Manhunt 11-2 Recap: What ARE We Searching For?
November 2, 2004: a historic date. The entire nation was breathless, all eyes riveted on the television. Hope was high. Life was beautiful. And then, as the night wore on, all our dreams for a better tomorrow came crashing brutally to the earth.
They kicked Paulo off Manhunt? Has the world gone mad? Apocalypse now, please!!
Sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself.
“I’ve got the physique to back it up.” – Paulo, confident
Is it really necessary for us to see the Tray Mail discovered outside the door every single time? Apparently, yes it is. (Did anyone else notice that “Tray” is just a small letter shuffle away from “Tyra”? Merely a coincidence? *one eyebrow raised in Spock-like fashion* Well, pretty much, yeah. But still, kinda cool.)
The Really Bad Poem, which rhymes “luxury” with “feet,” forewarns the boys that they will be selling themselves. To advertising executives, get your mind out of the gutter! (Though that would make for an interesting challenge… ) Paulo and Maurice are both confident in their salesmanship abilities, but Kev O. is nervous. And Kev O.’s nerves will be a point of constant concern throughout the show.
Kev P. (embedded model-slash-jerk, for those lacking in short term memory) pulls us aside to let us in on the joke. The “ad execs” are really comedians. Their purpose: to torment the contestants. And if we didn’t believe K.P. (who would? Lying little punk) the head comedian informs us that K.P. has represented them correctly. They are indeed an improve troop who will now improvise the interviews from hell.
“I condition my hair with lard from the bodies of strangled puppies.” - Jason
The guys are told that their performance during the interview will decide the order in which they get to choose what product they want to represent in the following day’s photo shoot. This part is true.
Jason is the first to face the panel of funny. Well, they aren’t so funny right at first. They want him to sell shampoo, and he admits that he’s a first time user of hair products in general. When pressed, he reveals that he previously used bar soap. The ladies stare at him with exactly the same look I would use if he’d said, “I condition my hair with lard from the bodies of strangled puppies.” But he didn’t. Though it would have been funny. For me.
Rob is asked if he considers himself one of those pansy metrosexuals. Rob gives a confident “Yes.” The comedian puts one fist on the table and says, “That’s exactly what we’re…NOT looking for.” Once outside, Rob points out that selling shampoo is not exactly his bailiwick, seeing as he doesn’t really have hair.
The “executives” refuse Paulo’s offer to shake hands. This rattles Paulo. Strike two: he doesn’t recognize the word “depilatory.” His attempt to pitch Nair for Men falls flat. One of the ladies would like to see a smile (wouldn’t we all?) and Paulo turns it on (and turns her on, and turns us on) with an almost audible *ding*. “Had you done that in the beginning, you would have sold me!” the head funny guy tells a crestfallen Paulo. Strike three.
“I’m not feeling like a thug…I’m feeling like a man.” - Matt
Tate is supposed to sell Nair for Men, too. (I just wish he would use it!) They ask the sasquatch if he has body hair. He asks if they want him to take his shirt off. “NO!! No, no, please for the love of all that is holy, no!” That’s what I said. The execs are slightly more subdued when they reply in the negative. Incomprehensibly, Tate mimes doing a breast exam before they kick him out.
Matt’s product is Levis. The execs turn him around and stare at his butt for a prolonged moment (every human female’s very worst nightmare). Then they make him get on the table and “walk the runway,” holding a pair of jeans against his legs. Matt is remarkably composed, pitching the manly way these jeans make him feel as he walks.
Maurice, self-proclaimed salesman extraordinaire, is to sell cologne. By doing push-ups on the table while smiling and pitching the product. Then he is told: “Put the product down, and stride out confidently through the door.” Maury is the first to come out feeling that he’s done well. Maury is delusional.
“They had corn cobs so far up their butts they were making popcorn.” - Hunter
Hunter climbs up on the table without an invitation. He is told to get off. He is told to get back on. And off. Hunter does not appreciate the panel’s sense of humor. I’m beginning to.
Jon calls the Aston Martin “freakin’ amazing” and is verbally smacked for his “doody talk.” He is made to pose “cool” in the manner of Zoolander.
Kev O. also does not demonstrate the necessary class the Aston Martin demands. Is anyone surprised? One lady mocks his accent. He knows he bombed—“freakin’ Hiroshima-style.”
The devastated models are called back in and given their rankings: (worst to best)
10. Tate (I heartily concur)
9. Kev O.
6. Kevin P. (stuck in there randomly, I guess?)
Which means that our winner is *ba da bum* (half-hearted drumroll): Matt
Matt gets to choose one companion to share his mystery reward. He chooses his roommate, Jason. The prize is revealed. It’s a…..spa day!! The other men chuckle and hoot, suddenly not feeling quite so bad about losing. (Note to producers: there’s a reason why that one goes over better on ANTM.)
The panel of “professionals” now comes clean. They tell their pawns the whole gag, and then run around hugging the stunned men. Eventually, laughter ensues. But some men are a little miffed. “We just got played,” Rob admits. Maurice says, “They fooled me. They’re good actors.” Now, that’s not exactly a 1 + 1 = 2 kind of statement there, is it, Maury?
“You can’t exude sexiness with [bleep]ing spandex.” – Kev O.
Kev obviously hasn’t seen me in spandex.
Back in the penthouse, the pool table is covered with photos of the products for the coming shoot, and little name tags. The products range from an Aston Martin, to toilet paper. The men go in their pre-arranged order, and there are few surprises (well, just one really). Matt takes the car and so forth, leaving last place Tate with a bag of pretzel rods. Rob is the surprise; he chooses the toilet paper on his turn and I like his reasoning. “Why do the easy thing?” He knows that if he can sell TP, he can sell anything.
Matt begins to realize that he made have made a mistake in taking the obvious choice. Nobody gets shown up by a pretzel. But an Aston Martin? Oops.
The Kevs are deep in conversation. Kev. O is disgusted by the product he was left with: spandex bike shorts. He thinks he is doomed, and he doesn’t want to “go out like this.” Taken out by a pair of stretchy pants while in the line of duty. (Just two weeks shy of retirement, too!) K.P. gives the first bit of sound advice he’s ever given—and he’s been giving tons of advice, I just haven’t been reporting it, because it’s usually so useless—“You can rock anything you want to.” Which is pretty much the whole point of this test, a fact which escapes Kev O. Kev O. continues to mutter to himself like a paranoid postal employee about to go on a shooting spree.
“Don’t eat so much.” – Bruce Hulse
It’s eating disorder time. Circle up everybody. I’ll get the finger puppets.
Paulo and Hunter are taking diuretics (or “water pills”) in preparation for the shoots. The theory being that good hydration is the enemy of chiseled abs. “Everybody takes a water pill or two before a shoot,” Paulo insists. Paulo thinks he is still forty pounds too big. Poor, deluded, beautiful Paulo. Embrace your perfection and be at peace.
Bruce Hulse (judge/THE Calvin Klein model) is suddenly on my screen out of nowhere. He says there are two ways to stay fit: don’t eat so much and exercise. The simplicity…it’s brilliant. Bruce Hulse: Judge, THE Calvin Klein model, weight-loss guru and author of the best-selling (and shortest ever) diet book: “Don’t eat so much and exercise.”
K.P. says it’s all a very fine line. Basically an admission that he’s as disorder-ed as they come.
“Do the Freddy” – Chubby Checker
We go to Bally’s for some last minute pumping up. Huge weights are thrown about in a casual fashion. Heavy, driving guitar music plays. Testosterone oozes from my TV screen.
All alone in a big mirrored room, Hunter is jazzercising. The music shifts to something quite perky and poofy. If the color pink was a tune, this would be that tune. Hunter does a move identical to “the Freddy.” Through the glass wall, we see Maurice watching with a “what in the h…” expression. What’s the problem, Maury? Never seen jazz hands before?
“You’re taking away my manhood.” - Tate
Tray mail is collected. All the boys are half asleep, many of them wrapped in big, fuzzy, polka-dotted blankies. Aww. The message is short, too the point and unrhymed. Today is the shoot. (Looks like the “luxury/feet” fiasco bought the Suvivor poet a pink slip.) Jon announces his intentions to shave his delicate parts—part of his pre-shoot ritual? Or a nod to the fact that he’s hocking Nair for Men? Does he think the camera is really going to get that close?
Matt and Jason leave first, off for their day of pampering. The others are magically transported to a makeup trailer. Kev O. is pleased to hear that he’ll have a bike for a prop, and manly make-up to suggest that he’s already taken a few tumbles onto the rocks.
Tate goes first, and plays with his pretzels like any four-year-old. The team shaves his chest, yay!, and Tate complains that he’s been emasculated. Calm down, Tate. It’s not a kilt, for crying out loud! And I’m sure it will grow back all too quickly.
“I could just see, like, her, like, strong, sexual energy.” - Jon
Kimberly Metz is today’s Product Photo Shoot Photographer. Her credits include Vogue, In Style, and Harper’s Bazaar.
Tate poses, pretending his pretzel is a cigar and then stuffing ten in his mouth at once. Mmmm, sexy look.
Jon goes next, wearing a towel. My eyes are deliciously cleansed of the Tate images. The photographer calls for more Nair. I assume she’s planning to apply it herself, ’cause if you want something done right… Jon seems quite taken with the photographer, too. Just her energy, of course.
Guess what Hunter’s doing? Yeah, not much of a game, I know. He’s obsessing over his abs again. “Nobody can have big enough abs” is his personal motto. He applies ointment designed to “get the skin nice and tight” so the six pack will show through. There is barely enough water in his body at this moment to keep his blood in fluid form.
Hunter is modeling jeans. The crew, sensing the dehydration, shakes bottled water all over him. Hunter likes this, thinking it will make the photo sexier and more like an ad. “I feel like my abs were the best they’ve ever been.” With Hunter, approval can get no stronger!
The photographer seems to be channeling some strange mixture of Nicole Ritchie and Bonnie Hunt: “Oh, yeah, that’s hot. Oh, dear. Help me.”
Kev O. poses with his mountain bike held aloft over his shoulders, and the photographer is all Nicole Ritchie now (“That’s hot, that’s hot, squawk, polly wants a cracker”) and this makes Kev think he rocked the shot. But he’s still nervous. Tiny spandex short will do that to you.
“I’ve never been asked to get into bed so many times.” - Jason
Now and again, we flip back to see what’s happening with the spa boys, but it’s not much. They seem relaxed. Matt hopes the “rich and important” feeling the spa gives him will carry over to the shoot so that he’ll be in sync with the Aston Martin. Jason is, if possible, even more mellow than usual.
“Can I get one more roll?” - Rob
Back at the shoot, Rob prepares to take on the TP challenge. He sits under a pile of stacked toilet paper rolls, apparently otherwise nude. I can tell you right now, this would not make me want to buy toilet paper. The TP diaper one assistant creates on Rob is—amazingly—even less tempting. “Greek god-style”? I don’t think so. The diaper is a no-go, since the TP keeps breaking. “It’s real cheap stuff,” the assistant says. There’s your ad campaign right there!
Paulo is pleased to have much more control over his makeup and hair this time. He thinks, thanks to himself, this will be his best shoot yet. He fights with the wardrobe guy to keep his shirt off. Hey—he didn’t rid his body of all that nasty water just to cover up the abs!
Maurice is strangely worshipful of Paulo. First he starts wondering if he should give up food like Paulo. Then he wishes he’d chosen Paulo’s product, the motorcycle. Maury baby, you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggonit—oooh, look! Paulo has no shirt on… Um, yeah, we’re on to Maury now, right. He poses with an iPod. Sorry, that’s all I’ve got for Maury.
“I have a bubble butt.” – Matt
Matt and Jason finally make their appearance. Jason poses with boots (what a stretch!) and gets a cowboy hat as a prop. Or maybe he brought that from home.
Matt brought dress clothes to fit with the dressy car, but the wardrobe guy makes him try on several other pairs. Apparently, his butt looks fat in those pants. Please give me a minute while I enjoy this reversed stereotype from the female perspective. Thank you.
Matt gets no shirt in the picture, and that’s another poor wardrobe choice. Dough boy doesn’t have a chance. *pokes belly* Tee hee!
“Na RO!” – Everybody
It’s time to wind down from all that posin’ stress, so the guys all get sloshed. It’s quite amusing. They practice their Japanese, and the helpful subtitle guy lets us know they they’re drunkenly chorusing “healthy.” A vital point that none of us can afford to miss.
Kev O. raps. It is embarrassing and painful. It reminds me why the hardest beverage I ever drink is Diet Dr. Pepper. Jon is a silly, pretty drunk. He stumbles about endearingly. Paulo is upset over the pizza he’s consumed and he vows to go bulimic. “That’s how we do it in the modeling world,” K.P. agrees. (Ah hah![/Inspector Clueso] What did I tell you?) Paulo then attacks a water bottle with a cue stick, shouting “Bad for abs!”
“I’m Gay.” – Popular T-shirt slogan
We are given a montage of bonding moments to show how close our boys have grown. Just to make it that much more of a shock when Rob mentions being gay and everyone is surprised. (Your gaydar needs some fine-tuning, kids.) Rob is the most surprised of all—that anyone could not realize he is gay. He wonders if he’d have as many friends here if he’d shown up to the show wearing a T-shirt proclaiming his orientation.
Maurice adamantly insists that he is not afraid of gay people. But who said anything about fear? Methinks his protest doth reveal much.
Hunter is the most taken aback. Not to insult any readers from Arkansas, but, well, he’s from Arkansas, so that doesn’t surprise me. What follows is some tricky, disjointed editing that would have us believe that Hunter is so shaken by the revelation that he is in tears. I’m not buying it. After all, there’s no liquid left for tears in his desiccated body.
Slurp, slurp, slurp – sound of Kev. O’s thumb sucking
Tray Mail wakes the boys again, and we have a new poet. One that can rhyme (hell/well, way/day), though his meter sucks. Tangent: why are so many English B.A.’s serving fries when there is clearly a need for their help in the Reality TV Poetry Industry? The message announces impending doom, in the form of elimination day.
Matt is nervous. There’s only ten guys left, making it more likely that his name will be called. He’s obviously caught on to the judges’ pulling-names-from-a-hat strategy.
Paulo feels better going in to this elimination ceremony than any of the others. With a loud crash of cymbals and The Donald’s trumpet fanfare, foreshadowing arrives on the scene.
Kev O. has rolled up in a fetal ball and is slowly rocking back and forth.
Hunter just hopes they use one of the “wet” pictures. Because then he can lick at the printed drops of evil, tempting water without damaging his precious six pack.
“I’m goin’ home.” – Kev “Nostradamus” O.
The boys assemble in the gallery of pain, and check themselves out. As the photos are flashed across my screen, the one stand out is Matt. It went like this: perfect chest, perfect chest, perfect chest, squishy boy, perfect chest, perfect chest…
Paulo’s photo appears to get the most praise from the others. (Enough with the tambourine, Foreshadowing. I get it.)
Kev O. hates his picture. “It’s not…terrible,” is the best Tate can manage.
Carmen’s boobs enter the room, and, a little while later, she follows. She introduces the judges: Bruce again, the photographer, and random judge Courtney Kendall, a photo director from Stuff Magazine.
“I’m beginning to hate you.” – Bruce Hulse
The men are sent to their private room, and Hunter is brought out first. Either Carmen is shaking things up a bit today, or she’s drunk. This time it’s “Meet your lovely judges.” Bruce sees intensity and progression in Hunter’s photo, but Photographer Kim thinks it’s too feminine.
Carmen introduces “Sexy Cowboy Jason” next. Bruce again says that Jason is better in person than on film.
I notice for the first time that Maurice’s picture is sort of hunched over and Quasimodo-ish. But Bruce only sees intensity and confidence. Courtney Kendall speaks for the first time to say that Maurice is sexier in person.
Jon is introduced as “your loveable surfer boy.” Bruce says, “I’m beginning to hate you a little bit. You take a beautiful picture.” Jon takes a wary step back. Then Bruce asks how tall Jon is and points out a zit. Somebody feels threatened.
Bruce calls Rob’s TP photo “obscene,” and he clearly doesn’t mean it in a good way. He concedes that Rob was able to make it work, though. Courtney chimes in again to say that Rob is too feminine and pretty for Stuff magazines. Who knew Stuff had standards?
“Meet your teen heart throb!” *girlie giggle* – Carmen Electra, drunk
Matt is introduced by the giddy hostess. Bruce says he’s still puffy (as if the two weeks he’s been here should have been plenty of time to fix that) and Courtney doesn’t see him as a model. Kim says he needs to lay off the beer. But she might have been talking to Carmen.
Carmen raps as she introduces Tate. If someone shot her right now, it would be classified as a mercy killing. Bruce says Tate is Antonio Banderas crossed with that guy in the Brady Bunch. But which guy? Greg, Mike? Oliver, Sam? (You know I’m going with Tiger on this one.) Kim says there is something in Tate’s eyes that a lot of these other guys don’t have. Like a stray chest hair? Or blank, staring idiocy?
Paulo gets no intro. Bruce tells him that he’s more like a “character” than a model. Like John Stamos. Yes, the character “John Stamos.” Played by that guy named Uncle Jesse, right? Kim mentions that he has hair issues, and Courtney sees him in Fanta commercials. This is too much for Bruce, who jumps back in to defend Paulo’s place in fashion and calls Courtney’s opinion a slap in the face.
Kev O. is morose as he faces the judges. Courtney compliments his eyes, but doesn’t like the picture. Bruce calls it a miserable effort. Back stage, Kev collapses in Tate’s arms, a disturbing image.
“It will be hard to see anybody go.” – Kev P. (followed by elongation of nose)
It’s mole time. And it’s dirty. Dirty like a politician. Like a democrat (<-- I kid!).
K.P. starts with Kev O., and he is defensive. After all, Kev O. is his friend. And obviously not a threat. He asks if this is really the best picture, and the photographer assures him that it is. Kev O. only has one look.
K.P. goes after Paulo again. He can’t say anything bad about the picture, so he complains about Paulo’s complaining. Oh, the irony. Tate is brought into the conversation, and K.P. raves about his friend’s picture. Bruce wants him to decide between Tate and Paulo. K.P. says he can’t, because they have different looks. Yeah, they do. Paulo looks hot and Tate looks stupid.
K.P. announces that it’s time for Matt to go. While the body problem cannot be denied, I still think K.P. fears the face.
K.P. remains a staunch Rob supporter, aware that Rob’s look is lightyears away from his own.
Bruce demands the dirt on pretty Jon (ease up, old man! I doubt Jon’s going to move in on the sexy grandpa market). K.P. points out the height thing again, and adds that Jon’s teeth are jacked up—“I don’t know what you can do about that,” K.P. says. “Dental work?” Courtney suggests.
In a turn around from last week, K.P. also asks for Hunter’s head on a platter. Which means Hunter must be getting better.
“Hey, I’m from Arkansas. I know how to tear someone up if I have to.” – Hunter
Tate is sloshed backstage. Another theme for this episode? In a stupid exchange, Drunk Tate keeps calling Hunter “Seth.” Why this so upsets Hunter has a little to do with the former contestant Seth’s hair length (ah! Cruel reminder!) and a lot to do with Photographer Kim calling him feminine. Hunter’s just spoilin’ for a ruckus to prove his manhood.
They get in each other’s faces, and it looks for a minute like it might get physical. That’s right—it’s a walk off! (Take that, Kev O., former-thief-of-Zoolander-jokes). In the end, nothing happens. Because that would be just far too interesting!
“The elimination that no one expects!” – Voice Over Man
Only now, of course, we do expect it.
Manhunt again focuses on efficiency—four more men are going home tonight. I think we can all see that Bravo never really believed in Manhunt. *shaking head sadly*
Bruce calls this the Superbowl of male models. I think he should have used an analogy that would be more comprehensible to his audience. Like “The Miss America Pageant of Male Models.”
Carmen calls Jason. He leaves with dignity. He’s proud to have been part of the top ten.
Carmen calls Fudgy, I mean, Matt. Matt says he really sees himself as more of an actor, and that we should be looking out for him. Okay, cutiepie. Now you go look for a gym.
Volcanos explode. Ash blackens the sky. The next ice age is set in motion. Maurice falls to his knees and screams, “Noooooooo!” to the uncaring sky.
Ahem. *raising hand politely* Bravo? The title of this show is “Manhunt: The Search for America’s Most Gorgeous Male Model,” right? Oh, you forgot about that part? I can understand how that would happen…it is a really long name. Well, carry on, I guess, with whatever it is you’re doing…
All the other guys are shocked. And relieved. Paulo sighs. He thought this was his best photo, but apparently he was the only one. (No, Paulo, I thought so, too. And I’m sure that means a lot to you.)
Backstage, Jason has them all laughing. “I’m glad to go down with my bros from Atlanta,” the cowboy says. “Some of these guys I’m going to miss about as much as passing a kidney stone.”
Carmen calls Kev O. He has his picture down before she’s finished with his name. K.P. and Tate exchange a wounded look. The Triumvirate of Immaturity is broken. Kev O. tries to avoid the camera. “How do you think I [bleep]ing feel?” he answers one of the producers.
Carmen congratulates the remaining six, and they break an impromptu huddle with a shout of “Game on!”
Next week on Manhunt
A night on the town gets caught on film. (Um…doesn’t everything get caught on film?) A surprise elimination will result. Or so they imply.
Jon takes Excalibur from his fallen comrade, Paulo, and holds it aloft. Help us, Jon. You’re our only hope!!
What are you searching for? I might have it. Ask me, what have you got to lose? firstname.lastname@example.org