I Want To Be a Hilton: Playing it up to the Hilt(on)
After watching the President bumble through his teleprompted speech, the devilishly handsome Brian Williams solemnly told us that we’d now be returned to “NBC Programming.” Since he’s in New York, he looked thoroughly embarrassed knowing that his friends and family would be switched into the ritzy world of Kathy Hilton and the goofy gang of kids trying to gain entry into her upper echelon. With no introduction and no explanation, it was a bit shocking to see new teams (green vs. blue) on a croquet course (or is it a field?) with World Heavyweight Champion Lennox Lewis looking on. Huh? What did I miss in those first 14 minutes? Why is Lennox Lewis in my grandfather’s polyester golf duds? I had to sort this out – and quickly.
Apparently the teams were reshuffled which gave us the following breakdown: Team Green consisted of Vanessa, Latricia, Niki, and Brenden. I later learned that Latricia picked the teams and I guess she wasn’t aware of the hatred Vanessa and Brenden have for each other. Team Blue was Jules, Jaret, JW, and Jackaay – Team J, if you will. From what I gathered, the premise was that the teams of 4 would battle each other in a series of “sophisticated” games, reality TV style. With Lennox Lewis observing for some unknown reason. The first game was a bastardized version of croquet where Brenden and Jaret battled it out. We in the East missed Brenden’s attempt, but saw the tail end of Jaret hunched over his mallet and kind of shoveling his ball through the wickets. I don’t know the rules of croquet, but something tells me Jaret wasn’t playing by them. Technically speaking, he must have taken 859 strokes to complete the course. Rules didn’t apply, however, and Jaret was declared the winner of this nonsense based on time. At this point, even the 8 remaining contestants looked embarrassed to be part of this show. I kept peering out my windows to make sure the neighbors weren’t secretly laughing at me for watching it.
Up next was the rowing challenge. Because, you see, young Paris and Nicky Hilton were forced to row up and down the lake in Central Park for years. It’s all part of being a socialite. In fact, if you get up really early and listen intently through the fog and avian chatter, you can still hear Paris across the lake…”Pull! Pull! That’s hot. Pull! Pull!” For this contest, two women from each team had to row an oar while a male sat in the boat with them. From the get-go, Niki and Vanessa showed they actually knew what they were doing as they blew away Jules and Jackaay. As it turns out, Darling Niki rows as a hobby. Boy, she really is just like Paris! Unfortunately for Team Blue, the closest Jules and Jackaay have ever gotten to “rowing” was that time they went to Cancun on Spring Break and got cornrows in their hair. [Message to white women everywhere: Please, STOP doing this. You are not Bo Derek and it’s not 1979.] They rowed in circles, argued, cried, fought, and gave up. Jules did finally say what we’ve all been thinking: “Jackaay is like a man-woman.” In addition to the extra ‘a’ in her name, methinks she has an extra Y in her chromosomes. Completely fed up with their ineptitude, Jaret dove off the boat into the green muck of the lake, effectively taking 3 years off of his life. It was almost enough to make me forget this was a show about class and grace.
The next challenge was called “Best in Show” and would force 2 team members to deal with a poodle in a series of humiliating events. With, of course, Lennox Lewis lording over them all. Ok, at least rich people do seem to like super tiny little rat-dogs these days, so I guess this had some relevance somehow. Latricia and Brenden teamed up against JW and Jackaay. Not satisfied to humiliate themselves, now the wannabe Hiltons had to humiliate the dogs by dressing them up in little outfits. Then they dragged them through an “obstacle course” of plastic cups and rocks. Lastly, the dog had to lick their faces. If only I were making this up. What in the world was Lennox Lewis thinking at this point? How did he feel when Latricia lamented, “We got a damn retarded dog. The dog was shaking – like I’m gonna eat it or something? I don’t want you on a bun, little poochie.” Looking at Latricia, I think the only thing stopping her from eating it was the fact that she thought it was “retarded.” Otherwise, she’d be all, “Pass the mustard, Kim Soo Suk!”
Before I go forward and announce the winning team, I have to step in here and say that this was just about the most idiotic reality show challenge I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t believe how stupid it was. I was heartened to read that none other than Kathy Hilton apparently felt the same way I did, according to Gawker. After watching this episode, I absolutely believe that story to be true.
Team Blue had won the croquet and Team Green had won the rowing, so it was up to the subjective decision of the dog-show lady to decide the overall winner. I was hoping she’d turn to Lennox, drop her head in shame and announce, “You know what? We’re all losers just for being here. Nobody wins. Now Lennox, please punch me as hard as you can so I forget I was involved in any way with this.” My daydream was shattered when she announced the Blues had done better with their dog, eliciting a very bored sounding “huzzah” from Lennox and Kathy Hilton. The awesome prize for the winners would be dinner with Lennox at Solo restaurant in Manhattan. The losing team would be forced to…have dinner with Lennox at Solo restaurant in Manhattan. Maybe they weren’t allowed to get dessert or something.
On the walk back to the apartments, NBC shut off the cameras just in time for Jaret to trash talk Latricia. The whole segment was impossible to follow as the editing tried to piece together little snippets that may or may not have been relevant. It was awful. Latricia said, “He had no business comin up in my face like that.” Like what? We didn’t see it! Arrghh! After a commercial break (Jason Lee, dude, what are you doing in an NBC sitcom?), Latricia was still hurt and upset by Jaret. Last week, Vanessa made several disparaging remarks about her weight and size but that failed to ruffle Ms. Tons of Fun. I’d love to know what Jaret said to make her sulk for so long. All we got was that he said she should “quit her bitchin’.” There had to be more to it because even as Jaret offered a sincere apology, Latricia would not listen. In fact, we finally got to see full-on ghetto mode Latricia as she really let Jaret have it before the gang went off to dinner.
Dinner with Lennox Lewis was as boring as you’d expect. I was really hoping to gain some insight as to why he was even involved with the show, but he simply gave them all autographed boxing gloves and bid them adieu. Maybe it was all just a ruse to bang Paris? As in, “I’ll do you the favor of showing up on your show, Mrs. Hilton, if you do me the favor of giving me Paris’s phone number and favorite perfume.” Very shrewd, Mr. Hypothetical Lennox Lewis…well played. Enough filler, time for The Residence, the Tribal Council of Hilton’s show.
Vanessa, Niki, Brenden, and Latricia filed in and awaited the glum-looking Kathy. Referring to the fact that Latricia has been on the losing team every single week, Kathy quipped, “I’m going to have to start calling these gatherings, ‘delibatricias’.” Sigh. Kathy, leave the clever witticisms up to Midseasonreplacements and stick to croquet and poodles. Her attempt at being witty was painfully forced and difficult to accept. “Delibatricias?” Instead of that, I’d have gone with a Wayne’s Worldish, “Latrish-yah? As if!” Or perhaps, “Latricia, welcome, congratulations on winning the couch.”
“The couch, what couch?”
“The one you’ve ruined by sitting on it every single freaking week.” SNAP!
Latricia made some light-hearted lament about her streak with some plucky mandolin music in the background. When Kathy interrupted and reminded them that someone would be going home tonight, an ominous tympani boomed and those smiles all turned upside down. Oddly, Latricia has become so familiar with Kathy after going to so many of these things, she has taken to calling her “Sista Kathy.” I found that annoying, but you could have guessed that. The fireworks immediately started as Brenden ripped into Latricia. He accused her of bringing drama into everything and disrupting the team. Latricia countered this charge by bringing drama into the discussion, and disrupting the deliberation – er – the Latriceration. “Sweetie,” she sassed, “I don’t get ticked off.” She went on to lie about how she didn’t like cake, cookies, ice cream, or pies.
It was Niki’s turn next but she chose to ignore the others and focus on herself. You see, Niki’s grandpa just died right before the filming began, and… “And… A-boo-hoo-hoo. Sniffle. And… This is for my grandpa… Boo-hoo-hoo. Sniffle.” The moment seemed genuine and I’m sure it was touching to those who actually have a heart, but I simply couldn’t get over the fact that her over-plucked, over-sculpted eyebrows made her look like she just opened a jack-in-the-box even while crying over her dead grandpa.
Latricia showing her emotional side
With Kathy Hilton now crying, Latricia attempted to match Niki’s sob story. “I’m here for my son.” She continued, “I mean, sure, with me here for him, he’s living in the trunk of my abandoned car surviving off of rationed Saltines and rainwater, but hey, whatever, he’ll survive. I think.” Vanessa couldn’t even fight through her sobs to begin her tear-jerker about how she grew up poor. Dead grandpa, homeless starving kid, destitute upbringing…Brenden, whatchyougot? “Um, I work as a golf caddy.” With that, everyone stopped crying for themselves and began anew for Brenden. Not really, but he should have tried that. In reality, he essentially gave up and crossed his fingers that the three women’s sob stories didn’t sway Kathy too much.
They didn’t, as Latricia was elaminicianated and sent upon her way. Kathy announced that from this point forward, there will be no more teams and everyone will be competing as individuals. In the battle of the lesser-seen network summer reality shows that I recap, I think this week marked the time when “The Cut” on CBS became more interesting than the Hilton show. If you are a masochist, you can catch the first 15 minutes I missed Friday night on Bravo. If you do (or did), send me an email proving it, and I’ll reply with a one-of-a-kind insult, lovingly personalized just for you!