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Recap: “Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars” Aggravate-O-Meter Edition

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Recap: “Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars” Aggravate-O-Meter Edition

I would re-watch this episode of “Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars” on WEtv three times voluntarily (had to do it anyway for this blog) just to see Tanisha and Clive do the shock exercise again. THAT was hilarious. And possibly the first time we’ve seen her give up control. She didn’t like it one bit. I loved every second of it.

It never occurred to Tanisha that THEY were screwing it all up TOGETHER. She simply yelled at Clive, causing them both to get more shocks. Not that he was any help (glad he got the shocks too), but damn, the whole thing was hilarious. Can we do that every episode, Thinkfactory Media? Please???

As Tanisha spun in circles screaming, kicking and throwing things, and Clive laughed every time they got zapped together, my husband asked “what the hell is wrong with these people?” Excellent question. The boot camp directors were howling too as they administered the much-deserved shocks.

The shock drill was last, but I started there because it was the highlight of the episode. Predictably, Trista and Ryan won and didn’t even get shocked. Gretchen and Slade actually took second place, despite the fact he uses affectionate terms in a patronizing way to convey when he thinks she’s a moron.

Fortunately for Gretchen, she’s prepared because there is an “Adventure Barbie” – say what? Bahahaha! Now we know who the “White Oprah” thinks she resembles. Maybe that explains her tooth fairy dress last episode.

Lots of dog references going on here – Trista sounds like a “Chihuahua” barking instructions, and Slade encourages Gretchen with “good girl, good girl.” Seriously? OMG.

There was an obstacle course and one half of the couple was blindfolded and had to follow their partner’s instructions to get through it. Both wore “shock-collar” style bracelets and when they messed up, both got shocked. What they didn’t realize was the shocks weren’t for doing badly on the course, but rather for failing to communicate appropriately. Hence the zap-a-thon for Tanisha and Clive.

“If one of you messes up, you both get the shock,” Elizabeth explains. The purpose of the drill is to test their communication skills under pressure, Jim adds.

Instead of telling Tanisha where to go, Clive’s standing there saying “Uhhhhhhhhh.” And she’s, predictably, yelling at him. The result, she spends 10 minutes spinning in circles getting zapped and shrieking. I’d have loved to be the one zapping them but, for real, Jim and Elizabeth Carroll, the boot camp directors, were having too much fun at it.

Traci and Kevin were hilarious. Her stream of obscenities – she was trying not to use curse words – showed just how creative a lyricist she can be.

Roger spends the whole drill yelling at Jenni. So basically, it wasn’t any different from regular life for them. Zero communication skills.

FINAL SCOREBOARD:

Tanisha and Clive – 25 shocks
JWoww and Roger – 15 shocks
Traci and Kevin – 5 shocks
Gretchen and Slade – 1 shock
Trista and Ryan – Zero shocks and they were the only couple to successfully complete the course in the 10-minute time limit. Not a shocker… hehehe.

I’m not sure what the campers gained from the drill other than to learn who really doesn’t communicate or listen to each other – maybe that was important for them to “feel” instead of just hear.

For some, it showed they’d accomplished nothing as far as growth. Others don’t really NEED to be at “Marriage Boot Camp.” Trista actually acknowledges this when she admits they have a good marriage but just want to make it better. Hmm.

But of course, the whole episode began with another drama played out by Jenni and Roger. Roger is a drama queen. He makes Jenni look mellow compared to the way he screams and yells and threatens people.

After watching this, my husband commented that the cast of our show was very, very well behaved because both the Bridezillas couples and the Reality Stars are constantly threatening and physically attacking their production crew. Is this how it is for most shows? We had none of that on “Wedding Island.”

So, going back to the end of the episode two weeks ago (4th of July break in between), the story about Jenni being knocked up has been sold to a tabloid – SHOCKER!!! And Roger is really, really pissed! But does he have a right to be? Again, he chose this life with her and he’s the one who has changed his tune about being on television.

“It’s the feeling that I always get that Jenni sells us out and it really just makes me feel disrespected that Jenni never listens to me and I’m right a lot of the time.” Roger is always right. Just ask him.

She wants to talk to him and handle it like a team.

“We’re not a team – you’re TEAM JENNI.” Roger is back to having temper tantrums. Does Jenni realizes that as soon as she gives birth, she will have two babies in that house?

She accepts responsibility for the leak about her pregnancy but she’s furious at production. I’m unclear as to whether she thinks Thinkfactory Media or WEtv sold her out, but she’s positive it’s “production” and says so over and over again to her housemates.

“In my life, I have never had a fucking story sold to me that people stirred up for production,” Jenni says…she means having a story sold ABOUT her but she’s upset enough that we’ll give her a free pass on not making sense.

That said, I call BULLSHIT on no production company ever leaking anything to up the ante on her shows. We just know too much that we’ve all read in the tabloids. Maybe she means she’s never not given permission for the leak before.

“None of yous,” Jenni is clear to Tanisha and the rest of them that it isn’t the cast she’s blaming. “Production.”

“Someone in here contacted ‘In Touch’ Magazine with a statement about a medical condition,” she accuses them. Thinkfactory breaks the Fourth Wall again to take control of the situation (meaning we see producers talking to the cast yet again to calm down the celebrities).

Executive Producer Adam Freeman denies it, saying they’ve only known about it for 17 minutes at this point. Jenni doesn’t believe anybody but is willing to try to help calm Roger down.

“He literally threatened a cameraman and he feels like there’s no coming back from that. So now he has to leave. I personally can’t take him out of that element because I’m the one who is at fault.” Jenni blames herself too much. He signed the contract with her. Just because her manager brought it to the table doesn’t make her the only responsible party here.

Oh Jenni, you didn’t make Roger threaten the crew or throw your mic pack – he did that on his own. You’re not the only one who makes mistakes so you can stop owning his too.

“The argument that Jenni and Roger are having mirrors the drama that has surrounded their entire relationship. Everything is pubic. Everything is for sale.” Director Elizabeth Carroll hit the nail on the head.

EVERYTHING is for sale because JWoww’s fans will buy anything related to her – whether it’s on film or actual retail. JWoww is an amazing businesswoman. But Roger no longer finds that attractive.

“In order to get them through this and have a breakthrough in the relationship, we’re going to have to keep them here at “Marriage Boot Camp.” Director Jim Carroll goes up to try to have a man-to-man talk with Roger.

“Jenni has told at least five people that I know of – God knows how many – none of them were family or friends. It was all industry. And that’s why I feel like it could be related to this leak and I’m pissed about it,” Roger rants. They haven’t told their families she’s pregnant yet and he thinks it’s horrible to have the information leaked this way.

Jim tells him that because of the nature of her career this is going to keep happening. Seems that Roger is actually hearing him because later on when Jenni was dressing to leave to fly cross-country for a previous media commitment for her own show, Roger doesn’t want to go and asks her if she’ll stop asking him to do this stuff.

“Will you give me a break in the future on not having to do this anymore?” Roger asks her.

“No.” JWoww is back and she doesn’t cut cards. He’s marrying Jenni and JWoww – or at least having a baby with them – and neither of her are willing to change things.

But back to the rest of the show and the other cast members who don’t throw daily temper tantrums.

I was sooo excited to hear they were bringing back the plush sex toy exercise. But it wasn’t nearly as funny as it was last season with the Bridezillas. I really miss that taco puppet. What did we learn from the reality stars?

Gretchen and Slade do sex talk in southern accents and Gretchen isn’t afraid to share her opinion. Too bad they don’t communicate well out of bed. Their interview with the stuffed toys is hilarious with Slade using the sausage to give political speeches. You gotta watch it to get it.

“I will never look at people with a southern accent the same. And I will never watch Sesame Street again,” Roger says in interview. Yup.

Kevin wants communication as foreplay – he wants to talk about their relationship before sex. Tracy says “I feel like a dude” because Kevin’s relationship talk in bed turns her off.

Tanisha is very shy about talking about sex. “This is not my topic.” Clive says she won’t discuss it.

“I would prefer if you were a little bit more violent… oh nope that’s the wrong word… I would prefer if you were a little bit more aggressive. Very aggressive. I want to be able to crawl to you… and if I don’t hurry up there’s going to be consequences,” Tanisha says. Translation – she’s into a little bit of BDSM and she’s a bottom. Not a surprise given the way she’s on top all day every day in her professional life.

Trista and Ryan are surprisingly open. Trista plays a train tunnel and Ryan is a train (really?). She wants more romance and he wants more time in the tunnel – he’d like the tunnel to be slower. He wants to be able to hear the echo of the train whistle in the tunnel.

He wants a “quality tunnel… Sometimes I’d like for the track to just be a little longer.”

Jenni and Roger are predictably fascinating. He wants more spontaneity.

“We work our way up the stairs, peeling off layers as we go… and I do things to you that most people wouldn’t do to farm animals,” Rogers says. Jenni says he already does that.

“That’s animal cruelty,” Tanisha comments. “PETA!!!”

Jenni wants more affection and less “cave man.”

Give it up Roger, you’re about to have kids and then you won’t be ripping off her clothes for hot monkey love all over the house very often at all.

“I guess in some ways I relate to Mr. Sausage. I aspire to be a Mr. Sausage. Unfortunately, at this point in my life, I’m more of a Vienna sausage,” Roger says in interview.

“We used to be freaks… what do you think changed?” Roger asks her afterwards.

“Resentment.” Damn, Jenni calls it. Considering the drama we saw that morning, I’m surprised she’s playing along at all.

Right before evaluations, Tanisha and Clive have a nasty fight and she threatens to hit him. Again. Tanisha communicates with her fists because of how she was raised, but it’s clear she’s not learning that much at boot camp. Maybe the fact she’s not chasing him around the bedroom with her fists like their first night there indicates some progress, but the physical threats have got to stop.

The episode ends with the battle between JWoww and Roger over whether he’s going with her to the East Coast for a business commitment she’s made – she’s dressed in full JWoww and ready to board a red-eye and he’s supposed to go with her. He wants to stay at boot camp to see if they can make relationship progress. But it does sound like he knew about this all along, previously agreed to it, and now he’s changing his mind. Again. But as usual, in his head it’s Jenni’s fault because she convinced him to do “Marriage Boot Camp.”

He asks her if he does this, will she let him off the hook in the future and nobody was surprised by Jenni’s response. The coldness of the delivery was a little off-putting, but it wasn’t Jenni talking – JWoww is back.

“No. No, cuz it’s my life, it’s our life, it’s the life we chose from the first season on… I’m being honest though. I’m not going to sit here and l lie. I’m not going say ‘I’m giving Roger a break,’ hell no!” Tell us how you really feel.

Guess we’ll find out next week how much fixing their relationship means to both of them. We know they’re still together, so at least going to relationship counseling didn’t split them up. But maybe it should have.

Sandy Malone is a reality TV star, expert wedding planner, and internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast's BRIDES and The Huffington Post, in addition to Monsters... read more
Sandy Malone

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