'Love in the Wild' sends home couple Jason Ewell and Vanessa Ramirez
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/27/2012
Love in the Wild eliminated Jason Ewell and Vanessa Ramirez during Wednesday night's fourth episode of the second season of the NBC reality dating series, which features singles attempting to find love in the Dominican Republic.
Jason and Vanessa were automatically ousted from the competition after they finished last in the fourth episode's adventure and then all the individuals before them had found a match to resume competing as couples during the Couples Choice Ceremony, leaving no one in the "unmatched area."
"I think I was on my way to finding love in the wild, but getting last place in the adventure sealed our fate. When two people agree to kind of let down their guard and let each other in, that's rare. It's definitely hard to accept that this is it. It sucks," Jason said following his ouster in tears.
"I came here with an open heart and I'm leaving here with an open heart, but Jason has a little piece of it now. I've done things that I never thought I would do in a lifetime, and knowing that my [recently deceased father] was there watching me the whole time, I just know that he would be so proud of me. I know he's looking down on me right now and saying, 'Good job kiddo!'" Vanessa added.
After the new couples spent the night together following the eliminations of six women, which included some of the new "surprise" female contestants who were introduced at the end of last week's broadcast, feelings were starting to develop between some of the pairs.
Benjamin Clark, a 27-year-old from Chesterfield, England, who currently resides in Monroe, NC, thought his new partner Michelle Sacco, a 26-year-old from Rome, GA who currently resides in Atlanta, GA, was "brilliant" and "stunning."
"Chase" Aaron Chase, a 28-year-old from San Diego, CA who currently resides in Newport Beach, CA, believed Summer Mack, a 32-year-old from Satellite Beach, FL who currently resides in Indian Harbour Beach, FL, had an amazing personality and was quite the catch. Jason and Vanessa were also glad to be alone and get to know each other naturally without being part of a trio.
However, tension was high between new partners Jesse Wilson, a 33-year-old from Oakdale, CA who currently resides in Manhattan Beach, CA, and Ali Leitza, a 33-year-old from Little Rock, AR who currently resides in North Little Rock, AR, because most of the contestants were convinced Jesse had slept with previously eliminated Love in the Wild contestant Tara Locke. In addition, Jesse tried to put his hands on Ali the very first night they slept in the same location.
Ali said she wished she could go back to the Couples Choice Ceremony and do it all over again. She worried about spending time with Jesse because she insisted she wasn't the type of girl he might've been expecting or probably was hoping to find due to the fact she had no desire to have intimate relations with him.
Jesse was also rubbing Kenneth Barrington, a 33-year-old from Peoria, IL who currently resides in Miami Beach, FL, the wrong way, because Ken believed Jesse's decision to have a romantic encounter with Tara and then dump her was disrespectful and reflected his "calculating" personality.
Love in the Wild host Jenny McCarthy then met with the remaining six single men and six single women who are looking for love while undertaking a series of adventurous activities in the hopes of winning luxurious rewards.
Jenny told the couples that each man and woman who paired up during last week's episode at the season's third Couples Choice Ceremony would remain partners for their fourth jungle adventure and later get the option to stay paired up or change partners based on the order they completed the adventure. She then explained the rules to the adventure.
The challenge required the pairs to collect 55 coconuts and carry them down a long dirt road, trade the coconuts in for a horse, and then take that horse to the top of a mountain where they'd receive a map which would help them get through the rest of their adventure. To assist them, each couple would receive one wheelbarrow to use, but they'd have to put the pieces together in order for it to function.
The couples could decided whether they wanted to assemble the wheelbarrow at all or find an alternative way to carry the coconuts. Afterward, each pair had to cross a stream by walking across two ropes high above the water, retrieve another map by swimming underneath waterfalls, walk to the top of a hill and find a machete, bamboo and rope along the way, and then cut down 50 pounds of bananas and weigh them on a scale prior to crossing the finish line.
A lot of pairs ended up encountering some issues along the course. Jason and Michelle had slow horses, Ali thought Jesse wanted a girl to "fall in line and be "non-combatant" -- both of which she refused, and Jesse tried to take all 55 coconuts at once rather than making two trips. He ended up having trouble pushing all that weight and admitted he had "screwed up."
Ali had a "paralyzing fear" of heights and freaked out crossing the rope bridge above the water, while Yanina Beccaria, a 33-year-old from Rosario, Argentina who currently resides in Chicago, IL, had trouble swimming under the waterfalls. Jesse and Vanessa's canister under the waterfall had no map inside and they desperately searched for one, losing a lot of time and getting pushed back into last place.
But the biggest mistake of all was when Yanina and Ken and Summer and Chase -- who were neck and neck for first place -- passed the area where they were supposed to pick up the tools they needed to chop down and carry the heavy load of bananas. As a result, teams passed them.
Ryan Smith, a 27-year-old from Boise, ID who currently resides in San Francisco, CA, and Jenna Gillund, a 23-year-old from Chicago, IL who currently resides in Dallas, TX, had also tried to carry too many bananas, as Ryan had overestimated how many bundles 50 pounds of bananas would be.
In the end, Ali and Jesse finished the whole course in first place. They were followed by Michelle and Ben in second place, and then Ryan and Jenna in third. Yanina and Ken finished their adventure in fourth place, while Summer and Chase crossed the finish line fifth. Vanessa and Jason unfortunately came in sixth -- and last -- place.
For coming in first, Jesse and Ali won the right to stay at the luxurious Oasis private villa, while the remaining teams received increasingly rougher overnight accommodations based upon their order of finish. However, the crude lean-to shelter was taken out of the mix, so the fifth and sixth place teams were instructed to sleep in tents, and the second, third and fourth-place couples were given cabins or bungalows.
All of the singles then spent time getting to know their partners and other prospective suitors better. Jason and Vanessa had a strong connection and clicked well together but feared they'd be going home before they could build upon their relationship. Meanwhile, Jesse and Ali weren't getting along at all. They argued a lot and Jesse wished he had stayed with someone else at the previous Couples Choice Ceremony.
"Jesse is like the one-night stand that won't go away," Ali said.
Since Jesse finished in first place, he'd have first pick at the next Couples Choice Ceremony and the girl whose partnership he requested would be unable to decline his offer. As a result, Ken was concerned Jesse might select Yanina and take her away from him.
Jenny McCarthy announced the women would be given the option to stay with their own partners or switch and get to know someone else first, because the men were given that ability last week.
Since Jesse and Ali had won the adventure challenge, they were up first.
However, before they had a chance to declare their choices, Ken spoke up and had something to say.
"While you two have been at the oasis, some real relationships have been forming. I'm telling you this because Jesse, in my experience, has been a little calculating. I'm concerned because I care about Yanina and I don't want these two to break us up. So I just want you two to know that your decision right now may impact us two, and what we have right now is pretty good," Ken announced.
With that being said, Ali was allowed to select any of the six men remaining as his partner and they'd be unable to deny her. She decided to dump Jesse and select Ben much to Ben and Michelle's surprise and disappointment.
After Ali revealed her decision, Jesse then had his chance to choose somebody. He said although he had originally planned to place himself in the "unmatched area" and leave the remaining couples alone, he saw Michelle sitting by herself and opted to pair up with her.
Jenna and Ryan were up next, and Jenna wanted to stay with Ryan. He gladly accepted. Yanina and Ken then stepped up to the plate and Yanina asked to remain partners with Ken, who clearly was thrilled and agreed.
Ken then admitted to Jenny McCarthy he was stressed out over Jesse's decision because in the past, he had been very strategic. Ken said he was worried Jesse would see him as a potential threat and competitor.
"Hardly a competitor, Ken. Every bit of everything I did, that you call 'scheming,' is to get people with the appropriate person," Jesse said.
"And Tara would be somebody you consider to be a schemer?" Ken asked.
"Collateral damage," Jesse replied.
"Collateral damage, a woman?" Ken questioned.
"She had no connection with anybody else," Jesse said.
"She told me that she had a connection with you, what happened with you and her that night?" Ken asked persistently. "That's not a connection?"
"No. It wasn't -- not love. Not love, Ken. And that's why we're here," Jesse noted.
"What happened that night?" Jenny McCarthy asked.
"What did happen that night, Ken? You were there, apparently," Jesse said.
"I've heard rumors. Apparently you're not going to fess up to what happened, but...?" Ken started.
"We had a romantic encounter just like two people do who are attracted to each other, and maybe we just didn't hit it off quite as well as we thought. That's what happened. It was our business, no one else's, That's all that needs to be said. I'm sure you've had a few encounters, Ken," Jesse explained.
"Jesse, what you need to do is find a woman that you care about and make it work. Just do that and don't worry about everybody else," Ken told him.
"I did Ken. I tried," Jesse said.
Ken then told Jesse that because of his decision, Vanessa and Jason were probably going home. Afterward, Summer asked Chase if he'd like to take on the next adventure together and he replied, "I definitely want to accept Summer's offer and stay with her. I'm definitely falling for this girl right now."
Jason and Vanessa were the last pair left, and since no one was unmatched before them, they were eliminated.
"Even though you won't continue with us, do you think you'll continue with each other?" Jenny McCarthy asked the couple.
"We'll do all we can to," Jason said.
"Yeah, I definitely think he's a good guy and he is boyfriend material," Vanessa noted.