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Makeover lasts New York minute



Published: Thu, January 10, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



A Coitsville woman filled in on a 'Sally Jessy Raphael Show' that originally halted recording on Sept. 11.

By PAUL WHEATLEY

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

COITSVILLE -- Debby Fink says she's tried to mimic the makeover she received on "The Sally Jessy Raphael Show," without success.

The 43-year-old wife and mother of two, who says she usually wears slippers and comfortable clothes, has shown off to her family the hip jeans and angel sleeve blouse she received at the show's taping Dec. 3 in New York City.

She just can't get the hair right.

One problem might be that she hasn't seen a picture of herself after the makeover. Her camera's batteries went dead before her husband, Rich, could snap a picture.

Airs Friday: Debby will finally get a chance to see herself in full attire when the talk show airs at 9 a.m. Friday.

"Oh believe me, we'll record it," she said.

Although Debby was blown away by her transformation by Raphael's stylist, Richard Penna, she's a little discouraged by talk shows since seeing how they're made, she said.

Debby has tried to get numerous talk shows to air a story about her husband, who was severely shocked and fell three stories while on the job in 1984.

Debby said she despised her hair -- and also thought getting onto the makeover show might allow her to talk about Rich.

Got a call: To her surprise, someone from the show called on Nov. 29 and asked for 15 photos by 3 p.m. that day.

It's around this time, the Finks said, that things got a bit weird.

"This lady asked me three times if I had all my teeth," said Rich.

Less than a week later they were on a flight to New York, courtesy of Raphael, teeth intact. The couple, who had never been to New York, were also given $40 each for meals, which they discovered isn't much in the Big Apple. The Finks were given studio food, which they said was horrible, on makeover day.

She also learned that the makeover show was originally taped Sept. 11, 2001, but was halted by the terrorist attacks. Debby was replacing a woman who wouldn't return to New York for final recording.

Debby said she was a little discouraged by the show's topic, something like: "Are you afraid to leave your home because of your looks?" She said the topic was originally about being ashamed of some part of your looks.

Setting up for the show was also a bit awkward, she said. Debby said she was told to wear the rattiest clothes possible and had to practice her story and walking on stage.

Rich was told to wear church clothes.

"They more or less tell you what to say," said Rich. "They told her to cry."

She never did get to talk about Rich's accident. "I don't think we talked for five minutes on camera," she said.

Still, Rich thought the actual makeover was great, and something his wife deserved for nursing him back to health.

And despite the show hoopla and all of the tourist attractions, Debby said the favorite part of her trip was ice skating in Rockefeller Center.

wheatley@vindy.com




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