By Josh Soares
I can’t believe I took this job, I think. Forced to stand in our underwear for hours on end while being painted to look like some hideous monster, only to be criticized after. As we walk through the door, my assigned contestant, as usual, shakes my hand and asks me to hold the pain cups. I get ready for four hours of standing here and being smothered in paint and plastic.
As the hours go by, I start to look worse and worse. What am I even supposed to be? I think. And what is that she’s putting on me? Hair? Gross! I would look at the clock, but his stupid mask makes impossible to turn my head. Luckily, someone shouts, “Time’s up!” And my contestant groans, throwing down her paint and other tools. Yeah, well you don’t even have to wear it! I think to myself. Everyone files out of the studio and heads for the next building, for last looks.
When we enter the other building, my contestant turns on the lights at her workstation and starts to hastily tape something together. Then, she attempts to stick it to my back. What are those, wings? I am not putting those on! I think. But she puts them on anyway. After, she starts hastily applying paint, paint, and more paint. Suddenly, the timer mounted on the wall buzzes, signaling that that we are out of time once and for all. Everyone walks out the door and into the judging room.
I see a cameraman behind the panel, filming everything we do. One by one, the artists reveal their work, and everyone else’s seems to be better than mine. Finally, I’m called to the stage. I try to move my shoulder blades to make it seem as if I’m flapping my wings, but one of them painfully peels off my back and clatters to the floor. The judges gasp. This kind of thing rarely happens. Trying to sound as normal as possible, Mackenzie, standing in the corner, asked the judges to take a closer look.
When the judges start to examine my makeup, they notice the more minute problems with it. “It’s absolutely terrible,” Glenn says. They ask me to turn around, only to find more mistakes. Finally, they move on to the next person. One by one, they inspect everyone, finding out even the smallest mishaps. Mackenzie announces the winner, not me (obviously) and then the loser. I knew it would be me, right from the start. Everyone knows what happens if your contestant is eliminated, but I’m in it for the money.
Mackenzie whispers to the cameraman to cut, and he does, putting to camera in his bag and heading to the next room, to film the victorious contestant. As I feel it happening to me, I try to cry out but it turns into a squawk. Ruffling my feathers, I run off the stage and try to fly out the open window, only to fall short due to the missing wing.