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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 5 - May 3

The transformations continue, as is to be expected. First up is Andrea Morris, 29, of Westminster, CO. She's a nose person who peaked in her early 20s. Her acne was so bad... (Audience: "How bad was it?") Her friend once called her Scarface. Her boyfriend calls her outgoing and bubbly, but her insecurities are going to affect him and little Zachary. And, as expected, her relationship is hanging in the balance and it's ALL HER FAULT! Her plan includes a CO2 laser facial, dermatology, nose job, brow lift, fat removal from cheeks and chin, fat transfer to lips, Lasik, breast augs, four liposuctions, zoom bleaching, veneers, gum recontouring, cleaning, root canal, tooth extraction, 1300-a-day diet, and an otherwise SWP.

Second, a former model/current nurse from Vegas, Belinda Bessant, aged 29. Given what we saw in her original package, if this were to be pulled off, this could be the first swan to duckling to swan transformation on this series of the show (the second series is currently casting). She's been married twice, and both of them were real pricks (como se dice "abusive alcoholics?"). She basically dreams of someone who will do right by her, says Belinda, Belinda's mother. What she lives for now is her son, with whom she periodically feeds ducks... SYMMMMM-BOLISM! Her plan, and it's a biggie: brow and midface lift, fat transfer to her lips, two facial lipos, dermatology, Lasik, breast reduction (there's a change), breast lift, six body lipos, zoom bleaching, bridge, veneers, gum tissue recontouring, cleaning, root canal, and SWP.

Time is a-ticking, so let's get a-clicking. The ladies head to the apartment, one to heal physical scars, and one to heal mental ones. First up, Andrea heads to Dr. Haworth's office. Her initial consult goes over the CO2, which will vaporize the top layer, a 40 to 70 percent improvement. Only 40 to 70? What's Fox paying you for then?

Belinda heads to Jenny Craig, which gets about as much screen time these days as Amanda. She weighs in at 187.4. Too much. She wants to lose at least 30. Then it's onto Dr. Dubrow's, where she wants relief from the symptoms that accompany large breastitude. Yes, I know that's not a word. Very doable, he says. "She's the kind of patient we love to see because she has such a great attitude."

Later, Andrea learns that there's a high price to pay when you don't brush those pearly whites. At least one of her teeth is going to have to come out, with decay and fracture all around. Andrea begins to cry at the prospect. Moral of the story, twice a day goes a long way.

We go to the night before surgery, as Belinda calls home and gets her little one, who wants her to come home right one. She's convinced that if she doesn't love herself, she can't love others. That's why she's on the show for a "big longer". The next day, Dr. Dubrow is exceptionally hopeful, especially with Belinda's skin retraction. Cheeseburgers come out of her stomach, hips, and breasts, while we feminize her face. She comes out of surgery just fine, but she's going to have to commit herself to the diet/exercise regimen to finish the job.

Andrea suffers another breakdown before her surgery. Dr. Haworth thinks that there's going to be a lot of anxiety. The body work didn't take that long. The face work didn't take that long either. Now comes the *air quotes* laser. Just as smooth as the rest of the procedures. She takes a little while to come out of it. "Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam." She's lucky that this isn't Idol. The day after, every part of her body hurts, as she gets her mask off. It's going to take a while to heal. How long, and is she ready to face reality?

Meanwhile, Belinda heads to the recovery retreat, and she's very strong. A quick recovery means right onto weight loss. Meanwhile Andrea's body... still hurts. A week later, she's back on the up and up. But back to Belinda, who is working on her inner transformation by trying to put an end to her cycle of abusive relationships. You think Nely can help? We can try. She puts up pictures of her exes on a punching bag and tells her to get mad. She's been slapped, punched, and kicked. It's time to slap, punch, and kick back. I think I heard her say "I'm Belinda Bessant, bitch." Having thoroughly kicked their asses, she tears her past into shreds which she'll have to clean up later.

While Nely's pleased with one of her prospects, it's time to come down hard on the other. Andrea gets a not-really-that-much-of-a-surprise visit. "You lost one pound." And she tries to argue that she came in weighing at 145, when the document provided by Jenny Craig explicitly says 139. People, if you're going to lie, don't leave evidence. And it doesn't help matters AT ALL that she pitches a hissy-fit every time she has to weigh in. And every time at the gym. And she has another outburst, wanting to go home. Tell ya, on this route, she just might get her wish. She sees Dr. Ianni to help her with her anger management. Two words: "control freak". "It will be her inner transformation that will challenge her the most," Dr. I says. We'll see, as each woman has one month ahead of her.

The Swan team reconvenes with Amanda at Swan HQ. Andrea's biggest concern was with her acne scars, but an even bigger problem of her conceit loomed. "Hopefully, she'll go home and realizes that she has some [anger management] issues to work out," Nely reports. At this point, the only way she'll enter the pageant is if her physical transformation is, needless to say, incredible. It's good, but, not incredible. Makeup was able to conceal what the CO2 laser didn't get. She says she's excited to see herself. She doesn't sound excited. Well, we'll see what she says in a moment. To the Mirror of Fate!

"Oh... my God... Wow." Sounds like shock as she sees her teeth for the first time. Too bad that they were the only thing that really stood out. Now she's gotta keep those in order, if you follow.

Now the other half of the formula. Belinda had the looks and lost them. Dr. Ianni thought that she was incredibly brave. Greg managed 32 pounds out of her. So mission accomplished on that front. But what about this front? Time for her reveal... and it's not really what she used to be modelwise. Still an improvement, though. She has learned that beauty comes from within. We'll see that within in a bit as we catwalk over to the Mirror of Fate.

She's in utter shock. And for good reason. Her butt's gone. The doctors think she was incredible, and Greg was amazed by her commitment.

But the question, as is always the question, was it enough? Remember, our two ladies were judge on who would make better television. Could go either way. The next person in the pageant is...

Belinda Bessant. Well, we all saw that coming. Even Andrea lets out a "You deserve it, girl!" It's time for Andrea to face harsh reality that she still needs work to do on the inside. But in the meanwhile, she's reunited with her boyfriend and little Zachary. Enter the rest of the family, and we're done for this week.

Next we see Belinda will be at the pageant at the end of the series. Next week, we've got a two-fer! Because Fox still can't work out a Monday schedule to save their lives.

And if you thought our last tooth escapade was bad? You ain't seen nothing yet. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go brush. And floss. And rinse. And maybe floss again.

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