How Do You Shut This Damn Doll Off? – The Maloneys' Part 3

Welcome back my friends to the episode that never ends, come aboard take a seat, it's a show that can't be beat. That's not the official theme song for this show, but it's catchier than the rather creepy lyrics they have for the real theme song, with crude rhymes and references to cutting the tension with a knife. Let's hope that is all they're going to cut with a knife this season, as it's a fun romance show.

Getting Up to Speed
When we last left our Family of the Week, the Maloneys they had narrowed the field of 8 women down to 3: Tawny, Chelsea and Stefanie. Immediately we are treated to an extended recap of the exits of all 5 departed girls, including Melissa the Mole who wasn't eliminated, but rather revealed to be a plant who was spying on the girls' first impressions and who’s potential as a multicultural hairstyle trend setter was sadly underused by the show. Oh good, I was wondering whether or not we were going to have a chance to see Shannon cry again. Now that we have my life is complete. Now that we're up to speed it's time to hear the girls trash talk. All three say that they are going to win, and Chelsea adds the very insightful comment that now that we are near the end it will either get better or worse. The doorbell rings and it is the local meteorologist Drippy Don, here to announce that today it will either rain or not, and he hands over the Way To State the Obvious Award to Chelsea. Stefanie turns into Sporty Spice and adds that she will win because she's athletic and won the intelligence test. Do I hear some ironic foreshadowing music in the background? Damn these pesky editors and their not so subtle jabs at the contestants. It makes my blatant jabs at the contestants look forced. Yet proceed we must, so on to the "Do Something Stupid During Dinner" challenge from last season.

Rudeness On Display
After the first two episodes this season I was hoping that the producers had forgotten about this little gimmick of faxing the contestants a list of rude behaviors they needed to perform in front of the parents. Last season the stakes were revealing a "bad fact" if a contestant failed to perform their task, but this season they upped the ante and the girls needed to complete the task to be entitled to a private date with Dan. What a prize, well I would certainly lick the tile grout and squawk like a chicken while hovering over carton of eggs for that opportunity. Ok, I wouldn't, but they've raised the stakes to keep contestants from taking the often prudent route of ignoring the task and risking the bad fact, as what fact about you is so bad that it is worth getting doused with a glass of wine *cough, Dad Carlson tossing wine all over JD last season, see the recap here , cough* and instead of having to pull their pranks in front of Dad and Date, the girls are to attempt to insert their rude behavior into the preparation of the meal with Mom. Stefanie may well have a college degree and did in fact win the show's intelligence test, but she is NOT ServSafe Certified, as I can't remember in my food safety training classes that it was fine to taste the raw chicken to see if it was cooked. Chelsea didn't flinch at sneezing all over the salad twice. I sure hope they had anti-bacterial salad dressing as yes, they did serve this salad at dinner. During dinner Dan didn't look too thrilled to find out about her salad tossing skills, more foreshadowing perhaps? Tawny is clearly Mom's favorite and helped Mom lovingly prepare a huge casserole pan full of gnocchi only to dump it on the floor and then offer to scrape it back into the pan to cook it. They all completed their tasks, but at what cost. A lovely dinner was pretty much trashed, so I sure hope their private dates with Dan were worth it.

Valley of the Dolls
Mom and Dad we're settled in for the night when the doorbell rings. Is it Avon calling? More dirty little secrets? Not a chance, Mom and Dad see that the "delivery" came via stork and they have 3 crying dolls which are programmed to react like an actual newborn and cry and respond to feedings, diaper changes, and general parent-like soothing. These pesky dolls not only cry loudly enough to disturb everyone's peace, they also record how they are cared for during a period a time. High school classes have been using a similar doll, called Baby Think It Over to try to dissuade teenagers from having babies while in school. These are a little fussier than the raw eggs we had to cart around when I was a teen, and even more tempting to toss into boiling water to ease the task. Chelsea seemed the most at ease in this task and had the "mommy jiggle-pace" down pat after a couple hours. Tawny was unaccustomed to the noise and was ready to take herself out by any means necessary. She may have had the first televised incident of doll-induced post-partum depression. Stefanie must have logged some time in the military as she was actually able to fall asleep with a screaming doll right up by her head.

During the course of the long evening with the dolls, the girls had to read a Bad Fact Bedtime Story to the babies, with such fetching titles as "Tawny: The Girl Who Loses Interest," "Stefanie: The Jealous Girlfriend (who dressed up in drag to spy on her boyfriend)" and "Chelsea's Evil Temper." I wonder if we will be seeing these books in the children's section of Barnes and Noble anytime soon. I've got a poem for Chelsea that my mom used to tell me:

There once was a girl who had a curl right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good she was really good. And when she was bad, she was horrid.

If my own darling mom would quote this poem to me as a young child, I think Chelsea fared ok in the insulting book department, and Dan didn't seem to mind as we see him holding Chelsea's doll while sitting on the bed with her, and really isn’t this the best mothering skill we have seen? The pass-the-baby-to-dad move that we, as mothers, have been working on for years. We are treated to more mixed messages as Mom clearly has a soft spot for Tawny. Of course the boys get bored of you, dear, it's their fault. Not sure exactly how complimentary that is, but Tawny's savvy enough to not contradict Mom. Good thinking Tawny.

I felt bad for the girls as this isn't the "I Want To Be A Mommy Now!" episode of Sally Jessie Raphael, but fortunately for the girls they got to return the shrieking dolls in the morning. When you're up for the challenge try a month or two of that with the real deal, and you'll have a whole lot more respect for your own mother. The readouts indicate that Chelsea did the best and we were told a Nice Fact that Chelsea volunteers at a local animal shelter. Honestly Chelsea did look the most natural with the "baby" as she was holding the doll like a baby and not like the hunk of plastic and metal in need of an exorcism that it really was.

Private Dates:
Stefanie gets first crack as the experienced Dan-dater of the group having already had both private dates with him so far. In a date clearly intended to be for Lisa, Dan and Stefanie go roller skating a roller derby and appear to have a fun time together.

Chelsea tries to get information from Dan on the way to their private date, but Dan keeps mum until they get to the "art" studio where apparently paint brushes are verboten and there is nary a bowl of fruit to be seen. Dan and Chelsea start by making handprints and after a couple minutes we see that they are "coincidentally" wearing swimsuits under their clothes and they proceed to paint each other and roll around on the canvas. I have a sickening flash back to Farrah Fawcett on Letterman explaining how she didn’t bother wearing the bathing suit when she produced her art. Excuse me, back to the date at hand: They showed a sweet kiss between the two, so I'm pretty sure there weren't any resulting canvas burns as this show isn't about burying the "fun" footage. How do I know this? Intuition? Last season? How about Tawny's date . . .

Tawny and Dan go lingerie shopping. This is the type of date I've only ever seen on reality tv dating shows like Elimidate and Fifth Wheel, but who knows, maybe all the young trendy guys these days are wanting to brave the strong perfume and pushy sales clerks to take someone they hardly know on a first date in Fredrick's of Hollywood. Tawny shows her wild side and ties up Dan in a changing room and plies him with champagne straight from the bottle. Dan didn't seem to mind. What a trooper, way to take one for the show Danny Boy.

Roll the Tape
There is a delivery at the door, and unfortunately for the girls it's not a Landshark aiming to take out Mom and Dad, but instead videotapes from "friends" with more dirty little secrets. Chelsea's friend shows off skimpy swimsuits and short skirts from Chelsea's closet and says that Chelsea often picks shopping for new clothes over paying her bills promptly. Chelsea's the best dressed person in the Honolulu Homeless Shelter. Tawny's friend informs Mom and Dad that Tawny did a topless video about bartending. Tawny's edited tape is shown, and my email inbox is flooded with people wondering where they can get a copy of that tape or some computer program to remove the pesky boxes from the images we saw on tv. A U. S. Supreme Court Justice once stated that pornography is difficult to define, but "I know it when I see it" and this is really art, or at least comedy, as it appears to be a jokingly scripted "how-to" manual for bartending. Tom Cruise and Bryan Brown are scrambling to find their martini shakers to see if Tawny wants to join them for the taping of : "Cocktail 2: We've Gone Topless." It couldn't be worse than Coyote Ugly, could it? Stefanie's video has a "friend" saying that she often goes after rich older men and leads them on the get rich gifts. We're treated to a pan shot of Dad's thinning gray hair during the clip, and then we see that this has clearly upset Mom. For poor Stefanie it's all over but the crying.

Dinner Interruptus Redux
In true Meet My Folks fashion, everyone sits down for dinner and then a fax arrives telling Mom and Dad to eliminate a girl. The girls get kicked out of the dinning room so no-one gets to eat anything until after the parents make their decision. I haven't seen these poor kids eat anything since the dinner they were served which they all knew was sneezed all over and tasted prior to serving. I wonder if Kel has some beef jerky in his backpack that he could share or Clarence, he may have a can of beans somewhere. There is obviously some bad blood going on between the girls, who've been together for days now and starting to wear on each other. Most telling perhaps were the shots that Chelsea and Tawny were hanging out together in the bedroom while Mom and Dad were deliberating, while Stefanie sat alone, and when the announcement was made Chelsea and Tawny held each other's hands while Stefanie sat on the other side of Dan. Despite highly dramatic editing, Stefanie is eliminated and everyone gets back to the business of dinner.

In order to spice up the tension between the contestants, the finalists Chelsea and Tawny are asked to say why they should win the trip and why their final competitor should not. Chelsea points out that she and Dan probably have more in common that Dan and Tawny because Chelsea and Dan are both college students. This smacks Mom the wrong way and puts Mom in underdog Tawny's corner more than ever. Tawny points out that Chelsea is unwilling to admit to any of her "bad facts" which gets Mom and Dad thinking about all of the relatively minor revelations about Chelsea and why it would be so hard for someone to own up to trashing someone's bedroom in a fit of anger. In a new twist, the final ejected contestant Stefanie is back in her own straight to video film, "The Bitter Evictee." Watch for it at your local Blockbuster. Stefanie is back and mad as Hell. She states that Chelsea is constantly looking at herself in a mirror or any reflective surface. Perhaps Stef should have tried this before filming this clip because her eyes have a rather evil glow to them. Evil editors. Stefanie is an equal opportunity basher for her competitors and spills the beans that Tawny tied up Dan during their private date. Mom is conflicted as her desire to relive her young adulthood through Tawny is in clear conflict that her baby boy have no type of sex whatsoever in Europe. What's a Mom to do? Why, hook the girls up to a polygraph, of course.

Lie Detector Tests:

Tawny:
Have you lied this week ...NO...LIE
Had sex with someone known less 48 hrs. ...NO....LIE
Have a book to rate sex...NO....LIE
Tie up Dan this week....YES....TRUE
Plan on doing more topless video's....NO.....LIE
Would you marry for money....NO....TRUE

Chelsea:
Think you're smarter than Mom....NO....LIE
Did you trash a room in anger....NO...LIE
Ever had 2 boyfriends at same time...NO...LIE
Pretending to care for Dan to win trip....NO....TRUE
Think you are prettiest girl this week...YES...TRUE
Ever have a BF drop you off at ex's house so you could have sex with him...NO....LIE

There's a whole lot of lying going on. It's a tough decision, but Mom and Dad pick Chelsea to accompany Dan to Europe and they bid farewell to almost adopted daughter Tawny. When you're in Italy watch out for Fiats driving by women in silly hats, it just might be Stefanie.

I'd like to thank my co-author Cali for her much needed humor transplants. If you have any comments please feel free to contact the authors of this recap at lurkinggirl@fansofrealitytv.co m or cali@fansofrealitytv.com as we're always happy to hear feedback about the articles. For contestants of the show please be aware that we are critiquing the character that was portrayed on the show and not the individuals themselves as we obviously do not know the real folks behind the show but do appreciate your appearances on tv as there wouldn't be reality tv without you.