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Episode Four, July 13, 2004
With Marissa gone, the girls have breathed a little sigh of relief. The tension that came with voting out one of their own and the antagonism between Marissa and Adrienne was putting everyone a little on edge. Now, fortunately, they get a chance to relax. Yeah, right. The only one getting a chance to relax is Marissa who is holed up in a hotel about 120 miles away with a bodyguard and a babysitter (after all, we can't let her do anything or see anyone until she boomerangs back into camp...and that's still a ways down the road).
At some point, these girls are going to realize that they're never going to get a chance to relax, that the whole point here is to throw them unexpected twists and see how they handle themselves. This twist is one of my favorites -- the adventure girls.
Our newest guests are hardcore athletes and our city girls are exactly the kind of girls they eat for lunch. I see it like this, the adventure girls have spent their lives rejecting stereotypical female roles. They are constantly fighting the uphill battle of being independent, physically strong and fiercely competitive women, in a society where -- let's be honest here -- a woman's salary is still seventy percent of a man's for the same job. So, how do you think they feel about the city girls? How do they feel about what they consider to be a gaggle of Gucci-wearing, spa bunnies on the prowl for Mr. Right? Exactly.
After dinner and an absurdly awkward evening at camp, the Adventure Girls get to show their stuff on the obstacle course. The city girls were understandably intimidated.
That said, the city girls made a hell of a showing for themselves. Now, I'm not allowed to root for one team or the other, I'm not allowed to care who wins...but the city girls came so close and worked so hard, it was a little heartbreaking to see them fall apart right at the end. But, alas, fall apart they did, which meant Meri-de was joining the festivities and Mary was heading home (on the minus side -- Mary was really sweet and fun, on the plus side -- no more singing).
And so we welcomed Meri-de to our little camping adventure. Honestly, as soon as the helicopter took the rest of her crew away, Meri-de starting looking a little shellshocked. You get the feeling she came down here to compete, to show off her considerable athletic skills -- and now finds herself in the middle of this romantic outback adventure. I'm not sure she knows what to make of it or her new tent mates. Courtney is making a sincere effort to make Meri-de feel welcome and less like an outsider, which is nice (even if it's not the best strategy in the world).
And now, I get to do something I rarely get to do on this job -- I get to deliver some good news. We're heading for Perth, a beautiful, cosmopolitan city on the West Coast of the country. The girls have earned some pampering and (more to the point) Jack deserves a chance to see them in their natural habitat. The truth is, we all need a break from the heat and dirt. It's not just the girls. The crew is crowded around the one pay phone at our camp, trying to set up massage appointments at our hotel in Perth. We're all pretty beaten up. We're in desperate need of a real shower, a nice Shiraz and a good meal. And we're about it get it, all of us except one.
You didn't think I could just send them off to the spa without at least one more little twist, did you?
One more girl is going home first. And it's not who you think.