It's back! Love in the Wild,
the revolutionary summer reality dating show that puts 14 sexy American singles in a beautiful paradise and asks, "What do you THINK will happen, duhhhh?" And this year, the show has some exciting new changes: They've upgraded to Jenny McCarthy as host, and so many years after Singled Out,
she's still a well-oiled dating show hosting machine... maybe because she's now 50% plastic. And the show has moved to the gorgeous Dominican Republic, which will be host to their even "wilder adventures" than last season.
The episode begins with two separate batches of men and women entering the island on boats, with the wind in their extensions and hope in their hearts. Later this season, there will be snakes, rock climbing, rope courses and tarantulas, all of which will lead to rippling muscles being exposed, and budding romances between this diverse array of spray-tanned, petty white people. Every week, two undesirables -- one man, one woman -- will be sent home, and the others will get one step closer to the big prize: A trip around the world with their final partner. So they better HOPE they're in love by then, or else that ultimate prize package will be one long, regrettable nightmare.
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Jenny McCarthy greets the seven women and seven men in the Grassy Field of Judgment, and declares that last season's final two couples are still together, so there's no question: THIS SYSTEM WORKS!
The women get to decide who their first partners will be, based on looks alone. They have arrived to the jungle in their shortest shorts and crop-iest crop tops for this initial mating rituation. So they take turns walking over to the men and calling dibs. Like picking teams in Gym Class, but where the sport is sex.
The women also tell us, via voiceovers, about their various insecurities and dating histories, which are so cliched that I think they might be scripted ("I walked in on my boyfriend cheating on me"; "I believe in soulmates"; "I'm very tired of dating younger guys!").
The original couples are now set. They think. Until Jenny introduces an "interesting" twist: Seven more muscled, polo-donning men shuffle out of the bushes. From these, the women each get to choose ANOTHER guy to "form a trio" for their first adventure. Those clever producers realized there wasn't enough macho rivalry last season, so they have injected it straight into the process. And it works immediately! Two minutes ago, these women were complete strangers to them, and now the men from the original group are already feeling threatened and possessive of their females.
We go over even more
rules: Like last season, whichever trio wins this week's adventure gets to stay in the "Oasis." It's a fancy house where sex isn't mandatory, but it is suggested. And the further back you place in the adventure, the more "rugged" your accommodations will be. 2nd through 4th place trios will stay in their "normal" cabins, while the 5th and 6th place trios will stay in more "rugged" cabins, and the last place trio ... well, "if you don't die" sleeping in THAT sh*thole, "I'll be really surprised," Jenny lies. It's probably a hut. The Adventure: Conch You Feel the Love Tonight?
For the first adventure, each trio needs to collect three conch shells from the island. In order to do this, they need to get to their "supplies," which includes a map. A helicopter immediately flies overhead and drops off their supplies out in the ocean. Only one person from each trio can swim out and get the supplies.
The teams decide who's swimming, and this includes an alpha female named Summer, who was a swimmer in college. Pretty soon, she's far and away in front of everyone else. Yanina is a hot Argentinian woman, and her guys are already feeling competitive over her. One of her guys, Mike, says he is a swim instructor, but he "let" her other guy, Ken, do the swimming so he could stay on shore and flirt with Yanina.
The swimmers finally get out of the water, and their maps say they first need to go to a well, where the women need to climb in collect the first conch. (OK. So there are 21 people on screen, and I don't know who any of them are, so keeping track of their names and who's in whose trio is difficult. So, for now, we're gonna refer to the trios by the women only.) Team Yanina reaches the well first, and discover that it's dry and covered in snakes. Team Summer gets there next, and Summer finds a conch before squeamish Yanina does, so Team Summer takes the lead.
Team Ali is in last place, thanks to her teammate Jason, who can barely move after weakly swimming to the supplies. Tara gets to the well next. She's the one who said, "I'm just gonna handle this by being my awesome self!" at the beginning, so we know that she's probably an idiot. Her teammate Tim is already sick of her prissiness. They lower her into the snake pit against her will, and she tries to dig for the conch with her shoes. Tara is useless and slow. Team Shauna passes Team Tara at the snake pit.
Next, the teams need to throw coconuts at a set of masks tied up between some trees. The next map is inside the mask. On Team Summer, Jesse is proud that he is the first to knock down the mask ... and even happier when the map says that in order to continue, one of the men must kiss the woman while the other guy films it for seven seconds. Seriously. That is some forced and extremely soft-core porn.
Team Shauna forgot their map at the snake pit, so they are surpassed in the middle of the pack by Team Jenny, led by bossy redhead Jenny. One of her boys is a cool British guy named Ben, and the other is a confused meathead named Franky. You can guess which one she prefers.
Team Summer is still in first place. The next conch is in the middle of the ocean, and to get there, they have to carry a boat out to the water. Summer easily helps carry the boat and leads her team into the water. Summer is clearly the most athletic girl there, and her guys are both turned on by her. Or maybe they're just turned on by winning?
Then they discover why the boats had buckets in them: They also have holes in the bottom. Team Summer's boat sinks, so they ditch it, and Summer is forced to dive down and get the next shell, even though she's hurting and doesn't want to. She is physically and mentally exhausted by carrying her team. "Honestly, I could have done this adventure by myself," she says. She needs a guy who can match her strength.
Tila Tequila lookalike Cina is loving all the attention of both her male teammates. "I feel like I'm some exotic animal, and everybody wants me!" she says, delightedly. Cina loves being exoticized.
Over on Team Jenny, Ben decides that Franky is useless. That uselessness is a good thing when he can't figure out how to use the camera, though. Ben and Jenny are forced to kiss multiple times while he attempts to film it.
Team Summer gets to the last station, where the conch shell is tied at the top of a tall tree. Jesse volunteers to climb up the tree and rip the shell out, and Summer is finally impressed by someone. Team Summer finishes first, which means that Summer, "Q" (not the Bond character) and Jesse get to stay at the threesome-inducing OoooOOooOoasis.
Next up is Team Yanina, so they'll be staying in the regular cabins, which still look pretty damn Club Med. Team Tara gets third, and one of her men, Leo, has cut himself climbing to the last conch and painted his face with his own blood. He looks like a psychopath, and Tara and Host Jenny are both disgusted. Leo is not long for this game.
Team Shauna gets fifth place, which means they'll be in the "rugged conditions," along with Team Jenny (the redhead, not the host). Finally, Team Ali gets last place, which means they'll be staying in a hut of some kind. AKA how much of the rest of the world lives. Ali is distraught.Housing Woes
Team Summer gets to the Oasis, which includes a personal chef AND personal bartender! Life is a dream. There's only one bed in the Oasis, and Summer gets the memo: She gets to decide which guy will join her under the cozy covers.
The housing for 2nd, 3rd and 4th place isn't shabby at all. There's a big pool and fancy cabins -- which also
only have one bed per room.
The 5th and 6th place teams find themselves in tents. Tents that have floors and lights. Shauna is horrified at this high-end camping set-up. Some of these women are just straight-up brats.
Finally, Team Ali find their last-place hut, which includes sleeping bags and an insect net. You can see the bathroom from the hut. In other words, they're REALLY ROUGHING IT. So, of course, Ali freaks out and starts crying. She threatens to quit the show and almost has a "panic attack" because she's "never been camping." Clearly, she makes great choices, like signing up for a show called LOVE IN THE WILD
having never even been camping. Can't believe this one's still single!
I guess part of casting was finding the least outdoorsy women possible, because most of us have endured rougher conditions than this voluntarily, FOR FUN.
Meanwhile over at the Oasis, Team Summer finishes their private dinner, and then Summer decides they should go visit the cabins, you know, to meet the other groups. (So Summer could scope out the other men.) She's a wily one! The Meat Market
The drinking, bikini-wearing and disastrous flirting commences. Jersey Shore
doppelganger Leo, he who wiped blood all over his face, dives into the pool in his underwear, because everything Leo does is the wrong thing. Tim, who calls himself "The Tim Meister," is angry that the other men are in his way, flying around his big ol' head like gnats. As the apparent alphas from each gender, even though they're matched with other people, Tim and Summer naturally find each other and connect in the pool.
Team Summer goes back to the Oasis. Jesse suggests that they both be chivalrous and let Summer sleep in the bed alone ... but Q decides he's going to sleep in the bed whether Summer likes it or not. Similar situations play out in the other rooms. One of the guys thinks that he's going to get some action if he can just force himself into the bed, but the women actually prefer the other
guy, who is considerate enough to volunteer for the floor. Team Yanina all sleep in the bed together, and the guy she liked at first, Mike, is too touchy for her liking now.
It starts raining, which doesn't help Team Ali's hut situation. Ali is "miserable," and just wants to leave. But her teammate Jason is more patient than he should be, and helps Ali as she repeatedly fails at basic tasks, like air-drying her clothes.
Since Team Summer won the adventure, the three of them also get a prize in the form a salsa lesson the next day. Both the guys seem smitten with Summer, who is a "natural" salsa dancer, of course. Summer prefers Jesse, and asks him to kiss her right in front of Q. Summer! Atta girl.Yet Another Twist
Jenny McCarthy shows up and lays out how the first "Couple's Choice Ceremony" is going to go: Once again, the women get all the power. None of the women are going home, and SEVEN of the men are.
For winning, Summer can stay with one of her guys, or pick ANY of the guys to be her new partner. Then the rest of the women, in the order of how they placed in the adventure, get to pick one of their teammates to stay. Jenny leaves the group so the women can get to their choosing and the men can get to their desperation.
Ryan solidifies his partnership with Shauna by volunteering to do yoga with her. So her other teammate, Christian, goes and ingratiates himself to blonde bimbo Tara. But his "bizarre" sense of humor, including dolling out fun facts about how much dirt the average human eats before they die (18 pounds?!), doesn't impress her.
Ken pulls out the big guns to try to win over Yanina: He shows her his SCRAPBOOK from being a PUPPY FOSTER PARENT. What a pro. She lets him have the five-second kiss that he didn't get during the adventure.
Jenny thinks that she and Ben are a match made in heaven, because it's a "non-stop laugh fest" and they're both sarcastic. But Ben tells us that she's not really his type. But he's content to use her for the time being.
Jason takes his teammate Cina on a little "date" to prove that she should choose him, but she's torn, because her other teammate Chase is a real gentleman.
Ali is still wallowing in self-pity about sleeping on a cot under a lean-to. If that's all she's going to talk about, I wish she wouldn't be such a tease about quitting. Chase, the former Marine, decides that he would like to mentor her. With his penis.
Mike from Team Cina tries to flirt his way onto Team Shauna, and it's working ... until he asks her for a kiss too soon. Shauna worries that maybe Mike has other, "interior" motives. (She means ulterior.) This game of meat market musical chairs feels neverending. Let's get to the Couples Choice Ceremony, and get rid of some of this dead weight!
Couple's Women's Choice Ceremony
Seven men are going home tonight. Each trio will come up to the front, one at a time, The lady will decide which guy stays, and which goes into the "unmatched" area. And "no" doesn't mean "no" for these
women. Whoever she choose, the guy CANNOT DENY her. Summer is up first, and she gets her pick of any guy on the show.Choice 1
She likes and respects them both, but only sees a friendship with Jesse or Q. Both men go to the "Unmatched" area. Summer chooses: TIMChoice 2
With Mike, it's more like "brotherly" love.Yanina chooses: KENChoice 3
Her other teammate, Tim, was stolen, and she can't believe she's "stuck" with Leo, who's crazy. Leo calls her "materialistic." Oh well, they're forced to be together another week.Tara is stuck with: LEOChoice 4
She wants to keep both of her little pets, Chase and Jason! Can't she have both?!Cina chooses: JASONChoice 5Shauna says: She knows what she wants to do.Shauna chooses: RYANChoice 6Jenny says:
Her guys are complete opposites.Jenny chooses: BENChoice 7Ali says:
She respects both guys and how they put up with her when she was being a brat.Ali chooses: OTHER JASON
So, those seven unmatched men are going home ... or are they?
The women get one last chance to stay with the partner they chose, or switch them out for ANYONE in the unmatched area. And the men get one last chance to plead their case with someone.
Q tries to plead with Cina ... and then switches Tara ... and then can't decide who else
to hit on. This isn't shopping! Mike reminds Shauna that they laughed so hard together that their abs hurt. Chase tries to plead with Ali. The rest of the guys have given up. Or they recovered their last shred of dignity and are excited to go home.
The women decide whether to stay or switch: Yanina decides to stay with Ken. Shockingly
, Tara decides to switch (bye, Leo!) to the one person she's never talked to ... Jesse. That bodes well for them. Cina decides to stay with Jason, who looks like a poor woman's Rick Fox sometimes. After a long, drawn-out deliberation, Shauna decides to stay with Ryan and leave Mike to the wolves. Mike is hurt and upset, but no one cares. Jenny decides to stick with Ben, who looks tortured to stay in her presence, but claims it's because of all the twists. Lastly, Ali decides to switch, which means that Jason is toast. She chooses Chase as her new partner, but not before threatening that he "better be a good swimmer," or she's "sinking" him. But I don't think the women are going to have all the power forever, and Chase may regret volunteering to be Ali's babysitter.So, here are the new couples for Week 2:
Summer and Tim
Yanina and Ken
Tara and Jesse
Cina and Jason
Shauna and Ryan
Jenny and Ben
Ali and Chase
The seven eliminated men say their goodbyes. This haphazard, randomized dating system didn't work out for them, but at least they got to go to the Dominican Republic for a couple days. Now I've already forgotten most of their names. The best final line comes from Leo: "I learned that ... I like to party." Big stuff, Leo. Big stuff.What do you think of Love in the Wild season 2 so far? Like the changes (and all the girl power!) that the show incorporated this time around? Any couples that you can see potential for? Will you tune in next week? Sound off in the comments! Until next week, here's a preview of what's to come and more about the contestants:
(Images courtesy of NBC)