Are You Tempted?, Episode 7: Speaking from the Heartby David Bloomberg -- 07/10/2002
And so we come to the final episode of Temptation Island. I just wish the final episode had come about six weeks sooner. But, hey, I decided I was going to watch and report on the whole series, and I have. So let's take a look at how this big mess ends up.
We begin where we ended last week, with Kaya and Alison and their candle-lit tent. Specifically, the two of them are sleeping together. No, not like that – just sleeping. Jeez, you have such a dirty mind. But both do say they had a great date. (After they wake up, that is.)
We also visit each of the others the morning after their dates. Valerie says Dano was great considering she was really just waiting to be reunited with Kaya.
Shannon talks about how she picked who to become intimate with and who to bare her soul with. She also mentions that at one point she had told Tom she was going to bed, but never did – they stayed up all night and watched the sun rise. Tom feels there was some element of fate and destiny to their being together.
Andy continues in his thread from last time in saying there are two Elizabeths – one for the public/camera and one for private times; he even asks her at breakfast which one is there right then. Needless to say, she isn't thrilled by this. She notes that even if he didn't have a girlfriend, it probably still wouldn't have worked out between them.
Vanessa talks about her date with Billy and says she hugged him so hard at the end because she felt such a closeness but knew their time together was over. Billy says he made a conscious decision not to talk about having to say goodbye to her.
Mandy says that Jon will always be in her head because he taught her so much (and here I thought it was Johnny who taught her a lot!). But she will leave without regrets and is really glad she had the time with him.
We end back with Alison and Kaya again – specifically with Alison saying she really likes him and wishes he didn't have a girlfriend. They exchange a long kiss as the camera fades.
Now it's time to bring the couples back together again. First, host Mark Walberg gives both the men and women the same little speech about this being the last bonfire and how they should say whatever is in their hearts, talk about the future of their relationship, etc. He tells them they should be prepared to hear things they don't want to hear, but the journey ends tonight (and there was much rejoicing).
The first couple to appear is Andy and Shannon, with the guy first. Walberg asks what this experience has awakened in him. Andy replies that it was more challenging than he thought it would be – he had thought he could just brush off the ladies and cruise through it, but that wasn't the case. The hardest part, he says, was when he connected emotionally with Megan, and then she ended up getting hurt.
Then Andy leaves and Shannon comes in. Walberg asks her what the best part was and she responds that it was just hanging out with all the guys, who were always there to cheer them up when they would come back from Bonfire depressed. Walberg asks how she thinks Tom feels about her; she says she and Tom did not anticipate developing the kind of feelings they did here. "We feel an extraordinary bond."
Andy is brought back in and it's time for them to talk to each other and, as Walberg has reminded them (and us) so many times now, for them to say what's in their heart. Andy begins and tells Shannon he has good news and bad news. She says she wants the bad news first. The bad news, he says, is that he kissed four girls, although none were more than innocent pecks. He talks about how he really connected with Megan, who he thinks was put there by the producers to screw with him (she had everything he mentioned on his original application form). He says a relationship developed, but it was totally platonic – he didn't want to get that close to anybody, and he didn't act on his physical connection to Elizabeth. Overall, he feels it reinforced their relationship.
Shannon says she never anticipated such a roller coaster rider and really started to worry when she saw the video clip of him in the hammock rubbing a girl's leg. She worried about what would happen if he hooked up and she didn't, which brought her back to an earlier time when they both agreed to see other people – he did and she didn't, and it "wrecked" her. She talks a bit about her date with Tom, explaining that he is an "incredible guy" ad that they "did connect well, and it was wonderful." She ends with a nice little speech: "You set me free to try something else, and I did, and all it did was make me want you. You have my heart, my soul."
Both tear up, embrace, make out, etc.
On to the next couple, Billy and Mandy. If there was one couple I expected to break up, it was these guys. Indeed, for Billy's sake, I was hoping they would break up! Alas, it was not meant to be (or, depending on your viewpoint, it was meant to be).
First Billy talks to Walberg and says the best thing about his stay on the island was the real emotional attachment he had with Vanessa. The most painful was trying to forget that Mandy might be doing the exact same thing.
Mandy says the best part was the previous night's date, when she opened herself up to the whole game and made it worthwhile.
When they are brought together, Mandy looks apprehensive, but she goes first. She talks about how she saw the tape of his strip tease and says, "I don't think I've ever been so furious in my entire life." Yeah, imagine how he felt when seeing the tape of you and Johnny and your little food fun. Anyway, she says when she regrouped, she realized she was not made at his act, but because she saw something new in him that she'd never seen before, and this bothered her because it seemed that he had hidden this side of himself from her.
She continues that the major thing she learned is that she has given herself the power to let go of him and she had an intimate moment with someone. It was nice and comforting and new, but it wasn't her boyfriend. She ends by saying, "I want us to be together for the rest of our lives."
Billy begins by saying everything started with ease – until he made a strong emotional connection with someone. He says she gave him her heart and the necklace he's still wearing to remember her by. He learned he can make such emotional attachments to other people. But most importantly, no matter what the two of them shared, it's nowhere close to what he and Mandy share. He says his time on the island is the hardest thing he's ever done and he doesn't want to do it again. "If you'll have me, I promise to love you forever." More embracing, kissing, and crying. But all I'm thinking is that he should have dumped her. Ah well.
So now we move to Kaya and Valerie. I'm figuring they must certainly have saved the best for last.
Walberg begins by asking Kaya how he's doing, and Kaya answers that he's "great – really, really great!" He really does seem happy, but then he was recently making out with Alison, so it's no wonder. Speaking of her, Walberg asks Kaya why he picked her instead of Megan for his final date. Kaya says that he did have a special day and great time with Megan, but he felt that he hadn't given Alison the same opportunity when they went out on their first date, because he was still inhibited.
He further discusses how he did have a connection with both Megan and Alison, and it all seems so crazy.
Valerie isn't feeling quite so "great" when she comes to talk to Walberg – just "alright." She says the best part of her time on the island was everything she learned about herself – especially after she saw him on a date and had visions that really upset her. Her biggest fear about this final Bonfire is how Kaya might feel after his experiences if he did something he shouldn't have. If he did something and feels bad about it, that's one thing, but she's worried he might have done something and now feel that he shouldn't be in a relationship.
When Kaya is brought back out, neither one of them wants to volunteer to go first. At Walberg's urging, Valerie eventually starts. She says she always thought she knew what she wanted in a man – and then she saw him on his date and started thinking he might have connected. She says she could have done something in response (such as having a fling of her own), but she didn't. She says it was not a waste to come here, that it was a challenge and she's glad they did it.
Then she takes out a pre-written statement so she won't mess it up. She says she has found temptation in her past relationships – she must have found them exhilarating. But now she draws her exhilaration from Kaya, not from acting on temptation. "You're the one I want to be with." Not a bad speech, but I think I liked Sue's on Survivor better.
Kaya begins by saying he came into this to grow from the experience. He set out to conquer physical challenges and emotional ones – and he did it, and feels good about it. He says he got to know some girls on a deeper level and had two connections. It was so hard to be alone and make the difficult and complicated choices he knew he had to make, but he had to do it so he could grow. He says she was always on his mind and she makes him a better man. "I love you." More tears, embracing, etc. But no break-ups.
The show ends with updates on each of these three couples (nothing on Ytossie and Taheed):
Upon returning to Miami, Kaya and Valerie locked themselves into their condo for seven days and "reconnected." They have since moved to L.A. and "are very much in love."
In February (that'd be last month), Billy moved to L.A. to pursue a career in entertainment. Mandy stayed in Atlanta. "They have a passionate long-distance relationship." Yeah, right – it's been less than a month! And we have already seen what Mandy does when Billy isn't around. That one won't last. Good for him!
Ten minutes after leaving final Bonfire, Andy asked Shannon to marry him. Shannon said yes. They have not yet set a date.
So, that's it. It's over. I'm free and don't have to watch it anymore. At least not unless they decide to tape a second series…
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