Friday, June 10, 2005

At a little after ten p.m. last night, while watching Game 1 of the NBA Finals, it suddenly hit me that I had missed the second episode of Hit Me Baby 1 More Time. For myself this mildly sucked, since you really don't need to watch a basketball game until the fourth quarter anyway and I was sort of looking forward to seeing Vanilla Ice perform. While Robert Van Winkle is largely a talentless fool, I really do like "Ice Ice Baby", and given the performer's long-time disavowal of his early image, including his hit, seeing him rappin' it onstage would have been a rare and exciting event, akin to seeing Jonathan Richman perform "Roadrunner". But as far as writing a review of the show goes, I don't think not seeing it should make a whole lot of difference, unless it became a whole lot more spontaneous and dramatic than the first episode was. Especially since NBC has the real behind-the-scenes lowdown on last night's contest posted at the Hit Me Baby website for me to copy (any original content of my own will appear unitalicized):

You could feel the excitement as this week's first performer took to the stage. The Knack bopped out on stage looking like the other "Fab Four" in dark suits and skinny ties. Their rendition of "My Sharona" rocked the house. I'm assuming that they're referring to the WB11 news team of Mr. G, Sal Marciano, Jim Watkins, and Kaity Tong there, though I don't quite see it myself... wait, okay, maybe a little.

Good girls don't... but Kaity does.

What is love? That's the burning question we all want the answer to…and it's also Haddaway's hit dance track. Hundreds of audience members simultaneously moved their heads from side-to-side as Haddaway belted it out.

Oh, my neck. Don't hurt me, don't hurt me no more.

Tommy Tutone was next, performing the song that had to have inspired the most crank calls in the eighties, other than "Prince Albert (In The Can)" by Bronski Beat. The audience definitely dialed in for the rousing rendition of "867-5309/Jenny".

The NBC recap mysteriously skips over The Motels' first performance of the evening, so I'll have to wing that part: Next up for the roused audience were The Motels, who hit the stage and launched into the opening verse of "Harden My Heart". After 8 bars they realized that was, in fact, a Quarterflash hit, and following a brief group huddle they began again, this time playing "The Warrior". Soon this too ground to a halt when scattered audiences members began shouting "That's Scandal!" and "You know, with Patty Smyth!" The group then finished up their set with a tentative rendition of the beginning to "A Girl In Trouble (Is A Temporary Thing)" before looking at each other questioningly, shrugging their shoulders, and walking offstage.

Holla! It was time to chill with Vanilla Ice. The crowd literally went wild when "Ice" launched into the familiar "Ice, Ice Baby" riff. Vernon later asked what happened to his "parachute trousers". Ice said he burned them when the bowl fell off his crack pipe last week.

When The Knack returned to the stage they tackled the Jet song "Are You Gonna Be My Girl." They killed it! "I had no idea that songs were even living organisms before tonight," said host Vernon Kay after the show, "The paramedics did everything they could but the tune had lost so much blood that it was hopeless... sadly we had to declare the song legally dead and wheel it off the stage before a stunned and silent audience to make way for Haddaway." Haddaway went Britney with his version of "Toxic", complete with crawling seductively along the floor.

Tommy Tutone covered Blink 182's "All The Small Things." They slowed the hardcore, fast-paced anthem down a bit, which gave the song a ‘70s retro feel. On the flip side, The Motels performed a hyper-speed version of Norah Jones' melodic ballad "Don't Know Why."

The twists kept coming. Ice was back next with a totally new version of Destiny's Child "Survivor." In fact, it seemed like the only words from Destiny's version in Ice's version were "I'm a survivor." Everything else was a new rap, complete with coordinated dance moves.

When the final audience vote was announced, Vanilla Ice had won! $20,000 will be donated to Ice's charity, the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Then, Ice performed "Ice, Ice, Baby" again – this time spraying the crowd with ice water as he sang.

Killin' your brain like a poisonous mushroom

So there you go, rap artists from the 90s are two for two so far, but spoiling dreams of a three-peat is next week's line-up: Cameo, Howard Jones, Irene Cara, Sophie B. Hawkins, and Wang Chung. I'll be back with my post-show commentary, perhaps after actually viewing the show, next Friday.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What you missed was that last nights episode was a total travesty. I didn't see the first episode, but I am assuming everyone’s cover version was a cover, and not just some song that happened to have the same name as popular song, but is actually some crappy song that they showed that very same artist laying down the tracks for in the studio in the brief where are they now section. Well, that is exactly what happened this week, when Iceman passed off his own crappy rap song as a cover of survivor. Now I am all for "making a song your own", and in the case of a rap song that might mean just briefly sampling the hit track, but that is not what happened at all. Van Winkle should have been disqualified, and in that case the clear winner was the Knack, even though they made me wish Jet was performing, which is a somewhat difficult task. I have been waiting for your scathing comments regarding this fiasco, but you were too busy staring at Rick Hamilton’s scary mask!!! Anyhow I was thinking about not watching this show again but then I noticed that next week Wang Chung is going to do a cover of Hot in Herre. So I guess you can count me in next week after all.

Mike A

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Until Mike chimed in I was thinking that I missed the best possible episode of H.M.B.O.M.T.. The Knack doing Jet doing about 50 bands from the era when The Knack was popular is so backwardsly awesome and I'm always up for a little Rob Van Winkle. However, after learning that his cover of "Survivor" wasn't really much of a cover I guess I don't feel so sorry for missing it. The real lyrics to "Survivor" seem 100% appropriate for Mr. Ice, so why invent his own? I guess its cuz he's a lyrical poet, in case you didn't know it.

andrea b.

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Word to your mother!

Mike A

1:45 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

hmm, that does sound like a blatant disregard for the "rules" of this "contest"... rocking the mic like a vandal indeed. you know what i think would have been a perfect cover for (had he actually done a cover)? Milkshake. oh, and rip hamilon's mask is just plain mesmerizing, there was nothing i could do, plus i kinda think the reviews might improve when i don't see the show.

7:27 PM  

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