Greetings, viewers! I hope you enjoyed this week's episode.
As a veteran reality TV producer, I've been called every name in the book, and pretty much been accused of every despicable act in the book -- that I manipulate the action; that I put words in people's mouths; that everything is scripted and phony. None of those things are true.
Allow me to explain my perspective. In my twenty years of working in reality TV, often times you will have a participant that has no inhibitions in front of the camera -- say Puck, from Season 3 of The Real World: San Francisco (which I worked on) comes to mind. However, most people -- even people who appear on reality TV -- aren't Puck.
Sure, the ladies of our show are willing to share the fun and fabulous parts of their lives -- and can be willing to expose their argumentative sides (see: Game Night.), but believe me when I tell you that none of the ladies like to be vulnerable on camera. Sometimes it's when they let their guard down a little though that something unexpected happens. It's those moments of vulnerability that are so real and relatable and are what, in my opinion, make good reality TV so compelling. So, it's my job to try and capture them!
Here's how it happened in this week's episode. All season long, there has been growing tension between Taylor and Lisa, which looked like it would soon boil over into a confrontation.
In last week’s episode, you saw Taylor visit Kyle's house for an "important conversation" before the séance. In that conversation, she told Kyle she was ready to confront Lisa.
We expected there to be a confrontation between the ladies at the séance so that is what we were preparing to cover, and then low and behold it didn't happen.
However, a few days later, we were scheduled to shoot the Women in Business event, where Taylor was nominated for an award for her philanthropic work. When we shoot any function, one of the first questions we ask is "who else is attending?" We do that for logistical reasons. How many microphones do we need? Can we cover this with one crew, or do we need two? When we asked Taylor that question, we were surprised to find out Lisa was purposely left off the guess list.
It was clear to me after the séance that Taylor was not going to confront Lisa at a big event. However, it was equally clear to me that once Lisa found out she had not been invited to Taylor’s event, Lisa would call Taylor out about that and then the confrontation was bound to happen.
I knew Lisa's feelings would be hurt by this realization, and they were. It was a very vulnerable moment for her. Please know that I don't get any kind of personal satisfaction out of filming moments like these. I felt bad for Lisa because I adore her and I knew this news upset her. However, I also adore Taylor and it was her right to choose to not invite Lisa for the reasons she states in the episode.
As I've often stated in my blogs, it’s not my job as a producer to create phony drama. I didn’t tell Taylor and Lisa to have issues. Just like I didn’t tell Taylor not to invite Lisa. Their conflict is all-too-real
Another unexpected moment was Taylor's impromptu consultation with Paul Nassif at Lisa's front gate. Paul wasn't scheduled to be on-camera. He really was just dropping by to ask Adrienne a question. But his arrival just happened to coincide with Taylor’s storm-out. My team just went with the flow and we captured a very surreal "only in Beverly Hills" moment where after storming out from a heated argument, Taylor runs into her doctor who can examine all the filler he recently injected her with. It's too strange not to be real! The drama and emotion amongst the group at Lisa’s tea party was so raw, it could never be staged!
Finally, I want to say that all of us on the show take the issue of domestic violence very seriously. Far too often people don't talk about it because they're ashamed -- and that shame so often lets it continue. It's been a difficult and very real journey for the ladies this year, particularly Taylor, but if we can help even one person suffering from similar circumstances by sharing it with all of you then that is a very good.
Thanks for taking the time to read, and please give me your feedback on this episode.