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This miserable decalogue is almost done and has clearly taken its toll on the remaining six contestants. I feel compelled to go a little easier on them as their humanity becomes a little more perceptible. The judges though remain as abominable and detestable as ever. A guest judge, artist Ryan McGinness, while charming and worshiped by several of the aspirants, turns out to be something less than lucid.

• The less and less helpful Simon and China get right to the point and assign this week’s task: explore a dialectic - Order/Chaos, Male/Female, Heaven/Hell. It also is to be an exercise in collaboration pairing up the last six into three duos. It’s the toughest errand yet and is further complicated by Simon and China’s cluelessness as to what they really want. The classic profile of producer.

• Mark is my new favorite. Peregrine is painstakingly torturing the poor man, her partner, and insisting that he document his wince-worthy scar, the result of a childhood medical calamity where “his stomach exploded”.

• Miles is getting a little pervy and that seems to be OK with “saucy” Jaclyn who has oddly resigned to being objectified by the world with her help. An underachieving narcissist.

• Who’s going to break it to Abdi that he’s thinking of “Plato’s Cave” not Socrates. Another teachable moment wasted.

• A “bumper” sequence finds a very mean-spirited montage intercutting each artist talking in their earnest jargon creating a deluge of babble. At least that’s what was the supercilious intentioned producers had hoped for and yet they end up creating a kind of poetry, a rhapsody of sincerity.

• I’ve been told to avoid spoilers. Let me just say that the most generous, accommodating artist that made themselves the most vulnerable got reamed in the end. And that folks, is the over-arching lesson of this cavalcade.

• China Chow is in tears as she gives one of them the boot. An actual human emotion, emphatic no less.

• What this show needs are more sore losers.

For the last two episodes, next week and the week after, I’ll be publishing on the weekend because the potential spoilers are coming hard and fast. So don’t read unless you want the rapture of anticipation interrupted. Just watch it on-line or for you gentle cable people Bravo repeats episodes constantly.

Be strong, its almost over.

- Dale Hoyt [Thursday, July 29th, 2010]

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