Most times, the word “historic” is used in reference to something that’s never been done, or for something that’s awesomely great.
The Season 5 finale of “Are You the One?” was the former, but not the latter: This is the first cast unable to figure all the perfect matches. Everyone is walking away with zero dollars. And while mathematically we knew their chances of getting all 11 pairings correct was slim to none, it was still quite tragic to watch.
When that ninth beam didn’t go off during the final ceremony, the cast reactions run through the entire emotional spectrum: Kari storms off it tears. Caroline wonders aloud “How can I even go back to my parents?” (Which: What?) Some are stunned to silence, while others vocally rage out. People are quick to blame strategist Derrick, but this loss is not his fault. He actually deserves to be applauded for being the most productive person in the house. If it weren’t for him, they would’ve never gotten past their four-beam rut.
When a cast is so collectively inept that host Ryan Devlin — who is sweet as hell and couldn’t hurt a fly anyway — starts cursing at them to shut up and focus, well: You know things are bad.
Many of the angry cast members blame all the selfish no-match couples that refused to mingle with other people, which is certainly understandable — it’s frustrating! But it’s impossible to point fingers at any one particular person: This is a collective loss. It’s not nobody’s fault, It’s everyone‘s fault. They needed to work as a team, and they failed miserably at doing that.
However. In defense of the sane cast members, more than a few people came into this show with so much emotional baggage there wasn’t enough room to fit it all in the house. There was no knocking sense into these guys and girls. We’re not going to name names, but… Actually yes we are, who cares: Kathryn, Gianna, Tyler, Hayden, Mike, Taylor, Hannah, Eddie and Ozzy. They all need a seasoned psychotherapist.
Actually, weekly therapy sessions is definitely something MTV should add to the show in Season 6. It isn’t even like a joke, it’s what the show is supposed to be about: Getting comfortable with your insides by inviting science into your heart.
This dating show is a game. And they lost. But it’s not every day that losing also means saying goodbye to a slice of an $800,000 pie.
The cast of Season 5 were mostly a frustrating bunch of immature narcissists, and it was sad to see them dull the few bright souls in the house, like Michael — sure, he came into the game an overconfident schmuck, but he soon allowed himself be vulnerable. After getting burned by Kathryn, he then tried to be the voice of reason and sway the minds of these no-match shippers. But as Michael walks towards host Ryan Devlin to lock in for the final time, he looks exhausted. And it’s not because he’s sad about losing the money. He just wants to go home, and to be as far away from his cast mates as possible.
What makes “Are You the One?” so difficult to win, and why the age max to apply is 26, is that emotions can get the best of anyone in such a fishtank. But being able to navigate a win on “Are You the One?” doesn’t hold a candle to the amount of mental and physical prowess needed to compete on MTV’s other popular completion series, “The Challenge”…
This crew of twenty-somethings were given the opportunity to go on romantic tropical island dates, a never ending supply of alcohol, and a Boom Boom Room with a drawer full of condoms, to have as much sex as they want: At the end of the day, they only needed to do a bit of teamwork to make sure they were on top of figuring out the match-up probabilities.
During the reunion show, everyone has a bone to pick, pent up frustration is voiced, but it’s just a continuation of their 4th Grade antics. Lots of yelling, solving nothing. Le sigh. And because Season 5 was such a hilariously miserable failure, MTV has decided to gift a few of these couples with another chance to win some money.
Next week, “Are You the One? Second Chances” will premiere — and it will feature Carolina & Hayden, Cassandra & Derrick, and Alicia &Mike. Rounding out the rest of the cast:
- From Season 1: Shanley & Adam
- From Season 2: Ellie & Nathan
- From Season 3: Davin & Rashinda
- From Season 4: Mikala & Cameron, Kaylen & Asaf, Tori & Morgan
With all new rules, the spin-off promises to be a way different kind of game than the original, which is great news — especially for all the returning Season 5 contestants, and not just because they never figured it out in the first place. It’s that while these perfect matches will begin the game as a team, if they fall in place place they’ll they will soon have to turn against one another and make “The Choice”: Try and steal their winnings up to that point and go home, or share the grand prize and stay in the game.
The last perfect match standing earns the “All-Star” title and their banked winnings. And with a third of the couples coming from this solidly bizarre year… That seems like the perfect solution to create as much drama as quickly as possible. We approve.
“Are You the One? Second Chances” premieres Wednesday, March 22 at 9 p.m.ET/PT on MTV.