So it’s nighttime at the Dillon and the artists reconvene to discuss who won (Bayeté, and they’re as surprised as the rest of us) and pour some out for Kathryn’s viscera.
Then it’s off on another field trip, this time to Phillips de Pury. Young shows that he has bright future ahead of him as an asskisser and sycophant as he reads those cue cards about the awesomeness that is Simon with so much sincerity.
When they get off the elevator, they spy a naked can and pretend that they can’t figure out what the challenge is but follow the cans to a gallery where China is continuing her sartorial tour of the 60s. She and Simon are surrounded by dozens of naked soup cans…and one Warhol Campbell’s Soup Can canvas. It’s a pop art challenge. Time for the artists to make their own “iconic” piece of pop art but we know no one will, so stop pretending. Simon sends them off with one of his speeches, this time telling them that Pop is bold, brave, sex, life, fun, brash and political so don’t fuck it up. Oh, wait. That’s RuPaul. This show needs some RuPaul.
We soon learn that the real challenge is to see who understands the concept. Most of them don’t. But that doesn’t stop Young from farting on about the social ramifications of him being an asshole vis-a-vis the iconic albeit geopolitical imag…whatever. He talks and it just sounds like so much flatulence. His grand statement for this episode is a piece about Proposition 8, which I will defer to Lola’s “And…?” because for real, the “NoH8″ campaign has that covered.
Jazz Minh shows her hippy bona fides by talking about Britney Spears like the last five years never happened, wishing Brit would drop the good girl façade and show off her “Bite Me” tattoo. Oh, wait. No. Jazz Minh was wanking about herself and HER “Bite Me” tattoo because she didn’t realize lip tattoos are just kind of skanky since one of the Bad Girls got one. But Jazz is a hippy who didn’t have TV growing up so she doesn’t know that.
Simon does his little walk through and the editing implies that Sucklord’s Winning Collection based on Charlie Sheen’s epic meltdown and Kymia’s swill water and tits ad (and man, do we see a whole lot of Kymia’s nipples this episode, even Sucklord’s a little embarrassed) are on the right track and in the top, while Jazz Minh’s self portraits, Dusty’s fast food trash bin and Michelle’s direct rip off of Warhol are not. And Michelle in particular seems so far off the mark for obvious reasons since all she did was update something Warhol already did.
But to up the stakes, the winning piece and artist will be featured in Entertainment Weekly because nothing says “serious art” like a two-page spread in an entertainment rag, there will be no immunity and two people will be going home. They make this sound ominous in the show, unaware that the promo editors spoiled it. Wah-wah.
The other artists get some play, and we learn that no one knows how the stripes are laid out on the American flag that Leon wants to paint, and it’s here that I worry for him, because you just don’t paint an American flag unless you want to be compared to Jasper Johns and lose. But Leon does, plus adds broken glass shards of American corporate logos and I’m hoping it’s better in reality than it sounds in concept.
Bayeté proves once again that he can’t think beyond the obvious and make it less than the original concept and decides to blend Sara J’s and Kymia’s faces in a photo to say something about ethnic identity. He doesn’t know what, but it’s about identity! Then a quick survey of everyone else, Sucklord spills a huge splotch of paint on Jazz Minh’s photo, but no drama because she likes it, and Kymia’s tits tits tits, and we’re ready for the gallery show, with guest judge Rob Pruitt and Jess Cagle from Entertainment Weekly here to fuck things up.
So Kymia’s clever and non-exploitative use of her breasts to sell swill water is in the top, as expected, but contrary to the editing, Sucklord does not place in the top with his clever homage to Charlie Sheen and the cult of personality. Young and his bloated but shallow “A(n Im)Modest Proposition does. Probably because they allowed a dunderhead like Jess Cagle to make the decision and tits and a mockery of fame don’t work for his magazine, so vapid political statement it is! Congratulations, Young!
This leaves the bottom four as Dusty, Michelle, Jazz Minh and somewhat but not entirely surprisingly, Leon. Bill Powers shows that he’s kind of a dick and points out that Facebook should be a godsend to a deaf person, so he’s a little surprised that Leon doesn’t value it more because it opens up communication for him, and in the extended judging he shows a little more of his dickishness when he interprets a piece about the ubiquity of American culture throughout the world as a statement about us as “the evil empire” and it doesn’t escape me that he’s saying this about a man he probably thinks is Japanese. Of course, China brings it back around in the extended viewing to make my point that you don’t use the American flag in your art work unless you’re prepared to be unflatteringly compared to Johns. Pruitt gets straight to the point and says it was a good story but poor storytelling.
Dusty made a trash bin from a fast food restaurant and rather than the lid saying “Thank You” it says “How Could You,” and I realize he actually talks like Morgan Spurlock and with those connections made, I’m not disappointed in his bottoming out. Jerry thought it was annoying on the extended clip, but he also pointed out that the randoms at the show liked it. Bill must not have gotten high before the show because he’s a dick, again, and talks shit about Dusty’s mullet. China’s my hero and tells him to shut up, she likes the mullet.
Michelle’s piece is just a joke and everyone agrees, especially Bill because again, tonight’s his night to be a prick. But they’re not wrong, although I do agree with Pruitt’s contention that she might have saved herself if she’d just focused on the wallpaper.
Which leaves us with Jazz Minh’s bland self portraits of her public and private faces, neither of which is interesting or “pop” in the slightest. Leaving the huge, white, paint splotch didn’t really hurt her, because it was just one more piece of stupid. She claimed to spend a lot of time photoshopping the images, but no one can see what she’s talking about.
So after China tells Bayeté he sucked and probably would have gotten him shitcanned if he didn’t have immunity (she’s a pocket assassin) it’s time to say goodbye to Leon and his good story told badly homage to American consumerism and Jazz Minh and another one of her self portraits.
I don’t disagree with the decision, since Bayeté’s idiocy wasn’t eligible to lose, but I wonder if the judges wished they’d kept Ugo that first week, because his background in animation and commercial art would have worked nicely in these last two episodes, and without cute boys, the show loses its buzz.