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The Surreal Life 5, Episode 1: No Way, It’s Jose!by Toni Swats -- 07/11/2005
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It’s another season of The Surreal Life, and it’s destined to be the most tumultuous. The theme of the mansion is that of a carnival and freak show; after just one episode, that theme becomes painfully appropriate.
For those who have never seen the show, The Surreal Life is a celebrity version of MTV’s The Real World. Seven celebrities of varying degrees of fame and ego spend some time cooped up in a kooky mansion together without access to TV or Internet. (They must use a phone in a common area of the house, so all the juicy half-conversations are heard by anyone who wants to listen in.) The celebs go on a variety of field trips and are given creative projects to complete. Past years’ houseguests have ranged from Vanilla Ice to Flavor Flav, Corey Feldman to Verne Troyer (Mini Me) and many in between. The entertainment value of the show is at its peak when celebs with big egos get drunk and spout off at each other.
Bronson Pinchot, of Beverly Hills Cop and Perfect Strangers fame, arrives at Andy Dick’s Surreal Security checkpoint first. Bronson informs us that his agent warned him against doing anything that could be construed as sexual harassment because apparently he’s “a very horny dude.” He balances this shocking contrast to his well-cultivated TV persona by sharing with the viewer that he grew up impoverished--and doesn’t feel like it was that long ago. He tours the mansion and removes and hides a playful picture of himself in the “Balki” character. In typical celebrity fashion, he also chooses the only single bedroom for himself.
Omarosa is the next to be stopped by Security Guard Andy. Omarosa tells the camera she is from The Apprentice and was “the naughtiest girl in the boardroom.” She was very big on using last names earlier in her TV career, but now seems to have dropped the Manigault-Stallworth. She stresses that point with Andy. She then tells us that she’s “much more brighter than Donald Trump.” The nice producer/editor doing the on-screen graphics drives the faux-pas home by flashing the words “much more brighter” –just so nobody misses it.
In the same breath as she tells the camera she doesn’t think tough, strong businesswomen should be labeled as bitches, she says if people would just do what she tells them to do, then there wouldn’t be any problems. The circular logic has begun. Bronson says she came in looking like an episode of Dallas, with her bright white outfit, sunglasses, and impossible shoes. His other impression is that she is “a photo op with legs.”
Janice Dickinson comes in next and is quick to announce herself as the world’s first supermodel. The label is becoming tiresome already as she says it three times in her first three sentences (once with a charming mock-French accent!). No ego problems with Janice, she knows she’s the “bitch” on America’s Next Top Model but says she’s earned her capital B letter.
She’ll be rooming with Omarosa, which apparently upsets her greatly, as does the tour of the house in general. She finds Bronson to be moronic and creepy and seems ready to complain about just about anything.
Next comes Caprice, whom Andy accosts at the security checkpoint. Caprice is an international model, but was born and raised in California and won teen beauty pageants there. She was discovered in the UK after wearing a gown that looks like sheer lace over underwear and a bra. Her “talent” really showed through. She was Maxim’s International Woman of the Year three years in a row. This is all very recent, so why is she in the group of B-listers invited to the Surreal mansion? She tried the downfall of many celebrities whose egos grow so large they think they can do anything. She tried to sing.
Her album flopped, and now she has to bunk with three other housemates. She doesn’t recognize any of her housemates, and doesn’t expect them to recognize her. Janice definitely agrees, but ambiguously; it isn’t clear whether she recognizes Caprice or not. Bronson says if you take a life-size Barbie doll complete with the plastic thigh hinges in place of a vagina and then suck the soul out, that’s Caprice. Janice resents her pretentious British affectations that are visible only to Janice.
Lucky the three legged dog walks into the room. Lucky lost a back leg in a freak carnival accident, and is absolutely darling. The houseguests comment on the irony of Lucky’s name and Caprice makes friends with him. Janice curses a lot for no apparent reason.
At the security station is Sandy “Pepa” Denton. She is told that Andy is tired and doesn’t want to drive her to the mansion’s front door so she drives herself. Her first impression of the houseguests is that she loved Bronson in Beverly Hills Cop. Omarosa is excited to see her and says she’s the greatest rap artist.
Carey Hart, recently engaged to recording artist Pink, arrives next. Carey is in freestyle motorcross, He started riding at age 12 and went pro at age 18. He tells the camera that he got into an accident about a year and a half ago where he flew 65 feet in the air and crashed, thus breaking both arms and both legs. He seems better now. To get to the mansion, he steals the golf cart, while Andy yells “Do you have marijuana, you bitch?!?” Carey is a “hands down hottie,” says Pepa, and seems to be genuinely nice.
The last housemate is a secret. The Warhol-esque prints on the wall showing the housemates have a row at the top covered in a leopard print curtain, concealing the identity of the seventh celebrity. The six housemates decide to find out who is behind the curtain, so they try a scheme to sneak a peek. Janice suggests they use a broomstick (hers, maybe?) and they find a pool cue. The subjects of Queen Janice then drag some of the straw bale props over to the wall and stack them. Bronson gets on when there are just two bales, and Janice yells “Hey Cirq du Soleil! You’re too short, you’re not getting it.” Could she be more nasty?1 2 Next-->
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