The wind blows. The rain pours down. The power goes out. Hurricane Isabel is in town. No, wait, that’s Hurricane Survivor over on CBS. Poor Temptation Island Three – with Hurricane Survivor blowing through, nobody’s going to watch. In fact, I think even I’ve forgotten who’s on this show. Let’s see, there’s the woman in the Boy Scout uniform, and the guy who looks like Hagrid, and the … oh, no, it’s starting to come back to me now. Rats.
For the rest of you who may have forgotten (in other words, for everyone outside of the handful of hard-core fans), the whole idea of Temptation Island is to tempt couples to break up their relationships. The first time, one couple was kicked off the show after it turned out they already had a child together, and all the other couples chose unity. The second time, one couple left the show to get married, one couple stayed together, and the other three blew apart with Hurricane Isabel-like force. This time, we’ve got one couple with little future (Melissa and Michael), one couple that could go either way (Stephanie and Anthony), one couple that’s on vacation (Kristin and Eric), and one weirdo couple (Kara and Jason). SO WHY ARE WE WATCHING?
Maybe it’s to see how these couples will stick it to each other.
Right now, the drama center is Michael and Melissa. Michael is getting in touch with his inner bimbo. He’s remembering that he loves women, as long as he can ignore everything above the neck except for the lips. Melissa is a former beauty queen who has launched a new career as a drama queen. Currently she’s broken up because no one likes her boyfriend of choice, Jerome. But even if everyone liked Jerome, she’d be broken up. The producers love her.
The producers hate Eric and Kristin, though. These two should be picking out dinnerware patterns together, not visiting Temptation Island. So far, neither has watched video of the other. Kristin says it’s because she’d be too crushed if she saw Eric acting like Michael. But we know better. It’s because these two are more boring than Ma and Pa Kettle. The chances of Eric acting like Michael are about the same as the chances of him bending it like Beckham.
Jason, aka the Tattooed Man from the circus, made it clear right off the bat that he hated Jeff. Anthony made it clear right off the bat that he thought Derrick was his biggest threat. So, naturally, Kara has been dating Jeff and Stephanie has been dating Derrick. I could probably get a tame psychologist to explain it, but there’s no time – a new episode is beginning.
Kara says that she and Jeff are connecting on an intellectual level. Right. She’s upset that Tattoo has been going after women on a physical level. Well, Kara, I’m sure Jason would like to connect intellectually with some of the single women, but I expect that most if not all of the women have moved beyond “Hooked on Phonics.” Melissa is upset that Michael was engaged in some physical touching in the last clip she saw. (Uh, Melissa, I think the word you want is “foreplay.”) Naturally, Melissa wants to make sure that everyone knows she’s unhappy, so she takes her “couple” necklace off, twirls it around like a lasso until she gets every eye in the house to look at her, and then casually – but dramatically – drops it on the bar, so that all of the guys can see how available she is. Think Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, guys, and stay clear.
Meanwhile, Michael and Jason are hoping for catfights. At that point, the producers unleash two hungry tigers, who rip Michael and Jason’s bodies into shreds. No, wait, not that kind of catfight -- that was just a power surge from the hurricane. Michael and Jason are still there, intact. Rats.
Women’s Second Dates: Reshuffle
Like the men, the women get to choose their second dates. Kristin goes first. Maybe the producers asked her to “shake up” the dating arrangements in return for some camera time (since she’s not about to be tempted), because she chooses Stephanie’s beau-du-jour Derrick. Stephanie is ticked, but Kristin doesn’t have a beau, so she chooses … Jeff, Kara’s boy toy. Then it’s Melissa’s turn, and she picks Sterling, not Jerome. Finally, it’s Kara’s choice, and she whines about the prior picks. Still whining, she picks Giulio, whom she looks upon as a friend … and not “friends with benefits,” either.
Kara and Giulio go kayaking. Nothing happens. In confessional, Kara says she’d pick Jeff for a romantic date. Stephanie and Jeff also go kayaking. They discover that they have a lot in common. Jeff seems to forget that he ever knew anyone named Kara. But Stephanie still seems to be thinking about Derrick. Do we even need second dates when the women have already made up their minds? Let’s just have ‘em share a bedroom.
Kristin and Derrick go horseback riding to a picnic. As most women know, most men are only interested in talking about themselves; women through the years have grown accustomed to being good listeners on first dates and speaking only enough to avoid lulls in the conversation. A woman who talks as much as a man is “too chatty.” But Kristin doesn’t care. She talksandtalksandtalksandtalksandtalks. She talks on horseback. She talks during the picnic. She clearly isn’t looking to win any dating points here. I’d like to make fun of her, but I found the role reversal to be delicious. Like most men, Kristin thought the date was lots of fun. Like most women, Derrick didn’t. Ahh, poor baby.
Finally, it’s Melissa and Sterling, who ride … a banana boat. Day-O! Dayyyyyyy-O! Daylight come, and me wanna go home! Nope, the show’s still on, so you’ve got to stay on Temptation Island. They fall overboard. No crocs. Darn. Melissa wants to talk about her favorite subject: Jerome. Sterling encourages her, saying that Jerome is his friend, while wondering how, in just a few short days and one prior date, three of the four coupled women have already “paired off” with single men. Good question. Even though the dates were a reshuffle, they were a waste.