Paradise Hotel, The Finale: Shocking Twists Galore!by V. S. Marsh -- 10/02/2003
First off, before the episode even starts, I’d like to give props to the Fox Publicity Department and US Weekly Magazine. I say this because on Saturday, I was minding my own business, catching up on the latest Ben and J.Lo. news and there it was. A big fat hairy spoiler. In the television preview section of US Weekly, there was a picture of what appeared to be the jury with a blurb about how the evicted 11 were coming back. And so I took a look at the picture and saw two people standing there who had not been eliminated yet. Criminey! Exactly how dumb do you have to be to tease the last eviction for two weeks (not to mention through the entire two hour episode) and then reveal the answer in a magazine? I thought that it might be a trick, but the producers of this show are no Mark Burnett. So, anyway, I began watching this week’s episode knowing a little too much. But I’m not bitter or anything. Nooooo.
It’s a monster truck and tractor pull ad! Wait. No, it’s just the opener. And hey, since you’re watching the finale, you probably have no idea what’s gone on until this point. No worries, the Deep Voiced Announcer will recap the entire summer. Here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: Dave and Charla become a team. Dave gets picked on by Toni (“Game on!!!”). Tara, Holly, and Keith arrive in paradise. Zack leaves. Amy screams. The hotel becomes (insert dramatic pause) “a house divided.” It’s the Barbies vs. the Originals. Despite the odds being against them, the Barbies get the power and eliminate most of their rivals. Then the ratings drop, so the producers bring all the evicted guests back. The evicted guests return and act like @$$holes. “I came back ready to attack.” The Barbies experience anger and sadness, but find strength in each other and survive the onslaught.
Next, the Deep Voiced Announcer is going to tell us what happened last week. I guess this is what happens when you stretch a half-hour show into a two-hour finale. Again, here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: One person has the power to force out a couple. Dave plays both sides of the fence. Keith discovers his strategy and he and Scott manage to turn everyone against Dave. The six give Keith the power. He must decide who to eliminate. He appears constipated. Really, if you want the long version, read my recap.
Anyway, the Deep Voiced announcer has finished retelling history for the first time tonight and now he moves to the preview of tonight, which includes Host Amanda ominously talking about the “only way to win the prize” and Tara crying. What – do they have to commit a crime to get the prize or something? Please. And then we go to commercial. Wait. Did I just hallucinate, or did Fox spend 10 minutes telling us what we already know?
So, anyway, at 9:10 or so, we’re finally ready to get going. After, of course, Fox shows us the last five minutes of last week’s show. Hey! It’s Keith’s constipation face again! Then we get the High Noon at the OK Corral music and as I giggle at the thought of tumbleweeds rolling through the Paradise Hotel pool deck, we get flashbacks of last week. Just in case we’ve forgotten what we saw seven days ago. Or what we were told ten minutes ago.
Keith tells the others that he thinks highly of every single person left. Host Amanda gets impatient and asks for his decision. Charla starts crying. Keith stammers and then eliminates Scott and Holly. He apologizes but says that he has to go with his “word from day one” and that the Barbies decided long ago that if the four of them could be the Final Four, they would. Host Amanda sums up Scott and Holly’s feelings with a big old “oooooofffff.” Keith hopes he made the right decision and rejoins Tara, who is crying. Hey, that shot of Tara is the one we saw earlier in a piece of very deceptive previewing (the Barney purple eye shadow is a giveaway). Bad Fox! Bad Fox!
Host Amanda asks Scott and Holly what they think about making the Walk of Freedom. Holly says that Dave told her that he’d have chosen her and she supposes that Dave’s been lying to her the entire time. Hello? Holly? It was KEITH who eliminated you. That’s K-E-I-T-H. Scott says that he’s been there a long time and that paradise is amazing. Yes, Scott. That’s why they call it paradise. Scott tells Host Amanda that he had hope 20 minutes ago when Dave blatantly lied to Keith and that he thought Keith would have “the integrity and stones” to call Dave on the lie, but Keith apparently didn’t. Then, he wishes the Final Four luck. I can’t decide if that’s two faced (“you’re a bastard, but good luck”) or classy (“you’re a bastard, but good luck”). Either way, Host Amanda thanks them and then kicks them to the curb.
Here’s something I’ve been wondering. Do the guests really have to check out? Is there a bill? Do they have paperwork? I guess I’ll just have to wait for The Smoking Gun to get a copy of their contracts to find out. Oh, and by the way, the Fox Publicity Department did spoil their own show. The US Weekly picture, which included Scott and Holly, was a picture of the jury. What a bunch of clowns (both the Fox Publicity Department and the jury).
Scott and Holly hug the Final Four, except for Dave, who they treat like he’s got some sort of contagious disease. Holly manages to give Dave a very cold one shouldered hug. Scott tells us that he would have gotten rid of Dave, but that there are “so many ways to play the game.” Huh? At any rate, Scott can feel good about himself going home. So, what does that mean, Scottie? Do you feel good about how you played? Or are you just feeling good about going home? Charla and Tara are holding hands as the Final Four watch Scott and Holly leave. And it’s time for another commercial, but first, a preview. Charla gets mad at Dave. The celebrations are short-lived. There’s a SHOCKING TWIST. During commercial, I revel in the fact that I was, yet again, correct in my prediction.
Charla thanks Keith. Tara leaps into Charla’s arms. Dave thanks Keith; Keith is not interested in talking to Dave. Keith tells Dave that he put him in a bad position. Charla and Tara go off to have a private conversation. Charla can’t believe that Dave told Holly he didn’t have a number two. Charla feels betrayed and that Dave made them look really bad. Dave tells Keith he feels badly about the lie he told Holly. Charla tells Tara that she thinks that Tara and Keith will win because of Dave’s lie. Keith tells Dave that he was honest with Scott and Holly and that he told them he wanted Dave and Charla in the Final Four. Dave says that telling the truth was Keith’s way of playing, but not his.
Charla tells Dave that she is furious about his lies. Tara and Keith are her sidekicks and she would never do anything to put them in jeopardy. Dave lied in front of Scott and Holly and she wishes that she had called him out. Charla says that she never told anyone that they were safe. Dave, in one of the best lines of the summer, asks, “Do you want me to give you a Nobel Prize, Charla?” Dave tells Charla that he’s protected her all summer. Charla says they’re going to lose. Dave says Charla said she didn’t care about winning. Charla says that she doesn’t want to be associated with someone who betrayed Keith and Tara. While Charla and Dave have it out, Keith and Tara jump on the bed and giggle.
The next morning Charla and Dave struggle to get out of bed. Charla asks Dave if he’s depressed. Dave replies that he plans to medicate himself with as much coffee as he can hold. Keith and Tara jump on their bed and giggle. They decide to summon Dave and Charla by phone. Charla asks if Keith and Tara are okay, as they appear to have inhaled something. Dave announces that he’s angry (apparently at Keith & Tara). Charla replies that she would rather have been eliminated than go against her friends. Keith and Tara roll around on their bed and giggle. Dave and Charla arrive and there are hugs distributed freely. The Final Four have single sex breakfasts. Keith jokes with Dave about how they need to talk strategy and figure out how to kick the girls off. Tara asks Charla if she thinks that they’ll have to betray their friendship to win. Charla replies that the producers wouldn’t do that. Oh, Charla, ye of little faith. I’m sure the producers would do that if they thought it would help the ratings. You do understand this show is on Fox, right?
And it’s time for a commercial again. But first, they have to show the same preview they showed before the last commercial break! Unbelievable. And, of course, the biggest surprise will be what the Final Four will need to do to win.
After breakfast, the Final Four return to their rooms. Keith tells Tara that Dave is worried because Charla is not as competitive as Tara is. Tara tells Keith that Charla is worried that the Final Four will be pitted against each other. Keith says that they’re already pitted against each other and that he’s “100% against Dave right now.” Well then, that’s settled. Let’s move on. Hey! There’s a butler with an envelope. The letter instructs the couples to create a photo album of memorable moments of their stay at Paradise Hotel. This activity appears to be a device for Fox to show more recap footage.
Our trip down memory lane includes the following moments, brought to you for the billionth time this summer by Fox:
The photo albums are finished, as both Charla and Keith cut the heads off of pictures of people they didn’t like. Poor Melanie. Poor Kristen. Dave and Charla remove all pictures of Toni from their memory books. Charla and Dave look at their book and agree, “Good times.” It’s time to get ready for dinner. Keith calls Dave, who wants to know where the cummerbund goes. What? Tara tells him to put it around his head. Heh. Keith gives him dressing advice, hangs up and kisses Tara. Smoochy, smoochy. They arrive at a fabulous black tie dinner. Champagne pours. Tara toasts to the four of them. Keith appreciates everything that they’ve done for the team. Dave is glad that they’ve played the game to best of their abilities and made friends. Charla is grateful for the good friends she’s made. She could cry, she’s so glad.
Okay, the love fest is over, kids. Host Amanda arrives with some music obviously stolen from a James Bond movie. She wants to make a couple of announcements. All good things must come to an end and after dinner, they must pack their bags because tonight is their last night in paradise. Oh, and she brought two people to give the final announcement. As I dread Zack walking through the door, Beau and Toni stroll in. Toni says, “Werrrrrreee baaaaacccck!” They congratulate the Final Four and announce that they’re back in the game. What!?!?? Can the message boards be correct? Are we watching Love Cruise all over again? (In case you’re wondering, on Love Cruise, the final four became the final six as all the eliminated guests picked another couple to compete for the final prize. And to make it worse, Toni was on that show too!) If that’s the case, I can’t believe that Toni and Beau were the ones picked. Ugh. This makes the outcome feel very obvious. If the jury chose Toni and Beau to come back, then obviously Toni and Beau will win. That can’t possibly be true. If Toni and Beau are back, then I’ll bet the final six vote amongst themselves for winners, which, by the way, would support my prediction that Charla and Keith win.
Beau and Toni say they’re just kidding. Whew. Toni announces that all of the evicted guests are coming back and will have the power to determine the winners of the game. Beau tells the Final Four to do some thinking on why the jury should choose them to be the winners. Toni tells the Final Four to come up with speeches on why they should win. And then she says it. “Game on!!!” Heh heh heh. Nice one, Toni. Toni and Beau leave the Final Four in silence. Dave says that this is an interesting development. Tara says the bad feeling she had a couple weeks ago when everyone returned is back. Keith says that this is their last dinner together and he doesn’t want to spend his last night worrying about who wins. Charla replies that she’s not worried. Keith says that he is. Huh? Tara and Keith leave Dave and Charla sitting at the table. Charla looks rather unhappy. Each couple returns to their room.
Dave tells Charla that things are over. Charla announces that she’s not preparing a speech. Dave says that he’s going to have to justify the aggressive and manipulative way he played the game. Charla doesn’t want to think about things anymore. Keith decides that they need to prepare three speeches: for us, for them, and the question mark. What the hell is a question mark speech about? Huh? Keith and Tara prepare the speeches by cuddling on the bed.
Dave advises Charla that they need to put their best foot forward. We see Keith massaging Tara’s foot. Chuckle, chuckle. Charla tells Dave she won’t do anything to persuade the jury to vote for her. Dave incredulously asks if she’s going to lobby for Tara and Keith. Charla says no and that she’ll be home in two days anyway. Dave tries to predict the jury’s votes. Dave and Charla start to bicker. Charla thinks they’re screwed because of the lies Dave told to Scott and Holly, who will lobby the jurors to vote for Keith and Tara no matter how much the jurors hate Keith and Tara. Keith and Tara call with an idea. Keith suggests that all four should say, “F**k you all. That’s our speech.” Hilarious. I wonder what would happen if they tried it. It’s probably the most honest thing they could say to the jury.
Keith and Tara go for a cuddle, I mean swim, in the pool. Keith tells Tara that they have an “unbelievable chance” to “take this home” because Dave and Charla have kicked everyone out. I guess Keith has conveniently forgotten his time as the Paradise Hotel Grim Reaper. Very. Convenient. Dave practices his cheesy speech and tells Charla that he can make himself cry if necessary. Keith tells Tara that he plans to go home winning. I have a feeling there will be a little smoochy, smoochy action for the two of them tonight.
In the morning, Dave masters the obvious and tells Charla that this is their last day at Paradise Hotel. Well, at least until they do the reunion special. You know it’s coming. During, oh, say, sweeps, perhaps? Charla is glad they met because she doesn’t know if they would have been friends in real life. Dave tells her that they wouldn’t have been friends in real life, but he’s glad they met. Charla handicaps their chance of winning at 10%. Keith practices his speech and says that one regret he and Tara have is that they talked bad about people. Tara says that she didn’t talk bad about anyone. Keith looks at her like she’s lost her mind and says, “Get out of here, dude.” Heh.
Each couple thinks the other one will win and comes up with reasons for it. They practice their speeches ad nauseum. Charla invites Dave to visit her in Minnesota. Has anyone besides me noticed that whenever she talks about home, her Minnesota accent gets really think? Oh yaa, sur, yew betcha. Dave discovers he doesn’t have any black socks. Charla offers him a pair of hers, which he accepts. That’s odd. Not that she offered him the socks, but that Fox chose to include this footage.
Limos arrive bearing the jurors. Here’s Scott & Holly. And Amanda & Beau. Toni & Andon. Desiree & Tom. Oh, and Smokey. Kavita, Matt & Melanie. Alex & Kristen. Amy & Zack. Nice buzz cut, Zackie. What, did you join the Marines? The Final Four arrive and exchange glares with the jury. Wait. What the hell is Charla wearing on her head? Is that a head band? What the hell was she thinking? Prior to commercial, we see previews of a lot of yelling. By the way, I just want to meet the person whose concept of paradise involves this much screaming by people desperately in need of anger management therapy.
Hey, for the short term memory challenged viewers, we’re going to get a recap of last week’s episode and the entire first hour. Geez. Fox sure does spend a lot of time and editing money making these recaps and previews. Host Amanda gives her own recap in case the Deep Voiced Announcer was difficult to understand. Charla is the only original guest left and was the outsider at the 1st roommate selection. The guests have seen romance blossom (Scott & Holly) and fade (Amanda & Beau). Strangers have become friends (Amy, Toni & Kristen). And close friendships have died (Beau & Alex). Some guests have perhaps even found love (Zack & Amy). Barf. I guess Host Amanda is afraid the guests have short term memory problems, too. But, she announces that the summer is over and she wants their decision by sunset. Before the jury hears the prepared statements, the jury is invited to make comments and ask questions.
Andon asks Dave to assume he’s won. Knowing all the knives Dave has put in people’s backs, he wants to know if Dave will have any friends left and if that is worth the money. Dave says that it’s not worth it if he doesn’t have friends.
Matt says that Dave has been all about honesty. On tape, the jury has seen Dave talking about his fellow alliance members behind their backs. Matt says that Dave has embarrassed both people back home (in Boston, I guess) and himself. Dave hopes he hasn’t embarrassed himself. Alex interjects and tells him to stop playing the violin. Dave says that he feels horrible. Alex challenges Dave to back it up with facts. Dave says that he doesn’t want to look like a sleaze ball.
Toni chooses not to ask a question and instead makes a statement. She says that Tara admitted to Andon that Tara would screw Charla over to win. Toni thinks that Tara shouldn’t have joked about voting Charla off and if she was a real friend, she wouldn’t have made that joke. Whatever. I guess friends can’t be funny on Planet Toni.
Alex asks Dave if he knows that Charla tried to hook up with Keith. Alex says that it seems like a lot of lying has been done by both Dave and Charla. Keith interjects that both Keith and Charla were flirting and that the trust factor is there.
Desiree asks Charla why Charla should win since Charla lacks social skills, hasn’t participated in group activities, and has spent the summer hiding in her room demanding to be treated like a prima donna. Ouch. Charla replies that she likes to be alone and that she gets nervous in front of people (like, for example, right now). Desiree asks why she deserves to win. Charla says that there are many people who are more deserving and that she wanted to go home many times during the summer. Amy asks why Charla didn’t, because there were plenty of evicted guests who wanted to stay. Charla replies that she couldn’t bring herself to quit.
Scott tells Keith that they were “cool since day one” and didn’t play each other. Scott understands that Keith was a Barbie, but though that he and Holly had a chance because Dave blatantly tried to backstab Keith. Scott wants to know why Keith eliminated someone who was “honest and true.” Keith replies that he stood by his word, because Keith had told Dave that he would never kick him out. The chips fell Keith’s way and if Scott was standing there, Scott would win. Scott nods in agreement. So does the jury. So do I. Alex chimes in, claiming that Keith lied to everyone, gave his word, and then broken it. Keith says that the excursion with Kristen where Kristen threatened him was his turning point and that he never promised to keep anyone except Dave.
Holly wants to know why Dave lied to her the whole time she was at the hotel. Why did Dave tell Holly that she was his “number 2?” Amy interjects, “Wait. I was his number 2, too!” Snort. Holly tells Dave that the lies didn’t help him at all. Dave retorts that he’s standing in the Final Four. All that was missing from his reply was a head pop and three snaps. Everyone oooohs. Holly incredulously asks if he really thinks she helped him get there, because she didn’t. Dave says he knows she didn’t, but she could have. This prompts the entire jury to start shouting. Charla looks sad and hangs her head. I think she knows Dave has screwed her. Matt tells Charla that she teamed up with the wrong person. As we go to commercial, Host Amanda thanks the jury for their brutal honesty. Meow. Score one for Host Amanda.
It’s time for speeches. Charla goes first and says that she’s nervous. She doesn’t think that there’s anything she can say to get the jury’s votes. Dave is her very good friend and she learns new things about him every day. But, she hopes they can continue their friendship, because if it wasn’t for him she wouldn’t be in the Final Four. She hasn’t seen tapes of the show and is sure that the jury members said bad things about her, but she’s not interested in holding grudges. She thanks the jurors for listening and gets a round of applause.
Dave makes his statement. He was the first person to eliminate a guest at Paradise Hotel and has obviously rubbed people the wrong way. He’s sad that the jurors don’t believe him when he said that having the power sucks. He’s lied and he’s failed to make friends, except for the three people standing next to him. His relationship with Charla has had its ups and downs. He had feelings for her, which led to jealousy and hurt, and he’s dealing with the ramifications of those actions. Adversity has brought them closer together and he’s proud to have had her as his roommate. He thanks the guests for the tennis, drinking, fighting, and making up. Screaming Harpie Amy shouts, “Thanks for talking behind our backs!!! Caw! Caw! Caw!” Well, okay, she didn’t start cawing like a bird, but she did say the first part. There’s no applause for Dave. Shocker.
Tara announces that she and Keith wrote their speech together and will each deliver half. She says that at the hotel, she did things that were out of character for her and were things she wouldn’t do at home. At the hotel, she started conflict, whereas she’s usually the peacemaker at home. She came to paradise to escape stress, but ended up creating it. Keith feels that it is unfortunate that individuals were given the power to send others home. He didn’t want to cause pain (the camera cuts to Amy). He knows that all of the jurors have good hearts. He’s learned many things about himself. (He’s crying! So is Charla! Wow!) Keith tells the jurors that he has a lot of growing up to do and that the jurors helped him realize just how far he has to go. He regrets saying some things and plans to take things day by day and hopes he can change for the better. He thanks the jurors for listening. The jury responds with applause and in the case of Guest Amanda, tears.
Dave and Charla return to their room and Dave says that it’s a good thing Charla didn’t care about winning or he’d be beating himself with a baseball bat. Charla tells him that she does indeed care. Dave points out that she doesn’t care like he does. True enough, I guess. In the bathroom, Zack, Alex, and Beau discuss how each of them hates one person in each of the couples. One of them feels bad for Charla. Another hates Keith. Another hates Tara. Each wishes it were an individual vote.
Dave tells Charla that he hopes for her sake that the winners are determined by voting for individuals, because the jury has a “hatred” for him. Toni asks the jury who thinks Dave is “full of $#!t.” Scott calls Dave a “rat and a stoolie.” Toni crosses her throat with her thumb, ala Beau. This tickles Beau, who asks her to do it again. Then he does it. Ah, Paradise Hotel. Definitely a repository of classy individuals. Or something like that.
Dave hopes that the things he’s done haven’t jeopardized Charla’s chances of winning. Well, that sentiment is about a day late and a dollar short, buddy. Keith asks Tara if Tara heard that Toni told everyone she slept her way to the top. We see a flashback of Toni recapping Tara’s hookups in paradise. Keith dismisses Toni – “F**k her.” Tara thinks that “it’s stupid” that the jurors think she’s a bed hopper. Keith says he has Tara’s back – and he always will. Awwwwwwwwwwww.
Charla confesses to Dave that she lied to him about something a long time ago. Charla didn’t vote for Dave to come to paradise. She was the only girl who didn’t vote for him. She voted for Tom. Ouch. Methinks Charla realizes she better confess before Dave watches the show. Toni tells the jurors that she doesn’t feel sorry for Dave. Scott says that the way Dave is always thinking of ways to “f**k everyone” makes him “sick.”
Dave tells Charla that he kept Scott here so many times. Charla points out that Dave lied to Scott. Dave bemoans the fact that because he lied to Scott once, the fact that Dave kept Scott here all summer is completely forgotten. Good point, Davito. But that’s the way life is, isn’t it? Full of convenient memories. Tara hates that the jury is pointing fingers and says that it’s not fun to be in front of them with jurors so angry with the Final Four. Keith tells her that if they win, it will be worth it. Good point, Keithie.
It’s time for a commercial, but first there’s a preview reminding us that there’s still a SHOCKING TWIST ahead. I still stand by my prediction from last week. Keith and Charla will win. I wonder if the twist is that the winners can’t talk to the others ever again. That would fit with Fox’s “friends forever” editing and Dave saying in his RealityNewsOnline interview that he can’t comment on who he’s keeping in touch with. Other eliminated guests have given interviews about who they talk to and who they live with (in the case of Zack and Amy, it’s each other). How awful. I’ll bet they take the dinero. Would they give up money for someone who’s basically a stranger?
The Final Four come in and stare down the stone-faced jury. Kristen narrows her eyes to slits. Charla is wearing another stupid headband. Host Amanda tells the jury that it’s time for them to vote. Toni announces that she thinks the situation “sucks” and that it should be “one of us up there.” Actually, Toni thinks that it should be “two of us.” She tells the Final Four that “it doesn’t pay to lie, cheat, and steal to get to top. Money’s not always here, but friends and reputation are forever.” [Editor’s Note: I think now is an appropriate time to remind readers that Toni was caught on tape lying blatantly to a “friend” on her first show, Love Cruise. But I guess that was different.] Alex asks Charla if would pick another partner if she knew then what she knows now. Charla says no, she’d stick with Dave. The freakshow named Desiree starts crying because she’s so happy she met all of the guests and that they all left the hotel with friendships and love and should drop animosity. Freakshow Desiree wants them to “kill” the animosity. Interesting choice of words, sweetie. Next time, don’t forget to take your medication, okay?
Host Amanda thanks everyone and finally reveals the only way to win the prize. The Final Four must change partners and play against each other. The jury, ever supportive, laughs. Host Amanda asks the stunned Keith and Dave to switch places. Tara looks pissed. I think she knows she’s screwed. I have to say that I’m very pleased with myself – I figured they were doing something to shake up the couples. I predicted a vote for individuals, but this is almost as good.
Host Amanda asks the jury to vote for a couple. Everyone looks mildly horrified and starts to vote. As each juror votes, Fox shows footage of the juror either fighting with one of the Final Four or getting eliminated by one of the Final Four. That is, unless the juror’s name was Kavita or Matt. I guess they didn’t last long enough to even qualify for a flashback. Host Amanda has the votes tallied while dramatic music is played. A butler hands her a gold envelope. And the winners are… A big commercial, prefaced, of course, with a preview by the Deep Voiced Announcer.
As we wait for the winners, Zack and Amy look very cuddly. Never mind, they lost! Host Amanda reveals the winners as… Keith and Charla! Oh, yeah. I do the dance of joy as I revel in my five for five record of making predictions. Keith and Charla hug. The jury claps and smiles, except for Amy, who looks rather annoyed. Host Amanda congratulates Keith and Charla. By the way, Dave and Tara are taking this like champs.
And the prize is… $500,000 split between the two of them. Hey, that’s not bad. It’s enough to be worth fighting for, but I have to say that to really be ULTIMATE and worth all the hype, it should have been seven figures. But that’s just my two cents. Everyone on the jury looks shocked. Kavita’s jaw drops. Keith and Charla are about to faint. Host Amanda tells Keith and Charla that she has two envelopes containing checks for $250,000. But, as the horror move music starts, there is one FINAL TWIST. Even the jury’s had enough, as Toni groans, “Oh, come on.”
Host Amanda sends Keith and Charla back to their original partners and has them open the envelopes. Each envelope contains two checks for $125K. One is made to the winner. The other is left blank. Zack furrows his brow. He’s confused. That’s TWO checks, Zack. One. Two. C’mon buddy, use your fingers. Host Amanda tells Charla and Keith that they have two choices. They can share money with their original partner or they can keep the entire $250,000 for themselves. Host Amanda will give them 30 minutes to decide. They will meet privately with their partners and reveal their decisions. Charla furrows her brow and looks at the check in disbelief.
They each return to their rooms. Keith tells us that he’s never had a check this big and can’t describe the feeling. Charla tells us that she doesn’t know what it means to have this kind of money – her brain just doesn’t understand. She never thought she could win. This money could buy her a really nice house, but she could also give the money to Dave. Keith tells us that he feels that all four deserve the money, but, at the same time, it’s a lot of money to give up. Charla says that although it’s a lot of money, she wants to share it with Dave.
Outside, Toni is leading the peanut gallery and thinks that Charla and Keith should keep the money. “If they give it up, then they’re damn fools.” Never one to mince words, that Toni. Mind you, she just said a little while ago, “Money’s not always here, but friends and reputation are forever.” Guest Amanda points out that the Final Four are actually friends. Toni replies that real friends wouldn’t want the money. Maybe, but I doubt it. Then Toni gets a dig in at Dave and says that he’s greedy.
Charla tells us that Dave could have tossed her after the “Charla doesn’t like Dave to touch her” Pandora’s Box. She knows Dave would give it to her. She thinks Dave deserves a check.
Not satisfied to snipe from outside, the peanut gallery pays the winners a visit. Toni and Melanie deliver Charla a drink; Alex takes a drink to Keith. Toni asks Charla how she’s doing. I, frankly, can’t believe that even Testosterone Toni has the balls to do this. She’s been carping and sniping at Charla for weeks and now she feels free to come advise Charla? Wow. What an ego. Anyway, Toni offers her opinion, which is that Charla has a life and a family in Minnesota. Charla’s only 21 and this money will get her started and help her build her life. Toni advises Charla to think about herself and tells Charla that she won’t be a bad person if she keeps the money. Toni tells Charla that she doesn’t owe anyone anything.
Over in Keith’s room, Alex tells Keith that the jurors don’t want him to give the money to Tara. Alex wishes that Keith could see the tapes of the show. Methinks that Alex is feeling a little played by Ms. Tara and is looking for revenge. Back in Charla’s room, Toni tells Charla that Dave doesn’t deserve the money. Toni finishes her unsolicited advice with the following gem: Dave is Charla’s friend and he shouldn’t want the money. Whatever. Alex finishes his advice by telling Keith that he earned the money. This is actually true.
We see Charla, clearly miserable, deliberate as Fox plays Toni’s advice as an echo. After a montage of Dave and Charla film, we see Charla start to cry. Keith tells us that Tara is an “awesome girl” and that they’ve “been through so much together.” However, his mom and brothers could use a lot of the money – it’s a tough decision. Charla tells us that this is her money. She could give it or keep it, but she knows that handing it over will be difficult.
It’s time for what I hope is the final commercial break. My prediction is that they’re both going to do it. Both have been team players and have given credit where credit is due. Neither would be in this position without their partners. I actually kind of like this scenario, because all four Barbies can win. This, I must admit, is actually a pretty cool SHOCKING TWIST.
Keith approaches Tara with smile on his face. She congratulates him with a hug. Keith tells her that she is the most unbelievable person he’s ever met and that she’s intelligent, gorgeous, funny, and puts a smile on everyone’s face. He never could have won the prize without her. Tara tells him to stop (but I don’t think she means it). Keith grabs her hand and tells her that they did this together from the very beginning. When he was deliberating, all he looked at was a picture of Tara’s family. He tells her that family is the most important thing and she should imagine what she can do for her mother now. Tara starts to cry. Keith tells her that he hopes the money helps Tara out, because it never crossed his mind not to share it with her. Tara tries to turn him down, but Keith tells her that it’s his decision. Keith tells her that he doesn’t need $250,000 when he knows that she helped him. He wants her to help her mother out. He tells her that they’re in this together and that nobody else helped them. Tara says that she said that he was the most caring and thoughtful guy and “wow” she’s smart. Heh. They hug. She jumps on his lap and hugs him more. They appear to be in love.
Charla approaches Dave, who looks like he’s about to puke. It’s not surprising, as money is clearly a big deal to Dave. She has a big smile on her face – I’m sure my prediction is right. Dave congratulates Charla and tells her that it sucks that she’s being put to this decision. Charla tells Dave that this is the hardest decision that she’s ever made. She thought she knew what she was going to do, then she didn’t, then she just cried. She tells him that she loves him as a friend and asks him what he would do if she tried to give him the money. Dave replies that he would make sure that she wasn’t doing it out of obligation or pity. Okay, I see why he wouldn’t want pity money, but obligation? C’mon Dave, in the real world, an obligation is also known as a contract. A deal. Something, perhaps, that might be made between members of a team?
Charla can’t decide which more shocking: giving someone $125,000 or realizing that she didn’t give someone $125,000. And then she decides. She thinks the right thing for her would be to keep the money. WHAT? She’s KEEPING THE MONEY?! As I recover from my shock, Dave tells her that he would respect that and wouldn’t question it for one second. Methinks Dave is lying again. Charla asks how their friendship would be affected. Dave tells her that her words have had a greater impact on him than the money would. Charla tells him that he’s just made the face he makes when he lies. Heh. Dave says that it’s fine if she doesn’t give him the money and that he figured she’d keep it. Charla asks him why he thought that, because she wasn’t going to keep the money.
Dave, who appears to be about ready to hurl, asks Charla if she was going to give it to him and then changed her mind. Charla replies that she started thinking that she worked so hard for the money and that she deserves it. Plus, it could help her do so much. Dave makes noises about it being okay. I think that he’s finally beginning to understand the old saying “loose lips sink ships.” Dave has seriously screwed himself once again by having diarrhea of the mouth. Flip the switch, dude. Turn on the filter. You don’t have to say everything you think!
Charla asks him to promise to be her friend and not flip out. He tells her that he’d flip out about other things, but not this – his feelings aren’t hurt at all. Charla replies that his feelings have been hurt before. Dave says that it’s a lot of money to flip out about, but that he’s glad she won. He’s happy for her and she should feel free to change her mind at any time. Snort. Charla tells him that she’s probably going to regret her decision.
Charla approaches the evicted guests. She tells them that she kept the money. In an astonishing display of bad taste, Toni and Alex cheer. Well, maybe astonishing is the wrong word, given the behavior we’ve seen from these two in prior episodes. It’s still tacky, though. Keith arrives at the group, he tells them that not only did he split the money, but also that he and Tara want to take everyone to Vegas. That’s a good use for the money. Should I help my family or take a bunch of screaming jerks to Vegas? Hmm…. Wise move, you two. Hey, it’s not my money. There are fireworks, balloons, and confetti in paradise. Scott hugs Keith. Alex hugs Keith. I guess we know who they voted for… Host Amanda, with a mole that just keeps getting larger, tells the audience that she has one more surprise. There’s something we need to know about next season…
You know, all in all, I have to say this was a rather satisfying ending for a show that seemed to go out of its way to piss me off at times. Keith shared his money, which fit in with both his character and his apparent relationship with Tara (rumors on internet message boards have the two of them living together). Charla didn’t share her money, which fit with her character, her lack of interest in anything but a “friend” relationship with Dave, and her clear discomfort when she found out how dishonest he had been to get them where they ended up. Now, there’s probably a lot of cynics out there who say that (a) she had to have known about some of the lies, at the very least and (b) she should be grateful that he was willing to lie, because she won. Who knows? The truth is probably somewhere in the middle.
As for next season, I have to wonder if this season was a unique experience because none (and I repeat, none) of the guests seemed to realize how large the prize was going to be. And I don’t think that many of them started to play the game until it was too late. It’s sort of like the first season of Survivor, where part of the reason that Richard Hatch was able to win was that no one else created an alliance. By the time the Originals woke up to the fact that this wasn’t just the cool kids from high school on an extended spring break, the Barbies had all the power. Next season, that won’t happen. Just like every other reality show, everyone will be jockeying for power from day one. Hopefully, Fox will come up with some way to adjust for that fact. I’m sure they’ll come up with lots of SHOCKING TWISTS. As long as they get me 20% of the time (which is approximately their success rate), I’ll be watching! And we can only hope that their casting directors continue their unfettered success in casting people that we love to hate and love to love.
You can contact Ms. Marsh at email@example.com.
Be sure to sign up for our e-mail update so you can stay informed about new articles on the site! And take a look at the rest of the site. You can find all of our articles on this show at our Paradise Hotel page – and don’t forget to check out our pages for Big Brother 4 and For Love or Money.
For more news about reality TV, be sure to check out SirLinksALot!