Luz Lets Loose: Queer Eye for the Straight Girl Episode 1.8

— Christina M. Rau/GatsbyGirl

Let me start by saying I’ve had an awfully long day and I’m writing this under the stress of having stood out in the cold for hours on end while there was a fake bomb scare at my job today. I teach and it’s midterms week and some idiot decided that standing out in zero-degree weather is better than taking a test. So if I seem a bit off and this recap misses things, that’s why.

In the SUV, the Gal Pals open the dossier for this week’s straight girl, Luz. Luz has big boobs. Her parents, who now live with her and come from Mexico, put her through Stanford and Harvard. She is a lawyer who left a six-figure salaried job to work in her neighborhood for much less money. Damon shrieks, “WHY?!” Then there’s dead silence. Heehee. She’s going to work in Compton. Robbie yells, “Everybody down!” She works, works, works, but in an unfashionable office. She has old, frumpy clothing. Their mission: Unveil a new Luz and give a great office opening. A little more Erin Brockovich and a little less Marsha Clark.

Credits. Did you know the dancing silhouette is really a blonde?

The GP invade Luz’s quaint house. White walls, hard wood floors, not much decoration, not much furniture. A big ass big screen television that takes up half the living room. Which Robbie points out is quite different from the old wood-paneled 20-inch sitting on the floor in the corner of the room that acts as some sort of end table. And then there’s Luz: a petite, brown haired woman in sensible shoes. There’s nothing really wrong with her but she’s not fashion forward.

Damon is intrigued by the mini-microwave sitting next to the fireplace. He says, “Look! You can cook!” Heehee. Then he says, “We have passionate love making going on,” and straddles a tiny white statue of naked people doing it that was hidden behind the large television.

Coming out of the closet (heeee—I amuse myself) is Danny, dressed in a pink boa, holding a biking helmet. He says that the “workout stuff in the back of the closet is not a good sign.” But he says “sign” all Britishy and I fall in love all over again.

Back to Damon, who’s futzing with the stereo. Luz says she doesn’t know how to use it because it’s her dad’s. Danny emerges in the boa, but now also has a silky white dress dangling from his neck. “Is this for when mom and dad are not around?” Heehee.

Meanwhile, Honey is trying to open the piano. She tugs and pulls. “Somebody locked the organ. They must have known we were coming.”

Back to the bedroom, where Danny now paws through underwear and jewelry.

Over to Damon, who’s made his way into the white, white bathroom. This place is like a laboratory. Damon pulls back a curtain and says, “This is a clever way to hide the hideousness.” Meanie. He’s just projecting his bitterness that he lost the Blind Date gig to his long lost half brother Roger Lodge.

Now Robbie’s in the closet, literally but not figuratively, criticizing the lawyer-clothes. He wants nice suits but instead gets blazers. “Every single thing I’m not recommending.” So this episode he won’t be stealing anything. And Danny has lost the boa in trade for a belly-dancer skirt. Which he jingles by shaking his firm bottom. Shake shake shake. He humps the doorway. Sigh. He’s such a tease.

Honey has broken the code and opened the piano. She’s now playing some tunes. She thinks she’s talented and she has to use only one finger. I think that’s a lesbian joke!

Danny has torn apart Luz’s bedroom (which, in case you couldn’t guess, is white). There’s crap all over her bed. He starts his inquiry: “So how long has it been since you’ve had a boyfriend?” She says a year. Then, “How was the sex?” Wow, that’s so none of his business. But their Gal Pals so why not ask? Luz laughs instead of answering. Or maybe that is her answer.

Mayhem at the organ! Damon and Robbie get in on some dancin’ action!

Cut to Danny. “Well, how WAS the sex?” Luz says okay. Ha! Her ex must love that. She says he wasn’t very nice. Apparently, he told her that she was only 85% of what he wanted. Danny says, “WHAT?!” in disbelief. Yeah, the last guy I went on a date with told me I was mushy and that he could help me work on my problem areas. Wonder what Danny would say to that.

Meanwhile, the dancing has subsided. Honey and Robbie wonder what’s under the curtain that hangs above the piano. Is it a window? No! It’s an air conditioner, which I think is a creative way to cover it up. Those things are hideous in any room.

Enter Luz’s friend, a very cute man who may be gay. Damon takes him away. Robbie asks Luz if he’s a “friend” using the whole finger-air-quotes thing. Damon says, “I smell a bi.” Heehee. His name is David. And yes, he may be gay. Almost gay.

Danny makes Gayvid spill the beans on her last boyfriends. He wanted to beat up the most recent ex. He calls her wonderful and like the mother to everyone, but she doesn’t take care of herself.

Damon then calls her Charro as he makes her wear a pink halter top.

Danny goes through Luz’s DVDs looking for slutty stuff.

Gayvid tells Robbie that Luz waxes her upper lip. Nice.

They all jump in the SUV and talk about her job and how a new office will help her help more people. She wants to make a difference. Her office has bars on the windows and Danny asks if its for keeping people in or out. Florescent lights. Ew. Paneled walls. Ew. Bookcases and desks scattered about. Rubber flowers. Shelves of law books. Danny goes through a desk and asks, “What’s with the Winnie the Pooh tissues? You’re not three!” Heehee. Damon says that the office has no personality. Except for being bland. Bleck.

They move to the empty space next door. Danny wows. “You weren’t kidding when you said blank canvas.” The place is an empty white box. Damon’s decorating heaven. Honey tells Luz that she shows confidence at the office that she didn’t show at home. Luz says that her office is her territory. Honey wants them to make an office that shows “how Luz thinks she feels says you.” What?

Danny stresses that really important people will be at the office warming. Luz asks, “More important than you?” STOP FLIRTING WITH MY MAN!

Luz’s client interviews that she needs help with her look.

Her co-worker says she dresses like she’s going to a funeral.


In the SUV, Luz says she wants to buy clothes that are sexy and professional.


They pile into Saks and shop for petite power suits with their own private shopping suite. The first suit is “classic black”. Robbie puts Luz in a single-button suit because she has curves, as real women do. He says, “It’s very courtroom drama.” She puts on a gray tweed dress with a black jacket. It’s “classic” too. He then puts her in shoes that reveal toe cleavage. It’s in, especially if you like Michael Kors. And you have to like Michael Kors if you watch Bravo because he’s the judge on Project Runway.

The next stop on Luz’s make-over train is the furniture store. Damon shows her some really funky tables in orange tones. Then he caresses a table and says it may be too much for the office but it would be good as an end table. Desk shopping too. Fun.

Obligatory couch and chair sitting. They find a couch that Damon calls “feminine but not too girly.”

Luz meets up with Danny for some food shopping. It’s so cute—Luz is taking notes! Danny makes her take them but it’s still cute. Danny tells her all about expensive wine and more expensive wine and red and white and how many glasses in a bottle.

And then they try some cheese. Who can eat that much cheese all at once? They taste and taste. They come to some cheese that I’ve never heard of and Luz says, “I don’t think enough people would like that to buy it.” Danny thinks she’s making a wise decision and budgeting her money well. Hey, why is she budgeting? Why does she have to pay? Maybe since they made over her house and office she needs to foot the bill for food.

Next it’s canapés. Because Danny hasn’t said canapé in a while. Duck mousse is cheap. Cheap canapés it is.

Onto the salon with Honey and Robbie. It’s an A-list salon in L. A. First, she learns day-to-night make-up routines. Brow-brushing. Dusting of color. Honey likes mascara. Luz uses an eyelash curler and mascara. Lips last. To enhance the look for night, she puts cream eye shadow on.

Next, she gets a hair cut. The premier colorist comes out and can’t wait to seamlessly layer her hair and add in light caramel color. Luz doesn’t want “hoochie red colors.” Heehee.

Gayvid says Luz takes care of everyone in need.

Her co-worker interviews that she should do something for herself.

In the SUV towards home, Honey makes Luz stare at her hair in the car mirror. She tells Robbie and Honey that her dad hands out her business card at shop meets. She enters the house and finds a new bedroom. Her bedroom now has a feminine touch and some decoration. The bed has a satiny orange-brown comforter with matching striped throw pillows. She has wooden night tables and some wall art. Damon says she has a new mattress, too.

Honey got Luz designer reading glasses from Lenscrafters. I once returned glasses to Lenscrafters. They have a great guarantee. Honey says she feels smarter with glasses on. Thanks. Keep the nerd stereotype alive. Also, Honey gives her a GP gift pack!

Robbie tells Luz to use sheer stockings for a dressy look, especially if you’re short. He gives her a red broach that has nothing to do with anything.

In the living room, Danny has all these candles set up. Hey, what’s going on here? Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me. Danny gives Luz a massage. I think he’s doing this on purpose. There’s no need to make me jealous, Danny. I’m all yours! Just give me a call and I’m there! Even better, I’LL give YOU the massage. How ‘bout that?

He blah blah blahs about blood flow, immune system, stress, water, feet. Luz says she has the hottest masseuse in L. A. Grrr. Danny gives her a face revitalizer and a face mask.

The GP and Luz head over to the office. It’s orange themed. The walls are orange and peach. Luz is working in a popsicle. The couch is orange. There’s a clear fold-out divider screen with a black frame that’s really cool. And she has red leather desk chairs. Oh, yeah! Pimpin’ the office. Did I just use the word “pimpin?” Oh, God, what’s wrong with me?

Damon gropes a touch lamp.

Danny wants to role play. OKAY! Oh, they mean practice lawyer stuff. Honey gives them a scenario. Danny goes out to be an attourney. And, well, that’s not Danny. Gloria Allred comes walking in. Danny’s like gotcha. Allred gives her some advice about stress and balance. “You’ve gotta say no.” Sometimes. Then she says, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.” Ugh, I hate that adage.

The GP give Luz a briefcase. What? No book? They recap what she needs to do for the evening. The GP leave, calling out, “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail!” That makes no sense because if you’re not planning anything, then you can’t plan failure. That happens naturally, which I think is the point of the saying, but then just say it.

Hip Tip: Honey says to rinse your razor in ice cold water for a close shave. That so gives me goosebumps, ergo, a worse shave. Is that just me?

Luz’s mother interviews that Luz doesn’t make a lot of money.

Gayvid interviews that Luz could be mayor.

The GP gather round the Critic Couch which is in an all white room. Danny says he loves the esquire house. Now rooms have names? The guys are in snazzy suits and Honey is in a sequined black top. Did I miss a memo?

Luz gets ready for the big night. She puts a call in to the gourmet market and orders wine and cheese. Why couldn’t she have ordered it before? Danny says canapé a few more times and gets nervous because she’s ordering things she can’t pronounce. Luz smirks when she orders it so she’s kind of nervous too. I mean, who wants to sound like an ass on the phone to some wine connoisseur?

Then she wants to add a personal touch to the food so she makes Mexican cookies. The dough seems frozen and she has a hard time rolling it out. Robbie says, “If the cookies don’t work out she can always shingle the roof with it.” Finally, it softens and she makes lots of little squares. Then her oven starts dinging and she can’t figure out why. Honey calls out, “It’s just the oven telling you it’s ready!” Then the GP make a bunch of sexual innuendoes so rapidly that I can’t catch any one of them clearly.

Luz washes her face with some product and Honey says, “She’s scrubbing too hard. See? This shows she needs to take more time to herself.” She better. She’s going to lose an eye that way. She puts on a mask that Danny says will make her radiant.

She wears the gray tweed dress and toe cleavage shoes that Robbie laid out for her. She opts to not go with the jacket and Robbie is quite upset about it.

Then she puts on make-up, putting on mascara before curling her lashes. Honey is perplexed. Robbie says, “You know what she’s done? She’s come up with her own way to do it.” Honey’s still perplexed because she’s The Lady and knows best and how dare Luz come up with her own way. Or Luz just got mixed up.

Almost-gay-David arrives as Luz’s cookies, or as Honey calls them her homemade poptarts, finish baking. He can’t get over how lovely she looks. Aww, Gayvid is so sweet.

Gayvid and Luz head over to her new office. Gayvid loves that, too. Robbie says it looks like she’s moved to Beverly Hills. Damon calls it, “Gay trickery. Gay voodoo.” Luz sets up the food. Danny panics: “I see only one carton of bread.” But panic subsides as crackers and cheese find their way to the table. Luz asks the food delivery people if they have a tablecloth. As they check, she tells her friend that they can run out to the dollar store to get one. Damon has a coronary!

Danny says canapé one more time.

The folks arrive! Luz’s mom starts crying and Luz’s dad calls her beautiful. Luz’s mom is the cutest little woman! Next to my own mom, of course.

FYI: Heather B. from the first season of The Real World is in the AOL commercial about virus protection. Some reality tv trivia smack dab in the middle of a Queer Eye recap. You weren’t expecting that, now were you?

On the Critic Couch, the GP repeat stuff they’ve said in the SUV for no reason at all. More people arrive, including her co-worker who’s a ringer for George Lopez. He tells her, “The girls look good.” Did he just make a boob comment to a co-worker? George loves the red leather desk chairs. He must be a pimp.

Luz stands with a hand on her hip. The Gal Pals clap for her assertiveness.

Michael from New York has arrived. He’s an old lawyer friend. He speaks to her mother in Spanish. I think he’d look much better without the mustache. The GP think he’s cute. George Lopez accosts Luz and tells her that Michael is “dapper.” The GP like his tie. Robbie calls him, “Very Blair Underwood.” Luz tells George that toe cleavage is in.

More people come in. They’re from the community. Perspective clients.

Michael toasts to Luz. She winks. Michael pulls her aside. He then tells Luz she has passion and gold flecks in her eyes. Luz blushes. He might be moving to L. A. She grins. I still think he’d be better with no mustache. Robbie sighs, “You had me at hello.” Ha!

Cut to the door and three older black women entering. Damon calls out, “Here come the Pointer Sisters!” Ha! Now that’s comedy. The women are actually from the Chamber of Commerce and they’re there to welcome Luz to the neighborhood in her new expanded office. Heehee. I found the Pointer Sisters thing even funnier after finding that out, and so should you.

Luz speeches. She’s excited to be in the community. The Chamber of Commerce Pointer Sisters speech. Everyone claps. Then they do the Lucas clap and yell “yes we can” in Spanish. That was the slogan of the college I teach at until three other colleges used it in the same month!

The Gal Pals toast to Luz.

This week’s tips:

Robbie says to shop for shoes after a long day’s work because then your feet are sweaty and smelly and the salespeople will love you for it.

Damon says to stop cluttering up little shelves so they look less cluttered.

Honey says to use a cold razor because she still doesn’t get goosebumps from it.

Danny says to serve one-handed snacks at a party so your other hand is free to do whatever it wants. Like reach out and grab someone.

Luz is now a lady like lawyer who can show some cleavage in the courtroom without the judge holding her in contempt. Ah, the wonders of the toe.

Email me: How do you shave with goosebumps?

P Stands for Poo and Pervert – Simple Life, Episode 6

“P Stands for Poo and Pervert” – The Simple Life, Episode 6

The next stop is Wilmington Delaware where Paris and Nicole will be staying with the McGivney family – Billy, Lisa, Brendan, Bridget and Liam. Already we get the impression that Billy the Dad considers himself to be a virile older man. Even his strict wife, Lisa can’t get him to tone down his lewd comments.

Paris and Nicole are for the moment blissfully unaware of what is in store for them at the McGivney household. They’re trying to keep their dogs from fighting with each other on the bus. One poochie escapes to the front of the bus and proceeds to unload a load. Instead of seeing brown, we see a pink bubble with the word OOPS in the middle. Nicole and Paris scream. The bus driver slams on the brakes and the girls have to clean up the mess. A few screams and pink OOPS bubbles later, the bus is back on the road.

The bus drops them off at the foot of a large hill. Paris and Nicole leave the huge pile of luggage at the bottom and troop to the top to the McGivney home. Billy greets them at the door with kisses. During a nice round of polite introductory conversation, the two boys and Mom Lisa go down the hill to retrieve the luggage. Mom Lisa is astounded and grumbles that Paris and Nicole should be getting these. She swears she’ll teach them how to pack later. Don’t hold your breath, Mom!

Back at the house, Mom Lisa interrupts a speculative conversation between Billy and the girls about his son Liam’s sexual life. She quickly ends the discussion and moves the crew to the room where the girls will be staying.

Nicole and Paris discover that the youngest son, Brendan, sleeps in his sister’s room on the floor. They are befuddled at this arrangement and later discuss how to make Brendan his own room out of the toy room.

Early next morning, Paris and Nicole arrive at Small Wonder Daycare to intern. Guess what room they have to help in first? The toddler room, where there is much pooping to be had. The next few minutes there are many shots of Nicole and Paris struggling with the mechanical aspects of a diaper and wiping dirty bottoms, while trying desperately not to throw up.

Next is bus duty. Paris and Nicole have to line the school children up to get on their assigned buses. When the buses don’t show up soon enough, Nicole flags down a passing van and asks the driver to take them out for pizza. Lucky for Nicole, the driver brings the kids back immediately.

Compared to the other intern jobs the girls have worked so far, this one seems to come naturally to them. They’re in better spirits and in turn the kids enjoy them, too! One even pinched Paris on the bum.

Lunchtime! Paris and Nicole go back inside to the toddler room to give them their lunch. Not much gets inside the kids, but it’s amusing to see their carrot hats and pea earrings while the rest is all over the table. Cleanup!

Craft time happens after lunchtime. Paris and Nicole help the kids make hand turkeys. A lot of the kids make pictures of Nicole and Paris instead.

After such fun all morning, Paris and Nicole put the kids and themselves down for a nap.

At the end of the day, the daycare director feels that even though they took more naps than the kids, they’ve earned their $100. She like how nice they were to the kids.

Back home at the McGivney’s, Paris and Nicole plot to get the family out so they can redo the toy room for Brendan. Under the mistaken impression that Nicole and Paris are sick and need medicine, the family leaves to get them stuff to make them feel better. On their list was a request for porn, but Billy said they don’t need to buy that, he already had some. Ha! Ha!

Paris and Nicole go shopping at the local thrift shop and purchase a whole car load of stuff. They hurry back to the house and quickly move all of the toys out of the room. I have to say I was surprised to see them putting so much effort and physical energy into this project.

The family returns with the stuff on the girls list. Paris and Nicole lead the family upstairs to show them Brendan’s new room. It was very sweet. The girls were excited to see Brendan’s reaction and the whole family was touched.

Next morning, Billy says there is a change in plans. Paris and Nicole are to stay there with him and his wife Lisa is getting on the bus. Man, lighten up on the Viagra, please!

Goodbyes and kisses once again, although Billy didn’t want any tongue. As if!

I welcome your comments.

Now I Have An Excuse to be Stupid! – America’s Next Top Model 4, Episode 2

Now I Have An Excuse To Be Stupid America’s Next Top Model 4 Episode 2

by aurora

Last week on ANTM, we met the final fourteen girls who made the cut and are “in the running towards becoming America’s Next Top Model”. This week we’re promised makeovers and drama – oooh, I loves me some drama!

Jay Manuel meets up with the girls wearing an “I Love NY” t-shirt. He rips it open to reveal an “I love LA” shirt underneath, and tells the girls that they’re staying in California this season. They’re on a movie set at Paramount Studios, and it’s set up to look like New York City.

A police car pulls up, and out come Janice Dickinson, Nole Marin, and Nigel Barker – all dressed as cops. Of course Janice looks like the cop that delivers a singing telegram to a bachelor party, complete with sunglasses, big hair, and short skirt. I’d like to add here that if Nigel decided to wear his police uniform every episode, I would be a very happy woman indeed.

The girls are told that they’re about to embark on their first photo shoot. They’re going to be made up as aliens, and will pose on or around the police car. Apparently the aliens have taken over Manhattan … or something.

Nigel will be the photographer for this shoot (yay), but unfortunately he’s changed out of his uniform (rats). The girls get started, and Nigel seems to have a positive comment for just about everyone. Just about. Lluvy seems to only have one facial expression, while Tiffany needs to loosen up more and take instructions.

Behind the scenes, Brandy is getting, well, bitchy. She’s not impressed with the amount of time she’s had to wait so far, and complains to Nole. When it’s finally time for her shoot she comes out with a grumpy face and Nigel asks what’s wrong. She says she isn’t “feeling it”, and is somewhere between sleepy and bored. Nigel is very unhappy with Brandy, but manages to get a good shot of her anyway.

Tyra Mail arrives as the girls are finishing up their shoot. The girls are whicked away to what they’ve been promised is an LA hotspot, but as they drive further and further into what looks like the “ghetto”, they begin to get worried. They end up at a somewhat cool looking building, and as they get out of the car, they’re greeted by what looks like a gang. After the commercial, we find out that these folks are actually designers, and the building is the Serious Clothing showroom.

After some oohing and ahhing over the racks and racks of clothing, Magnus opens a door and reveals the loft the girls will be living in for the rest of their stay in LA. The models rush in and start claiming bedrooms.

Tyra arrives to welcome the models to their new home, and explains that they’re staying in LA this season because that’s where she first made it into the industry. She tells them that she faced a lot of rejection before landing some gigs to early in her career.

The next morning, after Brandy whines about what the hair guy at the photo shoot has done to her weave, Miss J arrives to take measurements and (gasp!) weigh the girls. Brita is very nervous, saying that she’s recently gained 10 pounds and doesn’t want to get on the scale. Most of the models are in the 116-125 pound range, but Brita weighs in at 138. This is apparently considered on the heavy side.

Time for more Tyra Mail, and this time it says that “the cut” will be happening the next day. They’re all surprised that someone will be leaving so soon, and are accordingly nervous.

The group meets up with Tyra, Miss J, and Mr. Jay at Prive Salon, where indeed the cuts will be made – hair cuts, that is. As the girls start to breathe a sigh of relief, Tyra explains their visions for each girl. Lots of weaves, extensions, colour jobs, etc. Brandy is last, and is told that they think she’s “fierce” enough as she is, so they’re not going to do anything with her. Uh oh.

As you might have guessed, Brandy is upset. While she whines to anyone who will listen that her weave has been destroyed and she can’t manage it, Naima tells the girls that, since she’s going to be blonde, she’ll have an excuse to be stupid. Maybe they should think about bleaching Miss Brandy’s hair too.

Tyra decides that if Brandy wants something done, they’ll just cut her hair off and she can go uber-short. Brandy is just happy to be getting attention at this point, and goes along with the plan.

Michelle the wrestler, who is being made into a platinum blonde, struggles with the pain that goes along with ammonia and peroxide being applied directly to one’s scalp. As she’s being rinsed, she’s shaking and clutching her water bottle, but makes it through and is happy with the result.

After the makeovers, each girl goes directly to another photo shoot, which is topless (but of course tasteful, with either arms, hands or hair covering the private bits). Kahlen says that she knew eventually there would be some nudity involved, but wasn’t ready for it this soon.

Brandy’s weave and most of her hair has been removed, and what’s left is dyed a light orange colour. She should be happy now, but no, of course she isn’t. Now she’s upset that her eyebrows are a different colour than her hair. ‘Course she didn’t have bright red eyebrows when her hair was bright red, but I guess that’s beside the point. She gets her brows done, but continues to whine and moan.

Keenyah is also not happy with her hair. She gets a weave put in, and when she’s told that she’s going to have angled bangs, she gets upset. She doesn’t like the sound of it at all. The J’s talk her into it, and afterwards she says that she’s sorry she doubted them – she loves the way it looks.

Tyra shows up and says that while 12 of the girls did well and accepted the change, she’s very disappointed and angry with two of them. She says that they know who they are, and she’s pissed off at them – and that it will be reflected in the upcoming judging. Brandy and Keenyah look appropriately nervous.

At judgement time, the girls meet up with the regular judges; Tyra, Nigel, Nole, and Janice. One by one the girls come forward to look at their “Aliens Taking Over Manhattan” photos.

Naima, Christina, Tatiana, Sarah, Brittany, Keenyah, and Rebecca all get positive comments. Michelle is told that her body looks great, but her face needs improvement. (ouch!) Brita is called up, and Janice yells “What kind of name is Frita?” Ah, good old Janice. They’re not impressed with “Frita’s” photo, but all agree that she looks great in person.

Kahlen is told that she looks frumpy standing in front of the judges, but her photo is great. Noelle changed her hair from the blown-out straight look of the day before, back to her massive curls. The judges aren’t happy with that, but like her photo. Keenyah has also changed her hair, but attributes that to adding too much oil to it. Okay.

Lluvy is told that she needs to work on her facial expressions, and Tiffany is praised for both her photo and her new attitude.

Time for Brandy to face the music. She comes forward and acts like she loves her new look, but Tyra calls her out and gives her a bit of the riot act about her attitude. She took a good picture though.

The girls are told to leave the room so the judges can decide who to boot. This should really be just a formality, ‘cause we all know Brandy is going home, right?

The judges toss comments around, with Janice dubbing Lluvy “SUV”, and Nole saying that Brita looks like a “side of beef”. Nigel relates his troubles with Brandy, and the rest of them just shake their heads. They think that Michelle is ‘big’ and looks rather like a drag queen.

The girls are called back in, and one by one get their photos. The last two women standing are Brita and Brandy. Tyra calls them forward and tells Brita that all the judges think she is beautiful, but her photo didn’t reflect her beauty. Some of the judges don’t feel she should stay. Brandy is told that her photo was good, but her attitude sucks. Some of the judges behind her don’t want to work with her again.

With that, Tyra hands over the last photo – to Brandy!! Brandy! Huh? Brita looks as shocked as I am, and walks out of the room. While packing, she says in voiceover that she regrets the experience and hates being the first person eliminated.

There’s no way Brita should have been eliminated before Brandy, but I guess that’s not my call. I think the judges screwed up on this one though – remember Ann from last season? She was gorgeous too and took a few bad photos, but she came back and did pretty darned well.

Next week is the runway lesson with Miss J, and Michelle will tell a big secret about herself. We’ll also get the most “shocking” judging scene EVER, with the clip showing girls staring wide-eyed at the floor and someone saying they’ll call 911. Woot – can’t wait!

Think Brandy should have been eliminated? Got a still of Nigel in his cop outfit? I wanna hear from you! Drop me a line at

Dropping the C Bomb – Starting Over, 03-08-05

by LauraBelle

Every housemate in the Starting Over house changes themselves and life within the house. But by the unassuming way the new housemate arrives, no one would have guessed just how much she is about to change everyone’s lives.

The newest housemate arrives and we immediately recall someone from Nanny 911, as she’s wearing a plaid cape and red hat. She introduces herself as Allison from North Carolina, and Bethany, her new roommate, is elated to have another of her home girls in the house. She makes a quick impression, as Vanessa says she’s falling in love with her after just the first five minutes, and Candy likes her good sense of style.

Rhonda and Iyanla both lead Group this day as we all meet Allison together. Allison shows pictures of a very lovely life – a good-looking brother who has given her a beautiful niece, and even in her baby pictures, Alison mentions her resemblance to Cindy Brady. Then she starts to open up more.

Allison’s father died when he was fifty of cancer. She admits they were a close family, but not deep. She was a cruise director for seven years, leaving it only to not be able to find another job in the cruise/performing industry, forcing her to become an executive assistant at a bank.

Things like not succeeding, not being happy, and being alone stress Allison. When asked why she is alone, she says she hasn’t been able to find anyone. This confuses Iyanla, as she says some women marry five times.

Allison drops the C bomb when she discloses that less than nine months before she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a mastectomy to remove a lump that quickly grew to the size of an apple. The drugs that are normally given for this are for older women or women who have bore children. She may never get her menstrual period back, and has gained twenty pounds from the steroids and chemotherapy.

Rachael is crying, feeling much compassion for Allison, remembering her parents. Allison notes how odd it is to see others crying for her, as she’s only cried three times for herself since her cancer diagnosis.

Looking at Allison’s self portrait, Iyanla says it looks like a mask, and tells Allison she sees a lie. Allison is overwhelmed that she is so translucent with Iyanla. Noticing Allison is still wearing her hat, Iyanla asks why and hears Allison say she is afraid she’ll be uncomfortable without it. She gives in, takes it off, and we see a darling salt and pepper short ‘do. Iyanla tells her now her eyes show up, along with the truth of who she is.

Allison’s goal will be to “learn to live” as she hasn’t really lived for thirty-eight years. Vanessa believes they’ll learn a lot from her, and I believe she is right.

Rachael has a one-one-one with Iyanla to discuss how her plans are going for the memorial service for her parents. Rachael admits to not liking the way she is being treated by her family as she’s calling them asking them to come. Her Grandma has always made her feel unwelcome and has even caller her a tramp. Rachael’s aunt and uncle told her she always stirred up trouble, and called her a hateful little brat.

Iyanla asks why Rachael puts up with all this, and Rachael says they’re part of her mom. Iyanla asks if her mom were still alive would she allow them to treat Rachael like that, and Rachael admits she probably wouldn’t.

Switching gears back to the memorial service the only people Rachael knows that will be there for sure are her brother, Iyanla and her youth pastors. She would like Aunt CeCe to come, and will asks her. Iyanla tells her to work on writing the eulogy.

Rhonda tells Bethany it’s time for their “Comin’ Home to Jesus” talk, and Bethany knows that means they’re “gettin’ down to it.” She would like to change and Rhonda suggests she needs to learn how her body works, and that includes going to doctors to learn more. Bethany doesn’t tell people she gets headaches when she eats because it embarrasses her. Even though it’s the scariest thing to face, she’s tired of being the sick girl.

Bethany is asked what if her body became her friend. Rhonda tells her she needs to make a choice to do it, and Bethany agrees. Rhonda wants her to meet with a nutritionist and to take Vanessa for support, since she too eats unhealthy. Also, Marcus will there at the house today to take Bethany and Vanessa on a hike.

Rachael tells Allison about her parents memorial service that she’s planning, and tells her that her mom had died from ovarian cancer and Jess had lung cancer, which then led to a brain tumor. Allison suggests maybe it was meant to be. Rachael, still having the hope and faith shells she had made weeks before in honor of her parents, gives one to Allison and tells her it’s because she wants to keep the faith alive in her.

In a private session, Iyanla asks Allison how her first day is going in the Starting Over house. She says it’s been quiet; she’s used to being alone, and she’ll usually have music or the TV on, and admits to Iyanla if the house is still and quiet, then she has to think of herself. Iyanla notes the Alison is very aware and conscious of things that don’t honor who she is.

Iyanla asks Allison to close her eyes to go to a place of sadness. She tells Iyanla, while in that place, she is sad as she wants to be loved, but knows she is. Iyanla’s immediately reply is no you don’t. Iyanla tells her to answer from her heart and hot her head. She asks Allison to repeat, “I want to live; I am going to live,” and tells her when she has fears, Iyanla is going to stand for her. She tells Allison she is incredibly strong and is an inspiration. And, of course, Iyanla tells her it’s going go to be delicious, so she needs to get her fork ready. She asks Allison to write down what she is getting out of her life and what she is missing.

Marcus takes Bethany and Vanessa on their hike, and he stresses that nutrition is just as important as exercise. Telling them they have been hiking for thirty minutes, he asks how many calories think they have burned, and their guess is 5000. They are shocked to learn they’ve only burned about eighty, enough to burn off twelve Doritos. He tells them to the goal is to enjoy lief, eat some, but understand what it takes to burn it.

Bethany and Vanessa meet with a nutritionist, Amy, after their hike. Vanessa says she doesn’t eat healthy as she has rebelled against it, and Bethany admits she gets headaches when she eats. Amy gives them a quick lesson in proper fats/proteins/carbohydrates balance, and mentions Vanessa probably ate an unhealthy low amount of fat when she was training in gymnastics.

Next, their current measurements need to be taken to get a baseline of where they are at, and Bethany freaks form the get-go. Amy assures them it’s only to keep the information for themselves. Bethany admits she’s getting mad, but she sucks it up and does it. After, she admits the world did not end.

Allison meets with Iyanla to look at what she has and what’s missing in her life. She is missing one boob and feels she’s overweight. Iyanla wants to know who says she’s missing the boob and is overweight? Allison’s goals will be to define life, live for or beyond cancer, emotional honesty, learn life affirming practices and embrace simplicity. Iyanla asks Allison to please stop calling herself disfigured. Allison concedes to calling herself lopsided. Iyanla says look at my thigh; that’s a disfigurement.

Moving on, Iyanla meets with Rachael to check in on the memorial service planning again. In attendance will be Aunt Ellen, Bobby Jo and Rachael’s brother. Aunt CeCe has to go to a football game and can’t make it, upsetting Rachael. Iyanla urges her to realize CeCe could go, but it’s not her choice. Rachael is beginning to realize she has never been a priority in CeCe’s life. She says she just really wanted Ce Ce to be there. Iyanla says, “Well, she doesn’t want to.” That has to hurt, but it’s the cold hard truth.

I find myself wishing that Allison would go to the memorial service. She represents exactly what Rachael is mourning, and Rachael’s parents represent what Allison is fearing. I live by the belief that everything happens for a reason, and I believe firmly that these two women met in this house for a reason. There has to be a greater purposes somewhere. I think the two of them will be a help to each other.

I welcome all questions and comments at

American Idol Theme Weeks – Season 4

American Idol Theme Weeks – Season 4

by Pannydra, Goddess of Chaos

In my never-ending quest to give you all the cutting edge news that’s fit to print – or make up as is more often the case – about Reality TV, I have to share with you the latest and greatest information about American Idol Season 4. I’ve got guest judges galore and theme-weeks a-plenty for all y’all. I’m writing from a safe house somewhere in Texas because I am in danger. If Simon catches me, he’ll take away my BMG music account and all my free points earned. But, I’m taking this risk – for you, the fans of Reality TV.

There will be ten weeks of themes this season – with two ‘free-choice’ weeks. Here’s some highlights from the list, but you didn’t get them from me. Okay? I’m looking over my shoulder right now just in case – if Paula catches me, she’ll make me watch her “Straight – Up Video” for 48-hours straight (that’s how they’ll catch Bin Laden if you ask me!)

Week One – New Age Instrumentals: As Paula always says, “your voice is your instrument” the producers have decided to let the contestants hum to instrumentals and try to mimic the instruments in pieces like Yanni’s Ennui and John Tesh’s I’m so bored I wish my ears were bleeding. Guest judge is John Tesh. Watch for commercials by Sominex.

Week Four – Teen Girl Pop of the Ages. Debbie, oops Deborah, Gibson who was a judge on the AI spinoff – American Juniors, will guest judge. Listen to songs by the Partridge Family, The Monkees, Hilary Duff, Lindsay Lohan and Ms. Gibson herself. It’s sure to make you barf. See host Ryan Seacrest wear big hair in honor of the day.

Week Five – A Tribute to the American Idol Judges: Each of the contestants must sing a song by Journey, Mariah Carey or any other person Randy Jackson says he worked with! They can also sing any Paula Abdul hit except for Blowing Kisses in the Wind – it’s been deemed too suggestive by the FCC. To pay homage to Simon, they will sing Spice Girls tunes. He had something to do with them, right? He’s British after all. Guest Judges: Paprika and Marjoram, the Spices the got kicked off due to the scandal. They started in the cricially acclaimed adult film Spice Rack!

Week Eight – Nirvana week. No it’s not a tribute to Nirvana, the grunge rock sensation of the early 90s. Rather, it is a Buddhist chant week. The Dalai Lama makes a rare television appearance. The Dalai Lama and Simon Cowell together on one television show has to ROCK! Maybe he can teach Simon how to channel his inner nice guy.

Look for the Tibetan Eunuch Monk Choir and celebrity Buddhist Richard Gere to help get this party started off right!

Week Nine – Songs of the Cartoon world. It’s Yabba Dabba Doo Riffic, y’all. Hear them sing tunes from “Josie and the Pussycats”, the theme song to “Scooby Doo” and “Spongebob”. It’ll be grrrreat. Guest Judge are Judy Jetson and Bamm-Bamm.

Week Ten – Heavy Metal Head-Banging Anthems: Watch the controversy ensue as one of the finalists sings his song backwards. Watch out for the Bible Belt boycotts and the John 3:16 signs! Ozzy Osborne guest stars – Ozzy to English subtitles will be available.

That’s it for now. I’ll write more later. Until then, Panndyra OUT!

Ripped Off!! – American Idol 4 – 3/9/05

Ripped Off! American Idol 3 March 9

by Annie

Welcome to the recap of American Idol’s elimination show, aka The Showcase of Commercials. By the second half of this 30 minute episode I was so weary of commercials that I started to time it and for every three minutes of Idol, we were getting four minutes of ads. Ugh! And once again – NO music, NO entertainment. I’m hoping there won’t be any more shows like this. I want to be entertained!

There were over 120 million votes cast for the contestants. Since that is about half the population of the United States, I’m getting the feeling that some of you might be voting more than once (besides Janay’s family – which was a given!). You know who you are!

Due to the overwhelming participation of the sponsors, there isn’t much time for chit-chat on the show tonight. Ryan does his usual “which-one-will-go” and SURPRISE – neither one goes. Am I the only one that finds this so very predictable – and tiring? And while I’m whining, can we do something about Ryan’s clothes? We totally dawg the contestants for what they wear but what about Ryan? Each week he comes out looking more and more like a homeless guy. Is sloppiness his goal? Did I miss the memo that announced that “sloppy” now is sexy?

Ok – *deep breath* – I’m done complaining. On to the results….

Anthony, Carrie, Scott, Anwar, and Jessica are in and take their seats in the Final 12 Section.

Say good-bye to Travis and Nikko. I think Nikko was about to cry.

Mikalah, Bo, Constantine, Lindsey, Mario, Nadia and Vonzell fill the rest of the final 12 seats.

Leaving us with good byes for Janay and Amanda.

So there you have the final 12. Not a bad group at all. I think we are in for some good entertainment – finally!

Attack of Courtney The Crack Monkey! – The Starlet, Episode 2

Attack of Courtney the Crack Monkey The Starlet Episode 2

Attack of Courtney the Crack Monkey! – The Starlet, Episode 2

“C’mere honey and give me some lip-lock.”

Can you imagine yourself in a steamy, passionate scene…with a huge, overstuffed Teddy Bear? Okay, now include a crowd of onlookers and cameras in a sterile classroom full of chairs and electrical equipment, so that it can be recorded for posterity. Finally, add to the mix the fact you will be judged how sexy and passionate you can be with Sir Teddy Bear. This was the first challenge our now eight lovelies faced on a day that didn’t begin with smiles and cheery dispositions.

The morning began a little earlier than they’d like as Katie woke them from their beauty sleep with the blasting of the hairdryer. Remember, these girls are sharing one big room and one bathroom. She further endeared herself by constantly chattering away about whatever came into her head. The dead-pan stares were a quick giveaway as to how they feel about Katie. She is dancing the electric slide on their last nerve.

Now they are expected to generate passion with a stuffed animal? In front of everyone? Bernard Hiller, a famous acting teacher, assures them that it will help unblock themselves as actresses, and that even Cameron Diaz had doubts and fears about this.

Some of the girls began with a strip tease to get themselves (and the bear) into the mood. In her interview, Cecile said she imagined the bear as a real person and that helped a lot. The most unusual seduction was from Katie who seemed to turn it into some teary, emotional rolling around on the floor. No kisses and moans like the other girls. This seemed to freak out the other girls, as they could only look on in shock and embarrassment.

Next, the girls used eight gorgeous men for their sexual lessons. The girls were required to perform a sexy dance in front of the men, and from the shots of the men’s faces; they were doing this quite well.

Katie, however, was a bit of a joke. Dressed in her lime green coat, fuchsia boa and yellow hat, she looked ridiculous jumping around her man. Courtney and Mercedes were very uncomfortable and stiff and this showed in their performances. Donna, who is a model and feels very good about herself and her body, danced around the room, but didn’t exude sexuality. She looked like she was prancing down the runway. Michelynne, on the other hand, moved slowly and sensually, using her head full of long hair and bedroom eyes to get the message across. Amazing since according to her, she has not had much experience with men.

Winners of these little competitions get to stay in the Diva Suite, which is a huge bedroom and bathroom, all their own until the next competition. The winner of this lesson was of course Michelynne. She also won the star treatment that includes a limo, a makeover and new wardrobe.

These sexuality lessons were in preparation for the next screen test – a passionate scene with another woman in a hot tub. Upon hearing this information, the girls sat in their chairs with stunned looks. Mercedes closed her eyes and then her face started to twitch. Cecile could only smile a Cheshire grin and shake her head. Katie looked worried.

Later that day, the girls quickly laid claim to their prospective lesbian partners. Courtney felt like she did in school, being the last one chosen for the team. She will partner with Michelynne, who wasn’t there at the time to voice her choice.

Practice makes perfect, so the girls use the rest of the day to get over their nerves and get the first kiss out of the way. Amidst lots of giggles, false starts and absolute revulsion, they struggle to make the scene work so they will not get axed. To help them, Jaime Pressly, an actress from the show “Fastlane”, arrived to lead a discussion about being an actress and doing your job without getting personal and taking it too seriously.

That evening it was screen test time. Everyone dressed in their bathing suits and took their turns in the hot tub. Katie and Donna went first. After a few sentences of friendly conversation, Katie leaped at Donna and took a bite out of her. Donna didn’t feel good about the scene, and said if she was axed today, it would be because of Katie.

Mercedes and Cecile were able to make the scene believable. Mercedes later said she wasn’t really there and thought she was incredibly stiff. Cecile felt she nailed it and told Mercedes she was a good kisser. Next up was Courtney and Michelynne.

Courtney attacked Michelynne the minute the scene began and tried to turn it into a porno flick. Michelynne’s body language said, “I want out and you off of me.” Michelynne was shocked since they had not rehearsed it that way. It was not something she liked and she is afraid that it will show in her film.

The girls prepared for the judging panel with knots in their stomachs.

Reactions from the judges were verbal and physical. Comments of overacting, commendations for actually kissing another girl and expectations were rampant. However, all three judges jolted back and covered their eyes, when the test for Courtney and Michelynne played. Joseph Middleton called her a “crack monkey”.

In the end, Courtney and Neva had to say goodbye and yes, Katie was spared this time. But there’s always next Tuesday!

I welcome your comments.

Have We Told You About The Sick Girl? – Nashville Star 3, Episode 2

There’s No Shortage of Talent in This Country – Nashville Star 3, Premiere

by Lisa

Special guest stars Montgomery Gentry kick off the show with their hit song “Gone”, which gets the crowd on their feet. They then disappear from the stage, never to be seen or heard from again. Our host LeAnn Rimes then pops up and teases us that we will soon know who is going to be voted off this week. Those of us who are experienced Nashville Star viewers know that this is a Big Fat Lie, because the show uses a cruel sort of musical chairs method of calling the singers out one by one to perform, and then of course the last one standing in the green room is the goner. But I will admit it is an effective strategy, here I am watching the whole 60 minute program instead of checking out the loser and then going to bed.

We then cut to Cletus T. Judd for more unnecessary faux comedy. Like a dog with a new bone, he cannot let go of the fact that one of the performers threw up mid-song last week, and for the rest of the show we will be subjected to him driving this joke way way into the ground. For this segment, he shows us “the new official Nashville Star mop and bucket just in case!” and then giggles like a little girl. I scramble around on my couch in a desperate search for the Tivo remote.

OK, now it is back to LeAnn, for the announcement of the first “safe” contestant of the evening. It is retro-man Jody Evans, who proceeds to simultaneously channel both Buddy Holly and Elvis with his rock-a-billy rendition of “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”. Jody has loosened up a little bit from last week. While he still has a suit on, he has lost the tie and has a fun pink shirt on underneath. Crazy! But the usually uber-positive judges are clearly a little bored with him after only 2 weeks. Bret says “I need more you”, Anastasia says be yourself and dig deep, and Phil says next week he would like to see what else he can do.

Not surprisingly, the next of the nervous nine to be called to safety is Tamika Tyler, who I think had the best performance of last week. She nails it again this time around singing “I’m Alright”. So I will try hard to not even talk about the fact that she is dressed for Woodstock, not the Opry. Phil says he loved the song choice and that she is one of his favorite performers, Anastasia says she is the strongest singer in the competition, and Bret says “bring me your heart and soul cuz you got it”.

It should then be time for our next performer – but no! – it is more of Cletus and his Barf Girl commentary. He proceeds to interview some of the other contestants on whether or not Jenny should have been given another chance to sing on last week’s show after she threw up, and of course it is a unanimous yes. If Cletus wants to turn this into Survivor, then he had better start looking for a poorly resourced desert island, as living in a posh Nashville hotel does not seem to be creating much tension between the contestants. I fast forward again.

Up next is Justin David, one of what I thought were the two weakest performers last week (the other being Josh Owen). They introduce him by showing off some of his hundreds of e-mails from fans that he received last week. He might want to savor those, because I am not sure how many weeks this guy is going to be with us. He plays his mandolin again and sings “Man of Constant Sorrow” from the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack. Justin does a passable job, but compared to the competition, he is likely to be in trouble soon. Anastasia says “last week you made my toes curl, but this week your pitch problems made my ears bleed”, Phil says he liked him better than last week but his toes did not curl, and nice guy Bret says his toes did curl and “you’re cool”.

The next name on the list is highschooler Erika Jo, who last week told us what a goodie two-shoes she was, and then this week bounds out on stage sporting red leather and lots of attitude. Hmmm. But she belts out “Here For The Party” and totally rocks the stage, then ventures into the audience and jams down there, even taking a moment to flirt with Bret before returning to the stage for a powerhouse finish. Wow, I think it’s a good bet that she is going to be making it back next week. Bret says “there’s now a party on my bus after the show”, Anastasia says she is a fabulous vocalist, and Phil jokes that she’s only 18 and can’t party anyway.

Next up is Casey Simpson singing “Whatever It Takes”. No problems here, but I must admit I got kinda bored halfway through and thought about searching for that damn remote again to speed things up (and at this point contestants are only singing half of a song due to time constraints). Anastasia says “I’m not sure if I see a true artist in front of me”, Phil says she seemed nervous, and Bret ,who was clearly not listening either, simply yells out “You are hot!”.

Out on stage next is Jason Meadows and his trademark white cowboy hat singing “I’m From the Country”. For the second week in a row, I am amazed that his guitar does not go flying across the stage the way he keeps hip-checking it as he plays, but I stop being distracted long enough to realize that I am warming up to his voice. The comparisons to George Canyon are inevitable, but hey George finished second last year so that can’t be all bad. Phil says he is the “real deal” and calls him George Strait on speed, Bret says “I dig ya”, and Anastasia says he is great and asks him to sing her a love song next week.

And now it is time for the show to lose momentum once again by cutting to Cletus. He tries to stir up the Puke Pot yet again by asking Jenny (the girl who got sick) if she is worried that if she makes it to the next week it is because of sympathy votes, and she laughs and replies that she doesn’t care at all. Dumb question, good answer!

No surprise who’s called up now, it’s Jayron Weaver who sings “God Bless the Broken Road” He gives a solid performance, though not as stunning as last week. Phil says he has a really cool voice, Anastasia says she loves his voice but he needs to connect with the audience more, and Bret says “I would pay good money to have half your voice, but you gotta bring it!”.

The over-emotional Christy McDonald and her hyperactive hair are called to the stage next. After practically leaping through the TV and into my living room last week, she tones it down this time around with “Where Would You Be”. I like her better than last week, even though she has a bit of trouble with some of the big high notes, which I think is serious enough to put her at risk in the voting. Anastasia calls her a modern day Minnie Pearl but notes that the song exposed some of her vocal weakness, Phil says she could be on a sitcom, and Bret says she is his party girl and if anyone here knows about big 80’s hair, it is him. SO true!

Now it is finally the moment of truth, and the last two contestants are brought out on stage. Drumroll please…and it is Josh Owen who is eliminated. He does not seem very surprised, and says that he might not have made the best song selection last week (“Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way”) but he’s going to keep on doing what he’s doing.

So hurray! – that means Jenny Farrell lives on and gets a second chance to make a good first impression. They interview her about “the incident” of course, and she finally gets her chance to explain that last week was indeed the stomach flu and not nerves. This of course gives the network an excuse to show us ONE MORE TIME the clip of her running across the stage to puke. Can we burn that footage now and just move on please?! The jubilant Jenny then sings “Can’t Take the Honky-Tonk Out of the Girl” and looks about as happy as I’ve ever seen anyone on TV. She does a fine job of it too, and I think the viewers who voted for her will be happy they did. Anastasia says she is glad America gave her the benefit of the doubt, Bret says “you deserved that chance!”, and Phil says he can’t wait to see her again next week.

In my opinion, the two folks most at risk of elimination next week are Justin David (again) and Christy McDonald. And if I had to bet money on the two people least likely to get the boot, it would be Erika Jo and Jason Meadows. Next week should be a ton of fun, as the contestants will be joined by the Charlie Daniels Band, which in past seasons has signaled a Southern country-rock theme for the contestants as well.

And as a reminder, Monday March 14 is the deadline to enter the Reality Shack Nashville Star contest, with 5 sweet packages of Nashville Star swag to be given away. See the home page for details!

You can contact Lisa with questions, comments, or general gabbery at

captainD's Boot Prediction – Survivor Palau, Episode 4

captainsD’s Boot Prediction: Survivor Palau Episode 4

by captainD

How do they do it? After 10 seasons, the powers that be at CBS can still put together an amazing show. Last week we were treated to a couple of the most creative challenges in a long time as another strong Ulong was voted out of the game. Is it possible that Ulong may go into the merge without winning a single immunity challenge? Right now it’s beginning to look that way.

Hopefully this season will continue its uphill climb as desperation sets in at Ulong. Things should get off to a good start when they receive tools and equipment after winning their third straight reward. For some reason, Koror always steps up their game when immunity is at stake and this week is no different. They will win a record tying fourth consecutive immunity challenge. With Jeff out of the picture, Kim no longer has anyone to hide behind. The 4’th boot out of Palau is . . KIM.

You Did Really Good, Baby – Starting Over, 03-07-05

by LauraBelle

It was a surprise to Renee, but not us viewers, yet it didn’t make it any less touching for us to witness. When it really counted, Renee’s dad showed up.

For some reason not explained to us, Renee’s graduation is being held inside. There are poinsettias decorating the room, so it must have been filmed close to Christmas time. Even in California I imagine it can sometimes get quite cold at night in December.

Iyanla instructs the women to light a candle and make a wish for graduate Renee. Somehow the magic of this part of the ceremony is lost without the beauty of the candles and lights of nighttime Los Angeles reflecting on the water.

Cassie’s wish for Renee is that she will see the wonder of herself inside and out. Candy’s wish is that all of Renee’s dreams come true. Bethany is no less philosophical, saying she hopes she seizes the day and all other opportunities, while Dr. Stan’s wish is that she never lets her fears stop her. Iyanla wants her to remember what she brings to the table, and to always give selflessly.

Renee is ready for her graduation, and just before Iyanla comes to get her, she says the only thing missing form this great moment is her dad. Iyanla leads her into a separate room before the actual ceremony, and Renee sees her dad there waiting. She runs across the room to him for a long-awaited hug and says, “Oh Daddy!”

Renee’s dad says he never got to see her High School graduation, and now that he has another shot at a graduation, he figures he won’t let it slip by gain. When he had heard Renee was graduating the night before, he just knew he had to come. He tells Renee she is beautiful and that he is here to support her in her new beginning.

Renee walks in to the ceremony with her father. Vanessa calls this the most heartwarming thing she has ever witnessed. In a voiceover, Renee’s dad speaks of the time lost, and says his biggest regret was losing out on ten years with his daughter.

Iyanla takes the podium, and says if she had one wish, it would be for her daddy to show up for her, but she will never be able to experience that. As a part of the sisterhood, when a father finally shows up, Iyanla says her heart weeps for joy.

Summarizing Renee’s time in the Starting Over house, Iyanla says she came to the house to transform her relationships, especially the one with her dad. She says it was a joy to see that all unfold. Renee came to the house blaming others, and her father was at the top of her list. She was a lost and angry child and didn’t now why, but was ready to step into greatness as an adult.

Iyanla speaks of Renee’s day locked in a cage, and how it showed she was stuck in certain patterns in her life. Renee was so closed off to others, and trust was the root of of her evil. Through the work to resolve this, a painful memory was unearthed. Renee had been molested by someone she trusted when she was very young. In a voiceover, her dad sys he hadn’t known about it, but understands show devastating that can be on a young woman.

Eventually Iyanla came to realize what held Rachael out of college was not her dad spending her tuition, but because Renee was afraid she was stupid. Looking into this more fully, a learning disability was found.

Renee showed great courage bringing her mother to the house and working through their issues. But her biggest moment was overcoming her seven year separation from her father and cold-calling him. Renee has transformed into adulthood and is ready to start over. Iyanla tells Renee she is an incredible gift to the Starting Over house and the planet.

Rhonda steps up and says even on Renee’s first day in the house, she tried to convince Rhonda it was her dad’s fault that she didn’t go to college. Rhonda didn’t believe it and she doesn’t think Renee did either. She was so afraid to stand on her own two feet, she had to blame others. Before and today, Rhonda knows Renee is a woman of substance.

Dr. Stan, speaking as the father figure of the house, says he is grateful to see Renee’s dad. The relationship between a father and daughter can’t be replicated, and he knows Renee’s dad will be there for her in the future. Dr. Stan tells Renee she is a great role model for all in the house, as no matter your issues, you can always start over.

Rachael takes the podium and I am already readying the Kleenex box, not that it has been unused since the very first moment Renee laid eyes on her father. First she would like to acknowledge how beautiful and grown up Renee looks. She acknowledges as well they didn’t connect at first and had to work on it during their fierce conversation. She adds that Renee taught her that a heart keeps reaching out. Rachel tells Renee she gave her the courage to call her biological dad. She felt so close to her, and can honestly say she loves her and will miss her.

In her down-home North Carolinian style, Bethany brings the honesty with laughter and tears. She tells Renee as her roommate, from the first day, they didn’t talk much. Then they learned that Bethany had problems opening up and Renee had problems listening, so it made for some pretty interesting conversations. Eventually they became closer, close enough for Bethany to see the woman that Renee has become. She tells Renee she has become her best friend and confidante, and her wish is that Renee will seize all opportunities.

Iyanla steps to the podium again and says although Renee’s intention was to step into adulthood, she still needs to know someone has her back. She looks at Renee and tells her, “Daddy’s got your back,” and invites him to come up and say a few things.

The first thing Renee’s father wants to say is that there is a lot of love in the Starting Over house. He thinks of Renee going through a metamorphosis. The first stage was when she was six years old and he and Renee’s mom divorced. The second stage was when she was a young teen and would visit him in California frequently. For the past ten years, he believes Renee has been living in a cocoon, and he adds this cocoon was not his choice. “Renee was in my prayers every day,” he says.

But tonight, Renee’s father is experiencing her cocoon opening up. From it, he sees a new adult, a butterfly read to leave the house and flap her wings. He adds that just because a butterfly flies away, doesn’t mean it won’t came back. He ends by thanking Starting Over for giving him his daughter back.

As a graduation gift, Renee is receiving $3000 in tuition at the Art Institute of Phoenix to begin her career in fashion. This is, of course, along with the trophy stating she has Started Over.

Renee makes a speech, and to Rachael says, she feels their relationship started with their fierce conversation. She believes their original troubles were because they were too much alike. She adds she is happy to know she now inspires Rachael. To Candy, whom she calls Mama, she says she thought she was the crier and the emotional one until she met Mama. She passes off her emotional crown to her. She tells Bethany she’s like a little sister to her, and she’ll miss her, and also thanks Iyanla for supporting her and notes Iyanla never gave up on her once. The Starting Over house would not be he same without Iyanla, she says.

It’s time for the good-byes and Renee’s dad hugs her and says, “You did really good, Baby.” Iyanla tells Renee she wants to buy the first dress Renee designs … wholesale.

As she leaves, Renee says she’ll miss her housemates the most, as they are five women she has grown to love and trust. She says you walk into the Starting Over house with your tail between your legs, but walk out with your head held high. How true for Renee. She walked in angry at her dad, and with everyone calling her a spoiled brat. She walks out being called compassionate and an inspiration, and with her dad by her side.

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