Last night on Flipping Out, Jeff Lewis explains why hiring seven nannies does not make him insane, then flies down to Orlando to tour the palace of an actual insane person, Jackie Siegel. The Queen of Versailles hopes Jeff will design her 90,000 square foot
monstrosity home that she and her hubby have been attempting to build for over a decade, but Jeff’s not so sure. Neither is David Siegel, who is not a big fan of Jeff’s humor – nor of his barrage of insults about the Siegal’s disgusting taste. (I’d like to pause here to personally invite Jeff to my home to insult literally everything I own. Because it would be 100% worth it to get a Jeff Lewis design out of the deal. By all means, insult away!!!)
But David Siegel’s ego is no small hurdle to overcome, and Jeff knows this. He and Gage Edward do not know a whole lot about babies, though, as has become starkly apparent these past weeks. At least baby Monroe has lived through the move to New Hollywood, so there’s that. She has not had a decent nanny stay for more than a hot minute, however. And Jeff has all kindsa excuses about why. Or maybe just one…
While Gage inspects video footage of Monroe from 3am the previous night, Jeff reflects on the three night nurses and four nannies they’ve gone through in five months. He is not liking producers call him out on this in his talking head, either. He’s like, “Before you make me out to be crazy, let me explain!” Then he proceeds to give exactly ONE excuse for ONE nanny who needed to go (she had a death in the family and Jeff did not like hearing her cry). So…what’s the story with the other 6?!?
No matter, for supernanny Gema has come to save the day! She’s kind, competent, and affectionate. So she’s hired – like, forever. And Monroe seems smitten with her. I, personally, am currently smitten with Monroe, who is possibly the cutest child on the planet. BONUS: She’s not screaming, people! For reals! She’s actually laughing and cooing in Gema’s arms, which means job security for this magical lady. “We found the perfect nanny,” says Jeff. Oh yeah, you did – especially because she’s hot for Gage to boot. Thus, Gage and Monroe are given the affection they both desperately crave. #TeamGema
Since New Hollywood is done, it’s time to get Old Hollywood up to speed. As in: not a pile of rubble and timber. Jeff loves living on the job site, but not IN the job site. He can micromanage via windows rather than holes in the office drywall. Although the plan is to move into Old Hollywood once it’s renovated, Jeff knows himself, and he’ll probably sell it before that move ever materializes.
Back at the office, Jeff calls Lea Black up to discuss orders. He also arranges flights to see Jackie (Lea’s friend) in Orlando. Gage’s eyes register what is happening, and it’s a look that says, “Please, God, no.” But Jeff wants to meet the Siegals and tour their Versailles property before committing to the job. He even agrees to consult for free, troubling Gage, and probably heading nowhere in the end. The very pregnant Jenni Pulos will also head to FL with the gang, even though she’s about to get Zika virus on this crazy Versailles chick’s mosquito-infested island! Nope. Not good, Jenni. No bueno.
Before their trip, Jeff and Gage take Monroe to her 5-month checkup. She is all smiles and peace and happy gurgles now, which is a welcome change from the baby-pterodactyl-being-poked-with-pitchforks phase. The daddies are in a better place now that Monroe isn’t terrorizing everyone with her wails, and they tentatively hope that they’re out of the woods. But leaving her behind when they travel to FL will be tough. Even Jeff has to tear himself away, despite his intense commitment to work. Zoila Chavez promises to hold down the fort while they’re gone, though, so between her and Gema, she’s in good hands.
Good thing Monroe is sleeping peacefully at home, because Jeff, Jenni, Gage, and Megan Weaver barely get the car parked in the airport ramp without a triple murder/suicide incident. Once in FL, they’ve calmed down a bit. Except for the fact that Jenni is more than a little freaked out about Zika, as well as the Siegel residence. No totally bizarre stuff going on here, folks! Just a few stuffed dogs, enormous political banners, disco balls perched tastefully next to Tang Dynasty vases. Sex rooms with curtained dancing stages and tables of gold-plated dildos. You know – the usual!
Before continuing with this recap, I would hereby like to request a 6-hour extended version of this tour, complete with alligator hunt footage. Because I could watch this Jackie Siegal house tour sh*t FOREVER. I think Bravo owes us this much.
Alas, we must leave Jackie’s current house
of horrors to embark on a tour of Versailles itself, which looks like the Disney version of a trip to France…on acid and broken dreams. Jeff isn’t sure what to make of this incredibly enormous, half-done palace. Jackie’s tastes run along the lines of using real gemstones in the walls and hanging hideous chandeliers two feet apart for the entire length of the estate, whereas Jeff’s are more about ripping out the gold gaudiness, root and stem. Jackie’s like, “I want it to be gaudy!” No trace of irony is found in her tone, I kid you not. And I weirdly love watching this cuckoo woman fan the flames of her own delusions, even if that makes me part of the problem. #NoShame
Jackie should be ashamed of her bathrooms, though, which say “Welcome to Motel 6!” rather than “Bow down, lowly peasants, to our conspicuous consumption!” Jeff doesn’t plan to hold back on his assessment of these underwhelming bathrooms when he meets David later, but this turns out to be a risky decision. Especially because David chose the finishes for these bathrooms. Yikes!
Even Lea, who usually loves flash, gives everything here a thumbs down. All of the finishes must go – even the ones not installed yet. “This is a cross between Liberace and Versace,” says Lea. “You gotta go classy, not trashy.” Though Jackie’s eyes barely register a minimal level of understanding, she nods in agreement anyway. She’s out of her depth (and she lives in very shallow waters).
At dinner later, Lea gushes over Monroe’s baby pictures, then greets Jackie and David with hugs. Jeff gears up for the truth bombs he’s about to drop, wasting no time in getting to his assessment of the Siegel’s estate. After delivering the recap (it’s ugly, it’s dated, and it’s doomed to land at the top of the world’s greatest disasters), David scowls. “You’re wearing out your welcome,” he warns after Jeff compares his bathrooms to a Best Western.
Undaunted, Jeff pushes forward, knowing he’s only got one shot at making a real impression. He wants David and Jackie to build a masterpiece, not a cheesy Vegas replica. David seems to appreciate the honest advice, agreeing that he does need guidance in design choices. Although no deal is exactly struck yet, the Siegels seem eager to get more of this Jeff Lewis juju. Good meeting! Sort of.
On their way to Jackie’s warehouse the next day, Jeff and Gage find out that Monroe has finally slept through the night – woohoo! Oh, the bitter irony that she chose their first trip away to give everyone a full night’s rest. This is definitely Jeff’s biological child! Jackie shows the group around her airplane hanger sized storage unit, filled with “millions of dollars of antiques” and, oh, about forty thousand patio loungers. (WTF was up with that patio furniture, yo?!? We need answers.)
“Oh. My. God.” is the only appropriate response. And Jeff can barely contain his nearly physical angst over being plopped smack down in the middle of this psychotic clutter. Gage even sees the naked terror in Jeff’s eyes, knowing he’ll pay for this triggering episode later.
Ultimately, Jeff doesn’t want the Siegels to be jokes, but he doesn’t know if this project is beyond his capabilities. He’d love to help them out in theory, but in reality, these peeps are CRAY-CRAY. And this house ain’t never getting finished. So Jeff decides not to go down with the ship, rejecting the job in the end. Wacky Jackie is sad, but she’s probably got another dog to stuff back home so…she’ll be okay. Also, Jeff and the gang get to go to Sea World! And Jenni didn’t get Zika! And most importantly, we got to see a brief glimpse this lunatic property before it sinks into deeper ruin. Thus, the trip was worth it.
TELL US: WAS JEFF RIGHT TO REJECT THE SIEGAL JOB? WILL VERSAILLES EVER GET FINISHED? IS MONROE PAST HER COLICKY STAGE?
Photo Credit: Bravo