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For Love or Money 2, Episode 1: The Fresh Princess of Bel Aireby Bruce Barker -- 07/16/2003
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Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends; we’re so glad you could attend; come inside, come inside. With apologies to Emerson, Lake, & Palmer and anyone old enough to remember who they are, it’s time for season 2 of For Love or Money.
This may be the first time in the brief history of reality television that a new season has begun with a recap, but that’s exactly how we begin this episode. Once again we see Erin choose money over love and once again we see Erin choose even more money over money. I’m going to take a paragraph to bring new fans of the show up to speed on the premise. Regular readers of this column should feel free to skip ahead past the next paragraph unless they want a refresher:
For Love or Money, as the narrator will repeatedly remind us each week, is a show in which the contestants are vying for the chance to decide between a potential life-mate and one million dollars. This season, the fifteen male contenders are each shown a check for the money with his own name on it. At no time can they reveal anything about the money to the woman who will eventually pick one of them as the “winner.” At this point in the show, the contestants believe that the eventual winner will win both the money and the lady. As the season continues, the remaining men will learn that they have to choose love (the lady) or the money. The big twist this season is that last season’s winner, Erin, is the lady of the moment and therefore already knows about the money angles. In fact, if she can convince the winner to choose her over the money, she will win a two-million dollar prize.
Here are the fifteen men who each hope to be the last man standing, along with their ages and occupations:
Victor, 25, Marketing
They are each hoping to win the hand of:
Erin, 30, Software Sales Manager
Our season begins with the men arriving in a convoy of hummers (insert your own joke here) at the front of the same mansion used for season one. Jordan, our host, greets them from the balcony and tells them to go on inside and pick out rooms for themselves. Via voiceover and interviewed segments we now hear the first comments from some of the guys.
Chad V. vows that he will be himself and may the best man win. Victor tells us that, “As the gloves come off we’ll see who can cope.” This is the first of countless manly metaphors we are likely to have to endure in this testosterone-heavy, chest-beating, mansion of machismo and in my never-ending effort to provide the most comprehensive coverage available anywhere, I shall try to decipher each of them as they come by. At long last female viewers will get a glimpse at the true meaning of the incomprehensible code that men seem to use when speaking to one another. In this case, the term “as the gloves come off” is a reference to the time honored sport of Pillsbury Bake-offs and is talking about the moments immediately after the removal of a soufflé from the oven. Any chef can tell you that the greatest risk to a well baked food comes as you take your oven mitts, or “gloves,” off because this is when your cake or other baked goods can fall.
Deric warns us that everyone is putting on a “game face.” This, as any hunter knows, refers to the trick of disguising oneself as a deer by sticking antlers on one’s head and a buck’s nose on ones face so as to be able to mingle with and lure unsuspecting animals in for the kill. It’s also risky and explains why so many hunters are accidentally shot and stuffed by other hunters every year.
Soon the men gather for dinner and Jordan invites them to come into the living room after they finish eating. Once they are comfortably digesting their meal, Jordan drops the bomb on them:
“You will walk out of here with a soul mate on your arm and that by itself is worth a lot! But there is a secret you don’t know…”
He reaches into his pocket and begins handing out the checks, much to the delight of the fifteen men:
Paul: There’s the catch!
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