Playing It Straight – Episode Seven

In which the boys get their meat out for Cara.

This episode felt the most reality-show-like this series has ever been, largely due to the fact that so much time was given over to the contestants bickering with each other. Setting a team challenge at this stage in the game was a canny idea, because basically everyone at this point is going to end up stuck on a team with people they hate, or stuck on a team with people they’re trying to beat. Of course, some of them rise above such contrived pettiness (Jordan, Danny, Ben) and others throw themselves into it headfirst (Dean, Sam and Sven). Essentially it seems that no one is particularly fond of Sven, but Sam in particular has just about run out of patience with him. He’s been accused of “game-playing” because he’s openly admitted to not fancying Cara but promising her that he’s straight and will split the money with her if he wins. This interests me for several reasons:

1) There’s nothing wrong with game-playing; this is a gameshow, after all.
2) Considering none of them had met Cara to the show, none of them would’ve been able to guarantee they would fancy her, so it’s hardly treason.
3) Looking at this technically, the winner of this show isn’t the guy who fancies Cara the most, or even necessarily the one she fancies the most. Ultimately, he’s going to be the guy in the final four that she thinks is the most convincing heterosexual.
4) I’ve not watched the first series (though I’m going to get right on it on 4OD when this one’s over), but I gather that’s similar to the promise Ben made to Zoe, so Cara would be wise to tread carefully here. Admittedly, he did share the money with her, but he did also turn out to be gay in the end.

So with all that in mind, I’m not entirely sure what Sven’s doing that’s so very evil as far as the other’s concerned. I suspect they’re just picking holes in his tactics because they find his personality objectionable. I know, that sort of behaviour is just so unprecedented on a reality show…

Anyway, moving aside from all that, Dean, Sam and Sven won the challenge to create a lovely meal for Cara, leaving Danny, Jordan and Ben as her scantily clothed butlers. Cara was quite charmed by Ben’s pert little bottom, and the sight of Danny’s pierced nipple presumably left a lot of viewers who’d previously been fairly convinced that he was heterosexual suddenly second-guessing themselves.

The boys also faced an assault course this week, where Jordan seemed to think he was likely to excel – only to come a bit of a cropper when it came to the swimming part of it. Ultimately he only managed a disappointing third place finish (thereby losing what was probably the best chance he was ever going to get for proper one-to-one time with Cara, and pretty much guaranteeing his elimination), with Dean and Danny tied for second, and Sam in first place. So Sam won some more alone time with Cara, which they spent cuddling in the hammock and talking about how gay his brother seems. And to be fair, Ben did seem to give up all pretence of heterosexuality this week.

Crackpot theory: A fair bit of time was spent with Cara asking the remaining boys what she thought the gay/straight divide was between the remaining contestants, and the prevailing theory seemed to be that it was 50/50. Now, I watch A LOT of reality television and I find that most things are shown to us for a reason, which makes me think that the reason we saw so much of this conversation was because that that was indeed the case, so I’ve kind of factored this into my final gay/straight predictions. Whether I am right to do so, we’ll find out next week.

And so we had a double elimination this week: poor, poor Jordan who never stood a chance, having arrived late and never really having done well enough in the challenges to allow Cara to get to know him, so she was having to make stay-or-go decisions based on not-very-much-at-all, and invariably in those situations people tend to feel safer sticking to the people they know more about, so Jordan was cut loose. He’s straight, by the way, so my shot in the dark last week was wrong. Although I did think he had to be straight during this week’s episode, after his confusion in the interrogation scene where he apparently didn’t know what “coming out” meant, because I didn’t think anyone would have the balls to pull that audacious a double-bluff. The twins were divided for maximum drama as Ben was dispatched, and everyone seemed to be worried that Sam might explode with angst on the spot. I thought it was quite sweet that Cara motioned for the other boys to take care of him after the elimination ceremony, since he did seem pretty upset. Oh, and Ben was gay, which really wasn’t much of a surprise after this episode.

So here we have our final four, and therefore my final four predictions:

Danny: He seems to be the favourite candidate with viewers both as a straight guy and as the winner, and to be honest, I’m inclined to agree with that. So let’s go on the record and say straight and wait to be proven wrong.

Dean: He scrubbed up rather nicely in his suit this week, which seemed, curiously enough, to convince Cara of his heterosexuality slightly more. I still think he’s gay, especially since his reactions to all the “bromance” questions in the interrogation were a lot more awkward than Danny’s.

Sam: I still don’t know. I’m almost inclined to say straight, but then I think back to my earlier prediction that both twins had to be of the same sexuality. Of course it’s entirely possible that one applied and the other twin was later cast by producers as they scouted around for backstory, but I could drive myself nuts trying to think through this, so I’m just going to take a deep breath, guess that he’s gay and hope I haven’t embarrassed myself too much.

Sven: Still every bit as much of an enigma as he always has been, but my gut instinct for him is still saying straight, and since that fits the 50/50 balance that I’m convinced we’re being pushed towards, that’s what I’m going with. But I have so little doubt about his heterosexuality that this, in turn, is making me doubt myself. This show is really sneaky like that.

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