Add this to the list of things you totally owe me for, people. The other night, I downloaded the pilot episode of Lifetime (TELEVISION FOR WOMEN!)’s America’s Next Pile of Crap so that I could judge it’s worthiness and more importantly mock its participants while eating take-out (crab rangoon + snark = love). It debuts tonight but you don’t have to bother, because here’s all you need to know:
It’s a total pile of crap.
Oh what, you say you knew that already and are hungry for more? Fine. Click below to get the full low-down.
The first show features four brave phonies taking part in three challenges that test their abilities to guess, make stuff up, use basic common sense, and look stupid. In the notes I was typing while watching the show, I’ve referred to the four contestants as Blonde Chick
but I guess their names are really Karyn, Jackie, Jamie, and Zenobia. Whatever.
Challenge one is finding one live man who is sitting in one of thirty rooms in an empty, defunct hospital. As described thus far, that would make the odds 30:1 against. However, the odds are about to start leaning in the direction of our brave contestants.
First of all, every contestant claimed to get the heebie-jeebies or feel some kind of lingering spirits. From an abandoned hospital? You don’t say! Why is this test even happening in an old hospital? I already see the excuses coming a mile away: oh noes, the spirits led me to another room where surely something awful happened! And yeah, they all used that excuse, because none of them picked correctly.
Though no one chose the correct room, Douche still got points, for choosing an adjoining room. Wait a second, that increases the odds of a contestant scoring a hit from 1 out of 30 to 1 out of 10. Huh. But wait, there’s more!
The show is hosted by some guy who appears to have all the personality of a cardboard cutout. Cardboard Cutout accompanied each of the psychics as they wandered the halls trying to find the hidden guy. In a properly blinded test (i.e., a test designed to make sure nobody cheats or accidentally affects the outcome), Cardboard Cutout wouldn’t have any idea which room the man was in. However, the man stayed in the same room for all four tests, so the host knew which room it was. That’s inexcusable — even if he’s not trying to help them find the right room, he could unconsciously clue them in by the way he stands, where he looks, where he walks, and what he says to them.
With 1:10 odds and the added benefit of being led by the host, it’s no big surprise that Douche managed to score a point. Lame!
Challenge two was to psychically identify a mystery “celebrity” sitting behind a temporary screen. The contestants each got a photo of the celebrity sealed in an envelope, plus a personal item — in this case, the person’s watch. The celebrity would listen to each contestant describe what they were seeing, and score them accordingly. Cardboard Cutout stood in the room with each contestant and interacted with them. NOT PROPERLY BLINDED. Good grief, it’s not that difficult.
So anyway, the big mystery celebrity was Lifetime’s own stupid psychic Lisa Williams! Here are the high(low)lights of what each contestant rambled on about:
sees something about the media, legal action
loves music, some sort of interest
overcharge on a bill that may relate to a car or mechanical
sees “sales, saley, bail?”
When Lisa appears from behind the screen, Blonde Chick says, “You know what’s funny, I kept feeling your energy!” The world thinks, “Shut the hell up, Blonde Chick.”
All that rang true for Lisa was that her husband has some kind of car park bill in Utah and she used to be in the music industry. Even “astrology” didn’t hit, because Lisa’s not down with that particular brand of nonsense. She has her own special BS to peddle, thank you very much.
Lisa gives Blonde Chick 21 out of 25 points.
had hair done
birthday or anniversary on Feb. 2, significant
just spilled something on clothes
ability to communicate
decent blend of spirituality
good energy reader
Lisa says that she couldn’t relate to any of the names or dates, but her kid just spilled something on her shirt, and he said England, and energy reader, and ZOMG amazing! I’m thinking that Douche probably figured that the “celebrity” that Lifetime chose to appear on their big psychic reality show would probably be their own stupid psychic. I mean, who else are they going to get, Meredith Baxter Birney?
23 points for Douche.
grandma had a big lesson for you
upper respiratory problems
affected by the throat
something w/ a polyp or thyroid
something with throat, with singing
older spirit coming through
switches to reading Cardboard Cutout out of desperation: depression…watch the cholesterol…Cardboard Cutout remains unamused
Okay first of all, Bowl Cut is NUTS. Just batty. She gets angry that she can’t see her subject and talk to her, since that’s what she’d normally do, because she needs feedback. Oh you don’t say? Yeah, that’s called cold reading. Also? Angelica Houston called and she needs her wig back for The Witches Part II.
Anyway, Bowl Cut flubs it and gets a lousy 15 points even though Lisa’s grandma had upper respiratory problems.
celeb can be demanding at times
someone she’ll be happy to meet
something w/ her eye
come from someplace warm
water surrounding them
working on a book with someone else
Xena’s was the most general of all, and surprise! Biggest hits. A celeb who’s demanding? A celeb she’ll want to meet? A celeb with a book deal? Wow! Lisa is impressed, mostly by the book thing (she just got the first draft of her book today oh god kill me) and the eye thing (because she has “an infatuation with a picture of an eye” and there’s an eye on her business card. Uh, okay). 23 points for Xena.
Now the “psychics” are all riding in a van somewhere, and in conversation we learn that Bowl Cut is into voodoo and is known as “the White Serpent.” I swear to god the following exchange actually happens as they try to impress one another with their delusions (“go over” refers to dying):
DOUCHE: “What if you were able to go over and come back physically living?”
WHITE SERPENT/BOWL CUT: “…..I’ve done it.”
DOUCHE: “….SO HAVE I.”
Challenge three is to solve an unsolved murder. I’m glad I was finished my crab rangoon by this point, because otherwise I’d have brought it all right back up.
We now meet Marissa Martinez of Oxford, California. Her son Vincent was shot and killed outside their home on March 11, 2005 by some guys in a car, following a skirmish. Key facts: he was 19, has a twin brother, killed by a single gunshot to the chest, fell in the front yard, died in his father’s arms. The father and twin brother are there. I begin to hate humanity, or at least the portion who approve show segments like this that feed off the unimaginable pain and misery of others knowing full well that it’s total bunk. Of those Lifetime higher-ups who do believe in psychic powers, even they are knowingly exposing this family to people who aren’t going to be totally competent. After all, that’s the point of the show, right? To find the one person who really has psychic powers? Which implies that most contestants will not be able to do these challenges well. Dear everyone who had a hand in putting this show together: if you don’t hate yourself just a little when you look in the mirror, you’re not human. Don’t worry, though — I’ll try to hate you enough for the both of us.
The contestants are only told that a crime occurred. They need to figure out what it was, and the one who gets the most factoids correct wins the chance to sit down with the family to answer their questions about their son. The family meets the psychics then goes elsewhere to watch the happenings on video. Cardboard Cutout hangs out with each contestant, helping them get the right hints from the afterworld.
Things that should have been obvious: it happened in the front yard (they were only allowed there and in the living room), it was a murdered family member (they just met THE FAMILY that was affected), and it was a son or daughter (the parents are both there). The house is modest and the small front yard has pretty much just a tree. It sits right up against the street.
BOWL CUT/WHITE SNAKE
there was a confrontation
threat of driveby in front of house
(“Where,” asks Cardboard)
by the tree
there was a fight first
a bullet to the head
(“Where,” asks Cardboard)
they considered him a family member
(“Who is it?”)
I don’t know his age
The family is impressed and give Bowl Cut second place and 30 points.
shot or stabbed
tinge of planning
aware of what they’re doing
neck back and head hurt
taken to knees
G or F, Francis Frank Fred
a marking or a scar on the face or forehead
someone looking out a window or driving by
three others beside her, or two others
connected to gang or group of friends who are intense
He finishes by saying, “I’m complete.” HA HA HA ew.
Last place and 10 points for Douche.
Weird case, more involved with the perp
(“Who was murdered,” asks Cardboard Cutout)
ton of info
older man coming in
woman coming in too
making me walk into bathroom
definitely a murder
“Typically I’m specific but right now I’m all over,” she whines at the end.
Third place and 20 points for Blonde, who says she’s disappointed but not surprised: “Psychically, I knew that.”
They lost their baby
happened in the yard
over by the tree
someone ran out
got killed, someone killed him
sad, tragic, they really love Marissa (Marissa starts crying watching on video)
she carries around a picture
they’re child, Marissa’s child, Victor’s best friend, Rico’s pride and joy
her baby loves her very much
Xena impressed the family the most and got to do a private reading for them. Hooray for her. She reaches the son in the afterworld but he’s too preoccupied to tell them who actually killed him. Too bad. 40 points for Xena.
Adding it all up, Xena and Bowl Cut move forward to the next episode, and we say goodbye to the other two. No worries, I’m sure they all saw it coming.
To her credit, I think Xena is just a little batty and not a con artist — she starts crying during the challenge, and has clearly bought into whatever she’s selling. Bowl Cut may or may not know she’s running a con. One way or another, she’s off her gourd.
Conclusion: the crab rangoon was delish, yet sits uneasily for some reason.