Ultimate Love Test Week 5: I Would Do Anything For Love, But I Won’t Do THAT!
After a week and a half apart, Frank, Carolyn and Diego fly to Cabo, not yet knowing that they will need to meet with the tempters for a chance to reunite for just 10 minutes with Heather, Jayre and Amber. Yes folks, cost is no object for this show. They will spring for international airfare from three different cities for the mere chance of a 10 minute meeting, rent yachts and have a bungee jumping crane (and ambulance) on call. When will this madcap spending spree end? Apparently this summer, when ABC refused to air a single ad for this show, and didn’t even bother to put together a website that even lets us know how many episodes the show has planned. Could they promote this show any less? I think not. In fact, Mantenna and I have promoted this show more through our recaps for the FORT than any “paid” promotions. Manny, have you gotten any spiffs from the producers yet? I’m still hopeful for an Ultimate Love Test logo T-shirt or a coffee mug. Come on, I’m sure there are some kicking around. Email us at email@example.com m or firstname.lastname@example.org to hook us up.
It’s a Matter of Cranium Over Crane
Frank is glad to be in Mexico, glad to be doing stuff, glad to be out of the house. Melton the cat is excited about it too. Melton was so relieved that Little Ray of Sunshine Frank is out of the house that he’s invited over all of his cat friends to a have party resembling the ad for multiple cat kitty litter. Cats wearing lamp shades for hats and swinging from the antlers of the stuffed deer, it’s Feline Risky Business. Wait, none of those cats have opposable thumbs. Who is going to open the door to let in Melton’s guests? Why am I fixated on this?
Back to Frank, instead of being greeted by Heather, the Cranky Croat is met by his nemesis, CR. CR has a test that Frank needs to pass in order to spend 10 minutes with Heather. CR – are you up to the test? Frank – bring it on. Frank was “pretty bent” and I’m not sure if that was a measure of his flexibility or his telekinetic skills. Frank, under the impression that CR’s role on the show was just as Heather’s friend and not a potential suitor, asks: “so you’re telling me that there is no attraction.” CR clears the confusion: “There is complete attraction. She’s a great girl. You need to step up.” Frank also answers unasked questions: “I’m not here to see you, I could care less about you. No one likes a dude whose trying to steal someone else’s girlfriend.” Well, maybe just the girlfriend, but Frank was talking about a different set of opinions, I guess. CR – “Frank is scared because Heather might not be there for him when this is over.” Ooooh, that sounds eerie. Cue the dramatic music.
So, what is Frank’s challenge? After a series of flashbacks, the take Frank to the crane where CR and Heather bungee jumped before. He thinks it looks a lot bigger in real life than on tv. I guess that depends how big your tv set is, but I’m guessing he doesn’t have a 10 story tall Sony back at the house. So here we have it: In order to spend 10 minutes with Heather, Frank will need to bungee jump. While not incredibly pleasant, it’s something Frank is capable of doing. In fact, Frank could have accidentally “won” his challenge just by leaning the wrong way. But Frank doesn’t want to. He doesn’t like heights, or stupid stunts, or having to “prove” things in his relationship, like that whole “commitment” BS that Heather is always droning on about.
This reminds me of a joke:
How many psychiatrists does it take to change a light bulb?
One, but the light bulb has to WANT to change.
Is Frank going to want to take the plunge to show Heather how much their relationship means to him? How far he is willing to go to spend time with her at this crucial point in their life together? Or is he going to pass, and hope that being quirky and non-committal is going to carry the day?
I’m editing together the stories so we’re not jumping from couple to couple like so many Jerry Springer “I’ve slept with my girlfriend’s whole family, Grammy too” guests. Therefore, we’re not going to leave you in suspense much longer. Just one more paragraph.
CR takes Frank up in the crane to see if he will bungee jump to prove his love to Heather. He stands on the crane, looks at the waiting ambulance, says that it “isn’t his style” to bend over backwards for 10 minutes with Heather. Doing a stunt to prove how he feels about her is “pretty weak” and Frank thinks that he’s proved “it isn’t high school anymore.” I think the eye bags and receding hairlines had already proven that point, but I’m glad we all know that we’re not tuned into an episode of Joan of Arcadia so we can avoid teenage angst. CR editorializes that Frank “blew it.”
As CR is taking Frank back to the airport to fly back without getting to see Heather, CR tells him about the second opportunity to “buy” up to 5 minutes with Heather for $10,000 of the potential winnings. Franks agrees without a moment’s hesitation, as it isn’t “real” money because it hasn’t even been won yet.
CR tells Heather that Frank is here, that he failed the bungee jumping test. She’s surprised that he didn’t jump just to see her. She doesn’t seem too impressed that he was willing to spend $10,000 of the potential $100,000 to see her for 5 minutes, but she is happy to see Frank. They embrace and kiss and are both crying. Please note that they are very happy to see each other. He brought a picture of Melton the cat. As in “see, here’s Melton with today’s paper. I haven’t killed him yet with my poor housekeeping skills.”
Heather is curious about the failed challenge. “You wouldn’t jump for me?” Frank replies: “I felt like it wasn’t my decision, that it was ‘put upon me’.” Some men are born to greatness. Others have it thrust upon them. And them some avoid it at all costs. Heather opines: “He’s taking me for granted; he thinks I’ll always be there for him.” Heather tells Frank as he’s leaving that: “CR is being really respectful. He knows that I love you and that I want a commitment from you.” They kiss and say goodbye, a passionate kiss, right in front of CR. Better than chewing her out and leaving in a huff, I guess.
Heather thinks it would have represented a lot if Frank would have jumped for her, but he wouldn’t. “It’s horrible to leave someone behind after only seeing her for 5 minutes,” Frank says “if you really care about someone, you should be able to step up.” Or step off a ledge. Unless you’re a complete wiener who would have shrieked worse than any of the Dozen Divas who had to sky-dive into the Outback on the first episode of Outback Jack. Hey, at least those ladies made the jump.
As Frank flies back to an awaiting Melton, CR is opening a bottle of wine while Heather is grilling CR about why Frank didn’t do the bungee jump. She knows it is something he wouldn’t do, but is still hurt that didn’t do it. “I’m waiting for something that may never happen.” CR confides that he would have no reservation to give Heather a commitment. Heather is fed up with the same pattern over and over and over. “You get to a point where you don’t have any tears left.” Awe, poor Heather, if you’re all cried out already and you haven’t even married the guy, that should tell you something. All cried out should wait until at least after the honeymoon. She says good night to CR and “sorry that you [CR] had a bad day.” Maybe I’m a sap, but what a nice, sensitive girl. Speaking of sensitive and supportive women, let’s check in on Carolyn, who is flying from New York.
I Told You I Love You Now Get Out: OR, I’m So Happy to See You – Here, Let Me Hand You Your Ass On a Platter.
Carolyn is in a bad mood by the time she gets off the plane in Cabo. She shows up and is really unhappy and upset. The anticipation is “killing” her. I think she spent the flight honing her hit list. Speaking of which (or is it witches), she meets the three fantasy women, Eva, Amanda, and Tenesha. She sits in a chair facing the three fantasy women, in a formation like she’s having a “firing line” job interview, only less fun. She says “hi” very snotty to each of them. Tell us how you REALLY feel, Carolyn. Granted, she doesn’t like them, but damn girl, a little subtlety wouldn’t hurt. Carolyn’s Challenge: She needs to answer six of ten multiple choice questions correctly to get to spend 10 minutes with Jayre.
I’m Axing You 21 Questions (my apologies to 50 Cent):
Of the 3 temptresses, which is the most pure – Tenesha? WRONG, Amanda
Of all four women, which is best looking / best personality – Carolyn picks herself on both counts. WRONG Eva / Tenesha
Of all four women, which is the best dancer – Carolyn RIGHT
Who is the prettiest – me RIGHT
Who likes Jayre the most (of the three) – Eva WRONG Tenesha
Which of the three is the most sincere – Tenesha – RIGHT
Who is the most fun – Carolyn – right
Is Jayre a butt man or boob man? – Butt man – RIGHT
(As an aside, I don’t think that this is a tough question. I can’t think of a man I’ve dated that I didn’t know the answer to that question, and I’m pretty sure I’d be dead on for plenty of guys I’ve never dated.)
Who is the most likely to have Jayre’s back – Carolyn – right (don’t forget, she knows he’s a butt man.)
Carolyn got six answers right and wins the challenge, so she gets to see Jayre for 10 minutes. That isn’t happiness to see him in her eyes. She’s upset, angry, hurt, and has lots of questions for Jayre, but 10 minutes isn’t nearly long enough. If she had the full hour for the show, I doubt it would be enough time for her to explore the depths of her pissed-offedness towards her man. Jayre sashays to the door, wondering what new fun Santa of the Perpetual Cabo Christmas has brought this time. He’s thrilled to see Carolyn and reaches out to give her a big hug. Carolyn pushes back, doesn’t want to be touched by him. “It was all boiled up inside of her and she let her have it” Jayre narrates. She doesn’t want to sit next to him. He’s smiling like a Cheshire cat, and that pisses her off. She’s very hurt that he’s been touching people. “I don’t like you holding their hands and touching them.” Jayre asks if she wants him to go home. He says “I’m sorry” but she says “No you’re not.” He’s kissing her good bye, and she hits him upside the head. Do you want me to go home? “The decision is yours. I am not going to tell you what to do.” She storms out the door. Jayre sitting alone “maybe it is some type of test. I can’t figure it out, as much as I’d like to figure it out. Maybe she just wants me to come home.” Jayre earns Jr. Detective Status with this one, folks. Watch for Jayre to be hosting a new tv show on the Discovery network: Uncovering the Secret Language of Women. Maybe that hit to the head from Carolyn has affected Jayre like Mel Gibson’s character in What Women Want. We’ll see.
Jayre is left with the three fantasy ladies. They have dinner together and the ladies fire questions at Jayre about his relationship. The next part of his test is to see things from a woman’s point of view. Are you listening to us, or are you just hearing us? Jayre’s Christmas in Cabo is over, and it is time to pay off those holiday bills. Jayre again talks about his earlier statement about wanting 4 wives, to put them together into FrankenBride, the perfect person, and he now realizes that there are no perfect people. He has come to realize some of the things that he lacks, and wants Carolyn to admit that there are some things that she lacks. He wants her to be a little less controlling, a little less suspicious. It’s brought their relationship to the point “shape up or ship out.” Carolyn getting off the plane isn’t sure that there is anything in their relationship worth salvaging. She wanted to get married to Jayre, but thinks that she can’t marry him “like that.” Trouble in Paradise indeed.
Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight?
We get clips of the pre-show interview with Amber and Diego, with Amber recalling that Diego wrote messages inside the wrappers of sticks of gum. Amber blushes while she says that one read: “I live romance, the only problem is I live it alone.” That would explain why Diego is constantly using Nair as hand lotion when he’s lifting at the gym.
Diego arrives in Cabo and meets Roy instead of Amber. Roy oils up his smirk and tells Diego that he needs to take a test first to see if he can earn 10 minutes with Amber. Diego wants an apology from Roy for moving in on his girlfriend. Like Carolyn, Diego is barely containing his own anger at this point. “You have no problem flirting with a girl who has a boyfriend?” Apparently Roy does not have any such problems, as he informs Diego: “If you pass the test, you get to spend ten minutes with Amber. If not, you’re going back home.”
Diego says that he would do anything to see Amber. Diego’s Challenge is a combination of physical strength and trivia test called Boulder dash. He needs to push a heavy boulder across the beach to flags and he needs to get 7 out of 10 questions right in 2 minutes. So pretty much this is just the same type of trivia test as Carolyn’s challenge (in which she only had to answer 6 correctly, not 7), but Diego has a 2 minute time limit and he needs to push around an enormous boulder. Anyone else think that the producers wanted Carolyn to pass her test because they wanted to assure that confrontation, but preferred that Diego get the tough choice of having to “buy” time with Amber? Nah, I’m just a suspicious person I guess.
Most important physical attribute in a man – eyes – correct
What is the most important emotional attribute – listening – Roy says Wrong – sensitivity, but I think this answer is really a judgment call.
Where does Amber want to travel – Brazil – correct
Where does Amber want to go for her honeymoon – Madrid? (Not sure about this one) Wrong Fuji
Which artistic form does Amber wish she excelled at more – oils – correct
What does Amber like to photograph more, people, landscapes or architecture – people WRONG landscapes – Diego does not believe this, as he swears she wants to photograph people in different cultures around the world.
If Amber moved away from Vermont, where would she move – somewhere warm with beaches – Roy calls this one correct even though he could have demanded the more accurate answer of Hawaii
How does Amber want to improve herself – be more decisive WRONG be emotionally stronger
He failed the test by missing 4 questions. Diego is terribly disappointed that he didn’t pass the test. He was quite torn up about it and still arguing about the landscape vs. people question. Roy senses that Diego tried with his whole heart to win the challenge but just came up short and was very frustrated. He says “you really love her” and Diego responds, “are you kidding, I love her more than I love myself”. Roy responds that he “feels really bad for him.” To which I respond: What schools did you go to, Dr. Roy, that you never learned that adverbs end with an “ly” and it should be “feels really badly for him.”
Roy tells Diego about his second chance to see Amber for the “worse than even my crappy cell phone package” rate of $2,000 a minute. Diego only wants one minute, just enough time for Amber to tell her that she loves him, to tell him to be strong, and to look into her eyes, and give him a kiss. They don’t show Roy explaining to Diego that he could have up to 5 minutes or that he doesn’t actually have to put this on his Visa, that it’s coming out of prize money that they haven’t won yet. Roy neglects to explain Diego’s rationale that everything he wanted to say would only take a minute, but focused on the fact that he didn’t take the full 5 minutes. Accordingly, Amber was disappointed it wasn’t the full five minutes. Diego is standing outside, crying and waiting to see Amber. Amber says “Diego doesn’t show his emotions much, he doesn’t cry. I liked it.” Ok, I know this is an edited show, but all I could think is: you sadist wench. She redeems herself with this offer: “If this is too hard, then let’s not do it. Money is just money.” Diego leaves it up to her, says “I’ve been poor my whole life, it’s no difference to me.” He’s still yelling “do we want to call it off” as Roy is escorting him down the sidewalk and Amber is harping “will we still have the same problems if I leave now. I need to focus on me, find out what is best for me now.”
Roy gives his unsolicited diagnosis: “I think Diego really wants the money to keep Amber, but I think that he will lose her because of it.” Well Oily Roy, if that happens, it wouldn’t be due in any small part to the fact you painted him as a cheapskate rather than a romantic who didn’t need an extra 4 minutes to cry and be upset to show Amber that he loves her. Ewwwwh.
As Diego was leaving he offered Amber gum, which she declined (even though she knew he’d written her notes on gum wrappers before). He tosses the pack in her lap and luckily Amber thinks to look at the wrappers and found Diego’s writing inside, poetry and other messages about his feelings, what he has learned. This is really sweet, and shows that Diego has been trying to communicate with her as much as he could under the crazy rules of the show. I wonder if any of the ink transferred onto the sticks of gum, and if that affects the flavor.
So much for that sentimental moment. We’re now treated to Roy and Amber having a campfire. Roy shouldn’t sit that close to an open flame because the oil slick he leaves in his wake just might ignite and blow his ass back to the US. He moralizes “the way I see it, it’s a choice between love and money, and I wouldn’t ever, ever, ever choose money over love” stating that Diego did when he didn’t opt to forgo an additional $8,000 for 4 more minutes with Amber. I thought the one minute, while perhaps a bit on the skinflint side of the equation, had at least some meaning. He wants to see you, to convey this message, to hand you some gum that contains his innermost thoughts, but he also wants to protect the prize money, which is why Diego agreed to do this show. Some of the couples are really there to test each other, but Diego is really there to try to get some cash to improve their lives. I think that is more noble than all of the soul-searching bullshit spouted by other contestants, and Roy’s condescending speech about “love or money” irritated me to no end. It’s easy for Roy to say that he’d never choose between love and money when he doesn’t have a girlfriend who wants to travel the world and he doesn’t have the money to provide for that. Amber says “it’s time for me to put myself first.” Do it when you’re young, I guess. Unlike my brother, who is in his late 30s and acting like he’s back in college. That my friends is just lame and irresponsible. But on the positive side, I am once again “the good child” of the family. Did I mention my last name was Smothers? Just kidding.
In two weeks, the test will end. One more couple will drop out and forfeit $100,000. My pick – Jayre and Carolyn, with Jayre taking a plane back to New York to apologize to Carolyn instead of going to Vegas with the Temptress Trio. Maybe Amber could surprise me, but I really don’t see Heather leaving now that Frank has come and gone without saying the “c” word.
During the credits we get bonus video of CR and Frank in the car. These two really don’t like each other. CR is reaching for a bottled water in the back seat and Frank asks him if he has any snake oil, weasel jerky, etc. It was amusing, Frank, but you should keep your day job (or rather night job, as he’s a musician). Leave the quip writing for the professionals (or at least the amateurs who write for the FORT).