The Cut: Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Gay Hipsters

All you need to know is that once the teams were picked, HALfiger-9000 sent half of each team on a private jet to Texas and New Mexico respectively. The goal was for the Texas contingent to “study” true cowboy culture and fashion and relay their thoughts to the design team stuck in NY with the end result being two fashionable modern outfits based on the findings. The New Mexico team was to do the same with traditional Native American garb. The point, as if there actually is one to this show, was “communication” and testing how the teams were able to convey their ideas via telephone. Which reminds me, wouldn’t it be a fun show to have a “Telephone Game with the Stars?” Like, Corey Haim has a 4 sentence secret that he tells to Alan Thicke who tells it to Bea Arthur who tells it to the robot girl from “Small Wonder” who tells it to Tone-Loc who then tells it to us, the TV audience. That would be awesome. Is Bea Arthur even alive?

Long episode short, the game of Cowboys and Indians was pretty much the mess you’d expect it to have been. The Cowboy crew came up with some shirts and jeans (ooooohhhh) whereas the New Mexico gang threw together some ponchos and beaded jewelry (aaaahhhhh). I’m still unclear on the whole concept of “The Cut” seeing as though they are competing to be designers but no one, and I mean no one, has any clue how to design anything. I will continue to watch until the show becomes clearer to me. Team New Mexico lost and Julie (the blond with the close-set and too-small eyes) was sent home to St. Louis and her idyllic (in her mind) suburbia devoid of gay people and minorities of any sort. Good riddance.

Amazingly, the always useless and increasingly insane Jeff once again wound up on the winning team and continued to infect the show. Each week he is picked last or next to last and is generally regarded as either a liability or a sacrificial lamb, should it come to that. His job on the Texas cowboy design team was to contract with some creepy “denim specialist” guy. Ok, he picked up the phone and was able to handle that. Then he handed over all the team’s money to the guy, leaving them nothing to pay the seamstress. Nice. Then he ran out with an hour to spare to put some finishing touches on a jacket. Of course, as his whole team expected, he didn’t make it back in time – disqualifying the jacket. It was these scenes of Jeff’s tortured insistence that nothing was his fault that made the episode worthwhile. Since there are no screencaps, just imagine the image of the biggest loser in your office (it helps if he’s a he, is middle aged, bald, thoroughly incompetent, and insane) sending an incriminating email to the boss by accident and freaking out. Good times, good times.

Now that you’re caught up, let’s get to the most recent episode… Once again, ruining all ambiance, the show opened with ice-skating at Rockefeller Center and snowfall. Dear CBS, It’s the middle of July. I’m sweating my balls off here. Reality shows lose some “reality” when your seasons are so out-of-whack. Please don’t do this again. Futhermore, please don’t show more scenes of Wes drinking milk from the communal milk container, screwing up his face, then dumping the contents. There was just something so wrong about that for some reason. Thanks.

With snow, ice, and rancid milk on my mind, HALfiger showed up to bore the crap out of everyone as he does every week. Y’know, I’m sure he’s led a very interesting life…how can he make it sound so incredibly dull? Something about him and his buddy making some bellbottoms back in the 70’s and selling them to stores and then he opened up his own store. *Yawn.* Maybe the point of “The Cut” is simply to survive HALfiger’s weekly stories – though I think I’d rather eat grubs and coconut on an island for 39 days. The challenge this week would be to open up competing stores in SoHo selling “reconstructed” secondhand clothes they’d bought from Goodwill. The winning team would be the one who made more money. With no shortage of Village hipsters who (still) seem to just looooooooove ill-fitting shirts and pants a few blocks away, both teams seemed up for the challenge. This week’s teams were Team Orange (Wes, Deanna, Shauna, Chris, Jeff “a raving lunatic with no talent,” according to Shauna, and Rob) and Team Purple (Felix, Liz, Jess, James, and Princess). That’s certainly enough to fill the hour – but wait! This is “The Cut” and that means there must be a nonsensical “social challenge” for absolutely no reason in the world. If they wanted, each team could send a person to the Sundance Film Festival

Upon entering the retail spaces, both teams were confronted with a huge mess. Team Orange wasn’t phased as they felt that Wes had put together a great team. As it turns out, both Wes and Deanna do this sort of thing for a living – reconstructing “vintage” clothing and selling it for way too much money. Those two took Rob to Goodwill for some shopping while Jeff and Chris worked on the store infrastructure. Rob, remember, is the guy who had great difficulty spending a few hundred bucks on himself for clothes a few weeks ago. He appeared to be more at home in the Goodwill store. Poor guy. And I mean that. Over on the Purple squad, the mood was decidedly more ominous. “I’m scared,” lamented Jess. With only 4 team members in NY and none of them skilled in the fine art of ripping off wannabes with overpriced throwaway clothes, it wasn’t looking too good for them.

Their 5th teammate, Felix, was too busy flying out to Utah with HALfiger, yapping about his pro skating career and his BFF, Spike Jonze. Spike did the first World Industries skate video (which is great, by the way) and Felix apparently appears in it. Tommy didn’t question his tenuous relationship with Jonze, but I do. Either that, or Shauna’s fawning about how she’d probably never get to go to something like Sundance was overloading HALfiger’s circuits. Um, Shauna, very, very few of us “normal people” will ever have that chance. You act like you’re some deprived hausfrau who eats beans and rice every night to get by. You live in Beverly Hills, wear expensive furs, and have several ex-husbands. Spare us the whining.
In New York, Team Orange was happily reconstructing the clothes they’d bought and doing a great job getting their retail space in order. Jeff, offering his once-per-episode input, came up with “Comme Undone” as the store’s name. For some reason, no one bothered to ask him what the hell that meant and they went with it. (Strictly speaking, it makes no sense but then again, does anything on this show?) They had contacted some contractors to help out with the cleaning and building and things were definitely looking up. Things were not so wonderful over on the Purple side. Jess was vomiting and passing out from her bout with the flu. Princess was crying and Liz “didn’t care.” James kept trying to boost morale but with their “store” looking like a dump and the team imploding, the impending loss was evident. Also evident was Jeff’s continuing meltdown. When the contractors packed up their high-powered vacuum cleaner, the other team saw them out of their shop window and politely asked to borrow it.

Jeff did not take kindly to this random act of kindness and started screaming and cursing at the dude who had just helped them out. Hey Jeff…dumbass… This is New York and “contractors” with decidedly Italian features and names don’t enjoy being verbally berated. Something tells me that if there weren’t cameras present, Jeff would have received a serious pummeling. Or worse. Damn you highly visible cameramen! After the vacuum “situation,” Team Orange was ready to open and start selling their clothes, whereas the Purples were still in disarray. Just as I was despairing over the show, a pop-up ad for Jennifer Love Hewitt’s “Ghost Whisperer” appeared. Ahhhhh, J-Lo-Hew, you always calm my nerves.

Once open, Team Orange scoured the frozen SoHo streets for potential customers. Chris, Jeff, and Rob did a great job securing wave upon wave of Japanese teen tourist buses. Their teammates blasted them for bringing in kids with no money, but I’d have to defend them. In my experience, Japanese kids will buy any cheap piece of crap shirt as long as it’s “American” and ugly. They were the target audience – except for the no money part. Before long, the competing team had their shop up and running and it was an all-out battle for metrosexuals who like to wear old people’s musty old clothes.

Hey wait a minute, that’s not a gay guy from Chelsea! Why it’s Jamie Lynn DiScala from the Sopranos! Wow, how does HALfiger do it? He gets ALL the stars. She toured both stores, said her thanks, and went on her superstar way. Surely they couldn’t match her star power this episode. Even out at Sundance where I’d completely forgotten about Shauna and Felix. Good Lord, it’s Tom Arnold! And Lisa Kudrow! And Maggie Gyllenhaal! Amazing, simply amazing. Am I the only one that would do my best to avoid Tom Arnold rather than suck up to him? Would it be as difficult for you as it would have been for me to keep from mocking Lisa Kudrow rather than kissing her ass? Well, apparently Felix ain’t like you and me and he felt it necessary to tell each of them his life story. Even ape-like HALfiger was getting annoyed with his stories.

In NY, the end was nigh for the teams but there was time for one more impish little foppish Brit to visit the stores. Simon Doonan (reality show veteran from ANTM3, I think, when the women had to model as live mannequins) pretended to shop each store like Meadow Soprano did. Deanna (Team Orange) recognized him and treated him accordingly. Team Purple did not and completely ignored him and his questions. With the rapidly approaching closing time upon them, both teams scrambled for potential customers. Jeff was on a tear, screaming and yelling at anyone thinking of entering the other team’s shop. When he wasn’t doing that, he was drooling over average looking women in his own shop. One blond woman, in particular, caused Jeff to have (another) meltdown. “I’m sick. I’m sick. You are just so beautiful.” On and on he went, chewing on his palm and hopping about like a Tasmanian devil in heat. Would this guy please just go away?

Unfortunately, probably not this week, as both Simon Doonan and Meadow Soprano agreed that his team, Team Orange, did the better job. It was Style Forum time and HALfiger was there to tally the results. Jeff, Wes, Deanna and the rest of Team Orange had sold over $200 more than the Purples. Orange wasn’t without their faults, however, as Doonan scolded them for not displaying prices, calling that idea, “The most retarded thing I’ve ever heard of.” No, Simon, “The Cut” fits that description much better, but let’s get to The Pit.

Yes, “The Pit,” the 2-inch step down into which HALfiger’s chosen weakest team members must step to be judged. This week he called out Felix (for his social ineptitude and uncouth behavior among the “celebs” at Sundance – Felix should have said, “What celebs?”) and James. James? The very guy who you said you’d hire now a scant 3 weeks ago? The guy who held his team together when they were at their worst? The guy who designed the shop – the only thing Doonan and Meadow Soprano complimented regarding their store? The only guy who actually knows how to sew? Yup, James. The snowstorm seems to have shorted out HALfiger’s wiring on his way over to the Forum. After some deliberation, HALfiger told James to “take the runway” and leave the show – a very, very odd selection. James himself was a bit taken back by this but offered a gracious goodbye, schlumped down the steps, sat down, and cried his little baby eyes out. Wuss.

sg-dub | 07.18.05 | Filed in Recaps,The Cut

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