Are You The One? Season 3 Episode 1 Recap
And so it begins.
The new season of Are You The One? opens in the same way as the previous two seasons – a fast-cut montage of the breakdowns to come. But where season one focused on one huge meltdown late in the game, this collection of tantrums is divided between several members of the cast and begins a mere two weeks into the game. On day 14 we see a woman crying, kneeling, and praying to God for help.
The differences between the season one and season three opener are indicative of changes in the show. The concept, arguments, and problems in the house are the same as ever, but season three introduces a cast that looks to be so unstable that season 1’s collection of horny drunks seem positively tame by comparison.
The run-of-the-mill opening breakdown segment is followed by an equally familiar introductory pep-talk from Ryan Devlin. We get a few tantalizing glimpses of the emotional baggage carried by each contestant here, with Cheyene offering up the compelling insight that she “always goes for the bad boys, always goes for the thugs. The more they break the law, that turns me on.” I’m hoping she’s the first contestant who will find their match by checking felony records.
It’s at this point that Ryan Devlin reveals the season 3 twist. If the cast ever has a blackout during a matchup ceremony – meaning that not a single pairing of contestants is a perfect match – they will have $250,000 deducted from their million dollar prize pool. The twist doesn’t change the actual structure of the game that much, but I think it’s fairly brilliant (and certainly miles better than the sexist and ultimately completely uninteresting eleventh girl twist.) Last season there was an effort to attempt to get a blackout in the early weeks of the game, as that would essentially act as ten low-grade truth booths and eliminate ten possible pairings. Ryan Devlin and the powers that be were disgusted by this. This show is about love, not math. They contestants must be punished for their hubris.
After a mechanical series of groans, Ryan Devlin sends the contestants inside with strict instructions: “turn up.” This order is greeted positively. Our intrepid bozos trek inside to begin their lusty adventure.
Getting to know each other
From here, about five minutes in, things rapidly begin to spiral out of control. There’s a few brief moments of reality TV exposition, we learn that Kiki is crazy when she says: “These matchmakers know what they’re doing. They’re gonna find me the man of my dreams and we’re gonna ride off into the sunset.” (Note, the AYTO success rate for relationships post-show is 1/20.) We learn the Mike is an exotic dancer and that puts stress on a lot of relationships, and we learn that Alec was a little fat kid.
And then the drama begins. See, one of the girls, Rashida, is just ready to fall in love with anything that has a penis. She’s looking around, hitting on every guy in sight, and eventually sidles on up to Alec where he drops what I can only assume is his go to line “I used to be a really fat kid.” He then scoops her up, carries her a little ways away, and starts kissing her. When I write it down I know I shouldn’t be so angry, but he’s just such a dickhead about it. It makes me long for the days where the kind of assholes that wore fedora’s just murdered people with tommy guns.
This in itself wouldn’t be a problem. Sure, they’re making out within like fifteen minutes of meeting each other, and the show is basically an orgy with Ryan Devlin and a bunch of iPads, so go nuts. The problem comes when Alec later kisses another girl, Stacey, within the eyeline of Rashida. Betrayal, anger, and resentment ensue.
As Alec and Rashida’s “relationship” falls apart, other attractions begin to form. Kiki falls head over heels in love with Devin after he talks about meditation, which I guess is a sexy activity? Meanwhile, Mike lays it all on the line for Amanda when he tells her that he would move out to Colorado for her. Perhaps sensing that this offer may be misconstrued as creepy, he sweetens the pot by saying he’d be a barista (and leave his stripping ways behind). Amanda is not swayed by the thought of Mike in this high-powered job, responding with, “I don’t want to be dating a barista.”
The cast then moves into a game of “spin-the-red-bull can,” which leads to Alec making out with an even larger portion of the house. After he, for lack of a better term, orally rams Hannah as he is sitting right next to Stacey, things get out of control. Stacey storms out of the room and later confronts Alec in the kitchen, yelling at him for being disrespectful. It’s a shouting match that ends in Alec declaring, “I’m the asshole, right?”
Yes, Alec. You are. You’re not wrong. It is a game, and making out with people is part of it, but you are an asshole.
With several potential relationships already building, we come to the weekly challenge. This week is a pretty tame lame pun, “Put Your Worst Face Forward.” It involves showing the contestants bad/baby pictures of each other, and the first person to hit their buzzer and correctly identify the subject of the terrible photo wins a spot on the getaway date. Simple stuff.
But simple doesn’t mean easy, as Zac puts it best: “I’m gunning to win this date. I want to get to know these girls. But it’s so early in the game and I have to guess a photo and I don’t know half their names.” Still, some contestants manage to rise to the task. The challenge doesn’t really offer much in the way of excitement, as every time a picture is shown somebody gets to go on the getaway date – there’s no direct competition or tie-breaking madness. The only noteworthy moment is a quote from Chuck: “I was a beautiful baby. I’m gonna make beautiful babies too, that’s what’s up.” On it’s face it’s not that bad, but the delivery made my skin crawl. And just when you think it can’t get any worse, he follows it up with a body snatcher laugh – the kind of laugh that can only be the result of an alien puppet master attempting to mimic human joy. I hope Chuck stays this weird.
When the dust settles we’re left with Melanie, Cheyenne, Hunter, and Mike. Considering it’s the second day and these people have gotten hardly any time to know each other, there’s a surprising amount of controversy about the date picks. Melanie immediately surprises everyone by selecting Devin to go on the date, taking a sledgehammer to Kiki’s fragile baby-heart. “Melanie needs to understand that I like Devin and he likes me and nothing is gonna get in the way of that. Back the fuck off.” Mike further stirs the pot by choosing to take Hannah even after he offered to move to Colorado for Amanda. Cheyenne picks Chuck and Hunter picks Kiki, which are reasonable decisions. These choices don’t make anybody mad but you gotta feel bad for Hunter. He picks Kiki, who shoots up to her feet and squeals with delight exclaiming that she “loves Southern boys,” only to state in a confessional aside that “her heart is with Devin.” Sorry, Hunter.
Devin may be going on a date with Melanie, but that doesn’t mean that he’s going to take time away from his busy schedule of seducing Kiki. The two are all over each other in the house, making out, cuddling, and exchanging sweet nothings. He even promises to start wearing deodorant for her, which is the sweetest gesture any 7th grade boy can make.
Meanwhile, the reason for Mike’s selection of Hannah is revealed. He knew that she probably isn’t his match, so he chose her so that the odds of him getting sent away from the house are low. This is kind of a dick move in that it hurts everyone’s chance at the money, but I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to spend 9 weeks alone with basically a perfect stranger in a place called “the honeymoon suite.” I would expect Amanda to still be a little mad, but instead they have sex in the first BOOM BOOM Room visit of the season. Didn’t expect that. She whispers “you’re my match” as they copulate. That’s really only a hair away from saying something like “be my briiide” or “marry me” during your first lovemaking session. But hey, different strokes for different folks.
The date is a chance to swim with dolphins, which is pretty sweet. Cheyenne gets sea sick and is unable to join the rest of them, although it’s worth noting that she definitely makes herself throw up by sticking her hand down her throat. Maybe she’s just trying to make herself feel better preemptively? Maybe she’s afraid of dolphins? I don’t know. But Chuck dismisses her as a potential match because he’s a dive instructor and cannot believe that the matchmakers would possibly pair him with someone who gets sea sick.
After swimming with the dolphins, the couples get a chance to sit on a beach and get to know each other a little better. Devin tells Melanie that he’s cheated on every girlfriend he’s ever had – making his blooming love triangle even more suspect. In the meantime, Hunter and Kiki share their ambitions for a perfect, white-fence kind of love. It’s nice that they seem to be hitting it off so well because back in the house it seems unanimous that Hunter and Kiki should be the couple to head into the truth booth.
Despite their apparent connection, Kiki throws Hunter under the bus before the truth booth, saying that they’re “really good friends but [she] doesn’t see it going further than that.” Kiki is immediately upset, despite the fact that she was so excited for her chance to go on a date with Hunter. They have a morose march to the truth booth as Kiki talks about how devastated she is by this turn of events. Once again, poor Hunter.
Fortunately for both of them they aren’t a match. From there it’s immediately into the matchup ceremony:
The Matchup Ceremony
Hannah picks Chuck: Much applause. Much cuteness. Very good. Yay.
Rashida picks Tyler: I don’t know Tyler but I think I love him.
Amanda picks Mike: But first she and Kiki get into it over Kiki’s shitty reaction to being sent into the truth booth. They’re both really confrontational, but Kiki definitely escalates the situation by trying to get the rest of the house to “cosign” (Amanda’s words) her actions. It’s a lucky boy who ends up with these scream queens!
Melanie picks Devin: This one was weird. Melanie gives a whole speech about how she’s not going to be part of a love triangle with Devin and Kiki, and then picks Devin. He immediately launches into a speech: “Kiki is wonderful and gorgeous and amazing. I love spending time with you. I want to find love. I don’t want any beef between Mel and Kiki. A love triangle is great, a love octagon is better. I want to get everyone involved.” My reaction to this is twofold:
- Thank you for introducing the term love octagon
- You are a moron
As if things weren’t already bad enough for Devin, Nelson (who?) speaks up saying that Devin told him earlier that he was trying to smash both these girls. Kiki immediately begins to cry. Devin stammers a weak rebuttal as his dream threesome slips away.
Chelsea picks Connor: Nothing to say
Kiki picks Austin: Nothing to say. This guy is a mystery.
Stacey picks Alec: Even though they had a huge fight. Alec protests, leading to another fight on the podium. Yeeeesh.
Brittany picks Hunter: Good luck bud.
Cheyenne picks Nelson: Okay I guess.
Kayla and Zac are together by default
With these combinations they get 2/10 perfect matches, which isn’t terrible considering how little information they have. I couldn’t even begin to guess who they are. You can watch the full episode here.