This crazy train called The Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious keeps chugging along and I, for one, am hoping one girl in particular gets stuck on the tracks.
Ilisa waxes philosophical about the plus and minuses of standing out (tall + red head), saying she thought she’d be the one going home because she’s so different.
Fun fact: Chrystina’s uncles are pro-football players Ron & Gayle Sayers. I don’t think that has anything to do with her being so chippy and full of vinegar.
Then two of the Pussycat Dolls pop up in the oddly cut video to introduce this week’s lesson of Charisma – something that can "turn fans into fanatics." Which is a sort of scary thought, actually. Upon meeting with Robin in the studio portion of the house, she announces that the three best girls from last week will be team captains and picking their teams this week. Charley, Carrie and Chrystina get the nods and, like kickball, go into the unnecessarily catty task of picking their teams.
Charley’s team, consisting of Tiffanie and Nicole, are singing "These Boots Are Made For Walking" by Nancy Sinatra. During rehearsal, vocal coach Ken Hicks wonders if Tiffanie can dial down her overly dramatic vocal proclivities. Nicole and Charley wonder as well.
Carrie picks Jamie, Alexis and Cassandra to join her in performing Cyndi Lauper’s "Girls Just Want To have Fun." Alexis is having some issues finding her funk because she’s classically trained but is still trying super hard. She’s also studying to get into dental school which makes some of the girls question whether or not she really wants this. Which she does but, you know, she’s smart enough to have a back-up plan.
One-half of the Shrew Crew, Chrystina, gets the last captain spot and picks Natalie (her partner in malice) and Jenna to join her in singing "Respect" by Aretha Franklin. Ilisa, being the last left, is automatically on this team and doesn’t seem particularly happy – not only because she’s the last picked but because she’s on the shrew team.
Natalie immediately starts griping in her confessional because Ilisa stands out too much and they’re "trying to blend and be a group." She later talks smack about her with Chrystina and Jenna. Because they’re all hateful shrews. Natalie says that she tries to be nice to her but…um…I don’t feel she’s capable of truly being nice to anyone. Because she’s evil.
Later on, some of the girls are practicing and Ilisa offers one of the groups help and they laugh at her. Um. Yeah. Get ready for that karma, you wenches.
This little episode segues into Ilisa explaining to us a little about her past. See, she has an irregular heartbeat that causes her some problems. The first time it happened, she passed out at a dance recital and, despite being given CPR by two nurses on the scene, wasn’t revived for 30 minutes – she was even declared dead. That gave her a different perspective on things than a lot of other people.
So, Ilisa being the grown-up she is decides to talk to Chrystina and Natalie about not getting along with everyone else…though she really picked the wrong folks. I suppose it’s because they’re in the same group but those girls are bitches.
Next, to illustrate what real charisma is, Robin brings the contestants to a listening party for Nicole Scheringzer who sings a number and causes a few of the girls to tear up. She also gives some tips about charisma, one of which is to not be afraid of who you are. Nicole leaves and Robin announces this weeks challenge – they’ll be singing the PCD’s "I Don’t Need A Man" for some of their perspective core audience. Namely a bunch of young girls. Frightening. Each group goes up while the rest are backstage watching.
The young focus group then talks about all the contestants individually to Robin as they all watch backstage. Almost everyone gets super-harsh comments – Tiffanie says they’re worse than Ron Fair and they totally are. For example, some 11-year-old said Chrystina looked liked she was trying hard, but still needed to bring more to the stage. Ah, the unfettered honesty of a child.
When it’s Ilisa’s turn on the Tween Wheel of Random Humiliation, everyone waits with baited breath (and Natalie waits with a certain anticipation of sadistic glee). And guess what? Every one of those girls who spoke really liked her, much to the shock of the rest of the finalists, the majority of whom can suck it. Natalie, unfortunately, got some great feedback too – one girl going so far as to say she could be the lead like Nicole – and damn it all she won the challenge. Ilisa, in her interview, says that even though she didn’t win she felt she triumphed as she was given validation to continue being herself.
With renewed confidence, Ilisa gathers all the finalists at the house to share her life story so they can understand her better. She tells them how in she technically died in August of 2005, how she was in a coma and had 3 surgeries. She has a freakin’ defibrillator in her heart. She brings some of those salty wenches to tears. Alexis states in her one-on-one that it’s not like she didn’t like Ilisa, it’s just that she didn’t get her and was socially awkward – which was the general consensus amongst the girls. Except for Natalie who hates everyone and says that, while she respects that she’s a survivor, Ilisa shouldn’t be in the group. She adds that this group is Girlicious not "Tomboylicious". But Ilisa reveals that she’s not going to worry about what the others girls do or say to her, she’s just going to be herself and work it out.
It’s performance time and Tiffanie, Charlye and Nicole come out and perform a very interesting version of "These Boots Are Made For Walking" – different than the Jessica Simpson version. I actually really enjoyed it. Tiffanie’s been practicing these crazy runs at the end of the number but she fortunately pulled back on that during the performance. Ron Fair said that Nicole doesn’t have enough oomph, whether it’s laziness or youth, but she still has talent. A little ouch there. Tiffanie and Charyle both get positive marks.
Group Two -Carrie, Jamie, Alexis and Cassandra – also did an enjoyable version of "Girls Just Want To Have Fun." Last week, Cassandra was identified as a "non-singer" but she’s progressed very nicely. Jamie too. But when Carrie sings…woo. She really stands out. Robin and Lil’ Kim were really into it, bouncing around in their chairs during the performance. Jamie got positive marks from Ron Fair and Cassandra and Carrie were praised as well. Alexis gets some lackluster comments of doom about her lack of personality.
Ilisa starts off "Respect" rather nicely. She’s got a lot of strut when she performs and always makes interesting note choices – not bad, just unexpected. There’s this weird fan effect when they come out an sing. Not sure that’s necessary but whatever. They have the hardest song and the most troubling shots of the judges – they all have pensive face. When Natalie performs, she does have good presence but there’s something very prefabricated about her. Maybe it’s because I just watched 40 minutes of her being a heinous, two-faced harpy. Robin compliments them on taking the song and making her think of them singing and not Aretha. Jenna gets props on her voice but Ron Fair says she doesn’t have enough energy to get away with just standing still and singing. Ilisa gets great marks, complimenting her on standing out. Chrystina gets negative comments, particularly in reference to her voice breaking, speculating that her nerves got to her and she still needs to bring it more to the stage.
After deliberation, host Mark McGrath reminds us that Natalie has immunity. She smiles and I want to punch her in the face. She’s an awful, awful person. Anyhoo, because all the groups did so well, the judges decided to eliminate based on individual performances and some of the girls looked like they wanted to hurl when they heard the news. Charley, Tiffanie, Carrie, Jamie, Cassandra are Ilisa all saved first. Jenna, Christyna, Alexis and Nicole are all still left on the chopping block. Jenna and Nicole get stays of execution but Alexis doesn’t.
Next week it’s time for makeovers and not everyone is happy with the results.
How awesome were those Tween judges? Are we surprised that Alexis was sent home? How many episodes until Natalie gets shanked in her sleep?