TLC‘s trailer park tale Welcome to Myrtle Manor continued to charm me beyond comprehension this week as the residents put on a beauty pageant in an attempt to stop last week’s cat-fighters (Amanda, Jessica and Lindsey) from arguing. Because the best way to prevent fighting among young women is to have them compete in a pageant… We’ll just overlook that questionable reasoning for now and enjoy how the event plays out.
Landlady Becky, who has for some reason started playing a role equivalent to a high school principal breaking up a fight, decides something must be done to teach Myrtle Manor’s young ladies the proper way to behave. The first thing she does is evict Lindsey, which is a good start, I guess. Then Becky proposes a Miss Myrtle Manor Pageant. She appoints Tangulls’ Roy and Gina to host the show, and she asks Jared and Taylor to write the official song. Jingle-writer Bandit was probably the obvious choice to do that, but his modeling skills proved more vital to the pageant.
That’s right. Bandit was a model. A catalog model, to be exact. He’s perfected the “checking my watch” move, the thinking pose, and the “I just got out of the shower with a towel draped around my neck” posture. We get a glimpse of him showing this pose off back in the day, short shorts and mustache included. But it’s former drag queen Roy who serves as the Miss J of this event, teaching the ladies how to walk and achieve “pretty feet,” the appropriate stance for a pageant contestant.
Meanwhile, Jared and Taylor are spending approximately two seconds writing the Miss Myrtle Manor song. Their writing process involves rhyming “manor” with “banner” and then rhyming that with “slam her,” as in “I wanna slam her.” They’re lucky the trailer park isn’t called Myrtle Orange.
Miss Myrtle Manor isn’t just some excuse for people to ogle ladies. There’s a talent portion. That means the ladies of Myrtle Manor have to figure out what they’re talented at. It’s harder for some than others. For instance, Chelsey draws a blank when trying to figure out what talents she has. Apparently boiling hot dogs on stage wouldn’t be good, so she and Jared brainstorm that she should impersonate Becky. Jessica, on the other hand, enlists on-and-off boyfriend Taylor to help with her talent: blowing fire. I thought for a second that I had accidentally flipped to the Game of Thrones premiere. Taylor teaches Jessica how to achieve the fiery effect, and in the process something is reawakened between them. Taylor makes sure to use some fire-related metaphors to talk about it, namely that there’s a spark between them and the fire will reignite. Get it? Get it?
When we finally get to the pageant, Roy is sporting his drag queen look, which he says makes him look like Kris Jenner. And he’s kind of right. The hair and the big earrings… I see it. Marvin sees… something, and it prompts him to accuse Roy of looking “too pretty.” I guess there are worse accusations?
According to Jared, the beachwear competition is hands-down won by Chelsey, whose ass he says will bring peace to the world. Why hasn’t the U.S. government learned about this yet? Are they watching this show? C’mon, Amurrica, you’ve got the key to world peace right there!
The talent portion is particularly entertaining, as Jeana with a J threatens to upstage Jessica with her own fire trick, but she just ends up waving torches around and then putting them out in the pool water, so… I think it’s safe to say Jessica wins the heated (Get it? Get it?) fire contest. Other talents include Amanda singing the national anthem dressed as what looks like Katy Perry impersonating Uncle Sam, Miss Peggy’s Gallagher-style watermelon-smashing, Anne’s beatnik poem-reciting, and Becky’s ribbon dancing. And don’t forget Chelsey’s eerily convincing Becky impersonation. I think when they make the inevitable movie adaptation of the Myrtle Manor story, Chelsey should play Becky. And Roy should play Kris Jenner, even though she doesn’t live there.
The question-and-answer portion isn’t exactly profound, but there isn’t any “such as” or “the Iraq,” so I’ll declare it a success.
The winner is finally announced, and it’s Becky, who came up with the whole idea. Some people claim it was rigged, but I was more fascinated by Becky and Roy’s Frodo-and-Gollum-style fight over the crown at the edge of the stage, which ends with them tumbling into the pool together. We wants the precious, we does!
And good news, everybody! Jessica did not barf lamp oil onto the audience, so overall I think the pageant was a success!