Lists Recaps Reviews Interviews Explainers Web Stories
News

Recap: WEtv ‘Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars’ I Am Not An Alcoholic Edition

marriage_boot_reality1-592x330
Recap: WEtv ‘Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars’ I Am Not An Alcoholic Edition

I was seriously skeptical about the new WEtv “Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars” from the very first promo. After all, two of the featured celeb couples aren’t even married, and we know JWoww was preggers when it was being filmed so she wasn’t going to be her usual entertaining, inebriated self. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t planning to watch. And blog. I just miss the Bridezillas already.

But, just having finished watching the first episode TWICE (gotta get those quotes right), I’m going to have to give props to the network and Thinkfactory Media here – I’m sucked in. What a complete hot mess – oh wait, I’m talking about Tanisha. No seriously, who the hell does she think she is?

I’ve done my homework. I vaguely remember her from “Bad Girls Club” but it was a season I didn’t really watch because I was disgusted. I didn’t watch her wedding and I don’t know anybody in my circle of friends who did. But I learned from the show website that she actually has quite a few projects and shows, and she does really work for a living.

What was disturbing was the description of her new Lifetime show. Anybody who watched this first episode of her performance on “Marriage Boot Camp” will have to agree this is absolutely laughable.

“Tanisha loves that she is able to draw upon her life’s lessons to inspire women to being the best version of themselves possible.”

I challenge ALL of the networks who have featured her to find me one SANE parent who would want Tanisha be a role model for their child. No matter how successful she may be in entertainment, it’s like calling Courtney Love a role model for aspiring musicians. For real. #disgusted

It’s clear that Tanisha and her poor husband Clive (I feel sorry for him after just one episode) are going to be the focus of this boot camp – or at least Tanisha is. It’s obvious she is the center of attention in every single room she inhabits all the time, and she’s totally disruptive. Leaving her fellow campers and viewers wondering if anybody else will be able to get anything out of therapy with Tanisha in the house.

Check that out – she just took over the top of my blog – damn she’s good at getting attention. Let’s back up and talk about the whole show! They were just the first couple to arrive at the famous mansion where so much furniture got broken last season.

Tanisha’s reaction to the house upon arrival tells you she’s still ghetto-fabulous no matter how many shows she’s got going on. The house has been on TV for two seasons, girl – get a grip!

Her husband Clive introduces her more aptly than I could. “I married the craziest bitch from Bad Girls Club.” Yes, yes you did. Are you proud of that, Clive?

In interview, they talk about the list of reasons they’re at boot camp.

“The list is so damn long. I mean longer than my 30-inch weave honey,” Tanisha jokes.

They’re first into the house and first into the champagne. She spills something and says they’ll blame it on somebody else… kinda makes you wonder how often she blames things on other people. I bet she hasn’t owned a mistake since she had her own hair.

But the kitchen has her fascinated. “This is a celebration for all the big girls everywhere… this is a see-through fridge.” Tanisha takes serious pride in her big girl status and is involved in plus-size causes (who knew those existed).

Her reverie is interrupted by the arrival of Gretchen and Slade from the “Real Housewives of Orange County.”

He’s slept with three housewives, Gretchen had to propose to HIM, she wants babies, and he wants her to chill out. It sounds like a fabulous relationship and they’ve only been engaged five months.

“If we don’t start moving forward in this relationship, I’m going to have to walk away” Gretchen says. She wants the babies before the wedding and she is adamant. But there is speculation in the media that they’re not even a “real” couple and the “Marriage Boot Camp” directors say in a meeting that if that’s found out to be true, they’ll be tossed out of the program.

Slade could care less whether Gretchen stays or goes.

“The truth is there is a million beautiful women out there so if Gretchen chooses not to stay in this relationship, it’s not really that big a deal to me,” he says. Then why are you here, Slade? Trying to do something new in your reality television career? Not sure this is the way to do it.

“Oh my God, Barbie is here… exactly how I would be if I were skinny” Tanisha says when she sees Gretchen arrive at the mansion.

“I’m a little scared of a bad girl like Tanisha,” Gretchen admits. She should be. In the first episode, we realize that Gretchen is going to be the Gloria of this season – up in everybody’s business. She’s nosy as can be. I don’t think that’s going to fly with Tanisha.

When Gretchen starts asking questions about Tanisha and Clive’s marriage, she gets grilled.

“Do you ask because you’re nosy or because you genuinely do care?” Tanisha asks. Um, probably both. Definitely the second one.

“By the way, I’m like the white Oprah, so I apologize up front,” Gretchen. “Is that weird?” OMG did you really just say that? Oh Gretchen.

“Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.” I wonder if a single cast member of the season would even get that reference. Bahahaha!

“Hopefully, she’ll learn to keep her mouth shut and we won’t have any issues,” Tanisha says. I wouldn’t count on that. But I’m kinda looking forward to the inevitable smackdown.

The arrival of JWoww and Roger is a highlight. That guy is so funny. But apparently there’s nothing funny about what’s going on with his relationship – there’s a love triangle here. Roger, Jenni and JWoww. Jenni is the woman he loves and JWoww is the woman he wants to put in the past.

“Jenni will film it all, you know what I mean? She’ll have a camera right up in the vagina when she’s giving birth if she had a choice. At some point the party is over… We’re not getting any younger and you have to leave the ‘Jersey Shore’ in the past,” Roger complains.

“Our relationship is on life support,” he says. Wow. They’re not even married and anybody who can do basic math knows she was pregnant when this show was filmed (although whether she reveals that to production is something we don’t know yet). Tanisha recognizes that Jenni isn’t drinking from the beginning and calls her out on it. I expect more of that as the show progresses. She is, after all, supposed to be “JWoww.”

Not everybody is liking their new housemates. Right out of the box, folks are getting snarky. And funny.

“Roger is just really big, and let’s just say I’m going to be nice to him the whole time,” Slade jokes. Good idea. Did you ever watch him pop off on “Jersey Shore?” He’d kick your ass, Slade.

“Slade and Gretchen were as real as my boobs,” Jenni says… now that IS funny. And Roger says Tanisha probably has a bigger c*ck than Clive.

“Kevin cannot keep his ding-a-ling between his legs, honey,” Tanisha opines.

Gretchen hasn’t figured out her new black friends are not impressed with her comparison of herself to the black Barbara Walters.

“I literally am the white Oprah,” Gretchen tells Traci Braxton and Kevin Surratt from “Braxton Family Values,” after her first announcement of this went over so well with Tanisha and Clive earlier. #notrealbright

“I was like who is this?” Kevin says in interview. He’s a funny guy. Was really excited to learn upon further research that he and Traci live in Maryland where I’m from – let’s hope they don’t embarrass the state on this show. With 17 years of a tumultuous marriage under their belts, they should be the most interesting couple on the show. If Tanisha lets them talk.

Trista and Ryan come rolling in. Married for 10 years since they met on “The Bachelorette” and then had a crazy, televised wedding, they are known as the one couple from “The Bachelor” or “The Bachelorette” that’s still together. With that said, it doesn’t appear to be a “happy” relationship. And they’re probably still married for the wrong reasons.

“I don’t want to let the fans down. I feel like we would disappoint them in a way if we did get divorced,” Trista explains.

Seriously??? Is she that shallow or that obtuse? Maybe there’s a reason Ryan doesn’t look thrilled to be at boot camp, didn’t participate in making a pre-show interview video like everybody else, and generally looks miserable to be there.

Jim and Elizabeth Carroll make their entrance (btw, really liked her dress) down the main staircase and the real boot camp begins. Tanisha wishes she’d had more to drink. They probably all do.

“Some of you are married and some of you are only engaged. But you’re all here for the same reason – to save your relationships,” Elizabeth Carroll, co-director of “Marriage Boot Camp” begins.

They talk about how important it is to start at the beginning and open up wounds and clean the out and start fresh rebuilding. Tanisha starts to roll out.

“I’m sorry but you guys have got to be serious,” Jim is irritated with her behavior. “We expect you to give 100 percent.”

This particular group of individuals is used to being the center of attention, but if they’re going to get anything out of the therapy, they’re going to have to really break it down to the real issues in their relationships. Not everything is fixable.

“Sometimes you find out it’s better off that you guys are apart,” Jim explains that success at “Marriage Boot Camp” doesn’t mean that you necessarily end up fixing your marriage.

Jenni says in interview that she wonders if she belongs there. I’d have to agree. If you need this much therapy before you get married, maybe you shouldn’t be getting married. Just sayin.

“It means we have our work cut out for us,” Elizabeth tells them all. And then they drop the bomb that their first exercise in an hour.

Of all the couples, it’s Roger and Jenni who take the lead in the kitchen… burgers all around. Relationship issues aside they appear to work well together as a team.

In that hour-long break (who are you kidding – that was wayyy longer than an hour), Tanisha and Clive get into an argument about, of all things, hair. Just in case you were wondering, that’s not horse hair. It’s “Brazilian.” Is that Brazilian horse hair? Just kidding.

And Gretchen makes her first appearance as Gloria, interrupting their disagreement.

“I want you guys to not fight yet,” Gretchen needs to mind her own business.

Over dinner, Tanisha says “I honestly believe reality TV played a role in our demise.” But yet, here she is on yet another show. Tanisha and Clive were married less than a month before they separated – and now they’ve been separated for two years. Their entire marriage.

There’s discussion by both the campers and the directors about the “reality curse.” I’m going to admit, I’d never heard of it before but it makes sense. Slade explains the concept is that any problem that exists in a relationship is “amplified.”

“You all live unconventional extraordinary lives… and you live it in the public eye” Elizabeth says.

“The reality curse – you’ve all heard of it,” Jim agrees. I wonder how I missed it. If anything, making “Wedding Island” on TLC last year made my relationship with my husband Bill stronger. I’m curious as to how Jim and Elizabeth Carroll feel “the curse” has affected them. Maybe if you start out in a good marriage when production begins, you’re “safe.”

“When you decided to become a celebrity, everything that was private in your life, is now public knowledge. It has a profound impact on your relationships,” Elizabeth says.

And then they lead them all into their first exercise – called “Dirty Laundry.”

It’s a press conference that begins with production showing pre-show interviews with all the cast members except Ryan. And then the media gets to ask questions. Some campers handle the press better than others.

Let me just say that Slade and Gretchen, Traci and Kevin, and JWoww and Roger have clearly had the most media training and experience handling difficult reporter questions. They treat them with as much humor as possible, although Roger crossed a line suggesting a reporter needed to take some steroids. It’s not like it’s the first time he’s been asked that question.

Trista and Ryan should have been prepared for some of the questions that left them both looking like deer in headlights. They’re either going to be the most boring couple on this show, or she’s going to have to start drinking.

Tanisha’s behavior was rude, inappropriate, over-the-top, and disruptive. She hurled insults at the reporters, physically threatened them, and stormed out – demanding that poor Clive follow her.

“It’s not my fault that people are stupid, disrespectful and don’t understand boundaries. Like everybody else I have a switch and I fight back,” Tanisha responds to a question about her anger management issues.

“I am not an alcoholic… I’m defensive because you don’t know me” Tanisha gets hot. “You’re pissing me off, I’m getting upset.”

“Sit down! You got the question wrong,” she shouts at one reporter who refers to Clive as her boyfriend.

“Y’all better get security in this bitch – who are you talking to? Do you know me personally? … Stop the fucking cameras. Stop it. I’ll break every fucking camera…” She storms out but turns back to tell Clive to get up and walks out, threatening the reporters as she goes. Yelling at cameras not to follow her the whole way.

Seriously? Are we in for 10 weeks of this? Cuz if that’s the case, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to hang in.

The screaming temper tantrum she has in the other room is so disruptive that it sorta saves Ryan and Trista from the hard questions and when Elizabeth finally talks pyscho off the ledge and back into the press conference, it’s over. And they tell the reality stars that the whole thing was fake. The reporters weren’t real media.

“It doesn’t feel good to have people ask you pointed questions,” Ryan says. Oh boy, you better get ready for the rest of this boot camp, dude. It’s one big pointed question. You do know there’s a lie-detector test in your future, right?

I want to stop and address the behavior of Tanisha, and some of the other reality stars, toward the reporters who were at the mock press conference. It was beyond rude and unprofessional. I’ve been on the other side of it – as a reporter – and I can’t imagine what I would have done if somebody I was covering spoke to me the way these so-called “stars” talked to the reporters in that room. I would have eviscerated them in print and they would have deserved it.

REALITY check: You are reality television stars BECAUSE of the media, not despite it. The paparazzi you so claim to hate are the same ones who made most of you famous. Your fans read their stories, look at their pictures of you, and follow their blogs.

So cut the holier-than-thou crap and stop being rude and unprofessional. If you don’t want to answer a question, the words to use are “I have no comment,” not “sit yo ass down” or “go take some steroids” or anything else like that. You guys are lucky that wasn’t a real press conference or some of your networks would have had some explaining to do to their advertisers when your performances hit TMZ.

Kevin was funny about it. Jenni thinks it’s fucked up that Jim and Elizabeth threw them into the “fire” with the press conference.

“Oh my God, I almost killed this lady for no reason,” Tanisha says. “I feel silly.” Silly? SILLY?

How about you behaved like a total ratchet and you should be mortified (learned the word “ratchet” in the Urban Dictionary yesterday after it was used repeatedly to describe a bride who tied her one-month old to the train of her wedding gown to drag down the aisle).

Look it up. Ghetto-fabulous is too kind a way to describe this woman who holds herself up as an example to other young women in a new upcoming television show. I’m appalled.

The campers go up to their bedrooms after the press conference to discover all their worst headlines and magazine covers plastered all over their doors. Several of them really laughed together about it (go Jenni and Roger and Traci and Kevin), but Tanisha flipped out again. She tried tearing it off the wall, but after last season, production was prepared. That shit isn’t coming down. And she tried more than once. Bahahaha! Fully expect to see that bitch track down a crowbar in the next episode.

Everybody wants to crash for the night but Tanisha has to pick one more fight with Clive because he didn’t haul her luggage upstairs like the other husbands did. Her housemates are not impressed, neither with her public emasculation of her husband or the volume of her screeching voice. These ladies value their beauty rest.

The directors sit down and evaluate the couples amongst themselves. They’ve got their hands full, but Tanisha is clearly a problem child. I’m kinda hoping she gets kicked out but then we don’t get to watch a bunch of furniture get torn up or the ambulance scene with her they’ve been teasing.

“I don’t think she’s stable enough to do what we want to do,” Elizabeth says. “Tanisha is a ticking time bomb… She doesn’t handle public pressure very well.”

Co-Director Jim says Kevin and Traci have a lot to face as well.

“They’ve acknowledged the infidelity but they have not dealt with the resentment, bitterness and pain they’ve both gone through,” he explains.

JWoww and Roger’s biggest problem is obvious. Reality television. So, of course, they’re going to solve it on camera. Say what?

“Jenni wants to be in the public eye, Roger wants out,” Elizabeth says. I wonder how that’s all gonna work out with her planning to televise everything from the birth of their baby (did she and Snooki really try to time their pregnancies together?) to their eventual wedding, if it ever happens.

Public opinion is that Trista and Ryan have the perfect marriage. By the time the directors are done with them at Boot Camp, I have a feeling nobody in America will be fooled anymore.

And if it turns out Gretchen and Slade aren’t really a true couple, they’ll be booted out on their asses.

Classic line of the night from Gretchen: “I’m not here to try and fix somebody else’s problems.”

Guess she’d better learn to start minding her own business then because it makes that a whole lot easier. Then again, I’m sorta looking forward to seeing Gretchen try to tell Tanisha what to do or give her advice again. THAT will be fun. And you know it’s going to happen. I’ll be watching.

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


If you like this story then follow us on Google News or Flipboard.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments