Passions and Fantasies – Starting Over, 02-23-05

by LauraBelle

Fantasy vs. Reality. Everyone has fantasies, and not necessarily erotically speaking, but generally speaking of their life. Everyone has a wish on how they would like their life to be. The question is what we are willing to do to turn this fantasy into a reality. Bethany, Rachael and Cassie are all on the brink of finally having their fantasies turned into realities, and that’s only because they finally became more grounded and stopped wishing and accepting the realities of the situation.

Early this morning in the Starting Over house, the doorbell rings, and Renee answers the door to find a nice-looking man asking if she was Bethany. Renee’s response is, “I wish,” as she fetches Bethany from elsewhere in the house.

Bethany is stunned by who is at the door. It’s James Hyde from the soap opera, Passions. Bethany has been taping this every day religiously for four years. Sam and some of his buddies from Passions are challenging Bethany and her housemates to a softball game. He leaves her with bags of uniforms for them and directions to the softball field.

Bethany, who had remembered in a hypnosis session that she had played softball before her amnesia, will now, along with her housemates, enter into her first game since, with James and his co-stars Rodney Van Johnson, Eric Martsolf and Charles Divins. The men and the women split into two coed teams to make it even.

The women seem so alive doing this, even when flubbing up. Cassie, after getting a hit, runs to third base instead of first. After, she quips to the camera, “I really need to be on Starting Over. This we all know for sure.”

Sam mentions his wife on Passions has amnesia, and Bethany admits to knowing that and it being the reason she is so interested in the show. They talk briefly of Bethany’s experience, and she tells him of her undergoing hypnosis treatments.

After the game, the girls all have camera out, taking pictures of this momentous event. Bethany gets the first bold moment she has had since she has been on the show, and presumably in the four years since being struck with amnesia. She mentions realizing at twenty-one, she has never been kissed, and asks if any of them would like to kiss her. Three of the guys gather around and kiss her on the cheek and top of her head while Renee shoots a picture.

Eric Martsolf mentions to the camera how each of these women have such interesting stories, but together they have continence and are even more inspiring.

Rhonda leads Group this day, and is happy to hear of Bethany’s sudden assertiveness. She invites Bethany into the “love seat” next to her and awards her with her first step – accepting memory loss. Her next step will be giving up the charade. The more she learns of Bethany and her past, the more convinced Rhonda is she has always lived a charade.

This all leads into today’s Group topic of fantasy vs. reality. Asked what her fantasy would be, Vanessa says to have a perfect marriage, two kids, a home and a dog. She defines a perfect marriage as one based on a loving relationship and support. Renee’s fantasy involves her fantasy man, and it’s hard to hear who she names through the other women’s laughter, but I believe she names James Hyde.

Bethany’s fantasy of her first kiss became a reality today. The other women say Bethany has fantasized a little too much of how her first kiss had to be special and with the right guy. Rhonda says this was just like the lesson learned when Cassie was putting all her eggs in one basket. Cassie had believed if she could reconnect with her son, all her other fantasies would come true, but without the reconnection, nothing else would happen either. Sometimes the desire for the fantasy becomes so overwhelming, we don’t do the reality to make it work.

Before Group ends, Rachael asks if Iyanla is coming today. When Rhonda says no, Rachael seems visibly upset. Rhonda tells her to come into the “love seat” and talk and get support. Asked what she wants, Rachael says she’ll be mailing out her memory album with accompanying introduction letter to her birth father. Rhonda asks again what she wants, remembering the fantasy vs. reality conversation. Rachael says she has always thought her life was such a tragedy, but the reality is she’s had kind of a good life, and she’s not the person she would have been without her parents being gone. Rhonda order a Group hug.

After Group, Renee is with Rachael while she puts the finishing touches on the album. Renee asks if Rachael’s biological father knows her mom and stepdad passed away. She doesn’t think so, as he would have no reason to.

Cassie gives Rachael a ride to the Post Office to mail the album. Rachael tells her she appreciates her supporting her, and feels closer to her because of it. Cassie says it gives her hope of connecting with her birth son. Her worst fear is not being allowed to contact him. She adds it’s up to him if he wants to see her; she just wants him to know where she is, and that she’s interested in reconnecting.

Rhonda meets with Bethany privately and asks how it felt to get her first kiss. Bethany says she had just figured when else is she going to get that opportunity again. Rhonda says it’s time to start working on giving up the charade. Bethany wants to kiss, wants to be a rebel, but doesn’t see herself as kissable.

Rhonda tells her to get Renee. Finding her and relaying the story, Renee asks if she’s the kissing expert in the house. Rhonda believes Bethany needs a whole lot of kissing so that she will stop fantasizing about it, and has an assignment for Bethany and Renee to do together. They are going to run a kissing booth. Renee is going to be in charge of it, and Bethany is going to be the one being kissed.

Bethany gets very upset and makes excuses such as what if she catches gingivitis. Rhonda assures her that gingivitis isn’t passed through kissing. Bethany admits she thinks people won’t want to kiss her, as she doesn’t think there will be even one offer. She asks who would want to kiss a fat girl.

Rhonda asks Bethany why she thinks she would ask her to do this. Bethany doesn’t know, and Rhonda says that to her, Bethany isn’t a fat girl. She sees Bethany as a girl that is afraid of her power and trying new things. Rhonda finally tells her she knows it’s scary, but it could be fun like earlier today with the Passions guys.

Moving on, Rhonda joins Vanessa for a one-on-one, and has a makeshift Olympics podium set up in the room. Vanessa says she always hid that she secretly wished she did get the gold. This is why Vanessa’s first step will be to face failure.

Vanessa stands on the bronze step of the podium, Rhonda slips a bronze medal around her neck, and Vanessa feels nothing, like she did a bad job. On the silver step with the silver medal, she feels a little better, but also worse since it’s so close to the gold. On the gold step with the gold medal around her neck … finally … Vanessa feels she’s getting attention, and has a sense of accomplishment.

To fail getting the gold makes Vanessa feel like she was wasting her time and effort. Asked how she failed herself, Vanessa says it was by eating unhealthy and rebelling. Vanessa realizes for the first time that she had made a decision not to care, and now feels bad for being angry at the people she had been blaming. Rhonda instructs her to make a list of her bronze, silver and gold moments in her life.

Bethany and Renee are preparing a sign for their kissing booth and try to decide how much to charge since Rhonda won’t let them come back until they earn twenty dollars. They suggest twenty dollars for one kiss and have it over and done with in one full swoop, but Candy suggests one dollar a kiss; kiss twenty guys and be done with it.

Rachael joins Bethany and Renee on their kissing booth adventure. They are going to give the money they raise to the Big Brothers/Big Sisters charity. Before they even get the booth set up, a man approaches and asks for the particulars. Renee and Rachael explain Bethany has never been kissed, and this man doesn’t understand why not. He gives her a little instruction, then kisses Bethany full on the lips.

Many of the men that approach the booth want to kiss all three girls. One man pays five dollars just to kiss Rachael. In the end, they make $32.80, with the eighty cents coming form a homeless man.

Rhonda wants to meet with Cassie, and tells her to bring her notebook up to the loft. The adoptive father has finally called Rhonda back. Rhonda calls him kind and sweet. He wants to help, but feels uncomfortable because of his difficult relationship with the adoptive mother. He believes Cassie has the right to meet her son, and thinks it’s a good idea. He doesn’t have a relationship with his son now, but has the name and number of someone else who could help.

This other person is the adoptive father’s second ex-wife, Shelly. Shelly helped raise Cassie’s son from the time he was two until about ten-years-old. Rhonda wants to call with Cassie and invite Shelly to the Starting Over house.

Shelly is called and agrees to help. She doesn’t know for sure if Cassie’s son knows he is adopted. The adoptive father told her he walked in on his son looking at the adoption papers one day. Cassie is concerned now that he found out in the worst possibly way. She asks Shelly if she would visit the Starting Over house, and she agrees. She will bring stories and pictures with. Cassie calls Sherry a godsend and Rhonda calls the whole thing a miracle.

Cassie ends the show by saying this is what has kept her going. When he was born, she remembers looking into his eyes. She’s not supposed to be here; she should be dead or institutionalized. But here she is. Her fantasy of meeting her son is closer than ever to being a reality, and it can’t be by accident that it has come after she accepted that this fantasy may never happen, and if doesn’t, life would go on.

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

Paging Dr. Nicole! Simple Life – Episode 4

The Simple Life 3 – Episode 4

By: Chloe

Paris and Nicole are off to Conshohocken, PA today. That’s a mouthful! Takes a lot of jaw work to say Con-sho-hock-en! They’ll be staying at the home of Dodie Scalfani and her three children.

The bus rolls to a stop and there, posing in the sunshine are Dodie’s two sons. Strong, strapping, good looking fella’s waiting to sweep the girls away. C.J., the really buff son, seems to expect instant adoration from Nicole. He’s used to it he says. Girls flirt with him all the time. If Nicole were to make a pass at him, he thinks he may have a little fun with her.

Meanwhile, still on the bus, the girls eye the sons from the window. Instead of instant adoration, it’s instant irritation. Nicole says you can tell when guys consider themselves good – looking. It makes her want to punch them, and she hasn’t even gotten off the bus yet!

Dodie the mom is a pretty blonde woman who is bursting with personality. She’s very excited that Paris and Nicole are staying with them. She’s even willing to offer up her sons if the girls want them.

Paris and Nicole bond with Dodie and have a heart to heart about her dating. C.J. has left to bring in the bags. The other son (his name was never mentioned), is standing awkwardly near the living room windows. He seems aloof, ill at ease and not at all anxious to have fun with the girls like his brother, C.J.

Nicole invites him over to sit with her on the couch. He does so half-heartedly. Nicole teases him. He cannot believe the words coming out of her mouth. Dodie is hysterical with laughter. He just rolls his eyes at her.

The internship for tonight is with plastic surgeon, Dr. Marchant. Before getting started, the doctor tells the girls they must act professional at all times and must treat the patients with respect. Sure, Doc!

On the docket for today are lip augmentation, eyelid surgery, skin abrasion and liposuction. Paris is worried she might throw up if she sees blood. Nicole can’t wait to get started.

The girls change into scrubs and help with the first patient. All goes well since it is simply a skin treatment and no blood involved. Next is lip augmentation….

The music changes to something anxious, so we know something really gross is coming. During the process, Paris is getting upset. She turns away and closes her eyes. Nicole can’t take her eyes off the patient and even starts a conversation with him.

Paris rushes out to give it the old heave-ho!

It’s decided that Paris could put her people skills to use in the recovery room by offering cookies and juice to the patients. She does well and even entertains the patients by reading to them from her book, “Confessions of an Heiress”.

Back in the OR, Nicole has become a regular surgeon, assisting Dr. Marchant and Nurse Pamela with eyelid surgery. She is occasionally overcome with the enormity of what she’s doing, however, and dances a little away from the table, but comes back for more gore.

Later that evening, the boys take Paris and Nicole to the gym for a little workout. C.J. strives to impress the girls with how much weight he can lift. Sorry, C.J. they’re not impressed. The girls offer to be their personal trainers and insist they do some ridiculous tushy exercise. The younger son resists, exclaiming “You’re making me uncomfortable!”

After all that sweating, Paris and Nicole inform the boys they won’t go out with them tonight, unless they take a shower before they leave the gym. While they are in the shower, the girls have a little fun by taking their clothes and then leaving the gym in their car.

Naked, except for a towel around their waist and stranded without wheels, the boys walk home. Sorry, but I can’t repeat what they said in this review.

Next morning…it’s liposuction! Paris freaks. Nicole is repulsed and fascinated at the same time. Now and again she reacts with an orangutan dance (waving her arms above her head) and shouting things like, “It looks like cranberry juice!”

After a hard day in surgery, Paris and Nicole take the Scalfani’s to a drag queen bar. Paris even hops on stage to strut her stuff. She ends the runway walk with a lap dance for the uptight brother who FINALLY unbends enough to smile for the cameras.

Their time is over in Conshohocken, PA and through tearful goodbyes, the girls board the bus. Dodie is still hopeful that one day Paris and Nicole might marry one of her sons.

I welcome your comments! Chloe@realityshack.com

Interview With Akil of The Road to Stardom With Missy Elliott

Akil
Age: 23
Occupation: Teacher
Hometown: Jersey City, NJ
By Chantae Benson

You have an extensive biography having shared the stage with notable groups such as The Roots and Black Eyes Peas. You’ve been in your own group and released an album. With all this experience under your belt, what made you want to audition for the show?

Being that as it is, things look a lot better on paper. I wanted for people in the world to get a chance to see my style. With Missy there are a lot of eclectic things between her and her music and she brings a lot of world music into her music.

Every aspect of the show focused on being tested and stepping outside your comfort zone. What was the most difficult part of being on the show?

For me I just felt that there was nothing I could do that was right. I felt like if I used my guitar it was seen as a crutch…I tried to play the best that I could. I tried to show all my different aspects.

What was your expectation of the show? Did the show meet your expectation or disappoint you in any way?

I felt as though some of the judgment calls were a little bogus on the show. When they put me and Eddie in the spotlight, I thought it was bogus. The whole show was psychologically quite draining. The performance challenges were done as a surprise. They take us away and you think you are being interviewed and your put into a challenge. A lot of times I was very much discouraged from using my guitar on the show. I felt as though maybe it would have gone a little differently if I had a little more freedom to present it.

In retrospect, is there anything you would have done differently during the competition?

I might have represented myself a little stronger at the end and downed the compliments.

During the last show Missy said you allow others to take your spotlight and although talented you lacked a “breakout quality”. What do you think about her assessment of you as a performer?

I think largely what she said is true the way the show turned out but not in reality. When I was in the spotlight with Eddie I kind of lost a lot of hope because I felt I was doing everything I can. When it comes to performing I think I made it count. I put out something that is not only exciting but unheard of. At times I think I was thinking about the music more than the competition.

How have you grown through this experience?

I really started to reevaluate my live stage show. I’ve been practicing my singing a lot more. While I was on the show I felt they were pushing me to be a stronger singer… I’ve learned to be aggressive in trying to get what you want.

During the last show everyone except you kept on outfits that went against their character. Why was it important for you to remain true to yourself?

They weren’t fooling me with that, I just thought that was silly. It may have looked good for an Eminem video, but it was not my style.

During the two times that you were in the spotlight you humble declined to comment on why other contestants should be eliminated. Why did you feel it was important not to focus on critiquing the other contestants?

I’ve never went to a job interview where they ask you to dis the other people to apply for the job. I just feel I should be judged on my merits and not on my ability to insult other people.

You work as a teacher. What do you hope your students will learn by seeing you on the show?

I try to be a positive role model to my kids because I know they are watching it.

What are your future plans?

I have a couple of dates where I will be playing in Memphis. I have been getting a lot of love in Canada. I will be touring in Canada and Europe and getting into doing acting.

Thank you for a great interview and good luck with your tours and future endeavors.

Fans of Akil can visit www.akildasan.com

If you have any questions of comments please feel free to write to me at cwriter@realityshack.com

Elimination Night – American Idol 4 – 2/23/05

By Annie

Welcome to elimination night. Grab your hankies and tissue boxes because you just know the producers will do all in their power to get you to CRY. Over 40 million votes were cast this week. During the next few weeks, two of the contestants from each group (men, women) will be eliminated based on the lowest number of called-in votes, thus leaving the top twelve.

Ryan starts by spending some time talking to the judges about the previous two nights of music. Randy says they’ve not seen enough originality and that the contestants have been playing it safe. Paula comments that picking the right song is crucial and is a big part of winning. The song should provoke the emotion of listener.

Ryan asks Simon if he has been tougher on the men. Simon admits he has been tougher because his expectations are higher and that they have hyped up the group of men as being the best ever. Simon adds that he knows America will vote as he sees it.

The eliminations alter between the women and men, going one at a time. Up first are the women. Sitting in two rows, Ryan chats with them. He mentions to Sarah that he thought she was crying after her performance last night. She admits she was and says she was upset. She says the competition is very emotional. When Ryan speaks to Janay, she says her nerves got to her a bit last night and she is a little worried she might be going home. I say, the worry is well-warranted.

We learn, one by one, who did not get the lowest number of votes. Aloha, Jessica, Vonzell, Amanda, Sarah, Celina, Carrie, Mikalah, Lindsey and Nadia are all safe. The tension builds as we are left with Melinda and Janay. After seeing Janay’s performance last night, I was certain she would have the lowest number of votes. But, Ryan tells Janay she is safe, leaving Melinda (and me) with a stunned and disbelieving look that she is going home.

I’m not sure if Melinda was fighting tears, anger or both as she tries to respond to Ryan’s questions. She says she felt she didn’t get as much exposure as some of the others and that it wasn’t fair. Randy comments that she had a poor choice of song last night. Simon emphasizes that at this point, the singers must give the people a reason to vote for them.

For Melinda’s last song, she does “I’m Your Lady” which ends with lots of hugs and tears.

Now, to the men. Ryan chats with them briefly before beginning the tension-filled drama. Bo says he has a bit more experience than the other contestants which he feels might give him an edge but not much since the talent is phenomenal. Anwar says you just never know how America will vote as it is so diversified.

The tension begins. Ryan announces the following as safe: Anwar, Joseph, David, Bo, Mario, Scott, Anthony, Judd, Nikko, Constantine and Travis. This leaves Jared as the next one to be on his way home. Randy tells Jared that he needs to “leave it all on the stage” and show your personality and that it didn’t show up the other night. Simon and Paula have little else to add. Appropriately, Jared’s farewell song is “How Could I Say Good Bye”, ending with a wiping of a tear from his cheek.

Ohhhh…where is that tissue box?? 😥

Now, we are back to the women. One by one, as the tension builds, we learn which ones will not be voted out. Carrie, Mikalah, Janay (what???), Nadia, Lindsey, Aloha, Jessica, Celina,Vonzell and Amanda are all safe. Sarah, who doesn’t seem all that surprised, has received the lowest votes. Paula comments to her that she is a beautiful performer but her song choice was wrong. Simon echoes that, adding that she would have done well in the earlier seasons of American Idol. It appears she is trying not to cry as she sings her farewell song (“Get Ready”). She drops the lyrics more than once and finally gave in to her emotions at the end with all the surviving contestants hugging her tight. Everyone is crying, including me!

One last return to the men. What Ryan does now, in my opinion, is beyond suspenseful and crosses over into downright cruel. He leads one row of men to believe they are safe. Did he actually say that? In this row are Anthony, Constantine, Judd, Nikko and Travis. He calls the other row of six men down and has them form two lines, one by one telling them that they are safe. Mario, safe. Scott and Bo, safe. David is safe. Now we are down to the last two. One of those two (Anwar and Joseph) must be going home. But Ryan announces they are both safe.

HUH? :huh:

Ryan then turns back to the seated men and tells Judd he is going home. Geeze! *grumble* *grumble* *grumble* What a cruel way to do that!

Paula tells Judd that all the guys are so strong and there really is no reason for him to be going home. Simon says he’s not surprised Judd was voted out because he did a novelty song. Judd is da man! No tears on his face. He rocks us a good bye song (“Playing In a Traveling Band”) and as usual, has everyone up clapping and dancing and – uh crying. At the end of the song the girls all rush in to hug him and he really didn’t look too disappointed at having a dozen women hanging off of him. Judd is smiling!

Too bad Judd had to go. He was fun.

I can’t believe Janay made it through. Oh well. Until next time…

annie@realityshack.com

Other People's Expectations – Starting Over, 02-22-05

by LauraBelle

It’s always hard to see someone leave. There is an immediate void. People can’t be replaced, but someone can take their place. On Starting Over I always find myself thinking things will never be the same after someone graduates and leaves. I never warm up to the new person the first few days … until this time.

Candy wakes up her first morning in the Starting Over house without Denise. Through tears, she admits to missing Denise way more than she ever expected to. Later, as she commiserates with Rachael in the kitchen, they decide Denise will be a hard act to follow. Boy, is this the truth.

Bethany’s insecurities rear as she fears the new girl will be some type of super model. Cassie just hopes the new girl will be nice, but she fears she will be an angry person.

The front door opens, and the newest Starting Over housemate, Vanessa, enters. She admits to being scared and overwhelmed at first, but shakes hands with everyone. Candy’s first thought is, “Oh, another kid!” looking at young Vanessa. Candy puts their age difference aside and shows Vanessa to the room they will share.

Rhonda and Iyanla are both present to lead group and meet Vanessa. The giant plasma screen shows a smiling happy little girl doing gymnastics. Looking at that tape of her young self and remembering makes her happy, as she’s not that person anymore. Vanessa was a gymnast from the time she was five-years-old to eighteen.

The other women watch Vanessa performing as a teenager and notice how flexible she was and begin to wonder with a perfect life such as this, where the problem is. Vanessa worked for about seven hours a day at this, and did homeschooling from the time she was six to high school age. She admits to not having much of a childhood, but says she enjoyed it because of the attention.

Vanessa is asked if she always enjoyed it, and says she did until she was around thirteen, and it became like work to her. She did ask to quit, but it upset her mom. Vanessa became very confused whether it was all for herself or others. Iyanla says this is called OPE, or other people’s expectations.

When she was eighteen it became very difficult for her. She had surgery, and gained a few pounds, so her eating was controlled, despite that it was only about four pounds. They would force her to skip meals to adjust for the weight gain. When that became stressful, it just made Vanessa eat even more. Rhonda asks what her parents did about the eating, and she says her mom enforced what her coaches wanted, because she believed she was supporting Vanessa. Iyanla asks who was there for her, and Vanessa says only herself.

Vanessa made it that hear to Olympic trials, the pinnacle of everything she had worked so many years for. She messed up badly. The vault, normally her best event, was up first, and she did badly. Yet, she still had a sliver of hope. The next event was the balance beam which is normally her second best. She missed her foot on the dismount, and landed on the floor on her back, and calls it a very surreal moment. Vanessa felt embarrassed, then relief, and thinking back now, says maybe she really didn’t want the Olympics that much.

Renee notices that Vanessa is not crying, but instead laughing and finding humor in her own story. Candy suspects, looking at Vanessa giggling and pulling on her lip that she is hiding something.

Vanessa is now twenty-two and trying to get her life together somehow. After the Olympic trials she felt she wasn’t important anymore. She acknowledges she does talk to her parents about her Olympics experience, but they didn’t know her true feelings on it. Feeling closest to her mom while doing gymnastics, her relationship with her now feels fake. Asked her feelings on this, she says not good, prompting Iyanla to tell her that’s not a feeling. She admits then to sadness and loneliness.

After devoting thirteen years to her gymnastics, she believes she would not do it again. Iyanla asks why Vanessa has been beating herself up over the whole thing if she didn’t want it. Vanessa feels she owes her parents, fans and brother. They don’t say that, but she feels she does.

The other person in Vanessa’s life is Michael, her boyfriend of two years. He is her brother’s best friend, and she has known him a long time, but only started dating him after the Olympic trials, admitting he grew on her some. Feeling she owes him something, she cakes care of him financially, about $8000 so far. She has also bought her brother a car and paid for some of his college tuition. She has gotten rid of about $60,000 so far, but was trying to get rid of that money, feeling it’s icky money after earning it through her gymnastics. By the way, icky wasn’t Vanessa’s term for it, but Rhonda’s.

Still noting that Vanessa hasn’t cried yet telling her story, she is asked if she was allowed to cry in the gym. She says no; that is forbidden. Even after she fell on her back at Olympic trials she didn’t cry, just picked herself up and walked off. She admits that’s why she is probably giggling now about it. Iyanla instructs her to pretend she is doing the balance beam and them falling on her back. As she walks off after the pretend fall, Iyanla offers her a big hug and she breaks down crying for the first time. Candy says it’s hard to see someone let go the first time like that, and she is right.

Vanessa watches her self portrait, and saw she drew stuff that she felt tied to in ball and chains on her. The balloons above her head are of things she wants. Her goal will be to develop a new identity. I predict many, many more tears for Vanessa and the rest of us during this process.

Candy and Iyanla move into a one-on-one, and Iyanla warns her not to try and take care of her new roommate. Candy admits to being tempted. Moving on, Iyanla asks if Candy feels her body is tabu, and she does indeed believe it is. She is not comfortable in it because of her weight issues, and has even thought of cosmetic surgery before, saying it would bring her peace. Iyanla asks if it would bring her peace or acceptance. Candy just feels it would be liberating, saying it has kept her from marrying her boyfriend, as she doesn’t want to be a big woman in a wedding dress. Asked what if it doesn’t happen, Candy believes it will. It hasn’t, Iyanla says. Youch.

Iyanla shows Candy a picture and asks what she sees. She sees a big person, and Iyanla explains she is the great goddess and sacred mother and asks if Candy thinks this big woman wants surgery. She tells Candy the Sacred Mother hold the secrets of life inside her; that is why she is big. Iyanla gets even tougher, and says if Candy wanted it, she’d have it. Candy thinks she just didn’t work hard enough, and admits she would feel shame if she died tomorrow. Iyanla is sending candy to a women’s artist colony today to have her portrait done and encourages Candy to do it in the nude, saying every woman feels uncomfortable with that idea.

Rachael shows her memory book she made for her biological dad to Iyanla. It shows how she grew up and the things she liked. She is going to write a letter to introduce it. Iyanla tells her to do this right now. Her intention with this is to learn who she is today, and not to blame or attack. She wants to hear his side of the story. Rachael has even called his phone and heard his voice on his voice mail, she admits to Iyanla. She believes he sounded happy. Iyanla urges her to tell him in her letter about the phone call, to start everything off on the right foot with the truth.

Renee’s father finally calls her. He tells her he called the night before, but there was no answer. She explains there was a graduation and they were outside. He tells her it is wonderful t hear her voice. She says she has been in the house for eight weeks now and is feeling good. He tells her his is very proud of her working on things. She begins to break down and says it has just bene real hard. She says it cook a lot of courage and is ready to talk to him again.

Renee’s dad says he is really proud of her achievements. This is the best case scenario Renee had given Iyanla yesterday, for him to say he was proud of her her achievements. He goes on to say it’s great to share her emotions and that she has the courage to take that step and work on mending and healing. He goes on to say his heart and arms are open to her and asks when they can get together. He talks of Renee’s brother getting married in Hawaii and says it would be great to see her there, feeling so many years have gone by and it’s important to him to reconnect to her. Renee’s father wants her to be happy and would like to be part of her life. He says he says a prayer for her every day, and last night he finally found the answer to his prayer with her phone call. Ending the call, he says he loves her and is proud of her.

Getting off the phone, Renee tells her gathered roommates that he has been waiting all these years for her. She feels like the luckiest girl in the world (conjuring images of PeeWee Herman in my mind that I can’t erase) and noted he didn’t say one negative word.

Vanessa works out in the gymnastics gym while Rhonda watches. Vanessa says this is like home to her, and she misses the smell, the blue color and the comfort. Rhonda asks why she wouldn’t do it again since it’s so comforting. She is told it is because here there is no competition, no pressure for perfection. She wants success in her life; she wants to leave a mark. Success to her means finishing something. They work out her steps, the first of which will be to face failure. She will then release others’ expectations, redefine success, accept body reality and become a risk taker. Rhonda tells her she is very much a human, and not a machine or robot. Vanessa cries for the second time today.

Candy arrives at the artist’s studio, surrounded by women with blank easels, waiting for their subject. She admits to being up to try anything, but nude isn’t one of them. It’s suggested maybe she drop the robe off shoulder some and she says it smacks of the doctor’s office. The women ask for a little less robe, and she drops it some, just enough to show a little cleavage, or “boobage” as she called it the day before on Denise.

Iyanla is there when the portraits are done, and Iyanla shows her the first portrait. Iyanla asks what’s going through her mind, and Candy she looks like the Goddess – round and voluptuous. The second portrait has a pained face, and Candy thinks that’s the inside out her, sad. The third portrait, Candy is shocked as it’s so beautiful. She knows her mind is made up in this one; she really is okay. The artists tell Candy she can keep these portraits and she cries.

Iyanla goes back to the house where she is greeted by Renee, who shares the news that her father called back. Iyanla literally jumps up and down in excitement for her. Renee moves on to calling her mom to tell her of the phone call. Her mom only grills her on the call and says she told her so. Renee jumps on her and says she’s not supposed to say that. Next, Renee’s mom asks if she still has to come and asks if they’re going to feed her while she’s there.

Something tells me while Renee has felt her barrier this whole time was her relationship with her dad, that it was really her relationship with her mom that has been holding her back. We haven’t heard enough of Vanessa’s relationship with her parents yet, but there has to be some deep-rooted things there for her to feel sopushed by her parents, especially her mother, during her whole childhood. As a parent myself, I know how hard it is not to pressure children too much, when all we really want is the best for them. Yet we have to remember to allow the children to know that is all we want for them, just the best. Assuredly, that is all Renee and Vanessa’s parents wanted out of them. They just didn’t go about it the right way. Yet again, none of us do. I am making a mental note not to ride my kids as hard tomorrow.

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

captainD's Boot Prediction – Survivor Palau, Episode 2

Well, after week one of Survivor: Palau it seems that yours truly is back in old form. As expected, Wanda and Jonathan became the two outcasts and a strong-willed Jolanda was stupidly the first person voted out of the game. Ratings are up and the cast is the best in recent memory. Let’s hope the luck can continue!

The focus of this weeks episode will be centered around the morons of Ulong as they try to recover after voting out one of their strongest members. Things start out good for Ulong as they win reward mainly because Koror was too tired to compete after searching for their fire all day. A very physical immunity challenge will leave James in pain and will make Koror back-to-back immunity winners. At tribal council, it would appear that Angie is the frontrunner to get the boot. However, because of the relationship forming between Jeff and Kim, my guess is that one of them is the primary target. The 2’nd boot will be JEFF WILSON.

Questions? Comments? E-mail me at captainDs5@yahoo.com

Tuesday Is Ladies Night – American Idol, 02-22-05

by LauraBelle

Sometimes in life I think we try so hard to do the right thing, we do the wrong thing. This is definitely the case of last night’s and tonight’s American Idol. The contestants are trying so hard to impress the audience, judges and each other, that in the end they impress no one.

Last night the twelve men sang with mixed results; tonight it’s ladies night. The twelve women will get their chance in the spotlight. Surprisingly, not one Whitney song, but both Celine Dion and Mariah Carey songs make a showing.

Stepping up to the plate, first of the evening is Vonzell Solomon singing Heatwave by Martha and the Vandellas. She sings it well and makes it appear effortless. Randy thinks it was a great way to start and asks the dog pound for approval. The dog pound, by the way, is the twelve guys that sang last night, sitting in the audience. Paula likes how Vonzell got the crowd going with an upbeat song. Simon agrees and says it was an amazing start.

Amanda Avila sings How Am I Supposed to Live Without You, the same song Joseph Murena sang last night. I have to say I enjoy this version much more than Joseph’s last night. Randy says it’s alright and that she hung in there. Paula calls it beautiful, yet says it wasn’t her best. Simon says, disgustingly, that in his second life he wants to come back as her microphone. I am completely grossed out, but at least he didn’t pull a Prince Charles and say he wants to come back as her … well, never mind.

Janay Castine sings a song I don’t recognize. It’s a little pitchy, and she doesn’t look comfortable at all. She looks completely scared to death. Randy even asks if she was nervous and scared. He calls the song very ambitious and rangy, saying it wasn’t the best choice for her. Paula agrees, and says she’s normally a fun singer, but she still thinks Janay is a dynamo. Simon thinks the song is too old for her, and she’s not fifty years old like Paula. He tells her before they liked her because she was herself; she should stick to what she does well. Gee, maybe that’s why I don’t recognize it. I must be too young; yeah, that’s it.

Carrie Underwood sings Could’ve Been by Mandy Moore, and it fits her like a glove. Randy tells her she is a breath of fresh air and her performance was absolutely brilliant. He wonders why no one has discovered her yet. Paula adds that Carrie’s vocals were open and beautiful tonight. Simon tells her she is one of his favorites because she knows who she is. He tells her she has potentially a very good singing voice.

Picking up the beat a little is Sarah Mather singing Get Ready. She seems a little shaky with this and I can’t help wondering, watching the dog pound groove along with her, how some of them would have done with this song. Randy tells her it was a fun song choice, but believes her voice is better than it showed tonight. Paula nails the reason why. She says this song is more for a group, and doesn’t highlight just one voice very well. Simon says in this business you have to go on one first impression, and his with this performance is that it was clumsy and forgettable, calling it a big mistake. I think that’s rather harsh.

Melinda Lira sings the Celine Dion song of the night, giving us her rendition of Power of Love. I think she sounded okay, but this song I am so tired of, it’s hard to critique, and she did a weird bouncing thing when she was trying to belt it out. Randy believes she is one of the best in the competition and compares her to a young Kelly Clarkson. I think her voice is comparable, but is missing that magic that Kelly provides. Paula agrees with Randy and thinks she is a strong contender. Simon says at this point he is waiting for a star to emerge, and he has seen this type of thing on other shows; he’s unimpressed. Me too, Simon.

Stepping away from the ballads is Nadia Turner, singing another song I don’t don’t recognize, but she is so awesome, and owns every second of this song, that I would like to know it. Randy likes it, too, since she stayed true to who she is. Paula says she did a great job and she is surprised. Simon says Nadia is the answer to karaoke hell, and that that’s a compliment. She decided not to play it safe, threw down the gauntlet, and said I’m here to win. It was a great song choice. The dog pound seemed to really enjoy it as well.

Celena Rae returns us to the ballads with I Will Love Again. It’s good, and that’s about all I can say about it. Randy calls it very safe and boring. Paula calls her tentative and nervous and says she’s not sure of the song selection. Simon says it made it difficult to know who she was. The judges believe following Nadia’s performance must have been hard, and a performance that doesn’t step out on a limb isn’t going to compare. I have to agree.

Here she is. It’s Mikalah Gordon’s turn. I had been waiting for her. She appears with the makeup a little heavy. It’s almost as if she’s trying to look older than she is. She is so fresh, that it kills that just a slight bit. She sings Young Hearts Run Free, and still throws in some talking to the judges inside the song, calling out to Randy. Randy does like her personality and says he was having fun. Paula also had fun, calling her lovable and goofy. Before Simon can comment, Mikalah brings up the prom date she wanted Simon to go on with her. Simon says half the audience will think she is amusing and good, and the other half will find her annoying. Judging from what I have read on message boards, I know he is correct, and I’m on the side that finds her amusing and good.

Lindsey Cardinale sings Standing Right Next To Me, and summoning my best Randy, I think it was awright, Dog. I don’t know if it was the camera angle or what, but it looked like she kept touching her breast throughout the song. My son noticed it too, but hey, he’s twelve. Randy calls this song a bad choice and says she is a better singer than that. Paula didn’t like it, saying what normally makes her stand out is her deep sexy tone. Simon tell her she has a very good voice potentially and needs to take a risk. She appeared boring and he knows she’s not. Except when she’s touching herself.

Jessica Sciera sings Against All Odds, our Mariah Carey song of the evening. This song seemed to fit her well. Randy likes the husky tone to her voice, and Paula notices how she commandeered the whole stage. Simon just doesn’t think it’s the best they have heard from her. We didn’t get a chance to hear much of her in the audition rounds, so it’s hard for us to compare her to earlier performances.

We also didn’t hear anything from Aloha Mischeaux in earlier rounds. Luckily for her she has an interesting name and we remember her based on seeing her only at the Final 24 decision. She sings a Beyonce tune, Work It Out, a completely risky tune. She makes some weird gestures while performing that kind of throw me off, as I find them odd. Randy loved it and Paula feels she has found herself a great niche with her showmanship. Simon gives her the best compliment of the evening, saying out of the twelve girls singing, he will remember three or four performances, and one of them will be hers.

All in all, not as heavily relying on the ballads as the guys did last night, but still a little too much. This makes me long for the theme nights of the Finals part of the competition. When song choice is left solely up to the performer, they sometimes think we will be most impressed with powerful ballads, and they are wrong. We want excitement. I predict the votes will speak for that tomorrow night. If eight-year-old girls’ opinions count, my daughter picked up the phone and called in for Carrie, Nadia and Jessica. Last night my son voted for Constantine fifteen times. I think my kids have pretty good taste.

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

Moody Motor Man Michael: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy Episode 3.6

— By Christina M. Rau/GatsbyGirl

The Fab Five are in dress-down outfits, which is new file footage, as they run out to their SUV for yet another make-over. Michael is the straight guy of the day. He’s 31 and owns a motorcycle repair shop. Carson refers to him as a “biker dude.” Since he’s owned the shop, MotorMike has worked really long hours and hasn’t had a girlfriend in three years. He’s very stressed. Ted suggests that he’s also very horny. All the guys chime in in unison, “Horny!”

MotorMike likes 21-year-old Courtney but she hasn’t quite warmed up to him yet. Perhaps it’s because he washes his hair only twice a year. Can we say head lice?

MotorMike is looking to expand his business. He’s throwing a party for investors. Thom says that MotorMike is “so not ready” for the party. Their mission: Get him ready to win over the investors and the girl. Or, as Carson says, fix the “grease monkey.”

Credits: I wish all traffic lights changed to the beat of the music.

It’s a mad dash into MotorMike’s place. The guys immediately rush for his hair and smell it. He’s a bit grungy. His hair looks like it could be in dreadlocks or it’s matted like dog’s fur. He’s unshaven and wears faded black. His place has white walls and is messy. Just like every other guy’s place we’ve ever seen, so no details are really necessary here. Well, maybe one detail: he’s decorated the place with sharp metal objects and gun-related materials. Carson calls out “Sprockets!”

As the boys shift and shimmy around the place, they decide it’s “no place for open-toed shoes.” Ted opens a small box that’s lying around. “These are bullets . . . for a gun.” He closes the box quickly and leaves it alone. Heehee.

Thom surveys the dining area. “Why does he have all these weapons . . . and a tablecloth on the wall?” Ha!

Kyan is in the bathroom, being appalled as usual. He grabs MotorMike’s toothbrush and holds it out to Ted. “Would you use this on your teeth?” Ted is completely grossed out by it and says, “I wouldn’t use that to clean my toilet!” Double Ha!

Thom finds some very tacky Vegas memorabilia. Kyan finds a guitar and plays while Jai sings, “I’m a straight guy who never washes my hair!” They’re so entertaining.

Jai then finds a yo-yo amid the mess. He yo-yos for a bit. Then he comments, “When he’s finished with the weapons, he plays with a yo-yo.”

Over in the kitchen, they find a pitcher with sticky stuff in it. MotorMike explains it’s sangria left over from a year ago. Omigod, how does he not have roaches?

Carson finds all black in the wardrobe. All black. Seriously. Then he complains about the egg crates on the mattress. Sigh. I had those in college.

Ted finds a bunch of birthday cards and notes that most of them say something encouraging MotorMike to be happy. Ted asks, “Are you a moody person?” MotorMike denies being moody in a very moody fashion. Don’t piss off the man with the guns, Ted. Just walk away.

Meanwhile, Thom has made tiny pig tails in the front of his head. He’s now playing the guitar and singing about ugly walls.

Jai talks to MotorMike about starting a new business. He says that it’s going to be a great opportunity to meet all the investors at the party. They will bring about great changes. Thanks, Master of the Obvious.

Thom finds the leather couch under a bunch of crap. He says, “The couch is broken.” I never knew a couch could be broken. This one is. And it has nails protruding from it. Nice. Carson grabs onto a hanging light fixture and says, “This lamp commemorates the year of the electrical fire.” Heehee. The living room is such a hazard area.

Kyan finds out that MotorMike is stressed. Kyan’s response: “oh, that’s not good.” At least Kyan isn’t unhealthily obsessed with the hair this episode. However, this would be the perfect episode to harp on the hair considering it’s a dirty rats’ nest.

Thom decides he likes the circular sprocket things on the wall but they’re not displayed properly. He says that galleries would put them together in different ways and not, as MotorMike has done, hang them on a random nail in the wall. MotorMike admits that his décor is “cheap and stupid.” And how about far from child friendly?

Dang, I spoke too soon. Here’s Kyan having The Talk with MotorMike. “And how long have you worn your hair like that?” “Since I was 17, 16.” “Does Courtney like it?” What? How about asking about why he doesn’t wash it? Who cares if Courtney likes it? Whatever. Courtney’s not even coming to the party so MotorMike is bummed and his hair is the least of his problems when it comes to her. Apparently, she doesn’t give him the time of day. Or night.

Carson is back to the black wardrobe. MotorMike says that black is cool. Carson says it’s boring. Thom suggests it’s very “Unabomber.” Umm, didn’t I say last recap that it’s NEVER OKAY TO COMPARE SOMEONE TO A MURDERER? Yeah, it’s still not okay. Carson asks MotorMike what he thinks he should wear when meeting with the investors. MotorMike disgruntledly says a suit. Carson suggests a sport coat and maybe a leather pant. MotorMike is much happier with that. Carson gives him a hug. Aww.

Ted breaks the news to MotorMike that he’s going to cook for the party. MotorMike responds, “Cook for fifty people? What am I suddenly a navy chef? Can’t I get it catered?” Ted answers simply, “No!” MotorMike complains that there’s no time. Ted says, “Make time.” God, I so love Ted when he gets tough!

It’s time to take MotorMike shopping so they jump into the SUV. One of the FF says, “Buckle up!” MotorMike says, “I’d rather die than wear a seatbelt.” Well, you will, Mikey, you idiot.

Total side note—I used to date a guy who absolutely refused to wear his seatbelt because it “annoyed” him. Just think about what’s more annoying: a seatbelt that may irritate your neck or huge beer gut (he liked to drink…) or a tree branch jutting through your abdomen and eye socket because you’ve been thrown from a vehicle because you were in an accident and didn’t wear your seatbelt? I’m just saying.

MotorMike’s co-worker says his hair is a big issue.

MotorMike’s friend says that the ladies look and say, “Excuse me? No.”

Ted asks MotorMike if he’s bummed that Courtney’s not coming. He is. Never fear—it’s Jai to the rescue. He tells MotorMike that he called Courtney and got her to come and not to ask how he did it. Well that stipulation is kind of shady.

Ted asks if MotorMike is scared of not being ready for the evening. MotorMike says that he’s a control freak and meeting investors is like meeting potential partners and that means giving up control. So he’s freaking. On the inside, apparently, because his voice is so monotone. Jai says, “your excitement never ceases to amaze me.” Heehee.

They arrive at Queens County Cycles and meet old man Martin who wears a very spiffy suit. He tells MotorMike that he needs to write a business plan and be careful with investors. MotorMike needs to convince the bank or the investors that he’s worth investing in. A good business plan will get him there, and Martin will help with it. How kind. We like Martin in the spiffy suit.

Ted takes MotorMike to plan out the party. He suggests having the bar at one end and the food at the other to ensure a constant flow of people. That’s a really good idea! He also tells MotorMike to clear out all the bikes except for one, which should be a focal point. Then he should clean up some of the grease stains on the floor. Heehee.

At Natuzzi, Thom wants to give MotorMike a leather story in the living room. Obligatory couch sitting. They find a red-brown low rider leather sofa that MotorMike loves. Next, Thom shows him a natural leather pony skin cow hide hairy chair. At least I think that’s what he called it. MotorMike says it’s not something he would automatically pick out because it looks like a cow. Thom says, “Well, your house is a sad place.” HA! Comedy from the master.

Next up is rugs. MotorMike hates rugs because they have to be vacuumed and he doesn’t own a vacuum and “doesn’t want to deal with them.” Some things in life you have to deal with. Then again, we’re contending with a man who also wants nothing to do with shampoo on a regular basis.

Moving onto home décor. MotorMike hates knickknacks. No vases. They don’t look enough like sprockets. Thom is exasperated and sends him off to Carson before throwing the vases.

Carson complains, “You look like you don’t even like me!” MotorMike ensures him that he likes him. Carson says that the clothes are very European and Mexican and they should be able to find something. He “embraces” the black and offers a cowboy shirt with white stitching. Then he shows him a green shirt. MotorMike doesn’t like much. He doesn’t like color. He does like a plain shirt that Carson finds. Carson finds a fake gun and threatens MotorMike with it. MotorMike isn’t scared. He may be a robot.

Onto western wear. MotorMike doesn’t like cowboy boots. Carson tells him, “Turn that frown upside down sad clown” and goes into the whole frowning takes more muscles thing. Then there’s a very uncomfortable silence while Carson waits for MotorMike to smile. Eventually, he does for whatever reason.

While MotorMike changes, his cell phone rings. Carson answers it, “Queens County Cycles, big queen speaking.” Then he shouts that he can see MotorMike’s penis. Then he tells MotorMike to call his mother when they’re done. Ha! Ha!

He gives MotorMike Rayband aviator sunglasses and a jacket. MM likes the jacket. But not much else. He tells Carson that he feels like a jackass. Carson says, “Maybe that’s because you ARE a jackass.” Heehee. Keep the comedy coming. They agree on the cowboy shirt but Carson, exasperated, will look for a better fitting jacket for the jackass.

Ted then takes MM shopping for food. MM still wants catering. Ted refuses. He’s going to teach MotorMike some easy dips. They buy paprika, pine nuts, walnuts, chick peas—MM guesses that he’s making hummus. Better yet, MM likes hummus!

Moving onto Kyan in the salon. He introduces MotorMike to Joey the stylist. He says that Joey matches MM’s aesthetic. Joey’s a jackass, too? Kyan says that if he had hair like MM’s he would either wear it in an afro or shave it all off. MotorMike asks appalled, “SHAVE?” Joey says that if he buzzes it off, it will grow back. MM bursts out, “Cut it off!” and throws up his arms. Kyan screeches like a little girl. Buzz buzz buzz. The facial hair comes off. The hair gets lopped off. Then Joey buzzes down to the scalp. Kyan says, “You look good. Sexy.” A blonde lady in a pink dress comes over and says, “Hubba hubba” and gushes over him. MotorMike’s reaction? “It’s a bald head.” Kyan admonishes, “You know it looks good.” No, Kyan, YOU know it looks good. Because you’re obsessed with men cutting their hair and you should know.

In all honesty, it looks better than the Medusa thing he had going. And now he doesn’t have to worry about all that upkeep that goes along with long hair. Oh, wait, he didn’t worry about that anyway.

MM’s co-worker says that the apartment is mainly for sleeping.

MM’s female friends says there are a lot of biker magazines with naked chicks lying around.

In the SUV, MotorMike thinks Courtney will point and laugh at his new haircut. Because she’s twelve?

Kyan asks MM if he’s learned anything. MM says he’s learned to accept change. He has? I guess the bald head is a sign of acceptance, but he hasn’t been all too keen about anything else. Yet. (ooh, I’m learning the art of suspense).

Back to the apartment. The walls are a gray-blue. The couch and chair from the store are there. MM loves it! He hugs Thom! Aww. The bed has white bedding and a leather paneled headboard that was custom-made. MotorMike says that he had doubted the guys but he’s not one to hold back his opinion, and he had just been honest. But now he’s happy. Especially since Thom found him a woven leather rug! It will last forever!

Back in the living room, Thom shows off the artwork he created. Each sprocket is now in a white picture box in a pattern on the wall over the couch. No more tablecloth hanging there either. There’s another rug there, too. MM is okay with that. MotorMike calls his apartment “a pleasure.” That’s actually a cool way to describe it, and Thom is touched by it. Aww, bonding.

Kyan brings over a metal wheel to the couch and sits with MM. He says that he wants MM to practice meditation-lite. He should find a state of mindlessness and focus on just the wheel and not on peeing. Oops, that should be mindFULness. Simple mistake. Either way, MM is up for it because he likes wheels and metal and not peeing and getting a bladder infection.

In the kitchen, Ted explains that they bought MM all new pots and pans and dishes from Target because all his old stuff was covered with either mold or year-old sangria. First they make infused parsley oil in a Cuisinart and squeeze it through cheesecloth. Then they make hummus, which Ted says, “Couldn’t be easier.” They throw all the “stuff” in the Cuisinart and press a button. He serves the hummus by swirling it around on a plate and drizzling the oil over it.

Next they throw together some oil, onions, walnuts, pepper, cumin, and salt and voila! It’s muhamamamamamahahadada or something like that. MM calls it too subtle, but now that he has the basics, he plans to spice it up for the party.

Carson takes MotorMike into the bedroom to make out with him. No, just kidding. But wouldn’t that be a fun twist in plot? So Carson is concerned with MM’s outfit that has to please a bunch of different people. He shows MM some boots that are made out of a single piece of leather each so there are no seams and no water leakage. He says to use a hard brush to clean them, some cream to condition them, and a silicone spray to protect them, “like an invisible condom for your shoe.” Heehee. He said, “condom.”

Carson gives him earrings that have his shop’s logo on them. MotorMike says, “It’s an actual gift!” He says that Carson is thoughtful and that it means something. He shows emotion! He’s not a robot after all. Carson says that he also got MM a necklace and then proclaims himself “so nice!”

Instead of the boot, Carson suggests MM wear checkered Vans. What? I’m so objecting to that. Bikers do not wear checkered Vans. Maybe taxicab drivers do. But bikers do not. Carson also makes MM wear new boxers and MM makes him go into the closet while he changes into them. He then puts on military luxury nylon pants, a black t-shirt with a biker company logo on it (it’s the company he wants to do business with which I think is cheesy but the FF think is a good business move), the cowboy shirt, an unconstructed sport coat, and a bandana in the pocket. So he’s wearing basically everything in his closet all at once. The FF applaud.

MotorMike is not loving the Vans. Kyan tells him to embrace change. MM likes the shirt and the sport coat but doesn’t feel sexy. Jai exclaims, “You don’t?” He’s genuinely shocked. Carson throws a hissy fit, throws some clothes on the floor, shouts, “I don’t care!” and storms into the other room, slamming the door behind him. Heehee.

Jai then gives MM a lesson on how to remember names. Repeat them and use word association. “Like with a name like Kyan—it’s Ryan with a K.” WHAT? Wouldn’t that be Kryan? Then he tells MotorMike to meet as many people and collect as many business cards as he can. MM is like, Of course! He may be dirty, but he’s not an idiot.

Champagne and last words of advice in the living room. MotorMike appreciates the FF’s thoughts about everything, and it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it? MM says that he needs a moment to get used to the baldness and the new stuff. He says, “To make it me, I have to live it.” That’s cool. They toast to “making it your own way.”

As they jump into the SUV, Thom yells, “Hit the bricks, yo!” I so hope he’s joking.

Casting Call: The Queer Eye folk are looking for a son, a father, a grandfather, and a great-grandfather to make over. I assume they mean from the same family, but they don’t specify.

What? No recycled Hip Tip this episode?

MM’s co-worker says that MotorMike has no business experience but is a smart guy.

On the Critic Couch, Thom yells, “Hide the silver! The greasers are here!” Carson responds, “Okay, Ponyboy.” Everyone loves an “Outsiders” reference! So cool! So literary! Carson’s ready for some “hot biker action.” Kick on the “get your motor runnin” music.

MotorMike’s kitchen skills motor is out of service. He’s having an extremely difficult time with the Cuisinart. Ted calls out, “Be one with the Cuisinart!” as Kyan advises, “Be mindful!” MM then starts to put the wrong oil into the food processor. Kyan thinks MM is going into a “dark place.” Frustration abounds! MM struggles more with the food. Carson recalls that MM was a tool while shopping. Thom says, “Two words: jack ass.” They fear he may become that jackass tool again and give up. Ted is beside himself. He says, “This man builds motor vehicles!” So why can’t he operate a simple kitchen appliance?

Well, he can! Kyan points and yells, “He’s got it, Ted!” MM makes infused oil. Then hummus. He swirls and drizzles like a pro. Then he makes some Hudammamamaaaddhaamama. Perfect.

He changes into the black pants and t-shirt. Then he puts on the cowboy shirt, elating the FF. Only to let them down when he murmurs, “I can’t wear this shit,” and strips it off in disgust. Thom says, “He’s going through a moment.” However, MM wears the Vans. The very non-biker Vans. Okay then. They clap because none of them are bikers and none of them will beat him up for wearing the Vans. I’m not even a biker and I would beat him up for wearing them. Anyways, I guess it’s not about me right now (although it’s usually always about me…) MotorMike puts on the blazer. They clap some more. Ted says that it’s going to be a bitch carrying the hummus on a motorcycle to the shop. He then says that he’s sent over some more food to make sure MM is covered. I should hope so because one plate of hummus and one plate of mahammamahhhaaaddda won’t feed fifty people. It wouldn’t even feed me and I’m one person (see? See how it all comes back to being about me?).

Over in the shop, there are lots of shiny bikes all lined up. MotorMike enters shouting, “What’s up, boys?” His co-workers yell, “Oh, man!” MM is barely recognizable. One guy cackles. Kyan says, “Don’t point and laugh! Embrace it!” Wow, someone over the age of twelve actually points and laughs. Who knew? Carson says, “I’d like to embrace him.”

Ted complains that they guys are setting up the party the wrong way. They’re putting the bar on the wrong side. Suddenly, people arrive and MM goes into hiding. When enough people are there, he walks in with his sunglasses on. He stands on the outskirts of the circle of friends and family. Moves closer. No one recognizes him, which is pretty funny. Finally, one woman says, “Oh no!” and laughs. Now there’s a reaction you don’t want.

Everyone finally realizes it’s him. They hug and kiss him. They like it. Courtney is there. She likes it. She’s a cute little blonde chick who looks, well, like she’s twenty-one. And she is, so there. Some of them check out his butt.

Men in suits enter. MM doesn’t show them his butt. He talks about what he wants to do with the shop. He offers a strong handshake. He takes their cards. He never puts down his beer. The Fab Five approve of his interaction, except for the beer part.

More suits. More business talk. Some guy says he could offer between 100 and 200 thousand. Jeez, can I have some of that?

Cut to the bar. It’s completely unorganized and in utter disarray. However, everyone has a beer, so that’s not impeding the consumption of alcohol. Ted is still annoyed that it’s not set up right. Such a perfectionist, Ted is.

Next, MM meets people from Confederate. This is the real deal and the company he really wants to work with. He rides a motorcycle down the street. The Confederate people like his garage and are impressed and interested. Ted says the bike is a “sweet ride.” He’s so macho. MM gets a leather jacket from the Confederate people and is blown away. He says, “Holy cow!” That’s so macho, too.

Thom says that MM “got the business” and now he has to “get the girl.” Enter Courtney once again. MotorMike says he did all this for her. She laughs. More flirting. Then some kissy kissy stuff. Wow, she changed her tune rather quickly. She wasn’t even coming to the shindig and now she’s the party favor. MM asks her, “What are you doing later?” As an answer, she molests his cheek and they get all kissy a bit more.

MotorMike thanks everyone for coming and he thanks “the queers and the straights.” Who are “the straights”? Is that a new band I should be aware of? The Fab Five toast along with him.

Carson says that MM turned the tides. Ted says that he now has a more open mind. Carson toasts to MotorMike on the highway of success.

Carson says that you can get gum off your shoe with WD-40 and a scraper.

Thom says to put furniture on towels when you move it so you don’t scratch the floor.

Jai says to work on your good posture and that soldiers are cute.

Kyan says that a big wallet can cause back pain so take it out of your butt when you sit.

Ted says pluck out the pits in olives before you choke on them.

And a medusa-haired motorman becomes the bald eagle of the bike shop of his dreams—and he got the girl, too! Ah, the American dream comes alive with a little help from his five gay friends.

What’s with the Vans? Email me: Christina@realityshack.com

That's Amore – Or Is It? – Season 2, Episode 7

Last night’s episode focused on da boyz, particularly John and Carmine. Apparently, they’re girl magnets. Mama Victoria’s just not liking the kind of girls they attract. She’s a bit old-fashioned. So’s Robert.

Mama thinks that the girls are too pushy. About 10 of them showed up at the house to hang out with John, Carmine and pals. She and Robert think it’s because they have no self respect. Well, things are a bit different these days (and that doesn’t mean the girls have no self-respect. It just means that they go after what they want more readily.) I don’t know – I’m a mom myself.

Victoria’s trying to tell her boys to go after nice girls. She doesn’t want her sons to go after the easy score, so to speak. (At the ages of 16 and 18, what else is there for a boy to do? Call me bitter, but it wasn’t that long ago that I was a 16 year old nice girl and well – NO ONE was looking for me!)

Since her sons don’t listen to her – she’s their mom, after all, what does she know!?! (That’s sarcasm, Timmy – my son – moms do know things after all!), she decides to ask Uncle Pete (her bro and the boys most consistent, positive male influence) to help them out. Uncle Pete talks to John and Carmine while they’re playing pool. He asks the boys to take out two ‘nice girls’ from the old neighborhood for him – as a favor.

(I’d do the theme song from the Godfather right now, but I could get in big trouble for it – and I don’t look good in cement.)

At one point, Uncle Pete’s friend, Chubby or Tiny or some other unflattering name you call a fat guy, teases John about how long it takes him to do his hair. John says, “that’s 1/2 hour in the mirror that gets me three hours in the bedroom later.”

I could make a really sarcastic comment, but why – you can come up with your own? I’m feeling a bit lazy tonight.

The boys are told that they need to respect girls and the reply is pretty sound – “well, they have to respect themselves.” See, girls. It’s all about respecting yourself and the boys will respect you back. HAHAHAHAHAHACOPOUTHAHAHAHAHCOPOUT! (Need to fix that nasty laugh there hahaCOPOUThaha!)

Commentary moment: Respect begets respect yes, but a young man should respect himself and the young woman to earn the bigger prize – love!

Wow! I’m tired from all this soap-box jumping. I’m off the platform now. Back to the recap.

The boys are going on their date. Victoria decides to get them some flowers to give to the young ladies. When asked by the florist what kind of girls she wants for her son she says, “Pretty but not too pretty -WHY?” She wants a girl to do for her sons as she does.

Now, that’s an Italian mama. It AIN’T gonna happen. She’d be better off paying for lifelong maid service.

Victoria loves the bouquets and shows Robert her Miss USA walk. She said she was in pageants as a teen, she said. (I think that’s what she said!) I was too stunned looking at the size of the bouquets. I like flowers a lot – but those were some huge bouquets.

John and Carmine didn’t end up taking them out on their dates. They told their mom that girls don’t go for that stuff anymore. Is that really true? Email me at panndyra@realityshack to fill me in all you Gen-Yers.

Victoria hopes that the nice girls will fall in love with her sons and life will be perfect. At 16 or 17 and 18 years old, she should hope for something else. She also tells them NOT to have sex and that pregnancy can ruin their lives at this point. A little overkill, perhaps?

Anyway, Carmine drives them down to the old neighborhood. He honks because he doesn’t want to get out of the car. He’s a bit nervous, I think. John goes with him. They get the girls and it’s an awkward date. One of the girls’ moms gets it off to a great start by yelling at them:

*No smoking
*No drinking
*No sex

They talk about tattoos and piercings – one of the girls has a tongue piercing (and these are “nice” girls). Y’all know what a tongue piercing was used for back in my day — well, it wasn’t that nice. I must be old.
Carmine jokes that he’s waiting to have sex ’til he gets married. (Sure and we believe that Britney Spears was gonna stay a virgin when she said she was *ohhhhhhhhhhhhh puhhhhhlease*)

The boys take the girls to a sushi restaurant. The girls don’t want to try too much fish. LOL. It would be awkward even without the cameras, I think. John’s date giggles nervously at everything. John tries to make conversation and asks Carmine what the last book he read was. Carmine says, Charlotte’s Web. I sure hope that was a joke, but maybe he hasn’t read a book since SECOND GRADE!

They all look at the fish tank at the restaurant and Carmine says, “remember the fish tank from Deuce Bigelow” – if you get that reference, like I did – well then you realize how badly the date started off, okay. If not, it’s really hard to explain. Rent Deuce Bigelow! Trust me. (Misery loves company!)

Meanwhile back at the manse, Victoria is on pins and needles. She wants to call the boys so badly to see how the date’s going. Yeah, that’s a great reason to use to keep my kids from wanting a cell phone. She wishes she could see what they looked like, etc.

The girls aren’t going to eat with chopsticks – silly girls. It looks like fun. They joke with the leather clad girl and make her eat some wasabi. She didn’t like it — too spicy. They’re veerrrrrrrrrrrrry continental!

After dinner, they drive around the old neighborhood. John and Carmine take the girls to their old house and share some memories. The house is decorated for Christmas. John thinks that they may not have had so many headaches if they just stayed in the ‘hood’; Carmine’s not so sure.

They drop the girls off 45 minutes after curfew. They do walk them to the door and say that they’ll probably see each other again (this, despite the fact that the girls sat in the back seat and the boys in the front, the whole time!) It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a date, I guess.

When they get home, mama asks them how it went. They remained tight-lipped but said they may see them again.

**That’s it for this episode. Can’t wait for next week, can you? (I’m being sarcastic!) Email me at panndyra@realityshack.com if you want to talk about how hot Carmine looked in his dotted pants or how much John’s hair reminds you of Ryan Cabrera’s. I’m 31 but I’ll pretend I know what you’re talking about.

😆

Some Questions Answered – The Bachelorette 3, The Men Tell All

This is a rather uneventful episode of The Bachelorette, so much so that it isn’t actually considered an episode. But I’ll briefly recap what happened so that some questions that have been flying around can finally be laid to rest.

First, Stu the Stalker was asked some questions. Remember him? He claimed that he isn’t really a stalker, that he just wanted to know as much about Jen as he could. It sure didn’t sound like that. He wasn’t very convincing.

Next Ryan spoke a little. He said that he didn’t appreciate some of the things that Jen had said about his family. His parents are both pretty upset. He said that he understands that Jen was uncomfortable, but she could have tried a little harder and used a bit more class. You go, Ryan. But your parents are strange.

Fabrice answered the question that we all were wondering: he’s not gay. Stu said that while rooming together, Fabrice peeked into the shower a couple of times while Stu was in there. Fabrice denies this. He’s still an ass.

Jen couldn’t be there, but she sent a tape. On it, she said to Stu that she’s received all of his email, calls, etc., and she isn’t freaked out by him. To Ryan, she’s sorry, it wasn’t her intention to hurt him or his family. To Fabrice, she doesn’t want to marry you, either. Ha!

Andrew Firestone stopped by. He was a good sport about all of the jabs that were made at him behind his back. He still cares about Jen as a friend, but he’s not still in love with her, and he’s not chasing after her.

Tune in next week for the two hour season finale. Both John Paul and Jerry propose to Jen, and she doesn’t answer until After the Final Rose, on live television. See you then!

Everything Reality TV