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Vh1 is hitting the road in search of the next members of the world-renowned strip troupe, Thunder from Down Under.

Recaps by Gordon Pepper, GSNN


Billy Cross & Rachel Perry
Billy Cross
EP: Billy Cross, Craig Piligian
Packager: Pilgrim Films, Distraction Formats, VH1
Origin: Las Vegas, NV
Airs: Thursdays at 10p ET on Vh1

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"An Audience With..." - July 7

It's an episode of surprises. The guys are going to be surprised when they are being judged by the same women that they are entertaining. There may be other surprises - but we'll let you be surprised.

We surprise no one as we start at Day 17 - only 8 days away from the performance. We see more choreography and people's insecurities. Josh wants to be bigger, while Bryce wants to be smaller. Rachel wants the guys to be the guests of honor, as they will be hosting a bachelorette party! Their job is to make sure that have a great time, and they only have a few hours to get ready.

Brian is thrilled that they will finally be interacting with females not names Sharon and Rachel - but he is sensing that there will be a catch. Of course there will be a catch. We'll see what it is. Terry wonders if the women are going to be fat or transvestites.

David is still torn between going home and staying. Rick is very nervous about hosting, since he feels that he and Bryce will be competing against each other.

Remember if Terry was wondering if the women are fat or ugly? Well, they are neither - and they are in a wild mood. The women are excited as they drink from their cups - and lick from the cups - and lick the bottom of the cups - and lick the guys fingers. Yowzers. They toast to a great evening, and the women already look sloshed.

The women go upstairs, as Rick says, 'That's what they're really looking for.' We get a montage of what the 9 women actually get - and the guys do seem fairly well rehearsed. Terry gets into it and realizes that he really loves this.

When the show is about to end, the love is about to end. Rick is talking to the guys, while the women want more action. Rick keeps talking to the guys and Marco notices that the women are not being entertained. Marco tells Rick to entertain them, but Rick says that there is a pattern that needs to be followed. While they get into it, it's Josh who comes over and chats with the women. They seem much happier with that and the party goes on as usual, but you have to wonder if Josh is making a play at the host role.

Day 18 - The party ends, and the women seem to be happy. Tony was not very happy, because he didn't think that certain people (Rick) were taking it as professionally as he was. Billy wasn't happy either - he watched the whole thing and he has some comments to make. He comes up to the guys and brings them the comments -

Sean - Very professional. Billy is very happy with him.

Terry - Also professional. Billy likes how he got into it.

Tony - He backed away from the girls in a few spots. That concerned him.

Marco - He shows that he was angry at Rick. He can't do that. He needs to mask it.

Rick - Bombed as Emcee.

Josh - did a great job in taking over for Rick. Maybe he has the inside track?

Billy calls them over and says that they passed the test - but yet they failed the test. They made the girls happy, but they didn't make Billy happy, so someone has to go. That person is....Marco. Billy thinks that he isn't going to get out of that shell and he's not going to be able to. Marco admitted that he was having an off day, but he added that you can't have any of those off-days when you are performing.

Billy knows that the guys still want Bryce gone, but added that Bryce outperformed Marco, so he stays. I don't know about you, but I don't think the audience is going to pay to see 7 potbellied underdeveloped Bryces gallivanting around the stage. The guys see Marco off, and then they toast to the fact that there are 10 people left.

We continue with Day 18, as Billy has a surprise for them. He goes into his bag and pulls out...thongs! The surprise is that the thong is their next outfit for the next exercise. The guys react as, well, you would expect them to react - badly. 'This can't possibly be good for my reputation.' says Terry, while Ryan is cringing as he sees Bryce look just as bad from the bottom as he does at the top. 'You take off his top, and he looks like hell. You take off his shorts, and he looks twice as bad.'

With 10 guys in their thong dancing, where is the performance going to be? Outside, of course. Rick is concerned, but when he sees everyone else acting like fools, he gets along with it. Sharon loved what they did, but asks why they don't bring this same sort of attitude at rehearsal. Billy warns them all that if they don't bring that same attitude, then they will all be performing outside from that point on. The guys get the hint.

Day 19 - Back at rehearsal, Rachel notices that some of the guys are looking quite disheveled. As a result, all of the guys are sent to go out and get tans and hairdos. The planned course of action is a regular tan, then a spray tan. At the hair salon, they decide to switch colors and get rid of Terry's 'Brillo Pad' look. Rick got a new red mohawk, while other people got an eyebrow waxing.

Adam is upset that Rick takes his chicken. Terry is upset that Adam starts taking 5 or 6 pieces. Touche'. The nerves are starting to fray and Terry says that he wants to see more people leave before he feels better. Someone is going to feel better, as Billy decides that he's ready to announce his first choice, which will be the host. He has decided that the host is going to be...Josh. Based on the women's party, Billy decided that Josh is the best choice. That is great news for Josh, who can breathe a sigh if relief. That comes as a disaster for Bryce, who saw this as the only way to get into the troupe. Rick, who was also counting on that to get himself in, look like he just got nailed by a dump truck. Even Brian feels sorry for him and wonders how Rick is going to get into the group based on his physique. How, indeed...

Billy takes the guys over to a focus group, which focuses on dealing with the media. The objective is to see how the guys respond when being asked by the media, which is going to be played by Linda. What the guys probably know is that Billy is watching them. What they probably don't know is that they are also being watched by a group of 8 women, ages ranging from 23 to 56, who's job is to rate the guys in terms of sexuality and how likable they are. Why? Because these are probably going to be the same people who would be attending their shows.

We start with the interviews. Rick calls himself the crazy one, other people talk about their preferences. Brian's hobbies - Sex, special interest - sex, and that's basically it. The women seemed very turned off by this one.

Terry talks how sexuality is all about self-confidence, adding that his hair is sexy. Rick gives himself an 8.9, which got chuckles from the girls. Bryce gives himself a 6, adding that he has a good personality, but a bad body. That can't be a good way to impress the girls.

A better way to impress Linda the moderator? The guys doing a strip dance for her! Billy comes in and told them that the guys would be split into groups of 5 - one group would do the opening act and the other group would do the closing act.

After the dancing ended, Rachel takes the guys and brings them into the room where the 8 women were judging them. She then drops the bomb on them and tells them that she is going to read their opinions of the guys. Uh-oh...

The women were asked how many of them would see the guys at a show. Half of them said yes. That couldn't possibly make Billy happy. I'm guessing based on that lukewarm response, there are going to be many things that make a lot of people unhappy...

Bryce - Nice personality, but they don't think that Bryce has the worst body. Who's body don't they like? Terry and Rick. There's another notch against Rick.

Adam - They love his dimples and they think he is sexy.

Sean - Nice physique, but only a 5 on looks. Ouch.

Brian - He loves Sex. They hate him, adding that he sounded slimy and sleazy. Brian added that he probably shouldn't have said it.

Rick - Too talkative. None of the women liked him. Rick is convinced that he's gone next.

With this interlude, Billy says that he will take what the women say into consideration, but he also says that some of these things that the women say can be fixed, so there is some hope with Rick.

Terry thought that the women misinterpreted them, while Rick thought that his mom was in the group. Billy tells them that not every woman will like them, but they need to learn to accept criticism.

The guys come back and chatter about what happened at the review. Bryce, meanwhile, seems very confident about his chances in the house. Rick feels like the women were trying to jeopardize his job and he wanted to break something. As Tony says that Rick failed the personality test; as Rick says that the women can eat and gain more weight, you have to see it Tony's way. Rick's depressed, and he wonders what the women were smoking when they said that Bryce has one of the best physiques.

Night of Day 18 - It's elimination time. Billy calls them up and says that it's time for someone to go. He says that it's really difficult (blah blah blah), but because he has to cut the show down, he has to only take 8 to Vegas. He's getting rid of...Bryce, who is improved, but not improved enough. Billy says that he has 5 days to go, and he's not going to get to that level in 5 days. Brian - 'Certain people were meant to do things in life. And certain people were not meant to do things in life.'

If we do the math though, that makes 9 people left. Billy is only taking 8 people to Vegas. Hence, we need to get rid of one more person. Billy is also going to eliminate...David? He is as stunned as everyone else, especially when Billy convinced him not to leave when he wanted to 2 weeks ago. Billy says that David isn't standing out and he has to go, too.

A furious David (who thinks that he was bilked) goes over to Billy and wonders why he let him go now, when he asked Billy if he was going to happen. Billy says that decisions change and to not take it personally, but David doesn't buy it, and quite frankly, neither do I. Bryce, on the other hand, is thrilled that me made it this long. 'I did what I had to do, and it wasn't enough.' Well, as we see the footage, doing what he had to do wasn't doing what he needed to do and he clearly could have done more. He is taking it much better than David though, who just wants to wreck the room. Quite frankly, I wouldn't blame him. Ryan says that his personality didn't come out when they were performing, but us as an audience hasn't seen it and we need to in order to understand the rationale.

Final thoughts? Rick says that after knowing that he wasn't eliminated, he is going to humble himself and be a better person as he moves to Vegas. Bryce vows to not go back to his old ways and David can't wait to see his family.

It's all good for the 8 people, but one of those people will be devastated when they find out that they will not be performing. Join us in 7 days for the finale and the final line-up of the new American Storm.

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