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The Surreal Life, Episode 5: Tears of Anger, Tears of Pain



The seven ex-celebs are off to Vegas, and tempers flare up early. But then they dance, some see male strippers, some meet "gangstas" in a burger joint, and it's time to head home for church. Yes, church. Tears flow again in the church, but you'll have to read on to find out why. 

Yawn, stretch... our sleepyheads are waking up for yet another exciting episode! Various scenes of morning activity including more tooth brushing shots, this time it's Manny and he's far calmer than Corey while wielding the electric brush. Slow and steady wins the race for proper oral hygiene. I don't find it particularly interesting to watch even people I love brush their teeth, much less strangers, but there are far worse morning bathroom activities they could show us so I just choose to be grateful.

Vince taking over Brande's job this week of getting the paper. Wouldn't it be a fun house project to teach the dog to do that? But I digress...

Vince comes in to alert everyone that they are heading to Vegas! They are all excited. Manny tells us Vince is happy about heading to Vegas because he lives there and will see his girlfriend and he is just happy because "hey - it's Vegas!" Sure beats putting on a talent show in your own backyard. Remember Dorothy saying something about, "if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again I won't look any further than my own backyard..." Perhaps she should have skipped Oz and gone to Vegas?

Why am I rambling on about The Wizard of Oz when they have packing to do?

Now we find ourselves in the girls' room as they pack and discuss how dressy they need to go. I was trying to pay attention to what they were saying but to be honest the first time around I was just amazed three women could pack so much that this enormous walk-in closet is filled to capacity. They brought more clothes with them for ten days than I own. OK, I'm over my envy so back to the recap. I'm struck by how genuinely friendly the girls seem to be with each other. I'm glad all that stuff in episode one about rivalry between the women was a red herring, a little chick bonding does my heart good.

Vince comes out, and I have to say if I were on the editing team it would have been to the music of Z.Z. Top... "Every girl's crazy 'bout a sharp dressed man..." He was looking good, as Hammer and Manny repeatedly tell him, giving him fashion accolades in manly ways. Everyone is just so excited it makes you wonder why? Not like these guys haven't seen Vegas before. But let's just get caught up in the excitement, what else are we gonna do for the next half hour minus commercials?

So, off we fly to Vegas on the now defunct National Airlines. They just went belly-up last November so do you think they will be auctioning things off to pay their debtors, like Enron did? Wonder what a flight magazine thumbed through by Vince Neil goes for? Seriously.

Changing modes of travel, everyone loads onto a bus to head to The Palms. The driver misses the turn to the hotel and Vince politely asks him to reconsider his course. If by politely I mean swearing repeatedly at the guy for missing the turn. Okay, two turns. I know we are supposed to react to this, oooooooh rock and roll bad boy and all that, but who among us hasn't been in that position? Headed somewhere and you know exactly where to go but the person driving doesn't and won't listen to you? That's very frustrating. Marriages have ended over less. In Vince's shoes I would have been thinking the same things, but without the bleeped out f-words because I am far too dainty to know what they mean. Ahem. Anyway, it doesn't appear out of hand but the others appear uncomfortable and Corey goes back to get the girls, apparently hoping a little feminine influence would calm things down. Little does he know Gabrielle is in no mood to do him any favors, as we soon see.

Bickering ensues between Gabrielle and Corey. She doesn't want to be told what to do and he says he wasn't telling her what to do. Meow. This whole scene is very reminiscent of arguments I have witnessed time and again in dorms among people who wouldn't choose to live together and one has no idea how annoying the other finds them until it all comes spilling out in a barrage of overreaction over some trivial issue. In this case it seems to me that Gabrielle has just had it and Corey has used up her last reserve of diplomacy where he is concerned. Unless there was a whole lot we didn't see, he actually comes off as the more reasonable one here. I'm as surprised as you are. She says that Corey was feeling the tension from Vince and was coming at her and that wasn't okay. I agree, that wouldn't be okay - but did it happen that way? I didn't see it. I think these editors studied at the feet of those responsible for a million Real World episodes where they show us the argument and aftermath but not the incident. I hate that.

Corey is upset and crying, talking to Suzi on the phone and saying that he was just trying to help. He sounds genuinely confused about why Gabrielle is angry. Even Hammer says that Corey was trying to do a good thing and I think, in this instance, he was. I bet he was baffled to be met with unexpected hostility.

So the driver finally finds the elusive Palms hotel and casino and they hit the town running. Vince begins with a hearty "let's party" and a drink in his hand as he gets off the bus. Leading by example, gotta respect that.

Corey doing a confessional and crying. Again. Nervous about his wedding, lots of stuff going on with him, lots and lots of poor Corey.

Cut to the others at a table where Vince is laughing and saying if this were Survivor Corey would be the first person voted out. Can I just say if this were Survivor everyone except Jerri would be dead already? *Self-sufficient* wouldn't be in my top ten list of adjectives for anyone in this house.

Back to Corey's interview, he's upset, still teary and can't talk. He walks away and strikes a pensive pose. I know I have been fairly critical of Corey but I felt bad for him here. It just looked very much like Jr. High ostracism and is just mean.

Manny says it was a lot of drama. Good thing their token Survivor is Jerri and not Vecepia because we know how she feels about the drama. According to Manny the drama was "capped off with everyone dancing with each other so everyone knew there were no hard feelings." Wow, are there places in the world where fights are resolved with dancing? I hope I never have to argue with someone from there; I can't dance, it would be ever unresolved.

Dancing appears to be Emmanuel's running theme of the evening so after complimenting Gabrielle's enthusiasm he says that whenever he hits the dance floor there is a "Manny sandwich" and he is shown surrounded by many beautiful women. I hear some women do love a man who can dance - how many guys are calling Arthur Murray this morning after watching that? Vince calls Manny a chick magnet and that he is the guy to go out with. This from a man who has spent years going out with Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx, so that's saying something.

Corey leaves the bar to seek out Gabrielle to resolve the issue. There should be ominous music playing as this just seems like such a bad idea. It is an acoustically chaotic environment so they have it subtitled. Reminds me of those giant text reader digest books my gramma used to have. Except I don't recall her being an avid reader of inconsequential arguments between pissy self-indulgent characters on a reality show. I will paraphrase their conversation:

Corey says he isn't being a victim. So that means someone has accused him of playing a victim and I don't mean in the Lost Boys. Gabrielle says he is so the victim. So there! Corey accuses Gabrielle of seeing the hurt child in him and wanting to mother him and fix him in a tough love sort of way, she interrupts to say "no" and it looks like what she really means in "no, for that to happen I would have to care and I just want this conversation to stop and for you to go away." Just a guess. She says this has nothing to do with her life and she will be more conscious of stuff (read: I will try not to ever engage you in conversation again) and just wants this to stop and move on (read: go away Corey). He agrees and they hug. She gives a massive nasty eye roll behind his back while hugging him. Just seeing her the last few weeks on this show I was a little surprised she was that blatantly rude. If you don't want to hug then don't (and it even looked like she initiated it) but that wasn't cool. They are making me feel so bad for Corey tonight and it is throwing me. Knock it off.

Corey, in another interview (hey... if people were being that mean to me I, too, would prefer talking to the camera rather than my traveling companions) says that Gabby was trying analyze him and be his therapist. Yet they showed him just doing that to her. Isn't that ironic? Don'tcha think? I'm sorry, this is overstated and angst ridden enough without bringing Alanis into this. On a cell phone to Suzi he says how phony and Hollywood Gabrielle is and how she won't talk about anything. Oh, Corey, you HAVE to save your deep and cathartic conversations for people who love you and are willing to wade through the conversations and your emotional mess. You can't expect that kind of effort from people on the periphery of your life.

Back to the party, Vince is drunk. Is this even worthy of comment? If you are shocked by this don't read The Dirt, the collective autobiography of Motley Crue. It might kill ya.

Corey is a recovering alcoholic so he leaves the bar to go with Hammer and Manny to Fatburger since he thinks it will be the safer option. Or maybe since Vince is hanging out with his girlfriend, Lia, and had better things to do?

The girls strike out on their own and Brande suggests they head over to Olympic Gardens to see some male strippers. Jerri has never seen any so she is all over that, as it were. Back in Fatburger, Corey is afraid of gangsta types. Heavy hitters, he called them. He just wants to get some burgers and back to the safety of the Glen Campbell mansion and no one gets hurt. "We were on the edge about what was gonna go down." Direct Corey quote, I can't make this stuff up. I don't know, I'm a big baby and it doesn't look scary to me, but I wasn't there. A ketchup war could have broken out and everyone's whites would have been in danger. Hey, laundry tragedies are no laughing matter.

On that note of terror we head back over to the strip club to see what the girls are up to. Brande and Jerri are having a great time, as Jerri commands Brande to get dollar bills, quick! Gabrielle looks physically sick. Not even offended, but like she is going to be sick. To be honest those male strip clubs, for most women I know anyway who have opined on the topic, are a goof. Drunken silliness, but not sexy. She has such a strong reaction one has to wonder why. Maybe the reality of the fact that she left a husband and two sons at home to put her life in the hands of producers for ten days for nothing but public ridicule? Or maybe that's what I'd be thinking.

While the Jerri and Brande are plying oily men with singles, the guys are over at Fatburger and Hammer is once again working it. I have to wonder why he lost his career and went bankrupt when everywhere he goes the man can draw a crowd. He seems to have an insatiable need for attention that I would imagine could be hard to live with, but people really do respond to him. Hammer introduces Corey to someone in the crowd and honestly, irritating as he can be, isn't he one of the most recognizable people in the house? Hammer references The Goonies and Lost Boys while explaining who Corey is. Why does everyone trot out those two movies when trying to break down his career into a sound bite? As far as serious work goes, his portrayal of Teddy DuChamp in Stand By Me was brilliant. I have always liked his work, I even liked Voodoo and his mid-'90s sitcom, Geeks, with Peter Scolari, so we can't go by me entirely, but his work in Stand By Me speaks for itself. I feel like I'm working the Feldman PR machine, I'll stop now.

Gabrielle is crying, what is with the tears this week? She wanted to be a good sport and have fun but felt skanky and had to get out of there. Okay. She should have left if she were uncomfortable but I don't get the crying - it seems like such an extreme reaction.

Manny says Hammer is quite the ham and I think that is a kind way of putting it. Hammer forces Emmanuel to morph into Manny Mo - I thought we had seen the last of him - with quite a display of peer pressure.

Back at Olympic Gardens, Brande and Jerri come out giggling. Apparently they don't share Gabrielle's definition of skank. They talk about how Jerri had gotten on stage and danced; they don't show that but they show Hammer and Manny getting "collars up" and doing it in Fatburger? Who makes these decisions?

Everyone returns to the bus for the five-hour trek back to L.A. Hammer makes sure a very drunk Vince is tucked in. Awwww.

We find that when they arrive back in L.A. they have to get ready for church. Talking about their faith, Corey mentions he has never been to church, as he is Jewish, and looks comfortable with it. There are moments when he is relaxed where he is very likable. Gabrielle says when she prays at night she thanks God for all he has given her and all he has not given her, and she sounds like she is directing it at Corey. For his part, Corey says when he prays he thanks God for all he has given him and all he has taken from him. The battle of semantics... sigh.

Vince says he no longer prays. He used to when his daughter Skylar was ill, prayed all the time and it didn't help. His grief is absolutely palpable. Hammer says he knows Vince still has faith and "at the end of the day he wants to be in the same place as she is." Vince agrees as he looks thoughtful and pained. Hammer says he can feel his hurt. Cynical as I am, that is how it sounds to me. It doesn't sound like he is in preacher mode or looking for conversion but just seeing his pain and wanting to help. Profound grief changes a person almost on a molecular level. I know this is just a sketchy, goofy TV show but it brings home that these are in fact real people and beyond the stage personas and the egos. Despite the trappings of money and cameras following you around the human experience is pretty much the same for all of us.

Finally back in L.A. they get ready and head to church. Hammer is going to preach, as if we had any doubt. Corey comments that the church is mind-blowing and he really seems to be drinking in the experience, which I think is very cool. Not everyone is open-minded and comfortable enough within themselves to embrace the experience of sharing in the faith of others. The world might be a calmer place if more people were like this. From the beginning of this series when they did the teasers of future episodes I fully expected to cringe non-stop at Corey though this one and I just couldn't. I think he showed another side to himself this week that was more real.

Vince mentions he hasn't been to church in a really, really long time and then Brande says she's very excited to hear M.C. preach. This is actually pretty funny as she says it in this monotone where she couldn't sound less excited.

Hammer is now up on the pulpit doing the preaching thing, and I have to say he does use the gifts he has to work the crowd to his advantage in this line of work, and since his faith and commitment to God certainly seem sincere I think he matched his talents with his vocation quite nicely - not everyone can find that nice a fit. Good for him. He's talking about how who would have thought the producers of the show would bring it to a crescendo in the house of God, and I have to say, not me. Although it does tie up Vince's episode story arc quite nicely from angry, swearing rocker through to his redemption. Lofty goal for a show such as this. As Hammer continues preaching he starts talking about how the voice of God told him to tell the congregation about Vince's crisis of faith following the death of his daughter. I thought, this is it, this has to be where it breaks bad, but it doesn't. I would have been furious if someone brought up my private concerns in a public forum without my consent and I fully expected Vince to walk out. But he does not; he is so cool about it and seems to welcome and appreciate it, which goes to show this is why God talks to Hammer about Vince Neil and not me. Throughout this Jerri lays her hand on Vince's arm and he covers it with his hand. It is a small gesture that speaks volumes about there being some genuine concern between them. Awww. Hammer has everyone stand to pray for Vince and he is just shocked. An older gentleman, I believe the pastor of the church, takes over the prayer and it is very charismatic and passionate about Vince's love for his daughter and the loss and about her being near him and taking care of him. About how they need to take care of her daddy for her.

I was complaining a while back in this recap about all the crying this episode? Add me to that list, as well as a friend I spoke to after the show who also needed some tissues to get through that. I usually only cry at Little House On The Prairieand The Waltons episode where grandpa dies, but there you have it. I think this was a Very Special Episode of The Surreal Life and they should have warned me, I would have taken off my mascara first.

Lots of hugging, lots of comments about how emotional it is, how life-changing for Vince. Hammer tells us heaven is happy when one comes home. Awwww. Vince reiterates that he hasn't prayed in a very long time but for some reason he did last night.

They show a full screen picture of Skylar with Vince and I need more tissues.

I have to say here that people who have lost someone very close to them through death are forever changed. You learn to cope and go on and hopefully incorporate their memories into positive parts of your life so you can keep that part of your relationship with them alive. But there is always a void and an aching emptiness and while you learn to live with it, you can't get over it or banish it, you just have to live with it. And all you can do is honor the person who passed by loving them still and not letting the world forget who they were and how they made it a better place through their lives. What Vince has gone through has got to be the most painful loss a person can suffer, the loss of a child. I'm a mom. I have three kids that I just adore and I cannot even imagine his pain. I don't know how you function after something like that, how you even get out of bed or put one foot in front of the other operating under that kind of pain. The fact that he can and has is a testament to his strength and courage, and to the strength and courage of all the parents in similar circumstances. This wasn't mentioned in the show but you can go to www.skylarneil.org for information on the Skylar Neil Memorial Golf Tournament that raises money for childhood cancer research. He has taken the pain of his loss and done something proactive to try to prevent it from happening to anyone else. Her life may have been short but I wish every child was as loved.

There is more talk of how this brought them all together as friends and Gabrielle cries at the thought of leaving them. Huh? I mean, great that they are friends but if she is crying about leaving here and going back home to her family I think someone has issues. Hopefully it was just bad editing and nothing too troubling on the home front.

Next week everyone gets dates for Brande! Can I get an AMEN?! I can go back to mocking these people and they can leave my heartstrings alone, which is as God intended it. I'm thinking I can get through an episode where Brande has romantic adventures without weeping.

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You guessed it - crying.

and if you don't want to read that book - go find the Behind the Music for Motley Cure.  Party doesn't begin to describe that group's debauchery. 

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4 minutes ago, clueliss said:

You guessed it - crying.

and if you don't want to read that book - go find the Behind the Music for Motley Cure.  Party doesn't begin to describe that group's debauchery. 

That I've seen.  Yet if you just watched here you'd think of Vince and nothing but an elder statesman.

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  • Posts

    • louisa05


      22 minutes ago, mysweetetc said:

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    • mango_fandango


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    • mysweetetc

      Posted (edited)

      Surprised that it was these two who won the game of Twin Roulette between the G2 Dugglings. As a twin mom myself, I was under the impression that fraternal twinning is passed down through the mom, due to it being a case of hyper-ovulation. And I'm guessing it's fraternal twins because they did a double gender reveal--if they were identical, they'd know the kiddos were boy/boy or girl/girl.

      ETA: What will this be, 4 under 4 for them? Yikes on bikes.

      Edited by mysweetetc
      I fat-fingered the "enter" button.
      • Upvote 2
    • JermajestyDuggar


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