'The Hills': Kristin suddenly has a penchant for scruff, combat boots
Which is odd, I know, because let's face it -- Lauren wasn't adding a whole bunch to the show toward the end of last season, complacently sifting through clothes racks at People's Revolution and constantly being forced into awkward situations with frenemy Heidi.
But there was something about Lauren's calm demeanor and subtle eye rolls that endeared her to me. Perhaps the part of her life she revealed on the show wasn't all that dramatic, but it never seemed like she was spewing outright lies.
Enter Kristin, wearing daisy dukes and very high heels while hopping out of her summer Malibu rental and into her shiny black BMW convertible.
During my interview with her last week, Kristin admitted she will "pretty much do anything" the producers want her to do on the show. The first of which seems to be feigning romantic interest in resident bad boy Justin Bobby.
There is just no way I can believe that Kristin actually finds JB attractive. Reality check -- she has dated the chiseled Brody Jenner and clean-cut "Final Destination" star Nick Zano. They don't exactly have the snarly beard, suspenders and combat boot look going on.
"He's so not your type!" I pressed when we met last week at Magnolia restaurant in Hollywood.
"He is a good-looking guy," she insisted. "No, he's not someone I typically would go after, but I do have to say after getting to know him a little bit on the show, he's a good guy."
Okay. But even if Kristin hypothetically were into JB, her constant Audrina name-dropping made the entire setup feel all too fake.
"How do you think Audrina's going to feel about us going on a date?" she asked coyly when Justin offered to take her on the back of his motorcycle.
"I think Audrina is still in love with you," she later said nonchalantly over dinner with Justin at STK. (Honestly, producers? Are we meant to believe a trendy Hollywood steakhouse is JB's number one choice for a dinner date?)
Justin proceeds to tell Kristin that Audrina was never his girlfriend and that the pair were never exclusive. Is that really supposed to be a huge revelation? Audrina spent an entire season pleading with Justin to make things official. When he refused to put a label on things, she kept seeing him and tried to convince herself and her friends she was OK dating without labels -- which she clearly never was.
And in the season opener, at least, it really appears that she's still in love with Justin.
When Stephanie abruptly dropped the bomb that Kristin and Justin may have gone home together, Audrina's face instantly dropped and her eyes welled up. Yikes.
Plus, "the stage five clinger," as bartender Stacie deemed her, prematurely flipped out on Kristin within a couple of minutes of her arrival at the pool party at the London West Hollywood Hotel. I mean, Justin was the one who approached Kristin, and the two had barely exchanged a couple of faux-flirty words before Audrina and sidekick-to-everyone Stephanie got up in Kristin's face.
"I'm sorry I walked up here and you guys came at me like piranhas," Kristin said.
"You need to respect Audrina, bottom line," Stephanie shouted back at her. No wonder she's ready to exit the show at the end of this season -- all of her story lines involve being obsessed with her friends lives instead of her own!
Meanwhile, Spencer and Heidi's house-hunting pursuits somehow ended up seeming like the most realistic events of the evening. First the pair headed to a suburban house in Brentwood. Spencer wore an interesting get-up, composed of a cowboy hat and boots and a flannel shirt -- Poppa Montag's style influence on his new son-in-law must have been far-reaching.
Despite Heidi's insistence upon a cozy home with a room for a nursery, Spencer settles upon a modern, glass-filled house perched below the Hollywood sign. I'll take it that means the children discussion is on hold until that visit to Kitson Baby later in the season.
So, weigh in: Did Kristin's much-hyped debut live up to your expectations, or did her entrance fall flat? Do you think she and Justin Bobby will make a real love connection? And will Heidi succeed in persuading Spencer to start a family by the end of the season? Chime in below in the comment section.
-- Amy Kaufman (follow me on Twitter @AmyKinLA)
Photo: Kristin tries to reel in her potential new love interest, Justin Bobby, on "The Hills. Credit: MTV.