Hyphen TV: Making Bad Art into...Less Bad Art?

October 18, 2011

Young Sun has got some sweet, sweet stripey pants.

You probably thought that there were no more competition reality shows to add to this competition reality-heavy column. O how wrong you were. Much to my delight, Work of Art is back for its second season -- ridiculous premise of creating "art" in a timed setting and all. This year I'm watching two contestants: Young Sun, a 28-year-old performance artist/photographer from Skokie, IL, and Leon, a 31-year-old, Malaysian installation artist who was born deaf (an interpreter accompanies him to translate his signing). Young's semi-nude self-portrait photos seem particularly intriguing; the last family portrait he has is of him standing naked in a hospital room as his father lays sick in bed. I...cannot imagine doing that with my parents. Power to ya, Young.

                 Young is not yet ready to don his mask

For their first challenge, the artists had to transform "bad" pieces of art into pieces "worthy of being hung in a gallery." Young chose a painting of dogs playing mah jong and created an interactive performance piece in which he wore a dog mask and showed gallery visitors cards with phrases on them (the piece's title is "The Things We Said When We Had Too Much to Drink"). Leon chose a framed, flat sculpture of a girl and a boy standing under an arc of flowers; he wanted to transform the "earthly" piece into a "heavenly" one, and did so by cutting and arranging beautiful white paper flowers over the piece's glass. Both men were safe this week, and I can't wait to see what they come up with down the road.

You...can't see the original piece of art here? But trust me, it was kitschy.

Another show I was happy to see the return of is The Walking Dead. Hey, Glenn! Glad your pizza delivery skills seem to be helping you survive the zombie apocalypse! Steven Yeun also made an appearance on The Soup's "The Soup of the Walking Dead." Watch it right here.

On our usual programming, Ellona is holding strong in her new group InTENsity (get it, because there are ten of them?) on The X-Factor. At Paula's house(!), all of the group performers did their thing for Paula and Pharrell, and I gotta say, Ellona was featured a couple times and sounded great. Check out the video right here. I'm hoping that this massive group will make it through, and Ellona will continue to get the chance to be in the spotlight!

                 Ellona, looking cute in purple (I'm also jealous of her long, shiny hair)

More good news for our pals on The Sing-Off: The Collective, the Dartmouth Aires, and the YellowJackets are all still holding strong after singing "guilty pleasure" tunes. I don't know what you guys are talking about; Bel Biv Devoe's "Poison" is a great song. Nothing guilty about it.

The YellowJackets really really really do wanna zig-a-zig-ah.

No such safety luck for Elyse on Survivor: after continuing her close relationship with tribe leader Ozzy, she was voted out at tribal council. I have to say, I don't disagree with the move. You can't get too close, girl! Especially not with anyone who so clearly wields power. She has a chance to get back in the game on Redemption Island, so we'll see if she's got the skills to claw her way back. Hopefully the challenge won't involve biting hunks of meat again ... ick.

Meanwhile, Anya continues to captivate the judges on Project Runway. Would you believe that she took yet ANOTHER win this week? She made three relatively simple (though all lovely) outfits that the judges fell for despite the fact (which was pointed out often by her competitors) that Anya hasn't made a single jacket -- or even a sleeve. This is like some season one stuff right here. Anya, you pretty much have a lock on fashion week: please prove all these haters wrong and make some amazing sleeves. Please?

It's very nice indeed, but I can't deny that Anya's a real arms-bearer

We also got to spend a little time with Olivier again, asthe last five eliminated contestants got to return to help the remaining contestants with their looks. Hey, Olivier! Like your hat!

Olivier, being all helpful to Viktor. Maybe not at this precise moment.

Also carrying on her winning streak is Sally on Top Chef: Just Desserts, who is the last lady left in the group and landed in the top two on the carnival challenge with her take on caramel corn. Another one of our ladies headed for a finale (fingers crossed)! Get down with your bad selves, girls.

                     Sally carefully considers some dough.

And finally, over on Conan our pal Steven Ho returned to show Coco come more sweet moves. Watch them duke it out here.

Conan gets friendly with one of Steven Ho's cohorts.


Dianne Choie


Dianne Choie's TV is in Brooklyn, NY. She has a cat, several reusable shopping bags, and other mildly annoying stereotypes of youngish people who live in Brooklyn.