What does it mean to be Girlicious? It means more than just singing and dancing. It means getting a makeover and crying because your orange hair makes you look like a white girl. It means taking Lil' Kim's advice on how to be a great singer. It means sharing a house full of teen girls who desperately want to look like the police lineup after a raid on a tranny-hooker crack den in Branson.
It means the best "not even trying" stupid TV show name of the year. See, the Pussycat Dolls had a reality show last year called The Search for the Next Doll (you missed it? for shame!), except the winner, the fabulously named Asia Nitollano, decided to ditch the Dolls and go for a solo career. So the sadder-but-wiser Dolls aren't letting that happen again. This time, they're forming a whole new girl group, and it's going to be 100 percent girlicious. As Christian from Project Runway would say, this show is one big tranny mess.
It's hard to imagine how a singing competition could need any judges besides Lil' Kim. (Have you listened to "Crush on You" lately? She so kind of sings in that one!) But the ladies of Girlicious also have to answer to Ron Fair (some guy who works at a major label, which means he should definitely be giving other people career advice) and Robin Antin, the original mastermind of the Pussycat Dolls (and I use the words "master" and "mind" in their strongest possible senses). They also get tips from guests like JC Chasez, host Mark McGrath and a perky choreographer named Mikey. The girls get Charlie's Angels-style video messages from the Pussycat Dolls, who cannot come talk to them in person, of course, because they're sooo busy. But Nicole Scherzinger shows up, inspiring contestant Tiffanie to say the not-at-all ominous words "I looked at her and I saw my future!"
The girls are maybe not blessed with great vocal skills, or any kind of grip on reality, but they show admirable spunk in dealing with the ritual humiliations of this show. It's just part of being girlicious. I love Jenna, who suffered a medical emergency yet still mustered up the courage to sing the the Supremes, doing her sultry routine in a wheelchair. And Alexis, whose dream is to attend dental school, leading her fellow contestants to question her commitment to Girlicious — though her future patients can boast that they got their bicuspids capped by a dentist who missed three of the four notes in Britney's " . . . Baby One More Time." But my favorite has to be Ilisa, the quirky redhead. She tells the others a tearfully scary story about being declared clinically dead for a few minutes in 2005, after collapsing at a dance rehearsal. Ironically, I myself was declared clinically dead while listening to Ilisa sing "Holiday."
The other ladies don't seem to realize the treasure they have in Ilisa. As that mean contestant Natalie says, "Lisa will never be part of Girlicious. She's just not girlicious enough!" She also argues, "To be girlicious, you can't be tomboylicious," but that question goes to the very heart of the show. These girls are arguing over the meaning, the essence of girliciousness. They challenge us all to assess what is and isn't girlicious in our own lives. That makes them more authentically girlicious than the Pussycat Dolls could ever be.