'Love in the Wild' cuts Summer Mack and "Chase" Aaron Chase and determines Final 2 couples
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 07/18/2012
Love in the Wild eliminated Summer Mack and her partner "Chase" Aaron Chase and determined its Final 2 couples during Tuesday night's penultimate episode of the second season of the NBC reality dating series, which features singles attempting to find love in the Dominican Republic.
Chase, a 28-year-old from San Diego, CA who currently resides in Newport Beach, CA, and Summer, a 32-year-old from Satellite Beach, FL who currently resides in Indian Harbour Beach, FL, were eliminated from the competition after the couple who finished first in the adventure was able to select which of the other remaining two couples should be sent home and which one would be their opponent in the finale. As a result, Summer and Chase were ousted because they had always posed a big threat in the challenges.
"Leaving here, of course I'm super disappointed, but this whole experience has been amazing. I learned a lot about myself on the way. I am competitive, but I didn't come here to be the best swimmer in the ocean. I came here to truly meet somebody. Chase and I really care for each other and we've been through a lot together. No one else has gone through the things that Chase and I have gone through, except for Chase and myself, and that will forever bond us," Summer said following her ouster.
"When I went to Iraq, I had a girl that I thought was going to be my wife. She left me. It sucked and it hurt, and honestly, I never thought I'd be able to find somebody else again. And to find Summer and to create a connection, I feel very happy. No question about it, Summer makes me feel really good. She brings out the best in me and when we go stateside, we're going to build something strong, and I'm trying to find a way to make that distance between the East Coast and the West Coast a lot smaller," Chase explained.
Following the previous Couples Choice Ceremony in which no one got eliminated after the three pairs had participated in a dating game, Michelle Sacco, a 26-year-old from Rome, GA who currently resides in Atlanta, GA, and Benjamin Clark, a 27-year-old from Chesterfield, England who currently resides in Monroe, NC, felt they had become more connected than the other couples.
All three pairs were looking forward to the possibility of winning a first-class trip around the world with their partners, and everyone agreed Ben and Michelle's 30-second advantage they had won from the dating game would ultimately make a huge difference in the upcoming challenge.
However, Kenneth Barrington, a 33-year-old from Peoria, IL who currently resides in Miami Beach, FL, and Yanina Beccaria, a 33-year-old from Rosario, Argentina who currently resides in Chicago, IL, thought they had what it would take to win Love in the Wild considering they had been together since the very beginning of the season.
Love in the Wild host Jenny McCarthy then met with the remaining six individuals and explained the rules to their next challenge. Each couple was required to assemble and follow a map after collecting its pieces which were scattered in five different locations: in a cave, in the rocks of a cliff, in a bottle floating in the water, in a tree, and near a fence.
To retrieve the pieces of their maps, each pair had to look amongst over a hundred useless "Try Again" scrolls in the cave, climb down a steep cliff via a ladder and harness, ride horses, wade through water in their clothes, and search for a buried treasure chest hidden under big leaves in a banana plantation.
Ben and Michelle ended up encountering the most issues along the course despite their initial head start. Ben wasted the couple's 30-second advantage because he couldn't concentrate on which direction to run, Ben received a very slow-moving horse, the couple argued along the entire way, and they had trouble finding one of the treasure chests to bring with them to the finish line.
Ken and Yanina were the team to finish the adventure in first place. They were then followed by Summer and Chase in second, and then Ben and Michelle in third -- and last -- place.
For coming in first, Ken and Yanina not only won the right to stay at the luxurious Oasis private villa for the night, but they earned an automatic spot in the finale and the opportunity to determine which team would square off against them in Love in the Wild's final second-season adventure. The decision Ken and Yanina had to make could ultimately seal their fate in the game.
After the challenge, Summer and Chase weighed the pros and cons Ken and Yanina might be considering when thinking of whom they should select as their finale opponents. Summer thought she and Chase were better friends with Ken and Yanina, but at the same time, they believed themselves to be the tougher competition. Therefore, Summer explained she felt very vulnerable.
Ben and Michelle were also worried about Ken and Yanina having all the power, because they knew Ken and Yanina would favor Summer and Chase as friends, however, Michelle was convinced she and Ben had formed a stronger connection through their journey together on the show.
Later on, Ken and Yanina enjoyed their second Oasis experience, and Ken thought he had found the woman of his dreams. Meanwhile, Michelle and Ben got over their bickering and determined Michelle's level-headedness balanced well with Ben's anxiety and temper when competing. Also, Summer and Chase were beginning to realize more and more that they truly liked each other.
While at the Oasis, Ken and Yanina discussed which team they should eliminate. Ken wanted to compete against the best of the best in order to really win Love in the Wild, but Yanina thought his reasoning was "bullsh-t." Yanina believed the show was all about finding a romantic connection and winning a trip around the world with a special person, not so much about the competition aspect. Ken saw Yanina's point of view, and the couple was extremely confused.
Ken and Yanina sat down and spoke to both teams to see how they were feeling, and it became clear that both Ben and Michelle and Summer and Chase were pretty passionate about each other and satisfied with their own relationships. Summer and Chase were the big physical threats, yet Michelle and Ben's growing bond could help them work better together in the last challenge.
Jenny McCarthy gave both Summer and Chase and Ben and Michelle a chance to state their cases in attempt to convince Ken and Yanina they deserved to be in the finale.
"I love you both. I think the world of you two and I'm very happy to see you guys in first. We've been through this with you. We've been friends to you. We've trusted each other, and we'd love for you to pick us, because I'd love to finish this adventure next to Summer and competing against you guys because I know we'll push you to the end and it'll be exciting," Chase told Ken and Yanina.
"Although we've all taken different paths, I want you guys to know that we really do care about and love you guys," Summer added.
Ben and Michelle then spoke their minds.
"I just want to say I've made a connection with Michelle. I want to spend as much time as possible with her, and I'm not going to bash their relationship, I'm going to compare the two. I think ours is more romantically inclined. I think their relationship may be more friendly. That's just be being frank," Ben explained.
"I think everyone here is striving to create that bond and that connection and I just feel like Ben and I have. We're not ready to go home. I want to stay here with this guy and continue to have a blast," Michelle said.
Yanina cried throughout all the short speeches because it was obviously a very tough decision for her to make.
"I never thought I would be sitting here and having to send two good friends home. I can't even speak because it feels really sad, and I hope you don't hate us," Yanina announced.
"So I have to ask you the question. Which couple will be moving on to the final adventure with you both?" Jenny McCarthy asked.
"Jenny, this is really hard for us. You can see the emotion is sincere. Summer and Chase are incredible competitors. Chase is a man of integrity. Summer is, I think, somebody that Yanina fears in the ocean. And Ben and Michelle, on the other hand, I know Ben throughout the adventures to just be kind of the funny guy. I think we came to the right decision based on the right criteria," Ken explained.
"All four of you, it has been a wonderful, wonderful ride, and the couple that we would like to bring with us to the next adventure is -- the couple that we think most resembles what Yanina and I have built is Ben and Michelle."
Ben said it had been a roller coaster and then thanked Ken and Yanina, telling them he believed they had made the right decision. He was really excited and looking forward to moving forward in the competition.
Ken said Summer and Chase's competitive nature was "absolutely" a factor in his decision. He called them the "fiercest competitors they had faced over and over and over again." He said he was relieved he and Yanina wouldn't have to face them in the final adventure.
Summer and Chase then told Ken and Yanina although they would've loved to compete against them in the finale, they agreed the pair had made the best decision for them. Summer and Chase then revealed they definitely planned to continue their connection outside of the show, wishing Ken and Yanina the best of luck because they felt they deserved to win and travel the world together.
In a post-filming update, Love in the Wild revealed Summer and Chase have continued dating since the show was filmed this spring and she is currently making plans to move to California to be closer to him.