On ''The Hills,'' Lauren plays a little less hard to get with reality-star dater Brody; plus, Heidi and Audrina continue to bicker pointlessly

By Jennifer Armstrong
January 30, 2007 at 05:00 AM EST
The Hills: Sheryl Nields
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”The Hills”: Lauren comes out and plays

Oh, man, is Brody goooood. No wonder he can date any reality star he wants. No wonder he went, as Lauren recapped and the tabloids told us a while ago, straight ”from Kristin [Cavallari] to Nicole [Richie].” I mean, ”I’m just looking for someone to cuddle with”? Classic material there, Casanova. And don’t think I’m blaming Lauren…or Kristin…or Nicole…for falling for it. We’ve all been there, sisters. When a guy with those big brown puppy-dog eyes is insisting that ”you have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen,” well, the thing is, you want to believe him enough that you do, at least a little bit.

At any rate, that two-timing game his pal Spencer ran on Heidi and Audrina continued to wreak havoc for the third straight week. And honestly, if this dude looked half as good as Brody, I might see it. But let’s face it, he’s no prize. I believe it’s what’s on the inside that counts, of course, but if there’s a lack of any substance there, I go for the outside. In this case, Audrina’s characterization was all too fitting: ”He’s a dirtbag,” she told her friend at work. ”[Heidi] is obviously just getting played.”

The played one, however, was having none of it. She refused to invite Audrina to her big birthday shindig, for which she, incidentally, wore a black tutu, a barely existent halter top, and a crown. ”I’m an American princess!” she cooed, thus erasing any trace of sympathy we might have for her in this love-triangle situation.

Audrina broke all protocol by not only showing up at the party uninvited but also confronting Heidi about their tiff in a calm, rational manner. Naturally, that could only end up one way: with Heidi blowing her off, some random friend named Jen chastising her further, and her leaving in tears.

Brody and Lauren, meanwhile, played down any interest they might have in dating each other. ”Lauren is so your style,” Spencer said to Brody, who replied, ”I just got out of a relationship like a week ago.” (Um, ooookay, Mr. Looking for Someone to Cuddle With.) Across the room, Lauren was saying to Heidi, ”I’m so not ready….I do not want to date anyone.”

So instead, Lauren took on some diplomatic duties and attempted to negotiate peace over lunch with Audrina the next day (dragging poor Whitney along as a human shield). But the result was a preponderance of awkward silence punctuated by Audrina’s occasional explanations of her behavior at Heidi’s birthday. (Namely: ”I wasn’t there to ruin her birthday.”) Later, when Lauren reported back to Heidi, the situation seemed more murky than ever:

Heidi: What’s gonna happen if you see her out?

Lauren: I’ll say hi like anyone else.

Heidi: But it’s a mutual thing?

Lauren: Yeah.

Well, then. Glad we cleared that up.

Surprisingly, Spencer voiced all of our feelings on the subject most succinctly when, somehow, our fearless double-daters (or, in the case of Lauren and Brody, non-daters) showed up at — gasp! — the same club as Audrina. ”It’s like, who cares?” he said. It is like that, indeed.

Brody, for one, wasn’t caring a bit — he’d cornered Lauren and was plowing straight through his list of painfully sincere lines. ”I like you,” he said. ”I want to hang out with you.” Suddenly, whooosh, Heidi was saying, ”Where’d Lauren and Brody go?” and we were cutting to Brody’s sweet condo. And what was he saying? What else? ”There is nowhere else I wanna be right now,” he smarmed after going in for the big kiss. To Lauren’s credit, she did the smart-girl thing — she hit him with a snarky I’m-onto-you comment: ”You’re a cheeseball.” But she didn’t mind melting a little bit more when he continued: ”I love seeing you smile.” There’s only so much a girl can resist.

What do you think? Is the Heidi-Audrina beef even remotely interesting? Are you rooting for Brody and Lauren, or should she keep being careful? And are you planning to adopt that right-arm-hugging, left-arm-blocking technique she used while canoodling with Brody?

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