Hyphen TV: Brain Stones

February 13, 2012

          Sue works on a horrifying spider face on Face Off

Heejun's in Hollywood on American Idol! He hasn't gotten over the self esteem issue though, telling his mom as she helped him pack that he "won't be gone long." He was as intimidated as ever by his fellow contestants ("Everyone's sooo tall, so pretty. Even the guys are so pretty") and visibly nervous during another auditioner's performance. Still, the judges like his rendition of "How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" (the guy likes Michael Bolton), J.Lo even saying that his performance brought tears to her eyes. And he made it through!

How is he supposed to live without nervousness?

... Which was only the beginning of REAL hardship, as Heejun then had to make it through the dreaded group performances. He dubbed his team M.I.T. ("Most International Team" -- Did the Asian guy really have to name something MIT?), which included a guy with kidney stones and another guy with a cowboy hat and a need to take over, whom Heejun described as having a "brain stone." The situation deteriorated rapidly as the cowboy insisted on teaching his teammates harmonies and dance moves that were overwhelming to all, especially Heejun. "I don't know how they do it in Cowboy Town," Heejun began in one of his many interview complaints, adding, "All my friends are gonna laugh at me because of this cowboy kid." How will it all turn out? We'll see this week.

On RuPaul's Drag Race, the ladies had to create some luscious booties using packing materials. Jiggly served up "cellulite realness" with her packing peanuts bum, but it was Phi Phi and two others who won the challenge, going on to become team captains. Phi Phi specifically did not want Jiggly on her team, which turned out fine for the WTF ("Wrestling's Trashiest Fighters") challenge. Each team of four had to create characters, background stories, scripts, moves, and of course, costumes for their wrestling presentations, and Jiggly hammed it up as a villain while Phi Phi brought some "telenovela realness."

Neither girl's team won, which allowed for some catty judges' critique. Jiggly was told that the lollipop she was sucking on was more interesting than her style, though she did garner praise for her liveliness in the ring. Phi Phi was similarly hilarious as a wrestler, but the judges said that her heavy-handed makeup was aging her. Both ladies were safe, but that was just the beginning of the real critique.

She might look a little older, but she's got fabulousness out the wazoo

Backstage (or "Untucked,") the ladies were talking about how critical and mean Jiggly was to all of them and a theory emerged that Jiggly had her own issues that manifested as bitchiness to everyone around her. An intense intervention-style confrontation was had where the girls got Jiggly to tearfully admit that she had suffered abuse, but it was followed by a truly moving show of solidarity among the queens. This was wrecked a bit when another queen arrived and called Jiggly out for labeling her relationship with another drag queen "disgusting" and Jiggly refused to back down from her statement, but the message of acceptance and love was powerful nonetheless. Maybe you need to be a little more aware of how your words come off, Jiggs? To be fair, she did seem a little sheepish about her "disgusting" word choice in an interview later on.

Maybe hang onto the realness, but try throwing in a little niceness too?

Great news and awful news on Top Chef: Beverly's back, thanks to Last Chance Kitchen, but Ed is out. Though Ed clinched a top spot in the Quickfire challenge (the chefs had to get their ingredients blindfolded and when Ed accidentally picked up unappetizing pork casings, he used them to make a delicious udon broth), he made a fatal error we've seen time and time again on this show: buying inferior ingredients. In this case, Ed couldn't get fresh oysters, so he picked up canned ones instead of rethinking his dish. It was tough to see Ed go and even tougher to hear him describe himself "getting knocked out by Beverly" when any Top Chef fan knows that you do NOT try to pull a fast one on the judges with bad ingredients. Cardinal rule, dude, but I'm bummed to see you go.

In other good Top Chef news, Paul and Bev landed in the top in the elimination challenge, with Paul getting the highest marks and a new Prius. Seriously, this guy is making out like a bandit this season. It was also pretty moving to see the chefs greeting and cooking for their mentors, and Paul in particular was especially sweet, breaking into uncontrollable tears upon seeing his mentor Tyson Cole. Later he seemed a bit embarrassed, and the stoic Ed (the only chef who held back the waterworks) consoled him a bit. Aww, nothing to be ashamed of, Paul. You're only winning more fan love.

We finally got some extended Sue time on Face Off this week, but it wasn't entirely a good thing. The makeup artists had to pair up to create characters that blended deadly animals with beautiful flowers. Sue was partnered with Beki, who had immunity this week and made the generous but odd decision to let Sue take control over their project because she was the one at risk. This could have worked out if there weren't such palpable discord and lack of respect between the two from the get-go. It's also maybe not the greatest thing to claim you're giving your partner the "alpha role" and then making a face at all her suggestions with apparently no attempt at tactfully offering your opinion.

All that said, Sue came up with some pretty weird ideas. She wanted to give their costume texture in an attempt to mirror the furry body of the tarantula they were inspired by (excuse me while I huddle in a corner and scream forever), but Beki thought the look was unappealing and resisted the suggestion. This sent Sue to run around gathering other contestants' opinions without really showing them what she was working on and further expanding the rift between her and Beki. Unfortunately, Beki was proven right when the judges called their creation "shameful" and looking like it had "rubber barf all over it." Not to mention that the incorporation of the flower looked more like safety cone afterthoughts than anything else.

    I think you can pick out the cone-armed tarantula in the group.

Beki told the judges that she took "heavy direction" from her partner, which they scolded her for. Sue complained about being thrown under the bus. In my opinion, they were both in the wrong and that was reflected in their final product. Thankfully, another team had a creation that the judges liked even less, so Sue was safe. I'm worried about her future on the show, however, if she's going to continue exhibiting this lack of editing and self-awareness. I'll chalk it up to a cosmically bad pairing this time, but you better bring it from here on out, Sue.

The Walking Dead returned for the back half of its season, and with it was Glenn and his lady troubles. It seems that things are actually getting serious with Maggie, who has previously acted like their fling was just that, but now wants Glenn to stay with Maggie at the farm. Glenn also reveals to Rick that Maggie told him that she loves him, and though I have a little trouble believing that (how much time have they really spent together, at this point?), the fact that he couldn't return the sentiment brought a nice bit of regular world drama that the heightened tension of Walker World sometimes lacks. I enjoy watching this little romance unfold as much as I enjoy arms falling off of dead walkers and ear necklaces. And that's pretty high praise.


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.