Sunday, April 29, 2007


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Thursday, April 26, 2007

FIERCEFILE™: If You Don't Have A Friend In Here, Make All Purpose Cleaner Your Best Friend.

So we got another clip show this cycle, which didn't happen last cycle (probably due to the writer's strike)...the last time they did this, the clip show served as a big dollop of revisionist history to help everyone get on the side of the eventual winner (cycle 6's Danielle). While this time there didn't seem to be any overt attempts at tugging America's collective heartstrings towards any one particular model, if we go by a statistical approach (ie, the most new clips spotlighting a single model = eventual Top Model winner), then this cycle's winner could very easily be Natasha since she was the center of a lot of attention last night. I'm really hoping I'm wrong on this, because if anybody other than Dionne wins it'll be a crying shame since she's the only one left I can come close to tolerating.

Anyway, last night's recap episode pretty much focused on the following new material:

The "Impromptu" Fashion Show. Jesus, Mary & Joseph this was annoyingly scripted. Not only did it feel entirely unspontaneous, but it contained models in both black- and white-face makeup attempting to talk in stereotypical accents. It was ANTM meets Amos and Andy, and I couldn't wait for it to be over.

Renee & Natasha Clean The Bathroom. How come their bathroom sink is a british urinal? Man, that was disgusting...and is it just me, or did the penmanship on Renee's little sign look a little too much like one of the show's graphic design interns whipped that up after one of the writers came up with what it should say?

Dionne Bitches Out Renee & Brittany. A near-classic moment of Top Model tirading, which meant we got to watch it like fifteen times throughout the show. But that's okay, I laughed my ass off every time I heard Dionne say "bitch!" while getting all up in Renee's "bid-ness."

Models With Medical Emergencies. This is the one ANTM cliche we really haven't seen much of so far this cycle, so I was pleased to be able to watch Cassandra get frostbite (and then get eliminated that same day) as well as Natasha get a tooth pulled with an ordinary pair of pliers without the benefit of novocaine -- and then, of course, she had to hug the dentist because she's a sensitive mail-order bride.

That Jael is ka-WAY-zee!! Lots and lots of footage of Jael just being Jael: hula hooping, bumpin' and grindin' her blewish booty way too much at the Smart Water party, talking incoherently, and flipping out when she thinks somebody doesn't like her. America's Next Top Recovering Junkie!

Hip Hop Natasha Don't Stop. Watch as the funny Russian mail order bride grabs her crotch! Listen as she mispronounces the language of the hood! Scream as she commandeers yet another of the previously unseen scenes!

The Acting Class Panel Impersonations. Yet another opportunity for us to witness the mental ineptitude of Natasha, with her performing a godawful Tyra impression which made Tia Mowry do a bug-eyed take. I was disappointed that they opted for the "BOING!" sound effect for Tia's reaction shot rather than the "crickets chirping" one...far too obvious, guys.

So that's about's back to the outback next week for the second to last normal elimination. My money's on Brittany being dumped next (the emotional fallout from her terrible, brain stapling-impaired commercial shoot last week will finally take its toll), then Cha Cha the next week (she'll drag queen it up once too often for the judges) before we get to the Renee/Dionne/Natasha throwdown.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

ADVENTURES IN THE DESIGN WORLD™: The Idealized Spa Owner Portrait

Recently while wandering through the bowels of weekday-afternoon interior pedestrian walkway Chicago, I came upon this painting in the hallway outside of a local hair salon/spa. At first I was struck by the pedantic brushwork, lack of well-defined form, perspectival inconsistencies, high school notebook-quality hand lettering, and vomit-inducing color palette. But upon closer inspection, I began to notice details that made this painting truly horrifying: the turgid presentation of a local spa owner; the subtle implied halo around the top of his head; the attempts to place this man in historical Rome as a man not merely rendering unto Caesar, but apparently burying him and replacing him as well. I started to wonder what the history was behind this painting, whether it had been painted by one of the spa owner's former tawdry affairs, and whether one of his heroes in life was the guy in those old D.O.C. Optical "Sexy Specs" ad campaigns.

Then I realized I'd wasted a good thirty seconds of my life staring at this piece of crap.

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Monday, April 23, 2007


Aside from having to listen to a guy explain to his girlfriend why it was funny when one of the characters said "by the power of Greyskull!", the audience at Hot Fuzz this weekend was pretty well-behaved.

Oh, and the movie was really damn funny too. You should totally go see it.

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Friday, April 20, 2007


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Thursday, April 19, 2007

FIERCEFILE™: Sydney, Australia Proves To Be Jael's Didgeri-Don't

This episode was all about transition and ramping up the competition. If last week's was all about ANTM history, then this week was about ANTM clichés, because we got several of them: interview skills, working under pressure, travelling to a new country, stumbling through foreign customs, getting a chic new foreign apartment, and a CoverGirl commercial shoot all rolled into one!

First off came the interview/voice training featuring April from Cycle 2, who has problems stretching her face too tightly while she talks, but she definitely gave the models some decent interview tips. Once they started interviewing each other, some sparks started to fly, and Jael vs. Dionne became the unexpected bitchfest of the evening. It was obvious Jael knew her time was quickly coming to an end now that the competition finally started to focus on speech and presentation skills, and she got all up in Dionne's face as a defense mechanism. But then Dionne came right back at her and was all like "step off, bitch" and that certainly didn't help either. But it did make for some awesome television!

April then started to tell them about their challenge for the week, which was the old "man on the street" interview challenge...but then Tyra jumped in while wearing a ratty-ass kangaroo costume that the ANTM interns probably got during the Goodwill challenge a few episodes back and announced they were all going to Sydney, Australia. After everybody stopped going crazy, Natasha finally shook the stupid out of her ears and realized where they were going and spent the next three minutes having spasms. She was obviously the most excited about gong there, because, as she said: "Y'know, somebody has a dream to go to Japan...somebody is crazy about the TIE-bet...I was crazy about Australia."

So as soon as they stepped off the plane they met Erika Heynatz, Australian and proud of it. And she lets them know they're gonna interview people on the street there, and they have to use Aussie slang as much as possible. Cha Cha looked even more confused than Natasha, but eventually she understood the plan. Somehow Natasha managed to do better than everyone else, dropping in the most slang and having actual conversations with people, while Dionne was given a "that's cool-o-meter" which quickly racked up negative points. That's cool.

The girls settled into their new apartment which is filled with stuffed kangaroos and pictures of last cycle's winner, CariDee, which I guess is meant to teach them the valuable lesson that the competition is getting tougher, and in order to win they need to grow pouches on their stomachs.

Next came the commercial shoot, and oh boy did Brittany tank. She finally got to stop complaining about her nasty hairweave last week, so of course this week she had to find another excuse for not performing well and of course it's the old "I got in a car accident when I was seventeen and I had to get eight staples in my brain and now my short-term memory is f-ed up" line, which we had to endure at least three times last night. Jay Manuel tried his best to get her to loosen up but she was awful...almost as bad as Jael, but not quite.

So it's bye bye time for Jael, because somehow Natasha has the judges completely in the palm of her mail order bride hand. Unbelievable. I very much enjoyed Jael's purple wig and red tutu's exactly the type of wardrobe I envision her rocking during her new career shooting "My Life As A Junkie" bumpers for The CW's new late night lineup.

Final Three Predicton number one: Dionne, Renee, Natasha. You heard it here first.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007


#72: Both Gilmore Girls

What is it about both of the Gilmore Girls that makes me want to send a cement mixer barrelling uncontrollably into the front entrance of an orphanage? Is it their "snappy," "witty," "oh-so-scripted and unnaturalistic" banter? Is it the way the younger one talks almost like she's got a speech impediment but mainly just sounds like one of the voices in a Peanuts cartoon? Or is it the way the older one looks kinda wrong, like she's the hellspawn of a badger and Cooter from Dukes of Hazzard?

Maybe I can't quite put my finger on it, but I do know this: I don't like the cut of their collective jib. And every time I see a picture of them I feel like taking a baseball bat to somebody's kneecaps.

Is that so terrible? Is it?

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Monday, April 16, 2007


It's a rare thing when I post something that's intentionally funny here, so write it on your calendar. And yes, I know Will Ferrell's in it so it's got just slightly less viral video cred than if it was some shut-in adolescent making it with his webcam, but it's pretty damn funny. I've watched it three times already and I can't get enough of "I want my money, bitch!"

Truly, this is why God created YouTube.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

ENTERTAINMENT DROPPINGS: Ultimate Celebrity Weekend!

Are you looking for something to do the weekend of May 25-27? Do like travelling to Chicago? Do you enjoy searing abdominal pain? Then I might just have the thing for you: "Ultimate Celebrity Weekend" at the Chicago Hilton, featuring OCD funnyman Howie Mandel, asshole chef extraordinaire Bobby Flay, and formerly mulletted song stylist Michael Bolton! Yes, you too could spend a weekend trapped inside a largish hotel (because most likely it'll be about 16 degrees and sleeting all weekend) bombarded by jokes about St. Elsewhere, getting your grill on, and being forced to listen to "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" at least half a dozen times!

But wait--before you get yourself too excited and sign up at their website, you might want to remember this important fact: ultimate celebrities have an ultimate price:

And of course that asterisk is there to let you know that that's for the cheapo seats. What an ultimate bargain! Anybody up for standing outside the Hilton with me all weekend just to try to interview the handful of people dumb enough to drop almost three grand on their Deal or No Deal obsession? (tipped by Anonymous A)

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

FIERCEFILE™: Wherein Whitney Decides To Quit Modelling And Try To Become The New Jennifer Hudson

This cycle of ANTM just keeps getting better, doesn't it? Last night brought us this cycle's "ACTING" episode which always guarantees a good time... whether it was last cycle's Caridee suicidal thoughts shocker or Tyra pretending to pass out from overwork. So when the models showed up at the theater (which Dionne of course had to say looked "a little bit like the Apollo Theater") and resident CW twin Tia Mowry walked out, I had high hopes for a good time.

Instead we immediately got one of the most gut-wrenchingly embarrassing moments of this cycle so far: mail-order bride Natasha trying to act like a witch. "Eeeeyyyyyyeee deeeezurf too bee Amerreeka's Next Tup Moe-DELL!!!" she screeched, not once, but TWICE. I actually had to clutch my stomach to try to stop the pangs of embarrassment, and I came as close to turning off the tv as I ever have during ANTM. Luckily the rest of the girls weren't anywhere near as hideous at their first acting challenge. But honestly, did Tia Mowry serve any purpose there other than to pimp her CW show The Game? I think she may have told Whitney it was good that she touched herself when trying to "act sexy," but that's about all the "expert adivce" she actually gave.

Then came the second acting challenge, hosted by some freakshow from Napolean Dynamite (who only Whitney seemed to recognize) acting in a series of sketches with the models, and we got the first hints that the bell was tolling for Whitney: the self-proclaimed actress who thought she was a shoe-in to finally win a challenge got shown up by none other than everyone's favorite bitch Renee, whose sudden change of heart after last week's Tyra-induced public humiliation session feels more than a bit like an act. And when she picked Dionne as her "friend" to share in the challenge winnings, we got to see the Dionne flashback about not knowing if Renee's sincere about wanting to apologize to everyone for the FOURTH TIME last night so you know that her change of heart can't last much longer.

We also got the obligatory visit from family members back home last night, and with both Renee and Dionne able to see their children again, Natasha went off the deep end, somehow bizarrely misinterpreting this event as a sign that the producers of the show believed that she didn't miss her own child enough to warrant a visit. Um, Natasha? THEY WON A CHALLENGE, YOU DOLT.

But at least this made for good drama once the photoshoot started, because Natasha just could NOT get her shit together before the camera turned on her, and she even got two hugs from Jay Manuel. The show is becoming more and more meta-referential as time goes on, and this week's photoshoot was a recycling of "infamous Top Model moments" wherein the models had to re-enact bizarre moments in ANTM history while posing with the original models who made them happen. First up was Cha Cha re-creating Bre's infamous granola bar incident which gave Jay yet another opportunity to call her a drag queen. Can we just vote her off already, please?

Brittany, who finally got her damn hair weave taken out, had to pose with last cycle's twins (nicely bookending twin Tia Mowry's earlier appearance). Luckily they didn't recreate their disturbing siamese twin photoshoot, but instead opted for some weird striped tube dresses which made them look kinda like three awkwardly bent candy canes.

But of course the highlight of the photoshoot had to be Dionne's limo liplock with Kim from Cycle 5. Not only did Dionne have to pretend to kiss another girl (and apparently she won't even kiss her own mother or boyfriend because she doesn't like her "personal space" being violated), but she had to do it immediately after calling Kim a dork. Bad move, Dionne. But like all things Dionne at this point in the cycle, she was shown to quickly overcome this shortfall, turn that frown upside-down, and rally for that coveted "most improved" title (which was bestowed upon her during judging last night and almost always leads to the final glory of becoming America's Next Top Model). Not only that, but it turns out she even kinda enjoyed getting a little touchy-feely with Kim. Hubba hubba.

But as always, it's the weekly loser we must focus on, and this week we finally got to watch the girl from Dartmouth go home. And of course Tyra took the opportunity to make sure she complemented her both on her brains and her looks during the goodbye hug, because of course she doesn't want it to look like she got voted off just because she's fat. You could just see in her eyes how she was holding back the urge to say "Holla atcha later, Miss Fatty Fatty Fat-Pants!" but luckily she kept it professional. During her exit interview, Whitney finally admitted that maybe modelling wasn't in her future after all. Whew. The college girl finally learned a lesson! And it only took the judges telling her "You're just not model material" like EVERY DAMN WEEK FOR THE PAST SIX WEEKS for it to finally sink in.

Now if only the judges would realize that Jael will never, ever get rid of her drug-induced speech impediment, we could get down to a real race.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

WHY GOD CREATED YOUTUBE™: Nicolas Cage's Pretentious Babbling + Japanese TV Show = 8 Minutes I'll Never Get Back

Via Defamer, this extended clip of Nicolas Cage on the Japanese cooking/celebrity chat show SMAPxSMAP features just about all you could ever want: a spray-tanned Cage babbling about his "love" of Japanese culture, comic books and "beautiful girls", as well as some obligatory name-dropping vis-a-vis his celebrity relatives' trips to Japan, all intercut with shots of Japanese chefs preparing Ghost Rider-inspired food. But the creme de la creme doesn't actually come until there's only about a minute and 23 seconds left in the clip, when Cage speaks to one of the chefs who apparently makes a sarcastic comment about how well he knows Cage from his body of work -- and Nic takes the opportunity to spew some primo bullshit about actors and the people who watch them:
"That's the thing about actors: we make movies, and people see the movies, and I put my soul into the movies, and so in some way, you know, you know who I really am."
Truly, this is why God created YouTube.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

ENTERTAINMENT DROPPINGS: Sanjaya Sanders, Imus, Johnny Hart vs. Yahweh

• Will Sanjaya sell his (lack of) soul to KFC? [TMZ]

• Nappy-headed cracker Don Imus finally gets slapped on the wrist for always being such an asshole []

• Yahweh gets revenge, cancels comic strip BC...permanently [BBC News]

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Monday, April 09, 2007

WHY GOD CREATED YOUTUBE™: "Rona Jaffe's Mazes and Monsters"

Do you like Academy Award™-winner Tom Hanks? Do you like the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons? Then chances are you would not like Rona Jaffe's Mazes and Monsters, a 1982 TV movie starring America's Finest Actor® as a young man driven insane by the dangerous fantasy world of role-playing. I remember the buildup to when this aired on TV; schools were encouraging parents to encourage their children to watch it in the hopes that the Red D&D Menace would finally grind to a halt. Instead what they got was some amazing overacting, a monster that looked like it had the same designer and budget as the all the monsters on Doctor Who at the time, and a crappy, sappy ending where Tom Hanks' friends visit him in the loony bin and find he's become a hollow shell of a man, all thanks to role-playing. So there's a lesson for you, kids: Don't play Dungeons & Dragons, or you'll end up just like Tom Hanks.

Truly, this is why God created YouTube.

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Friday, April 06, 2007


#73: David Blaine

Do I even need to explain this one? Can there be anyone alive who can watch David Blaine spend a week underwater in public and not want to flip over an ornately set banquet table? Does anyone else really not feel the urge to put a hammer through a storefront window when they consider Blaine's Messianic complex? Can there be a single human being who could look at this and not want to methodically saw the legs off of priceless antique furniture?

Well, I do.

Um, so there.'s Friday! Woo-hoo!

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

WHY GOD CREATED YOUTUBE™: Can You Hear The Laughter?

Please watch/listen to this clip of Google's Vice President of Search Products and User Experience before they take it down. That's all I'm asking you. Please. Maybe that way one of you can confirm that I wasn't having a nightmare when I watched it, but that in fact it really does exist. (Tipped by JM)

Truly, this is why God ceated YouTube.

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FIERCEFILE™: "Death Happens"

Ohmygod, this was like the BEST episode yet this cycle! Jael and Natasha got pushed into a swimming pool by 50 Cent...Twiggy dug up the model formerly known as Jeremy Piven's date to give the girls a lesson in memorable names...Jael and Renee engaged in a classic bitchfight which Jael clearly won (if the expression on Whitney's face was any indicator)...there was a Benny Ninja flashback...we were spared yet another reference to Whitney being college-educated...what else could we ask for? Oh, that's right: how about a mini-episode of Tyra shoehorned into the middle? Well, that's exactly what we got!!

Tyra visited the girls fresh from a photoshoot of her own and apologized for the "over the top makeup" she had on (ie, her eyelashes looked like GIANT FLESH-EATING SPIDERS), then immediately came to the bottom of the Renee vs. Everyone Else axis. Her solution? Make Renee listen to everyone bitch about her, then offer her the chance to make up a pop-psychology excuse as to why she's such a bitch. I think the expression on Dionne/Wholahay/Brown's face above gives a pretty good indication of how much everybody believed "NeNe". But the best moment of this sit-down talk had to be when Jael discussed dealing with her grief following the death-by-overdose of one of her best friends, to which Tyra responded with "I think it's an important lesson for you to realize that death happens." Holy crap! Tyra's turned into Aristotle with a booty!!

And let's take a second to comment on Funky Cold Medina himself, Tyra's manager, who took pride of place as this episode's Boss Battle. He deftly handed Jael and Nata's soaking wet butts back to them on a platter, saw right through ReNeNe's pseudo-sincere veneer, and declared Wholahay the winner after a record-scratch-take upon hearing her "Superstar Name".

Speaking of Wholahay Brown, I think we may have a new frontrunner on our hands. What with all the exposure she got in last night's episode, and her continuous improvement on her photoshoots, I think it's safe to officially announce her as Final Three material. They even put her Keds photoshoot up on the ANTM website, fercryinoutloud.

As long as I'm making Final Three predictions, I'm gonna go out on a limb and give Jael a shoutout as well. Her photoshoot this week was well loved by all, and she'll only have her insanely horrid diction to blame when she gets the boot.

I have to say Natasha certainly appears to have a shot at winning now as well...the judges have absolutely fallen in love with her (even if Jay Manuel thinks her "sexy" face looks more like she's sniffing dog poo), and for some reason they chose not to point out to her that all of her "emotions" had just about the same expression and hand gestures.

But as always, it comes down to the biggest loser, and this week it was Sarah/Moe. Sorry, Moe, but your "happy" looks like "crazy phony" and it's well past time you got a ticket home to the suburbs where you belong. Buh-bye.

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

ENTERTAINMENT DROPPINGS: Asshole With Ascot, Keith Richards, Halle Berry

• A very public Piven-drubbing from a one-time fan gives a concise rundown of his recent asshole activity; bonus points awarded for referencing Jeremy Piven's Journey of a Lifetime, my all-time favorite Piven self-promotional vehicle [Celebritology, tipped by Anonymous A]

• Of course he was only joking! How on Earth could anyone honestly believe that Keith Richards of all people -- accidentally or on purpose -- would snort the ashes of his dead father? I mean, come on, really. [BBC News]

• Halle Berry: "grateful" or "ready, willing and able"? You be the judge. [Defamer]

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

WHY GOD CREATED YOUTUBE™: Stormtrooper Speed Stacking

Apparently, this is what happens to you when your parents can't get you a Wii for Christmas.

Truly, this is why God created YouTube.

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Monday, April 02, 2007

ENTERTAINMENT DROPPINGS: Alexander Rozhenko, U2charist, Ricky Martin, Idol Corruption

Family Ties' cutey-pie unleashes his inner Klingon [People]

• Bono officially usurps John Lennon's title, becomes more popular than Jesus [BBC News]

• Ricky Martin may or may not be gay, but he sure does feel the gay people's pain [People]

• Somebody held up a piece pf corporate advertising on-camera on American Idol? For shame! Whatever will we tell the children...and Coke? [New York Times]

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