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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 3 - April 19

If you saw the promos, you know that there's someone that the Swan team might not be able to help straight away. More in a bit.

And here's the bit. Cindy Ingall is a mom from San Diego. You know the deal by now, shy growing up, always "the witch", cry cry cry, husband thinks she's beautiful inside and out. And then there's the facial hair. Shocking as it may seem, it's actually one of the more common hormone imbalances a woman can have. She uses a razor every day to take care of that, but how else would you turn her from "blah" to "chick-a-bam?" Well, she has a nose that baffles both Drs. Dubrow and Haworth. But that's not going to stop them from trying. She gets a nose job, face lift, fat removal, lip augmentation, liposuction, chin refinement, fotofacial, laser hair removal, collagen, and Lasik. And that's just her face. We also give her the breast augs, lipo, tummy tuck, and standard wellness protocol.

Oh yeah, and "I miss my family so much", cry cry.

Second egret of the day is Tawnya Cook of Guymon, CO. The last three years have not been kind to her. Her brother passed away with his kids watching. Her husband left for active duty in the navy. He asked for a divorce. She was laid off. And she looks like an old lady. If she looked more like her daughter Kaleah, then she may not need this show. Unfortunately, she's single and 40. That leaves us with the prospect of a nose job, a face lift, fat removal under the eyes, lip augs, botox, collagen, a fotofacial, tummy tuck, three liposuctions, teeth whitening, full veneers, gum surgery, deep periodontal cleaning, and a non-SWP - balanced diet, cardio, weight training six days a week, boatloads of therapy, and coaching.

So we have one physical case and one mental case. Both cases head to the mirrorless Swan mansion/apartment complex looking... thing. Dr. Haworth, after a week on the sidelines, heads to Cindy's forefront (and we're not just talking about her whitchy-poo nose). Her initial consult: "Sharp facial features including her nose and her long chin need to be softened. And motherhood has taken a real toll on her body." Nipple lift and breast implants = easy. Nose job = hard.

Tawnya's initial consult with Dr. Dubrow: "It's a scalpel, not a magic wand, but sometimes, it does magic. And that's what I think Tawnya will do, magic." So that line didn't have to do with Cindy's face... DAMN YOU, FOX PROMO DEPARTMENT! Basically, Dr. Dubrow loves what he sees... and he'll love it even more when it's done. If he gets to do it at all. She's the oldest Swannabe (patent pending), yet she doesn't want the face lift. Dude... listen to the doctor. He knows.

Cindy stops off at the dermatologist for the hair removal. Dr. Debra Luftman goes for the hairline and cheek first. Meanwhile, Dr. Worth reshapes Tawnya's teeth with temporary veneers before putting the permanents on later.

And this is all in the first week. Eleven more to go. The night before surgery, Cindy calls her precious dinky-dink at home (her precious winky-dink is at sea with the Navy). She misses them both. Next day, it's nose time. Dr. Haworth knows he's in for quite the challenge, so he saves that for later in the 10-hour procedure. First off, the body. That was quick. Now the nose. First, he rebuilds the cartilage by borrowing some from her ear. However rare the operation is, he gets it done, and now, it's all on Cindy. She's ready to win. Or so she says.

The day before Tawnya's surgery, her daughters send video greetings. But just as Tawnya's spirits are lifted... tragedy strikes again. Kaleah has been in a nasty car wreck. Natually, she's fearful of the worst, especially after losing her brother. Thankfully, Kaleah is able to talk to Tawnya. She flew off a mountain, and her car is totaled. Tawnya wants to go home, but Kaleah tells her to stay. And everyone is hoping for a full recovery, recapper included.

Minutes before surgery, Dr. Dubrow gets some surprising news: Tawnya has decided against removing the bump on her nose (her daughters have the same nose). Disappointed, but eager to proceed, Dr. Dubrow changes the play to a tip refinement. He'll start with a successful tummy tuck, then he goes for the tip refinement. Not the play he wanted, but it gets the job done that much quicker.

On the other hand, Cindy's transformation is more extensive, and she's finding it extremely hard to go it alone. Mail helps, but it's no substitute for another person.

Enter another person. Nely visits Tawnya first, concerned about the turndown. Tawnya tells her that she'd freak if she didn't see part of herself in the mirror that she can't see herself in for another month or two. Good for her. Nice inner beauty, being satisfied with what she can't see just yet.

Cindy focuses more on her recovery seven days after the rhinoplasty. To hear Dr. Haworth say that she's beautiful makes her feel beautiful. But there's the issue of the bandage on her nose. Oh well. She keeps on with a positive attitude, while Tawnya tries to let go of her past in therapy. She keeps talking about hitting somebody, and Dr. Ianni suggests taking it out in the gym with Greg. Greg had better hide. Fourteen minutes for fourteen years of frustration, yeah, I'd hit pretty hard, too. Like, "Yeah, I'm Tawnya Cook, bitch."

So we have one person willing to take everything in stride, and one person who is forcing everyone on the Swan team to play the ball where it lies. Which approach will work in the end? Let's go to the end, shall we?

The Swan team reconvenes with Amanda at Swan HQ. Dr. Haworth is surprised by the way everything came into place, as is Dr. Luftman. We're about to see if it all came into place, because it's time for the reveal. Enter the new Cindy Ingall. She definitely looks like someone with a face lift, and the nose is corrected to a point smaller than her original. Not that small, but smaller than the original. But what will Cindy see and think? Mirror of Fate, reveal!

Cry cry cry. "Oh, wow!" That says it all, really. No more blah.

So far, I think she's the favorite tonight. But we still haven't seen Tawnya yet. Dr. Ianni told Amanda about the stress she'd born within three years' time. She doesn't mention how she got rid of it, though. Probably a good thing. Dr Dubrow's still pissed that she didn't get the surgery he wanted, but I guess that's just something he has to live with. Enough talk, time to bring out the new Tawnya Cook... which looks like the old Tawnya Cook in fancier wrapping and extra packing peanuts. Nice smile, though. She says she feels different, but does she? Mirror of Fate, reveal!

"I love it! I look so much younger!"

But is it young enough for the experts? Yeah, in all the drama of the show, especially tonight's ep, it's easy to forget that this is a competition. And it looks to me like a one-sided one tonight. Both Cindy and Tawnya have been judged on control, style, damage, and aggression. My money personally, is on Cindy. Both draw on mental and poise, but taking the physical and the ticket to the Swan pageant is... Cindy Ingall! Dr. Haworth thinks it had more to do with her spirit and heart than anything else. Tawnya's pleased for Cindy, but disappointed in herself. Not too much, as she sees Lacia and a very-healthy Kaleah walk into the foyer. Kaleah said she looks like a Barbie doll. The rest of the family follows suit. Cry cry cry.

And bye bye bye for this week, as next time we see Cindy will be at the pageant.

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