So I didn’t blog last week’s episode of Transamerican Love Story because I got distracted, and because I’m not always as motivated as I might like. But to catch you up: Calpernia had the guys host a dinner party for her and some friends; they were responsible for everything from set up to food prep to service. The food was terrible; Mark the Razor was crazy (and lazy); Barry the Actor took charge and got eliminated. Jim the Writer came out as trans to Mark the Razor (why, Jim?! Why?!), who took it remarkably well (despite his internalized homophobia) and ended up overcompensating by reassuring Jim for about half an hour that he didn’t mind, it didn’t bother him, and they could still be friends.

Whew.

Ok, onto this week’s episode:

Calpernia and Andrea take a yacht out to lounge about in bikinis and make me totally self-conscious about the fact that these women have just incredibly sick beach bodies and I don’t. Oh, wait, they are actually going out to watch the boys do a little boot camp on the beach with a former military sergeant (Air Force, I think?). First the guys have to strip and change on the beach into little white shorts or tighty-whiteys – this proves difficult for Jim, who hasn’t come out to everyone in the house as trans, and is more than a little uncomfortable. He manages to keep a towel on during the change, despite the Drill Sergeant’s yelling that “these guys have all seen an ass before!”

And that Drill Sergeant is pretty convincing, I’d say, calling the guys “maggots” and having them do all sorts of physically exerting exercises while yelling in their faces. It’s like every bad military-movie cliché. Calpernia, meanwhile, shares a pair of binoculars with Andrea while they ogle the men. It’s kind of nice to see men getting ogled for once.

After some on-the-beach workout (during which Mike, Mark and Rich admired their own bodies quite a bit) the Drill Sergeant explains the final part of the challenge: the men will be paired up and given a small inflatable raft. They row the raft to Calpernia’s yacht, and the first pair to reach it will spend an afternoon on the yacht with Calpernia. Mark the Razor gets paired with Peter the Bisexual (who is so cute), and neither one was happy about it (especially Peter, who has a water phobia). Rich the Yoga Guy and Shawn the CPA are together, and they rock it, winning the challenge! Jim the Writer and Mike the Christian are also paired together and though they have a good shot, they just can’t get it together.

Rich and Shawn jump on the yacht and have a bit of wine, then Shawn (whose new name might have to be Mr. Smooth) sweeps Calpernia onto the deck for a view of the sunset and some light romantic conversation. Calpernia is totally digging him, and I think I get why: he’s handsome, has a good job, has a decent (but not totally ripped) body – he’s like a Regular Guy, done right. And that stick up his butt? It seems to be slowly finding its way out. Rich, on the other hand, is Mr. Self-Obsessed: when it’s his turn for one-on-one time, he takes Calpernia below deck to the bedroom and lounges on the bed, modestly covering his puffy yoga body while he rambles on about how spiritual yoga is and how passionate he is about it. Good editing: in the midst of his rambling, there is a cut to Calpernia (looking gorgeous – that woman is flawless, really) in a video confessional, saying, “I wish he was as passionate about us as he is about yoga.” *Yawn.* Rich is really boring.

Calpernia goes back home and relates all of this info to Andrea, who leafs idly through a magazine while drinking red wine and eating tomato soup.

Meanwhile, back at the main house, the four guys who didn’t win (that’d be Mark, Jim, Mike and Peter) sit around the kitchen and lament their loss. Things get ugly when Mark starts barking insults at Mike and Peter, calling them names and generally insulting them. After awhile, Mark settles into shredding Mike, his mothers, his friends, his haircut, his outfit, his puppy, and anything else he can think of. Mike, to his credit, maintains his composure for the most part, until Mark makes a derogatory comment about his mother, at which point Mike starts cursing right back – very, very quietly. God, that’s ominous.

Is anyone else disturbed by Mark’s ridiculously volatile and unpredictable temper? He has a nasty streak that reminds me of the little kids who squeeze hamsters to death, and he doesn’t seem to have a pattern in who he chooses to attack.

Rich and Shawn come back in the middle of Mark’s vile bile-spewing, and Shawn attempts to keep quiet about his date with Calpernia. I rather like him. Rich, however, is turning out to be kind of gross and vain, and blabs about how he saw Shawn kissing Calpernia. He follows that up with, “But I think I’m the first one to get her in bed.” What, just because you sat on a bed with her? It’s like locker room talk, seriously.

A bit later, Jim decides to come out to everyone in the house as trans. He approaches the subject rather casually, asking if the guys have any opinions on FTM transpeople, or if they’ve had experiences with any. Mark the Big Mouth opens his trap and starts yapping: “Well, I didn’t have any experience with any, but I just recently met one…” and on and on and on. In the process of overcompensating again, he says, “I mean, I told him, I don’t care if you’re purple with a tail and horns, you’re still my friend. You’re still Just Jim.” Wait a second – did Mark just out Jim before Jim could do it himself? God. How obnoxious.

Peter does a triple-take – he is clearly floored. “No,” he says, “no you’re not.” Jim, grinning from ear to ear (it must be nice to know you can pass even among the queer guys), insists that yes, he is trans. The other guys have a nice bonding moment with him, and Shawn even gives him a bit of a weepy hug. Awwww.

Calpernia decides to eliminate Rich the Yoga Guy, which I think is a good plan. Good-looking as he is, I’m not sure I could stand to be around him much longer either.

So, now 3 episodes in, I’m revising some of my opinions on the remaining contestants:

Shawn the CPA has my top vote at this point.
Jim the Writer is a close second.
Mark the Razor is still scarily psychotic – he clearly has two sides, and one of them (the one he shows Calpernia, sadly) seems to be a fabrication. I hope she doesn’t pick him.
Mike the Christian is proving to be a slow-but-steady kind of competitor – he’s creeping up the scale of attractiveness, and he hasn’t yet let his Jesus Freak Flag fly. So I’m thinking he might be a true contender here.
Peter the Bisexual, as adorable as he is, just seems a bit young. And he is definitely not the biggest drama queen.

I think we can hand that title directly to Mark.

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