Welcome back to Paradise. For the third - count ‘em! - time, my name is Amanda, and I shall be leading you by the hand through this sinfully delicious treat known as Paradise Hotel. I hope you all have an extra vial of penicillin handy, because this one isn’t going to be pretty.
We open, as always, with a recap of last week’s happenings. Dave and Tara, the Osmonds of the new millennium, were voted King and Queen of Paradise. As such, they made the decision to send Kristin packing, despite Amy’s very vocal pleas to be the one dismissed. Amy almost took a stand, but then, with Kristin’s urging, decided to stick it out. Dave and Tara, in another controversial move, decided to pair up Alex and Charla as roommates. Neither party seems very happy with this turn of events. And with this, we begin...
As Alex walks into his new room to unpack, he says “This is going to be miserable.” My thoughts exactly, pal. He offers Charla a gift of press-on nails, an allusion to a comment he made a few weeks back about how she sits around in her room doing her nails all day. Charla is less than thrilled with the gift, and immediately orders champagne. I can’t blame her. If I were living with this group, I’d be drunk 18 hours a day. Alex wastes no time in unpacking and getting the hell out of Dodge. Dave enters, hoping to soothe any hurt feelings Charla may have over the roommate assignments. Charla assures Dave that it’s fine, but wonders how she’ll be able to sleep, knowing Alex is in the room. Ever the gentleman, Dave offers his bed. Well, sort of. He offers her the little bed, because nothing short of a 50 megaton blast is going to prevent him from sharing a bed with Tara. I can’t totally fault Dave for this, because someday this show will be over and he’s going to have a lot of empty beds in his future. Might as well feast before the inevitable famine. Charla asks him to send Tara in to console her. Consolation isn’t Tara’s strong suit though, as the best she can do is say “Hey, it’s a really nice room!” Note to Tara: please never volunteer at a suicide prevention line, okay? Thanks. Charla responds to this inanity by saying she’d prefer a crappy room with someone she actually likes. Tara’s response: “I like Alex.” She just gets better and better at this. Keith comes in, and by this time Charla’s double-fisting the drinks. Atta girl, Charla. A BAC of .20 always makes things look better.
While Charla works on getting rip-roaring drunk, we peek in on Scott talking to Amy. He tells her that he wants to get to know some of the other guests ( read: Holly and her breasts ) better, find out what they’re all about. Insert your own “about a D-cup” joke here. That being said, however, he needs Amy right now. He needs her spunk. He already knows what she’s all about. What, yelling and attitude? It certainly isn’t Clearisil. Amy nods at Scott in her own special, slack-jawed way. I can only assume that means she understands.
When it comes time for the new guest selection, hostess Amanda drops the bomb that there won’t be any new guest brought into Paradise tonight. In fact, there shan’t be another new guest from this point out. Congratulations, everyone. You’re one step closer to winning the “ultimate” prize. I’d like to take this opportunity to point out my utter disdain for anyone who allows themselves to be prostituted the way these people have been without even knowing what their going rate is. The absolute best thing I can imagine happening would be for the “ultimate” prize to be a handful of carwash vouchers and a buy one get one free coupon for Popeye’s. But I digress. The absence of any new guests isn’t the only surprise in store for our guests this evening. This week is all about the ladies, to use the term loosely. At the end of the week, the women will be voting out one man, so it would behoove the fellas to suck up as much as possible. Quite the role reversal. After being given this shocker, Keith, Dave and Charla instantly begin brainstorming. Again, using the term loosely. Keith insists that they have to take this opportunity to “get rid of the big dog.” This will become a running theme with Keith, who says this phrase at least a seventy-two times in the hour-long program.
But who can plot when there’s fun to be had at the pool? Clearly not Holly, Tara and Desiree. Tara announces that she isn’t sure who she ought to choose, so the guys really need to get naked. I can only thank the heavens above that the 2000 presidential election wasn’t decided in this manner. Tom takes the bait, and hops in the water for some skinny-dipping. They implore Keith to follow suit, but thankfully he declines. This doesn’t end their fun, though. Not at all. Alex has joined the party, and Tara decides that with Kristin out of the picture, the time is right for a good old-fashioned game of “pass the ice cube.” I won’t bother explaining the rules, as they don’t seem to exist. It’s basically a cheap ploy to get freaky, and Alex is eating it up. He kisses Tara, Holly and Des in quick succession, and then allows himself to be led out to a poolside chaise by Holly and Tara. Desiree obviously grew a modicum of self-respect, as she opted out of stage 2 of the game. Meanwhile, Charla is unhappily watching these events transpire. She tells Tom “Some girls are really annoying”, amid laughter and shrieking from Holly and Tara. I’m inclined to agree with her, although I don’t have much more tolerance for her bitter negativity than I do for Holly and Tara’s ho train. Tom listens with a sympathetic ear, although I’d be willing to bet my firstborn that he’d have traded places with Alex in a nanosecond. Tom chastely walks Charla back to her room, while the threesome takes off for an unoccupied bedroom. Just as it looked as though Alex’s highschool fantasies were going to be played out, Scott walks in. They ask him to join them, and the ice cube passing game continues. Tara passes it to Alex, who passes it to Holly, who then passes it to Scott, begging the question: So Scott, how does Alex taste? I’ll tell you, unless those ice cubes were made of frozen Listerine, a mass cold sore explosion may be imminent. Holly and Scott leave Tara and Alex to finish up their game in relative peace. Or as peaceful as it can be, considering that Tara is basically screaming at Alex ( “What the HELL are you wearing?!?! Take that $#&@ off!!!” ), and throwing him around the room. Seeing as how her crisis prevention career isn’t going to work out, perhaps she could become a professional dominatrix. She seems to have the right stuff. Sadly for her, Alex puts an end to their tryst before it was consummated. Better luck next time.
The next morning at breakfast, the guests are all interested in Tara’s take on the previous night’s events. Charla asks her “Did you think about your mom last night, Tara?” Uh, Charla, if you think about your mom while you’re getting busy, I think that you need Freud more than you need Paradise. Tara informs everyone that her mom lets her kiss boys. What a relief. It would suck if she got home and was grounded for the rest of the summer. Especially with that Labor Day sock hop coming up. Before we can pry any further into Charla’s mommy issues and Tara’s arrested development, the Pandora’s box announcement arrives. In keeping with the “boy toy” theme, this week only the women get to ask questions. They all agree that this should be fun. Meanwhile, the men get an envelope offering them use of the hotel’s spa equipment, should they wish to pamper the women. They all agree that this won’t be fun. However, since they’re trying to secure one more week of Paradise, various massages and pedicures ensue. Alex outfits Charla with her new press-on nails, and Dave, relying on what I’m sure has always been his game plan with women, brings them cocktails. Not to be outdone, Keith feeds them fruit and Scott offers up ice cream. All in all, not a bad day for the ladies.
But, alas, there are alliances to be formed and plans to be hatched. This may be paradise, but there’s still a game afoot. Charla convinces Desiree to vote with her and Tara, and Alex and Amy scheme in the exercise room. They want to bring Des over to their side, not knowing that she’s already pledged her devotion to the Charla faction. Des, Charla and Tara powwow, and conclude that they cannot do anything to help Alex win the game. They like Scott much better, and would rather see him come out on top. They agree that Alex has to be the one to go. After the planning session, Scott pumps Tara for information, and she assures him that he has nothing to worry about. At the same time, Keith is talking to Charla, and is not happy with the girls’ consensus. The big dog line flies fast and furious, to the point where he informs Charla that “he is putting his foot down.” I have to say that during this conversation Charla is wearing hair curlers. That combined with Keith’s foot comment almost made me wonder if I’d accidentally switched to an episode of “The Honeymooners”, but no. Evidently Charla was awed by the power of Keith’s foot, as she agreed to change her voting strategy. Way to have a spine, Charla.
At the Pandora’s box ceremony, the men look a bit uneasy about being grilled by the ladies with no chance of reciprocity. It gets uncomfortable with the very first question: “Dave, you’ve admitted that you realize that Keith is kissing your ass. Why do you allow it to continue?” As Dave starts to recite the rote answer of “everyone is just playing the game”, Keith calls Dave on it. Suffice it to say that Dave is a horrible liar and feigns not remembering making that remark. Sure thing, Dave. Whatever you’re smoking must be primo. Moving on, Tom is asked which lady he trusts most, and why? His answer is Amy, for unclear reasons. He mentioned something about her never lying to him. She likes this answer, and a crisis is averted. I was worried about another one of her patented finger-in-the-face moments. Next Dave is again on the hot seat, and is asked if he and Charla are as close as they once were, despite evidence to the contrary. He assures everyone that they are, it’s just that they haven’t roomed together in a few weeks, so they aren’t together as often. Scott is questioned about which girl with whom he’d like to be stranded on a desert island. He answers with the obvious “Holly”, and then makes a weak attempt at crediting her personality for his answer. The guests aren’t buying it. Nor am I. Scott, just say you could use her as a flotation device back to land, okay? Keith is up, and he’s asked if he had to choose between Charla and Tara to win with, which would he choose? He answers Charla, because they’ve been close from day one. Fair enough. Last up is Alex, and he is asked which two remaining girls does he trust, and why? His answer is Desiree and Holly, although he gives no good reason for it. We find out afterwards that he and Amy engineered this question to give the appearance that they weren’t as close as they actually are. Such duplicity. I’m sure the CIA is holding two seats in their next class for these two. As the questions wind down, Amanda returns, much to everyone’s surprise. She explains that the reason she’s there is because there’s yet another twist tonight. The ladies are to choose one man who shall be immune from eviction. As the men retire to the bar, the women discuss who should be saved. I don’t exactly know why they discuss it, as it doesn’t have to be a consensus vote, but rather a majority. Whatever the reason, big dog Scott is given immunity. Needless to say, Keith is not happy that his big dog theory was put out to pasture, but the Charla faction decides to cut their losses and regroup.
And with that, another blissful evening in Paradise draws to a close. Be sure to tune in next time, when ... Zach. Is. Back.