Cupid, Episode 3: Big Sister is Watching!by Bruce Barker -- 07/29/2003
Week 3 of Cupid begins with the 20 finalists gathering in Los Angeles for the opening round of the competition for the hand of the fair Lisa. Of course, her one million dollar dowry is the furthest thing from the minds of any of these gentlemen, and if you believe that, I have several real estate propositions I would like to present to you. Host Brian McFayden greets the men and informs them that after this week’s eliminations, America will decide by vote which of the men will stay and which will head back home to a life of eternal loneliness. To help prepare America for this awesome responsibility, Lisa will be eliminating no less than 10 of the gentlemen. Brian then introduces Lisa and “the women of your nightmares,” Laura and Kimberly.
There will be four dates that will take place this week. Lisa begins by dividing the men into four groups of five men each. After each date, Lisa will cull one from the group to cut the field down to 16. They break down as follows:
The Serious Group
Diamonds in the Rough
The Creative Types
At this point, Laura and Kimberly inform the men that while they will not be physically present at the date, they will be the “flies on the wall” that will hear every detail. Any thoughts that the men had escaped the clutches of the man-eating Laura vanish quicker than a keg at a frat party.
The first group, the Serious Guys, is picked up by a limo and whisked away to a karaoke bar. Several of the men in this group have comments for us as the date begins. I apologize for missing the occasional quip, but with this many men talking in rapid succession, it’s a bit of a challenge to keep track. As the field winnows down a bit and the personalities of the individual men emerge, it will become easier:
Darren says this is like “the first day on a new job.”
Lisa is waiting at the bar and has selected a special group of songs for the guys to sing. Rob is up first and belts out “Born to Be Wild” and makes up in hammy enthusiasm for a voice that just begs to be sequestered in a monastery requiring a lengthy vow of silence. To be certain that he scores as many points as possible, he changes the chorus to “Born to be Lisa’s man.” Lisa praises him for setting the bar so high and sits back to enjoy Robert, who “like der true nachure child” is “born to be vild.” Lisa almost collapses in laughter as Robert makes the most of his Austrian accent. Evan, perhaps realizing that he is going to have to go some to top the first two performances, throws caution to the wind and acts as if he’s “born to be committed.” For the final two singers, Lisa changes things up a bit and has them tear up the Roy Orbison classic, “(Oh) Pretty Woman.” Darren proclaims that he’s a shy person at heart, but sings as best he can. In the anchor position, Dain steps to the mike and delivers the song as if he’s Al Gore’s charisma coach.
The time arrives for Lisa to make her decision. One by one, she invites four of the men to ride back in the limo with her. The last man standing is Dain, who is gone big-time. He tells us, “I’m not used to not getting the girl. It’s a foreign concept to me!”
Kim then tells us that she thought he was “an arrogant jerk.” Laura is far less forgiving of Lisa’s decision. “I liked him. That’s why she needs me around.”
For the second date, the Diamonds in the Rough are taken to a beauty salon to have their edges rounded off a bit. The guys take Lisa’s suggestions in a good-natured fashion and before you can say “Billy Goat Gruff,” Renda’s chin patch is weed-whacked to oblivion. The men sit through pedicures, manicures, coiffures, and other tortures. Lisa, meanwhile, starts chatting with the men. She drinks a toast to Renda’s newly exposed chin and asks Zach what is intriguing about him. Apparently the most intriguing thing about Zach is his inability to answer a direct question, because he fails to provide even a “pat” answer. Mark, with several pat answers in his pocket, tells her that he wants to know all about her hopes and dreams. Nate and Ben are both a bit on the quiet side as well, leaving Lisa with a bit of a difficult decision. One by one, she invites the men back to the limo and Lisa’s apparent dislike of Zach’s evasive answer ensures that he’ll be hitchhiking home. He tells us, “Getting booted kinda sucks, but ultimately she didn’t feel I was the right guy.”
Laura describes Zach as “a real loser” and sheds no tears over his departure. Kimberly bluntly states that it “should have been Ben” to get the boot.
The Creative Group gets to head out to the rifle range for some skeet shooting. If you will pardon the pun, the guys talents are hit and miss; mostly miss:
Omar: “At the end of the day she wants a strong man.”
At the range, Joe attempts to hog the conversation and Omar attempts to impress with his Al Pacino “Say hello to my leetle friend” impersonation. My, how original. They challenge Lisa to show her stuff and she immediately picks off a clay pigeon… then she shoots her gun. Let me rephrase that. She warns Paco that he has to be quite a bit more convincing if he wants her to believe he’s looking for a mate. She also shoots down a couple of skeet. Once again, she invites the men one at a time to join her in the limo, and Omar is the last man standing and eliminated from the competition. Unfortunately, there is a problem that manifests itself for the observant viewer. When she tells Omar that he’s eliminated, the other men, the ones who we have already seen get up and head to the limo, are still seated all around him. Could someone on the production staff please contact me and tell me exactly how the hell this thing was edited and pieced together?
To complete the quartet of “fish out of water” dates, the Jocks are taken ballroom dancing. As they head out to the date, the comments cover a broad spectrum:
Hank: “She wants us to show a little grace.”
The group arrives to greet Lisa and they begin to learn the rudiments of the cha-cha. For those unfamiliar with this particular method of cutting a rug, the steps really aren’t that complex. Corey immediately starts to ham it up and play to the other guys, which prompts Lisa to speculate that Corey is far too busy entertaining his buddies when he should be trying to impress her. Scott takes a spin on the floor and unintentionally does a remarkable impression of Peter Boyle “Puttin’ on the Ritz” in Young Frankenstein. His size 14 loafers certainly don’t help matters. When it all comes down to it however, Lisa decides that Corey’s showboating is not what she’s looking for, and he is eliminated. Corey tells us, “I was dumbfounded. I had the dance steps down, but she was looking for the total package and I didn’t present it.”
So the group of 20 has been reduced to 16, who all attend a large party at the pool. At this point, kudos should be extended to the production team for making the eliminations an actual part of the show instead of the big payoff at the end of the hour. At the party, the men predictably begin to fawn all over Lisa. Robert, the Austrian charmer, asks Lisa for her hand and not only takes it, but appears to be trying to pull Lisa’s arm out at the socket as he all but drags her across the table toward him. He commits several social faux pas, but his greatest gaffe comes when he starts talking about Lisa’s bikini. Like many European men, he talks with his hands and almost opens Lisa’s top up completely as he paws and gropes. The other guys take him to task and Evan tells him that he needs to be more laid back when talking with Lisa. This is an ironic moment, because it seems Kobe Bryant sets a better example of fidelity than Evan, who is seen coaxing first Laura and then Kimberly onto his lap for some quality time. After a short while, Lisa and her friends sequester themselves to discuss their impressions. One of the men is going to be eliminated. Some of the comments made by Laura and Kimberly include:
“Evan is only interested in getting me sitting on his lap.”
Out comes Bryan to earn some of his hosting paycheck. “For one of you the party is over,” he admonishes the men.
Lisa calls on Evan. “You can’t ask two of my friends to sit on your lap. Consider this a warning.” She then calls Robert forward and explains the obvious. “You can’t try to open my bikini and you can’t try to pull me across a table by my arm! I’m little!” Finally, she turns to Paco and tells him that she sensed “little effort” on his part and that she felt he didn’t really make an effort to talk to her. Paco is then sent packing and we are reduced to 15 very wary suitors.
The next morning, each of the men gets to plead their case a final time with Lisa in one-on-one sessions, and then Lisa heads off to make her final deliberations. As the men gather together again, Lisa comes out and announces her cuts. Each eliminated man gives us a final comment as his farewell to the show:
Scott R.: “I was shocked. I thought we clicked, but I guess we didn’t.”
Next week, the process of elimination continues with America getting to decide who stays and who will leave. This does not mean, however, that we’ve heard the last of Lisa’s best friends. Laura issues a final warning to us all: “You can bet you will hear my opinions next week!” I’ll go out on a limb once more here and say, “You can bet that by now most men would rather date Roseanne Arnold than even share the same county with CruLaura DeVille.”
Mr. Barker is co-owner of Movie Boss (www.movieboss.com), a free online movie game, and author of "Zippers," a humor column that looks at mistakes in movies. He can be reached at BBarker@movieboss.com.
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