Love in the Wild – Ep. 1: The Adventure Begins…
On last night’s premier episode of the new NBC reality series, Love In The Wild, we got to meet the twenty contestants for the first time as they stood nervously in a leafy grove in the middle of the jungle in Arenal. In brief video segments, we learned that basically they had all embarked on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure to find true love, having apparently run out of legitimate opportunities in the concrete jungle back home. At the young ladies’ choosing, they then all paired off and set out on their first, so-called adventure together – essentially an obstacle course – during which they raced to bring samples of air, earth and water back to the show’s genial host, young Scotsman Darren McMullen, waiting sweatily at the finish line.
Right out of the box, the couples – and, dare I say, especially the men – were given the difficult task of turning a bunch of logs and twine into a raft that could be used to cross the croc-infested Rio Porto Viejo all the way to terra ferma – and the remainder of the course. Eventual winners Samantha and Mike demonstrated the desired compatibility quotient in this event, as did pair Miles and Erica. Jared and Dawn, on the other hand, lost valuable time thanks mostly to the former’s very poor imitation of Bob Villa. They ended up in the drink with the fishes when their flimsy construction disintegrated midstream!
In the end, Mike and Samantha’s apparent compatibility, as evidenced by the sea-worthiness of their raft and the speed with which they completed the remainder of the course, had them crossing the finish line first. Along with immunity in the next round, Mike and Samantha also received first class accommodations at a resort called Oasis, where the burgeoning loverbirds ate – and canoodled – in front of a picture postcard waterfall. (We’re sure that wasn’t a cardboard cutout, right?)
CHEESECAKE & BEEFCAKE
While Samantha and Mike were enjoying the spoils that come with winning, we finally got a chance to spend some down time in the jacuzzi and to rather gratuitously watch the also-rans flaunt their wares – and by wares I don’t mean the sorts of quaint tschotskes one sees on Antiques Roadshow. Personally, I would have bid on what Kym Nguyen was selling, but that’s just me.
THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL
Things went mostly as expected during the elimination round. It was hardly a surprise that the victors, and newly-immunized, Samantha and Mike decided to stay together. Likewise, it’s not like I coughed up popcorn when Ben decided to part ways with Heather, since she’d made it amply clear – even while in bed together – that she couldn’t stand him. That’s not to say, however, that this portion of the program didn’t produce the unexpected. Good guy Miles decided to cut ties with Erica even though she’d made it clear throughout that she found him attractive in all possible ways. But, she took it like a big girl, even cracking a joke about it. Then there was the “Steele Shocker,” but more about that under lo siguente header.
BONEHEAD MOVE OF THE WEEK
Steele: half man/ half haircut/half-wit? The dude is all follicles and pecs and dopey charm, but what he’s gained in those departments may have come at the expense of actual brain cells. I mean, he’s perceptive enough to realize that Vanessa is trying to place him in a little bird cage, so to speak, but then, when, during elimination, he has the opportunity to cut the ties that bind and pick another girl – and when that one girl is Dawn – in whom he has already expressed interest, he chooses to stay with Vanessa anyway, thus proving, at least in this viewer’s eyes, that he’s not in it to win it. Or, perhaps he just has abandonment issues.
Well, at this point, I think anybody who actually watched the show would have to place his bet on Mike and Samantha. First of all, they won the first compatibility adventure. And, Samantha actually seems smitten. I’m not sure that we can trust Mr. Ears Mike just yet; I mean, he’s a guy, after all. On the other hand, he does think Sam’s “hot,” plus he’s working hard to impress her.
THE WALK OF SHAME
I’m sorry, but the entire episode was an exercise in embarrassment for Jared. He squandered an early victory, namely, that of being the first guy picked by utterly failing to build a serviceable watercraft out of lego logs. Dawn’s lucky she neither drowned nor was consumed a la carte by a crocodile. I do give him credit for a deep, soulful voice, but that’s about it. I would imagine he’ll get ribbed about his performance to no end back home, especially since he wasn’t gone long.
Best bets here, at the early stage of the competition, I’d say would have to be Ben and Derek. The former’s got Gary Busey eyes and an unquenchable need to speak his mind no matter how many people he alienates, while the latter looks for all the world like a playa. Watch out, girls.
Boy, the humidity really seemed to be getting to Darren’s hair at one point. It looked like radioactive spaghetti.
What was Ron Perelman doing there? Oh, right, that was Peter Paris. For a moment there, I thought somebody had changed the channel to an old episode of Beauty and The Beast.
“Steele.” C’mon, that’s not his real name. His parents did not, of their own free will, name their newborn baby “Steele.” If I’m wrong about that, I sure would love to have seen the short list of baby names they chose that from. “Let’s see we could name him Copper or Titanium – no, let’s go with Steele. That sounds more manly.” Follow me while I think ahead here a little…if he and Vanessa fall in love in the end, win the competition, and get married, they could name their first born son, Steele, Jr. Or, perhaps, Son of Steele.
Anywho, I’m pumped to see what happens next on Love In The Wild. Hopefully, the power will be on next Wednesday around 8.
-Nick Silver blogs weekly for The Tico Times on “Love in the Wild.“Explore posts in the same categories: Entertainment, Travel comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.