Chris starts us off by explaining that this is sort of the consolation bracket for ex-Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants. And everyone will sleep in the same bedroom.
Tenley, who is convinced that “good things might happen”;
Jesse B., who was booted by Ali just a couple months ago;
Natalie, who hugs Tenley and immediately falls in love with Jesse B.;
David, who hugs Natalie and she drops Jesse B. like a hot potato and loves David instead;
Gwen, who nobody knows because she was on the second season of the Bachelor, when nobody was watching;
The Weatherman, who hopes that Craig isn’t there, because Craig called him out before. (His name is Jonathan, but everybody knows him as the Weatherman, because that’s his job.);
Nikki, who hopes Juan isn’t there because they’ve had a bad dating experience;
Juan, who hopes Nikki isn’t there. He hugs everyone then, finally, hugs Nikki. This couple is obviously going to create dramatic tension;
Wes, the original villain on the Bachelor, who went on the show just to advance his country music career;
Krisily, who seems shy to me, so she probably isn’t. (Note to self: add her name to your Word dictionary, you’ll never remember how to spell it.);
Elizabeth, who says she is ready to open her heart and win $250K;
Jesse K., who causes Elizabeth to become “twitterpated” when he arrives. She forgets all about the money, because she is in love with Jesse K. Jesse K says they are just friends and he’s here because he needs the cash.
Kiptyn, who, simply by walking through the door, causes Tenley to swoon;
Ashley and Peyton, who aren’t really introduced much, which makes me go hmmmm;
Michelle, who everyone seems to know as the “crazy woman from Jake’s season”;
Gia, a swimsuit model who causes the Weatherman to break out singing in an eerily high voice when she walks in. The rest of the guys start singing along, too. No words, just a Tenley-esque high-pitched melody;
and finally, Craig, whose entrance cuts short the Weatherman’s singing. Da-da-da-daaaa.
There you have it—eight guys and eleven girls, an imbalance that Chris assures us will be rectified as we go along.
Enter Chris, who explains there is a $250,000 prize involved (we don’t know for sure how it is awarded), the contestants will vote for who goes home each week (guys eliminate girls and vice versa), and immunity at the rose ceremony will be awarded to the winner of challenges. He also introduces his co-host, Melissa Rycroft, who won a season of the Bachelor, only to be immediately dumped by the guy who proposed to her. (SKK: And then to immediately go on to compete on Dancing With the Stars.)
We get some scenes of people talking about how the show will play out. For example, the Weatherman says that he should get close to the girls, because they vote for guys to leave, but maybe he should make friends with the guys because they can influence the girls and it all makes his brain eat itself.
In one scene, Natalie is the first contestant to get a body part pixilated out, which is of no consequence here, but is always a prize winner in my Survivor Fantasy League, so I’m aware of it on other shows too.
Cut to a pool party where the girls are ogling the guys and the guys are ogling the girls and it was at this point that Mrs. Bucky asked me if guys get ab implants the way girls get breast implants and I sort of lost my concentration for a minute. But I’m pretty sure the girls ended up unanimously targeting Craig for elimination, because he treated the Weatherman badly on the Bachelorette.
The challenge competition for tonight is a game of Twister, in swimwear. Eventually, the 19 are reduced to four, and then to one, mostly because when Melissa says “Right hand on the blue” one of them puts their left hand on the blue. These people all have athletic bodies just made for a game of Twister but can’t seem to tell their right from their left.
At one point, Chris asks the people who have been eliminated from the game who they wants to see win. Elizabeth immediately shouts out “anybody but Craig!” thereby squirreling the girls’ plan. Craig knows he must win the immunity rose, so he starts concentrating really hard on which extremity is left and which is right.
Craig beats Jessie in the final and wins the immunity rose, which shoots down the girls’ plan to get rid of him right off the bat. He also gets to invite three contestants on a date with him, after which he will award another immunity rose to one of the three dates.
Elizabeth interviews that she doesn’t want to go on the date with Craig, she wants to stay with her true love, Jesse K. Later Craig gets her alone for a chat and she sort of sidles up to be included on the date, sort of.
Finally, we get to the first night in the bedroom, seen through night vision goggles. I hate that, which is why I’m not watching Dating in the Dark this year. People just look too spooky when you watch them through night vision goggles. Anyway, somebody sneaks into somebody else’s bed. But the editors don’t let us know who.
At breakfast, everyone is talking about who switched beds in the night; they could hear but couldn’t really see. Eventually, everyone agrees it was Craig and crazy Michelle based largely on Tenley’s word, which seems to be golden to everyone else.
Michelle hears the rumors and starts quietly seething because (she says) it wasn’t her. Elizabeth says that if she has to go on a date with Craig and crazy Michelle, she will just die. She wants to stay with her true love, Jesse K.
Time for the date to begin and Craig chooses Jessie (who he says earned it by placing second in Twister) and Gwen (because nobody knows her.) And then, of course, he picks Elizabeth, who sort of swoons and tells us in a cutaway that Jesse K, her true love, will understand that she is just playing the game.
The dating people leave for the beach (and nothing eventful happens there.) At the house, the guys tell Jesse K that Elizabeth has been telling the girls about their love affair. Jesse K is taken aback, and figures this puts him in a box. He can’t form relationships with the girls if they think he’s in love with Elizabeth, but if he doesn’t get close to all the girls, they could vote him out. He says he and Elizabeth are just friends.
At the house, there is lots of discussion about love vs. money, as if it really needs to be discussed. (See: Melissa Rycroft, for example.) Natalie and Jesse B end up making out, so they already have a thing going that will ensure both will be driving 1998 Toyota Corollas for some time to come. Juan and Michelle strategize how to break up couples and form what appears to be a solid alliance.
Back at the date, the four arrive at the Greek Theater and Melissa tells Craig he has to award the second immunity rose. He picks Jessie (again, he mentions that she took second place in Twister). Elizabeth & Gwen are sent back to the bachelor pad while Craig and Jessie continue their date.
At the house, Jesse K decides to confront Elizabeth about their “romance” and her calling “dibs” on him. Much crying ensues. At one point, Elizabeth tells Jesse K that she can make it hard on him, because the girls all like her and if she says to vote him off, they will. He asks, “You threatening me?” She doesn’t respond, which in my book says, “You bet I am, sucker.”
Also, upstairs, crazy Michelle, who has been seething all day about the hook-up rumor, decides to confront Tenley and traps her in a bathroom to have it out. This scares the beejesus out of Tenley. My advice to the contestants: after every meal, count the knives and if one is missing, frisk crazy Michelle.
The next day—rose ceremony day—dawns and we get the normal whispering and forming of secret plans. Of course, every time a secret plan is hatched, one of the planners runs to the targeted person and informs them.
Juan and Nikki talk and Juan apologizes for their bad dating experience. Krisily pulls together a plan to vote Jesse K or David off and Natalie immediately tells David. Elizabeth throws Jesse K under the bus with the other girls, then meets with him and fundamentally tells him, “I’ll call off the dogs if you fall in love with me, right here, right now.” Jesse K agrees and Elizabeth cuddles up to him. My other advice to contestants: give Elizabeth a knife, she will use it on herself.
They come to the rose ceremony, where each person will have to go in the little room and vote for somebody to go home by putting their picture in a ballot box. The producers handle this by showing a person explain why they are confident they won’t be sent home, then showing that person’s picture being put in the ballot box.
Once the voting is over, they have an actual rose ceremony, with Chris and Melissa handing out the roses. This is odd because mostly, when a person is handed a rose, they thank Chris and Melissa, who didn’t get to vote.
Anyway, the final four at risk are Jesse K, Krisily, Juan and crazy Michelle. Juan and Michelle get the boot. They stayed true to their alliance.
And we still don’t know who hooked up in the night vision goggles scene. Who do you think it was?