Monday, April 02, 2007

Honking Box Review: Pussycat Dolls Present The Search For The Next Doll

Hey, girls! Want to be in a pop group? Can you mindlessly gyrate 8ft behind a woman vastly more attractive than you? Are you able to apply all the sexiness and refinement of Babecast to every task thrown at you? Can you work a dummy mic like it’s a throbbing erection? And possibly vice versa? Then roll up!

T4 bring us The Search For The Next Doll, a highly-hyped hunt for a new member of the Pussycat Dolls. Because, of course, there’s so few of them that numbers frenziedly need replenishing. Although maybe they’ve finally realised someone else to contribute to the vocals might help with that whole crazy “group” idea. A note to whoever gets the job – good luck getting Melody to share her precious ad-libs with you.

Hosted by Mark McGrath, who has long left his rock delusions behind yet is still incapable of correctly pronouncing his own surname, he introduces us to Robin Antin, who created the Pussycat Dolls 12 years ago. Or at least, the parts of her that still existed 12 years ago.

And of course, we meet the potential Pussies, all of whom are a good 20 years younger than Carmit. We’ve got Anjelia, who’s the spitting image of Kimberley (AKA the one that looks like a bloke). We’ve also got Melissa R, who’s the thorough doppelganger of Nicole (AKA the one that does everything. And looks like a bloke). And our current favourite Sisely, who looks like Daphne out of Daphne & Celeste (that being the sole reason she’s our favourite).

The first episode, hilariously, sees the hopefuls coming down with an unpleasant bug on the eve of their first elimination audition. Although having the reeking squits and spewing gallons of vomit will no doubt provide useful experience for when the Dolls record their second album, it’s not exactly the best circumstances under which to perform a high-energy routine to be judged upon. As if to prove the point, medics are stood backstage with intravenous drips. You couldn’t make this up.

Of the nine girls selected to move on to Pussycat Doll Boot Camp (no, seriously, you really couldn’t make this up), a hefty portion of them resemble the rough end of a meat cleaver. So how did they make it through? Is it because a 16th eyelid lift has rendered Robin Antin blind? No, it’s because Nicole played a part in the selection, and God forbid someone more attractive claws their way in.

The sub-BeyoncĂ© megalomania of this woman is almost comical – even during the end credits, the special guests are listed separately as “Nicole Scherzinger” and “The Pussycat Dolls”. We’ll expect next week’s credits to list her as Associate Producer, with the third episode bumping her up to Executive Producer. Then they’ll rewrite the Bible to include Nicole. “And lo, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; if he is hot, thou shalt loosen up his buttons.”

PCD branding aside, it’s nothing we haven’t seen a thousand times. Weepy auditions, vacuous in-fighting, tales of familial woe, overly Californian words of encouragement. Still, as with all outrageous train-wreck television, it’s these skin-peelingly bad qualities that make it so enjoyable. We shall be keeping a close eye on this (though future reviews may be more positive under the imminent wintry dictatorship of President Scherzinger).

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