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Jacob Clifton: B | Grade It Now!
Lesson Ten: Keep It In The Aughts

On the other hand, I've heard that Shania fully admits that her stuff is fluff, and that she saves the good stuff, what you call "songs," for people that she loves, like her family, and we don't deserve to hear them. And I respect that -- kind of love it, to be honest -- but I kind of agree with her, given her success with stuff like that. I wouldn't put too much effort into it either, if I could make that much money whispering coquettishly about Brad Pitt's looks for five seconds over a Casio preset, go back home, and rest assured I was going to make a bajillion dollars. And on the other other hand, the most atrocious song has just come on my iTunes to remind me that this shit is relative: "Hats" from the very Amy Grant album I referenced last week in the Veronica Mars recap. NOW! That's what I call a shitty song, and I am not cool for having it on my computer, and I am addressing that issue as we speak. I cannot explain what happened there. Most importantly though, to me anyway, is the fact that Shania has had a really fucked-up life, like to the degree that you either become awesome or become crazy, and she chose the former, and all kidding aside I do admire her for that, for her strength and continued grace.

Anyway, Randal and Rebecca walk up to Shania, already havin' her a party on horseback, for their reward -- Randal cutes, "Looks like a celebrity!" -- and Shania, a princess on her horse, smiles down at them beautifully. "Congratulations! (I Guess It Was) A Good Day!" She's utterly charming, although she has a little bit of the milk-voiced throat-frogs happening today. God, she's pretty. Randal interviews that he can't remember the last time he rode a horse, and then things get awesome as Randal puts on that ridiculous-looking equestrian bowl-hat. He cannot deal with his horse at all, and Shania's trying to be helpful -- "Pull Back! (On The Left Rein, Son!)" -- but as Rebecca explains wonderfully, "Randal's horse would not get with the program! It just wanted to roam around in circles…" and we see Randal heading the exact opposite direction as Twinkie-twins Rebecca and Shania head off into the sunset.

Later, Excel and Shania head to Oceana for VIP dinner in the wine cellar -- I wonder if it's all winery-creepy down there, muggy and cold and icky -- and I regret to inform you that Shania -- possibly this is a nod to the crispy Ontario weather -- keeps the cowboy hat on all through dinner. She intones that they are "Heading Off (Into Real Careers)!" and about to face "(Many) Challenges!" and Rebecca -- a two-degree honors grad from the University of Chicago and founder of a near-million non-profit -- whispers on behalf of herself and her teammate -- a five-degree Rhodes grad from Rutgers, Oxford, and MIT, who has won a thousand awards and was one of Ebony's Thirty Leaders Of The Future -- whether there's "a trick" to success. Shania -- who, like it or not, has earned the Order Of Canada, five Grammies, three ACM awards, one CMA, seven Junos, six AMAs, two Billboards, and at least 22 BMI Songwriting awards -- offers that "Any Real Success Comes With Nothing (Short Of The Hardest Work)" and that when you "(Think You Can Take) No More!" you have to "Try! (Even Harder!) " This "resonated" with Rebecca, because after all, she and Randal "pushed" each other just as much as they promised they would. She toasts Randal beautifully, for "leading us to victory with honor and respect." Believing yourself to be a Viking has its upshot, such as giving really good toasts. Even Shania's impressed: "(Very) Nice!" Aw, I love Shania Twain. I wish she would make a song with all that talent.

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