It is amazing that in this day and age there are people who believe that reality television is not scripted, the recent “outrage” about Married at First Sight using actors or at least “aspiring actors” is the perfect case in point. This is not, however, the first time that fans of a “real” series have been shocked to learn that the participants are, in fact, actors who follow a script.
I will sheepishly put my hand up and say that I liked The City; that spin-off of The Hills (that I watched, but did not like as much) that followed wannabe fashionista Whitney Port in her journey to be an image coordinator for Diane Von Furstenburg. After a poor first half season, the show underwent a few changes and Whitney started working for People’s Revolution and Kelly Cutrone.
From the moment I heard this woman speak, I was smitten. This was a “no-holds-barred” no-nonsense business person. She had no time for the idle, the unfocused and the stupid. This woman said it like it was and did not guild the lily. Straight to the point, and if necessary heading straight for the jugular. The back story on this highly successful self-made business woman and bestselling author, who is also a single mother, is pretty amazing and if you are not impressed by this lady, there’s something wrong with you.
This talented woman has overcome a lot of odds to become a success in a business that is dog-eat-dog to the nth degree. In the fashion industry if you snooze you lose; not just a contract, but your reputation, and your business. It’s a hard climb to the top and even harder to stay there. On The City, Kelly became one of the most popular people on the reality show.
Her mannerisms could be misconstrued as being harsh or even mean. But what Kelly does is just tell the truth. She doesn’t take time to ease the blow or even tiptoe around the problem. If you have screwed up or failed to perform as expected, Kelly is going to ream your ass metaphorically speaking. She knows that in the publicity business and the fashion business time is money. Being a successful business woman who is also a TV personality and writer she knows this better than perhaps anyone.
I have seen this woman bluntly tell an assistant off. If you look in her eyes you will not see any anger or animosity; what you will see is disappointment. Despite her refusal to sugar-coat the bitter pills she has to dispense, she cares about these young people. Even Whitney Port who was the “fair-haired” prodigy of the show got her fair share of “reams” from the big boss. The fact that Kelly cared for these youngsters was apparent in her dealings with Roxy Olin. Roxy was the “rotten stepchild” of the show. Unfocused and a bit of a wild child, Roxy could do good work but only after Kelly cracked down on her repeatedly. When Roxy did well, Kelly (as much as she was able) sang her praises and supported her.
The fact that Kelly came across as a “real” person, one that was not reading or following a script (she has always insisted that despite what was or wasn’t occurring on the rest of the show, her segments were not scripted) but just being herself resulted in her gaining a huge fan base. It is this fan base that most probably bought her autobiography, If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You when it first hit book stands across America.
I always felt that Simon Cowell could learn a thing or two from Ms Cutrone. Where his blunt and to the point mannerism seemed a bit on the cruel side and his eyes always looked bored while he humiliated someone, Kelly’s eyes (as I mentioned before) registered disappointment. It’s like she was saying, “Look, we both know you are capable of much more than what you’ve just done.” We as viewers believed her and loved her for it, I know I did anyway.
I watched an episode of Dr Phil (Don’t Judge!!) and Ms Cutrone was a guest and a participant in an experiment where she allowed two moneyed and spoilt princesses to “train” under her for a day. It was another chance to see this amazing woman in action and I fell in love with her all over again.
Now I would love to fly to America and profess my undying affection to this powerhouse of a woman, but…I would be terrified of disappointing this wildly talented über successful business woman. So my unrequited love will have to remain so, but the very least I can do is rush out and read her book.