Bruce Visits Mom: Celebrity Fit Club 7! One More To Go!

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The Trades
Celebrity Fit Club 3 – Episode 7
A Dose of Reality by Caroline Roberts
Published: February 19, 2006

With Jeff Conaway gone, Celebrity Fit Club is a calmer place in which to lose weight. In general, the cast members get along, and there aren’t any Gary Busey vs. Wendy the Snapple Lady brawls. They even enjoy this week’s trust-building exercises! But, if you look beyond the pleasant surface, you’ll see that the weight-loss competition is fierce. Only one pound separates the two teams, and, unlike most celebreality shows, the players are hoping to win some prizes.

However, an intense weight-loss competition among some slightly off-kilter but reasonable people isn’t as much fun to watch as Jeff Conaway’s self-destructive behavior. Since Conaway completes rehab before the next-to-last show (which seems fast to me), the producers bring him back on so he can a) prove that he’s still alive and b) get in his last digs at the judges.

Unfortunately, he suffers from Bonaduce Disease. The spotlight only encourages his bad behavior. He may have finished detox, but serious psychological issues remain. He isn’t happily crazy, like Gary Busey, either. He seems unbelieveably sad, like he wants to get better but can’t. He’s spouting terms such as “life is possible – all you’ve gotta do is live it,” but he doesn’t appear to believe what he’s saying.

When he steps before the panel and the contestants he’s left behind, the editors cut to worried looks on all their faces. That could be typical reality-show editing, but, when he walks into the room, the applause they give him is decidedly lukewarm. He makes everyone uncomfortable, even the viewers.

While standing on the platform, he mumbles something about the Lord and being tested by the Lord. He says, “I feel like I’m being taught. I’m embracing that and wanting to learn. I’ll let the truth speak for itself. I have some truth right here.” And then he breaks out a BENADRYL BOX and rants at Dr. Ian for accusing him of being on drugs during a Fit Camp. Dr. Ian stands up for himself and politely tells Conaway where he can stick that box. Dr. Linda encourages Conaway to stay in counseling, which is code for “you need way more help than you’re gonna get here, buddy.” Drill Sergeant Harvey was most likely sedated during filming, or he would have broken Conaway’s face.

Luckily, not everyone on the panel is as crazed as Conaway, and, as the end of the show nears, some of them are successfully losing the weight.

Ebony Flame

Tempestt Bledsoe, 160 lbs. (minus 6 lbs.) Original weight: 181 lbs. During Fit Camp, Bledsoe climbs to the top of a rope tower without complaining, and for that she deserves a prize! The show sends Ol’ Crabby to a yoga center where people laugh constantly as a form of exercise and meditation. The instructor gives her a “laughter pill” (I don’t want to know), and all these people laugh and hug. If they aren’t cheery, then they must act cheery. Drill Sergeant Harvey sits on the side watching Bledsoe, and he’s stunned, saying, “I’ve never seen her like this.” She even cracks a smile at the weigh-in. Some would say she needed a kick in the behind, but if a laugh class makes her lighten up, so be it. Since she lifted her cloud of gloom, she lost six pounds.

Chastity Bono, 196 lbs. (minus 0 lbs.) Original weight: 215 lbs. Bono is the Fit Club member with the most sympathy for Conaway since she was once addicted to prescription drugs, but after his little Benadryl Box Performance, she’s fed up. She says that she got mad at Conaway when he started talking, and she’s upset that he won’t admit his problems. She declares, “He hasn’t gotten it yet! And I hope he does!” She also seems frustrated that she didn’t lose any weight. It’s strange because she throws herself into being team leader, she sets a good example, and she overcame her fears to climb the rope tower during Fit Camp, but maybe it is just hard for her to lose weight.

Young MC, 247 lbs. (minus 0 lbs.) Original weight: 278 lbs. Young MC is floored that he hasn’t lost any weight. Just like Bono, he has hit a wall. The bad news is that they are on the same team. Dr. Ian encourages him because Young MC has done some drastic things to lose weight in the past, and his competition with Gunnar Nelson could make him do something extreme. No one has pointed it out yet, but ever since Nelson took Conaway’s place, Young MC hasn’t been called out as a fitness star. Maybe next week he will start getting some credit because, even though he didn’t lose any weight this week, he’s lost plenty of weight so far.

Bruce Vilanch, 292 lbs. (minus 4 lbs.) Original weight: 315 lbs. Vilanch has a busy Fit Club week! He plays dress up with Bizarre, which you can read about below, and then he visits his mother, who resembles Phyllis Diller after a five-pack-a-day habit. They are awfully cute together. They even hold hands together at the flea market, and she helps him pick out some new T-shirts. His favorite says, “Dear Lord, if you can’t make me skinny, at least make my friends fat.” Before he weighs in, he shows off what’s most important – after many years, HE IS ABLE TO CROSS HIS LEGS. And he announces that he doesn’t have to ask for a seatbelt extension. Now those are the kind of tangible weight-loss results people like to see. Anyone sharing an aisle with him on the plane is most likely thrilled as well. Despite his rocky beginning and the infamous heart-monitor bra, Vilanch is turning into a true Fit Club success story. PS – his T-shirt says “Trailer Trash.”

Kelly’s Bellies

Countess Vaughn, 132 lbs. (gained 2 lbs.). Original weight: 130 lbs. Poor Vaughn is afraid of heights, and she flips out while climbing up the rope tower. After some encouragement from LeBrock, she tries not to look down. The sound of dramatic violins accompanies her as she reaches the top. And there’s nothing like hearing LeBrock yell “You go, girl!” to motivate you. When Vaughn comes down, she and Dr. Linda are crying, and by golly it looks real! Unfortunately, Vaughn gained two pounds. It doesn’t make sense because she appears to be thinner. She’s also got a more flattering hairstyle, and she seems more confident. Something good is happening. But it isn’t dramatic enough if she doesn’t lose weight, so Dr. Linda makes the inappropriate gesture of giving Vaughn a mirror as a present and telling Vaughn to look at it and ask herself questions. Vaughn immediately gets a “This is BS!” look on her face, and it is a downright awkward moment. Dr. Linda’s book is named Mirror, Mirror, and it is about overcoming body issues, which is a good thing, but no cheesy, book -promoting mirror presents should be allowed at Fit Club!

Kelly LeBrock, 151 lbs. (minus 4 lbs.) Original weight: 175 lbs. LeBrock surprises Drill Sergeant Harvey by volunteering to run the Santa Monica-Venice 5k race. Not only does she finish the race, but she also keeps up with Nelson and Drill Sergeant Harvey. When she steps on the scale, she wears a lowcut dress and is plenty proud of her body. She tells the panel, “When I’m on the street, the guys are looking a lot more.” She thinks that these gawkers are on the creepy side (men, ogling is never appropriate!), but she’s pleased with her Fit Club results.

Gunnar Nelson, 157 lbs. (minus 3 lbs.) Original weight: 175 lbs. Of course, Mr. Perfect-who-has-no-business-being-on-the-show-in-the-first-place climbs to the top of the three-story tower faster than everyone else. Mr. Masochist craves the pain, so he joins Drill Sergeant Harvey for an intimate boot camp session. If he really wants some serious combat, he could volunteer for an all-expenses-paid trip to Iraq … just kidding. At the end of the boot camp, Nelson tells Ant, “I loved it. I had a great time.” We bet you did. Drill Sergeant Harvey even gives Nelson a Marine Corps coin. But the fact that he did so well on the course proves that he shouldn’t be on the show! C’mon, VH1, did you ask Wendy the Snapple Lady if she wanted to be on again when Conaway went into rehab? Or did it occur to you to import a British celebrity? It’s great that Nelson is getting fitter, and he’s finally receiving positive reinforcement after his crummy family life, but he was never out of shape.
Jeff Conaway, 205 lbs. Original weight: 205 lbs. Oh, brother. See the above.

Bizarre, 292 lbs. (minus 5 lbs.) Original weight 321 lbs. Vilanch visits Bizarre in Atlanta, and they get some girls and some booze and some goblets and they GET CRUNK! Oh, just kidding. They actually head to the gym, although I would pay to see those two get crunk. Bizarre escorts Vilanch to some hip-hop clothing outlets. Vilanch jokes, “I look like I’ve escaped from a gay prison!” Bizarre is good-natured about hanging out with a decidedly white, decidedly gay comedy writer. Hanging with Vilanch instead of his fried-food eating buddies is good for him, for he loses five pounds, and if he took off his gold “BIZ” necklace, he would have lost six!

Winners of the Week: Both teams lost 10 pounds. Kelly’s Bellies retains a 1-pound lead. They’d better hope they don’t retain any water.

Next Week: The finale! And Bizarre wins Kelly LeBrock’s heart!

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