Monday, March 21, 2011
New Addictions: All About Aubrey
Such as...All About Aubrey.
Remember Aubrey O'Day? I do! When I was a depressed law student, you couldn't pry my ass away from my crappy tiny TV on Making the Band night. My overweight, sad self envied the hell out of the tight-bellied beauties competing for fame and fortune, not by making sex tapes or peeing in clubs, but by singing and dancing their spray-tanned hearts out. I was on the edge of my desk chair when Diddy announced (gasp!) there would be no band, though he invited back a few girls to compete with a whole new crop of wannabes. I was on the edge of my desk chair during the next season, where Danity Kane was formed.
And in the midst of it all, was Aubrey O'Day, pretty much a lock for the group since day one. She wasn't the cutest. At least half the girls could outsing her. And fellow competitor Shannon could kick her ass all over the dance floor.
But Aubrey knew how to play the game. That's not to say she wasn't talented--she had a great voice and was an excellent dancer. Above all, however, she was the competitor you loved to watch. She didn't try to buddy-buddy the other girls, but she had enough friends in the house that you knew she wasn't a bitch. She had an instinct for when Diddy wanted sassy, when he wanted diva, and when he wanted workhorse. She may have sported the cleavage-baring workout ensembles and janky highlights, but girl was whip-smart when it came to standing out. And when she was the first "winner" announced, no one was surprised.
I didn't really follow Danity Kane during the following seasons of Making the Band, as by that point I'd graduated and was making a lot of major life changes. I vaguely remember that Aubrey was fired, at least one girl quit in protest, and Diddy disbanded the very band he had made. In fact, I forgot all about Miss Aubrey, until a recent commercial for her new reality show.
Since I don't get Oxygen, I went Hulu. And one episode in, I'm all about Aubrey all over again.
Sure, some of it is totally staged and ridiculous. I mean, who the hell dyes their dogs' fur and has their hairstylists jerk them off so she can freeze their sperm? Aubrey, that's who (as the folks at The Soup thank whatever gods and goddesses they worship). I could do without the "finding a man" storyline (come on, she's interesting enough without it!). Her speaking voice is Kardashian-level whiny. And sweetie? It's really okay to cover up your tummy every once in a while.
But you know what? Under her blank and possibly plastic-surgeried exterior, Aubrey's still pretty savvy. She's going for a comeback, using connections she made while in Danity Kane. She's doing a reality show chronicling said comeback--automatic PR. And she's owning up to some of the things she did that weren't so smart: namely, becoming a tabloid whore when that paid the bills and "artistry" did not. Something else I didn't know but could have guessed from Making the Band: she's been singing, dancing and acting her ass off since childhood. Even if I'm not always about sugary pop music, I respect people who want to be stars and actually, you know, WORK for it.
Also, she's gained some weight. I don't think it looks bad on her--we should all be so fat. And besides, Aubrey was several years younger when she first auditioned for Making the Band. Her metabolism has changed as metabolisms do. However, she's going to have to lose the weight because the industry's a bitch and double standards run amok. During a dance rehearsal in the first episode, Aubrey had a little breakdown about this. She's a stress eater and has never felt like she could enjoy food. Either she's a hell of an actress or that was all true, because the whole scene felt real to me. I'm not a pop tart, but I could relate, as many women can.
When it comes to reality shows, Jersey Shore doesn't do it for me and never has. No matter how hard I try, I just don't get the appeal of watching unattractive people be nasty to one another. If I want to see that, I can go to a Wrigleyville bar. And Teen Mom just makes me depressed that my gay friends can't get married in most states, yet THESE awful girls who never got a decent education in birth control (or a decent education, period) become famous simply for not using a condom.
But a show about someone who, despite her ditsy exterior, genuinely wants to get ahead in the music industry and lives in a pretty Hollywood house?
That I like!
All About Aubrey airs Monday nights on Oxygen, is available on Hulu, and re-runs on E!
And just because I can't get this friggin' song out of my head: