Raising Asia Season 1 comes to a close tonight, we pick up a week before Asia’s big performance at Universal City Walk.
Everyone can agree that it’s usually Kristie who is freaking out and micromanaging things as it gets closer to the time of a performance — or, you know, just in general. However, while at rehearsals with Anthony, it seems that the roles have really switched and Shawn is the one panicking. He’s worried things won’t be ready in time for the big day, which can’t happen since this performance is so critical for Asia’s career.
In order to get everyone’s mind off of things, Shawn gets family and friends together to have a party. While it’s supposed to be everyone’s day off, Kristie still manages to find things that Asia’s doing wrong, beginning with her strict diet. Even on a day off, Asia can’t even sneak some Cheetos or a popsicle since Kristie truly does have eyes on the back of her head. Gina notices that Kristie isn’t really relaxing like she’s supposed to at this party, so she and Kristie have a talk and when Gina asks Kristie how she feels about Shawn taking over in Asia’s schedule, Kristie doesn’t take it well at all. She finds it offensive because she’s the one who launched Asia’s career and Shawn was simply there to be an extra in the process. Looks like Auntie Gina can’t get Kristie to see her point-of-view that both Kristie and Shawn are the creators of Asia’s career.
As if things weren’t stressful enough, Billy manages to book Asia another gig right before her huge Universal City Walk premiere. Asia is asked to perform her new ballad, “One Wish for You,” for BiteSize TV, which will be broadcast to fans all over the globe. While this is a ballad and not her usual upbeat performances that also show off her dancing, Asia shows up tired and grumpy and not taking direction from anyone too well.
Shawn notices how Asia is acting and tells her she needs to quit her bratty attitude this minute. Asia keeps reminding her dad that they’re on camera while he’s having these conversations with her, and he shows that he means business, telling her he doesn’t care who is watching. If I were Asia, I’d quit while I’m ahead and listen to my dad before things get really ugly. However, Asia is a born diva and does the complete opposite. After making threats to pull the plug on the gig, Asia goes to hide inside a closet, making sure to slam the door shut in a dramatic diva way.
After good ‘ol Anthony has a short pep talk with Asia, she pulls herself together and puts on a great performance. She even had her family and friends behind the cameras singing along.
Even though Asia managed to pull off a wonderful performance, Shawn and Kristie have a talk with her afterward to remind her who the parents are here. They tell their daughter that she needs to be able to listen to everyone and take direction and criticism instead of acting out in the way she did. Gina feels that Shawn has now mutated into a Kristie clone and, instead of making things better, he’s only making things worse and adding more stress on Asia,. Poor Gina wishes there would be a week for her to take over, and I like the idea. I’d love to see if Gina has the strength to keep up with Asia’s schedule or if she’d start turning into another micromanaging Kristie.
I get my answer quickly, seeing what happens when the family gets home. Gina tries to have a heart-to-heart moment with Shawn about feeling like she’s being left out of everything and that her contributions aren’t being appreciated. Shawn realizes that she may need to talk with Kristie but now is definitely not the time. Too late. Kristie hears the two talking downstairs and comes downstairs to break it up, getting so upset that she starts telling the camera crew to leave since what they were filming with Shawn and Gina has nothing to do with the show in her estimation.
It’s unfortunate, but Kristie’s true colors may have started to show as the argument gets even more heated. After Kristie storms off, Gina runs after her to apologize, but Kristie isn’t looking for an apology. When Gina comes into the room Kristie gets up and slams the door in Gina’s face. Kristie comes downstairs, Gina tailing behind, to talk with Shawn. He tries to calm the two down so they can have a civil conversation, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon. Poor Shawn.
Kristie explains that she doesn’t want the camera crew following Gina upstairs like they did to record her apologizing. She then goes on to say she’s not going to give the show what they want — but Shawn points out that she already has, especially when she shows no emotion towards Gina as she’s crying. Shawn points out that Gina’s tears are real, and Kristie snaps, “I know they are — because the show has made them real. Even more real.”
More furious than ever, Kristie storms off once again, fuming at the producers to get out of the house. She threatens to cancel the entire show and says she’s not playing around this time. Yikes.
In the final episode of Raising Asia Season 1, it’s the night everyone has been waiting for-— Universal City Walk. Shawn seems like he’s really stepped into Kristie’s shoes, because he’s the one worried about the queenly platform Asia is supposed to be carried in on. He doesn’t think it’s stable enough or that the guys holding her can carry her in safely. Right, Shawn. Have you seen your daughter? She and the platform combined can’t weigh that much.
While Shawn is barking at Anthony about his prop, Kristie is the one mysteriously laid back and okay with everything, and Anthony even admits that at this point, he’d rather be working with Kristie than Shawn.
Before Asia is about to go onstage, Kristie starts to show some serious emotions, breaking down her tough walls and tearing up while talking with Asia and the rest of the family backstage. She’s just so proud of her baby girl achieving her dreams and can’t stop thinking of Asia when she was little and how — after all the drama, tears, and hard work — her dreams are finally coming true. I bet some of you guys at home were getting a little teary-eyed! Don’t lie!
After that emotional detour, Richy Jackson — who is Lady Gaga’s choreographer and creative director and was the very best thing about Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition — shows up backstage to surprise the Ray family. He’s excited to see Asia perform, especially since he hasn’t heard her sing or act before, only dance.
Richy has a private talk with Asia, letting her know that she needs to give it her all with this performance. Richy says this could be the start for Asia to get noticed by other artists who want her to be their opening act, even hinting at using his own connections if she proves herself worthy.
So the pressure is on everyone tonight — and things don’t start off too well. It’s minutes before Asia is about to head onstage and she’s the only one standing by her grand chariot for her entrance. Shawn is furious, because he can’t find Anthony nor any of the dancers. Someone helps find Anthony who then yells for everyone else to get into position and make Asia’s entrance memorable. Which it certainly is.
Kristie runs backstage to find out what happened, but Asia is quickly handed a microphone from a backup dancer. I gotta hand it to her — the girl took the microphone from the dancer like nothing happened, pulling off the save very professionally.
Despite the technical difficulties, Asia proved to everyone that even though she sometimes acts like the kid she is, she can be a professional when it counts. Even Beyoncé had some hard time dodging lip sync issues.
Shawn talks with Anthony and tells him that he hopes the two can work together in the future. Shawn realizes that Anthony isn’t going to change for anyone, but this is what makes Anthony so special and unique. I agree with Shawn — don’t change for anyone, Anthony! If you’ve survived Kristie, Abby Lee Miller and Cathy Nesbitt-Stein, you can survive anything!
Richy comes backstage to congratulate Asia on her performance, and offer some advice for the future, which he says is out of love for Asia. He feels that Asia’s songs are a bit too young for her and aren’t showing who Asia Monet Ray truly is. Needless to say, Billy doesn’t like what Richy thinks about his songs. He says that Richy has “Anthony Burrell syndrome,” wanting to make Asia into a 30-year old. I really wish Anthony would’ve stuck around for a little longer to hear Richy say this. It would’ve been so funny to see Anthony’s reaction when Billy gets all upset about everyone ganging up on him.
And that’s a wrap on the first season of Raising Asia. While it was almost canceled by Kristie herself on multiple occasions, it was entertaining to see the life of Asia Monet Ray unfold on TV each week. While you think you may know the Rays, they can always surprise you, and, as Asia said, stay tuned for what she has on tap for the future and I, too, suspect hers is a name you won’t be forgetting anytime soon.
For details on Asia’s future projects make sure to read my exclusive interview with Asia and Kristie Ray!
Images/ video: Lifetime