Pairs Division: McPhee and Hilty

Posted on January 07, 2013

Is anyone excited about the return of the revamped Smash! to our TVs again?


Oh, we’re bitches, but you know we’ll tune in, if only to see what changes were made to a show that desperately needed some changes. Two things they didn’t need to change:


Katharine McPhee and Megan Hilty attend 2013 Winter TCA Press Tour in Pasadena, California to promote their show “Smash.”

Rebecca Taylor Python-Print Cap-Sleeve Dress

The “good girl vs. bad girl” storyline with their characters was tired and played out before it even got started, but they’re both extremely talented performers. Sure, McPhee could use a charisma transplant, but she’s just fine when she sings. If the show’s any good, we might go back to reviewing it on the regular.

Anyway, from the left:

SHE: Looks horrid. We suppose we should thank her for allowing us to use the word “horrid” appropriately, but we’re just gonna be the bitches you all know and love. Hair? Terrible. Dress? Bad, but not as bad as the hair. Shoes? The worst things in the world. Seriously, those things make us cringe. She clearly has no gays. You don’t want to wear the bone-killing stilettos? We’re right there with you. But there are better alternatives in flat, comfy footwear than this. Practically anything would be better than this. We might even let a pair of Uggs pass (not really).  Also: her makeup is pretty bad. It looks like it was applied under a fluorescent light in a public restroom somewhere off the interstate. Come on now, honey. You’ve got a show to sell. Time to consult the gays. Score: 1.5/10.

SHE: Has the biggest shit-eating grin on her face because she knows damn well she won this round. And she didn’t even try that hard. The dress is okay. It suits and flatters her. We dig the sheer hose but don’t like them paired with peep-toes. North of the neck, she’s got Bump-it hair, underplayed eyes, and Barbie lips, none of which appear to be the best choices with a dark, monochromatic outfit. Let’s see those eyes and lips pop next time, dear. Score: 6/10.

Combined Score: 3.75/10. Yikes. That may actually be a record. Hilty? Feel free to start a hair-pulling fight right there on the step-and-repeat.


[Photo Credit: Getty,]

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  • filmcricket

    I actually think McPhee’s hair is pretty cute, or it would be if it were a bob (I can’t tell). The colour of the dress suits her, but I cannot & will not condone mullet hems ever, and the shoes are heinous. Hilty’s hair is absolutely god-awful: mall hair in both cut and shade. Also I don’t think grey is her colour. 

    • VioletFem

      I usually feel the same way about mullet hems, but *occasionally* they can look good if the front part of the “mullet” doesn’t rise above the knees. But yeah, a more traditional hem, right around the knees, would have looked better on this dress.

    • MilaXX

       I actually like the wedge sneakers, but unless it’s denim, I just don’t get wearing them with dresses.

      • I don’t think they are wedges. They are high-tops, but flat. And meant to be worn with skinny jeans by the Biebs.

        • MilaXX

          You may be right. Either way,still hiddy.

    • kimmeister

      Her hair looks like an unsuccessful attempt to do one of the messy French ‘dos that Marion Cotillard can pull off.

  • kimmeister

    Too bad, McPhee’s dress had the potential to be really cute if it weren’t for the mullet skirt.

    • MoHub

       And the footwear.

  • That’s an awful lot of awkward for one photo.  Go home and start over ladies, that’s no way to sell a series.

  • Judy_J

    I think they both look pretty awful.

  • hughman

    McPhee’s hair is just tragic. She looks like a decoy on “To Catch A Predator”. “THERE’S ICED TEA ON THE COUNTER. IMMA JUST GONNA PUT THE WARSH IN THE DRYER.”

    • nannypoo

       She has done something not so jolly with her hair.

    • Liked for “warsh”.

  • ralish

    I actually kind of like Katherine McPhee’s dress. I think the whole look (minus those shoes… ugh) could work in a completely different venue. Like on a beach, with some cute sandals and a floppy hat.

    • Violina23

      agree completely: the dress is mostly fine, but the shoes & hair (mostly the shoes) kill it

  • Violina23

    I have my Broadway fetish, so I’ll be watching, but I’m mildly resentful of the fact that Parenthood (one of my favorite shows on tv right now) got a short season because of it.

    But, I think it’s a good sign that the production staff at least recognizes the show’s flaws and seems interested in correcting them.

    I really like Hilty here, but I have a soft spot for her because she was my first Glinda in “Wicked” 🙂

  • I’m totally on Team Free Starlets’ Feet, but I agree those shoes are hiddy.  There must be cute shoes somewhere that aren’t torture devices.

  • nannypoo

    Katharine McPhee has a great singing voice but no acting ability and even less personality. She lost American Idol (yes, I watch American Idol. So sue me) to a person who is lucky to land a gig in the neighborhood bar, and I’m convinced it was due to her arrogance. Someone needs to tell her that she is not nearly a big enough celebrity to get away with an outfit like this. Or that stupid going-to-HomeDepot outfit she wore on another recent red carpet. She should be trying to impress us and win us over, and instead she cluelessy turns up wearing this.

  • I would have given them exactly the opposite scores! I love the weird see-through mullet dress with those shoes and the heavy makeup and I think the blonde looks like the receptionist at a cheap spa.

    •  Other than the shoes, I’m with you. But I never did like high-tops.

      • The shoes aren’t my favourite – if she’d been wearing KStew-style converse I would have preferred it. Or Docs. Can take the girl out of 1992…

    • In_Stitches

       Laughing so hard at the ‘receptionist at a cheap spa’ line.  Total agreeance on the score swap.  Brunette made a shoe mistake, blond screwed up hair, makeup and the dress (which makes her look super top heavy). 

  • Annabelle Archer

    They both look exhausted and generally just over it, not a good vibe for getting folks fired up about your returning show.  
    I don’t know if I’ll be able to bring myself back to watch, there were just so many missteps and what are the odds they fixed them all without creating new ones?  

    • I’m committed to watching, based on the hope that the show is committed to putting the focus back on the show and away from the characters’ dreary personal lives.

  • This is bad. Very very bad. I’m excited for the show, and can’t wait to see what’ll come of their red carpet appearances over the next few months.

  • RebeccaKW

    I kind of like McPhee’s dress, other than the hem.  The shoes are an atrocity.  I’m not feeling Hilty’s.  The shape of the dress doesn’t really suit her, and I don’t like the hair or makeup.  And never open-toed shoes with hose!

  • StelledelMare

    I don’t really mind McPhee’s dress but I agree on everything else. I will be watching the show when it returns, also hoping some things have changed.

  • McPhee’s clothes are the clothes of someone who has asked her stylist to buy her a personality.

  • mhleta

    What I mind about McPhee’s outfit is McPhee. If it were on a much younger person, say Chloe Moretz, age 15 and not McPhee, age 28, I’d be cheering. But at McPhee’s stage of life the sneakers, the gimp bracelet and the Hot Topic accessories tell the story of a woman who not only doesn’t know herself, but is a tiny bit delusional and utterly lacking in sophistication. Swap out the shoes and the accessories and we get a totally different story. I can live with the hair and makeup if we do that. 

  • McPhee’s dress is a stiff breeze away from showing off her goods – just ridiculously short. And, I think I owned those shoes in 1988. I now apologize for ever having worn them. Just awful. I think Hilty’s make-up makes her look old – totally unnecessary. 

    • MRC210

      Hilty’s make-up is tragic. Why even bother to wear lipstick if it’s the same shade as your skin (or your foundation)?

  • MilaXX

    Katherine – I wonder if some stylist told her that wedge sneakers counted as heels. Also really hating the little girl barrette and junk on her wrist. Her entire look feels better suited for bonnaroo rather than pole dancing for your retooled tv show.

    Megan – Looks okay. The center part isn’t that attractive & the makeup needs more ompf. The worst offender are the peep toe shoes with sheer hose. Get a better shoe & I can overlook the rest.

    Scores are fair to me, although I’d probably give Kate a straight 1 for looking so godawful

  • jmorino08

    I think KM is trying for some kind of “look,” because it’s all just perfectly wrong, right down to the string bracelets. I’m just not sure what, exactly, the look is and why she is going to that mysterious place.

  • librarygrrl64

    Hitty: I don’t think the dress actually does flatter someone with her proportions.
    McPhee: Looks like a smacked ass.

  • quiltrx

    I think they should trade shoes.  And at least McPhee’s hair is interesting, better than White Trash 80s Barbie over there.

  • Wait wait wait I kind of LOVE McPhee’s look.

    • mhleta

      But on someone else, like at least ten years younger, right?

  • Tapetum

    Maybe I’m weird, but I think McPhee actually won this round. Everything is awful, but she looks pretty and friendly, just horribly put together. Hilty looks like a bad mall GlamourShots do-up. She clearly put in some effort, but she looks plastic and not very pretty.

  • McPhee has the nastiest fake look on her face. THAT’S the worst part for me. 

  • Laylalola

    Hoo boy do I disagree about that dress being flattering on Megan Hilty. This dress is totally off kilter because she has nice boobs — that designated black band (which doesn’t have to be there) not only is no longer falling at the waist, her breasts are pulling it up several inches, and you can see where it pulls up and where it falls back to its place on the side. And that middle-part 1970s hair also is doing her no favors.

  • Eva_baby

    Judging by the look on Kat McPhee’s face, she surely believes she looks “edgy.”  She probably feels that by wearing a pair of studded black high tops she shows she’s grounded and a little tough.  But by pairing them with a filmy, romantic dress she’s still womanly and feminine.  Meanwhile her hair says “I’m just quirky and free-spirited”.  To all this I say….

    Girls sit yo’ ass down.  You look stupid.

  • OrigamiRose

    I like McPhee’s dress, to be honest.  But shoes, the mess on her wrist, just ick.

  • Trisha26

    If you hadn’t put their names in the headline I wouldn’t have recognized them, at least not right away. How does something like these styling choice happen?

  • mmc2315

    Die mullet hems, die!

  • ThaliaMenninger

    McPhee looks awful. What is WITH those shoes? And that hair? And that dress? Hilty looks cute and fairly adorable, but like she just woke up.

    If I were hired to fix SMASH, I’d have McPhee’s character get paranoid and weird and think everyone is out to All About Eve her until she has to go off to Crazytown and then somebody more talented, the very person she thought was All About Eving her, is promoted to her role. And with then that new person, someone like Laura Osnes, it would more of a fair fight between the leading ladies. But if McPhee is half of the battle… It’s rolling-of-the-eyes time.

  • Girl just having some fun!

  • i like McPhee’s look; this is her way of telling the critics to eff off!

    • She hasn’t earned the celebrity, nor the public goodwill, to be able to tell “critics to eff off.” The outfit makes one statement: “I look terrible.” Nothing more.

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    McPhee’s footwear is bad-just bad.  There absolutely have to be cute shoes that would have done more for her than that sabots on her feet.

  • Markatha

    I tried with this show (and being a Drama Major & big time Musical theater boy this should have been just my thang) but hardly liked anything about it It was so dramatically dreary.  Gave up after about 4 eps.  Not sure I’ll tune in (unless you guys convince me) this go round.
    I think both girls look hideous wtf. 

    • As a fellow drama major, I also felt compelled to tune in. Couldn’t make it 2 episodes.

  • Kenisha Hill Phillips

    I’m surprised you responded as harshly as you did to the green outfit. I mostly agree with you, but I thought you were going to propose an argument for quirky irony or something. 

    I prefer the green dress to the black one, but barely.

  • Two HUGE misses! 

  • Just Yuck.

  • decormaven

    There’s all this effort in revamping the show, and you send these looks out on the RC? This does not bode well for Smash:Electric Boogaloo.

  • Can I say how much I HATE the sororoty-rooted trend of posing for every pic with a hand on the hip? Hilty may have won, but the hand on the hip hurts my eyes.

  • Lizzyisi

    Really? I like McPhee’s dress and I never wear patterns and I never wear green. I’d prefer it all one length (the length of the back hem), but it’s a good shape and an excellent color for her. Transparent always looks tacky to me, even with a full camisole underneath, but at least she has gone simple with the lingerie, rather than layer up more competing texture with lace or frills. It’s not a great look, but any stretch, but it’s closer to middle-of-the-road, in my opinion, than bottom-barrel.

  • What the fuck happened here to both of them???? McPhee’s outfit and hair are painful, and Hilty looks 10 years older than she is and like some refried Three’s Company castoff. They are both gorgeous, I just don’t get it!

  • warnerave

    McPhee won this round for me…dress is better IMO..Hilty’s dress looks so drab and she looks constipated …

  • Why do I think Katherine looks the best she’s ever looked? I think I have those shoes…

  • Callie

    I believe I’m have to double-down and give them both a “don’t wear it again”. Ugh. 

  • formerlyAnon

    I was thinking that these were just really, really unflattering photos.

    Both of these dresses –  mostly the fabrics, mullet hems were not even a twinkle in a fevered designer’s brain – remind me of
     dresses I might have purchased during my late schooling/early working years, out of desperation. When “what I can afford to spend” and “what is acceptable (buttoned & lined in the case of McPhee’s dress)” and “sure, you can dress that up by putting a jacket over it” collide. 

  • editrixie

    You know, with brogues and oxfords so in style right now, why didn’t she just pick a nice patent black pair if she wanted to go the flat, undressy shoe route? Or some other spiffy color? That would have looked adorable.

  • ugh and double ugh.  if mcphee’s dress would pick one length it would be fine(love the color and print), but the hir, makeup and shoes are a big no.  hilty’s dress looks cheap, short-waisted and too tight.  the way it pulls across the chest highlights her arm pit, which we don’t need to see.  hair and makeup equally icky.  i rest my case.

  • LilStPaulie

    Hilty:  Oompa-Loompa Barbie that routinely terrifies her several young grandchildren.  She sells perfume in a suburban jersey mall and has chronic constipation. 

    McPhee:  Just another self-conscious art major from a Midwestern college town. 

  • Liz

    Hilty may have won this round analytically, but when I look at the two of them, Hilty looks about 15 years older than McPhee.

  • Looks like they went to the mall together for these looks. Makeup is the only great part about it. They certainly do not look like the tv stars that they are. I actually love Smash and watch every episode!!

  • Dear Megan Hilty – your boobs are too big for this dress. Please be kind to them and wear things they fit in.