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Real Housewives Winners and Losers: Week Eight
Burkina Faso fashion, self-delusion, and sympathy for Barack Obama By Sophie Gilbert
Comments () | Published October 1, 2010
We finally made it, Real Housewives fans (that’s assuming anyone apart from me is still watching). All those weeks of waiting through grape-stomping and polo matches and inexplicable trips to Paris have paid off, and we finally get to the infamous White House Crashing episode. Well, kind of. We see Michaele getting ready and telling people how wonderful her life is, a sad foreshadowing of her current life as a world-famous laughingstock. In other news, Lynda gets some models to do a fashion show, Cat says Charles isn’t as “social” as she thought he was, and Stacie takes part in the most shamelessly manipulated storyline ever to grace a reality-television show. The real winner this week is apparently Mary Amons, who managed to stay out of trouble for a whole hour.

Loser, Raising Your Profile Edition: Burkina Faso. I should’ve known there was going to be trouble when this week opened with one of Lynda’s Sweeping and Meaningless Generalizations About Washington™. This time, the assertion is that “Washington, DC, is an international city.” So international, in fact, that Burkina Faso, the third-most impoverished country in the world (though it has an extremely lovely and luxurious embassy) wants to put on a fashion show to promote its clothing. Lynda lets us know that the clothes are “handmade by the women in Burkina Faso. They make them with so much love.” Sure they do, if by “with love” she means “for two pennies per item and a cup of grain.” Lynda has booked as models a man with inexplicable eyebrows and another who looks like an Asian Florence Henderson, and she has banned the Salahis from the event. Because everybody is just dying to crash the Burkina Faso fashion show.

Winner, Self Delusion Edition: Michaele. Somewhere between two of Michaele’s best quotes ever (a competition between “Tareq has introduced me to a life of travel, the best cuisine . . . ” and “I’m the prettiest, I’m the hottest, and I have the most friends. I’m Miss DC”), we begin to understand her. The only thing worse than being married to smug, rich, snobby Tareq Salahi? Being married to poor, duplicitous, possibly criminal Tareq Salahi. A slightly manic fantasy world where Michaele’s the prettiest girl in the whole world and her husband’s a worldly stud—not a fat, toad-like creature whose own mother is suing him—is a reasonable coping mechanism. Who can blame her for the self-delusion? Well, former White House social secretary Desirée Rogers, probably, but everyone else: Have a heart.

Loser, Trying to Convince Me a Storyline Is Credible Edition: Stacie. We love Stacie most of the time. She’s smart, she has a nice husband, and she’s a shrewd-enough businesswoman not to try selling a house to the Salahis. But this “finding her birth parents” storyline just doesn’t sound sincere anymore. And it gets worse when Bravo decides to shamelessly manipulate Stacie by setting her up with a random woman at the Ghanaian Embassy who might be able to help her find her father. Stacie doesn’t know her father’s name. She doesn’t know the village he’s from. She has nothing to help anyone identify him apart from an old picture of an African man. And yet, from this, the random embassy woman somehow recognizes (from the color of his shirt, no less) that this man is a chief in her village and that she and Stacie are “sisters.” To which we say, seriously? Seriously? Thanks for the subtitles though, Bravo. It’s nice that African people speaking English get them too, as well as English people speaking English.

Winner, Free Advertising Edition: Erwin Gomez. Just because it’s nice to see a man in a hair salon who isn’t Ted Gibson or Ginger Jason (who I’m shocked to find out are married this week and apparently have been for the last 13 years). Gomez is evidently an expert at tying saris, which is nice since Michaele’s too busy making things up to figure out how her outfit works. Someone asks Michaele where her invitation is, prompting her to fake looking for it before declaring, “Invitation? Huh? What invitation? Am I awake?” or something to that effect. We know she’s lying now because her eyes are all stretched and blinky, and she seems to be trying not to cry. “This is the American dream right here,” says Gomez (with subtitles, naturally, because he’s foreign), which might be one of the saddest and truest statements ever to grace the show.

Loser, Overall Edition: Barack Obama. Not only are the Salahis about to crash his first state dinner, but now Cat Ommaney is about to enter his life. In a rare Charles/Cat scene, the pair engage in some mutual denial. “I’ve waited two years to meet him,” says Cat of Obama. “I’ve felt it was very important for you two to meet as soon as possible,” replies Charles. Important? For what? World peace? The economy? Anglo-American relations? Then Charles adds insult to injury by saying, “I know for a fact that he can’t wait to meet you.” I’m speechless. Speechless. Although, to be fair, Obama probably thought the Sarah Palin outfit was kind of a laugh.

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