Here it is, the episode we’ve all been waiting for and, after what we’ve been forced to sit through for the last seven weeks, it better be f**king fabtaculous. I’m not kidding. VH1, I’ve got some pretty high expectations and I’m expecting you to deliver, or at least reimburse me for all the booze that I’ve used to sit through this show.
I’ve even been inspired to decorate my house
We start this week with Berto giving his psycho-stalker girl-on-the-side props for having won the duel with Geovannie and survived to compete in the finale. The fact that they’re drinking sangria and groping in the chapel when he gives her props, only makes the act more endearing and romantic. Seriously, is nothing sacred in this show? And WTF is up with all the snuggling? Berto, Dude, either you’ve given up on your girlfriend at home or you’re seriously playing with Gisel’s somewhat unstable emotions.
It’s like joining the mile high club
Jenn, Berto and Gisel rehash the duel over dinner like it was an office showdown between the boss and the office b*tch. Come on, every office has one. It’s kind of touching to see the way Gisel lights up when she’s the center of attention. It really takes so little to make a narcissistic personality happy.
I wish she’d get that boob job.
After dinner, Berto and Gisel hang out by the pool and Gisel flirts, while Berto hides under a blanket.
WTF do you think I’m doing under the blanket?
Gisel tells him that at the end it will just be Berto and herself left, clearly picturing the two of them walking off into the Miami sunset together. Of course, Gisel has conveniently forgotten the fact that as an actor, Jenn kicks her butt. But who am I to disrupt a delusional person’s fantasy life? Then, we enter the Viva Hollywood land of strange double entendres. The editors show us a weird clip of Berto telling the camera that Gisel really seems to “want it” and that “just because you want something doesn’t mean you should be doing it. You know what I mean?” No, Berto, at this point I’m a little confused. Are you talking about acting or sex? If you’re talking about acting, I agree, Gisel really shouldn’t be doing that. On the other hand, if you’re talking about sex…well, then you probably should stop groping her in the f**king chapel.
Later that night, Berto assures the camera that anything he does is just playing the game. You know, the old “ends justifies the means” approach. I got to say that if my hubby was “playing the game” like Berto is, winning the $100,000 wouldn’t even begin to be enough to save his tuchus. Meanwhile, Berto and Jenn munch on salad and bitch about what an annoying little princess Gisel is. Jenn, isn’t too worried about Gisel, telling us that she can take her out at any point. I have to say that Jenn has my complete confidence; I have no doubt that she could break Gisel in two with a snap of her fingers. I’m also beginning to seriously hope that Jenn wins this thing. I’ve been a Berto fan up to now, but lately his two-faced, manipulative, manho behavior toward Gisel has been making me all kinds of disgusted.
The next morning Carlos comes in wearing a pair of nice tight jeans that are making this tired recapper mighty happy.
Note to Carlos: I will miss you.
After telling the chicos that they’re looking all smiley and nice that morning, he turns them over to Uncle Walty’s portrait. Uncle Walty tells them that they will now face the most difficult challenge of the competition and they must use all they have learned from the seven deadly sins. But, sadly, just as he’s winding up the picture frame starts having some transmission issues and static overwhelms his image as Uncle Walty wails “what’s happening?”
Uncle Walty’s existential crisis
The chicos look on in horror as Uncle Walty’s image disappears and then in shocked surprise as Uncle Walty appears in person. The three chicos freak out with the same religious fervor they might show if the pope walked into the room. Berto tells us that he didn’t know what to do so he kissed Uncle Walty, adding that he smelled really nice. Two things strike me about this. First, Berto’s really got to stop kissing people when he doesn’t know what else to do. And, Second, it’s impressive as hell that Uncle Walty still smells nice after wearing the same muumuu for the last seven episodes. Jenn jumps up and down in excitement displaying the dress that she has chosen to wear for finale day. This is not a brand that I recognize off hand but I think it’s fair to say that the designer was clearly inspired by thoughts of what Pocahontas might have worn if she had been a stripper in her spare time.
Now that he’s been released from the picture frame, Uncle Walty has generously agreed to give them all private readings. Apparently, the chicos have waited their entire lives for a reading from Uncle Walty, but first, he gets to change his clothes and I have to say that I approve of the soothing bluish shades of the new muumuu.
After a quick peek under the muumuu Gisel can no longer face Uncle Walty.
So, now it’s time to hear Uncle Walty’s psychic insights for each of our contestants and I’m pumped. I’ve always wanted to go to a psychic but I’ve never had the guts. I want to hear him expose secret thoughts, skeletons in the closet and make major predictions. I want him to freak me out and impress me with these readings. Sadly, that’s not going to happen. Uncle Walty’s revelations reveal nothing more to me than the fact that he has been watching carefully from his place in the picture frame. I’m guessing that each a character analysis could have been provided by any of the three of us that actually watch the show. He doesn’t even predict the winner, which I guess he really shouldn’t, but instead of avoiding the topic, he hedges saying that two of the chicos received the sun card for success. And those chicos are…Gisel and Berto. I’m telling you if Gisel beats out Jenn I’m going to be seriously annoyed. I might even boycott VH1 for like a whole week.
After the Uncle Walty readings, Carlos announces that the coach for the finale challenge will be Cheech Marin. Now this is more like it. I remember the Cheech and Chong movies like they were yesterday and count them as having had an important influence on my formative years. As a matter of fact, some memories of my formative years are decidedly hazy due to their influence.
A young Cheech disproves the law of 40 joints to an ounce
Cheech has got to be pretty old by now, but he’s aging pretty damn gracefully; probably due to the undiscovered embalming effects of living in a cloud of burnt vegetative matter. Cheech tells the chicos that their challenge will involve them reenacting scenes from the house with each contestant playing a different personality. The first scene will recreate Silvia’s leaving and Geovannie’s break down with Jenn going ghetto girl on him. Jenn will be playing Silvia, Berto will be playing Geovannie and Gisel will be playing Jenn. To add a twist, the characters of Silvia and Geovannie will be madly in love.
The second scene is based on Vinci refusing to play the gay love scene with Berto. Berto will be playing Vinci, Jenn will be playing Berto, and Gisel will be playing Roseny. The twist is that Vinci and Berto are lovers and are refusing to play a heterosexual love scene, while Roseny is trying to assign them roles.
Then Cheech drops the bomb that the loser of this challenge will be going home immediately. No duel, no second chance, just muerto, caput, for some unlucky chico. With those encouraging words, Cheech hands them their scripts and leaves them to get into their makeup and rehearse.
Okay, let me say right up front that this has to be the worst makeup team ever. I mean ever. It looks like they smoked some of Cheech’s stash, broke into a drag queens attic, and decided to get dressed up. Jenn complains that Gisel dressed up as her looks like a drag queen.
The love child of Cruella Deville and Howard Stern
Berto has on the cheesiest toupe ever.
What happens when you skin the ass off a skunk and put it on your head
Jenn is the only one that looks remotely acceptable as Silvia.
During rehearsal time, stress starts to set in and Gisel and Berto take turns bitching to the camera. Gisel’s all pissed because she’s being asked to imitate people in the house and she’s not here to imitate, she’s here to act, Goddammit!! Berto informs us that he knows Gisel well and she’s difficult to work with. But, I’m having a little trouble summoning up much sympathy for Berto and his woman problems.
So, here we go. Take one. Scene one:
Silvia/Jenn sobs into Geovannie’s/Berto’s arms that she’s leaving La Casa for good as Geovannie/Berto pleads with her to stay. After some more sobbing and a quick moment of touching hyperventilation, Silvia/Jenn runs off. Abandoned by his lover, Geovannie/Berto grabs a knife and in dramatic tones fully worthy of the real life Geovannie asks, “is this a butter knife I see?”
Damn, Hair Club for Men really works.
Then, apparently deranged from grief, he proceeds to commit a Latino version of hari-kari. As he’s clutching his stomach, Jenn/Gisel comes in with “Oh, no you didin’t.” She’s working hard for the ghetto attitude, but she’s got no edge to her and just comes off as kind of lame.
The judges call cut and Cheech is chuckling. How could anyone not love Cheech Marin? He’s just such a squeezeball/cheeseball good guy. Cheech, Maria Conchita and Carlos are our three judges for the challenge. Cheech starts their critique by telling Gisel that she’s supposed to be playing a character from Brooklyn and her delivery needs to be stronger. In addition, she needs to be careful about staying in character even when the camera isn’t on her. Maria Conchita thinks Berto and Jenn were great, but Berto needs to be more surprised when Gisel enters the room. Carlos wants to see more shades of character from Jenn. Then, to wrap it up, Maria Conchita goes back to criticizing Gisel for not staying in character. This round it seems like Berto and Jenn are in the lead with Gisel not doing so well.
The chicos go back to makeup and prepare for their second scene. Berto is jumping with both feet into a Vinci character modeled on the houseboy in La Cage aux Folle:
Everybody knows that Puerto Rican gays are always bare chested, with big crosses and bad hair.
Gisel has returned from her makeup nightmare and is sporting a plain long dark wig, which actually looks good on her:
Further proof that her carpet don’t match her blond drapes.
However, Jenn made up as Berto, looks like she’s taking part in an SNL spoof on ugly, bald woman:
I’m telling you Hair Club for Men, it worked for me.
I thought that the scene itself was a little lame and Berto was really the only chico to deliver a strong performance. But, in fairness I should add that it really is hard to tell much about the contestants acting abilities when they’re hampered by painfully bad scripts and absurd makeup.
Afterwards, the chicos gather for the judges to deliver their final decision. Maria Conchita, wearing an outfit comprised of thigh high boots and a sheer black top not commonly seen on grandmothers, delivers the final critique.
She starts by telling them that her expectations of their performances were very high. She loved Berto and Jenn, but Gisel not so much. Gisel’s not getting much love from the judges in this episode and it’s about to get worse. Maria Conchita explains to Gisel that during her time in the casa she had been self-absorbed and that was evident today in Gisel’s performance. Gisel, mindful that the judges have made it clear that they don’t like her whiny, complaining attitude, nods and smiles. Ouch! I love it. Maria then gushes some about how Berto was just wonderful, and Jenn surprised them by bringing more than her normal street-wise tough character. But, before Maria Conchita can announce who’s caput, we go to break.
After the commercial break and a quick refill of my margarita, Maria Conchita thanks Cheech for participating on the show. Being a classy guy, Cheech tells the chicos that no matter what happens, he’s sure they will be successful. Then, apparently having more time to fill than footage to fill it, the editors simply replay the clip of Maria Conchita’s critique before the break. At first I’m thinking that I’m just confused and Maria Conchita is simply summarizing, but no, it’s the same segment played over. Except that at the end, instead of going to a commercial about the Macy’s Memorial Day Sale, we get to see Maria Conchita telling Gisel that she’s Muerto. Caput. On her way out, for the first time Gisel sounds a little gracious saying that she lost to two people who worked harder than her and deserved it more. I honestly hope that Gisel finds peace and happiness in the world, maybe selling real estate or cars in Miami.
Maria Conchita congratulates the Berto and Jenn, telling them that tomorrow morning she’ll have a breakfast with each of them and then they’ll duel. Berto and Jenn go back to the bedroom and toast. Then we suddenly move into the traditional pre-match Ultimate Fighting Championship scene, complete with the pounding music, where the contender paces the floor, punches his coach or the air and generally psychs himself up. Except that instead of a mixed martial art guy, we get Berto leaning over the sink, pacing with his hands behind his head, and telling us that he’s going to have to come hard at Jenn because it’s going to be a fight. You know, even if the duel was going to be a UFC match, my money would still be on Jenn.
Berto visualizes a clean bitchslap followed by some technical hair pulling.
The next morning, Jenn has received a makeover, complete with a new hairstyle, and she’s looking pretty fabulous as she goes off to her breakfast date with Maria Conchita. Jenn tells us that her goal for the breakfast is to convey that she’s a roller coaster because her life’s a roller coaster, but that there are still lots of levels to her. Hmmmm, I’m not sure about this plan. I’d personally stick with the ‘I’m the best actor in the house’ approach, but that’s just me.
Maria Conchita channels Tyra and takes a moment to ask Jenn’s feeling. Jenn sighs that she’s both nervous and emotional. Maria Conchita nods and looks a little bored. Personally, I’d be thinking about switching game plans, but no matter, Jenn stays on course and launches into the drama of her past year. Apparently, Jenn has some financial issues that involve “the creditors” going into her account and emptying out her money. This is not a good thing. I’m not even sure what circumstances, outside of child support or civil judgments, could cause this to happen. In addition, her cousin died. Okay, so her year truly sucked. But Maria Conchita’s seen many worse years in her life. She tells Jenn that everybody has the right to be depressed sometimes, but we must remember that there are so many people in the world suffering so much more than we are. Then, the editors do the drum equivalent of an “Oh Snapp!” Jenn looks a little taken aback and is probably wishing that she hadn’t played the sympathy card. Maybe, it would have gone better if she had chosen another topic like tequila. You know, Maria Conchita likes her tequila.
I just ate the worm.
Berto comes to breakfast next and he’s feeling a little stressed. He tells us that he’s really hungry, but he’s too nervous to find the cream, much less eat. After managing to seat himself and navigate his way around the food, Berto mentions that he’s never auditioned for telenovelas. Maria Conchita smiles and is all like, of course you haven’t. Silly boy, you don’t have the look of a telenovela actor. Understandably, this kind of throws Berto. But, Maria Conchita’s just playing with him and apparently she’s feeling a little frisky as well. She continues, telling him, “I don’t usually like bald men, but you’re very sexy and I wouldn’t mind…” And then, as food is dropping out of Berto’s open mouth, Maria Conchita laughs and is all like, “Psych!” “Just kidding!”
No, really, I can make the cameras go away.
Just in case you’re worried that Berto is bothered by this:
Berto’s girlfriend has got to be have Lorraine Bobbit fantasies.
Maria wraps up there little encounter with some touching words of wisdom. She advises Berto that, “you can insult people with choosing the words that you are insulting with and you are still a gentleman, but you have to go for it.”
Berto leaves the breakfast feeling pretty confident and telling us that he thinks he made a good impression. Yeah, when a judge propositions you it’s probably a good sign. Especially when you’re a natural manho without those pesky things called morals.
I’m so going to get laid.
Then, it’s time for Berto and Jenn to get down and dirty and our favorite disembodied narrator tells us that the final duel is haunted by the living dead. And standing up on the balcony are the eliminated contestants, or at least some of the eliminated contestants. From what I can tell, Jainmy, Kailan, and Silvia are missing. But the rest of the dead/eliminated chicos are hanging out on the balcony, holding orchids and ready to signal live or die as needed.
But the surprises are not over. A hit song of Maria Conchita’s that I don’t recognize, and that seems to consist in large part of highly charged sexual whimpering and groans, fills the room as the camera pans to a lone disco ball. A row of showgirls in skimpy, sequined outfits and tall feathered headdresses line the staircase and slowly give way to Maria Conchita who descends the stairs wiggling her hips seductively to the music. As she reaches the ground she is picked up by a couple of lost Chippendales dancers and carried to her seat.
What do you say we drop this bitch and go get a drink?
All of this is managed gracefully without mishap until Maria Conchita has small geriatric moment climbing on to her chair. Oh well, it happens to the best of us.
Give me a moment…
The chairs get higher every day.
The music stops, Carlos assumes a serious expression and Maria calls Jenn and Berto to present themselves. Jenn is wearing a surprisingly tasteful blue full-length gown and Maria Conchita comments that she looks beautiful; even Carlos offers an appreciative wow! Explaining that in telenovelas it is common for the dead to come back to haunt the living, Maria Conchita says that she would like the dead/eliminated contestants on the balcony to ask Jenn and Berto some questions. But first, this is the duelists last chance to plead their case. Then we go to the commercial break. Is it just me or are there a ridiculous number of commercials in this episode?
When we come back from the break, Maria Conchita once again welcomes the duelists and Carlos reminds them what they are fighting for: $100,000, a career making role in a telenovela, and a fully furnished South Beach condo for a year.
Maria Conchita starts the duel by asking Jenn why she should be the one to walk away as the winner. Jenn tells them that before the show she had three jobs in order to survive, pay bills, and invest in her career because no one else would. But ultimately, she’s an actress and its in her blood. As soon as Jenn stops to take a breath, Little Enrique jumps in with the first question and asks if Jenn doesn’t feel that her pushing made it a one-woman show. And before she can respond Little Enrique adds in a very stern voice, “I find you have absolutely no give and take skills as an actor.” Uh Oh, Jenn is not about to take any crap from Little Enrique even if he is towering above her and she tells him that she works very well with her actors, thank you very much. If she was pushing it was only because it is competition and he better get over it.
Alexcy looks a little nervous when he asks how she responds to the criticism that she doesn’t look like a telenovela actress. Jenn’s not taking any crap from him either. After all, she caught his ass all flagrante delicto with Maria Conchita just a few days before and she knows what he’s up to. Jenn snaps back that she does look like a telenovela actress and they may think she’s ghetto, but they haven’t seen anything yet. Because, if they screw her chances in this elimination, she’s going to go ghetto for real on their asses. Well, that last part is kind of implied. Jenn actually tells them that they may think she’s ghetto, but she’s got a lot of sides they haven’t seen.
Maria asks why Berto deserves to win the competition. Berto says that he played the game by the book all the way through and reminds them that he was never before in a duel, never lost a challenge, and was in control the entire time.
Now it’s time for the female caput contestants to ask their questions. Roseny comments that she only knows him as the good guy around La Casa. Berto assures her that he’s not a good guy. I like Berto, but he’s right he’s not a good guy. Roseny asks if he would say that his ‘stragedy’ was to be the good guy. You know, when she came out with ‘stragedy’ a few episodes ago, I thought maybe she just misspoke, but by now it’s obvious that she doesn’t know how to pronounce the word. You’ve got to wonder why nobody has corrected her on it; especially, if they’re going to give her a question to ask about strategy. Somewhere in the background, there’s got to be a production assistant laughing his ass off. Meanwhile, Berto is assuring Roseny that she is about to see fire, because he’s done with this nice guy ‘stragedy’ and there’s going to be some serious smack-talking going down.
Gisel, barely able to wait for Berto to finish reassuring Roseny that Mr. Nice Guy is caput, jumps in with, “Was flirting with me part of your strategy or did you ever have feelings for me?” Berto pulls out his most sincere look and tells her, “It’s not part of the strategy sweetie. I could have voted you out when I had the chance and I didn’t.” I watch Gisel smile triumphantly and as I feel battle down a wave nausea, I can’t help wondering if Berto has lost his mind. All I can figure is that Berto thinks that the dead/eliminated contestants might have some say in the vote and doesn’t want to alienate her. Or, he’s pretty sure that his girlfriend has long since put his possessions out on the corner and changed the locks. Either way, he’s pretty much assuring himself a little psycho nooky for the night. Of course, if Berto wins, he’s moving to Miami in easy reach of Gisel, and, you know, after that answer he’s never getting rid of her.
The face of a woman who is planning her wedding.
Vinci cuts in on their love fest and asks Berto, “What make you think you a star?” Berto tells Vinci that he has no idea what Berto has suffered to get there and that Berto has a perfect understanding far beyond anyone else in the room of exactly what he needs to do to be an actor. The rest of the lazy ass chicos are not where he is. Then, as Vinci looks down, apparently distracted by the pretty orchid, Berto goes all alpha wolf and commands him to look at him, reiterating that Vinci’s not at the same level as Berto. Like the little monster that he is, Vinci proudly chuckles noting that he got Berto mad, which could be cute in a five year old child, but probably not.
Berto and Jenn face each other and Maria Conchita requests Berto to explain to Jenn why she should be killed off and he should be the winner. Berto tells her that he’s done a better job than she did; it’s been fuller, it’s been riskier, its just had a lot more colors than hers. Jenn asks him if he hit his head and forgot that yesterday she brought out the actress and showed versatility up the wazoo; a full f**king range of versatility.
Berto breaks in with an incredulous, “In one day?” Then the duel pretty much disintegrates. Jenn keeps screaming at him, and he keeps repeating, “one color,” before telling her that she plays herself because that’s what’s comfortable and that she’s not smart enough to be an actress. In response, Jenn breaks the sound barrier and I’m turning down the volume because her screaming is hurting my ears. Berto says she’s not making sense and he can’t talk to her like this. Maria Conchita tries to call them to order and Jenn and Berto turn to face the judges still bitching at each other like they are in a high school cafeteria. Jenn proclaims, “I am a great actress.” And Berto responds, “In your mind you are.” So, it’s clear that they’re running out of material.
Quick, which chico is sh*tting in their pants.
Thankfully, Maria Conchita basically says shut the f**k up; they’ve never seen her angry in the show and it’s about time they see it, because she’s angry with them. I bet she’s a little spitfire when she’s seriously pissed off, so I’m kind of hoping that Jenn and Berto ignore her, but sadly they turn and walk out of the room.
Don’t make me knock your f**king heads together.
Berto’s adrenalin is still pumping when he starts ranting at the camera that it’s a break through role and he doesn’t want to go back to bartending in New York, and beside he’s worked harder than Jenn and deserves to win. Jenn tells the camera that she didn’t wait for the duel to bring it, she’s brought it since day one. Roseny interviews her support for Jenn, while Vinci interviews his support for Berto.
Meanwhile, Carlos and Maria confer. They really like Jenn, she’s a great actor, but she couldn’t stand up to Berto in the duel. And, while Berto was under the radar in the house the whole time, he really brought it tonight. They decide that whoever wins, it is meant to be and they toast to the winner. Just once, I would like to be the one toasting with Carlos. Sigh. Then we go to break and I’m going to grab some chips…
After break, our disembodied narrator tells us that the moment of truth has arrived and Berto and Jenn return for their final judgment, each taking a place behind a stand holding a gold box. Maria tells Berto that he failed to capture the spotlight in the house until tonight. And, while he is a fine actor with great promise, the question she has to ask herself is, if Berto can be a star. While Jenn is a fighter and a survivor with a strong personality that has shown above all others, the judges wonder if she has the range required to be a telenovela star.
Then we get a montage of past Masacara de Mascara scenes. Sadly, we are not going to get one for the grand finale. Instead, the outcome is in the mysterious gold boxes on the stands in front of them. The losing chico’s box will contain the death card and the winner’s box will contain the mask. Maria Conchita instructs Jenn and Berto to open their boxes and amazingly we don’t go to a break. Instead, we see that Jenn’s box has the death card, while Berto’s box has the mask. Both Jenn and Berto stay where they are and start to cry, while confetti, balloons and the other contestants rain down on them. Roseny rushes to comfort Jenn, while Vinci dances for Berto. Then Maria Conchita hugs and smooches Berto and a giant check gets carried in.
If that’s Berto’s mama, ain’t nobody getting laid tonight.
And then,Berto gives us all the finger:
And now as we end this season, I’d like to send shouts out to Enrique for being the good sport of the year.
Us recappers can always use a little love.
As for the rest of you chicos, thanks for hanging in there and I’ll see you at the next train wreck.