11/29 Recap: The Swan 2 "This Show Is Like Pulling Teeth!"
Writing for The Swan is not easy, folks. I have to tiptoe on the fine line of snark and sympathy and I'm not much of a ballerina. Singing a little ditty gets me going, and I had a lot of musical inspiration to see me through tonight's episode. Looking as pleasing to the eye as the most lyrical verse is Miss Bryam, this night donning a dusty rose floor length gown made out of jersey. She's got cleavage on parade, praise be! Right behind her are the cadre of experts, a few preening in white lab coats, probably to remind us that they are actual medical professionals and don't solely play some on TV.
TAPS and Teeth
First we get to meet DeLisa Stiles, a 32 year old mother from Texas. At first glance, as she receives the news that she's made it to the Swan program, she seems to be very muscular, fit, and freckled. DeLisa reveals that she chose to be a captain in the Army Reserves in order to affect an overbearing and confident mien that masks her feelings of inadequacy regarding her looks. Desert Storm left her with skin damage in the form of pigmentation on her face. I call them freckles, and they aren't at all as distracting as a port-wine birthmark would be. But DeLisa makes it seem like she needs a bag over her head. She piles on the coverup makeup to cope. All this negativity over small issues has taken a death toll on her marriage, with her husband fed up and no longer wanting to get back together to work on the relationship. Jason lost interest in intimacy with DeLisa due to her constant harping about her physical flaws. The major issue she faces is a slight stomach bulge and a thick middle. With no sex life and no spouse, she feels lonely. Blah. She's pretty much ruined her own life over small potatoes.
Doctor Ianni opines that DeLisa needs to start making decisions based on her own needs, not those of her husband. Way to encourage a reunion, lady! With her spiritual and emotional needs salved, Dr. DuBrow explains that he'd like to transform her from "handsome to pretty" by refining the masculinity of her frame and ridding her of the pigmentation on her skin with some photo-facials. He also plans to throw in a mid face lift, lower eye work, fat transfers to her cheeks, and a brow lift. A little lipo to her thighs and tummy, as well as a breast lift wouldn't hurt either, so she gets slated for that work as well. Dr. Worth decides to skip the Da Vinci veneers and only schedule deep cleaning and zoom bleaching. I'm slightly taken aback at the restraint shown. Trainer Debbie recommends a NutriSystem diet plan with a 1,200 calorie a day cap, and cardio workouts for two hours daily.
And along comes Lorraine. Now this is a lady with some problems. She's a 38 year old mother who looks about 20 years older. Her weathered visage is painful to contemplate, especially when compared to photos of her in her teens. She used to be a striking looking girl, with clear blue eyes and nice feathered hair. Years of abuse from her mother left her feeling worthless and she'd go to high school in hand-me-down clothing. Of course, she was picked on and further demoralized. The harshest blow was losing her teeth to decay and lack of dentist visits. Out they fell, one by one, until she was completely toothless at the age of 25. Shots of her without her teeth remind me of that Frank Zappa song, "Baby, Take Your Teeth Out". It's not pretty. Not even the dentures she got for her wedding day helped her morale. Feeling stocky and bloated, she firmly believes her husband does not find her attractive, even though he tries very hard to lift up her spirits and esteem. This is a woman uncomfortable in her skin, not to mention her mouth.
Dr. Worth mentions how rare it is for someone to lose their entire set of teeth at such a young age. She wants to install full implants for the sake of functionality. What the Tooth Fairy taketh away, Sherri Worth will fix up. I can't help but feel the dentist is enjoying prying the spotlight off of Drs. Haworth and DuBrow if just for one episode. Speaking of Haworth, he cavalierly comments that Lorraine looks like an 80 year old from the nose down due to her lack of dentition. Geesh, and I thought I was being unkind by mentioning that she looked 20 years older. Without her dentures, Lorraine has a bad case of Bitter Beer Face, all caved in and puckered. He asks Dr. Worth to install a set of temporary dentures so that he can perform the facial work on her with some sense of balance. Doctor Ianni believes that she's using all the criticism that her mother heaped on her through out her childhood and turning it on her husband, which is unfair and needs to change. Her full Swan regimen will consist of rhinoplasty, brow lift, fat transfer to her cheeks and lips, neck liposuction, and a chin reduction. On her body she'll have liposuction to her hips, knees, and inner thighs, as well as breast implants. She'll need a titanium implant to her jaw in which her new teeth will be set. There was no mention of diet or extensive exercise for Lorraine. Lucky her!
Never Look A Gift Horse In The Mouth
The ladies arrive to their respective Surgery Suites and promptly set about to ruining their moods by reading sappy letters from home. The moods further plummet with the shoddy decor as well as lack of reflective surfaces. Honestly, these rooms look like Motel 8's. DeLisa consults with Dr. Dubrow and finds out that she's got too much fat on her torso. He manages to trivialize her major abdominal surgery by saying he's going to trade in a scar for a tight as a drum tummy. He recommends a slight breast lift and lots of photo-facials to rid her of her blemishes before performing a mid face lift. DeLisa seems pretty excited by the plan.
Cut to Lorraine's visit with dentist Worth. You know this isn't going to be easy to stomach. Lorraine complains that her ill fitting dentures limits her diet because she can't deal with hard crunchy food items like most fruits and raw vegetables. The poor fit of her choppers have also irritated and worn away some bone under her gum line. The drastic measures called for are a full set of titanium screws worked into her jaw and gums that will anchor the attached teeth. She'll need 18 in all and will have to go 5 weeks with no teeth and just a set of temporary dentures. We are treated to extreme closeups of bronze screws studding those poor gums. It's a high price to pay for looking long in the tooth. A visit to Haworth and she's told that for her facial surgeries she's to wear the temporary dentures, so that the facial collapse is lessened and he can reinvent her mouth and "witch" chin. It all goes back to her missing teeth. Without them her face loses any structural support. He informs her about ridding her of the loose stomach skin and other ravages of motherhood.
Later than night DaLisa has a hard time deciding whether to use up her phone privileges on her wayward husband. She decides against it and mopes. Lorraine suffers even more, due to the intense pain in her mouth from those screws jammed in her gums You can guess who has my sympathy here. In preparation for her surgery she can't eat any solid food.
Looking like a road map, DaLisa is ready for her first round of surgeries. She's gung ho with the Army spirit and endures her tummy tuck and thigh lipo. She then gets a brow lift in order to open up her eyes for a brighter look. After her extensive face and body work she thanks the surgeons groggily. She starts off with high spirits, but continual nausea and a bruised, puffy face, complete with what looks like the black under-eye smears that football players employ, wear away at her tough as nails demeanor. With perfect timing, she's served with divorce papers and requires the shoulder of "LifeCoach" Nely Galan to cry on. Nely had an ugly divorce from comedian Paul Rodriguez, so she's no stranger to rejection. No, that wasn't revealed on the show. I got that tidbit from "The Globe". The things I subject myself to for the sake of my art. But never mind.
Dr. Haworth gets Lorraine to insert her temp teeth and fixes her chin by reshaping it and adding some fat to balance it out. He finishes by giving her a abdominoplasty and breast augmentation. A few days afterward, Lorraine is not coping well. She's got severe headaches due to her oral surgery. The experts fear she might not be ready for her reveal. Ensconced in her apartment, Lorraine calls her husband only to hear the sounds of revelry in the background. He mentions having a few friends over, but it sounds like he's got an entire stripper revue in his living room. Lorraine goes off on him, haranguing him and bemoaning that he doesn't care about what she's enduring with the program. She indignantly hangs up. Maybe it was the rage, but Lorraine looked almost pretty through her bandages and false teeth at that moment.
Therapist Ianni senses that the Swannabes need some intervention of the emotional kind. she meets with Lorraine and falls back on some halfhearted role-playing to exorcise the Mommy demons that torment her. With DaLisa, she changes tactics and has her write a letter to her husband to express the sentiments she's found so hard to vocalize. The gist of it all is feeling that many years were wasted by settling and that she hopes for a friendship with him.
With one month left in the program, Lorraine prepares for her final dental surgery. The days of eating gruel and mushes consisting of bananas and milk will soon be over. After a pep talk from Nely in which she's told to let go of the devastation of losing her teeth and work at regaining some confidence, it is off to Dr. Worth's office. Permanent cement is readied and applied. Her set of dental implants are slid into place and the whole mess is left to harden. She tries to talk but is pretty incomprehensible.
DeLisa wraps up her part of the program by fighting the battle of the bulge. She's been cheating on her diet with sweet dessert bars, inciting the ire of trainer Debbie. She's like a drill sergeant, barking out sets of repetitions and running her into the ground. Will she lose those extra 22 pounds? Both ladies have survived their surgeries and are prepared to emerge sleek and toned.
Fighting Tooth And Nail
The presence of the doormen means one thing, reveal time. Amanda strides in flanked by the Expert Brigade. In regards to DeLisa, they all agree that it was hard for her to cope with her divorce and she surprised them with the intense sense of failure she carried about her over the relationship. DuBrow does not disappoint and mentions how he "chipped away at her femininity to reveal a beautiful sculpture". Ay Caramba!
DuBrow's own Venus de Milo emerges in a dark brown floor-length halter dress. Right away it's obvious she's had a bad nose job. It's bobbed and too angular, with what looks to be a 45-degree slope. Her eyes do look livelier, but she's got those wide manly shoulders. No surgery invented for that as of yet. Maybe it's because of her broad shoulders, but she finally has a defined waistline. Her hair has some honeyed highlights, but I suspect extensions because there's no shine to her tresses. It's slightly teased out, so that's an improvement. Her breasts look fantastic, mostly because she only had a slight lift and no rock hard implants. She leaves Amanda and gazes upon her reflection. She tells Amanda she likes her eyes best of all. Remember ladies, a great eyebrow tweeze works miracles! In the background I hear Dr. Dubrow calling her a babe. Ick.
And here's Lorraine. Awash in a sea of blonde-streaked hair, her chest is barely contained in the V-neck of her black ribbed dress, which is also full length. This woman is armed to the teeth with tetas. That means mammaries to the non Spanish-speaking contingent of my readership. I force myself to take in her high cheekbones and squared off jawline. She speaks as if she has cotton in her mouth, ala Marlon Brando as Don Vito Corleone. I suspect she's not used to her teeth yet. In front of the mirror, she promptly checks out her profile and we are treated to her pneumatic cleavage. She's like the prow of ship. To everyone's surprise she doesn't tip over, she's that top heavy. The experts are all very pleased and praise her amazing results, while we are all left thinking, "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down!"
Both women have blossomed but who's ready to move on? Will it be sexy and single DaLisa or confident beauty Lorraine? The women enter side by side and the difference in cleavage quality is astounding. Amanda tears open the envelope and proclaims that it's DaLisa who's pageant-pretty. It's a good call; her physical transformation is more natural and she changed internally as well. Lorraine's not all that shattered, and who can blame her? She's got some teeth she can live with at last. Lorraine lisps her thanks to the doctors and hugs her family. Her daughter overuses the word "awesome" to describe her reworked mother.
DaLisa gets further hugs and squeezes from Miss Byram and confesses she's looking forward to the pageant leg of the program. The string of blonde winners remains unbroken. I'm left wondering if brunettes will ever get a fair shake. Good thing I can cheer myself up by humming a holiday tune, Gorgeous George Strait's " All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth".
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