Reichen and Rodiney, via WENN

For anyone who hasn’t heard the news, let me be the last to break it: The A-List is turning into a true Real Housewives-style enterprise by applying the same drama-filled formula to other top-tier cities (sorry, Philadelphia). I guess we should have known this would be the case, since the official title of the series isn’t The Gay Housewives Show (which is everyone calls it) or even The A-List (which is what my DVR and this recap call it). The show is actually The A-List: New York. Swap out the locale for fresh faces that deliver more or less the same contrived crap. It’s genius. Then, I realized that I am sort of bored with the Big Apple debut mainly because, well, not a whole hell of a lot happens in the full hour that I spend watching it each week. Frankly, I would have expected more from the production company responsible for the deliciousness that is the Atlanta edition of The Real Housewives. But perhaps that’s where the magic lies – in relocating the show to a city (like Atlanta) or a suburb (like Orange County) that no one really cares about except for the self-important people who live in it. So, let’s get back to the Big Apple queens, shall we?

Reichen replaces his face
The search has started for the “co-pilot” of Reichen’s really ugly, overpriced, aviation-inspired jewelry line. Basically, he’s looking for a younger version of himself to feature in advertisements that currently feature … himself. And to accomplish that, Reichen sets his eyes on holding an underwear contest at Splash – New York’s iconic gay nightclub that no self-respecting New Yorker on the B, C, D, or F list would ever enter unless they’re looking to bang a bedbug-ridden closet case tourist. Of course, Reichen’s foreign, freeloading, fake-model boyfriend Rodiney was the first in line for the job. But that would require Reichen to throw more money at Rodiney and ultimately brand his company with a face that, at this point, isn’t likely to be around much longer. As a compromise, Reichen wants to make Rodiney a judge for the competition along with Derek and Mike (and last-minute addition T.J.) since all of them are allegedly “fashion industry insiders.” But with the weighty nudge of his so-called creative director, Reichen is instead coerced to crown Rodiney the emcee for the evening. Luckily, live translators and closed-captioning aren’t necessary, because Rodiney is a no-show. In his place, we’re given Peppermint – a 6’5” black drag queen with the looks of RuPaul and the linguistic clarity of Oprah.

Ryan tapes up some titties
Meanwhile, back at Behavior (one of Chelsea’s last purveyors of ridiculously marked-up clothing for queens that the economy has yet to destroy), Ryan and Rodiney thumb through the sale racks. It was an ordinary day in Ryan’s world until Rodiney took a dump: he found suspicious text messages in Reichen’s phone. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t advocate breaking and entering. But this is Reichen we’re talking about, and he has a reputation for being a serious scumbag. Then again, it’s unclear whether or not Rodiney can read English or any language at all so who knows what the fuck those messages said. Naturally, Reichen denies allegations that he poked his prick into someone else’s ass. And not so naturally, Ryan’s otherwise bland appearance this week ended in him duct taping some stupid model’s titties for a semi-nude photo shoot that for once had no discernible product or charitable organization associated with it.

Austin has an idea – finally
The now grotty-bearded runway wannabe meets with similarly pedophilic/porn-mustached celebrity stylist Phillip Bloch for help breaking back into the modeling industry at the age of 20. Any time I’ve had the guilty pleasure of seeing Phillip on an episode of America’s Next Top Model (which seems to be a feeder for the A-List – see Mike below) or some other nondescript makeover show on E!/Style/TLC, he seems to be drunk, stoned, or mentally unstable. But this time, he was a welcome voice of reason. Phillip tells Austin like it is: he simply doesn’t have the drive or motivation to model. So, he gets Austin thinking about life after modeling. And then, like the pavement I could swear he was dropped on as a child, it hits Austin: he wants to be on the creative team for a designer. And Phillip thinks that’s fantastic – no matter that Austin is barely out of high school, lacks any identifiable set of skills, or worst of all, doesn’t have any sense of style as evidenced by his extensive wardrobe of American Eagle polo shirts and hideous, square-necked 2(x)ist tank tops.

Mike needs to wring out his mop top
This week, busy Mike devotes all of his time to Reichen – first as a steroid-juiced shoulder for him to cry on and then as a judge for his strip show. The circus at Splash was built up as a big to to-do for nearly the entire episode but amounted to little more than a minute of average-looking, glitter-doused go-go boys prancing around on a tiny stage topped off with a panning shot of Mike on the panel. It served as a painful reminder that this gig is way down market from Mike’s once occasional appearances on America’s Next Top Model. At least then he shared the dais with someone who, though equally self-obsessed, is vaguely recognizable to the general population. More importantly though, following Mike’s heart-to-heart with Reichen about his failing relationship with Rodiney, I was also reminded that I hate it when he piles up his curly hair into a poodle-like pompadour. Perhaps Mike would have benefited more from letting Reichen cry on his head in order to wash that greasy shit out of his hair.

Derek gets ditched on a dinghy
It’s date two with Bolivian bombshell Roberto, and Derek decides it’s time to introduce him to his Midwestern mother. But just before setting sail on their Hudson River sunset booze cruise, Roberto bails on Derek, mom, and T.J. with a simple “Sorry.” Via text. Although Derek has surely taken the prize for the most despised character of the season (as agreed upon by my main gays), I couldn’t help but feel some of his pain. It’s a sad but true commentary on the current state of gay dating in Gotham City.

Unlike the ho-hum plot lines produced thus far, next week’s finale – a fist fight between Rodiney and Austin – looks like a climax that may have been worth the wait.