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Dave. a 26-year-old Bostonian, was the guy who was brought in, just having lost seventy pounds, and was still a little bit, er, normal looking compared to the hot model types on the show. He has been teased mercilessly and yet maintains a calm exterior. He is in love with Charla and the "jock/cheerleader" clique hates that. They treat him like he is a mascot to be beaten and they ridicule him every chance they get. Yet Dave takes their onslaught like a trooper. He has had much practice, as a vendor at the sports venues in Boston, Dave hawked Crunch and Munch during games in such a way that he was universally loved and hated. His sales of Crunch and Munch were 400% higher than the other vendors. After being "voted out" of that job by annoyed upper management, Dave went on to own his own marketing consultant company.
I think his history has helped him in the game. He was an outsider from the start and they old boys club wanted him gone, but strategically he has played the best game. Knowing what couples to break up, which threats to get rid of, Dave is the one redeeming thing that makes me continue to watch Paradise Hotel. I want the guy to win it all.
Holly, the 22-year-old sales clerk is the basic boring brunette who is rooming and hooked up with Scott. She received little air time, and all that has happened to her lately is that she and Scott are breaking up what never really got started, leaving Scott open for Amy to jump to now that she is without a partner. Holly is just background noise at this point.
Keith, 23 years old, a model who has played the game as well as anyone and been a target of the old guests’ humiliations. He remains a solid mature player who works very hard at not letting the likes of Andon, Beau, and Zack get under his skin. Keith, Tara, Charla, and Dave have been the only ones with any strategy the entire game that does not involve beating someone to death.
Scott, 30 years old, the day trader who flies under the radar and whose only mistake seems to be choosing to side with the nasty manipulative highly dramatic original guests. Scott has played it safe and shows intelligence most of the time, but being the oldest player in Paradise, you would think he would not get caught up in the frat house atmosphere that Andon, Amy, Zack, and Beau created. He currently has a chance to drop Holly and pick up Amy as roommate, and since the final vote is supposed to be decided by a jury of the former hotel guests, it would be a smart move on his part, simply because the apes will chose one of their own.
Lastly we have Tara, the 21-year-old college student who has used whatever she could to stay in the game until she settled on Keith. Amazingly, she has the reputation among the older guests that she is the one to target for her manipulations, but she has done nothing more than any of them have. Still they hate her.
Thankfully, it's almost all over. Fox says they are happy with the ratings, which are OK, but considering that Fox does not have a top 20 show currently, they will take anything they can get. In the mean time, sponsors are dropping like flies. Jergens, McDonalds, Burger King, Alberto Culver, and Rent a Center have all pulled their advertising of Paradise Hotel after being pressured by the fact that an 8/7 Central show was showing sexually explicit scenes and smoking (yes, smoking).
The current buzz is that the producers have set the whole show up in a Joe Schmo sort of way where they guarantee a final showdown between Amy and one of the people she has threatened to kill. Rumor has it that they have completely manipulated the show, creating underdogs so severely brutalized that, like a good horror show, you hate the villains too such an extent you will cheer when they lose. However, if that is the case, then I don't think Fox will put the winning decision in the hands of so many sociopathic guests. We’ll have to see what happens in the finale…
Peggy Keller is Mother and Behavior Therapist to her two autistic sons and teenage daughter. Click here to e-mail her.
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