Don’t Quote Me: Tila and Lala Land


I like people who are really f—ed up. … I am very high strung and suffer from multiple personalities. Jane. She’s crazy and she always wants to kill me. Tila. … Poor Girl. … She deserves a break. … I do a lot of things that are self destructive. … I’ve always been a nerdy geek trapped inside a umm … woman’s body. Yea. … That’s me. People love me for some reason. I don’t know why. … I do but I just say I don’t know why just to be modest.

— Tila Tequila, star of A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila, in a post on her MySpace page

I don’t feel comfortable at all. So I gotta go.

A Shot at Love contestant Lala, to Tila, just before she walked off the show in Episode 2

If there’s one good thing to come out of MTV’s A Shot at Love, the show that pits a group of straight men against a group of lesbians for the chance to fall in love with a bisexual woman named Tila Tequila (and so far I’m convinced that there is only one good thing) — it’s the contestant named Lala, a self-respecting and self-declared “full lesbian” from Richmond, Calif.

Despite her ungenerous name and the fact that she mumbles (I didn’t really hear her say of Tila Tequila, “She try to show me her rug, I’m gonna show her my rug,” did I?), when Lala hobbled off the set in her high heels in Episode 2, I heard a choir of angels singing “No More Drama.”

Lala became for me, at that moment, a most unlikely messiah — the dubious anointed one whom I’d prayed for since I first heard Tila (or was it Jane?) say in the opening credits of the first show, “If you ever hurt me, I’ll kill you.”

Even now, weeks after Lala tried like hell to strut off in the truest sense of the phrase, the clicking of her heels on Tila’s driveway echoes in my mind as a reminder of the ultimate redemptive sacrifice she made for viewers. Regardless of whether her actions were scripted or not, she is the true source of lesbian salvation and atonement for that big, fat sin known as reality dating shows.

Sure, I know that reality programming is an effective and often very funny evil. The genre, even at its worst with A Shot at Love, has, in a very twisted and ignoble way, done much to increase LGBT visibility. But not until Lala’s imperfect exit were we reminded that there’s room for dignity in the well of vapidity and in the guilty pleasure it provides.

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