Hello everyone and welcome back to Australia and Outback Jack. This is week 7, which is a freaking eternity for a dating show nowadays, but thankfully, the end is finally in sight. Only three girls remain in the Outback with Jack – Maria, Natalie, and Marissa. What shocking twists are in store this week? Will the girls have to feel up any more animals? Will one of the girls voluntarily leave the Outback for good when she discovers she’s out of makeup? Read on to find the answers to these and other questions.
As we join Jack and the girls, they are riding their horses to the next camp. Natalie tells us she needs to express more to Jack. Maria says its hard to be friends with these girls while she has feelings for Jack, and Marissa tells us she’ll be the last one standing. What is she, a boxer? Newsflash Marissa, if you’re the last one it won’t be because of what you can do on your feet!
Jack tells us he’s impressed with how the girls have adapted to the outback. They are doing things naturally that they wouldn’t have done when they first got there. Natalie confirms this, telling us she’s doing things she never thought she could. Just to prove a point, Jack decides its time to take a break from horse riding and have a little snack. He introduces the girls to some tasty Australian ants that have a sweet and sour taste. They are supposed to eat its a$$! All the girls try. It tastes like chicken. Sweet and sour chicken! The girls seem to agree this is a unique experience since they’re used to kissing butt, not eating it.
They arrive at their destination finally. It’s Jack’s favorite vacation spot – his Mom’s house ( “mumsy”, he calls her). After a brief family reunion, Jack introduces Mom to the girls. None of them even get off their horses to greet her. Maybe they don’t know how to get down on their own. Marissa is psyched to meet Jack’s mom because Moms love her. As they prepare to go inside, Jack tells us privately that if the girls want to win his heart, they must win over his Mom.
The house is truly amazing, built on a cliff overlooking some kind of water. There are so many rooms, it looks like a small lodge, and each girl gets her own beautiful, private bedroom. Natalie is checking out her room, and sits bolt upright on the bed, looking very attentive, like she’s trying to hear something. “I feel air conditioning” she tells us. Apparently this is not common in the outback. She is in heaven!
Later, Jack’s mom tells us she suffered massive injuries from an accident and was on life support. Jack was by her side instantly and nursed her back to health because he’s a nurturing, caring guy. My guess is she bought this house with the insurance settlement. Oh, and did I mention the swimming pool? Maybe we’ll get the traditional reality dating show hot tub scene after all. I had just about given up on that one!
Mom pulls the girls aside to ask them some questions; Jack is not invited to join in this conversation. First, Mom asks Marissa what her worst quality is. Marisa answers “sometimes I don’t take time just to stop and take care of me.” Will you excuse me for one second, I think I’m going to ….………VVVVOMMMIIIIIIIIIIITTTT………………. There. I think I got that out of my system. Sorry. Mom looks like she buys Marissa’s answer about as much as I did. She’ll probably tell us her next worst qualities are that she works too hard, insists on doing quality work and cares about people too much! Then Marissa brings up how she got heatstroke, and it occurs to me that maybe her current strategy is to make the other girls so violently ill, they’ll ruin out of the house screaming, leaving her as the “last one standing”. Mom asks the girls who would THEY pick for Jack if they couldn’t pick themselves. Maria says Natalie, Natalie says Maria, of course. We don’t get to hear what Marissa told Mom, but privately she tells us she would pick neither.
Next question, how do you feel about sex before marriage? Heh. The girls all seem a little uncomfortable with this line of questioning, but it provides them with a nice opportunity to show off their dancing skills, and they dance around the subject very gracefully. Marissa answers that she won’t say yes or no, while Natalie says if you can wait it would be much more meaningful and that’s the way she dreams it would happen. Actually, it was probably more of a nightmare, but that’s close enough. Maria wins the dance competition with her comment: I think a white dress and virgin bride is amazing, but never commenting about whether she could be a “white bride”.
Then Mom asks if they think Jack is falling in love with any of them. Marissa pipes up and says she feels both of them are falling for each other (Maria is disgusted by this privately). Next “do any of you see yourselves married to Jack?” Maria says she can and she’s not afraid to say it. Mom concludes that if you could blend Natalie’s wit, Maria’s beauty and Marissa’s bitchiness – I mean intelligence, you’d have the perfect girl. She’s probably right if conniving and self-centered are traits you are looking for in the perfect girl!
JD interrupts and tells us it’s time for Jack to spend some time alone with each of the girls, starting with Natalie. It’s twilight and they are hanging out on the deck as the sun sets. Natalie and Jack kiss, and Jack calls it electric. Finally we find out why Natalie is still there as Jack reveals that he doesn’t want a woman who’s totally independent, he wants one who needs pampering and wants attention. That describes Natalie to a tee! He asks Natalie what she would be thinking if she was the last girl. She says she would want to be with him. It’s crazy and amazing. They are starting to look really comfortable together and I could see her being the last one.
Maria’s date – and they are relaxing on a blanket outside. Maria starts off with a slightly off-color remark about the knife in his pocket, something along the lines of wondering if it’s just glad to see her, then goes right in with the serious questions – she wants to know what Jack thinks about the other girls now that it’s getting down to the wire. Jack says he trusts Natalie, he’s a bit suspicious of Marissa’s intentions, but he has feelings for all of them. Maria is glad to hear he has doubts about Marissa. She goes in for the kiss and is practically lying on top of him and grinding her body all over him. Jack asks her if she’s always this forward and wonders if she would be monogamous to him. Maria retreats and says she doesn’t like that question. It looks to me like she is beginning to regret her agressiveness. Jack tells her that there are three girls left, and he needs to know who’s being real. He says if someone is hiding something he’ll find it, but he thinks she’s being real and isn’t hiding anything. She assures him that she IS being real and the only thing she’s hiding is the fact that she farted about five seconds ago! Yes, she really said that. You can’t make this stuff up folks. Or at least I can’t! My two cents – Maria seems truly sincere to me, as does Jack. Also, these may be the most in-depth personal conversations I’ve ever seen on a reality dating show.
Marissa’s turn – Jack tells us this is her last chance to prove she’s here for him and not just to beat the other girls at some game. The mood starts tense - Jack is just staring at her. Marissa tells us she senses Jack is pulling away. Marissa tells Jack he can ask her whatever he likes, or just ask his mom since she asked them everything. He says he needs to learn as much as he can about her and all the girls because it’s not a game to him. He wants to leave this adventure with someone he could be with. He says if you were the final one – IF – you are the final one , what do you see us doing? She says she feels there’s a lot she can show him. She’d like to take him to meet her family in Florida and to New York where she used to live. Jack tells her “I need to learn to trust you. Sweetheart, that’s what’s holding me back. I’m being honest, I’m struggling.” Privately, he tells us he found it harder to speak to Marissa today because he’s unsure of the bigger picture with her. Marissa tells Jack he has to follow his heart.
In the morning, JD appears to announce he has videos about the ladies that Jack needs to see. The girls apparently haven’t watched a lot of reality TV because they don’t look nearly worried enough by this news. JD looks pretty young, so I’m wondering if he had to show some ID when he rented them. My mistake; they’re not that kind of video. Actually the videos are from the girls families and have pretty tame information. For example, Maria’s mom reveals the shocking fact that Maria is afraid of spiders, so all she really needs is a man capable of killing spiders for her. Next, Maria’s sister tells us that Maria is goofy, but not good at math. Maria’s father tells us that although he never wanted Maria to get her hair cut, she just had to have it cut at age 14. These are some shocking secrets, leaving me to wonder if Jack will be able to see past Maria’s hair controversy. Next, Marissa’s mom tells Jack that Marissa is independent, bright, has a mind of her own and lots of integrity, and that’s how she chooses her friends and the people she likes. We also learn Marissa once had an unhealthy obsession with her baby blanket. Marissa’s younger sister tells us that Marissa is smart, beautiful, and always there for her. This may be the first we’ve seen that Marissa is a normal, somewhat decent person. Jack tells us he saw a side of Marissa he didn’t expect. I guess he means the side where she appears to be decent and normal.
Natalie is last, and Natalie’s mom is there to tell us about her daughter. From the video, it looks like Natalie must have been an early gift from God because mom doesn’t look too much older than Natalie herself. Either that, or Natalie is only 14 and used a fake ID to get on the show. Hmmm, if that’s the case, how did she get a passport to travel to Australia? Maybe the whole show is really being filmed in the Hollywood hills and we’re being duped! Maybe they’re filming it in the same studio they used to fake all those moon landings! Anyway, Natalie’s mom tells us Natalie is loud, zany, goofy and able to laugh at herself. We also get a peek at Natalie’s closet, which contains a wardrobe large enough to clothe either the entire female population of North Dakota, or the entire Outback Jack cast! Jack says he felt most “at home” in Natalie’s house because they have similar backgrounds, both being only children (and from the looks of it, raised by only one parent).
JD reminds the women there will be an elimination tomorrow, and Jack may want to get his Mom’s opinion. Mom tells Jack that Maria is beautiful, Natalie is not his type at all, and Marissa is aristocratic, . Jack defends Natalie, saying she has grown on him more than the other girls. He says Maria has been genuine from day one and he believes what she’s said is real. He’s had a problem deciding whether Marissa is real and whether she’s here for him or “something bigger”. *boggle?* Finally, he asks his Mom who she can see him with and she replies Marissa because she’s the coolest, she’s beautiful, and ambitious. Thank you Jack’s mom, for actually having an opinion and voicing it! Jack’s face says that maybe this wasn’t the answer he was exactly looking for. He is dreading tomorrow’s elimination. It’s going to be heart-wrenching and he doesn’t know what he’s going to do. I think he really cares about all three of these girls.
It’s time for the girls to make their final pleas. Maria starts by telling Jack there are things about the other girls he doesn’t see, boldly telling Jack that Marissa isn’t doing this for the right reasons. She wouldn’t mind if he ended up with Natalie, just not Marissa. Also, she doesn’t want to miss out on something incredible with him. Jack tells her she is still here because he believes they could enjoy something for good. This warms her heart, and she leans over to give him a long kiss.
Marissa beings her plea by saying she feels an amazing energy between them. Jack invites her to sit on his lap, and asks her to explain to him why the other girls think she changes characters. What is he not seeing? She says “I’m here for you and that’s it.
Natalie – Jack asks Natalie why she thinks it should be her at the end instead of the other two. She says they have good chemistry and she likes that Jack treats everybody like they’re the Queen of England, and that’s how he would treat a wife and kids. That’s what she’s looking for. Jack tells Natalie she has grown on him. He also tells her that no matter what happens tomorrow, he saw something in all three girls that could have gone a lot further after this. Jack sighs deeply, and it’s quite obvious he doesn’t really know what decision he’s going to make.
Elimination day is upon us. Jack says it will be hell for him and the girls. They make their way out to the front lawn where a hot air balloon is waiting. By now we can guess that the balloon will only hold Jack and two of the girls, but at least JD has moved beyond telling us this is why one girl must be eliminated. Instead, he simply says only two can continue the adventure. Jack thinks for a while and the first name he calls is Natalie’s. Though Natalie is the one standing in front of him, his words speak to all of them, saying he cares about them all immensely, and it would do all of them an injustice if one left feeling she was less than the others. Not a word about Natalie yet. Finally, he says he’d love it if she would continue on the journey. No “buts and howevers” this time. Maybe because it’s not fun and games anymore.
Maria is shaking and visibly upset. Privately, she tells us she has fallen for Jack and really wants to stay. Tellingly, Marissa says she didn’t come this far to “lose” now, and Jack says he can’t bear the thought of saying goodbye to one of them. Jack calls Marissa’s name next, and Maria is starting to cry. Jack tells Marissa “you know how I feel about you, unfortunately I have to make a decision and time is of the essence. It sounds like he’s playing the up/down game with her, but he finally asks if she would continue the journey with him. Maria is gone, and is starting to really break up. Even Marissa is respectfully subdued, merely nodding that yes, she’ll continue. Maria is sobbing as Jack asks her to come to him. He hugs her tightly for a long time and finally tells her that she is very special to him and he hates having to do this. He, too is crying, and I’ve never seen a more sincere bachelor on a dating show. This is a very emotional TV moment, as Jack is truly breaking up with a girlfriend in front of our very eyes. I feel so bad for Maria. Let’s pause for a moment of silence……..
***P A U S I N G F O R S I L E N C E***
We’re back now. Did you really pause silently for a moment? No, I didn’t either . Maria gathers herself long enough to tell Jack that he made her feel like everything she did was okay and so she was okay doing things she really didn’t want to do, and that was important to her. She says to him “I really do feel for you” and he replies “and I for you.”, and they embrace each other and cry a little more. Jack’s mom is also in tears on the sideline. Natalie is crying too, but I can’t tell how Marissa is responding.
Privately, Maria tells us that her heart’s broken. It’s like she’s falling and there’s no parachute, you just hit the ground. At first the view is beautiful, but near the end you start to get nervous and finally, you realize you’re not going to make it.
Finally, Jack tells us he cares about Maria so much, but he thinks his heart belongs to someone else. At least now we’re set up with every dating show producer’s dream of good versus evil for the finale, which is coming up next week.
This show has evolved. At first, it was a farce, a comedy. Now, it is part love story, part tragedy, with one chapter remaining. I can’t believe it, but I actually care about what happens next week. If you haven’t watched this show, you’ve missed out on some fun and touching TV moments. It’s still not too late. You can catch the finale next Tuesday, and whether you watch or not, you won’t want to miss Estee’s sure-to-be-hilarious summary of Tuesday’s finale, available only here at Reality TV World!
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