She’s Back, and She’s In New York
The season premiere of ‘The Millionaire Matchmaker’
As if the Yankees weren’t causing enough pain by themselves, our favorite Jewish matchmaker Patti Stanger came rolling into town last night with her barrelful of crazy. (For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, la newly single Stanger decided to relocate from sunny L.A. to her home turf for the fourth season of Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker.) Who knows if there will be a round-up every week: The show’s quality and our sanity might demand otherwise. But, I mean, there was a Jewish millionaire on tap for the premiere! And how.
Before that, though, there was Derek Tabacco, a 40-year-old, er, person ostentatiously of Italian descent from Staten Island, a diehard Yankees and Jets fan who built an Internet business with his brothers—something to do with a sports Website—and now owns property in Bermuda. (He also may or may not have hairplugs up front.) Derek, who is more of a butt man, “because any girl can buy boobs,” has been wifehunting for several years with no success, and he wants Patti to fix that. Patti gets him a 24-year-old nightclub hostess from south Jersey named Colby, whom Derek endeavors to romance inside his pleasuremobile, the P2, which is in fact a customized Chevy van. In the backseat, he plies her with cold Coronas and fresh mozz right out of a Tupperware container. And, scene.
But then there is the Jew, single mom Bryce Gruber, who seems to believe she is best known as an heiress to the Dannon yogurt fortune. (Yup, started by Sephardim.) Actually, though, any woman who has had access to the Internet in the past year probably knows Bryce Gruber as—wait for it—the Vajazzler. Seriously. She’s the one who went and got her … y’know … all crystallized last spring. On YouTube. For real. Because, apparently, Bryce Gruber, who is 26, doesn’t want a husband as much as she wants to be famous. (Two years ago, when she was pregnant, she got a PR person to send out a release announcing that she was going to become an unwed mother, and bragged about knowing LuAnn de Lesseps, one of the infamous Real Housewives of New York. Then, she agreed to become a Housewife herself, but backed out after filming one episode. Now, she claims she’s celibate, and elaborates with some nonsense about a family chastity belt made out of titanium.)
Sadly, Bryce is immune to Patti’s maternal charms. They have their first meeting at the infamous SoHo model hangout Delicatessen, right around the corner from Tablet Magazine’s homebase, and Bryce announces she would like, “in a perfect world, George Clooney, but Jewish.” Patti’s jaw drops. “Yeah, it would have to be a Jewish guy,” Bryce goes on, blithely. “God, you must have been treated like a princess when you were growing up,” Patti replies. Later, Patti adds: “Oy, vey, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Well, no, but Bryce is in New York, so within about five minutes Patti has found Bryce a cute Jewish high-school math teacher named Keith. He’s from Dobbs Ferry, in Westchester. “I don’t know where that is,” Bryce says, condescendingly. Keith perseveres. He coaches softball at his school, which is in the Bronx! “I’m a big kid,” he admits, sweetly. “Does that mean cartoons and cereal?” Bryce snottily responds. “I felt like I got hit by a bus when I got out of there,” Keith tells the camera crew afterward. “I hope she’ll give me a chance.” Why? we yell at the screen.
Keith takes Bryce rowing in Central Park and then gets a candlelit dinner for two catered at the New York Public Library in Bryant Park. It’s terribly romantic! But Bryce simply cannot be bothered to speak in anything more than monosyllables. She turns down a glass of wine, and sits looking outraged when, having told Keith she sometimes writes about sex on her Website, The Luxury Spot, he nervously quips, “Well, I’m pretty good at sex!” “My chastity belt screwed shut a little tighter,” she says later. At the end of dinner, Keith asks if she’s had a nice night. Bryce just smirks silently. As my mother would say: All money, and no class. Afterward, poor Keith tells Patti he’s willing to see Bryce again, but good mama stops the pain and cuts Bryce loose. “The millionaires are verkakte,” she sputters. “I hope the rest of the millionaires are a lot better.” So do we.