“If you act the fool in public, you’ll act the fool anywhere.” – Phaedra Parks.
For the second episode in a row, it was NeNe Leakes’ show and everyone else is just a bit player.
In terms of emotional resonance, NeNe first reprimands her son Bryce for being a lazy, unemployed bum. This is NeNe at her best. She gets tearful and angry, especially after he complains that she’s too strict. She then boots him out of the house until he gets his head on straight. She’s especially appalled he got arrested for pot possession while visiting a friend in jail. That is an impressively monumentally dopey move.
Later, she confronts Dwight Eubanks again but this time in private. He apologizes and denies loaning her husband Gregg $10,000. She gets tearful. “You really hurt my feelings,” she said. He wouldn’t explain the favor he did for Greeg, saying it was between him and Gregg (”it was man to man”). They hug it out but she later said she felt a betrayal by both of them. “I’m all about loyalty and trust,” she said. “I can forgive – but I can’t forget.”
Otherwise, the biggest development was the introduction of model Cynthia Bailey to the cast. The show producers have her hanging out with NeNe at the Dogwood Festival at Piedmont Park as if they were long-lost friends when in fact, they never knew each other before the show.
Cynthia talks to NeNe about Dwight and her husband, lending a magic sympathetic ear. Later, Cynthia “invites” Kandi Burruss to perform at her downtown lounge/club Uptown. Surely, this was a contrived way for the producers to get Cynthia in the picture. She meets Kandi and they gab a bit about Cynthia’s pending marriage with Peter Thomas, who co-owns Uptown.
This is great publicity for Uptown except for one problem: the place shut down a few weeks ago. Cynthia in an interview with me last week admitted they had financial problems.
Another problem is the name: there’s already an Uptown Comedy Corner less than three miles away. How confusing!
Other bit players: Lawrence, a gay hair stylist who hangs out with Sheree Whitfield and is competing for Dwight for the “catty gay friend” spot on the show. And Sweetie, Kim’s new assistant and partner in crime.
And to prove Phaedra has a career, we see her working with a client who has a pot possession problem. The show does not identify him as anybody of note. Moments later, we see Kandi working with superstar R&B singer/producer Ne-Yo. She expresses a desire for a solo career despite success as a songwriter. He notes that she should not let go her songwriting because that is lucrative and less strenuous.
In other news:
- Kim Zolciak finds out she has been invited to a gay “White Party,” to sing “Tardy for the Party.” (We also find out Kandi was going to split proceeds of that song she helped salvage but in the end let Kim keep the entire $80,000 to $100,000.)
- Sheree goes on a blind date with a guy who likes to dance and teaches her some moves. She finds his laugh loud, doesn’t like the outside of the nightclub. But she is otherwise charmed. A second date is forthcoming. The guy’s unusual name looked familiar to me: Tiy-E Muhammad. I did some Googling and realized the guy was on this atrocious reality show from 2005 on TBS called “The Real Gilligan’s Island.” (If you want to know more about him, a former colleague of mine Andrea Jones wrote a lengthy piece about him and his credentials.)
“Jaywalking! I don’t want to go to jail!” – Kim, with her assistant Sweetie crossing a major road to get a free beer instead of jogging.
“Phaedra claims to be this big-time entertainment attorney… But excuse me. Bobby Brown was ten years ago!” - NeNe, not impressed with Phaedra’s resume.
“I am a white girl in a black girl’s body. I can’t dance.” - Sheree.
“I kept thinking that Dwight might be jumped by those heffers,” – Phaedra, referencing NeNe & Co. at Uptown Lounge & Restaurant.
There are signs RHOA mania is waning. Last week’s season three debut drew 2.4 million viewers, down from the 2.7 million who watched the second season launch.
Here is a story we wrote about Sheree’s date back in 2005:
Reality TV star Tiy-E Muhammad‘s resume has more holes than the S.S. Minnow after the weather started getting rough and the tiny ship was tossed. The former Clark Atlanta University associate professor turned castaway on TBS’ “The Real Gilligan‘s Island” has called himself a psychologist on his Web site and book jacket covers, yet he is not licensed to practice psychology in Georgia or anywhere else.
Kara Sinkule, a spokeswoman for the Georgia secretary of state’s office, said Muhammad, known as “The Love Doctor” on a local radio station, could face misdemeanor criminal charges.
Claiming you are a psychologist without a license is illegal, she said.
Muhammad, 35, says he’s a doctor, but he didn’t earn a Ph.D. in psychology at the school from which he has said he graduated, school records show. In fact, he attended Southern Illinois University for just one semester as an unspecified graduate student, said SIU spokesman Tom Woolf.
Muhammad said he left Clark Atlanta, where he was an associate professor in the psychology department for four years, because he wasn’t paid enough and he “no longer felt that spark” from teaching. School officials said he left after they discovered his credentials were bogus.
Muhammad said that in 1999 he founded a nonprofit organization called “Man II Man Inc., ” which his Web site states is “dedicated to uplifting, motivating and educating inner city youth.” Actually, the organization is a for-profit company, said Cara Hodgson of the secretary of state’s office.
Muhammad said he had not “filed the paperwork” to make the corporation nonprofit. “I’m still forming the board of directors, ” he said. On Tuesday, the Web site was changed to describe the organization as “community-based, ” rather than nonprofit.
Muhammad has said he was a psychologist in Illinois, where he was originally from, but a search on the state’s Financial and Professional Regulation Department Web site and a check with the department’s spokesperson revealed no evidence to support that claim.
On Saturday, a nattily dressed Muhammad was signing two of his self-published books, “The Secrets Men Keep, ” and “My Mind, My Body, My Spirit, ” at a Barnes & Noble in East Point and dishing dirt on his stint on “The Real Gilligan‘s Island.”
The “Survivor”-style show, which airs Wednesdays on TBS, pits two teams of castaways against each other for a top prize of $250,000. Muhammad fills one of the two “professor” roles. The heavily promoted show debuted June 8 and will run through June 29. It was taped in 2004 and has an average weekly viewership of 1.7 million people, studio officials said.
Wearing crisp white pants, an embroidered denim blue shirt and black leather Gucci sandals, Muhammad signed two of his books on relationships — published under his own Man II Man Inc. imprint — and autographed black-and-white headshots of himself labeled “Dr. Tiy-E Psychologist/Author” in large letters.
“If you go to bed at night not feeling comfortable with who you are, I feel sorry for you, ” he told the group of about 20 women, flashing a dimpled smile. “Everyone should love themselves.”
In an interview with a reporter Saturday, Muhammad said he decided to leave Clark Atlanta in the summer of 2004 to pursue a career in modeling and acting.
“The job became a chore. It was a stale routine. It wasn’t a challenge anymore, ” he said.
Asked Monday if he left the university because officials there questioned his credentials, he hesitated, then said, “I don’t have a problem with that.”
When pressed about the discrepancies, he said, “That is not anybody’s business.”
Charismatic and handsome, Muhammad first attracted national attention as a regular on the syndicated “Ricki Lake Show” as a “resident relationship expert” in 2002. He made numerous appearances on the talk show over the next two years while teaching at Clark Atlanta. School administrators would not comment on how Muhammad got his job with a faked resume or why he was allowed to teach for so long.
Both Jet and Ebony magazines quoted Muhammad as a psychologist and relationship expert in articles dating back to 2001. In 2003, Ebony named him one of 26 “Best Bachelors of the Year.” Ebony officials declined to comment this week, saying they had not had an opportunity to check into the matter.
Turner Broadcasting officials released a brief statement: “Tiy-E Muhammad met the professor criteria for the production company to cast him as a contestant on ‘The Real Gilligan‘s Island.’ They felt he was a good reality character.”
Laura Mandel, a spokeswoman for Telepictures Productions, the show’s producer, said, “We do not discuss the casting process.”
Marietta psychologist Mark Roland, a board member of the Georgia Psychological Association’s independent practice division, called Muhammad‘s use of the term psychologist “the worst kind of betrayal of the public’s trust.”
“This is the first time I’ve heard of someone taking it to this level, ” Roland said. “It raises legal and ethical issues.”
Muhammad, who received a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Eastern Illinois University, said Monday he was unaware that claiming to be a psychologist without a license was illegal.
“I checked it out when I moved here. It’s not against the law, ” he said.
But when a reporter read Muhammad the Georgia Law Code that relates to psychologists (Sec. 43-39-7), he said, “I’m a life coach, I say I’m a life coach. It makes things simpler.”
On Tuesday, he changed his Web site, dropping the description of himself as a psychologist. He later acknowledged he had not graduated from Southern Illinois but said he had a doctorate from an unaccredited online university. He did not provide immediate documentation.
In the last five years, Muhammad has spoken on dozens of college campuses around the country, from Georgia Tech to Notre Dame. He said he gets 50 to 75 e-mails a day through his Web site, www.onelovepoet.com, asking for relationship advice.
He’s turned “Secrets Men Keep” into a play that is scheduled for Sept. 6-11 at the Bois-feuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, backed by local theater promoter Preston Elliott. Muhammad ran his own casting call in May and will play the lead. A promotional flier says the play is a “Man II Man Development” production.
Muhammad co-hosts with Ramona Debreaux on HOT 107.9 a Wednesday morning radio show on relationships.
General Manager Wayne Brown said the station does not refer to Muhammad as a psychologist or Ph.D. They call him “The Love Doctor.”
“I don’t think you need to be a doctor to have a male opinion, ” Brown said.
Former Clark Atlanta University student Ivory Jones, who graduated with a minor in psychology in 2000, said students often questioned Muhammad‘s teaching methods.
“It seemed more like he wanted to come across as a ladies’ man and not as a legit professor, ” Jones said. “He’s really attractive and well-spoken. I guess that’s why he was able to carry it off for so long.”