Brenda and Heather cut from The CW's 'Crowned' reality pageant
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/10/2008
Brenda and her daughter Heather were accused of hiding behind their sense of humor, leading the Parkersburg, WV mother/daughter duo to become the fifth team eliminated from Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants during last night's broadcast of The CW reality series.
"I'm just glad that she and I had this experience to get closer. That means so much to me," said Heather following her team's elimination. "We think we did a good job and we did the best we could. I think that's really all that matters."
Crowned's fifth episode broadcast began with Chandler, AZ mom Melinda complaining about a bum knee she suffered during the previous de-sashing challenge. Melinda and her daughter Rachelle -- as well as Gina, who is from Ft. Worth, TX, and her daughter Hollis, who resides in New York, NY, and Duarte, CA mother/daughter duo Moya and Jenileigh -- also lamented the loss of Jill and her daughter Nicole, who were a part of their clique in the competition.
Crowned's other clique, which consists of Brenda and Heather; Dallas, TX mother/daughter duo Ada and Christian; Angela, who is from Orange Park, FL, and her daughter Tenia, who resides in New York, NY; and Patty, who is from Orlando, FL, and her daughter Laura, who resides in Nashville, TN, listened to what the other group was saying via the intercom in the kitchen. Hollis specifically called out Laura for being "spoiled," which didn't sit too well when it was overheard.
The seven remaining duos then met with the show's pageant director Linnea Maloney, who informed them to meet her in the Rose Court in 15 minutes wearing a smile. Once there, they were met by Miss California pageant director Keith Lewis, who explained he'd be teaching the girls six different smiles they can wear during the competition: "swimsuit, evening wear, I've got a secret, natural, interview and closing." The teams practiced and were criticized by Keith, who did more frowning than smiling.
The duos then participated in Crowned's fourth reward challenge, which would place each team on a slowly rotating pedestal and force them to try and keep a smile and their poise as the other teams were allowed to hurl insults at them to break their composure. Needless to say, things got pretty ugly.
Angela immediately began to personally attack Hollis and Gina, however Hollis later commented that she and the rest of her clique would "not go down that same ugly, nasty path." They initially stuck to their guns, complimenting Brenda and Heather when it was their time on the pedestal. Ada commented how it was typical the other clique would continue to be fake and not speak their mind even though that was the point of the challenge.
Jenileigh and Moya were then thoroughly bashed when they got on the pedestal, with Angela hurling insults about the mother/daughter duo's poor financial status. Jenileigh couldn't keep it in any longer and decided to play dirty, insulting Angela and Tenia's weaves and bashing Laura for being spoiled.
After the challenge Jenileigh emotionally broke down and expressed regret about how she "lowered" herself like that. While the challenge may have been over, the insults continued to fly, as Angela sought-out a distrait Jenileigh and continued to hound her. Jenileigh commented due to Angela's unpredictable mouth, she was going to try and "stand clear" of her for the rest of the competition.
Prior to Keith revealing the challenge's winner, Melinda went to the hospital because she said her knee was "swollen the size of a grapefruit." Keith found all the cattiness during the challenge to be "interesting," but said one duo stood-out the most with their smile and poise, claiming Moya and Jenileigh the winners.
They were presented with a platter of wrapped gift boxes, and Linnea told them to choose wisely since some of the boxes had nothing while others contained "jewels." Moya and Jenileigh picked a box that contained corsages, a crappy gift that pleased Laura.
The next day Melinda returned from the hospital and revealed she was suffering from a sprained knee -- but having survived a kidney transplant only a few years ago -- she was optimistic she'd pull through.
The teams then met Linnea, and she explained the rules for the fifth de-sashing challenge. Each duo would have the opportunity to create their own image via a one-minute video that would explain why they deserve to win Crowned. The videos would be judged on originality of concept, how well they're able to sell themselves and entertainment value. All of the teams got to work.
Highlights from filming the videos included Patty's short-term memory with Laura's script upsetting her daughter; Brenda and Heather wanting to implement a ladder for comedy value before deciding against it; Melinda having a hard time keeping it together due to the Vicodin for her knee; and Moya and Jenileigh complaining about how one minute wasn't long enough to fit in their entire sob story.
The next day, the seven teams arrived for Crowned's fifth de-sashing ceremony, where they would be judged by former Miss USA, Dancing with the Stars third-season celebrity participant and Meet the Barkers co-star Shanna Moakler; former Queer Eye fashion expert Carson Kressley; and television personality Cynthia Garrett.
While the judges thought Ada and Christian's video was "cute," Carson thought it needed to be "a little bit more focused." Angela and Tenia then received rave reviews for their video and its message before Brenda and Heather aired their video, which contained lots of comedy. It was not met by the same enthusiasm as Angela and Tenia's, as Shanna described it as "messy" and added the comedy hurt them, causing them to lose "poise" and their "essence as women."
"I just didn't feel there was a lot of substance there," commented Carson. "I think you sold yourself, but maybe you sold yourself a little short."
Patty and Laura also received criticism for their video, which contained footage of Laura releasing an ear-piercing screech she tried to sell as singing and Patty commenting on how she learned to wear a thong from her daughter. Shanna thought there was too much content and added it didn't deliver a key message. Carson thought the thong reference threw the message off.
"Mom I let you talk way too much. That was ridiculous," scolded Laura backstage, attacking her mom for doing all the talking while they were in-front of the judges.
Moya and Jenileigh decided to deliver their epic sob story about having "no home" and going through "several tragedies," and Carson compared the video to a miniseries. Cynthia thought it was "refreshing" the two wear their life experience so openly, however Shanna said she didn't get the message it was trying to deliver.
"I don't want to crown you guys because I feel sorry for you," said Shanna.
Carson thought Melinda and Rachelle had a "direct message" in their video but added it lacked originality and made him "sleepy." Shanna agreed it was a little boring and Cynthia added it left her wanting to know more about the duo. Gina and Hollis were the last to go, and while the judges all agreed their video was cute, they also agreed that it lacked substance. Gina became emotional and then told her sob story about being an older woman trying to support her family.
The judges then deliberated before revealing Angela and Tenia were the highest-scoring duo of the week, and Shanna added it was because they "really gave a clear message" of why they want to win and Carson said their video was "entertaining" and "original." Shanna then revealed Patty and Laura and Brenda and Heather were the two lowest scoring teams.
Shanna commented she felt there was nothing "new and different" in their video, and said it was almost like the duo was "kind of putting [their] first impression on video" as if it were Week 1 of the competition. Carson agreed and wondered what made the team stand out from the rest.
"Having to deliberate is made really challenging when the song and the thong is the only thing you can remember about two people that you've been with for five weeks," said Cynthia. "What else is there?"
While Shanna said she "loves" Brenda and Heather's comedy, she said she's also "not seeing the substance." Carson said he'd like to see them "evolve" and "become strong women."
"I feel like you're hiding behind shtick," added Cynthia.
Brenda and Heather were then eliminated from the competition.