On the terrace, Marjan and China have some catching up to do.
China: Marjan, you’ve been one of my best friends for a long time. I know I wasn’t as warm as I could have been to you when we both showed up here together, but I was surprised!
Marjan: I can imagine you were, I mean, first it’s all honey and lollipops with me disappearing on that vacation, and then suddenly I’m here…
China: What the hell, girl?! I was sick with worry! You were gone for almost three years, hardly communicated, and then you show up on the same TV show as me without even telling me you were auditioning! What happened?
Marjan: Well, you know I went to Mexico to live with Aurora for a while—
China: —and she came back for the first season of this show and you were nowhere to be seen! Yes, I noticed…
China: Marjan, you can’t just disappear like that! I was pissed at you, yeah, but that’s because I was worried sick about you! I thought something terrible happened to you, and… I couldn’t do anything about it.
Marjan: Something terrible did happen to me, China.
China: So why won’t you tell me about it? We’ve been friends for such a long time, I’ve always been here for you… why can’t you trust me enough to tell me what’s wrong? You know I wouldn’t judge you.
Marjan: It’s not about judging, it’s about keeping… everyone safe.
Marjan drops her gaze to the floor, and seems to think about something. She glances around furtively, as if trying to make up her mind. China looks confused, but puts a hand on her friend’s shoulder and squeezes it. Marjan sits up straight with a fiery expression in her eyes, and turns to look straight at China. After a few moments of staring at her, she leans in and whispers something into her ear. Though the microphones don’t quite capture what she said, the word “…baby” seems to come out of her mouth, only to be drowned out by a huge gasp let out by China. Marjan puts a finger to her lips and the friends begin to talk in hushed tones, covering their mouths so the cameras won’t pick up what they’re saying.
Kyungri and Harrison have memorized most of the script, and are practicing by the pool. They’re both good at knowing their lines but are frustrated that they don’t know which role they’ll have since they don’t know what kind of personality they have to put on. On top of that, Kyungri’s noticed that Harrison says all of his lines without conviction. She’s not surprised, but she’s a little irked and calls him out.
Kyungri: Harrison, sweetie. Are you going to continue to mope around because you’ll be separated from your man for a short while or are you going to actually try to put some effort into what you do? Because I chose you to practice with since I thought you were a worthy competitor. I’m starting to regret that.
Harrison: I’m sorry Kyungri, I’m trying my best to not be sad but it’s so hard to be here without Matthieu. Do you think it will get better?
Kyungri: Snap out of it, boy! The way you talk about him it’s almost like if he’s been exiled from the country and you won’t be able to see him ever again. You’re going to see him again so soon! And this moping is going to drive everyone crazy. Plus, you’re not going to make your fans excited to vote for you if you land in the bottom with this limp performance. Show some fire, silly boy!
Harrison: I just… I’ve never had much of a charismatic side to me. I’m good at many things but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to be the easygoing charmer everyone seems to want. Like Hudson! Look at him, I could never be like that.
Kyungri: You have everything you need! Look at you: you have the chiseled face, the dreamy eyes, the fashionably hipster look, the perky booty, the sweet personality. You don’t need to be a Gabriel to be popular! You just have to play up what you have, and you’ll be a hit.
Harrison: I think I’m pretty cool and I like myself, but I’ve never thought I could be, you know, the heartthrob.
Kyungri: And who says you need to be? You can play all the roles you want but no one is going to go for anything but the one that’s most authentically you! Like, I may be a superficial plastic diva but at least I’m an authentically superficial plastic diva, and there’s nothing people can say about that. Would you rather be a Patricio or yourself?
Harrison: I… think I see what you mean. So I should just be myself and not worry about how it’s going to come off to the public? Or…
Kyungri: I didn’t say that you shouldn’t worry about how you come off to the audience, especially since you’re on a TV competition… but just be the you that you want to show off the most. What about you should we be seeing? It can’t just be that you’re a slightly obsessed boyfriend. Here, let’s practice. Read me these lines with some conviction!
Gabriel and Louise have been throwing sly looks at each other all day, and though they’ve mostly avoided each other successfully, once everyone else has been paired up they end up together and just sit on a bench for a while, reading their scripts. They read out loud and practice with each other, but the tension in the air is so thick it seems to summon China, who arrives with a smirk on her face.
China: I’m not even going to pretend I’m here for anything else than to stir up some drama.
Louise: …if you can get this one to say something other than his lines in the script, I’ll be happy.
Gabriel: What are you talking about? There’s nothing to talk about today.
China groans. Louise looks surprised at her reaction, since she thought that China was still into Gabriel. She didn’t expect this sudden turn of events.
Louise: I’m never going to be the girl to get with someone who’s not into me. I’m too good for that. I know that we had a moment the other night and that Gabriel has a soft spot for me… and that we greeted each other with a kiss this morning… but I know that he was into China, as well, and they slept together. Gabriel’s slept with two of the girls here, even had his wife over for an episode, and I’m not going to be the next one in a long line of ladies! And yet, I get the annoying feeling that I don’t have the whole story yet… I don’t want to hope but ugh, it’s happening. China keeps feeding this fire!
China: Louise, I know you don’t need anyone’s permission or encouragement, but you have to hear this: I’m not into Gabriel anymore.
China: OK, maybe I am a little bit, but he’s so obviously into you and I’m not about to get second place in this unspoken competition, so I’m done. I really do wish you luck!
China: Yeah, OK, I’m sorry I’m being so blunt but it needed to be said. You two are being ostriches in the sand with each other and it’s not going to fly with me here, I’m not going to watch you awkwardly maneuver around each other; it’s no longer fun! You two deserve to have fun while you can, competition be damned.
China: Oh, and Louise, good luck with this one. He certainly is a poetic hero, isn’t he?
China and Louise laugh while Gabriel scowls. China gets up, pats Gabriel on the shoulder, winks at Louise, and walks into the house. The confused lovebirds are left alone on the bench, not looking at each other even though their discreet smirks do a bad job at hiding their amusement.
Kyungri: Good! Now do the bad boy role!
Harrison: *in character* “If you’re looking this beautiful, then…. please… come with me on every trip…”
He ends the sentence with a low growl and puts on a sexy expression for Kyungri. She cackles and claps.
Kyungri: Bravo, bravo! See, you do have it in you! You just have to let it out at the right moment!
Kyungri: I don’t love giving compliments but I gotta hand it to you, Harrison. You have this riveting energy around you that comes out in short bursts. I feel like you’re the quietest threat in this house! You’re literally going to give me a run for my money and here I am, feeling happy for you.
Harrison: Oh, so there is a heart under all of that plastic?
Kyungri: *laughs* Don’t push it, boy. I could still eat you up for dinner!
Harrison: I don’t doubt that for a second, Kyungri. But, really… thanks.
Kyungri: For what? All I’ve done is bring out things that are already inside of you.
Harrison: No, I mean… I haven’t thought about Matthieu for several minutes and it’s all thanks to you.
Kyungri: Hallelujah! It’s a true miracle, praise be to Shaman Unnie!
Harrison: *chuckles* Yeah, it’s OK to laugh but I’ve never been good at letting go of sadness so this is a nice change.
Kyungri: *looks at Harrison kindly* You don’t need to heal your heart of its pain instantly, you know. You just have to remind yourself that there are other things worth living for and that will make you happy.
Harrison: Yeah, like beating you in this challenge! You better be ready!
Kyungri: Oh, no… I’ve created a monster…