Two Tickets to Paradise. Meet My Folks: The Calderons
Football fans were inundated with the ads all last season: “I love quarterbacks eating dirt, cheerleaders in short skirts, and the TWINS” with the question being, which twins was the speaker talking about, the identical blondes in the stands, or their perky companions. Tom T. Hall is probably spinning in his grave as his 1970s song “I Love” about the simple things in life was reborn in a series of commercials featuring big boobed fans of the grid iron. Oh wait, Tom T. Hall isn’t dead, I’m sorry Tom, I was always rather partial to “Sneaky Snake” myself. So, for The Calderones episode we are treated to TWINS, three sets of identical twin girls, all vying for the chance to go to Hawaii with Carlos Calderon, otherwise known as Mr. Lucky. Carlos is lucky not just because he has three sets of beautiful twins competing for a trip to Hawaii with him, but also because he’s such a charmer that his parents respect his opinion and makes choices as Carlos wants, which is quite unlike most of the “offspring” on this show. Carlos arranges his lucky horseshoe collection in his room as the weekend guests arrive.
In the ads we are also promised “a twist” so my suspicion was that Carlos is really a twin and that at the very end it would be revealed that Carlos and his twin bother Arturo were really switching in and out throughout the entire episode and that the girls didn’t notice. With that though (and my usual degree of paranoia, who said that?) in mind, I looked suspiciously at the strategically placed “family photos” in the house as we get to meet the folks, Ernie and Riena Calderon. Hmmm, nice looking family. Carlos and his two sisters. No shots of any brothers, let alone an identical twin. Except for a couple sports photos of Carlos in which he’s the only family member in the shot, these pictures all look like they could have been taken last week, by the producers of the show, to throw off any suspicion about a secret twin. My suspicions grow. How do we know that is really Carlos in that sports picture and not Arturo anyway, huh. He’s sporting jersey number 7, that sounds like Mr. Lucky. Carlos is a cutie, by the way. He has a great smile and lovely eyes. As a “reporter” I feel it is my duty to share this essential information with my readers. Carlos finds a penny and picks it up.
Now lets meet the twins:
Alyson & Lindsay – long blonde hair and pretty smiles, and I’m 100% certain that is their natural noses. Maybe they could get a 2 for 1 deal with Jen Grey’s surgeon. Just kidding, ladies, you look lovely. It’s going to be impossible to keep these girls’ names straight. We are not aided at all by the show, which has the 3 sets of twins all wear identical outfits and insists on lumping them together as a “set”.
Nicole and Brianna – a lovely Hispanic-Italian mix, as they explain to Dad, they are also very pretty and wearing cute fringy skirts. They are very young, 19 in fact, but are the early favorites of the parents because of their common culture. Be careful not to operate anything with a power take-off in those skirts, girls, it could lead to disaster or at least an appearance on Reality TV Show Stunts Gone Bad, a new special in the works for FOX this summer.
Kerri and Candace – gorgeous curly light brown hair, reminiscent of Chelsea Clinton’s hair, but only with a much prettier face. Only problem, they both have the same face. I have no idea how to tell them apart. Carlos, however, figures out the difference in short order and decided that Kerri is clearly his favorite. Does Carlos know about twins and their differences because he has one? Huh, does he? Candace bumps into a dresser and Carlos turns quickly a catches a mirror right before it was going to fall on the floor and break into a million pieces.
Fun and Games
After the girls all settle in, there is a delivery of Dirty Little Secrets, with twin delivery men. Nice touch. Dad is amused. Here’s the dirt. In the spirit of not allowing the girls to be individuals, we get one bad fact for each set of twins. Alyson and/or Lindsay quit school to party for a month after heading to Florida for spring break. I thought I recognized these girls from the Jerry Springer Show. You know, you really can’t make a bikini out of just flowers and coconut shells, no matter how much whipped cream and honey you smear on your body. Kerri and/or Candace gets drunk and flashes her chest, has done it over 30 times. Well super, but just be warned that can get you arrested by the New Orleans police, as I saw on Cops at Mardi Gras last Saturday. Nicole and/or Brianna get into physical fights and knocked out a girl’s tooth in a brawl. They laughed and said they are “hot blooded Mexicans” and the Calderones don’t appreciate that generalization. Mom asks if they would hit Carlos if they got mad at him. Carlos shoos away a black cat that was considering walking across his path.
If NBC is reading my recaps for story ideas, one of these episodes we will be treated with a guest appearance by James Brown, as who else but the Godfather of Soul (or perhaps Aaron from The Bachelor II) could appreciate a Hot Tub Party more than the lucky singles who appear on Meet My Folks every week. Good God! In order to minimize Mr. Lucky’s pruning from prolonged exposure to hot water (and to keep me in the dark as to which twin is which), Carlos makes three trips into the hottub, one with each set of twins. Carlos asks each of them to swap their bikini tops under water and to kiss him both at the same time. Alyson and Lindsay agree to kiss him simultaneously (which Dad watching on the closed circuit tv enjoyed), but they refused to swap tops (which Mom enjoyed). Something for everyone with this duo. Kerri and Candace also refuse to swap tops and one of them swoops in for a big kiss. Nicole and Brianna seem completely uninhibited and are mid-way though a bikini top-swap when Mom is on her way out to “pull the plug” on this hottub party. Nicole and Brianna were embarrassed and later apologize to Mom and Dad for not respecting their house. Mom was mad, and not nearly as amused as Dad Maloney was when he got to tell his son Dan that he had a s’more stuck to his butt earlier this season in the most recent incident of “parentus interruptus” on this show. James Brown was quite disappointed. Carlos deftly avoids walking under a ladder on his way back into the house for the night.
Mr Lucky then goes on “private dates” with each set of twins, if it could really be called “private” when there are two sisters with one guy. Alyson and Lindsay accompany Carlos on a hayride. Nicole and Brianna go to a baseball field. Thank heavens Carlos didn’t ask them if they wanted to “score” or hit a “home run,” or we’d be treated to another scene of Mom rushing in to smack her son upside the head and drag those girls out by their hair. Candace and Kerri go hiking and for a picnic. Carlos has picked Kerri as his favorite “individual” and Alyson and Lindsay as his favorite “set”. Candace can’t be feeling too great about that right now. Carlos blows out all of the candles on his birthday cake in one try.
We are now treated to the girls having to perform “rude tasks” during dinner to avoid having a dirty secret revealed. Alyson and Lindsay need to offer Mom three breath mints during dinner. Nicole and Brianna need to sit on Dad’s lap and thank him for a lovely weekend. Candace and Kerri need to ask Dad if he’s ever fantasized about being with twins. I’ve seen every episode of this show ever aired, and I have to give Candace and Kerri the award for using the most tact and skill in accomplishing their rude task. It was masterful the way that Kerri, er, was it Candace, well, one of them raised the issue of rude questions people ask them, and then ever so subtly turned it around to ask Dad if he’d ever fantasized about being with twins. Kudos to them, it was right up there with Giancarlo’s refusal to do a rude task in the book of “How to be a Decent Dinner Guest While Also Appearing on Meet My Folks.” Alyson and Lindsay did a decent job of offering mints to everyone the second and third time around, but weren’t quite subtle enough to prevent annoying Mom, who was rather put off by the other rude tasks until they were revealed. No dirty secrets were exposed at this challenge. FYI, I found out from one of the former contestants on MMF that the contestants also get a cash prize for completing this challenge, not just suppression of the secret, if that makes this a little more understandable for the viewers. At the end of dinner, Carlos tosses a pinch of salt over his shoulder.
Sex, Lies and Videotape
The doorbell rings. It’s Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, with a videotape of their new Olsen Sisters Slumber Party video, now available in stores. Ok, maybe not, but there are twin delivery men at the door with videotapes. Again, no clue which twin these “bad facts” relate to, but Lindsay and/or Alyson supposedly had sex behind the wheel of a moving car. Ok, wait, the car was really in park, and well, they parked. Nicole and/or Brianna had set on the steps of a church. Ok, wait, it wasn’t on the steps, it was in the bushes. Much better. God can’t see you quite as well if you’re in His shrubbery than if your on His front porch. Lovely. Kerri and Candace’s friend specifically rats out Kerri and says she’s cheated on all her boyfriends. This rattles Carlos as Kerri is his favorite. Kerri explains it has only been three boyfriends, they all cheated on her first, and yup, she’s batting 1000 in the infidelity stats. Mom and Dad get a fax. They have 15 minutes to eliminate a set of twins. They deliberate, but it’s clear that, despite the cultural connection, Nicole and Brianna are taking the first curtain call. Mom and Dad note that they are immature, and in all fairness to Nicole and Brianna, they are only 19 and shouldn’t be on this show as alcohol is consumed in the course of the show. Well, that, and it makes me feel really old to know that people born in 1984 are on this show, as I was in high school that year. Ack, where does the time go. Back to the recap, Carlos looks out the window and wishes on a falling star, which also happens to be the first star he saw that night. Jimminey Cricket is chirping in the background. Nicole and Brianna narrowly avoid hitting Jimminey with their rollerboard suitcases in their rush out the door. I guess Jimminey is a little lucky tonight too.
Dinner with the Ex’es
In the true spirit of treating the sets of twins as one unit instead of two individuals, we have 2 ex-boyfriends, not 4. Kevin is a “friend” of Lindsay and Alyson’s who claims they are “wild” and go after guys with money, including a friend of his who is a minor league baseball player who had the twins in his hottub for “dessert”. Carlos isn’t buying this because he knows Lindsay and Alyson aren’t into disrobing in a hottub, certainly not for some Bull Durham wannabe who likely smells of chaw and pine tar. Bo supposedly dated Candace first, and then Kerri, until Kerri cheated on him when he was out of town. So, here goes. Bo knows baseball. Bo knows football. Bo knows Candace and Kerri. But in Carlos’ eyes, Bo knows Diddley. Carlos enjoys the rest of his four leaf clover salad and Dad thanks the ex-boyfriends and escorts them out.
Decision Time, Part Deux, with at TWIST
The next morning at breakfast Mom and Dad discuss that it will be tough to choose between the two sets of twins left. Carlos likes Kerri best as an individual, but Alyson and Lindsay better as a team. Mom and Dad send Kerri and Candace packing. Everyone is celebrating. Carlos is going to Hawaii with Lindsay and Alyson, right? This is where Carlos’ secret twin Arturo is supposed to step out and announce that he’s been there all along, substituting for Carlos half the time. Ok, that didn’t happen. Instead, Mom and Dad get a fax. They aren’t really sending Carlos to Hawaii with BOTH twins, only ONE of them, so now Lindsay and Alyson need to compete against each other. Carlos pulls out his rabbits foot keychain, throws it on the floor and stomps on it. Arturo was just a figment of my over-active imagination. So, Carlos isn’t the luckiest guy ever, as his parents just sent his favorite gal, Kerri, packing at his request. Oooops. Sorry Charlie.
Alyson and Lindsay change into new outfits of totally different clothes for the first time all weekend. I can finally tell them apart, as long as they stay in those same clothes. Now they get to play The Prisoner’s Dilemma, part of the Game Theory school of philosophy. Mark Burnett would be so proud. Actually, he’d be mad that they came up with the idea, and is likely suing the show right now (as he had previously sued Fox’ Boot Camp and ABC’s I’m a Celebrity for taking his “ideas”) as Burnett promoted a similar book as part of the Survivor: Amazon hype. Back off, Burnett, I studied game theory a decade ago before anyone had ever heard of you, bozo. The idea is that there are two bad facts about each Lindsay and Alyson. If both girls in isolation pick “I trust my sister” only one bad fact about each will be revealed. If both girls pick “Sell her out” then two bad facts about each will be revealed. However, if one sister picks “I trust my sister” and the other picks “Sell her out” then the “Sold Out” sister has to reveal both bad facts about her, while the “Selling Out” sister has no bad facts revealed, well, except for the bad fact that she is willing to sell out her sister. This is a technique used in police interrogations, where two suspects are separated and the first to squeal gets a walk and the other gets serious punishment, but if both hold firm then both receive less harsh punishment. How will it go?
Alyson sells out Lindsay. Lindsay calls Alyson a bitch. One is a back-stabber, the other uses foul language, things are heading downhill in a hurry for these sisters. It’s turning into a Twisted Sister event. Vince Neil shows up wondering if he can sell autographs or perhaps a lock of his hair. Lindsay’s bad facts. 1.) While waitressing, she spit in the food of an ex-boyfriend while there on a date with his new girlfriend. 2.) Lindsay took their mom’s car on a joyride and was stopped by the cops. Lindsay says that she did drive, but it was Alyson’s idea. Lots of finger pointing going on. Survivor: Amazon’s Joanna shows up to stick her hand in their faces, as that is the international symbol of shut up, I don’t care what you have to say, blah, blah, blah. Even though she was the “Selling Out” sister, Carlos prefers Alyson and thinks she’s more competitive because she really likes him and wants to go on the trip with him. Yeah, Carlos, chicks dig you, we get it, but you’re not Mr. Lucky anymore. Carlos walks outside for a breath of fresh air. He accidentally steps on 13 cracks in the sidewalk. The streak is over, bud, sorry.
Now it is time for the lie detector test. I’m sorry, NBC, but I am TIRED of the lie detector test. It was innovative and surprising the first season, but now I’m just bored with it. That, and the comments we’ve heard from contestants about the “reliability” of the answers, NBC and Scott Satin can do better, and I hope for the sake of the show that they do because this is a 15 minute waste of time in my opinion. There have been lots of innovations on this show in the second season, it’s time to phase out this aspect of the show. I can’t bring myself to give you all of the questions and answers. Ok, I can, but just because that is the kind of dedicated reporter for the FORT that I am, not because I’m amused by this gimmick any longer:
First we have Lindsay (the Sold Out Sister):
1. Do you think you are prettier than your sister? No.
2. Will you feel guilty if you are chosen over your sister? Yes.
3. Do you think you are smarter than Mom? No. ( this is an impossible question to answer the “right” way.)
4. Have you ever cheated on a boyfriend? Yes.
5. If we send you to Hawaii will you sleep with our son? No.
6. Have you ever made love behind the wheel of a moving automobile? No.
Next we have Alyson:
1. Do you think you are prettier than your sister? No.
2. Would you like me as a father-in-law? Yes. (Dad smiles at this.)
3. Did you flirt with my husband this weekend? No.
4. Was it your idea to take the joyride? No.
5. Are you pretending to care for our son to with this trip? No.
6. Have you ever cheated on a boyfriend? No.
Mom and Dad say the twins are very different and they can finally identify them as individuals. Suspenseful music . . . and Mom and Dad pick Alyson to go to Hawaii with Carlos. Lindsay is happy for her sister. Hugs all around. Carlos seems happy, because he got what he wanted, didn’t he?
Next week: Another 90 minutes episode with three shall we say “middle-aged men” (middle if you intend to live to 110 or more) competing for a date with a single mom, with her three grown sons making the choices. It looks quite funny. Hopefully my collaborator Cali will be back in action for next week, as she’s unavailable this week due to a family emergency. We miss you Cali, I hope everything is ok. I’m using this as my excuse as why this recap is only half as funny as our usual efforts, despite having twice the number of contestants to follow. Thanks to the FORT writers, especially John and Fluff for their “lucky charms” references, as I was running low on good luck cliques part-way through it.
To contact the author, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org m and let me know if you are a contestant on the show, as we have interviewed a number of contestants from this season and would love to hear from you as well.