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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Beauty & The Geek: "The Fixer-Upper"

Illustration for article titled iBeauty  The Geek/i: The Fixer-Upper
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Illustration for article titled iBeauty  The Geek/i: The Fixer-Upper

This week's gimmick: Somebody who's only seen one episode of B&tG; will do the blog! No, really, nobody thought we could get away with that one. Beleaguered Claire is currently TiVoless, however, and unable to record one show while watching another. So she's over on the Idol blog while I'm reprising my role as clueless n00b here. Go ahead, click over to Idol. I'll wait.

OK, this one's for the rest of us. I spent the first ten minutes of the show deciding which of the contestants I liked and which I hated. The latter task was easiest. I despise Cara, "aspiring soap star," with her little girl voice and total ditz act. Cowboy Joe really gets on my nerves; I find him creepy (although his enthusiasm is infectious). Chris is annoying as all get-out.

Who do I like? Leticia. She can fix a toilet. Friends, if you're going to live in this world, you're going to need to reconnect a few flapper-stoppers and adjust a few floaters. Leticia just might make it outside the extreme sports modeling agency. I love Matt. He doesn't have an insincere bone in his body, although too much of his gratefulness would start getting pathetic, I'm sure. Tom seems like a person who wouldn't be horrible to have a beer with. Tara looks like Lauren Graham, and I like Lauren Graham.

In my very limited B&tG; experience, I thought that the geeks' challenge this week was actually really interesting. The guys had to read up on fashion and get tips from their partners, then perform wardrobe, hair, and makeup makeovers on four models. Once I got over being outraged at the show's smug, misogynist presentation of four supposedly homely girls (don't get me started), I thought it was interesting to watch what the geeks thought was attractive. A few of them seem to have been exposed to TLC or Bravo at some point — they were talking about layers and oval faces and such. Joe threw himself into the task, paternalistically trying to lift the self-esteem of his model (who probably needed no such thing, especially from such a tub of lard). The beauties made the right — the obvious, I would say — call and picked Chris' makeover, since he was the only one who put an actual attractive top and a pair of high heels on his model.

On the other hand, the plumbing challenge made no sense except in the woman-hating world of reality TV, where physical labor and a uterus cannot exist in the same space/time continuum. An entire challenge just for the purpose of making girly-girls go "ick' and "ook" and talk about "poo"? Listen, folks, you picked these girls to fit the beauty stereotype. There's no point in rolling that same film week after week after week. The close-up of a blurred beauty asscrack might have been a low point in reality television for all of 2008.

This is my first visit to the elimination room, and I'm going to pass lightly over the eye-rolling I did at the sight of remote controls attached to the geeks' buttons. (They aren't schlubs, you morons — they're geeks!) It was time for Joe to go, so I was relieved when Amanda got that last question right. The final "what have we learned" montage, however, was rather enlightening. Joe has come a long way, especially in getting over his adulation of General Burnside.

Grade: B

Stray observations:

- The producers pre-emptively redeem the wallowing in stereotypes by juxtaposing the "Viking funeral" the four remaining couples held for eliminated Jason with a shot of the charred paper plate floating sadly on the pool the next morning.

- My least favorite reality show trope: The useless confessional chatter about how pumped up everyone is for the challenge and how everybody's really nervous because they don't know what it is.

- Tom, on the elimination room: "It's like some Academy Award elimination where you never act again."

- Most bizarre moment: The geeks argue with the beauties about fashion, as if the task is to assert what they know rather than learn what the girls know.

- Are bra straps hanging out "the epitome of WT" as Tara assert? Because I need to make some changes to my wardrobe, if so.

- Yes, I'm probably going to watch the final. Go Matt and Leticia!

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