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For Love or Money's Kelly: Meet Reality TV's Newest Villainby Betsy Wasser -- 06/04/2003
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Every reality TV show has to have a bad guy, the villain that we all love to hate. Survivor has given us Richard Hatch, wicked stepsisters Heidi and Jenna, and a whole bunch of guys named Rob. On Joe Millionaire, it was Heidi. American Idol has Simon Cowell. And who can forget the Chris, the creepy hypnotist on Mr. Personality? This week, For Love or Money introduced us to a new villain. Watch out, America: here comes Kelly.
Because the premise of For Love or Money is that the woman that Rob chooses will get a million bucks, viewers are on the lookout for gold-diggers. Kelly raises gold digger warning flags before she even knows about the money. In her first interview, she talks about going to society events, making it clear that she is accustomed to the finer things. A flurry of interviews with the other women follows, all saying that they hate label conscious namedroppers. Got that, everybody? She's evil! EVIL!
Kelly's dark side continues to emerge when the women arrive at the mansion. Jordan, the host, tells them to come inside and choose their bedrooms. Kelly and her evil sidekick Cristy race inside ahead of the other women to claim the best room as quickly as possible. It's almost as if she spent some time reading Reality TV Hall of Shame articles before coming on the show so she could be sure she didn't miss anything. Remember Heidi on Joe Millionaire throwing elbows and pulling hair to get to the dresses first? Remember every single season of The Real World when someone makes a bad first impression by calling dibs on the best bedroom? EVIL!
Next, Kelly proceeds to look through the luggage everyone brought, calling out the brand name and model number of each bag. This is also supposed to be evil, but it just strikes me as funny. Kelly is an assistant buyer, and I would not be surprised to learn that she's a luggage buyer. I used to be an assistant buyer myself, and it's just a weird thing they do. Take an assistant buyer for small electrics, for example, into your kitchen, and he can tell you the make and model of your toaster, blender, microwave, and mixer, how much they cost, and what colors they are available in. But, still, that girl loves her luggage, so she must be EVIL!
Kelly and Cristy then continue their rampage of evil by putting on bikinis and sitting by the pool. Remember Zora on Joe Millionaire? She wore a t-shirt over her swimming suit. She was the nice one. Remember bad girl Sarah's bikini? Maybe you don't, because there wasn't much of it to remember. If there's one thing we've learned from reality TV... well, it's that the producers are probably lying to you. But if there are two things we've learned from reality TV, it's that sexy women in bikinis are up to no good. And Kelly looked pretty darned good in that bikini, so she must be... wait for it... EVIL!
The women meet with Jordan, who lets them in on the secret million-dollar prize. We astute viewers are on the lookout for more bad behavior, and Kelly does not disappoint. In an interview, she says that as soon as she heard about the money, she started thinking about how she'd spend it, probably on "those new Dior sunglasses." Kelly, Kelly, Kelly. Those sunglasses won't hide your glowing dark EVIL eyes!
After Jordan has filled them in on the big twist, the ladies gather around to talk about it and what it means to them. Kelly claims that a million dollars isn't all that much money, saying, "I could spend that on one shopping spree if I really wanted to." She also says that most people she knows make more than a million dollars a year. Remember how I said I used to be an assistant buyer? I think that qualifies me to start, shall we say, questioning the accuracy of Kelly's claims. A job as an assistant buyer isn't exactly a poverty-filled life, but you're not going to be raking it in, either. If she's telling the truth about her Gucci shoes and Dior sunglasses, Kelly's either got family money, a sugar daddy, or some serious credit card debt. Either way, the girl is pure - you guessed it - EVIL!
Rob, the bachelor, finally arrives. The women take turns introducing themselves to him. Crafty Kelly makes sure she is "the grand finale," much to the irritation of the other women. She also presents Rob with a box of homemade cookies. Aw. A girl who bakes can't be all bad, can she? Oh, who am I kidding? She's EVIL! They're probably Evil Chip Cookies.
That night, Kelly and Cristy run riot through the mansion, swilling champagne, knocking on the other women's doors, and jumping on their beds. The next morning, the others are, understandably, annoyed with them. Kelly, in true villain fashion, says that she doesn't care if they're all mad at her. Meanwhile, her henchman Cristy has vandalized sweet Paige's sweet "Looking For Love" painting. EVIL!
At lunch, Rob shows up unexpectedly to get to know the women better. Kelly hasn't changed out of her comfy PJs and bunny slippers yet. You know a girl who wears bunny slippers has got to be up to no good. I'm reminded of the song "Bunnies" from the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
"Bunnies aren't so cute like everyone supposes.But I digress. Kelly changes out of her EVIL bunny slippers just in time to seduce poor hapless Rob with her tales of her love of cooking and her two cats. I bet they're black cats. I bet they're EVIL.
When the time comes for Rob to make his first round of eliminations, Kelly continues to live up to her role as villain. When Catherine is eliminated, she smirks. And when Rob tells her she's staying, he gives her a Hershey's Kiss. No good reality TV villain is thwarted in the first episode, after all, though her sidekick Cristy was. We'll have to tune in next week to see if Rob continues to be fooled by Kelly's nefarious Betty Crocker disguise or if he realizes that she is (one more time) EVIL!
Betsy can be reached with any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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