Last night was the ALDC’s final week in Los Angeles on Dance Moms…somehow I feel like I’ve typed that more than once! As usual, Abby Lee Miller was her normal horribly hateful self…with a few (very few!) moments of compassion. The episode was the battle of the video vixens, except (sadly), in this case, the “vixens” are preteens. Don’t get me started on age appropriateness! Much like MacKenzie was transformed into MackZ, Kendall is no longer Kendall. She’s Kendall K. As she and Jill arrive to the set of her military inspired music video, the first words out of Abby’s mouth are “take that, Holly!” Such class with this one! Abby goes on and on about how Holly has extracted Nia from the group by choosing to work with Aubrey O’Day. Let’s be honest…had she not, is there any one of you who thinks Nia would have gotten the same attention that Abby is now giving Kendall…K? Jill chooses to sleep at night by telling herself that Holly created the ultimate betrayal by not blindly trusting Abby to have her daughter’s best interests at heart. As long as Kendall is finally Abby’s golden child, Jill doesn’t mind potentially losing a friend. I think she’s forgotten just how fickle Abby can be!
At pyramid, JoJo is on the bottom for not standing out in the group routine. MacKenzie joins her for not living up to her potential while in LA. Nia and Kalani make up the middle rung for impressive performances in the group number. Kendall is in the second spot for a stellar video shoot, and Maddie regains her top spot for getting winning the overall solo routine at last week’s competition. This week, Maddie is performing at the Grammys, and she shares that she and Sia have become like family. Kendall and JoJo are granted solos, and JoJo will be dancing in a straight jacket. The group number is entitled Platinum, and Abby likens it to Kendall’s musical future. Nia stands stone-faced, getting zero recognition from her lifelong dance teacher. Abby reveals that this week’s competition will be judged by their peers.
I have officially been Southern Charmed. This Shakespearean comedy of errors continues to grow on me from week to week, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t share that I was lucky enough to pop in on Cooper Ray’s recent fashion show promoting his Social Primer line. The vibe was Risky Business, with chiseled models in Oxfords and undies sporting his whimsical designs. Who knew one could make classic seersucker and madras so cutting edge? Cooper was a gracious and genuine host, and he revealed that he styled NYC Prep’s Sebastian for the Paper Magazine article I harped on a few weeks ago. Did someone say “kindred”?
Last night’s episode begins with Kathryn Dennis tending to the adorable Kensington as Thomas Ravenel struggles to move a crib into the new downtown nursery. Cameran Eubanks is working the real estate market, and, not surprisingly, Craig Conover and Shepard “Shep” Rose are snoozing through a beautiful morning. Shep admits he doesn’t do anything productive before noon, citing that he once broke up with a girl who tried to start his day at 9:30. No thank you. Patricia Altschul is perusing Garden and Gun (but of course) as the OG butler plays veterinarian to her pampered pooches. She dials up son Whitney Sudler-Smith who regales her with his European vacation plans–Look kids, Big Ben! Parliament!–with his German reality star girlfriend, giggling at how pretentious his travel agenda sounds. He relays that he will be attending a party thrown by Winston Churchill’s grandson at a pristine castle. It’s all so gauche I can hardly stand it!
Kathryn and T-Rav head to Upper King to buy out Morris Sokol for their downtown abode. I once took out a loan to buy a throw pillow there, but the store’s furniture is absolutely stunning. Thomas is beyond thrilled that the new house will keep Kathryn preoccupied with decorating and coffee dates and ladies who lunch, but Kathryn thinks the closer proximity to Thomas’ office will allow for more couple time. T-Rav humps a temperpeadic (“I like it, it’s quiet…”) and claims that they will have plenty of opportunity to work on their relationship once his election is over. Until then, he needs to focus on the campaign trail.
After JoDez (I may be trying out some new nicknames this season…)went down in a blaze of glory at last season’s reunion, Mimi can only hope that Stevie has enough sense to steer clear of the train wreck. If not, she refuses to get involved with their drama (yeah, right!). After that pesky shower rod incident with Nikko that ended up making Vivid gajillions of dollars, Mimi has penned a tome about her experiences and kicked Nikko to the curb. Sex tape leaks she can forgive, but secret marriages? Not so much. We’ll see how long this lasts. She’s also traded her mop bucket for recording studio, and she’s teamed with Stevie to manage new artists. After listening to Tiffany Foxx, Stevie knows that no one can compare to Joseline’s music but he’s willing to ogle her creepily. When he learns that she’s on the outs with Nikko, Stevie offers Mimi a bottle of his special sauce–I honestly thought he’d started a barbeque line or something, but he means his sperm. Please stop now. Mimi can’t believe how ridiculous he is, yet she still wants to work with him.
TGIF, y’all! I needed to let you decompress from that mess we like to call the final reunion installment of Love & Hip Hop. Are you over the scriptedness? I’m not, but I’ll plow through for you, dear readers. You know the old saying–when a door shuts on fake storyline rachetness, another one opens…and Stevie J. is waiting on your welcome mat!
That’s right. Once we get through this weekend, we’ll be treated to the star of VH1’s ridiculous L&HH franchise. After her violent exit from the season of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, Joseline Hernandez is back, along with other favorites. It’s the greatest of life’s lessons. No matter how horrible the behavior, if one brings the drama (and the viewers), that cash cow will never be put out to pasture!
On last night’s Dance Moms, the crew is still in Los Angeles, but this time everyone’s spirits are much higher. Of course, that comes to a screeching halt when they learn that they’ll be going up against the team that beat them on their previous trek out west. Jill is thrilled that Kendall will be launching her music career this go-round, but her daughter admits to her friends that’s it’s odd for her to be in the fore front. Kendall is excited about the opportunity, but she’s used to being in the background. Nia hopes their music videos won’t turn into a competition since they have such different styles, but she’s happy for her pal nonetheless.
The girls’ banter is interrupted when Abby Lee Miller says that it is time for the pyramid. Nia is on the bottom for her solo’s third place showing, followed by MacKenzie for being the group routine’s weakest link. She’s not applying the corrections given. JoJo rounds out the bottom, but Abby praises her for learning to keep her mouth closed. Maddie is in third (wait, what?) as her technique hasn’t been up to her normal standards due to her latest dancing gigs. Sure, dancing at the Grammys is amazing, but it doesn’t require the precision that Abby has been teaching her all along. Kalani is second, and Kira interjects to say that she and her daughter have been invited to a fashion show event. While she will be attending, Kalani has chosen to stay with the team. This pleases Abby, which should shock no one. Kendall is deservedly on top for her winning the overall high score with her solo. Abby reminds Kendall that she has a lot of work to do with her video so she’ll be relying on the other girls for assistance. Holly reminds Abby that Nia’s video is next week, so she will be focusing on that. Abby icily promises not to rely on Nia to help the team. Kalani and Maddi are granted dueling solos, and Abby announces that Maddie will be missing a day of rehearsals to perform on Ellen.
A dear, dear lifelong friend (transplanted to Boston but addicted to seeing her state featured on Southern Charm) texted me a “Which Southern Charm Gentleman is Your Soul Mate” (or something to that effect) quiz, stating, “I’ll tell you mine, but ONLY after you tell me yours.” I got Shepard “Shep” Rose (natch), and she hesitantly admitted that her match was Whitney Sudler-Smith’s divinely devilish mother. She lamented, “I think it’s slightly embarrassing that an opinionated lady who loves her medicine is my soul mate. What does that say about me?!?” Um, I’d say it just confirms how amazing my friend is…had I known Ms. Pat was an option, I may have swayed my responses! That said, last night’s episode proves that Whitney and Patricia are just fine playing the villainous upper echelon who take pleasure in looking down (way down!) on their co-stars. She’s like the love child of Julia Sugarbaker and Regina George with her flawless style, biting observations, and ultimate Mean Girl exclusion.
The show begins with Patricia summoning her butler (the newbie Mr. Belvedere has been busy polishing the silver…I’m glad to see he got the job!) to request glue sticks on his next run to the Publix. She’s compiling scrapbooks for her son as practice for a wedding photo album, but you won’t find these leather, gold-embossed babies on Pinterest, that’s for sure. Patricia opines about Whitney’s young, European reality star girlfriend and their foray into foreign tabloids as she dreams of a couture Valentino for their ceremony. Whitney arrives to complain about the Sandy Duncan from hell who Thomas Ravenel has enlisted to run his campaign. She doesn’t like the Raise the Roof ad, and Patricia is confused by this serf’s taste in low-budget political propaganda. Pat found her son’s vision of a dancing T-Rav to be “brilliant.” The duo laughs at the thought that any ad or manager could get Thomas a seat in the US Senate, as Whitney recaps his fundraiser at Bowen’s Island (Patricia briefly turns into Cher Horowitz…”as if” she’d attend any event off the peninsula!). He relays Kathryn Dennis’ bunny boiler meltdown when she felt condescended to by Whitney. Patricia poo poos the grammar and turns the attention to her diamond studded flats.
We’ve finally made it to the other side, y’all! Last night was the final installment of the Love & Hip reunion, and if you didn’t think it could get messier than it already was, you were sorely mistaken! Picking up where we left off last week, Nina Parker chides Rich Dollaz about not copping to what happened with Cisco’s ex Diamond Strawberry in the bathroom. As you recall from earlier in the season, Rich was intrigued by Diamond’s brand of crazy, but he promised Cisco he wouldn’t break bro code by going after his leftovers. Nina reminds Rich that the pair forgot to turn off their mics, and she then shares some previously un-aired audio from the encounter…which is pretty raunchy. Rich insists that nothing happened, and Diamond seems embarrassed. Diamond’s mother blames Cisco for making Diamond so vulnerable to be susceptible to Rich’s advances, although she does think her daughter made some bad decisions.
Diamond asserts that her fling with Rich wasn’t rooted in revenge. She was in a fragile state, and she had strong feelings for Rich. Her stalker ways are recapped, which, of course, feeds into Jhonni’s jealous rages. Cisco questions Rich’s intentions, and he can’t believe that his friend would act so shady. Rich does what Rich does, and Jhonni gets angry that Cisco refuses to go off on his friend. Can’t he punch Rich or something? Cisco gives a rousing speech about not becoming the next Stevie J and Benzino. If they’re going to scrap, it will be in private and when finished and they’ll party together like rock stars. He high fives Peter Gunz while representing the original L&HH as Rich laughs in agreement. Who are these people? When asked whether Jhonni posed a threat to her, Diamond quips that she didn’t even know who Jhonni was and assumed she was an extra. Jhonni retorts, “Your daughter is an extra,” which riles up Grandma Strawberry. It takes about fifteen men in suits to pull Jhonni from the stage. Diamond’s mother wishes they’d let her go so she could learn a lesson. Lady, have you watched this season? Jhonni would put a hurting on the elder Strawberry for sure!
Say what you will about Whitney Sudler-Smith (I certainly do!), but regardless of how sinister he’s coming across on the second season of Southern Charm, he’s pretty funny (even if we’re sometimes laughing at him and not with him). I think there is a lot about his life that we don’t get to see on the show. Whitney is clearly a talented film maker, so the silver spoon that seems constantly lodged in his mouth can’t be a permanent fixture. He has to work hard. We all know he’s the creator of my guiltiest Bravo pleasure and is a producer of the series.
Given that fact, Whitney has to know how he’s being portrayed…heck, he’s likely writing his own script! It’s a bit intriguing (and dare I say, endearing?) that he’d poke enough fun at himself to be the requisite villain. Y’all know I stalk them at any opportunity (I have a few grainy cellphone pics of a white jean clad Whitney waiting at a crosswalk…restraining order, what?), and I’ve been known to approach members of the cast when I see them around town. The one time I fan-girled Whitney, Shep Rose, and Cameran Eubanks at lunch (off season–they truly are friends), all were incredibly kind and cordial, but Whitney struck me as sincere and genuinely nice. Plus, we all know that “reality” these days means scripted stories where the stars use their real names!