I Screwed You, Didn't I? – Survivor: Vanuatu, Episode 12

[i]by atarus[/i]

We start off the episode with a huge catfight between Ami and pretty much everybody. Twila says that she did what she did for the little guys, but Ami said that you didn’t do it for the little guys, you did it for your own guy. A great conversation ensues.

Twila: “I screwed you didn’t I?”
Ami: “You didn’t screw me, I’m still here, I’m alive and kicking.”

The two continue to fight. Chris comments that he’s living with a bunch of wildcats now. Ami says that Twila “put herself down” and “she’s lost all respect for Twila.” Twila talks about how she dethroned the queen and her princess, and she loves that she has a great mind sometimes. Ami proclaims herself as one of the most loving and caring people, and that she’s got to compete with all her heart now.

Twila gets the treemail and it talks about food and a shower. Twila say she hopes Eliza wins it because Eliza is a little stick. We are then treated to a disgusting shot of Eliza’s back, very very bony. At the actual challenge, Jeff drives up in a car, a Pontiac G6. Jeff gets out and says that the winner of the challenge will get the car, along with the fact that 2nd and 3rd get to come along with the winner and go to a resort area and get a shower and dine at a restaraunt. The challenge is a race across floating platforms, canoes, etc., and then they have to dive for three flags and race back across.

The challenge starts, and Chris, Ami, and Eliza take a commanding lead, with Julie right on their tails. Scout and Twila are out of the competition almost immediately. Chris has trouble with the balancing (who’da thunk that?) and Eliza and Ami pull away from him and Julie. Eventually it’s Ami with a little bit of a lead over Eliza going into getting their third flag. Ami is ahead, but she slips and falls and Eliza takes over the lead. Ami almost catches up when Eliza slips, but then Ami slips again and Eliza takes home the car! Ami comes in second, and now it’s between Chris and Julie for the third spot for the shower. Both are treading water at the flags, and Chris asks Julie “do you really want this?” and she says “Yes.” Chris says “Me too.” And the two of them are off. In probably the closest race ever for anything in Survivor, the two are basically neck and neck the entire time, with Chris barely beating out Julie on the final race up the beach. So Eliza, Ami, and Chris are off to enjoy clean clothes and showers and food.

Eliza is ecstatic that she won the car. She drives her compadres to the resort, where their clothes are taken and washed, and they all get showers. Ami says she washed her hair twice, and Chris complains that the two women didn’t leave him any hot water. While Chris is showering, Ami tries to schmooze Eliza and get her on her side. Then some Vanuatu locals come out and play music for the trio, and Ami states this is the “best reward ever” (which I believe she said was the reward two weeks ago too). Back at camp, Scout and Twila are griping about the challenge. Twila says “every time there’s a water challenge, I drink half the damn ocean.” Scout is sad because five years ago she could have kicked anyone’s butt in any of the challenges. Twila is worried about Ami smoothtalking Eliza. Back at the resort, Ami graciously gives Chris and Eliza the opportunity to discuss keeping her around. Chris, in a confessional, says “does she think I’m stupid?” He’s going to keep tabs on Eliza, he is counting on the fact that Eliza is mentally strong. Eliza says it will be hard, as Ami has been like a big sister to her.

Julie states as the trio returns that it’s great to have new smells, especially Chris who stunk. Ami, Eliza, and Julie all sit together and play with their hair, and Scout is annoyed they aren’t working. She says that Ami is a control freak and needs to be in charge of everybody. Ami says that Scout is the “most jealous person she’s ever met” and we see her briefly change into Jenna Morasca as she says that it might be because she’s younger and has a body. Chris is having fun, as he says that the women aren’t even looking at him….also that Ami needs to go home, we knocked her off her horse, but she can still get back on.

It’s immunity challenge time! Survivor Shuffleboard!!! Everyone has five disks, and they have to land on the islands of Vanuatu to score points. The only way to stay for sure on the island is land in a volcano, otherwise other players could knock you off. The game goes, and Ami and Julie get two, then Chris and Twila and Ami have two and Julie only has one. Finally, Chris hits three on the last round, and nobody ties him or knocks him out…so Chris wins immunity!

Chris comes back saying today was my day, it took a not physical challenge to beat the women, but he’s glad for immunity. Ami, on the other hand, is annoyed that the challenge she needed to win the most was the one she was weaker in. Twila again says that Ami could control Eliza, and that Ami has been in control of this game since day two. Ami tries to guilt Eliza into voting with her (ugh….this was painful to watch) and then in a confessional Ami said that she thought she could play a fair game and not play dirty, but now Eliza is her only hope. Chris is confident that Eliza won’t risk a tie vote. He explains whatever would happen very weirdly. Eliza says Ami and Julie would take her to final 3, but not Scout or Twila.

At TC, Probst says that at the last TC, expressions went from smug to shock. Ami says that she thought Leann was going to be there that night to sleep with, but Leann wasn’t coming home. Scout has a wonky explanation on why it’s okay to turn against the women now but not before. Ami and Twila then get into an argument about how Twila swore on her son’s name, and Twila says that “I’m not the only one that’s lied in this game, grow up and get over it.” Ami says lying isn’t worth a gazillion dollars. We are then treated to a love-fest between Ami and Eliza, complete with tears from both parties.

It’s time to vote. Twila votes for Ami, says that she’s a “drama queen to the end.” Ami votes for Scout, saying “you’re pretty good at hiding.” Scout votes for Ami with the reason of something to do with lightning on a mountain. The votes are read, and Ami is gone in a vote of 4-2! (YAY!)

Next time, Twila lashes out at people, and Eliza and Twila get into an argument. In her final words, Ami says if she could hold Twila underwater for 2 minutes she’d feel better, and that at least her integrity is still intact.

My e-mail is atarus33@yahoo.com. Let’s go Chris and Twila.


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Interview With Guy Sanford of The $25 Million Dollar Hoax

by aurora

Guy Sanford is the Dad of seven who found himself in the middle of The $25 Million Dollar Hoax. His daughter, Chrissy, told the family that she had won $5 million, and had a chance to win even more. The Sanfords were whisked away to a resort to spend five days watching Chrissy spend her millions all on herself.

Mr. Sanford’s reactions were always heartfelt and sometimes comical, and here we get a chance to find out more of what was actually going on with him and the rest of the family as they watched Chrissy transform from a sweet girl to a rich diva.

Hi Mr. Sanford! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions!

What was going through your mind when Ed McMahon and his crew arrived at your home? Did you ever question the explanation that Chrissy had won an internet lottery?

It seemed surreal. I had a question (in my mind) about thebigwin.net; I have a web site and I didn’t think you could have a gambling site that ended with .net. I thought it would have to be a com.

How much time did you have to prepare before being whisked away to Palm Springs? I always wonder if people have time to call into work to say they’re going to be away, or if that’s all pre-arranged for you!

We had very little time to get ready. They told us to take enough clothes for five days and it would be a warm climate. I then called my boss and told him that my daughter had won 5 million dollars and we were off to an undisclosed location. He understood.

When did you start to realize that Chrissy was letting the money go to her head?

When we went to Beverly Hills and she was spending money like it was water, I had trouble trying to figure out what she was thinking.

Was there ever a time on your shopping trips with Chrissy that you actually pulled her aside and told her that you thought she was going through her money far too quickly?

Yes. At St.John in Beverly Hills, I spoke to the fake lottery official and asked him for a financial advisor to help Chrissy. He said he would as soon as we got back to the hotel. By then they just kept us going from prank to prank and I didn’t have any time to talk about it.

Looking back on things now, does anything jump out at you as being an obvious clue that things weren’t as they seemed? Did you ever suspect that this wasn’t real?

Having watched reality shows before, it was in the back of your mind. But I wanted her to have won the money and I put it out of my mind. The boys would say at times ” If Ashton Kutcher jumps out and says You’ve been punked! we will beat the hell out of him”. I guess it’s a good thing that it was George Gray!

What stands out as the most difficult part of the whole experience for you?

Giving up the money, but the prizes are great.

If asked, would you have agreed to do the same thing that Chrissy did? Do you think you would have been able to pull it off?

I don’t think I would have been able to get away with it. So probably not.

Obviously the show was heavily edited and we only got to see three hours of your five-day experience. What were some of the things you remember that didn’t make it on the air?

When we were at the dinner table we told so many stories about the family that were very funny. We laughed for hours! It’s too bad they couldn’t show those moments. Also when we were at the car dealer and my daughter bought the Hummer I noticed it had a sun roof and I jumped out of the sun roof and yelled “My daughter just won 5 Million Dollars on the Bigwin.net, point, click and win big.” I figured that we were promoting the web site and I was doing my part.

Have you been getting a lot of attention now that you’ve appeared on national television? How has the publicity affected you?

Around town we get stopped by our frends all the time and that’s great. When we go out for dinner we do get recognized and it’s okay. My boys love the attention. Its a little weird when people stare at you that you don’t know!

Have you received your prizes yet? Is everyone happy with what they won?

Not yet. We will have to pay taxes on all of the prizes as if it were income. I’m a little worried about that.

Your family is obviously very close and loving, and you all seemed to learn just how tightly knit you all are through this whole thing. Is there anything else you learned about yourselves in the process?

Everything we learned I think we already knew. But it was great to see them in action and how they stuck together as a family.

I can’t even imagine how it felt when you realized that your dream of starting a family business was going down the tubes, then to think you could actually do it again (after the big wheel spin), and then finally to hear that it was all a hoax! Can you describe the emotional toll that this took on you personally?

We go through adversity our whole lifes.This was just another bump in the road. It would have been great to have a family business and all work together, and we may have opportunities in the near future to do so.

By the end of the finale, my husband was certain that you knew what was going on. I say you had no idea. Who’s right?

As soon as the check was ripped and I said “What!”, the next words from my mouth were, “This is a reality show” (of course you didn’t hear that).

What will you do with the $200,000 that you received?

I think that by the time I pay all the taxes for the $200,000, $100,000 dollar vacation, and the $40,000 for the kitchen I don’t know how much will be left. I would like to have enough to pay off my credit card bills.

Mr. Sanford, I wish you and your family the very best! It’s nice to actually see some ‘real’ people on a reality show, and I know that viewers were impressed with all of you. Thanks again for your time!

Comments are welcome! Contact me at carrie@realityshack.com and share your thoughts.


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Interview with Maria Sampogna of the Amazing Race 6

You guys did a great job in the race, and were both entertaining racers. We are excited to hear some of the responses you have to these questions.

You guys had a bit of trouble with driving a standard car, why did you not switch drivers when Maria was having trouble?

[b]We actually did switch drivers. Meredith took a stab at it to no avail. Then we switched back– I did eventually get the hang of it. I hardly stalled the next day! It certainly wasn’t my intention to have a driving lesson on National TV, but we got through it!!! It was a nice truck to stall in… [/b]

The first two teams eliminated had good relationships with their partners. Do you think that friction and stress pushes people to excel in this race, or was it just a matter of simple mistakes that led to your and Avi/Joe’s eliminations?

[b]I am happy that Meredith and I treated each other nicely. I don’t think being disrespectful of your teammate is a constructive way of going about winning. It only makes you look horrible on the show. Granted, the “nice” guys seemed to finish last, but, in retrospect, I wouldn’t act differently toward Meredith–I don’t act like that in everyday life, and I don’t feel that this stressful situation should have changed that. Viking Games did us in, not us treating each other respectfully.[/b]

Was it uncomfortable for you to see how Jonathan treats Victoria?

[b]Sure, its uncomfortable to watch Jonathan scream and yell at his wife. When it comes to relationships, I’d pass on theirs, but they have been together for a while and they have found a way to make it work. I got really angry when he was screaming at Meredith in the Viking boat. [/b]

What were your impressions of the other teams? Any immediate likes or dislikes?

[b]Upon first laying eyes on the other teams, you couldn’t help but notice Lori and Bolo. Bolo’s arms are as big as both my thighs![/b]

What was your favourite task or location that you visited on the first two legs?

[b]Viking Games… PSYCH!!! No, really, I LOVED the Ice Climbing detour. It was hard on the arms and legs, but a lot of fun. Its something that I never would have tried.[/b]

Was any part of the race particularly challenging for the two of you?

[b]Driving in Norway–I felt helpless. And I stalled so much for extended periods of time. I felt like I was letting my friends, family, and worst of all Meri . That whole night was taxing.[/b]

If you could go back, would you change anything about the race that the two of you won?

[b]It’s always easy to look back and think about what you could have done.. I would have for sure chosen the roller skiing over the Viking games.. it would have been faster even if we crawled that 1.75 miles…BUT, when all is said and done, we had a great time. The night we spent up all night driving ended up being a lot of fun. We met some interesting characters on the way to the Viking Village.[/b]

What advice would you give to future Amazing Racers?

[b]Be in good physical shape-I mean, you don’t need to have muscles like Bolo or be able to run a marathon – success in the race does involve a clear head (which is hard to keep) and LUCK as well!

Also and the most important piece of advice is to enjoy yourself. Try to take it all in. It is such a unique opportunity, make the most of it!!![/b]

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Maria.

Make sure you tune into The Amazing Race 6 on Tuesday nights at 9.

If you have any comments about this interview, or questions for future ones, pop me an e-mail to brian@realityshack.com.


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Sisterhood – Starting Over, 11/29-12/01

by LauraBelle

The sisterly bond is something so important, but we don’t always realize its importance until we lose it, or almost lose it and get it back. Three of the six Starting Over women and one life coach had failed relationships with their sisters. It took the life coach talking of how her own sister died before the relationship was patched up for the other women to realize this was something they needed to fix, no matter how hard it was.

Kim’s relationship with her sister since healed, she is still in Denver, and along with Iyanla, supporting Jennifer as she makes a difficult phone conversation to her father who is locked up in a penitentiary, sentenced to life in prison for dealing drugs. When the show had left off the last time, Jennifer had tearfully told her dad she just wanted to know he loved her. He told her she already knew that. She shouted, and told him no, she did not.

As she asks why he didn’t respond to her letters, he tells her she doesn’t know how hard it is in there, to be locked up, and knowing you’ll never see the light of day again. She tells him he doesn’t know how hard it was for her at home. She had to do it all, take care of her mom and Krista and the house, all while growing up. Jennifer asks an even more difficult question; she wants to know why he sold drugs, getting him arrested. He tells her he did his best and did it for the family. He was taking care of Jennifer, her mom, Krista and the house, and working sixty-eighty hours a week, just trying to get by. He saw the easy road and took it, tired of the long hours, but had he known he would have gotten a life sentence, he never would have done it. She asks if he would like her to visit when she is done with the show, and he agrees to this. Ironically, just as with Kim’s relationship with her sister, both people involved were hurt and angry over the same thing.

Back at the Starting Over house, Towanda is growing increasingly annoyed with Denise. This is not how she had hoped to spend her birthday. While Towanda is cleaning her ears with a Q-tip, she is doing vocal warmups with a CD. Denise tells her she sounds like she’s choking, and that Denise keeps wanting to give her the Heimlich. Later, Denise watches astonished as Towanda irons her jeans with starch. Denise says she never once thought of ironing jeans, and that starch was anything other than a carb you eat. Towanda has been showing Denise little housecleaning tips every day, and today she shows her how to make a bed correctly. Denise hadn’t known to put the pillows on the top.

Rhonda wants Cassie to see that she really isn’t a bad person, and takes her to a shelter to talk with some of the people staying there. Cassie shares she has stayed at a shelter a few times herself. Talking to recovering addicts, and explaining her story, they tell her she isn’t a bad person. She made bad choices, but made the right choice in the end for herself and her biological son. Rhonda takes Cassie to one more place, a cemetery to remind her of how well she has changed. If she stayed “bad” she or her son could have possibly ended up there.

Soon, Towanda and Denise are sitting out on the balcony eating lunch and discussing Sommer’s date with Ed that night. Sommer eats too much and has to lie on the floor while the other two finish. Denise wants to know what Sommer’s going to wear that night, and she says she can’t talk about it because she doesn’t feel well, but will when she feels better.

Rhonda holds a group meeting with Sommer, Towanda, Denise and Cassie. Rhonda wants to discuss humanity today, and asks the women for a definition. They say things that you like and don’t like and pain make you human. Telling them that’s what they all have in common, she asks Sommer and Towanda what they have in common that makes them human. They say the both have a need have everything in order. Denise and Cassie know they are alike because of their difficult childhoods and how they both dealt with it be having out of control behavior.

After the meeting, Rhonda meets alone with Cassie. She asks if she’d like to lose the devil’s horns, tail and pitchfork. Cassie jumps on it. She doesn’t feel bad anymore. Rhonda then produces an angel’s halo and wings, and asks if she would like that instead. Cassie jumps on this as well, saying that Rhonda surely knows she wants that. Then Rhonda produces a third option – being human. Does Cassie want to be bad, perfect or human. The light bulb goes off, and Cassie understands. She wants to be human, to make mistakes and then get over them.

Ed arrives at the house for his date with Sommer. She introduces him to Denise, and soon Denise infiltrates herself into their date. The three of them are sitting around the table talking, and the talk moves to the hot tub. As she is asked if she wants to join them, she originally says no, that she doesn’t want to cramp their style, but eventually agrees to go out there with them. Just as Sommer and Ed are getting cozy in the hot tub, Denise with her in-shape body in a bikini hops into the mix, and makes Sommer a little more uncomfortable. Denise keeps saying pretend like I’m not here, but there’s only so much of that you can pretend when she’s a mere few feet away. She then asks them to make out a little so she can test their attraction level for each other, and Sommer is steaming and very embarrassed.

Kim and Jennifer arrive home, and Towanda is the first to run out and hug them, welcoming them home. Kim feels bad for missing Towanda’s birthday and gives her a little card to let her know how much she appreciates her. Ed spends the night in the guest room with Sommer, but we all know nothing was going to happen in there. The next morning, Sommer hugs Ed good-bye, but feels she got a little closer to him, and hopes next time he might even kiss her.

Towanda has written the last chapter in her autobiography and shares it with Iyanla. She is wearing a t-shirt that originally read “Save the drama for your mama” and Denise had added onto it, “or life coach.” Towanda has entitled it, “I’ve Changed My Mind.” Originally feeling like she needed to hide all of her emotions, she now feels her heart is open to everything, and wants to share herself. Iyanla feels she has found her voice, and wants her to do so professionally now as well. Iyanla has set up a meeting with her and a potentional manager. Towanda is very excited to take this next step.

Dr. Stan opens group this day and wants to discuss success, mainly how they will gauge success after they leave the Starting Over house. While Towanda feels success after completing a personal goal, Kim now feels successful about her own self-confidence. Sommer says it seems selfish to her to feel successful about herself. He then informs them there is a Board of Review that night, and they need to dress for success. Okay, Dr. Stan, that was kind of cheesy.

Rhonda meets with Denise and wants to discuss her pattern of lateness. Denise says she has never been on time for anything, and was even late for her grandfather’s funeral, but doesn’t know why she is like that. To help her, Rhonda has decided Denise will be Towanda’s personal assistant today. Towanda, with a busy day of meeting with a new potential manager, will have many things that need to be done in a timely fashion. Towanda joins the discussion and gives Denise a list of the things she will need done like getting her outfit together for the meeting, driving her to the meeting, etc.

Rhonda holds a special meeting with just Iyanla and Dr. Stan and wants to discuss her concerns with Sommer. She doesn’t feel Sommer is progressing quickly enough, and shows clips of her such as when she refused to let loose and yell “Whoo” and when she refused to put on a swimsuit and go in the pool with Marcus. Wondering if she just isn’t ready to commit to this full process yet, Rhonda shows yet another set of tapes. This set has Sommer talking about wanting to be behind the scenes of televsion someday, perhaps becoming a producer. She is seen pointing out to the other women what is going on with the cameras, and always pointing out how they are being watched, where, when and how. They don’t understand how Sommer can place a greater importance on this behind the scenes stuff than her own growing, and feel she is creating unsafe circumstances for the other women as well by making them aware of it.

Denise isn’t doing everything perfect as she helps Towanda all day, but is doing her best. Towanda actually needs the other women’s help to get her outfit ready, as Denise is gone. She’s even afraid she’ll have to drive herself to her meeting. Just in time, Denise shows up with lunch for Towanda and herself. She tells Towanda to eat on the way to the meeting. The meeting goes well, as Towanda feels an immediate connection to the manager. Denise dutifully sits by and takes notes. Back at the house, while Towanda is telling Iyanla how much she liked the manager, Denise is eating her lunch cold. It’s the first time she has had to do it. After, she and Towanda meet with Rhonda, who asks if Denise was a good assistant today. Towanda says she did pretty good. Denise thinks she did well, too, as she did things Towanda hadn’t even asked her to do, like her laundry. Although, she had asked her to do that, she specifically said to wash the whites and darks separate. Rhonda asks Denise why she can’t be her own personal assistant. She immediately understands. Rhonda feels Denise was placing more value on Towanda’s life than her own, so it was easier for her to make Towanda’s life go smoothly.

The time for Board of Review comes, and Sommer is called up first. The roommates and Rhonda and Iyanla all share their worries about Sommer in the house, that she isn’t quite getting it, and is resisting everyone’s help. All of her roommates think she should stay, but Iyanla tells her to just go. She doesn’t think Sommer realizes how bad that situation is yet, and isn’t ready for it. Rhonda gives her a C and tells her she will not allow Sommer to float through anymore. She is not allowed to say, “I don’t know”, “I don’t understand”, “That’s stupid” any longer. It appears it’s put up or shut up time for her.

Next up is Jennifer. Iyanla reminds Jennifer how far she has come from the last Board of Review, when she, too, was told she wasn’t progressing. Iyanla tells her how proud she is of Jennifer facing her fears and calling her dad in Denver. She also tells her she’s proud to say she is graduating. The happiest of all is Kim. Rhonda and Iyanla start to end the Board of Review, and then decide to do one more, even though they usually only review two women each time. Kim is called up and knows it’s her time. Iyanla tells her that moment she chose the trip to Denver over the Mediterranean cruise was the pivotal point for her in healing. She finally chose herself. She is proud of the healing Kim did with her sister in Denver and is proud to tell her that she, too, is graduating.

The next day, Iyanla holds the group meeting, and both Kim and Jennifer take “the love seat” and see their goals displayed on the plasma, with all of their steps now filled. As is a semi-tradition at the Starting Over house, Andy Paige arrives and announces makeovers for the two graduates. Iyanla is first to say she wants to see Jennifer burn the jeans.

Towanda’s sister, Tamar, arrives to spend some time with her. First they fry up chicken together and fight each other every step of the way. Towanda says they used to be so close, but are now so different. Iyanla comes in for a chat with the two of them, as she wants Tamar’s views on the family discord. Tamar isn’t pointing everything at her father and stepmother. She is pointing a lot at Towanda’s husband, Andre. She says he doesn’t get along with many people in the family, and feels Towanda has distanced herself either because of how Andre feels or how the others feel about Andre. Iyanla is very surprised she has never heard any of this from Towanda. You can bet they’ll be discussing it in their next meeting!

For their makeovers, Jennifer is taken to a clothing shop owned by Lauralee Bell from Young and the Restless. Everyone wants to see Jennifer in a dress, because she has been hiding a cute little figure behind those t-shirts and jeans. Jennifer clearly doesn’t feel comfortable in any of this. Kim is taken to yet another store. Everyone wants to see Kim a little less flashy, a little more subdued and classic. Kim, as is her style, resists it every step of the way. They both go just slightly different than their original hair style. Jennifer goes closer to her chin to highlight her jawline, and Kim goes a little shorter on top for some height.

Towanda and Tamar spend some alone time together, and discuss their problems with each other. Towanda is open, and tells Tamar how hurt she was when Tamar split from their singing group, and didn’t tell them. Tamar says she didn’t do it to hurt Towanda or anyone else, and didn’t tell her because she thought she would be hurt. She really didn’t know how to go about telling her that she had been offered a solo contract. They exchange I love yous, and it appears this issue is better, but the Andre issue is obviously one that needs some work.

Just in time for the double graduation, the first Starting Over graduate of the second season arrives, Sinae. Everyone goes out to the pool to set the candles afloat representing their hopes for Kim and Jennifer. Jennifer is first to walk out, to many oohs and aahs over how beautiful she looks in a stunning red dress. Kim follows in an obvious compromise with Andy. A subdued suit, with flashes of black for color.

Iyanla speaks first about Jennifer and talks about everything she helped Jennifer get through there. Identifying her own prison of walls she’d built, releasing her pain for the first time, and healing her relationships with her sister, mother and father. Dr. Stan steps up and offers a similar thing to Jennifer that he offered Josie. He point out he knows she has a father and is healing that relationship, but knowing he’s incarcerated without chance of parole, if Jennifer ever needs a surrogate father, he will gladly be there for her. Oddly, the only Starting Over roommate they show that speaks is Sinae who speaks to Jennifer of how much she enjoyed their time together in the house.

Iyanla turns her attention to Kim, and addresses how they went through so many things together, Kim fighting it all along, but the turning point, again, was when she chose herself over the cruise. She knew then Kim would be okay. She hopes she will continue to work on these things herself.

For her Starting Over gifts, Jennifer is given money from an anonymous donor to finish her last semester at college. She also receives pink luggage, and Rhonda tells her to look inside and read what it says. What she reveals is that Starting Over is sending her and her sister on a trip to Sedona together. Kim receives luggage as well, and her note inside says they are sending her and her sister to a spa. There is one more thing. Iyanla tells her that when she commited to stay in the house and miss the cruise, Iyanla told her that if she honored herself everything would work out. Starting Over is sending her to Barcelona to hook up with her husband on the remainder of the trip.

Jennifer thanks everyone for being there for her when she needed it. On the show to repair her broken relationships, Kim never thought she could form so many bonds with so many different women. To Iyanla she said, “When you looked into my eyes, you saw my soul and it was scary, harsh and amazing.” Iyanla doesn’t hide the tears that are coming down her cheeks.

As Jenninfer and Kim get into the limo, Towanda joins them for a bit and sings Wind Beneath My Wings. It wasn’t altogether clear until that moment that Towanda has surely found her voice. When it means something to her, that voice is there. She says goodbye to their sisterhood and they drive away.

It’s not easy to start over in relationships, especially with family. They will never be the same, but you don’t want them the same. Same is what got you there to begin with. If you can put away hurt and anger for a minute and listen, you’ll find usually a misunderstanding that got out of control. Kim and Jennifer both did that.

I welcome questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com


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Tokyo Ho's – ANTM 3, Episode 10

The first thing I notice this week is that Pink Positive – the cutesy name that Ann, Eva and Norelle called their “alliance” – is not quite so positive anymore. Eva made a mistake. She told Ann that she wanted Norelle to leave before she did, after the Campbell’s Select commercial mess-up.

Ann now feels she can’t trust Eva. “She’s not the person I thought she was.” Ann, grow up! This is a competition. You should hope that other people leave before you do. Loyalty is great and friends are nice, but would you rather be ousted before your so-called “friends”? Last time I checked there was only room for one Top Model. One! That leaves room for NO ONE ELSE! It’s a competition. GAME ON!

I’m not going to express a popular opinion here. I like Eva. This episode was all about the girls ganging up on Miss Eva the Diva. What about Miss Yaya — the pretentious snot? And if Amanda says she’s blind one more time…I’m gonna scream. The girl even figured out how to say it in Japanese tonight. If you don’t want to be known as the “blind one”, then why are you always the one pointing it out? Just a thought!

Before I get comments on MY insensitivity. I will tell you my mother is legally blind and has been since she was in her 20s. I have a chronic condition that’s very painful, but I don’t want to be known as the writer with fibromyalgia. I’d rather be known as the cranky-ass bitch of a reviewer.

Anyway, the girls got to move out of the “capsule” hotel. They moved into a home in Tokyo. Poor Norelle is having such a hard time adjusting to the culture. She said she only eats Japanese food at Panda Express (lol – that’s a chinese food place, sweetie! Isn’t it the one in the malls like an “Orange Julius”?)

The girls have a special challenge this week. They are to take part in a Japanese tea ceremony. OH GOD! The ceremony, I must admit, is very intricate. I couldn’t have done it. However, not one of the girls nailed the ceremony. Yaya won the reward competition…again. This does nothing to help her superiority complex.

She takes Amanda with her to the hot spring. They are roommates and have sort of bonded because they are “more mature”. Hmmm. To me, if people have to announce their maturity level, it’s usually not as high as they think it is. Now, I am a mature person. Oh yes. Very mature.


I’m thinking…

Hmmm…..oh yes, now I remember. Amanda and Yaya eat fresh fish and say it was soooooooooo yummy. They enjoyed their reward thoroughly. After they returned, the ladies hit a Tokyo hot spot. Tyra shows up and talks to them about sisterhood. After she leaves, there’s a huge catfight. The ladies proceeded to turn on Eva, one by one. Ann started the onslaught, of course.

Basically, it’s war between Ann and Eva now. Ann figures she has to stick up for Norelle. Norelle’s not nearly as upset at what Eva said as she is at the prospect of losing friendships over one comment. She’s showing much more maturity than the others would give her credit for.

Yaya has to get in on the conversation and tell Eva what she thinks of her. Eva had a good point — when did the argument become Yaya’s problem?

Eva tries to apologize to Norelle and Ann steps in again to say she just can’t trust Eva anymore. I bet the room they all share is pretty chilly now.

The next day, the ladies get to go on a photo shoot with Miss Tyra. She’s going to coach them on how to pose for the camera. This is an awesome experience. It’s like learning how to box from Muhammad Ali (when he was still at the top of his game, of course!)

Then, when the girls have to try out their poses, some imitate Tyra, but miserably. Eva had a great picture, however. The girl may not be tall enough to be a supermodel, but she’s got the presence of a giant! During the shoot, Norelle and Eva made their peace, although Ann’s determined to knock Miss Eva out of the competition now.

(If you haven’t guessed, she’s my pick to take the title home this season. I feel it’s hers to win or lose and she better not lose it πŸ™‚

The judging happens and the girls must walk in komonos created by the guest judge. Only Yaya is graceful enough to carry the walk off. Eva let the whole Ann issue get to her and almost cried in front of the judges. Tyra said in the judging process that she lost a lot of love for Eva when she saw her crumble like that.

In the end, the final two were Ann and Norelle. I wanted to see Ann go home because Norelle’s pictures were prettier. Ann always looks like she just swallowed some ume-boshi or something. Her mouth is twisted and open. Gross.

Norelle was ousted. She admits that she’s determined to be a model now and feels bolstered by this experience. She never expected to get this far.

I wonder if Ann and Eva will make up next week! Who knows? Pink positive is black and blue negative now. (Okay! That didn’t work!)

— Sure, tell me I’m wrong. I know how to hit the delete button. Email me at panndyra@realityshack.com if you dare. Otherwise, check out my sassy reviews at http://www.realityshack.com/giftguide.

captainD's Boot Prediction – Survivor Vanuatu, Episode 12

by aurora

captainD is away on assignment this week, so I’m stepping in to give you the low-down. He’s passed on his boot pick for us, but here’s my take on the challenges.

This week’s Reward Challenge is the biggie – someone’s gonna end up with a new car. The challenge itself will be physically demanding, requiring the Survivors to compete in swimming, balancing, and diving. Well that takes Scout and Chris out of the running. (Love ’em both, but you gotta admit Scout is no threat in physical challenges and Chris has trouble with balance.) It looks like Eliza will win the wheels plus a trip to some kind of spa. Will the Survivor car-curse continue, or does Eliza stand a chance at winning this season? Only time will tell.

The Immunity Challenge will be rather uneventful except for the fact that Chris wins. (Yay, go Chris!) And this week’s boot, straight from the keyboard of captainD, will be …. Ami.

Can’t wait for the D-man to return? Me neither, but in the meantime you can contact me at carrie@realityshack.com.

Oops, I Did It Again – Rebel Billionaire, Episode 4

[i]by atarus[/i]

This episode starts off back in London. Good ol’ England! We are treated to Steve and Jessica flirting, or so it seems. Steve says that he really likes Jessica, and he thinks that Jessica likes him too. Jessica says that they have a forbidden love….Steve loves her, and she forbids it. Yowch! Buuuuurn. The group meets Branson at The Crypt, and Branson tells them that their next challenge is going to involve rock & roll, and they need to choose a leader. Steve is the men’s leader, and Jessica is the women’s leader. What a coink-i-dink! But then Branson pulls the ol’ switcheroo on them again, and Shawn says “even though he did it before, we still didn’t expect it a second time.” Steve says that even though he and the women have had their differences, they believe in him as an entrepeneur and he’ll lead them to victory.

We are then treated to Steve being a goofball with no shirt on. Erica laughs at him for “all of three seconds” while he strikes poses above her. Then the group goes out to eat, and Jessica and Michael are hitting it off. Michael and Jessica are *GASP!* talking and enjoying themselves, and Steve gets the “GET OFFA MY WOMAN!” look. Shawn says that Steve got visibly upset at Jessica and Michael, and when Jessica goes to the bathroom, Steve transforms into Stalker Steve! Jessica tells him off after they argue, and then she actually gets into the bathroom. The next day, Steve confronts Jessica and says that he doesn’t want her to be a weakness for him, and when Jessica brings up a point about how he wished ill will on her the night before, he says “I don’t want to talk about this anymore” and walks away.

Branson tells the two teams that they are going to be involved with the V-Festival. There are going to be four bands performing at a club that night, and the groups have to decide which band is the best band, get the band to approve them as representatives, and then pitch the band to a panel of judges the next day. Whichever band is chosen will perform at V-Festival, and that team will win, while the other team will face the dreaded (reverb)ELIMINATION CHALLENGE(end reverb).

The four bands perform and we don’t actually get to hear the bands play yet. The first is a woman, and neither group really likes them. Exit Ten is the second band, and everyone seems to like them. Sara says that normally she isn’t into the harder stuff, but she was tapping her foot to Exit Ten. Steve really likes Exit Ten, and I mean REALLY likes them. The third band is also lackluster, and so Steve tells the girls, if the fourth band sucks, we’re gonna go for Exit Ten right away to beat the other team. The fourth band, Red, is a group of three black women in lingerie and one has an afro. Steve says that “within six seconds I knew they had no musical talent whatsoever” and his group went and signed Exit Ten. The men’s group, however, thought Red had potential and signed them.

The next day, Steve gets the idea to get an endorsement from the producer of the All-American Rejects, hopefully giving their band more credibility for the judges. They play a tape for the producer, who gives his endorsement. The men’s team, under Jessica’s guidance, plans their presentation together, while Steve rehearses a very hammy production by himself in the bathroom. Shawn is confident that the panel of judges will see his team shine. The men’s team presents first, and in my opinion, they do an awful job. Gabriel presents them with “weapons” like high heels and sexy voices. I just didn’t feel it, especially with the way he presented himself. As Red plays, Erica says that the men’s team’s band looks great, but Jessica is disappointed in the performance, she said the performance at the club was much better. The judges tear into the men’s team, and Shawn is disappointed at how much negative feedback they got.

Stee then gives his hammy presentation, complete with endorsement from the AARs’ producer. Branson says that Steve’s presentation was over the top, but it definitely grabbed his attention. As the women’s team rocks out to Exit Ten’s performance, Gabriel says that while Exit Ten has more musical talent than Red, Red is more of the style of V-Festival, and he’s confident they’ll win. Steve still thinks that he signed the better band.

At the V-Festival, the teams show up to see who won….and the winner is Exit Ten! The women’s team and Steve cheer, and Jessica is sad because she’s going up against somebody, and that she lost to Steve. Steve, being ever the egotistical monster, says “I was a great leader, and there wasn’t anything else I could have done to win this challenge.” Way to credit the team there, Steve. Although, to his credit, his team really did do diddly-squat for this assignment. The question is, did he make them do nothing, or did they voluntarily let him take control? Who knows.

Anyway, Jessica chooses Shawn to face in the elimination challenge. Branson tells them that both are going to be facing public humiliation to a degree. One of them is going to streak in front of the concert audience, the other is going to sing a capella. Shawn, being Mormon, says there ain’t no way he’s stripping, but luckily Jessica agrees to be the nudist. (On a random note, I must say that Branson got really lucky here, the best-looking woman on the show was the one to strip.) Shawn finds out that he’s going to be singing Oops I Did It Again, and he has an hour to memorize the lyrics.

While getting ready to streak, Jessica gets painted with an advertisement. She thinks that her more private parts are going to be painted over, but…..nope, they aren’t! So Jessica and Shawn step out on stage, and the rest of the group doesn’t really know what they’re going to do. That is, until Jessica drops her robe and shakes her naked butt all up and down the stage. Well, I presume that’s what she was doing, as all I saw was a great big block of black over her body. Shawn starts singing and prancing about on stage, and the crowd boos and throws stuff at him until Branson drags him off stage. Branson congratulates them both on doing a hard task.

It’s time for elimination! Nicole thinks Shawn should stay, since Jessica is the least strongest of the women. Branson gives both the pleasantries, tells them what’s right, and what’s wrong, and he hands Jessica the ticket to the helicopter out of the country. He says in a confessional that Jessica was a sweet person, but she just didn’t have enough experience to lead a company. Heather is sad and wonderous that she’s so sad about losing a person she’s barely known for a few weeks. Steve looks choked up about Jessica going, and the men are confused about how Steve wanted her gone, but now he’s sad. Oh well.

Next episode, we are going to see the two losers rappel down a really tall building while the wind picks up and threatens their life. OOOOH!

In my opinion, there are really only three people left on this show that could possibly win it. Maybe four. From the women, I think Erica and Sara are really the only two that could completely succeed. Candida and Nicole have both failed and looked bad in front of Branson, and Heather just doesn’t seem like she has the strength to lead a multi-billion dollar corporation. On the men’s side, I think Michael and Gabriel have the best shot at winning. Steve I think is a bit too cocky and a bit too hammy for his own good, and as much as Branson may like Shawn, I don’t think he’ll hand over Virgin to a Mormon. It’s just a gut feeling. Anyway, comments or complaints, please e-mail me at atarus33@yahoo.com. Until next time!


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66, 68, 80… – The Amazing Race 6, Episode 3

by LauraBelle

This was one of those episodes of Amazing Race that by the end, you just look, and think how DID they do it? The challenges weren’t necessarily difficult, yet demanding nonetheless. It made me weary just watching it, then again, that could be attributed to the two-hour elementary Christmas sing I endured just before.

The nine teams remaining in the race are set to depart Norway with Kris and Jon leading the way at 2:47 in the morning. The teams will need to drive themselves back to Voss, and then take a train and bus over five-hundred miles to Stockholm, Sweden. There they will go to the Ice Bar at the Nordic Sea Hotel, a nightclub made entirely of ice.

Jonathon and Victoria are next to leave, with Victoria saying they bicker right now because he has his own way of doing things. She ads that this is one of the things she loves the most about him, that he is never boring. I’ll give you that, Victoria, Jonathon is definitely not boring.

Gus and Hera leave next, and Hera says she is proud of her dad. He is not in the best shape, but he’s a diehard. Hayden and Aaron leave next, with Bolo and Lori right behind. Bolo says this is getting very stressful, after having only six hours of sleep in the past four days. Adam and Rebecca are leaving, as Adam says Rebecca needs to take care of him because he is afraid of a lot of things. For her part, she says he’s like a five-year-old who can’t do anything be himself. I would have said he was like a five-year-old too, but I would have attributed it to how childish he is.

Freddy and Kendra leave next; they had been penalized thirty minutes for taking an extra clue out of the club box last time. Don and Mary Jean, next to leave, are also being penalized thirty minutes due to taking Adam and Rebecca’s car in error last time out, and delaying the other team with the confusion. Kristy and Lena are the last to leave, and believe they need to depend on others less to better help themselves. Perhaps they are forgetting that they did well last time only with a local’s help, riding along in the rental car with them.

All nine teams end up on the same train and bus to Stockholm. While they are all walking around looking for the Ice Bar, Jonathon lets go with a screaming, “Victoria!” that is reminiscent of Stanley yelling “Stella!” in Streetcar Named Desire. Hayden and Aaron are the first to arrive at the Ice Bar, and find they need to don parkas and enter the bar which is kept at a cool twenty-three degrees, and slide a shot glass made of ice across the bar, trying to hit a target. If they miss, they must go back to the beginning of the line and try again. Hayden and Aaron miss on their first attempt. Kris and Jon are the first to hit the target, and the bartender gives them their next clue, which takes them to the world’s largest IKEA store. Gus and Hera have a hard time finding the Ice Bar, but eventually get there in time to not be in last place, due to Freddy and Kendra not hitting the target yet.

Once at IKEA, the teams find they will be equalized once again, as the store doesn’t open until ten the next morning. The teams camp out, right there. Entering IKEA at ten AM, the teams are met with a Detour, Count It or Build It. In Count It, the teams need to count bins of inventoried items. If they come up with the right amount, they move on. There is 2304 items to be counted. In Build It, the teams will need to build a desk following the given directions, and not have any parts left over in the end.

Many of the teams switch back and forth between building and counting. Once one gets too hard, they switch to the other task. We hear Bolo screw up his counting, “sixty-six, sixty-eight, eighty…” Victoria is worried about which pegs fit in which holes, and begins to get upset. Jonathon, for the first time in this race, speaks calmly, saying he doesn’t know how to work with her right now. Before long, he is screaming again. Victoria is still rambling on about pegs, and Jonathon yells, “Stop with the pegs!” They don’t show who, but a male voice yells back at him, “Don’t yell!”

Kris and Jon are the first to finish, and do so by building a desk. They will now need to travel by train again, back to the train station, and then ride a tandem bike to a farm. Gus and Hera and Aaron and Hayden finish second and third, both also by building a desk. Lena and Kristy finish fourth, the first to do so by counting. They eventually accomplished this by counting in sync. Jonathon and Victoria finish right behind them by building the desk, all the pegs now in the appropriate place.

Meeting up at the train station, Aaron and Hayden and Kris and Jon discuss Jonathon’s loudness and screaming. The four of them catch Train Number One. Gus and Hera, Lena and Kristy, and Jon and Victoria catch Train Number Two. Freddy and Kendra finally count right and Adam and Rebecca do so as well. Adam and Rebecca catch Train Number Three, while Freddy and Kendra are left to catch the next. This leaves two teams still counting – Bolo and Lori and Don and Mary Jean.

Don pleads with the IKEA employee to let them slide because or their age; she won’t budge. Bolo is walking around muttering that it’s fricking ridiculous. Lori and Bolo switch to desk-building, as do Don and Mary Jean. Lori and Bolo finish and leave in eighth place, and Don and Mary Jean eventually finish and leave in ninth place, with Don saying he hopes the clue says go to a hospital.

The teams approach the first Yield in the game, and all pass without using it. A Yield is the option of making any team stop for a pre-determined amount of time. At the farm, they find a Roadblock. One team member will need to unroll bales of hay until they find the next clue. There are two-hundred-and-twenty rolls of hay, and only twenty clues. I will not cheapen this review by making a needle in the haystack joke.

Kris and Jon find the clue first, and now need to tandem bike back to the train station, and take the train back to Stockholm. They will then go to the pit stop, a well-known ship, the AF Chapman. Hayden and Aaron find the clue second. Jonathon is worried Victoria is going to hurt herself because she is searching through the hay and is not taking any breaks.

Hayden and Aaron arrive first at the pit stop, winning a seven-night Mexican Riviera cruise. Kris and Jon expectedly come in second, and Gus and Hera in third. Jon and Victoria are walking around and having a hard time finding the AF Chapman. Eventually the find it with Adam and Rebecca right behind them. Lori and Bolo and Don and Mary Jean have arrived at the farm, and Lena and Kristy are the only other team still out there. Kristy finally talks Lena into taking a water break. She has been searching for almost seven hours.

Lori and Bolo find the clue right away, leaving the teams of Lena and Kristy and Don and Mary Jean the only ones left in the hay. Don find a clue as well, and he and Mary Jean pedal or their life back to the train. Lena and Kristy are still out there. Lena and Bolo arrive at the pit stop in seventh, and Don and Mary Jean the last safe team in eighth place.

It is now dark out, and Phil finds Lena and Kristy at the farm. He tells them the last team arrived over two hours ago, and reminds them they have been out there eight hours. He tells them it is an elimination leg, and they are consequently eliminated. He asks Lori how she managed to keep going, and she says she didn’t want to disappoint her sister, Kristy.

I just cannot imagine unrolling huge rolls of hay for eight hours. The only exhausting thing I have done for that length of time is pushing during childbirth and I had the help of an epidural and a better reward in the end.

I welcome questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com


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Captain Swan and Tooth Decay

by Panndyra, Goddess of Chaos

I must say that each week this series gets better and better. Oh yes! The stories get sobbier and the women get more plastic. The two contestants were Delisa S and Lorraine N. Delisa is a Captain in the Army Reserve. She grew up in East Texas (poor girl! Anna Nicole Smith is from East Texas…poor Delisa!)

Delisa received sun damage to her skin in exchange for her service in Desert Storm. She admits that she doesn’t feel feminine. Her body’s too thick. She also has trouble with her husband. They’ve been on and off for a while. Jason, her ‘hubby’, admits that he lost interest in her. She wasn’t physically attractive to him. Her weight gain became an issue. Delisa said that they didn’t have the emotional or the physical, so they had nothing. She’s not sure what’s going to happen, but hopes the Swan experience will help her either way.

Dr. Dubrow said she was a ‘handsome’ woman and his challenge is to turn her into a pretty one.

Her Swan program includes:

*fat transfer from cheeks to lips
*mid-face lift
*tummy tuck
*breast lift
*upper and lower retainers to straighten out her teeth
*zoom bleaching
*1,200 calorie a day diet

Next up is Lorraine N. She had a difficult childhood with a verbally and emotionally abusive mother. She’s a court reporter with 4 children. She says that she was also picked on in school and still carries the scars of her traumatic childhood.

She also got dentures at the age of 25. Her mother didn’t take her for dental exams while she was growing up. Losing her teeth has been a source of shame and embarrassment for her.

Her husband, Brandon, is upset when she doesn’t believe the compliments he pays her. He loves her and thinks she looks great, but she can’t accept it. She thinks that he’ll leave her for someone prettier or younger or…anything. She says that she’s feels like she’s “Nothing, but some day I’ll be something.”

Dr. Worth, the oral surgeon, says that Lorraine’s transformation will be the most extensive in the Swan program thus far. Dr. Haworth and Dr. Worth have to work together to fix her face.

Lorraine’s program includes:

*nose job
*brow lift
*fat transfer from cheeks to lips
*lip lift
*chin reduction
*upper & lower – titanium implants
*hearing aid
*liposuction in knees & legs

The ladies get started by reading letters from their families. Delisa feels like “this is my new beginning.” She goes to see Dr. Dubrow. He tells us that she has a nice shape, but she has a lot of body fat that she’ll need to work it out at the gym.

Delisa learns about his plans for her and she’s excited, especially about the photofacials.

Lorraine starts off the program with a day at the dentist. She’s getting her implants. She’ll need 5 weeks to heal and will be on a liquid diet. Delisa is also having issues with her restrictive diet. She has a sweet tooth and is afraid she won’t stick to her plan.

Meanwhilel, Dr. Haworth sees Lorraine, who’s still in pain from her dental procedures, and cheks her face. He’s trying to figure out how to fix her chin and lips so that her new tooth will be complimentary to her new face.

Before surgery, Delisa talked with her husband. He said he saw a lawyer. She’s sad about it, but is looking forward to the “new me.” After surgery, she tells Dr. Dubrow that the process is “so worth it and I haven’t even seen myself yet.”

Prior to Lorraine’s surgery, Dr. Worth brought her a prelim set of teeth so Dr. Haworth could do the plastic surgery. In the end, he says the surgery went well, but recovery will be difficult and Lorraine may not be healed in time for the pageant.

Both ladies are having a terrible time recuperating. Lorraine’s in a lot of pain. Dr. Haworth gives her some pain medicine. Delisa is nauseous and feels helpless. To make matters worse, Lorraine is having a hard time being on a completely liquid diet.

Delisa gets divorce papers. Although she was expecting it, she feels sad at the demise of her marriage. Nely comes to help her. She tells her, “I’ve been there. I know what it feels like.” She hugs Delisa and they both cry. Nely was obviously touched by the experience. She’s sad because there’s just “some things you can’t coach people through.”

Delisa said that Nely’s presence was comforting.

Lorraine and her hubby have a fight. She gets angry easily. In therapy, she works on her past. Delisa works on her future.

It’s time for Lorraine’s final dental surgery. She’s scared. I would be. The dentist freaks me out!

Meanwhile, Delisa is still having trouble with her sweet tooth. She’s not losing weight fast enough. The soldier bunkers down and throws out all the dessert bars. I was proud of her.

Now, for the reveals. Delisa looked so cute. She was adorable. She didn’t look like herself at all, though. She also looked a bit like a Barbie-doll, but she was a cute Barbie doll. I wanted to take her home, brush her hair and dress her. I think I need therapy now. That doesn’t seem normal, does it?

Lorraine had a difficult process, admittedly. I forgot that she’d have to relearn how to talk, eat, laugh and so much more with new teeth. We take our teeth for granted, don’t we? (Actually, one of my biggest fears is losing my teeth. I have nightmares about it. I feel for Lorraine. She’s gone through so much.)

Amanda told her that, “I can safely say that you look nothing like your former self.” That’s an understatement!

I did notice also that Lorraine’s boobs seemed to be awfully swollen. Either that, or they were just too darn big for her petite frame. She looked like she had trouble walking.

She said, “Oh My God! I don’t even look like me. I can’t believe this. You guys are geniuses!”

In the end, Delisa moved onto the pageant. I, like Dr. Ianni, didn’t think that Lorraine was too upset about that because she honestly got what she needed and wanted out of the program and I think Delisa needed the pageant a little more.

Lorraine’s children and her husband Brandon showed up and they hugged her. Brandon said he was “blown away by his wife.”


—-Email me at panndyra@realityshack.com if you’d like to analyze my dreams! Don’t forget to check out my sassy reviews at http://www.realityshack.com/giftguide/ .

Fierce Conversations – Starting Over

by LauraBelle

Familial bonds are worth holding onto, and worth every bit of effort needed to succeed. It can be difficult to submit ourselves to the emotions of the work involved, but the result is always worth it.

As the show opens, we are still waiting on Kim’s decision – whether she will stay for the hard work, or take the easy way out and quit the show, joining her husband on a fourteen-day Mediterranean cruise. Iyanla has given her an ultimatum– stay and commit to the process or go home immediately, and the fifteen minutes Iyanla had given her to decide has just expired. Kim doesn’t want to let her husband down. Iyanla urges her to fight for herself.

Through her tears, Kim says she wants to stay. Before they can go any further, Iyanla wants a commitment. from Kim. She wants her to agree to stick around until the work is done. Taking every ounce of energy she has left, Kim makes the commitment. The only problem is even though she has made the right choice, she has compounded her problem. Instead of having one fierce conversation with her sister, now she has added another one with her husband to the mix. Kim feels she will be letting him down if she doesn’t go on this cruise with him. She feels selfish.

The next morning, a very tense Kim, Jennifer and Iyanla leave to catch their flight to Denver. Iyanla notices Kim has packed everything she owns, and brought it with her, seemingly in case she changes her mind at the airport. Iyanla isn’t going to let up on her though; she’s making her drag the heavy suitcase along through the airport until Kim decides to adjust her packing and take some things out.

Back at the Starting Over house, Rhonda shows up for her and Sommer’s meeting with some real crazy hair. She has her hair pulled into at least six different ponytails. No one is quite sure what to think, and everyone tells her she looks cute. Once outside alone with Sommer, Rhonda asks her if she likes her hair or if it looks stupid. Sommer doesn’t know what to say, so she just says it’s cute. Rhonda admits to making her hair look stupid on purpose.

The point, Rhonda says, is for Sommer to learn the importance of taking a risk, and not being afraid to look stupid. Too often, out of fear, Sommer will refuse to do something, and just call the situation stupid. Rhonda starts jumping all around and acting goofy, and tries to get Sommer to do the same. She can’t and nearly goes into a panic attack at the thought. Finally, Rhonda manages to force her into saying one thing, “Whoo.” Rhonda instructs Sommer to write a “Dear Stupid” letter, meant as a good-bye to her “stupid” excuse.

Landing in Denver, Iyanla takes Jennifer and Kim to a “safe” house. This is a neutral farmhouse just outside Denver in Niwot, Colorado, meant as a meeting place for them to have their “fierce” conversations with their family members. First up, Jennifer will meet with her mother and Iyanla to address their relationship, and Kim will join them for dinner later.

Marcus, Sommer’s personal trainer, has brought pool toys with him for his workout session with Sommer, fresh off her realization with Rhonda of realizing she needs to be more open to taking risks. She does fine until he tells her to get her swimsuit on, and she freaks out. She tells him that’s not going to happen. He instructs her to at least put a t-shirt and shorts on. She still refuses, which is confusing, as during every workout in the health club, she is seen in a t-shirt and shorts. Eventually, she gives in, and goes to her bedroom to change, and says she’ll be right back. When she doesn’t return after quite some time, Marcus enlists Towanda’s help to find Sommer. They find her locked in her bathroom. Eventually Sommer comes out, but Marcus still can’t talk her into the swim.

Back in Niwot, Jennifer’s mom has arrived, her wheelchair being pushed by Jennifer’s sister, Krista. Iyanla, Jennnifer and her mother sit down for their chat, and Jennifer apologizes to her mom for being so angry while growing up. Her mom understands and agrees, saying it was interesting that Jennifer wpuld get so angry at Krista, and Krista was so young, just a baby at three years younger. Her mom knew Jennifer would have done those same things at her age.

This brings up another point for Jennifer. She wants to know why her mom babied Krista so much, yet this is something her mom doesn’t have a ready answer for. Lastly, Jennifer asks her mom why she never divorced her dad, explaining it was so embarrassing to have to tell people they were still married, even though he had been carted off to jail. Her mom explains she didn’t want to take the marriage away from him. It was all he had left, since he has a life sentence. Jennifer understands her mom’s position now, and thinks it will make it that much easier to talk to her father the next day.

Sommer has apparently done some extreme soul-searching. She calls her friend, Ed, and asks him to come visit her again at the Starting Over house. He asks how he should dress, and she tells him casual, just like last time. She finds the courage in her somewhere, and risks acting stupid, and tells him to bring his swim trunks, “just in case” they decide to get in the hot tub.

Jennifer and her mother’s conversation now finished, they sit down with Krista and Iyanla to break bread. Kim enters late, introduces herself to Jennifer’s mom and gifts her with some flowers. Kim sits down to eat, looks at Iyanla, and says, “Get this.” Iyanla is worried, even though she knows Kim can be a drama queen. Kim says she took a stand for herself, and talked to her husband. She explained to him that she wants to stay in the house and finish what she has started. She hoped that he would understand, and to her surprise, he told her he did understand, and he wanted her to stay and get better and work things out. He will go on the cruise without her. Kim continues to be bewildered by that, but it seems Iyanla knew all along that if Kim would just commit, everything would work out.

The next morning, Kim and Jennifer wake, ready for their fierce conversations. After talking to her mom, Jennifer knows she can better face her phone conversation with her dad. After taking a stand the day before with her husband and making a commitment to stay and work on herself, Kim says she has never been more ready to face her sister, Kelly.

Towanda is not having a good day. It’s her birthday, and her husband’s birthday is the very next day. They always have celebrated them together like a holiday. This will be the first time in six years they are separated for these two days.

Iyanla and Kim wait for Kim’s sister, Kelly, to show up. Iyanla knows Kim is scared of the possible confrontation, and wants her to know she “has her back.” Iyanla and Kim stand back-to-back, linking their arms. Iyanla tells her to let it go, Iyanla can support her, she has her back. She then sits Kim down in the chair and tells her to remember she and Jennifer and Towanda are all with her, as is Rhonda, Dr. Stan, and all the other women that have ever been in the Starting Over house.

Rhonda meets with Sommer, and they go over Sommer’s Dear Stupid letter. Sommer says in the letter she is done with Stupid. It is only a convenient excuse. She also admits through tears she may have had a better relationship with her dad, had she not been so afraid of looking stupid to him. She tells Rhonda she will make an effort to replace “That’s stupid.” in her vocabulary with “That’s a risk.” Rhonda is delighted. She is so glad to hear of Sommer possibly getting in the hot tub with Ed, that she sends her out with Towanda and Denise to find a new swimsuit. Towanda and Denise realize Sommer still thinks of herself as being heavy, and doesn’t realize how fantastic she looks. She finds a cute little brown one-piece that they all agree on.

Iyanla answers the door when Kelly arrives, and is shocked to see how much Kim and Kelly look alike. The only difference is Kim’s haircolor. They find their looks aren’t the only thing they have in common. Iyanla presents the tools they will use for their conversation. There is a talking feather, and only the person holding it is allowed to talk. Iyanla, as facilitator, will hold a red flag, and if she extends it, the person talking has to stop. All take a deep breath and begin.

Kelly speaks first, and amazingly says she wants the same things out of Kim that she has been working on in the Starting Over house – to not be so materialistic and to recognize her family instead of pushing them away. Kim takes the talking feather and immediately starts blaming Kelly for all the same things, yet Iyanla puts a quick stop to this. Kim then says she wants Kelly to stop blaming her for her childhood. Kelly replies she never did blame Kim. As Kelly takes the talking feather back, Kim is astonished to find that Kelly has been in intense therapy for ten weeks, which just happens to be the same length of time Kim has been in the Starting over house. Ironically, though estranged, they have lived identical lives.

Kim moves on to talking about what made them estranged five years ago. Kelly had asked her to join therapy with her, and Kim says when Kelly lied and was found out, she quit going. Kelly thinks it was the other way around. Kim lied, and then blocked Kelly from her phone calls. Kim emphatically denies this. Iyanla gets them to realize once again they were living identical and were mirroring each other. They both had the same problem with their experience in counseling, and handled it the same way. Finally, Kim gets it. As Kelly takes her hands, Kim says, “I am not my sister’s keeper. I am my sister. ” The sisters admit to loving each other, and wanting to spend the holidays together this year.

Rhonda meets with Cassie who shows her the chart she has made with what she was doing during every year of her son’s life, and what milestone he was going through that she missed. Cassie completes it, but it’s evident to Rhonda that Cassie is still guilt-ridden. Cassie tells Rhonda she is eighty percent bad, twenty percent good. Rhonda makes Cassie wear devil’s horns and tail and carry a pitch fork for the rest of the day to show how bad she is. When Cassies says it’s too cutsie, Rhonda says like you, cute on the outside, bad on the inside, and tells her to dirty it up until it seems bad enough. Cassie comes back with black covering the horns and pitchfork, and says it’s not bad enough still. Rhonda wants to know what is so bad about her. Cassie says it’s her drinking and giving up her son. She doesn’t understand these are things she did in the past, and she has to come to terms with it and stop blaming herself. She needs to forgive herself.

Kim and Iyanla sit near Jennifer as she prepares to make her phone call to her father in prison. What no one has explained is why Jennifer had to be in the same state to call her dad. Does the prison not accept long distance calls? The phoneset is on speakerphone, and there is so much static, Jennifer can’t hear. She pick up the handset, and it’s still full of static. She has some very fierce questions for her dad. She wants to know why he wouldn’t respond to her letters, saying it made her wonder if he wanted to have a relationship or not. Her father responds, “You know I love you.” through tears, Jennifer shouts back, “No, I don’t!” Only a little more of the conversation is shown before the show ends, but it seems Jennifer’s dad is on his way to explaining he doesn’t feel worth of her love.

Three of the four familial bonds have been repaired or strengthened, and the fourth is still being worked on. All would agree it has been worth it. Kim’s relationship with her husband is stronger now that she knows he’ll back her up when she feels strongly about something. She and Kelly now see that they have wasted five years on a misunderstanding, because they are too much alike. They lived the same life growing up, of course they will handle problems similarly. Even if Jennifer isn’t able to repair her relationship with her dad, at least she will know where she stands, and she will be stronger just for being able to state her intentions. All of Jennifer’s and Kim’s hard work is finally paying off.

I welcome questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com

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