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Monday, November 19, 2007

Party Animals

Until recently, more people were searching for "VJ Logan" than "Brett Novek" (from America's Most Smartest Model) on Google, but the tide has turned in the last three weeks in Brett's favor, so that Brett is now on top of VJ. I base that unofficial finding on an assumption that with this site in the same position for both on serp, searchers for either one are equally likely to find their way here and I can measure by the number of click-throughs from the queries. I don't know that this means anything right now, and certainly the results may swing both ways such that VJ may top Brett in the future.

There are also some people searching for Brett in Papi underwear. Like Pavlov's dog, our base instincts may have created an association in our minds (Brett + underwear = hidden treasure) that leads us to uncontrollably salivate, but as the show has continued, I am seeing Brett more as a modest, restrained, altar boy type who wouldn't engage in any hanky-panky. While AMSMBFF Jeff Pickel is the natural object of the invitational phrase "For a good time call...", Brett is the take-him-home-to-meet-mother guy for whom there will be no petting the pooch until at least a commitment ceremony has occurred.

America's Most Smartest ModelThe actual center of attention this week on AMSM was Daniel Schuman. Episode seven begins with Daniel finding a note that acknowledged that his birthday was that day and that the models would be taken to a place that evening for dinner and dancing. The note was delivered and written in the same manner as all the previous notes that announced competitions. Incredibly, after six episodes worth of events, not one of the models at that time realized that it was the announcement for what would be the next Edge Challenge. They believed that VH1 was in the habit of buying everyone dinner at an expensive restaurant, sending a full video crew, and suspending the play of a reality competition show for which they are paying a lot of people to create, just to celebrate one of the contestant's birthday. This, despite the fact that the note does not state they have "the night off" (pause Tivo and read it yourself).

The Edge Challenges test the intelligence of the models and the failure to realize that a test was even occurring should have given all of them a failing grade. It could have fooled Rachel Myers, but the remaining models should have known better.

Brett Novek and Jeff PickelThe models go the club, eat dinner and drink liberally, but as Dean Wormer might have said, thin, drunk and stupid is no way go through a reality show. They are invited to a party with an open bar upstairs where Mary Alice Stephenson has planted people from the entertainment industry to test the models' networking skills. The models with the most experience, who should have been the best in detecting opportunity, failed miserably. Angela Hart said one of the men "grabbed my arm", which to her was "a red flag", as in a sign that she was being hit on. Since the guy in this case was one of the people there to interview her and indisputably not trying to hit on her, she needs to know that her red flag system has a major malfunction. Andre thought that the same guy was hitting on him too. It sounds like they both have the "Blanche Devereaux" syndrome, believing that every man in the world wants to sleep with them.

Pickel, on the other hand, probably couldn't care less, as he got a little grabby with one of the females. As his friend, Brett needs to pull out the good touch/bad touch doll and explain to Pickel the adult version of the rules.

VJ LoganVJ claimed afterward that he had grown suspicious after noticing how many entertainment industry people there were at the party and decided that it must all be part of the game. He used the opportunity to network with a vengeance and collect business cards the way Andre collects arrest warrants.

The actual purpose of the test was to test their "social intelligence". This is the part of intelligence that has to do with the ability to recognize what is happening in the world around you and to respond to it in a socially effective manner. It is a noticeably deficient characteristic in autistic persons, who cannot accurately interpret other people's intentions, emotions, etc., from the auditory and visual cues that people give off. Clearly, it was necessary not to explicitly reveal that a socializing test was occurring in order to get good results. It would be a good way to tell whether the models could accurately determine who at a party was beneficial to their careers and who were merely there for a good time.

Jeff PickelOne by one, the models are pulled aside to face Mary Alice and the industry insiders to be told that they had been tested and to find out how well they had done. Those drunk and/or sexually obsessed did poorly while the game player and the friendly one (i.e VJ and Brett) did well. VJ reached into his pants and said, "Can I just pull all of 'em out?" I thought, finally, we are going to see the previously mentioned "Big Daddy VJ" and the boys, but he just pulled out a stack of business cards instead.

The ones most intoxicated, Daniel and Aussie Rachel, were very upset about what had happened. Daniel went on a tirade, which didn't bother me because I don't blame anyone for anything they do under the influence. However, I am very disappointed in him for subsequently not admitting that he was rightly outsmarted, that these models' ability to discern advances from opportunities really sucks, and that it is possible to learn something new, even from Mary Alice. When egotistical Andre comments that "I don't even say that shit", about Daniel's remarks about being too good to chase after Steven Spielberg, Daniel should realize he has room for improvement. On the other hand, Aussie Rachel totally gets a pass for her whining because of an entertaining monkey dance that she did, although I think seeing Curious George on TMZ shuffling outside the Viper Room would have been funnier.

The winner of the challenge was a vaklempt VJ who got a really big edge for the Callback Challenge.

Van Jameson Logan
The rest of the episode will be covered in part 2.

In depth coverage and photos of -> America's Most Smartest Model.