The Wife:

This episode was the stuff of my nightmares. And I’m not saying that because my perfect Top 4 was shattered with the inclusion of Evan because I do like Evan very much. I’m saying it was a nightmare because it opened with a Tyce DiOrio Broadway routine about clowns. Clowns! WHY, GOD, WHY! Two of my least favorite things in the world were synthesized into one horrible vision. And yet, despite my dislike of both of those things, the “Send in the Clowns” number was actually pretty solid. It didn’t inspire any intense Tyce hatred in me, and, frankly, sad Harlequin clowns are the kind I find most palatable. It even established a somewhat ominous tone for the show, as well. I mean, how can you not see the appropriateness of one sad clown Evan being left out of the box by the other clowns? It’s totally a metaphor for the competition, and not in a painstakingly obvious TabNap kind of way. It’s there, but it wasn’t covering your head with a moving box, if you know what I mean.

In addition to our results, we were treated to a showing of the four Emmy-nominated routines from last season: Tyce DiOrio’s “Silence” for Will and Jessica, Mia Michaels’ “Mercy” for Katee and Twitch, Dmitry Chaplin’s “A Los Amigos” for Chelsie and Joshua and Nappytab’s “Bleeding Love” for Chelsie and Mark. Since this isn’t the meat of the show, I’m not going to spend time critiquing second showings of these works, but here are some observations:

  • “Silence” is way better live because you can actually hear Will and Jessica struggling for breath. It struck me as extremely beautiful on the tour because of that, but not so much replayed on my TV.
  • Also, I still hate Jessica.
  • “Mercy” is never not awesome. I loved that Katee and Twitch kept character even through their bows.
  • I think the reason “A Los Amigos” is such a good Argentine Tango number is that it’s choreographed to be performed as part of a stage show, rather than part of a dance competition. It’s really dynamic and visually interesting in its movement and stagecraft. Sometimes, I think the problem with some ballroom on this show is that the choreographers forget they aren’t choreographing for a competition, but for a stage show.
  • “Bleeding Love” will always be one of TabNap’s best, and that’s because of the sheer ferociousness with which Chelsie and Mark dance it. If you strip that away, the choreography is kind of just a lot of bouncing and flailing, no?
  • Kupono, you are not, nor will you ever be, anywhere near as good as Mark Kanemura.


The first winners of America’s Best Dance Crew, the amazing Jabbawockeez, performed and they were totally tizzight as usual in their routine to “Freak-a-Zoid.” I could have done without the giant mask onstage, and the mask projections on the screens. They were a little distracting to the movement. Sean Paul also performed with a bunch of backup dancers who were dressed like Darryl Hannah in Blade Runner. I do not know why, and I apparently never will. Cat wore a sparkly green dress. Jeanine and Brandon were sent straight to the finale, and the remaining dancers soloed again, with no changes at all on the part of the ladies. At least Ade added in his deadly backflip and Evan, I think, pumped up his technique a bit.

Farewell, Melissa and Ade!

Farewell, Melissa and Ade!

But after all that, Evan and Kayla were allowed by America to join Jeanine and Brandon in the finale and I’m fine with that. Yes, I do love Evan, but I also think he’s outlived his usefulness here. However, I have to keep reminding myself that once we hit the Top 10, it becomes about being America’s Favorite Dancer, not America’s Best Backflipping Guy. When you compare the strengths and weaknesses of Ade and Evan, I think you can make the case that, personality aside, Evan has a better technical background. When it comes down to adorability and personality, Evan clearly wins there. But watching Ade falter in yet another ballroom routine made me wonder if maybe Evan really is the more technically skilled of the two and, for some reason, that just isn’t coming through in the works he’s been given. When I look at both men’s solos, they astound me for completely different reasons. So even though I’d have preferred Ade, I’m really fine with Evan in the Top 4. It nearly guarantees that he’ll be invited back to choreograph if he so desires, à la Travis Wall.

As for Melissa, there was no way she’d have made the Top 4. I like her bunches, and I think she did a great deal to help classical ballet become a popular style again. In my dream world where everyone spends money on art, Melissa’s very presence in a reality dance competition program means more ballet patrons and therefore more money going to sustain dance companies and dancers themselves. But when put next to Kayla and Jeanine, who are both such powerhouse performers, Melissa didn’t stand a chance.

So congrats to Jeanine, Evan, Kayla and Brandon! I’d automatically give my winning vote to Spiseagle Brandon Bryant, but I’d like to see a talented female win this year, so my votes next week are going to Kayla. Who will you guys be voting for now that we’re down to the wire? The (dance) floor, my friends, is yours.

Stray thoughts:

  • My husband pointed out that when he rewatched Evan’s solos from the last two weeks, Evan was doing dead-on imitations of Gene Kelly’s facial expressions. If he paused the dance at certain moments, my husband would be able to tell you exactly what scene in what movie Gene Kelly makes that face.
  • For my part, Sad Clown Evan reminded me of John Leguizamo as Tolouse Latrec when he’s dressed as the Magical Sitar in Moulin Rouge and is crying because Satine is dead. This is much more of a compliment than saying, “He reminded me of Gene Kelly in the clown scene in The Pirate.” Because that dance is terrible. And it’s terrible because of Judy Garland.
  • I’m glad Ade was so happy for Brandon to make it straight through to the finale. I assume it’s because they’re both part of the Sexy Black Man Club, which I imagine has Seal as a president and Taye Diggs as VP. Denzel Washington was a charter member, but he resigned some years ago. They revoked Will Smith’s membership after Fresh Prince was cancelled. Djimon Honsou is their Cultural Attache to France. I can keep going. Really, I can.
  • When I saw a shot of Melissa’s husband in the audience standing next to a dude who looked suspiciously like him, I suddenly remembered that she and her sister were married to brothers. That’s so uncanny.
  • What do we all make of this “This dancer will be in the finale, but they didn’t necessarily pull the most votes” thing? Katee-Was-Actually-Second-Place conspiracy theorists, please weigh in.
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The Wife:

We all know results shows are about 80% filler and 20% content we actually care about, but the one thing I can always look forward to in SYTYCD results shows are the group numbers. There have been some very memorable results show group numbers in seasons past – Mia Michael’s Imogen Heap piece from season two in which every dancer wore a word in masking tape on their clothing, Wade Robeson’s utterly fantastic zombie dance number to Roisin Murphy’s “Ramalama Bang Bang” from season two, Tyce DiOrio’s Lion King piece for season three (now there’s a Broadway show that really utilizes Tyce’s talents!), and many others – and last night brought us a Shane Sparks’ hip-hop routine set to the Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow,” the plot of which I described in my notes like this:

“Future street thugs blow magic dust on hobo girls and make them into video hos.”

That’s pretty accurate, right?

And for those who weren’t sure it was a Shane Sparks piece, you should have known by the signature booty shake. Watch enough of America’s Best Dance Crew (btw, I think it was Boogie Bot Karla who graced us with that booty shake), and you will know that there is nothing Shane loves more than a good booty shake.

Just to remind you, in case you also couldnt remove this image from the back of your retinas: this horrible thing happened. And it was horrible.

Just to remind you, in case you also couldn't remove this image from the back of your retinas: this horrible thing happened. And it was horrible.

Cat came out in a fabulous, if severely understated, strapless coffee-colored wrap dress and introduced a little producer package about how all of our Top 20 dancers, most of whom had never partnered with another dancer in their lives, “got on” with their new dance partners. Here are some tidbits I learned from that:

  • Max thinks that the best thing about being on this show is dancing with a really hot blonde chick. He is correct that she is a very premium lady, and that dancing with very premium ladies is why one should want to be a very premium dancer.
  • Evan is so wholesome he says things like “shucks.” I could not possibly love him any more than I already do.
  • Jeanette is Cuban. She speaks Spanish. Just in case you didn’t catch that before.
  • Melissa, the naughty ballerina, enjoys burping.
  • Ashley makes chicken sounds.
  • Her partner Kupono makes monkey sounds.


After that bit of adorable time wasting, we moved swiftly into the results portion of the show. Cat lined up Kayla and Max, Randi and Evan and Phillip and Jeanine – my three favorite couples from last night! – and I immediately thought that perhaps I might be wrong about this show’s viewers and their ability to correctly assess what is and isn’t good dancing. But, slowly but surely, Cat told each of those three couples that they were safe, proving that I am a very premium judge of dances! It really would have been a travesty for any of those three to end up in the bottom, as they really were the best of the night.

Next, Cat corralled Caitlin and Jason, Melissa and Ade, Ashley and Kupono and Tony and Paris. Of those four couples, only one would end up in the bottom three, and it ended up being the correct one – Tony and Paris, once again proving that even when the costumes are so horrible I can’t even see the dancing, I am a very premium judge of dances!

Auska and Vitolio, Jeanette and Brandon and Karla and Jonathan faced Cat next, knowing that two of the three couples would be sent to the bottom three. Auska and Vitolio were told they weren’t safe and headed off to get ready for their solos while Jeanette and Brandon had to sweat it out with Jonathan and Karla, only to find out that, clearly, Jonathan and Karla were the weaker pair and were sent to the bottom three. I am very premium at choosing dance show results, for every single one of my bottom three couples landed in the bottom three!

While the six dancers about to dance for their lives got ready, Cat introduced Miriam and Leonardo, a pair of professional Argentine tangoers, who performed a very nice tango to the other half of the music that makes up the “Tango Roxanne” sequence in Moulin Rouge. Then it was solo time:

  • Paris performed a pretty bland set of leg extensions to “It Doesn’t Hurt” by Katie Thompson, a piece of music that I could only think of as inexorably tied to the car accident we learned she was in just yesterday.
  • Tony, dressed like a complete and total dickbag, performed (to “Early in the Morning” by the Gap Band) what I can’t only describe as the kind of dance that would be cool if people circled around you at a wedding or high school event, but was not anywhere near the kind of caliber necessary to grace this stage which has been dominated in years past by a number of actually talented B-boys, breakers, poppers and lockers. (Ivan, Dominic, Hok, Ryan, Gev . . . those are only a few! Tony’s name will never be among their ranks!)
  • Auska did what any ballroom dancer does when asked to solo without a partner: she basically did some mean jive steps and shook her ass at us, constantly flipping her skirt and tossing her head like she’s doing “Cell Block Tango” to a song called “Did Ya” by BoA.
  • Vitolio had one of the better solos of the night demonstrating his amazing carriage, center and extensions to “We Belong Together” by Gavin DeGraw.
  • Karla danced to “Natural Woman” by Aretha Franklin. This didn’t really strike me, but she did wear a pretty sparkly dress.
  • Jonathan, meanwhile, did some great gymnastics paired with some passable attempts at dancing to Pitbull’s “Krazy” (featuring Lil John). He reminds me of both season one winner Nick and season three finalist Neil.


The judges went backstage to deliberate, and Sean Kingston came out to sing/lip-sync his new single “Fires Burning” surrounded by some video hos from 1989 and a semi-riser that looked like a stage had mated with a skateboard ramp. I know the song is technically about heating up the dancefloor, thus making it an appropriate song for SYTYCD (just as when Lady Gaga premiered “Just Dance” in a silver swimsuit and snorkeling mask/flashlight last summer on the show), but its really hard for me to accept songs with metaphors about fire as being about anything other than venereal disease. I mean, Adam Lambert’s version of “Ring of Fire” is definitely about some sort of STD, and I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what “Eternal Flame” by The Bangles is about. Thus, by extension, I don’t think “Fires Burning” is really about dancing . . . you know?

Goodbye, Paris and Tony!

Goodbye, Paris and Tony!

After that song about VD, the judges returned to their seats to deliver their final judgment. Here, my amazing prowess at reality competition dance program results prediction failed as Nigel delivered the news he should have delivered, rather than the news I thought he would deliver: he told Karla she was safe, acknowledged that it’s hard for a ballroom dancer to show everything she can do in a solo, thus saving Auska, and eliminated Former Miss Washington Paris Torres. And why did he eliminate Former Miss Washington Paris Torres? Because, in looking at the way the show was cast, he actually realized that he had one too many contemporary dancers on his roster – she being one of the six female contestants of that specialty – and that of the ones they had, Paris was the least talented. At least now it’s an even number of contemporary specialists between the sexes on this show: without Paris, there are only five female contemporary specialists, and five male. (Of those, only Ashley and Kupono and Jason and Caitlin are paired with a partner in the same style specialty.) Again, I ask: with so many contemporary dancers, wouldn’t it have been better for the show to have another Broadway dancer?

Perhaps it would have been, for even though Nigel informed the bottom three guys that none of their solos were strong enough, he allowed Vitolio and Jonathan to stay in the competition based on the fact that their work actually displayed a modicum of strength, unlike Tony’s . . . which didn’t really display anything. Let me tell you kids, I couldn’t be happier to be wrong about which guy would be going home. It is a testament to the strength of the rest of this year’s Top 20 that a dancer put in to the Top 20 based on his potential and personality alone simply could not survive amongst stronger competitors. On an earlier season, Tony probably could have gotten by a little longer, and I expect that he would, even this season, as I saw no other discernible reason why he should have made the Top 20 in the first place. But he couldn’t even dance for his life – and so he returns to the virtual obscurity whence he came.

I’m sure if I ever attend a professional sporting event in Seattle, I’ll run into Paris Torres somewhere and I wish her the best dancing short routines to entertain the masses during such events. And as much I dislike Tony Bellissimo, I think the best thing for him to do now is to join a dance crew and learn as much as he can about the actual techniques that go in to being a great popper, locker, breaker or b-boy. With these two gone, I think the competition will really get started next week.

The Wife:

And so one of the least interesting seasons of Top Model ends by choosing a completely unsurprising winner, the girl I thought was so unmemorable that I actually forgot she existed halfway through the season. She of the wind-tunnel face, Teyona.

But before she could be crowned, the final three had to do their requisite CoverGirl shoot and commercial, coached by McKey, who, for some reason, was given the haircut Hilary Swank had in Boys Don’t Cry, which detracts from her beauty and makes her look really, really awkward and gawky.

[Husband Note: Well, McKey is awkward and gawky, which is what made her interesting, but she was never that awkward and gawky.]

Which one is easy, which is breezy and which is beautiful?

Which one is easy, which is breezy and which is beautiful?

  • Aminat: This girl, aside from her obvious problem with clipping the ends of her words, has the most unpleasant manner of speaking. But the good news is her commercial isn’t totally awful and her eyes absolutely sparkle throughout it. She’s beautiful, truly, and if she never spoke again I’d be totally mesmerized.
  • Allison: She looks so lovely and ethereal on camera and her commercial isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be, even though she blanked on her lines. The photographer who shot her print ad thinks that, for some reason, she has a Bettie Page kind of look, which couldn’t be further from the truth, because she looks like a lemur. Or maybe the slow loris.
  • Teyona: I have no idea where all these nerves came from because Teyona has been so kind and happy-go-lucky throughout this whole competition, but she fell apart on this shoot. She kept messing up, got frustrated and cried during her take. What the fuck?


At panel, the girls photos and commercials were reviewed and they were told that the final two would be chosen to walk for design Amir Salama’s Rosa Chá line, and that it would involve something I don’t understand called the Brazilian Stomp. As I watched the cut of the commercial, I realized why there was one line of each girl’s script that I could not for the life of me understand . . . it’s because it was in Portuguese. Good job, me. I’m assuming that was the Portuguese translation of “easy, breezy, beautiful” because I didn’t hear that anywhere else in the commercial. As for their beauty shots for the campaign, all were lovely. Teyona looked like Zoe Saldana as Uhura in the new Star Trek, and I was surprised that she wasn’t hindered by being the only girl with a ponytail in her shot. Lemur Allison looked so lovely, and Aminat received the kiss of death from Tyra. That is, describing her photo with the sounds the adults make on Peanuts. “Wha wha.” Because of that, the right two girls were sent through to the final two, and I took a bathroom break with Aminat cried over her rejection or whatever she did.

What is with all the bird worship in Brazil?

What is with all the bird worship in Brazil?

Tyra immediately shipped Teyona and Slow Lorrison to meet with Anne Shoket to do their Seventeen cover trys. Anne Shoket said she thought this was a neck-and-neck race, but, clearly, Allison’s cover looked better and suited the brand better. Then it was off to the fucking weirdest, trip-tastic fashion show ever seen on ANTM. I’m kind of in love with the nation of Brazil now because it seems like their entire sense of beauty is based on what looks good on drag queens. In their Rosa Chá bikinis, their girls were decked out with bird feathers and jaunty little top hats as though they were a very literal interpretation of Satine’s gentle “One Day I’ll Fly Away” from Moulin Rouge. At first the girls did their bird thing down the runway, with Allison strutting a much improved walk, then they were asked to don full Carnivale headdresses and do whatever the Brazilian Stomp is and then the strangest thing occurred: the girls were covered in oil and asked to writhe in a sexy bikini tar orgy in the middle of the runway.

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ………………………………………………………………. WHAT?

WHAT?

WHAT THE FUCK?

WHIADSGVSFHSBFGHSDVFGSVDJHSDGHSDTJEVFJ?!!?!?!?!?!!?!?

WHIADSGVSFHSBFGHSDVFGSVDJHSDGHSDTJEVFJ?!!?!?!?!?!!?!?

Look, I get the girls being jungle birds in top hats and bikinis and how that goes with the strange Carnivale headdresses, but I do not understand the oil orgy. I would like the oil orgy on its own, as Allison said it was like being in an art installation (true), but combined with the other shit, it makes no fucking sense. Was the intent of the show to explore being tarred and feathered? Because that’s kind of what it did.

Also, Teyona lost her weave up in that bikini oil orgy and she flung it around like it was part of the show, which is more than enough reason for me to be okay with her winning. She gets extra points for that for sure.

At panel, everyone noted how impressed they were with Allison’s walk, and they said they felt that Teyona was sometimes a model-bot on the runway, especially when Miss J tried to get the girls to dance with him at the end of the runway. In a comparison of their photos, it’s clear that Teyona was good and consistent across the board, and that Allison was most improved. But the show is not called America’s Most Improved Model, it’s called America’s Next Top Model and so Teyona was crowned and forced to do a photoshot with crazy-hair Tyra.

Like pyschotic mama-birdgirl, like bland baby-birdgirl.

Like pyschotic mama-birdgirl, like bland baby-birdgirl.

And so we slink off into summer and hibernate by the pool in our Rosa Chá bikinis and jaunty little top hats and weird-ass feather creations until the fall, when Tyra will bring us what I’m sure will be the fucking strangest season in Top Model history: the short girl season. I really have no desire to see girls model commercial juniors clothing for 13 weeks, and I know I’m constantly going to be yelling things at my television like, “Your proportions are all wrong!” “Where are your legs?!” And I’ll, of course, be forced to endure repeated reminders that Miss Eva the Diva was only 5’6″ and 3/4 and that Kate Moss is short at 5’7.” But I will watch it. Because I will never not love this show, so long as Tyra and her giant ego and even bigger hair are there, so too will I be.

The Husband:

Yeah, it was a pretty uneventful season, but I also appreciated the lack of manufactured drama. That’s what always rubs me the wrong way, and while some of the photo challenges were not top-notch, I have still never been bored by one episode of this show. Teyona was a passable winner, but I doubt she’ll be remembered for very long.

Oh, and in case you missed it, this is what went down over on the Tyra show yesterday afternoon when they had an ANTM Graduation Party.

  • Tahlia is pregnant, even though she was told that, as a result of her burns and the surgeries, this couldn’t happen. And she’s inspiring women wounded in combat.
  • Fo thinks she invented the term “Blaxican” when she was eight, thus making her an idiot.
  • Celia is still fashionable.
  • As evidenced by her drawing of a bleeding Tyra, Allison’s art is pretty sweetastic. (Wife’s note: I would, ideally, like a room filled with art by Allison and actor Matthew Gray Gubler.)
  • Old queens at retirement homes do pretty good Tyra impersonations. Which is not surprising. At all.

The Wife:

OMFG, ya’ll. I think my usual 90210 column “9 Lame Things About This Week’s 90210” is going to become “9 TOTALLY RIDICULOUS Things About This Week’s 90210.” I mean, seriously, way to come back and be totes ridic, 90210. At least I’m actually interested in the absurdity that’s happening in BevHills right now, so let’s take a look at how completely insane this show has become:

1. Naomi’s sex dream about Liam. Wow, I guess that really was a banana in his pocket.

2. Silver the sexual exhibitionist. While her desire to have sex in public/dangerous places is only one manifestation of just how crazy Erin Silver has become, I’m surprised that Dixon is so willing to go along with this when, just a few episodes ago, he wasn’t ready to swipe that V card. Wanna know some of the places they’ve fucked? Under the bleachers, in the media room at school and, strangely, somewhere at the Peach Pit. I don’t know about you guys, but I’d stop eating at a place where a crazy girl walked in and ordered a man, with dressing on the side. That’s dirty talk! You can’t order a man with dressing on the side at 16! If you do, you’re likely to end up like Adriana!

3. The dissolution of Ethan and Annie. I heard that Dustin Milligan will be leaving the show next year, so I’m not totally surprised that these two are breaking up. I am, however, completely baffled by the reasons why. Ethan claims that it’s not because Annie stole Rhonda’s suicide story for her acting class, but because she was such a good actress that he doesn’t know when she’s being real anymore. Um, thanks for the compliment, buddy, but you are not Keanu Reeves and this is not the Matrix. Besides, Annie’s not that good of an actress. This is probably the most insane reason I’ve heard to break up with someone since a high school boyfriend broke up with me over Moulin Rouge and e.e. cummings. (This fight was later summed up by a friend as, “You broke up over e.e. cummings? What, he wanted to capitalize the Es and you didn’t?” Yeah, Ethan and Annie’s breakup is as insane as that.)

4. Annie quitting the play to salvage her relationship with Ethan. Incorrect decision, Annie! Incorrect! You just single-handedly destroyed feminism!

5. Silver’s complete over-enthusiasm for poetry. Yes, yes – poetry is enriched when you have personal emotional access to what the poet is trying to convey, but the minute you start making up your own ridiculous metaphors (my favorite? “Your eyes are like a dirty swimming pool”) and crafting elaborate films about love, you’ve gone off the deep end. I’m glad you’re inspired, I really am. And I’m sure it’s nice for Matthews to hear that his English class has made you realize you want to be a filmmaker, but this was all too much. As I’m about to start teaching in the fall, let me say this: I hope I can inspire and lead my students, but never this much. Never, ever this much.

Im inspired! Look at me committing to my artistic (re: crazy) vision!

I'm inspired! Look at me committing to my artistic (re: crazy) vision!

6. Speaking of that film . . . that was the most hilarious, pretentious artsy-farsty student film I ever done did see! It was so incredible, I want to see it shown as part of a double bill with Tommy Wiseau’s The Room! And I really get what she was going with the emphasis on the eyes. I mean, they are the window to the soul, after all. Just . . . wow. Erin Silver is an arteest. An arteest, I say!

7. Annie’s confrontation with Rhonda, specifically this line from Annie: “Little did I know that ‘expanding your horizons’ was code for becoming a lying, cheating whore!” Oh, Annie. So dramatic! Also dramatic? Ethan’s subsequent confrontation of Annie when she’s hanging out with that drama club tool, who knows when to back off of a tense situation. This whole tiff/love triangle is all very silly, but, in the tradition of high schoolers everywhere, gets totally blown up to ridiculous proportions. And I laugh at their pain.

8. Liam’s whole drag racing thing. Because . . . why? More importantly, why wasn’t Liam’s car branded with Dr. Pepper?

9. This clearly takes the cake for the fucking craziest thing on this show: Silver’s final downward spiral into crazy town. After Dixon grows angry with her for filming them having sex and putting it in her movie (btw, if she put her camera down behind her in that locker room, how’d she get that front-facing shot? she’s a great filmmaker!) and Matthews’ shuts down the theatre she rented for her screening, she becomes totally nuts and, in an effort to salvage her relationship with Dixon agrees to burn the film. And by burn the film, she meant burn it in a garbage can in his backyard. Oh, but wait! The crazy doesn’t stop there! No, no. Thinking Matthews is behind all of this and that he engineered her downfall by encouraging her to make a film that he knew she would show publicly, thus completely embarrassing her the way she did to him on her blog, she fucking BREAKS INTO HIS HOUSE and demands that he fix things. How did she figure out his grand scheme? Oh, that’s quite simple, really. See, when she wanted to make a 45-minute film, he asked her if she was out of her mind, which is the same thing Dixon asked her when he saw she had filmed them having sex! Matthews totally got to Dixon! All to ruin her! ALL TO RUIN HER!!!!!!!!!!!! Wow. Just . . . wow. It’s really interesting to suddenly know that Silver has a serious mental illness. I mean, we saw the seeds of crazy when she got that Dixon tattoo, but now those seeds are growing into a full-fledged crazy bush. I hope that when she gets out of the mental hospital she will inevitably be in at the end of this season, that she turns that Dixon tattoo into the Dixon-Ticonderoga tattoo that I suggested. Then she could justify her craziness by being like the Marquis de Sade. Ooooooooh . . . wait . . . actually, let’s do a spin-off about Silver in the mental institution where she writes plays and makes movies starring the inmates! I’d watch that.

The Husband:

So it seems that the body snatcher situation I mentioned in re: Ethan so many times during earlier episodes of the season has spread, because now most of the characters are acting like completely different people. More specifically, the women. (My wife suggested we create a kind of flow chart to track this body snatching situation, but 9fneh doesn’t need that much time dedicated to it.)

So…Naomi, in her Liam love, has finally learned to let go and stop being such a control freak, and even if the drag racing stuff added up to virtually nothing, it did technically represent her literally being the passenger in someone else’s life, something she struggled to attain for most of this season. Naomi is, for all intents and purposes, becoming Annie.

Annie, on the other hand, is becoming a very shrewd player in the game of love, pitting people against each other and setting up way over-the-top situations (i.e. her and the drama club tool hanging out, which would piss off Ethan and thus lead into a mega-confrontation) and screaming nonsensical insanities at poor Ms. Teegarden. She is becoming bitchier by the moment. Annie is, for all intents and purposes, becoming Naomi.

Silver is losing her mind in a way that has absolutely nothing to do with her personality in the front half of this season. Read over my wife’s #9 list item and you will see that who was once a bold, cool, controlled person is becoming a complete wackjob, one who is completely blind to the effect she has on others and raises her selfishness to extreme heights. Silver is, for all intents and purposes, becoming Adrianna.

What the eff balls? I know that Entertainment Weekly made a point in their last issue to declare this episode a true personification of the original 90s series, what with its ridiculous histrionics and I-can’t-believe-that-just-happened nonsense. I mean, the episode was hilarious, if that’s what they meant. I guess that short article answers my question of whether or not the original 90210 was a quality show. Apparently, it wasn’t. It was just insane. Why didn’t people tell me this sooner?

The Wife:

If you wondered why we haven’t written about our usual weekend shows (i.e. Dollhouse, Animation Domination, ABC Sunday Night Chardonnay and Chocolate Fest, etc.) or even our usual Thursday night shows, it’s because we let our DVR collect morsels and goodies for us over the weekend as we headed to Arizona for Oakland A’s Spring Training. Let me tell you something, kids. Arizona is hot. My living room is much, much cooler. The first thing we watched when we got back was The Amazing Race, the safe way to travel to hot climates such as India without ever having to encounter abject poverty or leave your couch! Whee!

From the cold climes of Russia, racers flew to Jaipur, India, a place that I bet is as hot as Arizona, taking connecting flights through Moscow and New Dehli, therefore giving everyone a chance to catch up, which was especially helpful for Christine and Jodi, who faced a Speed Bump in this leg of the race after having avoiding Philemination last week. Once on the ground in India’s pink city, racers had to grab a taxi and head to a sacred tree outside the city, where they would receive their next clue by calling one of the red telephones guarded by an opium-smoking man who, for obvious reasons, made me think of the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. Mel and Mike got off to a bit of a rough start when their taxi driver abandoned them, letting all of the other teams jet off ahead of them. Mel further endeared himself to me by not only being the most polite person to “yell” at a taxi driver in a civilized manner that still conveyed his frustration and urgency (that’s why “yell” isn’t exactly the right word), but that he also felt terrible about having to say something negative to the cabbie at all and admitted that he would feel badly about it for the rest of the day.

On their way to the sacred tree on the outskirts of Jaipur, everyone was very touched by the extreme poverty they witnessed, apparently for the first time in their lives. Even though parts of New Orleans were covered in garbage and people were living in shanties after Hurricane Katrina, I guess that’s just not as bad as seeing people who live that way when not as a result of a natural disaster. Luke cried. Cara shed some tears for all of Jaipur’s homeless animals, because she, like me, likes animals a lot more than she likes people. I remember Goth Girl Vyxen shed some tears when she visited India a few seasons back — does TAR only send racers to India so that they’ll weep about the poor? It’s starting to seem that way.

Victor and Tammy take a fast lead as the first team not only to reach the sacred tree, but also the first to quickly figure out the whole “using the phone” thing. From there, teams were told to drive to Amber Fort to get their next clue, a Road Block in which one person from each team had to care for a group of the Maharajah’s royal camels using the traditional techniques of carrying water to a trough and stacking hay. First of all, those camels sure looked purty wearing them headdresses and the like! Second of all, I sadly cannot say or hear the word maharajah without hearing this in my head. (I also think about the way Richard Roxburgh as The Duke sneers the word later in the film, with the appropriate hand gesture.)

Most people kind of sucked at following the directions on this challenge, using their water pail to carry hay when there were clearly larger hay baskets available, or, in Kisha’s case, stuffing hay down her shirt as a means of conveyance, which, though creative and functional, was definitely a strange choice. Some dude in the background got kicked by a camel, and Tammy straight up fell down, even though it was her brother who actually did this challenge. They finished first and continued their breakout lead, while Mike White worried that his dad, who chose to do this Road Block despite his age (and because Mike couldn’t do all of them) seemed to be struggling. Nonetheless, Mel White is hella gangster and finished the challenge second and, in Mike’s words, totally smoked the competition.

There is no such thing as a bad photo of Mike White.

There is no such thing as a bad photo of Mike White.

With the Road Block complete, teams taxied to a puppet stand in the local market where they were presented with their Detour for this leg of the race:

1. Movers, in which teams pedaled rickshaws 1.5 miles to a loading dock where they would unload the nine barrels on their cart and search through the hay contained within to find a tiny silver elephant.

2. Shakers, in which teams joined up with a local street band, put on horse costumes and danced for 100 rupees.

Mark and Michael chose to move the barrels of hay, although I have no fucking clue as to why. Why, when given the choice to merely dance like an idiot for coins on the street, a task involving no skill whatsoever, would you choose a task that involved you to ride a bike for 1.5 miles through Indian traffic, and then do some manual labor and then literally search through a haystack for a tiny thing? Why would you do that? That doesn’t even make sense, strategically. I knew when they chose this that they were going to come in last, or close to last, depending on how Christine and Jodi handled their Speed Bump, which, by the way, they had to do before they could do their Road Block. The Speed Bump? Painting an elephant so that it could be just as purty for an upcoming festival as the Maharajah’s camels. Honestly, that was the best Speed Bump ever. They looked like they were having fun, they didn’t even have to paint it that accurately and, most importantly, it seemed like the elephant really had a good time getting dolled up.

Once teams completed their Road Block, they taxied to Jaigar Fort, the Pit Stop for this leg of the race, which upped the cute animal quotient in this episode considerably as it was INFESTED WITH MONKEYS, which rival only koalas as the cutest infestation ever.

  1. Tammy and Victor, who won kayaks, which they promptly noted would be great for living in the Bay Area. (Fuck yeah, man. Kayaking in Drake’s Bay is AWESOME.)
  2. Mel and Mike, who I continue to adore. They’re just the nicest dudes, ever.
  3. Kisha and Jen.
  4. Margie and Luke. (Are they ever anything but first or fourth?)
  5. Cara and Jaime, which serves them right for yelling at their taxi driver and not in a Mel White kind of way.
  6. Mark and Michael, beating the flight attendants by just a hair.
  7. Phileminated: Christine and Jodi.

The Husband:

As aforementioned…

Me: Sick at home with what could be whooping cough.

Brain: Not working.

You: Watching this video from Disney’s The Jungle Book with Indian elephants.

Other You: Watching this even-better mash-up of that song from The Jungle Book, resulting in what it looks like when I have a coughing fit and start hallucinating.

The Husband:

So what’s been going on the last couple weeks at Mode Magazine? Well, if the first episode in this discussion was any indication, absolutely nothing at all. Taking the rare 100%-personal-story route, UB throws a lot of mush at us with very little to really chew on.

Some of the not-so-great stories:

  • Claire Meade is approaching 60, so she acts out by shoplifting from high-class boutique stores. When Betty tries to stop her, she gets pulled aside by store security and is about to be in big trouble until Claire comes back and fesses up.
  • Betty, in preparation for Claire’s birthday, goes around with a video camera to interview all of Claire’s friends, only to find that she has no true ones.
  • Daniel tries to make Molly forget about her ex-fiancee Connor, but that’s hard when he goes out of his way to find a sweet Tibetan restaurant, only to find out that Molly has been there dozens of times, and the wait staff doesn’t like anybody dating her but Connor. Hilarity. (Not.)
  • Wilhelmina has to look after Connor’s parrot while he is out of town, but the parrot picks up on her speech and begins repeating “I love Connor,” something the emotionally stunted Wilhelmina only mentioned in passing. She doesn’t want to be the first one to say “I love you,” so she momentarily suggests that she kill the bird. This brings us to the only great line of the night:

“But that…birder!” — Marc

And in the only somewhat good story, Betty, with video camera, accidentally leaves the camera on in her house while away and videotapes her father squeezing the asscheeks of his assigned personal nurse, Elena. (I’ll always know Lauren Velez, the actress, as Dr. Gloria, the prison doctor on Oz who Dean Winter was always lusting after, so this storyline has its major awkwardness for me no matter how it goes. If you want to see Velez in a great film, though, I suggest you pick up I Like It Like That immediately.) Upon further investigation, Betty realizes that her father isn’t actually a sexually harassing dog — he and Elena are actually in love. Betty and Hilda won’t have this relationship, not accepting of their father dating anybody, let alone somebody so much younger than him, but when they find that Elena’s intentions are nothing but good, and that Papi has been lonely for years, they finally accept the couple as they are.

The following episode, “There’s No Place Like Mode,” brings the show back into absurd amounts of awesome with a huge bang in a mega-episode of lunacy and heart.

While Daniel insults Molly by trying to give her a high-fashion makeover, and Wilhelmina feels that her personal life with Connor is beginning to affect her professional standing in her industry, Betty gets the best story of the night — as an exercise at YETI, Betty is forced to pair up with a sports writer, and they are to learn about each other’s magazines through and through. This young man, Matt, seems like a perfect fit for Betty, and also a perfect fit for Ugly Betty. He’s not classically handsome, but he’s witty and looks like Josh Groban, and is a great romantic interest for the show. Betty isn’t interested in sports, but when Matt bitches her out for not taking an interest in his work and was pre-judging his industry, she gives in and learns that, just like in her industry, the best stories are the ones about the people within the industry. I’d love to continue seeing Betty’s foray into the sports world and its similarities and differences with fashion, and Matt is a much better dating choice for Betty than perhaps even Henry, who was a little too clingy even when he knew that he was going to have a baby with somebody else.

But what mission does Betty take Matt on during the episode? It’s to get the line of clothes for Fashion Week from the enigmatic German designer Heinrich, whose clothes are made of metal. Confused, Betty and Cristina write a fake press release just to goof around, but when Suzuki St. Pierre accidentally gets a hold of the bizarre parody piece, Heinrich is so amused that he asks Betty to produce his Fashion Week show.

I would love to be at this show, provided nothing cuts my face.

I would love to be at this show, provided nothing cuts my face.

But who gets to go, and who gets Betty’s two extra tickets? At the Suarez house, Hilda is getting a little weirded out by all of the smooching going on between Elena and Papi, especially now that he’s at perfect health for his age and technically doesn’t need a nurse anymore. And Justin doesn’t like them interrupting their movie-watching time.

Justin: I can’t hear what they’re saying.

Papi: Well, it’s either about steppin’ up, or the streets.


Justin, who was to go to Betty’s show with Hilda, decides to give his ticket to Elena instead so she and Hilda can talk, and while they have differences, they bond over their horrible fashion choices from the 80s and 90s and decide that they could be friends after all.

Ahh…but how does Betty’s big show go? Well, one of the metal dresses almost cuts Isaac Mizrahi’s face (Target spokesperson OH NOES!), but otherwise it seems to be going pretty well…until a very pregnant Cristina, who has been helping out backstage, reveals to Betty that she has been in labor all day but didn’t want to say anything, and now there’s not enough time to get to the hospital. Cristina collapses on the runway, and Wilhelmina gets all the metal-adorned models to make a circle around Cristina to give her privacy. Luckily, Elena is capable of delivering the baby and goes to the private circle, and moments later Willy rises up, baby in hand, in a tableau that looks to be a mixture of Brazil, Moulin Rouge! and The Lion King.

So yes, it was all kinds of wacky and messy, but I got a whole lot of Mode shenanigans out of it. Willy has her new heir by a dead man’s seed, Ashley Jensen can settle her story and leave the show as reported, and Betty has a new boy story. The mixture of heartfelt stories and absurd drama rises again, and that’s when UB is at its best.

We’ve got seven episodes left this season. Let’s hope it keeps us fully interested.