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Recap: Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars, The ‘Don’t Say Nothing’ Edition

marriage 2015-2016I just don’t know what to think of this season’s “Marriage Boot Camp” on WEtv. Has there ever been a reality star cast member sleeping on the couch, locked out of his bedroom, on the first night? Sucks to be Benzino. That’s gotta be embarrassing.

Director Jim Carroll sends Security along when Benzino finally gets into the bedroom. And then he and Althea wake up everybody in the entire house fighting and slamming doors. They’re a class act!

The group gathers for the first exercise of the day.

“The Marriage Boot Camp is a journey,” Jim says. And the boot campers learn they’ll be writing letters – angry letters and love letters.

“I wrote some things that I shouldn’t have wrote, but I was just being honest,” Sundy says. She’s pretty mean so I already feel sorry for Cedric.

After they finish their angry letters, they write the love letters.

“This love letter will remind them of all the reasons that they love their mate,” Director Elizabeth Carroll explains.

“When we first met, it ended up being a hook ’em book ’em situation because all I was looking for was some rebound sex,” Mama June says, honestly. Not what I expected to hear from the star of “Honey Booboo,” but why not? It was funny as hell.

I was disappointed they seemed to let all the couples off the hook when they didn’t make them read the mean letters – they just put them in bottles and tossed them into the lake to let the bad feelings go.

Jim and Elizabeth tell them their love letters are for the next exercise, and send them to take a break. Benzino and Althea argue the entire way into the house. Gotta say, I think they’re definitely messing up any potential Zen for everybody in the house.

“Are you serious, you can’t be arguing about who walks up a stair first,” Ink says, watching Benzino and Althea.

Some of the campers are hanging out talking, and Ink and Sundy get into it over her snarky-ass remarks. They start screaming at each other between floors.

“I’m telling you that I said it loud enough for you to hear it,” Sundy says as Ink walks by, pushing things to a whole other level.

Meanwhile, both of their other halves are in the kitchen with Sean and Catherine, just visiting like normal human beings. They hear the chaos and go running to see what’s happening.

Ink tells Sarah that Sundy is talking shit about them, then Cedric steps in to defend his woman, who doesn’t even like him.

Ink takes Cedric aside to talk, hopefully like gentlemen. I actually gave Ink HUGE points for that – for a minute there, he was the most mature one in the room.

Benzino comes storming in, he didn’t see what-all happened, and for a guy who’s preaching “mind your bidness,” he’s certainly right in the middle of everything he can stick his nose into.

“Althea, don’t say nothing. This is the best thing to do, don’t say nothing about him, he don’t say nothing because what’s gonna happen, somebody’s gonna get punched in the face,” Benzino says. Foreshadowing?

On the side, Cedric tells Ink – man to man – that if he has a problem in the future with Sundy, he should talk to him. Benzino chirps up and says that if anybody talked to Althea that way, he’d rearrange their face. He’s a pot-stirring troublemaker. I do not like him. And I’d never heard of him before this show. God only knows what he’s like on his own show. I shudder to even think about it.

“He’s arguing with a fucking female, like a bitch,” Benzino stalks off with Althea in his wake. Again, it was none of his “bidness,” but he got his two cents in.

“This is certainly not ‘The Bachelor.’ It’s really uncomfortable,” Sean says. That was funny. He and Catherine sit there watching all hell break loose, but wisely keeping their mouths shut.

Ink keeps speculating that there’s something shady about them in his interviews, but so far, they’re the most civilized folks at the party. With Sugar Bear and Mama June coming in second. WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU ABOUT THIS CAST? #OMG

And for the second time in two days, Jim and Elizabeth must go in to break up the fight before things get out of hand. I don’t recall this sort of daytime drama during any of the other “Marriage Boot Camp” seasons – well, maybe Bridezillas 2 when they had a blind date pool party. But seriously, the “reality stars” this season are just over-the-top and I get a sense this is how most of them actually behave in real life. It’s very, very disturbing.

“It was pretty disgusting watching you guys on the monitors… you’re getting nothing accomplished in your relationships so you need to learn how to accept feedback and how to listen to it…” Jim tells the campers.

“Allowing them to continue fighting with others would be enabling the same poor behavior that forced them here in the first place,” Elizabeth says.

Not everybody is happy they’re being broken into groups for the next exercise.

“They split us up and put me with the two motherfuckers I’ve been arguing with,” Ink says as he’s grouped with Sundy and Althea.

There’s a set that looks like a bad wedding ceremony, complete with a live audience, and it’s obvious the cast members think they’re going to renew or take wedding vows. Some of them don’t look excited.

Althea is first. They give her the love letter she wrote to read to the audience. When she finishes, Jim gives her the bad news.

“Unfortunately, Benzino will never hear those kind words… Benzino is dead,” Jim says her as the curtain pulls back and reveals Benzino lying in a casket.

And if that’s not enough, they hand Althea the angry letter she thought she’d thrown away into the lake and tell her to read it to him. Very, very sneaky.

It was painful to watch. Althea doesn’t talk from the heart at all, and Jim calls her out on it.

“If this drill can’t cut into her heart, it may mean their relationship is too far gone,” Elizabeth says.

My armchair psychiatrist opinion: Rigor mortis set in a long time ago between these two.

Althea sounds completely insincere reading the letter and talking to Benzino’s dead body. She even sounds fake talking about it in an interview. Nobody was impressed.

Sundy doesn’t sound sincere reading her love letter, either.

“You’ve already killed your marriage to Cedric once… Cedric has died,” Jim says, revealing the casket.

But then Sundy refuses to open the angry letter.

“It went in the river and it should just go away,” she says. Jim and Elizabeth make some excuse about how forcing Sundy to read it would have made her too angry to get anything out of it, and they let her off the hook. Booooo. Not fair. She’s a hot mess, but I wouldn’t show her any mercy the way she talks to Cedric. She should have to eat her words with an audience.

Out of everyone, Honey Booboo’s parents sounded the most sincere. Did I just write that?

“I really wish that you hadda changed when you had a chance,” June tells dead Sugar Bear.

“It was alike an ‘aha’ moment for me,” June says. This doesn’t sound like Honey Booboo’s mom talking, at least not the one we saw on TLC for a few years.

Ink has the best reaction to seeing the wedding setup when he first walks in.

“Uh… a’ight,” Ink doesn’t want to go through with it. Sheer terror on his face. LOL

Ink goes through the exercise with Sarah in the casket, but then after he pulls her out,
Jim makes Ink get in the coffin and shuts the top on him.

“Because you are dead in your heart,” Jim says. Ouch! That’s creepy.

“He’s walking through his life like a zombie, unable to experience the lows or the highs,” Elizabeth says.

Jim finally lets Ink out, and Ink admits he’s going to have to start letting down some walls. I think he would have said anything to get out of that coffin.

Then in a weird twist, Jim makes Elizabeth get into the casket and calls Benzino up to address a situation where Benzino chose not to have his mother’s casket opened to say goodbye when she died.

Apparently, he was also shot by his nephew in the funeral procession. Say what??? Just Google it. I did. Don’t worry, the funeral “resumed as usual after shooting, ending at St Peters Church,” according to the Daily Mail. For real???

Anyway, this gives Benzino an opportunity to say the things he wanted to say to his mother, but didn’t. Benzino opens up the casket and talks to Elizabeth like she’s his mother, and she forgives him and tells him she loves him. He’s a bawling mess when they finish. I hope it helped him.

“Where do I come from? What went wrong? How do I fix it?” Elizabeth tells the group to think about these questions as they leave the exercise.

Benzino and Althea go back to their room and actually do talk about it, for a little bit.

“My mom was my best friend and the way everything went down was very unusual,” Benzino says. “I don’t want to talk about it no more.”

I’d say getting shot by your nephew on the way to your mother’s funeral definitely qualifies as “unusual.” I wonder what has to happen for this guy to ratchet it up to bizarre.

The group gathers in the living room for their first evaluation, and it wasn’t the way it’s supposed to be at all. As a professional “Marriage Boot Camp” fan and blogger, I don’t like this new format and I hope it was only this episode.

You see, usually, all the boot camp directors who work with the reality stars give feedback – Jim, Elizabeth, Ilsa and David – on how the couples progressed throughout the day since they’re the people who are working with them. Sometimes the feedback is softer than we viewers would like to see, but I’d imagine it’s not therapeutic to tear people down all the time. I look forward to seeing what Jim and Elizabeth have to say, good and bad.

That’s not what they did this week. Instead, “Divorce Court’s” Judge Lynn Toler basically PRESIDED over an ass-tearing session with all of the couples. It was awful.

She tells them she’s been watching them on monitors, and then, without having even met these people or talked to them, she begins ripping everybody to shreds. It didn’t seem therapeutic to me at all – it seemed like bullying. And I’ve never seen that on “Marriage Boot Camp” before. I didn’t like it.

The judge argued with most of the couples and treated them like defendants. A few of them aren’t happy about the way she’s talking to them. I simply don’t understand it. She’s an educated woman – why is she dumbing it down and sounding so ghetto?

“Sugar Bear, I like me some you,” Toler says. Seriously? SERIOUSLY???

The she gives June shit for disrespecting Sugar Bear, and says she was too busy playing celebrity, and she might be inviting the infidelity. What????? I know she’s a TV divorce court personality but is she any kind of trained or licensed counselor, or a relationship therapist? Not from what I saw on her Wikipedia. She’s just an experienced divorce arbiter and I feel like having her act in this capacity is irresponsible. I want to hear from the “Marriage Boot Camp” directors.

And it just gets worse as she works her way through the cast.

“Sundy, you’re a little girl in a woman’s body,” Toler says. “You want him to match your fly – that something a 15-year-old would say.”

Match your fly??? Did she really say that? I mean c’mon. You have a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and you did your undergraduate at Harvard. Where’s the ghetto-speak coming from? I feel like she’s doing the show a real disservice here. Ugh.

Judge Toler – you’re a poser and you’re not gaining any respect from the viewers talking like a street rat when you hold TWO Ivy League degrees. You go, girl! Get your FAKE on! #realitycheck

I do not like Benzino, but when the judge started screaming at him, I got uncomfortable watching. This isn’t the “Marriage Boot Camp” I’m used to, and I’ve been religiously blogging this since Season One of the Bridezillas. Even when the directors need to come down on the campers in evaluations, I’ve never seen them disrespect the cast members this way.

First, Benzino is screaming back at Toler, and then Ink jumps in because he doesn’t like the way it’s all going, and then Benzino starts talking shit at him, and the evaluation session turns into a rumble. It’s so base that it turns my stomach. Benzino storms out, and much as I dislike him, I don’t blame him.

I think maybe somebody scraped the true bottom of the barrel with some members of this cast, but I’m baffled by the antics of this reality TV judge. I used to like her before tonight. I don’t even know who this lady is anymore.

The last scene shows Benzino heading downstairs with two suitcases. But they show him in the teasers for next week’s episode so we know he doesn’t quit and leave. I’m really confused about what’s going on in “Marriage Boot Camp” this season. Let’s hope this was Judge Toler’s one and only cameo. Otherwise, all of these relationships might be in serious trouble.


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