Everything was leading up to this point. On this week’s episode of Fantasia for Real, we got to see her much talked-about suicide attempt from her perspective. This was reality TV’s version of a very special episode, complete with a help-resource screen:
Due to the serious nature of this show, it’s better that I don’t write a jokey recap. There were no jokes! It’s all sad! (Bunny proclaiming, “Welcome to the information age!” as paparazzi swarmed Fantasia’s house after her hospitalization was as close to comic relief as we got). And really, it all speaks for itself, so I’m just going to share a few thoughts on the show, starting with the clip above.
Finally, we got to see Fantasia’s remorse over how the suicide she attempted could have affected her daughter, Zion. In the clip above, they’re reunited and even though Fantasia says Zion had no idea what was going on, it’s clear that this little girl knows something’s up. It’s heartbreaking, but I’ll take heartbreaking over the devastating alternative any day. Mostly, it was great to see Fantasia show such concern for her daughter, because people got that part twisted, thinking that Fantasia thought nothing of abandoning her daughter via suicide. Wendy Williams was maybe the most vocal person, admonishing Fantasia on television (Fantasia would later tell us that she found that situation awkward).
We’ve talked a lot about Fantasia’s status as an “open book,” and it was to this episode’s merit that it followed suit. The curtain was pulled back more than ever…
…as we were given a peek into the making of the show. “We’re just gonna let you talk. It’s just you telling your story your way about what happened,” we heard a story producer tell Fantasia as she prepared for her interview. He told her that it was going to be “a little different than the rest of the show.” And so it was. Fantasia told her story in a plainspoken manner — how meeting with her lawyer regarding Paula Cook’s lawsuit put her in a tailspin, how ingesting the pills that she did was an effort to drown out the noise and how after she took them, she thought, “If I don’t wake up, that’s OK too.” The imagery that accompanied her tale was nothing short of iconic:
The bangs, the ruffles, the tendrils, the makeup, the tears. If there is one image of Fantasia that will stick with me forever, it is this one.
We got to see the call from Aretha Franklin (it was actually shocking how much Fantasia revealed in our September interview with her — I had no idea I was printing what amounted to spoilers!). We also got a sense of suspense, as the media storm swirled and Fantasia’s family acted accordingly.
It was good to hear her set the record straight, that this wasn’t all about Antwaun, but “six years of s*** on me.” She came out of this episode more sympathetic than ever, and of course there’s the matter of reuniting Antwaun, too, which we’ll get to see next week, per the preview. This episode was not without it bit of juiciness to satisfy our most voyeuristic tendencies as viewers. For example, here are some private texts from Antwaun for our viewing pleasure…
Thrills, chills, tears and gossip — all shows should be this packed with content. (Just hopefully, you know, not at the expense of the health of their stars.)