Lockets Don’t Find Themselves
Welcome back to “Joe Schmo 2”. For anyone late to class, “Joe” is actually an elaborate hoax perpetrated on two unsuspecting victims. Tim and Ingrid, our Schmos, believe that they are on a reality TV dating show. The truth is that all of the other contestants and participants are actually actors, performing scripted scenarios for the benefit of Tim and Ingrid. The challenge is to try to fool the duo until the final episode, when the hoax will be revealed.
That challenge has proven to be more difficult this season with the inquisitive Ingrid. As this episode opens, Rhett Reese has called everyone together for the production meeting. As the producer, he feels that it is necessary to try to nip the Ingrid problem in the bud. He encourages the actors to lead her in the right direction while deflecting her away from the still gullible Tim. He asks Ambrosia to turn up the heat as the resident “bitch” and explains their next plot point of Eleanor losing Austin’s locket. He and Sean Travis, the director, wish them all luck as the meeting breaks.
The actors adjourn to the house and are soon joined by Ingrid and Tim. It is Tim’s birthday today and Ingrid gives him a big hug and lets him know that a birthday card is circulating for him. Maybe it’s just me, but one would think that they could get one card signed by ten people in time to give it to him when he got up. I mean, get it together, people. No wonder Ingrid is on to you.
Soon, Ambrosia points out that Eleanor is no longer wearing her locket. To further establish herself as an emotional basket case, Eleanor freaks out over this news and begins to pout and get teary over the missing necklace. The ever-helpful Tim quickly moves in to see if a shoulder rub might help locate the wayward piece of jewelry. When that tactic surprisingly fails, he offers that it has to be in the house somewhere and promises that it will be found. He demonstrates his dedication to this promise by not moving from the couch while Ingrid and Bryce helped Eleanor search her room. Although they stumble across one of Rita’s half finished drinks, they do not locate the necklace.
Cammy, the Boob and Everett the Angry Frog
Ambrosia uses the drama of the missing locket to begin to ratchet up her bitchy persona. She takes potshots at the weepy Eleanor for being upset over something as ridiculous as a locket. Then, she turns on Cammy for taking more than her fair share of Austin’s attention during the grape stomp of the previous day. She points out that Cammy’s breasts may have had something to do with Austin’s keen interest.
Cammy pretends to take offense at Ambrosia’s suggestion and claims that she has always been the victim of such breast discrimination. She acts hurt that people have always given credit to her breasts for everything that she has accomplished. I don’t know about Cammy, but I’m starting to wonder if the actress that plays her got role based solely on her cup-sized credentials. She goes into a totally unbelievable rant about her boobs and is so caught up that she makes the first of the many mistakes she will make that night. As she is bickering back and forth with Ambrosia, she stumbles and almost calls herself by her real name, “Jana”. Ever on point, Ingrid looks up quickly and scrutinizes Cammy’s face. Eleanor muses during her confessional that she believes that Ingrid knew that something wasn’t right but decided to play along for the time being.
After some more name-calling by Ambrosia, the sounds of trumpets herald the arrival of Derreck, the host. He is carrying a small aquarium containing the massive Everett and tells Bryce that Piper is no longer up to the responsibility of looking after the giant frog. Bryce (the best actor there, in my opinion) looks appropriately devastated by the news and asks why Piper returned him. Derreck explains that Piper doesn’t want to feed the enormous frog. Then, Derreck quickly informs the group that there will be another pearl necklace eviction ceremony that evening and that only the women will be invited to attend.
As they absorb this information, Bryce continues to inspect the frog sadly. He insists that Everett is angry and wants to go back to Piper. Tim is once again freaked out by Bryce’s obsessive tendencies and suggests that Everett might be unhappy because he is now in a smaller aquarium then he was in before. Anxious to get Bryce to shut up about the animal, Tim offers to retrieve the bigger aquarium. Bryce flips out and says that he will be the one to take care of Everett as he storms from the room. Tim is obviously further taken in by the unpredictable Bryce and is left shaking his head in confusion.
I Hope My Mom Doesn’t Read This Scene
As the contestants head outside, Derreck greets them and points out the pink boxes and blue sacks on the ground in front of him. He explains that they will be playing a game called “Taste My Treats” for a chance to win a private date with Austin or Piper. The game is played by randomly choosing a recipe card from among a collection of Austin and Piper’s favorite dishes. The contestants would then head into the kitchen and prepare the dish that they select. The women would put their “treats” into their pink, fuzzy “boxes” and the men would put theirs in the blue, fuzzy “sacks”. Whoever has the tastiest “treats” (judged by the blindfolded Piper and Austin) would be chosen for the private dates.
As Ingrid and the others laughed hysterically, Derreck tried to maintain his composure as he announced the recipes. With recipes such as tossed salad for Cammy and warm cherry pie for Ambrosia, Ingrid was nearly in tears by the time Derreck announced the men’s recipes. Whispering a prayer that her parents would never see this episode, Ingrid looked on as T.J. drew mixed nuts and the possibly gay Gerald ended up with pigs in a blanket. Tim, who had been prearranged to win, came away with fish tacos and they went in the kitchen to make their “treats”.
The innuendos fly back and forth in the kitchen as T.J. asks Eleanor to smell his “nuts” and Tim suggests that Bryce stop worrying about his meatballs and just put them in his “sack”. Ambrosia pours nuts on Eleanor’s banana split while Tim decides that he should try to make a good fish taco (is there such a thing? Yuck!) because Eleanor might actually eat his treat. He works hard finishing them as Ingrid complains that she could have done a better job with a different dish besides the pasta with clam sauce that she had to make.
When the contestants finish, they join the blindfolded Austin and Piper back outside. Cammy is the first to feed Austin her “treat”. Holding her pink box at groin level, Cammy saddles up to Austin to the tune of a slow, mellow, Skinemax saxophone. He enjoys her “treat” as he dives in face first and eats a large mouthful of the tossed salad. A little planted drama ensues when Derrek sends her back to her place by calling out her name. Ingrid can barely mask her annoyance at this “mistake”. Gerald points out in a confessional that the main difference between Ingrid and Tim during the games is that Ingrid is constantly questioning the strange little scenarios while Tim is there to win and doesn’t notice anything afoot.
When Austin takes a bite out of Eleanor’s banana split, he sends her back into despair by spitting it back out and saying that he didn’t like the taste of nuts. He says that Ingrid’s pasta is garlicky, but good and then moves on to taste Ambrosia’s cherry pie. Derreck encourages Austin to “bury” his head in Ambrosia’s “box” to get a good taste of her “pie”. I am not making this stuff up, people. I think that if the producers would have went with just the game itself, that perhaps Ingrid’s suspicions wouldn’t have been raised. However, all of the dual-meaning, “innocent” phrases that the contestants were saying caused Ingrid to look less and less fooled.
The actor that plays Derreck finally loses his composure when Bryce approaches Piper with her first sack. After repeatedly telling the giggling blonde to put “your face in the sack”, Derreck starts to giggle himself and nearly loses his British accent entirely. After Piper identifies the “treat”, Bryce continues to straddle her lap with his sack in her face, until he is asked several times to step back by Derreck. This, of course, plays to the annoyance of Tim, who once again looks like he would like to give Bryce an old-fashioned beating.
Ahem. I erased this paragraph about twenty times. There is no way of describing what T.J. does next, but some of you may have seen a similar maneuver in, um…those movies in the backroom of Blockbuster. Describing it the cleanest way possible, he steps up with his sack and as the bow-chica-bow-bow music plays in the background, he takes his turn straddling Piper and leads her head into his sack by pushing the back of it with his hand. Ingrid literally buries her head in Gerald’s shoulder as she tries not to scream out with laughter at this audacious act.
Next up is Gerald, who takes his pigs in blankets out of the sack and sticks them in Piper’s mouth as he samples a few for himself. Finally, Tim approaches with his fish tacos and wins Piper over by politely stacking the tacos so that she didn’t have to bury her head in the sack. He was supposed to win anyway, but the actress seemed to appreciate the gesture nonetheless. He is chosen as the winner of the best “sack” and Cammy is the winner of the best “box”.
A Private Date and a Surprise Party
Later that night, Tim gets his private date and tries to get to know Piper better. Other than Piper impressing Tim with her command of curse words, not much happens on the date. They make each other laugh in the limo home by sucking down helium and Tim explains in confessional that while he isn’t in love by any means, he does find Piper a “fun girl”. The actress playing Piper is surprised that Tim finds her character believable because of all of the inconsistencies, but happily plays along. She is given a cause for alarm on the way home, however, when the battery on the camera light goes out. Given a shot of courage by the darkness and the beer he has been drinking, Tim leans in for a kiss but is successfully thwarted by Piper.
After returning to the mansion, Tim is surprised by everyone with a Birthday Celebration. Gerald is given the credit for arranging it and Tim lets go of his doubts and decides that Gerald is a “solid individual”. Gerald explains to the group that he wanted to recreate the feeling of a little kid’s party with face paint and party hats. He wants everyone to paint each other and have a good time. Gerald then spearheads a “paddywhack” idea, where Tim would get a spank for each year of his age. This was supposed to show Gerald’s gay tendencies, but Tim was oblivious as he good-naturedly bent over and let everyone in the group take a whack at his backside.
Piper and Tim then used the paint to draw shamrocks on each other’s faces. Bryce goes into the next room with the red paint and comes back with “Piper” written across his forehead. The others immediately pretend to be freaked out by Bryce’s abnormal behavior and make him wipe it off. He retreats to the hammock with Piper and with Tim in earshot, tries to get her to stay in the hammock with him all night. Piper acts uncomfortable and flees from the hammock.
Everyone goes to one of the bedrooms to play “Truth or Dare”. Piper’s first dare by Tim was to sing a favorite song. She chose, “Danny Boy” and I was proud of the producers for actually choosing an actress that could sing to play their opera singer. She does a nice job and soon its Tim’s turn for a dare. Ingrid, who is increasingly playing toward what the producers want, dares him to give Gerald a lap dance. Tim cheerfully plays along to the laughter and applause of his fellow contestants. He doesn’t seem to have improved his technique any since he was in the monkey suit, however.
Tim thanks everyone for his party as they said goodnight. He says that he has never had a surprise party before and this one was great. He had a blast and enjoyed everyone’s company.
Were They Trying To Blow It?
After the party, the girls retire to their bedrooms. Cammy asks Ingrid to join her in the bathroom. Ingrid’s suspicions are immediately raised, as Cammy had not done anything up to that point to reach out to the other girls. When she gets in the bathroom, Cammy asks Ingrid to pinky swear not to tell anyone what she is about to say. Yeah, because grown women do that all the time.
The actress playing Cammy is far from convincing as she tells Ingrid that the producers have just found out that she once starred in a soft-core porn video. Ingrid is finally losing her ability to play along and she says to Cammy, “Are you kidding me?”
Cammy assures her it’s true and goes on to tell Ingrid that the name of the video was, “Porked and Beans”. Laughing in total disbelief, Ingrid accuses Cammy of joking. Cammy insists she is being sincere, however, and continues her tell of woe. However, as if her bad acting weren’t enough to make Ingrid question the story, “Cammy” then pauses mid-story to wait for the cameraman to change his battery. Since this is obviously not something a real person would do, Ingrid laughingly says that she is beginning to wonder if the sun outside is real.
As they continue their conversation, Cammy’s story becomes more and more ludicrous. The title under Ingrid’s name up to this point has always said, “Thinks It’s All Real”. As the story unfolds the title changes to include a question mark. Now her title reads, “Thinks It’s All Real?” As Ingrid begins to question Cammy about why she would reveal the information on national TV, her title again changes to, “Kind of Thinks It’s All Real”. Ingrid says in confessional that she’s becoming convinced that Cammy is an actress planted among them. At this point, her title reads, “Thinks 75% of It’s Real”. When Cammy confesses that now food and beans turn her on, Ingrid laughs aloud at her. He title then changes to, “Thinks Some of This Is Real” and then to “Thinks Less and Less of It’s Real”.
At this point, we see Ingrid in confessional saying that Cammy’s movie confession made her start to look back at other incidents that had taken place. It began with her belief that the first speeches were scripted (especially Cammy, who seems to have been the iceberg to titanic) and was increased by other moments she felt were scripted. She questioned how Ernie had known how many envelopes to hand out to the contestants before he got on the show, which led Ralph Garman (Derrek) to comment that it must be exhausting to be her. Throughout her flashbacks of questionable incidents, the producers are seen arguing over whether to keep the difficult Ingrid. Her title now reads, “Thinks Some Small Portion of It’s Real” as the producers continue to debate. Finally, she’s shown saying that she just doesn’t believe the show anymore for one second and her title has changed to, “We’re Screwed.”
The production staff is last seen in heated debate and we are taken to the elimination ceremony. Derreck offers all of the ladies one last chance to plead their case. Ingrid and Eleanor give straight up answers but then for some reason, the writers decide to put the other two speeches completely over the top. I’m not sure if they’ve just decided they are going to tell Ingrid or what, but it was enough to convince even a completely gullible person that it wasn’t real. Ambrosia, for instance, quotes Whitney Houston lyrics and tries to pass it off as her own and Cammy tells Austin to keep in mind that he found her box the tastiest. Ingrid is in stitches the entire time.
Finally, Austin begins handing out his pearl necklaces. He gives one to Eleanor and Cammy and is ready to give out his last one to Ingrid or Ambrosia when the words we all dread appear on the screen…
To Be Continued…
Will Ingrid be eliminated or will they try to convince her that its real? Join me next week for the exciting conclusion to the most dramatic elimination ceremony, EVER.
Want to explain to me that this show is a fraud and that I should be more aware of the role editing plays in reality TV? Email me at Stagazer@fansofrealitytv.com