`Blonde’ begat blonde moments

Jun 10

“Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle Woods,” Episode 2
(photo courtesy of MTV)

Here’s the problem with the second episode of this Broadway-bedazzled reality show: NO SETH RUDETSKY. Our girls, all vying to replace Laura Bell Bundy in Broadway’s Legally Blonde the Musical, concentrated on their thespianic skills this week, so they were under the tutelage of Blonde associate director Marc Bruni and cast member Nikki Snelson, who plays jump-roping Brooke Wyndham.

In typical crap reality fashion, the show was edited within an inch of its life, and the repetition of scenes, especially before and after commercials, made it seem like you were watching a stubborn DVR that jumped backward and forward by itself.

From the beginning of the episode, when the girls enter their lodgings, which have been pinkified in every way, the tone was set. “Ten girls can make a lot of noise,” the voice-over says. And it’s true, they squealed like Ned Beatty in Deliverance at the sight of every piece of pink furniture, and one girl described the place as a “PB Teen dream,” whatever the hell that is.

The theme this week was acting. The girls’ audition involved a scene with Nikki Snelson, and based on the near Shakespearean levels of acting required (the phrase “Delta Nu Nu Nu” got repeated A LOT), nine girls moved on to next week, while one got unmercifully sliced from the roster.

But before that, two of the girls, Bailey and Lindsey, won a special prize (well, Bailey won it, mostly for suppressing her South Carolina accent): coaching time with Snelson. But here’s the “reality” twist: they had the session in the Puma store. Such shameless product placement makes shows like this difficult to watch. And when the girls return to their hotel, they’re both carrying Puma shopping bags. WE GET IT! There are many fine things for girls to buy at the Puma store. Thank you for the commercial within the program just before the commercial. And come on, as if this whole show weren’t a big, giant commercial for Legally Blonde, which could stand an infusion of butts in seats.

So during the real audition in front of the judges, when all 10 girls performed opposite Snelson, the gimmick was that Snelson was asked to purposefully drop a line to see how the girls reacted. Consider, as one contestant did afterward, that many of these girls are going through their first Broadway audition process, which is difficult enough. Then to play little tricks is just mean. It’s better for the cameras and for us nasty schadenfreude-infected viewers, but it’s cold. Some girls handled it. Some didn’t — oh, how they didn’t.

Judge Bernie Telsey (a high-powered casting agent) gets to utter the axe line: “We just don’t see you as the next Elle Woods on Broadway.” And this week — SPOILER ALERT — he axed Cassie O., a 22-year-old Ohio native. That’s what you get when you’re named after an ’80s keyboard.

Like all reality shows when you watch them for more than 15 minutes, I’m getting sucked in and I DON’T WANT TO BE SUCKED IN. I don’t like this, but I like it.

Here’s the MTV site for more Legally Blonde stuff.

2 comments

  1. “I don’t like this, but I like it.” Yeah. Exactly!

    This show is basically a half hour stretched over an hour. That said, I like Bailey and spazzy Rhiannon. I feel bad for Bernie Telsey, being forced to utter the non-catchy catchphrase.

    What is up with Heather Hach? She seems to have a massive hate-on for everyone, and it’s always because they “just don’t seem like Elle Woods.” I want her to go batshit crazy and start screaming, “BECAUSE I AM THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE ELLE WOODS, ME ME ME! SUCK IT, LAURA BELL WITHERSPOON!”

    I think I’ll go buy some Pumas.

  2. um… so… it took a little research, but i just learned that PB Teen is Pottery Barn Teen. i’m going to try to incorporate the phrase “pb teen dream” into my vernacular.

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