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'Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious' Selects Lucky Four

Lil' Kim Carrie UnderwoodAretha FranklinMarilyn MonroeNelly FurtadoJennifer LopezClear Channel Communications Inc.

This is it. The moment you (may) have been waiting for. We finally get to learn who made the group on "The Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious." Booyahkah.

Spoilers

The awkwardly artistic PCD video message congratulates the girls for making it this far but didn't give any specific challenge. The remaining five go to see Robin et al and Nichole gives a teary thanks on behalf of everyone for seeing something in them which in turn gets Robin all misty.

The challenge this week is to take everything they've learned and put it to the stage while showcasing their own personalities. As a group they'll be singing Kool & the Gang's "Ladies Night." For solos, Charlye will sing "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood, Tiffanie was assigned "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin, Natalie gets "Say It Right" by Nelly Furtado (not her most vocally challenging single), Nichole will perform EnVogue's "Giving Him Something He Can Feel," and Chrystina got "What About Love" by Heart. Chrystina isn't very happy with the choice because she doesn't know the song. How does she not know that song? Oh, that's right. Because all the contestants are, like, 12.

Before they get started on their solos, Robin lets them know that Geffen Records CEO Ron Fair will have one-on-ones with each of them to get to know them better. When asked how "compatible" she is with everyone else in the house, Natalie, in true PR fashion, says she feels she's the most "compatible" out of the other girls. Which to a certain extent is true because she'll act however she needs to act to get by. Nichole tells Ron that she has no commitment issues whatsoever to the group. When Ron asks how the personalities will blend, Chrystina says that it'll definitely work with her because she wants to be in the group regardless of the other members. Tiffanie says how excited she is about doing the work that goes into making the "band" a success (late nights, early mornings, etc.). Charlye, when asked if she'd really be able to get along with everybody, admits that she has times where she clashes with Natalie and Chrystina. When Ron inquires what she'd do if she didn't make the group, Charlye replies, "I'm not going to lie, I'll probably go back to school." They end her segment with Ron stating that, no matter what happens, they're looking for someone who's going to "hold [our] hands and jump off the cliff with us." While I appreciate her honesty, I'm pretty sure she just submarined herself. Dive! Dive!

During solo rehearsal, Chrystina's got a bit of a sour puss on. Musical Director Dave Aude tells her that this is one of about 10 songs that can give him chills. That perks her up a bit. She's still having lyric issues and, despite some underpinnings of encouragement from Kenn Hicks, she ends up being frustrated after rehearsal. Natalie tells her that they gave that song because there's so much feeling in it and, if she really connects with it and the audience, she could make people cry. And that's why Natalie is so bloody smart. She really understands the "Show" part of "Show Business."

At the choreography session for "Ladies' Night," Tiffanie is goofing around and making Robin and Mikey laugh. Cue Natalie circling about like a shark in the water. She got all inward and bitter after that and had a crisis of confidence as a result. Charlye tried to talk her out of that mindset but it wasn't 100% effective.

On a phone call to her mom, Charlye admits that she doesn't feel exactly part of the group and her doubts. Her mom, in true momma fashion, verbal smacks her back to the reality of the situation - school will be there, this opportunity is here and now.

After a montage of the girls' working on their solos and sharing their pre-final performance thoughts in confessionals, we get to Performance Night. That was kind of quick.

The group number is first. It seemed a bit haphazard but that could be because of the quick-cut editing. Mark McGrath makes his requisite appearance and, when introducing the judges, refers to Ron Fair as "The Velvet Fist." That nickname kind of weirds me out. It sounds like the name of a foppish yet deadly supervillian.

Tiffanie sings her song, "You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman," first. She didn't want to over-sing the song and I think she held back the reins just enough. All the judges gave her great comments with Robin saying she "sounded like perfection tonight."

Charlye is next doing "Before He Cheats," which is not an easy song to sing. Lil' Kim looks like she's enjoying it but Ron Fair has pensive-face. It wasn't the best she's ever done but I like her sparkly black mini-dress and knee-high boots. She gets positive marks though Lil' Kim notes that there seemed like there was a little something missing.

Performing third is Nichole with "Giving Him Something Can Feel." She also gets pensive faces from the judges. She's does something completely different with the melody which may explain it since they all give her good comments.

Natalie is next with "Say It Right." She sounds good but she's doing to many gasping breaths during the verse for my taste - I found it distracting. Robin compared her to Jennifer Lopez, in a good way, because she's a really good performer. Ron Fair went momentarily insane and compared her stage-presence to Marilyn Monroe. Not that I don't understand what he's saying but...wow. Lil' Kim says that her slight disadvantage is that when Natalie isn't close to the fans, she'll have to "work it even more" but to keep up what she's doing.

Lastly, Chrystina takes the stage with "What About Love." Robin and Lil' Kim smile a bit and Ron Fair has pensive face for the umpteenth time. And, towards the end of the performance, holy crap Ron Fair smiled. Robin says it's hands down her best performance, Lil' Kim and Ron are both really impressed especially in spite of not knowing it before. Chrystina got all teary as Ron was giving her props.

After the judges discuss the girls, their progress, and if they're right for the groups, we've come to the moment of truth. The girls come out in another costume change.

Nichole is the first girl who Robin congratulates on being in the group.

She calls Tiffanie next. Two down and one to go.

To switch it up, the next name she calls is the girl who won't be in the group...and it's Charlye. Her submarine must set sail. Dive! Dive!

Natalie and Chrystina are left and hug and hold hands while Robin give them the pros and cons of each person possibly being in the group. Chrystina has been hampered by nerves but tonight she had a breakthrough. Can she be consistently good? Natalie isn't a great singer but she's a great performer. Do her strengths trump her weaknesses?

And, after about 4 more minutes of lead up, the final member is...both of them. They decided that all four girls will be in the group. And that's what Charlye karmic-ly gets for not joining the peace accord.

At the end of the episode we're treated to the premiere of their music video, a track called "Like Me" produced by Jazzy Phe. One of the lyrics is, "If I had a stiff one, you'd be all up on it." That's hilarious to me. They gave Chrystina a second make over, lightening her hair and putting some extensions in it. I hate it. It's a decent track and it'll probably get all kinds of airplay on Clear Channel.

So, that's it. Do you like the group? I'm not particually surprised at the outcome, are you? Would you have preferred it be a 3 person group or is 4 better? Did you like the single? And do you think you'd be more interested in the group if you hadn't watched the show?

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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