Manhunt 10-19 Recap: Screw the Whales—Save the Hot Men!
If you will all indulge me, I’d like to begin with a fable:
Once upon a time, there was a happy kingdom full of joy and reality television. Within this pleasant kingdom, there dwelt an insignificant but very deadly creature known as a “spegs.” Now this spegs was not large, nor was she strong, but she was not defenseless either, for whatever she touched seemed to wither and die. Once the spegs happened upon a gruesome beast called “Growing Up Gotti.” GUG seemed much more powerful than the little spegs, but, at her touch, GUG was overwhelmed by thousands of irritating parasites with names like “HawtGotti12” and “CarmineIsMyBoyfriend.” The parasites grew to be such a plague in the lovely kingdom that the almighty John was forced to step down from his throne and grind GUG into oblivion under his spacious heel. Next the spegs found a very dreary being, one made up entirely of the pieces of the other, more interesting animals which it had consumed. The touch of the spegs had the dull “Renovate My Family” organism gasping for life within seconds: it slumbers in a comma even now.
And then the spegs found a lovely, glistening creature, rich in eye-candy, that was called by some “Manhunt.” So exquisite was this being that the spegs sheltered it as carefully as she could in her hands, hoping to spare it from the potent poison of her touch. But, alas, the charming little Manhunt grew pale, and the pulse of its forum slowed…
So now hear the spegs’s plea. Counteract the venom of her touch; save her Manhunt from an untimely death with your veiwership. Clap as if you’re trying to save Tinkerbell’s life, for this is much more important than some bitter little pixie. These are beautiful men, people. Take pity on them. The spegs thanks you. Story time over.
There’s a time to party and strip girls down. – Bruce Hulse, Judge
We begin this week with the unavoidable flashbacks, plus a few seconds of new footage that didn’t make last week’s show. We see again the decadence that was Rome as the wild party rages in room “One-Tweezy” of the Standard Hotel. Ah, the humor of the drunk…does it get any funnier than that? Bruce kicks the door down at 2:30 for the “ambush,” which really does seem to frighten a few of the guys. Jon even worried that they were about to be “tortured.” Well, if you call snuggling with a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model torture, then tortured you are about to be!
The suspense is over (whew! I’d worn a pacing path across my linoleum)—the manwhores are revealed. And we get to see the man behind the curtain, too! Yes, one of the Executive Producers makes a rare appearance in front of the camera to use the never-failing magic word on the shy duo—“Please?” he begs. But the men behind the barricade hold out till their demands are met. Then, once they are given towels and bathrobes to hide their manly attributes, Kevin P. and Tate stroll nonchalantly from their hidey hole. Due to their closet retreat, they don’t have enough time to put on their Armani Exchange clothes, so they throw on shorts and head for the roof with the rest of the boys.
Bruce gives some “to everything, there is a season” schpeil about the escapade, and then we all move on. Or do we?
“Gay or straight, she is one hot chic.” – Rob
Up on the cold rooftop of the hotel, the men get their first Manhunt experience with hair and makeup. Hunter is pleased that he had (for reasons unexplained) brushed his teeth just before Bruce ambushed them. He hopes the fact that he is the only with minty-fresh breath will count in his favor. Seth worries because he didn’t have time to put in his contacts.
Marissa Miller arrives and meets the boys for the first time. She gives them all the once over as they create little shiny pools of drool around their toes. Marissa gives us a bit of her history: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue three times, Victoria’s Secret regular, blah blah yada yada… She’s qualified—we get it.
Marissa comments that Kev P. and Tate are underdressed, and Kev plays it cool. “We wanted to be different,” he claims.
“Keaton Duke!” – Tate
No, we aren’t over the “scandal” yet. Rob, who is turning into the pursed-lipped Church Lady of the bunch, takes a moment now to disapprove of Tate. Tate has a serious girlfriend and a child, and Rob feels cheating on them on national television is “letting down your family.” He takes no position on cheating off camera. We get comments from several of the other guys about Tate’s immaturity, and his strange habit of shouting his son’s name at random moments. Tate appears to use the name of his first born as some kind of expression of excitement and pleasure, akin to “Excellent!” (dating myself, I know) or “Dude!” Free booze? “Keaton Duke!” Easy women? “Keaton Duke!” Getting caught cheating on national television. That is so not Keaton Duke!
“You just bounce around and let it flow.” - Hunter
Let’s get back to work. Paulo gives us the particulars of the shoot in his cheek-pinchingly delectable accent, so forgive me if I missed something: There are three different sets and three different photographers. I wasn’t able to tell if the boys got to choose or if they were assigned.
Our first photographer is Alison Dryer, of Vanity Fair, Playboy and TV Guide (!!!) fame. You know, if that’s the best I had to offer, I would have stuck with just two credentials. The theme is “after party.”
Jon goes first, posing side by side with Marissa on a deep orange backless couch thingy. She seems to find Jon up to her professional standards, and rips at his shirt gleefully. She gets most of it off, and viewers are grateful. The photographer is also moved and calls Jon “really sexy.”
You can see Hunter’s words of wisdom in the title of this section. He goes second, and any comments about his performance are edited out—I’m assuming because they’re worthless and boring. But maybe, just maybe, the real problem is that they give away too much of his destiny…
Ron is afraid of his inexperience, and the photographer has to urge him to be more physical with Marissa.
“Brett had no problem putting his head right on Marissa’s boobs.” – Alison Dryer
Yes, Brett does seem quite comfortable with Marissa’s mammary region, but he claims it was a subconscious response: “I was breastfed as a child.”
Kev O. wants to take Marissa home. And I’m sure she’ll be packin’ her bags as soon as she hears that!
Tate is nervous about putting his hands on Marissa—after all, she’s not drunk—so he “let her guide.” He thinks he made her feel more comfortable. *Psst!* Tate! I think she’s done this a few times before. Maybe you should pay less attention to the supermodel and more attention to the camera. Photographer Alison Dryer agrees with me, and says she’ll be surprised if Tate makes the cut.
Alison Dryer wishes that Matt would have “grabbed on to the girl” more (now she tells him!). But his overt cutie-patootie-ness has her, and everyone else, wishing him well.
“The devil on one shoulder says, ‘Just touch the boob’!” – Casey
The second photographer is Michele Laurita, and, sadly, she has no magazine of TV Guide’s caliber to list among her credits. Just Rolling Stone, W, and Glamour. The set here is a somber blue and gray, and the theme seems to be “lethargy.” After the after party, I guess.
Paulo is first, and he is worried. After watching the other shoot, he thinks the “natural movement” in the first set up would have showcased his talents better. There is no movement here: Marissa lies like a slab of cold mutton across his lap, while the photographer has Paulo move his head a few centimeters to the left and right.
Jason gets only a brief moment of airtime, which he spends worrying about doing something stupid. Like getting a jelly bean stuck up his nose.
Blake tries to keep himself from being “psyched out” by imagining that it is his sister, and not the shapely Marissa, lolling across his lap. Perhaps that explains the terrified look in his eyes. There are some sibling rivalry issues as yet unresolved it seems.
John gets no time for comments. And yet we got fifteen minutes of rehash at the beginning of the show. No esta bien para Juan.
Casey describes that devil on his shoulder, urging sexual harassment, and the angel on the other shoulder who warns him that such a stunt might get him eliminated. I guess the angel didn’t mention jail time, though.
Seth is nervous that his poor eyesight will impact his ability to connect with the camera. He looks kinda steamy hot in his glasses. Just thought I’d mention it. Recapping is in the details, people.
The photographer thinks Kev P. is a little stiff in his poses. Wherever he was watching this, Kev O. made a joke about Kev P. being “stiff.” I wasn’t there, but, believe me, he did.
“My mother proved right yet again—always wear clean underwear, my friends.” - spegs
Darren Tieste (Men’s Style, D&A, and Harper’s Bazaar) is our third and final photographer. This set is the pool. Kiss your free Armani Exchange clothes goodbye boys.
It’s now 6:30 in the morning, and Rob is tired. Nothing like a quick dip in a freezing rooftop pool to awake your senses! The photographer urges Rob to submerge himself, and Seth perks up, wondering if a baptism is on the agenda. Rob notes that Marissa is just as tired as the men, sitting half-dressed up to her knees in cold water and she’s not whining. He appreciates her professionalism.
Maurice is next—cue the whining. It’s cold! He’s ruining his clothes! And for what? Halfway through the shoot, he has to remove all his clothes but his CK’s (I’m assuming he’d wear nothing but the gold medal standard under those Armani duds) anyway. Marissa reminds him to just be glad he’s wearing underpants at all.
The photo shoot is complete. Let the drama commence.
“You can’t argue with a tire.” – Rob
I beg to differ. (I will concede, however, that it is an argument that you won’t win.)
A meeting has been called by the housemates to deal with the “orgy” of the previous evening. Since this is Manhunt, and not The Real World: Estrogen Edition, I will give you a brief overview that will hopefully be less painful than the real thing. (Yes, we Manhunt viewers have our standards. And if it doesn’t involve a hot half-nekked man wrapped around a woman whose face I’ve replaced in my imagination with my own, it doesn’t belong here.)
Everyone but the Kevs and Tate band together to protest the after party. The main point of concern: such a stunt might have consequences for the show. The men seem to sense the fragile strand, perilous as any extended cable reality TV show endeavor, from which Manhunt dangles—after Nipplegate, you can’t be too careful. As all of their own hopes for fame and fortune are suspended by this slender thread, too, they are all “highly pissed” (in Rob’s words) by the irresponsible rule breaking.
Oddly, there is a deep undercurrent of distrust toward the “weaker” sex. Multiple contestants point out the possibility of one of the female participants crying, “rape,” or something similar. Kobe Bryant’s plight, along with the consequent loss of endorsements, is mentioned. Rob points out that if a scandal keeps the show from airing, the winner’s not going to get paid.
I am left confused and slightly offended. Why this scenario would instantly spring into so many minds is anyone’s guess. Here’s a simple rule of thumb, model wannabes: no means no. And, yes, that’s still true even if you’re hot. Sorry to rain on your parade.
The culprits, Kev P. in particular, are unimpressed by the weight of their crimes. Kev P. gives a weak, “No disrespect, my apologies, it’s not meant to be personal,” kind of response, and no one feels like a lesson has been learned there. Jon sums it all up for us with, “He was thinking with his penis. I don’t know, maybe that’s how he thinks all the time.”
“Like my son killah” - Paulo
The silver platter of destiny arrives after the cat fight has subsided, and the message tells our contestants to dress up and pack up, because someone is going home tonight.
Nerves abound. Paulo tells an anxious John that he has no need to worry. Paulo says John is “like my son killah (killer),” which I think is good, because he also says that John is intelligent and low-profile. Ah, poor Killer. That these words are aired is, again, no bien para Juan.
In a creepy confessional moment, Maurice drools over Paulo’s tremendous physique, and admits to stalking him in the gym. Just to mimic his routine, of course. Don’t worry, Maury. We believe you.
The general consensus among the primping men is that everyone wants K.P. gone, while K.P. seems invigorated by the idea that everyone hates him.
“Will somebody please tape her mouth shut?” - spegs
Spaced in a semicircle around “the gallery,” where eliminations will from henceforth take place, are the men’s best photographs. (“Best” translates to “Photographer’s choice.”) In the first, fleeting glimpse we are given of the portraits, they all look pretty hot. After a few conscientious reviews—just for the recap’s sake, naturally—I conclude some of the photos are weaker than others, but I will keep my clearly biased opinions to myself, especially on the off chance that I am proven wrong.
The men file in. Carmen makes her appearance to the sound of “woo”s and cat calls. The judges are introduced for the first time (<-- key point). Bruce gets polite applause; I don’t think his presence surprised anyone. Marissa gets more enthusiastic hoots and “ow!”s. Tom Gerald, the Armani Exchange V.P. from episode one, is this week’s guest judge.
The men bite their manicured nails as the judges take a look at the photos. Bruce rambles on about the rigors of male modeling. Oops. I must have hit the fast forward. How did that happen?
The judges now deal with the contestants individually as they analyze each one’s photograph. As Carmen walks each man in, she says, “(Name), meet the judges,” again and again and again, though they were clearly all introduced earlier in the evening and on several previous occasions. Enough, Carmen. Catchphrase fame has eluded you! Let it go.
“Meet the judges.” – Carmen Electra
Jason meets the judges first. His photo is part of the blue-gray lethargy set, and he is staring moodily into the camera. Marissa likes the overall picture, but thinks his “beautiful blues” are not shown to advantage. Bruce says bluntly, “I hate this photo.” But he thinks there is more to Jason.
John seems nervous as he enters—it looks as if Carmen has to push him toward the judges. This is another lethargy pic, with John looking at the camera from out of the corner of his eyes as he leans away. Tom thinks John looks stiff and Marissa doesn’t feel anything. “Not strong,” she concludes.
Maurice goes third. His is one of the two pool pictures, and Bruce thinks it’s a strong, sexy look.
Blake is led in like a lamb to the slaughter. Marissa pulls a Paula Abdul, beginning with the obvious sop, “I loved laying in your arms” (her grammar, not mine). Then they all rip his photo. Bruce asks if there was a monster off screen to give him that expression. No, I want to tell them, he’s just afraid of his sister.
Rob gets one of those lovely compliments packaged inside of an insult, like a poo-wrapped chocolate. “Sometimes I look at you,” Bruce says, “and I don’t see ‘male model’—I don’t get it.” But Rob’s hot-man-in-a-cold-pool photo surprises Bruce. “You should be proud,” Bruce concludes.
Matt, looking surprisingly ripped in his orange couch shot, is told that he needs to loosen up by Marissa. Bruce thinks Matt has great presence, but seems too “teen idol.”
Tom gives Brett some solid constructive criticism: “You’re too tall.” Well, there’s something he can work on! Marissa tells Brett to be careful—his body is almost cheesy it’s so big.
The judges prefer Kev O.’s look in photos over his appearance in real life. Which is good for the purposes of this contest, but will kind of suck when Kev O. has to go back to real life. To add insult to injury, Bruce calls him a combo of Keith Richard and John Kerry. Ouch. That one left a mark.
Seth gets nothing but positivity on his sexy, brooding “attitude,” which transcends the boring blue-gray set.
Carmen is reluctant to let go of Jon’s well muscled arm as she introduces him (again) to the judges. Bruce calls Jon “Tarzan Incarnate,” which doesn’t really work, as Tarzan, though fictional, clearly already has a bodily form. (“Hot Animal Magnetism Incarnate” I would have accepted.) Bruce thinks this is the only picture where the man is more beautiful than the woman and Marissa, digging her sharp nails into Bruce’s unprotected forearm, agrees with a light laugh.
Tom says Casey lacks soul and a connection with the camera. Maybe because he’s not looking at the camera, and the blue-grey set is just really lame.
Hunter is criticized for being too short, but Marissa says he “photographs tall,” so that’s a plus.
“Sweet Ron,” as Carmen introduces him, is limited by his hair. He needs to tone it down. Yeah, I didn’t have to be a veteran supermodel to know that. Bruce is surprised (recurrent pattern) by how well Ron photographed.
Could the judges have anything bad to say about my beautiful Paulo? Sadly, yes. Bruce thinks he’s too serious, and Marissa wants him to smile and have fun…with her. Tom thinks the photo is disappointing, and that Paulo is better in person. For research purposes, I would like to test that theory. Paulo takes issue with the blue-gray set photo, claiming it was lit wrong for his dark hair. The judges let him ramble, apparently in agreement, probably bemused by the accent. (An ANTM contestant who tried that approach would get her kidneys handed to her by Tyra Banks. But Paulo has a point. See below*).
Tom reads Tate the riot act for not wearing the product he was supposed to be advertising. Bruce (and I) are put off (and nauseated) by the hairy, scarred leg protruding into the foreground of the photo.
“I knew it!” – Marissa Miller
sure you did, Marissa…sure you did
In case you weren’t counting (or can’t count), that leaves us with just one contestant left, and also just one unidentified mole. Add one plus one and you get Kevin P. That’s right, our naked manwhore in the closet is the “embedded” working model planted to spy on the other contestants.
The judges greet him, pretending that they suspected him all along. K.P. gives us his impressive history in modeling. And it’s very impressive. I assure you.
Marissa asks for the dirt; K.P. reports that the contestants are well behaved and taking the contest seriously. Obviously hoping for something less…dead boring, the judges ask for the scoop on the post-curfew debauchery.
K.P. tells the viewers: “I kinda feel like I’m an undercover cop that worked a job and went too far and got hooked on drugs.”
K.P. tells the judges that he has no recollection of the event (Mr. Senator) and calls the incident an “obviously stupid situation.”
Marissa asks about Tate specifically, and K.P. defends his manwhore buddy (this cop is dirty as they come). Bruce asks who has potential and who doesn’t. We only get to hear a few comments: K.P. gives Hunter and Rob a thumbs up, but points out that Brett is too tall and says he doesn’t think Matt could be a model. Since Matt is the closest thing K.P. has to a twin among the contestants, this is a clear attempt to protect his niche.
Bruce gives K.P. a ridiculous “you are our eyes and ears” pep talk, and K.P. promises, “I’m there,” before he goes to join those that he’s just betrayed. Et tu, Brute?
“This is really tough for me!” – Carmen Electra
Carmen does her host bit: the decision has been made, four men are going home, the prize is a six figure modeling contract with IMG, etc.
Bruce says this is a tough choice because personally he finds each and every one of the contestants sexually attractive. Then cowardly Bruce slinks away to hide while Carmen drops the axe on his hot new friends.
Carmen gives the pre-elimination rose ceremony speech (“This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you,” and other similar lies). She instructs the men who hear their names to take their picture and leave the gallery.
“John Stallings—that was your last shot.”
That’s a pretty harsh way to look at it. John cries. We are surprised. John really was the most “high fashion” of the whole lot. Hiding in the hall, Bruce says John didn’t have that movie star quality. Which is absolutely a problem, since Manhunt is the search for the next male movie star.
“Brett—that was your last shot.”
Brett’s ego keeps him from a breakdown. “I have to think my height was a factor.” I guess he feels better blaming that than his limp-mop hairdo or his freakishly narrow waistline.
“Casey—blah blah blah blah ditty blah.”
Casey’s rampant insecurity has a field day, and I am relieved that they did not conduct the elimination ceremony near a sheer drop-off.
“Blake—” you know the drill.
Amiable Blake clearly has made the most friends. This is the first elimination that causes real distress in the ranks. Sweet to the end, Blake’s parting words are spent on hoping a nice guy like Jason or Rob (Church Lady??) wins.
(* Remember Paulo’s complaint about his photographer? Please note that three of the four eliminated contestants were in that same shoot. Coincidence?)
I am frightened by the quick decimation of the hopefuls—honestly, they’re dropping like flies. We’ve gone from 30 contestants to 12 in two episodes! (Okay, so I have to admire the efficiency.) And this certainly makes my work easier (especially because I keep typing Black and Bleak instead of Blake). So I won’t complain. Until they touch one of my babies! *shaking a threatening fist toward Bravo Headquarters*
“Oh, hell no! It follows you?” – Anonymous contestant
The men celebrate their survival with hugs, and mourn the survival of the Kev Coalition with whines. Carmen has more good news: the boys get to move into the penthouse! No more giant foot sculptures in the bathroom!
The men run through their new digs, rejoicing over the pool table and claiming beds. K.P. has some “intermingling” plan that immediately starts a fight. And Hunter finds a camera on the wall of his bedroom that follows his every move. He and Jon test its capabilities, the fear of Big Brother (1984, not the crappy hamster show) glowing in their horrified eyes.
“I hit the wall and almost lost it!” – Mystery sobbing she-male
Next week on Manhunt, the boys dress in drag. There will be lipstick, rollers, face waxing and black leather corsets. Somebody will flip out over this gender bender. That somebody will not be Jason, who declares: “I like it, for real!” Jason discovers a whole new universe of possibilities…
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