Monday, April 21, 2014

This week's AMICI: a horror show of cazzima
I am reluctant to even communicate the horror that is too often the state of Italian television this week. My delightful little reality talent show took a dramatic turn for the offensive on Easter of all occasions. The show started with host Maria di Filippi telling the audience that while it is not usually easy to reach the agents of the big stars they get to judge and perform with the kids on the show, this week a super agent contacted them. Out comes a comedy duo who managed by their drag routine with fake German accents to offend: Germans, women, homosexuals, and humanity not necessarily in that particular order. They distorted the photos of many of the professors/mentors on the show who are huge stars in Italy in their own right in the most vulgar ways imaginable in front of 4,223,000 spectators.


I show only that of Maria because she got herself into this mess.
 
 
I can only imagine that they showed these photos to the artists ahead of time so that they were "good sports" about it in front of the audience. It would have been much better if they had shown genuine outrage, of course. The whole thing reminds me of something my ex-colleagues at the fancy gym would do. I saw that whole unwelcome cast because there must have been a staff Easter luncheon in the walls of the city. As I was walking my friend to her car, I had to pass by one unpleasant, recognizable face after another. I felt like I had been mistakenly dropped into a scene from Twilight. Anyway. . .


Thank goodness Emma came back to save the day with her collaboration with white team kids Debora and Paolo. The blue team responded with a star appearance from Marco Mengoni collaborating with blue team kids Alessio and Giada. The background from the behind the scenes actions this week, is that Debora was missing home and the producers were worried about her performance so they let her speak with her mammina and papino. Giada had a crisis of confidence about her sing-off with Debora and had to dig deep to find her inner grit. Debora was tempted with a pasta carbonara, poor dear, but she resisted and managed to maintain her diet in front of the cameras. Nevertheless, team blue won that vote three to zero and got the first point of the night.
 
I thought it was crazy when the leader of the blue team Miguel Bose responded to the white team's breathtaking group dance number with hunky Nick's singing Sway by himself. But wacky judge Luca Argentero found that Nick held his own. I think he is jealous of the dancer Vincenzo on the white team who is mega handsome. Vincenzo had a little melt down behind the scenes this week when they tried to get him to dance the samba. Again. He sounds like he must be from Napoli as he caressed his "s" sounds in an adorably swishy way while he declared that he'd rather go home for a pasodoble then some damned samba. 
 

All of Nick's unconvincing flirting with judge Sabrina paid off, and the point went to him.  
We welcome judge of the night Stefano Accorsi. I have never heard of him, but that means nothing. He's cute.



 He seemed to appreciate Debora's solo song, even if Miguel on the blue team made the comment that she was too immature to sing it. He put up a delicious group dance number that seemed Sound of Music inspired. At least, I hope it was because all of the dancers were wearing matching drapes.
 
 
Sabrina alleged that Debora's big voice is lacking character and interpretation. I booed her. I wasn't alone. I can't blame Sabrina. She hasn't eaten in a very long time.
 

 There was an unspectacular battle of the bands and then this stunning dance number where the whole core were decked out in old man masks and canes dancing with the two young featured male dancers, my favorite Christian and the notable classical dancer from Cuba, Oscar.
It was matched up against a dance number starring Lorenzo. This was also choreographed in a spectacular way and was story telling through dance at it's best. The only problem, for me, being that Lorenzo was out danced by this professional dancer that is part of the crew who goes unidentified, but is wearing a red tee shirt. And, in fact, the white team lost again. They are so bludgeoned, in fact, that Emma comes back on stage just to speak in defense of her old team. Lorenzo is saved by the professors and the band Carboidrati is sent packing. Moreno, the coach of the white team, is booed by the crowd and makes the amateur mistake of defending himself too loudly and for too long. Emma them comes to Moreno's defence and the whole program proceeds to go to the dogs.

Lorenzo is in white.
Nameless killed it in the red shirt.
By now everyone is rooting for the white team, and the boogers put up puppy dog Paolo singing an overly dramatic and badly timed rendition of Moves Like Jagger. Dudes, that song sickened everyone like two summers ago. What are you thinking?? The blue team responded by sending out Oscar to pirouette so many times that he left holes in the floor of the stage. After losing this terrible bet, Moreno sends himself up to sing with Debora. If he doesn't win. . . I don't know what to tell you. Hold on, I'll let you know.
Moreno is pissed.
O.K. I'm back. It gets worse. Giada who is Debora's friend, I think, but is her main competition in the program sang her little heart out. Knowing her backstory and all the fear she overcame during the week to get to that point, I have to root for her. Then judge Gabry goes after Debora. He tells her that he noticed that she messed up the text. She admits it, but says that since she was thinking of a friend who has passed away to whom she was dedicating the song, she doesn't care about the text. He goes on to make her cry, saying that she is singing without soul. Giada doesn't know where to look. Moreno comes to Debora's defense, pointing out that Debora had only two days to learn the song, while Giada had a whole week. Gabry launches back, saying that those backstage technicalities are none of their business and that Debora better find a way to deliver because he is not the only one to whom her performance didn't arrive. Giada wins the point, but guest judge Stefano comes out in favor of a red-eyed Debora.
Couldn't resist. Sorry.
My favorite part is when Emma runs in for the defensive tackle, telling Gabry that despite her awards and the number of her performances sometimes life gets the best of her and she can't finish a song on stage in front of a live audience because she is a singer, but most of all she is a woman, a person. He fires back but that's true for all of us. Um, Gabry? Look down for a moment there, fella. To which Emma replies: 'Ingoiate le lacrime รจ cacciate la cazzimma,' which means "Kids, swallow your tears and chase away the opportunistic bad behavior." Cazzima is my new favorite word, btw.
 

Into that fray must dance Vincenzo, and he does it to the oldie Under My Skin. It is adorable as a performance, but not jaw dropping. He is matched against Placido Domingo and Nick singing What a Wonderful World, followed by Besami Mucho. I'm not even kidding. So cute was the fact that while he was singing kiss me a lot, Nick couldn't take his eyes of Placido whilst Placido did his best to hardly glance at Nick.
 
Just when I thought it was safe, Moreno sends out Debora for another solo. This time she gets to sing her favorite Whitney Houston. Gabry is smirking from the beginning. He knows, we assume, he is about to get his ass served to him for pranzo. Easter pranzo at that.


I'd like to stop here. But I can't. Next Christian comes out dressed with a team of long winged black crows and they dance this incredible dance to an uplifting Italian pop tune while their brothers hang from the ceiling on flying chairs. Nevertheless, the judges eat crow and give the point to Debora.
 


Finally, Vincenzo gets his pasodoble on and ties with Alessio and the band Dear Jack. They are both stoked. The two teams have to come to the stage for the final verdict: And Debora's white team wins the point. Nick, Oscar and Alessio get nominated for elimination. Nick gets saved by Miguel which means that one dancer will carry the weight of the whole team until the end learning up to five choreographed numbers a week, and it is Oscar who must leave the program. 
Bye, Oscar.
 

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