Now, I must say that I am shocked and appalled at the level of cheese I saw at the Pageant last night. I am lactose intolerant and needed to take my medication when it was over. Beauty that comes from within – shouldn’t be broadcast with — a swimsuit competition, a lingerie competition and well the nude Jello wrestling competition that was only available on pay-per-view. I’m just kidding about that last competition; however, from what I saw last night, it just didn’t feel like it was that far afield.
Maybe next year. We can only hope. (Note: If you are immune to sarcasm, read on. If you have a low-sarcasm-intolerance, please consult a physician before reading the rest of this review. It only gets worse.)
Hostess Amanda Byrum walked out onto the stage looking quite lovely. Perhaps, one of the perks of being a host on this show is “tweaking” surgeries. If that’s the case, can someone give Ms. Byrum a little more cleavage and a boob lift. Otherwise, she’s fine.
Amanda should receive combat pay for all of the bombs that they made her toss last night. Who the hell are the writers for the pageant? They need to be sent to Guantanamo Bay for questioning.
Amanda started out by saying that the pageant was the “culmination of a dream”. Yeah, some pubescent guy’s wet dream.
Then, they went and showed some footage proving how the Swan has become worldwide phenomenon. Now, that’s scary. We learned that there were thousands and thousands of applicants for this season. The experts had greater and greater challenges to face. The Swans required more. We had a deaf Swan (Gena Davis), a Swan with cancer (Patti) and two Swans (Amy and Lorraine) who needed their whole mouths reconstructed.
All women’s lives were changed forever. The Swan even saved a life – Patti! Yeah, Swan. Saving lives one plastic surgery at a time.
Amanda said that all competitors were pushed to their limits. So, were the experts and I would wager – the viewing audience. At least, I was.
After three months with no mirrors, the women got to see themselves. The reveals were dramatic and full of tears. As well as – the “Oh My God, I’m so hot” and “I’m so beautiful – look at me” moments. Touching, right?
The experts chose the Swans who had the greatest transformations to move on. Gee and I thought it was just the Swans who were the youngest and prettiest. So, sue me. This is really about the “internal transformations”. Sure – and Lorraine, Patti, Dorie and a few others didn’t transform spectacularly! (I guess when you’re pushing 40, it takes more to transform.)
The next segway led us into footage which showed how the contestants prepped for the pageant. They had to learn to walk and talk as pageant gals. But – we’ll delve deeper into that superficial stuff soon. In the meantime, here’s your pageant bunnies:
Jennifer P – Mesa, AZ
Gena Davis – Daytona Beach, FL
Wait! There’s one more. The judges have selected a wildcard. I’m so excited. I can’t wait to find out. The suspense is killing us, Amanda. Please tell us. Not another commercial break.
Amanda returns and reminds us that the judging is based on:
It really is important. (Sure! I believe you!)
Now, let’s introduce the judges:
***Ken Baker, from US Weekly. (Apparently writing for a tabloid mag makes you uniquely qualified to see ‘inner beauty’)
***A modeling agent who was, by the way, Tyra Banks’ first agent – Krista Sides – Klayman (*I’ve spelled it wrong, I’m sure). We all know how Tyra radiates internal beauty. That’s why she’s a Victoria Secret model. Lingerie shows the beauty within. Always.
***Carnie Wilson, who was described as a “shining example of self-transformation”. Gastric by-pass will do that to a gal.
***Next up was Hollywood Producer – Larry A. Thompson. Couldn’t they have at least chosen one psychologist or life coach to judge them on internal transformation? Or a blind person?
****The final judge was former Miss Universe — Dayanara Torres. She’s the ex-Mrs. Marc Anthony (pre-J.Lo) Dayanara is a beautiful and courageous woman – inside and out. I give her props for all she’s been through. That’s not sarcasm.
Now, Amanda has to introduce the contestants, one by one. The lines she’s given to read are horrific. Poor Amanda. Here’s Erica Moore looking resplendent in powder blue. (Oh yes! We get to see footage of the gals’ transformations before we get to see them in gowns and walking!)
Can I just say that the music was inspired — by the movie, 2001 Space Odyssey and bad techno! Dumb did e dumb dumb dumbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb.
Jennifer Patton is ready to “rock the runway” in her beweled scars. Look at what a difference 4 mos makes! (And tens of thousands of dollars of plastic surgery!)
DeLisa Stiles is next. She came to the Swan looking for her ‘feminine side’ and dealt with the devastation of divorce. (I, for one, believe that divorce can be a good thing and, for DeLisa, it was. Ex-hubby! Eat your stupid-a$$ heart out! Not sexually attractive. Your ex-wife is a complete babe! Hahahahahahaha!) Amanda then, said it’s time to “salute” DeLisa Stiles. She’s a ‘soldier’. GRRRRRRRRRRRROAN.
DeLisa looked awesome and even cuter than in the show. She was wearing a black, sequined sheer gown. WOW! She looked good.
They talked about how the “arresting” officer Cinnamon Smith missed her kids. Then, I kid you not, Amanda said, “you have the right to remain awestruck!” OH GOD! I do have to say that Cinnamon’s not my fave. She’s not that attractive now. I honestly thought she had more potential before the surgery to be less plastic looking. She didn’t look ‘real’ enough to me. Sorry Cinnamon.
Then we saw Amy Williams, the singer who was told that she had a “face for radio”. She looked cute, but suspiciously like some of the other contestants. I do have this overwhelming feeling that I’m not sure if I can handle this for 2 hours. Ugh!
Amanda called The Swan – the #1 pageant in America. I certainly hope not. I used to like beauty pageants. My dad made us write down the scores of the girls. He worked nights and didn’t believe in a VCR. It’s a long story and I’m still in therapy over it.
We’re baaaaaaaaaaack. Amanda says it’s time to let us in on Swan secrets. I can’t wait. It’s too exciting for this PTA mom.
She answers the top 3 questions they get from viewers. I sort of thought that this would’ve been on that list:
How do y’all sleep at night? You figure out what I mean by that!
#3) Which of Swan’s has lost most weight
Last season’s winner – Rachel Love Fraser – lost 39 lbs.
This year, the girls have lost over 200 lbs combined. Gena lost 22 lbs; DeLisa – 25 big ones and Kari shed 35 lbs.
#2) What part of transformation do they love most?
Depends on the Swan. Some like their boobs best. Others, like their lips or their eyes and a few (too few in my opinion) enjoy the therapy and internal transformation the most.
1) Do swans really not see themselves in a mirror?
Yes! WOW! The Swan has its own recon team; they hunt for mirrors in the girls’ luggage and everything. (I wonder if they’re made up of ex-Airport security guards!) And everything shiny is sprayed down. (And I thought that was just to keep the girls’ from being distracted. Ohhh! Something shiny! I can’t concentrate on my transformation. It’s sooooooooooooo shiny!)
They can’t look at themselves. For serious.
Now, let’s get back to the contestants Marcia Medelberg (spelling is terrible again!) had social anxiety. She wanted to be invisible. She also had to shave her face; she felt disgusted by (and with) herself. They take a girl with a social anxiety and shine a spotlight on her. She struts now and looks like she lost more weight. Weight loss and surgery really are cure-alls, aren’t they?
I’m really hating this pageant. Maybe it’s ‘cuz I’m dissatisfied with the way I look. I do think it’s something more though. Maybe I need to think that to get through the night, but I just feel that there is WAY too much emphasis put on how the girls look and not who they really are, which is what I’m more interested in.
It’s not entirely true that looking good means that your life is good. It’s also not true that outer beauty reflects inner beauty and well, I do think that, even though it may not be intentional, the wrong message was sent loud and clear.
Gena Davis, the hearing impaired contestant, was next. She wants to be an example to others with handicaps. Kari is the one who beat out her sis. She was wearing the same electric blue dress that Erica Moore wore. I think they’re really the same girl, being recycled. It’s just my opinion.
Let’s find out who the wild card is –and then we’ll have a swimsuit competition — yippee!!
But first, let’s learn about the prizes these women win for allowing themselves to be degraded and paraded around for us:
**national spokesmanship for Nutrisystem contract worth 100s of thousands of dollars (and I just thought they used Nutrisystem for pure reasons; not anything monetary for either Nutrisystem or FOX’s marketing division. Silly me! Didn’t see that contract coming, did we?)
**a trip to Thailand where the winner will get a gown of custom-made silk
**a Gym membership for the whole family, complete with training sessions
**a One-year supply of skin products
**trip to Las Vegas
**a $10,000 personal coaching scholarship from Tony Robbins
**$50,000 educational scholarship
**daVinci veneers and a smile ‘transformation’ from Dr. Sherri Worth for a significant other!
Now, it’s time to find out who the Wild Card is!!!!!!! Wow! The surprises are endless.
And the candidates are:
–Sylvia Cruz – Chicago, IL
–Dorie Weber – Las Vegas
Gina Bravata got in because well – she ‘transformed the most’. It doesn’t matter that she was really young and her sister was also in the pageant. I’m sure that dramatic fact was completely independent of the experts’ decision. They even let her sister, Kari, tell her the news
After that lead in, Amanda says – “let’s welcome to the stage our “red-hot wild card”. She was wearing a porn star silver sheer number. No self-respecting Miss America contestant would be caught dead in that slutty gown.
They look good but what happened to their self respect! There was so much plastic on that stage — if there was a fire, the poor gals would melt. I just can’t believe that I’m saying this, but this pageant is cheesier than last year’s.
Now, we get to see how they girls prepared for the big day. They hit the dance studio to master the pageant walk – it’s not as easy as it looks. (How darn hard is it!) They hit the gym hard 6 days a week for up to 3 hours per day. Now, that’s rough!
They had to transform their voices with a vocal coach who told them over-pronounce every syllable and risk sounding ‘stupid’. (Why oh why are they lobbing me so many softballs!)
They then learned how to “make the most of their new-found beauty with makeup lessons”. After all of that grueling work, they got a spa day and pampering! It’s so tough being pretty.
Next up is the swimsuit competition in high heels.
Here are the highlights (or lowlights depending upon your opinion. I think you can guess mine!)
–Amanda said Cinnamon looked “arresting” in red. Someone should arrest the writers. Okay!
–Marsha wore a gold and black suit that made her look like a plastic goldfish.
–Delisa was announced as a military woman who’s no longer a GI “plain jane”. She looked oh-so cute in her Destiny’s Child inspired suit. It was green and just had strips of fabric, sort of like the outfits they were in their “Survivor” video. UGH!
–Gina looked cute in a red bikini. Now, I see why she was the Wild Card. It was all that internal transformation; her inner smile if you will.
Here are our 9 contestants! Amanda told me that because I don’t think I could count them anymore — I was just thinking how stupid I am for watching this and how many brain cells I’ve lost in the past 45 minutes.
Let’s announce the 5 semifinalists who will then go onto the next round (lingerie!)
In random order, of course:
**and Gena Davis.
Wait I jumped the gun so to speak. It’s now time to find out if the beautiful exteriors are reflected on the interior. The contestants choose a question from the judges and must answer it in 30 seconds or less.
Dayanara Torres’ question – Who is Erica today and what are your plans for the future?
“I had no self-confidence. Now, I’ve had so much help. I’m leaving here very confident and strong. The future is so bright and nothing’s gonna stop me now. I feel amazing. I look amazing.”
Ken Baker’s question – How would you say the Swan has prepared you for what comes after the dissolution of your marriage?
“True beauty is in inner strength. Even though I was caught off guard, I’m stronger, more complete and a better person.” — DeLisa
How do you think the transformation would change your life? From Tyra’s first agent
Kari says: “I used to think my body stopped me from doing things. I’m now more secure and comfortable. There’s a whole new world waiting for me.”
Carnie Wilson asked Gena Davis her question. How would you compare the person you were 4 months ago to the woman you are today?
“I learned that my disability is special and I do have the future ahead of me. I want to help those with other disabilities and hope that my changes will give them hope.”
Gina Bravata’s question, as asked by Larry Thompson:
What have you gained by finally focusing on yourself?
“I learned I’m worthy of the attention. It’s not selfish. If I’m confident, I can spread it around to others and can benefit those around me.”
Next up is the fashion photo shoot and runway lingerie competition. Yes, it’s now. The women went from being afraid to show themselves in sexy clothes around their men… so let’s see how they look in their photo shoots and on the runway – both are done in lingerie. Of course!
We get to hear them speak in pre-recorded interviews as they walk:
And I quote —
Erica — “It’s exciting to show the world what I look like. This is a dream come true. I’m hot. I’ve never been so curvy in my life.”
Delisa –- “I’ve worked very hard for this new body and I’m proud to show it off. I want people to see a strong, confident person.”
Kari thought the shoot would be hard, but the photographer told her what to do. (I’m too mean-spirited to write this review. I’m also bleeding from biting my tongue.)
“I worked so hard to get this body. I look good. I feel good and I can’t wait to show it off.”
Gena Davis: “I want the world to see me as a competent person with a beautiful body.”
Someone shoot me now! Please. Am I wrong? I guess I value the wrong things in people like strength, kindness and generosity of spirit.
Gina Bravata said that the shoot was like– a day of glamour – what more could a girl ask for? I feel really sexy and glamourous and proud of the work I’ve done.
“I feel like a supermodel and I like it!”
One last look – oh geez!
During the break – they’ll (the judges that is) bring it down to three.
There were over 300,000 applications this season
16 were chosen to come to LA
9 made it to the pageant
5 semifinalists will go to 3 finalists
1 of those will be the Swan
(Just so you don’t have to do the math!)
Let’s look at the last-chance parade for the semi-finalists
R U ready?
3 finalists in random order are:
Uh – oh! Kari didn’t make it but her sis did. There’s gonna be some fighting, isn’t there? Amanda tells the ladies to be proud of themselves because 4 months ago they took a “leap of faith” – in themselves. Why couldn’t it have been a bungee jump without the chord?
Now, for the final Test – In 30 seconds, tell everyone why you deserve to be crowned the Swan?
DeLisa: “During the course of this program — I learned my strength, my beauty and my place in this world. The only limits we face our ones we place on ourselves.”
Erica: “I’ve gone through a constant transformation in my entire life. From Day One! I had no confidence. This whole program has brought so much joy to my life. True inner beauty is what matters.”
Gina: “I had given up on myself so I focused on others. This program has taught me to focus on myself. I can accomplish anything… I want to help others spread their wings and fly (like I have).”
Rachel Love Fraser takes her final walk and gives up the crown like a plastic surgeon’s version of Miss America. Rachel says, “I used to wake up every day like I was in a rut. Now I’m ready to take on the world.”
Are you ready for the winner? Are you ready for this to be over? Are you ready?
2nd runner up – Erica Moore
1st runner up – Gina Bravata
and the Swan 2 is ….
DeLisa Stiles! (Big Shocker, right! They set her up to win from the beginning of this pageant. I was glad she won considering who was in the Pageant with her but still I could’ve skipped the pageant and still been glad for her.)
——————– Please, don’t email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with comments on this. I’m ashamed enough — that I watched the pageant. Feel free to check out the Reality Shack Holiday Gift Guide for a copy of the Swan Curriculum. http://www.realityshack.com/giftguide