Clef Notes: Show Choir of Thunder

This Microsoft Paint continues to hit all the right notes.

Solos were fought for. Bottles were peed into. Dried cow shit was thrown. Recapping this show continues to be the pinnacle of our writing career.

Last week on Off Pitch, it was a battle of the new vs. the old as new members Vanessa and Justin duked it out for solos with old members Marcia and Greg. Marcia and Justin emerged victorious in these vocal battles as the group went to the Wisconsin Cow Chip Throwing Festival to bring their special brand of entertainment to the masses.

This week, the group goes to the beach and does some team building activities while a new performing opportunity is on the horizon for a couple members.

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We begin the episode, after the umpteenth performance snippet of that damn “Color My World” song, with a visit at the Trim household as Rob and Tim lounge outside in their backyard. They trade pleasantries back and forth as the camera reveals that somebody else is at their humble abode: Honey Bon Jovi. Due to needing a storyline for this week being out of a job, Josh has now taken up residence at the Trim household and that is going about as well as you’d expect as Josh gleefully snatches a bagel from Rob and then promptly spits it out in a scene that is completely natural and totally unscripted at its very core.

Rob and Tim have a little heart-to-heart with our Honey Bon Jovi about what he’s trying to do in terms of finding employment. He tells Trim that he has been looking for landscaping positions since that is what he’s used to. Wait, what? Landscaping? Doesn’t that usually involve working with heavy machinery? Honey Bon Jovi plus a lawn mower just seems like an incredibly unwise combination like gasoline and a match or Marcia and complicated choreography.

Josh tells Trim that he feels worthless and promptly starts crying. We swear, he must put “can cry at the drop of a hat” under his special skills section of his resume. Anyway, Josh says he just wants to take care of some rich guy’s backyard and make a living from that. Oh Josh, there is a whole section on Craigslist devoted to that kind of employment; we just hope you’re comfortable trimming a bush in a jockstrap.

This all leads to another moment of

“I will find a job. I will get a house. Well not a house.  I’ll start with an apartment first. And then I’ll get a house. And then I’ll build my white fence. And then, and then, and then I’ll have my dog and I’ll kids and white little swing, swinging back and forth. And a wife too.”

We’re said this whole thing wasn’t underscored by that theme from “Gone With the Wind.”

After this moment of angst and resilience, we cut over to the members of Grand River Singers awkwardly storming onto a beach like the worst Annette Funicello/Frankie Avalon movie you’ve ever seen. Some play in the sand. Others toss around beach balls. GRS member Nick decides to destroy a little more of the ozone layer.
Serving face AND aerosol, hunty

They were going to go swimming, but the fecal count was too high. If being surrounded by something tainted with shit was such a big concern to any of these folks, we’re pretty sure they would’ve never joined GRS.

After a little bit of play time, the Grand River Singers are introduced to Pam Mumm, who is there to lead the folks on  some team building exercises because nothing inspires unity amongst folks like their disdain for having to do team building exercises.

Anyway, Mumm hands out bandanas, weirdly not provided by Honey Bon Jovi, and has people partnered up. She then has them sing their partners name as they try to find one another. Congratulations Rob and Tim, you’ve just brought in somebody to essentially lead a version of Marco Polo on dry land.

After this activity, Mumm tells everybody that, “Listening equals caring.” This causes Tim to hilariously eye roll at this because even somebody who unleashes “Color My World” on the unsuspecting masses has some sort of limit on touchy-feely, Kumbaya stuff.
A lifetime of jazz hands make you buff as shit.
And seriously, no trust fall?

What we lack in trust falls, we more than make up for in Josh Bell quotes as he tells the camera:
“It’s truly, truly is wonderful thing that we’re human beings and not ants. I mean, We could be ants cuz I can’t lift three times my weight. Can you? I can’t. Lift three times my weight, that would be. . . Don’t make me do math, I don’t want to do math. I still, I still couldn’t do three times my weight. So at the same time, we still have moments of greatness like an ant.”

There comes a certain scary moment in a recapper's life where you’ve listened to Josh’s musings so many times that they actually start making sense. And then you reach for a bottle of whiskey, take a few shots and everything is right with the world again.

Anyway, Trim instruct the members of GRS to form a line so they can each sing a line from the National Anthem because two of the members will have the opportunity to belt it out at an upcoming event. Yep, Rob and Tim have the kids do a bunch of team building activities and then put them directly in competition with each other, therefore completely undermining all of the team building activities they’ve just done.

This singing leads us to a moment of:

GRS member Malachi starts singing the song with a few riffs. Rob mocks this and says to the camera about Malachi’s performance: “Whitney Houston you ain’t.” No, but with a few more riffs, he could be Maya Rudolph.

This auditioning leads to something that Grand River Singers excel at more than high kicks and blades: a meltdown. GRS member Aubrey starts freaking out over how she feels she and others who are not as vocally talented as others are constantly being put on the spot to audition for solos when the same is not being asked of those who can’t dance. Oh Aubrey, there are not enough hours in the day to deal with the crappy dancing in GRS. Eric pipes in that he thought that this was just going to be a fun day at the beach and now things have turned into a big ole competition amongst folks.

And during this whole thing Little Ms. Team Builder silently watches this, proving that Mumm may be one of the most hilariously accurate marriage of person and surname ever.
We love that this is the expression that is on the face of anybody who comes into contact with GRS.

We drift off to another scene with Jon, Greg and Honey Bon Jovi going to Alpine Inn to get some food as Josh tells them all that he’s still on the lookout for a job. Greg helpfully suggests that maybe he should apply at the Alpine. Honey Bon Jovi, never letting little things like being woefully unqualified for a position stand in his way, goes over and starts having a conversation about having a job there while also promoting Grand River Singers.

We love this moment because it’s one of the more ridiculous aspects of reality shows because obviously this guy knows who GRS is because he had to allow the cameras in there and signed a waiver to be on screen but yes, let us just pretend he has no clue for the sake of this dog and pony show.

Josh ends up volunteering to sing a song, to the horror of both Greg and Jon. He, of course, decides to sing his crowd-pleasing staple of “Happy Birthday.” We love the camera cutting to the dude who is nodding along and closing his eyes like Josh is taking him to church and putting him in the front pew with his vocals on the song.

We then cut over from Alpine Inn to the Eve of Destruction Monster Truck Show as the members of Grand River Singers, glad in sparkly coats and gowns, come traipsing through the crowd as they prepare to sing the National Anthem for the folks. Greg and Jon get to have a ride in the pace car of the event and Jon treats this like this is New Year’s Eve, Christmas and Halloween rolled up in one.

Eventually we get to GRS performing the National Anthem and Rob interviews that he’s incredibly annoyed at new member Steven for showing up without his coat.

After the performance, the Grand River Singers watch the monster truck show. Or at least that’s what the producers want us to believe as the footage of the monster trucks destroying cars looks nothing like any of the other footage of GRS at the speedway. It’s not even the same time of day. Oh yeah, we replayed that footage like it was Zapruder film.

And here's the thing about reality shows. They are like the artificial flowers of television genres. No matter how real they look, they are inherently fake so it's the job of the people who make them at least passably realistic looking.

We end the episode with the GRS folks gathered together at the GRS rehearsal space. Trim want to have a little discussion about professionalism and specifically because of Steven forgetting part of his costume. This is a little scandal we’re going to call:

Steven gloriously douches his way through this conversation with a completely patronizing tone while Tim, who seems to be trying to make up for all of his silence of the first two episodes, questions him about his attitude and what would happen if Steven had shown up to another production without part of his costume. Steven says a director would’ve just given him a note and moved on with things. This does not go over very well with Tim to say the least.

Thankfully for Steven, Samantha exists to shift some of the Trim anger away from him as she has managed to not show up to rehearsals. She has apparently sent GRS stage manager Scott Jenks’ beard a message that hilariously says: “So I’m not grossing you out with womanly details but I’m not going to make it to practice.”

Way to treat a GRS rehearsal like 10th grade gym class, Samantha.

And there you have it, folks. We'll see you next week when the Grand River Singers get their own bus. That should totally go really well.

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