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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Beauty & The Geek: "Whine and Dine"

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Fine, so stupid Sam and stupid Nicole made it to the bottom two. Thanks so much, Beauty and the Geek. This very episode, however, made it clear to me why they do not deserve to be in the final two teams and why William and Jen do.

For those of you who don't believe me, I ask you this: Have you ever had someone in your life that you just couldn't get along with at all? Like his very presence, before he opened his mouth, put you on edge? And yet you had to hang out with him (or her!) on a regular basis? The day you manage to figure out how to tolerate that person–and feel okay with the fact that you can make your relationship marginally less-terrible instead of happy and hugful–feels like a major transition to adulthood. William and Jen, by learning to endure each other for the benefit of the team, far surpassed Nicole and Sam, or maybe even any other team on the show, in terms of effort. Sure, they're not as emotionally gratifying as Dave and Jasmine—I actually yelled "Aaaaw!" out loud alone in my apartment when she mused that maybe why Dave never had a girlfriend was because he never could tell a lie. But it wouldn't hurt the show to display a success story along the lines of "learn to live with each other" instead of "new best friends!"

So Sam and Nicole are not hateful people, but tonight's episode gave great examples of the two main reasons they still don't seem right for this show. I thought Sam's bitchiness after not winning the silly wine-making challenge rang false. He'd lost challenges before and seemed his usual doofus self. His character had always given off a "I don't care if I win these lame challenges, but if I do, cool," vibe. Meanwhile, the two of them talked about "how far they've come" during their obligatory reminiscent video viewing. What exactly have they learned from each other, however? Or the whole experience? Because it hasn't been clear to me at all.

Anyway, here's hoping Dave and Jasmine take it home: they're charming not just because they grew together, but that they also grew individually from being a little unpleasant to sickeningly adorable.

Grade: A-

Stray observations:

—Yeah, I know I'm skipping over the whole Dave/Nicole subplot. She's just not that into him. Hey, that phrase is catchy!

—But Dave asking Jasmine for relationship advice sure was cute.

—Am I insane or was William wearing a t-shirt (or logo) that Sam had previously worn on the show? Yep, proves it: Sam's gay.

—If I weren't afraid of William before, his cackle upon hearing the question that he should have chosen in the elimination round certain would have sealed the deal.

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