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'The City': Roxy Olin doesn't play second fiddle

May 26, 2010 |  3:08 am
The-city-mtv-roxy-olin-whitney-port I felt this week’s episode of “The City” was really complicated. I know I’m talking about an MTV reality show, but hear me out. There were so many conflicting desires, it’s hard to believe any work got done.

Pitchin’ party
Over at the Elle offices, it’s abundantly clear to me now that Joe Zee isn’t as clueless about Olivia Palermo as he had come off last season. He may have realized it while watching the season over or after that “Today” debacle when he finally saw that Olivia wasn’t the basket in which one puts all one's eggs. This season, he’s a lot more careful with how far he’ll trust Olivia’s talents, and he seems to be hearing Erin Kaplan’s concerns more. It’s obvious there are aspects of Olivia's personality that can work for the magazine, and Joe is exploiting those. She’s the perfect person to send out on shoots or to take along to parties, because she knows so many people, and even when she doesn’t, she has the ability to project confidence around others. That’s not to say she doesn’t go home and cry herself to sleep, but the woman can handle herself around the fashion hoity-toity. That makes Joe and the magazine look good.

The-city-mtv-erin-kaplan-olivia-palermo I feel like there’s something we’re missing from Erin’s meeting with Neel Shah from Page Six. Their conversation just felt a bit lean. I know she dislikes Olivia, but I don’t believe she’d try to pitch a story about Olivia trashing Whitney Port’s line when it can be so easily tracked back to her. I rarely call a foul on editing when I’m watching a reality show. I usually employ my very strong ability to suspend disbelief. I have a feeling, though, that Erin spent most of that meeting talking about Elle’s new fashion director, Alexis Bryan Morgan. And the part where she started discussing Olivia’s take on Whitney Port’s line was “off the record.” Just a hunch.

By the way, Seth, the double agent/assistant is back. He cracks me up. “Great Job at that party, Olivia.” Waits until she leaves and then turns to Erin, “Does she do any work?” He’s fun.

The-city-mtv-whitney-port "Girly girl" versus "ballet hooker"
Now the Roxy Olin we see in this episode is the Roxy I remember. Welcome back! In the first few episodes of this season, I felt Roxy was existing in the shadows, and that’s not how she rolled. We saw a bit of it last week when she told Whitney she wasn't in a position to turn down free offers when it came to basically using Jonathon for a free shoot.

So, what does Roxy want? I think Kelly Cutrone knew exactly what she was doing when she sent Roxy on that guerrilla shoot a few episodes back. Roxy wants to be in control. She wants to be wildly creative. She wants something of her own. I don’t think Roxy went to Glamour to pull for Whitney. If she did, she would have been on time, and she wouldn’t have insulted the work that was done in her absence. She also would have stated her opinion once and then stepped back after the editor from Glamour stated hers. If actions define our motives, then Roxy went primarily for two reasons: to spite Kelly and to get her work on the pages of Glamour.

I can appreciate Whitney for wanting to stay loyal to her friend, but when will she learn that Roxy can take care of herself? In my opinion, Roxy can be just as dangerous to Whitney’s success as Olivia. After all, it’s easier to see the enemy from far away, but what about when they’re standing right next to you?

-- Jethro Nededog


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Photos, from top: Roxy Olin, left, and Whitney Port get a lecture from Kelly Cutrone over the comments Roxy made at Glamour.; Erin Kaplan and Olivia Palermo attend an Elle meeting to find out if the magazine got a mention in Page Six.; Whitney, telling Roxy her comments may hurt her career. Credit: MTV