After a humdrum week of pondering the outcome of “Rob in the Bel Air ‘Hood” I began to look forward to tonight’s episode with renewed enthusiasm. At seeing the previews of tonight’s show, it looked like Rob might be turning into an interesting bad boy after all. I think that this is just what the show needs to breathe some life into it and so I turn on my trusty Sharp and slide in the tape into the VCR.
After last week’s show we were told that this week the actual “dating” would begin. Is this the real thing, or is it fantasy?” (Thank you, Queen.) We see handsome Rob strolling in period costume with one of the ladies on his arm. We then see Rob on a boat and on a plane. Next there’s Rob in a hot tub where his personality seems to have suddenly changed from shy to shocking with the heady addition of alcohol. Later, Paige tells Rob in a loud stage whisper that there is “controversy, and it’s all about you.” We hear the ladies say in shocked voices “this is not what we bargained for,” (Laura) “disgusting” (Alima) “appalling” (Melissa). The morning after we see a remorseful Rob apologizing and saying that he was a jerk.
… and Action!
We join the ladies as they are reminiscing about the good old days when the house was bursting with the laughter of fifteen women. Now the palatial mansion seems “cavernous” and so much bigger.
Some see this as an opportunity, such as Paige. Her basic math is pretty good as she calculates that her chances have increased at getting her paws on the money. She doesn’t have that fabulous website for nothing! There is some sort of a brain activity going on which allows her to think big.
Just in the nick of time, when we really don’t want to hear any more out of her, Jordan appears at the ladies communal breakfast table to make the “good news/bad news” announcement. Why oh why is there always bad news? However, they can take it. They’re looking at him calmly as he says that the “dating” starts today (good news) but only EIGHT of them will be going (bad news). They will have to vote for the woman that they want to exclude from the group date with Rob. As if this isn’t already confusing, Jordan explains that the two women with the most votes will be the stay-at-homes. In another bizarre twist the vote must be revealed by the voter as she holds up her card with the chosen name on it. Haven’t they ever heard of the secret ballot? Maybe this is supposed to stir things up. As if we couldn’t have guessed, the person with the most votes is our resident villainess, Kelly. She is pleased as punch to be so special. There is a tie between Paige and Melissa and the tie breaker is actually a red heart that is stuck under somebody’s plate. It turns out that it’s under little Paige’s plate and she gets to make the great big decision. In a magnanimous moment, Paige decides to let Melissa go on the date and hopes that her generous decision will not come back to bite her in the butt. This calculating missy is playing all the odds.
Group Date Number One
We learn that there are actually two dates with 5 women a piece to escort our guy. Christina, Lauren, Erin and Laura get to set sail with Rob on the treacherous high seas. The ones that are left behind see the first group to the door with best wishes and the advice to “get as much make-out time as possible.”
The ladies arrive at the marina, where a gorgeous sailboat with Rob on board awaits them. I hope everyone remembered their seasick pills and nautical manners. Rob says with his usual flair, all the girls “look great and I’m the luckiest guy.”
As soon as they set sail Rob wastes no time in making the rounds. He is seen nuzzling Lauren and in what seems like seconds his thoughts drift to Laura whom he wants to hold. Laura is a willing accomplice and gets caught up in a lip locking moment with our hero. But deep down inside the secret of the million bucks was eating away at her and she did not want to “mess up.” Laura honey, you’ve got nothing to worry about, Rob is too busy making up his brilliant unscripted dialogue that he knows is going to charm the pants off you. Suddenly, Rob jumps over to Christina, but he feels her “loneliness” and calls for Laura again, or is it Lauren? He’s like a stud bumblebee as he flits from flower to flower.
Mercifully, this Love Boat cruise ends and even though Christina is pissed off that he so quickly left her side, Rob is happy because he had a day of sailing on a “beautiful boat with beautiful women” and he got “one kiss.” Are you sure, Rob? I think you got a few gropes in too, buddy.
Anyway, back at the homestead the girls are re-hashing the events of the day. Christina was venting to Melanie about the other girls getting more “Rob Time” and Laura is walking by and overhears. That does it, Laura gives Christina a piece of her mind and tells her that she’s not “cheap” and so on. On the strength of that confrontation, Christina decides that Laura is not a friend but a competitor. Very good. Can we move on please? No, not yet. Christina makes a case for herself by saying she is insecure, but Laura is not buying it. Good, neither am I.
Group Date Number Two
Alima, Melissa, Erin and Stacey get to go on this imaginative date that some genius has figured out might be fun. The girls get to dress up in fashions from the early 1900s as best as I can figure out. They complain a lot but realize they have no choice but to go through with it. They actually look quite charming as they get into some beautiful antique cars and make their way to the Huntington Gardens in Pasadena which I can personally state is a fantastic place that I have been to many times. Rob looks dashing as he strolls with the ladies through the various gardens. There is an impressive Art Museum on the site too, but maybe that’s just too much culture for them all to take in.
The high point is a beautiful buffet that is laid out on tables under tents for their dining pleasure. Rob and Alima go off to a secluded area where she asks him all about his family (2 sisters and a brother) and he is asking her about a boyfriend which she remembers is a repeat question. Honestly though, how is Rob supposed to remember everything about these ladies? I have a hard time doing it. Then we see Rob go off with Melissa but all she can think about is the money. On the way home, Rob elects to go off with Stacey and Erin, or as Alima refers to them, the “supermodels.”
Dinner for Eleven
The evening starts out tamely. The ten women decide (or someone has decided for them) to make dinner for Rob. Kelly quickly takes charge. She orders Alima to peel the potatoes. She decides that the pasta will be great with peppers while a nice side dish would be a “corn, tomato and onion salsa.” She has also decided that while all this is going on, she will sip wine with Rob. Chaos in the kitchen! SOS! We don’t know what to do, go get Kelly!
What is really bothering them is the fact that the devious Kelly has masterminded and orchestrated the evening to suit her. Paige is dispensed to check up on the happy couple. She is reluctant but curious, so off she goes and notices Kelly and Rob sitting cozily with Rob’s hand on Kelly’s leg. Now it’s time for Miss Thing to make her move. She gets assertive and tells Kelly that the others want her help with the pasta, but despite the fact that Kelly makes a lame argument about not being in charge of the pasta, she sidles off and now it’s Paige’s turn. Rob gets a bit bolder with each sip of wine. He asks Paige, “what would happen if we kiss?” She appears to be shy at first and he assures her that she doesn’t have to go through with it. Are you kidding? Paige doesn’t need to be asked twice. They go at it and she returns to the kitchen dreamy-eyed. Her musings include, “it was amazing, it was perfect” and the puzzling “I don’t regret it, and I won’t regret it.” At dinner Paige further dazzles us with the toast she proposes – “To the uncertainty of every day, where nothing is certain, and anything is possible.” Is it any wonder that I am near tears at this point?
The Steamy Hot Tub Scenario or Rob Loses Control
Rob is slurring his words as he asks why the girls were picking on Kelly? He then bullies them into helping him off with his boots. His first flunky is Christina who winsomely shows off her bosom as she kneels before him. Carnie Wilson ought to get a load of this! The second helper is Lauren. Rob orders her to turn around and pull off his other boot while he pushes off on her (is there a delicate way to put this?) derriere. At least it looks better in French. Lauren feels “degraded.” Why didn’t you just turn him down? Sheesh!
Now Rob drops trou in living room and is proceeding to the hot tub with the ladies following him. In the soft porn fantasy running through his head, Rob feels that a group grope is in order. The girls see it differently. One by one, they exit stage left. Melissa says, “That guy is a jerk!” and they all agree. They realize that this tool owes them an apology, big time!
Paige has got her sights set on Rob and now plays his confidante. She tells him that there is controversy afoot and it’s all about him. She further tells him that the women feel he was being “disrespectful” and that he would get the furthest with her. He doesn’t have to lie to her. His response is, “Give me a kiss,” which she willingly does. Paige doesn’t understand why the rest of them don’t leave if they don’t like him. Let me spell it out, Paige – contractual obligations and a shot at the money. Got it?
There’s Got to Be a Morning After the Night Before
The next morning Rob makes his way over to the sorority house to apologize and pretty soon he is telling them how bad he feels and he hopes they can forgive him. He realizes he took things way too far. In his own words he tells them he’s “scared of women” and “painfully shy.” He even lets them in on the fact of his ex-girlfriend who had to be fuming at hearing that she “wasn’t right” for him but she made him a “better person.” Now he shifts into a higher gear and tells them his fantasy. In 30 years, he tells them, when his granddaughter asks him how he met Grandma, he hopes he can tell her that it was in this very house. Oh my STARS! Is there no end to this? Rob gets the obligatory Sensitive-Guy tears even though he says that he had promised his brother he wouldn’t cry. After deciding that it took a lot of courage, the women accept his apology.
I must interject here what has been annoying me throughout this show and I have so far spared you from it. At every break, we hear the ominous, “Find out who’s in it for love, and who’s in it for money!” AAAAAAAAaaahhhhh NOT ME, neither one, so shut up!
Now we have a newsbreak that promises a look into Rob’s “troubled past” at 11PM. I have a sneaking suspicion that NBC isn’t too upset about this turn of events. This is not Corey from American Idol.
Elimination Time is Almost Here
Host Jordan Murphy has been a lot more scarce than in opening episode. However, his pauses and nods are still as annoying. He informs them that they have two hours to prepare. One of the girls says that she is “packed already.” Good thinking.
The women are gathered on the great staircase and Jordan says, “if you’re ready, I’ll go get Rob.” Rob appears on the scene and we hear his voice stating how nervous he is and that it’s harder this time. Rob now tells them in his usual lifeless tones that they are the classiest women he’s ever met and that makes this elimination process so much harder.
Erin – He’s very attracted to her but he feels like they haven’t broken through (huh?) and he feels like they could. STAY.
Alima – “How are ya?” “I feel like there’s somebody better out there for you” Alima being the funny and gutsy one says to us, “You know what, America? He lost out on a virgin.” ELIMINATED.
Melanie – “I felt like we kind of had stops and starts. The other girls look up to you. They’ll miss that.” Holy crap, what kind of mush is this? ELIMINATED.
Paige – “I don’t know what to say, I was disappointed that we didn’t get to go on a group date together, but I was happy that we talked last night.” She’s batting a thousand and excited at facing the future with Rob. Gag me. STAY.
Laura – He’s so glad he got to know her and had fun with her and wants to have some more. STAY
Christina – “You really sell yourself short. It shouldn’t be that way.” When did Rob turn into Tony Robbins? It gets worse. He says to her, “I should send my brother to Daytona.” Now you’re pimping for your brother? ELIMINATED.
Time out while Rob composes himself here. Deep breath.
Melissa – He really enjoyed getting to know her and feels the most comfortable with her BUT he hasn’t had that “romantic connection” with her although he’ll miss her. What nerve! Melissa says she has no regrets – she’s a class act. ELIMINATED.
Kelly – When they told Rob that she wasn’t going to be on the group date, he realized that she was the one he wanted to get to know better. Kelly tells us that there is an “absurd physical connection” between them. STAY
Stacey – This is truly the strangest one of all. He says, “I don’t want this to sound wrong, but I don’t think I was capable of being mesmerized. But I think that this is kind of what you do to me. I feel like I have to try with the other girls. I am so glad I met you blah blah blah…" ELIMINATED.
Lauren – He’s excited about her, and she’s amazed to be here. STAY.
Now Rob tells us that he’s going to try to be less guarded and will make an effort to enjoy the ladies’ company while getting to know them better. He wants to see if one of them is the “right one for me.”
Off he goes with a wave and a goodnight. “See you soon,” one of the girls shouts – probably Paige.
For the rejected ones it’s time to enter the “Chamber” where they express their regret and get to toss their worthless checks into the flames. Alima is “sort of sad” about not getting the money but “more upset about being rejected.” We hear remarks like “See you later, million dollars” and “Now I know for sure that the money is not worth it.” Buh bye.
Yellow cabs are at the ready, and the ladies are whisked off into the night.
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