how to pull annotations from message board to river?

ok so i'm trying to pull annotations, or comments, from message boards and i've copied the code from the blog river php file which looks like this

$contents = strip_tags($object->description)

the variable $object gets defined with this line of code

$object = get_entity($vars['item']->object_guid);

getting that specific's item's object guid. so i tried to look at the coding of the message board content's code which looks like this

elgg_view("output/longtext",array("value" => parse_urls($vars['annotation']->value)))

so then i tried to put those together and it looks like this when it's done


        $performed_by = get_entity($vars['item']->subject_guid); // $statement->getSubject();
        $performed_on = get_entity($vars['item']->object_guid);

    $url = "<a href=\"{$performed_by->getURL()}\">{$performed_by->name}</a>";
    $contents = strip_tags($performed_by['annotation']->value); //strip tags from the contents to stop large images etc blowing out the river view
    $string = sprintf(elgg_echo("messageboard:river:added"),$url)  . " <a href=\"{$performed_on->getURL()}\">" . $performed_on->name . "'s</a> " . elgg_echo("messageboard:river:messageboard");
    $string .= "<div class=\"river_content_display\">";
        if(strlen($contents) > 200) {
                $string .= substr($contents, 0, strpos($contents, ' ', 200)) . "...";
            $string .= $contents;
        $string .= "</div>";
    echo $string;


the code above doesn't work, i've tried many ways so i turn to you elgg community. how do you display a comment that someone made to a specific person on the river? idk what i'm doing wrong, maybe i'm pulling the wrong variables or pulling the wrong entity. what am i doing wrong?