Fug Nation, I wish I could embed a clip of this episode’s final scene, because it is almost completely faked. Carefully, half-artfully, but wholly faked. Because, you see, Rose figures out that this is not Prince Harry. Why? In part, because they all got drunk at a five-person toga party. YOU CANNOT MAKE THIS STUFF UP. Well, except for the stuff they made up.
This shot — his name bleeding onto the flag — symbolizes the STAIN UPON HIS NATION that is this show.
This week, the Woo Girls are told they are Sir’s Favorite Four, except more like Sir’s Favorite Three And Then Also MachiaKelley, Who Beat Out Meghan For Reasons That Still Make No Sense. They get taken to a spa for some more relaxing one-on-one time with Sir, which is so short and random that it almost feels like they had to be evacuated from Woo Manor for a quick mold purge, or because the ceiling in their bedrooms sprang a leak. Kingsley tells Kimberly that her special date will be alone time in this paltry sequel to SEX YURT:
PLATONIC TREEHOUSE. Well, actually, it’s described as “Sir’s Luxury Treehouse,” a phrase that shall be added to my list of band names posthaste. Also, I really want to go to a place that has luxury treehouses. I think it’s more accurately described as “a suite on stilts in the company of several large trees and some scenic dirt swatches,” but the brochure may have had a tight word count.
First up is Karina, and she and Fauxry greet each other with horny glee, NOT in the treehouse:
Karina says — on camera — that she is developing feelings for Prince Harry, and that although she’s confident in their connection, she also needs to show her feelings. Translation: She wants to get her tongue up in his grill with a quickness, in case he has forgotten how addicted to it he is. She need not have worried.
There is also a lot of them drifting around each other with clasped hands, while he interviews that everything about her excites him to the core. Not to be crude, but he SO OBVIOUSLY wishes they could do it right there in the pool that I think these goofy poses are just Temporary Boner Relief.
And then they curl up by the pool and act coupley. He has nothing approaching this level of yearning with anyone else, and Karina — sadly for her — gets choked up and tells us that she’s so happy she has these feelings and that she’d do anything for him, even though she can’t fathom bring a princess. And yet bravely she will try. Hers is the steeliest heroism.
In the most amazing contrast, Fauxry greets Kelley in PLATONIC TREEHOUSE with a stiff hug and then sits as far away from her as he can without tipping his hand, even going so far as to make sure his arm is up as some kind of shield. Those two fake apples on the table have more chemistry. It is the lamest alone time ever, marked by a complete lack of desire to make it special or romantic or memorable or last longer than three minutes.
Kelley tells us that kissing is the final sign-off on someone as a potential soulmate, and that it hasn’t escaped her notice that she’s the only girl for whom he has no mouthfeel. And so, when Fauxry benignly asks what her biggest question for him is, she replies, “I want to know if you’re a good kisser, but then it’s like, you’re going to have to show me later. You are making me HANG and it’s NOT COOL!”
And indeed, he continues to let her hang. Hang herself, that is. It’s actually mean that she’s still here. It’s SO CLEAR he is terrified of having to go through the motions with this person who cleaves to his scraps of attention like a toddler to its parent’s leg, and giving her continued hope simply by DEFAULT is really pretty unfortunate. Then again, “pretty unfortunate” is the restrained subtitle of this whole affair. Fauxry digs deep for something that makes it sound like Kelley is legitimately in the running, and comes up with — I kid you not — the fact that she looks great on paper. No, really. He effectively says she sounds totally great until you are actually around her and you realize she makes your hormones actively ebb.
He meets Rose for a glass of Champagne, which is probably just white wine that someone in Production put through a Soda Stream. She tells us that she started strong but has faded a little, so she needs to get her point across. Those are her words, too. “Get my point across.” Such depth of feeling has not been seen since that time I made meatballs, and they were fine, but a lot of work for something that was fairly banal, so I might not make them again. He is her Milquetoast Meatballs.
Rose tells Fauxry that, sure, she’s only twenty-two… and seriously, twenty-two? Does the camera add five years to ALL of these people? Having said that, there are times in this episode where she does have a real Little Girl Lost look on her face, but I think the fact that she sounds and (occasionally) behaves fairly maturely makes her seem like the group’s elder, when in fact I believe that is Karina. Rose says she was in a seven-year relationship — depending on when they broke up, that means they started dating at thirteen or fourteen, most likely, which is… I mean, I have a very dear friend who married the guy she met at that age, and they’re going strong with two kids, and I can’t imagine either of them with anyone else, and it’s really kind of fabulous. But do we not think that going on a reality show to find love after only one failed relationship that dates back TO MIDDLE SCHOOL is REALLY REALLY EXTREME? I mean, get out there, kid. She surely must have done this for the travel and the experience rather than actually caring about the outcome, and maybe that’s why she has been one of the Enablers of Awesome Attitudes this whole time.
ANYHOO, Rosie says she lost herself in that relationship and came out of it understanding not to do that, and that she feels braver here. From this, Fauxry supposedly divines that she’s super attached to Prince Harry and may be devastated when she learns of the ruse. That is TOTALLY an interview bite that he said about someone else — my money is, it was about Karina or Kelley — and they only stuck it in here because Rose does indeed smell the rat and catch it in her trap. It has no relation to anything we’ve seen of her yet; of all the remaining girls, she seems the least impressed by his alleged station and the least interested in his Harryness. If you’re going to fake it, fake it well, y’all. A good motto for any circumstance.
Fauxry then gets Kimberly for a dinner date:
And he barfs up his very favorite chestnut about whether she has totally opened up and let herself go. It is THE most tiresome critique. Maybe YOU are the boring one, smughole. Kimberly asks what he is hoping to find, and he says, “Someone I can pursue after this,” which charms her. I guess she’s never dated a guy who used the word pursue before, which… actually is probably less unusual than you think. She then provides him with the tidbit that she broke up with a serious guy three years ago, after he cheated on her (she is twenty-three, so that would make her twenty when this happened), and she closed right up after that. It makes me sad to see all these women be so disillusioned at such a tender age. Wait to be jaded until you’re an Old, kids.
And then they get in the hot tub and Sir pulls out his best seventh-grade come-on…
… and it works, although Kimberly seems EXTREMELY uneasy about giving tongue when the cameras are on her. Which is, frankly, a completely natural feeling. She does, for old times’ sake, note that he’s different than anyone she’s dated, which I hope is accurate only on all the correct levels (he’s lamer, his dye job is less consistent, he says fewer words, he is the only one asking women to leave the estate). I wish Kimberly could graduate to being the next Bachelorette. She’d be fun. She and Meghan and Maggie were wasted on this show. On several levels, actually, I suspect.
Next, the girls are told there will be a TOGA PARTY in honor of Sir’s upcoming birthday. Which, if accurate, would suggest they shot this last summer and that this is around August, because his birthday is in September. Now, I don’t know WHY I would assume that a show that called him “Harry, Prince of Wales,” would care about birthday accuracy, but THEORETICALLY it is the sort of thing they would Google, if anyone on this show knows how to USE Google. I feel like they are all duped by the fake search engines they use on TV shows. Remember on Ghost Whisperer (of course you don’t; nobody watched that but me) when J.Lo.Hew would use “Pentius” to do all her searches? Yeah. These producers also use Pentius.
At any rate: Rose and Kimberly appear to greet this with the thinly swallowed horror one might expect; Karina seems stoked enough because it doesn’t matter what they do because she is going to win; and Kelley is tickled because although she’s been to toga parties before in college, she’s never attended one of the caliber Prince Harry might throw. And honey, you still won’t have, I promise. These girls HAVE to notice how discount everything is, right? EVEN YOUR HARRY IS THE CLEARANCE-RACK VERSION. HOW DO YOU NOT SEE.
NO. NO. A THOUSAND TIMES NO. HE LOOKS LIKE A MEL BROOKS MOVIE EXCEPT WITHOUT THE INTENTIONAL COMEDY.
The girls immediately walk in and coo over the awesomeness of this part with only five people and one butler who, clearly, refused to be seen in essentially his undercrackers. Rose says what a a super classy toga party this is. I wonder if they Frankenstein’d that from, like, “cloudy” and “assy.” This is not a toga party. It’s a toga room. And it begins with a game of Twister, essentially, using all those symbols on the floor. Kingsley calls it, “That old Roman favorite Toga Tangle.” You guys, Kingsley has the best stories. KINGSLEY is the one we all want to run into at a bar, s we can buy him ten pints and be like, “JUST TELL ME EVERYTHING.” That man has SEEN THINGS.
This is an amazing juxtaposition with Rose’s verbal ejaculations about the classiness of this affair.
As is this. They are passing a square of chocolate with their mouths, which prompts Kelley to lunge at him with the worst kind of earnestness. Fauxry is so thoroughly afraid that there will be liplock with Kelley — either from her dropping it on purpose, or just from bad luck — that he Hoovers that thing off her face in half a second, then lurches backward to safety.
And then, THE WORST:
Kingsley blindfolds Sir and tells them all to MAKE OUT WITH HIM so that he can judge which of them is the best kisser. At this point the show is FORCING HIM to kiss Kelley, and the poor child doesn’t even notice that the only way he will nibble on her taste buds is when he isn’t actually looking at her and can’t totally be sure it IS her.
It’s also at this point that we realize everyone there is TRASHED.
I bet they spiked those suckers with ouzo and then handed them extra-wide straws. This child is blitzed. And she watches Fauxry kiss Karina and drools, “Damn, Karina is a REALLY good kisser.” She then interviews that Rose — who totally puts up her hand and tries to block the camera from their mouths — “sucks at kissing. Like, really bad, like she’s never kissed anyone in her whole life.” Aw, except she barely has! She has only ever made out with Mr. Middle School, y’all! She hasn’t sampled the buffet! Kelley is not finished there, though:
She then says that Kimberly kissing him was like watching “a caterpillar on a log, not sensual at all.” Which is rich coming from the girl who walks up to Sir, forces open his mouth with her tongue, and then pokes it in there like she’s doing dental work:
Kelley says she can tell he liked it based on how he kissed her back, but I suspect it’s more of a hostage situation than a smooch.
I can’t even spoil that with block letters. It is a silent meme.
And the best: After a protracted period of suffocating tongue parries, Kinglsey murmurs, “And… breathe.”
And the even funnier thing is that these girls KNOW Kelley is the Default Option because Karina says, in interview, that they all thought this was going to be super sweet because she was FINALLY going to get to kiss the boy. It reeks of pity. They try to choke back their laughter so that Kelley won’t hear it, and seem to succeed, but they’re also completely blitzed. Against all odds they seem to have had a decent time. Actually, no, that’s not against the odds. When you are as plowed as I think they are, you can have fun doing almost anything.
Naturally, Karina wins Best Kisser, and then rides that straight to this moment where she reaches OVER Kimberly to give Sir an intimate arm-squeeze. Kimberly doesn’t seem to give a shit. I feel like she’s actually laughing at something Kingsley is doing. I imagine him holding up cue cards that read SIR’S BERRIES ARE NOT IN THE BASKET.
Which they are not.
Because in the middle of a conversation about whether he was treated like the baby of the family, they ask how old William is, and he says, without thinking, “He’s thirty.” And Kelly woozily slurs, “So you’re just one year apart.”
And unless the evening took an uncomfortable turn in a different direction that they didn’t show us, Fauxry must have noticed. Because after that first face, he makes this one.
Rose IMMEDIATELY engages in The Surreptitious Martini Drinking of I’m Trying To Pretend Everything Is Fine, and starts side-eyeing all and sundry:
She interviews that she smells a rat because she knows “for a fact” that Harry and William are two years apart. This is literally the only factual thing anyone on this show has produced. And then she disects for us, with the help of flashbacks, all the fishy things that she’s now re-thinking because of her suspicions. Like how everything seems totally staged. BECAUSE YOU ARE ON A REALITY SHOW, GIRL. WHY DID THIS TAKE SO LONG TO CRACK. She recalls that the paparazzi came to the restaurant RIGHT on time, after their argument with Meghan neatly finished, and how dumb and over-the-top the security dudes are (THANK YOU). Her interviewer clearly wants to suss out whether she’s going to bust them, because Rose’s next bite is that she won’t tell the other girls because it’s not her place, and they wouldn’t believe her anyway. I think she’s wrong about BOTH of those things, and I hope she wasn’t CONVINCED of that by some sneaky field producer or something whom she pulled aside and raked over the coals for this farce before said producer freaked out and called the EP and then convinced her to keep going and/or do a nice cathartic interview. (I have no knowledge of this. I’m just imagining some behind-the-scenes brick-shitting.)
And then the girls put on face masks that are only symbolic if you know that Fauxry is wearing a mask of sorts also. And MachiaKelley rises to the fore, when Karina brings up her ex-boyfriend and shows Kelley a photo. It PLAYS like they’d all been discussing boyfriends in the past and Kelley had wanted to see a photo, but Kelley interviews that Karina is always yammering on about this dude — and it IS sort of weird that she has his picture in her wallet still, although not for nothing, it’s clearly some kind of soccer trading card, which IS the kind of innocuous thing you’d jam in there and then just not bother with again. But it’s ALSO the kind of PRETEND-INNOCUOUS thing you’d jam in there and then take out a hundred times if you want to remind everyone that you dated a hot athlete and/or cry about him into a glass of wine. MachiaKelley decides that Karina is still in love with her boyfriend — we’ll call him Hastings, because I’m watching She’s The Man — and says she must do something about this. She is terrifying.
And now, dates. Kelley picks out a tandem bike and takes him on a ride to a blanket that has a soup-and-flowers picnic. It’s more thought than anyone has put into ANY of their time alone together, including Sir. Also, not for nothing, she decides to stand up on the bike and go NO HANDS, and of course almost falls off, because… I mean, this is the girl who somersaulted out of a canoe and cracked her head on it. WAIT. All her crazy has happened AFTER that. DID SHE SWEET VALLEY HIGH HERSELF? Kelley tells us she knows that love takes time, and that he’s into Karina and Kimberly (she gives a confused eye-roll on that one), but that she thinks he feels comfortable with her. And he does. So comfortable that when the time comes to leave, he legit just… leaves. There is a perfunctory peck and then he’s outta there, leaving her sitting alone next to her Sad Bike of Misplaced Impulses To Ride Something.
Kimberly knows Prince Harry is an adrenalin junkie, so she dials up bungee jumping for their date. And I think the producers agree because they really would not object to murdering this person.
It’s kind of funny because Fauxry CLEARLY freaks out and yet has to pretend he’s chill with this, because Prince Harry is a swashbuckling, whereas HE is simply buckling. He and Kimberly both do jump, though, evne after he says that this act defies what every fiber of your body is telling you to do. Like, I don’t know, impersonating a member of the royal family for fun and sartorial profit?
Karina is smart — she plans a “wine tasting,” which basically means they sit around and drink. “Princess Karina has a great ring to it,” she tells us. That’s nice. I mean, he CAN call her that, I guess.
And then, Rose. Fauxry parrots the same objections to her as with Kimberly, which is, that she hasn’t opened up — his stock line, because he has no imagination. She has told us that she has a connection with him, whoever he is, and isn’t prepared to walk — and that she isn’t going to bring up her suspicions on this date because it’s not the time. Which… yes, it is, actually. It’s EXACTLY the time. It’s also precisely when most people, like Ye Olde Miss Los Angeles, Anna Lisa, would try to trip him up and see if her suspicions are correct. So she must have been interviewed after the date, and they were like, “Um, if you are so mad at us for lying, why did you go make out with him?”
But Fauxry notices something is not right.
I can’t imagine why.
Then MachiaKelley makes her next move.
During dinner, she probes Karina about what her date was like, and asks, “Did he ask you about your ex?!?” Then she noses into whether Karina and her ex still communicate at all.
Karina’s face suggests that she senses MachiaKelley has found her next target, and her ammunition. Except, then she says that she and her ex still talk once a week and he sent her flowers on her birthday. So I’m wondering if he’s not so much her “ex” as “the guy she still hooks up with occasionally and is hoping will decide he wants a girlfriend again.” Or, maybe she dumped him and then goes back to tap the well every now and again. But I don’t think Kelley’s Spidey sense is wrong that Karina and this dude are not done with each other, which may be why Karina has thrown herself into the Prince Harry charade so much. If anyone can help you get over a soccer player and his inevitably picturesque thigh muscles, it’s a guy you think can make you a princess.
Then, after asking Karina to talk about her boyfriend, Kelley tells us that all Karina does is talk about her boyfriend. It’s POSSIBLE all Karina does is answer YOUR QUESTIONS, MACHIAKELLEY. At the end of the whole episode, Karina wonders if Kelley would throw one of them under the bus just to improve her own chances, and Kelley tells us that if Karina is still hung up on her ex, Prince Harry should know that.
And she closes with, “These girls don’t know who they’re dealing with.”
This is the new face of evil.
Kingsley seems sad at the elimination announcement, presumably because he knows a huge crime of hope is being committed against Kelley and he has not totally lost his human ability to be grossed out at his job. She, along with everyone else, assumes this means she is DUNZO, because the temperature of THAT water is never going up and they all know it — even if her take on this is, and I quote, “What I want to say is, ‘I could love you, if you’d just give me time.'” YOU needing time is not the issue, Kelley. HE needs an infinite abyss of minutes to try and nudge his libido toward you.
When Fauxry keeps her, she goes limp on the couch and starts to SHRIEK and TREMBLE, and he… kisses her on the cheek. If that’s not a sign… honestly, the show should have let him eliminate two people. He could not be less interested and every scrap of affection he throws her way is only stoking the hellfires of nutballsia.
Having said that, it gets amazing next.
Because she gets super wheedling and pleading and starts panting, in a rush of all caps, “I’VE BEEN REAL WITH YOU THE WHOLE TIME DID YOU KNOW THAT BECAUSE I HAVE,” and that she feels something for him. His response? “You’re still here for a reason.” Yes. And the reason is, Rose rumbled him, and he was stuck. But Kelley…
… poor, crazy Kelley, she hugs him to celebrate, and he all but shoves her away. This picture IS him disentangling himself, not her doing the leaping, and I genuinely hope she did not watch this show. It will be awfully painful to see herself. Because she is not done. After he throws her off him, she BURIES HER FACE IN HIS PENIS.
Genital lurching is not the way to get a kiss, my dear.
To cover his discomfort, Sir notes that she is nearly as emotional as she was the last time he kept her.
Her answer: “WELL WHEN I’M AROUND YA I GET A LITTLE CRAZY!!!”
In case you’re wondering, he also keeps Kimberly and Karina, because of course.
And Karina wears this terrible blouse that is basically just a window with sleeves.
AND THEN. It’s go time.
Fauxry eliminates Rose. And here’s what I’m going to do. I will transcribe the words that are presented to us, and I will bold the times we actually SEE those words coming out of the speaker’s mouth. And then I will tell you what I think happened, but suffice to say that this facial expression says it all.
First, we start with a heavily chopped Rose interview bite: “When he walks in, I’m thinking // [cut to one where she sounds super emotional] I really at this point I don’t know. I can’t fathom what’s going on. // I’ve let everything on the line. I really feel strongly about him // Whether he’s // Prince Harry or not.” The only part we see on camera is one in which she may have been discussing the ruse in her interview and being confused about what the ever-living shitballs is happening here.
And the scene:
FAUXRY: You’ve been a favorite from the start. And I think we really connected on that first date, and I had a really, really good time. Since then it’s been trickier.
FAUXRY: I just hadn’t quite felt like we’d reconnected. I said to you earlier, I don’t want any of you to go. But someone has to go. And I’m going to ask you to leave the estate. I’m afraid. I find it harder to talk to you than the other three girls, that are here. And I don’t know why that is, I can’t put my finger on it. I don’t know if your head’s completely in this, or your heart’s completely in it. I get a vibe that, I don’t know doesn’t feel quite right.
ROSE: I think I’m realistic about who you are. And everything. Um. I really like you, and I really feel like we have a connection. But I think // both of us know // the truth.
FAUXRY: What is the truth? What do you think?
ROSE: I… I know you’re not Prince Harry. [Note: This runs over her back, while she gestures; her body keeps moving after the line stops.]
FAUXRY: No, I’m not Prince Harry. [Cut to his face so he can lick his lips, then cut off it again] That was a lie. But I want you to know how hard that was though, because I felt awful lying to you about it. Did you, did your feelings change, did anything change within your psyche or the way you felt about me?
ROSE: I still had the same feelings. I just questioned, like, “Who is this guy?” [This is either ineptly mixed ADR or a badly chosen Frankenbite]
FAUXRY: Ummmm. // My name is Matt Hicks. // I’m really sorry.
ROSE: Okay, bye.
And he tries to hug her, and she SHUTS HIM RIGHT DOWN.
Okay. I have a few theories. The first of which is that, even if the audio hadn’t leapt out at me, there’s no way this confession happened in this room because this was not a spontaneously shot show. There was no cameraman running down the hall after her, alone, just one dude trying to cover this scene on the fly. This was probably two cameras wild — one on him, one on her — and one locked off on this mid-shot, all of them sitting there waiting for him to come in and talk to her (or at least, the one from dinner was, and then once he came in, they stopped down and the others got into position). If he said ANY of those money shots AT ALL, it would be on camera, and they would be using it. And even if he’d botched it, they’d cut back to him on certain words, just to make it more convincing. The rapid cutting between unmoving mouths really blew their cover. It was amazing. Having said that, the way they cut in awkward expressions and pauses and even a rogue “Ummmm” from Fauxry was pretty smart.
Essentially, I do not believe that he told her ANYTHING about the truth in this scene. I think, as the bold bits show, their conversation was him telling her that he felt like they’d lost her connection, and wondering if anything changed within her along the way or if he misread things, and she tells him that she felt the same but just questioned… well, we’ll never know, because they cut off that part. And then I think he asked her to leave, and she realized that the only reason he could POSSIBLY be keeping Kelley over her was if the producers had tipped him off, and she loses all patience and just gets up and busts a move right on out of there.
The “My name is Matt Hicks” is clipped and he’s uptalking, and it doesn’t even come CLOSE to matching the room’s audio, and clearly came from one of his early interviews — like, “My name is Matt Hicks, I’m twenty-three years old, and I live in a pedestrian city so would everyone please stop making fun of me for not owning anything with wheels on it? IT BURNS.” Her “Who is this guy” is also either ineptly mixed ADR, or a badly chosen line from another context.
So, there you go. It’s possible the producers didn’t tip him off, and he just let her go on his own; it’s possible she didn’t do any interviews about these days until after she’d been cut. But I have a hard time believing the production didn’t know her suspicions, and I would argue it’s VERY likely that the depth of her irritation is because she believed interviews were kept confidential from Fauxry. I would be LESS suspicious about all that if he hadn’t kept Kelley in her place. Kelley, in fact, is the piece that bones the ruse the most. If it were Meghan left, and he cut Rose, you’d think, “Well, he was probably cutting Rose anyway, but the show wanted to pay off that he was busted.” But because it’s Kelley, it automatically looks like a rigging.
Rose says, in an interview, that she leaves at peace because she laid it out for him — and I actually think this may tip to her having an off-camera discussion with him. Regardless, Miss Rose is gone. For what it’s worth, she never looked lovelier than in this last scene, so that’s as good a last word as any.
Yeah, you’re right, Prince. “DIPSHIT” would have been a better one.
Next time: THE FINALE. AT LAST.