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All American Girl, Episode 2: The Boot Campby Bruce Barker -- 04/02/2003
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After a one-week delay caused by the war in Iraq, All American Girl returned for a second episode. There had been some speculation that the show would be placed on hiatus until summer due to poor ratings, or that the second episode would be skipped entirely so the show could finish up on its scheduled date, but cooler heads prevailed and the second episode has finally aired.
Also, after a one-week delay caused by a particularly persistent sinus infection, the All American Girl recap has finally resumed. I apologize for the late appearance of this article.
Episode 2 begins with get acquainted sequence where we are reintroduced to the 15 remaining contestants. We are then told that each of the coaches has to eliminate one of the girls from his or her own team this week to bring the total down to an even dozen.
As this second episode begins to unwind, a clearer picture of what it takes to be the All American Girl begins to emerge. She has to be able to sing. She has to be able to dance. She has to be beautiful. She has to be able to take abuse with a smile. Wait a minute!
It becomes clear in the early going that the contestants have entered what could be easily called, “Beauty School Boot Camp.” In the first segment, martial arts expert Daniel Kucan leads the young ladies through a fitness training session. Combining elements of Tai Chi and Tai Kwon Do into an exercise workout that looks more like Tai Kwon Don’t, the women are goaded, chided, and even berated through the program. Carrie Hunt struggles in the session and blames it on her roommate Evelyn. Miss Evelyn, it appears, had the temerity to wake up peppy this morning and it has thrown off Carrie’s timing by awakening early and eager to go.
After the workout comes the beauty makeover from Hell. These women, who are used to turning heads everywhere they go, meet USMC (Users of Shine-free Maybelline Cosmetics) Drill Sergeant Veronica Hutman. Ms. Hutman, we learn, is the beauty consultant to Us magazine and closet mascara nazi. One by one each of the ladies is picked apart from hair to cuticles and told exactly why they are in desperate need of rescue from their disastrous looks. To say the women don’t like Ms. Hutman’s comments is something like saying that Titanic made a little money at the movies. Several hairstyle changes and about 400 lbs. of lip gloss later, the exhausted women are ready to face the world.
In the world of All American Girl, this means it’s time to sing again!
The girls meet with vocal trainer Michelle Owens and each team sings for their respective coach/judge. Most of this passes rather uneventfully, but when John Salley’s team begins rehearsing things start to go badly. John tells us that if he had to base his choice solely on singing ability, Kelly would be gone, followed quickly by Andrea. Kelly is definitely struggling and admits that singing is not her forte. John sits her down and gives her a bit of a pep talk, telling her that effort is every bit as important as ability. Gamely, she steps forward and wrestles her song to the ground. Although her singing is flatter than gum stuck under an elephant’s foot, John seems satisfied that she tried her best.
This brings the actual training and performing events of the day to a close, but the ordeal is far from over for some of the women. Each of the coaches chooses one girl to warn that they have to do better on Day 2 or face elimination.
Geri chooses to talk to Kristi and bluntly tells her that she has to stop trying to get by on beauty alone.
John singles out Andrea and tells her that she has been too one- dimensional with her singing and will really have to blow him away in the dance competition tomorrow to remain in the running.
Suzanne opts to speak to Evelyn. “You are using humor to mask something else,” Evelyn is told. “I want you to tone it down.” Apparently Evelyn must dance her heart out in the second day competition and look like she enjoys it without smiling or laughing. This seems like she’s being asked to pull off a stunt about as easy as sticking a needle into a balloon slowly, and I begin to think we may be seeing the last of her.
Geri chooses to speak to Melanie and warns her that she is being watched constantly. But wait a minute. Geri already spoke to Kristi and we were told each of the coaches would be talking to one girl. My worst fears are now realized. The bizarre math that plagued the first show is going to continue.
The host appears and hosts a dinner party for the young ladies, but even dinner contains pitfalls and traps. Each of the girls has to draw a question to ask of one of the others. The questions are designed to bring out the cattiness in the group. Some samples:
“Pick one thing about another girl that you really like… and one thing about the same girl that you don’t.”
“What girl is the most intimidating?”
“Which girl is the biggest gossip?”1 2 Next-->
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