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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 4 - April 26

First off, my impersonation of Special Ed on "The Swan"... "I'm gonna be a Swan! YAAAAAY!"

Sorry, had to get that in.

Anyway, women. We have two. In an hour, we'll have one. She'll come back later. You know the score by now. First up, Beth May of Milton, WA, a mother who wants to focus on herself for a change. Her child, aside from years of joy, has given her stretch marks and an abnormal belly button. That's probably why she has issues being intimate with the husband, but did she ever think it would lead to infidelity? Well, through it all, she stood by her Dan, even though he fears that this change will change that. Well, she's already pretty attractive, I think. In a geeky sorta way. Her plan includes an endobrow lift, nose job, FATMA lip enhancement, chin liposuction, lasik, breast augs, tummy tuck, liposuction of her calves and ankles, teeth whitening, veneers, gum surgery, lower orthodontics, deep periodontal cleaning, and SWP.

Woman #2: Kathy Rickers, a 27-year-old from Lake Villa, IL. She was the stereoptypically angsty kid in high school. Her father was a real support to her, and when he died, it was a void. Boyfriend helps. School, setbacks, and detours don't. She still sees an awkward 16-year-old. Today, we'll see an awkward 16-year-old with an endobrow lift, nose job, FATMA lip enhancement, fat injection under eyes and removal from cheeks, chemical peel, fotofacial, collagen, laser hair removal, lasik, breast augs, six liposuctions, teeth whitening, veneers, deep periodontal cleaning, and SWP.

We have our two women. Let's head to the mansion where Kathy doesn't want to be teased anymore while Beth tries to overcome her marital woes. But enough about day 1. Let's go to Dr. Haworth's initial consult with Kathy. "Kathy is actually a beautiful woman underneath all the, dare I say, less beautiful features. I'm here as a miner trying to excavate that." They start with the nose, obviously. From there, they go to the breasts (nipple lift), which of course, they can't show on TV. Well, not in this country anyway.

Beth's initial consult with Dr. Dubrow: They go over the tummy tuck, breast implants, leg procedures, and lip enhancements that Dr. Haworth will be performing. No one Swannabe ever had to go through TWO plastic surgeons before...

From the surgery we go to Jenny Craig for the weigh-ins. Kathy's first, and she totals at 148, meaning that we're looking for 28 pounds in three months. She's never stuck by her goals before. Well, she's never had free time, a nutritionist, or a trainer before either. Beth, on the other hand, heads to the dentist's, as Dr. Worth describes her plans.

Kathy's off to surgery later, as she is nervous about "what if." They start with her lipos, which go over quickly. Her nose also goes over well, but where she'll win or lose today is in the diet and exercise.

Next day, and Beth is thinking about her husband going into the surgery. Drs. Dubrow and Haworth go into tag team mode. Beth calls home to Mom, and things don't go over too well. Mom didn't get some position, and Dad got booted from his position, making Beth a bit upset. That doesn't stop her from going into her surgery, though. Biggest challenge: the calves. The docs go into it comparing lipo needle sizes. You want to know what the male preoccupation is with size? Now you know.

We're done, while both ladies are struggling post-surgery. Kathy's tired, and contemplating quitting. Beth's face hurts. Dr. Haworth is concerned that she won't heal in time. And she feels like crap. She's starting to miss her little boys.

Kathy keeps calling home looking for support and/or a reason to leave. Beth calls her husband, who admits that he'd left a huge "scar on her heart". Dr. Ianni shoulders all of her torment in therapy. "Beth is at the point now where she has to forgive her husband or move on." The classic question: forgive or forget. There's the rub.

Kathy's big obstacle... weighty issues. She's actually gained a few pounds after losing, oh, three. Time to bring in tough love expert Nely. She's only lost 10 pounds. That and the dress help Nely make her point clear.

Beth, on the other hand, goes in for lasik to get rid of her glasses. The surgery's a success, but we still have a long way to go at the one-month-to-go mark. Kathy still needs to lose 20 pounds, while Beth still has 13 pounds, a hard decision, and some serious healing to overcome.

The Swan team reconvenes with Amanda at Swan HQ. Beth needed to discover her independence, and Dr. Ianni notes significant progress in therapy. If you remember, the surgery was done by both docs, and had taken some serious time to get over. Serious time had passed. And here she is... Yeah, this would be the transformation you'd have to see to believe. She'd found a deeper love for her husband as she progresses toward the Mirror of Fate for her reveal...

That high-pitched noise was her squealing. "Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. I look so beautiful. Oh my..." If you say gosh, I'll fricking lose it. But nevertheless, the most amazing transformation I've seen.

But more amazing than Kathy's? Kathy was teased because of her nose. Taken care of. Kathy considered herself a quitter. Taken care of that. End result... a punk rocker goth biker? Hell yeah! But will she see an awkward-16-year-old in the Mirror of Fate? This day and age? Probably.

"It's me?" Yep. "I just want to say thank you everybody." She feels comfortable in her skin.

But who makes it to the pageant? Remember, both women have been judged on 10 points taste, 5 points originality, and 5 points presentation. My money's on the tall one, Beth. The next person in the pageant is...

Stretching...

Thinning...

Beth Lay. She just worked hard on every aspect. Kathy was a risk taker and a wow story, as Nely put it, but apparently, it wasn't enough. But before we send her on her way, let's give her one more shock. Here's David, who was just "wow". They miss each other. Yeah, we get it. Let's turn out the lights and call it a day, as we bring in the rest of the family.

Next we see Beth will be at the pageant at the end of the series. We're halfway home. More of the same next week.

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