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"Impress These Apes" Wrapup: Rockin' the House(plant)

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Sep 21, 2007 6:22PM

studard_2007_09.jpgTo paraphrase an old Simpsons quote: In a way, all the Impress These Apes contestants were winners. But more accurately, Kristen Studard (pictured) was the champ, earning the accolades of primates and peers along with $250 in cold hard cash. The competition was fierce and the "anything goes" format yielded some of the contestants’ best work. But “Desperate Houseflower,” Kristen’s penetrating multi-media exploration of the secret lives of houseplants, brought the audience to its feet and proved unbeatable.

Not too much movement on the leaderboard last night, as the top three — Studard, Erin Pallesen, and Jarrad Apperson — held their ground and won cash prizes. Contestants made the most of the unstructured final task, which is to say they made us laugh our ass off. Pallesen showed impressive stamina and creativity, performing 14 tasks in 5 minutes (alas, none of them involved pollination…). Brady Novak’s short video doc about rogue street basketball in the Tribune Plaza and Amanda Rountree’s relationship drama, enlisting 30 audience members as her “scene partner,” vaulted them closer to the top.

Praising, insulting, and hitting on the performers, the Ape judging trio was in fine form, joined this week by inaugural Impress These Apes champion Jamie Buell. The flimsy story which brought the Apes to Earth concluded with Gameshow Host and Professor Scoresboard hijacking their ship, stranding them here for (we hope) Impress These Apes 3.

The Blewt folks have promised to post videos from last night on the Impress These Apes site Monday. In the meantime, they have seven weeks of YouTube clips archived for your Friday afternoon diversion. Congratulations to Kristen and all the contestants.

Image via Impress These Apes.