On American Idol Ryan Starr was known to get very defiant about her rock music. When Simon Cowell didn’t like her version of “You Really Got Me” she said, “Of course you don’t like it. You like pop, not rock music.” After she was voted out, she would sit behind Simon and make faces at his comments. Some of her behavior could be explained by her being very young, yet the whole thing left a bad taste in my mouth over the type of person she was.
The beginning of the show tonight picks up where we left off last week, with Ryan locked in the unisex bathroom, very upset. I have to question the validity of unisex bathrooms at this point. Just today I was at a bridal shower held at a microbrewery/restaurant. Looking in through the door to the unisex bathroom, I saw that it was a multi-stall bathroom. I can understand one person unisex bathrooms, but I don’t want to be in a stall next to a guy … well you know. Anyway, the whole Surreal Life gang is recording a song, produced and written by Jordan Knight. They have to have it finished by midnight. Ryan hates the R&B song Jordan wrote, and only wants to do rock. Bridgette is upset that Ryan has locked the door, as she has to pee.
As Bridgette is beginning to do a little pee-pee dance, Flavor Flav says that Jordan “don’t have a clue what a real producer does.” Being on a time limit, they need to get Ryan to record her part of the song quickly. Ryan eventually allows Bridgette in, and Bridgette says she almost peed her pants. Ryan doesn’t seem to care about Bridgette’s incontinence and says, “I’m so mad right now, Dude.” Bridgette offers Ryan the advice to just act like her and go out and just do it. For some reason, this advice works like a charm, and Ryan leaves the bathroom.
As Ryan is practicing her vocals, Jordan says, “Ryan is a little bitchy.” Ryan still feels that, “Every second I’m in this booth, I’m selling out.” She may hate it, and think it’s not for her, but she is actually a very good R&B singer. She sounds better than she ever did on American Idol, and certainly better than the new Lori on The New Partridge Family.
After she is done practicing, Ryan and Charo sit around and laugh at Flavor Flav playing drums. Charo says they sound like the Salvation Army. I don’t get that reference, then again, the only picture that comes to my mind at the mention of Salvation Army is someone dinging a bell, and collecting cash in a red kettle at Christmastime. The studio engineer says Flavor Flav on drums just isn’t working.
Jordan enters the booth to record his solo, and can’t hit a note. Charo pantomimes the international symbol for “cut” by slicing her hand like a knife over her throat, but Jordan doesn’t seem to notice and continues. Charo adds that Jordan’s squealing sounds like “someone is squishing his balls.” She follows this with something inaudible. The only words I can make out are “Carmen Miranda.” VH-1 never seems to add in the subtitles for Charo when I need them the most.
Flavor Flav goes in to try his hand at some vocals, and the engineer tells him, remembering the midnight deadline, that it is now after ten, “we have to get those vocals.” Of course we don’t know what the penalty is. What would happen if they didn’t make the deadline? Would all their careers go downhill? Downhill from where?
While Charo admits to being bored to death, Jordan says he really doesn’t think about anyone else. At least he now admits to his narcissism. He wants Dave to play the “mouth trumpet,” meaning Dave imitating the sound of a trumpet with his voice. Charo gets very upset by this and says, “Oh my God! I’m gonna go breathe some air!” She adds that it sounds like “the worst human ca-ca.”
As their time ticks away, Charo grows increasingly angry. She asks why the are giving such precedence to the mouth trumpet over the lead vocal. While Dave continues the mouth trumpet, Charo has a meltdown. In her tirade directed at Jordan, I can only make out the following phrases. “You are an egotistical person.” “A real Spanish woman out of control.” “poopoopoopoopoopoopoo” “helluva singer” and “schmuck.” I believe “poopoopoopoopoopoopoo” equates to the mouth trumpet and “helluva singer” to Ryan. Schmuck obviously to Jordan. He just says it’s too much drama, and they need to finish the song.
Flavor Flav decides to stick his nose in it, and wants to see “what’s up with the girls” as Ryan and Charo are holed up in a room getting upset together. Charo tells him Jordan is out of control, and that she believes music is supposed to be love and communication. She also says the song is like the schizophrenia in the head of Jordan. Ryan tells him she just doesn’t want to sing this type of music. She thinks it will kill her career. (What career?) Flavor Flav is trying to understand Ryan, because it’s time for her to be heard “with super musicians like me and Jordan Knight.” VH-1 inserts a hilarious cartoon here of Flavor Flav and Jordan wearing super hero costumes with SM on them.
Ryan suggests, since Bridgette hasn’t done anything all day, and singing bad won’t kill her career, she should sing the song. The problem is Bridgette is passed out cold. Flavor Flav tries to wake her, and Bridgette says it will take strawberries to get her up. Flavor Flav searches the studio, and can only come up with an orange, an apple, and a banana. Offering them to Bridgette, she chooses the banana, with Flavor Flav feeding it to her, leading to some hilarious imagery. Yet, she remains too unresponsive to sing.
Dave FINALLY takes matters into his hands, and offers Ryan the following sage advice. He tells her she is “heads and tails above the rest of us with your voice.” Yet if she truly doesn’t want to do it, then don’t do it. He says to the camera later that he thinks she’s so young, and just doesn’t have a lot of music styles behind her, and that she should show “she has the chops to do both R&B and rock ‘n roll. ”
Ryan decides to sing after all, but says she still doesn’t like the song, but is doing it for the teamwork of it all. She ends up doing it very well, and even admits to getting into it at the end. Everyone agrees she is fantastic, along with Flavor Flav who says she should do more R&B.
Now that Bridgette is awake, they need to find something for her to do. Ryan suggests she speak sexy over the intro of the song. They try it, and Ryan thinks Bridgette sounds like a “freaking sexpot.”
The end product, the video of “Livin’ My Life” shows clips from this whole Surreal Life season, and features everyone doing what they do best on the song. Jordan has written and produced it, with only a short vocal of his at the end. Flavor Flav plays drums and adds a yell at the beginning. Dave plays harmonica and mouth trumpet. Ryan on lead vocals, and Charo with some beautiful guitar playing, while Bridette speaks sexy over the guitar solo. Jordan feels proud of his accomplishment, saying he created this masterpiece in twelve hours. But he needs to realize after the writing, all the important decisions were made by the teamwork of the others. Whether the song is a success or not, he’s lucky to have someone with Ryan’s talent on vocals. Period. I wonder if Simon would approve.
I welcome questions and comments at LB53064@yahoo.com