The couples embark on dream dates, but most don't feel like straying, says Justine Elias
Will ”Temptation Island”’s Mandy and Billy go to hell?
The penultimate episode of ”Temptation Island” turned out to be the most tedious so far — and it also was on opposite the Grammy Awards, which made for some bizarre channel surfing. So what we really learned, besides the fact that promised ”dream dates” don’t always come true, is that, as Grammy winner Johnny Cash once sang, ”Love is a burnin’ thing, and it makes a fiery ring”…around the collar. Or something like that.
LADIES’ CHOICE Shannon snags a dream date with Tom, the inexplicably sought after Ivy League guy, while Valerie, looking miserable as usual, chooses the ”upbeat” Dan-O for his perceived ability to ”take my mind off what might happen” later — when she learns what boyfriend Kaya’s been up to. Mandy, ever the wild card, asks permission to choose a man who she hasn’t previously dated. When the big moment comes, she bunny hops over to the heretofore uncharted territory of Jon, 27, a mild looking special education teacher.
Meanwhile, over on Therapy Island, we get 20 agonizing minutes of Taheed and Ytossie — the couple who love to hate each other — hashing out their future. Finally, an uncomfortable looking host Mark L. Walberg extracts the information that Y & T (the parents of a young child) will seek counseling and try to stay together. A sort of tender moment ensues as Ytossie mops the sweat from Taheed’s brow.
Kaya and Valerie Lucky Kaya! First the chicklet toothed pretty boy picks Alison, the vivacious, adventurous physician / Playboy model, and he gets first dibs on the coolest dream date, an ”extreme” jungle hike and rappelling into a canyon full of exotic flora. (Andy, who clearly envisions himself as the rough and ready type, sulks, ”Kaya was typecast as the soft guy, and he knew that was the [excursion] I wanted, and to have him choose it, I was pissed.”)
Valerie, fearing that her dream date will make a move on her in the romantic moonlight, takes 35 vitamin pills and plans to ”wear Dan-O out during the day.” Actually, her moping would wear anyone out in five minutes — all she does is weep about Kaya. At bedtime, she leaves Dan-O, a pro motocross racer, idling on the couch in disgust.
Andy and Shannon Andy, still pouting about the spa date, claims that his girlfriend Shannon says he should ”do whatever” he needs to do with a girl and ”send her on her bike” rather than ”spend the night spooning.” Turns out he hates Elizabeth, 22, a real estate agent, because she’s camping it up for the camera (as in ”Oops! There goes my towel!”) and he’s savagely humiliated by spa treatments which leave him coated with mud and festooned with flower petals.
Shannon, meanwhile, discovers that even Ivy League graduates like Tom (”not the kind of person you’d expect to be cast on a show like this,” she says, awestruck) are no strangers to cliché: ”I’m excited,” he opines. ”Like a kid in a candy store.” Hmmmm.
Billy and Mandy Since this is called ”Temptation Island,” the show does get into some heavy moralizing. The flame haired Mandy is seduced when Jon helps her untangle her multiple braids — but Jon, remember, is a special ed teacher, and this task probably isn’t so different from getting bubble gum out of a screaming child’s hair. For their goodnight kiss, Mandy’s like a tick on a dog — not that Jon puts up much of a fight. As the pair whisper sweet nothings, the producers helpfully provide subtitles:
Jon: ”I don’t feel bad if you don’t.”
Mandy: ”I don’t feel bad at all…Am I going to hell?”
Billy, on his dream date with Vanessa, shares this surprising revelation in voiceover, ”When I was a little kid, I used to do some weird stuff, like [in the car] I’d hold my most valuable object out the window and see how lightly I could grip it without losing it.” As Vanessa, the cowboy hat wearing ”Perfect 10” model gazes hungrily at him, his voiceover continues: ”It’s a very good analogy for what I’m doing here with Mandy — taking one of my most valuable objects and seeing how lightly I can hold it and still keep it.”
Mandy may be a lot of things, but an OBJECT? Oh, Billy! That’s not nice. Back on the dream date, Billy rolls on his back and asks helplessly, ”Am I bad?” Predictably, obligingly, Vanessa replies, ”Noooooo!” Unfortunately, the camera doesn’t pull back far enough to show us whether or not the lower half of her Perfect 10 body has been transformed into a serpent’s tail.