Are You Tempted?, Epsiode 2: First Datesby David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
Who will stay together?
Who will be torn apart?
Who really cares?
The first two questions opened the second episode of Fox's Temptation Island. The third question is my brief summary of what many viewers may be thinking as they watch this show about people that there is no real reason to like, or even dislike.
Still, I write about reality television and I decided to put myself into the position of watching this show. So here goes.
On Day 3, the blind dates begin. I don't know how the locations of the dates and what they'd be doing were chosen, but I find it more than a little coincidental that all of the guys' dates involved getting the single women into skimpy bathing suits. Meanwhile, the ladies' dates were more intellectual (one did get into a bathing suit, but it was SCUBA diving).
Kaya got Alison, the doctor and former Playboy model. Valerie got Charlie, the entertainment reporter. Kaya's date went well (not terribly surprising – I mean, Alison's a doctor, so she has brains, and she's a former nude model, so she has, well, you know). Meanwhile, though, Valerie saw Kaya at the beginning of her date and he was in her mind the rest of the time.
Ytossie ended up with Sean, the masseur who had been blocked from dating Mandy and Valerie (turns out Ytossie is a massage therapist, so they have something in common). She had a pretty irritating time with Sean and said he came in a "pretty package" but she shouldn't have opened it up, because it wasn't so pretty inside. Taheed, on the other hand, got paired up with LaWonna, the teen crisis counselor, and had the "best date" he's ever had – and that includes any of his dates with Ytossie. Uh oh. If only I could bring myself to care.
Andy went out with Megan, the kindergarten teacher and former Laker Girl. He could barely keep his hands off her legs for more than a few seconds at a time, it seemed, and said that if they wanted somebody to tempt him, she was the right one. Yes, we could see that. Shannon, meanwhile, went out with Matt, the public relations manager. She was impressed by his ability to spend money. Well, at least she knows what's important…
Billy took out Lisa, the bartender, and said she had a good personality. Mandy went out with Keith, the small business owner, and talked about how this whole situation was the opportunity of a lifetime. I dunno, I can think of a lot better opportunities that I'd like to have in my lifetime. But then, maybe I'm just not shallow enough.
After the dates, the single women are shown discussing the guys, and it seems a lot of them are hot for Billy; Kaya even mentioned this to Ytossie when he saw her during the day (and, of course, Ytossie relayed this back to Mandy). The counterpoint to this is that Mandy says she's never seen a girl hitting on him. Well, maybe that's because some people realize that you shouldn't mess around with a guy who's already involved. Nah, that couldn't be it.
As the four guys sit around talking, we get a glimpse into the mind of Taheed. He says that he can be faithful. Wow. Well, that's good to know. Oh, wait, he wasn't done talking yet. He can be faithful, unless a woman really throws herself at him. What a strong guy you are, Taheed.
The four women, on the other hand, are feeling a bit low, so they decide to spice things up by making the guys compete to see who won't be voted off the island the next day (yes, that's right, they vote people off the island; I wonder where they got that idea?). Several of the guys expose their most valuable asset – and it isn't their brain.
Day 4 comes to the time of the vote. First, the guys are, again, given a few seconds to plead their cases to the girls (no nudity this time, though). Then they choose one and put what looks like an immunity necklace from Survivor on him – except that means he's booted in this case. Ytossie wanted to dump Sean after her less-than-wonderful date with him, but the others overruled her. This seemed a bit strange since two of them couldn't date him anyway and Ytossie sure wouldn't want to again. Why not get rid of him? Well, they went with Maceo instead, because they felt he was rather arrogant, used too much profanity, and talked about himself all the time. What? You're saying there was somebody shallow on this show? No way!
The single girls then plead their cases to the guys, who booted Lola for much the same reason as the girls kicked out Maceo. She was pretty, but the more they got to know her, the less they liked her. Buh-bye.
Finally, we get to the part that the fans of Jerry Springer and Change of Heart will like – the bonfire. Neither the guys nor the girls knew what would happen, and the guys went first. They were told they could see a video of the single man who went out their girlfriend, talking about the date. But if they chose to see it, their girlfriend would have to see a similar video about their own date; if they chose not to, their girlfriend could not see the video.
Kaya passed because he didn't want to force Valerie to see something she might not want to see, thus taking away her choice. Of course, he still took away her choice by making sure she wouldn't see his tape, but that point seemed to escape his vast intellect.
Billy chose to see it (Mandy later said this didn't surprise her, as he tends to think the worst and would rather just find out what actually happened); he doesn't seem too worried after watching it.
Taheed also chose to see it, and was quite happy about it since Ytossie's date with Sean didn't go too well.
Andy said he didn't want to see it because the whole idea was to be separate for two weeks, and this would interfere with that. Of course, when host Walberg then gives them all an opportunity to record a one-minute video message for their girlfriends, Andy immediately wants to do it. Hmmm. Seems to be a bit of a logical chasm there.
All but Taheed decide to record the messages. Taheed says he's not going to record one for Ytossie because of the way she walked out as they were supposed to be saying goodbye in the premiere episode.
Then it's on to the women. Walberg tells them about the videos and explains that he has to tell them how the men chose, but not why. So Mandy and Ytossie watch the tapes. Mandy tears up because the girl who went out with Billy had a good time, and she doesn't want anybody to have fun with him. Um, Mandy honey? Why are you here?!
Ytossie, meanwhile, is treated to a tape in which LaWonna says that Taheed talked to her about his problems with Ytossie (just what every woman wants to hear) and said it was the best date he'd ever had (definitely just what every woman wants to hear). Ytossie says she's not surprised because Taheed can put on an act to make people like him. Well, Ytossie, I have some news for you – this is true of pretty much everybody. That's why it's so stupid to base your future relationship with somebody you have known for a long time on just a couple of dates. Too bad you didn't think of that sooner – like before you decided to appear on this show.
As with the men, the women were given the opportunity to send a one-minute video message. And also as with the men, three out of four agreed, but Ytossie didn't. These two make such a cute couple, don't they?
But, try as I might, I just can't get myself to really care about their problems. On scripted television shows, one goal is to have characters that people care about and want to get to know. If the viewers don't care what happens, they won't continue to watch the show. Even on the first Survivor, viewers got to know the contestants. Some of them were well-liked, some were hated. But at least we cared about what happened.
On Temptation Island, however, you just don't get that feeling. These idiots put themselves into the position they're in and now they're being hurt by it? Too bad, so sad, change the channel.
Can we also take a page from Survivor and vote them off the television?
Check out our Temptation Island page for our full list of articles about the show.
And remember to take a look around the site. Check out our most recent articles at the Home page, take a look at our sections on Survivor , Boot Camp, and The Mole, and browse through our book reviews.