Molly brings Nomi backstage to meet Cristal.
â€œWhere do you dance at, darlin'?â€ asks Cristal.
â€œUm, at the Cheetah,â€ Nomi says, embarrassed.
â€œI don't how good you are, darlin', and I don't know what it is you're good at. But if it's at the Cheetah, it ain't dancing.â€ I guess it's like saying you're a chef â€¦ at Hooters.
Hot-headed Nomi isn't going to stand for Miss Thang telling her she can't dance! â€œYou don't know s**t!â€ Nomi says as she storms out.
Out in the parking lot, Molly scolds Nomi for making a scene at her job. â€œI'm sorry!!â€ she screams and throws herself onto another car roof. There should be a drinking game where every time Nomi throws herself on a car, everyone does a shot.
Molly and Nomi go to a dance club where she meets James, a dreadlocked guy with whom she has an oddly violent dance-off, which ends when she knees him in the groin. I guess that means she won? Nomi gets thrown in jail for starting the fight, but James, recognizing the true dancer in her artist's soul, bails Nomi out of the clink. James is smitten.
At the Cheetah, we meet the heart-of-gold crew Nomi works with: the fat lady emcee with a mouth like a sailor and a trick dress that flashes her boobs when she flaps her arms, a pock-faced manager who dispenses sage advice such as how big a tip is acceptable for a lap dance with release, and other assorted classy acts. No one seems to be working their way through college, like real strippers do.
Cristal and the hotel's entertainment director, Zack Carey, pull up to the Cheetah in a limo. They grab a front row table. Smoking a cigar, Cristal watches as Nomi licks the entire length of the pole to the beat of a Prince song. Nomi thrashes around the stage the same way she throws herself against cars. Cristal leers at Zack, â€œYou like her? I'll buy her for you.â€
Cristal tries to buy a lap dance with Nomi for herself and Zack. The Cheetah is a classy joint and won't go for it, so Cristal has to settle for watching Zack get a lap dance. This is nonsense, because every strip club I've ever been to would let a ferret get a lap dance if you were willing to pay for it. Cristal has to go as high as $500 to get a private room with Nomi.
Gina's wearing a two-piece outfit made of chain mail or somethingâ€”she looks like a medieval hooker. Nomi's wearingâ€”well nothing, really. Zack is played by Kyle MacLachlan, who also played Charlotte's erectile-challenged husband Trey, in Sex and the City. Here as Zack, he has no such problem.
â€œDancing ain't f**king,â€ James tells Nomi. He can't make Nomi see she has â€œtoo much talent.â€ Nomi doesn't want to hear it. Flush with her big tip from Cristal, Nomi buys her first designer dress: a little black Versace number. They don't have Versace on the seedy side of town; Nomi thinks it's pronounced â€œVersase.â€
Cristal arranges for Nomi to audition for the chorus line in her Stardust show. They're going for an All About Eve thing here, except instead of the ingÃ©nue insinuating herself into the life of the older star, it's Cristal who goes hunting for Nomi. OK, whatever, it's not like any of this matters.
Nomi's lack of actual training or talent seems to work in her favor at the Goddess audtion. Show producer Tony Moss is played by the great Alan Rachins, who's a long way from the Dharma & Greg set. He takes a liking to Nomi. Cristal's there too, watching as Tony says, â€œShow me your tits" to each girl. She and Nomi lock eyes and smile suspiciously at each other. There's a disturbing little scene involving nipples and ice cubes, and Cristal's cat-like interest is lapping it up.
â€œI hate you,â€ Nomi says to Cristal.
â€œI know,â€ Cristal replies, amused as all hell.