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High society hits a new low as 14 contestants are taught in the ways of the wealthy by the mother of all socialites, Kathy Hilton

Recaps by Don Harpwood, GSNN

Kathy Hilton
Paul Buccieri, Danny Salles, Jason Hervey, Rick Hilton
Packager: Endemol USA, Buccieri Entertainment
Airs: Tuesdays at 9pm ET on NBC

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"Madison is Cursed" - July 26

Last time, there was another team reshuffling, as Madison and Park were abandoned for... blue and green. But it didn't help Latricia any, as she was on the losing end for the 5th straight time. And this time, she was sent home. 7 are left, and now that they're competing individually, it's time to face more cameras...


Upon returning to the Melrose hotel, the contestants all move into a single penthouse. Jackaay thinks it's strange that she's the only one from the original Madison still in it at this point. But the others are more focused on the fact that it's now every person for him/her self. And J.W. and Jules are in a corner of the balcony, just chatting about each other. Yep, there's definitely something going on there.

The next morning, the group gets the usual breakfast and letter, and this time, the letter invites them to lunch at a world-renowned restaurant, Palm. Later, they are on their way, but as they leave the hotel, they are faced by some people with cameras, taking pictures of them for some reason. They casually climb into the limo waiting outside, while the paparazzi continues taking pictures.

The group arrives at Palm (no paparazzi on the way in this time), and they head to a private dining room, where Kathy is waiting. Once there, Kathy asks about the run-in earlier, then goes on to introduce Dave Allocca, a celebrity photographer, and Jeffrey Slonim, an entertainment writer. The purpose of this is to let the contestants know what to do and what not to do in public. Dave explains that cameras are everywhere, and that while he tries to get pictures that won't make someone look bad, he says that there are many others who just takes what pictures they can (in other words, the paparazzi). He then explains that "stalkarazzis" are those who will be everywhere that the person is at, just to get pictures at the least likely moments.

Then, they decide to show some random pictures of the contestants, on covers of phony tabloids, as an example of what could happen. An example is a picture of J.W. sleeping, and the headline is, "J.W. survives 2-day party binge." Dave says that picture could have been taken at any time. Another example shows Jackaay yelling, and the headline says, "Jackaay totally freaks out!" Included below, it says, "Madison is cursed!" Gee, how would the tabloids have figured that out?

Afterwards, Dave and Jeffrey head out, and Kathy explains that this type of thing could happen to anyone. Then, Jules asks her what it's like for Paris to deal with everything that's been in the papers about her. That's when things get tense. Kathy explains that Paris has a positive attitude, and that she may be strong, but also sensitive. She even says that there are moments when her daughter will come to her crying, especially when "that tape" came out. (If you don't know what is meant by "that tape", it's time to dig yourself out of that rock you've been living under.) But Kathy then says that she learned to just let go, and not be so judgmental.

With that, Kathy explains that the contestants will be attending a red-carpet event that night, to see how people there deal with journalists, reporters, and of course, photographers. But at this point, it's time to eat. So they have lunch. Why not? They're in a restaurant, right?

Dealing with a chatterbox

Later, the group arrives at a public relations agency to prepare for dealing with the event that night. There, Susan Magrino, a public relations expert, gives them advice on what to say or do while in public, including how to deal with a question from the media, and what to do in a situation similar to what the group faced when leaving the hotel that morning (Susan's advice: "Smile for the cameras, wave, get in the car, and tell the driver to hit the gas"). And then, Jules starts talking about what she normally does in her life. And she keeps talking. And talking. And talking. Get my drift?

Once they're back at the hotel, the group is getting ready for the red-carpet event. But there appears to be some friction between J.W. and Jules. Jules accuses J.W. of making comments about every girl he sees. And she keeps talking about it. She doesn't give J.W. much of a chance to get any of his own words in. But somehow, eventually, the room does go silent.

Questions from the past

The contestants arrive at the red-carpet event via limo, and when they walk in, they discover that it's actually a press conference, loaded with members of the media, and plenty of photographers were taking pictures. And it just so happens that the 7 are the subjects of this conference. They've become quite nervous as they take their seats, and then the press conference begins, with Kathy introducing Donny Deutsch (host of "The Big Idea"), and mentioning that this conference is the next challenge in this competition. She'll be watching to see how they handle themselves, and judge them accordingly.

She then turns things over to Donny, who then brings in a few more folks who have questions to ask: another group of 7. You may remember them if you've been watching past episodes like I had to. That's right; the previously eliminated players: Alain, Johnny, Ann, Yvette, Jabe, Rashad, and Latricia. Donny then give the instructions; each of the contestants will be up on the hot seat, one at a time, and the eliminated players will ask them questions to answer. He advises the questioners to pull no punches, and to be tough.

Jackaay is up first. Yvette asks if she hates her because she's beautiful, or because of jealousy. Jackaay says that Yvette is beautiful, and there's no jealousy. Johnny asks why she told people that he and Yvette "did the nasty" when he never said anything about that, and Jackaay said he alluded to it. Johnny says he only mentioned hooking up with Yvette, and when he says Jackaay should get her facts straight, she responds about him utilizing his vocabulary better.

Jules is next. Ann asks if, despite her saying that she'd like to be with a socialite, she thinks J.W. is "the one" for her, and Jules denies the socialite part, but mentions how she feels about him. Ann then asks if she sees herself with him, and Jules says they're good friends, but Latricia interrupts, asking if she goes around kissing her friends, which Jules denies. Johnny asks how she feels about her teammates saying she doesn't shut up and she's annoying. Jules says that she does talk a lot, but she also listens, and as for being annoying, she does admit to complaining every now and then. And she continues talking about what she's like. And she goes on and on. Notice a theme?

It's now Jaret's turn, and Ann asks what he'd say to those who think a country boy can't be a socialite. He says that they wouldn't know what they're talking about, and that though he didn't fit in at the beginning, through extensive training, he could in the end.

Niki steps up, and Rashad asks what it means to be a socialite. She slowly says it's not just the partying aspect, but... And she hesitates at that point, unsure of what to say. Not a good sign. After plenty of silence, and a few "uh"s, Niki continues by saying that a socialite would be more dignified, and would know how to act in various situations. I'm pretty sure that that doesn't include hesitating for so long.

Time for Vanessa to answer questions. The first one is from Yvette, who asks why she thinks team Park wanted to transfer her to team Madison on the first opportunity. She says she figures that they thought it was best for her to not be there, and that the guys don't seem to like her much. Yvette asks why, and Vanessa thinks it's intimidation. Johnny asks what she thinks it does to the way people act, and she says it's for the better (like how Jackaay has learned to do things properly) and for the worse (like with egocentric attitudes). Rashad asks whose ego was brought up the most, and Vanessa says Brenden, because he was becoming a "louder presence", which wasn't the case when the competition started.

J.W. takes center stage, and Jabe asks him who doesn't deserve to win, of those who are still in it. He says that he feels the others have just as much of a chance as he does; basically, a "may the best person win" type of answer. Sure, he avoided directly answering the question, but hey, the questioners didn't push for a direct answer, at least from what we saw, so there.

Finally, we come to Brenden. And Jabe asks a big question: did he steal ideas from Vanessa? Brenden denies it. But after a flashback from episode 2 (which is referred to during this bit), Jabe pushes on by saying that multiple people claimed otherwise. Brenden says that he can't really respond to that, and that if he misrepresented himself, then, in his words, "so be it, because we won." Donny then asks Vanessa if he stole an idea, and she says that she came up with the idea, but he represented it. Brenden then says he was just trying to be a spokesperson for the team. Next, Yvette asks if he's as phony as he seems. He says that he feels he's genuine, but he won't try to change her perception of him. Johnny then asks why he'd accuse team Madison of being stupid during the sale/auction challenge (once again, from episode 2). Brenden says that the luau idea isn't very classy, and neither is serving stuff on toothpicks. (I thought serving food on toothpicks was normal at classy events. But maybe that's just me...)

With that, Donny ends the press conference. Though he thought things would have gotten nastier, he does say that the group held their own rather well. Kathy then concludes by mentioning that no one will be exempt this time, and everyone will be meeting for the deliberations to determine who goes home.

Later, at the hotel, J.W. is saying that it'll be down to Jules and Niki in the end. Jules says that they've gotten along, but J.W. says that won't mean anything. Niki says she has nothing bad to say about Jules, but J.W. isn't buying it. Jules then turns it around by saying it could be J.W. and Brenden in the end. And suddenly, the roles are reversed, with J.W. denying having any issues with Brenden. But in an aside, J.W. says he wouldn't have a problem selling someone out to make himself look better, if that's what it would take to win.

Saying more than you should?

The group arrives at the residence via limo, and everyone heads up to the usual room for deliberations. As Kathy walks in, the guys stand up and wait for her to sit in her chair before sitting back down themselves. She then mentions how Jaret, Jules, and J.W. are here for the first time, and asks how it feels, to which they admit their nervousness. As if they weren't nervous enough now; Kathy then says that this will be the most difficult deliberation yet, and then drops a surprise: 3 people are going home this time. That's right; it's triple elimination night. I bet they're really nervous now.

When asked how she thought she incorporated the lessons learned, Vanessa says that she used everything that Susan mentioned, including no extra info, and keep responses short. She is then asked if she'd want to do anything different, and she says no. Kathy then asks Jules how she felt about being put in the spotlight concerning the bit with J.W., and she responds that though there was an attraction at first, they'd be better off as friends. And J.W. confirms this.

Jules is then asked who should go home instead of her, and she says she can't answer that. After mentioning that she needs their input in deciding who should go, Kathy asks J.W. whose performance he was more disappointed in, and he says that if he had to pick one, he'd pick Niki, since she did stumble a bit during the press conference. And when asked what she thinks, Jackaay agrees. Then, Niki tries to turn it around, saying that Jackaay stumbled at first when she was questioned. And Jackaay is shaking her head, obviously disagreeing with that.

Kathy asks Brenden which of his questions from the conference was the hardest, and he picks Yvette's question about being phony, saying that it was a shot to him personally. Then, when asked if he thinks he has an advantage, since he's a golf caddie, and therefore has already been exposed to the lifestyle of a socialite, Brenden admits to having been exposed to it, and says he doesn't think he's any less deserving than anyone else. Interesting, since the question asked if he was any more deserving.

Kathy then tells Jules that she needs to not only watch what she says, but how much she says, then asks what lessons she'll take with her. She responds by saying that she hasn't had much of a massive transformation since the day the competition began. When asked if he had any run-ins with Brenden, Jaret said that Brenden told him they would never be friends, and he doesn't know why. Brenden responds that not everyone has to be friends in the end. It's not a good strategy to say something like that, as Kathy mentions.

With that, Kathy sends the group to the stairway so she can write her list. Afterwards, the group returns to the room, ready to hear the decision. She reminds them that if they hear their name, they can head to the dining room nearby (which starts out empty this time). With that, she starts reading the list...


After saying that those she chose to continue on are those who pushed themselves to make a personal transformation using the lessons learned from the whole experience, Kathy reads the last name on the list...


So, as a result, Brenden (the one accused of stealing ideas), Niki (the one who hesitated in her answers at the conference), and Jules (the one who just wouldn't shut up) are not on the list, and have to go home. They each head out of the residence one at a time, and each take a separate limo out of there. But once Kathy joins the final 4 in the dining room, she gives J.W. a chance to say goodbye to Jules before she leaves. He heads downstairs, and as they share a big hug, Jules says that he'd better win it. Afterwards, once he rejoins everyone in the dining room, Kathy tells the 4 how proud she is of them, then they make the customary toast to the good life.

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