I realize, of course, that very few people are drawn to Are You the One? because of the mathematical strategies that must be employed for twenty-two people to have a shot at splitting a million dollars, but for those who are interested, the statistics at this point are as follows:
• 3 beams of light were nabbed in 2 consecutive ceremonies.
• 0 matches were made from 2 sojourns into the Truth Booth.
• 1 guy received head from Kenya during a luau.
• 1 girl named Lauren has received approximately 36 seconds of screen time.
• 7 blowups have gone down courtesy of Bria and 4 of them required she be physically restrained.
• And the number of women still convinced something real and true exists beneath Zak’s staggering and smelly layers of douchiness? Well, that number would probably measure somewhere near infinity.
The last ceremony concluded with Zak calling Bria trash and her retaliating in return that their garbage love story is over – and all that probably means is they’ll be heading into the Boom Boom Room any day now. But we can hope, can’t we? We can hope Bria calms down. We can hope Zak falls scruff-first into a volcano. We can hope Tevin will eventually stop hoping that Kenya will spontaneously turn decent. We can hope Lauren gets to say four consecutive sentences on camera and that Cam finds himself a fellow Conservative in that messy den of iniquity. Or we can say “fuck hope” and simply wait for someone new to fly off the rails because this is an MTV reality show, dammit, and it’s just nice when our hopes pan out.
Episode four begins with Bria blathering about how much she respects herself and how she deserves better and that she’s not a dumb bitch, which means she will definitely end up straddling Zak in the very near future because Bria seems to be the very opposite of what she claims to be. And since she is a woman who deeply respects herself, she drenches another woman’s legs in chocolate syrup and dives tongue-first into the girl’s crotch to lick that syrup off – you know, much like the feminists of yore used to do. Her antics are having the exact effect we all know she’s going for. Zak is getting jealous, so since he’s a very mature person, he decides to lean in and kiss Samantha right in front of his hysterical ex. But Samantha! Could she be the token normal one on this show? I think there’s a chance that she might just be! As Zak leans in, she jerks backwards to avoid lips that have already slid over the mouth of almost every girl in that house. She knows Zak’s deal and she’s not into it and I would hereby like to announce a brand new holiday! It will be called Samantha Day and on that day no woman will deign to kiss a dipshit and champagne and mini Twix bars will rain down from the sky. I’ve already ordered commemorative tees.
The next morning, Asia wakes Lewis to tell him she’s made him breakfast – something he swears hasn’t happened for him since Ja Rule had a hit – and he likes her and all, but he’s keeping his options open. Then there’s Brett and Cali. Those two are clicking. Need proof? As they discuss what kind of animal each one of them would be, Brett knows Cali would be a bird! Is their love deep or what? It is so deep that it’s time to start swapping secrets. Brett’s deep dark secret? He’s had three surgeries. Cali’s? She tosses hot peppers into her mouth like candy and then makes poop that burns her sphincter. Yes, theirs is a glorious kind of love and I’m certain it will last forever.
Asia is into Lewis, but she tells Tevin that Lewis hasn’t made any sort of move on her yet. She’s not sure if he’s being respectful or what, but she finds it odd that the two haven’t even danced together, not even during the luau a few days back. Once the luau is brought up, Tevin lets it slip that Kenya not only danced atop Lewis that night, but she went down on him as well. This is brand new information for Asia and she does not appreciate being kept in the dark by two people she thought she could trust. “Let me know you got your dick sucked. And let me know you sucked his dick!” she exclaims to Tevin about those two traitors and his response is to nod sagely and the whole thing is a moment of bonding one only sees on basic cable.
Also: I’m officially canceling Samantha Day. It turns out she gets positively giddy when men leave pools of sweat in their wake and, well, that’s the sort of shit that should just not be celebrated. The guy whose sweat is currently making her swoon is Daniel, and the truth is I don’t care if they get together or not. I’m just happy she’s not dreaming about doing a slip n’ slide through any of Zak’s bodily fluids.
Terrence J pops in next – he’s contractually mandated to show up now and again – and this week the Fate Button determines Shamoy, Lewis, Maria, and Lauren (the blonde phantom) get to go on the out-of-the-house date. Everyone is thrilled Shamoy and Maria were selected because there’s a good chance they’re an actual match and now they can be shoved into the Truth Booth and maybe something can finally be confirmed. The date they head out on involves horseback riding through the foggiest afternoon Hawaii has ever seen. Lauren gets to speak at least four times, Maria admits that Shamoy gives her butterflies, and Shamoy rides shirtless because Maria has latent Fabio fantasies. Everything is going perfectly until Lauren gets thrown from her horse, but it turns out this formerly mute girl is tough and she literally gets back on that horse and finishes the ride.
Back at the house, Asia is busy informing everyone she can corner that Kenya took Lewis’ hand a few weeks back, pulled him into the Boom Boom Room, and then sucked his dick. Had skywriters been available, she probably would have requested that one form the image of Kenya’s mouth enveloping Lewis’ scrotum so everyone could learn the news at once, but alas, skywriting is not in the budget for this show, not with all the tequila that needs to be on hand every second of every day so the contestants can wash away whatever inhibitions still remain in the darkest corners of their souls. As Asia wipes away tears of fury in the kitchen, Daniel asks Samantha to accompany him on a mini excursion to go catch crabs. Yes, there are a zillion “catching crabs” jokes I could make right now, but I’m instead going to appreciate that Daniel is not currently sweating buckets and I’m going to celebrate that he knows how to build a fishing pole out of bamboo – that kind of MacGyver shit could come in handy in the real world! – and, I swear, my eyes didn’t even roll when the two of them sat on the shore and kissed.
It’s Truth Booth time! To nobody’s surprise, Shamoy and Maria are sent in to determine if they’re a real match or not. The totally-just-for-show lights pass over their bodies and we find out these two are a perfect match! The house explodes into cheers, Shamoy and Maria are relieved as hell, and I’m devastated because now the only two clinically normal people in that villa are being sent away to the Honeymoon House so the rest of these rather insane people can more easily weed through one another to achieve a cash prize.
Seeing the perfect match pop up on the screen is making the rest of the house feel all kinds of giddy – or all kinds of drunk, but let’s pretend the romance here is not sponsored by Smirnoff. After declaring how “perfect” things are between she and Brett (and after we all then heard the rumbling of symbolic thunder the very second she said such a thing), Cali gets out of the hot tub and Brett has no idea where she has gone. He discovers her talking to Zak, a conversation that involves Zak telling her that she reminds him of his sister and Cali muttering, “Cool,” in return, but Brett is not about details at the moment. No, this guy gets in Zak’s face. Zak stays calm the entire time because pretty much everyone he’s ever met has hated him; he’s used to people invading his personal space to inform him that he sucks. Watching Brett’s overreaction, Cali is concerned. She’s experienced this kind of controlling man in her past and Brett is making her feel scared. She should probably already be scared. MTV has labeled Brett “The Jealous Type,” and he’s proving here that sometimes labels are pretty fucking accurate. A few guys attempt to intervene because the guy is acting like a crazy person and Cali keeps telling him that he’s acting irrationally, but he’s not really into logic right now. Oh, and Cali keeps calling him “Zak” which is really not helping matters.
It’s a new day and the alcohol has seeped out of his system and now Brett thinks that maybe he blew things out of proportion the night before. And speaking of blowing things, Tevin lets Kenya know he accidentally told Asia about what happened between she and Lewis a while back and now Lewis would like to talk to Asia. With his shorts slipping all the way down his ass, Lewis leads Asia away so he can tell her there’s no reason she should feel an emotional attachment to him – which is a sentence all women love to hear. Asia thinks they have a connection despite the fact that he’s yet to see her naked, Lewis appears perplexed by everything Asia is saying, and it all just gets louder and more confusing when Kenya bounds over and says she had no idea Asia had feelings for Lewis, but she swears whatever transpired between the two of them was not “romantical” in the least. They all end the conversation with a hug, though Lewis is more than a bit freaked out because he’s nowhere near as into Asia as she apparently is into him.
It’s ceremony time! With one match already made, the group is now looking to solidify the other pairings. The guys get to choose their matches this week and it goes a little something like this:
• Lewis chooses Asia and Samantha sits back and watches as Asia mumbles some explanation about how whatever happened with Lewis and Kenya no longer matters and the whole thing makes Samantha sad because she feels like Asia is compromising herself. For the record, I’m now reconsidering my reconsideration of Samantha Day. The woman is wise and she’s yet to put her fist through a wall or through someone’s face. So what that she likes sweaty men? Let the bells that announce the dawning of Samantha Day ring!
• Cam picks Kayla.
• Tevin selects Kenya.
• Daniel chooses Samantha – and she’s already worried he’s not enough of a challenge for her.
• Brett gets up and rhapsodizes about how Cali is still the one he wants despite the fireballs of rage he spit at her the previous evening. But Cali? She doesn’t particularly love having to say this in front of everyone, but she’s no longer cool with a man who has psychotic bursts of anger due to his own issues with trust. She’s not willing to overlook the negative tendencies he all but waved before her face like flags and she tells him that she’s done. His response? He picks her as his match for the evening and Cali presses her hand on the screen to lock in that match with a look of pure duress smeared across her pretty face.
• Andrew (who?) picks Lauren, the girl who fell off the horse and has now had 48 seconds of screen time.
• Bria is chosen by some guy I’ve maybe never seen before and I do not know his name, but he helped her locate her missing pasta that morning and great love stories have started from far less. (Okay, they haven’t. But I’m afraid of Bria, so let me just publicly say that the locating of carbohydrates is so important in a relationship and I wish her and whomever this guy might be the very best.)
• Kwasi picks Jasmine.
• Tomas (I think) selects Nutsa.
• Zak lands on Morgan.
With all these new selections, some of which are completely random and based only on missing fusilli, the group ends up with only two correct matches. They are now, Terrence J cautions them, in the danger zone and there is only one way to combat this growing crisis: they should all head out on a Relationship Retreat where their exes will be there to ambush them! Sounds healthy, right? And so romantical.
Nell Kalter teaches Film and Media at a school in New York. She is the author of the books THAT YEAR and STUDENT, both available on amazon.com in paperback and for your Kindle. Her Twitter is @nell_kalter