Every Breath You Take…, The Bachelorette 3, Episode 2

By Rachel

The second episode of The Bachelorette 3 starts with Chris telling the guys that there will be three dates: two group dates of seven guys each, and one lucky gent will get a one-on-one date with Jen. Chris hands the guys a video that has the names of who is going on the first group date. Ben, Ryan from NY, Michael, AW, Fabrice, Jason, and Jerry find out from the video that the will be seeing the sights of NY with Jen.

The first group date starts with Jen and the guys on a double decker bus touring the city. On the bus, the guys ask Jen a lot of questions about Andrew Firestone, such as why they broke up and if she is still friends with him. She seems a bit overwhelmed by their questions, but answers them all honestly.

Later the eight go on what appears to be a dinner cruise, and during this time Jen spends some time alone with each of the bachelors. Fabrice says something to Jen that sounds very sexy and romantic in French, but when he translates it to English, it’s pretty lame: “Your father must be a thief. He stole the stars and put them in your eyes.” I thought French guys were more slick than that. Maybe it’s just the language that makes it sound good. While talking to Michael, he tells Jen that he likes to cuddle, and usually he spoons his dog at night. I think his attempt to sound cute fell flat with that one. If he’s spooning his dog at night, is Jen supposed to sleep at the foot of the bed? During their time on the boat, Jason tells Jen that he is better known as a Virgin. Jen doesn’t see anything wrong with this, but wonders if Jason isn’t a bit too conservative for her.

Back at the bachelor pad, Keith finds out that the one-on-one date is his. This pleases him, because he is aware that Jen’s friends were the ones that chose him and that he really needs to prove himself to Jen. Their evening starts out with a carriage ride which takes them to The Plaza Hotel for dinner and drinks. For most of the beginning of the date, Keith seems to be happy and having a great time, while Jen looks uncomfortable and ready to run for the hills. Later into the date, Jennifer confesses to Keith that she is freaking out about the huge decision she is going to have to make (at the next rose ceremony, she is sending seven of the 15 home). She tells him that she realizes that she needs to calm down and be herself. Keith is sweet and tells Jen that he will do whatever she needs in order to feel more relaxed. After this exchange, Jen seems to loosen up.

The men get the third video and find out that Wendell, Matt, Mark, Stu, John Paul, Josh, and Ryan from California will be attending a Knicks game with Jen. Stu the Stalker is of course miffed that he didn’t get the one-on-one date with Jen. You almost expect him to go sit in a corner and sulk. The gang gets to watch the game from a press box, and Jen takes the men aside one by one to chat with them privately. While talking to Jen, Stu shows his stalker stripes. He tells her that he wants to know everything about her, like her favorite color, ice cream, and even peanut butter. Peanut butter? I don’t even know my husband’s favorite peanut butter, nor do I feel that I need to. Needless to say, Jen is turned off by this display. When Jen chats privately with Matt, we find find out how articulate he really isn’t. Between Stu wanting her blood type and Matt staring at her and stuttering, Jen says she wishes that everyone would just relax and have a good time. Enter Wendell. When he talks to Jen alone, he confesses that he has a huge crush on her, but he keeps it light and the two share some laughs. Jen looks as though she might have a crush too, and seems more interested than she has all evening.

Back at the men’s apartment is where the really interesting stuff is happening. The guys sit around and discuss who they think will get a rose, and who won’t. Jerry says that Stu won’t get a rose because of the “Stalker Factor”. Apparently this is something that everyone is noticing. Fabrice says that Josh will not get a rose because he isn’t what Jen is looking for. Later when Josh is back at the apartment, he confronts Fabrice, and Fabrice denies everything. Josh says that Jen needs a lover and a warrior, and he is a warrior. I was amazed that he didn’t start pounding his chest.

As the night progresses, the men get rowdy and pretty loud. A neighbor comes out and yells at the guys, telling them to shut up, it’s 1:30 AM for Pete’s sake, and if they don’t quiet down, he’s calling the cops. Apparently he’s not lying, because a few minutes later the police stop by and tell the men to quiet down or someone is getting arrested. And then they leave. So all of the hoopla in the previews is for two minutes in TV world for a noise disturbance. I think we were all hoping to see Stu dragged away in handcuffs for violating anti-stalking laws.

It’s finally time for the rose ceremony, and seven men will be sent home tonight. Before the ceremony, Stu tells the camera that Jen is completely in love with him, and he’s going to make sure she knows it. Will someone just arrest this guy now? And he’s a lawyer. He probably knows just how far he can go before getting thrown in the slammer. So, how is he going to “make sure she knows” that she’s in love with him? Hypnosis? Torture? By buying her favorite peanut butter?

We soon find out that Stu isn’t the only one that is a little nuts. Matt sits down with Jen and tells her that he wants to remember their group date forever. What exactly does he want to remember? The time in his life when he made an ass of himself in front of a woman that he was interested in and a few million televisions viewers, too? In any event, he decides to commemorate the occasion by asking Jen to kiss and autograph his Knicks ticket. What? Jen wonders if Matt looks at her as a celebrity or a potential mate. Don’t worry Jen, you weren’t the only one that questioned that. Jen autographs the ticket but refuses to kiss it. Who knows where that ticket has been.

Our next psycho contestant is Mark, who gives Jen a heart shaped charm. It’s not the charm that is giving us the willies, it’s the story that accompanies it. Mark tells Jen that he has a charm, too. It’s his mother’s. His mother is dead. She is buried with his, and he carries hers. It’s a guardian angel charm. Now he wants Jen to have one. Whoa. That’s something you give her when you’re one of the last two standing, not one of the last 15.

It’s finally time for Jen to hand out the roses. She chooses Wendell, Fabrice, Ben, Keith, Ryan from California, Jerry, John Paul, and Josh, in that order. No one passes out this time, and the only one that looks awkward is Fabrice. Yeah, we too were surprised that she kept you after that pathetic line you gave her.

After the ceremony, Stu is pissed and no one is shocked. Jen made a mistake. A BIG MISTAKE! He said it was ridiculous. He was nothing but honest and sincere and attentive, and then she did this to him. You’ll rue the day, Jen! No, he didn’t say that last part. Let’s not forget, though, that he knows where they live. Will he come back to make their lives hell? I have to confess that I hope he does. It’s just good TV.

Not quite as exciting as Stu, Jason tells the camera that he believes he got canned for being a virgin. Unfortunately, he’s probably correct. He should have taken a cue from Josh who is a virgin AND a warrior, and didn’t feel the need to tell Jen about his lack of history between the sheets. Warriors don’t tell things like that.

Next week, the men play four on four basketball to get one-on-one dates with Jen. Also, this time Jen has six roses and will send two men home.

I want to know what you think! Who will be the next to get sent home? Will Stalker Stu come back for vengeance? Will Fabrice tell Jen that she must be tired from running through his mind all day? Will Josh the Virgin Warrior be sent off into the sunset on his stallion? Send your emails to rachel@realityshack.com .

The One About The Broom – Starting Over, 01-17-05

by LauraBelle

For a reason that is never explained to us, there is no Group meeting today, no whole house gathering led by Rhonda, Iyanla or Dr. Stan. The show instead seems to be built around the difficult relationship between Candy and Denise, as they are quickly becoming the perfect catalysts for one another.

Candy is quite happy busying herself in the kitchen, preparing breakfast for everyone. Denise doesn’t like this at all. She realizes this makes Candy happy, but as a thirty-five-year-old woman, she wants to eat breakfast when she feels like it, not when Candy fells like making it. Yet Candy is so used to earlier caring for her thirteen siblings, and now her eight children, she gets great satisfaction out of doing this for others.

Iyanla is working with Renee to create a plan on how to best help Renee heal from her childhood abuse. When Iyanla had helped her map out her original plan, she wasn’t aware of the abuse Renee had suffered through. In an assignment that I can’t fully understand, Renee is asked to make a huge mobile with her values dangling form the middle, and her emotions that her values can help her with dangling from the outside. She spends hours being quite creative with this. When Iyanla sees it later, she is very impressed, and realizes this is the first assignment Renee has given all her effort to.

As Denise and Candy are in their bathroom together, Denise is feeling a large amount of pressure to be clean. As Candy putts about tidying, Denise starts straightening her sink, making little snide remarks as she goes along. Candy is noticing it all, and saying Denise doesn’t realize who she is messing with.

Rachael’s first assignment of the day was to creatively dress to show her emotions upon waking up. Her second is to meet Iyanla at a specific time and place. Her taxi is late arriving, and as Rachael tries to explain it is not her resisting yet again, and that it was the cab driver’s fault, Iyanla vehemently disagrees.

Iyanla has brought Rachael to a boxing ring. As she is wearing her self-made tags made that morning that say among them, “WAR” and “12-yr.-old child,” Rachael is asked to fight in the open boxing ring. As she tells Iyanla there is nothing there to fight, Iyanla tells her it is just like every other thing she fights, like her parents death. That is something invisible that she fights every day.

Rachael sits on the side of the boxing ring quite frustrated, and begins to cry. For the first time since she arrived at the house, and probably since her parents’ death, she stops resisting, and gives in, quite tired. She would like Iyanla’s help, but Iyanla makes her ask for it. She makes Rachael physically move towards her to receive a hug, and as Rachael quietly sobs, I wonder if she has ever allowed herself to cry before. She straps on the gloves and begins hitting a heavy bag. As she punches, she yells the negative feelings over being abandoned, and then finally … finally, she beings to see the positive, all of this leading to a greater independence in her.

Back at the Starting Over house, Candy is still cleaning. She asks Denise to buy her a better broom, not happy with the current one in the closet. She is asking for specific bristles even, which blows Denise’s mind. She wasn’t even aware there were different types. Denise obliges, and when she brings back the new broom, Candy sweeps the whole house again, the second day in a row. Denise tells Cassie it seems so odd to her, and Cassie, her upcoming GED test making her wiser by the moment, tells Denise that her and Candy are actually very much alike; they just approach it from the two totally different spectrums.

Bethany, feeling very homesick, meets with Dr. Stan. He would like to know more about her amnesia, as he is wondering if it was only caused by the encephalitis, or whether there was some tragic event that happened just before her illness that is preventing her from remembering her previously happy life. The things she can’t remember are most surprising. When she came home from the hospital the first time, she was surprised to see a tree in the living room. She saw them only outside on the way home, so was surprised to now see one inside. Having it explained to her that it was a Christmas tree didn’t help, as she didn’t know what Christmas was.

Noting that since her amnesia, the previously vivacious Bethany has become a non-risk taker, Rhonda takes her on a mission to take a risk. They go to gym with a small climbing wall. Bethany is very afraid, but with guidance, does eventually climb up the wall that is probably ten to twelve feet. She is so excited afterward with her accomplishment that she gives Rhonda and the climbing expert robust hugs, then turns around and gives Rhonda yet another hug. They sit down, and Bethany shares with Rhonda her idea. She is still having a hard time facing watching her Senior Video, and the memories she doesn’t have of the people and events. Her roommates at the house are all reaching out to her, but she doesn’t know how to reach back. She wonders if she could watch the video with her roommates, to bring them closer to her and help her get through watching the video. Rhonda feels this is an excellent idea.

All six women sit down with popcorn to watch Bethany’s Senior video. They watch in astonishment at this beautiful, happy woman, and listen to her beautiful singing voice from the pageant. As they ask her which of the people on the video are her friends, Bethany tells them she doesn’t remember. She finally reaches the end of the video for the first time in four years. She is not sad watching it for the first time as well. She credits her housemates for this.

Looking at how Candy has rearranged and lined up everything in the kitchen, Denise wonders if Candy will notice that she has moved one of the canisters out of the perfect alignment. She, of course, does. They discuss it in the kitchen after, and Denise is shocked to hear herself ask Candy to please not always clean up after her. She is hoping she and Candy can split the chores, and maybe Candy can help her in her efforts to become more tidy. She wonders after why she had something she had always wanted, someone to clean up after her, and now has shooed them away. I think Denise, in the house to “Clean Up Life” must be in for a huge breakthrough.

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

Interview with Towanda of Starting Over

by LauraBelle

RS: What is the latest news about your solo career?

Towanda: I am currently working with a producer by the name of Orlando Calzada, and I have completed my demo to send out my package to shop to different record companies.

RS: You and Iyanla had a rocky start. Can you attribute that to anything
in particular?

Towanda: I believe it was about respect. My mother taught me to always respect my elders, so it was hard for me to express my feeling without feeling that I was being disrespectful to Iyanla.

RS: Kim and Jennifer found out about Deborah’s true reasons for leaving
and her fear of being pregnant on their way to Denver. When did you find
out?

Towanda: I found out when I got a phone call from my husband, Andre, and when my sister Tamar called me to tell me I was right about having my fish dream.

RS: You had your share of ups and down in your relationship with Sommer.
How did you feel about the manner in which she left?

Towanda: It wasn’t a happy moment for me when Sommer was asked to leave the Starting Over house. I did feel however it was inevitable due to the constant warnings.

RS: It was very difficult to hear your dad rejected your efforts to work
things out while you were on the show. Have you worked things out since?

Towanda: I talk to my daddy as much as I can now, and we are rebuilding our relationship. Before we hang up the phone we always say, “I love you.”

RS: Since returning home, how has your relationships changed with your
husband, mom and sisters?

Towanda: My relationship is better for me, because I now speak my truth, and my husband supports me in my efforts of standing up for myself. My family respects my changes.

RS: What is your current relationship with the other members of your
Sisterhood on Starting Over?

Towanda: The sisterhood is alive and strong!! I talk to Kimmie everyday, and Jennifer and I talk a lot as well!

RS: What did you learn from the other women of the house and your life
coaches?

Towanda: I have learned that no matter where you come from, we all have problems – big or small, and it is up to you as an individual to make a change.

RS: Thank you, Towanda, for your time, and we are wishing you much success in your new solo career!

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

Forgiveness – Starting Over, 01-14-05

by LauraBelle

Here’s a little riddle for you. What is something all of us expect, but have a hard time giving out?

Forgiveness.

Everyone in the Starting Over house either needs to forgive someone else or forgive themselves. In Group with Rhonda, Denise is delighted to find she has been given two steps toward her goal of “Clean Up Life.” However, another step has been added – Forgiveness, giving her three more steps to complete to reach her goal.

Rhonda goes around the room, asking some of the women who they need to forgive. Rachael believes she needs to forgive her mom for dying; Bethany knows she needs to forgive herself for losing her memory. As the talk moves to Denise, she knows … she KNOWS who she needs to forgive – her abusive father. Rhonda explains we need to forgive to move forward; without it, we are simply standing still.

After Group, Denise has a one-on-one with Rhonda to work on the beginning of her forgiveness. Rhonda asks Denise to write all her dad’s negative qualities down on one side of the board. Denise fills it with words such as violent, mean, makes cruel remarks, etc. The last thing she writes down is that he was a horrible human being. Of course, on the other side, Rhonda has Denise write down the positive qualities of her dad. She struggles with this, but does fondly remember he cooked for them a lot, and comes up with a few more eventually. Rhonda asks Denise if it’s possible that this was the only way her father knew how to show her he loved her. Cooking may not seem like a lot, but maybe that’s the only way he knew how to show it. Lastly, Rhonda has her circle the qualities she shares with her father. The only one not circled, good or bad, is “horrible human being.” Rhonda suggests maybe he wasn’t so horrible, just a human being, and that that’s another thing they had in common. Denise believes she had a good reason for her bad qualities, and Rhonda suggests maybe her father did as well.

Iyanla meets with Candy and asks for her list of women she most admires. Among the women are Indira Ghandi, Dolly Parton and Oprah. They talk about how Dolly is admirable because she achieved such success after growing up dirt poor. Iyanla asks if these women are all perfect Size Fives. Obviously they aren’t, and Candy sees that she must begin to feel feminine on the inside first.

Iyanla takes Candy shopping to choose outfits for different feminine looks. For “lady” Candy picks out a gorgeous sequined dress, and for “tramp” she chooses a black/white teddy. Most interesting is that for “woman” she chooses a plain matronly red housedress. Iyanla begins to understand that Candy sees women only as caretakers.

Rachael is trying to finish up her conversations with her family, gathering information on her mother, and has saved the hardest ones for last. She is talking to Flossy, her godmother who cared for her for awhile shortly after her mom died. Flossy tells Rachael that the family didn’t like her father or step-father because they were African-American.

In a one-on-one with Iyanla, Rachel is being asked why her aunts were not willing to care for her, and shipped her off to the godmothers’s, and why her godmother had to be paid to take care of her. Iyanla wants to know if it’s because of racial bias, but Rachael clearly doesn’t want to go there. Iyanla has two assignments for Rachael. The first is to keep a log of her emotions all day, and the second is to allow Iyanla to paint her face with all the emotions she feels right now. Rachael fights it, but obliges and allows Iyanla to write all over her face.

Even though she resists, Rachael does call her aunt and ask exactly why she was shipped off to her godparents. After being asked if it was based on her race, her aunt laughs and says no, it was because she was an incorrigible brat. Realizing Rachael has had a rough day, Iyanla invites her out to dinner, allowing her to wash her face first. Noticing she is empty-handed and not holding her emotions log, Iyanla asks why this is, and why Rachael is resisting yet again. Rachael says she did write a few things down, but was mostly working on other things, and tells of her conversations with her aunt. Iyanla tells a story of how she too was abandoned after her mother died, and she too was passed around, no one seeming to want her. She was in her forties before getting to the bottom of her abandonment issues, and doesn’t want the same fate for Rachael. She needs to know whom she should forgive. Rachael vows yet again to recommit to the process.

While Rachael is out to dinner, the other women in the house get together for dinner, feeling a sense of family. Candy, very much in that maternal role she feels a woman must be, cooks a spghaetti dinner, and ven teaches some kiing lessons along the way. Bethany, very homesick, is most grateful. Denise tells how she had forgotten that her dad used to cook dinner for them, and says after she graduates from the Starting Over house, she might visit her dad’s gravesite, as she hasn’t been there since he died. Something tells me for her final act of forgiveness, she’ll be visiting with Rhonda before her graduation.

At the close of the day, the women are working on what they need to. As Denise and Candy go to bed, they resolve to work out together the next morning at 6:00. Cassie is hitting the books, studying hard, and Rachael is journaling. They are all trying very hard to move forward, but most still have a lot of forgiving to do.

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

Ray, We Salute You: Queer Eye For The Straight Guy Episode 3.1

Ray, We Salute You

The Fab Five start out their third season with a salute to the troops. More specifically, they “make-over” Ray, a soldier preparing to go to Iraq for about two years, leaving his wife, Maria, and daughter, Sabrina, behind. So this isn’t your typical happy-go-lucky show, although it does have its funny moments. The guys have already made over a military man and a police officer with lots of laughs. This time, it’s more sentimental for them all. You’ll see.

Thom, Ted, Kyan, Carson, and Jai run out to the SUV and discuss Straight Ray, who is pretty put together but has a home that needs improvement. Carson wants to make sure Thom buys those things to cover sockets so the baby can’t stick forks in the holes because he didn’t have that when he was a kid. Ha. Their mission is to make Ray okay for going away. Also, since he got married to Maria in Columbia with her family and it’s not legal in the U. S., they’re giving him a wedding with his friends here.

Credits. Love a guy with a beater, Ted.

The guys pound on the door of Ray’s house and go at it. Ray is in military fatigues and Carson asks him if he always wears his uniform. Ray says he loves the uniform because he worked hard to earn the right to wear it. Right on, Ray.

Thom calls the apartment “really bad” while Kyan is in the bathroom joking about the “toilet decoration.” Kyan is then holding the daughter, Sabrina, in one hand and clippers in the other. “Is this what Daddy shaves his head with?” Sabrina looks unimpressed. Meanwhile, the other guys are making fun of Ray’s laptop, which is pretty antiquated. Carson calls it the Etch-A-Sketch version of a computer.

Jai has gotten a hold of Sabrina. These guys love kids! He’s making a tiger growl at her. She simply stares back. He asks, “Nothing?” She stares at Jai. Heehee. Then Thom has Sabrina and is calling her Supergirl and making her fly through the air. She’s mildly amused.

Carson feels appropriately dressed for the military. He’s wearing a beige shirt with shoulder stripes that look military-like. He stands next to Ray for uniform comparison. Yup, Carson could be a soldier.

Thom knocks over the couch. He does it to be funny but then finds some hidden icky stuff underneath. His reaction? “Omigod, ew.” Heehee.

Jai digs up the dirt on Ray’s relationship. He finds out from Maria that he was her boss. Scandalous!

In the kitchen, Ted tells Ray he thinks it’s cute and special that Ray and his wife leave notes for each other. Ted hands Ray a scrap of paper and asks Ray to tell him what it says. I’m assuming the note might be in Spanish; otherwise Ted is illiterate or Ray has awfully bad handwriting. Ray reads something about loving and missing and loving again. This episode is all about the love.

Back in the dining area, Carson notes that the apartment has a lot of sharp corners, which really isn’t baby friendly. It’s true. The dining room table is a wrought-iron base with a square glass top. No chairs either. Meanwhile, Thom is “accidentally” pulling down some vertical blinds.

Jai goes back to digging up dirt. He tells Ray that he heard Ray was Maria’s boss. Ray admits that Maria was his worker and he tried several times to get her to go out with him. At one point, he tried to kiss her and she slapped him. That made Ray realize she would be a challenge. They’re lucky. That was a sexual harassment suit in the making.

Carson is going through Ray’s wardrobe. He says that Ray needs a new suit. Ray nods and says he knows that his tuxedo is old. Carson says the tux is from the Nixon administration. Then Ray tells Kyan that he has insomnia. And then he explains to Thom and Kyan that he will be away for at least five hundred some odd days and most likely he will be engaged in combat.

Meanwhile, Maria shows Carson, Ted, and Jai some notes she’s left for Ray when he went away and came home. She also keeps a journal so he can keep track of Sabrina. She gets teary eyed. Group hug!

Ray tells Kyan and Thom that he’s ready for combat. He’s had a lot of training. However, the military doesn’t train them for leaving his wife and child behind. Okay, this episode is already making me want to hug my teddy bear and never let go.

Jai tells Ray that they’re going to give him a wedding tonight. Ray is overjoyed. Sabrina and Maria leave. Thom tells Ray they’re going to make his house a home. Carson grabs Ray to go “GayWOL” with him. Ha.

In the SUV, Carson tells Ray that they’ve gotten a great wedding planner. Cut to people carrying tree branches and setting up the wedding. Back to the SUV where Ray talks about how he wants to romance his wife and wants to be sure she and Sabrina are taken care of. Carson and Thom do a simultaneous, “Check!”

They run into J. C. Penney, which is my favorite department store, so yippee. The first item on the shopping list is a new dining room table. They find one with rounded edges, a lot more toddler friendly. Thom suggests pairing the dark wood table with the white painted chairs. I don’t like it but I’m trusting Thom. Plus, I don’t have to like it because it’s not my house. They also choose a red sofa, which I do like very much and now I wish they were decorating my house because I could really use a sofa. Then Carson helps Ray pick out baby couture so Sabrina has enough clothes for the next year. The last outfit he finds is a cheerleader-type outfit. Carson says, “Sabrina can be a cheerleader and I could be a queer leader!” Ray smiles and takes the clothes. Carson’s tip on buying clothes is to buy them one size bigger because toddlers “grow like weeds.”

Carson has Ray try on different types of suits. Ray needs to wear an athletic fit suit because he is a fit man. Oh, yes, he is. Maria is a lucky gal. Ray has broad shoulders and a trim waist and the suit fits him perfectly without needing any tailoring. The guys have never seen someone who doesn’t need a suit tailored so they are enamored. They choose shades of blue for the suit, a few ties which include a striped tie and a purple tie, and brown shoes.

After shopping, Ray runs to a hotel and finds the presidential suite. Ted shows Ray the suite that’s bigger than my apartment. Hell, it’s bigger than my apartment and the apartment below me. The bed is bigger than my apartment. They have a view of Central Park, which is absolutely gorgeous. Ray says Maria will love it. Ted doesn’t teach Ray how to cook. Instead, he teaches him the correct way to open a bottle of champagne. He can either twist out the cork (that sounds dirty!) or pop the cork across the room (not as dirty, but fun!). Then they talk about how he’s going to miss Sabrina and that the last time he went away, Sabrina didn’t remember him when he came back. Ted says that it could be different this time. Ray says no, that she’s still at the age when she probably will forget even if they send pictures. Ted says that he’ll make the best of the situation. That’s Ted’s advice for the rest of the show—do the best you can.

Jai takes Ray to a jewelry store where the jeweler has picked out a bunch of expensive necklaces that he can choose from. The jeweler, by the way, is wearing a blue shirt and purple tie, much like the ones that Ray bought with Carson. And, the jeweler is hot. Anyway, they show Ray a charm necklace that has a heart. He can break the heart in half, wear one half, and give the other half to Maria. Jai says that he should engrave his initials on hers and her initials on his. Ray asks if he can also engrave their new wedding date on them. Jai says it’s a good idea. The jeweler tells Ray that no other heart half will fit either piece because each charm breaks in a unique way. Ray decides it’s the perfect gift for Maria.

Ray meets Kyan at the spa for the usual grooming. However, Ray is not such a dirty boy as other straight guys have been. Kyan tells him that this would be the time he would usually make the guy get a manicure and other girl/metrosexual stuff done because he’s about to get married all over again. Keeping with the theme of not-your-typical-Queer-Eye-show, Kyan instead gets Ray into a robe for something special. Nope, not a personal massage. Kyan brings Ray into a hot tub rose bath room. Who’s in the tub? Maria! Maria and Ray gaze at each other as if they are seeing each other for the first time and it’s love at first sight. Awww! Now even I’m getting sentimental, and that never happens. Usually I hate these sappy moments.

Maria and Ray arrive home and they love the house. Both of them are almost in tears again, but at least these are happy tears. The walls are green. The accents are red. Christmas year round! Thom created fake windows and sliding glass doors by hanging checkered curtains on the walls. The dining room is awesome; Thom was right and I was wrong about the mix ‘n’ match chairs. The bedroom is also very pretty with lilac walls and brown bedding.

The Fab Five call the couple over for a bridal shower. Since it’s for both of them, Ted calls it a “wedding shower” instead. Gifts for the happy couple! Thom gives them a $5000 gift card for J. C. Penney. Jai gives both of them laptops and a video camera to send movies back and forth of themselves and Sabrina. Carson and Kyan are now wearing wrapping paper and ribbons. Jai tops off his gifts with a large box of DVDs. Carson gives them cashmere sweaters to trade so they can smell each others’ scent when they are apart. Kyan complains that his gift is so lame compared to the electronics but gives Ray an eye mask and book and CD set to help with his insomnia. Ted gives them a cool red toaster, a standing mixer (because “gay guys can mix it up”) and Peapod online free groceries with delivery for a year.

Carson and Kyan carry over a big wooden crate for more gifts. Carson gives Ray a waterproof backpack, sunglasses, underwear, and cross training sneakers. Maria starts crying. Kyan adds in sunscreen, soap, and deodorant. Thom hugs Maria.

They grab Sabrina and show her the new room Thom made for her. They have a new crib that converts into a bed for when Sabrina gets older. Then they tell Maria about the clothes Ray picked out for Sabrina.

Jai leaves Ray with a notebook to write his vows in. They all toast. Jai thanks Ray for doing what he’s doing for his country. Kyan thanks Maria for being so brave. Ray thanks the guys for a miracle. Maria thanks them for everything. They all toast. The Fab Five leave.

Hip Tip: Kyan says eat six meals a day to lose weight. Okay, I tried that once. Apparently, the trick is to eat six meals and NOT snack on Everything But The . . . Ice Cream in between.

The five guys gather round on the critic couch. Carson has cupcakes to substitute a wedding cake. Ray and Maria arrive at the place for the ceremony somewhere in downtown Manhattan. They’re having the wedding on the rooftop. Cool.

Everyone prepares for the wedding. Ted says Maria looks excited all the time. And what song is playing? It’s awesome!!! Ray puts on the suit with the striped tie, opting against the purple tie. Good choice. Carson shouts at the screen, “Daddy’s a hottie!” and the other guys agree. Then they gush over Maria in her Vera Wang wedding dress. Wow.

Ray writes his vows in a moleskin journal and puts them in his inside jacket pocket. The wedding planner people come in and give him two bouquets, one for his sister and one for his mother. They also give him his boutonniere, which is a flower from Maria’s bouquet. Aww, sweet. His mom and sister arrive and he re-explains how he can get called away at any time and that these ten days are for him to say goodbye. Jai and Kyan are about to cry. His mom and sister didn’t look all that excited to be there at first. Now, after he has explained his situation (why didn’t they already know all this?), his mother looks ill. The guys comment that she’s upset. Thank you, Master of the Obvious. Ted says, “You gotta make the most of it.”

The hall inside the building has two staircases that come down facing each other, becoming one staircase leading towards the doors to the rooftop. Red and gold material drapes down from the ceiling. Very pretty. The happy couple meet where the stair cases meet and link arms to go outside. The Justice of the Peace gives a speech about destiny. She then asks for the rings and Sabrina throws the rings on the floor. Heehee. Ray picks them up and says, “thank you,” to her, so right there you see what a good father and sweet person he is. They read their vows, they exchange rings, and then they kiss. Hooray! They’re married again.

Back inside, Ray’s friend gives a toast. Ray’s sister gives a toast which you can tell is heart-wrenching for her. Ted comments, “That’s hard.” And then says, “You make the best of what you have.” Again. They dance. Ray’s mom is now smiling. They guys comment that she’s a lot happier now. Well, yeah, it’s a happy moment.

Ray tells Sabrina they have to go to a private room. I immediately break out into Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer” but then stop myself because this is a serious moment. The guys comment on how calm and “serene” Ray is throughout this whole thing. They say he puts on this calm face to make Maria and Sabrina and everyone else at ease with the situation. In the private room, Ray pops the champagne open and gives Maria the heart necklace. She cries and he tells her that no matter how far apart they are, they’ll always be close at heart. He whispers the last part because he’s trying not to cry. He doesn’t. Maria says, “You have to come back.” Ray says, “I will.” Okay, now I’m about to cry. He puts her half on her. Maria kisses his half and puts it on him, telling him that her kiss will now always be with him.

Fade to black and all the guys are in some stage of crying. Carson says they gave Ray peace of mind. Kyan says, “Let’s have a toast to them.” They all toast, “To safe returns.”

This week’s tip is how to make a care package for a soldier overseas.

Ted says include healthy snacks like granola bars.

Carson says throw in a waterproof bag.

Kyan suggests soap and eyedrops.

Thom throws in a blanket.

Jai includes a letter.

Another straight guy off to a new start thanks to the Queer Eye guys. Good luck to Ray and all the other troops in Iraq. We salute you.

–Christina M. Rau/GatsbyGirl
Let me know what you think: christina@realityshack.com

Hurry, Rebekah! Date!: Queer Eye For The Straight Girl Episode 1.-1 (Sneak Peek)

Hurry, Rebekah! Date!

The Gal Pals pile into the SUV for a Special Sneak Peek make-over! Yes, this recap is out of order because the first episode comes first, dammit. So, for a more in-depth description of the Gal Pals, you can check out “Nicole H (and the H stands for Hotness!).” But just as a refresher (and this is the last time I’m doing this because after three episodes, we should know who everyone is without word-picture flashcards):

The Look: Robbie Laughlin. The epitome of cuteness.

The Life: Danny Teason. The man who would be my one true love if he weren’t gay or if I weren’t a straight woman. And, by the by, I know I said he had a British accent, but on listening more closely, it may be Australian. Or maybe it’s both. Who knows?

The Locale: Damon Pease. Roger Lodge’s lost half-brother.

The Lady: Honey Labrador. Still the most awesome name on the planet.

The down-on-her-luck gal is Rebekah. She’s in her late twenties and has had one serious relationship. Or, as the Gal Pals put it, only one serious relationship. Hey! I’m probably around the same age as this Straight Gal and I’ve had two serious relationships. That’s right—only two. I don’t know what the four of them are so upset about. Love is love. You can’t make it happen. Rebekah is a host for Hurry Date, yet doesn’t date anyone.

(Hurry Date is a service that crams a bunch of people together for about an hour and serves discount drinks. The women, in this case, sit in one place. Every three minutes, the guys move on to the next woman for a quick date. Kind of like a date-ette. This scenario may be familiar to QEFTSGuy fans who saw a guy sent to Hurry Date. In his case, the women moved around the room, but I’m pretty sure that was so the camera could stay in one place. I’ve heard from people who have done HD without television cameras on them that the guys are the ones who move around—probably because some women wear skirts and heels and that could spell disaster). She also wears all black all the time. Robbie says it must be Halloween every day at her house. You know, because of all the black. I thought orange and black was Halloween, but he’s The Look, so I’m not arguing. The mission, they decide, is to send Rebekah on her own Hurry Date.

Credits. The cartoon woman they make over looks quite similar to the international symbol they put on the door to the Ladies’ Room in public places. I never thought she needed a make-over. I’m just sayin’.

The Gal Pals pull up to Rebekah’s house which is a Spanish-style house. From the outside, it’s pretty. Danny laughs that all gays in a Spanish duplex is a movie in the making. Heehee. The Four L’s run out of the SUV and pound on Rebekah’s door. Why are the stylists always running? Rebekah opens the door and they pile in. Rebekah looks like…well, if you look at her face really quickly, she looks a hell of a lot like Kelly Clarkson of American Idol fame. I must say that the straight girls on this show are a lot more put together than the straight men on QEFTSGuy. Rebekelly is wearing a black t-shirt and black lounge-around pants. Yup, all black. Trick or treat.

They all barrel through the house. Robbie lounges over a cabinet and does a combination of calisthenics and choreography from “Cabaret.” Damon announces that he’s overwhelmed by the terra cotta. The living room really isn’t all that bad. The walls are all red, a darker red than what they should be, but the room is bright and the hardwood floors are nice. The kitchen, on the other hand, is a bright yellow and dark blue and has an ironing board where the breakfast nook should be. Damon later wonders why the handles to the cupboards are right smack dab in the middle of the doors. Someone didn’t study levers in high school.

Out of nowhere, a 100 decibel alarm sounds. They all run to find Robbie standing with a guilty look on his face and a bullhorn in his hands. Rebekelly says she uses it to summons firemen to her place. Heehee. I like Rebekah a lot. Danny gains control of the bullhorn and shouts orders at everyone to go to different rooms of the house. Honey finds a joystick to play with while Robbie finds Rebekelly’s handcuffs. Looks like she has some policemen over as well. (I know the politically correct terms are firefighter and police officer, but Rebekah is a straight girl so she would want the male version of those careers coming over. Okay?)

Honey runs down a hallway and finds a bathroom. Ew. The tub is gross. The bathroom looks like, dare I say it, a guy’s bathroom. That’s not good, Rebekah! Honey lifts the toilet seat. Ew again.

Meanwhile, Damon is in the living room making fun of Rebekelly’s make-shift bar area. She says that she dreams of having a bar. So far, it looks like plywood gone wrong. Keep dreaming! Maybe it will come true by the end of the episode.

Danny raids the closet and tries on all different kinds of clothes. Included are a Hawaiian shirt and some flowers. Okay, then. Cut to Robbie riding a bike through the living room. He bumps into furniture. Tilts to one side. Yells out “I’m okay!” but he’s all alone and no one cares. Back to Danny, who is now playing Twenty Questions with Rebekelly. He asks her what her main goal is at the end of the day. She wants to have a home where people can come over and feel comfortable. They can’t do that now with the ugly walls and makeshift bar.

People will not want to come over if Robbie remains outside on the balcony with her bullhorn. He shouts at the neighbors that Rebekelly is a packrat but they shouldn’t be afraid. They will fix her.

Back in the living room, Damon mocks the torch lamp. He grabs it and sings Sinatra style into the top. Now, I’m ashamed. I own three of that same lamp.

Meanwhile, Danny talks to Rebekah about more of her goals. She says that her schedule is very wacky and that has taken a toll on the rest of her life. She falls out of the routine to keep a clean house and to make time to take care of herself the way she should. I hear you, fellow busygal! I know the woes of a schedule that shouldn’t be called a schedule because nothing ever happens the same time on the same day twice.

Then Danny breaks her closet. He hangs on the bar until it caves in and makes all the clothes come tumbling down. Robbie finds this absolutely hilarious.

Honey finds about a zillion plastic gloves in the kitchen along with thirty potholders. Damon calls Rebekelly a germophobe in a germy home. Rebekelly has a lot of plastic food containers and lids scattered all over the place. There’s no organization here.

Back in the bedroom, Danny throws crap out the window. Then he instructs Rebekelly to do the same. All the crap lands in the pool out back. The pool boy is going to have to work double-time to get the chemical levels back to normal.

Back in the living room, Honey handcuffs herself to Damon. He complains about being yet again attached to a lesbian. In the closet, (heehee—I crack myself up) Robbie wonders if Rebekelly is a waitress. Because of all the black shirts. I would love to know where Robbie came up with these preconceived notions about black shirts—Halloween and waitressing? That’s it. Robbie tells Rebekelly that she needs to buy mix and match pieces with lots of color. Then they cuddle on her double pillow top mattress. Robbie puts an end to the cuddling, citing that he would like to keep his job and laying down with a woman leads to getting fired.

Elsewhere in the house, Danny breaks a doorknob.

Back to Robbie in the closet, who has found a long black wig and a long black gown. He calls it “very Versace.” See, now THAT is what I call Halloween-like. He’s a witch.

In the living room, Damon tells Rebekelly that her color scheme is workable but needs adjustment. He plans on working with it.

Omigod! Danny is in tiny black briefs. And he’s swimming in the pool. Ahhh. Only the pool doesn’t seem to have any crap floating in it anymore so either someone cleaned it up or it’s out of sequence. But who cares because Danny is wet and glistening and check out those abs and that rear. Yowza!

Danny gets out of the pool and towels off. In two seconds, he’s dressed and ready to fly out the door with Robbie, Honey, and Rebekelly. However, his crack is still wet. Honey and Damon aren’t surprised. It’s apparently a usual occurrence. How risqué for Bravo.

In the car, the Gal Pals minus one and Rebekelly gab about how it’s time for her to put herself out into the dating world. Cut to home, where the Hunky Helpers show up and lift things. Shameless slo-mo shot of one HH wiping sweat off his forehead using his shirt, which reveals a very sculpted upper torso. Back to the SUV and Banana Republic. Robbie instructs Rebekelly to find colorful outfits. Honey and Robbie sit while Rebekelly changes and gives a fashion show. The first outfit has some dark colors and a bright top. She is loving this. You can tell that Rebekelly loves shopping. Her favorite outfit is white pants (cream, Robbie corrects her) with a creamsicle-orange colored top. Then Robbie goes into the dressing room to do shadow puppets for Honey. Ha.

Rebekelly then hops over to Plantation, a furniture store, to meet Damon. They kiss kiss hello and do some obligatory couch sitting. He also shows her a lamp that gives off a warm glow and makes everyone look fabulous. I need that kind of lamp at work. We have florescent lighting which does me absolutely no favors. I leave the house thinking that I look okay and when I get to work, jeez, even I’m scared of me. Rebekelly loves the lamp and couch. Damon says they’ll get them and Rebekelly needs to leave to get herself a hottie.

Before getting a hottie, Rebekelly has yet another task. Robbie and Danny my love, decked out in army fatigues, shuffle Rebekelly off to Beach Boot Camp. Rebekelly says she’s not sure if she should clap about it or cry. Heehee. Cry, Rebekah. This ain’t gonna be easy. The instructor looks like Ron Palillo of Horshack Welcome Back Kotter fame but not when he was Horshack, but the way he looked when he was on Celebrity Boxing and lost to Dustin Diamond of Screech Saved By the Bell fame. Who, by the way, still looks like Screech because he hasn’t died his hair or gotten a nose job as Ron Palillo did. NonRon shows Danny and Robbie how to do push-ups with bicep free weight movements added into each repetition. Sound confusing? It is and seems painful. Robbie complains that Danny’s are bigger than his. I assume he means weights because Danny says Robbie would rather use pink Barbie weights. Heehee. So NonRon tells Rebekelly, Robbie, Danny, and a bunch of other people to do a push up. They do. Then NonRon tells them to do push-ups for four minutes straight. What? Is he kidding? Who can do push-ups for four minutes straight? I can’t do them for even a minute straight. That’s why I’m not in the military. This is not the proper way to do push-ups. You’re supposed to do sets of push-ups and count. There’s no time factor. NonRon says that push-ups are the best thing you can do for your body, and if you can do push-ups, you can do anything. Like tap dance and rule the world. Rebekelly struggles through the push-ups, which must be hard to do on a soft surface like sand, but Danny seems to pull them off without a problem as does Robbie.

A bit later, they have to run. Rebekelly asks, “What if you can’t make it to the end?” Aw, that’s cute. They tell her in military fashion, “THERE IS NO CAN’T, SOLDIER! YOU WILL MAKE IT!” Well, that’s not exactly what they say but she basically doesn’t have a choice in the matter. The next shot of Rebekelly is her falling behind all the other runners. This is completely unfair because this is her first workout in ages and they’re making her run on sand. Not easy! Not fair! Then we see Rebekelly indeed finishing with Robbie holding one of her arms and NonRon tugging on the other. Her incentive to make it to the end? A shirtless Danny at the finish line! Okay, maybe that’s not her incentive but it would be mine because in my world, Danny would be straight and in love with me. In any case, Danny is half naked again and I’m loving this episode for it.

Post sweaty workout, Rebekelly meets Honey at a jewelry store. Sidenote about Honey’s shirt. It’s fuchsia, which is a great color on her. And the top seems like a wrap or poncho but is attached to the shirt so it’s two-in-one. It’s very cool and I want one in every color. Honey tells Rebekelly that buying crystal is the way to go because it’s pretty but won’t break the bank. Tanya the salesgirl shows them an antique-ish necklace. They like it. Honey points out some trendier necklaces that may be pretty but put Rebekelly on the younger side of twenty. And what’s wrong with that, Honey? I don’t want to grow up!

Honey instructs Rebekelly to have one focal point when it comes to jewelry. Tanya adds that you need to limit your sparkle. Is it wrong, then, to wear body glitter, glitter gloss, a shirt with glitter cotton threads, rhinestone studded pants, Bedazzled boots, and crystal jewelry? Is it?

Rebekah’s mother interviews that Rebekelly has the apartment of a girl on the go.

Rebekah’s co-worker says Rebekelly keeps people out of the apartment for good reason.

Her friend calls the place a pigsty. Say like it is, why dontcha.

Back in the SUV, Rebekelly tells Danny, Robbie, and Honey that her body aches from the workout. When they ask how, she says, “It kind of hurts to breathe.” Heehee. They go back to the “only one relationship” conversation. Rebekelly says she’s not scared to date. They pull up to the Spanish house and run up the steps. Because they’re stylish and, therefore, must run.

Rebekelly’s face breaks into a huge smile. She omigods at the living room. The walls are beige, accented by red and brown curtains, accessories, and a large brown ottoman/coffee table. She says she will definitely spend more time in there.

The dining room is useable. The chairs look like they are made out of those car driver’s seat massage beads, but Rebekelly seems to like them. And now she has a real bar! Wishes really do come true. Live the dream, Rebekah!

The kitchen is now all yellow and the cupboards no longer have handles directly in the middle of the doors. The ironing board is gone, replaced with a tiny table and chairs. A good look but now she can’t iron her grilled cheese sandwiches. What? No one else does that?

Robbie gushes about bags and how they are the number one accessory to make an outfit. He suggests using clear pouches to hold make-up and other stuff, life breath mints, to organize within a bag. The perfect evening bag is usually black—ooh, a waitress on Halloween—and have a digital camera. Cool, she gets a camera! And a humongo box of condoms. To be used at the same time? Who knows?

Back in the bathroom, Robbie breaks out the hot curlers and shows her how to put them in. They will help reduce frizz in her curly hair. I’m with you on that one. Frizz Across the World, Unite! Honey gives Rebekelly a quick make-up lesson. First lip liner. Next lip stick. Finally lip gloss. Robbie partakes in the lip gloss step, applying a clear shimmer to his cute lips.

Move to Danny in the kitchen in a black muscle shirt making canapés. I would love to see that in my kitchen one day. Apparently canapés are the new caviar and pâté. I prefer frozen mini-quiche from Costco for my shindigs.

Everyone munches on the canapés and recaps what Rebekelly needs to do for the night. Honey yells, “Be yourself!” and Rebekelly answers, “Parting is such sweet sorrow!”

Co-worker interviews that Rebekah has yet to meet the perfect man.

Mother interviews, “What dating life?” Nice one, Mom. Kick your daughter when she’s down.

The Gal Pals gather round the critic couch with drinks and watch Rebekelly in action. They gush about how they love her. Rebekelly sets the table and makes crustini. However, she can’t figure out how to turn the oven on. Buy it a drink! **drum riff** The Gal Pals yell at the screen that the knob is on the top. I sympathize with Rebekelly because when I moved into my place, I found an oven with no knobs at all. It has one-touch buttons and I couldn’t figure it out at first, either. She finds the knob. They cheer.

Rebekelly starts getting herself all gussied up. Robbie comments how she’s gorgeous even without make-up. Damon is impressed with how she does her make-up. Robbie then gushes over her “soap opera hair.” Rebekelly puts on the outfit with the cream pants and orange shirt. Damon calls her a “tangerine dream.” She packs a bunch of toiletries and necessities into her evening bag. The condoms from before are lying on the bed. Honey starts to say, “If she puts that whole box into her bag…” and then Rebekelly picks up the box, shrugs, and does just that. She throws the whole box of condoms in the bag, but she’s laughing when she does it so she knows that she’s being cute and funny and she is great! The Gal Pals cheer again.

Her friends arrive and Danny comments that this was one of her goals, to have people over. Rebekelly gives them a tour and they can’t get over the place. They’re happy they can see the floor. Damon gets upset over just how shocked the friends are. He wonders if they thought he was going to hang up a dishrag and some paper plates and call it a day. Hee. They like the Asian theme, which Damon calls Gaysion.

In the kitchen, Rebekelly takes a huge knife to the champagne bottle. Yikes! Thankfully, she gets it open with no injury. Danny complains that she’s serving champagne in the wrong glasses. Hey, you work with what you got. Not everyone has champagne flutes. Rebekelly makes a toast to her friends. They joke that it’s her first time cooking as they eat the canapés. At the table, she shows off her boots (my mother would so yell at me for putting feet near food). Robbie says the boots are hot on her.

Rebekelly leaves her friends behind and makes her way to The Highlands for Hurry Date, and the host is her friend (because Rebekelly hosts too, remember), and the host-friend is paying Rebekelly back because Rebekelly hosted HD while her friend did the dating a few weeks ago. The friend is a petite blonde who gets louder by the second. She seats Rebekelly on a loungey little loveseat. The loveseat does not offer a very flattering position to sit in but Rebekelly is too excited to notice. She also has a large glass of something in her hand. Atta, girl. The host-friend explains the Official Hurry Date Score Card. As she does so, the Gal Pals are in hysterics because the woman is shouting. The Gal Pals joke that she’s running HD for six different countries and that’s why she has to be so loud. When she finishes her spiel on the Official Hurry Date Score Card, cute Robbie yells back, “OKAY!”

The first guy comes over, the host screeches out “HURRY DATE!” and the dating begins. The first date needs to learn a little something about personal space. I mean, he plops down practically in Rebekelly’s lap. The Gal Pals notice this and yell at the screen for the guy to back away. Rebekelly is probably feeling awkward and doesn’t know how to politely back away without seeming repulsed. I would be repulsed if I saw this guy coming at me from ten feet away. The Interloper of Personal Space says he’s a filmmaker which Honey calls the “oldest line in Hollywood.” Well, yeah, because that’s where they make films. Rebekelly doesn’t seem very comfortable yet. She asks what kind of films he makes. Damon answers from the critic couch that he makes porn. Heehee. Robbie says to the screen, “Blow the whistle!” I don’t know how she sits there for three minutes straight. And how do we know it’s three minutes? Because the host rings a bell and screeches even more loudly than before, “HURRY DATE!!!!”

While the guys rotate and hurry, Rebekelly makes notes on the Official Hurry Date Scorecard. Danny and Robbie chant, “No. No. No,” for Rebekelly’s answer.

Date two comes over and apparently has cold hands. “Warm heart” Robbie says. My cousin used to say that a lot. What the hell does that mean? Cold hands? Wear some gloves. This guy doesn’t look too bad but Rebekelly must be uncomfortable because she closes up her jacket so he can’t see any of the goods.

Then, suddenly, a whistle. “ROTATE AND HURRY DATE!!!” Robbie shouts back, “It’s called Hurry Date, so HURRY!” He shakes his head and hands, and rolls his eyes to the back of his head. A pretty good impression of host-friend.

Date three has Jack and water. Robbie comments that the alcohol makes it unfair because the more time that goes by, the more judgment is impaired. Keep this in mind. Rebekelly and Date Three, who is very cute in a button down shirt, talk about how their names are spelled uniquely. She seems more at ease now. She’s getting into it. Robbie notes how Rebekelly is relaxed. He guesses she might be on the floor soon because she gets lower and lower into the loveseat. Keep this in mind too.
More dates. More ROTATE HURRY DATE ACROSS SIX COUNTRIES. There’s a hot guy in a suit and tie, but the Gal Pals don’t seem to like him. Damon (I think) jokes, “yeah, hi, I collect crickets.”

And now, host-friend brings over this so-called special guy named Adam. I think she means special in a good way, but I think Adam may be special in the way that old ladies warn their grandchildren not to laugh at particular people because those people aren’t different but “special.” (Or, she says that this is a special date. Either way, we will now refer to him as Special Adam). Special Adam claims to be in the music field. Rebekelly responds, “That’s kinda hot.” Unfortunately, Rebekelly seems really, really into Special Adam. Her coat is open; she leans in towards him. She is now sunk very low into the loveseat so that only her upper chest and head are straight up and down. The rest of her is sprawled to the floor. Special Adam sinks down into the cushy seat, too. Danny calls him, “familiar,” which makes me think Danny is British again because that’s a British term for too damn close.

I’m thinking that Rebekelly has consumed a bit more liquor than she should have. I mean, I’m probably being completely superficial, but at first glance I would think that Rebekelly could do a lot better. And yes, editing is involved here so I’m only assuming that Special Adam’s conversation seems boring if not non-existent. The more I dislike Special Adam, the more Rebekelly slides into him. She calls him cuddly and hugs his arm. She wants an “intimate three minutes.” Danny says, “She’s lit.” I’m hoping that he’s using that in the way I use it, to mean beyond intoxicated. Remember how Robbie said the alcohol gives a skewed view of the dating world? Well, here it is. The Gal Pals cheer her on. Why are they condoning this? So many other guys seemed better than him.

Rebekelly then asks Special Adam if he wants to cheat. She holds up her Official Hurry Date Score Card and smirks, “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” Special Adam chuckles, and Rebekelly doesn’t wait for him to answer. She grabs his card and peers over his arm at it. She says, “Let me help you out here,” and scribbles something on the corner of the card. Honey commentates, “She just gave him her number! Yes!” Oh, Honey, let’s hope not. Is anyone else seeing the wrongness in this pairing? Rebekelly then mock-pleads with Special Adam not to tell her host-friend that she cheated. Special Adam agrees. Then the whistle blows!

Robbie admonishes the screen, “Why are you yelling at her?!” Honey sinks into the critic couch holding her head and laughs, “My ears are bleeding.” Heehee. Robbie asks, “Does she realize she’s in the room and not a hologram?” They are Hil. Air. E. Us.

Host-friend approaches Rebekelly when all the dates are over and says her number one match is waiting outside with a glass of champagne under the stars. Oh, God, NO! I know where this is going. Honey asks the Gal Pals who they want it to be. Does it matter? We all know who it is. It’s Special Adam. They comment how she’s really into him and was from the start. That’s because the big glass of whatever she was drinking was finished by the time Special Adam rolled around. The Gal Pals are happy she is confident. Rebekelly kisses her number one match. The Gal Pals cheer her on. They think this could be the start of something.

This week’s tips:

Robbie says the fashion trend is contrast.

Danny says you should weight train twice a week.

Damon says that you can get wax off your sofa with ice and a credit card. (You can do a lot more than that with wax, ice, and good credit, believe you me.)

Honey says to put on all your cosmetics before putting on the jewelry.

That’s it for this week, with one more woman going from single to dating in a hurried, alcoholic haze.

–Christina M. Rau/GatsbyGirl
Did I miss anything? Email me: christina@realityshack.com

Wickedly Perfect Episode #2 – Battle for the Better Dinner Party

by Heather

The search for America’s next great style maker continues in episode two of the CBS reality show “Wickedly Perfect”. The field of 12 domestic diva wannabees was whittled down again Thursday night. Now just ten are in the running for the grand prize including a book deal, six scheduled appearances on The Early Show, and a possible television show.

The program opens at the sprawling Connecticut estate on day 4 of the competition. 32-year-old Georgia peach, Kimberly, says she’s glad she made it to round two. She was on the chopping block after her individual project (an apple sour-cream pie) failed to satisfy the judges’ sweet tooth. Kimberly’s fellow “Team Artisan” teammate, Darlene, reveals she’s glad it was Tom who got the ax last week.

The contestants are assembled in the main dining room as host, Joan Lunden, enters to tell them about the team challenge. She stands before a board with cryptic words written on index cards. The Crafty Beavers get to choose first as they were last week’s winning team. They pick the card that says “red”, that means Team Artisan gets the card reading “white”. Team Artisan selects “little,” “big” goes to the Crafty Beavers. Finally, the Crafty Beavers choose “American Outside,” leaving Team Artisan with “French Inside”.

So what do those cards mean? Joan explains that The Crafty Beavers will have to throw a party serving “red” wine, they will prepare the meal in the “big” kitchen, and the “American” themed dinner will be served “outside” in the pool house. But wait, there’s more! The Crafty Beavers get synchronized swimmers as the evening’s entertainment. Now that’s a party! As for Team Artisan, they will offer their guests “white” wine, prepare their meal in the “little” kitchen, and serve their “French” themed food “inside” the main dining room. Oh, it gets even better! Team Artisan’s entertainment will be a French mime.

Each team has 36 hours and a budget of $2,500 to pull together a three course dinner party with enough grub for 12 people. They will be judged on creativity, taste of the food, and their hosting skills. Each contestant will have a budget of $40 to create their individual projects: a gift bag for the judges. The way this challenge works is the judges will go back and forth, visiting each team’s party two times during the evening. The first visit will be for drinks and appetizers and a second is to sample the main course and dessert.

Tension heats up for the Crafty Beavers as teammates Mitch and Denise begin to argue, opening old wounds from last week’s challenge. (Denise is still angry that Mitch wouldn’t let her put a twig in their apple display). Unhappy Amy says her team is full of egos, as Mychael and Mitch battle it out over whether or not to serve deviled eggs for their American themed meal. Mychael suggest using quail eggs (because they’re smaller) but Mitch wins out with good ol’ fashioned deviled chicken eggs.

Team Artisan is busy working out the details of their French themed dinner party. On the menu: lamb (Margo’s idea) and lobster. Michelle swears she can do wonders with the crustaceans. Kimberly and Michelle go to the grocery story to buy the needed ingredients and return with a $1,000 dollars worth of lamb and lobster! Darlene is not pleased and says she feels left out because she is “the older one”. Never the less, she gets to work sewing a table runner and napkins for the party, as Michelle takes charge in the kitchen.

Meanwhile, the Crafty Beavers are hard at work making a unique table covering by gluing fresh leaves to a tablecloth. Mitch and Denise are at it again, arguing about how the project should be done. Denise even tells Mitch to “stop being a pansy”. The synchronized swimmers arrive, and aren’t exactly what the Crafty Beavers had imagined. The underwater dancers are a bit, how should I say it, portly and more ‘mature’ than expected.

It turns out Michelle’s “killer” lobster tails are a royal disaster. Darlene offers to salvage the mess of mushy meat by mixing it with flour to create a cream sauce. Michelle tells her they don’t have any flour, which we later find out was a lie. The ladies of Team Artisan pull their act together just in time. Judges Candace Bushnell and David Evangelista arrive at French themed dinner party, sans Bobby Flay who will get there late because he’s stuck in traffic. The night starts to head down hill from the get go when David Evangelista complains that the champagne is too warm. Then Candace Bushnell chimes in saying the stuffed tomato appetizers are really more English than French. Darlene laughs and agrees with Candace, which annoys Michelle.

Candace and David are off to the pool house to visit the Crafty Beavers. They are served deviled eggs, which are met with disgust by Candace. Then David complains that there is too much ice in his martini. While the team hustles to warm up some scallops, the judges go to the pool to watch the “unsynchronized” swimmers flounder around in the water (entertaining, but in a train wreck kind of way).

The judges head back to the main dining room for Team Artisan’s lamb dinner and desert. Bobby finally makes it to the party and asks if there are any appetizers left for him to try. Much to his dismay there are not, which he says is poor planning on their part. Candace is unhappy with her meal saying the lamb is much too rare for her taste. To top it all off, the French mime turns out to be more annoying than a fly as he silently creeps around the dinner table. Just when the entire party seems like a flop, Michelle’s desert (a combination of three different types of pastries) saves the day. All the judges say they love it.

Candace, David and Bobby head back to the pool house to try dinner and dessert prepared by the Crafty Beavers. Mychael scores points when she offers Bobby some scallop appetizers which she saved just for him. Bobby says it’s always a good idea to save some hors d’ oeuvres for guests who arrive late because it makes them feel welcome. The main course of beef tenderloin is a hit with the judges, but they say Heather’s chocolate cheesecake brownies are too doughy. After the meal, some of the Crafty Beavers complain to the judges that they are tired which Mychael says good hosts should never do.

It’s now time for the moment of truth, and for the second week in a row the judges determine that Team Artisan is the loser. They decide that Michelle’s truffles and Dawn’s candle and mirror are the worst of the individual project gift bags, so one of them will be sent packing. Team Artisan joins Joan and the judges at the rock garden. Margo reveals her vote first, choosing Dawn to get the boot. Next it’s Darlene’s turn who votes to oust her arch nemesis Michelle. It’s now up to Kimberly and she also chooses Michelle to hit the road. So in a two to one vote 26-year old California pastry chef Michelle is the second perfectionist to bite the dust.

Heather can be reached for comments or questions at heather@realityshack.com.

Feel Like A Woman – Starting Over, 01-13-05

by LauraBelle

Sometimes I wonder if casting and the producers of Starting Over have their meetings laughing their butts off and high-fiving each other with the way they pair roommates up. Yesterday they paired up amnesiac Bethany with Renee, who would give anything to forget some of her childhood and adulthood memories. Today they pair up Denise with someone that is so diabolically different, they had to be laughing in that meeting.

The second new roommate in two days arrives, and is rushed into group right away with the other women, Rhonda and Iyanla. She introduces us to herself as Candy, although her given name is Katrinda. She has worked for eleven years at a men’s correctional facility, and has control over eight-hundred inmates. She is the oldest of fourteen children, and has eight children, so is used to being in control.

She is wishing to reconnect with her feminine side. As Iyanla digs to the bottom, we find she never felt right with her femininity since her father had wanted her to be a boy. The reason she knew how to defend herself so well was that she grew up as a Puerto Rican in Idaho, which isn’t known for being very diverse. Of all people – strict, controlling, self-described androgynous Candy will be rooming with Denise.

Iyanla, Candy’s life coach, holds a one-on-one with her. She tells Candy her goal will be to “Feel Like A Woman.” Great. Now for the duration of Candy’s stay in the house I will hear Shania Twain in my head. Every time Candy points to a quality in herself, such as strong or controlling, that she thinks prevents her from being feminine, Iyanla points to herself and says she is feminine and has all those qualities as well. Finally, Iyanla asks Candy if she feels she is beautiful, and she admits she doesn’t and never has.

Cassie it put under pressure from Rhonda to stick to her original date of taking the GED, jut three weeks away. Cassie takes yet another GED readiness test, this one for Reading, and gets over 500, when only 410 is needed. Her confidence is growing daily.

Bethany, who just arrived in the house yesterday has another one-on-one with Rhonda. Rhonda gets out a video that was Bethany’s Senior Project from school, made shortly before she lost all her memory. Bethany says it is hard for her to watch that girl, as she doesn’t know who she is. Rhonda asks her for words describing that girl, and Bethany uses words that all lead up to her pretending to be okay.

Rhonda tells Bethany she wants her to watch the whole video later, but for now takes her out to Hollywood Boulevard, and has her draw all those words she came up with on the pavement with chalk. They step away and watch people walk over the words and not care. Bethany realizes she puts all this hard work into pretending, and no one even cares. She tells Rhonda she wishes she could just erase all of it with her foot, and Rhonda allows her this. Later, alone, she tries watching the tape again, but can’t get through it, and calls Rhonda and says she doesn’t want to give up; she wants to keep trying.

Denise is having a hard time restraining herself from using sarcasm with her new roommate, Candy. As the women are helping her unpack, Denise can’t help but note Candy’s unfeminine undergarments. She tells Candy her bras look like something a grandmother would wear, and says, “Let the girls out! Set them free!” Denise also makes fun while on the phone with a friend as Candy is already cleaning the floor, and talks loudly enough for Candy to hear. Later that night, Candy goes out for a swim with flippers on, and Denise brings Cassie to the balcony, and both loudly laugh at Candy. Candy says she is already noticing Denise’s flippant remarks and sarcasm, and Denise doesn’t really know who she’s messing with.

Candy has all the women play a game with her at Iyanla’s suggestion, as her first assignment. Everyone needs to enter as the woman they most admire, and the other women have to guess who the woman is. First up is Renee who has chosen Drew Barrymore, saying it is because she has beaten the odds. Cassie is portraying Rhonda, and says it is because she has gone through a lot and is her mentor. Bethany, with balloons in her shirt, portrays Dolly Parton, saying it is because she is backwoods and self-reliant. Denise pretends to be Phillis Diller because she is an icon for female comedians. Candy lets her gorgeous long hair out of that tight bun she has been wearing and is Jennifer Lopez, because they are of the same ethnic background. Lastly, Rachael is in a French maid’s outfit pretending to be Carol Burnett and says it’s because of her charity work, but they all laugh when they realize it was just a way for her to wear the outfit.

Regardless of how it is the show decides to pair up different women, it always seems to be someone that will directly help them achieve their goal, or someone that will give them the biggest challenge. Candy will be give large challenge to Denise, as Denise learns to not use her words to defend herself, and Denise will also be a great challenge to Candy as she learns to not defend herself physically, but deal with this woman that is so much different than her, but has the feminine qualities she so much admires and wishes she had.

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

Who Am I – Starting Over, 01-12-05

by LauraBelle

It is always difficult for a new person to walk into an existing group of people. The four remaining women on Starting Over have a tight bond, especially after the difficult dismissal of Sommer. This seems to have pulled them all closer. They all wondered at the beginning of the show who it would be to be added to their tight clan. Cassie thought for sure it would be someone that would be very different from her, noting that the show always seems to put mixes of all different people in the house.

All were shocked, though, at how different Bethany, the new woman, is, and the sad truth is that she doesn’t remember how similar or different she is – she has nothing to compare it to. She is currently twenty-one, and at the age of seventeen-and-a-half, she had a case of encephalitis, and suffered complete memory loss.

From North Carolina, Bethany peppers her speech with phrases like “spittin’ distance” and “knee-high to a grasshopper.” Her father has been the pastor of a small country church for twenty-seven years, and the congregation there is like family to her. As she tells Rhonda later in a one-on-one, she is told she used to be quite vivacious. She wants to know who she is – the shy, reserved person she has been since the memory loss or the vivacious person she is told she used to be. She now lives in constant fear of re-losing her memory again and carries around a notebook of things important to her life in case she loses her memory again.

Rachael is having a confusing day herself. It’s the anniversary of her mother’s death, and when she calls her grandmother, looking for someone to share it with, she finds her grandmother doesn’t want to remember, underscoring why Rachael has had such a hard time herself. To make matters worse, her grandmother makes an excuse to get off the phone with her. The best part of her day, though, is that her mother’s old dress arrives in the mail. This is how she remembers her mother.

Renee meets with Dr. Stan to discuss her childhood sexual abuse. He gets her to understand her distrust of her father has less to do with him spending her college fund, and more to do with her distrust of a man in charge of her care, since the man who molested her was old enough to be her grandfather, and babysat her and a friend sometimes. Dr. Stan has a “healing artist” visit with Renee. She works to heal people with art. She makes a mask of Renee’s face, then instructs her to decorate it how she wants to see herself in the future. Renee realizes she can express her feelings of her abuse so much easier through art, and later moves to doing watercolor painting that night.

Cassie, looking more confident and strong every day, takes a GED evaluation test. She is very scared, as it brings up those memories of her attempted rape, the reason she quit school as a teenager. After it is graded, she finds she has done quite well. She even has a much above passing score in Social Studies. Writing she needs a little organizational help in, and in math, as they knew before, she needs a lot of help. She signs herself up for some classes to better prepare her to take the larger test.

All the women are sharing later in the kitchen, and Denise is grilling Bethany about her life. She hears Bethany is a virgin and does not plan to have sex until she is married. She also doesn’t drink alcohol, saying it’s not suggested with the headaches she gets after the amnesia, but also she wouldn’t choose to if she could. Later, Denise shares the Top Ten list Rhonda has asked her to prepare. First, of course, she went over it with Rachael to be sure she wasn’t sarcastic or making light of it. Denise reads off a very funny Top Ten Reasons It’s Good To Lose Your Memory. There are things on there such as, “You Can’t remember all the men you slept with.” Bethany loves it and laughs along. Denise was successful, and all breathe a sigh of relief.

Loss of memory can be horrifying for all. The person who has lost the memory is confused and frightened, and those around them can get very frustrated. Bethany’s goal is not to remember, but to create. She has an opportunity now that most of us never get – to start over from scratch, not only finding who she is … but who she wants to be be. Yet all the women in the house have that same option, they just don’t realize it until much closer to the end of their stay.

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

The Road to Stardom With Missy Elliott Episode 2

by Driven Ambition

[font=Arial]Twelve remained, after the dismissal of the Bostonian MC, Heather. The show opens with the cast on the bus that reminds me of the basement that Missy and other artists spent their early careers at in Rochester. They all began to discuss how serious the competition was, and how any of them could be next.

The group then arrives at Electric Lady studios, recording home to the legendary Jimi Hendrix. While in he studio, the contestants begin to freestyle to music that Record Producer, and Judge, Dallas gave. There was even a hint of romance between Nilyne, the Rapper/Singer from Jersey, and Nic, the 29 year old Californian. Each contestant was given a copy of an original song, composed by Dallas. Their first challenge was to create an original song to the music. The winner of the competition will have the song released as his or her first single.

Each week, the contestants receive two challenges, the first is Performance, and the second is Road. This weeks’ Road challenge was something that some of the contestants were familiar with. Everyone was broken into groups of three, with four groups in all. Each group had a corner that they had to perform on. The group with the most money would win, and after a half an hour of the singing and rapping, and begging, and pleading, Jessica, Deltrice, and Eddie won the competition. All groups earned a total of 250.00, and the winning group got to keep all of the profits. In addition, the winners were granted private face time with Missy Elliott. The rest of the contestants went back to the bus, and were forced to clean it.

The winners met up with Missy and her flunkies at Chelsea Piers Bowling Alley. They all spent the evening bowling, and talking. Perhaps what I consider to be the highlight of that night would have to be the advice that Missy offered. She told Jessica, Deltrice, and Eddie, that it’s all about the personality. She said that you could be the best singer in the world, or the worst, but it’s your personality that makes or breaks you.

The next morning, all of the contestants arrive in Maryland, where they each are given the opportunity to eat, sleep, sight see, or perform. What drew the most attention that day, was the conflict between MC’s Nic and Brooklyn born Frank B. The conflict started when Nic was speaking to someone else, and Frank offered his opinion about Nic and his personality. The small tiff eventually erupted into a problem. When challenged to a battle by Frank B, Nic declined saying, “He can battle better than me”. The problem eventually turned into threats.

After the contestants left Maryland, they are told that they are going to meet with Missy in Virginia, but to their surprise they were actually on their way to their second performance challenge. Again, they had to meet in front of Judges; Mona, Dallas, and Teena. This time they were asked to sing, and rap, to the music that Dallas gave them. Some had their music completed, or almost completed, while others hadn’t even listened to the song. All of the contestants’ performances were good at best with the exception of Houston Texan, Marcus, whose lyrics and vocal arrangement was reminiscent of a young Al Green in his prime.

The judges’ positive remarks were few and far between. Teena dismissed Nic as an LL Cool J wannabe. The judges seemed like a less smart and witty Simon, Paula, and Randy; just a hint judges, stop trying to parlay this into a career comeback for yourselves. During the final judging, they all agreed that Cori had the weakest performance.

Next came that time that the contestants hated. Someone had to go, and when the smoke cleared, the spotlight was on Nic and Cori. When the two separately met with Missy, she expressed her shock, to see Nic in the bottom two so early in the competition. He then gave her an original rap, and she didn’t seem too satisfied. When Cori had her final meeting with Missy, she justified her performance as her trying to stay as rock as possible. Here’s a hint Cori, right voice wrong competition. Cori’s private performance was dismissed as being very Britney Spears. When Missy made her final decision, it was 21 year old Cori, who was eliminated. But buck up Cori, American Idol auditions start next year. [/font]

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