Ultimate Love Test 7/21/04 Recap: If You Wish Upon a Star, Your Fairytale Dreams Can Come True, Especially on Disney-Owned ABC.
Hello, my dear friends, and welcome back to Ultimate Love Test. It seems that together we have made it to the end of this charming fairytale, which is more than some of the couples on the show can say. So, congratulations all around. With all the lurve in the air, you shall be presented with an ultimate recap for this finale and coda, featuring the combined might of LG. and Manny. Give it up for LG.; give it up for me. We're classically trained to rock your socks off!
LG: Oh yes, we’re all tuned up and ready to recap. Hit it, Maestro Manny!
Before we move on to the epic events which lay before us, let us fondly look back on this long and undulating trip.
LG: No finale could be complete without replaying every remotely interesting moment for the umpteenth time. Maybe this time Brandon won’t maul Brooke on their first date. Oooops, he did it again, just like Brittney Spears, only Brandon wouldn’t be silly enough to refuse a pre-nup.
Once upon a time, there were four couples who, for some curious reason, decided to test their relationship on national television. They were Heather and Frank, Amber and Diego, Brandon and Kenesha, and Carolyn and Jayre. Tensions immediately arose when the test began, and the effusive drama--oh, the drama--forced two couples to forfeit the test.
LG: I think Grimms fairy tales would say that dragons or wolves or evil trolls stepped in to prevent Brandon, Kenesha, Carolyn and Jayre from finishing the test. I hate those trolls, shaking down the billy-goats gruff without provocation, but more realistically I think we can let the trolls off the hook on this one. I’ll credit Brandon’s uncontrollable libido (plus videotape) and Carolyn’s Cabo tantrum after winning the easiest of the challenges (and Jayre’s inability to appease her even with cheesecake) for losing half of the cast of this show mid-way.
Frank and Diego persevered through the pain of separation (and video messages from Cabo), and last week completed the test and won the money. The ladies, of course, also persevered through things such as lounging on the beach and won their part of the money, too. However, tonight, they all face a decision of truly epic proportions: Will this be a new beginning or the end of their respective relationships?
Find out in the most DRAMATIC ROSE CEREMONY EVER! Sorry, folks, that's the wrong show, isn't it? At least you can always fall back on that joke.
LG: Right network, Manny, but that is a show that ABC bothers to advertise.
The Things You Said
We meet up with Frank, everybody's favorite skinny and angry Croatian rocker, and he is excited that he'll get to see Heather soon. To help give the best impression possible, he goes out and gets a "hair trimmin'" and buys some spiffy new threads. When he returns from the shopping spree, he finds another bloody video message waiting for him . . . however, this one is different . . . it's just Heather speaking directly to him. It seems that she has upped the ante--while she first simply wanted him to move in completely with her, she now wants "the fairytale." Frank is a bit turned off by this message because he has already decided what he wants for his future with Heather and says it seems like whatever he does just isn't enough.
LG: Manny, I think there is a Cure song that goes “whatever I do it’s never enough, never enough” but you might be too young to know who the Cure ever was. So sad, I’ll just keep looking so long at these picture of you, I almost believe that they’re real . . .
Oh, LG, you have no idea. I’m still amazed that the show is finally coming to a conclusion. I never thought that this day would end; I never thought that tonight could ever be . . . this close to me.
Luckily, Melton comes over to console Frank before things get too bleak. Frank now gets the opportunity to send a video message to Heather--the first time that this has been possible for the whole show. Unfortunately, it's just a confessional-type thing, and he can't show Heather footage of her freshly-clean house and a happy, mewing Melton, but he nevertheless gets to communicate with her.
LG: Here is Frank’s chance to unleash his poetic muse, to win over the love of his life with his polished lyrical thoughts. After all, Frank would rather see a Captain and Tennille ending than No Doubt.
No doubt about that, LG! A ha ha ha ha ha. G’night everybody! Don’t forget to tip your server!
We see Heather open her laptop and watch the video and hear Frank unleash a bit of emotional catharsis. He says that it's been difficult, and he feels a bit betrayed by her confiding private things about their relationship in her ex-boyfriend C.R.. On the flipside, he's made the commitment to move in completely with her, and though her sometimes-overbearing personality might have weakened him a bit, he now feels that he's a better, stronger person for her.
Heather is not exactly impressed. She thinks that what he's said is hurtful and now thinks that Frank is not the right guy for her. Could this be curtains for the relationship before they even reunite?
LG: Melton perks right up at the mention of curtains, as those are great fun to climb. Just ask Garfield.
It's Just a Question of Time
As the leaves of change blow gently across the screen of your TV, we come to "the moment we've all been waiting for": Diego in the shower? That's not really what I was waiting for, but that's certainly what they just showed me. Sheesh! The bloody voyeuristic cameramen on this show.
LG: Turnabout is fairplay, as we were treated to a “Frank in the shower” shot a couple weeks ago, Manny. Oh, you think turnabout would be seeing Amber or Heather in the shower? Now what fun would that be for me?
Um . . . not as much fun as the producers are having with dude shower scenes, apparently.
Diego has decided to go all-out for this reunion, as well, and gets into a dapper suit and tie for the occasion. He similarly receives a video message from Amber as he's getting ready, and he's excited to see her all dressed up, even just on the video. Amber says that she's learned a lot about herself during the test, and she's unhappy with the relationship as it stands. Diego is very disappointed to hear this and hopes that Amber will realize that he only wants to help her achieve and surpass her dreams, not to be the guy standing in the way of them.
LG: For some reason, I read Manny’s last paragraph as Diego wants to “help her ARCHIVE and surpass her dreams” which seemed a bit odd, but who knows, perhaps the pressures of the test have caused Diego to become a librarian.
Diego sends a message back to Amber, congratulating them both for the money that they've earned. However, the money doesn't matter to him; he simply can't wait to see her again! He also says that they both need to concentrate on what they need together, as opposed to dwelling on their individual needs. Amber tells us that she hasn't really been selfish, if that's what Diego's implying. If anything, she argues, she needs to think more about herself in the relationship. Roy's following across the globe cheers.
LG: And lets out the big “ME, ME, ME!” cheer. They aren’t singing musical scale notes, folks, they’re channeling Trista and other ego-centric reality tv “personalities” we’ve encountered.
The Mystery of Love is Greater than the Mystery of Death
That's Oscar Wilde, you know. So, you can never, ever say that this show didn't have a sliver of class and intellectual stimuli.
LG: You’re right, Manny, even though it turns out that Heather’s cat wasn’t named after Paradise Lost author Milton after all. Manny was the winner of the Gulliver’s Travels trivia question from my prior recap, so heaped amongst my tons of praise for my witty co-capper Manny is kudos for a well-read youngster.
Meanwhile, our buddy Diego waves goodbye to his parents in Vermont and magically arrives in L.A. shortly thereafter. He reveals that he thinks he's done a good job with his side of the test--after all, he's been suffering in cold Vermont while watching his girlfriend enjoy herself, controlling his temper and emotions, and proving with honesty how much he loves Amber, even though there have been so many hurtful images thrown at him, and he's willing to make any changes necessary to keep the girl. I don't think anyone can really argue with that, Diego.
LG: Then you obviously haven’t been spending much time reading posts in the forum lately, Manny, as there are many who WOULD argue it with you, to the point of sending me nearly incomprehensible email about how Roy has “got it” and I am a “fool who don’t”. But I digress . . .
Well, no worries. We're all about reader feedback. Nasty comments? Hate us? Send it all to LG&Manny@godoyourownbloodyrecapth en.com. (Thanks, Cali.)
Diego climbs into the back of the car and drives out to meet his destiny.
Heather, accordingly, heads out to meet Frank . . . she still looks and feels about as excited as one who's heading to the firing squad.
LG: Does she get to order a Tombstone Pizza, Manny, as that would make a trip to the firing squad almost worth it.
Heather reveals to us the important things she's learned during the test: She's a hopeless romantic, she's optimistic, and she's stupid for loving a guy that will never come around. She also thinks there's no hope for a romantic reunion after hearing Frank's message. I'm not so sure about #2 on the list. . . . Frank, also headed toward the Plaza, hopes that Heather is not hurt that he's moved in.
I'm in Love
Diego arrives at the Plaza, and we find we're at the moment of truth! Eep! He walks down through the columns and down the lush red carpet for what appears to be several days, and finally finds himself in front of Amber. Peak tourism hours must be over once again, as the room is completely empty. Weepy piano music is played, they embrace lovingly, and begin to talk. Amber says she's changed a lot since the test, and now she's like a new person--in a good way.
LG: Is this like when J-Lo announces she feels like a new person and promptly trades up spouses? For Diego’s sake let’s hope not.
She also says, however, that they have a lot to work on, and she thinks that Diego has been slacking off a bit. Especially in the romance department. Ouch.
LG: Apparently love notes on chewing gum wrappers don’t carry quite the wallop that they used to. Diego needs to get some new material. If he comes up with any, I hope he shares it with the finalists on Last Comic Standing, as I fear I’ve heard all of their “A Game” several times now.
Diego starts to get teary at these accusations, but does not disagree. He says that it's embarrassing to hear all these things, but he's perfectly ready to change and give the relationship new life. He says that he came here with something in mind, and pulls out his newly-bought engagement ring, which glimmers and shimmers in an unearthly manner.
LG: That’s because it’s kryptonite, Manny, designed to keep Super-Doc Roy at bay on the sidelines while Diego makes his big move. Shrewd.
Amber looks as though she's about to cry, and with a smile, says, "Don't worry, D . . . I want to try again!" Diego is overjoyed, as he thought he had lost her. They stroll off, holding each other close, and presumably live happily ever after.
On Top of the World
Now it is Frank's turn to walk the long, straight, narrow path to Heather, and we find ourselves at the second moment of truth in one night! Eep! Frank looks very pleased to see Heather, and tries for another loving embrace, but unfortunately Heather looks more uncomfortable than anything else. She immediately brings up the video message, saying that it hurt her . . . especially the whole deal about her personality "weakening" him. Frank seems a bit addled, and replies, "I said that?"
LG: We all know how well “I didn’t do it, it’s all delusional Brooke’s fault” worked for Brandon, so Frank wisely changes strategy. It wasn’t me, it was the one-armed man who made the videotape. . .
He goes on to clarify that she didn't do anything to purposefully hurt him. He feels that with her strong personality, he often lets her take care of things, and he seems to have lost himself along the way. However, he feels that he's now found himself, and he's ready to take a more important leap of faith; one that doesn't involve his jumping with rubber bands wrapped around his feet. With that, he gives her a nicely-wrapped gift box, which she proceeds to open. Inside is a Matrushka doll--you know, the ones that you open up, and there's another one inside, and another, and another, and whoa!
LG: They mention that this is the same type of doll that Frank brought back for Heather when he went to Russia or something like that. So, apparently Roy wasn’t the only well-traveled cast-mate on this show.
Heather opens them all up, but instead of the little dinky person in the center, there is . . . an engagement ring! Ha! for all of you who thought it was just a new collar for Melton.
With that, Frank gets down on his knee, and the man who has been accused of being terrified of commitment proposes to Heather. She joyfully accepts, and the two embrace again . . . this time in a much more passionate manner. As they walk off together, Frank reveals that he just went with his heart and his gut, and it was a piece of cake. Aww . . . I just love the happy endings. Don't you, LG.?
LG: I sure do, Manny. Release the bluebirds of happiness, strike up the band, we have a genuine happy ending on our hands here. Sniff, and to think we didn’t know how it would end for so long. Sniff. It looks like Steve the Hype and the rest of the Ballentine Band are still in the business.
I don’t wanna live my life
Wonderin’ what I would’ve done if I didn’t have you.
I don’t wanna feel like you held me down
When I think about what I would do
If I had to do it all again
I’d still choose you in the end. . . .
It’s gonna be you. -“It’s Gonna Be You” - Ballentine
Heather meets with C.R. He is no longer walking with a swagger or looking so confident. He scans her hand for a ring, and, woebegone to him, discovers one there. He does the gentlemanly thing and congratulates Heather, stating he only wanted what was best for her and proclaims Frank a lucky SOB. He abruptly has to leave and walks away a broken man--twice scorned by Heather's love. He was, however, a true friend to Heather and very protective of her, and she proclaims she will always love him and he will remain a close friend.
LG: CR did leave on a classy note, and now he can devote more time to wandering the beach looking for the rest of his name.
So my dear friends, it seems that our fairytale has come to a conclusion, though it is just beginning for our two couple who finished the show. So, just what has happened five months after the show?
Heather and Frank are still engaged, and things are going great. We get to see some footage of the band, who is doing very well. I've had the pleasure of listening to their new CD, and it rocks. For Valentine's Day, Frank, the true romantic, got Heather three rubber ducks, which together make a rubber ducky family. You know what this represents . . . Frank, Heather, and . . . Melton! Okay, so he got her two dozen red roses, too. Marriage is planned for the spring of 2005.
LG: Now, are we going to see the All-Pink TV Wedding like Ryan and Trista from The Bachelorette? I bet these two (and they’re funky friends from the band) would throw a much more interesting wedding. Heck, invite me, I might be free that weekend. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org m and Manny’s is email@example.com
Amber and Diego are still together and having a wonderful time. It seems that Roy, having not gotten what he desired, hasn't really kept in contact with Amber after the show. Pity. The two seem to be living a life filled with romance, fun, and lots and lots of food. Incidentally, this is my idea of a perfect life.
LG: Food rocks. Good for them.
Jayre returns and reveals that since he's alone in the video, things obviously didn't work out between him and Ms. Misanthrope Carolyn. It seems that some things never change, and they couldn't get over some of their issues. Such as Jello shots, I suspect. Jayre believes that he has grown and matured a lot from his experience on the show, and though the bachelor life is a bit lonely, he's happier. He's learned the importance of trust in a relationship. All the same, I bet he still watches his back when he goes outside.
LG: Carolyn is not on good terms with the producers as she does not give an interview for the camera. Maybe if they would have lured her with cheesecake she could have at least told them “I TOLD Jayre not to be touchin’ them bitches” for the update.
Brandon and Kenesha are still broken up . . . surprise, surprise. It seems that they don't really speak anymore, but Brandon still thinks that Kenesha might be the girl for him. You know, it was a right-girl-at-the-wrong-time thing, right? WRONG!
LG: Perhaps if the time had been the 1800s when women didn’t have any choice in these matters, that could have been the “time” for Brandon and Kenesha.
It seems that Kenesha has found a new boyfriend, who is all the things she's ever wanted in a guy. Good for her! Brandon, meanwhile, puts out a plea to all the women of the world, if they're interested in supporting him. Tool.
LG: Oh yeah, sign me up for that. I’d love to support an unfaithful slacker whose likely to expose me to untold STDs.
Yeah, he wants to be a playa. Too bad none of the ladies will want to play.
So, my friends, this is the end. I'm very happy with the results of the show; in fact, I would have been bloody disgusted if it had ended any other way. Congratulations to Heather, Frank, Amber, and Diego!
LG adds: Heck, I’d like to congratulate Jayre and Kenesha too, as they both learned something about their past relationships through the test that could have easily cost them more than the $100,000 (less taxes) at stake in the test. If you don’t believe me, check out the nice car my divorce attorney is driving. Be happy, find healthy relationships, and by all means, stay off of ABC reality tv shows as they don’t bother to run a single ad for them. And a big “thanks” for our faithful readers who have stuck with this show through the very end. I think a couple of you didn’t even appear on the show.
Our contract is up, but you can still reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com m There’s no more TV tonight . . . oh that’s right. Rock on!