Monday, October 31, 2011

Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries Getting Divorced? Not Surprising.

If you've been reading my commentary on the obviously fake Kim Kardashian / Kris Humphries relationship, you know that the Kardashian/Humphries divorce is not a surprise to me.

From the whirlwind relationship to the made for TV wedding, the Kim Kardashian / Kris Humphries marriage screamed "Totally fake!" and "Publicity Stunt!" like no other. Kim and Kris made tons of money off of their totally free wedding, scored a free honeymoon and earned some time in the spotlight. Plus, there there were so many obvious signs that this was fake:
- News sources stated that Kris wanted creative input to the Kardashian shows, and that was denied by Kris Jenner and crew.
- Kris said he wants a real marriage, not a marriage in the limelight. You know, after marrying a famewhoring Kardashian.
- Khloe made a big deal in the media about hating the new Kris in the family.

Does this not seem at all suspiciously staged to any of you?

My theory on what happened is that Kris was 'cast' as Kim's boyfriend and the whole thing was a publicity stunt to the Kardashians. Unfortunately, Kris (who honestly doesn't seem to be terribly intelligent) probably started to fall for Kim and her fake charm. Kim roped him in, cashed in on the added fame from her wedding after six months of courtship, and then made it clear that she wants nothing to do with him. The pair were barely seen together after their not-at-all-staged (sarcasm) honeymoon, after all.

Now, the marriage is over after only 72 days, and Kim is the one filing for divorce. So for those who feel bad for her, I think it might be worth reevaluating the decisions she made in the first place.

As for the rumors that Kris Humphries is a conceited jerk, well, it's definitely possible. But I'm sure Kim's not exactly humble herself. And sister Kourtney Kardashian is still with Scott Disick, so I'm sure Kris looks like an angel compared to him.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My Interview with Michelle Betts From Tough Love Miami

VH1's Tough Love Miami features women who are seeking love but can't seem to find it. On the show, matchmaker Steve Ward helps the women overcome their dating problems to find their perfect match. While some of the women are way over the top, one woman comes off refreshingly normal and fun. Her name is Michelle Betts.

Michelle Betts is more than a reality show contestant. She's an actress and personal trainer, and she was Demi Moore's body double in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle. (How cool is that?) Along with her modeling, acting and personal training, Michelle finds time to stay connected with fans: she writes a fitness blog and tweets frequently on Twitter.

I was lucky enough to score an email interview with Michelle. Keep reading to learn more about Michelle, her experience on Tough Love and where we can expect to see her next.


The awesome Michelle Betts
1. What was your favorite part about appearing on Tough Love Miami?


My favorite part about appearing on Tough Love Miami is that I'm hoping other people will learn from my mistakes.  It's hard putting yourself out there, but if it helps someone then it's worth it.  I also really like that my animated facial expressions are making people laugh....that means I'm making them feel good.


2. What was your least favorite part about appearing on Tough Love Miami?


My least favorite part about appearing on Tough Love Maimi was the long days.  Some filming days could be up to 14 hours long (then in the house there's cameras so you're always on being filmed), it was very hard for me to keep my fitness regimen up, I was waking up about an hour and a half before the other girls so I could work out and it was really exhausting.  Now though, when a client tells me they don't have time it doesn't fly......you make the time.


3. Did you learn a lot from being on Tough Love?  What's the best piece of advice you got from being on the show?


I learned sooooooo much from being on Tough Love.  I had no idea that a really destructive relationship 8 years ago had left me scarred.  The best piece of advice I could give someone is that no one is perfect and you have to forgive yourself for mistakes you've made....you can't take back the past you can only learn and be a better person from your struggles.


4. What was it like working with Steve Ward?


Working with Steve Ward was INCREDIBLE.  He is a genius when it comes to dating, he really knows what he's talking about and although he is really harsh with the cast, he does it because he cares about us and wants to help us.  I have been pursuing a career in entertainment in LA for almost 10 years, I take criticism very well, and as personal trainer I have to dish out tough love to my clients, so I respected the things Steve told me even though it was straight forward.


5. Have you stayed in touch with any of the women from Tough Love?


I have stayed in touch with all of the women from Tough Love.  All of the ladies hold a special place in my heart, there are certain gals that I am closer with then others, but I try to reach out to all 7 of the women.  I got really close with Claudia in the begining of bootcamp, she has the biggest heart, and Bridgette was there when I really needed a friend during bootcamp.  Jane I took on like a little sister, yes, she pissed me off at times, but I love her.  When you go through an experience like this you build an incredible bond, love my Tough Lough Miami ladies.


6.  Now that you've made it through Boot Camp, do you feel more ready to find and maintain a relationship?  Has the show helped you find a match?


Now that I've made it through boot camp, I can't tell you if I found a match, but I will tell you that I went into bootcamp not looking for someone, I went in trying to learn and work on me.......and I did, I'm extremely grateful for my bootcamp experience, it has changed my life for the better.


7.  Have you gotten feedback from fans about your appearances on Tough Love?



I have gotten such amazing and wonderful feedback from my fans.  I have been showered with love and support, my friends, family and fans have been amazing. 


8.  What's it like watching yourself on Tough Love now that it's on TV?


It is sooooooo scary watching myself on Tough Love on TV, every Sunday my nerves are out of control. I always feel better after I see the episode for the first time, but I am VERY hard on myself, but I'm learning to let that go.


9.  You were Demi Moore's body double in Charlie's Angels:  Full Throttle.  What was that like?  Did you get to meet Demi and other celebrities on set?


I was cast by director McG as Demi Moore's body double the last 3 days of filming Charlie's Angels:  Full Throttle and is was an INCREDIBLE experience.  Demi could't be there for the 3 days, I never got to meet her, but I did need her apporoval.  So MkG cast me and she approved my photos.  I'll never forget the first day of filming I was sitting in the chair getting wigged (Demi's hair was much longer than mine), and Cameron Diaz walked in and sat in the chair next to me, she turned to me and said, "Hi you're doing Demi's work today, I'm Cameron".  She was so incredibly nice, it was a really great experience.  I got to work with the really good looking Brazilian actor, and Irish actor, and I did meet the late Bernie Mac.  I was treated so well by everyone.  I had my own make up artist, wardrobe and hair ladies, and a stand in.  Most of my scenes are when she is wearing a tiny purple bra and underwear set, so at first I was nervous, but after 5 minutes the nerves went away.  I felt honored that I was choosen, she's in incrredible shape.  Wonderful experience :)


10.  You're not only an actress, but a personal trainer as well.  How did you get into fitness and do you plan to make fitness and personal training part of your long term career goals?


I'll try to keep this as short as possible, after my bad break up 8 years ago, I turned to the gym.  That's how I dealt with the pain, and I became really involved at the gym.  Now, as an actress you also need to look your best, so I would go to the gym everyday and I would run around LA in my gym clothes and people would come up to me all the time and ask me what I did to stay fit.  My friends would join me for work out sessions and would always tell me what a great motivator I was.  I was bartending at the time and I was really unhappy, I decided to try a Tony Robbins program to change my life.......and that's exactly what it did, Tony Robbins programs helped me find what I'm truly passionate about and make a living at.  I practice his "hour of power" every morning and try and lead a positive life now, it's wonderful.  As far as making it my long term career goal? Well here's what I tell everyone.  I would love to be Courtney Cox or Jillian Michaels.  I'm really good with comedy and I would love to reach an audience on a big scale and make them laugh....that would be awesome!  However, I'm a REALLY good personal trainer and fitness expert, I would also just as much love to help and reach people with there health and fitness goals.  I'm open and would be happy doing either...we will see where life takes me.


11.  What can we expect next from you?  More acting?  New ad campaigns?  Will you be focusing on personal training?


There is so much in the works for me right now, life is so exciting.  I have been offered an ongoing monthly fitness column in a Canadian publication, it starts running in November. I have developed a fitness band that I am planning to launch next year, it's in the works but it's a great tool and you can train every major muscle with it.  I am still pursuing acting, however my theatrical agent retired, so this month I have been taking meetings and hopefully within the next two weeks will have it narrowed down so I can start auditioning again.  I went out for a new ad campaign for a running shoe yesterday.......keep your fingers crossed!!! As far as personal training....I'll never give that up.  I LOVE helping people feel good about themselves,  when I get messages or texts or emails from a client or someone I have helped telling me how good they feel, or that they fit into jeans they haven't worn for years, or that they came home from a doctors appointment and there blood pressure is down....it's the greatest feeling in the world!!!!! I will always make time for clients and giving back is a major priority in my life.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tough Love Miami Episode 5 - Sexy Photo Shoots

This week on Tough Love, the girls were told to do a sexy photo shoot. Leilani was immediately excited, but Christine and Brigette were not thrilled.

The girls were allowed to choose their own outfits. Leilani had a hissy fit when Claudia chose a white tank top when she wanted to be the only one wearing one. To keep her from freaking out, Claudia gave in and wore fishnets, which she hates, so she doesn't match with Leilani.

Like with most things on Tough Love, Steve Ward had a twist for this challenge. Not only did the girls have to pose for photos, but they had to walk down a catwalk in front of a group of men.

Jane trying to take her top off. (From VH1.com)
In my opinion, Leilani looked confident in a tank top and jeans. Christine wore a loose fitting dress that was very short. Michelle wore a sporty looking shirt and underwear. Brigette wore a white dress and looked uncomfortable. Avonte wore a bra, panties and a loose, open shirt. Chasity wore a pink shirt and underwear. Claudia wore fishnets over underwear. It was over the top, and so were her poses. Jane wore panties and a white top, and as she was on the runway, she struggled to take her top off. She sat onstage trying for a while, and finally, Michelle stopped in to help. Jane held the open top in front of her, and at least the photos came out well.

The men in the audience provided feedback on the women's outfits. The guys said Avonte was sexy. One guy said she was a mix of sexy and soft. Brigette was told that she looked uncomfortable, despite the fact that she has a nice figure. She was told that she looks like a JC Penney catalog model. Michelle was called a sexy girl next door. Chasity was told that she's pretty, sexy and worked with the camera. Leilani was told that she looked arrogant. Christine was told that her dress was way too short. Jane was called nervous and that she was trying too hard. Claudia was told that she looks like a prostitute.

Brigette started to cry when Steve said she didn't look like she felt sexy, and she said she doesn't feel sexy without long hair. She said that she feels like guys always leave her for better looking girls. Steve analyzed Brigette's behavior and made it clear that her actions come from her extremely low self esteem.

The girls were set up on dates.

Chasity was set up with Al since she decided to quit dancing. Leilani was set up with George again. Jane was set up with Arthur again. Everyone else had new dates. Brigette was given a date named Frankie, who was the opposite of Anthony, the guy she'd been falling for in earlier episodes. Brigette said the conversation between the pair flowed well. Christine got Frank, and the pair seemed to connect well. Michelle got a date named Jonathan. Avonte got a guy named Trevis, who she said broke her guard. She didn't seem to be as confrontational as usual with her date.

During the dates, samba dancers in sexy outfits went out onto a stage. Then, Steve walked out in front of them. Then, the girls were given a surprising challenge: they'd be doing the samba next. The dancers would take them backstage and get them dressed, and then they'd perform.

The dancing was kind of a mess for some of the girls but great for others. Brigette did well and had fun, but it seemed to be alcohol induced. Claudia, on the other hand, did well. Christine wasn't the best dancer, but she looked confident and her date loved it. Avonte said she didn't want to go urban, but her dancing did take an urban turn.

On her date, Michelle told her ex how she's been single for five years. Brigette told her date that she's insecure and that she's concerned about finding someone to marry and to have kids with. Brigette was clearly drunk and acted over the top. In the car back to the Tough Love house, Brigette talked about marriage again and was called out, being told that she has too many issues to get married at this point. Back at the house, Brigette heard the girls talking about her drinking and went off on the girls, specifically Christine. Brigette said that she seems like the only girl who wants to let loose and have fun.

The women were brought in for the group session.

Christine did the best this week. Steve commended her for handling this week's challenges in a positive way. Steve asked Christine if she knows what her issue is, and Christine said it has to do with being confident in who she is. Steve agreed. Christine also said her date went well and hoped for positive feedback. Fortunately, she got good feedback - her date thought she was beautiful and that he wanted to see her again.

Michelle said she liked her date Jonathan but wasn't sure how her date felt about her. She said her problem was that she gets weird when she likes a guy. Her date was affected by her weirdness. He said that Michelle was positive and had a great smile, but was concerned about her being single for so long.

Jane's date said the pair had a genuine connection and that Jane was sexy. He said he'd love to see her again. However, Jane said that he reminds her of her ex, and that brought back negative feelings about her past relationship. Steve told Jane that she needs to give people the benefit of the doubt or she'd be alone forever.

Not surprisingly, Brigette found herself in the hot seat. She earned the hot seat for how she acts out her insecurities. Steve showed a video of Brigette during the date, and she said she's not like that with everybody. Steve disagreed. He said that Brigette's doing herself a disservice by putting her issues right out on the table, rather than being positive. Her date said Brigette was cool but he could tell that she was incredibly insecure. He said that Brigette didn't need to be so insecure, and he would not like to see her again. After that, Brigette admitted that she experienced heartbreak several times and had a nervous breakdown during which she didn't work for two months. She said that she self-sabotages herself and that she's embarrassed by it. Steve told her to cut that out, and Brigette seemed to want to try.

It looks like next week on Tough Love, we'll see some more breakdowns. It looks like it will be interesting!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Obama Doesn't Want His Daughters Keeping Up With the Kardashians

President Obama has stated that he doesn't want his kids watching Kardashian-based reality shows, including Keeping Up With the Kardashians. The Kardashians are surprised by this, for some reason.

While some people are focusing on the Occupy Wall Street movement and the volatile stock market, others are taking the time to bug out over Michelle Obama's comment that her husband Barack Obama doesn't like daughters Sasha and Malia watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

As usual, the Kardashians saw this as a potential press opportunity and opened up to the press about their shock and horror. Khloe Kardashian Odom was quick to note that the president had previously told her that Keeping Up With the Kardashians was a good show.

But here's the thing, Khloe - Barack Obama is an adult. Sasha and Malia are kids. And is Keeping Up With the Kardashian a kids show? No. But still, Michelle and the kids watch it. Michelle simply said that Barack isn't always happy about it.

Rob Kardashian took a mature spin on this and contended that clearly the family is watching the show, and the show doesn't have negativity. He says that each show ends with a positive message.

The thing is, I don't think Barack is arguing that Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim, Khloe, Kourtney or whatever Kardashian is taking over Miami or New York at the time or any other Kardashian shows are bad. I think the real problem he has with the Kardashians is the negative press surrounding them. As much as their show portrays a cookie cutter clean image of the Kardashian clan, in real life, Kourtney had a child out of wedlock, Kim had a sex tape, Kris will do anything to get her kids in the spotlight and Kendall does modeling that may not be appropriate for a girl her age. I'm not saying the Kardashians/Jenners don't have a right to do any of this, but perhaps the nation's president doesn't want his kids to look to the Kardashians as role models. Heaven forbid!

In other not shocking Kardashian news, reports are stating that Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries are having marital problems already. I'm going to give a big "duh" at this one. The pair only dated for six months before getting married, Kris' family reportedly hated the wedding and the Kardashian family reportedly hates Kris. Plus, Kim comes off as a major narcissist, and it's been stated that when Kris H. tries to give creative input into the Kardashian reality show circuit, he gets immediately shut down. So...where exactly was the positive in this in the first place?

I still stand by the fact that momager Kris Jenner pushed Kim into getting married and all of the "OMG we hate Kris Humphries" antics by the Kardashian family are just a scam for TV ratings. I mean, what about that marriage doesn't scream 'fake'? The over-the-top, made for TV wedding did. The anti-Kris sentiments by the Kardashians does. The fact that Kim is thirty and wasn't married or pregnant must have set off some warning bells in mom Kris' mind. I genuinely don't think the wedding was ever meant to last. I mean, have you seen the super fake honeymoon pictures?

Reports have also stated that the Kardashians are worried that Kris Humphries is using Kim for fame. Well...yeah. He probably is. But that's probably in return for the fact that he was probably personally selected by Kris Jenner as a potential mate for Kim. I mean, his name is Kris (this looks intentional), he's a little famous (two), he comes off as dumb so the Kardashians thought they could use him in their master scheme (three) and he's tall and has a somewhat similar look to Kim, so if they have a kid, it would simply look like a taller version of Kim (four). I could be wrong, though...I'm just not convinced that I am.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Leah Messer Claims Teen Mom 2 Ruined Her Life

Leah Messer, who recently went through a messy divorce from Corey Simms, claims that being on Teen Mom ruined her life. So, to me, she's saying becoming a teen mom to twins and entering into an uncertain marriage weren't the issues - being on television was. Yeah, okay.

Leah Messer reportedly blames Teen Mom 2 for her failed marriage. That could be partially true, but I certainly wouldn't give it all the blame. If I remember correctly, I read articles a while back stating that MTV told Leah that she had to stay with Corey Simms to remain on Teen Mom 2, but that could have just been a rumor. And, a major factor in the Messer/Simms divorce was the fact that Corey withdrew $19,000 for a new truck from their joint bank account. Without the show, you can be sure that the pair wouldn't have $19,000 to spend like that.

That being said, I think Leah is placing the blame in the wrong place. She had a child as a teenager, decided to marry the guy that she clearly wasn't really even into during her episode of 16 and Pregnant, and then went through a messy divorce. While the show may have perpetuated her problems, it hardly created problems that weren't there...the kids, the marriage - all of that would / could have happened without Leah's participation in an MTV series.

Leah is also ignoring the positives of being on Teen Mom. She makes money that allows her and her twin daughters to live comfortably. She's also gained fame that allows her to make even more money for interviews and appearances. With her daughter's medical conditions, having some extra cash is hardly a terrible thing.

Part of Leah's issue, in my opinion, is that her start on MTV was exactly when her life changed dramatically, so she probably has issues distinguishing what triggered what, as far as problems go. Here's a hint: the pregnancy started the problems, not the show. If Leah didn't have the show, she'd have a whole different set of problems. There's certainly no guarantee that her life would be easier.

Reports state that Leah is concerned about how she'll be portrayed in the upcoming season of Teen Mom 2. She thinks MTV will make her look slutty. Well, if you have concerns about how you'll be portrayed without even seeing a rough cut of the show, then your actions are speaking pretty loudly. Reality TV can twist things, but if you give them good TV, they don't need to do a whole lot of twisting.

I truly believe that Leah and her twins would benefit from some privacy (which is a major concern of Leah's), but Leah can't forget that Teen Mom 2 has been both a blessing and a curse. I won't say that the show didn't bring Leah any negativity, but I will say that the cash and fame Leah earned from being on Teen Mom 2 probably have helped her in many ways.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Review: Why Am I Still Single? on VH1

Why Am I Still Single? is a new matchmaking show on VH1. It's a cross between Bravo's The Millionaire Matchmaker and VH1's Tough Love.

Why Am I still Single? is a show featuring Siggy Flicker, a matchmaker and love coach. In the premiere episode (and presumably the rest of the episodes), she takes two hopeless daters and makes them datable.

The show opens up with the two featured daters being put on a date together. This isn't for a match-up, but so Siggy can see each person's dating behaviors. During and after this scene, Siggy and her team discuss what was wrong with each person's dating skills and what the next steps should be for each of them. From here, the show proceeds like any other matchmaking show: Siggy 'fixes' the daters and sets them up with potential dates.

Why Am I Still Single? is a fun show, although it's got a bit of the been-there-done-that feeling. We've seen this same kind of thing before on The Millionaire Matchmaker. However, Siggy is in a relationship, so she's got more credibility than MM's Patti Stanger. And, she's funny. She's also more hands-on with her daters than Patti is. She really interacts with her clients and helps them to improve in funny and somewhat embarrassing ways. (That's how the show is similar to Steve Ward's tactics on Tough Love.)

The show also features makeovers from a set of twin stylists (Jenn and Jamie), clueless daters and some really awkward dating situations. In the first episode, dater Katie showed her test date her scary sweat stains and told him she still has her "V card." This kind of stuff makes you cringe, but it also makes you laugh.

My recommendation for Why Am I Still Single? Give it a try. It's not the most original or compelling show on television, but it is fun to watch. It's more of a feel good show than The Millionaire Matchmaker (where Patti is beyond mean to her clients) and it's more hopeful than Tough Love, where the girls often backtrack throughout the season. It's a good 'popcorn show' - you know, the kind that's fun when you're relaxing and want to watch something that doesn't require a lot of thought to enjoy it.

Tough Love Miami Episode 4 - 10/16/11 - Dating Wearing Earpieces

This week on Tough Love, Steve Ward sent the women on dates with earpieces in their ears, from which he gave them questions to ask their dates. Let's just say that some of the questions were a bit embarrassing.

The goal of this week's challenge was to learn how to flirt properly. Steve Ward brought in some guys for the women, but there was a catch - they didn't speak English. The lesson was that the women could flirt without speaking the same language - they can use their body language to entice a guy.

At first, the girls seemed to flounder - when asking her guy if he had pets, Claudia actually started barking like a dog to explain what she was talking about. Another girl repeated the name of her favorite musicians several times to see if her date would recognize who she meant.

The girls were told to teach their guys how to salsa and roll a cigar. Steve said the goal is to keep things simple. This is very effective with a language barrier. Michelle did well at this. She simply showed her date how to roll a cigar, but she made it fun and silly.

The girls were in for a surprise after the dates ended - they found out that their guys actually spoke English! Chasity's date called her 'uppity' and said she gave up too early. Michelle was told that she had good body language. Avonte's date said she had good body language. Brigette did well with the situation, according to her date.

Steve then told the girls how to flirt, which includes appropriate physical contact and saying a guy's name in conversation. After that, the girls discussed flirting, and Leilani admitted that she's awful at it.

The next day, the girls had dates, and their goal was to show their guys that they know how to flirt.

During this, each girl would have earpieces with Steve speaking into them. He told the women to do what he asks from the earpiece, even if it's uncomfortable and weird. The girls couldn't let the guys know that Steve was talking in their ears.

Brigette and her date Anthony were first. Steve told Brigette to tell Anthony to unbutton a button on his shirt because his chest is sexy. She then told Anthony that she wants him to sweep her off her feet. In response, he asked for her ring size. She started laughing in shock, but then gave him an answer.

Avonte had to tell her guy to sit closer. She then had to ask her date what he does to get his blood racing. She laughed a lot during her session, and her guy was really loving it.

Christine and Jason were next. Christine was very impressed with her guy. The problem was that Christine ignored Steve's advice and flirted in her own way. Unfortunately, Steve said she wasn't flirting at all.

Chasity didn't actually remember he guy's name - that was a problem.

Jane was next, and she talked with her mouth full. She told her guy that she eats like a viking. She thought her guy was too good to be true.

Michelle was coached to be over the top during her date. She was told to ask her guy if he had any piercings that she couldn't see. When the guy said he had a nipple piercing, Michelle had to ask to see it. Then, she asked her date if he'd ever get a Prince Albert. (He said no.)

Leilani and George were next. George presented her with jewelry, and Leilani noted a guy hadn't given her a gift in quite some time. Leilani noted that Steve's requests made her uncomfortable because she wanted George to know her for who she is, and Steve's requests didn't represent her. Still, she went along with it. Still, Steve commented that she's coming off like a spoiled brat.

After the date, Leilani complained to the other Tough Love girls about the session. She was upset that she would have to wait a week to explain to George that she was listening to Steve during this date. The other girls called her out on it, because they said that George should know that Leilani likes him. Then, Leilani went on a rant because she thought that Steve may have told George to give her the gift and it wasn't genuine. The girls had no sympathy and thought she was being paranoid. Brigette tried to explain that Steve has their best interests in mind and was trying to get Leilani to open up.

The group session was last.

Avonte did the best this week, and she admitted that she had a great time. Steve showed the girls a clip of Avonte's date, and she really did open up and play the game well. Her date said that Avonte was hot, friendly and open. He also said that he'd love to see her again. Avonte said that this guy was someone that she would normally overlook, and she thanked Steve for the enjoyable opportunity.

Christine was next, and Steve said he thinks Christine still doesn't trust him. Christine's date said that she was pleasant, but wasn't flirty. She didn't do anything to turn her guy off, but she didn't turn him on either. He said he didn't sense chemistry and would not go on a second date. Christine was upset because she did like the guy but didn't properly show it by going into pageant mode.

Brigette said her date made her nervous by asking her ring size. Steve said Brigette shouldn't be surprised because she wraps guys around her finger. Her date agreed with Steve's sentiment - her date was really falling for her. The problem was that Brigette was falling in love with falling in love, yet she wasn't in love with Anthony like he was falling for her. Steve told Brigette that her next date would be with somebody else.

Chasity felt like she was acting during her date and she wasn't being true. She and Steve discussed Al, the person that Chasity liked in a past date, but wouldn't be with her because of her dancing career. She said that she'd love to see Al again, but said she might be lying if she said she'd quit dancing. After this conversation, Steve told Chasity she'd have to be honest with Al, and in a surprise twist, brought him into the room right at that moment. Chasity asked Al why go-go dancing bothers him even though she's fully clothed. Al said it would be a tough situation to introduce her to his family and explain what she does. This seemed to get through to Chasity, and she swore that she was done with go-go dancing. Then, Al agreed to see her again. Chasity hugged Al, then thanked and hugged Steve as well.

Leilani was in the hot seat. She cried, and said that she's bad at flirting. Steve said that's not why she's up there - she was up there because any time something doesn't go her way, Leilani blames Steve for it. When Leilani asked, Steve said he did not put George up to giving her the necklace. And, Steve said he has the girls' best interests at heart, and we saw a clip of Steve telling George about the situation on the date. Steve said he knew something was up and still liked Leilani. The point is that Leilani didn't need to worry, and she's acting like a brat when it's completely unnecessary.

Next week, the girls would be doing a sexy photo shoot. From the previews, it looks like this does not go well.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dance Moms is Kind of Fake, But Also Kind of Real

Reality TV World did an interview with Abby Lee Miller of Dance Moms, and some interesting things came to the surface.

* The show initially was supposed to focus on the dance moms, not Abby Lee. The idea for the show came from Abby's complaints about the moms of her dancers, so the moms were supposed to be the focus. However, when Abby's crazy personality came out, the show really fell into place. After all, we really watch the show for Abby, not the moms! And this explains why the show is called Dance Moms, not Abby Lee: Extreme Dance Lessons.

* The competitions shown on Dance Moms aren't the ones that Abby Lee's studio usually frequents. The competitions we saw on Lifetime took place in April, which is after Abby's usual competition season ends. The show actually found the competitions for Abby and her girls to attend, which explains the extensive (and expensive!) traveling. Abby Lee and her dancers actually attend local competitions during their traditional competition season. I'm glad to hear that this isn't really how the moms and kids compete - this was a lot of crazy traveling in a short amount of time! That being said, Abby and her students do travel frequently for auditions and other things.

* Dance Moms was cast by Collins Avenue Entertainment, so the girls we see are not the only girls on Abby's competition team. Moms of the dancers were interviewed to determine how entertaining they'd be on TV, and Melissa, Kelly, Christi and Holly were chosen. The dancers did not audition. Maddie, Chloe, Paige, Brooke, Nia and Mackenzie actually are Abby's students, but they aren't the only ones that compete for Abby's studio. I still believe that Cathy Nesbitt-Stein and Vivi-Anne were 'planted' and were never part of Abby's studio - the whole cast was determined by producers!


Was Dance Moms real? Sort of. Abby does teach dance and she does have a successful studio. But she has a lot more going on than coaching the girls featured on Dance Moms, and the competitions we saw weren't the ones that Abby Lee Dance Studio usually attends. That's reality TV for you - mixing the real with the fake to come up with something entertaining.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

So Many Choices, Yet Tori Spelling Chose Hattie...What?

I am very picky about names. A name, when given to a child, will help shape and define the child. A name comes with teasing nicknames and stereotypes. So when you name a child Hattie, as Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott did, it kind of makes you wonder...what were you thinking?

I understand why Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott chose a name like Hattie. You know, old school, not common these days, slightly offbeat but not unheard of. But did they have to go so far off the beaten track? The name Hattie is just wrong on so many levels.

Tori Spelling, mom of Hattie McDermott
It seems that the other McDermott kids got off easy - the names Liam and Stella are becoming current again and have cool meanings: determined protector and star, respectively. And, neither of their names sound like something you'd wear on your head.

Hattie, on the other hand, is a name that makes you sound like you're 65 years old right from birth. In fact, per BabyNamer.com, the name Hattie has not been popular since 1960, which explains why I make the connection. Also, Hattie isn't really a name - it's actually a nickname for Harriet or Henrietta. Again, names that aren't popular these days, but would at least give the kid some leeway with nicknames. Harriet could be Hattie, Harry, Hatsie or something. Henrietta could be Hattie, Hettie, Retta, Etta or Etty. (I got most of these from BabyNamer, if you're curious.) I'm not saying most of the options are awesome, but at least give the poor kid a choice!

The meaning of Hattie is home leader. Which could be kind of cool except it makes the girl sound like she's destined to be a domineering housewife. (I am home leader, hear me roar!) Either that or a strict housemother for a rowdy sorority. Neither one is terribly appealing.

Anyway, here are some other reasons why Hattie is really not the best name for a child born in 2011:
- As noted above, Hattie sounds like a grandmother even before she learns how to talk.
- The teasing nicknames are ridiculous. Heaven forbid the girl ever has hat hair. She'll never hear the end of it. And if she's chubby, I wouldn't be surprised to hear her called Hattie the Fattie.
- Per ParentsConnect.com, 53% of survey participants think that people always misspell the name Hattie and 43% occasionally misspell it. So...that pretty much means that people will be misspelling Hattie's name for her whole life.
- Also per ParentsConnect, Hattie the Hottie is a teasing nickname. It's not necessarily mean, but it could probably get pretty annoying.

Names are a very personal thing, so it's not really fair to judge someone for choosing a name that they like for a child. But it is important to consider the child's well being in the long term. Does Hattie make a good name for a teenager? Not really. Is 'Hat' really a good nickname? No. Does the kid have nickname options if she hates her name? Again, no. So in my opinion of good baby names, Hattie does not make the cut.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Legally Blonde and Abby Lee Connection!

There are two things in life that I absolutely love: Legally Blonde the musical and Lifetime's reality show Dance Moms. Today, the two collided and my brain just about exploded with excitement.

By complete chance, I was reading the list of notable alumni from the Abby Lee Dance Company. As I scrolled down, I came across the name Asmeret Ghebremichael. I paused and thought, oh my gosh, I know that name! She was in Legally Blonde! I went to BroadwayWorld.com to confirm and I was right - she played Pilar. So cool!

Legally Blonde is by far one of my favorite musicals. I even wrote an article comparing the Legally Blonde book, movie and Broadway show, which can be found here. I know I saw and loved Asmeret in at least one of the LB performances that I attended...but I saw it a lot (Broadway and National Tour) so I can't quite remember which performance it was.

To further my excitement about Asmeret, she's currently appearing in Broadway's The Book of Mormon, a show I am absolutely dying to see but don't have the money for right now, as tickets cost a ton of cash.

I just wanted to share this in case any of you out there are Legally Blonde and Dance Moms fans...I know I am. And finding this out made me want to say, "Omigod, you guys!" I wonder how training with Abby Lee shaped Asmeret as a performer - I bet it made her pretty tough, at least.

Tough Love Miami Episode 3 - Makeovers!

This week on Tough Love Miami, Steve had the women get makeovers, and they did not all go well.

Image from VH1.com
At six AM, Steve and mom Joann Ward raided the women's rooms and woke them up with a blow horn. The women were sent downstairs to watch Steve and his mom search their rooms on a television screen. They insulted Chasity's stripper shoes, a copy of He's Just Not That Into You, extensive amounts of makeup and Christine's fake hair extension.

Joann and Steve Ward went down to talk to the girls. They called the guys out on being messy, and asked them if they wanted a good man or a bad man, because a good man won't want a girl who keeps her stripper shoes mixed in with her clothes. Steve also noted that he hates when girls become so fake (tons of makeup, fake hair, fake tans) because everything is over-accented and false.

The Makeovers

Steve then dropped the big bomb: the girls would be getting makeovers. Steve's focus was on beauty from a male perspective. He also wanted to prove that poise and confidence were what's important, not tons of makeup and fakeness. Claudia was told she'd be toning down the makeup. Christine was told that she'd be losing her pageant look. Christine was on the verge of tears, especially when she was told she'd be losing her extensions. Jane, on the other hand, was given extensions to make her more feminine, and was concerned about the upkeep. Brigette and Joann had a talk because Brigette felt naked and insecure without her makeup.

Surprisingly, Claudia was really happy with her new makeup look - she enjoyed not looking so dramatic. Leilani was upset with her hair being in an updo - she admitted that she felt insecure about her small boobs, her small chin and big teeth, and had been using her hair to hide those flaws.

As Jane went through her hair makeover, she said she was scared but looked happy. I have to say - the new hair worked on her, and her whole attitude seemed to change in a positive way.

Christine got sadder and sadder as her makeover progressed. She clearly used her hair as a defensive mechanism, and it was now gone.

Taylor the Tiger
In the end, Brigette ended up looking great. Jane looked happy and feminine. Christine, when asked about her makeover, made it pretty clear that she hated it. She said she went from feeling beautiful to not feeling beautiful. Steve responded by saying that if Christine had confidence, she'd feel beautiful no matter what. To be fair, though, Christine looked a bit scary, kind of like tiger-looking Taylor from earlier seasons of Tough Love. However, when she gained some confidence back, the Taylor look was gone and Christine became her normal, pretty self again - even without her defense mechanism extensions.

The Pool Party

The girls were told that they'd be going to a pool party, and surprisingly, Christine handled it well. Each woman had to choose a bathing suit to wear for the event. Every woman, except Christine, chose a bikini. At this point, Christine should have realized that she isn't the biggest girl at all...she just has the most body issues. Christine was tough - she pushed through her insecurities and had a good conversation with a guy.

Leilani did well too. When asked what she likes in a guy, she said she likes a guy who's trustworthy, which is a far cry from the description she'd used before, like saying a guy has to be hot and rich.

Jane was fantastic. She admitted to her date that she's staying sober, so she was forthright about her challenge with alcohol. It put her situation out in the open.

Next, Steve made an announcement that made Christine so happy - he told her that since she'd been such a good sport, he'd send her back to the salon to have her extensions put back. When she had her extensions back, Christine looked happy and great. But that's not to say she didn't look good without them, once she gained some self esteem.

Steve then asked the girls to do something that would let their inner beauty shine - jump in the pool and ruin their hair and makeup. His request was immediately met with protests. Still, the women took the challenge and jumped in.

Brigette, as she drank, got really interesting. She started getting silly and got into a crazy makeout session with her date Anthony. She then began to rant about a previous relationship, stating that the guy told her she's beautiful and perfect, than leaving her. Ouch, not attractive. And Brigette was convinced that she wasn't moving too fast, which she probably was. One of the other girls noted that Brigette was doing her usual thing - getting too serious too fast and thinking about marriage on the second date. Brigette later told the girls that Anthony had already planned to book a plane ticket for one of them to visit the other after the show ended, and even discussed a possible move for Anthony...to live near her in New York!

Michelle, who was normally calm and quiet, decided to have some fun. She and a guy were all up on each other in the pool. While the pair didn't kiss or tough inappropriately, they certainly were making a presentation.

Announcing the winner and loser for the week

The group session was next.

Jane won the challenge this week for being confident, having a good attitude and facing her sobriety issue head on. Her date said she had a warm personality and seems like a giving person, which is a major change from her old, cold self.

Christine said she thought she did well on the date, and noted that her hair extensions (or lack of) don't determine her confidence...her hair color does. Which means even though she did well during the challenge, she hadn't moved forward. She asked Steve why she wasn't in the hot seat, and his answer was that someone did worse, not that she did well.

Avonte thought her date was cocky. Steve said she's too skeptical of men. Steve asked her if she though most men cheat, and she said yes. Steve said that's not true. Avonte said that she thought that men were liars, so they were being untrue if they don't want to cheat. Her date said she was too busy pushing men away.

Michelle, who said she was attracted to her date, was criticized for coming to group two weeks in a row dressed like a librarian, then dressed like someone going to The Rocky Horror Picture Show this week. Michelle's date made it pretty clear that Michelle was aggressive and he was just going along with it. He didn't seem convinced that he wanted to see Michelle again. Michelle seemed defeated, but admitted that she learned a lesson from this experience.

Brigette found herself in the hot seat. She was told that the housemates had an expression - pulling a Brigette. It means going on a first date and wanting your date to love you. It also has to do with falling in love too fast. Steve said that he had a theory - Brigette is attracted to whoever's around her, which was proven by her flirty reaction to her hairstylist. She was accused of leading her date, Anthony, on although she's attracted to whoever she sees at the moment. Brigette admitted that she's afraid that she'll never get married and settled down - basically, she's fighting against the clock.

Review of the show and episode

Tough Love
is a must-watch show for fans of VH1 programming and those who love shows about dating disasters. Steve Ward is tough but fair to the girls on his reality show, and you can tell that he's got their best interests at heart. Steve gives good advice both on and off the show, which has been proven through his interviews on The Elvis Duran Show. I have a lot of respect for Steve Ward. He knows what he's talking about, and he's a whole lot nicer to the people on his show than Patti Stanger is to the contestants on The Millionaire Matchmaker. Team Steve Ward!

If you aren't familiar with the Tough Love franchise, this episode was a good episode to watch. We learned a lot about the show, the women and the mistakes that the women make. Plus, we got to see the makeovers, and the makeover episode of any show is always one of the best.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Teen Mom Trainwrecks Cause More Trouble

Amber Portwood, fresh out of rehab, is partying again and not spending enough time with daughter Leah.

Unfortunately, Amber says she's still suicidal because of her broken family and the lies told about her in the tabloids, but she hardly seems to be handling the situation properly. Reports state that she's spending lots of time partying and not spending quality time with Leah. She's also begging baby daddy Gary Shirley to take her back, but her actions aren't exactly proving that he should do it.

Amber says it hurts her that the tabloids are telling untrue stories about her, but to be fair, she is giving them a lot to work with. If Amber got a steady job, worked on her family's relationship and stayed out of the spotlight, she'd have a chance to rehabilitate her image and her life.

It would be unfair to say that Amber hasn't had a tough life and doesn't have a reason for her pain. On the Teen Mom reunion special, we learn that she lost a sibling at a young age, which seems to have taken a toll on her throughout her life. And, she clearly has issues with depression and self-esteem. But the girl isn't taking steps in the right direction to improve herself. Instead, she's taking what people are saying about her and making it true.

One of the worst parts of this situation is that Amber's brother, Shawn Portwood, is speaking out against her. He seems to have been a steady, positive influence in Amber's life, and has supported her through thick and thin. So when he speaks out, I think he's doing it to show that he cares and wants the world to know that Amber needs help, rather than just to say negative things to the press about her.

Jenelle Evans and her mom had another altercation...does this girl ever learn?

Jenelle Evans and mom Barbara Evans had an argument that turned nasty, and Barbara called the police. Jenelle contends that her mom randomly started yelling at her and knocked over a bottle of bleach into the laundry that Jenelle was washing. Barbara states that Jenelle got angry and starting knocking things off of her dresser. Both seem to maintain their innocence while portraying the other as the instigator.

Unfortunately for Jenelle, Barbara's story makes more sense than Jenelle's. The most obvious point, for me at least, is that Barbara knocking down a shelf ended with bleach falling into the laundry. So, does that mean that Barbara and Jenelle keep open bottles of bleach in a house with a young child? I somehow doubt it. Jenelle also claimed that her mom spilled son Jace's medicine on Jenelle and her laptop, yet I doubt that Barbara would waste Jace's medication, and there was no damage to Jenelle's laptop.

While I believe that Jenelle instigated the argument with Barbara, I think that both parties have some guilt. As we've seen on Teen Mom 2, Barbara doesn't exactly show love towards Jenelle, but Jenelle also doesn't do much to deserve respect from her mom. The pair have a lot to work out, and I think therapy would do both of them some good.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dance Moms 10/5/11: The Girls Audition for a Music Video

Abby Lee surprised the moms and kids by saying they weren't going home after Lake Tahoe...they were going to Hollywood to audition for a music video.

Abby Lee noted that in Hollywood, your dancing doesn't matter - all you need is the look. That being said, Abby still gave the girls a crash course in hip-hop because the video needed hip-hop dancers, which isn't the girls' forte.

Abby got the girls a music video audition with MCA.
The audition was hosted by MSA (McDonald Selznick Associates), an agency that represents dancers. It was full of kids of all ages. MSA staff member J.C. Gutierrez began by letting everyone know that MSA was looking for the next set of young stars. Then, Ben Allen taught all of the kids choreography in a large group. Chloe noted that the dance was long and they had to learn it fast. Mackenzie panicked and cried.

When the girls danced in smaller groups after the large audition, Brooke felt confident about her audition because she pulled out all of her tricks during the 16 bars of improv of the dance.
Julie McDonald, co-owner of MSA, asked Abby's group to come in to meet with her. She opened her speech to the girls by talking about rejection - so positive, right? Julie let the girls know that auditions aren't all about dancing - they're about attitude and commercial image as well. The mood got more positive after that because Julie and a co-staffer told the girls that they'd be performing together in a music video for an up-and-coming pop star.

Producer Seven Williams told the girls that they'd be in a video for upcoming pop star Lux. Then, they introduced them to the choreographer, who has worked on Shake it Up and Victorious. He said the girls would be working long days, and on the day of the shoot, one girl would be chosen as the star of the video. Again, Mackenzie didn't do well. She cried during practice and said that things were moving too fast for her. Melissa was concerned about Mackenzie holding up during the long hours.

The girls got their hair, makeup and nails done for a screen test. During this, Holly noted that she'd criticized Abby for making the girls learn dances in a short time frame, but now she understands - they need the skills for experiences like this.

Melissa would do anything to get Maddie to be a star, so she set up a private meeting with Seven. When Melissa asked if Maddie has the it factor, Seven said she does have talent, but he didn't seem sold on the fact that Maddie would win the chance to be the star. 

Christi was also dedicated to Chloe's success - she scheduled her daughter an acting lesson with Howard Fine. Howard had Chloe talk about her saddest moment, but she had trouble expressing her emotions. Howard also asked if Chloe thought she was the best dancer in the group, and she said she and Maddie are equal. Howard asked what stops her from being number one, and Chloe said 'nothing.' Howard told her that she's holding herself back and shouldn't consider other people's feelings. Her success isn't holding anyone else back - she has to value herself and do her best.

While the girls rehearsed, the moms spent some time together. Melissa told the moms that she went out to meet with Seven the other day. The other moms were not happy. They said Melissa isn't playing by the rules by going above and beyond and chasing an advantage. Melissa stood by her beliefs - she was going to do whatever she could to get Maddie to be the star.

The Video

In the video, the girls would be dancing with boys, and they were really excited. However, Abby was upset - she thought the boys weren't big enough. Mackenzie's partner was the same size as her and totally clueless. Again, Mackenzie had a breakdown. Abby watched with disdain. Melissa pulled her out of the room, and Abby told Mackenzie she can't be difficult like this. Abby did have some positive reinforcement - she said that she believes in her, the choreographer believes in her and her mom believes in her...she just needs to believe in herself. Mackenzie was given a different boy to dance with and she did a lot better.

Luxe spent some time with the girls. She told them that one of them would be playing a miniature version of her. That's when the girls, specifically Brooke, realized that not everyone had a chance. After all, not everyone looked like Lux. In fact, Chloe probably had the closest look to Lux, and since Abby wasn't choosing the winner, Christi said that Chloe actually stood a chance.

The choreographers asked the girls to walk as if they were on a catwalk. They all rocked it, but it wasn't lost on Nia that she couldn't get the part.

Melissa gave a speech that she knew that Maddie would get the lead and others would be jealous. Maddie also said she thought she had a good chance. In her confessional, Chloe showed a lack of confidence. This was a great foreshadowing that Maddie, in fact, would not get the part. That was somewhat of a surprise twist...although it really wasn't that surprising.

Ultimately, Chloe got the part! It was her time to shine!

Melissa followed this up with a backhanded compliment - she said that she was happy for Chloe, but the choice was based on looks, not ability. It seemed that Maddie was genuinely happy for Chloe, though. Melissa and Abby also found a positive in Maddie not winning - she'd be dancing the whole time, whereas Chloe would only be onstage during certain parts of the video. Abby still said that she was happy for Chloe and the opportunity she was given. She also gave a backhanded compliment. She said that ability aside, Luxe and Chloe made a perfect match. That seemed to say the same thing that Melissa said - Chloe only won because of looks, not talent. She did admit that Chloe did amazing, though.

At the end of the episode, when the Dance Moms cast arrived home in Pittsburgh. Abby brought the moms in for a meeting. Abby said she didn't just call the girls in to remind them that they're title holders and she's proud - she'd never waste their time for that. (Nice, huh?) She showed them a copy of Lux's music video, which we saw as well. From this, we were able to hear that Lux was a talented singer....but the song was not great and the video was kind of a gold-toned mess.

Abby closed out the episode by telling the girls that they will make it and will be stars. She said it was time to rest, but the new dance season would be starting soon...and it sounds like she'll be more brutal than ever.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tough Love Miami - Episode 2

Tough Love gave us a double header on October 2, 2011 - the season premiere at 8 PM and the second episode at 9. This post is about episode 2.

Avonte left the first group meeting feeling like she had a scarlet letter. She felt awful. Jane disagreed with Avonte having any sympathy - she said she doesn't deserve it. In reality, Jane was the one who didn't deserve sympathy because she alienates everyone, which Chasity noted.

This week's rule was about love in the digital age.

The women were each set up with a man of Steve Ward's choosing. The girls were given text-only phones to communicate with the men before the date. The goal of the challenge was to see if the women could text in an appropriate way. Each girl was given a card with info about their man. The description was both about physical and personal traits. Leilani was immediately upset by her guy because he's a banker, and she subscribes by the theory that 'bankers are wankers.'

The secret of the challenge was that the men weren't texting their guys - they were texting Steve. Steve's goal was to see how the girls did at the texting challenge. We watched the girls struggle over sending texts. He noted that women shouldn't overthink texts because men certainly don't. One girl included a smiley face, which Steve didn't like. He also didn't like the sexual comment Christine gave - she said she likes fishing but her date would have to 'bait her hook.' Steve (as her date) wrote back about reeling her in.

When 'her date' asked the scariest thing Brigette ever did with a guy, she said, "A haunted house LMAO!!!!" and Steve did not like that. Avonte asked two questions before Steve could ask one, which Steve found exhausting.

Before revealing to the women that Steve was acting as the women's dates, he told them that they should not use acronyms like LOL because not everyone knows what they mean. Then, he revealed that he was playing the dates to teach them what to do and what not to do via text. He noted that the girls should not drink and text, should not send three texts before receiving a response and should save text messages for logistics, like your location in proximity to where you're going.

The women were set up on dates.

Steve sent the women to the All Star Bar and Grill for their dates. Jane thought her date was hot. Avonte thought her date looked pitiful, and she called him out on his braids, which she said looked like Medusa. Leilani, when she looked at her date's picture, wasn't impressed. Because of that, she didn't try to look nice for the date. However, she was surprised when her date was hot, and she felt like she'd made a mistake.

At this point, Steve Ward appeared on the television screens in the bar. He surprised the women with pictures of themselves from the web and their Facebook pages. As each girl's picture came up, she looked horrified. Avonte was posing in provocative ways, and had online messages about sex. Brigette had a picture of a guy eating chips off of her lap. Fortunately, her date wasn't upset. Chasity's photos showed her go-go dancing and passed out on the floor. Chasity told her date her profession (dancing) and he didn't flinch. Leilani's picture revealed her half naked. Christine's status updates were all about her ex-husband and former married life. Jane's photos showed a picture of her bloody tooth at the dentist and a mug shot from a DWI charge. Jane looked horrified and apologized repeatedly. Despite the fact that her date was okay with the situation, Jane left the bar and cried.

The dates ended and the women returned to the house.

Jane, who had been crying, tried to connect with the girls and talk about her issues. Avonte noted to the confessional that the problem she and the other girls have with Jane is that she's fake, but this emotion was real. Avonte went to talk to Jane, and she told her that people would like her if she allowed herself to be real. Once Jane allowed herself to be vulnerable, the other girls talked to her. She was very appreciative.

Steve brought Anthony, Brigette's date, to the house so they could spend more time together. Brigette was thrilled - she smiled the whole time. They kissed, and Steve noted that he hoped Brigette would take things slowly.

The group session began.

Brigette won the challenge and did the best this week. Steve played back Anthony's feedback about Brigette. He had so many positive things to say, like their connection was growing stronger.

Chasity said that she and her date had chemistry. When Steve asked if she could have her go-go dancing career and have a healthy relationship at the same time, Chasity said yes. However, when Steve asked her date if he could have a serious relationship with a go-go dancer, he said no. Steve advised that Chasity quit dancing. When asked if she can decide to quit today, she wasn't sure.

Steve said his goal with Jane was to show her that any guy can look online and find her mug shot. Jane cried and said she didn't realize that Steve would do that to her. When her date first saw Jane, he really liked her. He then said that he understands Jane's situation with the DWI, and he said it doesn't make her a bad person. He was willing to see her again. Still, Jane fought back as if Steve had wronged her. Steve said that Jane should feel happy because she's dealing with this around her friends. She then said this was the first time she's had girl friends, and the girl agreed that they were friends.

Leilani had an attitude problem towards Steve. She said her date was great and thought she was great in a way that Steve doesn't. Unfortunately, Leilani's date recalled Leilani saying that she usually goes for guys with looks and money. He said she was vague beyond that, and that could be a problem. Then, Steve and Leilani argued, which already seems to be a recurring theme among the two.

Next was Avonte, and she was in the hot seat. She was in the hot seat for criticizing the guy she was set up with. Avonte contended that she was right, and if the guy had a problem with it, he should tell her. Avonte was pretty brutal to the guy and it was not okay - she told the guy that his hair made it look like he was going to rob her. After arguing with Steve, Avonte took the hint and realized that she's insulted a nice guy with whom she could have potentially had a relationship.

Steve concluded the show by saying that he could help the women, but they'd have to put work into it. We also learned that the women would be getting makeovers next week, and it looks like Christine will end up looking like scary Taylor that we saw on the first two Tough Love seasons!

Some Takeaways from Sister Wives - 10/2/11

Sister Wives both made me smile and become frustrated me this week. Some of it was sweet, but some of it made me wonder what Kody, Meri, Christine, Janelle and Robyn Brown are thinking.

First and foremost, props must be given to Kody Brown and the two wives who looked into working in real estate to make some money for the family. Since no one appears to be working right now, I would assume that the money that the Sister Wives have comes from appearing on their TLC reality show. That money won't last forever, I'm sure...even Kate Gosselin had her show cancelled...so the family should find another source of income. I think it might be better if one member of the Brown family finds a job that provides more steady income than real estate can, but they're off to a good start anyway. And, if people want the Browns as their real estate agents because of their fame, they have the potential to bring in a ton of cash.

I think it's irresponsible that Kody and Robyn Brown decided to try to get pregnant. I understand that they wanted a child of their own, but the family has no income. Wouldn't it be a better idea to become financially stable before having another kid? I'm happy that they were able to conceive the child that they wanted, but kids are expensive!

I thought it was funny when Kody said that he worries that his kids' friends will have more of an influence on him than he will. Why is that funny? Because they will. It's natural that a child's peers have an impact on the child's life. If our parents were our only influences, we wouldn't learn about other people, perspectives and cultures. Even if you believe your culture is right, it's still important to learn from those around you. Plus, peers can influence others in a good way - it's not all negative! Kody's concern seems to come from a place of fear that the children will abandon their religion. For someone who claims that his children can choose their own religion (as adults, though, not before they turn 18), Kody sure does try to keep his kids in his faith.

If I remember correctly, Mariah Brown was the only child of the teenage set to want to have sister wives. I wonder if that stems from the fact that she never had a full sibling and wants to build a large family of her own because of it. Or, she may fear that she will only have one child like her mom did, and wants to ensure that she'll have lots of kids, even if they aren't biologically hers.

It was nice when the women grouped together to buy husband Kody a Claddagh ring. Even though there is clearly jealousy among the women at times, they truly do love Kody and have bonded together as a family.

Amanda Knox & Raffaele Sollecito Cleared Of Murder Charges!!!

The trial accusing Amanda Knox of murdering roommate Meredith Kercher is not reality TV, but it is reality...and it was covered a lot on TV.

Today, just before 4 PM Eastern Time, Amanda Knox was cleared of the charges that she murdered her roommate, Meredith Kercher. Ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito was also cleared. Amanda will still have to pay Patrick Lumumba for slander (as she did, after all, accuse him of being part of the crime), but that seems pretty okay after being let out of jail after years for a crime she (theoretically) didn't commit. As the verdict was read, some people in the courtroom cheered as people outside shouted "Murderer!"

I genuinely believe that Amanda didn't kill her roommate. The evidence just wasn't there. There was evidence and a confession from Rudy Guede, so I'm sure that he participated, but there wasn't anything solid convicting Amanda and boyfriend Raffaele.

I have a few theories on the what may have happened, outlined below.

- I am pretty sure that I read Raffaele and Amanda were on drugs the night of the crime. I remember hearing something about hashish, but I'm not sure if that was correct. If they were at all involved in the crime, I would think that Meredith and Raffaele may have gone to Meredith's apartment, seen something going on, panicked and ran. Which, if they were as high as some reports have noted, might be something that they would do. It would also explain why people claimed to have seen them running away (although none of those reports could be verified). When they came out of their drug induced state, they may have been confused and afraid, and convinced themselves that they saw nothing or that they saw something they didn't see, thus becoming entangled in this case. Per The Seattle Times: "An Italian jury Monday concluded what many have long suspected: Knox certainly was guilty of goofy, insensitive behavior and pot use. But there was never sufficient evidence to prove she murdered her roommate, whom she knew only a few weeks."

- Raffaele and Amanda may not have been involved at all - it's entirely possible. DNA evidence was found on things in Amanda's apartment and Raffaele's, but they also lived in / visited both residences. Their DNA should be on stuff - it's their stuff! Plus, the DNA evidence found at the scene was left for weeks without being tested, making the DNA tests flawed. Per The Washington Post, "The eight-member jury acquitted both Knox and Sollecito of murder after a court-ordered review of the DNA evidence cast serious doubts over the main DNA evidence linking the two to the crime."

- There's still really no motive for Amanda and Raffaele. Even if the roommates were having arguments, that doesn't mean it would escalate to the point of something so horrific. Amanda was dating Raffaele - she could always stay with him or find a new place to live.

- Whatever truly happened, I believe that Amanda Knox genuinely believes that she didn't do anything to Meredith. Whether that's true, made true in her mind because of drugs, made true in her mind because of fear, or made true in her mind because she convinced herself of it, I think she genuinely knows or believes that she didn't do it. Her family feels the same way, and even Meredith Kercher's family understands that, although they may not agree. Per The Washington Post, “They fully believe in her innocence. You can’t blame them for that,” said Lyle Kercher, the victim’s brother. “But it’s obviously hard for us.”

- Who's to say that others weren't involved in this crime? Rudy Guede was convinced, but who's to say there weren't others with him that haven't come to the surface? Per The Seattle Times, "The family was not satisfied that there was only one person involved in the killing, a local drifter, Rudy Guede, who admitted to being at the cottage the night of the murder and whose DNA was found all over Kercher's room, on her clothes and body."

I also have some other thoughts on the case itself.

- Amanda was criticized for doing cartwheels in the Italian jail where she was questioned regarding Meredith's murder. People wondered why she'd act like that. Well, people react differently to stress. Some people laugh, some people cry, and some people go a bit nuts. After all, Amanda was dealing with a crazy situation in a foreign country - it's not surprising that she acted strangely.

- Amanda was destroyed in the Italian media. They called her Foxy Knoxy and called her a sex maniac. They showed pictures that didn't accurately portray what happened. Amanda was handed off to the court of public opinion as a guilty party. This information was available to the jurors on her case. If there's one thing we know, rumors can be brutal, and the negative publicity surely had an impact on Amanda's original sentencing. Per The Telegraph: "Over the past four years, the Italian legal system has served up a steady diet of salacious, sensational claims about the American’s “demonic” sex life which allegedly held the key to the brutal murder of her flatmate Miss Kercher."

- Amanda stated that the information she provided to police was forced by the police. The police deny they forced a confession. Well, of course the police denied it! They'd lose credibility if they said, "Oh, yeah, we totally forced a confession! Who cares if it's real - she said it!"

- If Amanda was found guilty, Americans would be in an uproar. Amanda has some high powered people on her side. Hillary Clinton had even gotten involved. The Italian jurors in this retrial knew that they'd better have sufficient evidence to deny Amanda's appeal if they were going to do it, and they didn't have the evidence.

Just a note on this - although we're getting caught up in the drama surrounding Amanda Knox, we should not forget Meredith Kercher, the young woman who lost her life during this situation. Hopefully justice will be served and Meredith's family can find peace. Meredith's sister, Stephanie Kercher, is upset that her sister has been practically forgotten in this case because it's become a media frenzy for Amanda Knox. So, while we can be very happy for Amanda and Raffaele, let's not forget about the family of the woman who lost her life in this ordeal.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tough Love Miami Season Premiere

Tonight VH1 brought us a new season of Tough Love, and this time Steven Ward is bringing his love-related wisdom to Miami, Florida.

Steven Ward
Before the show recap begins, I want to note that Steven Ward has stated that the women on this series are a bit older than in past seasons (with the average age somewhere in the thirties) and the women are more relateable than in past seasons. He also said that the women on the show should serve as a warning to younger women about what they shouldn't do with their love lives.

In case you aren't familiar with Tough Love, the show brings lonely, clueless and/or needy women together to get them to learn about and accept love. The show takes place in a 'love boot camp' setting. At the end of the show, the goal is to find love for the women.


The eight women on Tough Love are:
Michelle, a 33 year old fitness trainer from Hollywood that Steve called Miss Delusional. She's ready to settle down, but refuses to settle. She has a laundry list of qualifications for men.
Christine, an ex-beauty queen (Mrs. Iowa) who gained tons of weight, then lost it. Steve called her Miss Body Issues. She's newly divorced with a three year old daughter. She still feels like the heavy girl, rather than the healthy girl that she now is. She has low self-esteem and is lost when it comes to dating.
Avonte, 36, spent 9 years dating a married man. Steve called her "Miss Other Woman." She feels used by the married man and wonders how she put herself in that position. She worries that she's only good enough to be 'the other woman'.
Brigette, Miss Desperate, has been on 37 first dates this year. She's been single for many years. She worries about running out of time to have kids. She needs help because she doesn't know what she's doing wrong in the dating world.
Leilani, Miss Superficial, is from England. She likes hot guys with money. She has a good career but feels that she has no one to share it with. She's been engaged twice and married once.
Claudia, Miss Drama Queen, is a tele-novella actress. She's the mom of a 12 year old girl. She wants to find a father figure for her daughter, but her relationships end in drama.
Chasity, a go-go dancer, is called Miss Double Standard. Being in the go-go industry attracts the wrong kind of guys, and she worries about finding Mr. Right
Jane, who calls herself fierce and fabulous, was nicknamed Miss Bossy. She said that if someone gets on her bad side, she becomes a crazy psycho. She recently broke up with her boyfriend and now feels lonely.

The first challenge began when the women walked into a local hot spot. They didn't realize they were in a boot camp challenge.

The Challenges Began


The women all reacted differently upon their entrance into the bar. Claudia looked overconfident and Chasity chatted with the guys. After they all got to their seats, Steve walked in. He began to criticize the women for their past and the images they portray, which were outlined in their opening descriptions. The girls seemed to take issue with Steve's comments - they got defensive almost immediately. Michelle probably took her criticism the best - she realized that while Steve's comments hurt, they were true. Christine also took her critique well.

Jane seemed to make a bad impression on the others - Leilani noted that she'd drive her insane, and Claudia noted that she seemed to be in overdrive. When she walked into one of the bedrooms in the house that she'd be sharing with four other girls, at least one roommate was less than pleased.

Next, the guys from the bar critiqued the Tough Love women. Christine was told that she's pretty but didn't look confident. Avonte was told that she's oversexual. They felt like Jane was ready for a fight. Claudia was seen as a sex object, due in part to her fishnet stockings. The girls seemed to be genuinely hurt by the feedback from the men. The moral of the story, per Steve, was that people judge the girls by what they see on the outside. Steve ended the session by saying that the girls would be going to a cocktail party where Steve hoped they'd meet a match.

Before the party, each girl would walk through a group of guys into an elevator. The guys that liked them would follow them in, and the girl had to pick one.

Christine went first and immediately apologized her a flaw of hers. One guy followed her. Leilani went second. She looked fun and confident, and nine guys followed her. She engaged conversation in the elevator, but it was awkward. She ended up choosing the best looking guy. Chasity was third. She was friendly, and two guys followed. Michelle got four guys. Bridgette got seven. Jane, who looked feminine, got five. Avonte got two. Claudia got 6, and impressed the guys with her beauty and brains, noting that she's an attorney. However, she said she didn't like any of them. She actually got off the elevator, leaving the guys confused.


The Group Meeting

At each group session, the women would hear feedback from their dates, and Steven would name the best and worst in the group.

Each women was given a promise ring to symbolize their commitment to Steve's boot camp.

At this meeting, no one was good enough to win the week's challenge, but one women did land herself in the hot seat (last place).

Jane was asked how she thought the date went. She said that once the guy said he was 24 and lived with his parents, she tuned him out. Her date felt like he was being attacked. Steve said that her disrespect for the date was disrespectful to him as well. Steve said he wouldn't be setting Jane up with a match for a while.

Christine felt awful because the one guy who chose her said he was doing it to be nice. She said it hurt. Steve said that Christine is beautiful, sexy, intelligent and has curves in the right places, and noted that he won't pick a guy for her who won't love her for who she is.

Avonte did not seem happy about the challenge. Steve said that Avonte deserves a loving man that only wants to be with her.

Leilani said she instantly ruled out 8 of her 9 guys based on their heights and looks. Steve tried to push back at her saying that she's superficial, but Leilani insisted that she wants someone attractive because she's settled before. Steve said that she needs to take a serious look in the mirror. Steve continued by saying that if she can't handle boot camp, she should leave. Leilani walked out.

Claudia was then put on the hot seat. Steve accused Claudia of thinking she's better than her potential dates. Steve let her know that she made the guys feel awful. Claudia said she was nervous and that she actually has low self esteem. The reaction from the guys was that Claudia was cold, standoffish and arrogant. Steve said that Claudia is beautiful and classy beyond everything and he wants her to try harder.

Steve concluded by telling the women to digest what they'd learned, and tomorrow is a new day.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Real Housewives Live Tour - Atlantic City, 10/1/11, 3 PM

I went to the Real Housewives Live Tour in Atlantic City, featuring Caroline Manzo, Cynthia Bailey (a last minute fill in for Kyle Richards), LuAnn de Lesseps and Vicki Gunvalson. Here are some reviews, recaps and takeaways from the show.

The Basics

Today, I attended the 3 PM showing of The Real Housewives Live Tour in Atlantic City, NJ. While I expected all of the seats to be filled, this was not the case. In fact, the ushers moved many people up closer to the stage to fill the empty seats.

Overall, the show was mediocre at best. My biggest gripe was that the women hardly interacted with each other. The host, John Jude (not sure of spelling or if I got that completely right) spoke to the women and they responded back, but they hardly spoke to each other.

There were some technical difficulties, like the videos not working, causing awkward silences and delays.

That being said, the show had some great moments, like when LuAnn de Lesseps did a silent cheer during the clip of her telling off Ramona Singer, and Caroline Manzo being her usual, tough self.

A few Housewives family members were in attendance: Lauren Manzo, Caroline Manzo's mother and Cynthia Bailey's husband Peter, specifically.

I didn't do the VIP ticket option, and from what I'm told, that was a good decision. The person I spoke to said that it wasn't worth the money. She got cocktails and appetizers, but she only got to take a group picture with a bunch of other VIP guests and the Housewives. There was no one-on-one discussion. Plus, the Housewives reportedly came out into the casino to talk to people at 1:45, before the VIP event began. The Housewives were also accessible and talked to people from the stage after the show.

I'm not sure if this will be the same in other locations, but so many people were very dressed up for The Real Housewives Live Tour. I'm talking about tall heels, fancy dresses, nice purses, etc. It was pretty hardcore. (I wore jeans, for the record.)

The Show

The show consisted of a few segments: questions from the host, games in which the Housewives had to answer questions, questions from the audience and a game where two fans went onstage to figure out who the biggest Real Housewives fan was. (Hint: they both won.)

The RH Tour show was fun because we picked up some good information, like the fact that Caroline Manzo may soon be on Sirius satellite radio. And the fact that Vicki Gunvalson had intended to keep her divorce from Donn private, but producers put her in a situation where she had to talk about it. From this, we learned that contrary to popular belief, Donn was not blindsided by his and Vicki's divorce. He was blindsided by being served papers at work, but not by the divorce itself. Additionally, Vicki now has a boyfriend named Brook who is five years younger than her and fills up her love tank.

The women were asked if they could only give one, what one piece of advice they would give their kids. Caroline said have integrity and treat others how you would want to be treated. Vicki said don't forget where you came from. LuAnn said respect your parents. Cynthia said live life to the fullest and be happy.

The women were also asked to name their cringeworthy moments from the show. Vicki said visiting son Michael at college, Caroline said being seen with no makeup, LuAnn said not saying things that she should have and Cynthia said the friend contract

When the host inquired about the worst fights on their shows, Caroline said the table flip, LuAnn said Alex defending Ramona for no reason in Morocco, Cynthia said when Phaedra Parks accused her of calling her baby an alien (although Kim Zolciak actually said it) and Vicki said when Jeana Keogh and Tamra Barney fought at her party during season six.

Takeaways about Caroline Manzo

Caroline was asked the most audience questions by far.

When asked about getting involved in Teresa Guidice's family drama, Caroline said her family also has drama since she is one of eleven kids, but they make up. She said everyone has to find their place in the family.

Caroline likes to shop at the Short Hills Mall and at boutique stores. She said the most embarrassing moment on the show was when she cried at the season one finale because the situation was so personal and she didn't want to give Danielle the satisfaction of seeing her cry.

Caroline's mom stood up to ask her a question, and the question was about where Caroline gets her wisdom. In response, Caroline said nice things about her mom and what she's gained from her.

Now that she's on the show, Caroline has to struggle to maintain her identity as a wife and mother and ensure that she makes time for her husband Albert. Albert used to be the busy one, but Caroline's taken over that role.

The host brought up the conversation from Watch What Happens Live where Caroline said she'd rather deal with Danielle Staub than Kim Granatell. Caroline elaborated, saying that somewhere deep in Danielle there's a heart, whereas Kim is just "batsh*t crazy". She also said she thought it was insane that she saw Kim with Michael Lohan at Starbucks. (Reportedly, Kim Granatell and Michael Lohan are dating.)

Caroline insists the The Real Housewives of New Jersey and the other Housewives shows are not staged. However, she did say that she's been put in situations, but the reactions are real.

Takeaways about LuAnn De Lesseps

LuAnn said that the Real Housewives of New York cast is like a family and she will miss those who are leaving the show (Jill Zarin, Kelly Bensimon, Cindy Barshop and Alex McCord). She has not yet met the new women, but filming starts soon and she is looking forward to filming the new season.

LuAnn let us know that she her divorce was tough, but it was for the best and she and her ex-husband are friends. In fact, she, Jacques (her boyfriend) and her ex all had lunch together in France. Her ex would also be staying with her in November.

LuAnn has a nursing degree.

LuAnn was cast to be on Law and Order two days before her appearance on the show. She found doing a semi-nude scene nerve wracking. She is open to doing more acting but isn't actively seeking opportunities.

Takeaways about Vicki Gunvalson

Vicki has been a Housewife for the longest time. She was on the original season of The Real Housewives of Orange County and has continued from there. She never realized that the franchise would get so popular or spawn so many spinoffs.

Vicki is moving on with her life. Her house is up for sale, her business is growing and she's finalizing her divorce. She's also enjoying time with boyfriend Brook.

Vicki has a book called More Than a Housewife.

While she was tactful about it, it was obvious that there is tension between Vicki and Alexis Bellino. She said Alexis is different around her husband and when she's not around him. She also noted that Alexis doesn't know herself and is being subservient to her husband. Vicki respects that Alexis loves her husband, but thinks something doesn't seem right about them.

Vicki Gunvalson seems to agree with Caroline Manzo's statement about being put in situations for the show but the reactions being real. For example, the show placed Vicki in a situation where the producers knew she'd break down and discuss her divorce even though she hadn't planned to do so.

Vicki's advice for any guys taking her daughter on a date is "Leave your penis at the door, then take my daughter!"

Vicki and Donn had problems that we didn't see. Vicki realized that she had been staying married for everyone else, but not herself. She and Donn were fighting way too much, he didn't want to talk through their problems and Donn didn't chase after Vicki when she said she wanted to leave him.

Takeaways about Cynthia Bailey

Cynthia said she and hubby and Peter are doing great and beat the odds. She said the issues that her friends and family had with Peter have been resolved.

Cynthia did not go on a honeymoon after her wedding. She and Peter took daughter Noelle to Jamaica to go to a wedding the next weekend, so they took a vacation but it wasn't a honeymoon.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta star is opening a modeling school. This will be chronicled in the next season of the show.

Her husband is opening a bar called Bar One.

If she could, Cynthia would give all of the women on RHOA makeovers.

It was difficult for Cynthia and Peter to watch RHOA because he didn't realize that Cynthia's friends and family didn't like him. (Things are better between now, but Peter and Cynthia's sister are still trying to work out some kinks in their relationship.)

Cynthia has appeared in music videos and on The Cosby Show as Shaniqua Watkins. She says there are embarrassing photos or videos out there of her in the past, but they haven't yet been found.

The Women Were Asked Questions and Told To Answer With The Name of Someone From Their Show

Cynthia was asked who is most dramatic from her show. She said NeNe Leakes.
Caroline was asked who she's swap lives with for a day. She chose her sister, Dina Manzo.
LuAnn said she'd call Jill Zarin if she needed to gossip.
Vicki said Alexis Bellino was most likely to show up beyond fashionably late for an event.
Cynthia was asked who she would love to make over. She first said Phaedra Parks, but then changed it to everyone.
Caroline was asked who shouldn't take up singing, and she said Teresa Guidice because of her voice.

Hollywood Darlings: Episode 2, My So Called Prom

On Hollywood Darlings (which is an improvised comedy, not reality), the girls drank a charcoal drink, which Jodie hated. Someone came up to ...