This week's episode opens with the requisite "Previously, on Boy Meets Boy…" montage. We're reminded of the country & western dancing group date (where Dan took center stage with Jorge, and James got more than a bit pissy) and the rock-climbing group date (where James freaked out about 10 feet up the rock and Wes encouraged him to continue). We see Andra confront Dan about his "special friend" in New York City, and we hear him say once again, "I do not have a boyfriend." In the end, three more potential mates left the house. I was sorry to see them go, but the show must go on, and so must this recap.
We start off at the Mates' house. It's late at night (presumably right after the most recent eliminations), and the mates that are left are having a pretty frank discussion about their pasts. Wes reveals that he has been with a woman before—while he was in college—but that it took him three weeks before he even kissed her. That said, Wes tells the group that she was a "fantastic girl". The focus of the conversation then turns to Michael. Michael says that he "sees beauty in both sexes", and this prompts Wes to come right out and ask him, "So, when was the last time you were with a woman? You know, physically." Michael hesitates a bit and then says, "Well…(*insert dramatic pause here*)…about two or three months ago." Two or three months ago? Apparently, I'm not the only one taken aback by this revelation, as the other guys' chins almost all collectively drop to the floor. I think I even heard one of them say, "Wow!" but I'm not sure who it was. Brian tells Michael, "I think I can say that all of us around this table are gay (I wouldn't be so sure about that, Brian). Are you bisexual, then?" Reluctantly, Michael says, "Yes". Well, clutch the pearls, Mary…another secret has been revealed!
We next head to James and Andra's house to check in on the two of them. They're talking about the various mates that are left, and Andra says, "Dan's gonna hate me. Oh well, he probably already does." Girl, I wouldn't lose too much sleep over that one, if I were you. As James mentioned in the last episode, just give the guy enough rope and he'll end up hanging himself.
Back at the Mates' house, Brian reveals in a confessional, "I have a crush on Dan." Well, as my grandmother always said, there's just no accounting for taste sometime. I'll admit that Dan is in great shape and has a good body and all, but there's just something about his attitude/personality that turns me off. Anyway, Brian continues, "I know I'm supposed to be here for James, but it's hard." Why, Brian (*fanfanfan*)…oh, wait. He's not talking about that. Brian's confessional is interspersed with video of Brian, Robb, and Dan playing around (not literally, unfortunately) in the bathroom, as Dan gets ready to take a shower. Once again, Robb provides one of the best lines of the night. Once Dan is in the shower, Robb asks him to put his butt right up against the shower door. Dan does so without hesitation, and Robb says, "I thought I recognized you." Bravo, Robb! Anyway, from what we're shown, there's definitely mutual flirting going on between Dan and Brian. But, is that really fair? Oh, wait…never mind…you didn't read that. I'm getting ahead of myself. Finally, Brian concludes with, "I feel like I'm stuck. What do I do?" What do you do, Brian? You run. You run as fast as you can in the opposite direction from Dan, if you ask me.
We head back over to James and Andra's place, where there's card waiting for them on the coffee table. James reads it aloud. "It's time for your animal instincts to come out," the card says. Animal instincts? James? Part of me thinks that James' animal instincts would be about on par with a salamander's or a koala bear's, but maybe I'll be surprised. I'm a bit disappointed, though, as James continues reading the card. There's not going to be anything involving the guys in loincloths (damn, damn, damn!). Instead, the "animal instinct" line is referring to the day's first group date. It seems that James and Andra—along with Matt, Darren, Michael, Dan, and Brian—are heading to the local Wild Animal Park for the date. James and Andra engage in a little girl talk about what to wear, and then it's off to the zoo. Oh, sorry…I mean the Wild Animal Park. As James and Andra ride along in the limo, James tells Andra, "Now, it's turning into 'Who do I want to date?'" Andra agrees, says that this date will give them the opportunity to get to know the guys better, and that, "we'll catch when someone's lying." Cut to Brian, who says (in a confessional), "I'm just going to be myself. That's the most important part." That's true, Brian, although having a good body and a great smile sure doesn’t hurt.
After a fairly non-descript visit to the park/zoo/whatever, one of the zoo employees brings a note to Andra to read. Yes, it's time for another one-on-one date for James. However, this time, Andra will be the one to pick who gets some private time with James. Andra finally selects Matt because he is a "kind, quiet soul", and Brian and Michael seem the most disappointed by Andra's choice. James and Matt go off for their date, and Matt tells James that one of the issues that might be a cause of concern for the two of them is the distance between the two of them (James lives in Los Angeles; Matt lives in San Francisco). James indicates that he "really hasn't put much thought into that." James then asks Matt about his history with relationships, and Matt tells him, "Oh, I dive into relationships right away." Hmm…I don't know if I'd have said that, but James didn't ask me. After a brief cut to the rest of the guys (and Andra) getting into a water fight (during which Dan doesn't hesitate to take his shirt off at one point, for the love of God…), we're back to James and Matt, who are now in the tram on their way back to joining the group. James asks Matt, "How do you feel about your chances?" Matt replies, "You're a great guy, and I think that eventually we could have a relationship, but I don't know if we have that instant attraction. If it comes down to me and someone you feel that with, you should pick the other guy." James appreciates his honesty and sincerity, but I'm thinking that Matt just sealed his fate with that answer.
It's later in the day, and everyone is gathered around the poolside table, where Darren has composed a "naughty" limerick about James. He reads it aloud, but the network censors bleep out all the good parts! Whatever Darren wrote, though, must have been good, because when he's done, everyone is laughing and surprised that quiet, reserved Darren would write such a thing! Andra, who summons James and Dan into the house, suddenly interrupts the frivolity. The two of them join her, and she then tells James, "We have conflicting stories." She looks at Dan and says, "You told James that you have a 'special friend' in New York City, but you told me that you don't have a boyfriend. (To James)One of us has heard the truth, and the other one hasn't. I just feel you two need to talk, and I wanted to make sure that happens. So, talk." With that, Andra leaves James and Dan to talk and get on the same page. Dan tells James almost immediately, "Honestly, I haven't seen him in three months, and I have no intention of staying with him. I know he's not the right guy for me." James tells Dan how important monogamy is to him, and Dan responds with, "OK, I was a game player, but I've only been with one guy in the last year. That's because I got so tired of that other life." Andra interrupts and, like a mother picking up her child from a friend's house, she sternly says, "James, let's go." With that, James and Andra are out the door and on their way back to their house.
James and Andra arrive back at their place and find a card waiting for them on the coffee table. Andra picks up something off of the table and says, "This is so cute!" James adds, "Oh, this is going to be fun." Now, the object in question is rather phallic-looking, and I'm thinking that this could be fun. However, on closer inspection, the item in question is only a plastic microphone. To make a long story short, it's time for the second group date, and this one is going to be at a karaoke club. At the same time, the Mates get a similar card at their house, and we find out that Wes, Robb, Sean, and Franklin will be joining James and Andra at the karaoke club. The Mates all laugh (Robb says, "Gay karaoke…this is so fabulous!"), but I'm sensing that Sean's laughter is more of a nervous laughter. He later says in a confessional that he's "deaf tone" (that's what he said) and can't sing, so I now understand why he didn't seem as enthusiastic about the date as the rest of the guys.
We next go to the karaoke club where our hostess, Coco Peru, greets us. Hmmm…I wonder if they could make Coco the hostess for Boy Meets Boy, too? Anyway, Coco welcomes everyone, and we next see James onstage belting out "I Will Survive". He has a decent enough voice, but he also looks like he's taking the whole thing more seriously than he needs to. I mean, for the love of God, it's just karaoke. It's not Star Search. It's not even American Idol. We then see each of the other guys take their turn with "I Will Survive", and each of them really has fun with it. Franklin goes so far as to bend over and shakes his moneymaker right in James' face, and Robb even starts to do a bit of a striptease by unbuttoning his shirt. Alas, he only unbuttons a couple of buttons before stopping. Finally, it's Sean's turn to get up on stage. He does so reluctantly, and we see that he wasn't lying when he said he couldn't sing. He finally gives up, saying, "You know what? Forget it." With that, he puts the microphone down and launches into a dance routine that would make the Solid Gold dancers proud. Several of the guys comment on how they finally got to see a side of Sean that he had previously kept to himself, and James seems to enjoy Sean's performance as well.
Once things calm down a bit, Coco gives Andra a card to read. Yes, it's time for another one-on-one date with James, and Andra gets to pick the guy to come up on stage and "sing a special love duet with James" before heading off for some private time. Hey…the card said that cheesy stuff, not me! Anyway, Andra picks Wes, and he joins James onstage to sing the song "Almost Paradise". At least it wasn't "Endless Love", "Up Where We Belong", or something like that. Anyway, Wes has some trouble with the song, but James encourages Wes to stick with it just like Wes did for James that day on the rock-climbing date. After the duet, the two go off for their private time. During their chat, Wes tells James, "That first day…when I first walked out…I got an initial spark." James nods in agreement. Wes continues, "Now it's all about is there a connection or not." James asks Wes if he feels he's ready for a relationship or if he's more interested in just dating. Wes says, "Now, I am the most prepared for something serious …more than I ever have been." James tells Wes that his weakness is in meeting people, that he rarely approaches people and waits for them to approach him. They finish their conversation, and Wes goes so far as to say (in a confessional), "I totally fell for him today." Awwww…I like Wes.
It's later that evening, and it's Elimination Time. James and Andra are already in the Decision Room, and Dani joins them and says that the process will be similar to last week. The Mates will be in three groups of three, and James won't know who is in which group beforehand. However, there is a new twist this time. The producers must have watched Big Brother or something, because this time around, Andra will have the option to veto one (and only one) of the guys that James eliminates and protect them for another week. Dani then takes James away and leaves Andra in the Decision Room by herself.
We next have a quick shot of the Mates, and they're all seated around that poolside table once again. It's mainly just general chit-chat, but they decide they think Sean is the most masculine of the guys left, Darren says he doesn't like feminine guys, and Dan says that the most important thing in all of this is to "just be yourself." If you ask me, it's ironic coming from Dan…
It's now time for THE MOST EXCITING (PINK) CHAMPAGNE CEREMONY EVER! Dani first brings out James, then Andra. James gives his typical "This is so tough and I wish all of you the best" speech, and then Dani explains the twist to the Mates. They all are surprised, of course, but it looks to me as if Dan is especially taken aback. Foreshadowing, perhaps? Anyway, the first group up is Michael, Sean, and Robb. Hmmm…if it were I, I'd say Robb was a lock to stay, and I'd probably make Sean my second choice. James picks Sean first and then, after the appropriate dramatic pause, he makes Robb his second choice to stay. That means that Michael has been eliminated, but will Andra use her veto power to keep Michael in the house? She decides not to, and we say goodbye to Michael. Next up are Darren, Brian, and Matt. Hmmm…as I said above, I think Matt sealed his fate during his one-on-one with James, but maybe his honesty and sincerity will keep him around another day. That's not to be the case, though, as James asks Darren and Brian to stay. Does Andra use her veto to save Matt? She does not. The final group is Franklin, Dan, and Wes. James says that by far this is the toughest group, but, for me, it's a no-brainer. If I were choosing, I'd pick Wes and Franklin, and I'd shoot Andra dead if she used her veto to save Dan. Andra had better be thankful that I'm not the one doing the choosing, because James does ask Wes and Franklin to stay, meaning that Dan is out. Does Andra finally use her veto to save Dan? Thankfully, she does not, and Dan is out the door.
As the three eliminated Mates give their final confessionals, we see them each packing their things and getting ready to leave. Matt seems the least affected by James' decision, and, surprisingly, Michael seems the most surprised. In the end, we learn that Matt is gay and Michael and Dan are both straight.
Well, we're halfway home, and from the previews for next week's episode, it looks like James may finally learn the show's surprise "twist", as we see Dani holding James' hands and saying, "One of them is straight." Is this from next week's episode? Tune in next week to find out!
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