Love in the Wild – Ep. 8: The Finale
Seven adventures and it had all come down to this – the grand finale. Mike and Samantha vs. Miles and Heather for all the marbles, or rather a first class trip around the world. Having won three of the adventures together, including last week’s, Mike and Samantha came into the final the odds-on favorites.
On the morning of the final competition, Samantha read a card full of encouraging words from her mom. ( Watching this, I’m thinking if only mail service were that good in the city!) Reading how much her mom loved her, how supportive she was, made Samantha cry. Mike got all choked up too just because Samantha had allowed to him to read over her shoulder.
The girls showed up at the starting line in their itty-bitty, teeny-weeny (minus the polka-dot) bikinis for the second week in a row. Although I can’t be sure, I assume from previous experience that Mike and Miles were there, too. Once Darren counted down from three, the teams took off on a final adventure that would last not one but two days, and consist of swimming, canoeing, changing clothes in front of one’s partner, assembling an oxcart from scratch, coping with a dysenteric mammal, pitching a tent, pitching a fit, and climbing to the top of a volcano only to run back down again for no apparent reason.
MILES (TO GO)
Miles must have lied on his resume. How else to explain letting him on the show when he couldn’t swim? The young man nearly drowned in last week’s penultimate episode, and this week the first leg of the final consisted of – you guessed it – a swim. While Mike, Samantha and Heather were cleaving their way through the water in the direction of a couple of canoes, Miles was like a giant tortoise run aground, flailing away in a life jacket, the following thought bobbing like a lure in his brain, “I’m going to be the first person to die on national TV while wearing a life jacket.”
Once Miles managed to drag his sorry butt into the canoe, however, he and Heather nearly caught up with Mike and Samantha at the mouth of the Aqua Caliente River. Dragging the canoe upriver to a beachhead, the couples slipped out of their gear and into dry clothes. (No reports of shrinkage as we went to press.) Then they raced to the top of a hill, where they encountered a Costa Rican national symbol, Las Carretas, brightly colored oxcarts. The only problem was the oxcarts had to be put together. It was like an oxcart kit you’d get at IKEA.
FOLLOW THAT OXCART!
Heather wore the britches throughout the adventure, and here, too, she was the one who put the oxcart together, likening it to a puzzle, while Miles looked on dimly.
Having tossed a couple of hay bails in the bed, an ox-wrangler (yeah, that’s Hollywood-speak) hooked up two oxen to a yoke, and then Miles and Heather were off in hot pursuit of Mike and Samantha. Seeing Miles and Heather coming up fast in their rearview mirror, Mike exhorted the wrangler to go faster by saying “Andale! Andale!” over and over again while at the same time bemoaning the sluggishness of his team of oxen. You’d think these beasts of burden would have been beating a path to the nearest restroom, considering one of them had a bad case of the runs!
It was neck and neck by the time the teams had rid themselves of the oxen. Miles and Heather actually passed Mike and Samantha on the way to the Day 1 finish line only to lose the lead again, coming in a scant twenty six seconds behind.
With the first day’s competition over, it was time for the teams to rest, set up camp for the night, fortify themselves with pasta and soup, get a good night’s rest, and get psyched for a strong finish the next day.
Thanks to Heather, Miles had food to eat and a place to sleep, as she was the one to pitch the little pup tent correctly – even though she’d never done it before – and get the kerosene lighter to work. Elsewhere in the savannah, Ozzie and Harriet, a.k.a. Mike and Samantha, were gradually turning into The Bickersons, what with Mike’s difficulty doing the very things Heather had done so easily, so efficiently. Just goes to show that women are every bit as capable as men if not more so.
The contestants woke up to rain. Their mission was simple but hard: climb to the top of a volcano, retrieve another map from the center of a lagoon in the cone of the volcano, then race back down the volcano to the finish line, where Darren waited with a celebratory bottle of cheap bubbly a production assistant had bought at Super Cristian #4 earlier that day.
Having finished day one with a twenty-six second lead, Mike and Samantha took off on this, the final leg of the adventure, twenty six seconds before Miles and Heather. Considering how fit they both were, it was hard to understand why Miles and Heather could never make up the paltry twenty-six second lead. Wait, I do know the reason after all. It was that doofus Miles’ fault. If Heather hadn’t made the mistake of falling for him and had instead been paired, say, with Derek, her team would’ve blown past Mike and Samantha. She deserved to win.
I CALLED IT or IF ONLY PICKING STOCKS WERE THIS EASY
Although I’m not sure anybody’s noticed, I’ve been blogging on this show for the last eight weeks. A cursory review of my previous posts would demonstrate that throughout I have been consistently prescient about the destinies of the various players involved. Indeed as early as my second post, following the premier episode, I had Mike and Samantha winning the whole thing. Of course, when you consider that, given enough time and the laws of chance, a chimp could write all of Shakespeare’s plays, I ain’t gonna let me head swell.
A FOND FAREWELL
Well, it’s been a blast. I’ve enjoyed following the perambulations of these twenty twenty-somethings as they searched for love in the wilds of Costa Rica. I’ve even thought to go out there looking myself. And, who knows – perhaps we’ll meet again here among the pages of The Tico Times. Adieu, dear reader, adieu.
-Nick Silver blogs weekly for The Tico Times on “Love in the Wild.“Explore posts in the same categories: Ecotourism, Entertainment, Media, Travel