When Wednesday's episode of Temptation Island
came on, viewers got a pleasant surprise: a five-minute voiceover about the rules of the game. During the first two episodes, anyone watching had to just sort of take what came, and assume it was somehow related to the "Are they the one for me?" question.
But they weren't the only ones. If the viewing audience was in the dark, the four committed couples testing their relationships were in a tomb.
You could see it in their eyes during the first episode when host Mark L. Walberg
(not of Boogie Nights) told them that the men and all the single ladies (henceforth known as "the willing women") would be staying on one side of the Island while their girlfriends and "the single studs" would be on the other. Complete shock. The couples had walked smack into a game they didn't know how to play.
What Shannon & Andy
(together 5 years), Valerie & Kaya
(1 1/2 years), Taheed & Ytossie
(5 1/2 years), and Mandy & Billy
(1 1/2 years) apparently thought they were getting was a sun-filled, fun-filled Caribbean vacation with the opportunity to find out if their long-term relationship would last, or if it could be flung aside at the first glance of someone else's well-toned flesh. As if all they'd be getting was a glance.
Shannon and Valerie even thought that 13 scantily clad women were going to make their men realize that they were "the one." Naive? A little. The willing women were picked specifically for the men (Andy said of one woman: "In terms of tempting, she was made-to-order for me"). But then again, Shannon and Valerie didn't know that the willing women were going to start a pot which would go to the first girl to get some from an already spoken-for fella (wait, isn't sex for money ... ?).
By the third episode (out of six), the committed men and women have figured out what they're in for and are a little "concerned." They've all gone out on two dates: one blind, one they "picked" themselves. Six singles have been ceremoniously kicked off the Island, Survivor-style. And with the exception of Mandy and Billy, no-one's relationship seems the better or the worse for the Island. But that's just because their relationships didn't seem that great to begin with.
The sad part is, Mandy and Billy are the ones you want to make it. Taheed and Ytossie's relationship is already on so many rocks, it's a wonder it hasn't ripped completely to shreds. Shannon, a blond lawyer, deserves someone so much better than Andy (who said that the Island was like "the Pepsi challenge, but with ladies") that you're almost hoping he'll dump her (or even better, the other way around). And Valerie and Kaya seem more like brother and sister.
But Mandy and Billy are puppy love-style affectionate. You want them to go home together. As if that stands a chance of happening.
Mandy has already done body shots with her date and Billy -- learning of her indiscretion through the bonfire video viewing ("You chose to come here, our host reminds us) -- goes off to get some retaliatory booty.
Not to mention that the willing women and the sexy studs are being voted off systematically, so that in the end, the field will be narrowed to one sexy single for each person with "whom they will share an exotic final date." The relationships don't stand a chance.
It's just too bad the four couples didn't realize that to begin with. Even though Mandy and Ytossie (or Kaya, Andy, Billy, and Taheed for that matter) didn't come down to the Island so they'd hear wedding bells in their future, they still sort of assumed that they'd still be together after all was said and done. And the way things are going now, it doesn't look like anyone will be together in the end.
Which, when you get right down to it, is maybe why people are still watching.
But a tip for your own happiness: If a Fox executive comes to your door, run away. That, and never play a game you don't know the rules to, especially if you're going to be on an Island, screwing people over and voting people off. Someone's bound to get hurt.
Let's just hope the Survivor Two participants don't know that.