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For Love or Money, Episode 3: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?by Bruce Barker -- 06/18/2003
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Welcome back to another week of For Love or Money, the show that’s so raunchy, even Dirk Diggler won’t do a cameo. If you were expecting the standard opening of a woman saying, “What was once a one in fifteen chance at a million dollars is now a one in five chance,” you are in for a surprise. The show begins this week with a recap that brings the new viewers up to speed and makes most of the regular viewers wonder what else might be on. Rather than rehash all that here I’ll just let you know that five girls and one soon to be unemployed barrister remain:
Kelly – conniving sexpot and materialistic queen of evil
The are allegedly competing for the intimate affection of:
Rob – Rapidly replacing Bill Clinton as America’s most notorious “touchy-feelie” kind of guy.
But are in reality competing for the chance to show intimate affection to:
One Million Dollars in cash.
Our episode begins with Laura rising from her bed. In voiceover she tells us that this in itself is nothing unusual, as she’s usually the first to awaken each day. As she heads into the main living area of the mansion she finds an envelope informing her of the “Early bird special.” It’s an invitation to make breakfast in bed for Rob. The idea of this being something special depends on perspective I guess. Most early birds I’ve ever heard of involve some kind of special discount on fine fashions. The idea that Rob’s clothing might be 40% off when Laura gets there leaves me a bit worried.
Laura rushes back upstairs to change clothes so she can properly straddle the fence between leisurely and lust provoking. She makes just enough noise that Lauren is roused and questions her as to what is going on.
In a gesture completely uncharacteristic of anything else that has happened on this series to date, Lauren offers to help. While Laura finishes dressing, Lauren heads to the kitchen and begins slicing fresh fruit and preparing the meal. If there are any lingering doubts as to Laura’s intentions, they disappear as she tells us that, “The one on one time with Rob is important. It’s the little baby steps that lead to the million dollars.”
Lauren tags along with Laura to help carry the food to Rob’s “house.” While Laura is very tastefully dressed and excited, Lauren is actually dressed down. When the door is opened, Lauren politely hands her bowl of food over and excuses herself. Once again, this almost looks like a concession of defeat from Lauren, who is usually quite a bit more aggressive. It appears some of the roles taken on by the ladies are beginning to change.
It is also at this moment of the show that something very confusing happens. Lauren, in an interview segment, says “It’s going to take a lot for me to take Rob over the money.”
From the very beginning of the series we have been told that the ladies would know about the million dollars and Rob would not. We’ve also been told that the winner would have to choose between Rob and those same million bucks, but that the women would not know anything about that final choice! Exactly what is going on here? Lauren’s comment makes it pretty clear that she, at least, is aware of this final twist in the game. Is this clip misplaced in a case of very poor editing? Does it come from some point toward the end of the series? It’s conceivable that the comment is made in innocence and Lauren isn’t aware that she really will have to choose one or the other, but it’s very unlikely. As mentioned in the last recap, there is a disclaimer on the screen at the end of each episode that says the contestants consult with producers about which decisions to make, so it’s also possible that the producers revealed the final twist to at least some of the girls. At this point, nothing should surprise regular viewers.
Before this gets even more confusing, let’s head back to Rob’s breakfast in bed. He and Laura are lying side by side, fully clothed. In his now famous boneheaded manner, Rob says, “Guess what? We’re in bed together.” I can almost hear Beavis under the bed saying, “Huh-huh, that’s so cool.” I say Beavis, because his usual partner is already in the bed. He tries to initiate some caressing with Laura, but she gently rebuffs him with her hands without even pausing in the conversation. The lady has skills. With a single brush of a hand she manages to make it clear to Rob that if he has any ideas about a little morning moaning he’s going to have to wait until after she leaves. In fairness to Rob, he may have been just trying to increase the true intimacy between them with a completely non-sexual caress. But the show, the public revelations about the man, and his own behavior on camera last week make it almost impossible to extend even that small benefit of the doubt. Quite frankly, I find myself viewing every single glance of his eyes and every move of his body as having some lascivious motive.
Back at the mansion, the other ladies have awakened and Lauren has filled them in on the activities that may be taking place during the “early bird” with Rob. Kelly gets very angry. She tells us for the first of several times in this episode that she is developing deep feelings and attractions toward Rob. Again, the roles of the women appear to be changing. Does the winner get a bonus if the producers feel she has managed to fool the viewers about her real feelings or something?
Later in the morning Rob shows up unannounced at the mansion to tell the women what will be happening over the course of the next couple of days. There is no explanation given as to why Rob is now assuming the role of show host. There will be two double dates, he explains. One date will take place in a couple of hours and the second date will happen the next day. Doing the basic math required, this leaves one woman out of the picture. Before he exits, he announces that the first date. It will be sweet, young, and love-struck Paige and devious, worldly, and buck-hungry Kelly in a no holds barred battle royale! Considering the producers have done everything in their power to portray these two women as representing the polar opposites of the game, this is not even close to being a surprise.
What is a surprise however, is Paige’s behavior after Rob leaves. She immediately becomes more obnoxious than Don Rickles at a meeting of the Quakers. While the others try to figure out how they’ve ended up in the middle of a Disney Channel pre-teen sitcom, Paige begins dancing around the room and singing, “I’m going on a da-yate, I’m going on a da-yate!” I found myself wishing one of the other women would jump up and smack her in the fa-yace. Enjoy the date, Paige, because it’s unlikely any man who sees this clip will ever want to date you. This may be your last night out for quite awhile.1 2 3 Next-->
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