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And So Begins Olivia Palermo's Ascension Into Mainstream

With an assist from Whitney Port

The ridiculous and accidental blockbuster popularity of MTV's Laguna Beach brought us The Hills, that reality show showcasing the lives of girls now too famous and wealthy to actually be the fictional versions they play on TV. And now that The Hills has performed the insurmountable task of keeping MTV semi-relevant, everybody else wants in. That's why Bravo is hunting for their own set of privileged West Coast youth and a production company is shooting a D.C. version as we speak. Even MTV, then, wants more of the magic. Enter The City, MTV's New York-based off-shoot of the show. Whereas The Hills took a group of pretty ladies from no-name status to insta-brands, The City will start off with a set of semi-known girls. Among them:

The Hills' own Whitney Port, and socialite Olivia Palermo, even though her camp insisted she wasn't part of the project.

Officially just taping The Hills, Palermo and Port have been seen around Fashion Week with a crew in tow — here they are at BlackBook's party for What Comes Around Goes Around last week — and on Wednesday night Palermo hosted a dinner party for the camera. (Read Obnoxiously Emily's take on why real society girls would never participate in a show like this. Obnoxiously Emily also confuses the LES and East Village, and delights in how, for "an uptown girl like me, stepping out of the cab last night on Eldridge Street was like stepping on to a soundstage.")

Palermo, also filming backstage Fashion Week web clips for New York, is the foil to fellow socialite Tinsley Mortimer, in so much they are the same manifestation of privilege with different hair colors. But it was Mortimer, not Palermo, who was supposed to cross into mainstream, on a national stage. Inevitably, though, it will be Palermo who becomes a household name once The City debuts, to the inevitable throngs of teen girls and twentysomething women who live for this shit. They call this feeling "bitterness."

Comments (8)
No. 1 · mslewis

You said "young girls" so that means Tinsley is WAY too old for "The City."

Posted: Sep 12, 2008 at 4:00 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 2 · Martini Please?

Tinsley is a bit more refined than Olivia Palermo. Please. It's been impossible for producers to find anyone desperate enough to film a show like the Hills in NY. Real New Yorkers are NOT like people from LA! This whole thing is laughable, but sure to be an addiction!

Posted: Sep 29, 2008 at 9:47 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 3 · nikki

Hey Olivia, when are you going to appear on Real Housewives of NY with the other wanna-be socialites?

Posted: Dec 23, 2008 at 5:27 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 4 · ANJDeb

Read what cindy adams has to say and the New York Mag. issue 8/16/07 about her daddy Douglas,,,he may be BROKE Yep..BROKE..

Posted: Dec 30, 2008 at 9:40 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 5 · blahblah

um oliva palermo is suchhh a faker…she spent all her parents money on charities when she was growing up just so she could go to the balls that they hosted…not to be a generous person or good citizen…she had horrible scores on all of her tests and couldn't get into any of the "prestigious" private schools so she had to go to one for kids with learning disabilities even though she didnt have one….she calls herself a "social" but that's only because she can't do anything else in life…keep dreaming, honey.

Posted: Jan 10, 2009 at 12:51 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 6 · anne

i think olivia is a b*tch

Posted: Feb 16, 2009 at 10:48 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 7 · Moneypenny

I think Olivia is stunning. And so what if she wants to ascend socially? Arent all those socialite living off their 'charity balls' bonanzas?

are they so scared of young and pretty Olivia, that they write all these things about her.

That Tinsley girl looks made of plastic, has a silly middle class name, and her barbie meets cheer leader looks is dated and cheesy, if you ask me
versus a much more effortless looking Olivia

Posted: Feb 20, 2009 at 2:39 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
No. 8 · irma

Real L.A. people, or Angelenos, are not like you see in The Hills, or any other reality show for that matter. The people who participate in these shows are the Transplants… you know, the ones that come to "the city" yearning to live "the lifestyle" because it's what they grew up watching on the tube. Angelenos find it just as ridiculous. Thank God for the midwest, or else Hollywood would be jobless.

Posted: Feb 26, 2009 at 1:32 am · @Reply · [Flag?]
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