Pop My Culture



Vanessa here! Well, I haven’t watched the show since the last time I recapped, which feels like ages ago.  And from the look on Cat Deeley’s face, it was ages ago.  We are all ready for this to be over. Cole seems to be “unavailable” to do these recaps more and more frequently, and quite frankly, I am suspicious.

That “results night” even exists is very frustrating.  This whole show could be handled in two minutes or a quick list online.  But they know it’s cheap to make and they know we will watch it.  AND WE DO.

We start the night with a group number in BROADWAY STYLE; mind-blowingly to the song “On Broadway.”  From what I can gather, “Broadway Style” dance entails sparkly bowler hats– or if you think outside of the box, a sparkly top hat.  This whole opening number is very show-choir-meets-Burlesque and judging from the glitter-explosion at the end, Ke$ha had some h@nd in this fuckery.

That’s over!  Now Cat introduces our “jid-gez!”  Cat’s exhaustion manifests in her voice— her poshness sloppily dipping into pre-‘Enry ‘Iggans territory.   Joining the classy Nigel and the Insufferable Mary Murphy (a distant relative of the Unsinkable Molly Brown) is the darling and dashing Neil Patrick Harris.  A man so loveable not even the approaching stink of “The Smurfs” can stain him.   Cat calls him Doogie in a moment that is, I think, weird for all of us.  Cat, he’s so sick of being called Doogie.  It’s like only ever calling Ron Howard Opie.  We must move forward.

Then we go through the uncomfortable motions of bringing out the contestants three at a time and toying with their emotions in front of a live studio audience.

First trio up: Melanie, Tad and Marko.

We watch clips of what they did last night and the judges’ reactions.  The judges rave about Melanie, it looks like she did well.  Oh, now they are talking about Tad!  Tad is still on!!  Shit.  Boyfriend is so hot. I want to make a dance movie with him.

I play an upper-middle class girl from the suburbs forced by an unfortunate situation (Mom dies in a car wreck?  Stock market crash leaves my family broke? Re-zoning issue?) to transfer to a rough and terrifyingly hip-hop infested inner-city school. I listen to classical music on my discman, as I walk through the scary halls.  Everyone makes fun of me and calls me Whitebread.  Everyone except Tad.  From our first meeting, Tad loves the smell of me and wants to grind on me like a maniac.  It’s Twilight meets Save The Last Dance meets Splash. (Note: I am a mermaid.)


Then we move to the considerably less delicious (in my eyes) Marko.  Marko did the samba last week, and he did a great job- such a great job, that in the judge’s footage I’m pretty sure Mary Murphy required a commercial break panty-change.

They are ALL safe! Then Cat makes fun of Marko for “literally looking so worried.” He doesn’t figuratively look worried like all these other saps.  MARKO IS FOR REAL!

Second Trio! Sasha, Clarice, and Jess.

In the clip footage Sasha looked freaking hot bumpin’ it with Twitch.  I want to dance with Twitch!  I HAVE ANOTHER MOVIE IDEA. But it’s not ready for the blog yet  I think Beyonce got the whole Sasha Fierce idea from this Sasha.  Girl is FIERCE.  She rocks her mohawk harder than most women could rock Barbarella hair. Clarice did Bollywood style, and she looks like she owned the actual dancing, but in the brief clip they show she was kissed by her partner twice and she looked game for it zero times.  That ain’t good kissin’ math, ya’ll! It doesn’t look to me like Jess did a super good job last night, but the judges sure act like he did.

RESULTS:  Clarice: NOT SAFE!!! Hugs! Shock! (But not really.)

We take a brief look at the all-stars that will be dancing with the contestants next week.  And by brief I mean, superfreakingfast.  Like 10 seconds.  Then Cat announces that coming soon is a performance by Blush featuring Snoop Dogg! When Cat says “Snoop Dog” I can just tell she is saying it with one “g” and thinking no one will notice.  Girl, I noticed.  You so white.  She moves on by announcing a guest judge that will be coming soon – LADY GAGA!  That’s right, The Lady Gaga.  In the eloquent words of Ms. Deeley,  “Lady Gager is gowen to be sat ovah thay.”

Third Trio, Ricky, Caitlynn and Jordan:

Ricky’s footage looks good, though a bit domestic-violencey.  Aw, sweet Rikki!  He reminds me of My So Called Life’s ‘Rickie’ and not just or the obvious reasons (matching name/brown/gay/enthusiastic.)  OK, maybe for the obvious reasons.  But seriously, do you guys remember how great that show was?  I do.  I IMDB’d Rickie, and I am sad to report he has not had the success of Claire Danes.  No Temple Grandin glory for him!  YET.  Never give up, Rickie! Caitlynn did a tango last night.  Damn, she is physically delicious, not unlike every other person on this show.  Jordan did a contemporary (and very crotchy) dance. The judges sang her praises, BUT Jordan is not safe!  Cat towers above her, offering a bony hug.  She will be Jordan’s escort through the river Styx.

Then, all hell breaks loose.  I run to get a refill (2 parts non-alcohol) because it seemed like it was a commercial break.  BUT IT WASN’T.  I come back– less than a minute later—to see a blond Harry Potter dancing like just found he got into Gryffindor.  What is happening?  Is this one of the dancers in an elaborate costume? There is some very strange mime work going on… transitioning into body popping to a French monologue. Then, it’s over. The stranger is quickly thanked, and he disappears.  I suppose I will never know the truth about what I just saw.

I spend the commercial break processing the whole ordeal, and am actually happy when the show comes back on.  At last, I can forget my troubles and lose myself in the DANCE.  But no!

A special segment about the dancers being…tested?  At the Gatorade Science Institute?  Cat looks as confused disturbed as I feel. We then cut to footage of Dwight Howard in an egg. Then quick shots of random other athletes in weird positions with tubes protruding… as if their experiences legitimize the sinister G.S.I.  The contestants are then tested on “state of the art” ikea furniture equipment. First, the Bod Pod: an airtight egg that measures your body fat. A great gift idea for the special lady in your life!  Then, the rigorous “D2” machine. The name says it all.  Just kidding, I have no idea what D2 stands for. Apparently it measures hand-eye coordination.  The D2 has nothing to do with the Mighty Ducks franchise, and is basically a glorified “Whack-A-Mole” without the thrill of whacking moles.  Lastly, they are tested on the i-Span.  Which is “even more intense than the D2.”  The G.S.I spokesperson, despite her labcoat, seems more like a Redbull girl than a scientist, and is very vague in her descriptions and assessments.  “They’re really fit very lean.”  Melanie is delighted, this PROVES that dancers are athletes! Because we all thought these gorgeous humans writhing and jumping as if they are possessed by otherworldly beings come to earth to destroy gravity were big fat sloppy couch potatoes.  THANKS FOR CLEARING THAT UP GATORADE.  Stick to AYSO soccer games and get off my TV.

Finally, we watch the solo performances that Cat has been pimping the whole time.  Clarice is up first!  It’s so pretty- and, it’s over.  These are 30 seconds?  What the freak? These solos are too fast. Well, good job Clarice, considering.  Have Cole or Heather been making Silence of the Lambs jokes?   Because I am tempted to say something about fava beans here, or mention her good bag and cheap shoes.

Apparently, Mitchell didn’t have time to put his costume on, so he was forced to dance in his undies, waving a towel. That towel better have a pay off!  And, it didn’t.  Your time is up, and your towel has sorely disappointed me. If you put a gun on a stage someone needs to get shot, and if you wave a towel around and somebody better get un-wet.

Jordan’s routine is a little snoozy.  Come on!  You have 30 seconds!  Do all the tricks your trainers have taught you!  Spin! Kick! Do the Pamchenko! **Gasp** THE PAMCHENKO!?

It’s Ricky’s turn, and he gets it. Fast music, showy moves!  You have my vote, Ricky.

Then we have a “special performance” by Blush featuring Snoop Dogg.  I have no previous knowledge of Blush- but she seems to make standard-issue pop music.  She’s off key, I think.  I mean, either she is or her music is.   Wait, is SHE Blush, or are they all Blush? If they’re all Blush, then that one girl is really trying to upstage them.

Snoop Dogg (who has been lurking in the background, pervily watching the young girls dance) lumbers downstage and lazily raps.  I love me some Snoop, but seriously, sometimes he just phones it in on cameos and lets his braided ponytails do all the work.  As soon as he finishes he clumsily exits with no fanfare and a ‘Hell, it’s a paycheck,” swagger.

I’m just going to say it- whoever or whatever Blush is- she/they don’t have star power.   BOLD STATEMENT, RAGLAND!

Blush is giving away 15,000 free downloads of the crap we just listened to!  And I am giving away 15,000 free craps I made myself.  WHO WILL SELL OUT FIRST?

Time to get down to business.  Who do we send home tonight, America! ?

Nigel takes a moment to remind us that this isn’t the end for whoever is voted off, and to let the dancers know they are all truly talented.   His speech is earnest and lovely, and reminds me why this show is good.  It’s not cynical; it’s a celebration of ability.  With no drum roll, Nigel swiftly announces that Mitchell and Clarice are going home.  This show doesn’t mess with us, and I appreciate that.  We have seen enough tonight, please give us what we came for.

There is a brief montage of Clarice’s best moments- she is so pretty.  It is buttoned by her quote, “I would just like to be remembered for really capturing the audience,” (so far, so good; but then she tacks on) “around the world.” As if it’s an understood afterthought.  Oh is that all? JUST for capturing the world?  Mission not accomplished. Ragland Business Tip: If you set your bar lower you will achieve more goals!   We see Mitchell’s montage, and it is clear, this boy was born to dance in his underpants.  His farewell speech is wonderfully humble and sweet and I love Mitchell! But now, it is time to go.

And it is also time for a refill.


  • Comment by Heather — July 22, 2011 @ 8:16 pm

    This was pure goodness through and through, but “Ke$ha had some h@nd in this fuckery” put the motherfucking icing on the motherfucking Wheat Thin.

    I bow (or maybe just do a grande plie) to your brain.

  • Comment by Buckwheat — July 22, 2011 @ 8:20 pm

    Unsinkable Molly Brown! Bahaha!
    Nice recap. I want you to be running commentary by my TV. Is there an ap for that?

  • Comment by NL — July 25, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

    RE: “Blush is giving away 15,000 free downloads of the crap we just listened to! And I am giving away 15,000 free craps I made myself. WHO WILL SELL OUT FIRST?”


    That whole performance was amazeballs, and this is an excellent description of how I felt when it was over.

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