Video heaven! [title of show], Beautiful People, Legally Brown

Oh, so many things to watch in this YouTube world of ours.
Let’s get started with a tribute to the now-closed Broadway show [title of show], which had an incredibly devoted and active fan base, as you’ll see in this version of “Nine People’s Favorite Thing.”

Now here’s a taste of the BBC series “Beautiful People,” which needs to hit these shores right NOW!

And finally, here’s the finale of “Legally Brown,” the In the Heights-related spoof of the Legally Blonde reality series. It features, of course, the “ubiquitous Seth Rudetsky.”

What the Elle? Bailey conquers `Blonde’

The three remaining girls (from left), Bailey, Autumn, Rhiannon, face the judges one last time. B’bye Rhiannon. Photos courtesy of MTV.

Well let’s just be thankful it’s over.

MTV’s reality show “Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods” began seven weeks ago with 50 girls and, as the voiceover told us, “the most intense audition in theater history.”

A bunch of pink outfits and a WHOLE lot of simpering and whimpering later, we have our winner, and may I just say, I totally called this one.

After last week’s mega-challenge in which the remaining three girls had to show off their triple-threatedness, we were promised an early elimination, and sure enough, spunky Rhiannon was ousted for being, well, too darn spunky (and for not having a good enough voice).You’d think girls named after Fleetwood Mac songs would go farther in this world.

That left Autumn and Bailey to duke it out on the stage of the Palace Theatre performing three numbers – “Oh My God You Guys,” “Positive” and “So Much Better” — with the Legally Blonde set, orchestra and cast members. And here’s the twist – they had to rehearse all three numbers in a day.

And just to give them an extra, added little zing, the girls’ parents and, in Bailey’s case, lookalike siblings, were flown in and put in the audience where the cameras could watch them writhing in agony as the girls performed competitively.

The usual judging panel – casting agent Bernie Telsey, Blonde co-writer Heather Hach and cast member Paul Canaan (is he REALLY the “toast of Broadway” as hostess Haylie Duff proclaimed?) – was augmented, mercifully, by Blonde director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell, a man with more than a lick of sense, who would ultimately make the final choice.

I loved it when Mitchell told Bailey she was a victim of “shmacting,” meaning she overplayed out to the audience too much.

We saw healthy chunks of both girls’ performances intercut with subtitled comments from the judging panel. It was clear from their girlish giddiness that the judges were loving Bailey and merely admiring Autumn for her beautiful voice. Autumn seems to admire her every asset enough for everyone, so it all balances out in the end.

[SPOILER ALERT] And of course the winner was South Carolina’s own Bailey Hanks, 20. The reveal was anticlimactic and dumb. Then Bailey had to perform “So Much Better” again with the surprise twist that all the previous contestants were her back-up sorority girls. Though we hardly had a moment to take in the reunion as the credits started to roll.

Bailey begins performances at the Palace Wednesday, July 23. I’d go see her if I could out of sheer curiosity and to see if she has the stamina for an entire show. Visit for information.

Ghostlight is going to release Bailey’s single version of “So Much Better,” the first act closer, on iTunes beginning today (July 22).

And here’s more news: reality shows come in handy when re-casting for a tour or filling in slots on a long-running Broadway show. According to, “finalists Autumn Hurlbert, Rhiannon Hansen and Lauren Zakrin have all been cast in either the Broadway production or the first national tour of the musical, which launches in Providence, RI, Sept. 23…Hurlbert, the first runner-up in the competition, will understudy the role of Elle Woods on Broadway and will perform in the ensemble. Zakrin, the youngest contestant on the reality show, will understudy the tour’s Elle Woods, Becky Gulsvig, and will also be a member of the ensemble. And, Hansen will play the role of Margot, Elle’s best friend, on tour.”

Now one last visit with the brilliant vocal coach Seth Rudetsky, who should have a reality show all his own. Brava, Seth.

Blinded by the `Blonde’

We’re getting so close to the end of MTV’s “Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods” that I’d like to just predict the winner and save us all the ridiculous drama. Bailey (right), here’s the starring role. Get to work. Rumor has it that to cover their butts, producers only have to allow the winner of this contest to appear for a week in the show. Then maybe they’ll get a Broadway legend to take over.

I don’t like reality TV’s ludicrous bells and whistles – all the boring gimmicks they use to pump up the so-called drama – and I especially don’t like them on this show. It makes the theater, specifically musical theater, look ridiculous, when, in reality, people in musical theater are insanely talented and work their asses off. As casting agent and show judge Bernie Telsey said of Laura Bell Bundy, the outgoing star of Legally Blonde: “Laura Bell does this eight times a week every night.”

Another benefit of this pound-my-head-against-the-wall-stupid show is that it has given me all new respect for the talents of Ms. Bundy and what she has done with the ultra-demanding role of Elle Woods. I hope she gets a nice long rest and then gets a cushy sitcom that makes her a big enough star so that she can come back and star in a Broadway musical.

So, on to Monday night’s episode and the final four. We have the adult, Autumn, clocking in at an oh-so-wise 28. And then we have the kids: Bailey, 20, Rhiannon, 19, and Lauren, 18.

Their task this week was to learn the complicated and exuberant number (the best one in the show), “What You Want,” when Elle delivers a splashy musical routine complete with marching band instead of writing a personal essay to get into Harvard Law. The idea was to let the girls show their “it” factor all the while proving that they are triple threats: they can sing, dance, act, and the silent fourth threat: be blonde.

The best line during rehearsals came from Lauren (right) commenting on Bailey: “I do not have any liking towards her singing voice.” And as I’ve said before, I don’t have any liking towards Lauren’s face, especially when she gets her Sad Sack Lauren look.

[Spoiler alert]Well, to jump ahead because I’m bored, she had a lot of reason to be sad this week. All four girls got called into the casting office and were told how much they suck. Then Lauren was dumped. But here’s the twist because there’s only one more episode left (hooray!): one more girl is getting booted as a result of “What You Want,” which is an ironic number because it revealed what the judges don’t want.

Here’s the thing, though. Rumors abound in the old Interweb that Lauren has been cast as a sorority sister in the Legally Blonde national tour. If it’s true, that’s not a bad gig for such a young’un.

The promo for next week’s episode promised “the most groundbreaking moment in Broadway history.” What, Chita Rivera is going to be cast as Elle?

Enjoy vocal coach Seth Rudetsky’s rather flatulent wrap-up of this week’s episode.

`Legally’ bored: Awash in blondes and tears

There they are, the five finalists in MTV’s “Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods.” They are, from left, Rhiannon, Bailey, Natalie, Lauren and Autumn. Someone please make the pink blondeness end! Photos courtesy of MTV

Could a dumb reality show be any more tear filled? Last night’s episode of MTV’s “Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods” was like musical theater crossed with Hamlet. I don’t think there was one girl who didn’t weep copiously.

So we’re down to five girls: three blondes (Lauren, Bailey, Rhiannon) and two brunettes (Autumn, Natalie). Well that all changed when the girls got Elle Woods make-overs. The blondes got blonder and the brunettes lost IQ points by actually becoming blondes. But that wasn’t the big news from the salon. No, the earth-shattering news was that Bailey WEPT because she had an inch trimmed from her tresses. Yes — tears over a change in hair length only she could possibly notice.

Then the girls went to a photo shoot and had some quality time with the musical’s original (and in desperate need of a rest) Elle Woods: Laura Bell Bundy. One thing this ridiculous exercise in casting has done for me is given me a whole new appreciation for Bundy — who was terrific in the role, even at the beginning when the show had its pre-Broadway run at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theatre. She’s mature — a real pro with dignity, comic chops, solid moves and a great attitude. Turns out finding someone to fill her shoes is a lot harder than it might seem.

When talking about playing Elle — the best experience of her life, she said — Bundy teared up — the only deserved tears of the whole evening.

After the photo shoot, Natalie won the opportunity to have a meal with Blonde cast member Andy Karl, which was supposed to give her an advantage in the audition scene the girls would go on to perform with him (he’s the understudy for the leading man in addition to playing the adorable UPS Guy and begin married to co-star Orfeh in real life). As usual, this “advantage” was a crock. None of these ridiculous “advantages” have ever proved to be worth anything.

Sure enough, in performance, Natalie (right), even with her blonde locks, was a dud and had no chemistry with Karl. Autumn rocked the audition (where has that voice been hiding?), as did Lauren. Rhiannon was a disappointment because of wonky vocals, and Bailey was like an Elle automaton.

Here’s what I hate about reality shows (not just this one): in an attempt to grab our attention, the host and the judges behave as if their duties are the most weighty and important in the whole universe. Judge Bernie Telsey, while chastising Natalie, Bailey and Rhiannon (who cried herself a river) in the casting office, came across as the chief of a parole board hearing. As if anyone outside of that room really cares at all who goes home.

[SPOILER ALERT] It was no surprise to see Natalie hit the pavement. Poor thing is a blonde now. Life won’t be easy for her. Vocal coach Seth Rudetsky had the best line of the night when, after seeing the new blondes, asked if the carpet matched the curtains. Here’s Rudetsky’s spot-on recap of the show.

For more clips and full performances visit

`Blonde’ reality getting puke-y

So now viewers aren’t the only ones hurling during MTV’s “Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods.”

We’re down to six girls at the start of this week’s episode, and by the end of the dance audition, one of them is seen on her knees in a bathroom stall heaving up her guts. Classy.

The girl with the upset tummy was Autumn, the hero of this week’s episode. She got the best line when she admitted she’s not the world’s greatest dancer: “Dance is at the bottom of my triple-threatedness.”

She also gets the Elle Woods merit badge for cheering up the girls when, after at taxing day of dancing on the cobblestone streets of Brooklyn in pink, four-inch heel boots, they are asked to fill out a nasty questionnaire about who they think the worst singer, dancer, actor is of the group, who should have been sent home already and who do they think will win. Autumn quickly reversed the situation by totally disregarding the questions and re-writing them in a more positive, most-improved light.

Aside from Autumn, how boring was this episode? Oh, pretty darn boring. Emma whined some more about her bronchitis. Host Haylie Duff said “the next Elle Woods on Broadway” about 100 times, the girls talked about how exciting this was but how sad that was. Excited and sad. What incredible insight!

I did like Legally Blonde cast member and assistant choreographer Nick Kenkel ragging on Lauren’s face. I’ve decided that when she smiles, she’s adorable – kind of a blond Katie Holmes. But when she’s not smiling – uggh. She scares me. It’s sort of a depressive Miss Piggy.

But I’m getting mean, which indicates boredom. Back to Nick. I liked his dance direction: “Scoop through peanut butter and snap it.”

In the audition, where the girls performed the “Shake Your Junk” section of the song “Positive” (with fun, sexy, humpy choreography that is soooo Jerry Mitchell), the girls who aced it were Natalie, Bailey and Lauren. I think I’m favoring Bailey at this point, even though the show’s editors are trying to paint her as a scheming, bitchy competitor. Natalie’s cute and has great energy, but she comes across as a little girl. And Lauren, well, I think I’ve been clear on that point.

Shortly after her audition, Autumn experienced the Technicolor yawn and — surprise! — ended up in front of the judges in the casting office alongside whiny Emma. [SPOILER ALERT] The judges did the right thing and bid adieu to Emma, who did not have the right lightness for Elle. Good news is now she can start smoking again!

Don’t miss Seth Rudetsky’s wrap-up of the whole episode here. It’s better than the real thing.

And here’s Bailey shaking her junk in the full performance.

Cabaret review: Andrea McArdle

Andrea McArdle, famous for being a Broadway belter at age 12, swears she’s going to write a book. “But I need to wait for a few people to go to a happier place,” she says.

I, for one, can’t wait to read the book. If McArdle’s opening-night at the Rrazz Room on Thursday is any indication, that is going to be one entertaining autobiography. But somehow she’s got to make that story sing. Without that voice, we’d only be getting part of the story.

McArdle’s short run (she concludes on Saturday) offers a little slice of heaven for the show tune enthusiast. Oh, hell, it’s pride week so let’s be frank – she’s making the show queens squeal with delight. Squeal, squeal.

Gorgeous at 44, McArdle took the stage in a tailored white pant suit and black tee. If she’s been through the wars – and she really has – she sure doesn’t look it. And her voice, which was compared to Merman in her pre-teens, still has that clarion ring, with a belt to keep the sun coming out for many tomorrows yet to come.

She gave a pretty good indication what this show would be like with her first song, a little tribute to Judy Garland with “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart.” She dipped into her own Broadway songbook next with “NYC,” a song from her star-making show, Annie. It’s a song she didn’t get to sing in the show, though she can be seen singing a bit of it in the made-for-TV movie version.

One thing that’s immediately apparent about McArdle: she’s an extraordinarily energetic performer, at ease with the crowd and herself. She’s also far from a has-been former kid star. She’s got vitality to spare with a unique voice that can find a smooth ’70s groove on “Superstar” or blast the Broadway drama on “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables.

She revs up Sondheim’s “Everybody Says Don’t” and then cools down for a sexy solo take on another Sondheim tune, “You Could Drive a Person Crazy.” Yes, she sings “Tomorrow,” a song she’s been rattling the rafters with for 28 years now, and on Thursday, she wasn’t going to go for the money notes until her pianist, the one-and-only Seth Rudetsky, intervened and said you can’t just leave the audience hanging. So they backed up and McArdle, who claimed earlier in the show to be suffering from a lengthy afternoon rehearsal, showed us why Annie, one of the last Broadway shows not to use body microphones, didn’t need no stinking amplification.

Having Rudetsky on piano guarantees several things: expert musicianship and an even more expert sense of humor. He added harmony vocals here and there (most notably on “Beauty and the Beast” from the Disney show of the same name, which McArdle starred in), but he also teases stories out of her and adds his own inimitable flair, usually in the form of hilarious facial expressions. In addition, Rudetsky provides back-up when McArdle forgets the words, as she did on “Some People.”

Even when she’s not singing, McArdle is a delight. She tells stories on herself, like spilling M&Ms all over the stage at Les Miserables and getting reported to the union for her carelessness (but the death scene was tremendous!). Some young performer challenges her and she retorts: “Hello, ever been on Broadway before you could vote? I didn’t think so.”

Comparing the experience of being in a happy-perky show like Annie to a depressing show like Les Miz, McArdle swears the death and angst is easier: “Sing, die. Sing, die. Trust me.”

Speaking of Les Miz, McArdle brought her nearly 20-year-old daughter, Alexis Kalehoff, to the stage to sing “On My Own.” Now, it might be cringe-worthy to indulge a mother’s need to share her daughter’s talents with the world. But Kalehoff is a Broadway veteran and, in fact, was in Les Miz as young Cosette at age 7, which beats her mother’s arrival on Broadway by five years. Alexis is, like her mother, a powerhouse singer and even sounds, in certain parts of her voice, like a young McArdle. I wanted the mother-daughter duo to sing together, but alas, we’ll have to wait for that number.

Leaving her audience with “Over the Rainbow,” McArdle could have performed all night and still not quite satisfied the hungry opening-night audience. They lapped up stories about Carol Channing chiding a 20something McArdle for dissing “Tomorrow” (“Poor Leslie[Uggams] is still waiting for a signature song,” Channing said) and little dropped details like the youngest orphan in the London production of Annie happened to be Catherine Zeta-Jones.

It’s all good stuff. As for the rest of it, we’ll just have to read the book.

Andrea McArdle in concert through Saturday, June 28 at the Rrazz Room in the Nikko Hotel, 222 Mason St., San Francisco. Tickets are $40 (Friday) and $42.50 (Saturday). Call 866-468-3399 or visit for information.

Here’s McArdle performing “Maybe” from Annie on an R Family cruise.

And how here’s Rudetsky deconstructing McArdle’s voice circa Jerry’s Girls in 1984.

`Blonde’ boredom begins

The girls meet the dogs on MTV’s “Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods.”
Photo courtesy of MTV.

It’s Week 4 on MTV’s “Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods,” and we started with eight girls and ended with six. By the end of this recap I’ll tell you who got dumped, so consider this a spoiler alert and stop reading now if you don’t want this less-than-earth-shattering news.

This week it’s all about bitches – not the girls – the dogs. In the musical (as in the Reese Witherspoon movie that inspired it), Elle Woods’ best friend is Bruiser, a little Chihuahua. So our contestants, under the tutelage of dog trainer Bill Berloni, learn how to interact with their four-legged co-stars. The best that can be said for this segment is this: at least the dogs are cute.

The winner of the dog “challenge” (seriously, the language of reality TV is nonsensical) is Autumn, who with pal Celina, is awarded quality time with Richard H. Blake, who plays Elle’s boyfriend, Warner, in the musical. This is the exact same pattern as all the previous episodes, and it’s BOOOOring.

Then comes the audition: the girls perform the number “Serious” opposite Blake. Rhiannon (who is charming when she isn’t slack-jawed), Lauren and Emma kick some serious butt. The episode’s only real drama came from Emma’s diagnosis of bronchitis. She proved what a trouper is as she performed her best-ever audition while sick as a dog. Now there’s some reality that has something to do with actual theater reality.

After last week’s snark fest, Cassie S. (right) was cruising for a bruising. After getting called out by her roommates for throwing them under the bus in front of the judges, poor little whiny Cassie admitted she doesn’t “do” girls. She doesn’t have girlfriends and doesn’t know how to talk to them. Poor thing. [SPOILER ALERT #2] She so deserved to be kicked off – not just because she’s a brat but because she would have been a terrible Elle Woods.

The surprise of the episode is that they ousted two girls instead of one, which meant San Francisco native Celina – much too alt-sexy to be Elle Woods – was booted as well.

The preview for next week’s episode looks juicy and tear filled. Check out music coach Seth Rudetsky’s video blog – it’s a hoot.

Here are the girls’ full performances of “Serious.”

For previous weeks recaps: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3

Annoying `Blonde’ ambition

Oh, the sweet, sweet torture of this ridiculous “Blonde” experiment.

Yes, it’s Week 3 of “Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods,” and I’m actually starting to care – not about who wins so much as who gets kicked off the show. There are so many girls I want kicked off, so many girls I want to see cry and be put in their place. Who knew I was so cruel and took such delight in the misery of ambitious young Broadway hopefuls?

We catch up with our nine finalists in their Empire Hotel suite (decorated by Pottery Barn Teen, aka PBTeen, which was a mystery to me in the last episode – and it should only have stayed that way) as they discover their next adventure will involve – yay! – “the piano guy,” Seth Rudetsky. He makes them sing while pedaling stationary cycles. And they belt and they spin, and they belt and they spin. The evil Cassie S. says “it was a piece of cake,” and when we hear her awful vocalizing, we agree it was a piece of something, all right.

There are a couple of old reliable in this show: a) the girls will wear Legally Blonde sweats with “omigod” written across the ass b) Rhiannon will have her mouth open and c) their will be gratuitous sponsor plugs throughout.

Lauren – whose face annoys me, which is a mean thing to say, but it’s true – wins the vocalizing/spinning prize, which is a mani-pedi with Orfeh, who plays Paulette in Blonde on Broadway. “I’m excited to pick on her brain,” the annoying-faced Lauren says.

For their next audition, the girls have to perform “Omigod You Guys,” the catchiest number in the musical (just try to get it out of your head), but the catch is they have to learn the Elle part and the supporting Delta Nu chorus girl parts. “Everybody wants to be the star,” is the mantra, and no one is thrilled with having to play back-up. That’s when Seth so rightly predicts the “be-yotch-ery” will begin. Yes, and it almost all comes from Cassie S. who can’t be long for this reality TV world. It is on between Bailey and Cassie S., and it’s fun. Bailey is more talented but Cassie could kick some serious butt.

Lauren (left) and that annoying face and Lindsey face the chopping block on MTV\'s \"Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods.\" Photo courtesy of MTV

Lauren (left) and that annoying face and Lindsey face the chopping block on MTV’s “Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods.” Photo courtesy of MTV

Of course, while the judges are deliberating and choosing the bottom four (host Haylie Duff says, “At least one of you is going home tonight” as if the whole quartet could be summarily dismissed), one of the girls says in full overly dramatic fashion: “It feels like death right now.” Yes, Broadway has always equaled death.

Lauren, Celina, Lindsey and Emma (has there ever been a more self-congratulatory ex-smoker?) are this week’s bottom dwellers, and poor Lindsey, whose performance was pretty dismal, is sent packing. No more PBTeen dream for her.

Find more video on the MTV site here.

`Blonde’ begat blonde moments

“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.

The horror of `Blonde’ reality TV

Thanks to my trusty DVR, I did not have to watch “Legally Blonde the Musical: The Search for Elle Woods” when it aired on MTV on Monday.

I can tell this one is going to be painful — but maybe in a “feel sleazy and need to take a shower after” way. You’ve got a bunch of hopeful young (YOUNG!) actresses aiming for Broadway stardom as Laura Bell Bundy’s replacement in the musical Legally Blonde, which frankly, should probably have closed by now (theater occupancy is just over half full much of the time). Are they maybe hoping this reality show casting stunt will boost business and help the imminent tour (mercifully not coming to the Bay Area — we’ve done our Blonde time).

Episode one was very Chorus Line wannabe with Mitchell and dance coach Denis Jones winnowing the group of 50 down to 15 and then down to 10 by the end of the hour. There’s a rocker Elle (isn’t there always a rocker?) named Celina, and she says she’s from San Francisco. Anybody know her? And famed Broadway director Jerry Zaks has a relative in the bunch (granddaughter? daughter?). One of the other girls had a grandmother on Broadway — not sure who that is.

Anyway, the best part of the show is vocal coach Seth Rudetsky, who teaches the girls the song “So Much Better.” If you don’t know Rudetsky from his column on, you should. He’s hilarious and quippy and knows everything there is to know about Broadway. I could use a reality show about Seth and not so much about the blondes.

The opening montage of things to come nearly did me in with its flood of tears and flurry of tantrums as the girls attempt to bend and snap their way to stardom by stomping on each other all the way to the top.

Haylie Duff (older sister of Hilary) is the host because she has been in a Broadway show (Amber in Hairspray), and she’s obnoxious in all the usual overly dramatic reality show ways. She talks like Jeff Probst on “Survivor,” which is to say that everything she says has the import of a State of the Union address, even though she’s talking about taking the girls to a vocal rehearsal.

The judges are director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who will make appearances and keep tabs on the proceedings but wisely removes himself from the day-to-day craziness (he’s also on that Bravo dance show, so who has the time?); casting director Bernie Telsey, Heather Hach (who wrote the book for Legally Blonde the Musical), and Legally Blonde cast member Paul Cannan (who quips that he wanted to be cast as Elle Woods but there were size issues).

This thing goes on for eight weeks. Not sure if I can withstand that, but I’ll check in every once in a while. If anything of note transpires — beyond tears of frustration, desperation and ambition — I’ll be sure to let you know.

Visit MTV’s official “Search” site here.