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Posted at 3:08 AM ET, 08/27/2010

'Housewives' Nightlife Ep. 4: Good times in 'Hollywood for ugly people'

By Lavanya Ramanathan

"People like to call Washington the Hollywood for ugly people," Mary Schmidt Amons reveals to The Entire World in Thursday's installment of "The Real Housewives of D.C." (Thanks a lot, Mary, now no one hot is ever going to move here.)

We may not be Brazil, but the ugliest thing in this episode had nothing to do with the way Washingtonians look. No, that prize goes to all the unsavory behavior we saw this go-round. Sneaking into $750-a-head dinners? Trash-talking one's own mother? Grocery-store grapes, for heaven's sakes?

Do these people have no souls?

This week's episode started off rather sweetly, in the warm (dare we say happy?) Georgetown home of Lynda Erkiletian. She's happy because home is a condo in the enviable Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown.

She gets room service. She eats at the hotel's restaurant. (She's also happy, we're pretty sure, because of her man, the enviable Ebong Eka, who is to women in Washington what Robert Pattinson is to goth girls.)

We can't have Ebong, but we can have the Ritz, for an evening, anyway. Anyone can dine in the restaurant Erkiletian refers to, Fahrenheit, or have a drink in the hotel's swank bar, Degrees. Both are kind of old-guard, however. These days, the real scene is a few blocks away at the other Ritz, which is home to Westend Bistro by Eric Ripert.

But no one is going anywhere without taking care of that nasty case of ugly. You could head to Ted Gibson's salon, which we see opening in this episode with a pretty typical Washington party (i.e., the same 20 people who go to every store opening, all to drink the same cheap sparkling wine). "D.C. needed you," Michaele Salahi gushes to Gibson. Looks like we still do: The salon isn't in D.C. at all, but just over the city line -- where it's safe -- at the Hela Spa in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

The galpal we didn't see at the salon party was Stacie Scott Turner, who opted instead to hang with her real girlfriends for the one real D.C. thing about this whole episode: Howard Homecoming! A treasured Washington institution, every year, Howard Homecoming lures generations of Howard University alums from across the country for a week of partying, fashion shows and Bison football.

Curious? Check out this amazing video about the event. Then start ambling for tickets; homecoming is set for Oct. 24-30 this year.

As big as Howard Homecoming is, it was the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference weekend that was at the center of the drama for the 'Wives this week.

See, the event -- held in Washington Sept. 15-18 this year -- culminates each year in a fabulous awards dinner. A dinner that this year will fetch $750 a ticket.

And in this episode, the 'Wives learn that the Salahis went to that dinner, where the Obamas were in attendance.

They brought a couple of guests, making it four people. With just one ticket.

(A CBC spokesman said in interviews last year that the couple couldn't produce any tickets when asked to show them. But on last night's episode, the story is that there was one.)

You see where this is going, right?

Before any of the other 'Wives can fully absorb what it all means, the whole gang (minus Erkiletian, who bowed out for what can only be described as moral reasons) arrives at Oasis Winery, an hour and a half outside of Washington, in Hume, Va. There, they drink wine, politely avoid bringing up that whole nasty CBC business, and stomp grapes that may or may not be freshly plucked from the grocery store.

Judging by their large size, I'm going to agree with Amons on this one; they don't look a thing like teeny-tiny wine grapes. But we also agree with Amons when she asks, "Who cares?" Still seems like fun to us.

(It turns out anyone can take out their frustrations on some grapes; the newish Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard in Northern Montgomery County hosts its annual family-friendly stomp Sept. 25 and 26 and Oct. 2 and 3.)

If there was one pleasant thing about Thursday's episode, it was the scenery, which really showed off how pretty a fall around here can be. If you're planning a trek to Virginia's Skyline Drive or another scenic vista to see the colors, expect the leaves to start changing around October, but check here compulsively beginning late next month for updates on their progress. Or just book a trip to this fabulous festival.

Just don't do what the Housewives do at the end of Episode 4, which is linger at the winery. All that Washington politeness? Out the window somewhere around that seventh glass of chardonnay.

-- Lavanya Ramanathan

By Lavanya Ramanathan  | August 27, 2010; 3:08 AM ET
Categories:  Misc.  
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Comments

I live in Rappahannock County and grow grapes there. Yes the vineyard at Oasis winery is dead--completely. 110 acres of ghostly dead vines and not a grape in sight.

Posted by: werowe1 | August 27, 2010 5:58 AM | Report abuse

Its quite apparent that the Salahi's are pathalogical liars. I feel bad for them in because they obviously live in their own reality.

Posted by: shoreterp1 | August 27, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse


"Beauty may be only sin deep, but ugly goes clear to the bone."

Welcome to Washington, where anything pretty is only ever for sale, and about half of the ugly is for sale, too.

Just plain pointlessly nasty you can get totally for free.

Posted by: thardman | August 27, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Who in the heck is "Ebong"? Never mind. Don't care.

"Washington is Hollywood for ugly people,"
a phrase that was too cute and clever not catch on, even if not very accurate. Believe it was really aimed at politicians, whose sometimes glamorous lives have some parallel to those in Hollywood, not to the general population of DC. The reason it is not accurate is that it obviously can be important to political success to be attractively telegenic, plus you also have the factor political 'trophy wives,' hardly known for their ugliness. Of course maybe the actions of politicians can be considered "ugly," compared to Hollywood, but it seems doubtful that this was the primary point of the catchphrase. I've heard politicians tell this joke on themselves at Hollywood functions, which can be a backhanded self-compliment, acknowledging at the same time their Hollywood-like glamor and their humble modesty. On that last trait, if only.
- - - -
Border enforcement + Immigration Moratorium = Job, Crime and Eco Sanity.

Posted by: tma_sierrahills | August 27, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

When I walk around DC I always remark about how good-looking a good portion of us are. I mean seriously? There is no correlation between geography and attractiveness. Some of the ugliest people I've ever seen are from Hollywood.

Posted by: crzytwnman | August 27, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The Salahi's are frauds and should have never been cast on this show. Also to not cover events such as Howards Homecoming or CBC in a show titled Housewives of DC just out of touch the show is with life and culture in DC.

Posted by: agarnett1000 | August 27, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

And your wasting your time and you skank identity on this BECAUSE????????????

Posted by: ChrisW1958 | August 27, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I am watching this episode on my dvr right now and I'm pretty sure they just said Ted Gibson and his salon owner buddy also snuck in to the CBC dinner. Have I missed the uproar about them crashing the event or is it that no one is complaining about them?

Posted by: pffffft | August 27, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

You are so right! Rappahannock County is one of the most beautiful areas in Virginia - especially in the Spring & Fall. There are lots of quality, award-winning wineries between Fauquier & Rappahannock Counties: Gadino, Narmada, Rappahannock, Chester Gap, Sharp Rock, Gray Ghost, Pearmund & Linden.

BTW, my Fauquier, Rappahannock & Warren County neighbors are so glad the Salahis are finally being exposed. They have a long history of unpaid bills & lawsuits.

Posted by: non-partisan2 | August 27, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Going on this series was the worst move the Salahis have made - and that's saying something. Their mis-behavior is now nation-wide, not just local.

Lynda seems to get more unpleasant every show.

Posted by: swissmiss150 | August 27, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I've always loved that line and agree that it is aimed at the political set and intelligentsia that are in high proportion here. I hate to name names, but there are MANY physically unattractive politicians...but they have their fans. Also, throw in the mix of dorky think tank economists and unkempt journalists. These are the folks that people see on tv.

I find the DC style attractive and "clean cut," stylistically conservative which I like. It's not everybody's cup of tea, but I prefer it over other places I've lived.

Posted by: Blinkie | August 27, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

First off, Ebong Eka although quite tall and a very dapper dresser would not be considered a very attractive black man in DC. Secondly, the RHWDC is quite boring and if it was not for Stacie and Cat I would have tuned out a long time ago. The Salahi's --who the heck cares? They are people who believe they are "special" and should be treated as such. What someone needs to do is find them a financial advisor to teach them about paying their bills and move on. Enough already.

Posted by: LeeLee311 | August 27, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The show is fiction. Oasis Winery is in bankruptcy after being run into the ground by the owners son Tareq. He also used the winery as his personal ATM. The Salahis are con-artist. Everything you see on the show is a charade. There is nothing real about Michaele Salahi. Broke and self-absorbed she wants everyone to stop talking about her and her husband Tared Salami Crashing the WH. If we don't talk about that all that is left is a trail of bad debts, a winery in bankruptcy, a family's internal fued fought out in the courts, charity scam scandals, and a narcissistic, self-proclaimed "It" couple thinking if they put on the pretense long enough they will be accepted as part of Washington DC's elite.
Join our Facebook page: Tell the White House Party Crashers to Go Away http://www.facebook.com/WhiteHousePartyCrashers

Posted by: seraphina2 | August 28, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

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