Hi there. Now, I know you all have different reasons for watching this show. Some of you probably think Mark is hotttt. Others are ogling the pretty ladies. Some want a lurve connection. But I think I speak for a decent-sized segment of you when I say that what I want from this show is catfight quotient. To heck with fuzzy love stories, I don’t believe they’re real on these shows anyway. So in the absence of love, I want blood. Blood or love, which will it be? Um, now that I say that out loud, it sounds a bit Fatal Attraction-y.
Anyway, I do like drama, and since this week the 20-year-olds will be moving in with the 40-year-olds, I have very high hopes for utter mayhem.
Where’s My Welcoming Committee and Red Carpet?
Last week, Mark claimed to not be the type of guy to kiss all the girls, then kissed both Amanda and Adelaide, then sent Adelaide home, which surprised at least me, as I thought he quite liked her, and she was one of the prettiest most natural-looking girls there. (I’m talking to you, Tessa. Lay off the bleach.) Also, despite some big talk about walking out, Maria decided at the last minute to stay, so Mark sent home a pretty lady who’d gotten absolutely no airtime.
We rejoin the action with the 20s marching unhappily up to their suite to gather their stuff for the move. The 40s are also less than thrilled with the new arrangement. They seem to be off emptying out some closets for their new roomies when the 20s arrive, which I would think is a nice thing, although the 20s bitch that no one was there to welcome them. What did they expect, a brass band? Pick your bunk bed and deal, girlies.
When the two groups do meet, it seems uncomfortable, and while I’m not entirely sure what’s said, the 40s seem to be laughing at a private joke and the 20s feel they’re laughing at them. Mary, of course, starts to cry. She claims that she cries when she’s mad, but then that would mean she’s mad all the time.
A Bicycle Built For Two, Romance Built for Four
The next day, the women are told to put on workout clothes for a competition. Various women comment on their level of physical fitness. Jen says if they don’t see her as competition, they’re in for a big surprise. The women arrive at some outside destination – in matching workout clothes, if by “workout clothes” you mean “skintight sports bras and lycra shorts” – to be told that they can win time with Mark on a luxurious yacht – IF they win a triathalon. Amanda is worried, because she’s not athletic.
They must pair up and ride tandem bikes, then run down to a harbor, and paddle surfboards out to the yacht where Mark is waiting. The first three get to stay on board for a date.
Kelli is confident because she’s fit – she says the young girls are skinny but skinny doesn’t mean strong. But she’s only as fit as her tandem-bike companion, I guess. It’s not totally clear how the older women fall behind here; I think Maria’s bike breaks, Mary’s and Megan’s loses its chain and they have to run a lot further than everyone else, and Tessa and Amanda are coming in first. And it seems Kelli and Maria are on the same bike, so they’re in last place. Everything seems a bit haphazard.
Tessa and Amanda win the bike leg, but then as they’re jogging down a hill, Tessa twists her ankle. She claims she’s tough and can suck it up.
Meanwhile, Mark sits comfortably on a yacht and guesses that Kelli will do well because she runs six miles a day, and he hopes Jen will make it too.
Jayanna, however, is determined. She jogs past the hobbling Tessa. Jen got thigh cramps and had to start walking. Amanda’s in first. Kelli is seventh, and says she’s exhausted. Maria claims her legs were buckling.
Tessa finally gives up and calls for medical care for her ankle, and is carried away dramatically in an ambulance. In a confessional, she says weepily that it “kills me” that I didn’t make it. Really? It kills me that you called an ambulance for a sprained ankle.
Jayanna spots Amanda, who’s walking, and passes her. “Big mistake to walk,” she says.
Mark feels bad that the girls have to paddle to get out to his yacht. “I’m not worth it! Go back!” is what he says he’d LIKE to say to them. Yet he says it only to the camera.
Jayanna arriving first at the yacht, and Amanda second. Amanda thinks Mark was impressed by her drive to win and how much she wanted to win. I guess if you can’t play hard to get – which is rather difficult when you’re paddling a surfboard to catch a man – you might as well go whole-hog with the chasing thing. The others, apart from Jen and Tessa, are all paddling closely together, but Kelli finally wins it. Mary says she feels like she’s going to cry. Shocking! Then in confessional, she does. “I don’t even want to cry about this because it’s not upsetting,” she says. Then, like, stop? I’m instituting a new drinking game, I think – one drink every time Mary cries.
I’ll Take a Cliché to Start, with An Entrée of Googoo, Please
On the yacht, the three winners have somehow acquired their makeup and fancy dresses. And wow, Amanda has a lot of boob. I’m not saying it’s not flattering, I’m just saying it’s… a lot.
Mark says something about the whole yacht thing being “incredibly romantic.” Apart from having three dates, I suppose. He says after “what they went through” this would mean a lot to them. What they went through? They weren’t prisoners of war, they rode a bike and swam a little. Geez.
Back at the apartment, Maria is disappointed, she wanted to connect with Mark and feel where she was at. Tessa returns from the hospital, and talks about how she hasn’t had a chance to get to know Mark. Her only chance to stay, she says, is to earn some time with Mark.
On the yacht, the women get to chose whether to spend alone-time with Mark during the appetizer, dinner or dessert. Kelli picks apps, and they talk about relationship lessons. He tells us it was easy conversation, he felt comfortable.
She goes back and tells the other two that they shared some kisses. Amanda is upset, of course. Ok, addendum to the drinking game – also take a drink every time Amanda is upset that Mark is with another girl.
Jayanna has the dinner date. She tells him she got butterflies just sitting down with him. She also says she’s trying to show him how she feels, apparently through a string of clichés: “I’m putting my heart on the line, I’m putting my cards on the table,” she says.
Jayanna tells Mark he has so much compassion and a big heart, stuff any woman would want. Mark says there’s chemistry between them.
Amanda has dessert. And boobs. Back at the other two, where Kelli’s already changed to comfy clothes to eat, they talk about how Amanda is completely googoo for Mark. Which is completely true, although if I can count (which is questionable) I would be amazed if she’s spent even a total of two hours talking to him. Anyway, Amanda gushes that
Mark looks right into her eyes when he talks to her. “It’s almost overwhelming,” she says.
Amanda babbles something at him in Spanish, and says she likes him a lot and wants to know him more. Mark tells us he’s trying to decide when to kiss her, it was so romantic, under the stars, and finally he leans over and plants one on her. Or several. They seem to make out.
The next morning, Amanda is still excited, and says it’s hard to see Mark with other people given her feelings. The women receive a message, telling them to put on tennis clothes, because it’s time to play Mark’s game. I’d nearly forgotten he’s some big-time tennis star.
Mark says he wants someone who’s not afraid to try something new; he finds that sexy.
Tessa is concerned about not being able to participate due to her ankle. She puts on a tiny tennis dress anyway, but hobbles around in a sock. Jen feels discouraged because it’s yet another sport. Girlfriend, I hear you on that. My couch potato butt would be telling the others they could have the man by this point, I didn’t sign up for Celebrity Fit Club.
They all ogle Mark hitting tennis balls, and talk about how hot he looks doing it. Mark comes over and leads Tessa to a chair under an umbrella, and puts ice on her ankle. Is that actually what you’re supposed to do a whole day after it’s twisted? I dunno. Anyway, we
He leads Tessa over to a chair and some ice. We then get a lot of shots of Mark trying to teach the other girls how to play tennis, particularly Mary. I’m sorry, I didn’t know anyway alive couldn’t figure out how to swing a tennis racket, but whatever. At least this gives Amanda another chance to glare while Mark has his arms wrapped around Mary. Kelli says the 20s are much more vocal about how hot they think Mark is. Tessa points out that she’s irritated because sitting there drinking lemonade doesn’t help her get to know Mark.
They have a challenge, 40s playing 20s. Mary thinks it’s funny to say “balls.” Wow, I thought most people – most women, at least – got over that around age 16. At any rate, Mary thinks it’s less funny when Maria and Jayanna squash her and Megan like a bug. Around this time Tessa decides to go for broke, and drags her butt out onto the court, wincing dramatically with every step. Her strategy succeeds, as Mary says she wins big points with him for trying. So even though the 40s win that match too, Tessa is the one Mark asks for a one-on-one date. Mary snidely says that the 40s are stepping up their game “because they’re threatened by us.” Or, they’re just good at tennis? She claims they’re not going to win Mark in the end anyway, so they can try as hard as they want. It’s possible she didn’t cry during this speech, but I doubt it.
Save The Drama For Yo Mama
The women return to their apartment for lunch, and apparently there’s a lot of tension. Everyone’s hot and hungry, and while I’m not sure exactly what’s been said, Jayanna finally snaps at the 20s. Yay, finally the drama! Jayanna says she’s heard a lot of little nitpicky complaints and tells the 20s to shut up. “You act like total primadonnas,” she says. Mary says not to tell her to shut up. Jayanna says she’s not taking it back. Mary runs off crying. Drink!
Amanda thinks the 40s are insecure so they want to hurt the 20s. Is it possible that being around people who make menopause jokes and treat you like their mother might be just a tad irritating? The 20s have gone to comfort a still-sobbing Mary. “I just feel awful right now. I feel so bad I put myself in this situation,” Mary cries. This is the kind of drinking game that will put someone under the table.
Megan says she’d expected more maturity from the 40s, and Mary comforts herself by saying the 40s are not that secure.
You and Me and Amanda Makes Three
Mark and Tessa prepare for their date. Mark says Tessa comes off as beautiful and intelligent. Tessa says she’s thrilled, and it’s make it or break it time. But she’s so unhappy about going out in “a beautiful cocktail dress and crutches.” Well, then, you shouldn’t have fallen down, ho. Be glad you’re invited to go somewhere in a cocktail dress and stop your whining.
In Mark’s apartment, there are tons of white roses, candles and a violinist. Tessa says it set a perfect tone for the “connection.”
Mark tells her he was impressed with her performance at the tennis court. Tessa tells him the time the women don’t spend with him is hard. She bats her fake eyelashes and flaunts her fake boobs, and Mark says he feels there could be a connection. They talk about whether they want kids; she says a lot of guys don’t have that nurturing characteristic. He says he’s not scared of making fun of himself.
Back in the suite, Mary and Amanda are talking. Amanda is having a hard time imagining Tessa with Mark. Drink! Mary cries about how she hasn’t had any time to spend with Mark. “I haven’t felt this bad in a long time.” Wow, is this a contest to see which girl can feel sorrier for herself over a man she barely knows?
The object of their jealousy and the object of their affections are lounging on pillows by this point, and it seems like a rather romantic scene, until Tessa pipes up and suddenly brings up Amanda, telling Mark that Amanda “really has caring feelings for you.” Is she out of her mind? You NEVER bring up another girl while you’re on a date with a guy. You do not encourage comparison shopping. That’s such a genetically-encoded rule that I didn’t think it even had to be spoken. Has her brain had a bad reaction to the hair bleach?
Mark is naturally confused – is Tessa there to set him up with Amanda, he wonders, or there to actually get to know him? Tessa says if he doesn’t have those kinds of reactions towards her, to let her know. I think that’s her explanation of why she mentioned Amanda, but for her sake, I hope a lot got left on the editing room floor, because it really doesn’t explain anything to me. Mark says it’s like going out with a girl and the girl tries to set him up with a friend.
I Like You Like You, Can I Have A Kiss Kiss?
Later, Mark and Mark C. chat, so that Mark C. can get paid for this episode. He asks Mark if any of the women stand out so far, and Mark says Amanda does. Mark C. points out that tonight two more women have to go home, and asks if Mark knows which two? Mark says he needs to see each woman once more before deciding.
So Mark calls them down one by one. He calls Tessa first because she answers the phone, and she is excited to be going to his apartment. She didn’t know what was going on. At his apartment, Mark tells her he felt weird when she brought up Amanda. Tessa explains that she doesn’t know how to communicate to him her feelings and thoughts. Well, speaking them plainly is a good start. Not talking about other women is also helpful. She claims that there’s a definite attraction between them. “You’re a beautiful man, you have a beautiful heart,” she says, basing her expert opinion on one evening together.
Mark asks Tessa to send Jayanna next. Tessa is relieved, she thinks it went well and that she received positive feedback from Mark. Back in the suite, she explains to the others what’s going on. Amanda fears she’ll be eliminated if she doesn’t show him why to keep her. Jen says she has to step up.
Jayanna heads down. “If I have to get a little bit more aggressive, then I will,” she warns us. She tells Mark she knows there’s a connection, but he’s maybe holding back a little bit. He looks uncomfortable, and the body language is clearly her leaning in, her holding his hands, her holding him in place close to her. Jayanna tells him he should have kissed her, and so they kiss. I see tongue. And wrinkles. She grabs his face, and afterwards tells us she feels a connection, first physical reaction. “The 20 year olds do not have the kissing skills that I have,” she brags. “I left him wanting more.” I’m not sure of that.
Next, Maria wipes Jayanna’s lipstick off Mark’s mouth. He feels bad. “I don’t want to come across as a player,” he says. Maria tells him that isn’t her business, what is her business is what happens between her and him. She gives him a peck on the lips. He tells us it’s flattering, but doesn’t know what to think of it.
Kelli’s next. She likes the man to chase her, but this is her last opportunity to let Mark know she’s interested. She tells him her heart’s in it. “We want you to find love, and we all want to find love too,” she says. What is this, the royal we? And she leans in for a kiss. Poor Mark.
Kelli, back in the suite, tells the others she has a connection. Amanda finds it weird. “I like Mark a lot and it could get a lot more serious, but him dating 8 women is very hard for me to deal with,” she says. Drink.
It’s Amanda’s turn now, and she tells Mark he has a lot of really good choices. But she’s in tears, thinking of Mark with all the other women. He leans in and kisses her. “I don’t want to hurt anyone,” he tells us. She tells him when he just kissed her, she thought about Kelli kissing him and it freaked her out. He says “when?” Does that mean “which kiss with Kelli do you mean?” Amanda tells him that Kelli came up and told them all about her kiss with Mark. Mark vows to Amanda that while there have been some kisses, she’s the only one he wanted to “kiss kiss.” Oh, does that mean he likes her likes her? Rather than just liking her? I am sometimes amazed that despite the thousands of wonderful and descriptive words in the English language, people revert to such banal shorthand as “kiss kiss.”
At any rate, Amanda believes the baby talk. “He could tell me the sky was purple and I’d say ok,” she admits, shamelessly.
On to Megan’s turn. Mark tells her he doesn’t know her that well. She says she doesn’t have that instant electricity with him, but blames it on nervousness.
Mary says at first she was so distant she wasn’t sure she wanted to be there, and then as she got more time, she wanted to stay. She manages, I think, to make it through the interview without crying.
Jen, as the oldest one, tells us she needs more from him if he’s going to get more from her. Apparently what she meant was she needs more tongue from him, because she asks for a kiss. And evidently Jen’s quite talented in that department. “She blew me away,” Mark says.
Two Fake Boobs Down
With all the interviews over, Mark says they just confused him more. But he heads up to the 40th floor, while we watch clips of women saying they hope they’re not leaving, they think they’re safe, but they’re not sure, they like Mark, they want to find love, etc.
I approve of cutting out the cheesy poolside elimination and just having Mark show up at the door and give two women the boot. The women watch him come in nervously, though. Mary claims if she’s eliminated, “I’m not going to sit in a corner and cry,” but we all know that’s utter B.S.
Since we don’t have to drag through every woman Mark wants to keep, this goes quickly. Tessa is out, because she spoke about another girl on her date. In confessional, Tessa cries that not many guys have Mark’s level of sensitivity, and she had one there in front of her, but maybe the connection wasn’t there.
Kelli thinks it could be true love, and she needs more time. But Mark calls on her and sends her away – he tells her he feels very relaxed with her, but just doesn’t think it would work out. Kelli says privately that she wasn’t prepared, she thought she was one of his favorites. And she’s hurt. “I don’t need to be reminded of my age, I know how old I am every day,” she says, which rather confuses me, since Mark didn’t mention her age, and since she also came on a dating show in which the very premise was age.
Anyway, so that’s it. Come back next week for more of Mary crying, Amanda agonizing, and me hoping for a fight.