(And read more specifically about the participating Nine Ladies at this link: http://www.vh1.com/shows/youre_cut_off/cast.jhtml)
Nutshell Synopsis of Episode 3: The ladies are NOT happy about being forced to participate in a fashion show with only thrift shop threads in tow, as celebrity style peeps Sam Seboura, Perez Hilton and Adrianna Costa all make guest appearances as judges. Plus there is drama galore and near fisticuffs amongst the ladies as the Beautiful Erica serves as her typical lightning rod self for stirring up the emotions of the other bad girls in the group! And did you know that Erica is going to law school!? Lord Help Us All!
Segment 1: The show opens with two of the three blondes -- Erica and Leanne -- starting to strike up a real friendship. This reality series is not poorly put together, and loves the technique of foreshadowing, and we get that right here, as Erica and Leanne resolve that "no matter what, we're friends and are not gonna argue."
Jackie is the VIP (Very Important Princess) from last week and thus is tasked with doling out chores this week, and a note from Moderator Laura Baron reveals that the ladies must complete all their chores within the next 2 hours, or else they will not get their full $200 of grocery money for the week. Bad girls Gia and Chrissy, plus newly formed bad girl Jessica, all refuse to get out of bed to help out with chores.
The 4th bad girl among the 9 ladies -- Erica -- in contrast has no problem doing her chore of mowing the law, which she views as good exercise. She also notes, "No one is a bigger princess than me!" Meantime, bad girls Jess and Gia refuse their assigned chores of garbage detail and scrubbing toilets, with Gia commenting: "My hands are not for working or for anything except looking pretty and wearing diamonds." Fellow bad girl Chrissy likewise refuses her assignment of mopping, saying that such work will get in the way of her getting herself ready for the day.
Refusing to work, Gia and Jessica need something to do, so they sit down and start going off on Erica, and they start working on Leanne in a clear effort to undermine the Leanne-Erica friendship. Erica strolls by, sees that Leanne is not defending her, and gets pissed, requesting that Leanne give Erica back the princess crown that Erica had loaned to Leanne to wear that day (yes, an actual princess crown). Leanne begrudgingly agrees. Then bad girls Gia, Jessica and Chrissy follow Erica back to her bedroom, where they start up some good old fashioned ganging up and verbal bullying, telling Erica that she "needs a lobotomy" and that the bathroom should be her bedroom.
Next all the ladies are driven off to meet with Moderator Laura Baron. She introduces them to celebrity stylist Sam Saboura, who grills the ladies about how much they spend weekly and yearly on clothing, accessories and jewelry. Amber, for example, comments that she spent $70,000 on those items just last year. Bad girl Chrissy rubs Sam the wrong way from the start, ignoring him and looking incessantly into her compact. When Sam comments that he likes to advise his clients to mix up high-end clothes with thrift shop fare, Chrissy blasts, "Is that where you got that suit?" Off camera, Sam comments, "I'd like to go snatch that hair weave off her head and tell her to stop with the act, which is all full of insecurity."
Segment 2: Sam then engages the ladies in a little contest to see if they can tell the difference between an expensive item and an inexpensive one. First up are ladies dresses. Chrissy says, "I cannot be fooled," but yet she (and about half the group) erroneously picks the $50 dress over the $500 one. Then it's champagne, and most of the ladies pick the $35 bottle over the $195 one. Next it's diamond rings. Erica says, "I know my jewelry," but still she and several others choose the $15 fake ring over the $9,000 ring! E is in SHOCK and totally flabbergasted! Up next, it's a Pate tasting, and most of the ladies pick wrong again, choosing the $2 "pureed hot dog" over the $40 REAL Pate!
Now it's Thrift Shop time! The ladies must come up with three outfits at the ol' thrift shop: (1) a daytime Chic look for a lady; (2) a nightime sexy look for a lady; and (3) a hot look for a male model. They are divided into three groups of 3 ladies, each group tasked with picking out all three outfits at the thrift ship on a measly budget of $300 total. The producers strangely avoid teaming any of the bad relationships together (which would have made for great reality TV), instead assigning the rather benign groups of: (1) Team 1: Pam, Erica & Amber; (2) Team 2: Chrissy, Leanne & Jackie; and (3) Team 3: Gia, Courtnee & Jessica. All three teams hit the Crossroads Trading Company thrift shop in LA.
As Team 3 does its shopping, the most down-to-earth lady of these 9, Courtnee (who is also amongst the 2-3 hottest of the group), makes the most impressive remark of any of the ladies at the thrift shop, commenting that they were finding "great things" at the shop and that she would have absolutely no problem going back to the thrift shop in the future for more shopping. Yep, that's Courtnee, alright! Meantime, as Team 2 checks out, Leanne is completely amazed that they are able to buy so much $hit for a mere $72! She spouts, "I really never knew that you could buy shoes that don't cost at least $800!"
Fashion Show Time! It's also surprise time on the fashion runway, as it's revealed that in addition to Sam Saboura, the ladies will also have to endure the judging of fashion journalist Adrianna Costa and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton! Team 1 is first up to present, and their theme involves outfits that can be stripped down more barebones as the night progresses. Erica, however, has a bit of trouble as she tries to remove some of her outfit in accordance with the theme. As Erica struggles with the clothing take-off, Hilton tells her to watch out for laying down a "crotch flash"! But alas, Erica does not get the message, and a Crotch Flash is precisely what she then gives the judges!!!
Segment 3: Team 1 continues with their runway exhibition. The three judges seems to generally like Team 1's presentation. Team 2 then seems to bomb with the judges, despite Chrissy's predictably arrogant rant -- "I know they didn't have nothing to say but DAMN, when they seen me coming!" Like Team 1, Team 3 then comes out and seems to impress the judges.
Then it's time for the grade card from the 3 judges: Team 1 -- The reviews were mixed, with Sam commenting to Erica that "seeing your Beav all over the runway, I don't know about that, but I think the team did a great job." (Hey, I'm just quoting over here!) As could easily be predicted from earlier, Team 2 did indeed bomb, with Perez hilariously telling them, including Chrissy, that they just looked "cheap" over and over. An aside here: From much of what I have previously read from Perez Hilton, I was definitely NOT a fan. But my tune has changed after watching this episode tonight. I may disagree with him on plenty of things, but dude seems very genuine in everything he says. I was impressed. But I digress.
On to Team 3's grade: The judges really liked Team 3, and again more props to Courtnee (the very tall beauty queen from Charlotte, NC, the hometown of The Nature Boy Ric Flair -- WOOOOO!), who garnered the best compliment of the night from these judges, who commented that she walked out totally looking like a bona fide runway model! (Heck, I've been saying that since Episode 1!). So who wins? No surprise there: Team 3 (Courtnee, Gia and Jessica) win the contest, being the only Team in which all three members impressed the judges.
The ladies head back to the house, and it appears that they are gettin' all liquored up! Hello. Jessica takes a pretty bad spill in the hallway, as it looks like she's drunk. Jessica then sits down with Leanne and they continue the Erica-bashing, specifically concerning Erica's story about her dog having a bar mitzvah (you just can't make this stuff up!).
So Erica rolls by, and is again offended by her supposed friend Leanne engaging in talk about Erica behind Erica's back. Then verbal altercation! Erica: "We will never be friends again. You need botox." Leanne: "You need more botox." Erica: "You're fat too." (BTW, none of these 9 hot ladies is "fat" in the least!). Even nice gal Amber is taken aback by that "fat" blast from Erica. Leanne is visibly very upset by the "fat" blast. Then the show suddenly flashes forward a few minutes to find Leanne and Erica on the edge of fisticuffs! Leanne shouts at Erica that she is a "laughing stock in this house."
Segment 4: The next morning, Erica says she feels a bit vulnerable and scared from all the ladies verbally attacking her the previous night. "I always seem to be in the middle of drama, but I feel it's not my fault," she says. And right here, I'll offer an opinion: Most of Erica's problems have been driven by the other bad girls, i.e. Gia, Chrissy and Jessica, who do not like her and frankly are likely jealous of her incredible good looks. That has led them to try to start crap with her whenever they can, and Erica (who is NOT an alpha gal or a fighter) always reacts with her defense mechanism of commenting back with a blast on the other gal's appearance. Erica has plenty of issues, and is extremely arrogant and self-centered, but her being at the center of so many problems on this show has, in my view, been almost exclusively driven by the bad attitudes and jealousy of Gia, Chrissy and Jessica. That's just how I honestly see it.
So back to the show: It's Full Metal Jacket-style Motivation, as Laura Baron penalizes ALL the ladies for the failure of Jessica, Gia and Chrissy to do any chores at the start of the episode. The normal $200 stipend for the week's groceries has been reduced to $125 based on a $25 penalty for each of those 3 ladies refusing to work any chores. To explain this motivational technique: Penalize everyone for the breakdowns of the few in hopes that the majority will then assert a bunch of peer pressure (i.e. emotional abuse and/or physical violence) on the few so that they will get their act in line.
Frankly, having watched Full Metal Jacket several times previously, and then watching this episode, I've become convinced that this particular motivational technique is a lazy load of horse$hit. It's employed by leaders who are so lazy that they would rather task their underlings with bringing people into line rather than truly leading the group themselves. We saw that with R. Lee Ermey's pathetic character in Jacket, and we saw that tonight with Laura Baron's leadership style on this show. Leaders can do better. But again I digress.
So next, Jackie (as VIP) is required by Laura Baron to pick 2 ladies (she picks Pam and Jessica) to go grocery shopping for the week on the reduced budget of $125. It's at the grocery store where we view the hilarious site of Jackie having her first encounter with a supermarket weekly specials circular!: "This food store has, like, this book of coupons. I've never even used one before. I mean, do you have to, like, tell someone you're using it, or do they just automatically know?" Choice Moment: Jessica, who refused to do chores, resulting in the reduced budget for the group, actually complains in the grocery store that they have to purchase cheaper stuff due to their limited budget! Good grief! At the checkout counter, they are over $125 and have to throw some stuff back in order to get under their limit.
Back at the ladies' house: Make up or break up? Erica and Leanne have a sitdown on the patio. Erica says she's very sorry for calling Leanne "fat". Erica says that her reflex when she's attacked is to blast back at the appearance of the attacker. Leanne reveals that she was so sensitive to the "fat" insult because Leanne previously had an eating disorder. Erica reveals that she also previously had an eating disorder. Leanne accepts Erica's apology, and an uneasy truce ensues.
Then the ladies gather for their end-of-the-episode meeting with Laura Baron to see who will get passing grades this week, and who will fail. First, though, come Sam Saboura's opinions on the ladies: He was impressed by Leanne's progress after the thrift shop visit and felt she learned something from it. He was very UNimpressed by Chrissy's behavior of constantly looking into her compact and ignoring him, and also talking over him when she felt like it. Chrissy comments, "he's just a hater." Laura Baron disagress, and chastizes Chrissy for disrespecting Laura, Sam and the entire show through her rude behavior. Chrissy then asks if she can be "excused" from the group meeting -- yet another bit of very disrespectful behavior (although it appears that she never actually left, or at least not for very long).
Segment 5: Laura Baron then takes up with the ladies the issue of all the personal attacks that have been flying back and forth between the four "bad girls," i.e. Gia, Chrissy, Jessica and Erica. Erica remarks again that when she's attacked, she always reacts by insulting the other gal's appearance. And then, in an extremely surprising moment, the ultra-high-strung diva Gia (who had been rather quiet this episode by her standards) breaks down, becomes emotional, and says that she thinks (1) that all the ladies are not acting like they normally would because they have been cut off and stuck in a very abnormal environment, and (2) that she's very much missing her daughter, and that she may well be open to better bonding with her daughter through things like changing diapers (which Gia previously vowed NEVER to do). I actually was impressed with Gia's opening up here and think her emotional missing of her daughter was very genuine.
Bottom line: Who passed, who failed this week? Passed: As you might expect, Amber, Jackie, Courtnee, Pam, and even Leanne (whose spat with Erica was her only controversy this week). Big Surprise Passing: GIA! But as Laura Baron made clear: It was only because GIA totally opened up at this final meeting (a big first step, says Laura).
Failing: (1) OBVIOUSLY Chrissy (horrific attidude -- truth be told, she's perhaps the one person among these nine that you would LEAST ever want to know or meet in real life!); (2) also Erica Fails, which I thought was a bit unfair given that E did her chores and (as commented above) alot of the conflict she garners comes exclusively from the other bad-acting gals who do really seem to gang up on her, with Erica never starting it; and (3) Jessica Fails -- Jessica has gone in 2 weeks from being on the good side of things, to being a middle ground person, to now being a bona fide Bad Girl in this rotten house, with her awful attitude and always losing her temper (she is an "Italian firebrand," after all!).
Segment 6: VIP (Very Improved Princess) of the week goes to Leanne. I have a bit of an issue here. I think it should be Very Impressive Princess, Not Very Improved Princess. Because the criteria of "improvement" from prior bad behavior is going to forever lock Courtnee out of getting this award, since she's been on the straight and narrow from the start of this series. Put another way: She's had the best attitude and has been the best behaved lady from Day 1. And she deserves credit for that. But how the hell is she ever going to win when the touchstone is most "improved" princess? Please.
Anyway, following Leanne's award of VIP, Jessica is AGAIN BESIDE HERSELF THIS WEEK over the VIP honoree, ranting and raving outside to Chrissy. Pretty pathetic stuff right there to end the episode.
Upcoming Episodes: It appears that next week, the ladies will be forced to fill out job applications and actually work a job! That should be fun. And it's revealed that Erica is actually going to Law School! No comment.
Final Thoughts: Courtnee continues to stand out the most in this group (both behaviorally and physically), and yet gets no credit whatsoever, largely because she doesn't go around acting like a jerkwad a$$clown. She's really getting shortchanged on this show, and I'll repeat my sentiment from last week: She's about the only ONE lady on this show that I think a dude would EVER want to meet in real life. Shame on the show for not featuring her more.