In the grand tradition of Bravo, we were promised some White House party-crashing on last night’s episode of Real Housewives of DC and all we got was Michaele in a cheap sari in the back of a limo. I should have known to temper my lofty expectations by now, but somehow, Bravo still pulls me in every now and then.
The network claims that they didn’t know the Salahis weren’t invited to the party and that the camera crew didn’t enter the White House, but that doesn’t mean that the network declined the opportunity to milk the event for all it was worth. Last night’s episode should have been entitled Prelude to an Epic Fail.
Before we could get to the Main Event, however, we had to talk to everyone else. The episode started out with Lynda trying to cast a fashion show sponsored by the Burkina Faso (Burkina Fasan? What’s the adjective form of that? Wikipedia was unhelpful.) embassy, which was exactly as interesting as it sounded. Model castings are boring, no matter who is involved or who is judging, and that’s why they only take up one episode of America’s Next Top Model every season. And even then, most of the excitement comes from the fact that they conduct the castings like a relay race.
We quickly moved on to Stacie and Jason, who were at home, composing a Facebook message to Stacie’s biological half-brother. It’s weird to think that when I was a freshman in college, which doesn’t seem all that long ago, Facebook was just starting out and was still restricted to students at large universities. Less than a decade later, Facebook is a plot device for middle-aged people on a reality TV show. Makes me feel a little old. Now get off my lawn, kids.
Instead of just spilling the proverbial beans in the message, Stacie chose to keep things cryptic, saying “You will not BELIEVE the mutual acquaintance we share,” and including Jason’s phone number. That would just make me think someone was trying to scam me and I’d never call, which is probably the difference between people my age using Facebook and people Stacie’s age using Facebook – the etiquette is hard to explain. You can’t hedge in a Facebook message. You have to show your hand or anyone my age will delete the message immediately. Still, Jason was optimistic and he ensured Stacie that he’d try his best to talk like a white guy and not give up the surprise when he answered the phone. The things we do for love.
Next, Lynda, Mary and Cat got together to talk about Cat’s busy schedule. Charles travels quite a bit since he’s the president’s personal photographer, and all of the ladies are still playing along with the whole “Cat wrote a book and it’s coming out and that’s very stressful” storyline, which is charitable of them. Cat has to spend her time taking care of her kids and hasn’t taken a bath in ages, the poor thing. Let’s hope she showers.
Because no one really cares about Cat’s bathing difficulties, talk turned to the Awful Twins, as talk is wont to do. More was said of Michaele and her “modeling” and “cheerleading” careers, and Lynda cleared up any confusion about whether or not Michaele has ever been employed with her agency. She has not, in case you still believe anything that comes out of her mouth. And if you do, I have to ask: why? More was said of the Salahis’ inability to pay their bills, including a mortgage, and whether or not Michaele is a well-intentioned moron or a purposeful manipulator. The jury is still out.
Speaking of the Awful Twins, their limo was our next stop. The Salahis were headed to a restaurant to go on a double date, and their entire conversation on the ride to the restaurant seemed predicated on ensuring us that Michaele does, in fact, eat. She said that she wasn’t that “in to eating” back when she met Tareq, but he taught her to enjoy food. I’m not sure why anyone would need instruction on how to like eating, but Michaele had obviously rehearsed her lines quite a bit and she barely even stumbled over any of the words. Still, the lady doth protest too much.
At dinner, Michaele and Tareq sat down with another couple and talked about how much they loved to travel and the “success” of America’s Polo Cup, and they also claimed to be working on the relationship between America and India, which is so preposterous that I can’t even think of a way to make fun of it. I though that the continuum of ridiculousness went on ad infinitum, but as it turns out, the continuum has an end point. That end point is Tareq pretending to be a diplomat.
If you’ll remember, the state dinner that these two loathsome people snuck in to was an India-centric event, so I suppose that this is how Bravo chose to set up that debacle later in the episode. I would bet anyone the balance of my bank account that the dinner scene was filmed after they crashed the White House and Bravo saw the enormous backlash. Yes, Bravo thought that Tareq and Michaele were involved with Indian foreign relations. Of course they did.
Anyway, it’s not time to talk about that yet. For now, we have to focus on Lynda’s Burkina Faso fashion show. The fabrics used were handmade by local women in the country, and Lynda insisted that she purchase the ensemble she would wear to the event instead of accepting it as a gift. Lynda says a lot of batty things, but she was the picture of professionalism in the meeting and is clearly a consummate business woman. Just when I was ready to alter my opinion of Lynda ever-so-slightly, she went on a bit of a rant about making sure that security at the fashion show had pictures of Michaele and Tareq in order to keep them out, and I was quickly reminded of the nutter that she actually is.
Back at Stacie’s house, she and Jason had yet to hear anything from Stacie’s half brother. Big surprise – I bet the guy thought it was some crazy person trying to steal his credit card number or something. Cryptic messages via social networks don’t do anything but creep people out, and they should have tried again with a little bit more information. Instead, they considered going to the Nigerian embassy, which I didn’t think would help at all since Stacie’s father doesn’t even know she exists. I was wrong, and pleasantly so.
Stacie met with a woman named Stella from the Nigerian embassy, and Stacie gave her the only information that she had about her birth father: a few pictures. As it turns out, Stacie had gotten incredibly lucky: Stella was frame the same state as her birth father, and the cap he was wearing indicated that he was a chief or powerful person of some sort in his area. Both of those things increase the likelihood of Stacie locating him, and the way that the scene played out actually gave me chills. How often does something even remotely positive or important happen on Real Housewives, let alone something that could seriously change one of the cast members’ off-camera lives?
Speaking of African embassies, it was time for the fashion show! Lynda chose to pregame the festivities with a little scotch on the rocks while she was getting her hair done, which only made me more sure that Lynda is actually flying under the radar as the most insane person on this show. I mean that in a nice way. I wasn’t aware that grown people pregame events, I thought that was just something you did when you were my age and relatively poor.
Once she got to the event, Lynda realized that security hadn’t been made aware of the Awful Twins after all, but that didn’t turn out to be such an important issue since they didn’t show up anyway. Not that it mattered, because the people who did show up were dramatic enough – Cat and Erika. They were seated with only Mary’s between them and looked displeased about it, but luckily they more or less behaved themselves.
Lynda took a moment after the show to talk with David Catania and Jason (the gay one) about gay marriage, and Catania admitted that he had received death threats over DC’s marriage bill. Jason mentioned that he had been married to his husband for thirteen years, which is amazing – gay marriage wasn’t even a nationally discussed issue in 1997. Good for them.
But again, the point of this show is gossip, and don’t you forget it. Paul and Lynda ended up talking about Michaele at the after party, during which Bravo spliced in an interview with Michaele about how jealous Lynda is. Lynda may be a little envious of Michaele’s body type, but I think that’s probably where it ends – there’s no way on earth that anyone could be jealous of her troll of a husband, utter vapidity or financial problems, let alone that open-mouthed blank stare she makes when Tareq talks.
Our DC housewives have this magical power – they talk about the Awful Twins, and then Bravo’s producers make them magically appear in the next scene! We caught up with them at a salon where Tareq was supervising Michaele’s hair and makeup preparations for the State Dinner, since she’s not allowed to do anything on her own. He sat in the lobby and did “business,” which probably means he played Tetris on his Blackberry, while Michaele was in the back gossiping about Obama and Oprah with her makeup artist. After blabbing for what seemed like 20 minutes over the details of the event, she then emphasized how important it was to keep things quiet and told the hairdresser that it was confidential. I don’t think that word means what she thinks it means.
The hairdresser requested to see the invitation and Michaele made a big show of looking for it like it was actually going to be there, and for the first time that I can remember in the history of this show, a producer broke the fourth wall to remind Michaele mid-scene that she was supposed to be looking for the invitation and that one of the girls in the salon wanted to see it. Michaele had apparently gotten distracted by looking for her jewelry and/or undergarments, and when the producer asked her to explain to the camera why her entrance to the event wasn’t dependent on the invitation, she hemmed and hawed and said something about the invitation being safe at home, as if someone was going to try and mug it. If Michaele ever managed to answer a question directly and honestly, I think I might die of shock.
Tareq reiterated that the invitation is a formality, which is probably true – at many large events, the guest list is already in the possession of security and they check you in with your ID at the door. That doesn’t explain why Michaele claimed to have the invitation on her and then suddenly didn’t have it, or why the Bravo producer was under the impression that they had the invitation as well, but at least one of them managed to say something that wasn’t an outright lie. We were momentarily distracted from the invitation kerfuffle by watching Michaele haplessly try to wrap her sari, and luckily the makeup dude came to her rescue and pinned it in place. I’m pretty sure that the end result wasn’t how you wrap an actual sari, but what do I know? I’m not Indian.
That’s where the show left us – Michaele had made it into her outfit and the Awful Twins made it into the car, and they were headed off into the annals of pop culture and cable news infamy. We’ll see the fallout next week.