And then there were seven. And this isn’t even an elimination show.
The first challenge this week on Tough Love Miami is man-free. The women don’t have to face their fears by facing a new date or getting set up on some kind of challenge, rather, the challenge is being turned inward. They have to write a letter to their mothers telling them how they have affected their love lives. And considering how disastrous these love lives are that we’re dealing with, it’s not going to be pretty.
Before pen is put to paper, the tears are flowing and Christine, Chasity, Jane, Michelle, and Claudia all seem to be overthinking the process and breaking down.
“My mom, after a while, stopped being a mother,” Claudia says. “I didn’t know how to handle it. Nothing good is going to come out of me writing this letter.” She is genuinely traumatized by the challenge and needs supermom JoAnn Ward to help her work through her emotions.
JoAnn is super-comforting, but Claudia still struggles to pen the letter.
Chasity also has a strained relationship with her mom, who has hidden things from her and “if you hide things from me, I’m going to hide things from you,” she says. When she reads her letter aloud, she reveals the one thing she’s never quite been able to tell her mother, which is that her biggest dream is to become a Playboy Playmate. Whether or not that’s what every mother wants to hear is debatable, but at least Chasity is brave enough to start being honest!
Michelle’s issue is that she feels like her mother always favored her sister, and because she never received that much attention from her mother, she would date bad boys to get attention, and unfortunately, that was a habit that stuck.
Christine cries as she reads her letter to her mother who she’s estranged from and feels like she disappointed. Brigette has no maternal demons, as she is the type whose dynamic is Mom-as-BFF. I think we all saw that coming, right? Avonte reveals that she didn’t get many hugs, Leilani sought approval, and Jane feels like a disappointment because of her DUI.
And then there’s Claudia.
Claudia has some deep-seated issues about the bad parenting hand she was dealt and Steve urges her to try to break the cycle by being a good mom and believing that she deserves a good man. Everyone is there for her (and breaks down along with her)
when she reads her letter, but Steve thinks Claudia’s issues are beyond whatever help he can give. He asks Claudia to decide whether or not she wants to stay in bootcamp, and rather thank going on a date that night, she (I assume) stays in to mull over her decision.
Later that same evening… (Or just a totally different evening…I have no idea.)
The ladies are meeting their dates who are bringing a surprise guest with them: their moms. The dates’ moms. The dudes’ moms. It’s hard to clarify that, but if you saw the show you know what I mean.
Michelle meets her date Jonathan’s mom who immediately starts with the Spanish Inquisition (sort of literally?) to find out whether or not Michelle was Jewish, which came as a surprise.
“I’m just asking questions. As a typical mother,” Jonathan’s mom says, and that’s exactly the answer my mother gives when I tell her to cool it with the interrogation, so clearly they would be soul mates. Or question-asking rivals. Who knows?
Jane met Arthur’s mom and discussed the fact that as an only child, she expects to come first in a relationship because she enjoys attention. After an initial get to know each other period, Jane is sold on her new mother-in-law-for-purposes-of-this-hour, who she calls “fabulous and fierce,” and Olga thinks Jane is a “beautiful young lady.” Lovefest at table nine!
Then…Leilani meets George’s mom, a college professor, and from the get-go, George’s Mom is like “Who is this British chick hugging my son?” She is hilarious without saying a word, just look at how she lurks!
“Now you have an English accent. So you’re from England?” George’s Mom THE PROFESSOR asks astutely. Everything Leilani says is met with a monotone “Oh. That is nice,” in a robot professor voice.
She interrogates Leilani sullenly and disppointedly before having to rush off to catch her flight. She must have an early morning Accents 101 class to prep for.
In a curveball, Brigette’s own mom is the third wheel invited along on her reunion with Anthony, who she’s been separated from for two weeks. “I just hope her mom isn’t as desperate as Brigette is,” Steve says, not joking.
When the trio toasts at dinner, Anthony gives a toast to “love and family” and Brigette’s mother melts into a smitten Long Island puddle repeating “Love and family! Awesome.” Totally.
Chasity meets Al’s mom who knows what’s up. Chasity promised to give up go-go dancing to date Al, and Al’s mother immediately asks her what’s up with that.
She’s not having no sparkly-bra-cake topper at her son’s wedding, no-sir-eee. Oh wait, Chasity doesn’t actually want to get married. Strike two! Chasity is unfiltered tonight and it’s not working for her.
At group, Steve awards Best In Show to Jane, who let her guard down and let her honesty shine through.
She clearly had the best rapport with her mother-in-show, and she was emotionally open with her letter to her mother.
Then we get to see the highly anticipated footage of what Prof. George’s Mom thinks of Leilani. Ain’t no secret that she has the world’s worst p-p-p-poker face (CAN read your poker face, Prof. George’s Mom!),
and when we see the video, she explains that she thought Leilani was an egotistical wannabe model who she is absolutely not dying to have as a daughter-in-law. Look, I think Leilani is as snooty as the next Miss Great Britain-turned-fashion-designer, but she doesn’t really deserve that. For good reason, she’s upset because she undersold herself and Prof. George’s Mom needed to be oversold.
And finally, it comes back to Claudia.
After her meeting with Steve about addressing her inner demons, Claudia makes an announcement at group that she has decided to leave bootcamp. Avonte, her closest friend in the house, doesn’t take it well.
It’s touching to see how close these women have become, but methinks the emotion is over the top, Claudia is leaving a dating show to get some serious personal therapy. Let’s not lose sight of that. (It should be said that I am a right-brained, cold and unemotional robot.)
But Claudia is actually extremely composed and calm about it, realizing that she needs to fix herself and whatever lies beneath her surface before she can work on a relationship. And with that, she and her rolly suitcase take to the Miami night.
When one door closes, another opens, and Claudia is finally ready to walk through a new one now.
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