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Monday, May 18, 2009

New MTV Show Strips, Injures Teen Girls

mtv-logo.jpgTo mark the new Age of Obama, MTV announced late last year that it would overhaul its slate to be “aspirational, enterprising and empowering.” This, then, must explain why it has commissioned a reality series called Fashion Strip which forces teen girls to take their clothes off in front of an audience and then literally drops them down a chute (spraining the ankle of one contestant) when they dress poorly. A Movieline tipster attended the taping of Fashion Strip’s pilot and detailed the beyond-parody shenanigans:

The (insipid, yawn-inducing) judges for Fashion Strip are Eva Pigford, Traver Rains from Heatherette, and some blonde “stylist to the stars” whose name I’ve already forgotten. The show claims to be a “fashion Price Is Right” in which audience members are chosen by the panel of judges based on their outfits to be contestants on the show. So that was probably the main draw for the 70 or so people who came to the taping— but the five contestants weren’t even from the audience, they were just some girls who had been pre-cast by the producers.

First, the contestants were asked questions by the judges about their outfits, and then judged down to the smallest detail following the golden Idol standard of judge personalities (blonde stylist = Paula, Traver = Randy, Eva = Simon). The two contestants with the lowest scores (determined by the producers, who were not even trying to be inconspicuous about the rigging of this show) then must stand on two platforms beside each other, with the robotic elfin glamazon host, Playboy playmate Lauren Michelle Hill, in between them.

Next, the audience decides who gets to stay, and who “gets dropped” with their AT&T mobile phones! Except, not really— they just shoot a bunch of insert shots of us pretending to text while looking up at the girls with sinister expressions, and then they drop whoever they want. And by drop, I mean drop. The stage opens up without warning and the girl falls screaming to a giant coffin beneath the stage, never to be seen or mentioned again. Lauren Hill then simply turns to the remaining girl and warmly congratulates her for surviving this round.

Calling the four remaining contestants onto the stage, Hill then emotionlessly commands them to strip. Feigning shellshocked disbelief, the girls pause for a second before taking off all their clothes down to their lingerie. Hill takes a minute to analyze their undergarments (everyone’s bra matches their panties, so that’s good. oh, I like your tiger print), before hundreds of garments drop from the ceiling onto the contestants’ naked bodies, and they’re forced to bend over and pick through the clothes to put together the outfit for their next challenge: a (hypothetical, he’s not there obvs.) first date with Robert Pattinson! “Your outfit is perfect for a candlelight dinner, or seeing a crazy rock band at the pub,” complimented Traver Rains.

The second challenge was “the little black dress— Katy Perry style” in which the girls were provided with identical black dresses they were asked to accessorize using Katy Perry’s style as inspiration (spoiler: the winner of that round pierces a bunch of colorful hoop earrings into her dress and then puts an ugly pink feather on her head. it was hideous, yet the judges loved it. blonde stylist lady: “It’s very Andy Warhol, very Stephen Sprouse. That’s very in right now.”)

At one point, the girl who was “dropped,” a sorta plus-size girl who the judges repeatedly berated for having gigantic breasts, was seriously injured (I mean, how could anyone not be? they’re falling unexpectedly in high heels, as per Eva Pigford’s fashion rules— any girl who wears flats is not going to get the menz! Though I question Pigford’s authority in that arena, downlow dyke that she is). All we heard was a scream and then an anguished admonishment: “This is the most boneheaded idea EVER!” (touché) The production halted for half an hour as a fleet of medics convened around the poor girl, who’d sprained her ankle and was unable to move from her padded coffin below the stage. Amazingly, after they had cleared her out, they asked the audience “who wants to be dropped?” to fill time in between segments and almost every person in the audience volunteered! Kids today… they’ll do anything to get on TV!

The final challenge was to dress yourself (and a “boyfriend” from the audience of your choice, but not really— producers’ choice) as characters on Gossip Girl. The poor latino contestant who has never seen the show (judges’ verdict: “Your outfit is too ‘downtown’ and not ‘uptown’ enough for Gossip Girl”) was thrown to her doom and the blonde FIDM student, who was proud to flaunt her knowledge of every minute detail of that show, which is the reigning barometer of youth culture and fashion, allegedly, won a $5000 gift card to H&M! But more than that, she won validation from our three self-professed style gurus.

Haha, remember when movies and narrative TV shows tried to parody the reality craze by portraying fictional reality shows that were totally humiliating, unsafe, and would never receive a greenlight from a major network in a million years?

Good news, guys! We’re there!