EW asked plastic surgeons Terry Dubrow and Paul Nassif to preview the new season of E!’s Botched, which begins Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Before we talk about the new season, can you talk about why you decided to do this show in the first place? What does Botched have to offer that other shows didn’t?
PAUL NASSIF: I don’t think anyone’s ever done this type of a concept before, of taking extreme plastic surgery. I was on Dr. 90210 for one season, and I know we were doing difficult cases then, but it was more about following the doctors and following the patients. But it wasn’t like this, in regards to having patients whose lives have been completely devastated. And also the bromance that Terry and I offer adds another layer to the show. The third aspect is educating the patients about what not to do. When you see a patient who had cement injected into her face or when you see somebody who had eight nose jobs in Mexico… there hasn’t really been a show like that.
TERRY DUBROW: It was Paul’s idea and I thought it was a very difficult idea because, you know, to do this work on national television, we’re also putting ourselves at great risk. So at first, it seemed like a really risky undertaking, even though it was very compelling. As surgeons who do a lot of this surgery, we wanted to show that this is a cautionary tale. We do have this fun relationship, so we thought that there were ingredients there that could potentially make something that was both heartwarming and entertaining and life-affirming and also would provide a context for plastic surgery.
Is this kind of work fun?
NASSIF: It’s exhilarating for us because we love the ultimate challenge and we keep pushing our skills to the next level. This year, we’re doing things that we never thought we would do in our career, where these patients were turned down by every other doctor. There’s sometimes a very high risk of a complication, up to 50 percent. Basically, they’re saying, listen, we don’t care what the risk is. If there’s a five percent chance of helping [them], they want us to take that chance. So we’re doing procedures that take us to another level. You’re going to see some complications and some healing issues in season three, which are far more dramatic than we had in season 1 and 2.
DUBROW: The difference between season 3 and season 1 and 2 is that 1 and 2, we knew we had to take these incredibly difficult cases, some considered impossible. But now, this show has taken our skill set to several levels above where it ever could be, ever could have been. And now, what was formerly in the textbooks as considered impossible, now is almost routine. And the difference between season 3 and season 1 and 2 is now we’re taking cases that are impossible and we’re figuring them out. So season 3 has changed completely. It is not a recapitulation of seasons 1 and 2. There is no Botched fatigue in Botched.
Can you give me an example of a case this season?
DUBROW: Raji is a person who got black-market, illegal concrete injections in her face and carried this burden for years. She truly looks like the Elephant Man. She’s one we turned down because she came to us as a last-ditch effort, and even we said, it’s too risky. Since season 2 and season 3, we sat around and thought about it and formulated a plan that we thought, although extremely risky, provided potentially a chance, based on our first two seasons’ experience of working. She is in the first episode. It’s not without complications. It’s not without major agony. But I would suggest you watch and see what happens!
Botched premieres Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on E!