EM Recap Season 2, Episode 4: From South Beach Bummer to Miami Stunner, From “Are You His Mom?” to “You’re the Bomb!”
Air Date: 10/9/03
This week’s episode of Extreme Makeover features two women in their forties, who enlist the help of the Extreme Team to turn them into Fabulous Fortysomething Foxes!
Move Over, Carrot Top, Flat Top is in Town!
We’re told that EM receives upwards of 20,000 video applications, many of them creative, but with a few that just stand out. Watch out, Carrot Top, there’s a new prop comic in town! Our first glimpse of Dana Horowitz, from her audition tape, introduces us not only to her wry sense of humor but also to her “breasts.” She pops out two false breast “explants” from her tank top and shares ideas of what to do with them when you don’t need them anymore: use them for juggling, as ear muffs, and as a water float for a Barbie Doll. “On second thought,” Dana says, “Screw Barbie and her unrealistic Barbie image. She’s on her own!”
Cue video of hot, tan, nearly naked bods broiling in the South Beach sun, and a conspicuously pale and overdressed Dana walking across the sand, looking downtrodden. “People wonder why I don’t like South Beach,” she says, as she passes row after row of sexy sirens. Dana feels out of place in her home of Miami, Florida, a place known for it’s perfect bodies and gorgeous faces. She and her best friend were at one time called “Flatsy 1” and “Flatsy 2.” She also dislikes her “basset hound” eyes and crooked nose. Overall, she’s never felt pretty her entire life.
A sometime self-defense instructor, Dana has been defensive in her love life as well. In love only once, that single instance of heartbreaking rejection has rendered her unable to trust men, so she remains single at the age of 40. She hopes the makeover will change her outlook and allow her to put herself out more, perhaps make her more open to the possibility of love. Dana’s actual job is as an audio mixer in a recording studio. Her boss Margaret Torok, we’re told, has been “extremely negative” about Dana’s application to EM (ironic, considering that Susan bears a striking resemblance to famous plastic surgery proponent, Roseanne Barr…um, pre-surgery, that is). This is, interestingly, the first time I’ve seen someone on EM who has not been supportive of a candidate’s makeover.
Not everyone is as discouraging as Dana’s boss. EM organizes a Tiki party with Dana’s best friends, at which friend Ada Sheerin (herself very exotically beautiful, I might add) announces that Dana will be getting the Extreme Makeover she’s been dreaming of. Dana jumps for joy and hugs her friend Bo Yao, who declares that she is very happy and excited for Dana, and that she thinks this is a wonderful thing (while Margaret, ever the naysayer, shakes her head gloomily, standing next to Bo). “She is going to take the world by storm when she comes back. It’s going to be a whole new Dana,” Bo says warmly. I know whom I’d rather hang out with!
Move Over, Demi & Ashton
May-December romances are nothing new. Like Demi Moore has Ashton Kucher, Cher had her Bagel Boy, and Michael Jackson had Macaulay Culkin, Jacquie Denny has a younger man in her life, husband Ron. Nine years her junior, Ron, married Jacquie when she was 32 and he was 23. Now 48, the housewife from Lebanon, Ohio, is starting to feel insecure about the age gap, especially after a cashier at a grocery store mistook her as being her husband’s mother. In reference to Ron, who was holding their daughter, the cashier said to Jacquie, “Isn’t it lovely that your older son is so devoted to his baby sister.” The kind-hearted Jacquie did not point out the mistake for fear of hurting the cashier’s feelings, but as they left, Ron told Jacquie not to cry.
Also, Jacquie feels insecure because her handsome husband, a pilot, “travels five days a week with beautiful, young women.” Ron, who claims that age has never been an issue for him, does however admit to having made a comment in the heat of an argument that he now regrets (and well he should, because if my husband ever said this to me, I’d slap him six ways from Sunday!): “You keep this kind of stuff up, and I can find a woman half your age and twice as good-looking.” It was a remark Jacquie, already burdened with the poor self-image of being “beauty challenged and breast impaired” never forgot. She would like a more youthful look, and help for her jowls, and “Pinocchiette” nose.
At a family gathering, Ron announces to Jacquie that she has been chosen to go to Hollywood. As Ron takes a family portrait, he specifically asks Jacquie to come forward, “I need a picture to remember you just as you are right now, because you have been chosen to be on Extreme Makeover!” He’d also better remember to treat his wife better when she returns, makeover or not, otherwise I, and millions of other female viewers I’m sure, will pummel him within an inch of his life for being such a male chauvinist pig.
Hollywood or Bust
By now, we’re all familiar with the montage—limos, palm trees, the Hollywood sign—that signal that our lucky candidates are finally in L.A. Dana, seated in an office, is excited to talk to her doctor. Her three wishes: to fix all her problems, not be in too much pain, and for someone to tell her she’s pretty. Good ol’ Dr. Harvey Zarem walks in, and asks how he may help, to which Dana replies, “Can you make me pretty?” More specifically, she asks for help with her drooping eyes, uneven lids, tilting nose, recessed chin, and, of course, her flat chest. Then Dr. Zarem asks her the million dollar question for all those seeking augmentation: What size? “Not too big,” Dana answers cautiously. “But not too small,” Dr. Zarem suggests. “Well, I’m already too small,” she says, laughing.
In the meantime, Jacquie’s meeting with Dr. Garth Fisher, who plans doing a lift that will decrease the jowls that excess skin is creating, a brow and lift, and a rhinoplasty for her nose, which she describes as “big,” although my personal opinion is that it’s not big at all—however, some “oaf” once told her that she’d be cute if it wasn’t for her nose, and she never forgot the remark (I’m thinking the poor lady needs to hang out with different, i.e. nicer, men!). Then they discuss the all-important implants. Dr. Fisher says that the saline implants they use nowadays are safe, pointing out that the body is 70% saline, and the solution being put inside the implants are safe enough to drink (although now I’m imagining implants made out of like Capri Sun packets or something). He adds that while breast implants don’t increase the chance for breast cancer, they make it harder to detect in a mammogram. Then of course, he asks about size. In the same tone of voice Dana used, Jacquie says, “Well, I don’t want to be huge…” before she cops to not minding “being a full B again.” Dr. Fisher measures her breasts, which she discovers are two different sizes, which he assures her are normal. “It is normal to be abnormal,” he says.
The Gruesome Details
It’s time for everyone’s favorite part of the show…the surgery, of course! Dana will be receiving the following: a brow lift, correction for drooping eyelids, chin and cheek implants, a nosejob, breast augmentation, liposuction for her stomach, and (later on) extensive dental work. Jacquie will be getting a face and neck lift, a lower eye lift, a nose job, a brow lift, and breast augmentation; followed later by collagen treatments for her lips, zoom whitening for her teeth, gum surgery, and ten porcelain veneers.
Jacquie bids farewell to her face with a heartfelt “Goodbye, Bum” before going under. Dr. Fisher starts with her breast enlargement, using a huge hypodermic to inject the saline into Jacquie’s new breasts. Because she is fairly petite, he went with a B cup that would not overwhelm her small frame. He then moves on to her forehead and face lift, which takes delicate work to ensure no scars will be visible if she pulls her hair back. He also performs a bilateral lower lid blepharoplasty and a rhinoplasty, and after 8 hours of grueling work, he and his team are done. Obviously a devoted mother, the first thing Jacquie calls for as she wakes up are her “babies”.
Dana, who’s all marked up and ready for surgery, calls the EM experience “an amazing adventure”. Dr. Zarem starts off by giving Dana a C cup implant. “She’s a petite gal,” he says, “I’m not looking to make her VaVoom.” He moves on to the chin and cheek implants by basically shoving in little plastic pieces into Dana’s face before adjusting Dana’s “basset” eyes, which Dr. Zarem must do by adjusting the cables that lift the eyelid. He has some difficulty, however, with Dana’s nose; we see him futzing the septum under the skin, which apparently doesn’t want to stay in position. He must make the tough decision to stop, even when he still feels less than satisfied with the look. “The old saying is if you find yourself in a hole, stop digging,” Dr. Zarem offers. After the procedures are done, he checks on Dana to see if she is having troublesome pain anywhere. “Face, breasts,” she says groggily. That’s everything. Dr. Zarem tells her to be patient, and then off she drifts, back into an anesthetic haze.
Beneath the Bandages
Dana returns to Dr. Zarem’s office at St. John’s, one week after surgery, where she waits in anticipation for a peek under the bandages at her new nose. Especially since we were made aware of the difficulties Dr. Zarem had in the operating room, I am relieved and astonished at the beautiful, perfectly straight nose that is revealed as he takes the bandages off for Dana. She is delighted, and breaks out into a huge smile, asking, “How did you do that?” “I am in happy, ecstatic shock about it,” Dana says, referring not only to her nose, but to her cheeks, chin, and eyes. There has been, however, some concern over her left eye, which still seems to be drooping. Dr. Zarem says that this is a common concern, but that healing over time should correct the unevenness. If she is still unhappy after waiting for some time, he can operate some more on that eye, but he doesn’t want to do anything that “might backfire”. Dana decides to trust in his expertise, and wait and see if the healing process does indeed take care of the drooping.
Now it’s Jacquie’s turn for a preview of her new look. Dr. Fisher takes her bandages off after eight days and, after inspecting it for some time in a small hand mirror, she declares it “the best looking nose in the whole world.” After that, Dr. Fisher checks on Jacquie’s breasts. Now I know he’s working with the utmost professionalism and all, but there’s still something just wrong about having to watch a woman lift her shirt while some guy in a white jacket manhandles her maracas. As if that’s not creepy enough, he has to go and tell her, “Now you have to go and buy a bunch of candles.” Advice to doctors: please don’t refer to anything romantic when you’re in a professional medical context—for example, I wouldn’t want my gynecologist suggesting that Luther Vandross albums really set the mood, mid-pelvic-examination.
After two week, Dana returns to Dr. Zarem’s office to check on the progress of her eyes. Dr. Zarem was correct, and time allowed the eye to correct itself. He asks her to look up, and tells her that her eyes have “wonderful excursion” (up & down eyelid movement). “I have what?” she asks, laughing. “I bet no man’s ever told you that before,” Dr. Zarem says, although I bet that’s what he tells all the girls. We learn that no further surgery will be necessary for Dana, and we also learn a great new pick-up line that we can use at recovery centers all over Los Angeles.
After recovering from surgery, Dana and Jacquie are sucked into an Extreme Makeover maelstrom. We see them sweating it out with fitness and diet with Michael Thurmond, getting their pearly whites at the hands of cosmetic dentist William Dorfman, and even a Clockwork Orange-esque eye scene with Dana at Lasik surgeon Robert Maloney’s office.
Of course, no beauty blitz is complete without Sam Saboura, style specialist. In preparation for his meeting with Jacquie, he says he’s reached back to find his Mid-Western roots. Upon meeting her, he says they have a “fashion travesty,” and then cites her as being in violation of the following fashion law: lack of color and variety. He pulls out from her closet numerous dresses, all black, with very little variation in cut or style. What little color there is, is still plain and in the same shape as the black dresses. Jacquie defends herself by explaining that she grew up going to Catholic School, so for her it’s all about the uniform. Sam says that he also loves a uniform, and he himself wears black all the time, but he suggests having other colors, a variety of shapes, and maybe a little bit of pattern available to break up the uniform to avoid looking like it’s the exact same outfit everyday. They then go to David Meisters to try on dresses for her reveal. Seeing Jacquie in all the bright, vibrant prints, and sexy styles like halters, really proves Sam’s hypotheses to be correct. This is one hot mama in the making!
In contrast, Sam inspects Dana’s closets and finds her guilty of having too many patterns and prints. He says that prints are a good way to spice up a wardrobe, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. He has Dana try on some of her old clothes, and when she comes out, she thrusts out her chest and asks “Do you like the boobs?” Sam says the great thing about her new boobs is that it makes her waist appear even smaller. Her old patterned shirts, however, get the thumbs down from Sam, who describes them as looking “geriatric”. So he takes Dana to Ron Herman, where all of L.A.’s young, hip, and trendy fashionistas go to find the clothes of the moment. Dana has tremendous fun trying on clothes, dancing around in a lot of cute clothes, and looking half her age. “Who knew Dana had this hot, sexy body hiding underneath all those old Grandma patterns?” Sam asks, as Dana steps out in a heart-stopping, sleek black T-halter dress that hugs every one of her curves.
Hair Don’ts and Make-Up Do’s
Sam takes Jacquie to Lukaro’s, where the owner is going to address Jacquie’s hair, and thank god because she has a dreadful haircut that looks like the awkward baby sister of the Mullet. Sam calls it “The Claw,” and it must be a Mid-Western thing, because he remembers girls in high school who would hairspray up th bangs while keeping it long and blunt in back. I really like Jacquie, so that’s why I’d like to punch the hairdresser that gave her this “style”. Anyhoo, Luke is here to mend the situation with delicate, wispy layers, and Rachel (the colorist) with highlights. Finally, Samantha Edrick from Felt Cosmetics comes to put on the finishing touches with make-up.
Dana is sent to Salon Privé, where Tami Jensen and Matthew Pace tackle her hair. “So, are we gonna do blue?” Dana asks Matthew, jokingly. In fact, he is going to revive Dana’s dull brown hair with some warm color and subtle highlights to add dimension. “I’ve gathered that you are a low-maintenance chick, so I’ve given you a low-maintenance color,” Matthew says. Tami, who looks like the prototypical, perfect California blonde, says that she will be giving Dana a look that crosses the “girl-next-door” with “Hollywood sexy and new.” Tami gets to work with the shears, and cuts “flirty, sexy layers” into Dana’s hair. She does not, however, mess with Dana’s bangs, which she has “had forever”. Daniel McFadden finishes things off with makeup. He uses eye makeup to even out where eyes still differ. His advice is to do eye makeup first, because it is the hardest and messiest to do, and use a lip brush to soften the lip line to avoid “Miami Beach Lips” (also seen on: drag queens, and spinster aunts that insist on kissing you every time they see you).
If I Could Turn Back Time
Back in Ohio, a fairy tale horse and carriage drive up to an inn, where Jacquie’s family and friends have gathered to see her new look. An absolutely gorgeous, richly beaded, sanguine colored dress steps out of the carriage, just as Ron confesses that he is nervous to see what his wife now looks like. Before stepping out from behind the curtain, Jacquie says this was her last chance to be “fabulous at fifty.” One of Jacquie’s friends says that a man whistled at her at LAX, and Jacquie was tickled because no one had ever whistled at her before. Watch out Ron! Maybe Jacquie will be the one to leave you for someone half your age and twice as good looking!
She comes out to screams and applause, then embraces her children, and finally Ron . Ron’s reaction is “Wow, is this the same woman that I put away—you know, sent out on an airplane two months ago?” Jacquie asks if his first impression is that she looks the same, just “tweaked” to which Ron replies that she doesn’t even look like the same person. I don’t think this is the reaction she wanted, and she goes on to ask “You think I look the same, don’t you?” and when her son answers yes, she lights up and embraces him, saying “That’s my boy!” Then Ron busts out, in his typical eloquent way, “I sent out a 5 and got back a 10!” Nice. This is just my personal opinion, but I don’t think Ron deserves Jacquie; however, I think she’s way too devoted a wife and mother to leave him. Again, if he doesn’t treat her right…[punches left palm with right fist]
Thanks for the Mammaries
A limo rolls down a tony, neon-lit street in Miami, and before I think I’ve accidentally turned on GTA Vice City, I also see a sexy pair of legs peeking out from a flowing silk, bias-cut skirt. Dana is back home, and she says that she feels really good about herself now. Remember her skeptical boss? Well she’s still whinging that “We’re just all excited, apprehensive, and a little scared.” Um, I think you’re the only one registering apprehension and fear, lady. I think she’s got her own issues, but should put them aside for the moment and just be happy for her employee. Ada and Bo are happy for their friend, and Susan Shayler, Dana’s sister (who looks like a dead ringer for the old Dana, bangs and all) says she thinks this experience will boost her sister’s confidence and help her to go out and meet guys. Well, I think once they get a look at the new Dana, they will have to form a line!
Ada announces that 8 weeks ago, she surprised Dana with the news that she would be on Extreme Makeover. “And now it’s Dana’s turn to surprise us.” And that she does. She pops out from behind the curtain, almost literally, as she thrusts out her most noticeable new features, the C cup twins. Dana looks lovely all over, in a romantic, almost liquid-looking silk dress in pale blue. The greatest thing to see on her, actually, is her radiant smile, but lest we forget her new boobs, she sticks them out proudly as she flexes her arms for the cheering crowd, and we’re even treated to a slow-motion shot of her bending forward in a bow. “I felt like a princess!” Dana says, over video of her shaking her booty. And the naysaying boss? “I was just relieved,” she says. What were you expecting, lady, Frankenstein when they were through? Of course she looks fantastic! Finally, Dana talks about how happy she was to finally see what it feels like to be pretty and the center of attention, as we see some balding jokester-guy sticking a dollar into Dana’s bodice. She laughs, and asks, “I don’t get a five?” in response. Her final thoughts on the EM experience: “Now I’m much more open to dating and hopefully to find love. I’ve always lived a solitary existence, and I really hope it’s going to help me open myself up to everyone”
You’re all beautiful to me! Feel free to send any questions or comments to snowflakegirl@fansofrealitytv. com.