So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Get Out! – The Surreal Life 3, Episode 10

by LauraBelle

Every reality show has a prize at the end. Although it’s not monetary, Surreal Life’s prize is nonetheless valuable. Every one of the six celebrities took something valuable away.

As the final show opens, Bridgette and Flav-A-Flav are in bed together, with Bridgette obviously naked. Dave is playing roller hockey alone on the tennis court, Ryan and Jordan are still asleep, and Charo is attacking a watermelon in the kitchen. Flav-A-Flav jumps out of the bed and starts shouting and banging on the drums. After originally bouncing around naked to the music, Bridgette calls him on it right away, knowing he is doing this loudness, solely to irritate Ryan after she dissed him on the Dirty Laundry Show with Sally Jesse Raphael the day previous. Bridgette advises Flav-A-Flav to apologize to Ryan. I’m not quite sure what she wants him to apologize for. There’s not one big thing he’s done, just several little things that infuriated her.

The Surreal Life Times arrives with the headline, “The Last Supper! Cast to Break Bread For Last Time.” On the inside, the paper is asking if Jordan will ever forgive Flav-A-Flav for using his toothbrush on his gold teeth. Jordan and Flav-A-Flav both look astonished, and it is never cleared up for us whether this is true, or a put-on by the Surreal Life times people.

Later, Dave is on the phone with Luc, his son. They discuss Dave getting to keep the Surreal Life house puppy. When asked the puppy’s name, Dave, realizing the puppy has been called Boogie, Fatso, Poochie, Buster and Bosco, tells his son it hasn’t been decided yet, but thinks when they return home, he can be called, “Winger.” Flav-A-Flav, who last week was show beating the puppy, tells Dave he doesn’t like the name Winger, and that it should be Bosco. Dave says his son wanted to call him, “Heckler.” Flav-A-Flav tells Dave that’s a corny name. Dave tells Flav-A-Flav his son should have the privilege of naming the puppy what he wants.

Flav-A-Flav is grilling ribs, and as Charo approaches him, he gets mad that “the grill” burned his ribs. Of course, he couldn’t accept responsibility for it to be HIS fault. Charo, as Bridgette did, encourages Flav-A-Flav to make it right with Ryan. Apparently Flav-A-Flav has other plans. He says Ryan is a spoiled kid that was only on American Idol, and didn’t even win. He feels he is an icon and a legend, and feels Ryan has a long way to go to reach his status. Funny, as before Surreal Life, I had heard of Ryan Starr, but not Flav-A-Flav.
?The three women – Bridgette, Ryan and Charo – are getting ready for dinner, and Charo throws a towel at Ryan, who squirts water at Charo. This erupts into a full-fledged pillow fight between the three women. Ryan says she feels like she is in Girls Scouts again. Their pillow fight over, no real winner decided, the three do their hair together. For the first time, I really, really like Ryan. She is so much more comfortable this way.

Everyone but Flav-A-Flav enters the dining room for “The Last Supper.” They enjoy looking at the pictures that are laid out of their time in the house. Flav-A-Flav enters and makes an immediate ass of himself with his shouting. As they eat, he won’t stop shouting, and the other five are getting angry. Even Dave admits Flav-A-Flav is getting out of hand. Bridgette asks Flav to not eat so sloppy, and Flav-A-Flav gets upset with her for trying to change him. Bridgette tells him if he’s not interested in changing, he can’t be interested in her.

Charo tells Flav-A-Flav it’s their last dinner together, and tells him to lay off. Even Dave tells him to “Just shut up for awhile.” Flav-A-Fav gives in and says, “I quit. I quit.” He is silent for a few minutes, then shouts out his name … once again. The tension is cut somewhat, and Ryan finally lets loose, just like she did with the pillow fight, and starts a cake fight, throwing it at everybody.

Flav-A-Flav and Bridgette enjoy their last hours together with a late night swim. Once again, a fight erupts out of Flav-a-Flav digging in his heels, not wanting to change, and Bridgette insisting if he wants to be with her, he has to change a little. Ever since learning his real name is William Drayton, Bridgette has insisted she likes Flav-A-Flav, but loves and prefers to be with William.

The last Surreal Life times arrives with the headline, “So Long. Farewell. Auf Wiedersehen, Get Out!” At 4:30, Jordan is waking Flav-A-Flav, telling him it’s time for Jordan to go. As Flav-A-Flav walks him to the door, Jordan says the show has helped him break out of his shell. He admits he’ll always be a private person, but feels he learned how to have close ties and a deep personal connection with people.

As Flav-A-Flav walks Charo out, he tells her she touches him, and that he’s learned a lot from her. She adds that she’s learned Flav-A-Flav is okay, and just wants to be loved. Deep down, below his over-exuberance, I know this is true. His narcissism, yelling his alter ego’s name over and over, is brought out by his insecurities. Ryan tells Charo she’ll definitely keep her in her life, and that she’d be honored for Charo to be her mentor. As she is driven away, Charo says, “There is so much love in these peoples.”

As Ryan leaves, she says she’ll stay in contact with everyone, including Flav-A-Flav. She can talk to him about music, as they can connect on that level. I think the music brings both of them out and away from their insecurities. As, all along, what has kept them on edge with each other, is their insecurities with themselves, and seeing themselves in the other. As she is driven away, Ryan says she feels like the luckiest person in the world, to have spent time with all these talented people.

Bridgette is leaving, and Flav-A-Flav tells her, “Can’t nobody do what you did to me.” Bridgette says she loves Flav-A-Flav, and she feels she has been herself for the first time in her life. After her departure, Flav-A-Flav yells, “Dave and Flav!” and adds their friendship will be the one that will definitely go on after Surreal Life. Dave says he knows Flav-A-Flav is sensitive and means well. Flav-A-Flav says his time in the house was, “Mackadocious!” With him gone, Dave notes how quiet it is, picks up “Winger,” and says he has learned a lot as well. He has learned that even though these people are so unlike him, he can still learn a lot. No need to extrapolate on that. Dave said just the right thing … again.

This wasn’t the final finale. Next week VH1 will air a Behind the Scenes show of the best and the worst from Surreal Life 3.

I can be reached for questions and comments at

Swan 2 – Episode 3: Surrender To the Swan

by Panndyra, Goddess of Chaos

Tonight’s first Swan was Erica Moore, a 25 year old girl from Washington. She was adopted and teased for it as a child. Her mom is Japanese and she made a comment that “Erica will never be a fashion model.” Hmm? Wonder if there’s any mommy issues? Erica lost 90 lbs over the last several years. She weighed 240 at her all-time high. She said her ex-boyfriend was a ‘black cloud’ in her life. (I think many of us have exes like that, or is it just me?)

She said that, on the inside, “I’m dying.” She wants the “wow” out of life, but seems to be looking at external factors for getting it. Dr. Ianni wants to help her ‘grow up.’ Thank you, Dr. Ianni. I’d b**ch-slap her, but that’s why you’re the therapist and I’m just a “D-list” reviewer.

Nely feels she has to help her find her mission and to stop blaming others for her problems. Alleluia, you sing it, Nely. I’m wid ya.

Erica’s Swan Program includes:

*mid-face lift
*breast augmentation (and lifting!)
*gum reconturing
*workouts twice a day, 6 days a week
*1,200 calorie a day diet

Christina Ozuna, the second Swan, is 30 years old. Her husband’s in the Navy. She has low self-esteem and doesn’t feel she’s good enough for him. She also has an 8 year old daughter and some serious abandonment issues stemming from her father’s departure after her parents’ divorce when she was still very young.

Her husband mentioned that Christina feels worse about herself and is more self-conscious since she’s lost 30 lbs. Dr. Ianni and Nely are concerned about that and really want to work with her internal transformation.

Christina wants to show her daughter how to have a good self esteem because she can’t teach it to her now, but hopes that the Swan Program will give her the ability to do so.

Christina’s Swan Program includes:

*full mouth reconstruction (OUCH!)
*zoom bleaching
*nose job
*brow lift
*photofacials to even out her skin tone
*breast augmentation
*1,700 calorie a day diet
*workouts 2 x per day, 6 days per week

both of the ladies need to lose about 30 lbs on the program. Christina feels daunted; Erica feels excited. She says she’s going to lose the 30 — and more. She’s even saying she’ll win the pageant. Yeah, let’s see how you feel after surgery!

Christina is putting up some major resistance. She says the trainer is “absolutely insane”. In the meantime, Erica tells the dentist she doesn’t want veneers. I can’t understand why. She says she wants to ask her parents before making her decision. Oh, grow up. You’re 25! In the end, she decides to go ahead with the veneers and cries afterwards that, “I didn’t expect the Swan Program to be this hard!” I’m not sure what show she’d been watching, but the Swan Program ain’t no picnic.

Christina tells her plastic surgeon that she wants DD breasts. Other than that, she’s pretty anxious about the whole surgery thing. Erica’s going to have some boob issues of her own. Hers don’t match and they droop a lot. Regardless, her attitude is more positive than Christina’s.

After surgery, Erica begins the recovery process and is doing well; Christina decides not to wear her chin strap. She’s in a lot of pain and she develops some nodules in her neck. The doctor warns her that if she doesn’t wear the chin strap she could get blod clots or worse and really harm herself.

In therapy, Erica does a role play. Dr. Ianni wants her to work on being more independent and to make her own decisions. She’s still got about 18 lbs to lose so it’s not all perfect for Erica.

However, Erica is working harder at the program than Christina. Nely decides to pay her a visit. She shows Christina her audition tape and asks her “where’s your commitment?” She also wonders “why are you sabotaging your well-being?” She also cheated on her diet too.

After Nely’s visit, Christina renewed her commitment to the program.

Now, it’s time for the reveal.

Christina was first. MY GOD! Those DD’s were a poppin’. Geez. Nely mentioned that Christina was so concerned with her family that she didn’t surrender to the program fully. Hmm. Guess I already know who’s going to the pageant, do you?

Christina cries when she sees herself. Of course, she does. I think the Swan’s sponsor should be waterproof mascara. They’ve gotta go through buckets of the stuff.

Hostess Amanda Byram asks Christina, “Was it worth it?”
Christina is like yes. WHen someone asks her what she likes best, she replies, “It’s a toss-up between my boobs and my teeth.” It always is, isn’t it? (No, I’m not sure what the means. Give me a break, it’s late!)

Before Erica is revealed, we hear that she’s done a lot of growing up. She enters and just looked so pretty like the burn victim from the first week. She was a knock-out and seemed to shine so bright. She cried in the mirror and said, “Oh My God! I’m so beautiful!”

God, shoot me, okay!

Then, she checks her breasts and says, “They look so perky.” Now, that’s a sentence I don’t want to hear uttered on National Television. UGH!

Erica went to the pageant. Christina’s husband didn’t get to see her, he was away at sea. I bet he’ll be happy when he does finally get home, however. His wife’s hot!

Christina did say her biggest lesson was: “Don’t forget about yourself” (or your DD boobs. Ouch!)

***Next week, there’s a twist. Two sisters will go through the Swan Program together. They have to compete. Only ONE goes to the pageant. Uh-oh! That’ll be the strangest sibling usage in a Reality TV show since BB5.****

Expanding our Horizons — GUG

by Panndyra, goddess of chaos

No, I wasn’t ignoring y’all. Growing up Gotti was on a mini-hiatus for a bit. I know everyone misses Vicky and da boyz, but they need their “R&R” too.

This week’s episode started off with Victoria jetting off to Los Angeles to do a small part on the NBC soap, Passions. The fact that she and all my Italian relatives except for me watch this drivel makes me wanna vomit. I gave up soap operas when I was in college.

Anyway, Vicky loves this show and is excited to be a ‘sexy nurse’. Before she leaves, she tries to get the boys excited about a challenge of their own – camping. Uncle Pete wants the boys to spend some time with him out in the wilderness. This ain’t your Boy Scouts type of trip. Regardless, John, Carmine and Frankie don’t wanna go.

Is it me, or are they really this spoiled?

Victoria decides that she wants to take their keys ‘cuz if they ain’t going campin’, they “ain’t goin’ out.” Da boyz give her some probs so she tells Jen to be her enforcer. Well, John and Jen get into it…big time. I’ve had some crappy jobs in my life, but I had to admit that my experiences pale in comparison to Jen’s. You couldn’t pay me enough to play warden to these guys.

Victoria has a meeting with a friend of hers. She’s really nervous about this ‘acting gig.’ She has like 3 lines and wants to be the ‘best, sexiest nurse she can be.’ She says to her friend, “What do I know about nursing?” He then says to her, “well, you’re sexy.” She replies, “That’s true.” God. You’d have thought that soap opera writers made up this cheesy dialogue too, but that’s reality, folks.

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, Uncle Pete and his friends, Chubby (a complete understatement) and Vito, meet the boys for dinner at a pizza place. Pete tells them they’re going camping and they’ll like it. Frankie’s like…I don’t wanna go campin’, I hate flies. He is the same kid who told Victoria that campin’ freaks him out, makes him think of the Blair Witch Project. As an inner city gal myself, I can understand not wanting to camp. It’s not my thing, but really…stop whining.

The next morning, Uncle Pete picks the guys up. It takes him a long time to get their butts in gear. Wow! Uncle Pete has more patient than my dad or any of my uncles did. If me or my siblings pulled that crap, well we’d have gotten the crap beaten out of us. (Note: Yes, I did walk to school with no shoes in sixteen feet of snow…and I liked it!! Those were the good ole days!)

We cut to the boys complaining, complaining and complaining. Uncle Pete hired a “professional outdoorsman” (aren’t those just homeless people?) to teach the guys how to chop wood, make tents and build a fire.

Victoria’s in LA and nervous about her acting gig. She does a dry run-through with the director and the actor who’s playing her charge. The guy seems like a dirty old man. God! He was lecherous. Poor Vicky. And the damn director (who was a woman) seemed to encourage the behavior. It was archaic almost.

Finally, Vicky does her big scene — in one take and is off to enjoy the evening with Tula. They ‘rent’ a Ferrari. It’s a stick shift and Victoria’s famous last words are:

“How hard can it be to drive a stick shift?”

LOL! I could smell the clutch burning thru the television. She almost got her and Tula killed.

That same night, in the words, Uncle Pete imparts some wisdom of the wilderness on his young nephews. He asks them what they want to be: John wants to be a real estate developer. Frankie wants to own a restaurant and Carmine wants to be a billionaire. Hey, don’t we all! Of course, he has no plans for how to acquire the cash, either.

Uncle Pete tries to tell them about El Che(Che Guevara was an Argentinian born doctor who was instrumental in helping Castro and other guerilla fighters in the Cuban Revolution. He is a symbol of freedom and personal power throughout Latin America.) Unfortunately, I think El Che’s significance is lost on these 3.

The next morning, Victoria heads home. The boys head home. She gets there first and has a breakfast surprise ready for all the guys. They eat, laugh and joke about their experiences.

–Yes, I’m finished. If you want to talk about Che’s significance as a military man or as a hero, email me at Otherwise, I’m busy.

The Big Fat Hoax Begins – My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss, Premiere

by aurora

Welcome to Chicago, an unwavering stronghold of the American corporate juggernaut. It’s a place of perilous risks and staggering payoffs, where fortunes are made and lost in the blink of an eye. While this may be true, the series we’re about to embark on is not. Welcome to My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss, where nothing is real but the payoff at the end.

We’re introduced first to N. Paul Todd, multi-billionaire. Or, as he tells it, he’s got “crap-loads of money”. Todd is sitting in his luxury jet, and tells us that he’s looking for a protege, a squire, disciple – what’s the word? You know, a not-very-old person he can tell his business secrets to? There’s one key thing you need to know – N. Paul Todd is a total fraud. His real name is William August, and he’s an actor. He’ll be playing the most ruthless, demeaning, obnoxious boss that you’ve ever seen.

The twelve contestants, who think they’re playing for a high-salary job with Todd’s multi-billion dollar corporation, have been told that they’re worth their weight in gold. Therefore, they’ve been tossed in the back of armoured trucks that have been driving aimlessly around Chicago all afternoon. As Todd says, “Little do our unsuspecting victims know that this is the first step in the most horrible experience of their professional lives.”

The contestants themselves are no slouches. They’re Harvard grads, investment bankers, business owners, financial consultants.

Todd explains that even though he’s fake and the company is fake, the game and the prize money are 100% real. Each week, one contestant will be eliminated. Working behind the scenes is a mystery boss, who will be secretly watching the contestants and deciding who stays and who goes. Who is the top secret mystery boss? We’ll have to wait to find out, but we’re promised that it will be the most astonishing revelation in reality tv history, and well worth the wait. Speculation, anyone?

The contestants arrive at the Civic Opera House to meet their new mentor. The guys driving the armoured trucks bring in a huge bag of cash and dump it at their feet, as Todd enters the room. He says simply, “Welcome to my world”.

Whitney privately describes Todd as ‘powerful’. He explains that his investment company is called Iocor Inc., and he is worth an estimated 3.8 billion dollars. He asks the group if anyone has heard of his company, and none of them have. Privately we’re told that Iocor is a Latin word, meaning to joke or to jest.

Todd shows everyone a flashy powerpoint presentation about him and his company, including 75 fictional companies he does business with. The contestants are all very impressed with Todd and his cash.

The game is explained to everyone – the object is to be the best, to outlast the others. Todd decides to make the two teams men against women. Sound familiar? Wait, there’s more. Todd introduces his two cronies, Jamie Samuels (played by Jamie Denbo), and David Hickman (played by David Jahn). They will, of course, act as Todd’s eyes and ears on the challenges. Okay, so Todd didn’t exactly say that, but he very well could have.

Champagne and hors d’oeuvres are brought out, and the contestants are told that they are drinking the finest French vintage. In fact, it’s bubbly purchased from the nearest corner store. Annette says she could tell it tasted expensive. The hors d’oeuvres were made from bologna, process cheese, spam, and other high-end ingredients – but our 12 prospective, winners all dig in and marvel over how tasty they are. One of them even says that they were much more sophisticated than she is. Man, she must be loving watching this with her family right about now.

Todd decides it’s time to hit on the ladies. He says that this is the type of guy who would likely have a few sexual harassment cases against him at any given time. He asks each one of the women if they have boyfriends, and they’re shocked. They all handle it very well though, even the married woman who Todd gives his sympathies to.

It’s Day 2, and the contestants wake up in a luxurious penthouse. They get letters asking each team to come up with a name for the other team. The idea behind this challenge? Corporate sabotage. The women come up with some zingers, like The Failed Endeavor, My Bitches, and Runner Up. The men are thinking along the same lines, with ideas like PMS, Second Place, and Clueless Inc.

The phone rings, and Kerry gets the news that limos will be waiting for them at 11:45. They are told to dress casually for their first task. The limos arrive and take them to an abandonned, dirty, rat-infested warehouse.

Todd and his sidekicks arrive, and Todd explains that there’s a lesson here. That lesson? Sometimes the key to success is buried in a mound of crap. Before we get to that though, there are two little business matters to attend to.

First, the names. the women have chosen Concad Inc, which the guys actually like. The men went with Femron, referring to the biggest corporate sabotage of our generation, Enron. The girls pretend to like their name as well.

Next, the team bosses. Tanya and Mike are chosen, and Todd tells them not to get too far ahead of the troops or they might get shot in the back.

Now, let’s hear about the challenge. To really taste what it’s like to be at the very top, you have to have been at the very bottom. Todd wants to know, if he strips them of all of their worldly possessions, could they survive. More importantly, could they turn a profit? Their task? Panhandling.

The contestants are all floored. “That’s what homeless people do!” “Right off the bat, I was aggravated.” Todd explains that the winning team will be the one who collects the most money. Duh.

The teams are taken to their piles of props – jars of dirt and mud, racks of old clothing, fake casts, cardboard and markers – everything they would need to turn themselves into beggars. Both teams decide not to go that route though.

The men don t-shirts that say “Help Chicago”. They decide to tell people that they are collecting money for local causes to help the city of Chicago. David, the actor, is dumbfounded that these professional guys are out on the street, completely committed to panhandling.

The women decide to use their sex appeal and work it. They don’t seem to be having much luck though, even when they claim that the money is going to their sorority. Jamie (the actor) is amazed that Kerry, who is an ivy-leageuer, was breakdancing on a street corner because she thinks that it’s going to help her business skills.

Concad works the charity angle to death – how they live with themselves I have no idea. Dan took 13 cents off some little kids, and says privately that he didn’t care, he was willing to take their money. Damian chases people, rolls around on the sidewalk in a neck brace, and tries any stunt he can to get some cash.

At the end of the challenge, both teams meet at a vacant lot in the worst part of town to find out how they did. They stand amongst piles of garbage and trash-can fires as Todd tells him how much he hates wasting his time on losers. Therefore, there will be consequences for the losers of the task – they will be sleeping there, in that lot, in tents that night. Jamie says that the women brought in $334.10. David has the results for the men – $312.46. The women win round one, and the men are not pleased.

The ladies get a reward for winning. They get to go back to the penthouse, where they will find a hand-made goosedown mattress for each of them. And to add to the fiscal security of the evening, they’ve stuffed each mattress with $10,000. Todd says that there’s no better night’s sleep than sleeping on a bed of money. He throws out that they don’t get to keep the money, but congratulations. The jaws of Femron drop faster than Todd’s credibility.

As the men head off to their tents muttering that the women won because they have boobs, the ladies are pulling their mattresses apart to see the cash. The guys can’t sleep because of the noise – there are trains going by at regular intervals, and the tents just can’t have been very comfy. Meanwhile, the women are finding out that cold hard cash doesn’t make for a very good mattress filling. In the words of N. Paul Todd, ‘sometimes the rewards suck”.

It’s now time for Concad to head to the conference room, where someone will be, sent home. Todd says privately that the only point of this exercise is to make fun of the guys and tear them a new one. He tells the men that they failed miserably, and that homeless people make a lot of money. Rob, a contestant, points out that a pretty blonde woman will do better collecting money on the street than they would. David (the actor) says that they should have marketed themselves better. Maybe try to use their own sex appeal to go after gay couples. The guys look at each other like David has suggested they light their genitals on fire.

Jamie (the actor) tells them that their “Help Chicago” slogan was ambiguous – help Chicago what? Join Canada? Damian argues that if they had gone with a specific charity they would have only reached the people affected by that specific disease or calamity. Todd comes back with, “If you’re gonna lie, lie big.”

Mike, the team boss, is asked to identify two people besides himself who he wants to expose to being eliminated tonight. He choses Dan and Rob, saying he thinks the other three guys just worked a little harder.

Todd tells Dave, Damian, and Douglas to go back to the penthouse – and instructs them to take Mike with them. He explains that this game is based on reality (har har), and the reality is that the boss always has deniablity. There is always someone under the boss who will take the blame. The boss is the last to know, and the last to go. So for the course of the game, the team bosses are safe from elimination.

Rob and Dan are left in the boardroo…er, conference room, and Todd asks them to defend themselves. Rob, who does not come across as a smooth talker even without Todd’s help, starts explaining that he’s a hustler, and Mike left him there because he believes that Rob will stay in the game. Todd throws out questions like who cares and so what, which completely confuses and throws Rob off.

Dan, on the other hand, delivers a stong speech which includes all of Todd’s comebacks. Who cares? Two people care – Dan cares, and Iocor cares because at the end of the day it’s about the money that Dan can bring in for both of them. Todd says privately that he would have been impressed if he were a real boss.

The guys are shown to the reception room so the boss and his buddies can make their decision. As soon as the men leave, the three actors start laughing. Todd says that it’s time to go and see the boss. He returns, and Jamie asks him is he got it. He did, and explains to us that when he gets the word from the boss, he only finds out who is being eliminated – not why. Which gives him free reign to make up any kind of BS he wants.

Rob and Dan return, and Todd tells Rob he’s going to be candid. He tells Rob that he’s short, and tall people have an advantage. Rob disagrees, and Todd says that maybe because he’s short he’s learned to make excuses for himself, but it’s something that he’s going to have to overcome in life. Rob’s only response is “really”, but he looks like he wants to jump across the table and throttle this man.

Dan’s turn. Todd tells him that he sees a fancy expensive suit, a fancy watch, etc. He bought his own suit off the rack and had it altered. He says that he made it very clear that he wasn’t looking for a suit, so… Get the Hell Out of My Office.

Dan leaves silently, and Todd congratulates Rob for surviving the first elimination. He has some good news as well – as the survivor of the elimination, he gets to be the boss of the next challenge which also means he’s safe next week.

Dan, in a limo leaving the building, says that he didn’t realize that Todd would be offended by expensive clothes. Had he known that, he would have dressed down for the occasion. Todd says privately that Dan is the lucky one, even though he thinks he’s been canned for wearing the wrong suit, because working for My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss is going to be hell.

Next week, Mr. Todd’s bad boardroom (yes they said boardroom) behaviour causes shock in the penthouse. The challenge is absolutely absurd, and leads to a blowout in the office later. Shock and a blowout? Sign me up!

This show has started out a bit slowly since we’ve learned very little about the contestants. In fact, I don’t even know all of their names yet. But William August, who plays Mr. Todd, is fantastic. I don’t know how he keeps a straight face delivering his ridiculous lines, but he does and he does it flawlessly. His private camera moments are truly amusing, and were the highlights of the show. Besides that, I can’t wait to find out who the real boss is!

Comments are welcome! Contact me at

The Envelope please-Starting Over, 11/5/04


Time to shake things up. Josie, who’s up with the baby, answers the door and it’s a hollerin’ drill sergeant. He strides through the house screaming at everyone to wake up for boot camp. The women are quite annoyed to be woken up by a yelling man, and Jen says he’s lucky he’s cute. He gets everyone together and asks if anyone has injuries. Maureen says she has asthma and puffs away on her inhaler to prove it. Kim has knee problems so she will be swimming while the others work out on dry land. He takes them through a series of calisthenics. Kim’s workout doesn’t look all that hard at first glance, but in fact she does seem to keep moving the whole time and comes out breathless.

Later, Towanda tells Iyanla she didn’t like boot camp because she hadn’t eaten yet and had rather do a class to target just her arms and thighs. Iyanla is going to have her work on her music more – goals this season are very fluid and today it seems to be training Towanda to be an alternative-rock singer. One of Towanda’s issues is that she has spent mot of her life trying not to hit a wrong note, figuratively and literally. Today she’s going to get tips on expression from a creative voice coach.

In the loft, the others are also tired from what Josie calls “the neo-nazi boot camp makeover.” Kim didn’t like the whistling & yelling, and Sommer says it pissed her off that someone would act like they know better than you, what you need to do. Dr. Stan tells them it really is about control, how much you need and how much you are willing to give up. They go around the room and Towanda says she controls her dreams for the future. Kim says that she tries to control the people around her and her environment so she won’t get hurt, and Dr. Stan acknowledges the effort probably does reduce her stress. Kim admits that she still gets wound up, “and when I blow, I blow, and it isn’t pretty.” He reminds the women not to waste energy on trying to control things you can’t, just prepare when you can, otherwise work toward your goal.

Towanda meets Lisa Popeil, the creative vocal coach. Towanda wants to move away from R&B because that’s what everyone else in her family is doing. She tells Lisa what she has told others, that she wants to be like “a black Pink.”

Kim is on the phone with her mother and a miracle has happened. Kim’s sister came to her mother’s house at the same time Kim’s children were there, and they all played tennis and swam in the pool together. Kim’s mother says she cried all night.

Maureen meets with Dr. Stan and he asks how the grieving is going. (I am not sure I could grieve on command! But mo knows the drill by now.) Maureen now understands she hasn’t let go for fear of dishonoring the memory of her mother, daughter and son. She has kept herself trapped in Chicago because she doesn’t dare get too far from their graves. Dr. Stan asks how her husband Larry handles her grief, and she says she doesn’t act sad around him. When asked about her married life, she says it’s boring because he won’t do anything. They started dating shortly after her son Joe died. Larry was supported, good-looking, they had common interests and did fun things. He also knew that she was struggling financially. Maureen now feels she just wanted comfort and someone to be with her. Dr. Stan assures her it’s normal to choose a mate not becasue you respect them, but to fill a void. He asks her to name something she loves about Larry and she can’t think of anything. Dr. Stan tells her that when a marriage starts to go south, we tend to spin it in a negative way to feel less guilty and make the other person the Bad Guy. He asks what Larry would say if asked about Maureen, and she tells him Larry “Thinks I’m the cutest thing in the world” (she is pretty cute!) He also thinks she’s funny and extremely intelligent. Yet, Dr. Stan points out, he doesn’t want to spend any time with her. (Actually I think Dr. Stan has it wrong. It seems to me Larry loves to spend time with Mo – at home.)Anyway, her assignment will be to write Larry a letter telling him why she loves him and what she’s grateful for.

Lisa the voice coach gives Towanda pointers on posture and muscle control. It’s hard to keep still, but Towanda can see that it adds “a certain beefiness” to her voice for the desired rock and roll sound.

Jennifer meets with Iyanla and the plan is to invite Krista to come to L-A or go home to visit her. Jen is afraid of “doing it wrong”, and Iyanla assures her there’s no wrong way, but that it might make more sense for Krista to come here and see what it looks like for women to support women. Jen is told to make the call today. Later in the kitchen she complains to Kim that she doesn’t know what to say, and Kim reminds her that at least she’s on speaking terms with her sister, and she doesn’t like to plan ahead anyway. (Maureen is there too, puttering at the sink and I am struck by how much nicer these housemates are to her than the evil “trifecta” of season one.)

Towanda is having a good time with the voice coach. She narrates that she is letting go of having to control her voice and having to already know how it will sound. Lisa shows her that rock has anger in it and if you sound too sweet, it becomes pop. She’s going to make a tape for Towanda that will target her specific goals.

Kim cuddles into the chair and holds Jen while she calls her sister. Without using baby talk, Jen gives Krista the option of meeting in L-A or Denver. Krista doesn’t want to fly but Jen talks her into it. After they hang up, Jen and Kim discuss what fun thing the sisters could do together and Jen decides a spa day will be good, adding “My sister’s probably never even had a pedicure.”

Towanda shows Iyanla the things she learned from the voice coach today. Iyanla listens intently and asks a lot of questions, finally concluding, “Well, I sure am glad I can’t sing.” She asks Towanda if, as a rock singer, she’ll throw guitars at people and stuff like that, and Towanda laughs that she doesn’t do stuff like that. “Are you gonna show your butt?” Towanda’s quite sure she won’t, and Iyanla tells Towanda that if she could moon somebody, it would mean she has learned to be carefree. (Iyanla, they’re not all Courtney Love!) They talk for a little while about “going to the edge” and taking chances. Towanda will be given a pile of musical instruments and her assignment is to put on a jam session, giving each housemate an instrument that reflects them or will pull something out of them. (I wonder if Towanda watched last season’s diva, Audrey Tucker. For some unfathomable reason, Audrey wanted help to achieve her dream on her own – meaning she would accept a recording contract and singing dates, but no coaching or advice of any kind, and most certainly no sharing with the housemates.)

Next Iyanla meets with Kim, who tells her about the big miracle. Kim doesn’t understand why her mother thanked her for getting her sister to come over, but Iyanla agrees it was Kim’s doing.

Maureen is shown at the computer with Chloe on her lap as she types.

Kim and Iyanla have another meeting, at the Vienna Cafe. Iyanla wants to explore how judgments impact Kim’s choices. Kim’s nervous and feels like a bomb is about to drop. Iyanla gives her three envelopes, each containing a $20.00 bill. Kim is to strike up conversations with strangers and then decide if they should get none, one, two, or all 3 envelopes, with instructions not to open it until she has left. Iyanla wants her to realize that when she doesn’t judge, she can give without expecting to receive anything in return.

Maureen calls Larry to read him her letter. It’s shirt and sweet. (The part about how she loves that he doesn’t think retirement means curling up & dying, might be a little bit of spin, given that one of her complaints is that he doesn’t do anything.)

Kim steels herself to approach some strangers. Shoe goes up to a shabby-looking woman seated at an outrdoor cafe but we don’t see any conversation. Then she sits at a table with a young man who identifies himself as Tyler. Tyler is a vagabond who quit his job a few months ago to go in search of adventure. He gets one envelope. Next she stops two twenty-something women and asks them if they’re friends. Their cousins, but Kim gets them to acknowledge that they’re friends too, and ask them what makes a good friendship. They tell her trust and respect are necessary for a good friendship. She gives them each an envelope and heads back inside to Iyanla. Iyanla asks Kim why she gave Tyler and envelope, and Kim replies it was because he was willing to be open. Iyanla asks what Kim though he might think of her for giving him $20.00 in an envelope, and Kim admits he probably thought she was crazy. Iyanla points out that it didn’t stop Kim from approaching. (Having a camera crew would probably make me a little braver, too.) Kim tells Iyanla that she walked up to a homeless lady but didn’t try to talk to her or give her an envelope because she probably would not have known what to do with it. Iyanla assures Kim she would have known what to do with it, and believing she wouldn’t was a judgment on Kim’s part. Iyanla reminds Kim there’s no right or wrong, it’s just for awareness, and that Kim’s judgment of her sister Kelly is what’s keeping Kim from giving to her.

We see more of Maureen’s `phone conversation with Larry. He thanks her for the compliments and the subject changes to the cleanup activities in the burned condo. they bicker about un-damaged items, including a lamp that had belonged to her dead daughter, that haven’t been salvaged yet. He protests that it’s a lot of stuff, and she retorts that he knew she had a lot of stuff when he moved in, and that this is her life they are talking about. Maureen is panicking because Larry might not understand how important these things are. She suspects he’s not working as hard as he could to recover everything.

Iyanla and Kim are still discussing the exercise with the envelopes. Iyanla wants to know, if Kim could give to the homeless lady, (which she didn’t!) and the vagabond free spirit, then why can’t she give to her sister? If you can be a blessing to a stranger, why can’t you be a blessing to your sister? Kim says she doesn’t know and starts to cry. Iyanla presses her: “None of these people is going to give you anything back, why do you demand from Kelly?” (Hullo Iyanla, you talk as though this exercise is Kim’s idea…) She wants Kim to call her mother back and ask what Kim may have done to hurt Kelly. Kim’s not sure she’s willing to do it.

Maureen calls Rhonda and tells her about the phone call with her husband. She can’t figure out why it turned unhappy. Rhonda suggests Maureen could have resisted changing the subject and focused on her original reason for calling. She tells Maureen to think about what she really wants and not stay with Larry out of fear.

Now it’s evening, time for Towanda’s jam session. She tells the women they are going to create a starting over song. Josie and Chloe get a pair of maracas. Kim gets the tambourine. Towanda encourages them all to play what they feel and not worry about making sense. Everyone gets a solo, then they jam together. Everyone enjoys themselves, though Jen sits with her drum like a fogey.

Extreme Makeover: Trump Edition – The Apprentice 2, Episode 9

by aurora

Last week on The Apprentice, the teams were asked to design a recruitment campaign for the NYPD. Andy led Mosaic to victory despite Kelly and Maria, who doubted his vision. Elizabeth melted as project manager for Apex, and their intimidating campaign scared everyone who saw it. Ultimately it was Elizabeth’s poor leadership that got her fired in the boardroom. 10 candidates are left – who will be fired this week?

Speculation in the suite is that Elizabeth is gone, and when the five remaining Apex members return all at once everyone is stunned. Chris and Jen explain what went on, and Maria says that every time someone goes into that place something insane happens.

Apex selects Raj as their next project manager, and he knows that the pressure is on. He asks Kevin for advice, and Kevin tells him to just make sure that everyone is co-ordinated and on the same page. Raj says that this is a big one, and he’d better win.

The phone rings the next morning, and the underwear shot of the week goes to Kelly, who answers it. Rona informs them that they are to meet Trump at the penthouse apartment at Trump Park Avenue.

When they meet up with The Donald, he tells them that this week they’re going to be working in a field he’s very familiar with – real estate. He brags about what he’s done with the Trump Park Avenue property, which was formerly a hotel and now sells apartments for up to $30,000,000. That’s insane. One of the key players in the transformation is Matthew Calmari, who is replacing George this week. Trump explains that the teams will be heading out to two houses that are in a ‘dilapitated’ state. They’ll each get $20,000 to renovate, and the winning team will be the one whose house increases their home’s value by the highest percentage.

But wait, there’s a twist! Trump explains that sometimes in life you have to work with people you don’t like. To illustrate this point, he’s bringing back the first four people that he fired. Rob and Jen C. will be working with Mosaic, while Bradford and Stacie J. will be working with Apex. Trump reminds Andy that he’s safe in the boardroom if his team loses.

Time for some drama. Everyone returns to the suite, and Jen C starts in on Ivana right away, telling her that Trump had given her Ivana’s head on a platter and she didn’t take it. She says privately that Ivana has done nothing besides lose money and make mistakes.

Meanwhile, Stacie is talking to Chris, saying that it’s going to be difficult to work with Ivana. He tells her to separate it from the business aspect of the task at hand. She goes into the kitchen to confront Ivana, wanting to set the record straight. She tells Ivana that they need to talk, and asks her why she told Trump she was crazy. Ivana throws out a lame excuse, and Stacie goes on the attack. They bicker for a bit and Ivana ends up walking away. Chris reminds Stacie that this is business, and she agrees – except that this time it went personal. Should be a rip-roaring good time for both teams!

Trump’s nugget of advice this week? Control your contractor. He says that contractors are whole separate beings. They’re tough, they’re smart – they didn’t go to Harvard, but they’re just as smart as people who did. You have to know how to deal with them and you have to be tough, because they will pick your pockets and you won’t even know what happened.

Apex hits the suburbs and finds their house. The kitchen is in complete disrepair. The bathroom on the second floor is gutted, and the place is a mess. Raj decides to remove a wall upstairs to make one of the bedrooms larger, turning the house from a 4-bedroom to a 3-bedroom dwelling. Jen and Kevin both disagree, but Raj is determined.

Chris whines that his team bickers too much and aren’t on the same page with anything. He points out that Jen is not a team player, and she thrives on confrontation. He thinks that’s the whole problem – that his team doesn’t act as a team, but rather as competing individuals. Instead of trying to help the cause, however, he’s decided to just complain about it.

Mosaic arrives at their house, and it’s in much the same state as the one Apex is working on. Sandy is project manager, and says that she feels confident having witnessed the mistakes the other pm’s have made before her.

Wes talks to the potential contractor and gives him a list of things that need to be done. The contractor tells them that he can get everything done on time.

Over at Apex, Kevin tells Raj that he got a referral from the broker for a contractor. Kevin is 110% behind this guy, and they hire him. Bradford says that the reason this guy got the job was because Kevin was so amped about him. Raj, however, is nervous. He says there’s nothing more common than contractors not doing things when they say they’re going to do it.

Raj decides to go to work on the wall himself, and starts running into it with his shoulder. He says that there is nothing more consistent in human nature than the desire to destroy and to create – they’re destoying and creating, and this makes Raj happy.

Mosaic is working hard, and Rob says that he’s only slept for about 2 hours in the front of a car. He’s busting his butt to prove that he is indeed a valuable asset. I say good for you Rob, that’s a great attitude.

Once again the weather isn’t co-operating with the teams, and it starts raining. Sandy gets after the contractor about some work in the bathroom, and he gets angry with her. She goes outside to get a hold of her emotions, saying that she thought her team was starting to smell defeat.

Andy realizes that the contractor is in serious trouble, and starts talking to another group of guys outside who were in the neighbourhood doing work on another property. Andy gets these guys into the house to work, and they bring even more guys with them. It turns into a big party with work getting done quickly and everyone’s spirits rising.

Apex isn’t having as much luck, unfortunately. There are two hours left and the bathroom hasn’t even been started. The contractors are sitting eating tacos, and Raj goes to them to ask if it’s reasonable to assume the bathroom will be finished. They assure him it will get done if he lets them eat their lunch. Time is almost up and everyone is flying around trying to get things cleaned up. Raj asks the contractor outside if the bathroom got done fully, and he says yes. Raj goes into the house only to find that it’s not done at all. The fixtures are lying around in the hallway, the walls aren’t finished, and the floor looks like someone took a jackhammer to it. Things are not looking good for Apex.

The appraisers arrive at Mosaic’s house, which really looks great from the outside. Sandy says that she felt like she was showing her own house as she showed everyone around. She points out the new full bathroom upstairs, and says that they didn’t cut any corners anywhere.

The Apex house is next, and Raj shows everyone around. The downstairs looks plain, but nice. Upstairs is a completely different story. The brand new carpet has been destroyed, and the bathroom is completely upside down. He points out that they knocked out a wall and reduced the number of bedrooms, and the appraisers are not impressed.

Time to meet up with Trump in the boardroom to find out who won. He asks Matthew how Apex did. Their house was originally appraised at $385,000, and after a lot of hard work it was reappraised at $412,500. That’s an increase of 7.14%. Carolyn gives the results for Mosaic. Their house was originally appraised at $390,000, and after the renovation it was appraised at $430,000 for an increase of 10.26%.

Rob applauds and Trump is impressed with his spirit. Mosaic’s reward is a visit to a friend of Trump’s house in the Hamptons. Rob and Jen C are going as well, but after that Trump tells them they can get lost because they’ve already been fired. Trump then tells Apex that Stacie and Bradford will be coming back to the boardroom with them because he wants their input on the task.

Mosaic boards a helicopter to take them to the Hamptons. Wes says that the helicopter ride was a taste of what it would be like to be Donald Trump – a taste of power. Denise Rich, Trump’s friend, owns a sprawling estate complete with swimming pool and hot tub. The team is invited to enjoy the grounds, which they do.

Back at the suite, Raj and Jen talk about the task. Raj is upset with himself for letting the contractor run roughshod over them. Jen wants to keep Raj around because he’s a strong player and takes responsibility for his actions. She suggests that they go after Ivana because she is a weak player. Raj seems to agree with the plan, and walks away to think about it. Jen goes to confront Ivana, telling her that she saw her laughing and drinking coffee while everyone else was working. Ivana defends herself, but Jen just keeps talking. Jen tells her to just stick with putting figures into an Excel spreadsheet since that’s her forte. She adds that Ivana lost dismally as project manager and hasn’t been contributing ever since. Then she throws out “You think you’re going to bring me down? I don’t think so!” Privately she says that she hopes the rest of the team is scared of her. I don’t know about the team, but I’m scared of her!

It’s boardroom time, and Trump comes out in a tux. He explains that he’ll be handing out an award later that evening, so he had to dress formally. Therefore, this will be a formal firing. He asks Raj what happened, and Raj explains that the contractor didn’t deliver. When Donald asks who hired him, Raj says that ultimately he did. Raj takes full responsibility for the failure and will accept the blame that far.

Trump asks Bradford who he thinks the best natural developer is, and he says Raj. Trump points out the mistake of reducing the number of bedrooms, but Bradford says that everyone makes mistakes – the fact that Raj is taking the blame for the contractor is admirable since it was Kevin who picked and championed him. Kevin admits that he chose the contractor, but doesn’t feel that he should be fired for that.

Jen is asked how she thinks Stacie did, and Jen says she’s a hard worker and did a fantastic job. Trump says that he heard she did a great job, and wants to emphasize that since she took a lot of crap when she was fired. Ivana chimes in and says something about Stacie not doing a good job on the windows, and Trump asks Ivana why she’s so nasty. Stacie says that she agreed with Kevin about the contractor initially, but he ended up hustling them.

Trump asks Bradford who he would fire, and he says Ivana. He adds that if he needed something done on paper, he’s hire her for that. Trump thanks Stacie and Bradford for their time and asks them to leave.

Raj decides to take Kevin and Ivana with him back to the boardroom. Trump tells Jen and Chris to go back up to the suite, but Chris wants to get his two cents in before he goes. He says that at the end of the day, “the chemistry on this team is horrible, and if this team stays the same, no matter who stays or goes, we will be defeated again next week”. Carolyn tells him that sounds disloyal, and Trump asks Raj is he wants to bring Chris back into the boardroom as well, based on that statement. Raj says no, and Trump starts to rant. He doesn’t want to hear that the team is a mess, and Chris says that he’d love to be the team manager next week. Trump accepts that, and says he’ll be watching him closely next week. Carolyn says that Chris should try to fix his team rather than whine about it. Thank you Carolyn, that’s exactly what I thought too!

Jen and Chris go back up to the suite, and the rest get to wait while the panel of three discuss their fates. Carolyn admires that Raj can take accountability for his actions, and she saw Ivana working hard. She thinks that Kevin was a great labourer, but he picked a poor contractor. Matthew agrees with Carolyn on Kevin and Ivana, but thinks that Raj just didn’t execute his plan. Trump says that this will be a tough one, and asks the candidates back in.

Trump asks Raj why he picked Ivana, and Ivana says she doesn’t know why he brought them in. Trump says that he knows why Raj brought Kevin in – he picked the contractor. Kevin says that he didn’t pick the contractor – uh, what? Trump is all over that, and tells him that he said before he did pick the contractor and now he’s saying he didn’t? Kevin admits he did and brought this guy in, and Matthew interrupts to tell him that if he picked a contractor to Mr. Trump, it’s his butt on the line.

Ivana says that she was being proactive and plugging holes, and Raj says that was his job to do. Ivana blurts out that Raj needs adult supervision. Raj responds with, “Ivana, my dear, you could work for me anytime and I would gladly put you to work, but I require no supervision.” Trump points out Raj’s mistakes – turning a 4-bedroom house into a 3-bedroom house, bringing Ivana in with him, and then not bringing Chris in after he opened his stupid mouth. Raj seals his fate by asking Trump if he wants him to be a politician for him and bring who he thinks would be the best sacrificial lamb.

Donald says that Raj made too many mistakes, and as Raj tries once again to take ownership of that fact, Trump fires him. Raj is obviously disappointed and looks to be on the verge of saying something, but he decides better of it and leaves. While waiting for the elevator, he asks Robin for her number now that he can talk to her. When she doesn’t respond, he asks if she has a boyfriend. Too funny – Raj, don’t ever lose your character.

There are no final comments from Trump, Carolyn, or Matt this week. In the cab, Raj says that he regrets that he didn’t attack Kevin or Ivana in the boardroom, but he’s a gentleman and didn’t think it was proper. He says he’s thankfully a person who has been gifted with good sense, but he didn’t follow his gut and now he knows he should have. He adds that he didn’t get Robin’s number, but he will.

My final comments? Damn! Raj was my favourite from day one, and his personality and clever comments will be greatly missed. He will do well for himself though, I have no doubt about that. I also can’t help but notice the irony in Raj being fired on the day that Trump shows up in a tux – complete with bow tie.

Comments are welcome! Contact me at

The Cat Who Choked On The Canary – Survivor: Vanuatu, Episode 8

[i]by atarus[/i]

We start off the episode in the Lopevi camp. They are talking about the TC, and Chris says “we stay five, we’re solid and we can go to the end.” Julie says that she was glad that she was still there, she thought she was going home. We then get our dose of sexual tension, as Julie snuggles up to Sarge at the campfire. Chad remarks “at first I thought she was just cold, but the fire started blazing and she still snuggled up to him.” Chris says Julie is just wanting to solidify another three days. Sarge is excited, he says he doesn’t get to spend much time with 22 year old models. I’m with you there, Sarge, I wish I spent more time with 22 year old models as well. Next up, Sarge baring ass. Twila, Julie, and Sarge all get butt naked, literally. Chris and Chad see the trio mooning the Vanuatu coastline, and Chris yells “SARGE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” Um, hello, he’s getting in trouble with his wife right now, that’s what he’s doing. Julie, in a confessional, says that if the guys want to keep her around for visual stimulation, that’s fine with her. And it’s fine with me too, Julie, it’s fine with me too.

On Yasur, we are given a long rant by Rory about how bad the Yasur women are. He says that if Scout and him stopped working, nothing would get done, Ami, Leann, and Eliza wake up late and sit on their asses, Leann wakes up crabby all the time, even with coffee, Eliza is a little kid and he has to teach her how to boil water all the time, and that Ami is riding her queen role and he wants to knock her down a peg. Yeah Rory, you are da man.

At the reward challenge, Scout goes on and on about how glad she is to see Twila. Twila just looks like she’s about to smack Scout upside the head. The challenge is a relay race, tossing water between buckets. The winner gets cookies, milk, and chocolate cake. Apparently Chris is a real milk lover. At the beginning of the challenge, everybody sucks. Near the end, just Ami sucks. Chris and Chad get a system going, and while Rory wrings out everything but his underwear into the bucket, Lopevi wins the reward.

Post-cake, Sarge feels awful, the sugar really made him sick. Twila mouths off about how Scout needed to shut up, and that the men would have to be stupid not to pick up that she’s still with the women. Next shot? Chris and Chad saying that Twila and Julie are definitely with them. Chris thinks Twila is too stubborn to go with the women. Rut roh. Chad makes a deal with Chris for final 2, saying that Sarge is unbeatable in the finals. Chris says that “I think both of you have a leg up on me.” And then both of them burst out laughing. Chris says that he’s just reassuring his position in the game, he’s also made final 2 deals with Julie and Sarge. If one happens to be taken out at merge, the other two will still have his back. (Does anyone else see an eerie similarity between Chris making final 2 deals at merge time and what Boston Rob did with Alicia right before merge? Hmmmmm….)

At the immunity challenge, the idol is broken. But luckily, they’re merging! The color is orange, and people are happy. Guess what? Another water/swimming challenge. Guess what? Another balance beam challenge! There are two heats and stuff, but I’ll spare you the exciting recap of the challenge and just say that Sarge wins handily.

Chris says that they merged, and for the first time he’s going to put the game behind him and have some fun with these people that he’s never met. Scout “missed Twila in places she can’t talk about.” And Eliza loves the leftover chocolate cake. It’s a party at the Lopevi camp. Rory pulls Sarge aside and starts telling him about Ami and what she did to him over at Yasur. He then talks to Chad as well, and the men all solidify the fact that even though they may have had problems in the past, they’re still solid, and their target is Ami. Rory feels like he’s the “cat who swallowed the canary,” he’s so excited.

The women paint the flag and each other, and Scout comes up with the merged tribe name Alinta, an Aboriginal word meaning “people of fire.” Eliza had missed the girls, especially Julie. Sarge is starting to realize it could still be men vs. women. Way to go Sarge, starting to use that brain of yours, huh.

Scout remarks that the guys are feeling uneasy. Chad and Twila get into an argument over Ami vs. Rory. Twila wants Rory, but Chad says Rory will help them with the numbers, Ami is the leader and needs to go. Eliza says the women are up in number 6-4, it would be stupid not to stick together. Chris says that Rory gives Lopevi the numbers, and that Twila is scared and insecure, and you need to strategize for her. Sarge then remarked that Ami has an aura, and when the girls get into it they do what she tells them. Sarge fears Ami is affecting Julie, and tells Twila that’s why they need to get rid of her. Chris says that “picking off the girls is what it’s all about” and that he has the numbers. Um, hello Chris? You are down 6-4 to women. Whoops. Ami thinks that Twila and Julie never left the women’s alliance, and Twila says somebody is going to be pissed at her, but she needs to cut their throat before they cut hers.

At TC, stuff happens. Julie flirts with Probst by painting Jeff with a heart on her chest. Rory says Vegas wouldn’t give him odds to get out of Yasur alive, and Ami says that she has a good attitude about twenty gazillion times. Leann votes for Rory, Rory votes for Ami. The votes are read, and in a 6-4 vote, Rory gets the boot. Chad and Chris and Sarge look dumbfounded. Actually, Chad and Sarge do. Chris just smirks and looks like he saw it coming. Eliza, on the other hand, has this dumbass grin on her face, and she turns to look at the men and she can’t stop grinning. Grrr I want to smack her.

On the next episode, Sarge gets his teenage angst on and he’s tired of the “I love you, you love me” vibe the women give off. And Eliza gets a pig and Sarge wants to eat it, but she doesn’t want to let him.

Rory’s final words: He’s a victim of a gender war, the women bamboozled the men, and he’s not a million dollars richer but he’ll never forget the Island of Fire.

My e-mail is Please e-mail me if you despise Ami and Eliza and are rooting for the guys to somehow turn this around.

Interview With Cassie Ann Grisham of America’s Next Top Model 3

by aurora

Disillusioned with the reality of New York City and disheartened by living with a group of women, Cassie often longed for her home state of Oklahoma. She battled with the others’ perceptions of her eating disorder, and criticism from the judges. Find out how she feels about the way she was portrayed, her future plans, and much more!

Hi Cassie! What was your motivation to try out for America’s Next Top Model?

Well, I’ve grown up in a small town all my life and wanted to be a model my whole life. I saw the second season of ANTM and wanted to give it a shot. The show gives people who have no experience in the modelling world a chance, and that’s what I wanted to do.

How is your Uncle Mike doing now?

He’s doing a lot better! He’s been sick a lot over the past few years, but he’s doing much better now and enjoying life.

How do you see your future, career-wise? Will you still try modelling, or do you have other plans?

They made me out to look like I really didn’t want to be there, and that I didn’t really want to be a model. That’s not true at all. I actually did say that I planned to continue my quest, and I do.

How has your boyfriend reacted to seeing you on the show?

He is glad I was on it, but he gets upset just like I do when I’m portrayed as someone I’m not. He’s been very supportive though.

You mentioned several times that you weren’t happy there and wanted to go home – what exactly was making you so unhappy?

You know, when I got upset about something I’d say I wanted to go home. Those were moments in time, not the overall experience. They edited me as unhappy all the time, and it wasn’t like that. I was happy and grateful to be there and I didn’t take the opportunity for granted.

The fashion and modelling industry can be hard on young women. Was it as cut-throat and catty as it appears on television?

It’s so cut-throat, there are so many beautiful girls who want to get into the industry. You have to be constantly worried about your appearance and your weight, and you just have to understand and accept that. I did know that and accepted it going in. Weight is definitely an issue, as you saw with the Mark Bower scene.

Tyra wanted you to see a professional about your bulimic tendencies – did you do that, and what are your feelings now about the situation?

The bulimia thing was blown way out of proportion. It was far back in my past, and I only did it a couple of times. I don’t have an eating disorder, and I didn’t talk to a therapist. There was no need.

They played the whole thing up, probably as an example to other young women who want to get into modelling, so they don’t starting starving themselves or throwing up. It’s just frustrating to be portrayed as the girl with the eating disorder when I’m not.

Obviously you’re not thrilled with your editing – what do you think of the way the others are being edited? Is anyone getting overly positive or negative editing compared to what they’re really like?

I really can’t comment on that, it’s such a personal thing. I do hope that the rest of them aren’t as unhappy with their editing as I am.

Were you and Ann able to get past your differences after “Browniegate”?

Yes. You know, everyone was getting on each other’s nerves and the whole situation was just letting off stream and stress. Since we’ve been home, Ann and I have spoken and e-mailed each other, and we’ve settled our differences.

When it came down to you and Toccara, were you surprised to be the one eliminated?

No, I wasn’t surprised, but I was upset. I knew though – you just do, you know when it’s your time. I wanted to stay, but I wasn’t mad with anyone. Toccara works hard and really wants it. She deserved to stay, I can’t say anything bad about her.

Who was the toughest judge in your opinion?

Oh, it’s a mixture. They all want different things! I’d say Janice and Nigel. They expect the best because they’ve seen the best.

Was it hard to get used to being filmed 24/7?

The cameras were actually kind of fun at first. It was like “Hey, I’m on TV!” But then when you want to talk to someone on the phone or just need some privacy, it gets old fast. But then I went in knowing what to expect, so I can’t really complain about it.

What advice would you give to other young women who dream of becoming a model?

Don’t give up on the dream!

It’s not an easy process; there are millions of girls all vying to become models. But if you have the determination you can make steps in the right direction just like I did. You may not make it as a model, but you can take steps in the right direction towards your goal.

Finally Cassie, what field would you go into if modelling doesn’t work out for you?

Well I hope modelling does work out for me! But if it doesn’t, I’ll go to school and get a job like everyone else.

Thanks Cassie – best of luck!

Thank you.

Comments are welcome! Contact me at

Goo Goo, Ga Ga *Gag*-Starting Over, 11/4/04


We open with more of Maureen’s phone conversation with her daughter Cara, who along with her husband and Mo’s husband Larry, have been sifting through the remains of the burned-out condo. Cara is really taking it hard. A lot of it reminds her of her dead sister and brother. Maureen cries with her over the phone.

It cuts back and forth from the phone call to a meeting with Rhonda, Iyanla and Dr. Stan discussing the fact that Maureen is stuck on “Denial” in the grieving process. She even blames herself for her childrens’ deaths. They want her to be able to celebrate the loved ones, to keep their energy going in a healthy way, and they believe the way to do this is to strip her emotions bare and start her to rebuilding.

Back on the phone, Cara tells Maureen she wishes she were there at the condo, but glad she’s not. Maureen agrees, she’d only be trying to hang onto melted clocks and things. Maureen tells Cara she’d end up in the booby hatch if she tried to help them. Cara tells Maureen there were still a lot of things encumbering her that she didn’ty know how to throw away (Rhonda made her do a Big Cleaning in season one) and Maureen agrees that now it’s like the decisions have been made for her.

In the meeting, the counselors discuss some of the other women in the house. Kim, for instance, has never grieved her parents’ divorce or the break with her sister, but “awfulizes it” in her head all the time. They’re looking forward to meeting Dave, her husband, who will help them look at Kim in a different way.

Sommer, they believe, has lots of unhealthy relationships with men. They are either “just friends” or she gets a crush. We see Marcus, the trainer, coming over to do a workout at the house, and Sommer shows him around, babbling away in baby talk. Dr. Stan observes that she creates fantasies and when the fantasy turns out not to be there, she nurtures dectructive relationships. Rhonda gives Sommer the assignment of interviewing Marcus on the topic of relationships. “Apparently they’ve decided I’m good at flirting but not dating,” she tells him. He’s a good sport about the interrogation.

Kim, Towanda and Jen, the Sisterhood Group, meet with Iyanla and show her their illustrations of what a relationship with their sisters might look like. Iyanla likes Kim’s photo with all the drawings of activities around it, but Kim discusses the activities in the past tense and Iyanla reminds her she’s supposed to be building a future. This shuts Kim down and Iyanla observes that it’s easier to revert to the pain. Kim says she’s trying to get back together with her sister but still has reservations. Iyanla scolds her: “there’s no ‘trying.’ That’s a trick of the mind.”

Sommer asks Marcus some more questions. He talks about his own relationship and she marvels at how basic it is, compared to the way women over-analyze.

Kim’s getting ready for her husband. She feels thrilled and nervous.

Sommer meets with Rhonda and they talk about her interview with Marcus. Sommer admits it only made her love him more. “It’s so-o-o wrong,” she giggles, and Rhonda tells her it’s a blessing that he’s in Sommer’s life because she can look at him and realize she wants “this or something better.” Rhonda wants Sommer to practice showing a bit of her real self, which is what she admires about Marcus’ relationship. To that end, they have invited her old platonic friend Ed, who lives in San Diego, to come to the house. Sommer’s excited because Ed hasn’t seen her since the bypass.

Kim is feeling like a schoolgirl getting ready for a hot date. She’s happy to have lost 10 pounds since coming to the house. She narrates that Dave might feel threatened by being in the house. He finally gets there and she is overjoyed. They hug and she cries. He murmers into her neck “I know, it’s been a long time, huh?”

Sommer feels awkward watching Kim cry and Josie tells her snidely that she’s supporting her by telling her there is such a thing as happy tears.

Kim narrates she’s nervous about introducing Dave to everyone because some of the women are weary with men. But actually Dave is charming and not in a smarmy way. He doesn’t act like he’s been gossiping about them the way Towanda’s husband did. And he’s good with Chloe. He `mooches her little fist and gets her to grinning right away. Out on the deck with Kim, he holds her and tells her “I missed your smell.” Later they sit with Maureen and Kim tells Dave her story like she’s not there, which is fine with Mo. “I haven’t grieved,” she shrugs.

Up in the loft, they all like Dave. Rhonda asks if he makes them all feel better about Kim, and they react like it’s a trick question. Kim tells them it hasn’t been a fairy tale, they’ve had bad times but worked hard at staying together. Rhonda says she admires Kim for leaving her happy marriage temporarily to come to the Starting Over house.

Maureen moves up to the love seat and Rhonda says she needs to start envisioning a new life. They bring up the plasma and show a picture of Mo’s daughter Linda, who’s been gone for 14 years. Maureen says it is anger that makes her cry, and she doesn’t do it in front of people. Rhonda tells her the loss and grief have not been honored. Maureen relates she can’t even go to the cemetery because she feels like they’re not supposed to be there. Rhonda asks the housemates for feedback, and Kim says she can’t give advice because she doesn’t think she would be able to cope with those losses at all. Maureen brings out two theater masks, Comedy and Tragedy. Maureen says the Comedy mask is easier to wear but it stops her from grieving and distracts everyone else from it too. Rhonda gives her a black cloak and asks everyone to support Maureen in being cloaked in her grief. There is a jar of paper cut-outs in the shape of the tragedy mask, and Maureen is to spend the day writing down her losses so they can be attached to the cloak. She struggles not to cry and everyone reminds her not to stop it.

In the kitchen, Dave asks Sommer if there is anyone special. She tells him “No, I don’t know how,” and asks him about falling in love with Kim. He tells the story of the time they were on a date at an outdoor concert and it was the first time he said “I love you”. At the moment he said it, a cannon went off, the orchestra started playing the wedding march, balloons were launched and fireworks exploded. Kim thought he had planned it but it was just serendipity. Kim narrates that she hopes this helps some of the younger girls, to see a marriage that has lasted after a lot of work, for 15 years. (And I hope they notice, THERE”S NO BABYTALK) Sommer tells Dave she can flirt and she can date, but has a hard time with the in-between, getting to know each other and being real.

She narrates that when she meets a great guy like Ed, he’s what she says she wants in a man but never what she would actually choose. When he comes to the house, Sommer answers the door holding Chloe (Insurance! Gotta love it!) and Ed is good with the baby too.

A letter from Kim’s sister arrives and she is shocked, even though she has been saying all week she wanted one. Iyanla hoots and applauds. Kim has already read it and tells Iyanla that her sister, independently, said that maybe someday they could be in a room together.

Dave and Towanda help Maureen by attaching some of her slips of paper to the cloak. Towanda says there’s 20 or 25 losses represented there. Some of them are intagibles, like being able to express anger truthfully.

Sommer and Ed relax on the deck and she is in full babytalk mode. They talk about surfing and he tells her he will get her out on a surfboard. She feels optimistic about him.

Maureen meets with Rhonda, who asks how it felt to grieve, and how successful she was. She tells Maureen that in order to have happiness, we must face sadness. They prepare to throw the cloak into the fireplace and Rhonda cautions her that burning it will mean letting go and giving up excuses. The cloak burns spectacularly and Maureen says she’s ready celebrate her children, to say goodbye and “I love you”. Rhonda assures her that her children love her and don’t blame her.

Iyanla goes over Kim’s letter from Kelly. The first thing is that she needed a few days to think of a response. She asks, given the importance, why Kim’s note to her was so brief. Kim laughs and tells her husband she was afraid of rejection. The letter says “I put the onus on you”, which Kim reads as Kelly speaking to her, but Iyanla turns it around and says it’s Kelly interpreting what Kim is telling her. Kelly goes on to say that the pain is very deep, but better over the last 3 years. She writes, “Communication with you seems pointless. I do not have the strength to deal with you and maybe never will.” Iyanla points out that this is not about Kim and she shouldn’t take it on. Kelly goes on to say that she has never received and apology, and Kim exclaims, “Here we go.” Iyanla reminds Kim that it’s what she wants anyway: “Are you strong enough to apologise to her? How bad do you want it?” She has Kim close her eyes and remember that she has already forgiven herself for judging herself as wrong, unworthy, unloving, and she should ask her sister to forgive her for those things too. Iyanla goes on to read “In counseling you said you hated me with every fiber of your being.” Kim denies saying it and Iyanla gives her the benefit of the doubt. “Why has this changed?” Kelly asks. Iyanla poses the question to Kim. “Because I’m taking responsibility.” And? “Because I’m here and earned my way here.” (I have no clue what that means.)

Sommer says goodbye to Ed, he hugs her in spite of the babytalk and they make promises to call but co clear idea of who is expected to call whom. She narrates that Ed has the traits she wants and always felt she didn’t deserve.

Kim and Dave go out to Pinot Noir, a martini bar. She’s having conflicting feelings about her sister. She feels like blaming and it’s difficult to make a decision to move forward. Dave tells her he misses her and it’s been harder than he expected. She replies, “Well, it looks like I’ll just have to take you to bed, honey.”

Interview with Sinae of Starting Over

Sinae is the first graduate from Season two. Already getting ready to graduate from college at age 18, she came to the show to learn how to live independently with her recent sight impairment.

KW:Sinae, thank you for taking the time out from studies to do this for us.

[b]S:No, thank you! I greatly appreciate the support and well wishes from al lthe starting over fans![/b]

KW: What interesting things have you been doing since graduation,
and how is your mom?

[b]S: Well, since graduation I’ve been at school. I’m currently working on my senior thesis, which is interesting to me…and like everything in life I am trying to make even my research for my thesis as interesting as possible. Since my topic revolves around music I’ve been listening to a ton of CD’s by KRS-one, RASS KASS, and Talib Kweli. and…my Mom is great![/b]

KW: Did you watch the show after you graduated, and if so, how did it
make you feel?

[b]S: I haven’t really had time to watch Starting Over since I left the show, but I have caught a few episodes at school (people watch it in the
student center and in the gym)[/b]

KW: What further evolutions and changes do you see ahead for yourself?

[b]S: The most major change I see for myself is that I plan on skiing this season. I hope to find a coach and some sponsors soon so I can race in the B3 (legally blind) division of USSA/FIS[/b]

KW: What was your casting experience like?

[b]S: Casting was a blast! It was almost surreal in the way it happened. I went to a casting call and before I knew it I was in the house. So, I encourage all the women out there to give it a shot![/b]

KW: Do you think it’s different for the women coming in on Season 2,
than it was for the women in the first season?

[b]S:Of course it is different…most, if not all of the women on season 2
watched season 1.[/b]

KW: My son, who’s 20 and has autism, can relate to you because he thinks I’m in his face all the time, but I look at my sister and brother who have kids the same age and I feel like we are about the same. Do you think your mother sees herself as more protective of you than your
friends’ mothers are of them?

[b]S: I don’t see my mom as “more protective” of me than most mothers.
However, I do feel lucky to have a mother who loves me enough to be
concerned about me, your son should too. Not everyone is as fortunate
as your son and me to have mothers who care enough to be “in your

KW: Will there be any change in your relationship with your father as a
result of what you have learned on the show?

[b]S: I am willing to try and mend my relationship, or lack thereof with my father, not because of Starting Over but because I want to let go of
the negativity I have towards him. Yet, until they have a Starting Over
house for men, I doubt my willingness to mend our relationship will
have any impact on the situation at hand. In other words he has things he needs to learn as well. [/b]

KW: Any chance of a romance with any of the hotties you met on Starting Over?

[b]S: WoW! “hotties” ??? I was in a house with five women and a baby…and the EXPERTS that came to visit the house were pretty much taken. Sorry to ruin that for you. On a side note though…I am currently talking to someone I met last year at the University I attend. He is extremely wonderful, brilliant, and encouraging to say the least, and I have a feeling a long term “romance” is on the horizon.[/b]

KW: Nae-Nae is a funny nickname. Did it come from Sha-Nay-Nay on the show “In Living Color”?

[b]S: People have called me Nae-Nae for as long as I can remember, and as far as I know it has nothing to do with In Living Color [/b]

KW: What else would you like people to know?

[b]S: I want the fans of starting over to know and believe that as they watched me change they too changed…so maybe Starting Over isn’t so hard….and just maybe it is true that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE when you TRUST THE PROCESS.[/b]

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