Gretchen, Gretchen, Gretchen. It’s all about her, isn’t it? Well, she’s about to go on stage in Vegas with the Pussycat Dolls, so it’s understandable. In the last episode, the blonde beauty was stressing about her vocals, and in Season 7, Episode 11, there’s no more time to heal from the Great Bunco Disaster. Ready or not, Gretchen has to perform.
First, though, she’s going to coach Alexis. The recently rhinoplastied Housewife isn’t sure her Fox 5 segments are up to par, and she wants Gretchen’s expert advice. As you know, Gretchen is an authority on such matters because she once hawked her handbags on a San Antonio’s news station. After giving some advice (she thinks Alexis needs professional help in the form of a hosting coach), Gretchen bursts Alexis’s bubble. “You know they asked me to do this?” Gretchen asks, explaining that the station invited her to host weekly segments first. Alexis didn’t know this. “I’m completely speechless,” Alexis tells the camera, wondering why Gretchen felt the need to tell her she was Fox’s second choice. “I felt it was killing her to be supportive of me,” complains Alexis. At least Alexis has that $170 top to support her boobies during segments about adolescents and media sexualization.
Look, everyone. It’s Heather Paige Kent, a.k.a., Heather Dubrow. The reason the other Housewives had never heard of the actress in the midst is because Heather used a stage name for her career and almost no one watched that Jenny McCarthy sitcom. Regardless, Heather is getting back in the saddle and heading to an audition for a TV show. While her husband, Terry, is supportive, the brunette mother of four is nervous about acting, opening a restaurant, and taking care of her brood. Heather almost doesn’t want to get cast, so she won’t have to decide whether or not to take the role.
Over at the Smiley/Rossi residence, we learn that Slade calls Gretchen “poodle.” Ever the domestic goddess/multi-tasker, a laundry-folding Grech phones Alexis and Tamra to invite them to see her perform with the Pussycat Dolls in Vegas. Hey, did you know Gretchen is performing with the Pussycat Dolls? In Vegas? In case you missed it, you’ll be told 200 more times this episode.
Actually, though, we’re glad Bravo showed us this conversation, because we learned a lot from Tamra. “I don’t fold socks and underwear until I have a wedding ring,” Tamra instructs Gretchen. “If you ain’t got a ring, you don’t fold a thing.” Sigh, there was far too little Tamra in this episode. She wishes Gretchen luck, because the Pussycat Dolls singer/dancer is inviting her frenemy to the Pussycat Dolls show, which is in Vegas.
Terry's playing pool with one of the kids when Heather arrives home wearing a glittery, sleeveless shirt with a starched white collar. The shirt is very fascinating, but Terry is too busy losing against his child to notice. Heather is unsure how the audition went. “What if I do get it?” Heather wonders of the show, which will film in Canada. Though she’s happy with their life, the former actress doesn’t want to feel like she gave up her career for Terry. After a few minutes of stressing over how they’d manage Heather working so many hours and being away in Canada, Terry says he wants her to be happy and he’ll gladly move to the publically funded healthcare system of our neighbors to the north if need be. Ooh, can Heather join The Real Housewives of Vancouver if she lands the role?
Alexis and her husband, Jim, have almost the exact same conversation as Heather and Terry and it goes just as well. Just kidding; Jim is Alexis’s king, remember? He rains on her parade when she tells him she wants to get an acting coach to improve her Fox 5 performances. “I don’t know how that fits into being a wife and a mother,” says Jim, adding that they don’t need the money — completely glossing over that for his wife, the job is about more than just financial security. Alexis is much more eloquent in her arguments with the camera, saying she doesn’t want to just stay at home with the kids anymore. Maybe the hosting coach can also help Alexis win arguments with Jim?
Despite the fact that Vicki and Gretchen haven’t spoken since their Bunco blowup, Vicki is going to Vegas. Luckily, Brooks can act as her Southern gentleman bodyguard if a fight erupts. “We’re just gonna have the elephant in the room and feed the elephant every now and then,” says Vicki, which is exactly how we get through Thanksgiving dinner. (Well, that and wine.)
Vegas! Slade and Gretchen are heading to the hotel in a limo. “Once a Pussycat Doll, always a Pussycat Doll,” he tells her, listing off the famous names amongst their distinguished ranks. Pink. Britney. Christina Aguilera. (We can’t believe he failed to mention Nicole Scherzinger!) “Now if only I could sing like them,” says Gretchen. When they arrive at the Cosmopolitan hotel, Gretchen is overwhelmed with the view, the champagne, and the amenities. “Is this what it feels like to be a star?” Gretchen asks, which is just really endearing and sweet. There’s not much time to enjoy the suite, however. Gretchen only has one rehearsal to perfect her performance. “I have dancing, I have singing, I have… sexiness,” she says, trying to keep it all straight.
In the Escalade limo with Vicki, Tamra, Heather, and their significant others, everyone tries to figure out what Jim does. Alexis seems like she has a lot of money (and a lot of cars) but Heather thinks it might be a façade.
It’s time for Tamra theater: the reenactment of Gretchen and Vicki’s Bunco fight. “Your boyfriend’s a deadbeat dad. No, your boyfriend’s a deadbeat dad. You didn’t have a baby out of your vagina. You don’t even have a vagina.” And, scene.
Vicki lists Gretchen’s careers (realtor, dancer, singer, purse designer) and calls her jack of all trades but master of none. Yep, this is definitely a kindler, gentler Vicki.
Gretchen is ready to rehearse. Mikey Minden, Pussycat Dolls’ producer extraordinaire, helpfully coaches her by randomly saying words such as “Diva” and “Beyonce.” At this point, it’s clear just how nervous Gretchen is. “I don’t sing on a mic normally,” she says. Typically, she just sticks to the shower or her car. Same here, Gretch, but shouldn’t you have thought of this sooner? After Gretchen finishes “Fever,” Slade claps enthusiastically. No one else does. Mikey wants Gretchen to focus on the singing, since being sexy and hopping around come naturally, while the vocals, well, don’t.
The crew arrives at the hotel. Vicki hugs Gretchen and tells her she’s proud. “Did aliens invade planet earth?” asks a confused Gretchen, who isn’t used to Vicki being nice to her. Surprisingly, the Vickster also offers Slade a birthday “woohoo.” Frankly, Heather seems more excited about Gretchen’s upcoming performance than the Pussycat Dolls singer herself. This does not bode well, and everyone tries to calm Gretchen down.
Oh, dear. Alexis’s makeup artist covers up her residual rhinoplasty bruises by caking on brown makeup.
Gretchen is getting snapped into a sparkly Pussycat Dolls ensemble as the other couples are at dinner (minus Alexis, who is hosing down the bottom half of her makeup-covered face). When Alexis and Jim arrive, Tamra is shocked. Evidently, Alexis’s husband got an chin implant and joined the mob because Tamra dubs him “Jimmy ‘the Chin’ Bellino.”
The dinner conversation turns to the daily affirmations Brooks sends Vicki, and Tamra is still skeptical of her friend’s new man. Being cheesy isn’t a crime, Tam! Then it’s time to hear everyone’s in vitro stories. Terry and Jim both donated their swimmers for the project, but Alexis says Jim never had to do it alone. Vicki is grossed out by the s-p-e-r-m talk.
Robin Antin, Pussycat Dolls founder, adjusts Gretchen’s boobs and hair. The OC ladies and gents arrive at the burlesque club. Alexis gives Gretchen a prayer pep talk: “God shows up everywhere, and God is in Vegas.” Mikey is much more realistic. “That’s what rehearsal is for,” he says, telling her that God can’t help her now. Then he shoves her out on stage.
Next time, Gretchen caterwauls with the Pussycat Dolls and Vicki apologizes to her.
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