Welcome to Bad Boy, indeed.
Last night’s premiere episode of I Want to Work for Diddy was a pretty good representation of what’s to come on future episodes: namely, infighting, drama, high-pressure, and, oh yeah, 13 people competing for the job of a lifetime. After going through awkward (Andrew), exhuberant (Kendra), and just plain strange ("resident of the Earth" Deon) interviews with Diddy’s "inner circle" (including previous assistant Norma, current stylist Derek, and the super-fierce director of marketing for Sean John, Capricorn Clark), the intensity of the situation set in once it was announced that there would be an elimination before the first challenge.
In a scene reminiscent of virtually every competition reality show in history, it was announced that the contenders would be split into two teams ("uptown" and "downtown") and while there were 13 contenders, surprise surprise, there are only 12 messenger bags to give. Ultimately, it came down to Kim, the "big girl with big skills" whose interview culminated with rolling a pair of dice on the table (probably not a good idea outside of a casino or back alley) and Andrew, whose dance moves suggest that he had maybe gotten lost on the way to America’s Best Dance Crew (hint: it’s not on VH1).
Sadly for those of us who like a little eye candy on our Monday nights, Andrew was sent packing. Although there may or may not be a certain castmember who was relieved by the absence of cute guys in the cast, allowing him to focus on the task at hand:
Once that little bit of business was done, Derek gave the teams their first challenge, which was a 24-hour race around New York City to try to get as many menial tasks for Diddy done as possible, with the winning team being the one who completes the most tasks with the $2000 given. Because no reality show is complete without corporate sponsorships, the teams were also given red Verizon Blackberry phones (no, I didn’t get paid for that), and when a "red phone" task comes, it must be completed immediately or else two regular tasks will be wiped out.
Got it? Yeah, me neither.
Anyways, the teams rush into their perspective headquarters, and they’re off! On the downtown team, investment banker Mike’s natural leadership and easy charm puts him in control of the team, and they all seem to be working and meshing well together. However, our very own transgender woman Miss Laverne Cox has some issues with Mr. Barber when he decides to walk to complete a task instead of taking the van, her response and reaction being made up of equal parts of frustration and presumably one of her many "acting for the camera" courses.
Meanwhile, the drama was in full force in the uptown team headquarters…
Kim’s "big skills" appear to consist mainly of yelling, as she manages to get into some kind of confrontation with each team member over the course of those loooooong 24 hours. Finally, the uptown team is off to do their tasks, and throughout the course of the 24 hours they videotape beatboxers in Times Square, dress mannequins in the Sean John store (much harder than it looks, BTW), and wash one of Diddy’s many Escalades. While the other four teammates are on the streets, Kim and cutie Brianna remain in the office, and the decision regarding whether or not to do a red phone task escalates into a screaming match between Kim and Brianna (note the side interview done with Brianna after the fact, where she is obviously being worked up by producers just off-camera). Fists are slammed into palms, voices are raised, terms like "ghetto" are thrown out, and VH1 assures us all that this show will provide the wholesome lessons on conflict resolution that we’ve come to expect from RealityTV.
Ultimately, it all comes down to a tie, as both teams have an equal amount of tasks done, but unfortunately the uptown team comes up $148 dollars short of cash, thus losing the challenge. That means a member from the uptown team will be eliminated. After the requisite introduction to the loft complete with oohs and aaahs from the contenders, we’re back at Bad Boy Entertainment, where resident tough guy Phil Robinson informs the uptown team that "someone’s gonna go home".
The team seems to want to kick out the ever-so-lovable Kim, but she’s done her homework and identifies three specific reasons why the team lost (None of which involve her. Shocking, I know.), assigning blame squarely on Suzanne, Red, and team accountant Georgette. The team thinks otherwise, voting unanimously to send Kim home. There is, however, a twist. Kim gets to choose another team member to put on the chopping block, and brings up Georgette. Tempers flare, cases are made, but fortunately for people who love drama (and unfortunately for some of our sisters on afterellen who love gorgeous Latina women), Georgette is eliminated.
With two down in the first episode, only 11 remain in the running towards becoming America’s Next Top … oh, sorry … Diddy’s newest assistant.
Behind the scenes: Man, was that intense. We were actually given very little instruction as to what our presenations were supposed to be, so I felt really bad for Andrew, because he was trying to be different. I got a chance to talk to him for a bit, and he was actually a sweet guy, and very cute in person. Over on the uptown team, there were actually even more altercations with Kim that didn’t get shown, including a screaming match between her and Brianna that happened during elimination. Oh, and there was no editing trickery going on with the challenge. We were actually up for 24 hours and, yes, we did smell at the end of it! Mike is exactly as nice as he seems, and Kim is exactly as … Kim as she seems.
Money shot: Brianna’s reaction after being asked about her job at her interview.
Let us know in the comments what you thought of the first ep, and we’ll be back next week with another gay’s-eye view of the competition!