Son, You Should Catch A Cab From Backwoods, Vermont To Cabo: The Ultimate Love Test, Week 2.
Last week we were treated to a most excellent recap of the first episode of ABC’s The Ultimate Love Test by my good buddy Mantenna, who introduced us to the four “lucky” couples who are testing the strength of their relationship, hoping to come away with $100,000 in the end. By popular demand from the viewers and FORT members, we have set up a forum for ULT and will have recaps. Yes, we had a public mandate for it, and I am sure that you, the handful of viewers for this lovely TV show, were completely shocked that it took almost a week to corner any of the FORT writers into covering this trainwreck of a series. The fact that John the site Administrator actually drove across three states and showed up at my doorstep earlier this week has nothing to do with my willingness to help out Mantenna with this writing assignment, so please John, burn those negatives already, I’m writing, I’m writing.
Meanwhile in Cabo: One Ticket to Paradise . . .
Sorry if I just reminded anyone of last summer’s Paradise Hotel by bringing up the title to that old Eddie Money song. Actually, I’m not really sorry. I’ve had it stuck in my head all morning and I just needed to share my pain. The Ultimate Love Test doesn’t have a cheesy host like Amanda from P-Ho, so it needs to be cheesy all on its own. Will it succeed? Survivor’s Rob C’s Eight Ball says “All signs point to ‘yes’.” This is looking pretty strong in the Cheez Whiz scale when we start catching up with our lucky couples.
Sexy Latino Diego’s girlfriend, long-suffering repressed flower child Amber is passionate about art, photography, many other things. Diego tells us that “a million things at once” interest her, and he has to “ground her”. Hmmm, sounds like Amber is a bad teenager who missed curfew and can’t talk on the phone or watch crappy reality TV shows for a whole week. Or else she’s stray electrical current at risk for shorting out the power grid if somebody doesn’t lasso her and harness that energy into the ground. Either way, from the update it looks like the producers wisely selected the “less ready to settle down with their current partner” (i.e. the one more likely to ‘test’ the boundaries of their relationship) of each pair was sent to Cabo, with the notable exception of Heather.
Oh yes Heather, whom the producers had the good fortune to convince her ex-friend C. R. to play along in Cabo and attempt to woo her back while her boyfriend Frank holds a vigil for Heather in her house with her cat, Milton. I love this cat’s name, because as a former English major in college, the fact that the cat is named after the author of “Paradise Lost” was not lost on me. Milton rocks, and I’m talking about the rather flexible cat who has perfected the “why the hell are you here” glare at soda pop can throwing Frank, not the eccentric old English writer who forced his kids to transcribe long passages for him because he lost his eyesight while writing Paradise Lost. I digress, but any reminder of classical literature is truly comedic juxtaposition on this show. Irony rocks.
You Can Pick Your Friends, and You Can Pick Your Nose, But You Can’t Pick Your Friend’s Nose: Time to Pick Your Favorites.
Two episodes in (yes, I did watch last week, how can I resist such a guilty pleasure of a TV show), and I’ve already got my favorites. I like Diego as he seems like a sweet, genuine guy, and while Amber seems like a decent person, (she’s no Trish from the Bachelor, I’ll give her that), I think the free spirit artist stuff is trite and annoying. You need a rich boyfriend who can fly you around the world in order to fulfill your lifelong goal become an artiste? Oh please. Just like Anna Nicole Smith needed a wealthy husband 50 years her senior to help her fulfill her lifelong dream of being a gold-digger.
I like Kenesha, but wish girlfriend would read the writing on the wall (and on the ceiling, and on the sidewalks, and pretty much any writing surface in sight), get a clue, and realize that not only will Brandon cheat on her again, that he has no compunction against doing it on a TV show, in front of God and at least a dozen viewers. Even losing the opportunity to win $100,000 isn’t enough to give Brandon second thoughts about holstering his joystick while in Cabo for three whole weeks. By the end of this episode, Brandon is chasing after Brooke like a horny gazelle and even Brooke is more concerned about Kenesha than Brandon ever thought of being. Uuuugh. Memo to Brandon: You are an icky guy. You are not Derek Jeter or Keifer Sutherland in the looks and attractiveness department, so women are not jumping all over each other just to have the chance to get with you. After this show airs, all dozen or so single women who have seen it will never, ever date you. I think I speak on behalf of all single women when I say, that is a loss to the dating pool that I am willing to take.
I like Heather, and think that Frank is a bitter pill to swallow. I do enjoy watching Frank and Milton pace the floors of Heather’s place giving each other the evil eye though. Frank’s hair keeps getting fluffier and more out of control. Perhaps his hair is a metaphor for his inner emotions. Or else he’s just yucky and doesn’t bother to shower if Heather isn’t around.
As for Jayre and Carolyn, there is really nothing to like about this relationship. She’s controlling and bossy, he’s a player wannabe dog with dreams of being with many women at a time, and together they’re just icky. If they’re still together after this show (which I think they will be), they can star in their own sitcom called The Bickersons, which I would have no intention of watching. Sitcoms, yuck. Who comes up with that crappy tv overrun with fakey laugh track applause? Yes, I realize the irony of that sentence given that I’m recapping a reality tv dating show. You wanna make something of it?
Pass the Airsickness Bag: This Show Jumps Around So Much, I’m Getting Motion Sickness
There is no logical way to try to recap this show because we’re constantly fluttering back and forth between the 4 couples and between the group in Cabo and the group back at home. Strap on the Immodium and I’m going to try to reorganize so that every other sentence isn’t jumping around like this episode. Back in Cabo, Roy surprised Amber with the gift of a brand new digital camera so she can express herself artistically. Roy is hoping that she opens up to him and not just the loot. Amber takes a picture of Roy and then shoos him out while she figures out her new toy.
Diego is pissing and moaning from home while he shows his parents the video messages. His parents watch the video and his dad pipes up: “You’ve knocked off guys for less than this.” Dad thinks that Diego is “giving her away” to this guy who can blow Amber “from Backwoods, Vermont” away with his money. Dad advises Diego to sell his car to buy a plane ticket and go over there to fight for Amber, as Dad characterizes Diego “if she strays it wasn’t meant to be” attitude, while very Zen, will end up with Diego being the “better man, but one without a girlfriend.” I think Diego is absolutely right that if Amber decides she’d rather have someone else, he’s better off without her, but then again, I’m not familiar with the dating pool in Backwoods, Vermont. Diego and Amber are young and they need to figure things out, like what they want to do when they grow up. I like Diego’s Dad, though, as he seems like a caring father who doesn’t want Diego to mess up his relationship. He obviously hasn’t subscribed to the “no-one is good enough for my child” philosophy for dating that some parents adopt.
Giving Notorious Reality TV Dating Show Sluts a Run for Their Money: Brandon is a Man-Ho on Par with Bachelor contestant Trish, Rebekkah (from Bachelorettes in Alaska) and peanut butter sluts Jenna and Heidi from Survivor.
The producers have arranged for Brandon to have a massage with Brooke. Brooke is recalling the first time that she met Brandon and realized that he had asked Brooke out on a date even though he was dating Kenesha. Brooke is less than impressed, and I’m liking Brooke more and more. In fact, she could very well be the nicest “temptress” ever on reality tv dating shows. Certainly more likeable than that Eva character that is shaking her fun-bags at Jayre this episode. Brandon is “sure that he’ll miss Kenesha, but having Brooke here will ‘make it easier’.” We’re all so relieved that poor Brandon won’t be too terribly lonely in Cabo. Meanwhile back in their hometown, Kenesha is roaming around the house in a peculiar red t-shirt that says “Rookie” but if Brandon has any Nookie with Brookie, he could be getting the Hookie.
Kenesha’s faithful beau Brandon grabs a piece of Brooke’s ass while she’s getting on a boat. He’s got his arm all over her, they go parasailing. Brooke says she’d honestly like to see Brandon and Kenesha pass the test to see if he’s really in love. Brandon’s more interesting in bragging about how faithful he’s being because “if he had things his way, he’d already be kissing Brooke”. Wow, that is so big of you that you haven’t already cheated on your girlfriend, you’re only fantasying about it, and bragging about what a good loyal boyfriend you are. My hero.
Brandon and Brooke have dinner at a restaurant named Mi Casa. Brooke asked Brandon why he had cheated on Kenesha. He says that he needed more confidence in himself, and cheating gave that to him. Brooke isn’t wildly impressed when he says he won’t ever cheat again. Brooke asks if he’s looking for someone. Brandon says he’s been looking for someone for the past 3 years. Hey wait, isn’t that how long he’s been dating Kenesha? Kenesha, get a freakin’ clue. Brandon, extremely full of himself, says, “At first Brooke thought I was a player, but how she’s seen something deeper.” Like what, maybe a waist deep trench filled with your bullshit? Throw me a lifeline already, it’s getting deep in here. Brandon tells Brooke that his plans for the night are: Besar, Bailar, Barracho. Kiss, Dance, Drunk and Disorderly. Sounds like a great first date with some guy who already has a girlfriend. Or maybe not to Brooke and any other self-respecting woman. I don’t think Brooke and Brandon will be exploring his three B’s, but he does get a taste of “Hey, that’s my Boob!” and “he’s mauling me!” Say it with me, Brooke: “You Can’t Pay Me Enough to Want to Tempt This Guy!!!!”
Brooke is supposed to the temptress here, and Brandon is begging her for a kiss. Brooke pushes him away as he hits on her “several dozen times” and that tells her that he’s “absolutely enthralled with her” and just “has to kiss her”. Brandon says that he “wants to tap that ass” as Brooke walks away, disgusted with Brandon, who has more groping going on than an Arnold Schwartzenegger campaign fundraiser. Brooke is totally turned off and says (accurately) that she’s more concerned about Kenesha’s feelings than Brandon is. Brandon truly is a dog. Kenesha is checking her email, gets a message from Brandon and tells her that he’s very attracted to Brooke. Kenesha comes away from the very mild (early day shots) of video “very confident” but boy, we know, that is not going to last.
What is The Measure of Fun: Off the Funometer Scale in Cabo
Jayre is ready to have some “controlled fun” with Eva, not too much fun, but some fun. They have a picnic and discuss that Jayre’s sex life is “so-so” and Jayre again states that he wants to marry four women. This is obviously the fantasy of a man who has never been married. I’d give him worse odds than a J-Lo marriage as for how long his marriage to four different women would last. Jayre and Eva strip down to go snorkeling and Jayre avoids looking at her when she’s removing her shirt because that was too rapid fire for him, but then takes every opportunity to comment on her hoots. Carolyn watching at home with her mother keeps saying that Eva is chunky, has back dimples, and not Jayre’s type. Sorry to say this, Carolyn, but I think any woman who breathes is Jayre’s type, but lucky for Carolyn, Jayre is at least talking about showing some restraint.
Jumping back to New York, we find out that Carolyn doesn’t like sex. Jayre doesn’t like kissing. They compromise and don’t do much of either. Sounds like they have a stellar sex life. Carolyn’s ex-boyfriend James shows up and they got out the lunch in a restaurant. For some reason, we are treated to subtitles even though they are speaking English. I do not get this, because the rest of the show doesn’t have subtitles, yet we’re not supposed to be able to understand Carolyn and James. Personally I find James a lot more attractive than Jayre and am wondering why Carolyn is his ex-girlfriend. We get a little hint that perhaps she was a titch overwhelming. James finds out the Carolyn usually calls Jayre 15 times a day, and calls her out that she’s being controlling and she’s jealous. She doesn’t have a defense, yet is quite defensive. Am not!!!
Carolyn watching video of Jayre frolicking in the surf with Eva and hears Jayre tell her that his sex life with Carolyn “is not worth jumping up and down about”. Carolyn talks trash to the video screen, saying again that Eva isn’t Jayre’s type. I don’t think Jayre has meet a woman whom he doesn’t like, much like Will Rogers, only in a horndog kind of way. Back in New York, Carolyn is looking at the pictures of Jayre touching Eva’s hand. She says “it could be 300 times worse, but I still don’t like it.” Jayre thinks that he might be in trouble, and may have sealed his own fate. If we’re all going to be persecuted for our thoughts, Jayre isn’t he only one in trouble. Maybe Carolyn has seen Minority Report and is enlisting Tom Cruise to help her prosecute Jayre for future crimes. Or perhaps she’s a bit psycho. Nah . . .
A Bottle of Red, A Bottle of White, Some Candles, a Man, and His Girlfriend’s Cat
C. R. takes Heather bungee jumping, which would violate one of Frank’s Anti-Fun Mandates, which states that Heather can’t do anything potentially dangerous. I guess that means that Heather had to walk to Cabo, because airplanes and cars are all unreasonably dangerous. Back at Heather’s home, Frank and Milton the cat are pacing around, making each other sneeze, and wondering what Heather is up to. Well, Frank thinks that Heather is worrying about him and wouldn’t want to do anything that would piss him off. Milton is licking himself.
C. R. and Heather bungee jump together and hold on tight while they fall into the abyss. C. R. cops a feel for a really long time, and while walking away he checks out the claw marks on his biceps. C. R. opens the car door for Heather, and she says she’s not used to that because Frank has so many “boundaries” that he never opens doors for her. Frank’s “boundaries” is apparently code for “lame excuse for being an impolite asshole”. I’m not sure what Heather sees in Frank, and right now, she may not be sure either.
Frank says that his is fed up with the test. He and Milton the cat are burning some funky candles, drinking wine and whining. Heather whines to C. R. that she wants Frank to figure out whether he wants her or not, because she doesn’t want to be a “professional girlfriend.” C. R. says that he doesn’t think Frank is the one with Heather, and adds, “not that I’m saying that I am, just that Frank isn’t.” Heather is having doubts about her relationship. C. R. seems like a decent guy who actually cares about Heather, and he doesn’t have a bushel of hair growing like a wildfire, so if I were Heather I’d have some doubts about Frankie boy too.
Dateline: Backwoods, Vermont
Diego is working out, looking damn hot. He is thinking about Amber and the fact that today is their anniversary. Somehow her thoughts are distracted by Roy, who is taking her on a jet ski, and then turning tight corners to try to make her hold on to him tighter. Jerk. Then he takes her to an art gallery and she gets the chance to toss some pottery on a wheel. Roy tries to re-create the Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze tossing a pot on the clay wheel scene from the movie Ghost. I try to re-create my appetite after nearly tossing up dinner watching Roy’s slimey moves.
Amber and Roy talk about his job as a doctor, and that he works with cancer patients. Amber wants to travel more for her “artwork” but Diego wants to settle down and start a career. Diego “understands” that she wants more, but doesn’t do anything about it. She feels like she’s already waited around for him. Diego is working out with free weights, jumping rope, talks about how she doesn’t like how much time she spends in the gym working out. It doesn’t sound like Diego and Amber really care too much for each others’ interests. Maybe that is something they could learn from this show. Wow, educational television has never been quite this cheesy.
Amber says that Roy would be able to give her things that Diego can’t. Diego isn’t thrilled about the digital camera gift, and tells his Dad that “I want to kill this guy.” What happened to the whole Zen “If you love someone, set them free” attitude Diego had earlier? Amber remembers that it is her 2 year anniversary with Diego, and then says that she’s not sure if she’s in love with him. Diego has a horrible feeling and doesn’t want to be made a fool. Too late, you’re already on a reality TV dating show. Don’t worry Diego, you’ll make out OK in my recaps. You’ll have to take your chances with Mantenna next week though.
Next week: Brooke blows up and calls out Brandon on his superficial behavior and Kenesha gets an invite to Cabo. More disturbing video for the folks at home, and Jayre gets to meet the other two fantasy women that Carolyn will find woefully inadequate for her picky boyfriend. Mantenna will be back with the recap (unless he flees the jurisdiction to avoid this sentence) and we’ll all be here, dishing on the show. If you have any questions or comments for me, or are a participant on the show and would like to arrange an interview, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org m or send one to Manny at email@example.com and we’d be happy to hear from you.