A Few Brushes Short Of An Artist

I am addicted to The Pickup Artist. No, not the Molly Ringwald/Robert Downey, Jr. ’87 classic. VH1’s reality show about attracting the opposite sex. Cue the Little River Band classic “Lonesome Loser.”

By now, we’re down to the final four. We have Brady, whose weakness is that he wants perfection. Pradeep, who has trouble listening to women (translated: talks too much). There’s Kosmo who tends to yell inappropriate remarks in the middle of his stand-up routine. Wait, my bad. That’s the guy who plays Cosmo Kramer. This Kosmo is intimidated by beauty. And then there’s Joe D. who has been labeled with the scarlet letters – BF. Yes, he’s every girl’s best friend.

Mystery is their guru throughout this journey. In the Pickup Community, he’s a Master PUA. In this episode, he looks like Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland, if only Weiland wore bandmate Slash’s patented (fuzzy) hat. Mystery’s lady friends, Tara and Leya, are going to host a lingerie party for the gentlemen.

Half of the guys are either drooling or trying to hide their excitement. Literally. Kosmo strategically uses his notebook to do so.

After the lingerie show, Mystery reveals the challenge. The four fellas must buy Tara and Leya lingerie, based on what the women said during their show. Wait, what? Tara and Leya were talking, too? Some of our guys are in trouble. The reason for this challenge is to show the importance of paying attention to a girl and her needs. “Appreciate beauty,” notes Mystery, “but never be distracted by it.”

Joe D. easily wins the challenge, which should come as no surprise. A lifetime BF — of course he’s going to be good at listening! And it doesn’t hurt that he used to work retail, so he’s comfortable picking out clothes. His reward? Joe D. earns Matador as a wingman for the upcoming competition.

All is great until later on, when Pradeep and Joe are horsing around and Pradeep slaps him. Battle lines are drawn. You don’t disrespect another man by slapping him. Like a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode, we know this will come back later.

Before sending the fellas out into the field, Mystery teaches them another lesson. This time, it’s the “Bounce” concept — changing locations with a woman you’ve met. You may meet at the bar, but at some point to keep it fresh, you should get her and her friends to change location/locale. This produces multiple memories of your evening when she thinks back, and presents the idea of an instant date.

The objective in tonight’s challenge is to “bounce” a girl to the café across the street from the club, for an instant date. The winner gets immunity. Of course they do. It wouldn’t be a reality show without immunity.

So the guys hit the club. We’re told hidden cameras are being used. Nobody’s an actor. It’s all real. Except for the breasts, the hair, and jewelry on many of the club goers, I’ll bet.

Kosmo opens a good set. He approaches two women and uses the “shoebox” opener, in which he asks the two women if it’s fair for his buddy’s girlfriend to be upset about the box of ex-girlfriend pictures she found under his bed. He leans back and conveys the body language lesson from earlier in the season. So far so good. The girls are playing along.

Joe D. finds a set of girls and as Mystery, watching along on the hidden camera, notices, one of the girls shows an IOI (indicator of interest). Subconscious hair touch. Just as Joe D. is about to lock in, Pradeep interrupts and attempts to move in on his set. This is a metaphorical slap to the face, to match the literal one earlier. Pradeep proceeds to scare off the girls, accuse them of being drunkards, and … we have another Man Law broken. Where’s Burt Reynolds when you need him?

At the end of the night, Mystery meets our guys outside the club and we learn that Kosmo was the only one who successfully bounced a couple of girls across the street. He wins immunity and will be safe for another day.

Everyone goes back to the house and we’re greeted with a quote that even though it’s being stated on a reality series, you’d never hear this in the real world. Joe D. is frustrated with his average performance, stating, “Yeah dude, I can buy lingerie and strut in a Speedo. Doesn’t mean I can kiss-close.” I wish I was still in high school so I could use that as my Class of ’08 yearbook quote. Knibb High football rules!

Finally, it’s time for the elimination gathering. Thankfully, neither Jeff Probst nor his tiki torch are anywhere to be seen. Just Mystery and his two wingmen, Matador and J Dog. The men tell the remaining three where they went right and wrong. And then promises one a brain, the other courage, and … wait, wrong show again.

Brady is the first to get a medallion (immunity) because of his improvement. He used to rely solely on his looks, even though he had no game. Lately, as Mystery points out, Brady has stepped up his game. How do you “step up game” when you never had “game” to begin with?

This leaves either Pradeep or Joe D. on the chopping block. After 55 minutes of Pradeep breaking every single guy code, it isn’t surprising to see Pradeep being eliminated. Pradeep couldn’t bounce, so he got bounced. Too bad he didn’t get slapped.

With Brady, Kosmo, and Joe D. remaining, Kosmo has to be the favorite. Right? What say you?