Sometimes I look at this thing we've got called American pop culture and it's sort of like walking into the house of a lifetime smoker who died sitting his armchair, all the windows shut and the tobacco resin tears dripping down the faded kitchen walls, everything coated with this burnt orange sheen, even the ceramics his wife left behind in the credenza. So at first glance, everything is gross, right? Disgusting. But the chandelier in the hallway, the tea set, the kitchen clock, they're not made of gross nasty smoke puke. They are just temporarily covered in it. And sure, most of the stuff in the house is going to have to be thrown out, or burned. But some of it has got to be worth cleaning. If you've got the patience to stand there scrubbing chandelier crystals for hours.
Some of us do.
This show, however, is not a chandelier. And last week, I did not have time to stand around with grease cleaner eating away my knuckles. But it was an important episode last week, because my friend James Asmus was actually ON ANTM. Which is sort of AMAZING. When I heard about it, I literally jumped a little in my skin, like Christmas. I mean, it shouldn't be that great. This is what he does for a living after all. Well, I mean, this and other things. Like writing comic books and plays. And being funny. When I think about it, I kind of hate that boy a little. But one year Tara and James and I sat around eating a 5 pound Ghiradelli bar we bought him for his birthday with a hammer, watching Kids in the Hall. That sort of experience means loyalty for life.
Just not enough loyalty to stay at home that night. That's what DVRs are for after all. It's not a chandelier. It's not a chandelier. It's not a chandelier.
I sent James a couple of questions about his experience on the show, cause seriously, aren't you curious?
What did you actually go on to ANTM to do?
I was hired (due to my improv background) as a plant to mess with the girls when they had to 'meet the public'. Specifically, my job was to hit on all of them and act as creeptastic as possible. Which is soundly within my wheelhouse.
What do you think you SHOULD have been hired to do?
Honestly? I was pretty happy with this gig. I would feel terrible if I had to prank innocent people on the street, but making sheltered, arrogant teenage girls scared was entirely fun. So, if anything, I'd say it would have been better to make them do a 'sexy' photo shoot - only to have it be with a completely un-model-like guy (me) who still does creepy and inappropriate things during the shoot. That way, you trap them even further into the nightmare.
How tall is Tyra really?
She wasn't there! That was the biggest disappointment. Though Ms. J did compliment my ruthlessness in putting some girls through the ringer. So that was nice.
Which girl is the oddest looking one in person?
Some of the eliminated girls were still around. (I guess because their friends would 'know' the outcome if they were back home after 3 weeks.) And Dominique is even more jarring in person. But of the remaining girls? ...Molly? I had the hardest time picturing her as a model.
I feel like the girls get wrapped tight in reality blankets during the show. Is it like all secret service up in that place?
They were escorted in and buffered by *dozens* of people. But once the challenge was over, most crew whisked off with the 'losing' girls to film something and the 'middle' girls were left to stand around with the previous losers in the plaza - abandoned. They really looked like dazed sheep for about an hour.
Best part of your day there?
My favorite part was probably dealing with Britany. I could tell she was on to me right away. As a result, she kept trying to jump in and say or do the 'right' thing - even if I was talking to somebody else. So I took great pleasure in turning around everything she tried into some sort of insult or other cause to act hurt, offended, or scandalized. She got pretty furious with me, and was the only one to say something to me after the shoot. Essentially, she said that she knew I was a plant, but I didn't have to be such an asshole. But yeah, Britany, I did. Because that's exactly what they hired me for.
So Good Job James, Cleveland is Proud! And moving on to this week....
This is Nigel with hair. I don't know why. I watched the damn thing and I still don't know why.
You can read the live blog here. This week a bunch of stuff happened, but what mostly happened is Alex proved she was almost ready to be a big girl serial killer, as she batted and toyed with the girls like a nasty little porch cat. Also she won a car. Britani lost her shit finally and snapped, and did that "I'm having a panic attack on tv" thing that always causes me pause, because for a small moment in space and time, I can absolutely understand the feelings of a person who drowns kittens in burlap sacks for fun. Tyra was all like "If it were up to me, you wouldn't be here, but THIS IS A DEMOCRACY. LOOK AT ME BEING A FAIR AND BENEVOLENT TYRA". And Britani got to stay. Till next week anyway. When Tyra has her sold into a Ukrainian sex ring. For their photo shoot, the girls had to pose as deranged Gossip Girl fans, which turned out pretty much the way you would think that would turn out. They dressed up Alex in the skin of dead animals, and she turned her lips just so, and did her best Knight Rider impression. That girl is going to up and kill her whole church one day, just you watch.
The other crazy thing that happened last night is Sarah FINALLY told me about what Lisa from Cycle 5 has been doing. Which is this.
Seriously Sarah, it's Cycle 16. Were you saving this for a wedding present, and just gave up?