Will Asia rock the Universal City Walk on the season finale of Raising Asia? Will her parents relax for two seconds?
It’s the end of the first season of Lifetime’s Raising Asia. Yay! Everything Asia has been working toward has come to this point: singing for a bunch of people at a mall.1 As the big event approaches, Billy has booked an appearance on Bite Size TV, a webchannel that has a show hosted by scourge of CBS reality competitions Rachel Reilly. The adults are overcoaching and Asia is not 100%—either stress, exhaustion, or the fact that she’s eight years old. She gets overwhelmed at the tech rehearsal and locks herself in a closet to get a minute of alone time. The performance goes fine, I guess, and then it’s off to Universal City Walk. Kristie has one more freakout about the Raising Asia production and then the family goes to check out the venue. Shawn gets on Anthony’s last nerve in a moment reminiscent of the stagecraft scene in A Mighty Wind, making any sort of dress rehearsal impossible. The show begins and despite some major technical issues (which would have been avoided had there been a tech rehearsal, Shawn) everyone is satisfied and expect Asia to become a megastar. Sure, why not?
As a way to unwind before the big event, the Rays host a pool party. The adults are seen doing a round of shots and Kristie food shames Asia for snacking on chips and a popsicle. If you are throwing a party and don’t want the attendees to eat chips, don’t buy chips?
In the tech rehearsal for the web show2, Asia gets a crash course in audio feedback, stage blocking, don’t do that, don’t do that, don’t do that. She gets overwhelmed and has to separate herself from the overbearing grown ups. After the performance, the team gathers for a meeting. Shawn asks Asia what happened and she says calmly that she finds all the last-minute notes overwhelming and she needs some space before a performance. Shawn immediately turns this around on her, accusing her of pointing fingers and not taking responsibility. Shawn is a piece of work.
Back at home, Gina tells Ray she is concerned about her sister’s stress level. Gina keeps making herself available as a resource but keeps getting pushed aside. Asia, who is rehearsing upstairs, can hear the discussion/crying and gets distracted. Kristie storms downstairs and tells production to turn off the cameras because this discussion isn’t relevant to what the show should be filming. Oh, honey. Shawn once again points out that the more Kristie flips out on production, the more closely the PAs will look at the timecodes to make sure these clips make the final cut.
Asia’s big performance at Universal City Walk will be a 15-minute set with three songs, costume changes, and a big entrance on a carried platform. Shawn is overproducing at this point, causing Anthony to mutter about wanting to just do his own job. Shawn is overly concerned with the platform, noticing it has a lip at the front, and that the dancers carrying the platform are not of uniform height. Shawn advises Asia on how to be careful by saying “you don’t want to do this” and “don’t do that.” Here’s the thing I learned from several years of coaching young athletes: say what you want rather than what you don’t want. Telling someone to remember something phrases the request in a positive, constructive way while telling them what not to do implants the idea of what not to do. For example, “remember to bring the salad to the picnic” is better than “don’t forget the salad” because your subconscious, which is imperfect, may hear “don’t forget the salad” or “forget the salad.”
Long story short: Shut up, Shawn.
Shawn’s interference in every step of the process for the City Walk performance prevented the team from having any sort of dress or tech rehearsal. When the show begins, the dancers are not in position to carry Asia onto the stage. Shawn blames Anthony for this. The first song goes off without a hitch, but Asia’s mic cuts off during the second song because the jumping in the choreography messed with the audio pack. Funny, a rehearsal would have sussed out that problem. Asia doesn’t seem to realize there is a problem until someone gives her a hand mic, and she rolls with the punches. Lady GaGa’s choreographer is in the audience3 and he praises Asia’s professionalism after the show. His main critique is that the songs are too young for Asia, which bristles Billy. Eh.
The Most Heart-Breaking Thing Bella Said This Week
Bella said only one thing this week: “Feels like a lot of hard work. That’s all I know.” I hope she’ll be okay.
So that’s it. I had no idea when I sat down to watch the pilot of Raising Asia that I would be watching this entire series, let alone writing about it each week. I will be curious to see if there will be a second season, given that the most minor production issues set Kristie off. I’m not sure if Asia is any closer to achieving her goals, even with this exposure, but she seems like a good kid. I hope the Rays are able to take some time to reflect on this experience and how it may have affected their family.