LAST EDITED ON 06-21-02 AT 11:27 PM (EST)
Love Cruise: The Maiden Voyage
“Lei Me Down”
NOTE: I know you’re expecting some clown to be writing this summary. Hey, anyone involved with this show is a clown, in my book. If I'm writing this summary, I must qualify as a clown, too. AyaK the Clown. It fits. "What kind of clown are you, anyway?" "The crying-on-the-inside kind."
Speaking of crying on the inside, there's not much sex going on during this cruise. Bookings on Carnival and Royal Caribbean have dropped 20%, especially among men, who fear that even if they were able to hook up, they might hook up with Toni. If not for Toni’s perpetual rut (rhymes with slut), there wouldn’t be any sex on the show at all, and she’ll do it on a boat and do it with a goat -- but not even the FUX network will show that during prime time.
Meanwhile, the women are all afraid that the best thay'll be able to do is end up with some "Anthony" type -- an arrogant, unemployed bum who can be charming at times but is generally more oily than Kuwait and Saudi Arabia put together.
All in all, I'll bet the cruise lines would pay Bunim-Murray Productions a sizable bribe in perpetuity to prevent a "Love Cruise 2." So, if this is the only "Love Cruise" we're ever going to get, let's make the best of it.
When we last left the whores and the loners, everyone was stranded on Loser Island … uh-huh, like we believe that only losers go to Aruba. I don’t think Bunim-Murray Productions ever thought this show through. If the idea was to have hot sex and passion, then shouldn't the WINNERS should have been on Aruba, while the losers were doing the cruise thing after being cast off the island? Better yet, maybe they could sink the boat when just Toni and Anthony were aboard.
But nooo! There already is a show like that -- Temptation Island –- and BMP doesn’t want to copy someone else’s show, because it might look like they don’t know what they're doing. Instead, they made up their own show, so that they can prove that they don’t know what they’re doing.
Anyway, only two couples are going to get back on the boat as contestants; the rest will be boarding as jurors. Through great play and some astute writhing as human juicers (in a good imitation of a new Latin dance), the “ChiTown Alliance” of Beauty and the Beast, Me-lissome and Me-cow, have managed to reach the finals with their partners, Darin and Jeanette respectively. But each of their partners holds a “switch” card and could dump the ChiTowners right on their windy keesters.
If Melissa and Michael don’t get switched off, we’ve got a great vote coming up. Everybody on Loser Island is there because Melissa and Michael put them there, with the help of Darin and Jeanette. Everybody seems to hate at least one of the final four. Toni and Anthony hate all four of them. Could we see another “snakes and rats” speech, as one of the jurors flips out? The tension among these whores is so thick that they can’t wait to get back on the boat to start duking it out.
And then, of course, there is the money. Of course, it isn’t just about the money. After all, everyone is happy making nada, while the winners make $100,000 each, aren’t they?
Sure they are.
Bunim-Murray Productions knew that some people will whore themselves for free. But these people ended up on the cruise from hell. Of the sixteen people on this show, fourteen of them will get nothing except a scarred reputation. And they didn't even have fun on the cruise.
OK, OK, it IS just about the money. No one wants to be a cheap whore. Except Toni.
After the recap, we pick up where we left off, with Phoni-Baloni Toni throwing a screaming tantrum directed at Jeanette, after Anthony tells Phoni that someone trashed her in the last Hot Seat for offering a bribe. Phoni is shocked, shocked, to find out that someone could say that about her. She never did any such thing. She never would do any such thing. Her conscience is as pure as the driven snow (of course, this is easy for her, since she doesn't have a conscience).
So she immediately marches off to scream, while doing her best Popeye imitation, that she doesn’t know anything about a $20K bribe offer. Uh, Phoni? Anthony didn’t tell you the dollar amount when he told you that someone accused you of offering a bribe. You don’t need to be Columbo to know that someone is playing fast and loose with the truth here.
But Phoni doesn’t care. Her reputation has been besmirched, and she thinks that if she yells loud enough and long enough, people will believe her words instead of their own lying eyes. Yeah, right. It didn't work for Clinton, either.
Anyway, Phoni marches out and confronts Jeanette in the famous eye-popping scene, when she tries to stick her enormous surgically-enhanced mammaries in J-Ho’s eyes, while her own eyes magically extend out of their sockets. I don't know how she can even see Jeanette over those twin man-made falsies.
Geez, if Mark Burnett were doing this show, he probably would have had a challenge featuring a product placement for the Wonderbra right after this.
Jeanette doesn’t back down one bit from Popeye. She calls Phoni a liar and "sick and demented." Apparently she forgot that Phoni’s surgically-sharpened nipples are registered as a lethal weapon with the Chicago Police.
Jeanette shows great courage standing up to this lunatic. Maybe it's because she’s faced worse –- after all, she’s been sleeping in the same room with Mikey.
In a confessional, Phoni says that she never offered a bribe -- she just offered to give Jeanette some money for her kid if Jeanette would peacefully submit to Phoni's domination. Uh, perhaps Phoni has been spending too much time reading Alice in Wonderland, because the word in the English language that would be used to describe such an offer is "bribe." But Phoni refuses to agree: "To say that I would do that is WRONG!" Well, actually, Phoni, to make such an offer is even more wrong.
Phoni makes a half-hearted attempt to perfect the art of apologizing without an apology. She says she's sorry for Jeanette misunderstanding her. Right, like it's Jeanette's fault that she understands English and Toni doesn't. And then Phoni tells J-Ho that she still loves her and wants her to win. Then, in confessional, Phoni tells the camera that there is no way she wants Jeanette to win. A superb way to make us believe that she was telling the truth about the bribe offer -- lie blatantly. "So, Phoni, you admit that you're lying now -- how long have you been a liar? Why shouldn't we believe that you were lying before, too?"
Apparently among the words other than bribe that Phoni doesn't know the meaning of, “two-faced” is right up near the top of the list. No wonder she had her chest inflated to Goodyear-blimp proportions; it’s the only way any man would spend more than two minutes in her company. In fact, the only person who seems to want to be in her company is her toady Andrea, who claims that Jeanette got "brainwashed by morons." Uh, Andrea, since you rank #1 in the moron department, are you admitting that you tried to brainwash her?
During this segment, fifty more cancellations from men were received by Carnival Cruise Lines.
OK, time for the switch card ceremony. Mikey tells Jeanette to boot him if it gives her a better chance to win. Jeanette considers this offer seriously and looks at the other men. Let’s see, there’s Anthony, the human oil slick, who started this whole brouhaha. There's Greg, who caught Lord only knows how many different kinds of VD from hooking up with Phoni. After the display we just saw, Greg should request a shot of penicillin just to be sure that he didn't catch anything that could lead to insanity. There's Ralph, who is one of Toni's best friends in real life, which is enough to make us all want to ralph. Oh, and what about Crazy Tony (the guy, not the psychotic bitch), who just had his hair cut in a brand new Mohawk? A real sexy look. And there’s Sideshow Bob … who? Was he on this show? And then last but definitely least, Adrian. Jeanette cries.
At this moment, a hundred women call up Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines to cancel.
To the switch card ceremony. Darin rips his up. Well, who wouldn't want Melissa? Then it's Jeanette's turn. She sticks with Michael. Given the choices, it’s easy to understand why. Even a bottom-feeding lawyer is better than an unemployed sleazeball.
BMP got what they said they wanted – two couples who chose to be together in the final vote. Everyone is happy, right? Time to get on the boat and wrap this puppy up, right? Little did we know that BMP was doing a last-minute rewrite of the rules, federal law and network standards and practices be damned.
Justintime, the gender-challenged host, comes out to round all the whores up. He tells them to form into couples, because…
WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?
In the … single dumbest moment … in the short history of reality TV, Joustin tells the whores that a third team will be voted back into the game.
OK, please explain this to me: couples connive to stay on the boat and make enemies along the way … and then, at the very end, someone else is put back in to compete against the connivers. Someone who DIDN’T connive to stay on the boat. Someone who probably doesn’t have any enemies. Someone whom the viewers probably need a scorecard to identify.
PLEASE tell me how this makes sense. But you can’t. It doesn’t. This show has just fallen, and it can’t get up.
The happy whores don’t care. They form into pairs. And the lucky couple is … Adrian, yeah, OK, and … Gina? Gina? Didn’t she get booted in the FIRST episode? Isn’t she the Queen of Loser Island? And now she's in the finals?
At this point, twenty people trying to summarize this show hit the "off" buttons on their remote controls. Better to disappoint the public than to kill any more brain cells by watching this mindless drivel. But, unfortunately for me, I wasn't one of those twenty. Please come visit me in the nursing home.
Michael and Jeanette look as happy as if they were just informed that they needed two root canals apiece. Mikow says that the A & G got voted back in because they conducted themselves with class and dignity. Perhaps. But I think they got voted back in because no one could remember who they were any longer.
Cut to Gina on her knees offering free servicing in exchange for votes from the men. She concludes that she and Adrian have an excellent chance of winning. And she's right. If even someone as dense as Gina could see this, why couldn’t BMP?
OK, now everyone finally boards the boat for the last Hot Seat. Jeanette and Mikow go first, as the producers obviously know they have no chance of winning and just want to get them off the stage. Toni’s acolyte, Andrea, asks J-Ho how she could possibly believe that the beloved PhoniBaloni would ever try to bribe someone as lowly and unfit to be in Phoni’s presence as herself? Jeanette says that she heard it and saw it. Andrea the Android insists that Jeanette must be making it all up, because any real person would need more evidence than that. Be honest … had anyone realized before this moment that Android was one of the original O.J. jurors?
Mikow’s session in the Hot Seat produces a “sympathetic” question from Tomiko, who asks him if he thinks he’s hurting Jeanette’s chances of winning. That’s a sympathetic question? Geez, I’d hate to hear an antagonistic one. Oh, but I just have to wait a little longer, don’t I? Michael responds that, while he and Jeanette aren't in love, they have a bond and he appreciates that she stuck with him despite the fact that "every rat in the world spit in her face." For the first time, we see that even Michael is losing his grip on reality. While Anthony, Toni and Andrea are reprehensible skanks, they still don't qualify as "every rat in the world." Now, if Michael had just said "Satan, Mrs. Satan, and the Satan wannabes", he'd be right...
Gina goes into the Hot Seat next. Laura asks her if she'll just hide in her room if she wins. Since none of the viewers even know who Gina is, who cares?
Nobody asks Adrian anything, since they’re all afraid of him, except for Phoni, who wants to know if he forgives her for not using the switch card to save him. Adrian, who understands the difference between finishing first ($100K) and finishing second ($0) quite well, promptly lies that he does. Phoni is grateful, hugs him, and then assumes her usual position to show her gratitude, flopping over onto her back before the producers stop her in the act of pulling down her shorts. Some habits are hard to break, I guess.
Darin, in response to a question from Joustin, calls Melly his “friend for life.” Wow, Melly’s got him wrapped around her little finger without even having sex with him. She must be one hot babe. That, or Darin’s just wimpy.
Last up comes Melissa. Anthony decides to go after her about her boyfriend with repeated questions (is that even allowed? or does BMP just have no clue?) until she breaks down. Apparently Anthony can’t believe that Melissa didn’t swoon over him after seeing his tattoos. He says that she has a "preconceived understanding of what is." She also knows what isn't -- Anthony. She calls him a “joke.” Ah, c’mon, Melly, we know you can do better than that. How about calling him a “lamebrained, subhuman form of pond scum that pollutes everything it touches”? Better, but it still disrespects pond scum, which is clearly a higher life form than the Tattooed Man is.
Justin has clearly lost control of the show, and he cowers in the back staring at Toni's assets as Darin finally stands up to defend Melissa from Anthony's continuing sleaze. But, finally, Melly has had enough, and she finishes up by telling people not to vote for her, because she doesn't want to win. On that note, the three finalist couples are sent below deck so that the others can deliberate (read: so that Toni, Andrea the Android, and Anthony can try to browbeat the others). Gina says, over and over, “We have a good chance of winning this.” I guess having an actual idea was too much for her brain to handle, and so all she could do was spew out the same eight words repeatedly.
As its phone bank overloads from all the cancellation requests coming in, Carnival decides to call the best bankruptcy lawyers that it can find.
In the cabins, Jeanette tries to console Melissa after Anthony's assault. Melissa is crying on the bed. She tells a very moving story about her dad dying in her arms, and her efforts to go on after that ... and even I teared up during it (true or not), so I need to get back to something less emotional, less meaningful. Oh, right, the voting. Good choice.
The final three couples come back on deck. Justin shows them a briefcase supposedly full of cash and tells them that they are going to get laid. Say what? Oops, they are going to get “lei”-ed; each of the loser whores will put a lei around the neck of the couple that he or she wants to win. Another prop that must have cost $1.99 at K-mart for the whole set of ‘em.
Ralph and Phoni vote first. Now, this ought to be easy, right? Both of them were in the ChiTown alliance with Melissa and Michael, right? So Ralph gets up there first and votes for … Adrian and Gina, of course. Hmm, first Android does Phoni’s bidding, and now Railf? What, did they have some hot ménage-e-trois and become her sex slaves? Or are they just too dumb to think for themselves? Anyway, Phoni and Android also vote for Gina and Adrian, making it three to nothing/nothing.
Injun Tony, trying to bring some sense back to this show before it spins completely out of control, makes a plea to vote for the team that played the best and then votes for Darin and Melissa. But Anthony is next, and all he knows is that he couldn't even get to first base with Melissa in his fantasies (the only kind of sex that he's familiar with). Anthony votes with the idjuts for Gina and Adrian, telling Adrian that he'd "die for you." Viewers all over America wish that BMP had arranged for it. 4-1-0.
The idjuts need just two more votes, and Gina would win. Around America, Sonja, Debb and Diane all hold their breath and pray for the worst to end up first.
Then, suddenly, the stoopid-person-parade ends (Yea!). Greg votes for Darin and Melissa, showing that he understood which part of his anatomy was shared with Toni and which parts weren’t. Sideshow Bob and Tomiko vote the same way. So does Laura. 5 for Melissa and Darin, 4 for Adrian and Gina, zip for M & J. Last vote: Lisa. She moans how much she loves Gina (hmmm, a little "bi" action there? thecaptain would have loved it.) ... and gives Gina a passionate lei, making it a tie.
Mikey and Jeanette, who got skunked, stay with the jury, and the other two couples go below decks. Justin blithers about the need for redebate. Anthony says no one is changing their votes. The final couples come back. It’s still 5-5. Justin announces that Michael and Jeanette will break the tie. It takes a while, but as these words penetrate Gina's mental haze, her expression changes into a hangdog-loser look.
Jeanette votes for … hey, come on, is there any doubt? Mikey says that what he’s about to do will make him feel better than anything he’s ever done in his life. Well, when you finish next-to-last in your class at law school and then make your living as an apprentice ambulance-chaser in Daddy’s firm, even buying dental floss is one of the high points in your life, so I’ll just skip all of that and go straight to the outcome: they both vote for Darin and Melissa.
Darin and Melissa hug, as Gina resolves to drop to her knees twice as many times during her next bid for fame.
During this final vote, the Port of Miami has received twelve e-mails cancelling upcoming cruise-ship dockings. The lost revenues plunge the city's economy into chaos. The city asks for emergency help from the state. The governor calls his brother, the president. An emergency aid bill is introduced into Congress. The Democrats filibuster it. Millions of dollars in productivity are lost. And it's all because of this show. FUX has to be proud of itself for inflicting so much damage to the national economy with ... a low-rated TV show, fercryinoutloud!
And, as a little cheesy footage runs at the end raising phony expectations that Darin and Melissa might be a real couple, Love Cruise: The Maiden Voyage finally makes drydock, leaking water in many places, and with a huge torpedo hole in the hull below the water line that was inflicted by this episode. Let’s see, what needs to be fixed before it can sail again? The rules? The host? The challenges? The “balls of shame”? Everything except for the casting? Barely-Moving Productions doesn’t care. If they did care, they would never have launched this crew before they thought through the rules.
And so we bid "adios" to shakes' venture into serious media whoredom. And to all the rest of you, thanks for taking this “cruise” with us.
May the wind always be at your back, and may Toni and Anthony be eaten by great white sharks.