At last, a show that isn’t afraid to take on the questions that everyone’s asking!
When we resume with Fantasia on this week’s Fantasia for Real, she is all business:
“Somethin’s not right,” she tells us. She’s on her way to meet Antwaun Cook, to get to the bottom of the story that he told her about his estrangement from his wife, versus the one that’s in his wife’s lawsuit.
“You look good,” he tells her upon greeting. This is the social equivalent of buttering up burnt toast. Why bother? Fantasia gets right to it:
“It was a cordial thing,” he claims. Cordial is a polite smile or maybe even a toast at your child’s birthday dinner that you must attend with your ex. It isn’t a vacation!
And in the words of Judge Judy: if it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t true!
The conversation is halted by the presence of photogs…
Here’s Fantasia’s paparazzi face:
Suffice it to say, she is not their biggest fan. She stalks off before she can get closure, so she makes some of her own, telling Antwaun, “I don’t ever wanna see you again.” Of course, from what we see in the previews, we know this isn’t how things turn out, but hey, it’s important to have goals.
At home, Fantasia closes her bedroom door and tells the crew, “No more nothin’, OK?” And then two weeks pass.
Fantasia has an album to launch. In order to take a “victim situation” and make it a “victorious opportunity,” Brian hires a publicist for Fantasia (which is probably what she could have used all along — not that Brian isn’t great, but really!).
Fantasia emerges from her room to meet with her new flak.
Her publicist tells Fantasia to focus on her fans. But Fantasia’s doing Fantasia! Her album’s called Back to Me! If this were about her fans, it’d be called Back to You. That would also make a good name of a media-critical concept album, which would actually be a wonderful thing given the discursive swarm around Fantasia’s business. Whatever.
Fantasia’s first stop on her media tour is Good Morning America. Fantasia is so nervous that she throws up beforehand. Apparently, this is typical. However, she can seek comfort in the fact that Robin Roberts will be interviewing her — it makes her feel like she isn’t being ambushed. After what seems like an excellent rendition of her excellent Back to Me track “Man of the House,” she sits down with Robin.
Robin asks the question Fantasia was dreading, but surely must have been expecting — they talk about her suicide attempt. Fantasia admits that Antwaun did have something to do with it, but, “Six years of everything, and I just got really, really tired.” Fair enough! Of course, there’s no rest in sight with an album to promote and swarms of paparazzi at every turn.
However, Fantasia does have some downtime back home. During this period, she receives a box of copies of her new CD. “I’m very proud of this album, we put a lot of work into it. Ha!” she says and we get…
…her beaming face. She reads the acknowledgments out loud to Brian…
…and is soon touched by her own words:
Tears stream down as she reads, “You saved my life. Where would I be without you. Thank you for putting up with me and everything that comes up with me. Thank you for being a friend…” Such a nice thing to say to a pal and a confidant.
Fantasia informs us, “My album made me feel really, really good!” Here’s a face in case you need proof:
Meanwhile, Teeny does a radio interview supposedly to tell the world that his sister is coming back strong. However, he meets opposition that seems just as resilient:
To the latter caller, Teeny says, “Maybe she didn’t know. I don’t know, boss.” He seems to have a decent sense of humor about everything. I guess you laugh to keep from crying?
Soon, Fantasia is confronted with a daunting prospect, and we’re confronted by her face of fear:
Her album release party in Vegas is upon her and she’s not sure she’s up for it. She hopes she doesn’t freeze up on everybody. Brian promises her surprises, which does nothing to entice her. However, she comes around when it turns out that the first surprise is…
…Bunny! Fantasia seems genuinely relieved that her aunt will be joining the party.
Fantasia tells Bunny that she looks cute. Fantasia is so nice to Bunny. I’m not saying that she’s distorting the truth or anything, it just seems that she always points out when Bunny’s looking good, and this is presumably something Bunny is sensitive about (she is, after all, a woman on television). It’s just nice to see people being nice!
The time for the party draws close, and not even Bunny’s presence is enough to push Fantasia completely past dread…
But still, it seems to go reasonably well. It’s star…dotted…
You know your party is a success when Demi Moore’s armpit makes a cameo.
Still, Fantasia is overwhelmed.
But that all turns around when her final special guest arrives. Fantasia’s face brings out the big guns…
I mean, duh? Of course he’s there? Nonetheless, Fantasia receives him joyously. She tells him about her jitters and Teeny, doing his best Yoda impression, spouts some wisdom: “This thing right here’s your destiny and you gotta be in control of your destiny.” Good luck with that one. But still: it’s always nice to see Teeny.
This seems to instill Fantasia with all the confidence she needs to take the stage:
“I will never, ever stop, I don’t care what no one says,” she tells the crowd, wild-eyed. And then, she interviews…
“I’m back. Tasia’s back.” If you’ve been following her reality show closely, you might wonder when she ever went away. This statement seems much more for her than for us. She’s in “back to me” mode, and it seems wholly justified.