Charm School Recap – Episode 1 – Out Of Charm’s Way

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All this picture’s missing is a test-tube shot. Oh wait. Wrong show.

Yay! Charm School is in session and just in time for summer! That’s as bizarre as plying young, slightly unhinged women with alcohol and then punishing them for drinking too much. Lucky for us, that happens, too!

As the girls ride on the short bus to the short school, Marcia exposes her armpits to the camera. It is a move that the judges of America’s Next Top Model would probably think is daring.

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Tequila really breaks you free of inhibitions, huh?

A voice over that really might have been recorded by John Waters takes these “14 self-absorbed and just plain mean women” to task. We see a round-up of the behavior that led these women of Real Chance of Love and Rock of Love Bus to this Charm School. They are all given fitting labels.

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I love that Brittaney Starr’s label is the least succinct. She’s just too much to put into a box neatly.

The bus pulls up to the school, the bam-chicka-bam music plays and Heather steps off the bus.

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Oh no, wait. That’s Gia. I was confused because it’s the same exact shot we saw last season. Just in case you guys needed reminding that this show was on before.

Fan-favorite and quote-geyser Bubbles reports that she’s very excited to be here, but she’s looking around, wondering which girl is going to scream in her face.

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Despite Bubbles’ tendency to be…scattered, this is a completely reasonable thing to wonder.

The girls line up and out comes their headmistress:

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…actress/talk-show host/riff-raff moderator/author/lady who had a baby in a bathtub/camp icon Ricki Lake. She’s probably the most appropriate choice for a Charm School dean yet, given her work experience. Especially that baby-in-a-bathtub thing.

The girls seem thrilled. Ricki Lake is particularly special to one ESL import:

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I like to think that VH1 has taken up the mantle of teaching non-native English speakers who come to America all the good words. See? Ricki Lakey is totally the perfect choice! She announces the girls will be given tasks and that the girl deemed America’s Next Top Charming Woman That Didn’t Win The Respective Dating Show She First Appeared On will win the prize of $100,000.

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Brittanya notes that she’s in a lot of trouble with the law right now and that this money would not only help her, it would change her life. Be that as it may, bribing those in control of the legal system is not the way to go. Just saying!

Ricki tells the girls that this season is about giving back, and that’s going to start right now. A truck pulls up, much to the shock and confusion of many of the women…

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It is from Out of the Closet, a thrift store that benefits the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. It’s also the place where Saaphyri freaked out in the first Charm School and ended up blowing her nose in the arm of a shirt. Nice to know they don’t hold grudges! Anyway, the girls will get the opportunity to kick off their goodwill by donating clothes at the pin ceremony later in the show. But before that, they must find their assigned beds, which are clearly random and not at all devised for maximum drama, ahem.

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It turns out that assigned bunkmates include Bubbles and So Hood, two women who previously fought over…I don’t even know. Being animals? Intellect? Which one was there for the right reason? Something. Bubbles, with her perpetual pep, attempts to bury the hatchet. A condensed version of her exchange with So Hood upon this bunking discovery goes:

So Hood: Don’t touch me!
Bubbles: I hope you really improve in this school!
So Hood: Leave me alone!
Bubbles: I respect your space.

Bubbles clearly is the bigger person in this exchange to the point where she’s making So Hood come off like a Little. So Hood interviews that she plans on reaching the “highest point of charmimity.” That sounds like a place deficient in oxygen. The best thing about this entire scene is that while Bubbles and So Hood are bickering, Ashley and Farrah are discovering they’re bunking together in the background:

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Good old Bloundourage. They are like rays of woven-in sunshine.

Being that these women are…these women, it’s not long before they get to drinking. Marcia complains about the lack of tequila, when in fact…

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…they are not lacking at all. Is she already drunk? Maybe she doesn’t need the tequila after all. Oh, and just in case you forgot:

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Marcia loves tequila. I think her slack jaw answers my question re: her drunkenness.

Oh, here’s something that’s new:

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A locker room!

And here’s something that’s old:

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Stallionaires panties. Bay Bay Bay reveals her plans to donate them, but I really think she could hold onto them. Depending on how, ahem, used they are, they could be worth something one day. Maybe that’s just my inner hoarder talking, though.

Then, Beverly announces…

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“I think I’m a little bit…intoxicated?” Whenever you start feeling that way, you are. Especially when you’re phrasing declarations like questions. Fueled on booze and its resulting belligerence, Beverly confronts Brittaney Starr on her food-hoarding during Rock of Love Bus. This, apparently, has been bothering Beverly for some time.

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That’s basically Brittaney’s response. Oh and:

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Beverly is aghast that a porn star would call her a bad mother. I don’t see how one affects the other, but then, I’m not drunk. Maybe if she were mad that a porn director was telling her about how to run her household, then I’d buy it. Anyway, despite the fact that Beverly looks smoking hot…

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…things get very, very ugly:

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What you see on the show barely scratches the surface of what actually went down. It’s so interesting that it’s bizarre that it was left out of the show. For a more complete report of the fight, watch this extra. And I’m not saying that as a VH1.com employee, I’m saying that as a friend who’d suggest you upsize your drink at the movies. Just kidding. I’m saying it as a friend who wouldn’t want you to miss Ki Ki’s amazing weave pat.

The girls get ready for the pin ceremony.

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“Oh my god, my pepperonis are stickin’ out!” remarks Gia. Beverly wonders what she’s talking about, which: really? How drunk is she? Ki Ki replies, “Her areolas.” She says it with the casual authority of someone who’s run a pizzeria for 30 years and has seen plenty of pepperonis in her day.

Pin time!

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The girls (and we) are introduced to the deans:

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K.O. reports that Stryker is hot. Well, it should at least be fun watching how that attraction plays out. First to face Ricki and the deans is Beverly:

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Ricki asks her what she’d like to work on and Beverly says she has issues with drinking and getting angry. Ricki asks if she has an issue with drinking right now.

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“Uh, probably. Yeah,” says Bev. One woman’s issue is another man’s source of entertainment. Believe it!

And so it goes with each girl stepping forward to donate their clothes and receive their Charm School pin. Interestingly, unlike the first season of Charm, the Real Chance girls are not re-baptized with their birth names — they will continue to be called the ridiculous things that Chance and Real saw fit. Branding’s no joke in ’09.

Gia thinks she is too spontaneous. Ki Ki says she is “a little outspoken.” Ironically, she is also understated. Bay Bay Bay reads her issues off a piece of paper as though she’s at an Academy Awards podium…

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She says she has a patience issue. I love that these girls are soft-balling us, as though we weren’t familiar with the exact pattern of the throbbing veins in their foreheads when their shows were on. Whatever. Risky holds in a lot and then it explodes when it comes out. Speaking of a lot coming out…

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…in addition to some jeans, So Hood donates $100 to Out of the Closet. Stryker interviews that that’s like two lapdances. If you don’t tip it is, ya cheapskate.

When it’s Bubbles’ turn, she holds up some twisted fabric and says, “I have a lot of memories dancing with this.”

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She may mean “dancing in this.” She may mean that this fabric was once her dancing partner. Hard to say. Stryker asks her what type of dancing and she explains that it’s salsa dancing. “I don’t do inappropriate dancing,” Bubbles explains. Um, in an environment where unless otherwise noted, “dancing” means “taking your clothes off,” salsa is inappropriate. Don’t get it twisted, Bubbles: it’s twisted.

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“I just don’t like these orange pants,” Bubbles explains. If ever someone made me encapsulate Bubbles’ awesomeness in a nutshell, I would point to that screen shot and that quote and explain nothing. Not needed.

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Brittaney explains that there must be something up with her if all these girls hate her. You know, that’s a lot more accountability I’d ever expect anyone on this channel to accept. Props. Brittaney goes on to say that she doesn’t want to be hated; she wants everyone to love her. You know, Daisy told me something very similar. If that’s the case, how these women settled on the schadenfreude-run vehicle of reality TV is beyond me. But whatever. I’ll document ‘em.

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K.O. wheels up her entire suitcase for donation. Ricki wonders why and K.O., says that since she has no family, clothes aren’t important to her. Or something like that. And just when you think it can’t get sadder, she adds: “I don’t really respect myself, I think. I don’t have dignity. I don’t have class and aside from that, I don’t have manners.” Something tells me that K.O., will not be teaching networking seminars anytime soon. Way to sell yourself, girl. Lala’s face during this is one of utter shock:

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I know that she’s doing her best to be sympathetic, but her natural reaction is beaming through like roots under peroxide. It goes, “Guuurrrlll…” Love it. K.O., then proceeds to dump her entire suitcase in the collection bin.

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Marcia shares her love of tequila with Ricki Lake, who’s taken aback by the fact that Marcia’s already had three shots. No worries, she passes the drunk test:

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I mean, the fact that she’s on reality TV and doesn’t have her skirt over her head is proof of sobriety enough, but whatever.

Farrah donates shoes that have made her a lot of money.

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(Pssst: it’s ’cause she’s a stripper!)

Brittanya’s anger problem is ruining her life. Ashley donates a “super slutty” vest that she used to wear without a bra. Tossing it in the bin, she says, “So, somebody else can give that a go.” That’s the charitable spirit!

When Ricki points out that Natasha doesn’t have a lot to donate…

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…Natasha explains that she is selfish. Oh, well, OK then! Why didn’t she say so earlier? Selfishness is a rare trait in reality TV. She should be excused from this exercise all together. Charm attained! Natasha talks about her issues with Brittaney, namely the whole “because she’s black” thing. Natasha explains, “She’s made statements on her VH1 Blog about it,” and since Brittaney never wrote about the black thing on her FamousVH1Friends blog, we can assume Natasha’s referencing her interview right here, which: woot! Suddenly, I love Natasha.

Brittaney wonders why everyone has to tell lies about her and Natasha counters back with a humongous, “SHUT THE F*** UP!”

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There is bird-flipping…

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…and vein-throbbing…

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But Natasha finally calms down enough to receive her pin. Natasha interviews that she’s focused on changing because she knows she’s able to do so: five years ago, Brittaney wouldn’t have walked off the Rock of Love Bus set alive. Coming to the point where you’re in control of your murderous impulses? That’s nice, dear.

Now that that’s over with, it’s time for the real fun to begin:

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Gia refers to this group as the “rubbing alcoholics,” which is the single cleverest pun in VH1 history. It stomps all over “Celebreality” and throws up on it a little.

Meanwhile…

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…the Real Chance of Love girls (+ Natasha) are utterly subdued. Yeah, give them time. Awesome that K.O.’s leg’s up, though. She wasn’t kidding about the manners deficiency.

Brittaney Starr joins the party late and Beverly notes this loudly. She has the foreboding tone of The Simpsons‘ Nelson. She throws something at Brittaney and says, “COME HERE.” Brittaney declines, so Beverly gets up in her face and screams, “LOOK AT ME.” She sounds like Gwar.

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Brittaney turns her head the other way. Beverly threatens to snatch Brittaney up by her “nappy blonde head.” Something tells me that despite the aggression, being called “nappy” pleased Brittaney a little. Brittaney tells Beverly to go ahead and do it. Beverly hesitates for a moment and then…

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Well, at least she thought it out!

Brittaney is now a wreck:

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…such a wreck that she’s a standards hazard. Haha, hoo-ha. Ashley and Farrah are completely tickled by this scene:

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Ashley interviews, “Beverly just did what we all wish we could to do Brittaney Starr.” Remember that schadenfreude thing I was talking about? Here it is in motion.

Brittaney whines, “I love my hair! My hair is my biggest thing to me. Like, it’s my favorite thing about me!” All is not lost, then: at least Beverly gave her the opportunity to be openly vain.

Bay Bay Bay interviews in the wake of this that the Rock of Love girls make the Real Chance girls look like angels. I’ll say it again: give them time.

This incident lands both of the girls in the principal’s office. As Brittaney is arriving, Ricki assesses her as being “kooky.” Cut to Brittaney wearing a choker that reads…

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…”Broken Leash.” LULLZ. Brittaney explains more or less what happened and Ricki says she’s going to bring Beverly in. Brittaney freaks out about this, saying she can’t be in the same room with Beverly. Ricki devises a compromise that involves Brittaney sitting across the room. Intricate!

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Ricki asks Beverly what happened. “With what?” Beverly asks. With the thing for your son that you wanted Bret to sign, duh! Just kidding. I do love Beverly’s bravado here. Way to attempt to pull one over on us!

Beverly eventually admits, “I might have grabbed her by the hair.”

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Ricki lets her know that violence will not be tolerated in Charm School. She asks for Beverly’s pin. “Can we start over?” asks Beverly. Sure! Let’s start with the letter “Y,” as in: YOU’RE EXPELLED.

Brittaney is happy as a mouth in the company of Twizzlers.

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Beverly drunkenly stumbles out and says something about being happy that she doesn’t have to spend the night in the same house as Brittaney.

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It’s funny that the Rock of Love girl that many thought needed Charm School the least didn’t even make it to elimination. I think we might be letting go of untapped LOLs, guys. :(

Not content to let the “hair + favorite” comments define her vanity, settling back in at the party, Brittaney explains:

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“We all make money off our faces. I don’t look good in black and blue, you know?” Hm, perhaps what LOLs potential Bev left untapped, Britt can more than make up for. Stay tuned!

Lala and Stryker go around and inform everyone that they’re going to spend some time with them while Ricki conducts admissions interviews. First in the office is Bubbles. Ricki asks her what she wants to do with her life and she says cartoon voices.

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“Or, um…yeah. I have so many interests.” Effective communication obviously is at the top of that list. Bubbles says that she needs motivation in order to go out there and look for cartoon-voice outlets. Might I recommend Acme Staffing?

Meanwhile, outside, the Blondourage do their thing…

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It’s somewhat comforting to know that they’re into the group thing even without Bret Michaels. That’s real. Also, check this out:

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As a cartwheel: meh. As a flash: sensational. Keep your eyes on the box! (The black one.)

(But not because it’s black. I don’t want you to think I’m racist. I don’t see color…or its absence.)

More meetings with Ricki:

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So Hood has several problems. Ashley’s not yet convinced that being a stripper is a bad thing. Indeed, up to this point, she’s only been rewarded for it. Funny, that. Gia enjoys sugar daddies: “You use what you have to get what you want. That is my lifestyle. That is how I live.”

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Is Joe Eszterhas writing her material? Oh, and Farrah doesn’t want to be a stripper anymore. Now I know Joe’s writing her material. Goodbye Cheetah, hello Goddess!

And just in case the ladypartwheel or the quote above didn’t clue you in…

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…Gia is faded. “I want a liquor drink and a vodka drink,” mumbles Gia. Is she quoting “Tubthumping?”

How drunk’s Gia?

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So drunk!

(You might be, too, after staring at that gif. Motion sickness lives on the Internet and it’s all Gia’s fault!)

The girls are called in for the start of the elimination ceremony.

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Those on the Dean’s List (i.e. exempt from expulsion) this week are: K.O., Bay Bay Bay, Risky, Bubbles, Natasha and Farrah. All the rest must report to detention. So Hood grouses about being a grown-ass woman in detention. Well, that’s what happens when you sign your grown ass up for reality TV’s modern-day answer to The Facts of Life!

In detention, the girls are made to vote on whom they think should go home tonight:

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Mainly, it is an opportunity for everyone to show off that they can’t spell Brittaney’s name right.

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Consensus says Gia and Brittaney will hit the carpet. Another girl is needed, since it’s always at least three. The final choice falls on Gia, who basically can go with the group or choose her own girl to hit the carpet. She selects Ashley. Ashley’s obviously like “WTF?” since on top of being undeserving, she’s cool with Gia.

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Gia’s taken aback by Ashley being taken aback. She explains her decision thusly: “‘Cause you’re with me.” Oh, so it’s a friend thing. I guess it can get mighty lonely down there on the carpet.

The girls file back into the elimination room. Ricki announces that it’s time for their first expulsion ceremony, and Gia looks genuinely shocked to hear it.

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I know that she hasn’t seen a lot of these elimination ceremonies, but by now, she should know how this stuff works.

The Bottom 3 are called down to the carpet.

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Ricki asks Gia why she voted for Ashley. Again, Gia’s explanation is fairly awesome: “It is what it is. I drank too much tonight and let’s just roll it out. We’re fine. I’m not worried about it.”

Oh, but she should be. Just in case you can’t tell how this is going for Gia, here’s a taste of her pre-elimination interview:

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Yeah, homegirl’s going home. And so, for the second time in a row, Gia’s drunken antics have gotten her kicked off reality TV after one episode. And for the second Charm School in a row, a girl’s drunkenness has been deemed unredeemable.

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Again, she seems surprised. But she’s nowhere nearly as surprised as we at home are when we watch her post-elimination rampage:

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“I’m prettier than all those other f***ing bitches!” she rants.

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And then, as if to prove it, she moves her eyes around, above running makeup. She is, at this point, in a horrifying state of calm.

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After that display, this season has a lot to live up to. Uh, good luck with that, girls…?

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Charm School with Ricki Lake show page
Charm School videos and extras

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