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For Love or Money Reunion: So Delighted to be Reunitedby Betsy Wasser, with Kelly Ford -- 09/05/2003
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For Love or Money fans eager to see if Erin chooses Wade or Chad were forced to wait another week. Instead of the regular show, NBC ran a reunion special that combined the casts of both For Love or Money and For Love or Money 2. As you know, Kelly was there and had such a good time that our last recap was late!
Karyn Bryant is the host. Who the heck is she? I wish they had Jordan, the regular host of the show, instead. I think it would have been great not only to see his familiar face, but also to have Jordan’s insights into what happened on the show. I think that Survivor reunions have become much more interesting since Jeff Probst started hosting them. Kelly disagrees with me, pointing out the negative feelings the casts of the two shows learned to have about Jordan, since every time he showed up, they knew they’d be thrown some kind of twist. She also says, “He’s not very funny.” Anyway, Karyn calls For Love or Money “a cultural phenomenon,” which seems to be exaggerating the point. But maybe it’s not such an overstatement – she says that twenty-two million viewers tuned in for the finale of the first show to watch Erin dump Rob for a million bucks. Karyn kicks off the show by introducing the two casts. Kelly, Paige, Munch, Greg, Eric, and Vic seem to get especially big cheers from the audience. Karyn introduces the star of both shows, Erin Brodie. Vic comments, “This is going to be a good time.”
Karyn asks Erin how she reacted when she found out about the million dollar twist. Erin says that the money made everything “more juicy.” She points out that “love and money are two of the most powerful things in life.” Combining the two of them was bound to lead to fireworks. Karyn asks Erin if she was surprised that Rob chose her. Erin says she was, and that she really expected Kelly and Paige to be the final two.
Karyn invites a member of the audience to ask a question. The audience member asks Paige if “age and maturity” might have played a factor in Rob’s decision. Paige says that she didn’t realize before she went on the show how young she looks. She then said, “I can’t comment on Rob’s maturity level.” As the audience starts to whoop and holler, Paige demurs, “I’m just kidding!” Sure you are, Paige. Paige says that she thinks Rob is a great guy and that he made the right choice.
Before the commercials, we get to see a moment that was never on TV. It’s a bonding moment between Kelly and Paige. At the breakfast table in the mansion, the two of them wrestle, and I must say, it looks like Kelly is about to take Miss Paige down. Off camera, one of the other women jokes, “Girls gone wild on reality TV!” As Paige and Kelly wrestle and giggle, Laura declares, “That’s good TV!” When I asked Kelly for more details, she said, “Ha, ha! The wedgie war! I don’t know how that one got started, but it was bright and early one morning. Laura and Lauren could not stop laughing while the two of us were at it.”
Back to the show! Karyn says, “There was one young lady that all of America fell in love with: Paige Jones.” Sorry, what? I don’t think all of America fell in love with Paige. For every email I got saying that Paige was a fine young lady with admirable morals, I got at least one saying Paige was annoying and phony. When I asked Kelly about it, she said, “I don’t know when Paige accepted that dubious little title. We all rolled our eyes when we heard that one.” Anyway, would Paige really have chosen Rob over the money? Paige says she would have. She says, “If you have those feelings for someone, how are you going to take the money over that?” Karyn asks Paige if she thought maybe her feelings were heightened by the situation. Paige says that she did struggle with that (and oh how she struggled – remember that last episode?), but in the end, she’d rather regret something she did rather than something she didn’t do.
Karyn asks her what she’d say to him if she saw Rob in person. Paige turns crimson and stammers that she doesn’t know. Well, guess what, Paige? Here he is! Rob joins the group and sits on the sofa between Erin and Paige. He cut his hair and Kelly and I think it looks good. Kelly said, “Rob’s hair definitely agrees with him more now. It is not as much of a disheveled mop as it was before.” Paige is grinning from ear to ear. But before we see present day Paige and Rob, let’s enjoy some clips of their time together on the show. First, Paige and Rob meet on the red carpet and she gives him a hug while her voiceover babbles about love at first sight. They snuggle in a limo and she talks about how she could be the great love of his life. They go on an array of romantic dates – horseback riding, a carriage ride, a moonlit boat ride on the canals, and finally a hot air balloon ride. Paige tells Rob that she thinks she might be falling in love with him. She says that she’s confident he’ll choose her. And then he doesn’t. We watch a picture-in-picture of Paige watching the clips, and she looks really uncomfortable. Can’t say I blame her.
Karyn asks Paige if she’ll ever recover. Oh, come on – of course she will! She’s only twenty-one, and it was only Rob. She’ll be fine! Paige says she’s already recovered and swears again that she thinks Rob made the right choice. Paige can say she’s over Rob all she wants, but she is looking at him like a teenage girl looks at her Clay Aiken poster. I’d say the sparks have not been completely extinguished. Kelly told me, “Paige probably still does have a bit of a crush on him. I think it is near the intensity of what Rob still felt for Erin.” Karyn asks Rob if it was hard to break up with Paige on TV. Rob says it was, and “not only that, I had to do it fourteen times!” We learn that a few weeks after the show ended, Rob emailed Paige with his cell phone number, saying she should call him. Paige says she went back and forth about it, but finally did. She admits that she wanted to say, “Do you realize that if you’d picked me, we’d each have five hundred g’s now?” Rob says he honestly hadn’t thought of it that way. He admits that since the show ended, he’s had trouble dating, including being stood up four times in one week. Now I will admit, I think Rob is a jerk, but women, that is just rude. If you want to get back at Rob for his behavior, just say no when he asks you out!
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