Whitney is a 23 year old ex-pageant girl who shamelessly sports the word “cunt” tattooed on her right foot and wants porn star boobs. Bon (“Bonnie”) has a PhD is Physiology, loves botox, and wants to dress like Lady Gaga on the tennis court. I’m talking about “Big Rich Texas” (website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube), y’all! This docu-series (code for “reality TV”) debuted July 17, 2011 on the Style network. After a 2 week hiatus, the hour long series resumes tonight, Sunday, August 28, 2011 at it’s regular time slot 9PM/8PM Central for the second half of the 10 episode season. The show depicts 5 southern elite mother-daughter pairs who are members of Woodhaven Country Club in Fort Worth, TX. I interviewed Dr. Bon “Bonnie” Blossman (website, Facebook, Twitter) and Whitney Whatley (website, Facebook, Twitter) at the tail-end of a PR blitz in LA. Before I post the interview, here’s my version of a quick introduction to the rest of the cast:
- Pam Martin Duarte and Hannah Gelbert Martin: Both ladies were on the reality TV show “Dallas Divas and Daughters” that aired on the Style network last year. Pam (website, Twitter, Facebook) is the “hall monitor” for the country club and has earned quite a bit of clout to pull it off. She lives to be a thorn in Bon’s side and is working on a novel. Hannah (Twitter) is attending college at the University of Missouri and shows us she’s it’s not quite a like mother, like daughter pair when she has a party in the backyard while Pam is vacationing in Spain.
- Melissa Poe and Maddie Poe: Like Pam, Melissa (Facebook, Twitter) wears her girdle pretty tight and the 2 are friends on the show. Melissa believes her glory years are behind her as she simultaneously boasts and criticizes her years as a model. Melissa tries to keep a short leash on her daughter Maddie (Facebook, Twitter) who is not allowed to date, but like any 15 year would, Maddie does not let that deter her dating Zach (Bon’s son).
- Leslie Birkland and Kalyn Niccole Braun: They’re the new folks in town. Leslie (Facebook) is also a former model that swears she bought a beige Ferrari when she was 19. Her loot now comes from doing something in the oil and gas industry. Her husband drowned in a lake 2 years ago, and she has a son Tyler Bereiter (Facebook, Twitter) that is a model and center of a love triangle between goddaughter Kalyn (Facebook, Twitter) and Whitney. When Leslie’s not coaching Kalyn or anyone she can get her hands on to be pageant pro or model, she’s shaking things up at the country club with Bon as her accomplice. Her goddaughter Kailyn is living with Leslie full time as a favor to her mom as Kailyn continues the pageant life. While Kailyn comes across confident on the surface, she’s seems fragile on the inside.
- Connie Dieb and Grace Dieb: Thank God for Connie not joining the blond hair and hair extensions nation! She co-owns Uptown Consignment Fine Apparel, was a former cheerleader, and serves as the social chair at the country club. Leslie is her cousin although they don’t always seem to come from the same DNA. Her daughter Grace (Facebook, Twitter) is a cheerleader, but don’t get it twisted because she is an MMA black belt as well.
Now that you have a feel for the other members of the cast, here’s my interview with Bon and Whitney who I’d say represent the country club’s counterculture. Don’t be so quick to judge them, though. In addition to her PhD in Physiology, Bon teaches at the University of North Texas, is an author, owns several businesses, and dabbles in the music industry. Whitney is in school, has a t-shirt line, and has a musical talent of her own that you’ll have to read below to find out.
Ifelicious: Bon, do you think it was a fair trade to let Whitney have lip injections in exchange for getting the tattoo removed? At least to quiet things down with the controversy it stirred at the country club?
Bon: Ya, Whitney had been asking since she was 15 if she could get her lips done, and I said no. Even her doctors said no, and then when she was 21 I almost did it for her. With her getting in trouble at the country club for that [tattoo], I had to pull out all the stops…It’s only been 2 months, and she’s saying she wants [lip injections] done again, so maybe I’ll have to make another deal for the second treatment.
Bon: We just never ever ever cared for each other. I don’t like her because she’s too judgmental. I don’t like snotty, judgmental types. They just don’t mesh well, and to be honest, I do want and say what I want and I just don’t care what others think because I’m not judging you so don’t judge me…I like to think of me as Batman and she’s the Joker. No, wait, she’s The Penguin. I take that back. She’s not the Joker because the Joker would be kind of funny.
Bon: My husband [Jason] and my son [Zach], they have a few cameos, but they didn’t really want to do it. My husband would actually leave when the cameras were around, and my son has everything in his room that he could ever want so he just went in there while they were filming, but they supported us doing it.
Ifelicious: Whitney, so what’s up with this love triangle between you and Kalyn and Tyler. Would you call it a triangle? Are you officially dating? I guess as of the last episode, it looked like you were.
Bon: We have a publishing company and we publish books and also make CDs. We have a recording studio in the house. Me and my husband are actually in a group called Party of 2, and we have a CD out, and it’s called the ‘Monstrous Halloween Dance Party Mix.’ We just do fun seasonal dance music to play at parties.
Whitney: I have a t-shirt line…There’s about 7 or 8 shirts.
Bon: I drink Bacardi and Diet Coke with 2 cherries. It needs a name because I always have to give the ingredients…A Cuba libre is the same but with a lime, but when you put cherries in it, it changes the flavor completely. It’s really good.
Thanks, Bon and Whitney for giving me a great interview! Set your DVRs to record “Big Rich Texas” or download the series on iTunes. I found the blogs A Real American Girl and FrontRow have great episode recaps.
- [PRESS RELEASE] Style Network details ‘Big Rich Texas’ July 17 series premiere (mediamarketjournal.com)
- Coming in July to the Style Network, another reality show about Dallas’s ‘social scene’ (dallasobserver.com)
- [INTERVIEW] Big Rich Texas exclusive: Bon and Whitney (examiner.com)
- [INTERVIEW, VIDEO] TMZ interview with Bon and Whitney- go to 41:00 in episode ‘Predator acquittal…’ (tmz.com)
- [INTERVIEW, AUDIO] Interview with Whitney (theblockradio.com)
- [INTERVIEW] Exclusive interview with ‘Big Rich Texas’ star Whitney Whatley (createchaosgossip.com)
- [INTERVIEW, VIDEO] Big Rich Texas: Leslie & Kalyn (CW 31 Good Day Sacramento)
- ‘Big Rich Texas’ Leslie Birkland and Bonnie Blossman out on the town (phatwebs.co.uk)
- Leslie Birkland on going from welfare to ‘Big Rich Texas’ (tvguide.com)
- Style’s ‘Big Rich Texas’: Making ‘Real Housewives’ look tame (huffingtonpost.com)
- Takin’ Dallas in ‘style’ with ‘Big Rich Texas’ [videos] (realtvcritics.com)
- What’s Your Favorite Reality TV Show? (psychologytoday.com)