Just as I was sitting down to watch this week’s episode of More to Love I thought about that other reality dating show. You know the one: the “bachelor” was intelligent, handsome, and really focused on finding one woman to settle down with and the “bachelorettes” were happy, well-adjusted and mature women who didn’t care about being on TV. What was the name of that show? Oh right, that show doesn’t exist. Silly me.
Okay, back to reality (ha!). The morning after the elimination, the ladies are in the kitchen, where Kristian is making waffles. No one wants her waffles, but they’re all happy about the dwindling numbers. We’re down to the final 6 and I’m proud to say that I know each one of their names now! I’m actually pretty good with names, but it’s hard to remember these girls if “the vapid whiny one” applies to half of them.
The first date card of the week arrives and it’s addressed to Kristian and Mandy. The card says something like “It takes two to tango,” which means that either Luke won’t be going on this date or he that can’t add. Math is hard. Mandy is excited because she’s a pretty good dancer. Kristian prays that Mandy breaks an ankle. She begins plotting ways to accidentally push Mandy down the stairs. Luke is excited about the date. He likes dancing and doesn’t want his size to stop him from having a good time.
Luke, Mandy and Kristian arrive at the club and it’s très seedy. Is that a stripper pole? Kristian talks about Luke and calls him “her man.” Oh, honey. Soon enough, out come the skinny dance instructors. Kristian whines that she doesn’t want to jiggle while she dances. Well, guess what? You’re going to jiggle, so get over it. First up, Kristian and Luke learn to Salsa. She does okay and he makes sure to grope her a bit in the process. Mandy takes her turn and it’s clear she’s got more experience dancing. Mandy thinks this means she and Luke were meant to be.
Back at the house, the four girls who aren’t jiggling on the dance floor - that would be Malissa, Tali, Anna and Heather - decide to make cupcakes and a giant card for Luke….because this is high school and that’s just what you do.
What Should be the Forbidden Dance
Luke decides to take one-on-one time with each of the ladies and pulls Kristian aside first. Mandy, who is getting more and more jealous and insecure as the show progresses, knows that Luke likes Kristian and Mandy isn’t happy about it. Luke tells us that the biggest mistake a man can make is to not appreciate his woman. He thinks that’s what a lot of these ladies have experienced. Meanwhile, Kristian tells us that Luke loves her for her and says she’s already so in love with him. Oh, dear. This isn’t going to end well. What? You didn’t think he was actually going to choose her in the end, did you?
Because Mandy is snooping around and trying to see what’s happening between Luke and Kristian, she accidentally “happens upon” them kissing and immediately flees to the bathroom to sob and wail. Seriously. She deserved that. Luke immediately goes to find Mandy, who we hear crying from the other side of the bathroom door. Luke just looks flummoxed by the whole thing. Mandy tells us she’s just not feeling very special. She does come out of the bathroom to talk to Luke, which spares us from having to listen to her muffled, teary voice through the bathroom door. Mandy admits that this whole process is getting to her. You don’t say? Luke tells us he’s concerned that Mandy will start questioning their connection. Sooner than you can say “wet blanket,” the date is over. Luke pushes the girls into the limo and they head back to the house. When they arrive at the house, Mandy and Kristian gives the girls all the details of their date. Meanwhile, Luke discovers the cupcakes that were left for him. Kristian whines about the cupcakes: she’s sick of sharing…I think she means Luke.
On a Bicycle Built for Two Much Smaller People
What’s a reality dating show without the requisite Helicopter Ride Date? Malissa is the lucky girl. Luke tells us he wanted alone time with Malissa so he could find out who she is as a person. The other girls are, of course, green with jealousy. Malissa tells us she thinks Luke has a stronger connection with her than with any of the other girls. Luke and Malissa hop into the helicopter and Luke tells us his feelings for Malissa are getting stronger. The helicopter lands at a vineyard, where there’s picnic set up and waiting for them.
As Luke and Malissa eat, they have awkward conversation about the helicopter ride. It’s like the “Chris Farley Show” on SNL.
Her: “Hey remember that time we rode on a helicopter and went to that vineyard?”
Her: “That was really cool.”
Back at the house, Tali, Anna and Heather get a date card. They are told to get ready for some fun in the sun and grab their bathing suits. Tali isn’t happy about the whole bathing suit thing: this is her second date in a bathing suit and she’s clearly feeling insecure.
Malissa and Luke are still engaging in a stimulating conversation. Finally, in lieu of talking, they opt for drinking and making out. She tells us she thinks she is falling in love. A stereotypical perfect date (in 1950) isn’t complete with a ride on a tandem bike. Luke worries that the tires won’t hold up under his weight. It’s a valid concern: the two of them probably weigh close to 550 pounds combined. That poor bike doesn’t stand a chance. The bike makes a valiant effort. It squeals on the way down a hill like it’s screaming for mercy. It’s the uphill ride that kills it: the spokes just crumble and one of the tires falls to pieces. Luke admits he’s broken a few bikes in his day. I’m sure the producers are pleased. What’s a tandem bike run these days? Luke and Malissa leave the remains of the bike at the side of the road and hoof it back to the limo.
When they arrive back at the house, Malissa rambles on and on about what an amazing date it was. The other girls all act like they’re happy for her. Later, they’ll go upstairs and stick pins in their Malissa Voodoo Doll. Malissa sighs and says “Okay, now I’m in love.” Jeez. A skeptical Kristian rants to us about Malissa’s proclamation of love: how does she know she’s in love. Not two seconds later, while sitting in the hot tub, Kristian says she’s in love with Luke. Heather admits she still has her guard up and, therefore, her feelings for Luke aren’t as strong as the other girls. She likes him, but it’s not love.
Beach Blanket Oh No!
Luke picks up Tali, Heather and Anna for their date at the beach. One of the things he wants to see in them is confidence and he’s noticing that all of them are getting more uncomfortable. Gee, I can’t imagine why. Even Anna, the model, says she has issues with being in a bathing suit. Luke falls back on his now time-tested method of getting the girls to relax: he takes off his shirt and then says they can all rub suntan lotion on him. He tells us he thought the girls would be excited about slathering him with sunscreen. To my dismay, he appears to be right.
Luke takes Tali for a walk on the “beach,” which is really a mini beach inside what looks like Newport Harbor. She admits that she’s feeling jealous. He tries to reassure her and, you know what? They have an actual conversation. Like adults. It’s shocking. Luke kisses her, because that’s what you do. He tells us Tali’s a deep person. She may very well be deep, but the competition isn’t all that stiff in that department what with Malissa talking about the weather and the scenery and Mandy crying about her insecurities.
Back at the house, the other girls whine about….you know what? I can’t even remember what the heck they were whining about. Does it really matter? Moving on.
Luke and Anna have their alone time in a paddle boat in the harbor. I have to interject here. That harbor may look pristine and beautiful, but it’s a complete cesspool. I have a friend who had a bunch of fishing line stuck in his boat propeller while in Newport Harbor. He jumped into the water to cut the line free and accidentally sliced open his finger pretty badly. He ended up almost losing the finger due to infection from all the bacteria and nastiness in the water. True story. Anyway, back to Anna and Luke, who are attempting a serious conversation. He asks her if she thinks she could fall in love with him and if she’s ready for marriage. Anna admits she doesn’t want to jump into marriage because she takes that kind of commitment seriously. She likes Luke a lot, but doesn’t commit to anything beyond that. Luke tells us his time with Anna feels very natural.
Heather uses her alone time with Luke to talk about the other girls and their great dates. She’s obviously jealous of Malissa’s one-on-one date, in spite of the fact that she’s had two solo dates with him. Luke calls the whole conversation with Heather “awkward” and wonders if the chemistry between them will get better. Heather’s becoming more insecure.
In a Trail of Tears
Luke arrives at the pre-elimination mixer and immediately pulls Mandy aside for a talk. She admits that the situation has stressed her out and then talks about her struggle with an eating disorder when she was younger. Her weight didn’t start to climb until she was 17 or 18, and it’s been difficult for her to establish a new identity. From inside, Kristian looks on and rolls her eyes.
Heather also gets some alone time with Luke. She tells him she thinks they have something special and she wants to stay. Luke tells us he feels like this is the first night that the women have really made themselves vulnerable to him. They do all seem to be laying it all on the table for him. And here comes another one…..
In a moment of delusion that proves she knows very little about men, Kristian decides that telling Luke she loves him will save her from elimination. She actually says it in three languages and then admits she’s falling deeply in love with him and trusts him with her heart. To his credit, Luke doesn’t bolt for the door. He tells her that he’s touched and flattered. We all know what that means.
Kristian confides in Tali about her feelings for Luke and then recounts her conversation with Luke, which sounds a lot different from what we, the viewers saw. In Kristian’s version, Luke is a lot more enthusiastic about Kristian and her feelings. Tali, who hasn’t learned not to listen to Kristian, then begins questioning her place in the competition and in Luke’s heart. She immediately goes outside to find Luke and see what’s what. Luke calms Tali down, but reminds her that she knew how this was going to work before she got there: he’s the one who gets to snog a bunch of other girls and she has to sit there and take it. He asks her to listen only to him and to her heart, which, let’s be honest, will probably get broken in the next week or two.
Luke tells us that he cares about all six of the ladies, but has to break some hearts tonight (a little full of himself, isn’t he?). What went on at the mixer hasn’t made his decision any easier. Throughout the entire elimination, we’re treated to clips of a tearful Kristian talking about how much she loves Luke: she wants to be with him forever, she says. Kristian says she doesn’t want to leave: she wants to stay there with her future husband. Yikes. This is almost like kicking a puppy.
Here’s who’ll be staying:
Emme steps forward and tells Heather and Kristian to get out. In my fantasy, the host of these sorts of shows tells the booted to contestants to pack their, em, stuff and get the %^$# out. Sadly, Emme just tells Heather and Kristian to say their goodbyes. I sure hope Emme isn’t paid per word, ‘cause if she is, the producers are getting her for cheap.
Luke first talks to Heather, who tells us she’s shocked about being eliminated: she thought her time with Luke was special. She cries, but says she feels good about herself and more confident. She believes the right guy is out there for her.
Kristian steps forward and Luke hugs her. She tells him she loves him and wishes him the best and then sobs as she walks away. Luke, who’s clearly feeling alarmed and a bit guilty, follows Kristian in a misguided attempt to comfort her. Hey guys, here’s a tip. When you break up with a woman, don’t then hug her and try to comfort her. Really. Luke, of course, did not get the memo and he hugs Kristian as she breaks into gasping sobs. It’s actually a bit painful to watch. She gives the requisite ”I feel like a fool” line, which probably isn’t unwarranted. I mean, she did declare her undying love for a guy she’d known for, like, a week….on national television. Still, she’s obviously in pain. Luke tells Kristian she’s very special to him and it feels like he’s talking to his kid sister. So what has Kristian learned? Not much: she thinks she got eliminated because of her weight. *SIGH*
Next week: The final four all go on one-on-one dates with Luke and have a surprise visit from their families. There probably won't be any artificial vaginas or bird funerals, but there will be lots of crying and whining. You know you're going to watch!