At the start of week 5 of season 2 of Provo's Most Eligible, the three women and nine remaining men gather together to celebrate Ellie’s birthday.
There’s a 1 balloon and a 9 balloon in that photo, meaning Ellie is turning 19, and has been 18 up to this point, making her a recent high school graduate. So that’s very upside down face emoji.
Once the shirts are off and the torsos revealed, there’s some talk amongst the men, and only the men, about which of them has the most slammin' bod. The consensus is it’s Mikey.
Clearly, many of these guys have been spray tanned and eaten only creatine for a week prior to filming day. I would say they should relax and no one cares what they look like, but that would be 1. hypocritical of me, since every time I have to be on camera I spend the hours before crying in Nordstrom dressing rooms because I can't find the perfect shirt that will make me look both thin and hip, and 2. wrong, because Daniel,
the only guy who explicitly states he doesn’t care what people think of him, got completely dragged in a YouTube video from two doofuses who call themselves Dating Dymanix.
These two claim to be “dating coaches” but as far as I can tell have no qualifications coaching anyone on anything other than how to style your apartment to look like your scary uncle who still calls fall break "deer hunt" lives there.
Both dudes of Dating Dynamix remind me of the guy who invited two of my roommates to his apartment, told them he was interested in both of them, and told them they needed to decide which of them was going to date him. I bet both of these guys have pulled that same move on multiple women.
In their video analyzing this episode of PME, the Dynamix allege that because we haven’t seen Daniel make any moves with Bee, it must mean he is self conscious about his weight. They say Daniel needs to start dieting and exercising if he wants to have success with women. Obviously, two men with poor taste in facial hair who film their YouTube videos in a room covered in dead animal paraphernalia have no idea what women do or do not like. If they did, they would know that Daniel, who seems funny, interesting, and genuinely kind, is far more appealing than a couple of dingleberries who probably loved The Joker and think quoting The Office counts as having a personality.
The internet came to Daniel’s defense in the YouTube comments, and here’s how Dating Dynamix responded:
I would like to pass a bill requiring all high school students to take a course titled How To Appropriately Apologize. Highlights will include the notes app and eliminating the phrase “if you were offended." Society needs this because there are too many apologies that are not. What Dating Dynamix wrote is not an apology, and using this moment to try to get Daniel on their show, thereby getting more viewers, is gross. These guys are gross and I hope none of us have to think about them ever again.
Back at the pool party, Caleb is not having a good time.
Caleb is feeling the way most of us who lean introvert feel at large-ish social gatherings. He’s probably hoping he can corner one person and talk about their favorite Diane Keaton movies all night, or hoping someone will give him a job that will require him to hang out in the kitchen all day, or hoping he gets a phone call from a friend who needs a ride to Boise so he has to leave immediately. Some people love parties. Some people hate parties so much that watching them on-screen gives them social anxiety by proxy. It’s fine. I’m fine.
The other guys are doing the things guys do at pool parties.
Dangerous acrobatics, throwing women into water, etc.
Then, the boys on Ellie’s team shower her with birthday gifts, and she responds with her usual “I wish I was dead” smile.
At some point during the festivities, Walker finally notices Bee and Keaton are into each other, and dude gets the squirms.
He says he is annoyed, confused, and turned off when he sees Bee with Keaton, and I would like to know what Walker thought he was signing up for when he applied for Provo’s Most Eligible.
Bee notices Walker pouting and tries to talk to him about it, but he gives the same type of response I used to give my parents when they would finally ask me what was wrong after I had stomped around the house and slammed doors for hours.
Lauren and Austin sneak away to the music room in what I’m guessing is someone’s house? Still have no idea where they are.
Lauren grabs a guitar and starts singing. Look I’ve said this once before in these recaps but it bears repeating: if someone wants to hear you play guitar, they will ask you to play guitar. If you insist on performing for someone without being invited to do so, you had better be Carlos Santana level talented for them to enjoy it even a little bit. Otherwise, they will stand there, watching you play, slowly coming to the realization that they would rather be in a dental examination chair receiving a root canal than trying to look impressed by your very average talent.
After her performance, Lauren and Austin find a piano
and share a duet until..
About five seconds later she cuddles with Jake next to a fire. My editor left a comment on this section that said "Wait, this is a different guy?"
Yes. Different guy. Who she kisses shortly after kissing the first guy. Lauren had a busy day.
“I’m falling in love with Lauren,” Jake says.
That statement is horrifying and worth discussing, I guess, but I’m way more interested in knowing why Jake is wearing a Freshly Picked hat. Is Jake a baby? Is Jake an Instagram mom? Is Jake a Fringe Club member? Is part of Jake’s shoe collection a bunch of children's moccasins? Should we call the police?
Later in the week Lauren takes Caleb on a one-on-one date. They go sailing.
To both of their credit, neither of them make a single What About Bob joke. I, too, will fight that urge, but it won’t be easy.
Lauren and Caleb seem to have a perfectly lovely time. I wish I cared more. I'm just not as invested in this relationship as I am in Bee's relationship with Keaton.
She takes him on a one-on-one and over dinner they discuss their dating histories.
They’ve both dated a fair amount but have not had serious relationships. They express their affection for each other and the excitement they share in seeing where their relationship goes. If they do not end up together I will lead a riot down University Avenue.
After dinner they visit a boxing gym.
“There’s something about sweaty boys that I just love,” Bee says. It's the kind of thing you say at the very beginning of relationships when things are warm and fuzzy. Then like six months later you accidentally smell your boyfriend's sweaty hat and question what it is you ever liked about him.
The next day, Ellie takes Josue on a one-on-one to Zipline Utah.
“I’m really excited,” Ellie says with all the enthusiasm of an IRS accountant showing up to work for the 4,567th day in a row.
Josue says he is scared of heights, but is willing to zip line for Ellie. Again, I have to stan Ellie. The longer she acts completely uninterested in the men, the greater lengths they go to to win her over. She’s one day of avoiding eye contact away from one of them giving her a car.
Later Ellie and Josue dine at Grub Steak, a Park City restaurant where I have dined and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
Sure, it looks like it was decorated by the Dating Dynamix team,
but the steak is delicious.
Over dinner Josue explains he lived in El Salvador until he was ten and immigrated to the United States.
I’ll be honest, I was not paying attention after that one interesting tidbit because the rest of their conversation was boring.
At last, it’s time for the rose ceremony, so the dudes gather.
They are greeted by Remington, who explains three of them will be sent home that evening.
Then for some reason all the boys start listing how many girls they have kissed.
Jake claims to have kissed 24 girls.
“I know what my abilities are as far as kissing goes,” Jake says, so we can go ahead and assume Jake is a terrible kisser.
Speaking of, Scott greets Ellie like he’s courting her in a nineteenth-century royal court.
Then he speaks to her like he’s Buddy Garrity talking to Lyla about her relationship with Jason Street.
AND THEN, Scott pulls out his Trump 2020 sticker.
Ellie’s smile troubles me, and I wonder if we’re missing context. Is he joking? Is he doing it to bug her? Or is she also a Trump supporter? Is she too young to understand the worldwide implications of a presidential election? Any one of those options is bad, and it’s telling that Josue, who immigrated from El Salvador, is bothered every time Scott brings up his support for Trump.
“It’s not too cool when he rubs that Trump stuff around,” Josue says. I wish the producers had dug in a little more here and had Josue explain why it’s problematic. But that’s a lot to ask of a show created by people not old enough to rent cars.
Keaton has set up a Netflix corner for Bee, and together they cuddle and snack on popcorn.
Austin presents Lauren with some art(?)
I think it’s retaliation for her serenade.
Caleb and Lauren sit very far apart on a bench and the writing is all over the wall.
This thing’s dead in the water. Maybe it drowned. Maybe they should have put a life jacket on it and tied it to the front of the sail boat. I'M SORRY I TRIED REALLY HARD.
Lauren’s sister is in town, so she decides to introduce her to Austin and Jake.
But not Caleb. So yeah.
Mikey tries to express his interest in Ellie,
And in return she rewards him with a slight head turn in his direction.
The boys are still talking about how many girls they’ve kissed like they’re 13, and Walker says the number of girls he kissed was something that was important to him before he “lived abroad for two years on a religious mission.”
Walker. This show is made by Provo for Provo. One of your peers threw a full blown Family Home Evening WITH A SCRIPTURE FROM THE BOOK OF MORMON for Lauren. We all know what a Mormon mission is. You can talk like a normal person.
And then, at last, it’s time for three guys to reach the end of their Provo’s Most Eligible journeys.
I hope Lauren, Bee, and Ellie truly relish being the arbiters of the boys' PME fates. That’s some real power. They claim these decisions are hard to make, but on some level it has to feel awesome.
Lauren chooses to keep Austin and Jake, and send Caleb home.
Caleb seems neither surprised nor sad. “The more I got to know her, the more I felt like she was a better match for one of the other guys,” he says.
Bee chooses to keep Walker and Keaton, and send Daniel home.
Daniel had predicted this would happen, and also said he was interested to see who Bee ends up picking out of Keaton and Walker. These two were never anything more than friends, and as far as I can tell, are still friends. Bee was Daniel’s fiercest defender this week and apparently confronted the Dating Dynamix dorks in person about their slander. You love to see it.
Ellie chooses to keep Scott (perplexed and frustrated sigh) and Josue, and send home Mikey.
“It was a big shock to me,” Mikey says. Really, buddy?
PME is taking a break until November 14, so tune back in the following week then for Arianna's recap on the first half on the final episode, and mine on the second half a week later.
(Design: Josh Fowlke) (Editor: Rachel Swan)