The Cut: Psssst, Ya Wanna buy a Hilfiger?

As usual, the show opened with the post-eviction reaction – and this time Rob Walker from Brooklyn was decidedly not happy. He was pissed at Chris for pointing out the obvious to HALfiger – Rob sucks and has only one talent, and even that is debatable. Chris attempted to defend himself (Quite frankly, I don’t remember the chain of events last week so I’m not sure who was more correct) but Rob wasn’t being receptive. In fact, he issued the Reality TV fatwa, “It’s on.” This, despite Chris “Swear[ing] to God on [his] mother!” Where does that fall in relation to swearing on the Bible? And more importantly, why is “swearing” to anything given such respect on reality TV? If I were to ever be on one of these shows, I’d just swear upon every living and supernatural creature I can think of if it keeps me in the hunt. Do adults actually give credence to such empty oaths? Why?

After some perfunctory footage of someone arguing with Liz (this time it was Chris), we were whisked to the whimsical environs of… Cranbury, New Jersey. Candy Cane smokestacks, maple syrup thick rivers, lemony yellow skies, giant chocolate box stores… Except without the candy canes, maple, lemony, and chocolate parts. They were met there by HALfiger-9000 in his “Casual Tommy” outfit. His ginormous hair part, however, was still anything buy “casual.” In a new twist, HALfiger not only told the required painfully boring story – he retold one from an earlier episode! Yes, it was the one about how a young COBOL HALfiger sold reconstructed bell-bottoms on the streets of New York. Yawwwwwn. The present day Supercomputer HALfiger giddily showed off his huge distribution center, which moves some 5 to 10 million units per month. Pretty impressive, especially when you realize his clothes suck.

The challenge would be for each team to “reconstruct” as many pieces of clothing as possible and then sell them on the streets of New York, a la young HALfiger. They could cut, paint, stress, dye, etc the shirts and pants – anything to make them unique. I immediately noted the flaw in this challenge: What constitutes a “reconstruction?” A drop of bleach on a white shirt? Cutting the tags? Removing the sleeve buttons? I then remembered that The Cut is so chock full of flaws that if I were to actually worry about them, I’d drive myself insane. And if I were to drive myself insane over The Cut, I’d be insane. And if I were insane, I’d watch The Cut every week. Um… Wait…

Anyway, teams weren’t picking themselves so Felix chose Elizabeth, Shauna, and Wes for Team Yellow. Rob Walker from Brooklyn picked Princess, Chris, and Deanna to fill out Team Blue. Just to give you some insight into the inanity of these people, Wes and Deanna both own clothing shops and make reconstructed clothes for a living – exactly what this challenge entailed. And they were picked last. Meanwhile, everyone hates Elizabeth and Princess is an unstable goofball. And they were picked first. Sigh… No time to harp on this stuff, as the clock was ticking and each team had to load up trucks with all the free garments they could grab and get cracking on their reconstructing. How exciting.

Back at the loft, each team divided up and began brainstorming ideas. There were Wes and Elizabeth discussing putting giant stars on the backs of jean jackets. Just then the phone rang – it was 1986 calling and it wanted its style back. Elizabeth got pissy and called out Wes and his “generic” ideas. Hoo boy, this drove Shauna into the warm ghetto embrace of Chris who launched into a full on Elizabeth dissing session downstairs. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for us, Liz heard the whole thing – especially as Princess, Deanna, and Wes joined in the fun. God, it’s gotta suck when you overhear 5 people you live with openly hating your guts. And so, under the watchful eye of the giant insulting caricature of HALfiger from last week’s challenge that they had hung on the wall, we had an honest to goodness reality TV catfight. Princess laid it all out to Liz and as is the case in any schoolyard fight, everyone else piled on. The bottom line? Everyone really hates Liz. My favorite part was that after Princess went through the “angry black girl” finger waving and neck bobbing motions, coupled such admonitions as, “Let’s keep it really real – you a snob,” Liz countered with the eviscerating, “You have terrible grammar.” Now, I fully agree with Liz on this point and while I absolutely loved the put down, in the world of reality catfighting, “Mind your contractions” just isn’t going to get the job done. However, as referee, I’d have to call it a draw – only because I yell the same thing Liz said at my TV just about every 2 minutes.
To be fair, Rob Walker from Brooklyn tried to be the voice of reason stating that what had happened was a terrible thing and that people needed to show respect. Gee, Rob, perhaps you should have said that before it got ugly – oh, wait, that would have shown some skills beyond painting crappy t-shirts… Never mind. Also, Liz’s only semi-friend on the show, Felix, missed the whole thing. Since he doesn’t sleep, I can only assume he was taking a monumental dump and the sound of his own ass drowned out the bickering. You just know his dumps are intense. Everything Felix does in intense. (Whereas everything Chris does is monumental. On previous shows he’s mentioned how his billboard and some other stuff “would go down in history.” This week, with regards to his reconstructed clothing Chris noted, “I’m going to go down in history for trying to do all this stuff.” Huh? What are they teaching kids in history class these days to give them this false sense of importance? “In 1787, Franklin Smitherswort made a shirt for his daughter. The shirt was blue. Then they signed the Constitution.”)

Throughout the day, the teams worked diligently on recreating their ugly HALfiger clothes. At first, both teams were attempting to actually make viable clothing with time consuming methods. Then, in a flash of brilliance, Felix developed a “Tommy” crest stamp out of a rubber yoga mat, which allowed him to bang out many finished pieces in a manner of minutes. No word on where Wes would be able to practice his “downward dog” position from that point on, but something tells me he’ll find somewhere. Maybe at the Chelsea YMCA, wink-wink, nudge-nudge. After a couple hours of actually trying to create clothes someone might actually want to wear, both teams were now simply throwing crappy paint splotches on the garments and calling them “reconstructed.” In a city where people happily pay a couple hundred bucks for jeans that look like they’ve been worn at a construction site for years, I guess that’s not so bad. (God, I sound like my father. Hey, Liz, stop yer cryin’ or I’ll give you something to really cry about! *Slap!* Okay, I’m out of it… That was too weird. Sorry.)

At the allotted time to sell (each team had the same 4 hour block on two successive days), the teams loaded up their trucks and prepared to hit the streets. Team Blue (Rob’s team) zoomed off and set up shop. Team Yellow (Felix’s team) loaded up and… And… FELIX LOST THE KEYS! A frantic search of the loft yielded nothing but heartache so Felix called the rental agency in an attempt to get a spare. Gosh, where could those keys be… As Felix was retracing his steps and getting angrier by the minute, he shouted to the Intense Skater Gods, “I frickin’ probably dropped them outside in the snow or something.” Taking that cue, Mr. Helpful Cameraman then panned the snowy curbside until he picked up the glint of… The truck’s keys. Team Yellow was already way behind the Blues (who were selling their garments for 30-50 bucks pretty steadily) so what harm would it have done to let Felix see that the camera guy had found the keys? For this bit of bullshit, I give this week’s “Dickhead of the Week Award” to that cameraman.

After speaking with the rental shop, Felix and Liz hopped in a taxi to go pick up the spare key. Once there, Liz entered the shop and was confronted with “Beer Belly Blue Collar Union Guy,” who claimed that he didn’t have the license plate from the truck, so he couldn’t give out a spare key. Huh? Felix was insistent that he gave the plate to him on the phone, but even if he didn’t, how about, “You rented two trucks to CBS and assuredly made sure these two trucks in particular were in tip-top shape. You also signed waivers and damn well know which trucks you rented to the show.” Knowing this, poor Felix was livid and sulked out in the cab while Liz tried to negotiate. Hey, a scene which caused me to feel an emotion other than boredom on The Cut! I told you this episode was good. Ok, so now you’re thinking, “call Wes and Shauna back at the loft and ask them to give you the plate number.” Well, when Felix tried this tactic, the team’s other phone rang and… Liz was on the other end. That’s right, these two numbnuts had both team phones with them. It was at this point Felix resigned to defeat and said, “I’m a grown ass man and I quit.” You could just see Liz dying to call out his bad grammar, but since Felix was acting like a schizophrenic heroin addict in need of a fix, she bit her tongue. The end result was taking the cab back to the loft, getting the plate number, Felix “quitting” again, and Wes joining Liz for the return trip to the rental office. All through these four hours, Team Blue was selling what appeared to be boatloads of clothing. Team Yellow had sold none and their time was up. Felix, far from truly quitting, had transformed into the Travis Bickle of clothing reconstruction and decided to stay up for yet another night working on the project. With only four hours to sell the next morning versus the eight total the other team would have, why bother?

I will disregard the obvious question: Why didn’t Felix and his team just sell their crap in front of their loft? Now it was Day 2 and the time period to sell was 8AM to noon. To their credit, Team Yellow was up and out the door and ready to roll right at the start time. Sensing easy and obvious victory, the others slept in, lounged about, labored over some coffee, and hit the road at 9AM. Ahh, yes, complacency… Always a good thing. Team Yellow crossed the Brooklyn Bridge and set up shop under the el near a busy street corner. Team Blue decided upon Chelsea because you know, all those partyboys love getting up at 9AM and shopping for paint stained wares from the back of a truck. Anyway, here’s where the show got good. Realizing they had to do something drastic, Wes declared they’d sell every single garment for $5.00. $75 shirt? Five bucks. $67 pants? Five smackers. No questions asked.

Once one person got wind of the cheap designer gear, word went out up and down the streets and everyone descended upon the truck. Sharks, Jets… Everyone. Meanwhile, Team Blue realized Chelsea was empty so they moved their operation over to the Lower East Side. Two hours of the four had passed and they were just starting to get nibbles on the street. Over in Brooklyn, however, Team Yellow was volume selling. Dudes were coming up with shopping carts and hundred dollar bills, loading up with 20 pairs of jeans at a time. People were clawing over each other to get at the cut-rate merchandise. It was onto this scene that HALfiger arrived with a spethial guetht. It was none other than fashion mogul Ruthell Thimmonth! He immediately noted his concern with selling name brand garments for next to nothing. “Guyth are buying ttthhem and thelling ttthhem around the corner!” And he was absolutely right. But thems the rules and Team Yellow kept at it – even rushing back to the loft at one point to get more gear to slap a stupid paint stamp on and sell for a 5-spot. I’m telling you, it was all very exciting.

As successful as this approach appeared, Team Blue had steadily sold their clothes for a total of about 6 hours themselves at much higher prices. I just liked to see HALfiger get upset that his name brand was essentially being given away and then sold at a profit for some street urchin. It would be an interesting Style Forum, especially since Russell Simmons would surely reappear there to give him impressions of each team. (According to Chris, who apparently mixed up the lispy midget Simmons with Jesus Christ himself, “He was really feeling our truck today!” He went on to say how they’d build a statue to him at the very spot Russell Simmons visited the truck and history would note it as the most important statue. Ever.)

In anticipation of the Forum, Rob Walker from Brooklyn called it “Style Council.” Who knew he was a fan of the 80’s synth band? As expected, Simmons appeared and critiqued the situation. He felt Team Blue were “ahead of the style” with their reconstructions, but that the East Village was a terrible location to sell. Regarding Team Yellow, he was incredulous that they’d stoop to selling the clothes so cheaply. He angrily chided HALfiger, “The winner is ONLY basthed on the thales?!” HALfiger conceded that yes, that was indeed the case and announced the winner: Team Mother Lovin’ Yellow destroyed Team Blue with their shiesty plan! HALfiger’s wiring started smoking out his ears and Russell Simmons had seen enough. He left the set saying, “You tore all the integrithty out of the brand.” He’d be correct, except that he was talking about the brand BEFORE The Cut made it to air. Since then, the brand no longer has any integrity, cache, or credibility whatsoever. On to the imposing Pit!

HALfiger was clearly pissed off and essentially called all of Team Blue into the Pit. Careful now, wouldn’t want to hurt yourself on that 2 inch step down into the scaaaaaaaaaaaary pit! He forced them to name whom they would send home. Rob Walker from Brooklyn said Deanna for setting the prices too high. Chris sold out his boy Rob for choosing poor locations. HALfiger told Princess to step up out of the pit and then asked her. “Not me,” she said and just then a cute little ghost was seen peeking from behind a column. Oh “Family Circus,” however will I live without you?

HALfiger didn’t enjoy her semantic games however… “Back into the pit!” He seethed. “Chris, get out of the pit,” came the next command. “Princess, step back out!” “Deanna, do the hokey pokey!” It was all so silly… I loved it. As Rob was noticing the writing on the wall, he picked up on one of HALfiger’s phrases and reiterated, “But Deanna had no price point!” Let’s be honest, Rob Walker from Brooklyn wouldn’t know a price a point from a salient point – and he was sent home. He was a nice guy with no talent – and guys like that never win reality shows.*

*Except for I Want to be a Hilton! Recap soon!

sg-dub | 08.11.05 | Filed in Recaps,The Cut

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