"The High Life, and
What People'll Do To Get There"
- June 21
Start with 14 regular people, who have one thing in
common: They want to live the high life. Have them
meet Kathy Hilton, who can provide the opportunity for
them to do so, and can show them how. And make sure
that in the end, only one will be able to live "like a
Hilton", with an apartment, a new wardrobe, and a
$200,000 trust fund. Sounds like an idea for a reality
show, doesn't it? Well, someone came up with that
idea, and so, here it is. [Insert the first of many
flashy graphics here]
The first party
As we start, the 14 people are on their way to Grand
Central Terminal, where they've been asked to wait.
They are (in alphabetical order):
Alain - Perfume Salesman
Ann - Former Miss Tampa
Brenden - Golf Caddy
Jabe - Ranch Hand
Jackaay - Landscape Supply Clerk
Jaret - Telephone Salesman
Johnny - Plumber
Jules - Receptionist
J.W. - Construction Worker
Latricia - Motor Vehicles Clerk
Niki - Fashion Student
Rashad - Waiter
Vanessa - Bartender
Yvette - Las Vegas Dancer
As the group chats among themselves, in comes some guy
with a tuxedo, looking a little out of place in a
location such as this, walking down the steps nearby
and to the group. He asks them to follow him, and they
promptly do so, carrying their bags with them. He
leads them to the Campbell Apartment, which is a bar
where very few people get to spend time at, for a
private cocktail party. They are then left on their
own (with a few bartenders available) to enjoy the
fine cuisine and drinks. The ever-present voice-over
says that this is a test to see how much work may be
needed to get them ready for high society. Oh, and
someone is watching them from a balcony above: Kathy
Hilton. Hmm, I wonder if someone will bother to look
up and notice...
The 14 people start to pig out, eating the food and
acting like, well, themselves. They tried some caviar,
and Jaret thought it was horrible, while Jabe would
apparently not want to eat it or a couple other things
that he first tried there again (well, "not without
Tabasco", as he put it). They eat and drink, and act
wild, and yet not a single one of them bothered to
look up. But it's too late for that now, as Kathy has
decided to leave the balcony and meet them down on the
Once there, Kathy introduces herself to the group,
then has the butler give each of them a gift: A silver
spoon. Gee, I wonder how they came up with that idea.
Anyway, each spoon has a ribbon attached, and it is
either blue or green. Kathy explains that those with a
blue ribbon are on the Madison team, and those with a
green ribbon are on the Park team. She then explains
that each week, they'll learn a different element or
two of the good life, and they'll have challenges to
test them on those elements. These elements can
involve etiquette, style, culture, and even dealing
with the press. Of course, the losing team will then
meet with Kathy to talk about "what went wrong". And
she'll then write a list with those on the team that
are moving on, and one will be left off the list, and
therefore, eliminated, each time. Does this format
seem familiar in some way?
The team rosters are not mentioned at this point, but
for reference, and for those who care, here they are:
Madison - Alain, Ann, Jabe, Jackaay, Johnny, Latricia,
Park - Brenden, Jaret, Jules, J.W., Niki, Rashad,
Kathy then mentions that she had been watching them,
and that after doing so, they have a lot to do. Before
they get going to the limos that are set to take them
to where they'll live during this time, Yvette plays
the role of suck-up, and says to Kathy that she hopes
to learn everything that she'll need to know for all
this, since she "wasn't born with a silver spoon in
her mouth". Okay...
After some flashy graphics show off which penthouses
at the Melrose Hotel each team will be staying at, the
teams arrive in those limos, and they head up to their
penthouses. Upon arriving at theirs, team Park is
obviously in awe, as they spot the gift baskets
waiting for them. Meanwhile, team Madison is just
having fun, and one of them even goes so far as to
moon the people through a window nearby (presumably
the other team). But Latricia is having her doubts
about how well Madison will do, considering they have,
as she refers to them as, "a hillbilly, a singing
diva, a pizza boy, and a British hoochie."
Boot camp and shopping
In the morning, the teams each wake up to find a
letter on a table on their respective balconies. It
instructs them to meet Kathy at the 21 Club at 11AM.
Members of team Madison try to guess what exactly that
is. But later, as they arrive, we find out that it is
an elegant restaurant. Once the teams are lined up in
there, Kathy greets them and lets them know that the
first challenge deals with first impressions. Kathy
will be hosting a dinner there with some of her
closest friends, and the teams are invited. They'll be
judged on manners and style, and to get them ready,
Kathy has arranged for an "etiquette boot camp" for
the teams, where they'll learn such manners and style
from various etiquette pros.
But that's not all, as one member from each team will
have to shop for a gift for the host of the party
(which is Kathy, of course). But each team will be
selecting which member of the OTHER team will be doing
the shopping. So, after deciding who they think would
do the worst on the other team, Park chooses Jabe to
represent Madison, and Madison chooses J.W. to
represent Park. Each of those two will only get $100
to spend on the gift, so they'll have to be creative.
Jabe, after looking around the city for a while,
decides to buy 4.5 lbs. of chocolates, gift-wrapped.
The woman at the shop asks if he wants something
written on it, he says to write "Kathy Hilton". She
asks if it's with a K or a C... and he doesn't know.
That's not good. Meanwhile, J.W. goes to a fancy shop
and gets some flowers and some wine, also
gift-wrapped. Back at the 21 Club, the others are
learning the basics of proper etiquette. This includes
how to handle the utensils, wine tasting (Alain,
despite being told to hold the glass by the stem,
keeps holding his glass by the bowl), eating various
fancy foods like snails/escargot and lobster, and
recognizing types of cheeses (yes, including goat
Upon returning to the hotel, team Park gets a good
look at what J.W. bought, and they seem impressed when
they saw the wine and flowers. But when Madison saw
what Jabe bought, though they had no complaints about
the gift itself, the focus was on how the message that
he had the woman at the shop write was written on the
package itself with a permanent marker. Ann noted that
it was tacky.
A doozy of a challenge
The teams get groomed and dressed up in their best
clothes, and despite Madison being held up by a few
members taking a bath for a bit, they make their way
to the 21 Club for the dinner. Each team will be there
at separate times, with Madison going first, and Park
going second. Team Madison are outside the dining
room, lined up in front of Kathy, and she then
delivers a twist to this challenge: Only one person
from the team will be having dinner with Kathy and her
friends. And it happens to be the one that was out
shopping, and therefore didn't get to go through
"etiquette boot camp" (Jabe for Madison, J.W. for
Park). Can you say, "disaster waiting to happen"?
Well, at least the others will get to help from
outside, as the one having dinner will be wearing an
earpiece, from which they can hear advice from the
others, who will have a microphone, and will get to
watch the dinner on TV. Though I don't know if that'll
Park also hears about this twist when it's their turn,
of course. They will be judged by a panel of judges at
the head table, whom the guest will be sitting with:
Ted Allen (culinary expert for "Queer Eye"), Billy
Bush ("Access Hollywood" host), His Royal Highness,
Prince Dimitri of Yugoslavia, and of course, Kathy.
There will be a set of 5 challenges during the dinner,
on which the guests will be judged.
1. The Gift
Park - After entering the dining room being introduced
to the table, J.W. handed Kathy the flowers and wine,
and she loved it. Ted asked where he got the idea, and
J.W. said wine would be a good compliment for the
dinner, and of course, "flowers for an elegant woman".
Madison - Jabe hands Kathy the gift of chocolates
(with the tacky handwriting), and she liked it. But as
soon as Jabe sits down in his seat, someone on the 21
Club staff walks over and tells him that he has to
wear a jacket, which he didn't have. Oops.
2. The Wine
Park - Kathy asks J.W. to select the wine, and he's
naturally stumped (remember, he didn't go through
those etiquette lessons). So after Kathy asks what
would go good with lobster, his team tells him through
the earpiece to ask the waiter for a suggestion for a
good chardonnay. He does so, and gets a good
compliment from Kathy.
Madison - Ted asks Jabe what would go good with
seafood, and like Park, team Madison tells him to go
with chardonnay. After doing so, and the waiter pours
a glass for him, he just picks it up by the bowl and
drinks some of it. So his team has to shout to him
exactly what he was supposed to do with it (pick it up
by the stem, swirl it, sniff it), and he does what
Meanwhile, in the back, Yvette has noticed that Alain
wasn't saying anything. He said he didn't want to
confuse Jabe. So basically, he's just acting like a
3. The Late Arrival
(At this point, Kyle Hilton, Kathy's sister, will
arrive at the dinner. She is another judge for the
Park - Upon the arrival, J.W. is told by his team to
stand up and help Kyle into her seat, and he does so,
before complimenting her looks.
Madison - Same thing for Jabe, except without the
compliment, and instead, he gets yells into his ear
about how to eat the lobster as he tries to eat it.
Park - After he admits that he never had escargot
before, the team does their best in coaching J.W. on
eating the snails, but J.W. decides NOT to eat it. He
won't even try it. I guess he didn't consider
pretending that this was a fancy version of Fear
Factor for a brief moment.
Madison - Jabe also admits to not having had escargot
before. And of course, his team tells him how to go
about eating it. As his team yells for him to eat it,
he looks at it for a moment or two, but unlike J.W.,
Jabe does go through with it.
5. The Toast
Park - When asked to make a toast, J.W. stands up and
proposes a toast to Kathy, the one who brought the
group of 14 to New York to give them the opportunity
that they have.
Madison - Pretty much the same thing with Jabe. But
when he's told to say "thank you" at the end, he says,
and I quote, "Say thank you". Heh.
Once both teams are done, the judges deliberate.
Afterwards, both teams are in the dining room, where
Kathy is ready to announce the decision. She mentions
that the judges did check out how the teams in the
back did while Jabe and J.W. were at the dinner, then
mentions that Jabe should have had a jacket and a gift
card, while J.W. was hesitant with ordering the wine,
and was impolite by not trying a dish in front of the
host, despite it being escargot. And the winning team
is... Park. Like on the Apprentice, the winning team
gets a reward, which in this case is a trip by private
jet to a vineyard for wine tasting, and the losing
team meets with the host for a chat and to determine
who is going home.
Team Park boards the jet, and while in the air, they
have a toast of their own. At the vineyard, they walk
through the yard to check out the grapes, and they
have some lunch (which includes wine, of course).
While they're enjoying themselves, back in the Melrose
Hotel, team Madison is gathered in a room, and the
mood is rather gloomy. They discuss who could be
eliminated, and after a bit, it is apparent that none
of them are safe.
The first dream gets crushed
A limo picks up team Madison and takes them to the
"residence" [cue flashy graphics], which is apparently
this show's version of the boardroom. Once everyone is
seated in front of the fireplace inside the residence,
Kathy enters and greets the team. She starts with the
reminder that someone is going home, then asks Jabe if
he feels that he should go home, since he was the one
in the dining room, and he made a few mistakes. He
says no, and compares what he heard in his right ear
to standing in the middle of a bunch of cheerleaders.
Kathy notes that Johnny was quiet, but he says that he
did speak when it came to the escargot.
When Kathy asks the room about who wasn't
contributing, Jabe says that what scares and worries
him is Alain dealing with the pressure. Alain admits
to being nervous, but says he's ready to work with the
team. Johnny then speaks up about Latricia (whom he
accidentally refers to as "Lakeesha" at first), saying
she may be too powerful of a person. And Yvette, while
having a bit of a tough time getting her message
across due to her accent, mentions that a few
teammates may have conflicts with Latricia. But
Latricia denies it and says the conflicts were
actually with Yvette. Sounds like there may be a
conflict between those two soon...
After a brief argument about Yvette wearing short
skirts, Kathy asks who may be holding the team back.
Ann says that it would be Alain, but he said that he
thought their bit with the wine was done well as Ann
explained the bit to Jabe, but Jabe just didn't
listen. Kathy then asks for final thoughts, and
Latricia says she doesn't consider the competition to
be a game, but a "lifeline" for herself and her son.
Sounds like a desperate move to me. Then Ann has
something to say, er, sing. She simply sings a bit
from "A Moment Like This". Note to Ann: This isn't
With that, Kathy momentarily dismisses the team so she
can make the list of the 6 who will be moving on in
the competition. Afterwards, once the list is done,
the team is back in the room, and in another room
nearby, team Park is having a dinner. But there's room
for a few more; those seats are for those on the list.
When someone is announced as on the list, they can go
and join the other team for dinner.
Now, for the moment of truth. On the list are:
At this point, Kathy mentions that those of the
remaining 3 who remain in the game will have to work
things out eventually. She continues...
After mentioning Latricia's bossiness and Alain's
quietness, Kathy announces the last name on the
That means that Alain is not on the list, and is the
first one gone. After thanking Kathy for letting him
be there for at least that long, he walks out and gets
into a limo, which drives away, presumably taking him
home or something. Kathy then joins the other 13 at
dinner, and makes a toast to end this episode.
So, what do I think of the show? Meh. Just another
variation of the Apprentice, set in the same city (New
York), but with a bunch of flashy graphics, and the
winner can just enjoy the "good life" instead of
working. 'Nuff said.
Anyway, next week, in case anyone is wondering,
Kathy's daughters, Paris and Nikki, will get involved,
and there's going to be a charity auction.