Author Note: Jesse Ferreras is the associate news editor for The Huffington Post British Columbia. He has never watched The Real Housewives of Vancouver before this season.
Do not read on unless you've seen The Real Housewives of Vancouver Season 2, Episode 6 (or if you don't mind spoilers).
Say this for "Mairhead" Zilba: she's a liar, she's a ditz, but when she gets a leg up on Jody Claman, you really can't help but cheer for her. Last week's episode saw her cast out of the housewives' clique at Jody's behest, left to wander alone at a grand prix show-jumping event as Robin Reichman got all the praise for her singing. She faced the spectre of being left alone in Vancouver while the rest of the housewives went to Toronto to cheer on Jody as she guest judged Top Chef Canada.
What a difference a week makes...
This week we pick up with Mairhead alone at home, getting a call from her publicist to let her know she's been booked to sing her hit song "Hero" on Global Toronto. Now allow me to recap the rest of the episode in three sentences: Mary ends up in Toronto at the same time as Jody does Top Chef Canada. Jody bullies her, Mary retorts with some pathetic comebacks. She sulks, leaves and that's the end of the show.
You mean there's 40 minutes left? Crap.
Jody arrives in Toronto, sending chills up the spines of everyone from the lake to cottage country. She calls her son Josh, who's studying at Ryerson University and seems only guardedly happy to see her. Then we see Robin go to visit Mairhead, bringing flowers along as a cheap pleasantry. Anyway, Mairhead gives her the great news, and asks her to come to Toronto to sing with her. Robin cries, touched that Mairhead would ask her to sing with her. I cry, knowing that I have to hear her sing again.
Next we visit Amazon Barbie ... sorry, Ronnie Negus ... as she packs for Toronto with her sons Jordan and Houston. She says that Robin is travelling with Mary so that she can be a "professional backup singer." OOOOOHHH! Then we catch up with Amanda Hansen, from whom we've been mercifully spared in the show's first eight minutes. Once in Toronto, she meets her sister Denise and says of her boyfriend Kyle, "I still want to screw him when he's 90. We might have to have a junklift."
As it happens, Denise could make that a reality. She works at a cosmetic surgery clinic and tells Amanda they have a cellulite machine that could give her a great ass-lift. Amanda got a blood injection in her face on her birthday, so this is just par for the course.
"Who doesn't want a little butt-lift? I do!" she asks. Better question: "Who NEEDS a little butt-lift? I DO!"
In the meantime, Mairhead and Robin are on their way to Toronto and they've invited Ioulia along. Ioulia looks about as excited as you could be to spend a few days alone in a big city with a bunch of spoiled, Botoxed brats. She sits in on Robin and Mairhead's rehearsal in advance of the latter's Global appearance. Ioulia offers some constructive criticism, telling Robin she needs to sing louder to match Mairhead's voice. I would have offered different feedback: stop singing.
Then it's a small segment with Jody and her daughters Mia and Hannah. They're lounging in a luxury hotel suite when Mia arrives with room service. They play a game with their mom, blindfolding her to test her palate ahead of Top Chef Canada. They feed her chocolate mousse and various pastries, one of which she mistakes for a leather shoe. Jody then heads to the Top Chef Canada studio, where she meets host Lisa Ray. "Aren't you beautiful," Jody exclaims, and the gorgeous star of films such as Bollywood/Hollywood and Water doesn't return the compliment.
Jody has trouble adjusting to the show's flow, alternately listening to Lisa and a producer speaking to her via earpiece. She kisses the beautiful host goodbye when she's finished. Don't worry, Ms. Ray, you can wash off Satan's acidic kisses with hand sanitizer.
Mary, Robin and Ioulia gather on a plaza where she's set to perform "Hero" with Robin as a backup singer. Apparently the mix is all wrong, and Mary can't hear herself properly out of the monitor. But, consummate professional that she is (no sarcasm intended, really), she makes due with what she's got, and the mixer wisely keeps Robin's voice so low you can hardly hear her.
Then we see Amanda, Ronnie and Jody arrive for an "ass-lift" at Venus Concepts, Amanda's sister's workplace (Jody calls it "Penis Concepts." Ha.). They meet CEO Dominic Serafino, who will later invite them to a cocktail party at his upscale mansion. Sitting with Serafino, they meet his assistant Tracy, who looks like the cosmetic surgery equivalent of Frankenstein's assistant Igor. Her face is so warped that it looks like someone injected a small mouse into it, let it run around and then die inside.
Ronnie makes note of her short skirt because, you know, it'd be like the pot calling the kettle black if she noted anything else. Jody, meanwhile, says her face needs a little tweaking. Might I recommend a mask? From there follows the most graphic sequence of the show so far: repeated shots of Amanda's posterior being rubbed with ultrasound fluid. We've seen the shot at least three different times before I'm begging the camerapeople not to show it again.
Amanda gets a call from Ioulia in the middle of all this, asking whether she wants to hang out. Amanda is surprised that Ioulia's in Toronto and asks her whether she flew coach, in what is probably the mini-diva's bitchiest moment on the show. Perhaps she needs a reminder that she wouldn't be flying business class if she hadn't married a rich man. Ioulia, my favourite, is understandably unimpressed at this, saying in interview that she's "travelled the freakin' world" in business class. Clearly she's getting sick of her crap ... and oh, I can't wait til they meet again.
Soon enough it's party time, and Serafino lives in a gorgeous house with a pool and a grotto that could rival the Playboy mansion. Amanda arrives wearing a dress cut so low that her silicone breasts are just pouring out of the thing. You can understand why she wears this. Amanda offers nothing in terms of beauty or intelligence or personality, so the only way she can look sexy is if she makes herself look attainable. In short, she's the girl that guys go for when they've exhausted pickup lines with better-looking women.
Dominic introduces Amanda, Jody and Ronnie to his buxom wife Joanne, but the housewives can't help noticing that Serafino is flirting with them. "I feel like somebody wants to eat me," Amanda says. You wish. Not only does Amanda attain her bitchiest moment in this episode, but also the most desperate. She "suffers" a nip slip at the party, which was a foregone conclusion when she put on the dress.
Then Mairhead, Robin and Ioulia arrive, and Robin goes right to Amanda and Jody to tell them how she can "handle" Ioulia and her bluntness. Girl, Amanda failed at this, you do NOT want to start a conflict with the Russkie. She will sic the Secret Police on you.
Anyway, Ioulia shows up still pissed off about Amanda's "coach" comment, and the latter doesn't understand why she's offended her. "Obviously there's no Russian joke about flying in coach." No, there's not. Nor any Canadian, American, Slovak or Kyrgzystani joke. Then Jody's daughter Mia enters, and you can be sure that she's started drinking already. She sets up shots for the housewives and she's sloppy drunk, to a degree that you'd want to abandon this girl if she came with you to a party.
Then Serafino sets up a birthday shot, but only Mary, Robin and Ioulia drink out of respect for alcoholics Amanda and Ronnie. Amanda makes a big deal out of it, wondering why they didn't suspend their fun for her own sake. Jody joins in, escalating the catfight to the point that Mairhead fights back, apologizing to the host for Jody and Amanda's behaviour. And... Jody leaves! Wait, what? Mary Zilba has finally won a social battle with her oppressors. The "Mairhead" label is officially lifted.
Then Jody comes back for more. "You are such a bully," she tells Mary.
"You should go take care of your drunken daughter, she's going to fall in the pool," Mary says. LOVING the sass out of this one!
Jody: "You're going to have an aneurysm and die if you keep up your bullshit."
Mary: "Jody, you know what, you and Pinocchio have a lot in common." Jody walks away, defeated. Point: Mary Zilba. Congratulations, you've earned your name back. For now.
Through all this, Ronnie Negus just sits there, unwilling to engage either of them. Robin asks her why she didn't jump into defend a friend (Mary) she's known for almost 20 years. Ronnie says she can't take the stress anymore, that she's getting tired of Jody and Mary having issues. She breaks down, starts crying, and claims she has an anxiety attack any time she's around them. She leaves, dejected.
Mary, don't feel bad about this one. You defended yourself bravely, fought hard, and you won. Ronnie's just being an overdramatic git. Then Amanda tries to resolve the situation the only way she knows how. She tells Mary she's an "inauthentic person," pretty rich coming from someone who's just gotten an ass-lift.
But Mary can hardly concentrate, she keeps looking at Amanda's boobs. Which should flatter her, because that's the most attention she deserves after the stunts she's pulled. Tension breaks when a naked man goes into the pool, and the party slowly breaks up. Ioulia gets in Amanda's face outside the front door, absolutely ripping into her for her cattiness as Jody and Robin try to defend the bitch.
You have to hand it to Ioulia in this situation. It's not easy to stand up to someone when they're getting such fervent social support from everyone else. Ioulia stands fast, getting it all out before she goes home by herself.
Amanda, saying the smartest thing she's said all season, calls the whole night a "train wreck." We'll wait until next week to see who survived.
You can watch Real Housewives Of Vancouver on Slice every Tuesday night at 10 p.m. EST/PST.
From L - R: Ronnie, Robin, Jody, Amanda, Mary, and Ioulia
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