Manhunt 11-16 Recap: Puerto Rican Pimp Style
…I’m at a tricky juncture. The numbers are dwindling, and every move must be made with precision. At least I have Carmen, the perfect patsy. I hand her the cards and she reads ’em. Imagine her amazement when I hand her that last card in front of the final two—and she opens it to find a surprise double elimination! Ha ha ha ha ha! The look on her face will be priceless! And then, when I step up to claim my rightful title, she’ll be too frozen with surprise, too slow under the weight of all that silicone, to stop me. Only a madman could think that I am not the most gorgeous male model in America! Past my prime? Never!
- excerpt from the diary of Bruce Hulse
“Everywhere you look is a postcard.” – Rob
Yes, it’s time to talk up our sponsor, the Paradisus Resort, Puerto Rico, that has so kindly given Manhunt a few free rooms in exchange for dedicating the entire opening sequence of the show to the beauties of the Paradisus Resort. The models go on and on….and on…about how great the place is, how nice the pool is, how neato the rooms are, and how they give you free red punch when you check in. Wow. Just wow. That put me over the top right there. Please excuse me for a minute while I go call my travel agent.
The boys have fun with the free hair care products in the room. Kevin playfully covers Rob’s little hair bristles with hairspray, and Rob calls him a name that shows he feels the same way about Kevin as I do. Except I think Rob was kidding. I’m not.
Off to the bar we go, and the bad boys try to get Hunter to drink a shot with them. Hunter refuses, due to his age. Kev says Hunter’s “following the American society’s law,” but Kev respects that. Aside, Hunter tells us he’s here on a job and he’s not going to spend his time getting drunk (Rob must agree—he’s not even there). And we are all left to ponder the mind-boggling fact that Hunter was not drunk last week while he was letting his inner stripper out at the White Lotus.
“I don’t know if you’ve heard of me…” – Photographer Art Minds
You wish, Art.
The morning begins, as it does every single day at my house, with Tray Mail. And it brings up this question: are those room service dishes the international standard, or did they bring them in from the states? They get a spray of flowers with their plate here.
Tray Mail is light on clues this week. The most they have to work with is “Do you have the look that sells?” Which is the sort of generic question that could describe every shoot they’ve done so far. Tray Mail Guy, when did you stop caring?
The guys head out to the beach in their swimsuits where they meet Art Minds (porn star name?), a calendar photographer who has gotten the impression somehow that he is famous. (Well, he has photographed more beefcake calendars than anyone else, so I guess the fact that I don’t know his name is my fault. Note to self: buy more beefcake calendars.) The guys are doing calendar shots, obviously, and so instead of selling a product, they are the product. (Not quite as exciting as my idea for the “sell yourself” competition, but I digress.) Rob’s face falls, and his belly pops out in dejection. As he’s told us before, swimsuit shoots are not his bag, baby.
“You guys have done more modeling privately in front of your mirrors than you’ll work in your whole life.” – prophetic words by Art Minds
“The guys who love the mirror will do the best,” Art tells the modelettes, and everyone immediately looks at Maurice and Hunter. Rob tells us that he’s been shocked by the amout of time these two spend looking at themselves.
We learn that this competition will be judged by the consumer: whoever sells the most calendars wins.
Hunter goes first, and looks uncomfortable in his pose leaning up against a palm tree. I’ll bet he’s worrying about those pesky abs again. He seems to do better when he poses waist high in the waves. Art says Hunter has an “incredible aura,” but he needs a new haircut.
Jon’s strategy is to be mellow, happy, and enjoy himself more. Yes, let’s all take a moment to enjoy Jon a little more… Mmmm…enjoyable. Jon looks perfect and very comfortable on the beach, which surprises no one. Art says that Jon was the most enthusiastic, and thinks this will show in the results.
Rob is nervous. He knows he can’t compete with the other guys without his shirt on. He is the only one who actually wears a shirt, trying to hide a little of his insecurity. More trouble for Rob—the sun and reflectors start to “burn” his eyes, and he struggles and squints. Art thinks Rob is a good fashion model, but not a calendar boy.
All we get from Kev is his decision to pose in the water rather than up on the rocks. Because, “when people shoot up, it makes my boobs look a lot bigger.” (Note to self: pose on rocks.)
Maurice works on putting personality into his shots. This means smiling. On his first attempt, Maury’s cheekbones fracture and he is rushed by ambulance to the ER. No elimination tonight, I guess.
That would have been interesting, so you know it didn’t happen. In reality, Maurice works his cheesy-licious grin for the camera. Art thinks Maurice’s football player’s body was an advantage.
“We got to enjoy Puerto Rico a little bit…and enjoy Carmen, too.” – Kevin
Thank your lucky stars for the power of editing.
The boys indulge in a bit ‘o recreation at the request of the producers. Like the boys are going to put one toe out of line after last week’s paparazzi lesson! Nothing much happens and the footage is brief. Most of them play with kayaks, but Hunter has no time for such frivolities. He uses the rocks as an impromptu gym and starts working out. Neglect not thy abs.
Carmen shows up, and Rob robotically reads the cue card without a trace of enthusiasm, “I thought it was great to see her…and it was a surprise.” Carmen’s news is happy. No elimination tonight. To celebrate (and because the producers told them to), the guys carry Carmen to a convenient catamaran. And…cut.
“Huh huh, huh huh, huh huh.” – Beavis and/or Butthead
We get a peek at the guys calendar shots, and here’s my take: Hunter looks a bit constipated, Maurice’s smile is just as plastic as his serious face, Kev pulls out a truly professional shot down to his toothpaste perfect smile, Rob’s hip-line definition is flat out disturbing, and Jon is beautiful as usual but I can’t take my eyes off the huge, hairy pit staring me down from the center of the shot.
Bruce puts in his first appearance (and here I was worried that poor Brucie got left home) and shows the guys their photos. Rob cheers for Maurice’s first smile. Then Rob sees his own picture, which is “mortifying” for him. Looking over his shoulder, Jon gives a Beavis chuckle.
Jon is excited that the consumer will be deciding this one, and thinks he has an advantage because he looks “more Puerto Rican” than the other guys. That’s right, Jon-boy. Variety is the spice of nothing! When I’m out choosing my “Year in Pectorals” calendar, my first criterion is that the models look local. Not from the Sonoran Desert = not for me. Who wants to look at a guy without a mullet, anyway?
“Oh, theez one eez sexy—theez one eez sexy, too.” – a Puerto Rican grandmother, mid-hot flash
The guys head down to the super high tech surveillance room, where they will watch the progress of the calendar sale. Whoever’s calendar sells out first, wins; the winner gets first choice of wardrobe for tomorrow’s fashion show.
Bravo marks the progress of the sale with an uber-cheesy bar graph that uses little to-the-bust shots of each guy as tally marks. Pop, pop, pop—aw, look at all the little Jons and all their little hairy pits!
Rob is ready for humiliation, but gets a happy surprise when he has the first sale. From there on out it’s Jon and Kevin’s race, as they surge ahead of the other guys. Hunter is in agony as women keep picking his calendar up, and then putting it back to take one of Jon’s. The first person to take a Hunter calendar is a man. “Does that count?” Kevin wonders as the others laugh.
Rob also has a male fan—one that rubs his finger across the picture’s stomach and makes the “sizzle” sound. Tsssssss! “Oh, gross,” Hunter says. (Hey, Hunter? You got any extra room for these boxes inside your little closet there?)
Jon and Kev are neck and neck at nine. “Game point,” Kev notes. Some elderly ladies toy with them, first picking up Jon (“Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah! He’s alright!”), and then going for Kevin. A blond sneaks in while they are deciding and snags the last Jon. And Jon Johnson wins by a pit hair!
Kevin goes out next, followed by Hunter, Maurice and then finally Rob.
“Come on, everybody’s doing it.” – the voice of peer pressure
The guys go out to celebrate, and once again tempt Hunter with their devil liquor. Hunter stays clean, and we all breathe a big sigh of relief (because if Hunter dances like that sober…). The producers send in the Puerto Rican hoochies, but the boys still haven’t forgotten The Paparazzi Guy. Nothing interesting (translation: lewd) occurs. The producers decide to save The Paparazzi Guy for later in the series next time.
Maurice toasts Jon’s win. “Tomorrow, Jon’s gonna have the good stuff. Rob…I’m sorry for you, man.”
The next morning, Tray Mail holds no surprises. Yes, we already know about the runway show. Kevin makes a lame Zoolander “walk-off” joke (lame=not made by spegs).
For some undisclosed reason, Maurice is referred to as the “expert” in runway walkage. He demonstrates. If “emotionless robot” is what he’s going for, then well done, Maurice.
“The coolest thing I’ve ever seen.” – Hunter, not referring to a blue car this time
The guys get a look at their runway—a plexiglas walkway that zigzags through the center of the swimming pool. All are impressed. None are impressed as much as Hunter.
Bruce shows up to share with the boys all he’s learned in twenty years of “strutting my tush on the catwalk.” (Bruce is too sexy for this recap.)
Bruce’s tips: #1. Own it. (translation: have your own style. Bruce’s style is apparently the Duck Walk. “Charming, in its own way”—according to Bruce.) And # 2. Relate to the crowd. (“If you see a cute girl, give her a wink. Or cute guy, whatever the preference.”) <-- and that’s it…everything he’s learned in twenty years.
They all get one trial walk. Hunter is bland, and a little slow, but Bruce likes it. Jon takes a boring stroll; Bruce thinks Jon needs to project out, whatever that means. Maurice thinks he’s too cool for school, putting on his sunglasses as he hits his pose; Bruce’s comment that it was a little “world wrestler” only confuses me. Rob moves too fast; Bruce calls it “smooth,” but says Rob needs to “take his beats.” Bruce’s instructions are almost as comprehensible as Mike Meyers doing a Keith Richards impression.
We don’t see the mole walk (at least the editor understands that Kevin’s not really competing), but we do hear Kevin warn the others, “I don’t want to see anyone jacking my style out there.”
“You are a real man, Kev!” – Rob, spoken through tears of gratitude
We are introduced to Doug Ordway, photographer for the Runway Photo Shoot. His credits include Vogue, Elle, and Gianni Versace. Doug instructs the guys on how to pose on the runway.
It’s time to choose wardrobe. Jon is glad to go first, but worried that he might make a mistake like Matt did, and go home. (Except that Matt’s real mistake wasn’t choosing the Aston Martin—it was choosing to eat all those Twinkies.)
Hanging on a trellis are the options: two knee-length board shorts swimsuits, one pair of electric blue biker shorts, a pair of very brief, brown stretchy shorts, and a bright pink Speedo.
Jon does the expected and takes the hibiscus-patterned board shorts.
Kevin surprises and relieves the others—especially Rob—when he snags the Speedo, “just to show these guys who’s got balls here.” (Yes, Kev, I believe that your *ahem* accouterments will be quite evident in that suit.) Maurice says, “The guy has guts. I kinda looked up to him after that.” And Maurice’s Paulo-fixation transference is complete!
Hunter steps up to Kevin’s challenge and takes the skimpy brown suit. He thinks that after the calendar shot yesterday he needs to redeem himself, because he “looked like the fat kid.” Another eating disorder in the formation.
Maurice, despite his admiration for Kevin’s choice, selects the safe orange board shorts. *coughwusscough*
And Rob ends up with the glossy blue biker shorts. He considers choosing the leaves growing on the trellis instead. He regains confidence as he remembers, “I wore toilet paper.” You would think that would be the lowest a guy could sink…
Boom, rumble, rumble! – Crack of Doom ™
Backstage, or in the tent beside the pool, the boys find another outfit to model first (long shorts for the most part, with light shirts) and a lot of bling. Maurice thinks he looks like “a Puerto Rican pimp,” and he clearly considers this a good thing. (I’m pretty sure that means he doesn’t know my associate, Rico. Not a looker.)
Poolside, hotel guests lounge on the edges of the water and wait for the show to end so they can swim again. Puerto Rican dancers swish their frilly skirts to the salsa beat.
In an aside, Rob tells us, “I have a good shot at winning this thing.” Storm clouds are massed on the horizon, so perhaps that was a rumble of thunder I heard and not the crack of doom™. Hunter also talks about how well he is doing. And the thunder rolls.
“Behold The Power of Cheese” – National Dairy Council ®
Jon is the first to hit the glass floor. He forgets about the photographer, who we can hear screaming “Here, Jon! Here! Here! Jon!” like a man who sees his dog running toward the freeway. His dog named “Jon.”
Maurice decides to use his “serious look.” Yeah! That will show the judges that you have more than just one look… or, um, I guess not. Maurice says he’s “so excited to walk down the runway in front of all those beautiful Puerto Rican woman!” (And we’re so happy that he chose the baggy shorts after all.) Maury gives the judges a cheddar-ish wink. Marissa Miller is there with Carmen and Bruce (she got the free trip, too. Good for you, honey). She tells Bruce that Maurice looks robotic.
Kevin passes the cheddar and heads straight for the reeking limburger. He does a fake dandruff brush on his shoulder, mugs for the judges, does a mini-strip tease with his t-shirt—basically he’s a cocky son of a…gun. If his plan was to push the other guys into acting like morons too, well…he succeeded magnificently. More to come on that.
Hunter pulls his shirt open and flips his collar up. Miami Vice! In a voice over, Hunter assures us that he was biting the jaw line to “make the jaw POP.” (I can make my jaw pop, too, but it kinda hurts.) There is no discussion of abs, and I want to know what the alien abductors have done with the real Hunter.
Rob is walking a little fast again. The judges note that he’s good on the runway, but not a body model. Just as we’re thinking, “Well that’s a little harsh,” we are suddenly confronted by Rob in his biker shorts.
“I’d like to see him on a surfboard—surfing naked!” – Carmen Electra, about Jon
Rob is mincing in his skin-tight shorts. And just when you think it can’t get any worse, he starts to dance. He puts his hands in the air to “raise the roof” and twitches his way down the runway. It is freaky. It is embarrassing. It is never-ending. The editors are cruel, cruel people. Marissa and Bruce cringe in horror. “Eurotrash,” they mutter.
My eyes are grateful when Jon takes the stage. He pauses at the beginning to slowly stretch out in a long, rolling movement that highlights every muscle on his body… and Carmen isn’t the only one having impure thoughts. Bruce thinks he has a manly walk, not shaking his hips like some of the guys. (Rob, he’s looking at you.) Jon again forgets the camera. But who cares?
Maurice did something. My notes are sort of smeary, what with all the drool. I remember that he seemed focused on the women, blowing kisses to the spectators and eyeing the female judges.
Kevin struts out in his Speedo with his hands up in the air as if to say, “See, I told you I had balls.” Yes, we see, Kev. Only too well. Kevin does a backflip off the walkway. Bruce says Kevin’s performance was “classic.” Better than a duck walk, though?
In retrospect, I think it was the backflip that pushed Hunter over the edge. He came out determined to make the audience forget all about Kevin’s acrobatic moves. And he succeeded. Let the Chippendale’s audition begin. Oh, poor, misguided Hunter. He jiggles, he gyrates. He drops down on all fours to stick his head in the pool so that he can flip his wet hair back. The judges agree that he went too far. Much, much too far.
“You look like an assassin—I look like a porn star.” – Kevin to Jon
Tension is high, it’s elimination night. The boys pack their bags, then do sit ups and pushups to work off the nerves. Maurice prepares to meet the judges (pretend I didn’t say that) by methodically spraying himself with cologne. First the neck, pat it on. Then the shirt, pat it on. Then the crotch, pat it on. <-- this really happened. Maurice laughs sheepishly toward the camera, not quite as embarrassed as he should be.
They assemble on the Veranda of Judgment and take a gander at their runway shots. Maurice’s is easily the best picture he’s taken yet—he looks almost human. Hunter is off his game, caught in an awkward mid-step pose. Rob is flipping some kind of strange gang sign. Jon’s hair is billowing in a gust of air, his body perfect, his eyes shooting deadly laser beams into my heart… And Kevin had a picture, too.
The guys make fun of Hunter’s precise “heel-to-toe” step action. (Sure, mock now. But when you’re limping around with shin splints, it won’t seem so funny anymore.)
Carmen shows up, introduces the judges again (Bruce, Marissa, and runway photographer Doug Ordway), and then tells the guys to “get the hell out of here.” She’s so desperate for a decent catch phrase that she’s stealing from My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss? That’s desperate, baby.
“The most disgusting runway work I’ve ever seen in twenty-five years.” – Bruce Hulse
that’s gonna leave a mark
Maurice is the first to receive his critique. Marissa is surprised to see him smiling in the picture, because she didn’t see a smile on the runway. Photographer Doug says it was the only smile, all the other pictures were really stiff. Marissa calls him stone-faced and Bruce calls him boring. Maurice tries to explain what he was thinking, and Bruce goes all Vizzini on him: “Am I going MAD, or did the word think escape your lips?!” Wow, who pissed in the judges’ tequila tonight?
Hunter is chastised for his display. Marissa says it was good to see Hunter open up…but then he opened up too much. Doug reminds Hunter that he is supposed to sell designer clothing, not give a burlesque show. Bruce understands that Hunter was responding to the crowd’s energy, but tells him that just because the crowd is telling you to jump off a cliff, you don’t have to do it. Hunter resisted the booze, but peer pressure wins in the end!
Marissa thinks Jon showed some nervousness. Doug says at a real show there will be more people and more cameras and you have to find that confidence right from the start.
The photographer tells Rob that he loves Rob’s look. That will be the only nice think Rob will hear tonight. Bruce calls the runway work “appalling,” and “the worst I’ve ever seen.” “You’re not a dancer,” Bruce continues. “It was wretched.” Rob starts to complain that if they’d had a director— Bruce cuts him off and says that he (Bruce) gave Rob all the direction he needed: “Be yourself.” Bruce says that Rob has been one of his favorites (<-- blatant lie, I have notes), but that he has to do a major reevaluation now.
Kevin comes out for his pointless moment of tainted evaluation. Always a Rob supporter, he wants to see Rob get a chance to recover.
Then Kev gets to the “He’s a good guy…BUT” section of his report. Hunter is a good guy, but what was with the Coyote Ugly thing? Jon is a good guy, but he has no drive. Maurice is a good guy, but he’s over confident. (Hello, Kettle? Yeah, it’s me, Pot.)
“I got nothing.” – spegs (because at this point in the recap, I care even less than the Tray Mail Guy)
The guys reassemble, and Rob blots his sweating forehead with a hanky.
Carmen tells them that only one man will be eliminated—after tonight it’s down to the final four. Or three, if you’re only counting the actual contestants. Bruce gives the same speech he’s given the last three weeks, “there are no losers here, blah, blah, blah, any one of you could work in this industry, yada yada,” and he leaves.
Carmen has her first “moment” in Manhunt history. She opens the card. “Oh!” she half-gasps/half-squeaks. She bites her lip. She holds the card in front of her face as she tries to compose herself. This actually peaks my interest, so I am forced to give her kudos. Well done, Carmen. *tosses a ho ho Carmen’s way*
Carmen’s lips part…. “Hunter. That was your last shot.”
Hunter takes his picture and leaves. He paces and tears up, but ultimately he is still hopeful. This is his dream, and he’s only getting started. He’s loved his time on the show.
Bruce cites immaturity as the reason behind the boot, Marissa says he was cheesy.
Fare thee well, young, cheesy stripper.
*moment of silence*
“To the four of us, all legitimate contestants!” – Kevin
Carmen comforts and congratulates the final four (three). The guys give each other serious, unsmiling man-hugs.
Rob is weak with relief. “Thanks, Bruce, for giving me another chance. I feel like I was hanging on by a thread. I know that I’m really lucky.” Bruce confirms this, telling us aside that Rob slipped through by the skin of his teeth.
Jon is “stoked beyond belief”! He thinks his toughest competition is Kevin. Well, if that’s the truth, then this one is in the bag for Jonny.
Maury says…nothing interesting.
Kevin leads a cheer for the final four. In your dreams, Mole Boy!
Next Week on Manhunt
Be ready for a wild jungle shoot, where the guys will pose with tarantulas—FedEx-ed overnight from America’s Next Top Model—and millipedes, and miniature frogs and cockatoos…. (and lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats….)
“When one model blows it, he could become an endangered species!” Oooo. What a clever play on words! Really.
Up here…posing on the rocks. How do I look? firstname.lastname@example.org