Greetings, Paradiseaholics! Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the Writer’s Forum, I learned that, once again, the recapping duties for everyone’s favorite sleazefest were up for grabs. Ever the masochist, I volunteered. Unfortunately, Monday night’s show came on the same day I decided to quit smoking. Want to know just how bad this show can be? I honestly almost decided to push my quit date back a day, so that I wouldn’t have to watch it sans nicotine. Although I ultimately decided that would be crazy, I think it’s telling. So if any of you thought I was sarcastic before, well, brace thine selves. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
As the show starts tonight, Dramatic Voiceover Man promises us that this is “the beginning of the end”. Don’t toy with our emotions, man. When we last visited the hotel, the evicted guests were back - 1 male and 1 female to be reintroduced into the game - and Zack was looking for revenge. He wasn’t happy that he’d been axed, and he didn’t appreciate the negativity directed at his girl Amy. Let’s hope he doesn’t ever find my previous recaps, otherwise I can only assume that he’ll be on the first flight to Chicago that has 51 open seats. At the moment, Keith is the prime recipient of his ire, and is treated to such gems as “If you ran your mouth like that in the real world, I’d slap it off.” I personally found that hilarious, as it brought back many great childhood memories of a particularly uncooperative Mr. Potato Head. Unfortunately for Zack and Amy, Zack’s attempt to be a badass blows up in his face, as he’s informed that threats of physical violence will NOT be tolerated in Paradise, and he is now ineligible to be brought back onto the show. Keith’s reaction to this news? “I kicked him out again.” Excellent. I love Keith. Knowing that he’ll be leaving shortly, Zack informs his crew that when he leaves, he’s going to make a point of telling the Charla clan that they are not to ask for his phone number and contact information. I’m sure they’re heartbroken, if for no reason other than they might want to ask him where he got that rockin’ headband. He goes on to say that he doesn’t need poison in his life. I beg to differ. I think a little arsenic is just what the doctor ordered. Or maybe a little “Look What The Cat Dragged In”. Bret Michaels, you owe me one.
"Naive Barbie" on sale in aisle 3
With Zack out of the picture, Andon decides that this is his window of opportunity. He’s a man with a plan. He’s going to work Charla and Tara, hoping to earn their trust. He’s going to “get underneath them, and tear them apart.” Whoa, buddy. Is this a plan, or just some wishful thinking? He starts out by killing Charla with kindness, letting her know she’s one of the most powerful people in Paradise. St. Peter can’t be too happy with that news. Charla falls for it hook, line and sinker, and tells Andon that she’s always liked him. Poor Charla. Poor, stupid Charla. Tara’s no more difficult to convert, and she assures Andon that she and Charla will agree to vote the same person on. Charla later has a conversation with Dave, in which he tells her that Andon cannot be the man voted back in. He hasn’t forgotten the way he was treated. In flashbacks, we see just how cruel Andon has been to Dave, and I have to say I can’t blame him for not wanting to be subjected to more of that. Charla, knowing full well that Andon has already secured her vote, tells Dave not to let “them” get to him so much, to stop expending so much energy on them. He should be focusing his energy on their group. What a good friend you are, Charla. These people have been grade-school-style heinous to Dave, but hey - he should just get over it, right? It’s called loyalty. Look it up.
When Skunks Attack!
Toni. Ah, Toni. Despite her surprising lack of facetime on this episode, who could forget our favorite he-she? I think we've all seen interviews of former reality contestants, shot after the shows have ended. Generally, they say that they've let go of any show-related negativity. We learn that they’ve hung out with their sworn enemies, that they’ve had conversations of forgiveness, that they’ve moved on with their lives. Not our Toni. Maybe she needs more time. Maybe she needs some distance and perspective. Or maybe she needs thorazine. Whatever the case may be, she takes the opportunity to give Tara a verbal beatdown, replete with eye-bulges. She tells Tara that she’s fake, she’s a liar, and the way she conducts herself is disgusting. “If you’re really like this in life, I hope you change.” Project much, Toni? Pot. Kettle. You know the rest. To Tara’s credit, she doesn’t say much in response. Normally I’d advocate telling Toni to go to hell, but let’s face it - nobody needs to see a ‘roid-rage induced “I’ll smash you good!” scenario, now do we? Having made her point, Toni leaves in a huff, as is her custom.
Baseball Caps Are An Integral Part Of Every Love Scene
But let us not forget that Paradise Hotel has a softer side. A sweeter side. An endearing side. Yes, I mean resident lovebirds Zack and Amy. As they cuddle in bed, Zack tries to pin down Amy’s emotional state. He wants to know what their future holds. Outside of dermatologists and Pro-Activ, that is. Amy assures Zack that they’ll go far, as “this is the most stable I’ve ever felt.” Good Lord. No, I mean it. My God. Can you even imagine what that says about her, pre-PH? They exchange declarations of love, and Zack - wearing his baseball cap in bed, no less - caresses Amy’s face. Hey, there’s a redeeming quality. I didn’t know he could read braille.
And what of our other lovebirds, Holly and Scott? How will Melanie’s return affect their budding romance? Holly isn’t very happy that Scott has been blowing her off since the return of the evictees, and she and Scott have it out. He reassures her that it’s going to be the two of them until the finals, but at the same time, he wants to spend time with the people he hasn’t been able to see in weeks. Holly “whatever”s him, but it doesn’t seem to make much difference to Scott. Don’t worry, Holly. You have a good two cup sizes on Melanie. You’re all good. Melanie comes to Holly to also add her reassurance. She lets Holly know that she has nothing to worry about, that she and Scott are just friends. Holly tells Melanie that it’s fine, she isn’t the jealous type. Melanie promptly goes back to report to Scott, telling him “Holly likes you. I mean, she LIKES you.” Scott is non-committal. Later on, Holly tells Scott that Melanie is NOT to room with him if she returns. It’s not jealousy, though. It’s strategy. Right, that’s it. Strategy.
Paging Dr. Freud
The next morning at breakfast, Amy is having issues. Snide remarks abound, and pretty much everyone is feeling uncomfortable. Kavita, in the most intelligent thing I’ve seen a hotel guest say, tells the camera "These people are ridiculous. God forbid anything horrible ever happens in their lives, because then they’ll know what to cry about.” Damn straight, Kavita. I now love this girl. Amanda quite reasonably asks Amy if she’s ever tried to talk out her problems with the people she dislikes, to which Amy replies “Don’t analyze me.” Good thinking, Amy. This show only has a couple more weeks to air. Following in the (12EEE) footsteps of her mentor Toni, Amy takes off in a huff. As Charla and Tara leave the table, Melanie tries to apologize for the uncomfortable situation. Sweet, right? Wrong. Melanie informs the viewing public that now that she’s back, she wants to stay. If that means pretending to suck up to Charla and Tara, that’s what she’ll do. A fine example of how age does not necessarily breed maturity.
I knew William Wallace. William Wallace was a friend of mine. You, Zack, are no William Wallace
Lest the camera be off of Zack for more than two minutes at a time, we’re treated to an absolutely priceless diatribe, with Amy as the sole audience member. For those of you who missed the show, you missed comedy gold. I could just transcribe it verbatim - no commentary added - and you’d be doubled over, falling out of your chairs. However, there are space considerations to bear in mind, so I’ll just hit the high points for you. He tells Amy “I wanted to leave here looking good, and I’ll leave looking terrible. One comment and now I’m a raging psycho.” You have to give the boy points for a well-developed sense of self-awareness. Oh, he was being sarcastic? Okay, then give him points for such a beautifully formed delusional state. To that end, he goes on to say “I’m the real winner here. Not Keith! Not Charla! People know who the real winners are!” Take a minute to compose yourselves, because it gets better. No, really, it does. “You gotta keep moving forward. I’ll take the amazing things I got out of this, and just move on. I wouldn’t be a male with Scottish blood and Italian blood if I didn’t take full pride in myself. All you have to do is watch “Braveheart” to see how proud the Scottish people are.” I’m sorry, did he just say “Braveheart”? Rewind. Look at my drink to see if my fiancé somehow added a hallucinogen when I wasn’t looking. Rewind again. Oh sweet Jesus. He did. He really did. Zack, this is Paradise freaking Hotel. You aren’t fighting the English for control of your country. You aren’t a crusader against tyranny. You’re a sorry little man wearing a headband. Go do some karaoke of “Let’s Get Physical” and shut the hell up. Mel Gibson ought to hop a plane to Paradise right now and kick your ass, just on principle. Amy manages to keep a straight face, and stays silent. But he hasn’t reached the pinnacle of delusion quite yet, if you can believe it. Later on, sitting around a table with all the guests, he calls out Dave. He brings up how Charla didn’t want Dave touching her, commenting on how embarrassing it must have been. Dave very maturely says “Yeah, it was embarrassing, but I got over it. Your behavior here is far more embarrassing.” Very very true, Dave. Zack disagrees, saying “I’m well-loved, that’s why I’m back here.” No, jerkhead, you’re back here because ALL the freaking guests were brought back. Someone punch this kid already. “If I was such a bad guy, would someone love me?” People marry serial killers in prison, Zack. Logic isn’t your strong suit. Stick to headbands. “You’re intimidated by me. You’re all intimidated by me.” I’m seriously speechless. Why doesn’t anyone put this little freak in his place? God, I need a cigarette.
The Redemption Song
Oddly enough, at dinner, Zack tries to redeem himself. He makes a speech in which he claims to care about everyone there, even Charla, and presumably Keith. He says that he came into the happy little bubble of Paradise because he wanted to be pampered, to be treated like a rich person. He didn’t like himself very much when he first arrived, but he thinks he’s taking steps in the right direction. I’ll admit that I didn’t see any of the episodes when he was a “real” guest at the hotel, but if this is *better*, well, I can’t even imagine how bad he must have been to begin with. I’m all for making amends and apologizing for bad behavior, but if this was anything more than a ploy to try to look better for the cameras, I’ll eat my keyboard. And I have one of those monstrous ergonomic keyboards, so this isn’t a wager I’m making lightly.
I'll be back!
And finally, the big moment arrives. It’s time to vote two guests back on. First up, the men. Will Andon’s duplicity be rewarded? Let’s find out. Matt received zero votes. Buh-bye Matt. Alex received zero votes. Adios, Alex. Zack is disqualified, leaving only Andon and Beau. Ladies, who did you pick?
Holly, breaking the tie: Beau.
Welcome back, Beau.
Now for the ladies. Amanda, you received zero votes. Arrivederci, Amanda. Kristin, zero votes. Later, Kristin. Toni, you won’t be returning. They don’t tell us if she got any votes, or, if she did, how many. So now it’s between Kavita and Melanie. Gentlemen, reveal your votes, please.
Another tie. The ladies will have to break it.
So it’s up to Holly. I’ll hand it to PH here, because this was actually decent drama. Well, decent by reality show standards. It ain’t Shakespeare. But Holly is sort of forced into a tough situation here. Does she prove herself a liar, and let her jealousy keep her from voting Melanie on? Or does she keep up the cool-girl charade, and hope for the best? It’s the latter. She votes for Melanie. Did she shoot herself in the foot? Find out next time, when Wolf will bring you a recap far superior to the nicotine-craving-induced one you just read.