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Thread: 12/20 Season Finale Recap: The Swan 2 "Clash Of The Tit-ans"

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    Rude and Abrasive Texicana's Avatar
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    12/20 Season Finale Recap: The Swan 2 "Clash Of The Tit-ans"

    And it's come to this, fine readers, the culmination of the Swan program, in the spangled form of "America's most watched beauty pageant". As this is a two-hour affair, let's get right down to the business at hand, shall we?

    FOX kicks it all off with shadowy yet shapely figures posturing behind oval screens in various "Vogue" type poses. And I don't mean the fashion bible, I'm talkin' Madonna video. The voice-over narrates the full on media blitz that this season generated across the planet, along with shots of the myriad women who applied in hopes of being selected for the life-transforming event. Then it's on to brief clips of the panel of experts discussing and performing various surgical procedures. The contestants trials and tribulations are quickly flashed on-screen, ending with some clips of pageant rehearsals. Teases. There's a quick reminder of the women who have made it through the initial selection: Jennifer Patton, Gina Davis, Erica Moore, Kari Bravatta, Cinnamon Smith, DeLisa Stiles, Marsha Middleberg, Amy Williams, and one lucky wild card entrant.

    The whole "Circus of the Stars" vibe is reinforced with hostess Amanda Byram's glamourous entrance. You wouldn't expect her to be outshone by one of the finely-feathered beauties, would you? She's decked out in a resplendent black sequined dress with slender spaghetti straps and what looks like a disco ball for a necklace. Bestill my silly fickle heart! Sigh. She reviews the evening for us, and we learn that the women will present and be rated on bathing suits, evening gowns, and lingerie, but will also be judged on their over-all transformations.

    Everyone's A Critic

    And speaking of judges, tonight's ratemeisters are:

    -Ken Baker, Executive Editor for US Weekly magazine
    -Christa Sides-Klayman, former agent of supermodel and America's Next Top Model diva, Tyra Banks
    -Carnie Wilson, popular singer/actress/author/mother to be, and no stranger to public stomach staplings.
    -Larry D Thompson, Hollywood producer/author, and
    - Dayanara Torres, former Miss Universe as well as former Mrs. Marc Anthony.

    Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Stars

    Starting off with a bang and lots of spangles, the evening gown segment commences with Erica Moore. A mini-recap reminds everyone that Erica used to have weight issues and low self-esteem, mostly because her adoptive mother was so perfect and hypercritical. A shot of the Plain-Jane dissolves to another silhouette striking the classic "waitress balancing a full tray" stance. Out she struts in a turquoise fringed monstrosity of a dress. Fortunately she's blonde and buxom, and she receives a high score of 9.5.

    Next is Jennifer Patton, the burn scar victim who blamed her mother for her physical disfigurements and emotional scarring. She's posed like she's got a cell phone in hand, and comes out in a va-va-voom cream and sparkly dress that has a mile-high slit in the skirt. Unfortunately it's half strapless...which makes it distracting. She parades around the stage in a strange bouncy gait, which makes the brunette sleek but awkward, hence the 8.4 high score.

    We are reminded of DeLisa Stiles, the U.S. Army Reserves Captain who longed to be girly and save her marriage, only to be served her divorce papers mid-program. Her pose is very reminiscent of The Bangle's Walk Like An Egyptian dance craze. She appears in a jaw-droppingly flattering see-through gown. She's saved from being indecent only by some strategically placed fabric inserts that line the dress horizontally and showcase some monumental legs. She's hot and she knows it, employing saucy little hip shakes as she sashays the runway. She earns two perfect 10's, as well as 9.9 scores from the other three judges.

    Following this tough act is Cinnamon Smith, who used to be mustachioed, husky, and too mannish. Her pose had one arm poised aloft like an elephant trunk, and she emerges trying to look sultry, but only managing a forced smile. She's in a black and silver sequined gown, but it's too long and severe, making her look hippy as she tries out a few head shakes onstage. She merits a high score of 8.2.

    Next is last week's finalist, Amy Williams, the shy and dentally challenged aspiring country singer from Texas. Her screen pose looks like she's holding some imaginary object, but she does fine once she emerges, with soft blonde hair. She's a sexier version of Tori Spelling in a form-fitting black dress. She's got a radiant smile as she walks calmly around the stage, very cool and collected. Maybe too sedate, earning a high score of 8.5.

    Amanda slows down the pace of the pageant by revealing the top three most asked questions the Swan program has received.

    Question Three is: Who's lost the most amount of weight? Not counting last season's Rachel Love Fraser, who dropped 39 lbs, the weight loss champs were Gina Bravatta (22 lbs.), DeLisa (25 lbs.) and Kari Bravatta (35 lbs.).
    Question Two: What physical transformation did they love the most? I'll admit this part ran a bit fast for me, so suffice to say that out of all the changes the ladies went through, it can be summed up by one lady (DeLisa) who gropes her boobage and exclaims, "How can you not like these!"
    And the top question is: Are the Swannabes really kept from seeing themselves? Yes, all reflective surfaces are treated.

    After these life-altering queries are settled once and for all, we return to some more glamour and glitz, in the form of Marsha Middleberg. She was the social misfit of a college student who suffered the indignity of shaving her facial hair every day. The youngest of this crop of contestants is shown posed like a Caddy hood ornament, and appears with ravishing crimson hair, sultry and confident in a black crepe dress with a tulle net skirt fringe. She's no shrinking wallflower, but she's holding back a bit more than the other women. The judges award her with a high score of 8.3.

    And then there's Gina Davis. She is the hearing impaired contestant, teased since she was tiny because of her deafness, even though she looked perfectly fine. I dare say they made her look worse, nose-wise. Her silhouette is posed with arm straight up and she brings it down in some weird arm wiggles, like a magician's assistant. Abracadabra and she appears like a freaky Fraggle Rock refugee, with Lisa Kudrow hair and a glittery blue dress, sheer from the hips on down. Bad rhinoplasty aside, she's got one hell of a figure, but the overall impression is marred by her frozen rictus of a smile. She gets a high score of 9.1.

    Kari Bravatta is profiled next. She was in the special family edition of the program and beat out her older sister, even though she was afflicted with insecurity and humongous breasts. Her pose has her petting an invisible 3 year old on the head. She's also in a turquoise gown that's simple and flattering, but her blonde curls do her no justice. She struts around the catwalk in a spunky manner, earning her a high rating of 9.4.

    Amanda returns center stage to plug all the prizes that will be bestowed upon the lucky winner this evening. The package includes being the face of the NutriSystem diet program, a luxurious 6-day trip to Thailand, a one-of-a-kind House of Thai silk gown, membership to the Hollywood fitness club Spectrum, assorted beauty products, tuition to Western International University, plus her selected partner will be treated to a smile transformation by Sherri Worth and the Da vinci Institute, the makers of those veneers we've seen way too much of.

    It's time for the wild card selection, as we are presented with a swift montage of the has-beens for this season, one of which will be picked to participate in the pageantry. And the lucky lady is...Gina Bravatta, Kari's brunette older sister. She's selected because of her remarkable transformation and dedication to the program. Could the sisterly competition angle play a part in this? Uh-huh. Kari is shown delivering the good news to her sibling. She's posed as if she's reaching for the stars, and comes out as a bold brunette vision in a shimmery silver translucent dress. She's got confidence to spare as she prowls the catwalk, almost dancing as she shimmies her hips and slows her pace for some added drama. She knows how to work a crowd, and gets rewarded with a high score of 9.6.

    In come all 9 women, and three at a time they take to the runway again. Each trio takes the time to pose provocatively, then retreats to wild applause and acclaim. They regroup triumphantly in a maelstrom of glitter and sequins.

    How To Stuff A Wild Bikini

    For this segment Miss Byram's changed into a bright lime sherbet hued gown that's simple and flattering. She introduces a video that showcases the girls in a dance academy studio training to perfect their model walk for the pageant. Next they are shown exercising intensely and they continue their hard work with diction lessons from a vocal coach who perfects their pronunciation and vocal pitches. Less strenuous are the makeup lessons that instruct them on how to accentuate the new features on their faces. They are rewarded with a trip to Melrose Avenue and a session of pampering at a day spa, leaving them ready for high heels and bathing suits.

    In comes Kari, in a simple bra-style black top and cute black and white checkered brief bottoms. She scores a respectable high of 9.6.

    Cinnamon is in a red one-piece suit, a simple outfit that doesn't sufficiently distract the judges from her heavy trodden gait, and earns her a high score of 8.4.

    Erica is in a chic Pucci-inspired one-piece bathing suit, and she spins and twirls herself to a 9.5 high score.

    Gina Davis comes out in a spectacular gold mesh bikini, and works the stage well, practically prancing about. She gets a high of 9.2.

    On her heels is Marsha, decked out in a black and gold one-piece which she does not show off to best advantage, remaining a bit aloof and calm. That cools off any hotness she conveys in looks alone, and she gets zinged with a high score of 8.3.

    Jennifer gets to model a black and silver snake skin print one-piece number, and she outdoes Marsha by spinning and preening. Yet she only earns a high score of 8.4. Ouch.

    DeLisa emerges in a wild-looking green, blue, and brown bikini, and she walks about, totally owning the crowd. The judges are compelled enough to grace her with two 10's and a pair of 9.9's.

    Amy selected an orange bikini and manages to transmit her sparkling personality as she takes the stage and earns a respectable 8.4.

    Last to take the spotlight is Gina B., in a red bikini with cute candy cane striped accents on the edges. She exudes perky and bubbly sexuality and gets handed a high of 9.6.

    They emerge en masse to hear who's eliminated in the first round of cuts. Amanda informs the group that the first semi-finalist is Erica Moore, who promptly takes her place apart from the main cluster. Second is DeLisa Stiles, which is no surprise considering she's had the top scores in both categories. Third place belongs to Kari Bravatta, followed by Gina Davis, helped no doubt by her magnificent figure. The last semi-finalist slot goes to the other Gina. Confidence had a lot to do with who got cut. Amy and Marsha looked better than the Bravatta sisters as well as Gina D., but didn't light up the stage with presence and flair. Cinnamon leaves the stage before the other three ousted contestants. I could not tell whether it was a fit of pique or just some prompting by stage hands.

    Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Stars, Redux

    The designer gown segment got short shrift this night, so bear with me. First up in a Tadeshi gown of royal purple is Erica Moore. It was long and slinky, with a rhinestone accent. She's followed by DeLisa Stiles in a pretty pink sequined halter dress. Kari Bravatta is dragged down in a somber black number that's too long to boot. It has silly attached ruffles at the hem and no color accents to liven it up. Gina Davis provides a break in Bravatta monotony by selecting a mermaid style dress in garnet with a black skirt. Gina Bravatta follows her sister's clothing faux pas in a heavy black dress that looks like it's made of curtain material, with a rhinestone diamond pin as a feeble attempt to add some spark failing miserably.

    Riddle Me This

    Next the girls have a minute to provide a concise and intelligent answer to queries from each judge. All ensuing redundancy and abuse of the words confident and strength are theirs alone. Erica picks the first envelope and is asked by Dayanara Torres: With your life changing so dramatically, who is Erica today, and what are her plans? Erica replies that before the program she had no self-confidence, but is now leaving as a strong woman who feels and looks amazing, and for that she's very grateful and proud. She earns a high score of 9.6.

    DeLisa chooses the envelope containing Ken Baker's question, who wants to know: You were caught off guard on the show, being asked for a divorce mid-process. Your marriage ended, but how did the show prepare you for this change? DeLisa confidently explains that she got inner strength, made new friends, and is a stronger and more complete person because of the Swan program. She gets a perfect 10 from a judge.

    Crista Klayman asks of Kari: Your body stopped your dreams, so what's different for you now? Kari asserts that she has a higher self-esteem and is secure and comfortable in her skin. She has a whole new world to inhabit. She gets a high score of 9.6.

    Gina D. selects Carnie Wilson's question: How do you compare the pre-Swan you to the Gina of today? She's hard to understand at times, and there's no subtitles, but I am sure Gina said that before the Swan she was lost in her disability and it stilted her progress in life. Leaving the program, she's learned she's special because of her impairment, not despite it, and wants to help others who have similar problems. She was very eloquent and get a high of 9.9.

    Last up is Gina B, with a question from Larry Thompson. He wants to know: You tended to be the caretaker in your relationships, but what have you now gained? Gina replies that she's learned to feel worthy of attention instead of constantly bestowing it on others. She can now help others because she's a stronger person. Her sincerity earns her a perfect 10 for a high score.

    Yeah, Yeah, And She's Drop Dead Gorgeous

    Enter Amanda in a silky pewter halter dress, announcing the segment we've all been waiting for, lingerie. This score will be combined with an earlier modeling shoot with famed shutterbug Azabra.

    First up is Erica, who's shown in a purple dress once again,but this time with a huge ungainly necklace made entirely of Slinky hoops. She's got a definite porn star look at the shoot. Her lingerie selection is a lacy pearlescent 2-piece boudoir getup, with a matching wrap. Despite the windblown coif, she earns a top score of 9.8. (The lingerie segments are shown with a side by side comparison of the pre-makeover, ugly undie shot, which is best forgotten).

    DeLisa follows, and has the best fashion shoot footage of them all, looking stunning in artfully askew hair, dramatic makeup, and a bronze sequined dress. Her negligee choice is a black cropped bustier bra with matching panties. Garter belts hold up some black stockings which showcase her gams and she finishes her look with a burgundy wrap. Her spectacularness garners her not one but two 10's.

    Kari has the bad luck to follow DeLisa. Her photo shoot is old school glamour, with precise blonde ringlets, flower hair pins, big fringed eyes and an exotic green shimmery dress. She falters with her lingerie outfit. It's a demure camisole top and boxer bottoms in a silver blue tone. Amazingly she nets a high score of 9.8.

    Gina D. has a shoot that's a bit of a mess. She's got hair pouffed too big for her narrow face, raccoon lined eyes, and a sleazy black tube dress. She redeems herself in the lingerie segment by opting for a red bustier and scanty panties, topped off with Brigitte Bardot hair. She wisely uses black stockings and garters to showcase her legs and wrangles a respectable 9.7 top score.

    Gina B. is last but not least. She's the only contestant not decked out in a dress of some sort for her shoot, instead modeling a plain two-piece outfit that's gussied up with a black marabou-feathered boa. She sticks to the dark theme for her lingerie as well, appearing in a black scalloped bra and brief bottoms, topped off with a light pink wrap. It's a bit plain, but this woman struts. She gets a high of 9.9.

    The ladies once again prance about for the audience's benefit, going through the choreographed poses perfectly before retiring for the final part of the pageant.

    Life In Plastic, It's Fantastic!

    Now clad in her final gown, a glimmering red number, Amanda reveals that the final cut is about to be announced. She summons the ladies, who are in different formal gowns as well, and names the final three, in no particular order: DeLisa, Erica, and Gina B.

    DeLisa, outfitted in a one-shouldered bright bronze dress is asked to describe why she deserves to be crowned the next Swan. She eloquently explains that she's learned to draw from her inner strength and beauty. She's managed to forget she has any limits in life and is determined to enjoy the wide-open world and inspire people to do the same.

    Erica has chosen an eye-popping black gown that has several hip and bust cut-outs that have see-through tulle inserts, revealing lots of filmy flashes of skin. Her reasoning for wanting the crown is that she's experienced a constant transformation and has garnered confidence. The program has brought her not only joy, but inner beauty, and she astutely gives props to her fellow competitors. Unfortunately she stumbles a bit and seems nervous as she composes her thoughts.

    Gina chooses a (say it with me, everyone) black dress, but this time opts for a livelier design, a spanish-style creation that has a full ruffled hem. Gina believes she deserves to win because she's given up being solely focused on others and now gives herself the attention she deserves. She feels she's an accomplished woman and wants the honor of representing the Swan program.

    The eliminated contestants are brought back to fill out the background and presumably be jubilant during the crowning ceremony. The winner of "America's most watched pageant" will receive "the biggest prize package in pageant history". It includes the NutriSystem contract, continued educational opportunities, and trips to Las Vegas and Thailand. What, no car?? Runners-up will be bestowed with a Gai Matteo gown,a week-long trip to Honolulu, skin care products, an ellipsis machine, and Debbie Severs athletic wear. The last magnificent gift to be given to the winner is a $100,000 "Victory" necklace from Jonathan Jewelers, the official baublist for the Swan program.

    We are treated to one last sad view of DeLisa, Erica, and Gina as they were before The Swan entered their lives, plain and unsure, then ecstatic and vibrant after their transformations. Rachel Love Fraser emerges from stage left to hand over her crown and scepter. Yes, she has a scepter. She's dressed in a shiny grey sheath and is a vision of loveliness in her upswept hair.

    Amanda, envelope in hand, wastes no time in revealing Erica as the second runner-up. She promptly retreats to the back of the stage and makes room for Gina Bravatta as the first runner-up. This leaves DeLisa Stiles as the second ever Swan beauty queen. She graciously crouches to allow Rachel Love to place the rhinestone bedecked tiara on her head and clutches the scepter for dear life. She relishes her moment in the spotlight, doing her practiced parade wave as she strolls the stage from left to right amid a flurry of confetti. As the other ladies converge on their queen, Amanda reminds us that this show is a culmination of a journey in self-discovery and an affirmation of the power of change.

    Yeah, I can agree with that. It also means that since this show is over, so do my recapping duties come to an end, and leaves me free to stalk Amanda Byram with the fervor she truly deserves.

    Send Xmas presents and money to texicana@fansofrealitytv.com
    Last edited by Texicana; 12-21-2004 at 12:24 PM.
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    Anarchist AJane's Avatar
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    Best recap title ever.

    Another stellar job, Texie. I won't send money but I'll bail ya out of jail when Amanda has you arrested for stalking.
    All my life, I have felt destiny tugging at my sleeve.~ Thursday Next
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    daydream believer oneTVslave's Avatar
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    You are maaaaahvelous, Texi. I was cracking up over the way you described their poses.

    Here's to a very well-done season of recapping!
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    Premium Member dagwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texicana
    Gina Davis with Lisa Kudrow hair
    I think it was more than the hair...I think Gina Davis looked alot like Lisa Kudrow. It was kinda scary.

    Great recap, Texi.
    He who laughs last thinks slowest

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    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
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    Glad to see you gave proper props to Gina Bravatta. While DeLisa overwhelmed by the fact that her legs came out REALLY spectacularly, Gina kicked everyone else's asses with attitude and personality. If the show hadn't had to eventually give in to the inevitable conclusion that the physical end-results really ARE more important than the mental and emotional ones, Gina would have won hands down.

    DeLisa's answers were a little over-rehearsed for me. And while I agree DeLisa got that strut and hip wiggling down, a lot of Gina's transformation was in what came out of her face--the woman was overjoyed to be standing where she was and it came through. DeLisa? Looked proud, I suppose, but wasn't floating on cloud 9 like Gina was.

    "You don't rehearse Mr. T, you just turn him loose."
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    Scrappy Spartan Broadway's Avatar
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    Awesome awesome awesome.....

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    Peppermint Patterson EVOO's Avatar
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    Just a minor nitpick (Loved it!)...you said:

    it can be summed up by one lady (DeLisa) who gropes her boobage and exclaims, "How can you not like these!"
    It was actually Erica who said that.

    But you had me cracking UP with your line:

    She's got hair pouffed too big for her narrow face, raccoon lined eyes, and a sleazy black tube dress. She redeems herself in the lingerie segment by opting for a red bustier and scanty panties, topped off with Brigitte Bardot hair.
    I thought her hair was too big for her face too. I really was expecting her to bust out a whip.
    "I only run if I'm being chased" (Dominique- Making the Band 3)

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    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    I'm late to the recap, but just wanted to say great job on this season of the Swan, Texie!
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

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    FORT Fogey famita's Avatar
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    Great Recap!!! You told it true AND funny! Looking forward to your next set of recaps!

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    Christian,Mom,Teacher mom2's Avatar
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    Fantastic Recap .. !
    You managed to say what I was thinking about the swans as they did their practiced moves across the stage.
    "Quotes on the internet may not be accurate." - Abraham Lincoln

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