AND YOU THOUGHT REALITY COULDN’T GET ANY WORSE
A tragedy struck my TV this week when Jennifer Biesty became the second chefbian of Top Chef Season 4 to be told to pack her knives and go. For a few years now, Bravo’s culinary drama has been one of the only reality shows on TV in which a contestant’s skills actually matter — and in which contestants are quite often lesbians.
Jen’s chocolate wasn’t enough to save her from elimination
Photo credit: Chuck Hodes/Bravo
Now there’s only Lisa "I’m not negative" Fernandes and Jackie "I’m not a player" Warner to hold back the tide of increasingly tawdry and just plain embarrassing lesbians and bi women on reality TV. If you think I’m exaggerating, let me fill you in on what cable TV has been doing to us lately.
Over on Oxygen’s Bad Girls Club, which is a sort of Real World for women who call each other "bitch" as a form of endearment (and they’re not saying it in a campy, fabulous gay way, either), resident bad girls Andrea and Cordelia have been developing something of an intimate relationship, hampered by jealousy, alcoholism and the fact that Andrea, at least, is probably straight.
From the various video clips I forced myself to watch, it seems as though Cordelia might actually be dealing with some real coming-out issues. Doing this on a reality show called Bad Girls Club, though, is seriously one of the worst places in the world to deal with them. I’m not sure whether I should blame Cordelia for putting herself on this show, or the producers who make these kinds of shows.
Over on VH1′s Viva Hollywood, a reality show that is looking for "America’s Numero Uno Telenovela Star," the aspiring actors are coached by an assortment of camp icons (Charo, anyone?) and put through a series of challenges called the "Seven Deadly Sins" of telenovelas. This week they had to deal with "Lust," and of course that involved same-sex kissing.
The two women involved in the lesbian kiss didn’t seem to be as reluctant as the two men who had to do a gay scene, but the dialogue certainly drew on some pretty pathetic stereotypes. After one woman expressed some reluctance to hook up, the other woman said in a totally sober voice: "Don’t think about it. We’re drunk. Tomorrow we’ll pretend it never happened." Watch it for yourself (the lesbian scene is toward the end of the clip):
But wait, it gets worse! This week, Season 2 of A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila premiered on MTV, and I made myself watch it so you don’t have to. Back before the first season premiered, I was actually excited about the potential for this show, but it eventually devolved into a big ugly mess. During Tuesday night’s episode, that mess just got uglier.
The episode began with Tila Tequila putting the men and women into two separate cages — a blue cage for the men, a pink one for the women, of course — and then asking them to turn her on by dancing seductively. Nudity occurred within the first few minutes of the episode, and no, it wasn’t tasteful, in case you were wondering.
It just went downhill from there. The boys acted like animals, while two of the women (Lili and Serena) started making out with each other right before the elimination. Tila promptly dismissed them (and four other women) from the show. Here are the women who had the luck to get kicked out on the first night:
Clockwise from top left: Lili, Serena, Rada, Tashi, Tarra, Janny
Amid all the mayhem, Tila did manage to get out one sentence that spoke to a myth about bisexuality: "Even though I picked a guy last time, I’m still bisexual."
There’s just one problem with her statement. Tila, I’m pretty sure the bisexuals called and demanded that you give them back your membership card.