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Grasping at the C-list

Rock of Love 2 VH1, Sundays, 9:00 p.m. EST

I am not a big fan of reality TV, but VH1’s Rock of Love resonated with me from the beginning. Now in its second season, Rock of Love continues to be a looking glass into the world of those desperate to join the C-List.

As Rock 2 opens, Bret’s potential paramours line up outside their plywood mansion under the watchful eye of Big John, Bret’s hired goon. The driveway gates open and Michaels cruises up in a bright red look-at-my-huge-cock convertible with a shit-eating grin on his face. The girls and their implants hop up and down in excitement. Bret wears his signature bandana, painted-on jeans, Ed Hardy T-shirt and leather jacket. Brett never removes his bandana, ever. If he did, his face would fall off. I am dying to blast a hose at the group and watch the extensions, eyebrows, caked-on makeup and mystic tans run down the drain. Bret’s included.

The nastiest piece of work so far is Meghan Hauserman, a tall blonde who roused my suspicions from the get-go. Possibly the hottest girl ever to appear on a reality show, she claims that being a rock star girlfriend is her calling, like a “nun to a convent.” Meghan won the reality show Beauty and the Geek, and thus became a Playboy centerfold and professional star-fucker. Her MySpace photo album features Derek Jeter passed out in a lounge chair poolside in the early morning hours, Meghan posed proudly by his side. She is an evil little thing, and in the end proves too dumb even for Bret. She somehow produced real tears after being voted off and for a second my heart softened.

Scene from <i>Rock of Love 2 </i>
Scene from Rock of Love 2

Current runner up Daisy De La Hoya (boxing genius Oscar’s niece) has a weirdly fetal quality, possibly the product of all her plastic surgery. Her most indicative MySpace snap shows Daisy, dress pulled down, giving the finger while holding a bottle of Jack Daniels atop a pile of bullets, next to a mirror with lines of white powder.

Peyton and Catherine, a.k.a. Patty and Selma, both in their forties, smoke and vent in their scratchy voices about how they aren’t getting enough alone time with Bret. Their desperation for his attention makes me weep for their teenage children at home. My suspicions of Meghan’s black-heartedness are confirmed when she describes Catherine, clearly the eldest, as “an old horse waiting to be put out of its misery.”

For all its meanness, this is the stuff of lame, Lifetime television drama. Last season we got hair pulling, fistfights, girls being thrown in to the pool and perpetual vomiting. Now, all the girls are jealous of Christy Joe, Bret’s favorite. They sit on the stairs weeping and comforting each other while plotting CJ’s evisceration. Destiney (she loves herself that extra ‘e’) hates CJ because CJ is the poor-man’s version of her, and seven years Destiney’s senior. Eventually CJ flees the drama to go back to her husband and child at home.

The situation—girls trapped in a house while competing for the same tawdry prize—bears grisly similarities to the time when my first modeling agency sent me to Athens, Greece. Athens is where models go to die: a group of attractive girls with eating disorders and daddy issues thrown together and hating on each other. On Rock 2, the girls think becoming Bret’s girlfriend will bring fame and fortune. In Athens, the parallel goal is to become who the photographer wants to sleep with most.

There are five key similarities between the two experiences:

1) Sexy (Homoerotic?) Photos

Throughout the Rock of Love house and above every bed hangs a glossy photo of Mr. Michaels making a sexy face, pouting his silicone fish lips and sporting a fantastic tan. This is the only time we see him sans bandana, but his hair looks Photoshopped for sure.

The Croatian owner of my agency was forty-something with long blond hair and a perpetual bandana. He would show up at the clubs with four or five models in tow. His last name had no vowels. In the apartment I discovered photos embedded in the kitchen floor tiles. Upon close inspection, they proved to be images of him. He was, apparently, the Croatian Zoolander.

2) The first order of business? Semi-nude Snapshots

Bret lines the ladies along the foyer balcony and down the stairs as they wait to pose for a sexy photo. Some get nekkid as Michaels drools, though his painted-on jeans suppress any excitement that might occur.

I was taken straight from the airport to the agency and brought into a little room where I had to strip down to my underwear so a booker could take Polaroids of my ass “just to be sure your measurements are correct.”

3) Stripper Booths = Commercial Castings

The first competition on Rock of Love sits Michaels in a peep show booth beside a pile of giant coins sporting his amphibious face. Whoever pleases him gets a coin inserted in a slot on the side of the booth, which gives the girl another 30 seconds to “perform” for Bret. Some sing, dance, and do little tricks with their underwear. The two girls who wrote poems for him were mocked, and promptly voted off. Angelique, the transvestite stripper (whose audition tape featured her in a suave French accent declaring “ I love to fuck, I love a nice cock.”) baked two chocolate pies, rubbed them on her shoddy-looking implants and licked the chocolate off her own breasts.

Every week, the agency would send us to this casting house for commercial auditions. I later discovered that they weren’t really casting anything; they just had nothing better to do than to humiliate models in front of a camera. Once I had to dance to house music in a bathing suit for at least five minutes, followed by hours of questioning my self-worth.

4) The Rules

Near as I can tell, Rock’s rules state that you must be single, you have to use the house phone in front of a camera, and you must pass an STD/HIV test.

In the model apartment there was a piece of paper framed behind glass typed by the agency owner. He used different colors for each word and underlined certain words he thought deserved stress. I wrote it down four and a half years ago in hope that someday I would be able to share it.

1) Do not smoke in apartment no even on balcony.

2) No visitors, no parties, no alcohol, no dregs!

3) Do not mass up walls, who makes wall dirty, has to wash. Who does not wash, will pay.

4) Your stuff, luggage, etc need to be in closet. Please, do not leave anything on floor.

5) Do not leave kitchen if dishes are not washed.

6) Every day, but every day throws away the garbage.

7) Once a week clean the dust.

8) Bathroom every day clean, clean towels always must be fold up in closet.

8) Everything what is broken will be charged.

5) Sometimes Innapropriate Elimination Works in Your Favor

On the audition tapes for Rock of Love one of the girls tells a story about being wasted and crapping her pants. She is not chosen as a finalist. But during a (need I say drunken) game of truth or dare Destiney is told to pee on the front steps to mark her territory, and she’s applauded.

My Ukrainian roommate got really sick with food poisoning right before her boyfriend came to visit her. The agency doctor dosed her with something toxic. She soiled herself in front of her boyfriend in a crowded subway car. Her boyfriend dumped her, but she lost 15 pounds and started booking jobs like crazy.

On Flavor of Love 2 (former rapper Flavor Flav’s parallel universe of exploitation), one of the ladies craps on the floor and is not eliminated that week. Clearly Flav is more open minded about such things.

So now I look forward to the conclusion of this season. I have high hopes that the trip to Las Vegas will stir things up and bring out the crazy in these gals. Will Daisy lay Destiney out? Will Meghan become a commentator? Will Bret find true love? All I can do is wait until Sunday at nine.


Mary Hanlon


The Brooklyn Rail

APR 2008

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