The Watchers 16

I had to become Trina Davenport

Liza woke with a start. Heart racing, she searched the room until she remembered. Trina’s room. She looked at the blue walls as she sat in bed. The clock on the wall showed it was six o’clock. She’d slept the entire night. She’d never slept for longer than a couple of hours. She hadn’t since childhood.

The door still had the dresser blocking it. After locking the bedroom door she’d slid the dresser in front of it just in case. No one had tried to enter her room, but she didn’t want to take a chance.

She’d spent the majority of the night searching the internet for information about Trina. She’d started with her Wikipedia page and went from there. There was a plethora of articles and interviews written about ‘America’s Bad Girl” aka Trina Davenport. Then she moved onto Youtube videos and fan pages detailing her every movement for the last two years since she’d been picked as the next big thing to hit reality TV.

Trina Davenport self-described as the girl America most loved to hate. She became famous for her taglines “You hate me because you ain’t me” and “don’t start none, won’t be none.” Her rise to fame began with the viral video detailing her troubled life in her hometown.

With a ground swelling of support from friends, fans and family she was voted to be cast in the all-star season of “The Bad Girls take Manhattan”.

Ms. Davenport began with the Bad Girls franchise in 2011 in the show’s third season. Like many ensemble reality shows before it, the Bad Girls detailed the lives of six young women from very different circumstances living together in a house. However, Bad Girls was the first of its kind to make its housemates compete for a prize to be rewarded at the end of the show.

The premise of Bad Girls was to take the most outrageous personalities and turn them into debutantes by the end of the show. The contestants were giving classes on etiquette as their entire lives were made over. At the end of the season the contestant voted most improved won a monetary prize.

Many of the show’s detractors stated that the show exploited the contestants many of whom were not educated and were from underprivileged back grounds by pitting them against each other and encouraging them to attack their fellow contestants. However, the show’s rabid fans have rallied behind them even signing petitions to keep the show on the air. Its supporters call it the real-life modern day My Fair Lady minus the Professor Higgins. Instead a hodgepodge panel of etiquette coaches and special guest judges determine each week who will stay and who will leave.

The shows formula involves taking young women from all over the country that lacked basic manners and turn them into modern day “Eliza Doolittles”.

They were then shipped into the Hamptons and NYC’s finest parties and social clubs to “fool” the high society into believing they belonged. After rigorous lessons on social etiquette and cramming sessions on world events the girls were given a head to toe makeover then unleashed as eligible debutantes.

The experiment was to see who blinked first: the young women who are strangers in a strange land or the hoydens of high society who could sniff out the imposters and toss them before they can have their first taste of champagne.

In the first season the shows detractors call for the show to be boycotted saying it exploited poor uneducated minority women seeking to improve their lives by showcasing their lack of education and poor social skills as entertainment. Others said it mocked the traditions of a notoriously exclusive society that never asked to be a part of this carnival show.

Either way the success of the show as shown by its ratings proved that Americans were interested. They are watching and there have been many breakout stars from the series, but none more of a breakout than Trina Davenport.

Trina Davenport, a high school graduate from the South, became the third season’s breakout star catapulting herself and the show to international fame. It was later learned that although she was initially portrayed as coming from a low socioeconomic background, she actually hailed from a family of educators and businessmen.

On the show Trina was the most outspoken and argumentative of the group, but many professed their love of her because of her willingness to step into the fray to fight for what she believed. However, often what she believed in seemed to be directly related to how much screen time she could get.

Undeniably ambitious Ms. Davenport was upfront with her desire to establish a career in show business after being cast in the show. Although Trina never denied her reason for being on the show, “I was born to be a star, baby,” was one of the many taglines she was famous for, fans appreciated her frankness and drive.

However, once her season was over the ambition she had fizzled out when she was unable to use the platform as a launching pad for more legitimate roles. Things changed when a ground swell of support fans voted Trina to return for an All-Star season that took the debutantes overseas to Europe.

It was after that record-breaking season that Trina was able to recapture her popularity that has led to renewed interest in her career as an actress signing on for several episodes of the hit dramedy, Two for The Road in 2016.  

Liza read many more articles basically of the same ilk, but it was the Bad Girls videos that put Trina the woman in full perspective. Some were well produced duplicates of the reality shows the woman had been on, but some were candid videos uploaded by fans or so-called fans showing Trina at her worst in public. The girl definitely had a temper on and off the show. She had a trigger personality and wasn’t afraid to go after someone.

However, her audience loved her or loved to hate her because regardless of her behavior she always had a witty comment to make before, during or after her tantrums. She was ratings gold.

The latest video posted was by fans of Trina in line at a movie theater with her daughter Zuri went viral. It began as usual with Trina in full rant. Published a year ago it had several million hits for the sixty second clip.

Like all the others there was never footage before or after, it always began when Trina was already amped up and charging full speed ahead. Her behavior was reckless but Liza didn’t believe it warranted her being killed. In the past twenty-four hours she’d been shot at, mugged at gunpoint and attacked in the street. She couldn’t imagine what the rest of Trina’s life was like with the short time period she’d walked in her shoes.

What was worse was that it didn’t seem like Trina had any one on her side except of course Mrs. Davenport and Zuri. It was all so strange. She was playing the part of a lightning rod personality but Liza wasn’t used to being the center of attention. She knew something was going have to give. She had to find a happy medium between old Trina or new Trina.

The smell of coffee brewing in the kitchen pulled Liza from her thoughts remembering her promise to take Zuri to school.

Liza pulled the knife from under her pillow and stuck it in the waist band of her pajamas before walking to the bathroom across the hall to wash up.

She still hadn’t figured out the purpose of her mission. She also hadn’t been contacted by Central. She could feel time slipping away, but there wasn’t anything she could do but keep under the radar.

She needed more info. Until then she planned to fit in the best she could. It was her only option if she wanted to get back to Central. She had no choice but to become Trina Davenport.

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