Last night’s Man Band was a cruel exercise in humiliation. When Miss Kate forced the guys to perform at the Orlando Magic half-time show against their will, that was one thing. Everyone was expecting to be booed. And booed they were. But when Miss Kate pointlessly, antagonistically made them listen to radio jocks tear their performance to shreds the following morning, that was something else. And when she made them watch a tape of the show, that was the camel that broke the straw’s back.
Call it insult to injury: Rich, Bryan, Jeff and Chris have plenty to complain about. After almost no prep time, Miss Kate threw the men of Sureshot to the wolves. Despite Rich having to write the lyrics to the song on his hand and Chris’ thousand-yard stare, the actual show was pretty good. They looked relaxed, happy, confident and collected. But when the show stopped — and the booing began — the mood changed.
Even their loyal songwriter BMC got in on the act. During the post-show critique, he told them that their futile attempt to hold onto past glory from bands like 98 Degrees and N*Sync was preventing them from moving forward. “You’re like, ‘How do I top that?'” he told them. “F*ck that! You’re not going to top that! I will not be part of a wack project!”
It wasn’t all dark. Chris, Jeff and Rich went out to a club to drown their troubles and heard their song being played over the sound system. It sounded good. And the crowd was into it, too. (That’s Miami for you.) But the following morning, when Miss Kate gathered the men around the radio, any camraderie dissipated. The DJs were cruel. They called Bryan “Color Me Fatt,” which sort of makes us want to egg their radio station. When the Man Band-ers expressed their unhappiness with the situation, Miss Kate said, “It’s a good experience for you!” “Could I get a colonoscopy?” Chris shot back. “That’d be a good experience, too.”
Things finally boiled over when Miss Kate, not getting the hint, asked the men to sit and watch a tape of their performance. At first Chris refused to watch, then capitulated. As soon as the tape was over, he threatened suicide, which seems a little extreme. So at the end of the episode, when Sureshot sat down with Miss Kate for a business meeting, no one was very surprised when Chris told her, “We want to fire you.”
It’s getting ugly, kids.