Sometimes I wonder if casting and the producers of Starting Over have their meetings laughing their butts off and high-fiving each other with the way they pair roommates up. Yesterday they paired up amnesiac Bethany with Renee, who would give anything to forget some of her childhood and adulthood memories. Today they pair up Denise with someone that is so diabolically different, they had to be laughing in that meeting.
The second new roommate in two days arrives, and is rushed into group right away with the other women, Rhonda and Iyanla. She introduces us to herself as Candy, although her given name is Katrinda. She has worked for eleven years at a men’s correctional facility, and has control over eight-hundred inmates. She is the oldest of fourteen children, and has eight children, so is used to being in control.
She is wishing to reconnect with her feminine side. As Iyanla digs to the bottom, we find she never felt right with her femininity since her father had wanted her to be a boy. The reason she knew how to defend herself so well was that she grew up as a Puerto Rican in Idaho, which isn’t known for being very diverse. Of all people – strict, controlling, self-described androgynous Candy will be rooming with Denise.
Iyanla, Candy’s life coach, holds a one-on-one with her. She tells Candy her goal will be to “Feel Like A Woman.” Great. Now for the duration of Candy’s stay in the house I will hear Shania Twain in my head. Every time Candy points to a quality in herself, such as strong or controlling, that she thinks prevents her from being feminine, Iyanla points to herself and says she is feminine and has all those qualities as well. Finally, Iyanla asks Candy if she feels she is beautiful, and she admits she doesn’t and never has.
Cassie it put under pressure from Rhonda to stick to her original date of taking the GED, jut three weeks away. Cassie takes yet another GED readiness test, this one for Reading, and gets over 500, when only 410 is needed. Her confidence is growing daily.
Bethany, who just arrived in the house yesterday has another one-on-one with Rhonda. Rhonda gets out a video that was Bethany’s Senior Project from school, made shortly before she lost all her memory. Bethany says it is hard for her to watch that girl, as she doesn’t know who she is. Rhonda asks her for words describing that girl, and Bethany uses words that all lead up to her pretending to be okay.
Rhonda tells Bethany she wants her to watch the whole video later, but for now takes her out to Hollywood Boulevard, and has her draw all those words she came up with on the pavement with chalk. They step away and watch people walk over the words and not care. Bethany realizes she puts all this hard work into pretending, and no one even cares. She tells Rhonda she wishes she could just erase all of it with her foot, and Rhonda allows her this. Later, alone, she tries watching the tape again, but can’t get through it, and calls Rhonda and says she doesn’t want to give up; she wants to keep trying.
Denise is having a hard time restraining herself from using sarcasm with her new roommate, Candy. As the women are helping her unpack, Denise can’t help but note Candy’s unfeminine undergarments. She tells Candy her bras look like something a grandmother would wear, and says, “Let the girls out! Set them free!” Denise also makes fun while on the phone with a friend as Candy is already cleaning the floor, and talks loudly enough for Candy to hear. Later that night, Candy goes out for a swim with flippers on, and Denise brings Cassie to the balcony, and both loudly laugh at Candy. Candy says she is already noticing Denise’s flippant remarks and sarcasm, and Denise doesn’t really know who she’s messing with.
Candy has all the women play a game with her at Iyanla’s suggestion, as her first assignment. Everyone needs to enter as the woman they most admire, and the other women have to guess who the woman is. First up is Renee who has chosen Drew Barrymore, saying it is because she has beaten the odds. Cassie is portraying Rhonda, and says it is because she has gone through a lot and is her mentor. Bethany, with balloons in her shirt, portrays Dolly Parton, saying it is because she is backwoods and self-reliant. Denise pretends to be Phillis Diller because she is an icon for female comedians. Candy lets her gorgeous long hair out of that tight bun she has been wearing and is Jennifer Lopez, because they are of the same ethnic background. Lastly, Rachael is in a French maid’s outfit pretending to be Carol Burnett and says it’s because of her charity work, but they all laugh when they realize it was just a way for her to wear the outfit.
Regardless of how it is the show decides to pair up different women, it always seems to be someone that will directly help them achieve their goal, or someone that will give them the biggest challenge. Candy will be give large challenge to Denise, as Denise learns to not use her words to defend herself, and Denise will also be a great challenge to Candy as she learns to not defend herself physically, but deal with this woman that is so much different than her, but has the feminine qualities she so much admires and wishes she had.
I welcome all questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com