Outback Jack 8/3/04: Meet Jack’s Top Sheila
Hey Outback Jack fans, welcome back to the Outback. Perhaps you were confused as we were this week, thinking that perhaps we had caught a lost episode of Meet My Folks, the reality tv dating show that introduced us to the concept having the parents interview potential dates and watch surprise videotapes of the contestants. At least there wasn’t a lie detector test. Or at least there wasn’t one this week. Who knows what the finale holds next week.
As we rejoin our merry group, Jack, Marissa, Maria and Natalie are riding horses away from JD and Meri-De. Jack thinks they look a little droopy so he suggests stopping for a “pick me up” to eat a particular type of Australian ant with a green butt, which is apparently quite sweet. I’m not sure how the first person discovered the sweetness of this particular ant’s ass, and if an ant taste test was required to determine whether or not they were in fact sweeter than carpenter ants, or if red ants were indeed spicy. The “Fear Factor” segment of the show over, we go on to the next sweet thing in the Outback, Jack’s mom, Lori.
Jack introduces his beloved Mom to his “crazy bunch of Sheilas” and they all stay at a fabulous house Jack calls “The Oasis.” I have no clue if this is actually a family residence, as it seems a little over the top for Lori by herself out in the boonies. The girls enjoy their cushy private rooms and bathrooms, with slightly less jumping on the beds than in Perth.
Lori meets the girls and spends some time asking them questions, trying to pick a favorite. Notably Marissa “confesses” that her worst quality is forgetting to take care of herself enough, and cites as an example the fact that she got sunstroke shortly upon arriving in the Outback. Oh yes, it must have been edited out that Marissa was really feeding the poor or teaching someone to read when she forgot to drink enough water to avoid dehydration, rather than simply sunning HERSELF and ignoring Jack’s pleas to the girls to drink enough water. Lori asks them their thoughts on premarital sex and other toughies, like do they think Jack is falling in love with them, and which of the other two would they pick for Jack if he doesn’t pick them. After cleaning the defecation off the rotary occilator, Lori thinks that Maria is beautiful, Natalie is fun, and Marissa is intense.
The three ladies get one-on-one dates with Jack. Natalie and Jack clean tonsils by a lake, and Jack proclaims it “electric” yet I can’t hear that word without thinking “boogie woogie woogie” and breaking out into the electric slide. Damn you, Jack, I hate that dance. Jack proclaims that he wants someone who needs “pampering” and he immediately falls in LG’s esteem, as learned helplessness is not something to strive for. Point of fact... Natalie, as exhibit one.
Maria’s date is spent almost entirely discussing Natalie and Marissa, never a good sign for a reality tv dating show contestant. Jack mentions that he trusts Nat, but is a bit suspicious about Marissa. They are pushing this theme rather hard this week, perhaps a bit of editorial misdirection to steer us away from an inevitable conclusion that has been apparent from the very first episode. Or maybe there just wasn’t enough footage that didn’t show everyone ripping on Marissa to piece together a full episode without including some anti-Marissa conversations. For Marissa’s date, they talk about Jack’s Mom. Exciting stuff.
After the dates, we get an As The World Turns moment, where Nat and Maria are talking about Marissa in one room, and called her a, gasp, “goddess” while Marissa leans towards the doorway from another room. Oh my, what new secrets abound around Oakdale? Does holding an empty glass up to the door and your ear actually improve eves-dropping efficiency?
JD Roberto drops off secret videos from home, but unlike the usually hilarious embarrassing video tid-bits that Meet My Folks dug up on unsuspecting contestants, these are just sappy messages from their families about how great all the girls are. Maria is the only girl who has a message from a father included, Marissa’s little sister says the cat likes Marissa better, and Natalie bought a condo right next to her mom’s and misses her clothes. Yawn.
Time to shuffle off the Oasis, so Jack asks Lori one last time for her thoughts about the girls and their compatibility with Jack. Mom likes Natalie, but doesn’t think she’s Jack’s type. Lori tells Jack to go with his heart, or his gut, but not necessarily his head, or some biological mumbo jumbo. Lori obviously isn't going with her head cause she picks Marissa as the best match for Jack. She calls her "ambisious", wonder what she calls it when she sees this goatrope of a show. Jack asks “How do you listen to a heart that’s telling you three different things?” and my only thought was “Lithium does wonders for folks who are hearing many different voices, give it a try, Jack.”
The girls get one last pre-elimination private groping session with Jack, and it’s time to narrow the field. JD Roberto and his helmet of hair arrive, and two of the girls will be floating away with Jack in a hot air balloon. The producers missed an opportunity for a great sponsor placement, as it could have been the Re-Max balloon rather than this generic red and orange one. The folks who’ve been plugging Skin-timate and OFF for the whole show are slipping.
Long, drawn out scene cut short, Maria is left crying from the ground with JD Roberto while Nat and Marissa fly off into the Outback for next week’s finale. There goes Ilikai's pick, now to go shopping for a trophy wife
Next week we see if three airheads in a congress powered balloon can hold the attention of the audience for an hour. Of course it can, this is the best accident in progress that I have seen since the two ladies hit each other in front of me thursday.