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Season 8 Discussion


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2 hours ago, sATL said:

 

Erin is stronger that I would be allowing others to constantly bring up her pregnancy losses - esp. now that she has 3 kids. I would find it a little insensitive and not something I want others to keep bringing up - "oh dear Carson , Brooklyn and Everly you have 3-4 siblings in heaven..."

I agree. That scene got a little uncomfortable for me. I felt like they were using Erin's miscarriages to make Whitney's loss seem more dramatic. I'm not saying it isn't sad, but it happens. I don't know what it is or why, but I'm not feeling Whitney lately. I feel bad for any woman who suffers pregnancy loss, but something about that previous vow renewal episode has kind of turned me off to her. 

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Whitney is well on her way to becoming the overly emotional pivot piece.  It's probably time for her to consider gaining some emotional control during filming unless she wants to become the dramatic point any time the next bride on deck falters.  

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From the impression that I got from this episode was that the cooking challenge was decided quickly that it would be chicken. How did Erin already know about it and how would she have known to bring veggies and already chopped for that matter?

On another note, the selective information these families release on the program and off is annoying. All that emotion and talk about Whitney's parents and no real basic information as to what went down those years ago that her bio parents lost custody of her....and her miscarriage...how far along was she....three weeks or 3 months? No timeline from the wedding renewal and this episode crying on their front porch?

Be accountable for what you release, Bateses.

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At the beginning of the mourning the miscarriage scene Zach's wording sounded so much like Gil - and then I saw the Bible.

Did Lawson actually bread the fried chicken and deep fry it, or, did he pan fry pre-prepared chicken.  I give high marks to both Zach and Erin for their entrys. It shows that they are getting a wider world view.

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10 hours ago, floridamom said:

From the impression that I got from this episode was that the cooking challenge was decided quickly that it would be chicken. How did Erin already know about it and how would she have known to bring veggies and already chopped for that matter?

On another note, the selective information these families release on the program and off is annoying. All that emotion and talk about Whitney's parents and no real basic information as to what went down those years ago that her bio parents lost custody of her....and her miscarriage...how far along was she....three weeks or 3 months? No timeline from the wedding renewal and this episode crying on their front porch?

Be accountable for what you release, Bateses.

Because these are "scripted" reality shows.  Not reality at all.  We see what they want us to see, edited to put them in the best light.

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I thought about Whitney's situation a bit, and I think she likely won't share the details of her past because it not only involves herself, but her parents. It's their story as well. I can respect the desire for privacy and honestly, I don't care what she did or did not do. I just hope everyone has made peace. it's a terrible thing to not reconcile with loved ones until it's too late.

Not surprised that Whitney wore such a modern dress to the renewal. Honestly, the first wedding looked terrible and it was clear the Bates controlled the whole thing. I don't know what Whitney's style was like before Zach, but I doubt she was wearing ankle length dresses while working at Sonic. I am sure Kelly guilted Whitney into more modest wedding dresses than she would have actually worn. Now, Whitney and Zach are working and can afford their dream wedding, probably make six figures between them, so it is not surprising that they did a modern do-over.

Josie's dress was beautiful. I think it was fine as is and didn't need the modifications that Kelly suggested. It's pretty telling now that if you look at Josie's IG, she's wearing jeans and sleeveless tops now. Kelly may say the girls want to wear modest attire, but it's clear that some of the older daughters are itching to dress like other young women their age. I think Tori, Michael, and Erin have stuck to the modesty rules, but Alyssa, Josie, and Carlin (who had a bathing suit under a cover-up this summer) would prefer not to be super modest.

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13 hours ago, floridamom said:

From the impression that I got from this episode was that the cooking challenge was decided quickly that it would be chicken. How did Erin already know about it and how would she have known to bring veggies and already chopped for that matter?

On another note, the selective information these families release on the program and off is annoying. All that emotion and talk about Whitney's parents and no real basic information as to what went down those years ago that her bio parents lost custody of her....and her miscarriage...how far along was she....three weeks or 3 months? No timeline from the wedding renewal and this episode crying on their front porch?

Be accountable for what you release, Bateses.

Whitney had an early miscarriage. She said that they went to the doctor for her first appointment to find out that the pregnancy was no longer viable. First appointments are usually around 8-10 weeks. She was only six weeks when she announced.

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6 hours ago, trimthatfat said:

I thought about Whitney's situation a bit, and I think she likely won't share the details of her past because it not only involves herself, but her parents. It's their story as well. I can respect the desire for privacy and honestly, I don't care what she did or did not do. I just hope everyone has made peace. it's a terrible thing to not reconcile with loved ones until it's too late.

Not surprised that Whitney wore such a modern dress to the renewal. Honestly, the first wedding looked terrible and it was clear the Bates controlled the whole thing. I don't know what Whitney's style was like before Zach, but I doubt she was wearing ankle length dresses while working at Sonic. I am sure Kelly guilted Whitney into more modest wedding dresses than she would have actually worn. Now, Whitney and Zach are working and can afford their dream wedding, probably make six figures between them, so it is not surprising that they did a modern do-over.

Josie's dress was beautiful. I think it was fine as is and didn't need the modifications that Kelly suggested. It's pretty telling now that if you look at Josie's IG, she's wearing jeans and sleeveless tops now. Kelly may say the girls want to wear modest attire, but it's clear that some of the older daughters are itching to dress like other young women their age. I think Tori, Michael, and Erin have stuck to the modesty rules, but Alyssa, Josie, and Carlin (who had a bathing suit under a cover-up this summer) would prefer not to be super modest.

I don't remember Whitney's style before the Bates but it definitely involved pants because then suddenly she was wearing skirts and dresses all the time. Then the usual she felt "convicted" to wear them. I'm sure after enough comments and pressure and/or guilt from Kelly that she suddenly felt convicted. They knew Zach liked her and enough that he wanted to marry her and were unable to deter him (Kelly even tried to find other Fundie girls but it didn't work) to them their only option was making sure Whitney became one of them. Whatever went down between Whitney and her parents I wouldn't be surprised if it also provided Gil and Kelly something to use to pull into their cult. Whether straight out manipulation or a girl who messed up (no matter how big or little) just hoping to be accepted or maybe even some what interested since the Bates appear to be happy and love each other. She wore dresses, had her fundie wedding, ditched her adoptive parents (which may or may not have Kelly encouraging given what Gothard thinks of adoption) and had two kids in quick succession. But over the last couple years Whitney has been changing and growing in confidence. She waited until after Alyssa but then ditched the skirts and dresses for more stylish, got hired as a realtor, they bought a new house and picked out that great looking dress for her renewal. I wish we'd gotten to see Gil and Kelly's reactions to all that. They can't be pleased with that.

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On 1/21/2019 at 3:37 AM, andromeda331 said:

I don't remember Whitney's style before the Bates but it definitely involved pants because then suddenly she was wearing skirts and dresses all the time. Then the usual she felt "convicted" to wear them. I'm sure after enough comments and pressure and/or guilt from Kelly that she suddenly felt convicted. They knew Zach liked her and enough that he wanted to marry her and were unable to deter him (Kelly even tried to find other Fundie girls but it didn't work) to them their only option was making sure Whitney became one of them. Whatever went down between Whitney and her parents I wouldn't be surprised if it also provided Gil and Kelly something to use to pull into their cult. Whether straight out manipulation or a girl who messed up (no matter how big or little) just hoping to be accepted or maybe even some what interested since the Bates appear to be happy and love each other. She wore dresses, had her fundie wedding, ditched her adoptive parents (which may or may not have Kelly encouraging given what Gothard thinks of adoption) and had two kids in quick succession. But over the last couple years Whitney has been changing and growing in confidence. She waited until after Alyssa but then ditched the skirts and dresses for more stylish, got hired as a realtor, they bought a new house and picked out that great looking dress for her renewal. I wish we'd gotten to see Gil and Kelly's reactions to all that. They can't be pleased with that.

Yes, Whitney was certainly was encouraged by Kelly to change her appearance, behavior, etc. It was clear on Kelly's old blog entries that Whitney was not Kelly's first choice in a wife for Zach. Erin's wedding and Alyssa's wedding both received post after post after post. We saw every single picture and heard every single detail. Zach's wedding to Whitney was barely featured at all. I would be willing to bet that Whitney got most of the blame that the two of them kissed before marriage and any other transgression that might have occurred. She seems to have been seen as the heathen who corrupted the oldest son. 

Based on the first season of the show and whatnot, (If you look back at the 19K&C that featured Erin's wedding, Whitney is there to greet the Duggars with Zach), I think that Whitney did try very hard to follow Kelly's lead on a lot of things. Maternity or not, she dressed very much like the old style of the Bates women with long cotton blend skirts and oversized shirts rather than actual maternity clothing. Her hair was rarely styled and hung straight in a mousy brown color with no highlights. She was seen more often with the younger (now married too) girls and doing the same chores as them. I've always interpreted her at that point as wanting to belong to a family. In the first episode, Tori made the comment that Whitney always came over while Zach was at work because she was lonely. It seemed like an odd statement to make given that she was adopted or fostered along with 11 others, essentially had two sets of parents, and surely had friends from her school days and work. 

I am curious what made her more comfortable with herself and less beholden to Kelly for advice and guidance. Pants or skirts/dresses, she has really blossomed outwardly. Up until the crying game of a vow renewal, she has been a relatively normal force among the family. I like the confident version of her that isn't as desperate for approval and acceptance as she could tend to be earlier on. 

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Maybe reuniting with her parents gave Whitney that confidence? If she achieved some level of closure and stability with her bio family, I can see there being less of a need to kiss Kelly's ass.  

I also think it's hilarious how Josie hacked off her hair and started wearing skinny jeans the week she returned from her honeymoon. So much for Fundie parents and their "We don't force anything on our daughters! They choose frumpy skirts and hair curtains for themselves!". Yeah, right.

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This family is living such a completely different lifestyle than they would be without the tv show (as is the case with most reality tv 'stars'), and for some reason, it really really irritates me with this family.  I wish I knew why I'm so bothered by it.

That's all. Carry on, my snarky friends.  

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19 minutes ago, woodscommaelle said:

This family is living such a completely different lifestyle than they would be without the tv show (as is the case with most reality tv 'stars'), and for some reason, it really really irritates me with this family.  I wish I knew why I'm so bothered by it.

That's all. Carry on, my snarky friends.  

I am bothered by it too. Before the show, specifically, when they did the Nightline stories, they said they didn't want their own show and wouldn't do one. Months later they had a show on TLC. 

I have the same issue with some of these shows like Teen Mom too. In the real world, without the show, these women would not be living in nicer houses than I have when they have no job or a part-time job. The Bates is the same. I make good money, but I don't get multiple vacations a year or little excursions at the drop of a hat. I have a 1,400 square foot condo that I paid way too much to buy and didn't get to renovate it right away or redecorate every month. We eat generic food and rarely buy extras. So it is annoying to see shows like this where the all those things are seen as normal when nobody has a real job or one that would be able to pay for the lifestyle they lead. 

Edited by RebeccatheWriter
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1 hour ago, RebeccatheWriter said:

I am bothered by it too. Before the show, specifically, when they did the Nightline stories, they said they didn't want their own show and wouldn't do one. Months later they had a show on TLC. 

I have the same issue with some of these shows like Teen Mom too. In the real world, without the show, these women would not be living in nicer houses than I have when they have no job or a part-time job. The Bates is the same. I make good money, but I don't get multiple vacations a year or little excursions at the drop of a hat. I have a 1,400 square foot condo that I paid way too much to buy and didn't get to renovate it right away or redecorate every month. We eat generic food and rarely buy extras. So it is annoying to see shows like this where the all those things are seen as normal when nobody has a real job or one that would be able to pay for the lifestyle they lead. 

Plus their values are so exclusionary, if that is a word.

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7 hours ago, woodscommaelle said:

This family is living such a completely different lifestyle than they would be without the tv show (as is the case with most reality tv 'stars'), and for some reason, it really really irritates me with this family.  I wish I knew why I'm so bothered by it.

That's all. Carry on, my snarky friends.  

I am not bothered by it, but I can see why someone would be. I mean, let's be real, before the show, they were no different than other grifting fundies (and they haven't changed that much as Carlin has already linked and mentioned her wedding registry on her IG). Once the show came along, the Bates suddenly had access to money and experiences that they couldn't afford on their own dime. They looked like they were struggling financially before and now, they seem like they are doing okay. Although that could also be because most of the adult children have means of making money - Zach is a police officer, Michaela has created a successful small business selling baby blankets, Erin still teaches music, Alyssa is making use of sponsorships on IG, Trace seems to be working in law enforcement, Lawson has his tree business and his questionable music career, etc.

I am very curious about their contract with UP though. It's such a small network that I wonder how much they get paid per season. Do they have bonuses for weddings and births? It seems they have to split the money with every adult, at least.

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I think Lawson passed the lawn care business to one of the younger brothers some time ago. Gil no longer cuts down trees. With all the adult sons otherwise occupied with careers or (in Lawson's case) "careers," are they really handing over the tree business to the teen boys? Or has UP given them enough financial freedom to scrap the tree business altogether? 

we also have no evidence that Erin is still teaching. If she is, students would have to go to her. But nothing had been mentioned about it either on show or on Erin's SM. But yeah, Michael and Alyssa have some hustle.

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On 1/19/2019 at 10:25 AM, BitterApple said:

I agree. That scene got a little uncomfortable for me. I felt like they were using Erin's miscarriages to make Whitney's loss seem more dramatic. I'm not saying it isn't sad, but it happens. I don't know what it is or why, but I'm not feeling Whitney lately. I feel bad for any woman who suffers pregnancy loss, but something about that previous vow renewal episode has kind of turned me off to her. 

The editors/producers for the show have always seemed to play them off each other in that respect. In the first season where Whitney was pregnant with Bradley, it was mentioned over and over that Erin had been pregnant and due around the same time. I remember being sad for both of them that a) Erin was having to relive that  with interviews and scenes of her helping with the shower or basically any time she and Whitney were around each other and b) Whitney couldn't just be the mom to be of the first grandchild without the constant mentions of Erin's loss. It was almost like there was an asterisk by Whitney and Bradley or something.   

Edited by RebeccatheWriter
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8 hours ago, Sew Sumi said:

I think Lawson passed the lawn care business to one of the younger brothers some time ago. Gil no longer cuts down trees. With all the adult sons otherwise occupied with careers or (in Lawson's case) "careers," are they really handing over the tree business to the teen boys? Or has UP given them enough financial freedom to scrap the tree business altogether? 

we also have no evidence that Erin is still teaching. If she is, students would have to go to her. But nothing had been mentioned about it either on show or on Erin's SM. But yeah, Michael and Alyssa have some hustle.

Gil no longer seems to do the actual cutting of trees, which makes sense given his age. I think he transitioned more into the sales aspect and scheduling. I think he may have sold interest in the company to another aboriculture type business a while back though, as they no longer do any marketing or external communication really. Passing all the work onto those teen boys would result in all sorts of OSHA violations. I think Gil is now strictly focusing on the show and the church.

  • I have doubts about Erin being an active piano instructor now. If she was, she would have been featured doing it on the show simply to show that the girls don't strictly go from entrepreneurs to mothers as soon as the ring is on their finger. She hasn't mentioned it lately on social media but has been recommending other teachers and programs. With Chad apprenticing and trying to start his own construction/refinishing business, the Paines seem to be first in line in terms of living beyond what would be their means without UP. Good for them, but it doesn't make for an authentic view.
     
  • Bobby and Tori live in an apartment, which seems to be consistent with what his salary probably is at a church. Zach and Whitney were renting and bought a home that they fixed up or are fixing up. They haven't featured it yet, but it looks like Kelton and Josie are living similarly, which matches their earning prospects. 
     
  • As a law enforcement person, Zach would bring in a steady salary and be eligible for lower interest rates and downpayment assistance through some local programs for law enforcement and/or teachers. I don't think Whitney's setting the world on fire with her career in real estate, but she probably did pay attention and saw that house. As a young adult, I worked for a real estate closing attorney. When I bought my first house, he agreed to cut the fees substantially, as did the title search agency and surveyors. So she could have gotten them a few discounts herself.
     
  • Alyssa and John live typically of people in their position. She has been heard on the show saying they don't have a lot of money despite her father-in-law being in politics. But John works in a lucrative business for the area and seems to be hard working. I don't know if they still do the cleaning business, but Alyssa doesn't seem like much of a slouch. 
     
  • Michael and Brandon seem to benefit from his job providing housing or at least stipends. I don't know a lot about it, but I know groups like that want their staff (especially those shown on television) to live in such a lifestyle as to project a comfortable atmosphere. I'm not talking jet planes and luxury cars/yachts. It benefits the Institute of Basic Life Principles to show those that work for them as not struggling so as to indicate to members and external audiences that it is such a wonderful place. 
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The Bateseses need to do a better job of including the other guests at their parties. The girls were all at one table playing the game (and cheating) while everyone else was sort of sitting around aimlessly. Then Addie cuts the line to give her paper to Kelly so the sisters could win. I know it's just a stupid bridal shower game, but that was rude. I remember something similar happening at Alyssa's first baby shower. 

I also noticed Erin got a little snippy over that salsa. Maybe the workload and stress of three kids under three is finally hitting her.

Carlin is ten levels beyond obnoxious. I don't understand the point of these engagement trips. Maybe I'm old, but a carefully orchestrated and choreographed proposal is so inauthentic. It comes across like a studio production rather than a heartfelt moment. 

Josie should've left her dress as is. That white lining totally ruined the beautiful detailing of the lace. 

Edited by BitterApple
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5 hours ago, BitterApple said:

The Bateseses need to do a better job of including the other guests at their parties. The girls were all at one table playing the game (and cheating) while everyone else was sort of sitting around aimlessly. Then Addie cuts the line to give her paper to Kelly so the sisters could win. I know it's just a stupid bridal shower game, but that was rude. I remember something similar happening at Alyssa's first baby shower. 

I also noticed Erin got a little snippy over that salsa. Maybe the workload and stress of three kids under three is finally hitting her.

Carlin is ten levels beyond obnoxious. I don't understand the point of these engagement trips. Maybe I'm old, but a carefully orchestrated and choreographed proposal is so inauthentic. It comes across like a studio production rather than a heartfelt moment. 

Josie should've left her dress as is. That white lining totally ruined the beautiful detailing of the lace. 

I am old too.  In my life, the shower is given by the maid of honor and\or the bride's friends. But again we have stressed Kelly and her speeches. Plus late is not cute. 

Carlin is going to grate next week. I may skip it. I don't want to watch her surprise face and gasps. It is all so fake with the over kill on the proposals that are made for tv. 

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I don't care if the Bates are always running late, it's still RUDE.  The cheating was not cute and funny.  I know it's all for TV, but if I were invited to a shower like that, I would not attend because it didn't look like fun for the non-Bates guests. 

Josie, you had a beautiful dress, but mom thought it looked like you were nude and in order to keep her happy, you made the dress more ordinary.  I missed seeing all the lace that was so gorgeous in the original dress.

I didn't even watch Carlin, but did see Evan learning how to dance.  Poor guy, he seems like he tries, but he's going to end up with Carlin.  I think he deserves someone better.

Edited by Lisa418722
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"One plus two is three?" Are you kidding? That may have been one of the worst songs I've ever heard.  Lawson really did not sound good. At. All!.

The amount of time, money, and people involved in planning an engagement with this crew is so totally ridiculous.

I kind of love that Leanne Marshall has not (yet) made an appearance on the show. 

The youngest Bates girl reminds me of Lo from Laguna Beach. 

Edited by woodscommaelle
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I wonder what their real life would have been like if there were no TLC and then UP.  Small house, struggling financially, etc.   Since this is scripted reality, they control what we see.  And a lot of us don't like what we see. 

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I was impressed that they used pretty china cups and plates but it looked like they ran out of china plates and some people had paper plates. Oh and cloth tablecloths not plastic from the $ store. Their life if not for UP and TLC would have been nothing like what it is today. I don't have a problem with them having a better life. They haven't sacrificed their children's childhoods. Don't share their religious or political values  at all but that's OK. 

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The whole shower thing feels like a rerun.

1. Zach and Whitney baby shower - the couple and much of the family was late. They blamed it on Trace's accident, but the timing was suspect on that. Zach and Whitney should have already been there to greet guests and not just on the road at that time.

2. Bobby and Tori wedding shower - the couple was late and the episode was even titled something like can you have a wedding shower without the bride and groom. Then Tori acted like she didn't want to be there and had a hard time even saying thank you.

3. Josie's bridal shower - Again, the bride was late and the family was still setting up and decorating as guests were arriving. 

The only one I can remember being somewhat organized and nice was the baby shower for Erin when she was pregnant with Carson. That one was planned by her friend and former classmate. It wasn't my style, but it was at least on time and flowed. 

Maybe I'm biased, but I prefer the drop in style of shower without all the games and whatever. We had one for a couple (friends of mine) that we hosted at the house they just bought and were moving into after the wedding. People could come by any time between 1 and 5, talk with the couple, see the new house, drop off a present (not required), signed a book of advice for the couple, brought a favorite recipe, and noshed on finger foods since it was between meals. There was no big opening of the gifts, as people dropped in at different times and the couple opened their gifts in front of the people who gave it rather than everyone. It made it more personal and the couple could talk to the person (other couple) about the item rather than generic thank yous.

Don't get me started on the tea bag game thing. It was stupid to think people wouldn't cheat. Something like that would work better as an ice breaker type thing if you had a bunch of strangers coming. Everyone gets a tea bag and you have to find the person or people who have the same one to sit with at first. We did something similar only it was flowers. You got a rose, daisy, tulip, etc. Some people hate things like that, but these girls don't seem to think it is a shower without games. 

There are also places (even in Anderson County, Tennessee) that offer tea parties for adults and children. These places are absolutely adorable and are beautifully decorated. We did one at a restaurant near me for about $10 a person. We had 40 guests. Spend the money on a place like that and take a load off rather than acting like this is the first time you have ever done an event. 

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I laughed when Kelly and Josie were at the bridal salon and they were talking about the arms of the wedding dress being too tight and the salon lady said “You want to be able to dance” at the reception. Kelly immediately responded with a comment about being able to hug. 

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1 minute ago, EVS said:

I laughed when Kelly and Josie were at the bridal salon and they were talking about the arms of the wedding dress being too tight and the salon lady said “You want to be able to dance” at the reception. Kelly immediately responded with a comment about being able to hug. 

Did Josie put on weight between appointments? That dress looked like it was about to burst at the seams. It was pretty funny when the lady made the comment about dancing. 

I agree with the above comments that it's tacky to show up late for a party being thrown in your honor. A couple minutes is one thing, but twenty? My mother would rake me over the coals if I did that.

Lawson needs to give up singing and get a Big Boy job. I'm wondering, who's paying for all that pricey studio time? I can't imagine he's making any real money off performances and downloads. I thought Evan had a much better voice.

Evan's mom looks like she could've been a character on Steel Magnolias. His parents must've been a later in life marriage. They seem relatively old to have to such a young brood of children.

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I have thought that if Lawson really wants a career in music maybe he should go into the production side of it. His singing and songs are not great. Though I wonder how well he does on iTunes with his music. For all I know, maybe he is the Justin Bieber of the fundie world.

Hasn't Erin made a couple albums? I wonder how well she does selling them.

I preferred Josie's dress with the nude lining, but still like it with the white. I am just pleased that she did not go to Miss Renee. When Kelly said that they could take the dress to Renee to let the seams out a bit I was thinking do not do it Josie. 

It is a low bar after Tori, but at least Josie seemed pleasant when opening gifts and such at her bridal shower.

I will probably skip the next episode with Carlin and Evan's engagement. I do not mind Carlin in small doses, but I dread a whole engagement episode with her.

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Tori did NOT SHUT UP the entire time at the studio when Carlin was in the midst of being surprised.  Let the girl have the spotlight, Tori;  you had your day!

26 minutes ago, Misslindsey said:

 For all I know, maybe he is the Justin Bieber of the fundie world.

Haha.  A man can dream....

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1 hour ago, Misslindsey said:

 

Hasn't Erin made a couple albums? I wonder how well she does selling them.

 

 

Erin pays for the studio time and even the production of her CDs. They are primarily only sold through the family's website and at special events the family will appear at for signings, etc. Her albums are considered independents. As of the last time I looked, don't have a distribution deal.  One can find them on Amazon through third-party sellers. They are essentially vanity projects for her. There is nothing wrong with that, but it's not a bold career move either.

As far as I know, Lawson's in the same boat. As a singer and someone on a reality show, he's been offered opportunities to work with some good producers. But he's the one having to do the heavy lifting for marketing, publicity, and touring. The music videos are essentially sales tools (same as with signed artists).

He doesn't have a great voice or a stage presence for the career he wants. He would be better off writing and selling songs to bigger artists or even getting into music from the perspective of wedding performances or church events. That would be lucrative for him if he paired up with a sibling or two.

Both of them have mentioned Entertainment One or E-one, but neither are listed among their artists. E-one used to be Koch Entertainment. With the exception of a few clients the company got during mergers and acquisitions, most people who record or perform on that label are pay to play. In other words, you pay a fee and you get to record in a real studio with whoever you can convince to come in with you. What you leave with is it. There's no machine behind it trying to get you gigs on late night television or talking to distribution companies to carry your products. 

I'm not knocking people who do that. As a writer, I have looked into self-publishing or sticking it out for traditional. There are benefits and challenges in both. I would love to give up my responsibilities and just focus on writing, but life doesn't allow that for me at this point. Lawson not really going to have that sort of time to do his singing and performing if he were to get married. It's not like his wife would be working. So I guess it makes sense for him to live at home (rent free) and play along with the show to get the time and resources to "live his dream."

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So, Erin and Lawson are peddling their own bicycles uphill with their respective 'music careers'. Lucky for Erin, she's married and has a husband to do the bill paying for her. Lawson has no such husband that I'm aware of.

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I agree that the original lining on Josie's gown showed the lace better and looked beautiful. Not immodest in the least as it WAS lined. The gown has her shoulders covered and long sleeves. I think the off- white lining really didn't do the gown justice. Kelly needed to keep her mouth shut; something that is difficult for her to do. Has she gained a lot of weight recently? 

I feel badly for Evan. He does deserve someone more well suited for him. He's so young to be married.

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48 minutes ago, floridamom said:

So, Erin and Lawson are peddling their own bicycles uphill with their respective 'music careers'. Lucky for Erin, she's married and has a husband to do the bill paying for her. Lawson has no such husband that I'm aware of.

Someone may know something I don't. But if you go to Lawson's website, it's done by the same person who does the family one. There is no mention of a recording label at all. There's not a label out there that would allow an artist they had on contract to do a website, sell albums, etc. without mentioning the label by name and logo many times. He's worked with some good producers, but none of them really get mentioned either. They are the ones who bring in other singers and personalities to appear on screen or record with him. It's their connections that keep him working. 

Typically, someone in his position of wanting to record, would work in Nashville, play open mic nights, do talent competitions (local not national stuff), and try to be seen. He'd spend his spare money on recording time and try to get those songs heard by label execs. He'd post videos of himself singing. He'd do what he does with singing the anthem at games, performing at community events, etc. to be seen by these people. He'd write songs until he couldn't write anymore and try to get labels to hear those so they would buy them for other artists. 

With Erin it is a little harder. I don't know that there are that many labels itching for a piano player who does instrumentals. Most labels now want people who can sing and play, have stage presence, etc. Sure there are people who get signed based on looks, but I'm guessing Erin's not wanting to be an artist like that who gets autotuned and dresses scantily. With her, I think she is fine with her little vanity projects of CDs that she can sell at church events and IBLP type conferences. 

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My impression has always been that Erin did her CD's as a little side gig to make extra cash. I don't think she intended to pursue music as a full time career. 

I can't believe that with all the various producers Lawson's worked with, that nobody's told him he has no chance of making it as a performer. I guess it's their job to make the music and not judge the talent, but I feel like I'm watching the country music version of The Emperor Has No Clothes every time that guy steps up to the mic. His voice is just so flat.

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My thoughts on the episode:

 I liked that Josie graciously opened her gifts and thanked her guests, unlike Tori. It was a cute idea I guess, but that shower looked like a snoozefest.

I wish Josie had enough backbone to leave her dress unaltered. 

One + One. Does Lawson realize that Beyoncé already made a song by this name? Sorry Lawson, I enjoy Bey’s version better. 😄

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13 hours ago, RebeccatheWriter said:

Someone may know something I don't. But if you go to Lawson's website, it's done by the same person who does the family one. There is no mention of a recording label at all. There's not a label out there that would allow an artist they had on contract to do a website, sell albums, etc. without mentioning the label by name and logo many times. He's worked with some good producers, but none of them really get mentioned either. They are the ones who bring in other singers and personalities to appear on screen or record with him. It's their connections that keep him working. 

Typically, someone in his position of wanting to record, would work in Nashville, play open mic nights, do talent competitions (local not national stuff), and try to be seen. He'd spend his spare money on recording time and try to get those songs heard by label execs. He'd post videos of himself singing. He'd do what he does with singing the anthem at games, performing at community events, etc. to be seen by these people. He'd write songs until he couldn't write anymore and try to get labels to hear those so they would buy them for other artists. 

With Erin it is a little harder. I don't know that there are that many labels itching for a piano player who does instrumentals. Most labels now want people who can sing and play, have stage presence, etc. Sure there are people who get signed based on looks, but I'm guessing Erin's not wanting to be an artist like that who gets autotuned and dresses scantily. With her, I think she is fine with her little vanity projects of CDs that she can sell at church events and IBLP type conferences. 

I'm surprised this group won't start their own independent recording  label. Other artists have to get their start. That would give them control on what they will and will not do/allow.  Doesn't one of the newly brothers-in-law family have a singing family? Seems like the list of want-to-be-singers is growing.. 

If Erin could collaborate with an orchestra - that would be a way for a non-singing piano player to get noticed. There are many beautiful classical piano pieces with the string or full orchestra.

Have we seen a Erin and Lawson collab on an original single - other than those wedding songs - maybe they can play off of each other strengths...

Also - with these two, we are seeing the struggle (esp. Lawson) of trying/hoping/praying to become a successful artist, when its more common to see artists who have "made it".  Or are very close to doing so.

However - Erin and Lawson seem to be happy in the struggle and don't have the fever/hunger to take their craft to the next level. I think if Gil would cutoff Lawson completely - and let him join the rest of the new singing/songwriting artists hitting the pavement in Nashville, he would get a clue. I just find it hard to believe that no one in Nashville has told him that if he's not going to take serious singing lessons - he either need to switch to writing or perhaps backing up someone. He's getting a little up in age to be breaking into a singing artist. I wonder if the Univ of TN (or anyone else) has asked him back  to sing the national anthem ( link ) - being asked to come back to repeat - means they audience wants to hear/see the artist.

Edited by sATL
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The wedding dress was pretty but I do think it looked better last time before the changes.

I was surprise that they used real tea cups and plates (for the most part) for the shower. But the constant "We're late" "We're so behind" drives me crazy. I hated it on 19 Kids and I hate it on this show. Its not funny, its not cute or anything else. What are they doing that they can't set up before it begins? Kelly does absolutely nothing and I'm really not sure what the others do that they can't get up early on the day of the shower or even set up the night before and just have to bring the food and drinks? I wonder how many of their guests decided to show up an hour or two later because they know it never starts on time. 

I hated Tori in the studio. Seriously, you'd think it was for her the way she was reacting and wouldn't shut up. It was a cute idea since it fits Evan and Carlin more then the trip to Maine ever would. 

Edited by andromeda331
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9 hours ago, sATL said:

Also - with these two, we are seeing the struggle (esp. Lawson) of trying/hoping/praying to become a successful artist, when its more common to see artists who have "made it".  Or are very close to doing so.

However - Erin and Lawson seem to be happy in the struggle and don't have the fever/hunger to take their craft to the next level. I think if Gil would cutoff Lawson completely - and let him join the rest of the new singing/songwriting artists hitting the pavement in Nashville, he would get a clue. I just find it hard to believe that no one in Nashville has told him that if he's not going to take serious singing lessons - he either need to switch to writing or perhaps backing up someone. He's getting a little up in age to be breaking into a singing artist. I wonder if the Univ of TN (or anyone else) has asked him back  to sing the national anthem ( link ) - being asked to come back to repeat - means they audience wants to hear/see the artist.

I doubt Erin has aspirations for anything more than simply being able to say she has recorded at this point. Unlike Lawson, she is not out there really trying to hit the pavement and be seen. She's an example of this family's lifestyle and priorities. As a young woman, she was more of a go getter about music. When we saw her on other shows and in news specials, she was all about her music and very proud of herself for going to Crown and studying. Her first CD was a very big deal for her. Unlike many of her sisters, we didn't see her being a big part of the group efforts of raising the younger siblings, cooking, etc. Her main chore was teaching piano lessons to the younger set. But boom! She got married and became Susie Homemaker to the nth degree. She could suddenly cook. She is all about wanting babies. She decorates and does crafty things. She tries to be romantic. Nothing is wrong with change per se. It's just a dramatic transformation and interesting.

Tori may turn out similarly. She was vehemently opposed to a lot of the homemaker lessons, but now is somewhat sliding into those. It hasn't been that dramatic of a transformation yet, but we'll see. Carlin also seemed to have some musical aspirations herself. I'm not convinced that it was actually music she loves or if it is the attention she gets from being front and center.  

I might be wrong, but I think part of Lawson's aversion to doing things the traditional way and following the advice of others more knowledgeable stems from his upbringing. Gil and Kelly didn't really and don't really raise their children to follow the pack on anything except church. There is almost an arrogance about it at times that they attribute to their faith. In the family, the children, but most especially the boys, are raised with the idea that they are all especially talented and gifted. Yes, you should encourage your children, but Gil and Kelly don't seem to discourage them either. There should be a balance. Erin was raised being told she was naturally talented to the point that she should pass that on to others even before learning properly herself. Michaela was pegged early on as a mothering type. The biggest examples of this seem to be Trace. Trace wanted to be on the basketball team. Rather than encourage him to work with a local coach or attend camps growing up, he was encouraged to go for the team with no real experience or knowledge. The most we saw was him practicing a pick up game with some of the guys on the team )_(producer driven). Gil was supposedly this big jock. Why didn't he help or find someone who could help? The same with the Dixie Stampede. Trace tried to learn from clearly producer plants of trick riders on a single day. So one could wonder if his parents were encouraging him and letting him believe in abilities he did not have or were they letting him fail as a lesson. Maybe Gil and Kelly were helping behind the scenes, but I somehow doubt it. 

Given the sheltered nature of their lives earlier (pre-show), I'm not sure that any of the adults or children in the family have a very good gauge on who they really are and how that fits into the rest of the world. That consciousness is hard for most people, but especially when you are raised in an environment where everyone is very much the same. Add in that families involved in groups like the IBLP emphasize that God makes no mistakes and everything about you is by God's design...it's hard to face that you might not be good at something or lack something you were raised to think was important. 

It could be that this pushing forward on his own and ignoring the blatant hints out there is Lawson's way of being that independent worker that IBLP emphasizes. It's not quite the same since the idea of such a career working for yourself is twofold in that you won't be tempted by an ungodly boss to do something wrong and that whatever money you make is a direct result of your work and can go to the church not to your boss's pockets. But this could be his internal compromise and rationalization of doing things his way so as not to fall into some ungodly trap. It also may be that he has heard from his family, their church friends, etc. so much that he is talented and going to be the next big thing that he doesn't hear any criticism. It's easier to believe the good things he hears from people he loves, likes, and trusts, than hear that he might not be good enough, talented enough, etc. 

I think that Lawson has been encouraged to use the show as a vehicle for his musical aspirations. The name dropping is clearly on the same level as product placement. He has gotten some local gigs from being able to say he is on a television show. Others he has gotten through family connections. While Zach was involved with the Anderson County Commission, Lawson appeared more than a few times at county celebrations and events. I don't know how often that happens now. While UT Knoxville Football will recruit well known singers for the anthem, basketball and baseball is not quite as prestigious just based on the number of games being more. Alumni take precedence, but once you are on the list it is not that hard to get to come back for a repeat performance. When I worked for my university's sports department, we sometimes had to call past singers and beg them to come back that night because we didn't have someone lined up. Not that it isn't an honor, but we were more worried about other aspects. 

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while I was reading the above about Erin and her piano playing, and old eposide of M*A*S*H was on - the wounded pianist Sheridan  who now only has usage of his left hand. Winchester's speech made think of Erin...

"Charles: “Don’t you see? Your hand may be stilled but your gift cannot be silenced if you refuse to let it be.”
Sheridan: “Gift? You keep talking about this damn gift. I had a gift, and I exchanged it for some mortar fragments, remember?”
Charles: “Wrong. Because the gift does not lie in your hands. I have hands, David. Hands that can make a scalpel sing. More than anything in my life I wanted to play but I do not have the gift. I can play the notes but I cannot make the music. You’ve performed Liszt, Rachmaninoff, Chopin. Even if you never do so again, you’ve already known a joy that I will never know as long as I live. Because the true gift is in your head and in your heart and in your soul. Now, you can shut it off forever or you can find new ways to share your gift with the world–through the baton, the classroom, the pen. As to these works they’re for you because you and the piano will always be as one."

Let's hope Erin will continue to find new ways to share her gift, now that she is mom. Even if it is teaching her own children ( and nieces/nephews) at an early age so they can advance further than she did.

Edited by sATL
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As someone who took 4 years of classical piano as an elementary aged school kid; my piano teach would say to Erin that she needed to STOP BANGING on the keyboard and play with feeling. She also needs to quit inserting those unnecessary arpeggios. That is 'fake fill' to make the composition seem to be more advance than the arranged piece she's playing. Does she play originals or does she read from the simplified versions and adds all that fluff herself?

Fond memories of my piano teacher, Angie C. in Brooklyn, 1960s. She was a good teacher who taught all the kids from my school in her home after school. Every Tuesday, 4:30 I had my lessons.

Loved it. Who taught Erin to play?

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On 1/25/2019 at 4:58 AM, Lisa418722 said:

I don't care if the Bates are always running late, it's still RUDE.  The cheating was not cute and funny.  I know it's all for TV, but if I were invited to a shower like that, I would not attend because it didn't look like fun for the non-Bates guests. 

Josie, you had a beautiful dress, but mom thought it looked like you were nude and in order to keep her happy, you made the dress more ordinary.  I missed seeing all the lace that was so gorgeous in the original dress.

I didn't even watch Carlin, but did see Evan learning how to dance.  Poor guy, he seems like he tries, but he's going to end up with Carlin.  I think he deserves someone better.

 

Love your post, but the one point I differ is regarding Carlin! I know she's a lot to take, but what I do enjoy about her is that she's always ready to have fun and has a positive energy about her. She never seems to have something negative to say about anyone or anything, and I like that. To me, Tori can be blunt and negative, while  Bobby is not. He's the one I feel for!

Edited by zenme
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12 hours ago, floridamom said:

As someone who took 4 years of classical piano as an elementary aged school kid; my piano teach would say to Erin that she needed to STOP BANGING on the keyboard and play with feeling. She also needs to quit inserting those unnecessary arpeggios. That is 'fake fill' to make the composition seem to be more advance than the arranged piece she's playing. Does she play originals or does she read from the simplified versions and adds all that fluff herself?

Fond memories of my piano teacher, Angie C. in Brooklyn, 1960s. She was a good teacher who taught all the kids from my school in her home after school. Every Tuesday, 4:30 I had my lessons.

Loved it. Who taught Erin to play?

I can't stand the way she bangs dramatically on the piano. But I think a lot of church pianists are taught to play this way, especially in the big southern churches.

I've often wondered if Erin ever played music by Beethoven or Rachmaninoff, or if it was all worship hymns.

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Hello. New to the forum. I just spent some time reading and catching up. This is off the topic of Erin's piano playing and more on the topic of Zach and Whitney. WOW has Whit changed her looks!! Aside from weight loss, whitened teeth and highlighted hair... I can't put my finger on exactly what else she's done but she looks like a different person now compared to season one!

I'm also extremely curious about where all their $$$ is coming from.  There are some huge differences in their lifestyle that have progressed over the last 5 years or so. I've noticed a never ending stream of personal improvements, constant new & trendy clothes for the family, a freshly renovated home, new furnishings, countless trips, umpteen professional family photo sessions, an unnecessary vow renewal, etc. I read a few comments on the previous thread regarding low cost of living in T.N. and while that may be true the wages are also low. I know UP probably foots the bill for some things but surely they can't pay mega bucks as a small network and the cast of this show is very large. I live in a bordering county and have a pretty good idea what their basic costs might be.... I also have a pretty good idea about how much officers get paid in that area... just under $39K (Pre tax & retirement of course. After that take home is probably more like $30K). That does not go far on a family of four+.

Just for kicks I researched some public records and found that they purchased their home for $101,500. I have no idea how they cover health insurance, a mortgage, homeowners and auto insurance, vehicles, groceries, co-pays, utilities, property taxes, gas for vehicles, clothing, vacations, date nights, etc. on Zach's meager income. What about savings and retirement? I'm pretty sure Whitney isn't setting the world on fire with her real estate career either. I also don't know how these families cover a hospital birth every year or even every other year.  I just had a baby last year and ended up paying nearly $6000 out of pocket and I have what's considered "good" insurance. 

I'm definitely curious about Chad and Erin too... they seem like would be living on even less.

I wonder, will they stop at baby #3? They seem to enjoy the nicer things in life and a mega family will put a stop to that pretty quickly.

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I'm assuming Zach gets benefits through his job, but Erin and Chad are a mystery. If Chad is self-employed, he can do a lot of creative accounting. They rent their home and have no assets, so maybe they qualify for Medicaid? I'm not sure what the income limit would be for a family of five, but that's the only way I can see them having health insurance. 

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The only engagement party that involves tea bags without innuendos would  be with the Bates. They’re like the gift that keeps on giving.  

Im with @zenme  Carlin is the epitome of optimism. And she’s very beautiful. She’s very close to a lot of men’s dreams come true in a way. Myself if you masked yourself and burst into song to let me know you were going to propose I’d be apt go “what the fuck is happening.”  If you then rolled out a luggage piece that still had the 29 dollar price or whatever I’d really start feeling weird. 

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15 hours ago, LongDenimFrumper said:

Hello. New to the forum. I just spent some time reading and catching up. This is off the topic of Erin's piano playing and more on the topic of Zach and Whitney. WOW has Whit changed her looks!! Aside from weight loss, whitened teeth and highlighted hair... I can't put my finger on exactly what else she's done but she looks like a different person now compared to season one!

I'm also extremely curious about where all their $$$ is coming from.  There are some huge differences in their lifestyle that have progressed over the last 5 years or so. I've noticed a never ending stream of personal improvements, constant new & trendy clothes for the family, a freshly renovated home, new furnishings, countless trips, umpteen professional family photo sessions, an unnecessary vow renewal, etc. I read a few comments on the previous thread regarding low cost of living in T.N. and while that may be true the wages are also low. I know UP probably foots the bill for some things but surely they can't pay mega bucks as a small network and the cast of this show is very large. I live in a bordering county and have a pretty good idea what their basic costs might be.... I also have a pretty good idea about how much officers get paid in that area... just under $39K (Pre tax & retirement of course. After that take home is probably more like $30K). That does not go far on a family of four+.

Just for kicks I researched some public records and found that they purchased their home for $101,500. I have no idea how they cover health insurance, a mortgage, homeowners and auto insurance, vehicles, groceries, co-pays, utilities, property taxes, gas for vehicles, clothing, vacations, date nights, etc. on Zach's meager income. What about savings and retirement? I'm pretty sure Whitney isn't setting the world on fire with her real estate career either. I also don't know how these families cover a hospital birth every year or even every other year.  I just had a baby last year and ended up paying nearly $6000 out of pocket and I have what's considered "good" insurance. 

I'm definitely curious about Chad and Erin too... they seem like would be living on even less.

I wonder, will they stop at baby #3? They seem to enjoy the nicer things in life and a mega family will put a stop to that pretty quickly.

As a public service employee Zach most likely has very good health insurance for a small premium. He probably has a pension plan and pays very little for that. I imagine life insurance through his job also.  Those are the benefits of working for the government, small salary but good benefits. Being a retired state employee I also had and continue to have these benefits. He would be smart to keep that job. Reality shows are very cheap to produce. One of the housewives explained that production almost pays for trips that are part of the script. Every time they go into a store and the name is featured that's free advertisement.  The Bates don't take extravagant trips and always they feature restaurants, stores and these place get free advertisement in exchange for free or reduced prices for goods and or services. Also they do receive money for participating in the show. Certainly not as much  as one of the housewives but they aren't doing this for nothing.  I would bet that the dumb vow renewal was paid for in large part by production. 

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9 hours ago, 65mickey said:

As a public service employee Zach most likely has very good health insurance for a small premium. He probably has a pension plan and pays very little for that. I imagine life insurance through his job also.  Those are the benefits of working for the government, small salary but good benefits. Being a retired state employee I also had and continue to have these benefits. He would be smart to keep that job. Reality shows are very cheap to produce. One of the housewives explained that production almost pays for trips that are part of the script. Every time they go into a store and the name is featured that's free advertisement.  The Bates don't take extravagant trips and always they feature restaurants, stores and these place get free advertisement in exchange for free or reduced prices for goods and or services. Also they do receive money for participating in the show. Certainly not as much  as one of the housewives but they aren't doing this for nothing.  I would bet that the dumb vow renewal was paid for in large part by production. 

Tennessee like a lot of states has a special down payment program for those in law enforcement that he might have gotten. When I lived in TN it was basically $25,000. If you sold the house and moved during the first five years, you had to pay a portion back. 

I have family in Anderson County (Clinton mostly). Last I had checked in Anderson County, deputies start at $39,000 until after they graduate/complete the academy. They then bump up $3,000 to $5,000 with pretty consistent increases in pay. The pension plan is pretty nice compared to some places, as is the health plan that only runs about $25 for an employee per pay period (2X per month) for a family. In network, it pays 90%. Plus they use Dr. Vick, who is clearly cutting the family a deal with as much as he appears on the show. Zach would have life insurance of at least 3X his salary with more if he were to die in the line of duty. He could pay for more than that. He also apparently does some odd jobs of construction and tree work when needed, earning extra money. My thoughts are that he and Whitney are doing pretty well financially, especially with any money they get off the show. 

I honestly don't know how Erin and Chad are making ends meet. And while I'm sure Erin will have baby fever again soon, I'm not sure how they would fit any more in that tiny house. I'm guessing that an upcoming storyline in the next season or two will be them building a house (getting discounts on materials) on a piece of land rather than buying a house. That way Erin can be shown decorating and Chad can build things. We've had a few episodes where they have looked (outside) at fixer uppers, so they might do that. I just see UP deciding to dedicate an episode or two to them expanding by building. Maybe next time Erin's pregnant? If they could finish it and move in, that would be helpful for UP and its credibility. They lost some with the Carpenters for Christ and the fact that they have yet to show the church as finished. Aren't they still meeting at a funeral home or the Holiday Inn?

Interestingly, I think only Michaela and Alyssa have ever complained or made mention of not having much money. Michaela mentioned it with regard to trying to afford testing for fertility issues and Alyssa with regard to people assuming they had money because of John's father. I think it is interesting that the two daughters who are farthest away are the two who have made these comments. Perhaps they don't get as much (would be fair) as the others since they don't film as often. 
 

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