David Tutera’s CELEBrations Recap: Vanessa Simmons’ Birthday Blowout [Episode 9]
Time flies when you’re throwing parties. We are at the end of the season for David Tutera and his D-list celebrities. Slomique arrives at David’s house and finds him cleaning his own pool. She tells him to put the net aside, they’ve got a party to plan. Angela Simmons, daughter of Reverend Run and niece of Russell Simmons, wants to throw a party for her sister Vanessa. It’s her 31st birthday. This is a re-do because Vanessa was pregnant for her 30th birthday and couldn’t party. During their video meeting, Angela doesn’t have any ideas or suggestions for her sister’s party, but trusts that David will come up with something. And oh yeah, Angela can’t make it to the party either, she has commitments in New York, but wants the party to have her essence. She’ll set up a meeting for David and Vanessa.
On his way to meet Vanessa, Montre the driver is like: OMG! OMG! Stop the car! Vanessa Simmons is Rap Royalty! And her baby-daddy is one of the many, many Wayans. At the empty restaurant David, Slomique, Alyssa, and Vanessa discuss ideas. After being in hibernation mode for a year, taking care of her daughter Ava Marie, Vanessa just wants to feel like a kid again herself. She wants an adult carnival with good music, fireworks and rides. But wait. Can David throw in a casino theme? And now that Vanessa thinks about it, how about a neon Coachella theme? Everyone, but Vanessa is confused. She doesn’t understand why they just don’t incorporate her three ideas and then get back to her.
Later Slomique and David chat with Montre on exactly what neon Coachella is. Montre calls it a modern day Woodstock where you sweat and dance and have a great time. David crosses that off the list. He thinks a Las Vegas style party would sex things up; something a carnival theme doesn’t really do. Unless you count the carnies. They’ll definitely sex it up. (Said with extreme sarcasm.) They call sister Angela to go over the two choices, but she’s no help again. She doesn’t want to pick a theme or a color or make any kind of suggestion. That’s what David is for. Her only part in this is the gift.
Still needing more insight into the inner workings of Vanessa, David and Slomique go shopping with her and her friends to observe. Vanessa tells her girlfriends how she just watched an episode of Sex and the City and liked how Carrie Bradshaw wore a t-shirt with a fluffy skirt. This helps David…some how. As Vanessa leaves to try on some clothes, David talks with her friends and tells them he doesn’t know what the theme is yet and it’s Vanessa’s fault. The two friends tell David that nothing is ever Vanessa’s fault. Never. Ever. David asks Slomique to take the two friends outside so he can speak to Vanessa.
When David asks her the type of party she really wants, Vanessa says she wants a party that is a memorable experience for her friends and family. That’s sweet, but get over it and pick one. She can’t. David asks her to be selfish. Vanessa wants it big, wants it to pop and wants it to stand out. She wants to feel like a kid again. And like the ending of the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy David has found the answer. He clicks his heels together three times and recites – there’s no party like mine – and the theme is born: vintage carnival.
The following day David is on his way to meet with Vanessa and designer Marcus Clark to pick out an outfit. The dresses on the rack are mostly long and not exactly carnival friendly. Friend Shawna doesn’t like anything. She tries to get information about the party, but all David will say is fun, food, and music. Sounds memorable. The first dress Vanessa comes out in is a fluffy, peach skirt mess with a tank top. Next. This dress has a straight, pink skirt and a t-shirt. Maybe. The third dress is an ill-fitting hideous wedding-like dress. Burn. Vanessa can’t decide. David suggests picking the dress that Angela would like, but this makes Vanessa cry. She needs a moment. It’s too upsetting that her sister won’t be at her birthday party.
It’s the day of the party and there’s nothing but blue skies. Alyssa tells David they are setting up the bungee run, jousting, basketball hoops, and two different photo booths. Colorful balloons are everywhere and the tables and chairs are in assorted colors. David has a thought: this is something for a kid. Not an adult. There’s no sophistication. David quickly orders that there should only be orange chairs to match the orange table umbrellas. That will fix everything.
But guess who shows up? Hint: the very person who said they weren’t going to make it because they were too busy in New York. You guessed it. Angela. And she’s disappointed at what she sees. Angela pictured the party would be bigger. So did we. We were thinking a couple of rides like a carrousel and Ferris wheel. This looks like a backyard BBQ according to Angela. But she can’t stay and help because she has to be somewhere else.
David meets Vanessa and her friends at the location where the girls’ hair and make up will be done. The dress is not there yet. Panic sets in. Obviously, Vanessa hasn’t seen this show before. The dresses are always late. Always. Vanessa says if she doesn’t like the dress she’s wearing, she’s not going to feel good. If she doesn’t feel good, she’s not going to have a good time. If she’s not going to have a good time, she’s not going to go to her party. It’s that simple.
The food trucks are parking and hitting planters, the inflatable rides are being inflated, and the mid-way games are arriving. Funhouse mirrors and comical cutouts are being placed about and dancers are entertaining the crowd. This still seems like a party for an 7 year-old. David should have gone with the casino theme. Plus, where’s the music? She is rap royalty, shouldn’t the well-known rap band be setting up by now?
Back at the room, Marcus arrives with only one dress. Fingers crossed Vanessa likes it. Marcus pulls out the pink tulle skirt and a flowery-blouse and Vanessa loves it. So do her friends. During the big carnival unveil, one of Vanessa’s friend’s tells her it’s just like the party thrown for her sweet 16. Oops. Not exactly adult, but Vanessa did say she wanted to feel like a kid again. Suddenly, Angela announces that she’s there at the party and the happy tears develop. Vanessa thanks David and everyone for being there. The evening ends with David and Slomique jousting and Slomique being knocked off her pedestal.
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I am so lucky to combine blogging with my guilty pleasure of watching reality TV. I read all the comments and respond to most. Feel free to reach out to me. If you like fiction, I have two published novels: Three Days in Purgatory and A Reason to Run.