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'Jon & Kate Plus Eight' Recap: Vacation Is Over

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In tonight’s episode of “Jon & Kate Plus Eight,” we saw the end of Kate and the kids’ beach vacation and the results of the kitchen renovation.

As with last week’s beach-kitchen episode, the real interest was seeing the couple’s interaction (or lack thereof) after they had realized they needed to be apart but before they announced their divorce.

While Jon supervised the renovation, Kate spent most of the episode with the children on Bald Head Island, N.C., where the paparazzi got those bikini shots of her that graced so many gossip magazines in June. “Kate and I needed a break from each other,” Jon told the camera. “Definitely, they could not, should not have been here.”

The off-camera interviewer asked Kate if the solo-parent trip was a glimpse of the future for her. She said she was aware of that the whole time, adding that no matter how hard she tried to make the trip work, “I can never make up for him. I can’t make up for the fact that he’s not here.”

In a sweet moment, Kate shared hugs and kisses with one of the little girls, who said, “I’ll never stop loving you and Daddy.”

In trying to make the vacation as enjoyable as possible, Kate seemed to loosen up a little. Usually very strict with what the children eat, she made a big breakfast with bacon and sausage, confiding to the kids that she had had to eat double servings of bacon every morning when she was pregnant with the sextuplets.

Then Kate had the kids paint with pudding. Because they didn’t have paintbrushes, most of the children covered themselves or their siblings using their hands, an adorable sight to everyone except, presumably, the owner of the rental property.

Kate even overcame her fear of snakes when she took the children to a serpentarium on the mainland. After seeing one of the little girls insist on holding a huge snake all by herself, Kate volunteered to hold one too. That would be the last time she does that, she said later.

The ferry-boat trip provided another glimpse into the family’s post-scandal life. Several paparazzi boarded the ferry with them, clicking away as Kate and the kids sat in a row on a bench near the back of the boat. Kate explained that she usually has her security people negotiate with the photographers, who are offered a clean shot if they promise to leave the family alone afterward.

“They’re not always trustworthy,” said Kate. “In this case, they played fair.”

Kate generally came off better in this episode than Jon did. When the older girls, Mady and Kara, returned to Pennsylvania early to get back to school, they screamed when they first saw Jon, who was wearing earrings.

He told the camera that he had pierced his ears when he was 15, and this was no big deal. In fact, he got quite defensive.

“It’s not a midlife crisis,” he said. “Everyone thinks it’s a midlife crisis. I’m nowhere near midlife—I’m 32 years old. I’ve always liked motorcycles and cars and fast things, and I have four tattoos, and you know, that’s the way I’ve always been expressing myself. Things are just coming out a lot more. This is who I am and who I’m going to be.”

Throughout the episode, the producers were building our expectations for a big battle when Kate returned to see the new kitchen. We heard Kate say, “I was grouchy that morning we arrived home.” And Jon said, “It was good that they were all away. Especially Kate yelling that there’s a mess and cleaning up constantly would be annoying.”

“There’s always that dread of coming home,” Kate said just before arriving there. The first thing she said upon entering the kitchen was “Oh, oh, oh,” in a tone that could have been interpreted as surprise or shock.

“I was…a little tired,” she told the camera later. “It probably didn’t seem I was very grateful that morning.” Once she had rearranged things to her liking to make the space feel like her own—“I had to claim it”—she calmed down, and the expected argument failed to occur. In fact, she and Jon didn’t appear together the entire episode.

This wasn’t the only time it felt that the producers were manipulating things. Summing up the vacation earlier, Kate said, “Last year we were all together. This year, not so much. But I am looking at the positive, seeing the memories I’m making with the kids….I’m just glad we got a chance to just literally get away from it all.”

The next shot was of Aaden being asked what was his favorite part of the vacation by an off-camera producer. The show seemed to be pointing out that Kate didn’t get the kids away from the one thing that, if it didn’t cause the divorce, definitely has made it much more difficult.


REALITY BITES

Jeanine Mason, the 18-year-old contemporary dancer from Pinecrest, Fla., won the fifth season of “So You Think You Can Dance” on Thursday. Jeanine had shone in the final performance episode, held Wednesday at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, home of the Academy Awards. She outdanced her partner, Evan Kasprzak, in her first duet, a jazz routine by Sonya Tayeh, and held her own in a paso doble with Brandon Bryant that won raves from the judges. The judges gave her a standing ovation for her solo tango, which she performed with a rose in her teeth. Though Jeanine and Kayla Radomski, a longtime favorite to win, seemed evenly matched in their contemporary duet, choreographed by Mia Michaels, judge Nigel Lythgoe said, “Jeanine, I think you have peaked at the right time.” On Thursday, it turned out he was right, as first Kayla and then Evan and Brandon were eliminated. “I never thought I’d be giving an acceptance speech at the Kodak,” Jeanine said, “but thank you, Academy!”

On “America’s Got Talent,” it was the first week this season in which the viewers voted on who would be eliminated. Before the performances, the judges received an urgent-sounding call from producer Simon Cowell saying that he wanted them to reconsider eight acts they had already eliminated. Unfortunately, neither of the two wild-card acts that performed on Tuesday night—the Diva League, a female-impersonator dance troupe from Washington, D.C., and Lake Houston Dance, a group of teen and tween dancers from Houston—survived when the the viewers’ votes were announced on Wednesday. The five winners were Acrodunk, a group of basketball-shooting tumblers, Drew Thomas Magic, the drawling country singer Kevin Skinner, the naughty comedian Grandma Lee and the young dancer (and pianist?) Arcadian Broad, who beat out the teenage singer Thia Megia in the judges’ fifth-vs.-sixth-place vote. Also going home were the yodeling dominatrix Manuela Broad (whose act was ended abruptly by the judges’ buzzers), the hip-hop roller-skating act Breaksk8, the a cappella group Mosaic and the acrobatic dance act the Platt Brothers.

On “Big Brother,” Ronnie made a big plea to Russell, complete with fake sobs, to get taken off the block. Ronnie’s chances worsened when Michele was one of the six people participating in the power-of-veto competition, which was basically a variation on “how many jellybeans are in this jar?” with a poker-betting twist and a Roman theme. When Michele won, she allied herself with Russell, who turned on Chima when he heard her talking about him. But Michele chose to leave Ronnie and Lydia in jeopardy. On Thursday, Michele told her new friend Russell that Chima had been talking about back-dooring him. When he went ballistic again, he managed to alienate both Michele and Chima. Jeff got lucky twice, kissing Jordan (things didn’t go too far because Ronnie walked in on them to lobby for their votes) and being chosen by the viewers to receive the secret “coup d’etat” power, which would let him replace two eviction nominees in the following two weeks. He chose not to exercise that power this week, and Ronnie went home by a 4-3 vote. Chima won the next head-of-household competition, a true-false quiz. On Sunday, Jeremy Piven visited the house to set up a competition to see his upcoming movie, “The Goods.” Natalie and Lydia continued their battles over Jessie, who seemed tired of both of them. Chima nominated Jordan and Lydia for eviction, but everyone was still worried about the mysterious coup d’etat power, which they had taken to calling “the wizard.”

It was “peak week” on “The Real Word: Cancun.” Joey and (finally) Bronne got some action this week when they both spent the night with Playboy models, and Derek brought home a new guy. (Actually, “peak week” means the busiest week of spring break in Cancun.) Jasmine, however, hit a new low with her crush, Pat, when her plan to surprise him with sex didn’t work. He refused to even kiss her, but later started flirting with Jonna. Joey demonstrated his people skills by handling big angry spring breakers, and then demonstrated other skills by stealing away another Playboy model from Bronne. They were minding the band LMFAO, one member of which told Joey that he couldn’t kiss the girl unless Bronne “signed her off,” which Bronne subsequently did. Nonetheless, the girl wound up making out with Emilee. After partying till the wee hours with LMFAO, Joey slept through the alarm, missed his breakfast shift, was fired and was sent home. Everyone but Ayiiia was sad.

On the season finale of “Brooke Knows Best,” we learned that Brooke had a comeback when she performed at big outdoor show in Miami. (Some of us hadn’t even known she was gone.) While Glenn was auditioning dancers for the gig, Brooke learned that Hulk’s legs had gone numb. She drove five hours to be by his side as he learned that he would need surgery. Brooke managed to get back in time for a day’s rehearsal. She was nervous about performing but regained her confidence when Hulk attended the show. For his trouble, he got to see his daughter performing moves on a stripper pole. Glenn had sympathized with Brooke for having to dance and sing at the same time, but Brooke made it look easy—by lip-syncing to a prerecorded track.

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