herself up while he snaps photos by saying how awesome everything looks. Um, it really doesn't. The dead tree sandwiching Paris to the mirror is dark and ominous but doesn't work with the bright sunlight attacking her as it bounces off the mirror. The Snitch keeps telling Paris how "gorgeous" and "hot" and "sexy" she looks (um, I think the Snitch is actually vying for the role of Paris' new lover!), which means she'll probably win this round because in these situations, all a girl really needs is someone who can validate her and give her the confidence (even if its false) necessary to continue with this almost unnatural display.

Tanorexic Barbie wants to use a necklace that she thinks looks like a dog collar (it doesn't) and ends up with photos of Paris caressing and looking lovingly into the eyes of a llama. She must not cause as much drama as one would assume (personally I thought she'd try to insert herself into the photos, too!) because her whole segment is about twenty seconds long. Still when Plain Jane's up, the photographer says they're "running out of time," presumably because none of these wannabes knows what it means to "lose light," even though it's one of the most literal industry terms. The photographer tells Plain Jane he did half her job already by sliding a bathtub half-heartedly into the middle of a tennis court, and she decides she wants Paris in a bath of leaves, blowing them as if they were bubbles. He nixes that, and she gets all Mini Me on him, unwilling to get shoved aside because "it's [her] shoot, too." She's the only one of the wannabes to thank everyone after the shoot, though.

When it's time to unveil the shots, the Snitch keeps reiterating how perfect a model Paris is, and the photographer actually utters "creepy," a sentiment which Tanorexic Barbie echoes in an interview-- a sentiment which I have been saying for awhile now! They like Plain Jane's work, though they admit they "helped her," and they love the Virgin's, especially her suggestion to shoot from a lower angle and make Paris look even more statuesque. The photographer is not super thrilled to hear he may have some competition. They like the other two, too, so there is no clear loser here, but the Snitch is the winner, and her photo will be featured in Genlux magazine. I'm sure she'd be more excited if she were in the picture with Paris, though, as all she seems to want to do is show off that she knows someone famous.

Get in line, honey! Paris meets the girls at the E!/KIIS-FM studios for their next challenge, where guest judge RYAN SEACREST will test them on interview skills. Paris has to go on-air first, leaving the wannabes in the black greenroom where the Snitch squeals about how he "has interviewed everybody, and now he's going to interview us!" The Virgin is the one who is the most visibly nervous about this, but it's hard to tell if the Snitch is deliberately trying to sabotage her by pointing that out, or if she's just so self-involved she actually can't see the nerves that are literally vibrating through her legs.

Ryan, to his credit, looks like he wants to punch Paris in the eye when she says that she doesn't know everyone's intentions but honestly believes at least some of them look up to her and want to follow what she does. Huh, it's funny; I always thought if Paris and Ryan were in the same room together, I'd still want to punch Ryan more, but right now... not so much. He offers a backhanded: "I've had so many celebrities lie to me, I can tell when they're lying," which means the claws are coming out-- which means I'm getting my popcorn!

Tanorexic Barbie gets called into the hot seat first. I think it might have been more interesting if they were all in the booth together, fighting for airtime and confronting each other in front of each other, but no, that would have been too much to ask. I also think it might have been a nice bonus to the challenge to turn the tables and make the wannabes ask a few of the "tough" questions. If Paris wants a media savvy BFF, that's one way to find out who follows the trends and news (or "news") and who doesn't. The first thing Ryan says is that he has a note that her nickname is "Whorey Corrie," and he wants to know where that comes from. In the black greenroom, the Snitch bursts out in a cackle. She takes that in stride, blaming Onch's jealousy for that branding, but when he asks her if friendship is more important than her career, she seems to take a Big Gulp. She does admit that thus far it's been career-- but only because she hasn't had any "good girlfriends" to whom to open up her heart, but she says she is ready for that now. Ryan asks her who she hates out of the wannabes left, and surprisingly, she picks Plain Jane for "wanting what she wants when she wants it." Um, what? I don't think Onch was the only jealous one in this group!

Plain Jane is up next and calls the Snitch out on the fact that she's trying to psyche everyone out (well, only in an interview). I really think the Snitch has a little bit of that Fatal Attraction psychosis, and maybe Paris keeps her around because she's afraid of her. Sometimes her eyes go really wide, and she looks like she's trying to hypnotize Paris, too-- or send her telepathic message-- and maybe she has succeeded. Plain Jane stabs right back when Ryan asks her which girl Paris should be most worried about in terms of being in the competition for the "right reasons," and then tells Ryan that Paris is a lot like her, and that's why she's inspiring. Um, what? Ryan asks Plain Jane to sing for him since she wants to be a rockstar, which is kind of a cool opportunity, and she says she feels like she's on American Idol. Well, if this whole BFF thing doesn't work out, I'm sure we can see her on there next!

Ryan points out the Virgin is shaking when she sits down across from him and slides on her headphones, but plays it off, saying she's always shaking. He then point-blank asks her if it's true she's a virgin because Paris says she's "the only virgin she knows." To her credit, she doesn't clam-- or tense-- up; she's not ashamed-- this is who she is-- and she holds her ground, regardless of how awkward it might be to broadcast it for all of Los Angeles to hear. She does start to sputter when he talks of the temptation she may find in Hollywood, but she laughs when he asks if she thinks everyone there is going to hell, and he says he finds her "endearing."

The Snitch gangs up on Plain Jane, too, saying she doesn't feel she's there for the right reasons. When she explains why she wants to be Paris' best friend (the usual "she's an amazing person" b.s. we've all come to know and loathe), she looks sideways at Paris, as if she's trying to drill it into her dead little eyes. Ellen K is remarkably quiet throughout this whole exchange, and if she didn't leave the room, I'll assume it's because she fell asleep due to these standard press release answers. Where's the hard-hitting journalism, Ryan? You could at least ask these wannabes what kind of a tree they would be if they were a tree!

The Snitch rambles on about how Paris is a role model, and she's loved "every single second," especially her "alone time" with Paris. Um, is there an After Dark version of this show that MTV has been unable to get past the censors? The creepy "I'm going to snatch your baby" music that filters in when she talks of the connection they share doesn't help the mood, by the way, and Ryan calls her out for being a bit crazy. He says he feels like he's on The Bachelor. You just went up a notch in my book, Ry-Ry.

Ryan doesn't say much more than we already know about these wannabes when he offers Paris his opinion, although he does use Plain Jane's drive against her, pointing out that she was "brazen" enough to talk about "what she really wants to do" right in front of Paris. I guess Paris just wants someone who will be happy to simply follow her around like Tinkerbell used to (aw, Tinkerbell...). Nichole Richie found ambition, and she was kicked to the curb, after all!

Paris decides to have a little fun with the girls (and perhaps at their expense), and she has a producer grab just the Snitch and tell her to go upstairs because "Paris needs to talk." Paris brings her into a closet of a room and tells her she's the one who is going home. She just wants to see how the wannabes will react, with the hopes of gauging who is more genuine than some of the others. I now need popcorn and a box of Raisinets; this sh*t is gettin' gooood!

The Snitch doesn't seem to quite believe Paris when she says "TTYN," but in the post-interview, she breaks down and says she feels "blindsided" and that it happened too fast for her to even talk Paris out of the decision. She talks about how she quit her job to come here, and she isn't sure what she'll do now. Then she looks directly into the lens and talks directly to Paris about how much she really does love her. Paris fakes sadness of her own.

The other wannabes downstairs in the kitchen thought the "surprise" the Snitch was getting was going to be a good one, but they quickly learn the truth. Tanorexic Barbie is up next, and Paris gives her the same spiel, verbatim, that she gave the Snitch. Then Plain Jane, then the Virgin, and with each one, Paris sounds a little more tired and a lot less interested (read: sincere). Everyone handles themselves well and simply says okay and gives Paris a hug. The "I didn't get my pony for Christmas" pout Paris puts on as the last one leaves her is ah-MAY-zing, by the way!

The Virgin doesn't cry in her post-interview and says "whatever is meant to be will be" and that if Paris doesn't like her as much as she likes her, she'll just accept it. Paris takes that to mean "she doesn't even care." Plain Jane surprisingly does cry, though, she turns it around quickly and talks of the album she's going to go write and the tour she's going to start. Paris scoffs, but in the back of her mind, she's probably a bit jealous because Plain Jane's voice, well, it isn't so plain. Tanorexic Barbie stuns everyone by admitting she's happy to go home because she's sick of putting up with "so much criticism and bullshit." She says she was there for Paris, but she's ready to go home where there is actually love. She thanks Paris for having her in the "cast," which is the first self-reflexive term any of these wannabes have used-- even Plain Jane, who everyone is accusing of just using Paris to get ahead in her own career-- but she also says that there's no "TTYN," only "TTYL." I was waiting for someone to say that, and I'm kind of surprised it took so long but also that it came out of her mouth.

Oh, and Paris' "Benji" necklace is super ironic now that they've broken up. I wonder when they shot this... So the producers drag all four wannabes out of the Escalades and back up to the roof so Paris can make her announcement in front of everyone. Sitting in her big white throne, she says none of them are actually eliminated... yet. The Snitch is freaking out, and I want to grab and shake her the way a parent would get arrested for treating his or her baby. Paris ultimately says "TTYS"-- talk to you soon-- to the Virgin, who she says seemed a bit relieved in her interview. She also says that maybe God sent her to this house as an angel to guide her through this tough (WTF???) decision. I can't hear what else she says because I'm laughing too hard. I'm laughing as hard as the Snitch is crying. Cue the purplescale montage of the Virgin's progress along the season!!

Then Paris drops the real bombshell: she's eliminating one more to make a final two for the finale episode! Everyone except Tanorexic Barbie says she should be the one to go, and based on the exit interview video she saw, Paris agrees in the most anticlimactic elimination ever, and my predictions for who will win have come true! The Snitch was my frontrunner from the casting special, when I saw that she had a short blonde bob that I knew had Paris' name all over it. Plain Jane only emerged as the second favorite at about week four or five, when she finally got some screen time and didn't seem so plain anymore.

For the finale, Paris takes her final two to NYC, where they will undoubtedly learn that three is a crowd. You never want to take catty girls anywhere in groups of odd numbers because there is always a majority to gang up on a minority... and I can't wait! You guys, I'm so sad there's only one more episode of this show! First The Real Housewives of Atlanta came to an end, and now this! Now what am I going to do with my Tuesday nights??

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