I took a poll of every American citizen and I discovered a startling fact: 97 percent of all people with more than three functioning neurons hate Alexis Bellino. The three percent of people who said that they like her include her mother, her children, the lady at the dry cleaners she once gave a $100 tip to because she thought it was a $5 and didn't catch the mistake, and about 600,000 people who think that an "Alexis Bellino" is a fruity brunch cocktail that Teresa Giudice is marketing. Notice that Jim Bellino is not on this list. He secretly hates her too.
Yes, everyone hates Alexis Bellino because she is The Worst. Wait. She is the Second Worst. Real Playboy Posers of the OJ Simpson Trial has only been over for a couple of weeks and we've already forgotten Faye Resnick? No. We have not. Never forget.
The show started off with Alexis doing something that wasn't the worst. She went to Vicki and brought her a mirror as a "plastic surgery gift" so that Vicki can check her face at any time of day to see if the swelling has gone down. It was Bedazzled. That part was the worst. It's the rest that made a bit of sense. Vicki says, "I'm going to Tamra's Empty Gym Party. Will you be my date? Tamra said it's OK." Alexis replied, "Are you still high on pain medication, because this is a very bad idea?" Yes, it was a horrible idea and Vicki knew it and Alexis knew it and everyone knew it but the producers, who arranged this whole storyline and stood behind the camera rubbing their fingers together like the Purple Pie Man in the Strawberry Shortcake cartoons. It was diabolical. Vicki said, "Well, they made me really sad the last time I was with them, so I need you for back up." Alexis put on her best baby voice, like she was talking to a 4-year-old who just fell off his Razr Scooter and said, "Ohh. Vicki-wicky wants me to goey-woey with her to the party-farty? OK!"
Then the producers told Alexis she had to ask Vicki if she could bring new Housewife Lydia so that all the wax figures would be together in what is, essentially, an empty industrial garage. Alexis went over to Lydia's house to invite her to the party. Lydia is like, "I already know your friend Heather." And Alexis says, "Oh, what did she say about me?" And Lydia says, "That you have a fake ring." OK, Lydia is going to make an excellent Housewife just based on this alone. We all saw her visit with Heather and Alexis' fake ring came up in the context of their conversation and Lydia had already told Heather they knew each other, so it wasn't an illogical leap to ask if she had a fake ring like Alexis. But the way Lydia tells it, it sounds like she told Heather she knew Alexis and Heather just blurted out, "She's got a fake ring, you know!" That is some some really next level bullshit. I am impressed with this Lydia. I really am.
There are all these scenes where everyone is talking about Vicki coming to dinner and bringing Alexis and blah blah blah and the only one that really matters was the one where Heather and Terry had dinner with Lydia and her husband, Men's Health. Heather told them they wouldn't be in their magazine because they wouldn't be on the cover. Heather Paige Kent Dubrow, in some corners of the world, is still just as big a star as Helen Hunt or Kristen Chenoweth. But, really, who isn't? Who isn't? Then Lydia was like, "I'm going to Tamra's party with Alexis. See you there!" Heather opened her mouth and a half-chewed bit of Cobb Salad fell out and landed on the napkin in her lap and then fell to the floor with a silent sloppy thud. Heather tells Lydia in the nicest way possible that she will be judged by the company she keeps and, if she shows up at a party with Alexis, everyone will think that she has Jesus Cooties and won't want to be nice to you. It's true, I feel the same way. Lydia says, "I can't believe I'm involved in drama already." Ha. Do you even know what show you're on? This isn't The Be Nice Hour with Dr. Rainbow Sprinkles. What did you think you were signing up for?
Alright so the limos pick everyone up and of course they drop off Heather and Gretchen to Tamra's Empty Gym Party first so that Tamra can tell them all how she wishes Alexis wasn't coming now and she was very nervous about it. I don't blame her. Then Vicki and Alexis walk in and Alexis is like Kaleesi in the last episode of Game of Thrones, holding her pet dragon Lydia on a chain while she sneers and bucks in the air, making crazy wheezing rasps and spitting out sparks at anyone who comes near her.
But that's mean to Lydia, she was as nice as nice could be and when she sat down she really tried to make small talk with the rest of the ladies. She was trying really hard to be nice. But this is why it's so hard to get a new Housewife on the show. At this point, their differences are so intractable it's like trench warfare (I have used this metaphor more times than Vicki has had her face pulled). I mean, they were going back to s**t from two seasons ago when they brought up Alexis ganging up on Vicki in San Francisco. How do you expect Lydia to catch up or to say anything about that? She just becomes like a tennis referee watching the ball fling back and forth in an endless volley where it is always Ad In, Ad Out, Ad In, Ad Out over and over and the game is never won. And there is no Love (we're extending tennis metaphors today, right?).
Ugh, so this fight. OK, we gotta talk about it. (Oh please, Brian. You make it sound like you haven't been thinking about it all morning measuring the similes and metaphors you were going to use when you finally got to this point. You're not fooling anyone, you dumb tramp.) Here goes. First, when they were sitting around Vicki made some crack about how her grandson is "my baby." That is just stupid and for them to attack Vicki about it and Vicki to defend herself so vehemently, is well, it's stupid. All that should have been done with this strange verbal turn is that someone should have made a "Maybe a dingo ate your baby" joke and moved on.
Alright, then we move to the table and Tamra was lording over it like Al Pacino in Dick Tracy, banging her fist on the table and asking someone for walnuts. Things were actually pretty nice until Vicki, of all people, was like, "Thanks everyone for coming, including Alexis and let's all start over." Vicki, when there is a giant turd in the corner of the room that you're trying to hide, you don't say to a table full of people, "Hey, don't smell the turd over there, because we're all trying to enjoy our dinner." Just glance over it and hope for the best.
No, Vicki called attention to the turd and then everyone had to take a whiff and make a grimace as the shit stink singed their nose hairs. Tamra, very calmly and rationally said, "Well, Alexis. Why are you here?" That is a valid question. Why was she there? She could have answered it gracefully and said, "I know things were bad between us but maybe we can all meet and work out our problems and take this forward." No, she went with, "Well, you all made Vicki so sad last time you hung out, she needed me around." That started it. It was an attack to everyone else, they are bad people who make Vicki sad. The mood just tumbled down from there, like a sack of rancid meat falling off a cliff.
I'm not sure exactly how to parse this interaction, I never am, but it seems like the women did gang up on Alexis. Tamra says, rightly, that she was gracious to allow Alexis to come, but Alexis ruined it with her pure idiocy. The thing about this argument is that there is no argument. There are no issues to get over or misunderstandings to unwind. This is just unbridled animosity festering into various skin lesions and then bursting with puss all over a rented dinner table with fake flowers in an empty gym. They just can't stand each there. It's both so easy and so hard to put that into words.
As far as there is an issue, everyone hates that Alexis says they gang up on her. This is a ridiculous argument. What do you expect when you are in a group scenario? Setting the rules that only one person can talk to you about an issue at a time virtually makes any sort of conversation in a group completely impossible. Then Alexis shuts it down, not on a point of substance, but a point of order. She derails the whole discussion.
Also, if this is Alexis' big complaint, why would she sit at dinner with everyone without checking in first? She knew she was going to this party, why not call Tamra or Gretchen and have a phone call or a lunch and try to reach some sort of detente before the dinner? No. She showed up in front of three people who hate her and said, "I'll only talk to you one on one." That is ridiculous. That is utterly stupid.
Even stupider is telling Tamra to butt out of a conversation that was happening in front of her at her party. The party was small enough that everyone was having one discussion so there is nothing to butt out of. Now, I hate a nasty temper beast, but man when Tamra told Alexis, "Butt out? How about you get out. Get out of here!" and just threw her out, it felt so fulfilling. It was like that wonderful voided feelings your bowels have when you've been on an eight hour flight and you finally make it to the toilet to unleash the world's biggest shitlog. Then Tamra told Vicki that she could pick her side right now and either get out with Alexis or stay there. Of course, that is where the episode ends. Next week we'll have more senseless screaming. Oh joy, oh yay.
But that's not where it ended for Alexis. She still had to make that long walk back to her limo, across a desolate parking lot in an industrial park somewhere in Orange County. The lighting was all orange and low, not from street lamps, but from posts sticking out of the ground that are illuminated. No one needs a lot of light around here, everyone visits during the day and finishes their work and rides home in the crimson streaked twilight. But Alexis, she was here in the dark, her face taking on strange shadows from the uplighting as she clomped quickly to the limo. Forget waking up in a strange bed and having to put your party dress back on and head home, this is the real walk of shame, after being thrown out of a party that you weren't invited to for being awful. That is the saddest thing there is.
Alexis sat in the back of the limo and closed the door. "Take me home, please," she said to the driver. "I'm sorry miss," he said not turning around and looking at her in the rearview mirror. "I've been instructed to stay. You can't go home. Not yet at least."
Follow Brian Moylan on Twitter @BrianJMoylan
More: 'Real Housewives of OC' Recap: Meet Lydia McLaughlin 'Real Housewives of OC' Recap: There Is a Problem with Vicki's New Face 'Real Housewives of Orange County' Recap: Must Be The Season of the B**ch
From Our Partners50 Worst Celeb Mugshot Fails (vh1)33 Child Stars: Where Are They Now? (Celebuzz)
Oh, how cruel the singing competition gods are. Not only did their wrath result in the elimination of a relatively promising crooner and a horribly mismanaged group last night, but with his exit last week they denied Jason Brock the opportunity to shine his brightest in a themed night all but tailor-made for him on Wednesday: Diva Night. Somewhere in a more guyliner-friendly alternate universe he totally rocked the house, placed high in the ranking, and emerged as a new contender to win it all. Instead, we’re left to settle for fifth-place finisher CeCe Frey, who previously seemed one pitchy note away from elimination, for our power-ballad fix. Sigh.
It’s fascinating to see how Simon Cowell’s priorities have changed in the decade since American Idol first launched. Now, you could easily argue that the black T-shirt aficionado has always been more a marketer than a producer, more interested in the packaging of his artists than their actual talent. But back in the early days of Idol, he’d routinely diss packaged popstars like Jessica Simpson, and even his current judging partner Britney Spears, for being all-style, no-substance products. Now he seems to have little to no interest in vocal skill at all. Exhibit A: His shameful choice of Paige Thomas over Jennel Garcia.
But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. First of all, Lyric DaQueen and her funky crew, Lyric 145, got the ax. This is a perfect example of how out of touch Cowell & Co. really are when it comes to hip hop. When Spears made her introduction to television reporters earlier this year and talked the music biz, her declaration of love for rap at the time sounded as if there hadn’t been any evolution in the genre since Cypress Hill. Sure, the very concept of a rapping girl-group may be inherently anachronistic, but Cowell seemed hellbent on reinventing Lyric 145 as a ‘90s Salt ‘n Pepa-style troupe. If Don Cornelius hadn’t passed away last year, he’d undoubtedly have loved the result. So it was obvious that, in the era of motor-mouthed rappers like Nicki Minaj, Lyric 145 seemed hopelessly out of date. Maybe they should next try out for amateur night at the Apollo.
It didn’t help that, according to Lyric DaQueen, the group’s original number was unceremoniously nixed at the last minute by Fox. Instead, they ended performing an oh-so-obvious medley of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and Katy Perry’s “E.T.” Ooh, they both have a stomp-stomp-clap beat, so they’re just begging for a mashup, right?! “We didn’t get the opportunity to show what we really had,” Ms. DaQueen said. “We had original lyrics, and we had a hip-hop song that got snatched away from us at the last minute.”
That left Demi Lovato’s mentees, Paige Thomas and Jennel Garcia, to fight for their X Factor lives. Okay, it didn’t help Garcia that she sang Hoobastank’s “The Reason,” while Thomas belted Coldplay’s “Paradise.” But in every respect, this was a vocals vs. marketing matchup. A showdown between art and product. And product, Thomas, won. Reid and Spears quickly decided to send Garcia home, but Cowell, though he knew his decisive vote would assure her exit, decided anyway to put pressure on Demi to make the reality TV equivalent of Sophie’s choice. And she chose…wisely. Recognizing more actual singing ability in Garcia, Lovato chose to send Thomas home. Not that it mattered, because Simon declared Thomas to have more “star power,” and cast the deciding vote that sent Garcia packing. Considering that peoples' career aspiration were hanging in the balance, it seemed like a cruel and unnecessary stunt--but sadly that kind of thing seems to be X Factor's stock in trade.
In the midst of the heartbreak, Taylor Swift unfurled her whole cheerleaders-and-unicorns thing by performing “State of Grace.” If only Simon had listened to Swift, when she said, after Mario Lopez asked her for her take on reality TV show judging, “No matter how tired you are, or how bad a day you have, be nice to people.”
And that’s a wrap, folks. Here’s the current rankings of the Top 10.
1. Tate Stevens
2. Carly Rose Sonenclar
3. Vino Alan
4. Emblem 3
6. Fifth Hamony
7. Diamond White
8. Beatrice Miller
9. Arin Ray
10. Paige Thomas
Like me, were you disappointed with the outcome last night? And can anything stop Tate Stevens from winning it all at this point?
Follow Christian Blauvelt on Twitter @Ctblauvelt
[Photo Credit: Fox]
Britney, Demi, Simon, and Chloe on the Emotional Night at ‘X Factor’
‘X Factor’ Contestants Emblem3, Vino Alan, and More Talk Female Fans, Love, and Relationships
‘The X Factor’ Recap: Divalicious
OK, let's get the burning question out of the way first: No, we still don't know who the last "Survivor" is. There were five of the blockbuster show's castoffs at CBS' fall press tour, interrogated under a hot spotlight by a roomful of overly air-conditioned journalists. But a happily reunited Sonja, B.B., Ramona, Joel and Gretchen (as well as the show's executive producer, Mark Burnett) didn't budge, although Gretchen did joke, "Everybody already knows who the winner is. It would be Mr. Burnett and CBS."
We reporters tried. We crept up from all sides, seeking clues and asking about those recent reports saying that a glitch in the CBS Web site had unwittingly revealed that the winner of "Survivor" is Gervase, the quarrelsome youth counselor.
In response, CBS Television President Les Moonves announced that the network will now post the show synopses only after each episode has aired, rather than prepare it ahead of time with system blockage (rather ineffective, since a computer hacker revealed the results prematurely).
Moonves also pledged that unused "Survivor" footage won't make its way into Blockbuster stores, a la "The Jerry Springer Show." In other words, "There will not be any more naked pictures of Richard than we already have out there," Moonves says.
By contrast, the press conference for CBS' other (and less successful) reality series, "Big Brother," was one of the most heated -- and torturous. William "Mega" Collins, the first houseguest to be voted off the show, was paraded before the press, and he was less-than-charming and confrontational as usual.
But that doesn't necessarily make him interesting. After the umpteenth roundabout spiritual oration in response to questions regarding his former association with the New Black Panther Party for Self Defense, a reporter scribbled his potential headline on a notepad and passed it to another to see: "Big Bore-ther."
The rest of the press tour (aka the unreality section) was mostly humdrum, as the Eye Network trotted out the stars and producers of three new sitcoms and four new dramas. Four, that is, if you count "The Fugitive," the remake of the popular 1960s David Janssen series that inspired the 1993 Harrison Ford film. This one stars Tim Daly in the title role and Mykelti Williamson ("Forrest Gump") as the chaser.
Most of the new shows read like a TV-vet reunion party: Craig T. Nelson ("Coach") as an underdog police chief in the crime drama "The District"; Christine Baranski ("Cybill") in the weatherman sitcom "Welcome to New York"; Marg Helgenberger ("China Beach") in "C.S.I.," a drama about forensic investigators.
The others are made up of short-lived sitcom refugees: The cast of "That's Life," a drama about a 30-something college student, stars Heather Paige Kent ("Jenny," "Stark Raving Mad"); and Anthony Clark, Mike O'Malley and Jean Louisa Kelly team up for the couple-y comedy "Yes, Dear." Anyone remember "Boston Common," "The Mike O'Malley Show" and "Cold Feet," respectively? We didn't think so.
The weary press were also treated to appearances by Tyne Daly and Blair Underwood for returning dramas "Judging Amy" and "City of Angels," respectively. Christopher Plummer, Ving Rhames and Bruno Kirby discussed their still-filming miniseries "An American Tragedy," about the O.J. Simpson defense trial team. And let's not forget Bette Midler, who appeared via satellite to promote "Bette," a sitcom about a diva/wife/mother.
In between, the good people at CBS scheduled screenings, served fruit smoothies and root beer floats, and threw a star-filled party, without, as they said, "the island cuisine afforded the 16 castaways."
Translation? Not a fried rat in sight.