The Cut: HALfiger got Punk’d!

The producers unveiled a new HALfiger action figure this week, resplendent in leather jacket, jeans, and tough-guy construction boots (none of which looked the slightest bit worn). This new “Rock ‘N Roll HAL-figure” addressed the gang from the world famous stage of CBGB’s in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. This legendary club is currently going through some major financial trouble and its’ future is up in the air. I’m guessing the only reason they let a tool like Rock ‘N Roll HAL-figure use its space is because CBS ponied up a hundred grand or so. Rock ‘N Roll HAL-figure reminisced about his exciting days of yore. Once again, it was actually a potentially very interesting story, but HALfiger still does not have emotion programmed into his circuits so it – as always – sucked.

HALfiger recounted the 70’s punk rock days, dredging up references to the New York Dolls and the Sex Pistols. I particularly liked how he told the Cutters to “think about” those bands – if only we could actually see what they were thinking about at that moment: Jeff was dreaming of pubescent blond teens dressed up like dolls in New York, Princess was dreaming of a vulgar poem about sex and pistols, and Rob was thinking about painting some shirts. Honestly, did any of the Cutters have any clue about the punk scene of the late 70’s? Only a few of them were even old enough at that time to have been aware, and something tells me they weren’t exactly hip to it.

The challenge this week was for the teams to design a look for an unknown NYC rock band. Tommy explained that these bands had their own ideas on fashion, but they needed direction to develop a unique “branded” style. Because, you know, talent doesn’t mean shit these days. Furthermore, each team would have to live with their band for a day and immerse themselves in their lives to get a clearer picture of what they needed. With that in mind, Wes and Liz picked their teams. Wes chose Deanna, Felix, Shauna, and Rob. Liz took Chris, Jeff, Jess, and Princess. Just as I finished writing that sentence it hit me again – there’s still a woman named “Princess” on TV show. And it’s not a cartoon. The teams had 24 hours to complete their mission at which time each band would perform at CBGB’s and they’d be judged. Not for their musical chops but by their outfits alone. (Hey, Ryan Starr, this is the show you should have been on! Your tattered rags would have been all the rage!) It must be noted that 24 hours hence would be 10 o’clock. In the AM. At CBGB’s. On a weekday. Man, whatta gig!

The bands were “Unisex Salon” and “God or Julie.” Unfortunately, these lame names became this week’s team names too. Wes and his Team Unisex Salon drove out to Brooklyn to meet the band. The band seemed rather nonplussed about being on TV, and came off as boring and bland as a bunch of unemployed talentless hacks could be. Wes noted that the Asian girl in the band was a “cutie patootie.” If Wes is still trying to mask his homosexuality, using Rosie O’Donnellisms isn’t the best option. Just sayin…

No effect…
Team God or Julie navigated labyrinthine hallways in order to meet up with their band. They finally arrived at the loft and were greeted by a bunch of overtly disaffected pricks doing their best to be oh-so-cool and nonchalant. One dork completely ignored the team’s arrival and continued to play his Playstation boxing game. Just like Johnny Rotten would have done! Another guy yapped on his cell phone because 5 strangers and a whole camera/sound crew in his living room weren’t as important as his phone call. Just like Joey Ramone would have done! If I were there, I’d have caused the band to change its name to “God or Julie or my Fist in your Eye.” Of course, their actions beg the question of whether or not they were put up to this and just “acting.” But this is Reality TV and I refuse to think that way.

Each team hung out with their bands for a few minutes and then was off to the store to buy some new outfits. They were faced with some serious challenges because both bands were rather reluctant to adopt the wannabe stylist’s visions. Gina, the Asian girl from Unisex Salon, was just not digging Wes’s ideas about a “tie skirt.” The entire God of Julie band was completely unwilling to bend from their “black t-shirt and jeans” motif. Christ, just throw on some white ties with that and now you’re the Hives. HALfiger sure as hell isn’t aware of that fleeting Scottish band, he’d love the look, and you still get to wear all black for the most part. How hard was that? Apparently it was very hard for both teams, as they each struggled on their respective shopping trips.

Unisex Salon had 5 band members, so each Cutter was more or less responsible for a person. God or Julie had only 4 members, so one Cutter would have to figure out how to shine without a person to dress. Gee, let’s see…who will be the person who would have no one to dress? Hmmmm…Jeff? Of course. Mr. Useless continued his useless ways and did absolutely nothing at the store. Ok, that’s not true. He once again provided unintentional humor by picking up some black Ramones t-shirts staying, “This would be hot, right?” Upon being told that no, actually, that wouldn’t be such a good look, he shot back, “But the Ramones play there every week!” Liz, tired of being his coddling mommy, gently reminded Jeff that “they are dead.”

After some initial struggles, each team finally spent some money on clothes and made their way back to their respective band’s lofts. Whoa! Team Unisex Salon stumbled into a pathetic display of forced debauchery. There were about 20 goofballs running around spilling beer all over each other and yelling like frat boys at a big football game for no reason. Each edit showed another buffoon showering his mates with a fountain of beer spray from his mouth. I cringed as I could envision the crew saying, “3, 2, 1… Annnnnnnd, ACTION” before each craaaaaaaaaaazy scene. The poor Cutters had to work in this absurd atmosphere, trying to get the drunken rockers to try on outfits and then make the proper adjustments. Shauna, the old bat with the ever-present fur coat, was thoroughly disgusted and retreated upstairs to work the sewing machine. The others attempted to party with the nutbags but when the lead singer destroyed a table, threw beer all over, and declared, “YEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!” I think they’d had enough. Each Cutter ignored the faux-mayhem and got to work on the outfits. And yes, Rob Walker busted out his fabric paints and spent an hour or two painting a hot pink guitar on a denim jacket. As lame as Unisex Salon (the band) is, Rob’s foo-foo jacket was even lamer. Sheesh… As it’s painfully apparent this is all Rob Walker is capable of, why is he still on this show? Why was he even cast for this show?

Wes and Deanna laughed at what Team God or Julie was doing while all this idiocy was afoot at their loft. They’d have been surprised to learn (because they were too stupid to realize the “party” was staged) that the other team was up to the same shenanigans. There was Jeff downing Jell-O shots. (Ooooh, Jell-O shots! Like OhmiGawd, let’s play Truth or Dare! Like yeah, then let’s get belly button rings!) There was Liz downing swigs of Jack Daniels straight from the bottle. (By the way, it was Liz who drunkenly poked herself with a sewing needle, hence the title of the show.) There was Princess swilling a beer. Par-TAAAAY! Unfortunately, Chris was also there to break it down from a strategic standpoint. He got all serious and noted how they had to try to assimilate into the punk rocker culture and party with them a little bit to build up their trust. Whatever, dude, have a freaking beer. Oh wait, he’s from the ghetto (in case you’ve forgotten) and they didn’t have any Mad Dog 20/20 or Olde English at the “crib.” No wonder he wasn’t feeling it.

The next morning dawned bright and early and hangovers be damned – it was time to get the bands ready. Team God or Julie unveiled their black t-shirts and black shiny jeans look. All that was missing was white pancake makeup and black eye shadow. The band hated the shiny jeans so Chris spent all morning “distressing” them to no avail. Team Unisex Salon had convinced their band to trust their fashion sense a bit more and their outfits had a bit more flair. Gina, the Asian girl, even came to like new look (though she did tell Rob his little pink guitar painting was horrible). After some drama about a missing Unisex Salon band member, both teams made their ways to CBGB’s.

Helloooooo Cleveland!
Ugh. Two horrible bands in horrible outfits playing horrible music to a tiny crowd at 11AM on a weekday. It wasn’t the most embarrassing thing on TV this week (that would be the I Want to be a Hilton challenge) but it was pretty awful. CBS thankfully edited the performances down to 15 second snippets and we were immediately transported to the Style Forum. It was very evident that Team Unisex Salon won since their team actually looked like someone at least tried to dress them. (It’s also evident that this show will most likely be won be either Wes or Deanna – which is okay with me.) Anyway, Loony Jeff was finally on the losing team and I’m not ruining any drama here by stating that he would certainly be headed home. First, however, was the silly misdirection – HALfiger chastising Liz for picking Princess last the day before; since she’s a seamstress and they’d be putting clothes together, HALfiger figured Liz was stupid for doing so. There was a major flaw in HALfiger’s logic loop circuitry: Namely the winning team didn’t even pick Princess. That, and the fact that Princess is a loose cannon, capable of losing focus and spouting off a lewd poem at the drop of a hat.

Anyway, HALfiger was able to finally figure out that Jeff didn’t do a damn thing and called him into the pit. He brought Liz in as well, but focused squarely on Jeff’s ineptitude. I didn’t really pay too much attention at this point, but I did note that in his own defense, Jeff stated that he contributed by being “way cooler” than the rest. This brilliant piece of non-logic seemed to almost fry HALfiger’s circuits, since they weren’t designed for such an inane defense. However, justice prevailed and one of the more dislikable and delusional cast members of all the summer reality shows was finally sent home. Not content to go quietly into the night, Jeff paused to tell us that he “really expected to win.” He “wants to live to make Tommy regret his decision.” Is he gonna go all Andrew Cunanan on him?

Then Jeff punched the wall. I hate Jeff… Go home. Now.

sg-dub | 07.25.05 | Filed in Recaps,The Cut

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