TiVo: Without it For Love or Money 2 Sucks
Somewhere around the FORT there is a signature line which reads, “TiVO: Without it, TV sucks.” This week that sentiment becomes especially relevant. Of 67 minutes of airtime on this week, the producers indulged themselves in three minute opening and closing scenes, and seven commercial interruptions. All told, those who are faithful to watch (or the poor soul who must recap this drivel) were subjected to 25 minutes of advertising and six minutes of show promotion.
So please join me as I recap the 36 minutes of programming designed to cover the white noise in between commercials. Frankly, I’m tempted to just recap the commercials. At least they had some substance.
As the show opens Dramatic Voiceover Guy tells us that each of the men will go on a 24-hour date with Erin.
Chad’s Date – Puerto Vallarta
A limo arrives at the mansion to escort Erin and Chad to the airport where a private jet awaits. On the ride over, Chad and Erin certainly have the *look* of two people in love. Erin sits close to Chad, her hand on his thigh.
They are flown to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and escorted to a beautiful beachside home. The open-air home and its scenery are breathtaking. Yet I’m not sure Erin and Chad notice really notice. In this episode, at least, the two are obviously ‘smitten’ with one another. Whether sipping margaritas on a bluff overlooking the surf, having a quiet dinner for two, or in swimming in a lavish pool, Chad and Erin are touching, kissing or gazing at one another.
In confessional moments, Erin says that she feels completely at ease with Chad, and she is falling for him, but finds the prospect scary. She thinks Chad is making all the right moves, but can’t decide if that is strategy or sincere emotion at work. Chad admits he is feeling many emotions, but as he gets closer to Erin and the show’s finale, he realizes she may still be deceiving him.
Rob and Wade – Home Alone
Back at the mansion, guy’s guy and TurboTalker Wade begins to quiz Rob about his relationship with Erin. When Rob dances around or completely avoids answering questions, he ignites Wade’s suspicions as well.
Wade’s Date – Sedona, AZ
Realizing the competition has been turned up a notch, Wade worries out loud about meeting Erin just after she has spent a day with Chad.
Erin and Chad debark the plane and seem to be surprised to see Wade on the tarmac waiting for them. Erin is uncomfortable with the arrangement, and wished for one final kiss with Chad before meeting Wade. Chad says he was shocked to see Wade, and had a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach.
Wade and Erin make the obligatory reality TV dating series trek to Sedona, AZ for a day of rest and relaxation. On the limo ride from the airport to yet another beautiful home, Erin and Wade sit on opposite sides of the car and seem to enjoy comfortable conversation.
Upon arriving at the home they are surprised to see a masseuse table set up and realize they will be treating one another to a massage with instruction by a professional. Erin says the concept of giving Wade a massage “took me aback. It seems a little personal.”
Call it editing sleight of hand if you will, but Erin looked positively pained during her turn at giving Wade a massage. Wade of course, enjoyed any chance to touch Erin and described his turn as being a very sensual experience.
After dinner Erin says in confessional there isn’t a connection or spark with Wade. “Wade has made it very clear that he has feelings for me” and “I feel bad that Wade is still here.” Yet she says she believes his motives are more genuine.
Which cuts to a confessional from Wade who tells us he is a very good judge of character before saying “I definitely think we connected today.”
The pair talk easily over dinner and later lounge in front of a roaring fireplace. Erin has been decidedly cool (yet pleasant) toward Wade on this date and the fact finally registers: “Erin is sending mixed messages. I hope I’m not misreading her.”
Rob’s Date – Nestledown Retreat
This time Rob is waiting on the tarmac for Erin and Wade’s return and for the start of his own date with Erin. Rob dressed well for this occasion, wearing a retro A&F red tee with a big number three on it. Evil Foreshadowing?
Erin used this time with Rob to discuss his feelings at her rejection of him and the reasons for his return. Rob tells Erin he came back to the show because he wanted to explain his feelings for her, the reasons he picked her over the other 14 contestants in For Love or Money, and to tell her how he really feels.
“I have a lot to loose. I may get rejected by the same girl again,” said Rob during the date. When Rob proclaims earnestly that he only returned for the opportunity to be with her, Erin stares at him blankly. Rob goes on to tell Erin that he couldn’t get her out of his head and he doesn’t care why she turned him down in the first series, he only hopes he gets a chance to win her heart this time around. Later Rob says he is pretty confident Erin will keep him in the next elimination ceremony.
If I’m Erin, just about now I am thinking that Rob is either a psycho stalker or is playing a role given to him by the producers, leading up to another plot twist. Either way, I’d give him a haircut.
After a three-day dating marathon, Erin says her connection with Chad is strong; Wade is an open book and a card she can use to win the million dollars; and Rob’s feelings for her are stronger than she ever realized.
When Rob returns to the mansion he is greeted by a cold shoulder from Chad and Wade. Chad says he doesn’t trust Rob and doesn’t want to hear about his date with Erin. When Rob leaves the room Chad says, “See ya, grandpa.”
The next day brings the appearance of Jordan who the producers have thankfully hidden through the first 45 minutes of the show.
Are you in it for love
Or are you in it for the money?
By the end of the night
Two will remain in the house
They will have a 50 percent chance at love
And one last chance at One Million Dollars.
Last week we were teased with the reappearance of a mystery woman. Many expected to see Paige return to liven up an otherwise dead program, and were disappointed to find the mystery woman was Erin’s best friend Christie, who has known Erin since she was five.
Rob arrives first for the chat. He tells Erin he was glad for the chance to finally share with her all that he was feeling. Christie asks Rob some questions and after Rob leaves the room the girls “dish.” Christie thinks Rob must like Erin a lot and says it was ‘sweet’ of him to lay his heart on the line.
Next comes Chad who is surprised to see Christie. Chad tells Erin that she brightens his world and that he feels natural and comfortable with her. He hopes he’ll be around to see where this leads. After he leaves the room Erin tells Christie her connection with Chad is strong yet she doesn’t know if she can trust him. Christie points out that Chad could be like the other guys from San Francisco. How that is a bad thing escapes me.
Wade is last to arrive and tells Erin that this has been the greatest experience of his life and that without her things wouldn’t be interesting. (I beg to differ, Wade, but whatever.) Christie asks Wade if he would be willing to move to San Francisco and he replies, “I’m up for anything.” When Wade leaves, Christie terms him sweet, loyal and compassionate (like a golden retriever) but admonishes Erin to “remember what you came here for.” Which begs the question: "Erin, what did you come here for?" Money.
Chad: For me it’s been very difficult to trust, to open up to someone. I feel like with you I have opened up in a very short time. I appreciate the time we’ve spent together. I would appreciate it if you would stay.
Rob: I am so flattered you came. I didn’t realize how you felt about me. There are so many wonderful things about you. However – I feel the same as the last time we ended things. It’s not the same for me as with you.
Rob counters by saying; “I’ve made a lot of sacrifices for you. I only hope you’ll be able to open yourself up to these guys. If you can’t, you’ll never get what you want.”
Wade: I can’t tell you how wonderful I think you are. You make me a better person.
The show closes with scenes of Rob burning his million-dollar check. Again he tells us that he didn’t come here for money, he came here for Erin. “I don’t think she understands.”
The disclaimer at show’s end becomes longer this week with the addition of “Rob Campos was paid a consolation prize.”
A bit of editorializing: Throughout the series I have given Erin credit for having a great poker face. I have had a difficult time gauging her emotions, and wondered if she actually had any at all.
Yet in this episode I see something very different in Erin’s eyes. On her date with Chad there was a peace about her, a comfort. The passion seemed very real for both of them. By contrast, her expressions and body language with Wade and Rob are markedly different. Between Erin’s unpredictability and the editing of this show, I don’t know if this means anything at all.
Next week: A 70 minute long tell-all reunion show. (VCR alert!) A secret will be revealed.
For questions or comments on this recap, please feel free to write Bumpkin@fansofrealitytv.com