Bumpkin nervously steps up to the podium: Hello. My name is Bumpkin.
Audience: Hello Bumpkin!
It’s good to be with you at PH Anonymous (PHA). This week I took part in a super-secret and bizarre writer initiation ceremony at the FORT and ‘volunteered’ to watch Paradise Hotel and write a recap of the show.
So I sat down last night with spiral notebook, favorite pen and VCR at the ready. I was determined to present to the forum a literary masterpiece of journalistic expression.
Has anyone here ever been snipe hunting? My pen, paper and VCR were roughly the FORT equivalent of flashlight, tow sack and isolated creek bed. I could hear the mods snickering and shouting encouragement, just before they left in their cars: “Oh! You’ll be great Bumpkin! We love you!”
Since Paradise Hotel conflicts with my regular recaps of For Love or Money 2 on Monday nights, I haven’t followed the series very closely. How was I supposed to know tonight was the night the rest of the former houseguests returned?
(BravoFan shouts from the back of the room, “You’re doing great, Bumpkin!” and the rest of the mods collapse upon one another in the kind of laughter only a practical joke could inspire.)
Last time I watched the show, Dave had just arrived and was the Nerd Apparent, and attempting an impossible task of making friends with the guests.
Man-o-man has Dave evolved since then.
(Someone shouts from the back of the room: “Just get on with it, Bumpkin.”)
Monday night, the remaining group was apparently surprised by the return of some former hotel guests who had been evicted. Watching the recap of Monday night, I’m immediately transported back to Junior High, circa 1979.
The cool and popular kids had been evicted by the nerdy and dorky, and saw their return as a chance at revenge and redemption. Their jibes, barbs and taunting of the remaining hotel guests made therapists everywhere salivate at the potential for billable hours.
As morning at the hotel dawns bright and clear, Dave phones Keith in the next room. Dave terms the previous evening a “mob mentality” and Keith proclaims that he is done and has had enough of the hotel.
Charla takes to her bed and stays there through most of the show. After the psychological abuse of the night before, she is feeling the edges of her sanity peeling away. She tells Dave, “It’s amazing how clearly you can hear a mosquito at night when you are crazy.” Later, she tells Dave she feels like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz. Dave is the scarecrow, Keith is the Tin Man, Tara is the Lion and Zack is the Wicked Witch.
The other former contestants sit at the breakfast table and wonder aloud why Dave, Charla, Keith and Tara haven’t joined them.
Zack, newly reunited with Amy, begins to explain that he liked her from the very first night he saw her at the hotel. In a flashback scene, we witness Zack’s initial disappointment at being paired with Amy. Unbelievably, Zack tells Amy that his mom really likes Amy a lot, and has apparently encouraged her son to pursue the relationship. (Zack’s mom: Incredibly low standards for her son, or smoking crack? You decide.)
Meanwhile, Scott is quizzing Holly about whether she’d consider posing for Playboy. Without blinking an eye Holly says, “Yes.” Okay, so she’s apparently already given this some thought. Even Scott is taken aback. Why did she answer so quickly? Is it the money? Again, Holly has given this some thought and says “yes.”
Kristin and Andon proclaim Tom and his monkey more deserving of the win than DCKT.
The guests are then invited to the Grand Salon. Charla remains in her bed. Amanda Byram announces the return of more guests – Toni, Kavita, Matt and Alex.
With Dave making advance seating arrangements for this important meeting, Charla shakily makes her entrance with Dave at her side.
Amanda announces to the “visitors” that their time in paradise is almost at an end. Those returning were not there as guests, but only as visitors. Only two of those previously evicted will remain in the hotel, and the remaining guests will decide who will stay on. “A word to the wise,” says Amanda, “You better watch what you say. They will decide who checks in, and who goes home.”
As Andon begins to tell Dave that he took all the trash talk the wrong way, Charla is the focus of hugs and words of encouragement by some of the visitors. Charla’s mental recovery is almost visible, and she proclaims there’s no way she’s leaving and depriving her friends of her vote.
Incredibly, Zack begins to try to win Keith over by unleashing a string of invective filled machismo regarding Keith’s modeling abilities, his sexual preference, the opinion of Toni, Amy and greater America. Something, something, 50 guys and Keith’s brother in Arizona.
Keith retreats to his room and begins packing his bags while muttering under his breath, “Nobody deserves to be put up with that. I wasn’t raised to disrespect people.”
To his credit, or perhaps because staying in the room was too depressing, Dave attempted to circulate with the remaining houseguests. Alex apologizes if he has offended Dave, then proceeds to talk about the size of Dave’s ears, the way they serve as a gauge of Dave’s emotions and then wonders how they look with a flashlight behind them. Toni picks up the attack saying all of America hates Dave, among other things.
Dave holds his ground, is outwardly calm, and resists the urge to punch Toni and Alex right in the mouth as any other rational being might have done. Deciding Charla is the lesser evil, he retreats to his room to once again attempt to cheer her.
Later Melanie and Scott visit their old room, causing Holly to cry. Reliably, Dave steps in to offer a shoulder to cry on.
The guests and visitors all gather once again to play a game called Pandora’s Box. This is apparently a parlor game in which folks take turns at telling the biggest whoppers. Amanda says her only lies on the show were to Beau. Kirsten says the behavior of the visitors was not in the least embarrassing, because none of them have done a thing wrong at all.
(Just about now, my first grader interrupts and demands my attention because he urgently wants to tell me something about school. With great shame, I confess that I shushed him at first.
Then I looked at the screen, looked at the Bouncing Bumpkin and hit the mute button. He wanted to tell me that one of the kids in his class wears the same clothes to school every day, and the other kids were making fun. With reality and TV once again in perspective, I hope you’ll forgive me if I missed the more salient points of Pandora’s Box while I talked to him about the importance of being kind to people.)
Anyway, Beau said he respects Dave for taking the abuse so well, and offers a thumbs up.
Hostess Amanda returns with final announcements. The remaining men will pick one lady to check back into the hotel, and the remaining women one man. Since Zack broke the PH rules by threatening Keith with physical violence (wait, there are actual rules?), he is disqualified and cannot be selected to stay on.
Join Paradise Hotel next week as the competition intensifies.
For questions or comments about this recap, contact SnipeHunter@fansofrealitytv.co m
Until next week.