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Authors: Anonymous

Elimination Night

BOOK: Elimination Night
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The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Text copyright © 2013 by AnonCorp
All rights reserved.

No part of this book may be reproduced, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without express written permission of the publisher.

Published by Amazon Publishing
P.O. Box 400818
Las Vegas, NV 89140

ISBN-13: 9781477800102
ISBN-10: 1477800107

This is a work of fiction.

Any similarity to any persons living or dead—or to any real organizations and/or corporations—is coincidental.

The following document was recovered from a laptop computer left in a dumpster behind the offices of Zero Management in Los Angeles.

No one has yet claimed ownership.

The true identity of the author remains unknown.

CONTENTS

Project Icon

1. Becoming Bill

2. A Horrible Farewell

3. Sanity Check

4. The M-Word

5. Bibi and the Boy King of the Bronx

6. Sanity Check: The Sequel

7. The Run-Through

8. Six Things

9. “I Hope You Like Celery”

10. N for Yes

11. The Loneliest Place on Earth

12. Snake Break!

13. Coach Andy

14. Little Green Pills

15. The Moment

16. When They Were Young

17. Lion’s Den

18. Vengeance Enough

19. Fallen Icon

20. Maison Chelsea

21.
Bingo-Bitte!

22. Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

23. Whatta Man

24. The Talent and the Glory

25. El Woofaleah

26. Room 709

27. Love What You Do

28. Chaz Chipford’s Greatest Hits

29. Wingwoman

Afterward

PROJECT ICON

SEASON THIRTEEN SCHEDULE

July–August

Preauditions

September

The Reveal

November–December

Auditions (with judges)

Early January

Las Vegas Week

Late January

Season Premier

February

Live episodes from Greenlit Studios

May

Season Finale

1

Becoming Bill

September

“LOOK AT ME,
Bill,” said Len.

I looked.

“Now, tell me what you see.”

I had no idea where he was going with this. I didn’t really
want
to know, to be honest with you.

“I see… your face,” I said.

“And tell me, Bill,” Len went on, “is my face betraying any sign, any hint—any indication
whatsoever
—that I might actually care about the logistical difficulty of performing the task I delegated to you? Is my face telling you that, Bill?
Is that what you see?

“No,” I sighed.

“Good. Now,
please
give the judges the run-through. And chop-bloody-chop. We’re on in ten.”

With that, Leonard Braithwaite—Supervising Producer of the Most-Watched Television Show on Earth—twirled on his heels like the backup dancer he used to be, and took his ridiculous English accent and even
more ridiculous suit over to the other side of the room. Clotted cream and baby blue, that was today’s color scheme—with pinstripes so wide they could have been rolled onto his pants by one of those lawn painting machines they have at Wimbledon.

Len is an asshole, in case you haven’t figured that out already. I would go so far as to say that he’s an
asshole’s
asshole, such is his lifelong dedication to the craft of assholeness. Len also couldn’t exist anywhere outside of reality TV. Take that faux bronze wet-look man-perm: “The Merm,” as it’s known here backstage. In the non-TV universe, such a hairstyle would be nearing the outer limits of credibility if its owner were merely approaching middle age. As it is, Len can’t be a day under seventy-five. It’s the
teeth
that give it away: an unnatural shade of white, with the lumpy, thick-grained texture of medieval church cabinetry.

I stared at the clipboard in my hand, as if that might somehow make the next ten minutes of my life any easier. Attached was the run-through Len had just mentioned: a twelve-page script for the eleven o’clock press conference, which would take place in the auditorium downstairs and would be streamed live on the Internet to a worldwide audience of two hundred million people (or so the Rabbit network was optimistically claiming). If you believed
ShowBiz
magazine—the holy text of industry gossip that lands on every desk in Hollywood once a week—an entire billion-dollar-a-year franchise depended on our not screwing this up. As, therefore, did all our jobs. So it was strange that Len wanted to put
me
in charge of the run-through. It wasn’t unusual for him to over-delegate, of course: He did it all the time, usually so he could take one of his five-hour lunch breaks at Mr. Chang’s. But today was different.

Today
mattered.

I tried to calm myself. What was it my old meditation tutor used to say? “Imagine yourself as a
majestic mountain.
” I closed my eyes and pictured Everest, but my inner mountain wasn’t cooperating. Besides, when I first moved to LA, I promised myself I’d never turn into the
kind of person who would say “imagine yourself as a majestic mountain” unless in mockery. So instead I just stood there, watching as four crew guys carried a vast airbrushed banner—in colors that looked suspiciously like the branding of a certain global hamburger chain—through the pre-show lounge area. “
PROJECT ICON: THE DREAM REAWAKENS!
” it read.

Len had told me to fire the sign writer weeks ago. I had yet to find the right moment.

“Nine minutes until we’re on!” a voice behind me yelled.

I had to do the run-through.
If only I hadn’t left my jar of little green pills in the bathroom cabinet at home. How else was I going to find the courage to address a room full of celebrities? Unless… unless I did what I’d been fantasizing about since my very first day at
Project Icon,
and quit. It wasn’t like I owed anyone here anything. I could just walk out, right now. I’d be at the baggage carousel at Honolulu International before dinner. Then a fifteen-minute taxi ride to Waikiki Beach, and then—oh, yes!—one of my sweet, handsome Brock’s frontal lobotomy mai tais, served under the hundred-year-old kiawe tree in the bar of the Huakuwali Hotel to the romantic, albeit slightly cheesy rhythm of hula music.

Only that wasn’t the plan.

No, the plan was to keep working, keep saving, until I had enough in the bank to leave this place and never come back.

Only then could I get on that plane.

So my name isn’t actually Bill, just FYI. It’s Sasha. Bill was—sorry,
is
—the name of my immediate boss, Bill Redmond, whose duties as assistant producer of
Project Icon
are now mine, or at least until Bill gets out of the ER at Denver General Medical Center.

Long story.

Len calls me Bill because he didn’t want there to be any confusion during the “transition of responsibilities.” Which means to say: Len calls me Bill because he thinks of his employees as being basically interchangeable.
“That’s just how things are, Bill, when you work in live television,” he once explained to me. But really that’s just how things are when you work for Len, whose Repulsive Personality Field seems to have doubled in strength since he returned to the show for its thirteenth—and almost certainly final—season.

And so: Back in June, on the morning of that unfortunate incident in Denver, I, Sasha King—the pale, red-curled, non-girliest girl ever to work in live entertainment—became Bill. Or “acting assistant producer,” to use my official title, which no one does. The “acting” bit means I get the double privilege of responsibilities—serious, one-hour-of-sleep, lifespan-shortening responsibilities—while still being relied on for menial tasks, such as procuring obscure fried meat products for homesick Southern contestants or collecting Len’s eighteen-month-old adopted Congolese orphan from his nightly Bikram yoga class.

No, Mom
really
couldn’t believe it when I took this job.

“Since when have you wanted anything to do with
show business?
” she asked, spitting vodka everywhere. “You’ve never cared about glam or glitz in your life! You don’t even wear
makeup,
dear. I thought you wanted to be a writer, like that man—y’know, the one who wrote that depressing book you’re always carrying around with you,
Never-ending Misery.

“It’s
One Hundred Years of Solitude,
Mom,” I sighed. “And it’s not depressing. It’s the greatest novel ever written. Dad gave it to me for my sixteenth birthday.”

“This is just very…
unlike
you, dear. What about Brock? Is he going to LA, too?”

“No, Mom. Brock’s not coming with me. He’s moving to… look, it doesn’t matter. This is a short-term thing. If I’m ever going to finish my novel, I need to take some time off. And for that, I need some money. The student loans are gone, Mom.”

“What about your inheritance?”

“Jesus, Mom. Dad left me four dollars and half a pack of Camel Lights.”

“I thought he left you his moose socks, too?”


And
the moose socks, yes.”

Mom did have a point about all of this, of course: Growing up in the fishing hamlet of Babylon, Long Island—with its peeling paintwork, Babylicious Crab Cakes, and twice-weekly hurricanes—I mocked anyone with an interest in celebrities. Even as an infant (or so I’ve been told) I considered most forms of popular entertainment beneath me. Rattles?
Meh.
Stuffed animals?
Please.
Life was a serious business, as far as Baby Me was concerned, requiring deep thought and a frown at all times. Even a giggle was asking too much: If you tickled my belly, I would grunt and try my best to punch you in the face. (Dad found infinite amusement in this, judging by the camcorder footage.) Things didn’t change much as I got older. I preferred the Discovery Channel to the Mickey Mouse Club, the spelling bee to the cheerleading squad,
The Times
’ op-ed page to the sex quiz in
Seventeen.
Full-blown nerdism, in other words.

BOOK: Elimination Night
6.45Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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