13. The New Year’s Year-End Hidden Talent Contest

It’s the end of the old year and the beginning of a new one, and in true TV tradition, that means it’s time for a special New Year’s show. Hosted by Excel and Hyatt for the benefit of an audience of Excel and Hyatt clones, the New Year’s-Year End Hidden Talent Contest sees the Excel’s West Team and Hyatt’s East Team compete against each by showing various clips from previous episodes, interspersed with typically random fun.

First up, it’s time to check in on the Excel Girls, who are out covering a celebrity in his attempt to set a new record. That celebrity is none other than Lord Ilpalazzo, who is trying to build a line of dominoes leading all the way back to the studio. In fact, he is so intent on his task that he doesn’t even flinch when Kobayashi and Mikako begin punching and kicking him.

Back at the studio, it is time for the East and West teams to start showing their clips. First up is Excel’s West Team, presenting the introductory “Excel Saga in One Minute”, a flashback to Excel’s happy graduation day- right up until the moment when she got hit by a truck. In response, Hyatt’s East Team show “Hatchans ‘Gazing at Life and Death’”, a short that will supposedly examine Hyatt’s identity and mystery. Rather than clearing up the many questions about Hyatt, however, it just turns out to be a hasty rehash of clips from previous episodes, accompanied by a restatement of all the facts everyone already knew.

Despite the relative pointlessness of the two shorts, it is time for the panel of judges- better known as Kapabu, the Great Will, Pedro, Nabeshin and Menchi, to give their votes. Excel is delighted to net 48 points out of 50, but her delight soon turns to annoyance when Hyatt is given 49 points.

Whilst Excel storms offstage, Hyatt decides to check up on the Excel Girls, who are still monitoring Ilpalazzo’s domino challenge. The two singers decide to provoke some excitement by bashing the floor, causing some the dominoes to start prematurely falling. Horrified, Ilpalazzo tries to contain the damage. However, when the two girls start laughing at him, Ilpalazzo is quick to take action, disposing of the Excel girls and replacing them with plushies.

Meanwhile, in the studio, Hyatt decides to move onto the second round, showing the East Team’s “Engrish” version of Beauty Theatre. The clip is the Beauty Theatre short “Same Room”, but all the lines have been redubbed with nonsensical English to make a hilarious new version.

Having returned to the set, Excel shows the West Team’s second round offering- “Excel Does it With Herself”, showcasing Ilpalazzo’s dating game. Once again, Ilpalazzo kills his in-game sister Excel for tricking him into getting up for school, and in a retry he gets another Game Over for refusing to walk home from school with her.

After a quick chat with the judges, it is time to see the second round scores, and in typical fashion Excel’s team gets 49 points, whilst Hyatt’s team has 48- leading to a tie. Now it all depends on the final round, starting with the West Team’s “Pedro: The Movie” trailer. The trailer promises a tale of friendship, betrayal and true love, as poor Pedro wanders as a ghost between this world and the next, losing all he had in life, but perhaps gaining something new as well.

The East Team’s final offering is a trailer for another movie, this one centred on none other than Nabeshin and his never-ending tendency to force his way into every scene. Whether it’s a reunion with old cronies Antonio, Space Butler and Tetsuko, or just a random appearance, Nabeshin will always be there.

With the final round over, it is time for the judges to have their say, and conveniently enough, they give both teams the maximum of 50 points. The contest has ended in a draw, and now all the remains is to go out with a bang- by showing the full length version of the opening song, complete with opening animation, old clips, and, if you look closely enough, a smattering of new material.

Meanwhile, Lord Ilpalazzo has finally built his domino line all the way to the editing room, where Nabeshin and the others are trying to put the finishing touches to this cost-cutting review episode. Noticing them, Ilpalazzo can only come to one conclusion- the world truly is a corrupt place…

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