The next morning at the villa Petra and Cat again shoot daggers at one another over breakfast. By now, Petra considers herself the victim in the situation, and terms Cat’s coolness as anger or moodiness. Honestly, I think Cat may be a bit passive aggressive. But only because it seems to work so well at getting Petra all wound up.
LG: It's hard to picture Cat as an aggressor on a Fox reality TV show after we were treated to a summer-long dose of Toni on Paradise Hotel. Passive aggressive would have been a real vacation for Charla and friends after Toni's straight out aggressive tendencies.
Paul invites the girls to the grand salon where Samantha tells them about the twist. David was given the opportunity to ask one of the contestants to return to the show. They will reunite with the mystery guest in Venice that evening. Surprised at this turn of events, Petra chatters away and expects that Giada will return. Cat ignores her, but already the wheels are spinning madly in her mind.
Off to Venice
The girls are off to Venice to meet David. Cat says she believes a special chemistry exists between she and David as she is the first of the girls that he had kissed.
LG: To borrow from Semisonic's lyric's for "Chemistry" sometimes you find out that the two things you put together have a bad tendency to explode.
Chemistry is all fine and well Cat, but what about life at home on the ranch? What about when you hit 30, have children and don’t look so great in a bikini. Then what will hold your relationship together?
LG: Bumpkin, have you lost your rocker? This is reality TV. Why would you give this relationship better odds than the national average? Their only chance of getting married is if they get the network to spring for an all-pink wedding ceremony and million dollar "dowry", like Trista and Ryan's upcoming nuptials on ABC this month.
Sorry, LG, I lost it for a moment there.
Petra and Cat arrive at the hotel by boat and are greeted by Paul. Again, their suite is beautiful and extravagant. I note that in Olinda’s absence, Petra has become the narrator for the show as she wonders which girl will be invading their lives.
LG: The Mansion is pretty quiet already, we'll probably hear a pin drop if only Linda and Cat stay to the next round. Perhaps Paul will get more screen time. Or maybe Samantha (yes, that is our "hostess" this season). Nah, that's not going to happen.
Meanwhile, Linda waits in her room for her big entrance. Again she tells us that she thought she missed the biggest chance in her life to meet a special person by leaving the show earlier. Quick someone, grab the Paxil, this is way too dramatic for us to face unmedicated.
As the suspense builds we cut away for a commercial break which includes the 14th commercial of the night for the American Idol Christmas Special and A Simple Life.
LG: If A Simple Life if anything like, well, all other FOX reality tv show, we can count on some "unexpected twist." I'd laugh heartily if the "winner" of Joe Millionaire gets to make an appearance to learn how to be farm girl and make a fine dinner out of road kill just like Paris Hilton on A Simple Life.
After the break, Linda enters the room with a big smile and the girls are genuinely surprised to see her. They make an attempt to catch Linda up on all that she has missed, telling her about their glamorous dates with David in her absence.
Cat tells Linda of their sauna date. Linda asked if they were naked, and Petra quickly lies in the affirmative. This leads Linda to realize that she may be interrupting something, and that in her absence the girls have developed feelings for David. “What if while I was gone something happened with the other girls that I don’t know about?”
Petra’s Date – Moonlit Cruise
Paul enters their room holding a black evening dress and tells Petra it’s a gift from David for their date together that evening.
David is taking Petra on a moonlight cruise to a special spot where they will have “supper” under the stars. He worries about how the other girls will feel about Linda coming back. Having gained their trust, he doesn’t want to lose it now.
Again David gives Petra a collection of bracelets as a gift. As they were having ‘supper’ they heard strains of violins playing, then were treated to a serenade by an opera singer who his no doubt a person of some note in Italy, but Fox wouldn’t help us out by captioning her name.
LG: Bumpkin, you're a country gal like me, aren't you? You keep saying 'supper' like it wasn't the evening meal after a big Sunday 'dinner' (at 1 pm). David is at least trying to be suave and drink wine with meals now, as earlier in the series he was the sole beer drinker at many a meal.
Bumpkin: Hey, never mind Appalachia, I grew up in western Tennessee, which is as rural as they come. Use of the term, “supper” confuses me. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. But in that part of the country, dinner is lunch, supper is dinner. If a potential suitor ever said, “I’d like to take you to supper,” I ran for the hills.
The romantic setting seemed to grow their feelings for one another, and later Petra walked David to his room where they kissed – I think – for the first time.
Back at the hotel, Cat seems to find Linda’s hot button as quickly as she found Petra’s. With Linda, Cat acts more like a girlfriend and whispers as she tells her a secret, after extracting a promise not to tell. “He tried it already on a date,” she tells Linda, and hints that David made the first move.
Linda was obviously jealous, while Cat was flip: “I was like, why not? It’s a game.” This caused Linda to begin to doubt David’s feelings for her. “I don’t want to be one in a row. For to kiss someone, to hold hands, is very intimate for me.”
LG: Fox is highlighting the difference in extremes between them. Linda is emotionally invested in hand holding, Cat will do anything to win, and even if she doesn't actually "do" it, she's willing to talk about it just to psyche out her competition, especially a weaker competitor who has already left in a huff once in this series. Maybe Cat is hoping to deliver the shove that gets Linda out the door a second time. .
Linda’s Date – St. Mark’s Square
David confesses he has mixed feelings about his date with Linda, admitting her departure from the show and their lost time together had put a halt to his feelings. Linda is excited about the date and hopes they have a future together. She is looking for the sparkle in David’s eye and his body language to determine if they still have a chance together.
They have breakfast together in an oddly deserted St. Mark’s Square.
LG: Maybe DeBeers Diamonds was filming another stupid ad where annoying American tourists are displaying the superficiality of their relationships by equating their love to big diamonds and shouting about their love in the middle of the Square. I know that would clear me out of there faster than a whole flock of pigeons with the runs.
Linda tells David she had a great time at the ranch. David admits it was hard on him when she left. I question the sanitary conditions of breakfast as flocks of pigeons fly about the Square as they talk.
LG: Oh, they should be safe unless Tom Lehrer fans have been there, as he penned the great novelty hit: "Poisoning Pigeons in the Park".
Bumpkin: What on earth are you talking about?
LG: You haven't heard of it? Oh, it's hilarious:
"My pulse will be quickenin'
With each drop of strych'nine
We feed to a pigeon.
(It just takes a smidgin!)
To poison a pigeon in the park."
Bumpkin: Is this anything like feeding Alka-Seltzer to seagulls? I hear they explode, and it’s quite a sight to see. Okay folks, sorry for the diversion. Back to the recap:
After breakfast they took a walk through the harbor. The scenery was so beautiful, David was inspired to take out his T Mobile Nokia picture phone and take Linda’s picture, which he emailed to Paul in an obvious product placement bit.
Then Linda quizzes David about the ‘rumors’ she’s heard about the other girls. David realizes that if Linda knows he was kissing the other girls, she would think he was not sincere about her. Later, David leans in for a kiss, and Linda leans away.
Her reasoning: I want him to know that I am not easy to get, just in case I am just the next one in a row of girls.
His interpretation: She tried to push away. She doesn’t like me. Why would you not kiss somebody? Why would you pull away?
LG: Obviously Linda hasn't been watching American reality TV dating shows. Where did they find these women? Oh that's right, the Czech Republic.
In confessionals, Cat says she and David share something totally different than with the other girls, “We fit together, we have the same feelings. It’s totally different than with the other girls.”
David seems quite smitten as well and says every time he is with her they grow closer. I’m sure he means emotionally. He takes her on a gondola ride through Venice. During their ride he presents Cat with a gift, a $1,000 chain belt. (Petra gets cheap bracelets, Cat gets sexy belts.) David says he enjoys giving the girls gifts, “They light up.”
Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Paul rings Linda’s doorbell and gives her a gift from David: a pair of beautiful black purses. To Linda it is the most beautiful gift she has ever seen and says to her it just shows what a gentleman David is.
Back on the gondola, David and Cat snuggle and David put his hand on Cat’s knee. “Me and Cat are real intimate,” confesses David, causing me to wonder how intimate they have really been. “She’s the kind of girl that could make a guy happy forever.” At this point, we know exactly what David is thinking with.
After the date, Cat returned to David’s room with him. Here David avows that the two have ‘built a relationship’ and says, “I think she’d do anything for a guy.”
We know this is true when David excuses himself to go to the restroom. As Cat stalks about the bedroom, she lights up a cigarette and then goes into the bathroom, locking the door behind her.
Meanwhile, Linda has gone into the city and bought David a small gift. In her room she writes him a sincere note expressing at least part of her feelings for him. As David walks Cat back to the room they embrace and kiss just as Linda opens the door to the suite and spots them. Each of the pair were sure they heard the door open and close. David hoped Linda did not witness the kiss. Cat hoped she did.
LG: I think David has forgotten this is a TV show, and everything is on film. Linda is going to find out, David. D'oh!
Linda rethinks the angel gift, surprised that he is trying for another woman after she opened her heart. Once Cat is in the room, they begin to discuss the date. Cat provides details with all the drama of a high-school slumber party confessional.
LG: Oh, oh, me too, Bumpkin. Truth or Dare? Have you and David played tonsil hockey?
Next Morning .. Doom, Despair and Agony on Me
The next morning Samantha drops by to let the girls know there will be an elimination ceremony tonight back at the villa.
The thought of which causes great angst to David, who says he is depressed, hasn’t slept and has lost his appetite. “I like Cat, she is so romantic. A guy could fall for a girl like Cat.”
LG: David's . too much of a gentleman to state what he was really thinking: "A man could fall INTO a girl like Cat."
“Petra is awesome and so fun to be with,” he continued, “Linda - I’m not even with Linda and I feel like I did something wrong with Cat.” Which leads me again to wonder, what DID you do with Cat?
The torment is too much to bear as David has a heart-to-heart with a producer which is an odd parallel to the same scene of angst Evan displayed in the earlier season. And which makes me doubt the veracity of David’s sobs in voice-over.
Back at the villa, the girls play a game of Truth or Dare, which Linda claims to have never played before. If you listen closely, you’ll be able to hear Petra and Cat’s claws come out at the thought of the opportunity before them. Petra asks, “Do you find him physically attractive, and in what way?” When Linda responds, “I haven’t seen his body yet,” Cat immediately interjects a coy, “I did.”
Tonight Paul calls for Cat, then Linda, and David fastens a diamond bracelet on each wrist. Surprised by his choice, Petra packs her things and leaves the villa.
Next week: The two hour finale is finally here. David must choose between Linda and Cat. Paul assures us, “Everyone will be shocked at the way Joe Millionaire ends. It’s not what you think.”
LG: Here's to hoping that the European counterpart to the ASPCA was standing by to make sure that Hurricane isn't declared David's true love and presented with a diamond harness. That would truly be shocking, in a Neverland Ranch kind of way. *shudder*
We think we’re in for two hours of flashbacks, long commercial sets, over-wrought angst from David about his choice and long shots of an empty doorway with dramatic music in the background.
LG: I predict no less than 20 ads each for the American Idol holiday special and A Simple Life, but none for A Minute with Stan Hooper as I think Fox has axed that show, which is sad because I've got a thing for Norm MacDonald.
While we sharpen up our pencils for next week’s finale, send us an email to keep us entertained, Bumpkin@fansofrealitytv.com or LurkingGirl@fansofrealitytv.co m. Until next week.