Last week on Love in the Wild, we saw the old and the new come together in the second fantastical plot twist of the new season. Who knows what Jenny McCarthy, hot off her sixth appearance on the cover of Playboy (the first was in 1993!), has up her sleeveless dress for us next?
After six new sexy ladies shook up the camp, jealousy reigned and Tara, Cina and Jenny were sent packing (along with three newbies). Tara gave it up to Jesse a bit prematurely (who hopefully didn't return the favor), while Cina failed to keep Jason's interest with Vanessa around and witty girl-next-door Jenny let her raging insecurities (named Michelle's boobs) drive a wedge between her and Ben.
To illustrate how much I value my job and how little I value my self-respect, I actually follow all these E list wannabes on Twitter. From what I've gathered, everyone tells Ali how pretty she is (despite her high school Mean Girls' hazing tactics, which no one mentions), and Tim really IS a raging tool (he has unsuccessfully tried to get #YearOfTheTim started as a trending topic, but he has only 260 followers. By comparison, Tara has 595 and Jenny McCarthy 613,347. Former host Darren McCullen, a.k.a. that Scottish guy who hosted Love in the Wild, has 74,741. Upgrade!). Also, Ben is the darling of the group, while all the eliminated girls hang out and party it up in their free time. I even got a response from Jenny. I tweeted her, "Was pulling for a Philly girl, but even you said you were being a brat." She wrote back, "haha I sure was but rightfully so!" See kids? Technology really bridges the gaps between celebrities and regular people.
To recap, here are the couples as they stand now:
Ben and Michelle
Ken and Yanina
Ryan and Jenna
Jason and Vanessa
Chase and Summer
Jesse and Ali
Frankly, I see no reason why they can't just introduce a decreasing number of new singles each week (or bring back old castaways??), a la Paradise Hotel, until only one couple is left. Bring new people together and drive old couples apart until everyone is happy. It will strengthen all the relationship that stick, and give everyone just gliding by a real chance to find Love in the Wild. And love is what this show is all about!
Meet Your New Roomies
After the last Couple's Choice ceremony, the singles head back to move in with their new roommates. Over some cocktails, Ken calls out Jesse for "doing Tara dirty," sleeping with her even though he didn't want anything. Ali is a bit jealous, because she's "not that type of girl." We'll see.
Michelle is ecstatic to have Jenny gone, and Ben thinks she's brilliant (not smart, but in the British sense). Vanessa and Jason are excited to see where their relationship goes, while Yanina and Ken do some in-bed cuddling. She won't give it up though, so he focuses on his commitment to her.
Jesse gets fresh with Ali in the lean-to, but she shoots him down. Too much, too soon.
The Adventure -- Tally Me Bananas
Jenny (Woo hoo! I don't have to say McCarthy every time I talk about her anymore!) compares relationships to coconuts, saying once you break through the hard outer shell, the inside is either delicious or rotten. Then she catches Ben staring at her coconuts. Again, upgrade! (Sorry, Darren)
The couples must collect 55 coconuts and carry them down a dirt road to trade for a horse. Then, they will ride the horse to the top of a mountain, where they will find a map. That map will lead them to the end of the course. They get a wheelbarrow to help, but first they must assemble it.
Ben's handiness ends at constructing sandwiches, so the teams must decide whether to use the wheelbarrow or just hoof it and carry the coconuts by hand. Ken and Yanina, Jenna and Ryan and Chase and Summer decide to use the barrow but not the wheel, while the other three teams build it fully. Jason and Vanessa get it together first, followed quickly by Ben and Melissa. Jesse and Ali, who are the new team stupid after Tara left, struggle. But that's okay, because Jesse is determined to load up all 55 coconuts at once, in one trip. That's just hilarious, and Jesse can't carry them all in the wheelbarrow. It topples over and the wheel falls off. Ali tries to avoid her 19th mental breakdown since the show started.
Vanessa and Jason and Michelle and Ben apparently made the correct choice in building the wheelbarrow, because they are the first two teams to finish their second trip and get their horses. Surprisingly, Ali and Jesse had exactly 55 coconuts left over after their spill, but they're still last to get the horse. Ali says she's too scared to go to the Oasis with Jesse, but she's competitive enough to still try and win.
Melissa names her horse Mate, because that's what Ben always says in British. Summer and Chase ride their poor horse nearly to death, passing both Ben and Jason on the way. Summer gives Chase props for going "balls to the wall," but she needed a medic because she thinks she "broke her vajayjay. God I love this show.
The teams get the maps and must cross a river by walking across ropes (one for their feet and one to hold on to). While last-place Ali reads the map, she starts to cry a little. The thought of spending another night in the lean-to is probably too much for her. Or it could be her paralyzing fear of heights.
Four teams reach the waterfall at the same time, and Summer and Chase cross first, followed closely by Ken and Yanina. Jenna screams at the sight of the drop, but she sucks it up (seriously, you aren't going to die on a reality show) and crosses with Ryan. Jesse pushes Ali a bit too hard for her liking, and I'm amazed anyone kept her around after she proved once again that she cannot get along with anyone.
The teams then have to dive behind the waterfall to get their next map, and Summer uses her swimming prowess to pass Ken and regain first place. The map leads them up a mountain, where they must cut down 50 pounds of bananas and carry them to the finish line. There, a scale will determine who checks in first.
Jason and Vanessa lose their map in the water, and in the dead heat for first, both Summer and Chase and Ken and Yanina miss the spot where they pick up the machete to cut down the bananas and their bamboo stick. That means Ryan and Jenna, who find the location, are now in first.
The two groups make it to the top of the mountain first, but they missed their supplies and have to go back. Ken, instead of thinking of Yanina, focuses on Jesse and how he doesn't want him to win. Jason and Vanessa finally find their map, but they're now in last place.
Jenna and Ryan cut down their bananas, but they gather more that they can carry and get passed by Ben and Michelle on the way to the finish. Jesse comes up with a novel idea to carry the bananas using the bamboo stick, which is exactly what it was intended for, but he feels smart so good for him. Ryan loses his temper, which is a turn off for Jenna, and Jesse and Ali (who is turned off by Jesse's sexual comments) move into second.
Ben and Michelle get to the finish first, but they struggle to hang their bananas on the scale. Thanks to Jesse's fabulous rope idea, he and Ali hang theirs easily and take first place. They are headed to the Oasis, which should be interesting, especially since Ali reaffirms her claim of "not being that type of girl."
Ben and Michelle finish second, followed by Ryan and Jenna and Ken and Yanina. They'll get cabins, while fifth-place Summer and Chase get a tent. Jason and Vanessa finish last, but in a twist, there is no longer a lean-to, meaning they will also sleep in a tent.
The Oasis of Un-Love
Things at the Oasis get dicey for Ali and Jesse, who laments about how he basically just wants to sleep with her and thinks he can if he puts in enough time. She says he pushes her beyond her comfort zone, and that makes it harder for her to develop a romantic connection. She calls out his strategy perfectly to the camera ("I think in Jesse's mind, friendship mode also kind of opens the door to 'I could probably work the friendship angle to my advantage and eventually wear (you) down to where there's a romantic interest.'"), but she incorrectly calls him "the one-night stand who won't go away." Trust me, Ali, once he gets the one-night stand, he's gone quicker than you can say "whoops." SEE: Tara.
Jesse calls Ali a Debbie Downer and says that he has lost interest in her. Amazingly, he may give up without even trying to sleep with her. He's realized he'd have to put in more work than he thought to bed her, and usually he only has to put in pretend effort. Also he probably figures he can sleep with someone else without trying as much.
Meanwhile, all the other couples seem to be bonding pretty well, especially Ben and a still-muddy Michelle. The couples are too tired to party, so they all head to bed early. Booooo-ring, but we're bound to see more action tomorrow.
Ken Focuses on Yanina ... and Jesse
Unfortunately, it appears there will be no boozefest this week, as the couples work on their relationships ahead of the Couples' Choice ceremony. Also, we don't get to see any first-place date. Hmm.
Ken is starting to get frustrated with little bit of affection Yanina is offering, but he remembers his gentlemanliness. They drink wine on the beach and smooch. He is worried that "troublemaker" Jesse will choose Yanina, and since she wouldn't be able to refuse, he'd likely be heading home.
Jason and Vanessa are definitely into each other, and Vanessa opens up about how her dad recently passed away from lung cancer. His death changed her life and has her focused on settling down. Ben and Michelle also want to stay together, so Jesse picking first really could be a giant wrench for all the other couples.
The girls are picking first this week, and Jesse has decided to leave it up to Ali whether or not they stay together. That seems odd, but I imagine he thinks that if she picks him, that means she will also sleep with him.
Before Ali and make her choice, Ken speaks up. He says the other couples are forming relationships that mean something, and that Jesse is calculating (really? I'd just go with horny). He reminds them that their choices affect the other couples, and he doesn't want someone to split up him and Yanina. Um, yeah, I think they're aware that picking first without the right of refusal has consequences. But way to paint a target on your back, Ken!
Ali decides to go a different route, and she picks Ben. He is shocked and wishes he could refuse, but alas, he cannot. Jesse said he was planning on picking no one and sending himself to the unmatched area, but then he shockingly pulls the good friend card and chooses Michelle, to save her for Ben. Wow, didn't expect Jesse to pull a solid, but maybe he's just drawn in by a chance to be with Boobs McGee. We'll find out next week.
Jenna and Ryan stay together, as do Yanina and Ken, who gets into it with Jesse about his intentions. Jesse claims he makes all his decisions based on making sure the right people end up together. He also calls Tara "collateral damage." Their back and forth continues, and while Ken's intentions are in the right place, he makes himself look stupid and actually helps Jesse improve his image a bit. Ben finally stomps it out and tells them both to stop.
Summer and Chase decide to stick it out, which immediately sends Jason and Vanessa to the unmatched area. Since there's no one left to pick, that means they're headed home. But they'll try and make their relationship work outside the show.
Before we say goodbye for the night, Jenny has one more twist for us. Or at least I thought she did, because the preview promised, "The Couples' Choice takes a dramatic turn like never before." I think the Ken-Jesse thing was more uncomfortable than dramatic, but apparently it's going to heat up next week. There will be some pushing, a couple of threats and a double elimination! Can't wait!
The new couples:
Ali and Ben
Jesse and Michelle
Jenna and Ryan
Yanina and Ken
Summer and Chase
Vanessa and Jason