We’re off to Dubai, everyone! Pack your bags and let’s see what Melbourne’s bitchiest harem has in store for us this week on the Real Housewives.
Chyka has invited everyone (against her good judgement) to Dubai, because she’s over there for a work trip. Everyone’s excited, especially Lydia who makes pains to point out that she’s been to Dubai for over 25 years, and tries to convince us that it’s her second home. Okay, Lydia, yes, it’s all about you.
To their credit, the producers don’t include a long montage of the women packing (although there is the obligatory shot of the Emirates plane that the production company has snagged to transport the insanity), and we get into the meat of the episode pretty quickly. Chyka has organized for them to stay at the Atlantis, The Palm hotel and some arrival cocktails directly on the beach.
Everyone shows up to the beach, with Lydia and Pettifleur arriving last. All the girls are very complimentary to Lydia on her outfit, but Pettifleur – who shows up in what appears to be netting – gets nothing. She has a cry to Lydia about how no one paid her any attention as she walked in, and that she’s starting to feel hurt by the group’s continued dismissal of her.
Look, I get it. It’s not nice that she’s being actively iced out of the group, but the way back into these ladies good graces is not to have a whinge, but to try and resolve your issues and ask ‘what can I do to irritate you less?’
After they’re done consoling Pettifleur’s ego, Lydia decides to dominate the conversation with how she’s visited Dubai soooo many times, and oh, Chyka, you’ve only been coming here for five years? Well I’ve been coming here for TWENTY-five years, so clearly I’m better than you.
It’s a dick-measuring contest that Chyka didn’t enter, but Lydia definitely comes out looking like a big dick.
The next day, everyone splits off in different group to go and make the most of the resorts activities-slash-bitch about who’s pissed them off.
Chyka and Jackie head off to swim with some dolphins and the normally cool, calm Chyka vents about how Lydia is starting to grate on her nerves with her know-it-all behaviour. It’s interesting to see her get annoyed, because she usually can just let most things go, but in her defense – Lydia is very annoying.
Gina, Gamble and Lydia are getting up close and personal with a sea lion, and after some weird foreplay about how the sea lion keeps wanting to kiss Lydia and how she’s never had that kind of fish near her lips (ugh), they all share about why Pettifleur irritates them so. Gina mainly nails it when she points out that Pettifleur constantly wants validation, but is reticent to give it on anything more than a superficial level back.
Janet, Susie and Pettifleur try the waterslides and then hit the shark tank, but unfortunately not as chum. As soon as they get there, Pettifleur is moaning. There are sharks, there are stingrays, the water’s too cold, whinge, whinge, whinge.
Before she can complain about anything else, we cut ahead to their dinner that evening. Everyone’s well into holiday mode, so of course Janet has to instigate a fight.
Having a chat about Gamble’s wedding, Janet decides to ask if she’s confronted Gina about how upset she was that she had left the pre-wedding party early – maybe/definitely to watch Celebrity Apprentice. Because Gina is a human with the power of hearing, sitting two chairs down she pipes up with her version of events; she wanted to have dinner with her sons. Lydia also points out that if she was on TV, she’d want to watch herself because, obviously she would.
Instead of just copping to it and apologizing to just dead the issue, Gina sticks to her guns and makes Gamble look like the one who’s in the wrong by asking her to just confront her rather than telling all the ladies. Gamble doesn’t have the guts to go up against her, so she just kind of gets steamrolled by her.
Jackie mentions that maybe Gamble’s feeling like she’s a bit of a third wheel ever since Lydia glommed on to Gina in recent months. Gamble confirms that she does feel a little left out, because her and Gina were incredibly close.
Pettifleur, trying to be helpful, tells Gamble to embrace the positives of her wedding, rather than focus on the negatives. It would be a nice sentiment, but the delivery was way off for Gamble’s tastes. She tells Pettifleur to ‘f*** off’, and then they all laugh at how, at least, Pettifleur’s not talking about herself.
Jackie then starts talking to Gamble about friendships, just in a general sense, but Pettifleur who’s still pissed off about Jackie not giving her psychic advice about a lost birth certificate chimes in with how Jackie is so fake with her friendships.
Jackie loses it. She uses this opportunity – seated in a very high class restaurant – to put Pettifleur in her place for being condescending and rude. Pettifleur responds by calling Jackie a ‘mean girl’, and splitting the group in half. Jackie just laughs, out loud, in her face.
The next day everyone is headed to the Dubai Mall for some conspicuous consumption. Jackie, Janet, Gamble and Chyka head off to shop, while Gina, Lydia, Susie and Pettifleur peel off in a different direction.
Gina points out that Jackie’s group are probably all done with Pettifleur, while Gamble is just happy to not be chained to Gina during after the awkwardness at dinner.
Gina’s group are in Roberto Cavalli, and from here on out it’s a montage of Pettifleur’s obsession with herself. She spends TWO HOURS trying on outfits and accessories, and by the end, everyone is fed up to the back teeth with Pettifleur staring at herself in the mirror and commenting on how amazing she looks.
Jackie’s group heads off to lunch, and Gamble feels like Lydia, and more recently Pettifleur, has dominated Gina’s time and energy that was previously reserved for Gamble and her friendship.
Gina and the other girls are at a café, and Gina points out that she’s a very low maintenance friend. She doesn’t feel the need to have constant reassurances of loyalty or to be around you that every day, and doesn’t like when people are needy or desperate. It’s sort of a mean comment, especially when Gamble hasn’t done anything specific to hurt Gina.
Then it’s time to discuss Pettifleur. Needless to say, Jackie has the biggest problem with her at the moment – but everybody at the table agrees that Pettifleur is very self-centred and doesn’t show any real interest in being a friend to anyone in the group.
At Gina’s table, though, Lydia and Pettifleur put the blame on Jackie, who they say has changed for the worse since they’ve known her. Pettifleur brings up that Jackie creates a ‘bad energy’, and starts to big herself up. Gina has had enough and tells Pettifleur to ‘shut the f*** up’, and that she’s being very self-obsessed. Pettifleur says well if we were her wouldn’t we be obsessed? And the answer is, yes, probably, because I’d be so damn curious about what makes her so insecure about herself that it manifests itself in this form of narcissism.
Anyway, leaving the excesses of the mall behind – we’re off to the desert! And again; it’s unfortunate that we’re not just leaving the women stranded, to fend for themselves in the Sahara; the Housewives are instead going camel riding.
After a big hullabaloo, Gina decides about five minutes in that she doesn’t want to do it, and takes the four-wheel drive option instead.
Instead of leading them to an Arab jail, the caravan heads to a luxury camp set up in the desert. Everyone starts to have fun and chill out, when two men enter the camp and surprise! It’s Chyka’s husband, Bruce, and their son, BJ – who’s been travelling for six months and she hasn’t seen.
This is why people love Chyka. It’s a very real moment, she starts to cry and she can’t stop hugging her husband and son. She’s over the moon, and she doesn’t care whether it’s an interesting moment on a reality show, or if it’s not part of her schedule on the trip – it’s something that’s important to her, and to hell with anyone who says anything negative about it.
After Bruce and BJ leave, the ladies sit down to dinner in the desert – an event which always goes well amongst the Housewives.
Janet asks, fairly innocently, about Chyka’s blog – and it’s a pretty standard conversation. Janet compliments her, and that should be the end of it, right? You fool. Lydia throws her two cents in that she also runs a blog, and it’s clear to Chyka that she’s only mentioning it to bring the focus back to her. Lydia continues to try and one-up Chyka, saying that she was compared to Louise Pillidge’s blog; and Chyka, thank god, gets in a sly dig that she was grateful not to be compared to.
Gamble accurately sums up Lydia’s attempt at relevancy as ‘yawnsville’, while Janet says that she only complimented Chyka originally because she doesn’t think that Lydia even writes her own blog.
Lydia arcs up that she works really hard on her blog, and everyone’s very dismissive of her, to lump praise on Chyka instead. Chyka and Janet wonder why Lydia is trying to compete and come out on top, but she refuses to hear it. Lydia wonders if she’s ‘giving them the s***s’, which, yes, you are, Lydia.
Susie, the human version of a dust cover for a Hermés Birkin Bag, decides to wake up out of her coma and join the Real Housewives. She tells Jackie that Lydia and Pettifleur were talking about her negatively, saying she brought ‘bad energy’ to the group.
This is like punching one of the angels in the face to Jackie. She brings it up immediately, asking Pettifleur why exactly she thinks she’s a mean girl. Well, she doesn’t so much ask her, as tell her that the things Pettifleur is describing (being condescending, talking about people behind their backs) is exactly what Pettifleur does on the reg.
Jackie absolutely schools Pettifleur on why she doesn’t like her and Pettifleur doesn’t have a response to the truth bombs that Jackie is dropping. She starts to tear up, so the other ladies decide that this is probably a great time to kick someone while they’re down and air all their grievances about Pettifleur.
Gina leads the class action lawsuit about why Pettifleur annoys everyone. Not in a mean way, just because she probably thinks that Pettifleur will hear her authoritative tone, as someone who’s not necessarily as full on in their dislike of her (unlike, say Gamble or Gina.)
Everybody starts to pile on, and Pettifleur can’t take it. She explodes, slamming the table and ending the episode.
Next time, the fight concludes, Lydia continues her pissing contest with Chyka but Chyka finally says enough is enough, and Susie’s probably just around. See you next time!
Lives in Brisbane, works in marketing, watcher of TV shows where women yell at each other at cocktail parties.