I enthusiastically wrote of my admiration for this program back when the first episode aired, and in the second season, if anything, my admiration has only increased. The show has made some great improvements, including more audience participation, a segment in which the contestants answer a series of ridiculous rapid-fire questions from host Jerry Springer, intended to give the "dater" a better idea of what the contestants are like, and the reveal of the "big bag" of those contestants eliminated in the second round.
And the contestants are still great. The best of the second season appeared on the episode that first aired on August 30th. The dater, Christa, was a tall and pretty spray tanner from Firecrest Washington who was looking for a man with "dance moves, because I love Michael Jackson." She danced her way through life, she said, but she wasn't the best part of the show.
The best part of the show was Tom, the "bio-specimen collector" who liked snowboarding, foggy mornings, making out, and cooking.
Oh, and, according to his smallest piece of baggage, he "loves smelling [his] ear wax." "Don't knock it until you've tried it," he explained. "It's quite a curious scent, and, if looks are any indication, I'd like to smell your ear wax."
Tell me you've heard that line before. What's that? You haven't? Yeah, me neither. But it is awesome.
His second piece of baggage wasn't as interesting: He polishes his fingernails and toenails. But on the hot seat, Tom redeemed himself by revealing himself to be even more endearingly weird.
"I gotta say, I love getting my manicures and my pedicures," he explained.
"Is that just to get the ear wax off them?" Jerry asked. Jerry is hilarious.
"What if my hands end up on you later, Christa? You want them to be nice and well-groomed."
Unfortunately, Tom did make a distasteful joke about his rival Allen's time in a Caribbean jail: "Let's just hope he didn't drop the soap."
But he totally redeemed himself when he went to "the hot spot," to answer Jerry's questions with the first answer that popped into his head. Tom has a strange head, if his answers are any indication (perhaps that's why his ear wax smells so good?).
Jerry: Which tv show best describes your sex life? 'Big Love,' 'Cougar Town,' or 'Deadwood?'
Tom: 'Deadwood' -- wait -- 'Cougar Town.' (He apparently likes prostitutes and older women?)
Jerry: What's the coolest thing you own?
Tom: A car.
Jerry: What part of a woman's body do you touch first, to get her in the mood?
Tom: I like licking girls' teeth. ... She has great teeth, too.
Jerry: If you were alone in Christa's house, what's the first thing you'd do?
Tom: Take my pants off.
Jerry: Please demonstrate for Christa how you feel about her through non-verbal communication.
Tom: [closes his eyes and slowly licks his lips, and then "bites" at her]
Allen, Tom's rival, tried too hard, with his dancing, and his Michael Jackson talk. But Allen really injured himself when he revealed, through his big bag, that he used to be a pimp.
Tom's big bag? "I gambled away my college tuition playing online poker." He did manage to finish college. He does still have a "slight addiction to online poker," and plays every day. No excuses.
And why should she pick Tom? Tom says, "Allen was literally a pimp... I'm more of a pimp in the... figurative sense, maybe?"
Naturally, Christa picked Tom. She's as good a judge of character as she is attractive.
Now, it is Tom's turn to decide if he wants to accept Christa's baggage. She was either one of seven sister wives in a polygamist, she's never gone "all the way," or she attacked her ex with a chain saw.
Which of those would be the most difficult for Tom to accept? "The one about... her being a virgin," he says. "Just because, I've been down that road, I've taken one virginity before, and I gotta say it was a very unpleasant experience, there were just too many emotional strings attached, you know?"
Yes, Tom the ear wax smeller would be more comfortable knowing that Christa had attacked an ex with a chain saw.
Of course, Christa is saving herself. She hasn't felt that any of the guys she's dated "deserved my entire self, and I would love to give that gift to the person that I spend the rest of my life with."
Ah, yes, the gift of emotional strings.
"But you can lick my teeth all you want," she says.
Finally, true love wins out, and Tom accepts Christa's baggage. The virgin and the ear wax smeller and teeth licker win a horseback ride through Griffith Park and a festive Mexican dinner. But the fun isn't over yet, as we cut to the couples' exit interview:
"[T]he only quirk I hope he actually stops is playing so much poker online," Christa says.
"Hopefully I end up getting to poke you," Tom replies.
Ah, Tom. You had her at bio-specimen collector. You don't have to try anymore!
When Jerry Springer is involved, great television is the result.
Jerry Springer pic source.