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'The City' finale: Whitney gets a big break, and Erin gives an ultimatum

December 2, 2009 |  7:34 am
Whitflip14-whithold In “The City” season finale, the conflicts reached a crescendo. In both situations, the women had to ask themselves whether they could (or should) work together.

Whitney Port survived last week’s “look book” shoot, and this week Kelly Cutrone’s “Fashion School of Hard Knocks” served up yet another test. Kelly arranged a sales presentation for Bergdorf Goodman officials. We all remember the last time Whitney went to them (with Roxy Olin’s encouragement) only to look like an under-prepared novice with a portfolio full of pencil sketches that didn’t even amount to a full line. This time around, Kelly was giving her blessing. She only had one request: Do not bring Roxy.

When Whitney told Roxy, Roxy came back with the craziest “no, she didn’t” expression and stood up to confront Kelly. My eyes were as big as pinwheels as I watched Crazy, uh, Roxy, walk toward Kelly’s office. What is wrong with her? Does she know Kelly could snap her in half and send her upper portion down a runway in Milan? As soon as Roxy began playing the “we are similar” card, Kelly had had enough. She said that if Whitney wanted her there, then she should go. I could see her washing her hands of it already.

It wasn’t a surprise that Kelly didn’t show up for the actual presentation. Whitney once again went against her advice, and Roxy had insulted her. It was a little disappointing, because it was such a big deal for Whitney. Then again, she made her bed and Kelly was going to let her lie in it. I just could have done without Roxy feeling justified in calling Kelly a hypocrite. That’s when I thought, “No, she didn’t.”

I loved how MTV shot the Bergdorf “glamazons” getting out of their cars for the meeting. They were like the fashion mafia. Whitney had no idea what she was in for. Turned out Kelly was right and there were some instances when her presence could have saved Whitney some embarrassment. Kelly may not have been able to change the Bergdorf women’s opinion of Whitney’s crooked hemlines and “cheap” fabric choices, but she could have had a better comeback than Whitney’s “I’m learning.” Did anyone else want to strangle Roxy when she countered Whitney’s statement about people not wearing black in L.A. with “I wear black in L.A.”? Time and place, Roxy. Wow. That only galvanized my faith in Kelly’s judgment. Should Whitney and Roxy work together? My opinion? Not until Roxy learns to check her ego at the door and when it’s appropriate to shut her mouth.

Despite her disappointment...

Kelly offers Whitney a spot at New York fashion week. Who knows what wrench Roxy will throw into that one. Her toolbox is deep.

Couch_blog The teamwork wasn’t much better at Elle. After Olivia Palermo’s disastrous pull for Joe Zee’s “Today” show segment last week, Erin Kaplan replaced her looks with ones she had pulled. Olivia didn’t find out about the switch until they had reached the 30 Rock studios. To her credit, Erin tried to review the outfits with Olivia. She may have been a bit condescending when she asked Olivia if she knew why her looks didn’t make the cut, though. On the other hand, Olivia believes she came into Elle at some kind of senior position, so trying to teach her something is virtually impossible. Olivia chose to “refrain” from discussing the new looks. This came back to bite her when a very caffeinated Joe Zee began asking Olivia about the designers and price points. She, of course, had no clue. If you check out the actual segment, Joe Zee says that all the looks are under $100 (which is what Olivia told him) while an on-screen graphic shows an outfit costing more than that. Oops.

Is it awful that I loved watching Joe Zee squirm? He kind of deserved it. Erin has been dealing with Olivia’s poor work ethic for months, and Joe constantly undermined her authority. Here we have a situation in which it affected him personally and suddenly he pays attention.

Back at the Elle offices, Olivia and Erin meet with Joe, and they look like they’re at the principal’s office. After much finger pointing between Erin and Olivia, he asks the question, “Can you work together?” And Erin drops a bomb: She says it’s her or Olivia. Poor clueless Joe looks as if he’s going to collapse. And that’s where we’re left. Is that really such a hard decision, Joe? Really?

 Other thoughts from the pre- and post-finale shows:

• Olivia says her strength lies in styling. What? Doesn’t that mean you have to actually pull looks that fit your client (not like last week’s episode when she ignored the models’ sizes)?
• Loved the montage of Erin’s facial expressions. She’s the queen of the dirty looks.
• Did anyone else think that Whitney’s dress was way too short? Yikes. On the upside, legs for days.
• Roxy says that she doesn’t regret calling Kelly a hypocrite and she doesn’t take it back. Some things never change.
• Whitney says that there’s a lot of crying at People’s Revolution, as well as lots of hiring and firing. Pretty sure that if Roxy wasn’t on “The City,” she wouldn’t still be on the payroll.

-- Jethro Nededog (follow me on Twitter @TheRealJethro)

Whitney Port on the girl drama, the guy rumors and what it takes to survive ‘The City’
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Complete Show Tracker coverage of ‘The City’

Upper photo: Whitney Port during MTV’s live finale event. Credit: MTV.

Lower photo: Olivia Palermo and Erin Kaplan point fingers on “The City” season finale. Credit: MTV