Behind Botched with Dirt Dame Alicia Jenkins

After her experience on Botched Alicia has her confidence back! Who wouldn't be jealous of her great results!

After her experience on Botched Alicia has her confidence back! Who wouldn’t be jealous of her great results!

When your 15 minutes of fame is from the operating table, you are in a fairly vulnerable state. Alicia Jenkins, who many may remember as “uni-boob” from the premiere episode of the hit show Botched, was already dealing with one bad experience when she stepped in front of the cameras. What would make somebody once bitten by plastic surgery able to try again with the world as a witness? For this hard working California mom it was a calling to be an example, and the ability to put her trust in the right doctor…

TBB: Tell those who didn’t watch your episode about your initial plastic surgery experience…

AJ: Here is what I felt the show left out; I had a D cup and after breastfeeding my son my right breast shrunk to a B. I couldn’t even wear a bra because I would have had to stuff one side. All I wanted was to be what I was before I had my son. When I went to look for a plastic surgeon I went to the first one that popped into my mind. I’d seen him in magazines and on billboards. I thought, “If he could afford all this advertising he must be good.” I asked for 500 cc implants because that would fill up the laxity in my skin, I ended up with 600 cc implants. I was in pain immediately. At my 24 hour follow up I noticed I had a double bubble on my left breast, I could see my implant hanging out the bottom. (The surgeon) said with time the implants would settle and I trusted his word. Days later the bubble hadn’t changed so he put me in a compression band to push the implants down. I wore it religiously but going into the second week (post-op) my breasts were getting closer to each other. When the doctor saw them he said, “How long were you wearing that? We need to get you in a compression bra ASAP.” Now I knew that something was wrong. I was really freaked out and in a lot of pain. I started Googling what the results should look like at realself.com and started posting photos of my before and after at 4 months. I learned from other surgeons that I had symmastia. I told my doctor, but he wouldn’t acknowledge there was a problem and said that I had picked an implant size that was too big. I hadn’t picked that size. At that point I realized he had no compassion. I felt that he didn’t give a shit about what was happening to me and wanted me to live with those results.

TBB: So here you are with what you now know is plastic surgery gone wrong. How much time has passed when you hear about Botched?

AJ: A couple of months.

TBB: You are still healing and dealing with this awful personal experience, and now enter Reality TV. What is the allure of having something as personal as plastic surgery done on television?

AJ: Honestly, before I saw the casting of the show I had a consult with a symmastia specialist, but he wanted $20,000 and we didn’t have that kind of money, especially since I had just paid $8,100 for the first surgery. Then I saw Tamra (Judge) post the casting for Botched on her Facebook page. At the same time I had been starting to open up to people about what was going on with me. I found out that I was not the only person (my surgeon) had done this too. I knew I needed to share this story. Obviously being so vulnerable on TV is not something I ever imagined for my life. I never wanted to be in the spotlight, but I thought maybe sharing my story would make someone else think a little bit harder about surgery and choosing a doctor than I did. Things happen and we don’t come out perfect every time.

TBB: I just want to clarify something that I’m sure many viewers already suspect; when you are on one of these shows you do not pay for your surgery correct?

AJ: If it wasn’t for the show I may not have gotten this fixed. $20,000 just wasn’t something that could ever make sense for (my family) to spend on this. It’s the trade off for going public with your surgery.

TBB: Plastic surgery centered shows are very different than Reality series like Housewives. Explain the casting process for a show like Botched.

AJ: I sent (the producers) my email and my pictures and then I went to Evolution Media, who does Housewife casting, and had an on camera interview. A couple of months later I got a call from Dr. (Terry) Dubrow‘s office. He wanted to speak to me and find out my medical history to make sure I was healthy enough to go through another surgery. You actually saw the first I met him face to face on the show. I met Dr. Dubrow and Dr. (Paul) Nassif on camera and you saw my actual consultation.

TBB: Did having a camera crew present for exams create any extra anxiety for you as a patient?

AJ: That’s a good question. I’ll say it didn’t because the events you see on camera are often things I’d already discussed with (Dr. Dubrow). We started this process in November so I had my first surgery in December and my second in January. The final filming was in March. This was months of my life condensed into 15 minutes. I had many appointments between the ones you see on the show. The hardest part for me was that most of those appointments were after my first surgery. It was a really really hard surgery and because the two procedures were only 5 weeks apart I was filming in a lot of pain. Every time they filmed I had a migraine. If you go back and watch the episode again knowing that, you can see it in my face. My biggest concern with filming was I did not want to get my IV on camera and start saying all kinds of loopy stuff. I also wanted to be sure they wouldn’t get me after surgery looking like a crazy person (laughs). Every time I woke up (in recovery) there were three camera women standing in front of me.

TBB: What were your initial impressions of Dr. Dubrow and Dr. Nassif?

AJ: I was trying not to get caught up in an initial impression because I’d already been there with my first surgeon. I almost felt like I couldn’t trust my own judgment. As soon as Dr. Dubrow said, “We don’t want to be part of your bad experience, ” I began to trust him. I thought, ‘ He wouldn’t do this on TV if he  didn’t think he could fix it.’

TBB: Your correction had to be performed in not one, but two separate procedures. Was there a point in which you considered not going through with the surgery?

AJ: As a mom and business owner I have to plan for food for my family, a sitter while my husband is at work, and arrangements for my business while I’m recovering. I had planned for 6 weeks, and to get there and have him say it was now two surgeries and 3 months really changed everything. However, at that point I’d already had several appointments with Dr. Dubrow and trusted that he knew best, especially since the rate for these repairs coming apart is common.

TBB: You said before your first surgeon “had no compassion”. What would you say about Dr. Dubrow?

AJ: He’s amazing! I had his cell number and he answered any question I had whenever I needed him. I live two hours from his office yet he would have seen me any time, day or night. He really is that amazing! I was texting him after the first surgery thanking him profusely for what he’d done for me. I could already breathe better after having those implants out. He changed my life.

TBB: After finally experiencing plastic surgery gone right, did you seek legal action against your initial doctor?

AJ: I’m in the process now.

TBB: What is your advice to women who have had children and are now unhappy with their bodies as a result?

AJ: If you don’t like something about yourself that much then change it. Go for it!  You are the one that has to live with yourself, but make a well educated informed decision about it and don’t expect it to be a miracle. Things can (go wrong) as you saw from my story.

TBB: I agree and I’m such an advocate for moms feeling sexy. Speaking of which, tell us about Dirt Dames…

AJ: My husband does off road racing and I go to all of his races so I had the idea, because Housewives is my favorite show, ‘What if we had this little club where the wives can all hang out and have something to do while our husbands raced?’ In the beginning it was a joke to make it like the Real Housewives of Off Road. I made some t shirts but it never really went anywhere. Then there was a bathing suit I wanted to buy but had to buy multiples of so I posted it on my website dirtdames.com  and it went like crazy. I’ve always loved swimsuits so I felt maybe this is what I should be doing. After I got my implants I had the problem of tops not fitting so it became my mission to work with designers that make tops that cover my customers and specialize in custom orders for larger breasts.

TBB: Has being on Botched helped your business?

AJ: The show has made a difference. Now I get internet traffic from all over.

TBB: And you are also involved in charitable causes…

AJ: We shot my reveal photo shoot for Botched at our friend’s shop called War Fighter Made. They are retired military and they modify recreational vehicles for our wounded vets. One of the founders, Brian, lost a leg and parts of his arms in Afghanistan. War Fighter Made modified his Harley so he can ride his motorcycle and live a normal life. They have a race team that for each race takes a vet and gives them a little back of their life. We try to help out as often as we can, in whatever way we can. The last event we did was with the guys from The Devil’s Ride on Discovery Network raising money for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

TBB: All amazing causes! Thank you for chatting with me and giving us a little behind the scenes of Botched and sharing your story. Is there anything else you would like people to know?

AJ: I definitely owe more thanks than I can ever give to John at E who does PR for the show and of course to Dr. Terry who went above and beyond. He’s still taking care of me as I’m still healing due to my own autoimmune issues that he knew about before taking on my case. I will be under his care for quite a while, but I couldn’t ask for a better situation! I have to thank my hubby for hanging tough through all of this craziness, and everyone at Evolution Media for telling our stories!

*For more from Alicia follow her on twitter @dirtdames 

Reality Roundup

By Brent Osborne and Tara Cushing

Adrienne Maloof is indeed back...but is Jac? Photo: Joe Pugilese/Bravo/People.com

Adrienne Maloof is indeed back…but is Jac?
Photo: Joe Pugliese/Bravo/People.com

They’re baaaaack!

Love em’ or hate em’ two of Bravo’s former Real Housewives stars will be making their returns to the network…or are they?

After playing hooky from the season three reunion taping, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Adrienne Maloof is ready to make her comeback! The former RHOBH star confirmed she will be returning for season five of the hit series!

“I was approached by the producers to come back,” Adrienne told Us Weekly. “I’m coming back in cameo roles.”

Since her departure, Adrienne has split from her husband Dr. Paul Nassif, who currently stars on E! Network’s hit reality series Botched. Botched was just picked up for a second season.

“A lot has happened in my life,” Adrienne said. “So with each experience, I think I’ve grown. I’m at a point now where it’s a new chapter. I can really focus and think clearer on what to expect, and there’s nothing like experience to kind of get you to where you know you want to be. And I know that I want to come full circle with the rest of the women, some closure, and I feel like I have a better grasp on how to do that now…It just made sense to maybe take this and come full circle from where I left off last time…I’m coming back, also, a bit wiser. I know what to expect now.” 

Is Jac really back? The rumor mill went wild last week with reports that former Real Housewives of New Jersey star Jacqueline Laurita is set to star in a few scenes later this season.

Yes, it’s true, Jacqueline will be making a return towards the end of the season,” a source revealed to E! News. “Because she still has a close relationship with Kathy [Wakile], her scenes will mostly be with Kathy.”

She is not coming back to stir the pot or confront her sister-in-law Dina [Manzo]. People assume that’s what she’s coming back to do, but she’s not. Her appearance is relatively drama-free.”

However, unlike Adrienne, Jacqueline has not yet talked about this herself. A source close to the mother of 3 told us nothing has been decided yet. “It’s a possibility,” our source said, “and she will only do it if it is right for her and her family, but she has been approached and is thinking about it.”

As for fan speculation that scenes were already filmed and this was a Bravo smokescreen all along, “No, not at all. She really was out, anything she appears in this season will have to be filmed now and added in.

Whether she returns to RHONJ or not, Jac fans will get their fix this fall when she appears in her sister-in-law Caroline Manzo‘s  upcoming spinoff show, Manzo’d With Children.

Another Real Housewives marriage bites the dust…

Real Housewives of New York City‘s Ramona Singer, has announced that she and Mario Singer are officially separating after 27 years together.

I have decided to move on with my life without Mario,” Ramona tweeted last Thursday. “I tried my best to make my marriage work. I am excited for the new chapter in my life.”

Allegations that suggested Mario, 60, had been having an affair with a 27-year-old woman surfaced in October of last year. Although Mario and Ramona both denied the allegations, Ramona filed for divorce shortly after. Ramona later announced that she and Mario had reconciled and were trying to save their marriage.

When asked about her marriage on the recent RHONY reunion, Ramona put Andy Cohen in a deadlock.

“Everyone in my family is great,” she said. “We’re together now, but I have a daughter Avery, who I love dearly, who is 19, and because of that, that’s all I have to say on the matter.”

However, in a recent interview with Us Weekly, Ramona announced that her divorce is pending once again. Adding, “I am doing what is right for me and my daughter Avery, who is the most important person in the world to me.”

 

Ramona Singer with Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)

Ramona Singer with Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)

TBB‘s Tara Cushing saw Ramona, who was hosting a restaurant opening for a friend, late last month. “She looks amazing,” The Bravo Blonde, reported back to me, “but she wouldn’t interview with me and asked that I email questions. I have yet to receive a response. I was respectful in the email and asked nothing about her marriage. None the less, Mario was absolutely nowhere in sight that night.”

When one door closes…err the Singer union…another one opens…and the matrimonial door did just that for George Teichner and Dana Lavette Cody. George is the often offensive father of RHONY‘s Aviva Drescher, who didn’t walk through that “door” with them. According to an article in The Daily Mail, Drescher, who publicly has supported the union of her 76-year-old dad and 25-year-old new, uh stepmother, was a no show at their August 3d wedding ceremony in Malibu. The article states that Aviva simply “couldn’t find the time” to attend the wedding. Maybe the air wasn’t asthma friendly that weekend…

Last but not least, what’s a week in Housewives gossip without the sound of the police? And the latest fraud charge is awarded to…Dana Wilkey, the 25,000 dollar sunglass wearing friend of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. On June 18th, Wilkey was arrested and indicted for “conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aiding and abetting, and [making] false statements to government agents,” as an FBI press release read.

Wilkey was charged along with two other women, domestic partners, Skyler Ariel Phoenix and  Lissa Michele Phoenix. The press release states that Dana, president of Adwil Agency and Skyler, who worked at Blue Shield of California “entered into a  fraudulent marketing contract”.  For at least 6 years Dana paid around $360K in “illegal and undisclosed kickbacks related to Adwil Agency’s business with Blue Shield” while Skyler and Lissa defrauded Blue Shield to the tune of half a million dollars. All three women were each  released on $250K bond and face more fines and 20 years in prison per count. Oh Dana, we hope those expensive shades and lollipop necklaces were worth it…

Tell us— Are you excited for the return of Adrienne Maloof? Do you think Jac will come back? Do you believe Mario cheated on Ramona? Do you think Aviva really support her dad’s marriage? Did Dana ever trigger your “shadar”? Share your opinion below!

Do you have a submission or idea for next week’s Reality Roundup? Email your thoughts to brent@tbbreality.com!

E! Didn’t Botch This One

Dr. Terry Dubrow and Dr. Paul Nasiff make quite the team. Photo: nypost.com

Dr. Terry Dubrow and Dr. Paul Nasiff make quite the team. Photo: nypost.com

It’s been quite a while since I broke my allegiance to Bravo TV. I confess I seldom have the desire (or the time) to venture to other networks and become addicted to more reality shows. When Househusbands get their own gig, however, I simply must check it out.  Throw in plastic surgery and I now am actually looking forward to the show.

Botched (10/9 C on E!) follows The Real Housewives of Orange County‘s Terry Dubrow and former The Real Housewives of Beverly Hillsstar Paul Nasiff as the latest surgical partnership to hit the small screen. With Dubrow’s down to earth pragmatism and Nasiff’s cool with the right amount of cocky, they are The Odd Couple meets Nip Tuck.

The series debuted on Tuesday June 24th, to rave reviews from TBB‘s twitter following.  Though the doctors may have a Houswives pedigree, Botched is no table flipping, cat fighting trainwreck. It’s instead interesting and informative with an appropriate balance of sarcasm and quirk. Nasiff and Dubrow are a plastic surgery A-team that know how to push one another’s buttons as they tackle uniboobs, and collapsed nostrils.

Dubrow specializes in breast reconstruction and Nasiff is the nose-man. Together they assess three potential clients, two with a plastic surgery gone wrong nightmare and one narcissist cum would-be mental patient. The two former get the thumbs up and the latter gets the big reject, which should come with referral to a psychiatrist. Don’t worry, you will get your share of quirk, apparently. Though a robotic looking Ken Doll cosmetic surgery addict and a Chinese comedian (at least I hope that was her excuse for her wardrobe and behavior) were given the boot, one patient who made the cut was whacky reality television veteran and supermodel Janice Dickinson.

Housewives fans will enjoy getting to know these men apart from the women that made them household names. It’s a true testiment to the Mars/Venus theory as we see just how real and calm these men are in their element. The men are blunt with their patients, and Dubrow, the softer of the two, shows genuine care and concern.

I can attest that this is as real as reality tv can get. Last summer I had the pleasure of speaking to Dr. Dubrow by phone before my own plastic surgery. I had last minute questions the week before while my own surgeon was on vacation. Dr. Dubrow listened and gave sound advice. He treated me as if I were his own patient.

On Sunday Botched moved to its regular time after Keeping Up With The Kardashians. Will we see Bruce Jenner on the show? One can only hope! Set your DVRs folks, Botched on E! has my seal of approval!