Reality Steve

Temptation Island

“Temptation Island” – Nell Kalter’s Episode 9 Recap

It’s not like I’m saying that karma will definitely manifest into a stomping-fire-breathing-snaggle-toothed monster who will gnaw Evan’s testicles off in one swift gulp as a means of achieving some form of retribution for the insultingly cavalier way he moved beyond his love for Kaci, but I would advise the guy to keep his eyes open and his ears peeled for signs of danger. Like, if I were Evan, I wouldn’t necessarily go walking underneath rickety ladders anytime soon. I wouldn’t meander alongside anything even slightly resembling a cliff. And I certainly would not return to Hawaii in the coming months with Morgan because I’m not so sure whichever Goddess controls sh*t like volcanic eruptions is about to spare a man who got over a five year relationship like other people get over a common cold.

But I want to be clear about a few things before we move forward:

1. I don’t think Morgan deserves too much hatred for her role in this televised monstrosity. She applied to be on a dating show, she was accepted, and her very presence somehow stunned a man into falling into infatuation or love or whatever it is you want to call it. In a lot of ways, Morgan essentially did her job.
2. While I’m a (relatively) rational adult who can’t help but giggle at the notion of two people believing with all their might that they have fallen in a real and healthy love after only a few weeks while cameras were aimed at their faces the entire time and they spent each day in an environment in which real world issues were able to become absolutely negligible, I can also see how spending every single second with another person in such a rarified atmosphere could result in those two people convincing themselves that whatever happened between them must have been fated.
3. I’m imagining Evan and Morgan are fueled right now by some it’s-us-versus-them-and-what-we-have-together-is-totally-fate mentality and it is probably that precise feeling that will lead to Evan proposing to Morgan – and I’m guessing it’ll happen soon. What else would serve to better validate their feelings? What else do they think could possibly prove everyone else so wrong?
4. Oh, and I really hope Kaci gets custody of the dogs.

With my feelings now clearly established – because my mommy always told me that my feelings matter – let’s now tackle an episode that caused me to question once again why anyone would possibly agree to appear on this show. We start with Kaci experiencing the scalding stings of humiliation. She just saw footage of the man she loves – a man with whom she shares a home and dogs with, for crying out loud! – asking someone he’s known for less than three weeks to be his girlfriend. No matter how absolutely correct the rest of the women are when they swear it’s not Kaci who should be feeling embarrassed here, she is exhaling fumes of mortification every time she opens her mouth. Her boyfriend of YEARS has seemingly ditched her for someone he has known for less time than I have known the carton of egg whites that lives in my refrigerator. He’s ready to vacate the world he created with Kaci to go be with this woman and he’s made the choice to do it without having the decency to break up with Kaci first. Listen: being rejected sucks. Rejection wrecks havoc on your soul. Rejection causes fragments of your mind to whirl with questions for which there are often few answers. Rejection is a motherf*cker any way it happens, but though I’m not all that interested in ranking pain, I think there’s an excellent chance that being rejected on a TV show you once thought would end with the love of your life proposing to you because he’d just experienced an existence without you for three whole weeks and – by God! – he now refuses to live a single second without you from this point forward may very well be the number one most horrific form of rejection that exists. Is there any way Kaci can take comfort in the fact that at least this experience sticks her forever in the upper echelons of rejection stories? Perhaps she can nab a book deal out of all this. I’ll be her ghostwriter, and the words that shall appear most often in our manuscript will obviously be the words “callous” and “pr*ck.”

Speaking of rejection, it’s time for a few of the Tempters to be tossed aside, much the way I tossed my last carton of egg whites in the trash several weeks ago. (The carton was starting to smell funky and I briefly wondered if something had died inside of my fridge.) I have no idea if any of these girls smell – though I’m betting Brittany smells like a pungent combination of patchouli and desperation – but several are being tossed off the island regardless because it’s time for the guys to choose their final round of dates. “Final?” Morgan asks, her face sinking. That’s correct, Morgan. This tropical experiment is close to being over and your new boyfriend, a guy who is technically also the boyfriend of another woman right now, will have to pack up his floral attire and head to a Bonfire where he will crush the heart of his former beloved so he can instead stare intently at your face forever and ever in a manner that is not creepy in the slightest.

The final date is an overnight, and I suppose that’s a nice thing for Bachelor fans right now because there’s a virgin at the helm of that particular series so at least we have some certainty that one reality TV show out there will provide a little banging. Evan chooses Morgan, and just in case you’ve been sporadically unconscious while watching this show, please know that Evan will choose Morgan FOREVER because he LOVES her and she changed EVERYTHING and because it doesn’t annoy her that he starts 87% of the sentences he says to her with the word “Girl” and that right there is a clear sign of devotion. John picks Kathryn. He’s permitted to do so at this point because the moratorium on her being labeled forbidden fruit has shriveled up and died – and also, the producers of this show would like to have as much incendiary footage in their arsenal as humanly possible. Javen selects Kayla, though there’s an excellent chance he will force her to sleep on the floor so Shari doesn’t castrate him with a pointy stick at the final Bonfire, and Karl picks Brittany and that’s sweet because maybe he’ll allow her to sit on his face while they’re at the hotel.

Also: Evan is so drawn to the miracle that is Morgan that he cannot stop himself from reaching back and caressing her leg as she stands behind him during the date selection.

Also: Brittany scares the sh*t out of me. I think it’s the almost ominous dichotomy of her spiking levels of Zen mixed with her spiking levels of psychosis, though my terror could also be due to her aura of slinky knowingness that I think some people probably read as sexy, though I just see it as f*cking bizarre.

Hannah, Erica, and Rachel are the Tempters sent home, but since they got to enjoy a three-week Hawaiian vacation and they refrained from humiliating themselves or their families in the process, they leave the premises holding hands and smiling. Bon voyage, ladies! See you on an MTV show soon! Mark then heads to the other villa so the women can make their final date selections. Kaci chooses Val, probably because he’s a self-anointed King – and should anyone currently be searching for a strong argument against the concept of royalty, Val can serve as your newest visual aid. Shari picks Justin. Nicole selects Tyler and Kady picks Johnny. The three not selected head out the door, though I’m very sad to tell you that they do not do so whilst holding hands.

Kaci’s date with King Val begins on a boat and that means we get the obligatory Titanic pantomime that must now legally occur any time anyone on TV walks onto any boat ever. Val knows he was chosen because his humor will allow Kaci to feel comfortable as she readies herself for the upcoming reunion with the boyfriend who no longer wants her, and he keeps things light, even when Kaci asks him what everyone thought of Evan when they met him the first night. The word “scumbag” is used to describe the guy and Kaci once again states that she thinks he’s just gotten himself caught up in the intensity of the situation and she’s certain Morgan will eventually suffer because of it. Though I think Morgan will probably end up suffering in other ways – and I want to be very clear here that I do not wish her even a smidgen of actual pain because A) I am actually a kind human being and B) I am not paid nearly enough to conjure up legitimate ill will towards anyone – I also think Evan is probably the kind of guy who doesn’t really appreciate having his thoughts and feelings second-guessed by the masses. I think he will spend the rest of his life with Morgan and even all the subsequent lives Brittany the Aquarius probably swore he’d experience, and he will do it just to prove everyone absolutely f*cking wrong. Besides, it’s not as though Evan has a single doubt about his decision, and should you be foolish enough to wonder if perhaps he’s internally waffling right now, banish that silly thought from the recesses of your mind! The first thing we hear Evan say to Morgan during their boat date is “I’m so yours.” And if you were not already feeling a tiny bit of chunky puke rising in the back of your throat, hold tight! Because Evan then informs her, “Girl, you’re it!” and I don’t know if my reaction to those words was violently visceral because they sound like a song some second tier member of N’SYNC would have sworn would be a hit or if it’s because Evan’s cavalier bliss and his choice to embrace total mental amnesia where Kaci is concerned just makes me feel genuinely nauseated at what human beings are capable of doing to one another.

Also: Raise your hand if you’re shocked that one of Evan’s biggest turn-ons with Morgan is that she applies zero pressure to him in the way Kaci does. Then smack yourself with that hand because only a f*cking moron would be shocked by something that would undoubtedly receive its very own chapter in a book someone will one day write called The Very Sad Predictability of Men.

Also: Raise your hand if you want production to instantly appear the very first time Morgan DOES apply real world pressure to Evan so we can see the entire glorious thing go down in close-up.

John and Katheryn aren’t at the point where they’re discussing meeting the family like Evan and Morgan are, but they’re off to a great start on their date. Katheryn is thrilled. She feels a real connection with John – and she was finally permitted to leave the villa! And the cherry on top of her Freedom Sundae is twofold: not only does the hotel they arrive at have dolphins, but John has finally allowed himself to ponder what a future might look like if Kady is not in it and some other blonde whose name also starts with a K slides into that slot. I’ve been a little tough on Katheryn along the way because some of her behavior has frankly seemed ridiculous to me, but I’ve softened over time. With that new open-mindedness, please allow me to say that she has very beautiful eyes. Then allow me to say that I burst into unintentional but very real laughter when she announced that dolphins are her “favorite mammal” because there’s no amount of time that could pass and no pair of eyes pretty enough to make that sentence not sound silly, especially when anyone with working brain synapses would agree that Tallulah my Maltipoo and every single otter I’ve ever laid my eyes on are the mammals that should obviously tie for first place in the Annual Mammal Competition™.

Also: Please do not see my above comments as being disparaging of the dolphin who appeared onscreen or indeed any dolphin in the entire dolphin kingdom. Dolphins are glorious creatures and they are incredibly smart, though if this particular dolphin signed a release to appear on this show, I may have to question the intelligence of the species as a whole.

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