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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


FACT FILE:
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., FremantleMedia
Airs: Mondays at 9:00pm ET on FOX


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Episode 2 - April 12

After one week, two transformations, and one person, Rachel Lafrasier, in the pageant final, it looks like the team of Fox and FremantleMedia may yet have another winner on their hands.

And speaking of winners, could one of tonight's two be one? First up, the dream team views up Kristy Garza of Ft. Irwin, CA. She's not happy with who she is on the outside, and remembers of how her mother didn't want her father around. She wanted a father figure, so she joined the Army. Her husband's in the Marines, and he's only used the word "beautiful" twice. Oh yeah, and she's sick of being the funny girl. Hey, there's nothing wrong with the funny. But apparently there is, so the dream team put her on a regimen of nose job, fat transfer to her lips, a brow and midface lift, laser treatment, dermatologist visits, breast augmentation, seven areas of liposuction, zoom teeth bleaching and deep cleaning, DaVinci veneers, the 1200-calorie diet, 120 hours in the gym, and therapy/coaching.

But will her transformation outdo that of Cristina Tyree of Rancho Cordoba, CA? She's an office manager who emigrated from Ecuador. She kept miscarriaging with her husband. But when she finally did have the kid, it left a lot of space that needed to be filled. Bad if you're into belly dancing. *watching her belly dance in her current position* Oh my. Said insecurities are really taking a toll on her marriage to Daniel, even bringing up the "D" word. Dr. Dubrow brings up the "T" word... tummy tuck. Okay, so that's two words, but it'll fix that roll she has. That - and a face lift, nose job, liposuction, collagen, lasik, breast augmentation, teeth bleaching, veneers, gum recontouring, standard fitness protocol, therapy, and coaching - should also go a long way in correcting her little malforms.

First day and Cristina's looking forward to the belly dancing body she's always wanted. Kristy just wants to attack the program head on. Both surgicals will be performed by Dr. Dubrow, and both women will not see their families until the final reveal three months on.

Cristina's initial consult: "Cristina needs a lot of procedures, but she's a young woman and I think she'll recover from them quite easily." We found out that when she dances, she shakes. Oh my. This calls for a tummy tuck. Also, she is plotted for a nose job to correct her hump, and a breast aug to inflate her chest region, improving ... well, something.

Kristy: "Kristy's main goal is to look more feminine. She feels masculine inside, and she feels that she looks masculine outside, and she wants to change that." Best place to start... her breasts, where Kristy wants to go whole hog (and by that, I mean "full D"). Also in store, a CO2 laser to correct her acne.

Also, Dr. Worth takes on both dental procedures. Of Kristy: "She'll need at least 15 hours in the chair if she wants her smile to be ready for the pageant." She wants her teeth to be bling-bling, but that would only happen if your name was "Li'l Jon". And for Cristina: "Cristina hasn't taken the best care of her teeth, but her dental transformation should be a little easier than Kristy's. She's going to be one of the most dramatic transformations... toothwise, at least." Hope she's telling the tooth. Okay, that was lame.

That night, Cristina is forced to weigh in... on her marital woes. "I think that my husband can do better without me. And it would be best for us to go in different directions." That's not how Dan (the husband) sees it, as he hopes for the confidence in her to see that he's happy to be with her. They talk on the phone (with her son Alex) about someone named Edward. I hope it's a dog.

Kristy now needs support from her husband... But Cpl. Garza is nowhere in sight. She says it's not a problem, but the editing tells us otherwise. Again. While Dr. Dubrow is marking her, he points out that her recovery should be smooth as she understands that she has a plan and she has to stick to it. A nose, two breasts, and a laser resurfacing later, she's ready to go to a club... with a spandex canary-yellow suit and some go-go boots. Talk about a quick recovery.

Meanwhile, Cristina uses her belly dancing wardrobe as a guide for Dr. Dubrow. Time for surgery, and Alex is close by in convenient picture form. And leave it to a man to start with the breasts. Next up, the tummy tuck and the nose. "This is one of the most extensive tummy tucks I've performed and I'm really worried about Cristina." Good reason to be, as she's now incredibly stitched from head to... tummy. She clearly had no idea what she was up against. "I gotta pack, I have to go, I have to get out of here!"

Again, she got what she wanted, but it wasn't going to be easy. Luckily there's inner courage that suddenly resurfaces within a few days (which is normal, according to the good doctor). And speaking of the agony and the ecstasy, Kristy just jumped from the other spectrum's end. Five days later, the scars on Kristy's face are pushing her to a breaking point, wanting her to go back and erase what's been done.

Meanwhile, Cristina has a surprise waiting for her on the TV. It's Dan and Alex with a video message. Three months is a long time, but she hopes to combat it. Kristy finally managed to dig deep and find the good things about the long road head with therapy. Dr. Ianni tells her that she functions like a single parent, especially after saying "my daughter" instead of "our daughter." Afterwards, Kristy's mind turns to one thing... REVENGE! Hitting the gym afterwards.

Cristina needs to hit the gym a little more, though, as she finds out that she actually gained 1.4 pounds during her stay. Goal weight: 115. Right now: "Close to 130." Upon looking at Nely's file, we find out that a) this was shot around March, and b) that she ordered ice cream and full fat yogurts. BIG uh-oh. Obviously, this is where Nely plays the role of tough love mother figure. Worry not, as no floggings with a wet noodle ensued.

And we still have a month of revenge tactics and sacrifice to go. Kristy needs to lose 20 pounds. Cristina needs a bounceback. Back at Swan HQ, it's been a month since we've seen them. First at the gate, Kristy, who was able to complete her program with her military background, relatively scar free. Unless you count her face. But that's not a problem now, as we see for the first time, the tomboy grew a set of curves... and kept her tattoo. Still a bit on the huggable side, but nice turnaround. Her initial reaction after the Mirror of Fate (copyright 2004 Chico Alexander) reveal... and five more seconds: "No way. That's me? (noticing curves) Whoa, that's me, too!" After a fit of hysterics, Kristy just asks someone to pinch her. "Harder!"

But is Cristina's up to par after a pint of Edy's (or Dreyer's if you live in that part of the country)? The belly of the belly dancer had to be resculpted, as did her self-confidence. End result, the door opens and... SWEET JEEBUS! Talk about a comeback! She came for the American dream 27 years ago, and did she get it. Get this woman to the Mirror of Fate! Quickly! "Oh my God! I'm so beautiful!" Again, after the hysterics, she starts thanking everyone, including her dress. "I'm in love with myself!" she says. "So you should be!" Amanda replies.

Not an obstacle in her path that stood a chance, big points in the overall transformation department, but are they big enough? Both draw on the poise and the beauty, but who'll take their game to the pageant? Through to the Swan pageant at the end of the series is... Cristina Tyree! When it all came down, Kristy's physical transformation was far less complete than that of her opponent. But it's time to leave her to go back and face her husband ... or at least have her husband face her. That was quick. While baby Teagan's going "Where's mommy?"

Happier ending than last week, I must say. Next time we see Cristina will be at the pageant. Who will join her? The search for the Swan continues next week, and I can just say that the people to follow have QUITE a task ahead of them. After all, this is still a competition.

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