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For Love or Money, Episode 2: The Claws Come Outby Bruce Barker -- 06/10/2003
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In fairness, I should offer a word of warning about this recap. The title above does not refer to the behavior of the women on the show. It refers to me. As always, I will do my best to provide the details of the episode, but I find myself unable to be objective enough to keep my personal opinions out of it this time. As a result, this may be a more sarcastic, angry, and biting commentary than regular readers usually expect to see from me.
Once again, The Smoking Gun website has uncovered some dirt about a reality show contestant. Of late, this has become something of a cottage industry for them and I have little doubt that soon the networks will be advertising shows with “The Smoking Gun seal of approval.” Before you read any further I suggest you give a quick read to David Bloomberg’s excellent article about the checkered past of Rob Campos. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
So now you know that bachelor Rob can handle defending a client accused of sexual harassment because of personal experience. Hopefully he learned a valuable lesson during this period of his life and has matured into a man who understands the importance of showing respect to others – especially women. I tuned into tonight’s episode looking for signs of that maturity despite the preview’s depiction of some less than stellar behavior on Rob’s part.
So let’s get started. The episode begins with Paige stating the very obvious. “What was once a one in 15 chance is now a 1 in 10 chance!” Host Jordan Murphy arrives at breakfast as the ladies are finishing up.
“Things are about to get more complicated. The good news is that the dating starts today. The bad news is that only eight of you are going.”
The women are given cards. They are to write the name of the woman they do not want to go on a date with Rob. The top two vote getters will be staying at the mansion while the others go out on the dates. Unexpectedly, the ladies have to reveal their votes to one another. Not unexpectedly, however, Kelly racks up five votes. In voiceover she says that she believes this means that she’ll get a more private date later. There is a tie for second place between Paige and Melissa, so they move on to a tiebreaker. Jordan tells the women that there is a red heart taped to the underside of one of the breakfast plates. The woman that has the red heart gets to decide who will stay home. Perhaps I’m just growing very skeptical of this show, but I knew it would be Paige before they even began looking under their plates. After all, it was her painting, prominently displaying a huge red heart, that was defaced in last week’s episode and I was certain that the director wouldn’t be able to resist adding that little touch of justice and irony to the proceedings. Sure enough, Paige has the heart. Shockingly, she decides to stay behind herself and allow Melissa to head on out for the date. Either she’s a complete fool or a master strategist.
There will be two dates, with the women separated into two groups of four. Jordan tells them, “This could be worth a million bucks… (a pause so long that three of my savings bonds mature in the interim) or love.”
In voiceover, Lauren says she feels a little guilty about her motives but, “heck, if I can get a million dollars out of it…”
Lauren, Christina, Melanie, and Laura will go on the first date, a trip on a large sailing yacht. Rob is waiting for them and posing by the masts in a shot that the director probably spent an hour setting up. The four women react with an appropriate level of twitterpation and comments about his general yumminess.
Rob goes off alone with Laura to get to know her a bit better. As they chat the camera pointedly shows us Rob’s hand resting on her thigh. They kiss and Laura tells us, “It was soft and sweet. He’s got a soft set of lips. The more time I spent with Rob, the more I thought about the money. I was afraid I’d slip up.”
A short while later, Rob heads off with Christina. He speaks with her for a few moments and then ditches her to head down into the cabin with Laura. As she heads down the steps one of the other women says, “she’s playing a role to get to the money.” Christina is quite put out. “He just got through talking and flirting with me,” she says, “and then he goes off with another girl!” Downstairs Laura gets better acquainted with Lieutenant Softlips as Rob snaps a picture while they kiss.
When they get back to the mansion, Christina vents about the date to Melanie telling her, “It was a slap in the face!” Laura happens to be passing by the room and overhears the comment. Melanie sees her and she and Christina head down the hall to talk to her. Christina starts to apologize but Laura wants none of it.
Christina: “I wasn’t saying anything about you. I was just saying… don’t roll your eyes, I’m talking to you.”
Laura: “We weren’t making out. It makes me sound cheap.”
After the exchange, the other women console Christina.
The show now moves on to date number two which will involve Melissa, Erin, Stacy, and Alima. They head downstairs to find that they must dress up in costumes. They are not pleased by this revelation in the slightest, but Melissa, ever eager to make lemonade out of lemons, says that once they started trying the clothing on they just decided to have fun with it. Soon they are stepping out of the mansion in a scene right out of the pages of an F. Scott Fitzgerald 1920s era novel. The mood lightens considerably when they see that there is a pair of antique Cadillac convertibles waiting to shuttle them to the date. We watch them cruise down the highway and gradually warm up to the atmosphere of things – especially when other passing motorists start giving them a lot of attention.1 2 3 4 Next-->
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