Editor’s Note: It’s almost over. Hoboken-based comedienne Eileen Budd is kind enough to recap the ‘reunion’ show of Bravo’s angry, hair-pulling reality series, the Real Housewives of New Jersey. And what a reunion it was! Yelling, screaming, insults, and even a near-assault on the show’s host! And that was just Part I, which aired Monday. Read on for this week’s recap…
You Make Me Want to Shout
Well, the crazy kids got under one roof at the Borgata in Atlantic City to throw barbs and push host Andy Cohen around. All decked out in their cocktail hour best, there were more shimmering sequins than in the dressing rooms of Lady Gaga, Elton John, and Liza Minelli combined. Caroline looked especially svelte after dropping 25 lbs. through portion control and a good bra.
The conversation started out innocuously enough with a question about whether the ladies watched the MTV reality series ‘Jersey Shore.’ No, Teresa said, because the Shore crowd has sex right away and she’s more “old school.” That led right into the first jab of the night as T. recalled her shore house being used as a whorehouse. “You slept with Steve in my house after a week, in front of the kids,” T. disgustedly directed to Danielle. That led to a “No, I didn’t; yes, you did” tennis-like volley but it looked like Teresa wound up winning that round. So that’s Teresa – 1, Danielle – love …er.. lust.
Then there was a dissection of all the words and phrases the women misused or mispronounced that are usually standards on vocabulary tests of seventh graders. Just because Danielle mistook “authenticity” for “ethnicity” and T. invented the word “revevorating” for “renovating” (Nate Berkus take note), it doesn’t mean they’re just morons – let’s just say they’re creative morons.
After a year of wondering what exactly Danielle did to Caroline’s family that made the matriarch growl at her like a mother tiger, it turns out that they believe that Danielle tried to have Dina’s daughter taken away from her. It wasn’t elaborated upon as to how Danielle planned to do that, unless child services can remove a child from a home because it’s tackily over-decorated. Danielle cagily decrees that her lawyers slapped a gag order on Dina preventing her from talking because she lied in an interview. That woman files lawsuits like the girls on Jerseylicious file their nails.
When it was pointed out that Danielle never congratulated Jacqueline on the birth of her son, Danielle threw a dig at Teresa saying she never acknowledged the birth of her own nephew. That set T. off. Shooting out of her seat, T. became the equivalent of a human NASCAR going from 0 to 200 miles an hour. Screaming in Danielle’s face with guttural rage, “Do not bring up my family, you f**ing bitch, you piece of garbage, you pig,” T. could not be contained. She even tossed aside host Andy Cohen like he was a Raggedy Andy when he tried to intervene.
Danielle walked backstage to her posse of make-up artist, hair stylist, and singer/possible lesbian lover for support. Chanting “Amazing things, new possibilities” to calm down, it was like breaking for a meditation session during a prison yard riot. Danielle wouldn’t come back out unless someone was on Teresa to make sure she sat down. “Don’t get off the couch,” Andy admonished Teresa, afraid that she’d knock the gay right out of him.
But Andy was no diplomat either. He goaded the ladies throughout the evening, asking Danielle why she shared such serious issues with her daughters, asking if Teresa’s house really was in foreclosure, and if Danielle had an affair with Danny, her ex-felon friend (ugh -- gag me with a shank). By the way, Teresa claims she really didn’t know how serious her financial situation was. Sure, she may have had $100,000 in credit card debt, but who can blame her? Those little hooker outfits she dresses her girls in are expensive. And it’s not like she could just bejewel and bedazzle all her purses and shoes herself. You’ve got to pay to have the poor, little kids in India and China to do that. “Are you just keeping out the negative or are you in denial?” Andy asks her. Ever the pragmatist, T. doesn’t see the glass as half-full or half-empty – she just sees it as a $225 piece of Baccarat. But Teresa is willing to work to pull the family out of debt. As Jacqueline explains, T.’s been “making appearances.” That’s work? Yeah, wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to put up with your boss’s crap every day and could just show up at a mall opening for 5 minutes and collect $10,000?
What became crystal clear is what a delusional piece of work Danielle is. She tries to come off as a selfless soul doing things for the benefit of others but it’s so obvious that she’s actually a self-righteous, self-absorbed manipulator. When challenged about how she doesn’t have enough money, yet threw her daughter a lavish Sweet 16 party, she said she only paid for bussing the guests and for security – the rest were charitable donations for Cystic Fibrosis. Nice deal there, Danielle – have a party for your kid on the guests’ and vendors’ dime in the name of charity. Hmmm, wonder if I can have a soiree and collect donations for the “Eileen Budd Florida Vacation Home Foundation…”
Of course, Danielle’s sex life had to come up. “Are you swimming in the lady pond?” Andy asks Danielle, referencing her relationship to singer Lori Michaels. “Would it make you happy to know?” Danielle coyly responds. But Caroline has no patience for Danielle’s game of 20 questions. “You’ve been Mr. Toad’s friggin’ ride for two years,” Caroline cites of Danielle’s many ups and downs. That’s Caroline 1, Danielle O.
In fact, “Mr. Toad’s Friggin’ Ride” might be a good name for one of Danielle’s sex tapes. One featured bad acting and clip in hair extensions. And the other one, well, I’m not really sure how it was any different. But Danielle has lawyers on the case preventing it from being released. “Your legal fees must be astronomical,” Andy tells her incredulously. Wondering why she would even make a sex tape, Danielle is asked, “What kind of example are you setting for your kids?” She responds with the overly simplistic answer that “Mommy should’ve been more careful and private.” Hellooooo – isn’t this the same woman who apparently offered to bring her boy toy into the bathroom for a quickie at a high class restaurant and it was broadcasted on national TV? And isn’t this the same woman who supposedly went to meet a blind date at Lua whom she had already emailed nude pictures of herself to? And isn’t this the woman who showed us how to pole dance provocatively while wearing a skimpy outfit? Wow, Mommy must be a hit at the PTA meetings.
Here’s the best though: Danielle actually thinks she’s a good mother. In fact, she takes a potshot at Teresa and the way she dresses her kids. “When my kids were that age, they dressed in crinolines. My dogs wore leopard.” The others wanted to know what that meant, but Danielle sits there demurely restating the dig acting like it wasn’t a dig. “I want your autograph, ’cuz you’re perfect,” Caroline drips sarcastically. “Best mother. You do nothing wrong.” You’ve got to hand it to Caroline. She gets her point across. So that’s Caroline 2, Danielle no love.
And so Part I comes to an end with a discussion of the scene Danielle and her ex-felon buddies made at The Brownstone during a fundraising event for a sick child. Danielle again tries to hide behind the altruistic excuse that she was just there to present a check for $6,000. However, with the revelation that she never actually forked over any money, Danielle tries to dig herself out of the hole by arguing that she went door to door to get “commitments.” Uh huh, and she’ll probably be out Trick or Treating with her UNICEF container this Halloween too. Well, at least she won’t have to buy a mask.
Tune in for Part II next week, when Kim G. joins the lineup and they all duke it out.
For recaps of prior episodes, see links below. To return to articles about Hudson County, New Jersey, in our newspaper chain, click www.hudsonreporter.com.