You Make Me Feel So Young: The Second Episode of More to Love

By | August 5, 2009

Warm the towels for the post-show shower to wash away the skeeve, it’s the second episode of everyone’s favorite show about hysterical and insecure fat women.

First off, we get a montage reminding us what’s to come in this series: crying, jealousy, crying, fat pain, crying, and food. Next, we get another montage showing us what happened last week: crying, jealousy, crying, fat pain, crying, and food. Also Luke kissed some people and I nearly barfed, though my affection for regurgitation (reference? somebody has to get this) is sadly not covered in the clips. There was sadness and middling drama, and now it’s mansiontime.

A few laydeez are in the kitchen preparing food. We launch right into the food angle, of course. One laydee asks, “Do you cook a lot at home?” and Christina replies, “Yeah, you know, like grilled cheese, and macaroni…” Malissa laughs and says, “That’s good.” I am hoping against hope that this is meant to be a wry joke, but apparently not. Hell, why not just fill the hot tub with gravy and have one of the laydeez drink it?

Apparently Christina’s cookery practices are a segue into Malissa telling us in confessional (rolls!) that she has issues with Christina, whom Malissa thinks has an “attitude” about how things go on in the kitchen (come on producers, couldn’t you actually scrounge up a clip that provides evidence of this?) and is a “whiner”. No doubt this is a setup for drama to unfold.

As an aside, we are still seeing the height and weight info, along with typical reality-show character info like name, age, and career. I am still of two minds about this. I observed in my prior recap, it’s obviously there for sideshow-freak appeal. And there’s nothing to assure us that these are real weights; we have no way of knowing if they’re self-reported or whether Fox actually made the laydeez hop on a scale (which, honestly, wouldn’t surprise me). But fake weights or not, what’s interesting is the effect this may be having on the perception of the people watching the show even from a non-critical perspective. I’ve also been reading some more mainstream approaches to the first episode and I saw one commenter on one non-FA blog say something to the effect of, “I’m glad they show the weights, because I wouldn’t have thought any of those women were over 200 pounds.” Hell’s bells, if some folks are so clueless as to what 200 pounds actually looks like, it’s no wonder they assume that anyone who weighs 300 pounds must be confined to bed and at death’s door.

Emme appears and calls all the laydeez to the laydee-stacking room, and I’m still not sure why she’s here since she only turns up for a total of like five minutes per episode. Today the laydeez get to have their first dates with Luke. Group dates. They will be busted up into two “teams” and each team will get to go out with Luke on some ridiculous couch-sitting extravaganza. But here’s the twist: they have to choose the teams! Emme names Anna and Malissa as team captains — whether they’re chosen because they were the first two picked by Luke during the last elimination is unstated, but I’m sort of assuming that’s the case. Or else I’ve watched too many cycles of America’s Next Top Model.

Sweet, now we all get to enjoy the classic Picked-Last Childhood Trauma. Melissa agrees with me, and after weepily recalling the birthday parties she wasn’t invited to as a kid, observes, “This is the moment where I’m going to realize that no one likes me.” Melissa, dear, I would bet that neither Anna nor Malissa are choosing based on the people they like — they’re choosing based on the people to whom they think they look best in comparison. Let the picking begin! Anna picks Arianne first; Malissa picks Mandy. Melissa’s picked fourth and all her childhood wounds are healed. Christina starts talking in confessional about playing Red Rover in elementary school and her name never being called. OH MAN, I REMEMBER THAT TOO. I actually loved Red Rover. Though I think I was rarely called because I was typically the fattest kid in class and my momentum was not to sneezed at. We’re talking cry-worthy injuries to spindly elementary-age arms, folks.

Eventually it’s just Christina standing behind the laydee-stacking couch. Christina wonders if she’s getting picked last because she’s fatter than some of the other girls — this might be possible if Christina were actually one of the fatter fats, but she’s totally not, so body dysmorphia for the lose. Christina says, “Standing there all alone, I kinda got all upset” and I do feel sympathetic for her, because that’s a shitty position to be in. Christina actually says, out loud to the group, “I’m a little hurt,” which is disarmingly honest and depressing. Lauren sensitively says that Christina “appeared to be a snob” and that’s why she’s last. Christina takes the Stuart Smalley route and in confessional talks about how people think she’s fun and “like to hang out” with her.

They make Christina stand there looking forlorn for approximately two hours while they film it from all angles and the two teams stand and stare Christina down like she’s facing a fat firing squad. Finally Emme — standing between the groups of picked laydeez like one of the many evil Phys Ed teachers I have known in my life — takes a HUGE LEAP and says, “All of you know how upsetting it is to be picked last, you’ve all been through it before.” Really Emme? Did you take a poll before making this assumption? Emme goes on to say, “…but today we’re celebrating the last pick!” This would have been better if Emme’d shouted “PSYCH!” in true elementary-school spirit, but she takes the dignified (HAHAHAHAHAHA, sorry) route. Christina, as last picked, gets an alone date with Luke. DAMN, kids. The other laydeez are BUMMED.

Lauren looks daggers at Christina and then goes off all exasperated in confessional, saying it’s totally not fair that Christina gets an alone-date with Luke just because nobody likes her. Stay classy, Lauren! It’s taking quite the effort to make myself remember that Lauren’s whining and unpleasantness may be the result of manipulative editing, but no matter who’s at fault for it, Lauren is coming over as powerfully unlikeable to me right now.

Malissa’s team gets their date first, and Emme instructs them to run outside like freaks to get their pre-date instructions. Outside they discover a giant plastic version of the gimmicky rings they all get, and tied to it with ribbon is a note. I really have watched too much America’s Next Top Model because my brain immediately went “LUKEMAIL! WOOOOO!” The Lukemail says they should dress up and meet him outside at dusk for a sunset cruise.

As the laydeez pile into the limo, Luke says of them in confessional: “I’ve heard about the struggles they’ve had in their dating lives, and I just want to put them at ease.” Again, with the skeevy. Why does Luke’s constant insistence on “putting women at ease” make him seem like a creepy sexual predator to me? I can’t put my finger on it.

And, they’re on a boat. The yacht in question is called “The Dream Maker” which is just SO predictable I may have fallen asleep for a moment after that. Why aren’t there any boats called The Tawdry Strumpet? Luke stands on the deck surrounded by laydeez and sounds like he’s leading a sales seminar: “So this is our first date, let’s do this thing! Let’s get out there and SELL, SELL, SELL!” He actually only says the first part but I think the second was understood. Who’s going to get the Glengarry leads? I can barely stand the tension.

Heather has a swig of pink champagne and suddenly blurts, “I don’t feel good” and bolts for the dock. She gets down the stairs and leans over the water between the side of the The Dream Maker (henceforth, The Sick Maker) and the dock. OH MAN, does she ever puke. Heather voms hardcore. She voms A LOT. And cries. Oh Heather, this show makes me nauseous too! Speaking as someone prone to epic motion sickness myself (to the extent that I have at one point employed an airplane barf bag for the purpose for which it was intended), I actually feel for Heather on this account. Dramamine, girlfriend. Don’t leave solid ground without it. Stupid ocean. Heather cries that she is sorely bummed that she’s not in a state to spend time with Luke. I don’t think spending time with Luke is going to help with the vomiting, but whatevs.

In confessional, Malissa all but expresses joy at Heather’s misery and asserts that she has her “eye on the prize”. AWESOME LET’S START THE REALITY SHOW CLICHES SHALL WE? Next somebody has to say they’re not here to make friends, they’re here to win!

The wine starts flowing. Malissa is immediately possessive, hooking her arm around Luke and saying to the rest of the laydeez, “Welcome to our yacht!” I expect she meant this to be cute but it strikes me as a little creepy. And then, as though she’s read my mind, Malissa observes confessional-style she’s not here to make friends! Nice work, Malissa. Way to live the dream.

Malissa and Luke recline on the deck together for their one-on-one time. Malissa starts talking about how she likes Luke and she wasn’t sure if what she saw the first night was an act and Luke says oh no totally this is how I am and Malissa says yeah I like how you are and calls him “level-headed” and says she likes how he “takes care of business” and at this point Luke looks at her blankly because he’s probably realizing he knows basically nothing about her and thus he can’t really return the compliment (if “level-headed” and “takes care of business” are compliments – frankly to me they sound like something you’d say at a job interview) so instead he smoothly goes in for the kissing, since that seemed to work out well for him before. Making-out ensues, and I am spiritually sprawled on the nausea-couch below deck with Heather. In confessional, Malissa says Luke makes her “feel like that size 2 supermodel” and my goodness, there is so much wrong with this statement I think my head might explode. Or, it’s possible Malissa is just hungry and that’s where the feeling is coming from. Yes, a hungry model joke! Thank you, I’ll be here all week, remember to tip your waitresses!

Malissa thinks some of the other laydeez will be jealous of the kissing. Ugh. I GUESS.

The group, sans Heather, sits down to eat. Bonnie observes in confessional that they’re free to eat in front of Luke, because he’s not going to judge them for it, which is actually kind of a big deal, considering Fear of Eating in Front of People is a common female disease, no matter the size of the woman in question. At dinner, Malissa makes another creepy-possessive comment along the lines of, “Oh, I’m so glad you all could join us,” in keeping with her earlier “Welcome to our yacht!”, and Kristian GOES OFF in confessional, basically calling Malissa “full of herself” and questioning her fat credentials. Kristian says Malissa didn’t gain fatness until after high school (damn, are these laydeez young) and thus she doesn’t really know what it’s like to grow up fat; Kristian mentions, among other things, that Malissa can’t know what it’s like to “not be able to fit in a desk” and BLESS YOUR ETERNAL SOUL, Kristian, for speaking up about some of the day-to-day bullshit fat people have to deal with but aren’t really allowed to complain about since fatness is perceived as an optional state of being (i.e., too fat for the desk? the implied solution is to lose weight and change yourself to suit the desk, not to make desks that fit everyone). Kristian also talks about having to shop in untrendy plus size stores at 15, struggling to take a trip with your girlfriends because you’re worried about not fitting on the plane or that the seatbelt won’t buckle (aside to Kristian, seatbelt extenders!) . Kristian’s excellent rant winds up with, “If you think you’re better than me because your body is smaller, then you shouldn’t be here at all.” I half agree with you, Kristian, though I would have put it “If you think you’re better than me because your body is smaller, then GO FUCK YOURSELF.”

Also, I JUST REALIZED that Kristian actually said the words, “Malissa doesn’t know what it’s like growing up FAT.” She actually said fat. In fact, she emphasized it pretty hardcore, though whether that was a means of punctuating her fat pain, or whether it was a conscious choice to use the word in a descriptive sense remains to be seen. But wow! Somebody on this show said fat! Clip below:

Luke presents a toast: “May all of our dreams come true on The Dream Maker.”

Speaking of inducing vomiting, stuck on the couch below deck and no doubt feeling like hell, Heather is A-#1 Crying Fat Chick this episode. If fat chicks crying were an Olympic sport, poor Heather’s performance in this episode would get her a gold medal. Upstairs, encouched with Kristian, Luke feeds her some cake or something, which watch-the-fatties-eat sideshow aspect aside, is kind of sweet. Kristian is gorgeous, y’all. And incredibly wide-eyed and genuine. I sort of dig her. Luke pays her some lovely compliments. As well he should. In fact, Luke is almost likeable in Kristian’s presence. I’m sure he will remedy that soon.

After his time with Kristian, Luke visits napping Heather, waking her up to check on her. Heather is clearly thinking “SHIT I’M FLOPPED ON A COUCH AND PROBABLY STILL SMELLING VAGUELY OF BARF AND OMG WHAT DO I DO”. She drags her ill self upstairs to have her encouchment time. Luke is impressed by her crazy-eyed attempts to be upbeat and bubbly with him in spite of feeling like she’s going to puke up a lung. More crying in confessional. Heather tells Luke she’s never dated a guy who’s bigger than her before. And this is really no small matter, as norms would have us believe that women are supposed to be smaller than men — both in height and girth — and this is just one of many culturally-imposed obstacles to femininity that fatness can impose. So for Heather, cuddling up with a guy bigger than her might make her feel girly in a way she’s never experienced. Oh, all this suffering and pain, just to feel “normal”.

Can I just take a moment here to observe that I love the confessional shots because it shows the laydeez sitting down and in most cases you can see their little belly rolls? This show is really trying hard to paint fatness – or at least size 14 – as “average”, which I do have problems with. The idea that the average woman in the US wears a size 14 does not literally translate to a reality that there are more size 14 women than any other size; mathmatically this is the difference between the median and the mean. The “average” size 14 really just means there are lots of women who wear smaller sizes and lots of women who wear larger sizes and they all boil down statistically to a size 14, but that doesn’t actually prove that a 14 is “normal”. That said, the unspoken normalization of what often happens to a fat body when it’s sitting down is kind of powerful, if only because honestly, I could count on one hand the number of people I’ve seen on TV over the past few years who were shaped like me. So seeing the rolly laydeez in their seated confessional shots is a delightful little moment of recognition.

Meanwhile, the laydeez-in-waiting are talking about kissing. Kristian is adorably staking out her plan for eventually moving on to a lips-kiss, as she’s only gotten as far as the cheek thus far. Malissa is kind of a bitch, again, in confessional, saying, basically: fuck everyone else, I do what I want!

Group date the first is over, and we go back to the mansion.


Luke wants Christina to dress up and meet him out front for their solo date. She chooses an unfortunate tube dress and shows it off to the laydeez before leaving. Let me try to describe this sucker: it’s got a silver stretch-sequin band top, which falls into a dark grey above-the-knee bubble skirt, though sadly it’s rendered in that shit polyester knit so the bubble effect is basically lost. The top fits dreadfully. I suspect the laydeez have brought their own clothes but frankly it woould have been nice if the show had furnished them each with a few nice cocktail dresses, preferably ones that don’t look like they came from Dots. OH SLAM. I’m sorry Christina, I don’t know your circumstances, but I just really hate that fucking dress.

Christina visits the laydeez before leaving, ostensibly to show off her outfit. Lauren bitchily suggests that Christina’s solo date may not render her safe from elimination. Christina eventually leaves the laydeez by the pool, saying, “Don’t wait up for me,” and she sounds freakishly like Paris Hilton. Weird. Clip below.

Luke confessions, “Christina’s definitely the type of curvy voluptuous woman that I’m into”. Really? I’m not sure if the show’s made your preferences clear yet, Luke. Maybe you should reiterate them a few million more times. Luke then says Christina has a “sexy aura” and a “bangin’” body. A sexy aura? I know there are women out there who positively melt at this sort of talk, and I know a part of my response is based on the fact that I find Luke about as attractive as a lump of phlegm, but EW EW EW.

They’re getting on a private jet. I am hoping it looks like Austin Powers’ jet on the inside, complete with rotating bed, but alas, it just looks like a normal plane. Luke makes a comment about Christina being able to use him as a flotation device and it actually wrenches a laugh from my cold shriveled wretched heart.

Back at the house, Kristian and another laydee are sitting all-rolly-like (should I be doing a roll count for each episode?) beside Arianne in the pool, and Kristian is going on and on about Luke, and Arianne admits in confessional that it’s a bit much. I’m sort of inclined to agree. Kristian, sweetie, chill.

Meanwhile, Luke and Christina arrive in Las Vegas and I’m jealous because I’ve been pricing fall trips to Vegas for my husband and I but have yet to pull the trigger as it seems so irresponsible given the economy and — sorry, digression. Christina rambles on about dinner and doesn’t make a huge amount of sense until she starts talking about finding out some cat she was dating was cheating on her. Which sucks, yes, but it’s unlikely his cheating has anything to do with her being a fatass, as cheaters tend to cheat mostly for the thrill of cheating. Christina says she’s comfortable with Luke because she trusts that he would never do anything like that to her. I have two issues with this: a) how does she know that? and b) cue up the angst over the fact that while it’s not technically cheating, Luke IS dating like fourteen other women right now. Seems like a recipe for paaaaaiiiinnnn to me.

Back at the house, the laydeez bitch about Christina in her absence. Lauren is trifling and Bonnie calls Christina “smelly”. Really. Bonnie, dude, WE NEED TO WORK ON YOUR INSULTS.

Back in Vegas, Luke and Christina are in a private suite and there is sort of no way I believe they did not have sex. I guess they didn’t. What is the point of a private suite in Vegas if there is no sex involved? Evidently they just hang out on the suite’s private couch and talk and make out a bit. What a waste of a hotel room. Eventually Luke’s all “the jet awaits us” and they leave. Wait, where is the debauchery? I DEMAND DEBAUCHERY!

Back at the mansion, for the third time: LUKEMAIL WOOO!

Group date number two is lined up and the laydeez are told to bring their swimsuits, and here comes the angst parade. Melissa is freaking out and crying almost immediately. As soon as they arrive at the pool, Luke says “I wanted all the girls to feel really comfortable” and so he wisely instructs them to start drinking. I will stop short of suggesting that Luke has employed this method before in efforts to encourage fat ladies to disrobe. Melissa is seriously crying in confessional now. After a few drinks, the laydeez cautiously start to undress – unsurprisingly the smallest laydeez are the first to hit the pool and seem pretty unconcerned doing so, possibly because given the fatsassery present they feel svelte in comparison (and, truly, some LOOK svelte in comparison). Melissa, impressively, is among the first to take off her shorts, and the camera helpfully zooms in on her thighs. Thanks, camera guy. That’s not insultingly reminiscent of the headless fatties used on TV news stories about the hazards of “obesity”. Oh, and he does it again! It might be too much to hope that Melissa notices and cockpunches that guy, but a girl can dream. Eventually Luke takes off his shirt and jumps in the pool and few times and that seems to break the ice for the few remaining fully-clothed laydeez. Clip below.

Back at the hippo ranch, Kristian wants to check out Luke’s living space, as he seems to be residing in the mansion’s guest house. Kristian says she wants to leave him a note, and Bonnie snarks, “Oh please, leave him a creepy ‘I was in your house’ note… Please, it’ll add to your intensity.” If Bonnie were eviller, she’d try to encourage Kristian’s puppy love more genuinely to get her kicked off sooner, but apparently that’s not her way.

Returning to group date number two, Luke calls Lauren “the aggressor” which gets a hearty laugh out of me. I would call her “the shrill harpy” but you say tomato, I say tomato. Luke sits on a raft and Lauren blares, “Do you need a motor with your boat?” and given the cleavage represented between these women I am inclined to crack up like a twelve-year-old. What Lauren really means is, does Luke want her to push his raft around, and at some point in this episode her voice became unbearably like a knife on a plate to me.

Luke has picked up on Melissa’s insecurity (while it’d be nice to give him points for this as a show of sensitivity, how could he NOT?) so he wants to pull her aside for one-on-one time first to “make her feel special”. Why is it that these one-on-one periods often come across like perverse therapy sessions? They chat, Luke asks her about her fat pain, she answers, they kiss, the end.

Lauren, whom I am dubbing The Trifler, is next. She goes on, and on, and on about how similar she and Luke are, and I think she says “silanthropy” at one point when she means “philanthropy”, and of course this is hilarious to me. While Lauren says she can be herself with Luke, she sure seems like she’s self-consciously trying to say the right things to win him over and is making me really annoyed. Arianne sees the two of them making out and says in confessional that they seem to have a “connection”, and then she starts laughing. And laughing. And then she says Lauren strikes her as “someone who’s really young and doesn’t know what she’s talking about”. YOU AND ME BOTH, HONEY. Arianne chills on some cushions and is wearing a bikini. Maaaaad love to Arianne for the bikini. Arianne, why are you here? Why aren’t you onstage in a top hat at Carnegie Hall singing “The Trolley Song”? Clip below.

Back to the mansion for everyone. ELIMINATION SOON, DUN DUN DUNNN.

Champagne! More cocktail dresses! They’re having a “mixer” (really? why not a box social?) so they all get some more one-on-one time with Luke. Bonnie asks what Luke’s mother would think if he brought her home, and Luke says his mother’s opinion is important, sure, but ultimately he’s “a grown man” and makes his own decisions (my husband instantly says “BAD QUESTION!”). Bonnie is so cute and is easily one of the better-looking laydeez but I’m still not sure what to make of her in this show (given that this show is editing to create “characters” and not to portray three-dimensional beings). Luke says Bonnie’s teaching him you can’t judge a book by its cover. Shouldn’t “AH LOVE TEH BIG WIMMENS!”-Luke have known that already?

Kristian is, again, going ON and ON about how amazing Luke is. But she’s now doing this TO LUKE. The discomfort on Luke’s face is vividly rendered and he says she needs to stop lest he start blushing. Poor Kristian doesn’t even realize; she is just so over the moon and lacks the guile or prior experience to know when to play it cool. I hope she sticks around but I don’t know if Luke’s yet fed up with her starry-eyed open-heartedness. By the time their one-on-one time wraps up, I swear Kristian has little cartoon hearts and flowers rotating around her head. YOU CAN SEE THEM. In confessional, Luke basically implies Kristian may be stuck in the friend zone. Ouch.

Elsewhere, Malissa, predictably, is excited for elimination because she’s ever so happy to see who gets cut. Yawn.

Heather is encouched with Luke and apologizing again for being sick during the yacht trip. Luke says it showed him something about her, that she’s really here “to find real love”. Huh, because real love means being willing to suffer profound nausea and putting on a brave face for the dude you’re trying to impress? I thought real love was the guy who holds your hair for you while you vomit and then goes out at four AM to three different convenience stores in search of ginger ale, but what do I know? Heather is crying again. Luke kisses her and they make out a little bit, probably to compensate for the lack of makeout during the yacht-date since kissing post vomiting is not so sexy, at least not on this type of show.

Meanwhile, Kristian tells Malissa, semi-playfully, that she hopes she’s going home, since she’s her biggest competition. Malissa actually seems pleased by this.

And now Lauren and Luke are encouched on their own, and Lauren is saying to Luke, “Don’t you want the scoop on anybody?” to assist with Luke’s decision-making process. Luke says he doesn’t particularly want “the scoop” but it seems like she really wants to share, so he encourages her to “get it off your chest”. Lauren doesn’t even hesitate. She starts with Arianne and discloses that Arianne “doesn’t want kids, so if kids are important to you….” and lets the suggestion trail off. First, this may or may not be true and Luke’s kind of an idiot if he takes Lauren’s word about any of the other laydeez. Second, even given my dislike of Lauren as a character thus far, I am pretty blown away by her candid attempts to !!!sabotage!!! the other laydeez. Luke, whose face is basically a big lump of flesh and not particularly expressive, is pretty much unreadable at this revelation. I have finally figured out that Luke reminds me of a fat Keanu Reeves: they both have the same cadence and the same lack of expression. Then Lauren says, with an extreme measure of awkwardness, that Arianne is “old enough to be [Luke’s] mom”, awkward laughter, hunh hunh hunh. Apparently Lauren can’t do math, as well as being a giant bitch, since it’s pretty damn unlikely that an eleven-year-old Arianne could have mothered Luke. She then moves on to Venessa and asks “Do you know how old SHE is?” Luke says, yeah, she’s 32, and Lauren responds, “Well, are you into OLDER women?” Luke says he was fine with it, and Lauren goes on to say that “but you know that OLDER women aren’t as exciting, they’re like past the stage where they want to go bungee-jumping and swimming all the time”.

Yeah, I’ll let that sink in for a minute. In fact, for my US-based readers, here’s the clip.


And now I’ll share my reactions. I really make efforts to give folks on reality TV the benefit of the doubt – I know creative editing happens, and I know the producers typically have a story in mind that they’d like to tell and fit the resulting footage to that story rather than letting the events take their course. And sometimes this happens at the expense of the “real people” under the characters being portrayed for the show. But this isn’t a question of manipulative editing. Lauren said this, and thus it’s hard to argue that she hasn’t portrayed herself as a pathetic, insecure, small person, and I would add that she’s never going to be successful in finding a healthy and fulfilling relationship until she gets the fuck over her petty and ugly impulses like the one that inspired her above.

That’s my thoughtful reaction. My reaction as a 32-year-old woman myself is: Lauren, go fuck yourself. I am glad this is on film so when you hit your thirties you can look back and see in vivid high-definition what a giant douche you were.

That may be harsh, but wow, did that exchange ever leave me feeling grossed out. Arianne, how about you chow down on a triceratops and give us a merry round of “High Hopes” to wash that taste out of our collective mouth?

Emme, still in flip flops, calls everyone into the laydee-stacking room and recollects the rings again. Elimination time! Cue the sad music. Three layeez are getting the axe. Luke gives a boring speech about finding the right laydee for him.

Mandy’s first. Anna’s next. Kristian looks like a deer in the headlights right now, as she stands in the back row. Seriously. Malissa is confident and thinks she’ll wind up with Luke in the end, based on the like twenty minutes they’ve spent together. She gets called next.

Christina thinks she’s falling for Luke and so it’s a good thing she gets a ring too. Bonnie is next on the ring toss. Melissa is crying in confessional about wanting to be with someone who’s not embarrassed to go out in public with her. Heather gets a ring. Luke keeps Lauren, and immediately my already-low estimation of Luke gets lower. Tali gets on the ring train. Kristian is going to collapse at any moment. Melissa gets a ring. Emme reappears to let everyone know there’s only one ring left. Thanks, Emme. Way to earn your paycheck. Kristian cries in confessional about how bad she wants it. She gets the last ring.

Which means Luke has cut Arianne, Venessa, and Magali. It’s true. Both of the OLDER women called out by Lauren get cut. The axed laydeez all cry on their way out. Venessa takes the high road and talks about how great the laydeez are and how awesome it was to meet all these women who are smart and comfortable in their bodies. Arianne cries that she’s going to find someone who appreciates her as she is, without expecting her to change, and that she believes there’s nothing wrong with her. Arianne, sweetpea, you deserve better than this stupid ass show. You just need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. The hell of it is, if Luke honestly wanted to find a confident, self-accepting, well-adjusted fat woman to date, I could almost believe this show, because finding a woman like that can indeed be a challenge. But he doesn’t. It would seem Luke wants a sad, insecure fat woman who is prone to crying jags and/or backstabbing. Which, honestly, he could find just about anywhere.

The show ends with the compulsory group hug, which blights all group hugs everywhere in my eyes. Until next week, when we have a fatty-prom redux, and more crying.

[Note to the non-US-dwelling among you: I am still investigating options for international-friendly video sources. Thanks for your patience.]

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