This week on Push Girls, the show starts with young Chelsie rolling over to Auti’s house to practice with the all girl wheelchair hip-hop dance team called “Colours in Motion,” also known as Auti, Mia and Chelsie. Before they start practicing (or spinning in circles), Auti does Chelsie a favor by making her move the heavy coffee table while her able-bodied husband stands in the hallway watching. After all (and in Auti’s eyes), young Chelsie needs to keep learning ways of doing things independently.
On the other side of L.A., Angela meets with Mr. Photographer from a few episodes back. “You actually did a good job Anthony,” she tells the guy, and then confidently goes on a tyrant about how she wants to pave the way for wheelchair modeling, even “kick down the doors” if she has to. Anthony, knowing she can’t kick any thing, ignores the silly scripted metaphors but hugs Angela upon her command before leaving the building. Why does Angela ask everyone to hug her? Even the Magic 8 Ball says, ‘It is unknown.’
Sitting around Auti’s dining room table, Chelsie admits to her fellow hip-hop team members (aka Auti and Mia) how nervous she is about her family seeing her dance for the first time. “How did you feel the first time you saw yourself dancing on video?” Auti asks Chelsie, taking advantage of her vulnerability. She responds by crying, and then a speech that goes something like this, “It’s really hard to see me now. It sucks. I want to do turns and leaps. [Sniff sniff] And I’m capable but my body’s not letting me. It’s one of the hardest things to comprehend.” And suddenly everyone on the show is wishing they were Chelsie. As the most recent person going through the transition from able-bodied person to paralyzed person, she is able to share the raw emotions and feelings that come with becoming paralyzed without sounding like a d-bag. Enter Auti’s Zen-like response to Chelsie’s breakdown, “I still have breath in my body and dance in my legs, whether they move or not.” Say what?
Suddenly, cue edgy guitar music, all the girls (except Angela, who is probably complaining about the modeling world to anyone who will listen) are rolling around and representin’ at The Abilities Expo, to which Tiphany describes as a “mall for people with physical challenges.” We finally learn the girls are sponsored by Colours Wheelchairs, and consequently learn the reason why they don wheelchairs with hideous rims that features fire designs and/or dollar signs. MONEY BITCHEZ. No, wait. Auti actually really likes those rims, and it is confirmed that she is a devout 90’s worshiper when she dresses her hip-hop dance team (again, just Mia and Chelsie) in black, see-through netted shirts and knee-high, fake converse.
Back in the modeling world, Angela meets two women at a casting agency called On Your Mark Studios who tell her everything she wants to hear, including “I don’t see your wheelchair, I see you,” and suddenly it feels like we’re watching a PBS afternoon special. “It’d be great if more producers and directors accepted people with disabilities,” the lead agent tells the camera, and it appears On Your Mark Studios will be the home of Angela’s portfolio. Until the lead agent tells Angela, “Keep in touch, okay?” Wait… aren’t agents the ones that are supposed to keep in touch when they, like, find jobs and stuff? But. What. Does. It. All. Mean?
Finally, a new love story is on the horizon and it’s not Tiphany exploring her sexuality with women, or rabbits or whatever she’ll seek love from next. It’s young Chelsie that is on the prowl. After seeing a picture of Tiphany’s nephew Josh, and mentioning he was cute, Tiphany invites him to Chelsie’s first dance recital happening the second day at The Abilities Expo. Back at the hotel, the girls are eating salads, talking about sex and urging Chelsie to text Josh. “Now that I’m in a wheelchair, I don’t think I can give a guy exactly what he wants,” she tells her much older sorority sisters, “You [girls] are older so the guys are probably more mature.” And upon hearing the word “older” Auti, Mia and Tiphany all frown. Are the girls frowning because older guys are not mature? Or do the women have an issue with being called old…er? We can’t really tell. An awkward silence begins to fill the room until the one married person (Auti) speaks out about sex and wheelchairs, “No way. Younger guys are more curious to find out.” And then it’s officially, the room is completely silent and the audience at home is left waiting for the chirping crickets sound bit. “Um, no. They think the worse,” Chelsie of the younger generation, corrects her. And then the girls move on to telling each other secrets, like Mia’s never had sex as an able-bodied person; Tiphany taught herself how to masturbate and orgasm at age 11; and Auti has sex in her wheelchair. None of these secrets feel like secrets but more like long epithets.
Cut to Angela lands a modeling job! But it doesn’t pay! But it’s a job! Kind of. Right? Well, not really. It’s a non-paying model shoot for the Christopher Reeves Foundation and while you’d think Angela would be happy in front of the camera, she complains the entire time about her spasms, and how uncomfortable she is, and how difficult posing can be, and blah, blah blah. But wait, the photographer, GASP, is in a wheelchair too. And he says, “The chair does not define you as a person or an artist.” Duh. Let’s get back to Chelsie.
Chelsie introduces her immediate family to the girls right before going on stage at The Abilities Expo. Tiphany is sitting in the front row next to her nephew Josh. When Auti grabs the mic and introduces the hip-hop dance team as Chelsie, C-Styles, and Mia, M-town, I want to cringe, reach through the TV to cover Josh’s ears and rip the microphone out of Auti’s hands. As if the 90’s outfits, and horrible introductions aren’t embarrassing enough, C-Styles then literally falls backwards and out of her wheelchair onto the floor, slapping her head hard against the concrete. The next two things happen simultaneously: the audience screams in horror and Chelsie’s dad lunges to her rescue. Once placed back in the chair, the 19-year-old wheels to the bathroom to cry her eyes out while a wide-eyed Josh sits on the sidelines worried.
In the bathroom, Chelsie comes to realize that her only injury is a busted ego and she digs deep to find the courage to face the crowd. This time, the second time, the dance choreographed by Auti goes unhitched (although I’m not convinced crunching over wheelchairs and spinning in circles should be called hip hop dancing). Upon finishing, the crowd erupts for Chelsie and I do too. She offers an inspiring impromptu speech about life, and that falling down is part of it, and that she’s always going to get back up because she’s not a quitter… cut to Josh and her having lunch the next day. YES! Even with the fall, C-Styles scored her date with the cute, young, baseball player, aka Josh. After lunch, Josh gives her a hug before parting ways… and then comes back for a nice smooch on the lips, which surely filled every person watching the show with joy. We can only hope now, he gets to third base next by week so the wedding by episode ten doesn’t seem to happen too soon. Shoo.