**Official Summary - Next Action Star – Finale**
(or to misquote Sally Field “You hate me, you really hate me!”)
Previously on Next Action Star, NBC decided not to show one of the most interesting sounding episodes, opting instead to air a non-elimination round a few weeks earlier. NBC sucks. Oh yeah, Melisande and John were eliminated, and Melisande confessed her love to Jared. Yup, wouldn’t have been interested in seeing that episode at all NBC. I was much more interested in seeing the non-elimination episode as it was so spiritually fulfilling.
So, it’s the finale, the episode we’ve all been waiting for. Or at least the 5 of us who still admit to watching the show (I’m counting my hubby in this too). Surprisingly, they don’t spend the first 20 minutes showing recraps of past episodes. We get to see that later instead.
This week’s screen test is called “Score To Settle”. It’s the story of a special agent taken hostage by terrorists (quick, call Donald Rumsfeld!), whose partner arrives to rescue him. It will take gravity defying fireworks to effect the rescue. Yawn. I guess I shouldn’t have gone to see Bourne Supremacy before watching this. Now THAT was an action movie! And Matt Damon was incredibly hot in it too. Oh wait, where was I? Oh right, Next Action Star.
72 hours to screen test. The house sure looks empty with just the 4 of them wandering around it. Fortunately we don’t have to feel sorry for them for long as it’s off to the National Wushu Training Centre for stunt fighting with Master Eric. Now he’s a cool guy. I would definitely pay money to see him in an action movie.
They move right into the Net Zero Hi-Speed Challenge, which is a kind of obstacle course, and was the best part of the episode in my opinion. They had to climb a ladder, fight a couple of guys, run, crawl through a half-open tunnel, fight some more, somersault over a wedge onto a mat, climb partway down some stairs, then jump off the stairs onto a mat. Whew! I got exhausted just writing that! The person who completes the course in the shortest time wins a power lunch with Louis Morneau and Alan Sheckter, the director and producer of the NBC film.
Corinne went first and kicked @ss! She looked awesome, but hesitated before jumping off the stairs as she’d misjudged the angle. Still, she finished in 29:32. Jeanne went next and, while she probably could have been slower (took 36:12), she couldn’t have looked much less like an action star. On behalf of girls everywhere, I have to award her a big fat raspberry for her performance. She ct’s that she’s burnt out and tired. Suck it up girly – it’s only a few more days.
Sean was very focused, looked good, and came in with a time of 28:18, but Jared zipped through the course like a jack-rabbit and won with a time of 26:57. Now, I have to take a moment to apologize to Jeanne. I thought that she did a sucky job of it, but after seeing Jared, I have to say I hope Melisande grew a pair while they’ve been apart, because he was even girlier than Jeanne was. I realize that the object was to be the fastest, but come on Jared, they’re only casting one female lead, not two!
Jared ct’s that he doesn’t like to lose or come in 2nd – ever! I hope for his sake his girlfriend doesn’t feel the same way.
Louis and Alan are waiting for Jared in some almost completely empty restaurant. It appears that they’ve already ordered and are signaling for the cheque when he comes in. Curses – foiled again, they thought when they realized he’d appeared before they’d managed to duck him. He asked a couple of inane questions about the movie and how they perceive him. Louis tells him it’s a piece of garbage that they couldn’t get produced as a real movie, so they’re stuck doing it with two no-names as a movie of the week during the summer. Oh, whoops, that was me, not Louis. Alan asks Jared if he would treat Alan & Louis differently on set if he got the part. Jared, in a rare moment of total honesty, tells them that yes, he’d be such a jerk. Suddenly realizing he said that out loud to the two people controlling his fate, not in a ct, he grabs a fork from the table and commits hari-kari. Oh, darn, I must have been fantasizing again. They think it’s a funny comment and laugh with him. They deserve each other.
Best line of the episode: Jared ct’s “I might be able to work on a movie, and even get paid for it.” Ok, this deserves a comment. What the heck did you think you were auditioning for, a part in a Fruit of the Loom commercial? Actually, that’s too kind. I usually laugh at the Fruit of the Loom commercials, but don’t tell anyone because I’m vaguely embarrassed about it.
Back at the house after lunch, Sean and Jeanne toss a football around. The very manly, not at all Fruit of the Loomy, Jared plays with a paddle-ball. Nothing wrong with this picture, nope. Sean pretended to toss the football to Jared, and in a sadistic moment drilled it straight at Jared’s nether regions. I rewound the tape several times, getting a twisted sense of pleasure from watching Jared writhing around on the ground groaning. Here’s to you Melisande, and Jared’s no-name girlfriend.
The next day they head off to Howard Fine’s class. Howard switches them into different boy/girl pairs until they’ve had a chance to practice their scene in each combination. He feels Jared is manly, so doesn’t pair him with Sean. Sean and Corinne work well together; Jeanne flubs her line while working with Sean but continues ok. They don’t show Jared’s scenes. Howard stresses that a strong relationship affects performance and dynamics. Foreshadowing, anyone? He doesn’t give a casting card, but says he’ll give the info to Tina who’ll award it at role selection time.
In the car on the way back to the house, Jeanne & Corinne have a tiff over which of them has a deal with Sean to work with him in the final screen test. Sean ct’s that he’s the lesser of 2 evils. Jared ct’s that “it really hurts that nobody likes me.” He tries to produce a hurt look, but instead comes up with his trademark grimace.
At role selection, the body language is emoting better than Jared usually does. Corinne is curled up against Sean at one end of the couch, while Jeanne & Jared sit stiffly side by side at the other end. Tina appears and explains Howard had a hard time awarding the casting card, blah, blah, blah, and Corinne gets it. Before Tina can finish telling her to pick her partner, Corinne says that she picks Sean. Jared and Jeanne look ecstatic, and dance around the room like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. What, you don’t believe me? Shoot. Too bad for them, they’re stuck with each other. In a stunning turn of events, both Jared and Jeanne choose the same part. After a bunch of ct name-calling, they work it out.
36 hours to screen test. Oh, man, it’s only half over. All right, focus. What’s really important? Hmm. Sean & Jeanne practice an action sequence. Sean shows her some boxing moves. They go to bed. Separately.
Next day brings a spa visit. New clothes and makeup. Do we care? Not really; they look the same. They’re off for one-on-one interviews with some guy names Tony Potts from Access Hollywood. Blah, blah, routine questions except he asks Jared about his relationship with Melisande, and his girlfriend. Jared doesn’t answer.
12 hours to test. Wow, see how fast 24 hours can go? It’s Sean’s birthday. Hey, did anyone else see that Scott’s Mom said he lied about it being his birthday on BB? Totally unrelated, but I thought I’d mention it. Jared bakes a cake for Sean, so the girls distract him and keep him out of the kitchen. The cake is iced with pink frosting and has a Barbie picture on it. Jared and Jeanne take it out to Sean, who’s in the hot tub with Corinne. They toss down a bunch of pink balloons, give him a card and the cake. This was pretty unbashable actually as it was really sweet. For a moment I almost liked Jared. Moment’s over.
Finally, it’s time for the scene. Sean and Corinne have a bit of trouble with timing, and Corinne tries to direct Sean. They argue, then go to her trailer, where they argue some more. Jeanne and Jared get called to the set. Jared had been watching the other two practice, so had a good idea of what to expect. Jeanne had been in makeup, and didn’t have a clue. Gerry, the scene director, and Louis are totally unimpressed when she flubs the fight scene. Jeanne keeps flubbing the her wire work, landing awkwardly every time. Sean and Corinne make up in time to film their scene. The director is impressed; it goes very smoothly. Hmm – no footage of Jeanne and Jared’s scene.
At the Net Zero Hi-Speed Recap, the panel do their usual hemming and hawing. Alan likes Sean & Corinne, but not their chemistry. Louis likes them, but isn’t sure Sean can carry the movie. Alan thinks Jared & Jeanne are charming. Victoria thinks Jared’s interesting. Louis thinks Jeanne has a consistency problem. Tough decision, they all agree. Yup, sure sounds like it to me.
In the final ct’s, we hear each of the 4 finalists tell us they think they won, while we watch a montage of clips from their scenes. Ouch. They kind of all suck, actually. Still, we don’t have to pay $8.50 to watch their movie.
The four of them get a limo ride to the Crest Theatre, for a viewing of their final screen test and the results. After they’re seated, most of the previous bootees arrive to watch it with them. No Viviana. A few of them give their opinions as to who should win. Guess who Melisande picked?
We watch the final screen test. There’s lots of action, black leather, bullets flying, stuff blowing up, and it was nowhere near as good as the scene in Bourne Supremacy where Jason Bourne gets chased through the streets in a Russian taxi. That was a great scene. Sigh. I’m pretty sure they ended up using a body double for Jeanne in some of the wire-work scenes. Sean & Corinne were decent. Jared grimaced too much and spent half the time posing. Jeanne looked, well, girly.
The casting panel comes out, and Louis says he hopes they’ll still work for him when they’re all famous. Linda pipes up with a “Maybe!” Yeah, because you have a hope in h@ll of ever coming across his path again. What week did you get eliminated in again?
Tina takes the first script for the movie from Victoria, and announces that the first female Next Action Star is Corinne. Tension mounts (yawn) as Tina takes the second script from Victoria. She announces that the first male Next Action Star is: Jared! Ha ha – fooled you. It was Sean. He and Corinne are both stunned, but pleased. Everyone congratulates them, even loser boy Jared.
Joel Silver wishes the two of them luck, then we’re treated to scenes from the movie. Interestingly enough, although dialogue is heard during the preview, it’s not coming from Sean or Corinne. All we see of them is brief poses. Were they possibly downgraded to 2nd bananas in the movie? We’ll have to wait and see next week in the movie. If we watch it. Until then, congrats to Sean & Corinne.