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Meet William Drayton – The Surreal Life 3, Episode 9

by LauraBelle

I’ll be honest, Flav-A-Flav has not been my favorite celebrity in the Surreal Life house, but I kept hope that deep down he was a good person. I can no longer hold out hope.

As the show opens, there is love all around. Flav-A-Flav and Dave Coulier are in the kitchen hugging. Flav-A-Flav says he thinks it’s great to build a family relationship with five other people he previously hadn’t met. The two of them discuss that three of the other housemates, Jordan Knight, Ryan Starr, and Charo are already awake, but a fourth one, Bridgette Nielsen, is still asleep in Flav-A-Flav’s bed. Dave seems only half surprised about Bridgette, both that she’s still asleep, and that she spent the night in Flav-A-Flav’s bed.

The Surreal Life Times arrives and the celebrities learn that they are headed to a photo shoot with a headline that reads, “Entire Cast Gets Shot.” They are told to put on outfits that show how they want to be seen. Bridgette announces she is going to take a shower, and Flav-A-Flav calls out, asking if he can join her. Dave answers for Bridgette, and says with a smile, “Sure you can!”

Flav-A-Flav says he likes everything about Bridgette, but Bridgette doesn’t like everything about him. In particular, she doesn’t like his gold teeth. He decides to toss out his alter ego, “Flav-A-Flav” for the shoot, and go as “William Drayton,” which happens to be his given name. He says William is all business, no gold teeth and no clock around his neck. He wants to wear a suit, and believes once the world sees both sides to him, he will become even bigger.

As the entire group is on their way to the photo shoot in the Surreal Life van, Flav-A-Flav announces he is now William Drayton. Ryan says she still doesn’t like him, saying there’s “no fricking difference.” Bridgette just seems even more smitten than she usually is.

Before they get to their photo shoot, they need to stop and buy William a new suit. Ryan is bored sitting around waiting, and can’t believe they are all doing this just for him. Bridgette says she respects Flav-A-Flav for music, but for just hanging out, she prefers William’s company. Ryan stands by her last observation; she feels he’s the same – loud and obnoxious.

The group arrives at Photo Perfections for what Ryan describes as “Glamour Shots-type” photos. They get the idea to all wear black hats, and everyone does but William. He feels sophisticated William in his suit will look moreso in flowered hats, rather than stately black ones. Ryan feels likes she’s “part of the Addams Family” standing there in that group. I liked the fact that they brought the puppy with them; he’s part of their family, no matter how you describe it.

After their shoot, they arrive back home, to a chorus of, “Thank God we’re home!” Entering the front door, they are stopped, and told that a talk show, complete with with audience and called “Dirty Laundry” is being filmed there, and it is being hosted by Sally Jesse Raphael. Jordan, Dave, and Bridgette are astonished, and apparently had no idea this would happen. I begin to wonder if they’ve ever seen the show, and if not, why are they there? Why in the world would you go on a reality show, and not know what you’re getting yourself into? Not that they’re the first ones. It’s the same thing for the oddball people that arrive on Survivor, not having seen the show, and not understanding the need to manipulate the others to get through the game. I’ll be the first one to admit I’m not a huge risk-taker, but that just seems like a no-brainer to me, finding out what I’m getting myself into first, especially if I’ll be televised doing it. On the contrary, William is excited, and transforms himself back into Flav-A-Flav. complete with gold teeth.

The housemates are introduced onto the makeshift stage, one by one, with Jordan saying it’s like the Jerry Springer show, and ryan saying she’s ready for things to hit the fan. Flav-A-Flav tells Sally first it was hell, but now they’re all getting along. Ryan agrees that they all get along with each other and that she likes everybody. Sally asks Ryan if she’s sure she likes everyone in the house, and shows many different clips of Ryan getting upset at Flav-A-Flav and his hijinks and saying she thinks he’s totally gross. Searching for a reason, Ryan says her feelings are backed up because he said some rude things to her during their “date” at the pool, and was disgusted with him asking if she was a virgin, but fans of the show know she had these feelings way before their pool date. Flav-A-Flav tells her it would be the luckiest day in her life if he got in bed with her. This just turns my stomach, making me lose taste for the remainder of my Halloween chocolate; I can’t imagine how Ryan feels about it.

Bridgette defends her man and explains that although he gets on her nerves as well, she doesn’t think he’s gross, and she likes to hug, cuddle and kiss him. That’s final for me; no more chocolate. Bridgette adds, nearly seeming like she’s taunting Sally for a reply, that they slept together last night. Of all odd things to say, Flav says he’s “not any bigger than a pack of Certs.” Now, Sally, myself, and the whole Dirty Laundry audience thought he was referring to his male genitalia. I though that was an odd thing to admit to when you’ve already been attacked on the show for being gross. Once Flav-A-Flav catches on, he corrects it, and says his body is no bigger than a pack of Certs, not just a particular part. Whatever, he’s already put that indelible image in my mind.

After seeing clips of Bridgette and his budding romance, Sally asks Flav-A-Flav if he loves everyone on the panel. He replies that he does, and goes further to say he loves everyone in the whole room, even though he doesn’t know them. Sally warns everyone that the following clip will be extremely hard to take and proceeds. What we are treated to is a clip of Flav-A-Flav beating the tiny puppy because he pooped on the floor. Not just scolding him, or tapping his nose slightly, beating him after he already rubbed his nose in it. After seeing this, Ryan says, “I wanted to get out of the chair and beat the hell out of him.” Ryan, you’re not alone. Flav-A-Flav says he wants to punch himself in the face, and will never do that again. Dave believes that Flav-A-Flav is sincere and truly sorry. Flav-A-Flav says he will now be very kid and spread the love to everyone and everything. Whatever, I just can’t listen to that drivel anymore after watching that.

When asked who the most withdrawn is, all of the houseguests agree that it’s Jordan. After they show clips of Jordan distancing himself, piling boxes up in his doorway, etc., he explains his actions by saying he was conned into doing this show by his management and record company. Thought he didn’t want to do it originally, and was withdrawn earlier, he is glad he did it now. He further explains that he is a private person, and this took him out of his comfort zone. Charo says it’s the best thing anybody can do. Dave feels that if “Jordan came to some great epiphany” than it’s a good thing. They all hug and end the show. Flav-A-Flav ends the show off camera saying that if this group is a family, Ryan is the bratty little sister.

I cannot hold out hope any longer to find anything redeeming about Flav-A-Flav or William Drayton. I believe, as Ryan does, that they are one and the same. I don’t think he felt as free to express himself vulgarly as William Drayton, so he created his Flav-A-Flav alter ego to have a ready-made excuse, believing he could pop back into William Drayton whenever he needed to be seen as a good person. He learned this episode, as did we, that there is no longer a separation between the two. Flav-A-Flav has leaked out onto William, and I think William will have a harder time cleaning the flavor off than he realizes.

I welcome questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com.

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