Bump and whine on 'Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious'

Jamie_girlicious This week's Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious treats us to something we haven't seen in a while - a screaming match between four of the finalists. Also, one girl almost quits, one girl gets some bad news and two girls get the big boot.

Spoilers...

This week, we get some insight into why Natalie is so unnecessarily shrewish in a confessional spliced with a phone call home. Her mother and grandmother spent their lives in poverty so she's chasing her dream not only for her, but for her family. I'm not saying her behavior is right, but the stress of being in that situation does drive people to act in unsavory ways. Her mom lets her know that she had to take Grandma to the hospital to run some tests.

Jamie mentions how she, Ilisa and Carrie remain neutral while Jenna, Natalie and Chrystina and Nichole, Tiffanie and Charlye have formed little cliques. Her Swiss status is owed to realizing that she's going to have to be in a group with two other of these girls. Thank you, Jamie. I appreciate that you get that very important point.

This week's odd video lesson is about Sexiness. Ugh. The girls go to the dance studio and meet with Robin who breaks the girls into groups of three for their rock tunes. Jenna, Chrystina and Nichole get "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" by Pat Benatar; Tiffanie, Ilisa and Carrie will do Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart"; and Natalie, Jamie and Charlye are tasked with covering "I Want You To Want Me" by Cheap Trick. All the girls are pretty stoked about their songs, though Ilise is a bit concerned about her ability to sell her song given her vocal quality. The girls are far less enthusiastic when it's announced that all the girls will be judged individually and that not one, but two chicks are being axed.

Jenna's having a lot of choreography issues and Mikey's really riding her hard in rehearsal. Jamie, who knows she's playing catch up vocally, is made team captain by Kenn Hicks who's excelling at this song. Natalie got all scrunchy faced about that but Jamie is excited by the opportunity.

Later, Natalie gets the bad news that her Grandmother passed away and is struck hard by the news. Her mother tells her not to cry and be strong, that everyone is proud of her and that she's doing it for the family. After she gets off the phone, Natalie goes to her bed and sobs. Ilisa is the first to notice and, when she finds out what happens, she gets Christyna since those two are so close. All the girls come in to offer their support and Natalie's chilly exterior thaws a bit.

Next up is this week's challenge. This week's guest judge is Blake McGrath, Season 1 winner of So You Think You Can Dance. And the challenge is to make up a sexy dance with male partners, the guys choosing the girls. Ilisa got picked last but she's laughs it off because she's used to it. But she really wants to win. The way it's happening, strangely enough, is a dance off. Everyone dances at the same time and if they're not cutting it, the couple is told to leave. Harsh. Will Mikey start chanting "Served!" at any point? And speaking of harsh, Mikey basically yells not nice things through a megaphone to kick people out. Jenna's the first to go for her line-crossing grind-fest. Tiffanie's out next followed by Natalie, Ilisa, Carrie, Jamie and Nichole. Leaving Charlye and Christyna as the last two standing. The judges (Mikey, Robin and Blake) liked Charlye's choreography and how polished it looked but Christyna won because of the connection they felt between her and her partner. Because the two of them did so well, they both got diamond Hello Kitty necklaces.

Charlye is proud that she didn't end up having sex on the dance floor, which she said over and over to everyone. Jenna then decides to go run and tell Natalie and Christyna, the latter of whom calls the other group of girls out from across the apartment to come say it to her face. After some time of back and forth, Jenna calls out "She still won," which was basically the last straw for Tiffanie (who freely admits in her confessional that she loves drama). She marches straight over to the other group of girls and ask what the problem is. Charlye follows and it's basically nothing but a screaming match. Jamie sits in the corner in the kitchen enjoying the show while Natalie is, strangely, equally not involved.

After the blow-out, Jenna is ready to throw in the towel. She seriously says she's going to go home when Nichole and Chrystina comes in. When the other two girls go into rehearsal and tell Robin that she's sleeping, Robin goes to talks to Jenna who's all sad sack (and also explicitly states that she doesn't ever want to be in a group with Nichole, Tiffanie or Charlye - something that I'm sure will bite her in the rear later). Robin gives her a bit of a pep talk but I say go home. If you want to be all mleah about it, go. But Jenna changes her mind and sticks around.

After all the drama, we've finally arrived at the performances.

Jenna, Chrystina and Nichole are up first with "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." Their choreography and costumes are cheerleader-themed, which is a somewhat odd choice to me. I don't entirely agree with the vocal stylings but it wasn't bad. Robin looks like she's enjoying it and Ron Fair has some smooshy face going - he kinda looks like he's trying to figure out who passed gas. Robin says she had so much fun watching and they did a great job. Ron Fair says Nichole sings "funky for a white chick." All three give major props to Chrystina. Jenna gets props from Lil' Kim about developing her personal image and Robin says she bounced back really well from a tough week. Bleh. Ron Fair says he didn't feel she was 100% into it because he's like Gandolf and can see the unseen.

Ilisa_girliciousIlisa, Tiffanie and Carrie are next with "Piece of My Heart." They're doing this whole stripper/singer thing, which is pretty much Robin's M.O. I really like this combo of girls. They're visually engaging and have a vocal depth the first group didn't. Good comments all around though Ilisa gets the "you need to learn/live the sexy" modifier from Robin. Guess she too much singer and not enough stripper.

Lastly, Natalie, Jamie and Charlye perform "I Want You To Want Me" and start out dancing behind fake fences. Ron Fair has pensive face once again.  Vocally I'd say they were the weakest overall but they looked great, like they were having fun. All the judges agree. Charlye gets props for being able to be consistent and blend into every combo she's been in. Natalie sounded good, thanks partially to not deviating from the basic melody line. She gets good comments overall as well, with Robin noting what a rough week she's had. Jamie gets the roughest feedback - she's dances and looks great and the vocals are improving, but they're still not there.

The judges deliberate and go over the pluses and minuses of everyone. Charlye, Carrie, Nichole and Tiffanie are given a reprieve first. Natalie and Jamie both get vocal checks while Ilisa is told she needs to show that she knows what sexy means and Jenna gets called out for showing self-doubt in the week and causing Robin to wonder how much she really wants this. Natalie is saved, which I'm not surprised about. You can't send home a girl who's Grandma just died. Plus this is the first time she's really faltered. Jenna is the last saved and, unfortunately, Jamie and Ilisa get sent home. Boooooooooooo!

Jamie, while taking it relatively well, is a little miffed that she tries so hard every week yet someone who doesn't work as hard and was ready to throw in the proverbial towel gets to stick around (thank you CW for showing some grayed flashback footage of Jenna because I couldn't possibly have figured it out on my own). It sucks that she's out but at least she can reclaim her image and get a deal on her own terms. Also, I really, really like Ilisa and I'm not pleased that she's been axed. I'm not surprised, mind you, but I'm not pleased. I hope that someone gives her a record deal or puts her in a group with equally different and awesome chicks.

Next week, another girl suffers a confidence crisis and Natalie pulls a diva move on the wrong person.

Did the wrong girls go home? I think they did. And Jenna's pretty much out next week. You don't look in Robin's eyes and tell her you want out and don't get along with nearly half the girls left without repercussions. Do you have an opinion on Charlye vs. Christyna: Dance-gate? And how about that Natalie? The producers did a great job softening the mega-wench character they've pushed since the first episode, but is it too little too late?

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