I won’t apologize for exposing the ‘I Want to be a Hilton’ winner right off the bat in my title. If this has somehow upset you, I’d posit that it is YOU that is the problem, not my recap. I mean, it’s not like I told you that [Edited Out] won Head of Household on Big Brother 6 last night or anything! Geez, what a surprise that was! Shocking! So now that you know Jaret was the big winner, I guess you’d like to know how he pulled it off. He is certainly one of the blandest and most empty-headed network reality show winners I’ve ever seen. Then again, since the Hilton show was one of the blandest and most empty-headed network reality shows I’ve ever seen, I suppose it makes sense. I guess we now finally know what that extra “a” in finalist Jackaay’s name stood for: It’s was her “A for Effort!” (Ba-dum-bump.)
Wow, four exclamation points in my opening paragraph… You’d think that this finale was somehow exciting. Unfortunately, you’d be wrong – very, very, wrong. Never before has the word “finale” sounded more like “finally” in my head as I watched. The episode began by reminding us that there were three remaining Hilton wannabes; Jaret, Jackaay, and Vanessa. We were shown quick vignettes of each explaining their hardscrabble pre-Hilton lives – a creepy pig-tailed Jackaay operating a front-end loader, Jaret smiling his gap-toothed smile in front of his trailer home, and Vanessa… Actually, Vanessa’s bartending life really wasn’t all that tough. After that, the show felt it necessary to go through a retrospective of all the prior episodes and all the important things the contestants learned. There was the original 14 meeting for the first time at Grand Central Station, there was Crazy Ann (who would surely be known as insANNity if she was on a more popular show) being crazy, and there was Jackaay hawking a loogie. Nice.The season review was produced in such a maudlin and self-aggrandizing way, it was hard to stomach. In fact, for some reason, the whole tenor of this episode was sappier than the Peter Jennings tribute over on ABC. Anyway, each of the final 3 were asked to pick a place – any place – in New York City at which they would be having a heart-to-heart with Queen Kathy herself. Kind of like a job interview but where the object was to invoke as much pity from Kathy as possible. Up first was young Jaret, the trailer park denizen with slightly ambiguous sexuality.
I consider my gaydar pretty strong, but Jaret was always a tough read for me. I’m fairly certain he is gay, but I think living in rural Texas has forced the poor boy so far back into the closet that it affects my gaydar’s accuracy. Maybe, I figured, he would out himself to Kathy in an effort to gain some sympathy. (NOT that being gay should result in sympathy, but rather being gay in rural Texas should. Big difference.) Jaret chose to meet with Kathy on a running track in… Chelsea. Hmmm, okay Jaret, a not-so-subtle first clue. [For you non NY'ers, Chelsea is, um, a really gay part of the city.] He chose the track to explain how he used to “run away from his problems” at home. OK, Ok, dude… we GET it. As if that weren’t enough, Jaret then dropped his final salvo on Kathy: “I love to write poems.”
Kathy, being the nuanced etiquette maven she is, refrained from rolling her eyes. Actually, she very well may have tried but the last eyelid lift she had prevents her from any such motion. I present here, an exclusive to TVgasm readers, Jaret’s poem in its entirety:
I see the way you used to look at me so deeply,
I see the way me and you used to be,
So close your eyes and take my hand,
And try to understand,
You can read my mind,
You can feel my heart,
Just imagine, me and you together soon again,
I’ll be waiting for you in heaven.
Apologies to Jaret if I screwed up his line breaks. Apologies to TVgasm readers for pretending I was offering you a treat of some sort. I’m not a (professional) writer or poet of any sort, but with a bit of editing, I think I’ve made his poem better:
I see the way you used to look at me on TV,
I see the way you liked to make fun of me,
So close your eyes and suck my balls,
And try to understand,
You can say I’m a pussy,
You can feel my ubiquity,
Just imagine, me and you together at some point,
I’ll be waiting there to bore you to tears.
Ok, that poem sucked too. And it didn’t drive Kathy Hilton to tears like Jaret’s did. Oh wait, I think that is just excess Botox juice she was wiping away. Boy, what an emotional whirlwind Jaret took Kathy on – how would Jackaay fare next, having to follow that performance? She chose to meet at an art gallery for reasons I could not gather. Before I knew it, Jackaay was explaining her difficult childhood with her parents splitting up, her trailer park life, and her generally sucky life. And dammit if Kathy’s Botox didn’t spring another leak, causing her to say, “I’m feeling a very Barbara Walters moment.” I then dreamt for a second that (obese, black) Latricia was in Jackaay’s place and Kathy, fully in her Bahbwah Wah-Wah “moment” leapt up and punched Latricia in the face screaming, “I HATE YOU STAR JONES!” I actually have that dream a lot, but instead of Barbara Walters, it’s always just me…and I don’t even have to be asleep.
Two finalists down, two pithy sob stories. Up next was Vanessa, who chose to have lunch near Central Park. Hmmm, she only spoke about her professional dreams of becoming a clothing designer and how she was “driven” and “goal oriented.” Honey, you better slip some extra onions into Kathy’s salad if you want to compete and get the waterworks going! No way could she compare with the other two and their wrenching tales. And so it was, that night at dinner, Kathy dismissed Vanessa simply by saying that the other two had “come further.” Vanessa didn’t argue the point and went on not being a Hilton. (Though she certainly has the “bitchy” part down pat, and something tells me she gives a mean hummer.)
Now down to the final two, the final challenge was revealed: They’d each have to give a speech at the final dinner in front of Kathy’s family and friends, NYC elite, and the former contestants. And Kathy did everything she could to help each aspiring socialite. Speechwriter Stewart Gottlieb gave them some advice. He even name-dropped one of his clients, former Democratic VP candidate John Edwards. You know… the guy who, um, lost. Each also met with a speech therapist and each received a nice spa treatment and makeover by Kathy’s personal stylists. It’s evident that her stylists do a pretty decent job of making Kathy look like an attractive older woman. But who knew they’d do such a good job making Jaret look like an attractive older woman?
Before and after.
Actually, that’s Jaret’s mom who had been flown in (on one of dem flyin’ machines!) to lend moral support to her boy. Jackaay had the companionship of her best friend Danielle who made the mistake of calling her “Jackie” instead of her sexxy TV name. (Rumor has it was “Jackie” for her “Elimidate” or “5th Wheel” or whatever-it-was appearance.) Jackaay actually didn’t look too upset and we were immediately whisked to The Residence dining room where all the invited guests and media whores eagerly awaited the end of the show and the food. Err, I mean they eagerly awaited Jaret and Jackaay! They arrived to some golf claps and then everyone took deep breaths and awaited the glorious appearance of Kathy Hilton herself.
To the plucking of a harp and sweeping Deep Forest (or was it Enigma?) New Age Georgian chanting, the World’s Greatest Human Being arrived and kicked off the festivities. Up first was Jacklyn (a.k.a. Jackaay, a.k.a. Jackie), whose frequent name changing to suit the situation is pretty strategic. She did fairly well, over-enunciating a bit, but since it was her first time in high-heels, I’ll give her a pass. And no, they weren’t high-heeled flip-flops, believe it or not.
Jaret took his place behind the lectern next and while he looked good up there, his material was terrible. He explained how he was happy that he learned how to eat lobster, hold a wine glass, walk a runway, hold a press conference, and air kiss. His attempt at humor (“an air kiss is the only kind of kiss that will never imperfect a woman’s makeup”) fell as flat as a Jay Leno show monologue. What’s more, he was serious about how learning these skills has been a long and arduous and important journey, blah, blah, blah. Dude, you will NEVER hold a press conference or walk a runway. And air kissing is the sole province of uppity skanks who like to think they are sophisticated. Trust me.
After Jaret’s speech, Kathy thanked everyone and said she was proud of all the contestants (except for that tool who was booted in the first week). She went away to “deliberate” and determine the winner. I then noticed that the guests still had the same wilting salad on their plates as when this scene began. This isn’t important except to say that everyone still had the same salad at the end of the show – so in other words, the final super important scene of this show took all of 15 minutes in real time. Kathy ran through the list of prizes the winner would score: 1 yr Metropolitan Museum of Art membership, a Spring Season pass to the Lincoln Center operas, a cover picture on the NY Society magazine “Avenue,” some jewelry, an apartment in NY, a trip to Europe, a Banana Republic wardrobe, and $200,000. Jaret exclaimed that he’d buy his parents a house with the money but that he was most excited about the new Banana Republic sweater vests – they are just to die for in Fall 05!
Kathy returned and, as mentioned, Jaret won and was the “toast of New York.” Right. Well, actually, I guess he could be the “toast” of Chelsea by allowing some dude to slather butter all over him or something. Congratulations Jaret! Jackaay/Jackie/Jacklyn, any parting words?
“My trailer is bigger than his trailer – so he deserves this.” No word on whether her dad could beat up Jaret’s dad, but I didn’t mind. As long as I didn’t have to watch another minute of ‘I Want to be a Hilton.’