Tonight’s grand finale of “Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars” on WEtv was one of the best I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen them all.
Kudos to Thinkfactory Media for actually surprising me. I didn’t cheat and Google to figure out what had happened to all of them in advance like I’ve done before. And I’m glad.
I think that other than Benzino and Althea arguing, the “hall pass” night was the most peaceful I’ve ever seen at the Marriage Boot Camp. But the girls still wake up hung over.
“This is why people don’t have bachelor or bachelorette parties the night before the wedding,” Catherine says. She’s right.
The guys are talking, and Benzino seems to be picking at other people’s relationships today. He starts on Catherine and Sean.
“Let me tell you something about my marriage – there’s complete trust,” Sean says.
Benzino tells him that Catherine was naughty during the hall pass.
And he’s only slightly supportive of Sugar Bear’s worrying.
“Sugar Bear, shut up. Where else is Mama June gonna go?” Benzino asks. Nice…
Althea woke up hot.
“But now, after last night, scratch the wedding,” Althea says… but nobody’s asked her to marry them. That’s really what this is all about. She’s been bitching about not being engaged or married since they arrived.
Sundy wakes up still drunk, and she’s simply thrilled when they hear instructions to begin their day in the judge’s chambers. Everybody hates her. I really hope they go back to the old format next season, and just have one episode of Divorce Court. She isn’t what the Marriage Boot Camp is about.
The creators and directors of the Marriage Boot Camp, Jim and Elizabeth Carroll, don’t make people feel judged – that’s the whole point of relationship therapy. Using snarky Judge Lynn Toler to do evaluations and threaten everybody is just not what this show – or the real Marriage Boot Camp program – has ever been about. It makes me sad to see the show take this turn.
“This is it. The final day of the MBC. And you have a potentially life-altering decision to make,” Elizabeth greets them.
Judge Toler goes over final evaluations first thing in the morning and it seems a weird way to kick off this important day, on such a negative note.
She tells Sarah not to lose herself in pleasing other people, meaning Ink.
“He is not going to be the man for you unless he continues to grow emotionally,” Jim says.
She tells June to think of herself first.
“I don’t know if my heart’s gonna get broke again, but I do have to think of myself before I think of others,” June says.
“I want you to take this sexual addiction issue very seriously,” Elizabeth suggests maybe Sugar Bear should walk away til he gets healed.
Toler tells Sundy to make a decision and stop jerking Cedric around.
“Cedric, you have to decide whether or not you want her,” Toler says.
“If you want your marriage to work, don’t try to look good,” Jim tells Sean. We all know they faked their way through boot camp and have agreed in advance to exchange rings, so there’s no suspense on this relationship.
“Althea, you’re working on Althea’s team and Althea’s team only. You never seem to be able to put Benzino first. What good is it being married to a man that you can never really value?” Toler asks. Okay, I actually agree with her on this one.
“Whatever happens today, remember, you are in charge of your own fate,” Toler reminds them all.
Elizabeth sends them off to get dressed and ready for the ring ceremony.
“From Day One, we never promised to save their relationships, but we did promise to give them the tools to make an informed decision today,” Jim explains.
“This is going to be tough,” Althea says.
“Sundy, what if Cedric says he doesn’t want to be with you? What happens?” June is blunt. Sundy has no reply.
Meanwhile, Benzino is picking at Ink’s relationship with Sarah. What’s up with him? Usually, Ink is the pot-stirrer.
And by the way, did anybody else notice that it was the MEN and not the WOMEN causing trouble this season? Usually, the pot-stirrers are girls. Very interesting… but I digress.
“I don’t know why Benzino is trying to rile Ink up,” Sean says when the guys start arguing. Shut up, Sean. At least, he’s not picking on you this time.
“You’re a fifty-year-old man who can’t control his temper,” Ink says. Ouch! True ‘dat.
Benzino says he doesn’t see Ink and Sarah lasting.
“You know the kind of bad girl, turned-up, fast girl she is. She failed the lie detector test,” Benzino reminds him.
“I wish we could hurry up and get this the fuck over with,” Ink is stressing.
“I honestly believe Sarah and Ink might not give each other the rings,” Catherine says.
They all do one-on-ones with Jim or Elizabeth through the day, while the girls are having their hair and makeup professionally done.
“How much do I have to do to gain your trust?” Sarah wants to know how long she’s supposed to hold out for Ink.
“It’s really not fair, and do I really want to put myself through this,” Sarah says.
“If I can’t trust her 100 percent, there’s a woman out there I can. It just might not be her,” Ink tells Jim. That’s kinda cold.
“I’m not feeling connected to Cedric because the situation that I shared… I didn’t feel any kind of emotional support. I just felt emptiness… I’m saying more compassion. I just haven’t made up my mind,” Sundy tells Althea.
“I’m so discombobulated,” she tells Elizabeth as they head off to chat.
“I have a lot of work to do on myself. I need to figure out who Sundy is in real life,” she tells Elizabeth. Why does she talk about herself in the third person so much? I feel like these two need to go into intense therapy together to deal with her admission of a childhood trauma.
Cedric’s feeling totally lost, and I hurt for him.
“Elizabeth drives me to drink,” Sundy says, pouring a glass of wine… lol. I think Elizabeth might take that as a compliment.
“Sugar Bear has an addiction. An addiction never goes away it just becomes manageable. Can you live with an addict, and do you realize it’s more than just cheating?” Elizabeth asks June in their one-on-one.
“Sugar knows I ain’t ever gonna trust him 100 percent,” June says.
Jim tries to prep Sugar Bear for possible letdown.
Sugar tells Cedric he wants to back out of the ring ceremony, and Cedric gives him a pep talk.
“I’m real scared Mama June don’t wanna take me back,” Sugar says.
“How are you going to manage Benzino’s rollercoaster?” Elizabeth asks Althea.
“Our fights are not normal fights,” Althea thinks anyone watching would think she was crazy to stay in the relationship. I happen to think Benzino is crazy to stay with her.
“If he doesn’t change, I will walk,” Althea threatens.
“My life is in this small box,” Benzino says when Jim gives him the ring. An interesting perspective was given as he’s been shot, he’s been in a gang, he’s been rolling with some of the toughest in society for years. And Althea holds his life in her hands??? She’s just a crazy chick he knocked up.
Cedric and Sundy are the first couple called to the ring ceremony.
“I’m not prepared. I’m not ready,” Sundy says. “I’m just unsure as to how this gonna end.”
“I respect you… I love that you have a genuine heart… but I don’t feel like I make you happy,” Sundy says tells Cedric.
“You’re a wonderful friend, but Sundy, you need to find out who you really are,” Cedric replies.
Neither of them gives the other their rings back.
“What you’re saying is that you’re not moving forward together,” Jim says and tells them they aren’t a couple anymore and will be leaving separately.
“We can be best of friends without being married,” Cedric says. There’s a recipe for disaster. And I’m right – because they ended up getting back together and remarrying each other in December.
I’m a better man now that I have closure emotionally, physically. I’m feeling healthy and I’m feeling free,” Cedric says. Right, until they got married again. How many times can you do that?
Sarah and Ink are up next.
“Why would I want to give 100 percent when you’re not willing to give it back?” Sarah asks.
“You took a test on the biggest issue I have, and you failed it,” Ink says.
Sarah gives Ink a ring, but Ink does not give Sarah a ring. Then when she starts to cry, he whips it out. He is a mean guy.
“I fell in love with you,” Ink says. “We happy.”
You know, I started rooting for them halfway through the season, and this made me want to hurl. No surprise that they have since split up.
Sarah and Ink go upstairs to find Sundy and Cedric. Mad awkward moment. Obviously, if they weren’t in the celebration room with the champagne, they weren’t celebrating!
Catherine’s dress was god-awful. I rarely comment on the ladies’ outfits because I’m no style queen myself, but what the hell was that? Leftover bridesmaid attire? Or the prom sale rack at Marshalls? Ugh. Was dying when Sarah made a snarky remark about it. #FashionPolice
And Catherine’s hair looked like she rode to an event with her head out the sunroof. They had stylists there – WTF happened??? #sorrynotsorry
“Your lack of empathy has really hurt,” Catherine tells Sean she’s worried he isn’t ready to be a father at the ring ceremony.
“You have my heart… but you need to find a way to control that hot tempter,” Sean says.
They exchange rings, of course. And now she’s preggers and they’re going to live happily ever, of course.
“I think they can go the long haul,” Elizabeth says. Jim thinks they’ve got a lot of work still to do.
Benzino and Althea make my head hurt. She’s going to give him a ring because she wants his money. I’m hoping he doesn’t reciprocate for the sake of his sanity. I think she makes him crazy.
She shows him his ring. Then he shows her an empty box (and I’m being mean and cheering in my head), and we hang long enough to think it’s real before he goes on bended knee, and gives her a big-ass diamond, and asks her to marry him.
Althea wins! She got what she wants – she’s going to marry her baby daddy. Anybody wanna take bets on how long this marriage will last?
They even get into a fight during the final interview.
“Zino ain’t kissing your ass no more… Zino is checking out,” Benzino says. But…
They’re still together and fighting, and she had a baby boy. I give it another year or two, tops. Just depends on how good the prenup was. She’s alllll about the money, honey.
Mama June and Sugar Bear are last.
“I’m thinking can Sugar Bear use the tools?” she’s worried that he can’t apply what he’s learned at Marriage Boot Camp.
“Can you love me just a little bit back?” he asks, and it’s really sad.
Sugar gives June her ring, and she gives him his back too. I’m glad there’s no joking about it with them.
“I love you. And I’m done with cheating,” Sugar Bear promises to get help for his sex addiction.
When I first started watching this, I messaged Elizabeth Carroll and asked, “Honey Booboo? Are you freaking kidding?”
She told me to just wait and watch, and I would fall in love with them. I don’t know if I’d go that far, but I have definitely changed my opinion of June. She’s a lot more than TLC ever packaged on their reality show.
Unfortunately, Sugar Bear kept cheating and he and Mama June have split up since the show. Good for her. He never got the therapy for his sex addiction. Not even gonna go there.
I think this is probably my favorite season yet with reality stars. I’d LOVE to see them do a few more seasons with “Bridezillas” – I think they’d be surprised how many viewers they’d get because so many of us watched the crazy on that show.
Jim and Elizabeth Carroll have a new book out called “Marriage Boot Camp: Defeat the Top Ten Marriage Killers and Build a Rock-Solid Relationship.” It’s definitely worth the read and you can see the same rules and principles applied during the TV show, written out in a practical way that real couples can follow at home. Definitely a #MustRead!
Sandy Malone is the star of TLC’s reality show “Wedding Island” and a regular blogger for the Huffington Post and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is the owner of Weddings in Vieques, a successful Caribbean destination wedding planning company based on Vieques Island just off the coast of Puerto Rico. She also owns Weddings in Culebra, Flowers on Vieques and Boutiques in Vieques. Please follow her on Twitter!