Kid Nation
Starved For Entertainment

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: C | Grade It Now!
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Let You Entertain Us

So now Jonathan gets to show them what they would have won if they'd finished in time. The first option is a crate full of paint -- bright green, red, yellow, and blue, along with brushes and rollers and pans, so they could have painted the town. I'm sure the Santa Fe Historical Society would have loved that. Option number two? An all-night block party, as represented by a disco in a crate; balloons, disco ball, sound system, popcorn, the works. Everything but beer and ecstasy. Blaine dances a little anyway, and then everyone heads back into town empty-handed. Zach interviews that after being denied the reward, the talent show is now more important than ever: "We need to have some fun in Bonanza City or this town will fail just like it did in the 1880s." I have a question. Did the original Bonanza City last for more than 40 days? Because no matter what, it seems to me like our kids are going to have a hard time lasting longer than that.

Late at night, Jared is still practicing his monologue in his long underwear and moon-boots, as you do. He's considering backing out of the talent show entirely if he can't get off-book in time. In the Green bunkhouse, the team is congratulating itself on attaining Upper Class in only 23 days. All hail the masters of mastication! But in another bunkhouse, one of their number, Savannah, is breaking down, telling Kennedy and Red's Mike (who is epically bored, although he does shift himself to mention that the Kentucky dinner was really good) that although she loves the people there, she really wants to go home.

It looks like the next morning, but I don't know how it's not Day 24, and how the talent show didn't already happen the day before. Jasmine (Red, 11, from Georgia), gets a line for the first time, saying that the talent show will bring some excitement. Kind of sad that her one line was that boring. The new jobs are in effect, because we see Taylor going through the bunkhouses collecting laundry now that Yellow are the Laborers for the first time. "Boys smelly poisoning all over it," she fusses awesomely at us, throwing garments willy-nilly into a laundry basket. One particularly mysterious item looks like some kind of leather harness or something. I have no idea. I'm sure it's Jared's. But how cool is it to see Taylor actually doing work? And if we can get more of those incoherent, verb-free rants from her in the process, that's just gravy.

More talent show prep. Nothing you don't already know. Olivia is still nervous, Jared is still cramming, etc. And then it's time for the show. Overblown Oscar-night fanfare accompanies footage of the kids filing into the Saloon, where Markelle (12, also from Georgia) is emceeing. Guylan interviews that everyone hopes the show will boost morale. The Council, by the way, are all sitting behind the bar, like the Emperor's box at the Coliseum or something. I hope that wasn't their idea. Kelsey is the first to take the stage, playing a familiar piece (Liszt, I think) incongruously well on the Saloon's out-of-tune piano. "I honestly thought Chopin had come back from the dead," Guylan interviews. Big hand for Kelsey, well deserved. Next up is Campbell, who prefaces his performance by saying that his brother taught him how to do this. "This" turns out to be a very high-pitched whistle, way back in his throat. Thank you for deafening everyone after Kelsey's performance, Campbell. Eric sings a song about New Jersey, accompanying himself on the piano. I don't recognize the song from the short snippet, but they probably wouldn't have wanted to pay for the broadcast rights for the performance if it were Springsteen or something. Markelle introduces Jared, who's wearing a brown period vest over his tie-dyed t-shirt for his monologue. He goes into his bit, and it isn't so much a dramatic performance as a feat of memorization, and it's barely that. Not that anyone would have noticed if he'd dropped a couplet or two. But he gets through it. "You know what? I wasn't the worst," he interviews after the fact. It wasn't nice of the editors to switch it around on him, though, so it looked like he started at the end.

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