So I saw my hunky doctor today and he tells me (with a straight face) that once you pass age 35 everything starts falling apart. Your recapper, while falling apart, is feeling a little under the weather this week, but is thankful for modern medicine. That said, apologies for the delay in getting the recap up this week – and a disclaimer that I am writing under the influence of modern pharmaceuticals.
Honestly, I am such a medicine head tonight that I have no idea how this recap will work out. If it turns out great, I am definitely doing the rest of the series under serious sedation.
Last week’s show presented a twist in the form of the return of Rob Campos from the original For Love or Money series. This week, the show picked up where it left off as the remaining men returned to the bachelor pad, Rob in tow.
After eliminating 12 of the original 15 men, Rob has been interjected into the competition as a latecomer. The producers only offer the explanation that Rob is someone “from Erin’s past.” Chad, Eric and Wade are understandably perplexed by the latest twist.
Sipping martinis, the men begin the getting-to-know Rob process by asking how he met Erin. We get some idea of Rob’s real-life legal prowess as he hems, haws and finally says, “I don’t want to talk about that.”
The next morning Chad announces it’s “Groundhog Day!” as Jordan enters the room.
As the men take seats in between partitions, Jordan announces that in the next days each man will get a chance for a one-on-one date with Erin. The winner of the Erin Trivia Challenge will get to assign his competitors to one of four dates which include: Train of Stars, Deep Sea Dolphin Safari, Erin’s Perfect Date and Pottery Painting.
Question #1: What color eyes does Erin have?
Chad, Eric and Wade all correctly answer brown, while Rob uses his extraordinary powers of observation, honed by years of defending clients, and answers blue. I swear, I think I heard the cha-ching of Rob’s billing rate making another dramatic leap.
Question #2: What does Erin do for a living?
Chad and Wade both answer Software Sales. Eric’s "Recruitment Manager" takes him out of the game, but the combination of the two wrong answers lead me to daydream momentarily about Richard, cut in the first round of eliminations.
Question #3: In what town was Erin born and raised?
Wade answers Oakland, but Chad’s Los Altos takes the prize.
With the win, Chad takes the Deep Sea Dolphin Safari for himself and takes a gibe at Eric’s non-existent artistic ability by assigning him to Pottery Painting. Incredibly Chad grants Rob the Perfect Date with Erin and relegates Wade to the Train of Stars trip.
Deep Sea Dolphin Safari – Chad
As Erin prepares for the first date with Chad she confesses to a case of nerves. She is certain that Rob’s return has stirred up the remaining three and knows her task is to diffuse suspicion. Erin hopes to reassure Chad that he can trust her.
Chad and Erin board a chartered boat and are taken out to sea to see a school of dolphins. However, they seem to only have eyes for one another. Throughout the date they seem especially comfortable together and engage in lots of tender kissing and familiar touching.
In confessionals, Chad says he thinks he and Erin have a great bond together, yet he still has his doubts about Erin and the game. Erin believes she would be taking a huge leap of faith to pick Chad in the final elimination.
Pottery Painting – The Real Eric
As Eric gets ready for the second date he realizes that Erin has not met the “Real Eric” and vows to make the most of this date assignment.
The pair are shown to a huge loft and given two canvases on which to create a masterpiece. Erin says she believes Eric’s intentions are pure, and that his morals are definitely there. Erin notices that he was more himself this evening, and says that she has had a connection and sparks with Eric since the very beginning. While Eric admits he is falling for Erin. “Every time I try to step back, she pulls me back in.”
Over a rooftop dinner with a beautiful skyline as a backdrop, Erin again asks Eric questions about the other competitors. Something in her line of questioning sent up red flags for Eric. “Erin’s questions have led me to believe that she knows about the money. Rob is not the final twist in this plot”
As the Ring Turns
Later Eric attempts to share his suspicions with Wade and Chad. This causes Chad to begin to twist the silver ring on his right hand.
Now my mother’s sanity has always been a point of lively discussion in my family, so when I saw Chad twisting his ring it brought back memories of home. Mom had this theory was that if a man twists his wedding ring it is a sure indication that his marriage is troubled. So if Mom was having a lucid moment, Chad twisting his ring seemed to indicate storm waters might be brewing inside.
Train of the Stars – Wade
Wade is excited at the prospect of his date with Erin, and believes that the remaining competition is between he and Chad. He hopes this date will give him an opportunity to get “one up” on Chad.
Wade and Erin board a train and are having a great conversation in the dining car, when the train stops unexpectedly. Erin looks out the window and realizes another twist is heading her way. “Who is this hot chick boarding the train?”
Erin soon realizes the visitor is her sister Diane, who she hasn’t seen in weeks. Diane, a beautiful, very well put-together blonde, joins the date. Erin soon leaves the car to give Diane a chance to grill Wade, Cupid style.
Erin confesses that she is nervous leaving the two alone together. She worries that Wade may mention Rob, whom Diane knows nothing about.
Realizing that being the only one of the contestants to meet a family member would work in his favor, Wade turned up the charm, and seemed to succeed. He confesses that he fell for Erin on their second date. As “DiDi” asked questions about the game, Wade mentioned Rob. To Diane’s absolute credit, she gave nothing away. No look of confusion, no sign of surprise. She simply laughed and said, “That’s so funny!”
Later Erin compared notes with her sister. Diane agreed that Wade is a great guy, who seemed to be in the competition for all the right reasons. Erin considers Wade’s motives “totally pure” and Wade concurs in his confessional, saying it’s not about the money. He just wants Erin.
Erin’s Perfect Date – Rob
While Wade, Eric and Chad go out to a pizza parlor for dinner, Rob joins Erin on her ‘perfect date’ – a quiet evening alone in the bachelor’s mansion.
Erin says she is a nervous wreck about this date – and indeed, her face looks pinched and tense during most of the evening. In explaining his return to the show, he tells viewers in confessionals that his instincts told him she was worth another try. He came back to see if something might happen between he and Erin.
With all the flair of Evan Marriot, Rob pops the cork on a bottle of champagne and he and Erin settle in for a cozy evening in front of the fireplace.
Obviously defensive, Erin quizzes Rob, “I’m dying to know what brought you back. What were you thinking?”
At his most eloquent, Rob answers simply, “I wanted to see you again. What other reason is there?” His next words make me certain Rob is working from a script: “If I had it to do over again, I would pick you ten times out of ten.”
Rob presents Erin with a gift. A photo album with pictures from all their dates, put together by an NBC staffer , which gives way to more flashback scenes.
While I spot Rob also turning his ring, Erin confesses to the camera that she is surprised at how comfortable she feels with Rob. Since Rob knows the secrets she is hiding about the game, the pressure is off and she feels better able to relax.
In a most telling conversation, Rob asks her about how she is handling the game. Erin replies, “I have control. Complete control.” Rob counters, “You like that don’t you?” and Erin nods in agreement.
Meanwhile, back at the pizza parlor Wade and Eric are chiding Chad about his date assignments. Knowing that Rob and Erin share a past relationship of some sort, they are tormented with visions of the “Perfect Date” ending in an upstairs bedroom.
With great fanfare, Rob and Erin suddenly notice a five-foot television in the room, concealed by a cover. They also notice a silver box in the room. Just as we cut away to commercial, Rob discovers videotape on a silver tray.
The suspense is killing me. Well, actually I took a potty break, popped some popcorn, shooed the kids to bed and got back to the couch in plenty of time. I’ll spare the readers all the smaltz of this production. Erin and Rob watch the videotape which contains the final elimination ceremony of FLOM1.
We watch most of Rob’s agonizingly long and painful speech to Erin. We watch as Erin says she is choosing the money over Rob. Presumably Erin was struck by seeing the hurt and pain in Rob’s eyes as she rejected him.
With what may have been a tear in her eye, Erin says she didn’t realize the depth of Rob’s feelings for her. When she trots out her latest favorite line and beats herself with it, I again bang my head on the remote in disbelief. “Looking back, my motives may not have been entirely pure.”
Eric is first to arrive for a fireside chat with Erin before the elimination ceremony. This evening, Eric wants to let Erin know that he has strong feelings for her. They chat for a short time in which Eric is markedly more upbeat and positive. Erin comments that he was different tonight, and not as contrived.
Chad confesses that everything he had rehearsed in his head to say to Erin disappeared. He manages to say that he had an amazing time on their dolphin date, that he gets lost in her eyes and he is looking forward to spending more time with her. Erin says her feelings for Chad are strong, but she is still not sure he would pick her over the money.
Next up is Wade, who tells Erin he has never felt so comfortable with someone so soon after meeting them. He thinks Erin’s incredible sister Diane likes him, and the date only reconfirmed the feelings he has for her. Erin says there are a lot of reasons Wade is still around, among them are chemistry and trust.
Finally Rob arrives fireside, which leads to more reminiscing about his time on the other side of the equation. Rob tells Erin she looks great (no rug in sight), and that he has something he wants to tell her. Despite the sensational buildup before and after the commercial break, Rob’s revelation to Erin is in the form of poetry he wrote for her.
Really, I’d type in the poetry for you here, but it was so smaltzy, smarmy and ghastly I don’t think even the medicine I am taking could keep the nausea down. Still, I couldn’t help thinking Rob’s poetry was a Paige foreshadowing of some sort.
The Most Surprising Elimination Ceremony – EVER!
Erin arrives for the elimination ceremony in a black baby doll dress. Spaghetti straps, empire waistline. As mentioned elsewhere in this forum, it looks like a little something she picked up in the maternity lingerie section at Sears Roebuck.
Wade: Since day one I feel like somehow I’ve known you before. Weird. Please stay
Chad: I feel drawn to you. I want to learn more about you. I would be honored if you would stay.
This leaves only Eric (“this heart-wrenching anxiety is more than I can bear”) and Rob (“She’s already rejected me once on national TV”) on the stairs.
Rob: There are so many qualities I admire about you. When you returned, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. I am so grateful for the time we had together. I would look forward to spending more time with you.
Eric: You certainly are extraordinary. I can’t help but feel you need to know yourself better before we can move forward as a couple. I need to let you know I’ll never forget the things you said to me.
As Eric hugs Erin goodbye, he whispers, “There is one person here who is real for you. Make sure you find him.”
Poor Eric, I am so sad to see you go. Editing aside, many of us at the FORT were rooting for you. We’re looking forward to interviewing you later.
Next week: A surprise guest shows up.
For questions or comments about this recap, please feel free to write the author: Bumpkin@fansofrealitytv.com. If you were a contestant on this show, I’d love to hear from you.