We open, once again, at the church, which is now full of sofas, chairs and trees (which certainly cannot be mistaken for tabletop arrangements–Amy Astley will be pleased). Lisa Love greets Lauren and Whitney as they enter, then hands out their Young Hollywood party assignments: Lauren will work backstage while Whitney handles things out front.
“ Front of the house is really horrible,” Lisa says charitably. Whitney looks nervous, and Lisa doesn’t help, adding, “ I am counting on you, Whitney, to make this a success. I want the show to start on time, promptly, at nine o’clock. No screw-ups.” Lisa, we’re two-thirds of the way through the third season of The Hills. Haven’t you learned not to jinx things by now?
Bolthouse. Kimberly, a.k.a. “ New Elodie,” carries a huge bouquet of roses into Heidi’s office. The flowers are from Spencer, of course. “You’re the greatest thing that ever happened to me. Happy 21st birthday. To 100 more birthdays together. Love, Spencer,” the card reads. I don’t know whether that’s sweet or absolutely terrifying.
Epic Records. Audrina and her co-worker Chiara have lunch. Their conversation is exposition-heavy and sounds suspiciously scripted, as always. Basically, MTV wants you to know that unsigned band The Ruse are super awesome, and Audrina and Justin are totally excited about their upcoming show.
Food court. Heidi has befriended Kim, and the girls do lunch. “I cannot believe it’s my 21st birthday! I have to order a glass of wine or something, because it’s my first time,” Heidi exclaims. Sure, honey. All of those beverages you’ve imbibed over the past three seasons were either grape juice or ginger ale, and any time you appeared drunk, you were just really, really tired. Heidi says that the past year has been her “biggest growing” one so far–in fact, she feels like she’s actually the ripe old age of 25. She’s so mature that she wants to spend this pivotal birthday alone with Spencer instead of partying with her many, many friends.
Young Hollywood party. Teen Vogue’s director of public relations tells Whitney that she has 15 minutes to seat 390 people, and that there’s no seating plan, so it will all be “off-the-cuff.” As if this wasn’t enough, Lauren attempts to explain the walkies (“ Remember, I’m on seven and you’re on one. So if you need me, go to seven, and tell me to go to 11” ), leaving Whitney both nervous and confused.
The Viper Room. Audrina and Justin are so totally stoked about seeing The Ruse, you guys. They demonstrate this by standing silently in the middle of the club, looking deadly serious, as happy drunk people jump and sing around them. Audrina shows a little more life after the show, however, when she introduces herself to the band as an Epic employee and they invite her to their after-party.
Young Hollywood party. Hayden Panettiere and a hundred famous children no one over age 12 would recognize walk the red carpet as Whitney scurries around. Despite a delayed start time and an eleventh-hour arrival by Hilary Duff, the Teen Vogue Young Hollywood party/fashion show goes off without a hitch. Well, that was anticlimactic.
After-party. Justin is uncomfortable, but he’s in a room with more than one other person, so that’s a given. One of the band members, Mark, is into Audrina (I’m sure her drink choice, a “naughty schoolgirl,” didn’t hurt), but politely asks Justin if she’s “available to be asked out.” Justin takes evasiveness to new heights, simply saying, “ She’s pretty good” over and over. It works, though – poor confused Mark gives up, and Audrina leaves with Justin.
Heidi’s rockin’ birthday bash. Spencer presents Heidi with a several-thousand-dollar handbag and a little cake. Heidi treats Spencer to an unconvincing speech about how much better low-key birthdays are than big busy bashes. Then, staring off into the distance, she eats her birthday cake as Spencer taps away on his BlackBerry.