Gerald arrives and no one can pronounce his name. He prompts them with a “hard G” but it will be of no help.
The next arrival is some unnamed, uncredited black woman, a day-player who has all the future of a Star Trek extra. During an innocuous microphone adjustment Ingrid asks this woman how they found her, and she responds, “Through my agent.”
This inadvertent reveal of the show’s core deceit snaps the necks of all the actors already on the set. Barely 15 minutes into weeks of commitment, and some $30 extra tells the mark that golly gee, she has an agent and just got called yesterday. Some panic in the control room, some hilarious winking nudging nodding and eye-rolling among the onstage actors, who fret that they won’t get paid. The whole “Ix-nay on the Acting-bay” routine.
Ingrid looks sort of suspicious, but eventually shrugs it off. She figures out that everyone in America has an agent, and her agent just sucks.
Rita arrives next, and when she’s asked about herself, she laughingly, but very pointedly, remarks that they aren’t supposed to talk. Gerald piles on by remarking that everyone is obeying that rule except Ingrid. Nice cover, folks.
Three more nameless minority walk-ons arrive without incident. Then Bryce arrives. He’s gawky and weird, and won’t speak to the others or even acknowledge them. More minority extras, Eleanor, Ernie and Ambrosia arrive without incident, and that completes the cast of "contestants."
A blare of trumpets and our host enters, riding in the sidecar of a motorcycle. Ralph Garman, as the pompous host Derek Newcastle, declares himself their “captain aboard a ship that is fueled by romance sailing in search of life’s most precious booty, love.” The line and delivery are so over the top that Ingrid begins laughing quietly.
Blah blah blah… we found one man and one woman who have everything except love. Enter the stars, Bachelor Austin and Bachelorette Piper. They are carried in on litters, drawing applause from the other actors.
Piper is introduced as a 23-year-old from New London Connecticut who is both an opera singer and a jewelry designer. She’s looking for a gem blah blah blah...
Austin is introduced as a 30-year-old New Yorker living in L.A. who is both an outstanding athlete and world traveled model… blah blah blah. Nobody cares, not even the pretty boy playing the damn role.
Surprise! Time for the first elimination. Austin and Piper are each given three black balls to hand out, sending the recipient home. Notice they weren’t white balls, or yellow balls, or even blue balls. Yes, it’s the most shocking eviction ceremony yet!
But first we must sell some products. Specifically, the same five products, all night long. Taco Bell, you suck. What the hell is Nokia doing selling GameBoy ripoffs to samurai laundrymen? And Blockbuster’s business has crumbled to the point that they are giving away video game if you flip them off. I hope you really enjoyed these commercials. These are the only sponsors on this crappy network, and we’re gonna see the same four commercials 28,614 times. Tonight.
Back to the most shocking eviction yet.
Our Schmos are shocked at first, and then disturbed when the six eliminations all turn out to be those nameless minority extras. Including the blabbermouth with the agent.
Cut to assistant producer Brite Weaselfeces gloating over the brilliance of their parody of institutional racism. Hee Hee Hee… minorities always go home first, so the master race of TV executives still have a chance with the blonde, balloon-chested white babes.
OK losers, get off the frick'n driveway, enter the house and off to the patio for luau, where you master thespians can begin working on the Emmy nomination. Tim orders a “Vodka and Shasta,” and Ernie describes him as a nice guy. In other words, he’s as gullible and pliable as we need him to be.
Derek Newcastle returns with more pompous dialogue, including a misquote from Shakespeare which Ernie corrects. Enter Austin and Piper. Ernie runs around telling everyone how rich he is. Rita runs around playing the fake drunk, which even gullible Tim finds unbelievable.
More stupid "get to know me (not really me)" conversation, in which Tim starts to make a connection with Piper. Gerald comes over and steals her away, hurting our Schmo’s feelings and setting up a rivalry.
Commercials: A new Coke, but not New Coke, which was such a disaster they brought back Coke Classic. A video game; a commercial for the Scion, the world’s ugliest car, which is barely discernable in the ad; and Blockbuster flippin me off again.
Back to the show, and we’ve gathered on the patio for a gift exchange.
(My favorite line: Following a lame joke by the host, and a few tepid chuckles, he humbly intones, “Thank you for your courtesy laughter.” Halfway written, and that’s already the way I feel about this summary).
The gifts are supposed to reveal a little bit about each of the contestants. Cammy gives Austin her cell phone, so he can call her anytime. Rita gives him a drinking glass. Ambrosia gives him a pageant tiara. Those are the gifts scripted to look stupid. Ingrid, choosing her own gift, outstupids them all with the gift of an autobiography by Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. She hopes to find a man who would share her interest in international politics, or at least one turned on by a bloated hag. Which she is destined to become.
Austin doesn’t know which side of the book is the front.
Now Piper gets gifts.
T.J. gives her black lace panties and a garter. Gerald gives her a basket of moisturizers. Tim gives a gift from the heart, a family picture of his nieces and nephews. Bryce gives her his pet cannibalistic frog. Yes, he’s the psycho. Ernie gives everyone a poor “Sally Struthers” orphan child, which he’ll fund for a year.
Piper and Austin reciprocate. Piper provides a lock of hair (not pubic, sadly); Austin provides a locket with his photo on one side and blank spot on the other. Ingrid finds this touching.
which I can’t tolerate even long enough to scream about.
When we return, it’s Lap Dance for Love. Austin and Piper sit in front of a runway, and the others team up in pairs. The pair that earns the most tips from Austin and Piper will get a private Jacuzzi date with the vapid love interests.
What is the real point of this game? To get Cammy The Moron into a too-small bikini and watch her writhing around on the stage. The fact that Ingrid does it as well was a totally unscripted bonus.
Tim and Eleanor are first. Tim is a gorilla, Eleanor a banana. They are awkward and pathetic. Stunning the crowd, Tim actually performs the dance made wildly unpopular by Fred “Rerun” Berry on the 80s sitcom Good Times. This tells me a lot about the quality of life in Wilmington, Delaware.
Ambrosia is the chicken, Gerald is an egg. They lapdance oddly.
No answer on which came first.
Ingrid comes out as a dog, and Ernie is a steak. She bites his meat, strips to her bikini, and rubs her previously-concealed but quite voluptuous hourglass body all over Austin. The script calls for her to win, so he stuffs his wad (of money) wherever she’ll let him. This includes her hand, her bikini top, her bikini bottom, her microphone transmitter and her trust fund back in Seattle.
Cammy and T.J. are next to dance. She’s a kitten, he’s a lowly carton of milk. But quickly enough, we see the jugs. She gyrates on T.J., she gyrates with herself, she gyrates on Austin. She’s got moves that prove she’s done this before. Even Ingrid comments on her perfect body. I think there may be other dialogue, but I missed it the first 400 times I watched this part. (I’ll review again later, when the family is asleep and my stamina returns.)
Bryce and Rita are next. She’s a rabbit, he’s her carrot. Unfortunately, when the spotlight hits Rita she thinks she’s supposed to act. She falls down “drunk” several thousand times. Tim finds it funny, Ingrid finds it pathetic. Despite bulging evidence of Cammy’s professional status, Ingrid and Ernie win the stripper contest, and plan to meet Austin and Piper in the Jacuzzi that evening.
The doctor says you can’t make me talk about them. But there were a lot of them, and they are burning in my soul yet today.
We come back, and the group has assembled on the patio. Derek Newcastle waves his leather gauntlet in the wind, and a falcon comes sailing in over their heads and lands on his arm.
It’s the Falcon Twist!
The what? you ask. The Falcon Twist.
I don’t know what the hell that means either.
Maybe it will start a dance craze.
The bird, Manticore, has a note on his leg. This note tells them that Austin will be evicting one of the women tonight. The note also reveals there is $100,000 in prize money for the winners, but they must keep the money incentive a secret from Piper and Austin.
It’s hard to hide the smirk on Ralph’s face when the pompous Derek Newcastle says “The Falcon Has Spoken.” A portentous line that is immediately followed by music that sounds remarkably like something you might have seen Thursdays on CBS.
How can Ingrid and Tim not fall over laughing? Could they believe this is REAL? Why, yes. Ingrid says the money’s not important, she interested in Austin. Seems that lap dance made them both happy.
Cut to the Jacuzzi, at the base of Passion Rock. Ingrid and Ernie arrive for the date, and the gargantuan Ernie is wearing a Hawaiian shirt. (Forgive us Average Sean, for we must now humiliate the fat guy in the hot tub.) Strangely enough, it’s the actors who are nervous around the oddly self-assured Ingrid. She’s thrilled that Austin commented on her second bikini.
While the hot tub straddling sex is taking place, the other guys gather in Gerald’s room and begin to bond. By that I mean they all gang up on the weak link, psycho Bryce. Tim actually finds Gerald and TJ funny as they all torment the mentally ill.
It’s time for stalkerboy to go into his act. Proclaiming to the others that he is falling in love with Piper, he stands on the balcony glaring intently at the couples in the tub. He also confesses that all his previous relationships ended with restraining orders. Tim is scared, intrigued and amused by this wacko, who also brags that he took community college course in hypnotism and can manipulate people with his powers. Tim declares that Bryce is psycho. I declare him to be genius.
Isn’t C2 a plastic explosive?
Where can I get some?
Finally, we arrive for the eviction ceremony.
Derek actually says this:
“Love. It’s why we’re all here. But tonight, one of you will be pulled off its sweet teat of acceptance only to sample the bitter aftertaste of rejection.”
Ingrid begins to laugh, and the actors struggle to keep a straight face.
Derek continues: “Those of you lucky enough to remain, you will receive Austin’s ultimate symbol of love “a pearl necklace.”
This brings startled laughter from Tim. Cammy smiles as well. Actress or not, I’m sure she’s been through a pearl necklace ceremony many times.
Informational sidebar here about a Pearl Necklace.
It's a double entendre. It's porn industry slang.
In the immortal words of ZZ Top,
“It’s not jewelry she’s talking about, and it really doesn’t cost that much.”
Suffice it to say that a certain bodily fluid has an opalescence, and can resemble a string of pearls if applied liberally but forcefully around the neckline.
But of course, you knew that. I’m not sure Ingrid does.
Derek invites the women to step forward and plead their case, and then ask Austin for a pearl necklace. At every mention of this lurid imagery, Tim gives a visible lurch to control his laughter. He almost loses it completely when Derek tells the women to “step up to Austin, lean forward, and he will put a pearl necklace on your neck.”
Not fully recovered from the hot tub, Austin has only enough pearls to decorate four of the five women. He selects, in order, Cammy, Ambrosia, Ingrid, and Eleanor. He tells Rita she’s a lot of fun, but he needs someone who can help him win an Emmy, and you suck.
Rita leaves. Derek leaves. Ingrid immediately turns to the other women and asks if they knew they were supposed to speak because they seemed rehearsed. (Of course they were, but apparently not enough rehearsal to look spontaneous.) The other actors and the producers begin to sweat.
And Ingrid won’t let go of this. They head upstairs and she’s continually asking the group if they knew what was coming because the speeches seemed prepared. She’s catching on, and says she felt like she was on The Truman Show.
Now the producers panic. They may have lost one Schmo already, and they must protect Tim's innocent gullibility. They send some techie in on a charade to move Tim away from Ingrid. Is it too late? He’s standing right behind Ingrid's chair with a puzzled look on his face.
It’s the most shocking crisis yet!!!
And it's "To Be Continued..."
Will the Schmoes figure this out before week two?
Will Spike TV have to switch to Godfather reruns all summer?
Is Baskin-Robbins still hiring?
And how will Piper reward the men?
Will they get a Rusty Trombone?
It’s all “To Be Continued…”
Well, it can’t be too serious. The promo reveals this: There’s still 2 Schmoes next week. Ambrosia and Ingrid clash, Bryce tries to hypnotize TJ and Tim, and Manticore the Falcon brings another twist, his own elaborate and dramatic suicide attempt!
Edited to say I do NOT drive a Camaro, or use Jovan Musk. TJ out.
Edited again to clarify the porn industry slang.