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Celebrity Zoo: Commentary on
The Surreal Life
, Season 3

Starring: Brigitte Nielsen; Flavor Flav; Ryan Starr; Dave Coulier; Jordan Knight; and Charo

Episode 1: Who in This House Has a Real Name?
Episode 2: The Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name; And If It Could, You Wouldn't Be Able to Understand It
Episode 3: And the Band Played Ball of Confusion
Episode 4: Quiet, Please...There's a Shih Tzu on Stage
Episode 5: Surf's Up, But Flav is Down
Episode 6: Discordant Recording Session
Episode 7: Discordant Recording Session - The Denouement
Episodes 8-10: The Final Episodes

Episode 7: 10/17/04

Nerdia's Notes

I think I now know who Jordan Knight reminds me of: a very pissy, disillusioned, Pillsbury Dough Boy. He's doughy and pasty, tastes like plastic sawdust and is totally enamored of his own crapiness. In fact, he finds himself worthy of being indulged and indestructibly charming when in fact, he's processed and flakey.

Meanwhile, Ryan is still hiding-out sobbing in the unisex bathroom from the trauma of last week's episode. "I have to pee," Brigitte declares at the door. Does Brigitte really have to pee or is she trying to trick Ryan into coming out. We do not know! "Just leave me alone," Ryan wails in response. Ryan is lamenting broken-heartedly in the third circle of hell: selling out. "Isn't this whole show selling out?" Coolia muses.

As the sound engineer laughs, rolls his eyes, and cringes as Jordan sings, Brigitte falls asleep again in the middle of all the surreal activity of musical mayhem and controversy. She sleeps through Charo's indecipherable meltdown and Dave's human horn solo and all the tears of Ryan Starr ("I can't FAKE it anymore!"). In fact, I admire Brigitte's ability to let her tongue hang out in unconscious bliss while the surreal world goes by. Even though Jordan is a first-class schmuck who misinterprets Charo's 40-plus years of music experience for "women drama," he gets his way in the end. Ryan relents and sings for the gang. After two pep talks from Brigitte and one from Flavor Flav, it's only none other than Dave who can push her to sing against her will. How does he do it? Dave works on this show oddly like that male teacher you had back in 6th grade who had some kind of weird charismatic control over all the crazy ADD kids for no other reason you could determine but because he was the only dude other than the gym teacher in the whole school.

Coolia and I watched the video collage of the show's highlights as the new single played and we were dumbfounded at how slow motion and fancy editing could make the show seem almost like an incredible journey.

Coolia's Notes

In working with the difficult Ryan, I think Dave used the coaxing skills he honed on the set of Full House. I'm sure there were days when the Olsen twins were crabby, or the girl who played Kimmy Gibler had her period, and I bet the human trumpet man was able to play Chuck Mangione's "Feels So Good" to get them back in the mood to emote.

As for Charo's tirade...I guess she gets an A for effort, but it's hard to take her seriously with that topknot. Next stop for Charo should really be the set of Extreme Makeover.

The highlight of this week's episode for me was Ryan's tantrum, particularly when she screamed in horror, "It's just like American Idol all over again!!" Like that was the worst thing that ever happened to her! Who can take her battle for artistic integrity seriously when she has chosen to be on The Surreal Life? Did being on this series really help the careers of the other reality vixens, Jerri and Trishelle? Did it help anyone's career, for that matter? Instead of whining "I wanna rock" (note: whining - she can't even bellow it like the kid did in the Twisted Sister video when asked what he wanted to do with his life), she could have used this experience to learn from talented musicians like Flavor Flav and Charo.

While this episode was nearly migraine-inducing, the preview for next week looks great - the has-beens are put through a Fear Factor experience in a haunted hospital! Maybe if we're lucky, they'll be scared to DEATH.


Ape Culture Weekly Ranking (from least to most annoying)


Nerdia's Rankings

  1. Brigitte - Firstly for sleeping through this episode. I would if I could have. Secondly for resisting attempts made to wake her up, thereby sparing us the Brigitte solo. But then again, her seductive Danish intro was the only interesting part of the opus.
  2. Dave - Back in rare form at the end of the episode to talk some sense into Ryan so we can all go home!
  3. Charo - Again, more "I feel her pain" points.
  4. Flav - Didn't do much this episode.
  5. Ryan - Is the reason why the term "women drama" still exists. She should be tarred and feathered.
  6. Jordan - Even though Ryan and Jordan are consistently neck and neck in quality of annoying, Ryan at least hasn't let herself go and she doesn't still wear 80s clothes.

Coolia's Rankings

  1. Brigitte - what can I say, I like her more each week. That probably means this show is driving me insane.
  2. Dave - again, scores points for just being inoffensive, although the mouth trumpet was not a highlight of the single
  3. Charo - I liked how she stood up to Jordan, but her hissy fit didn't make a lot of sense
  4. Jordan - while egomaniacal, at least he worked hard to complete the mission
  5. Ryan - she still grates on my nerves but I give her some credit for finally going with the flow and realizing that laying down a few pop vocal tracks won't ruin her non-existent career
  6. Flav - not a value add this week

Would you buy this single? Discuss.

Read Ape Culture's commentary on Surreal Life Season 1
Read Ape Culture's commentary on Surreal Life Season 2


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