Love to Interrupt
What do you get when you take
sixteen ugly ducklings, fly them to a mansion with no mirrors,
then have them undergo radical transformations including
plastic surgery, dental work, fitness regimens, and life
coaching, THEN have them compete in a beauty pageant for
hundreds of thousands of dollars in prizes? According to this show, "the
most unusual competition ever devised for television."
Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN
Host: Amanda Byram
Experts: Greg Comeaux, Dr. Terry Dubrow, Nely Galan,
Dr. Randal Haworth, Dr. Lynn Ianni, Dr. Sherri Worth
Creator: Nely Galan
EP: Nely Galan, Arthur Smith
Packager: Galan Productions, A. Smith & Co.,
Airs: Mondays at 9:00pm ET on FOX
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Episode 1 - April 7
Okay, GSNN-R quiz time. Hands on signals, no
conferring. What do you get when you put "Extreme
Makeover" and the Miss America Pageant in a blender and
set said blender to kill? For the answer, read on.
You've seen the commercials earlier in the TV season
during "Family Feud", another FremantleMedia production.
Now, the results of said search begin, as sixteen ugly
ducklings will be worked and disciplined like crazy for
the chance, not unlike a character out of Hans Christian
Andersen, to be named "The Swan". Some will make it
through to the end. Others will not. But all will be
transformed forever. What a pitch. Really.
Rules are simple. For three months, a team of trainers,
beauty consultants, and plastic surgeons will transform
two women a week. And for those three months, there are
no mirrors. AT ALL. After that, the team will discuss
which of the two will be judged beautiful enough to move
onto the finale... a beauty pageant. Seems logical
enough. Overseeing everything is Amanda Byram, who, if
you recall, was proprietor over last summer's "Paradise
Hotel." New rule at Fox, in order to be a reality show
host, you have to be a) British/Irish, b) a woman, and
c) a British/Irish woman. She reminds us that two women
will go head to head in pursuit of a dream come true, to
be named a beauty queen. After all, isn't that was the
American dream is all about? Reaching goals through hard
work and sacrifice?
Anyway, let's meet tonight's ducklings. First up, Kelly
Alemi from Abingdon, MD. She has no idea that she's been
selected, and she's crying like all heck about it.
Kelly's a flight attendant who would like to look in the
mirror and be happy with what she sees. Patricia,
Kelly's mom, always thought she was down, and for good
reason (we think), as she was always looked down upon
and spat at. One thing she does have going for her, a
boyfriend (Bob) who loves her for who she is. "Bob and I
have been intimate for about seven or eight times in the
last three years." Okay, enough about your sex life...
or in this case, absence thereof.
But what do the panelists see? They see a cute little
girl with a lot of potential. A boob job here, a little
liposuction there... and there... and there, some
physical training, collagen injections, cosmetic teeth
whitening, and an endobrow lift whatever the heck that
is, we may yet have something. "We're ready to Swan
her," says one of the experts, Dr. Terry J. Dubrow (a
plastic surgeon). They'll be Swan-ing her with some face
work (apart from the previously mentioned, photo facial,
microdermabrasion, laser hair removal, and Lasik) and a
fitness regimen of 1200 calories a day, cardio twice
daily, weight training, therapy, and coaching.
She could make the final, but not if Rachel Lafrasier, a
construction clerk from Semamish, WA, has anything to
say about it. Like Kelly, she has no idea what's in
store for her. She's a cat person who wants to take care
of her profile and her "chunks". And speaking of her
chunks, husband Mike says, flat out, "She's a little
average." It gets worse, as her father Tony says that
she's "a female copy of me" and that in the third grade,
he told teachers not to expect too much out of her. Aww,
be kind. But when she's happy, she's a cute person. She
wants to make a difference...
... and a difference will be made away from the father,
says Dr. Lynn Ianni (therapist). The plastic surgeons,
Dr. Dubrow and Dr. Randal D. Haworth, think this one's a
toughie, but decide on working the nostrils, eyes,
breasts, and all the excess body fat. Greg Comeaux
(trainer) thinks she'll need a lot of cardio on the
stair climber. Life coach Nely Galan (who, aside from
creating the show, was co-host of "Storm the Castle", an
American translation of "Takeshi's Castle" before it was
reedited into MXC) wants to be informed of the progress.
Dr. Sherri Worth (dentist) wants to reconstruct the
teeth so they close.
There are your two plain Janes. Time to sexify. Rachel
and Kelly arrive in LA on day 1 of the program to the
primary rule. "There's no mirror!" They each receive a
note telling them of their pending life-altering
transformation, and that the program begins now. I'd be
Kelly's initial consult with Dr. Dubrow: "She's clearly
going to need a lot of body work and major liposuction.
But enhancing her facial features and really defining
her face could be the ticket to getting her into the
pageant." They also go into the breast implants.
Rachel's initial consult with Dr. Haworth: "The key to
getting Rachel to the pageant is to bring out her
femininity. It's going to take a lot of work." They
focus on nostrils, lip injection, and liposuction.
Initial consult with Dr. Worth: "Rachel was super
excited to be here. She has kind of a tough situation.
Once we bring those teeth down and kinda bring them back
into her face again, she'll look beautiful." Good for
her, but bad for Kelly, as we see in her initial consult
with Dr. Worth, whom she's dreading despite the fact
that they've never even met yet. The good doctor sedates
her before the cleaning, filling, and prepping for
veneers. And if anyone knows what a veneer is, I'd like
to find out.
Next up: the weigh-in. Kelly's at 159, but she'd like to
drop 39 to a solid 120. "Thirty-nine pounds is a lot of
weight to ask for," Greg says, even after surgery. They
work on the arms and abs, the weight machine and the
treadmill, the joy and the pain.
And speaking of pain, Rachel just found out that she
tips the scales at a projectile-vomit-inducing 190. Her
goal is 145. In three months, you're talking suicide.
That night, Rachel and Kelly have one more walk on the
pier before they are separated for three months.
Day 2, and Rachel's being marked for surgery. She thinks
it's weird to see herself with lines drawn over her
face. Okay, we had one mirror, but I swear that's it.
"It's a nice memory." Next time she sees herself, she's
not going to look like the person she remembers.
Presumably. She makes a quick call to her husband, who
doesn't answer. Oh boy. Cowboy U all over again.
Dr. Haworth is prepped for surgery, and since it's a
long process and we only have an hour, we time lapse
through to the nose, which is hard because of her
skeletal features. "I can make improvements, but there
are no guarantees when it comes to plastic surgery." But
Rachel's in high spirits now. But what about Kelly?
She's frightened that her loved ones aren't there to
watch, but Bob is one call away ("and you is my baby!").
She shows Dr. Dubrow a stick figure drawing that her
friends made as a road map/dedication to what should be
done, but if you honestly want to look like a stick
figure, then you have some serious issues in the head.
He starts with liposuction and her breasts, following up
with her face. First up, her butt. "Ah. That would be
Gerry... So Gerry, this butt's for you." Next is the
breast area and... "Whoa, baby! Those look awesome!" Of
course we can't see them. F'in FCC. But will Kelly be
able to handle them? Emotionally? He says that some
patients go into depression right after surgery, and
that Kelly is at a high risk for that.
Now, we said that they would be transformed at the end
of three months, but we didn't say that it was going to
be easy. Nely's concerned about Kelly's attitude. She'd
been depressed afterwards. That prompts her and Dr.
Dubrow to make a house call. She really has to bear down
if she wants to make it to the end.
But that's chicken and beer compared to what Rachel's
going through. Sure, she's in high spirits, but Mike's
not exactly Mr. Supportive. "It's going to seriously
piss me off if he doesn't answer this phone today." But
he does answer the phone (eventually). Rachel rants
about not getting any support. Mike rants about his
endless cycle of work and sleep. "It's the first time he
has to take hardly any frickin' responsibility in our
whole entire lives together, which is going on five
years now. I've taken care of everything. The least he
can do is just sit there and talk to me for ten
And she brings that baggage to therapy with her, as Dr.
Ianni notes. She lets it all out in the open, which is
good if she is to transform her inner Rachel. Meanwhile,
Kelly's inner Kelly still has Dr. Dubrow worried about
her outer Kelly. But she's down with the upswing once
she discovers her missing turkey gizzard and her new
boobies. But at her weigh in, she discovers that she's
actually gained a fifth of a pound worrying herself to
death. "My boobs do not weigh eight pounds!" Maybe not,
but you might have to take off your shoes, you dimwit.
She goes even as far as to use the scale to measure her
chest. And how one can do that is beyond me.
In physical training, Rachel's giving it her all. Kelly
would be devastated if she doesn't get into the pageant.
Jumpstarted by the surgeries, Rachel only has 20 pounds
more to lose (owed to science, genetics, and a little
luck), while Kelly still has 35. Advantage: Rachel. And
they still have one month to go.
Fastforward one month. And the reveal. Remember, they
haven't seen themselves in three months, so we will be
seeing the new bodies as they are... well, a little
before hand, anyway. We cue on the experts, as we
prepare to see Rachel for the first time. She came in at
190, and Nely and Dr. Haworth have nothing but praise
for their (and Rachel's) work. We see her three months
ago... and then we see her now. And then she sees
herself now in a mirror concealed by a draw curtain.
Quote my good friend Doug Morris... "Yeowza". What a
job. Got rid of the whole crooked nose and everything.
Amanda tells her that she looks absolutely unbelievable.
She walks up to the mirror as it is drawn open, as she
is drawn into laughter and tears, all at the same time.
"Boy, this is going to take a little getting used to."
The average girl just became... well, far from average.
She thinks that her husband's going to be "absolutely
Okay, we've seen Rachel. Now let's look at Kelly, who,
truth be told, is a basket case. Dr. Dubrow's main
challenge about her depression was overcome, as Greg
notes that while she didn't meet her goals per se, she
did gain a lot of self-confidence. Three months ago: a
spitting target. Today... a spitting image of Monroe?
Well, not exactly, but better than what we started with.
I would've done a face lift as well, but, yeah. Anyway,
Amanda asks her what she did with Kelly. Kelly
transformed herself from the inside out, which explains
why she didn't really meet her fitness goal (if you
recall, the inside part was a long battle in and of
itself). Kelly asks that Amanda go with her to the
mirror, but Amanda has to reminder that this step she
must take on her own. And so she does. Eventually. She
breaks down into tears and asks if that's her. "I look
beautiful. It's not like one of those fake mirrors that
make you look skinnier or prettier." No, only a few
pints of Jagermeister will do that. In the end, she
believes it was all worth it.
But was it enough? I mean, as amazing as the
transformations are, this is a competition (otherwise,
it would be on another site somewhere), and only one of
these Cinderellas will be judges as fair enough to go to
the big dance, per the experts. The ladies reunite in
the foyer, and let it not be said that Fox doesn't know
how to drum up a theme song. Both Kelly and Rachel have
been judged on beauty, poise, and overall
transformation. And for the first time, we see just how
much weight is carried with being the Swan: hundreds of
thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. Because after
all, it's not the power, but the reward, right?
The first person through to the Swan pageant is...
Rachel Lafrasier! Kelly congratulates her, as Dr. Dubrow
is disappointed by her wanton lack of "taking it to the
next level." It's all about that next level, after all.
Nely says that Rachel won because she "surrendered to
transformation in the most incredible way." Gee, that's
putting it bluntly.
Amanda says goodbye to Kelly, as she has one last
surprise in store... It's Bob! Hi, Bob! "She... she's
gorgeous." They embrace, and... Okay, you two, get a
room. And we're not done yet, because we also brought in
her family. "I think the cocoon has finally broken and
the butterfly has been set free," Patricia says. Gee,
how sentimentally Hallmark. Actually, you want to talk
about Hallmark, here's Kelly: "I could never ask for
anything more, and I want to tell everyone in the world
that if they have a dream to follow it, and things do
happen for a reason, and that dreams come true."
All this and no Mike. Almost seems hollow. Anyway, the
next time we see Rachel will be at the pageant. But
right now, we look to Monday's show, where two more
duckies will try and waddle their way to "the most
unusual pageant ever devised."
And let it not be said that Fox doesn't know how to
string together a tagline either. See you soon!