By Daniel Kohn
By Imade Nibokun
By Arrissia Owen
By Lilledeshan Bose
By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
Still one more act: a trio of singing, dancing teen girls, the youngest of whom keeps sticking her not-very-developed breasts out as if she learned it from one of those extremely disturbing JonBenet Ramsey beauty-contest videos. After they're done, T-Bone gets trotted out and positioned next to them. Their score isn't enough, however: T-Bone wins and moves on to the next round. He's made . . . The Cut! Then-again, just as MTV told them to-some hand-picked members of the audience walk out onto the set and start shaking their booties while the end-credits and canned-applause reels roll. Alas, I am not one of them, too old for the show's obvious target youth market-why else would The Cut air every day at 5 in the afternoon?
Afterward, Hoffman, Jamison and Duke (who, it turns out, was this episode's token white chick) seem relieved that their brush with MTV is over. They came, they tried, they failed, but they'll get over it. In fact, when we all convene outside the studio, they already have. Jim Carrey lost on Star Search, we recall, so what do judges know, anyway?
A few days later, an MTV publicist calls me, wanting to set up an interview with one of the show's producers, apparently thinking I'm writing about what a wonderful show The Cut is. But The Cut isn't wonderful. It's a demeaning, slanted MTV dog-and-pony show-why else would musicians not be allowed to choose which song they'll perform?-that exploits artists by dangling the carrot of fame before their faces.
Ruby Diver didn't win, and it doesn't matter. They're better than MTV. And definitely too good for . . . The Cut!