There is one area in which every reality “star” (and I use the word very loosely) eventually falls down: when they start to believe their own PR. Never has a more glaring case of this been more obvious than in the case of “Mr Jax Taylor” (I’m using his inflated Twitter name), who is one of the central characters of Vanderpump Rules, a spin-off starring the magnificent Lisa Vanderpump, from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
I have long been a Lisa fan. She has no idea that I know a lot of people from her time back in the UK, where she made her name (with husband Ken), not only as an extraordinary and exceptionally hard-working restaurateur, but a great businesswoman and, most significantly, a really good, fair boss. I met her when I was living in LA and, two weeks, ago, again in Cecconi’s in West Hollywood, where we spoke about my writing a piece (I write primarily for the Daily Mail) about Vanderpump Rules.
I love that show. I know the constraints and the tricks of reality TV (I’ve appeared enough in it myself), but I love the drama that VPR produces week on week, season after season. I’m always bemused that all the young people fancy each other so much when most of them are, at best, a B-rating (apart from the exquisite Scheana, who is so mega stunning, and doesn’t realise how even more stunning she is without make-up). I love Kristen, who knows that she has to be an ongoing nightmare for the show to work – and boy, can she work it.
I’m fascinated how anyone can go by the name of La-La and expect to be taken seriously. I’m disturbed by James’s ongoing, reality TV suicide meltdown and his need to talk about sex in order to try to validate himself in the cultural wasteland in which, as a Brit, he finds himself. I’m constantly amused by TT Bros – the two Tom boys, who are so dull, uninspired and uninspiring, I am surprised any woman has ever wanted to have sex with either of them. Ever.
Lisa is an exceptional puppeteer, who orchestrates reality TV to promote her business empires, and she is brilliant at it. In both shows in which she appears, she never exposes too much about herself or her family – she gets the gig, but she also values her private life.
But, back to Vanderpump Rules, and Monsieur Le Jax (oh, come on – let’s make him even grander than he already thinks himself to be). Today, his Twitter account posted a picture of Lisa’s husband Ken, following the wrap of the current series, with Monsieur LJ holding one of the family dogs and a drink. I posted a comment asking whether he had stolen dog and/or drink.
Given that he has just returned from Hawaii, where he was, courtesy of the show, on a freebie, and ended up being arrested for stealing a pair of sunglasses, I thought the comment was fair game. Instantly, I was blocked, and told that this was the outcome for any negative comments posted about him.
Well, for a start, it wasn’t negative; also, it’s easy to follow anyone on Twitter through another account, as any self-respecting PR person should know. But they should also know that it is through what they call “negative” comment that people get to learn. Le Monsieur is not a god; he is a criminal. He has narrowly avoided jail. He has already exposed himself to be a liar and, according to people on the show, a thief, on other occasions. But hey, people - have some fun with it! Use your different accounts and get all your followers to say something, too! It works! His PR people have been on a blocking blitz this afternoon. It's hysterical! It's the guaranteed way to get him out of your life!
Lisa has said that she does not think Jax is a bad person – and I agree. I think he’s misguided, he drinks too much, and thinks through his trousers. He’s starting to look like an old soak (as we say in the UK – ask James, who, alas, is heading the same way, if he’s not careful), and it’s rather sad.
But what Le Monsieur needs more than anything at the moment is better PR: not PR people who block light-hearted banter from those on his side (I genuinely have no problem with threatening or vile people being blocked); PR people who look at his life and ask where he’s going next when this carousel comes to a stop (which it will); PR people who look at what else he might have to offer in an ever overcrowded marketplace.
Lisa Vanderpump has his back, as she does so many people with whom she works. But I’m afraid that unless something changes pretty quickly, we’re looking at Ax Taylor – and I suspect there’s very little else for him out there if he allows his people to continually throw him under the PR bus.
Vanderpump Rules. Yes, she does. But it’s also time that Le Monsieur started to apply some rules of his own. And number one? Change your PR. In my opinion, it’s ruining Lisa’s brand, it’s ruining the show, and, worse, it’s ruining you, Jax. Do something before it’s too late. Because I really do think you’re heading for the chop. And not one you’ll be able to consume in your increasingly disturbing sweaty, overweight face.
Grow up. Seriously. And get some good people around you.
It’s a thin line between people wanting your dick and calling you one.