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Recap: WEtv ‘Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars’ Season 3 premiere

hank

Directors Jim and Elizabeth Carroll are back on WEtv with Season 3 of “Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars,” and if the premier episode was any indication, this season is going to be sooo much better than the first two.

It’s a strange combo of cast this season, with some seriously big reality names and some people I’d never even heard of. Strangely only one of the five couples is actually married – but that’s Kendra Wilkinson and Hank Baskett and they’ve been embroiled in a tabloid scandal about Hank having an affair with a transsexual. I’d say it safe to say this is not your average “Marriage Boot Camp.”

Mike “The Situation” from “Jersey Shore” and his girlfriend Lauren are on the show, but he’s facing felony charges that can put him in jail and also trying to stay sober. They were a couple in college and recently got back together, but she’s got baggage that is going to make it hard. She lost a sibling to addiction.

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Aubrey O’Day, from “Making the Band” and various other shows, is there with her boyfriend Travis Garland, a singer-songwriter who doesn’t seem to have much nice to say about his girlfriend. That said, I don’t see much good about Aubrey to admire.

I was an Aubrey fan through her early career, but the young woman on “Marriage Boot Camp” tonight was a nosy, pot-stirring, judgmental bitch who tried to hurt people and cause drama the very first night in the mansion. I predict that somebody – probably Tami Roman from “Basketball Wives.”

Tami’s on the show with her college football star boy-toy Reggie Youngblood, 17 years her junior. She has a major chip on her shoulder about their age difference. And he wants marriage and kids while she’s not interested. I don’t even get why they’re together. She needs to own that Cougar title if she’s going to chase little boys.

I’m not a “Big Brother” fan and I’d never heard of Jordan Lloyd and Jeff Schroder. They met on “Big Brother” – she won it – and fell in love. They’ve been together five years but only spent 14 months together. They bitch about him being a slob and her leaving mostly empty juice bottles in the fridge. I can’t figure out why they’re on the show.

The Sitch is going to be funny, even though he’s sober. He’s still got the one liners.

“I did ‘Dancing with the Stars’ with Betty White and stuff, so you never know whose going to walk in that door,” he says about waiting for the last couple to arrive.

“So like is this the first show that you’ve filmed sober?” Aubrey asks Mike. He gives her a great look. But he’s standing there not drinking while they all start pouring champagne and you think she’d have just a wee bit more couth. Not. Insert awkward moment here.

Aubrey is clearly the troublemaker. She starts things off so aggressively with everybody. When she hears that Mike and Lauren had broken up in college, she was just plain rude, asking if they’d initially broken up because somebody cheated. Later in the night, when Kendra was recovering from an awful run-in with her mother, she puts Kendra and Hank on the spot like she’s the Boot Camp director.

C’mon bitch, it’s the first night! Why don’t you focus on yourself and leave everybody else alone while they get acclimated. This one is a pot stirrer, but I suspect she’s got more skeletons in her closet than most of them. Aubrey O’Day is no “good girl.”

Elizabeth and Jim Carroll make their grand entrance and start off things right away, sending the whole crew into a makeshift chapel to get married. Say what? You should have seen the expressions on all of the reality stars’ faces. #Priceless

“Today, you’re all getting married,” Elizabeth says, once they’re assembled. And they’re all freaking out thinking she’s serious.

“Jim is ordained to legally marry you,” Elizabeth tells them. I’m sure he is. But I also doubt they’re planning to perform any actual ceremonies – it’s just scare tactic to make a point and force the campers to actually say whether or not they want to marry the person they’re with on the show.

Nobody is ready or willing to get married. Aubrey and Travis get nasty fast.

“That was the first round of a title fight that’s what I thought it was. They came out swinging like Mike Tyson,” Hank jokes.

The Sitch and Lauren have some work to do, according to boot camp director Elizabeth.

“Addiction has already taken somebody from me. My little brother. He was 25… it makes me scared of the future,” Lauren says. She’s more afraid of Mike losing his sobriety than of the jail time he’s facing for tax fraud.

Jordan and Jeff don’t appear to have any real problems but Jim gives them one by pointing out that 85 percent of long distance relationships don’t work out and the two of them have only spent 14 months together in the five years they’ve been a couple.

Tami doesn’t want to marry Reggie, doesn’t know if she’ll ever want to marry him, and doesn’t want to have children with him. Excuse me, then why are you on a reality show about saving your marriage?

“I want a child and she don’t want to give me a child, I’m gonna walk away,” Reggie declares.

Tami freaks when Reggie says “she looks good for her age.” It’s pretty hilarious. He’s just messing with her.

“We’re prolonging the inevitable,” Tami says. They don’t belong together.

“You might not be good spouse material for each other, “Jim says. Thank you, Master of the Obvious.

Run, Reggie, RUN!!! That woman is plain scary.

The drama hits when Kendra and Hank get up there and talk sweetly to each other.

“I’ve battled severe depression for a couple of years trying to live life perfect,” Hank explains.

Kendra has already said she doesn’t think everybody needs to know their business (such as whether or not her husband slept with a transsexual, something she’s not even sure about), so why the hell did she agree to do “Marriage Boot Camp?” She’s pretty successful with her own shows and she doesn’t need to be there for relevance. I’m surprised. Yeah, their marriage is in trouble but it’s not exactly an issue I’d want to deeply explore on national television. What was Hank thinking when he agreed to it?

To be fair, they both look absolutely miserable. I feel sorry for them. It was obvious Kendra wasn’t expecting to be the ONLY marriage couple on the show from her expression when she found out. I believe they’re there for very real reasons (even though I’m surprised they didn’t see private counseling as a better option) and you can tell they’re both in emotional hell. But she doesn’t want to discuss it in front of people? #Confused

“Can I just stop you for a minute? There’s like an elephant in the room for you two. Issues of infidelity, issues of a broken marriage,” Elizabeth busts them because they’re avoiding the whole Hank-cheating-on-Kendra-issue.

Then just as you think maybe they’ll open up – or at least crack – Kendra’s psychotic mother shows up to object to their marriage.

“It’s the same feeling as if you were being approached by a shark, a big white shark,” Kendra hates her mother who objected to her marrying Hank in the first place.

“She said the day she lost her daughter was the day he proposed to me… the Devil has eaten your soul. THE DEVIL HAS EATEN YOUR SOUL!!!” Kendra starts screaming hysterically. It’s a total meltdown.

“You sell us out to the tabloids!” Kendra shrieks and Mom denies it. But apparently she did because she’s been giving them quotes and she’s not nice about her daughter when she speaks publicly.

This is the same trashy woman I once watched wear lingerie and attend a Playboy Mansion event where her daughter was basically running around naked at age 19. Credibility Factor: Zero.

“You sell my tears to the damn tabloids,” Kendra accuses. Hank hates his mother-in-law too. This couple clearly loves each other and is in terrible pain. It hurts to watch them.

“I knew I shouldn’t have come,” her mom says. No, she shouldn’t have come. She needs to disappear forever from her daughter’s life and Kendra needs to forgive her for her own mental well-being. Forget that mom. She’s just awful. She needs to get off her daughter’s coat tails. And if that hair wasn’t a wig, she should get one. Fried, over-processed, and badly cut. Just sayin.

“It’s getting real and we’ve been here an hour,” Jeff says, but he’s not joking.

All the campers seem sympathetic. But they can’t help making fun of how Kendra turned to them and yelled “Rise Up” several times as she was declaring the Devil had taken over her mother. She’s either seriously religious or seriously disturbed. Or both. It was really, really weird.

“She gets me to fight and then I say things and she sells them,” Kendra tells Jim when they go aside to talk and calm her down.

“A lot of the damage you’ve picked up throughout your life has obviously come from her,” Jim says.

“I don’t think she’ll heal,” Kendra says. I agree. I just don’t understand why, when Kendra’s obviously facing such a serious marital issue, they decided to bring her mother on the show. I remember signing my own reality TV contract and I made sure that the production company and network could not surprise me with somebody I didn’t know was coming. As long as Kendra’s been in the biz, you’d think she would know better. Especially considering her mother is nuts. It totally reminded me of Anna Nicole Smith’s trashy cousin who kept popping up at her front door. And we all know how that ended up.

Two seconds after she denied selling their story to the press, mom announced to everyone that she would sell Kendra’s text messages to the tabloids. Is she bi-polar or split personality? Jury’s still out.

“I don’t know what’s true, but I’m gonna get to the bottom of it,” Aubrey says. Damn girl, mind your own business. At least for 24 hours. She may be playing the boss on night one, but somebody like Tami is going to eat her for breakfast before camp is over. Bitch needs a smackdown.

By the time everybody winds down, it’s time to pick their rooms – yes, I said PICK their own rooms. By unanimous decision, they have to assign rooms as a group based on labels on the room keys. In previous seasons the rooms were assigned and specifically decorated for the couple. Remember Aviva’s freak-out last season? I’m still laughing.

Travis and Aubrey take the lead suggesting who should take which room. Not everybody likes her interpretation and assignments.

“I rebuke that in the name of Jesus,” Tami yells when Aubrey suggests Tami and Reggie belong in the room called “Disillusioned.” I’m sorry, but what does that even mean, Tami? You can’t sound tough when you’re sounding like a moron. Work on that.

The Big Brother Couple get the “Almost Perfect” label and Hank and Kendra get “Beyond Repair.” Watching from the control room, Elizabeth and Jim are intrigued by the way Aubrey and Travis take control and manipulate the situation so that they can just get the rooms assigned.

Karma is a bitch and Queen Bee and her troll doll get the worst room – the bed looks like it’s in the back of a Conestoga wagon.

“When you take leadership, you end up sleeping in a damned wheelbarrow,” Aubrey bitches. Travis is trying to be a good sport but seriously, the bed is awful. But they’ll probably be more comfortable than poor Reggie down the hall. He’s 6’5″ and that bed isn’t even six feet long. Yikes. Gonna be a long week for that guy.

To be perfectly honest, I’m fascinated. Disappointed that ThinkFactory Media and WEtv can’t seem to find any actual MARRIED couples to do these shows because I think that’s what most viewers tuning in would prefer to see, but this cast is going to be interesting.

It’s just hard to watch someone like Aubrey, who has only been with her boyfriend for 18 months, deriving pleasure out of torturing a couple like Hank and Kendra who are legitimately trying to save their marriage of six years.

Who is Aubrey to judge? She knows nothing about marriage. She just wants the juicy gossip. I wonder how she’s going to react when the tables turn on her, because they will. Jim and Elizabeth Carroll never let anybody get away with that bullshit.

Set the DVRs – Friday night shows are tough in the summertime – because we’re not going to want to miss this season. If only to see who is first to take a swing at Aubrey, I’ll be watching.

I don’t know what’s true, but I’m gonna get to the bottom of it,” Aubrey.

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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