Last week the season premiere of Beauty and the Geek introduced viewers to a twist on the typical boy-geeks and girl-beauties formula by adding a she-nerd, Nicole, and a he-beauty, Sam to the mix. "The experiment has evolved!" we were promised, but so far, the experiment seems kind of fake. We barely got to know Nicole at all, but Sam failed to ring true as an actual human being in the episode. He preened, he flexed, he stated that if he ever met a geek, he'd exhort him to "Stop being a geek! Be cool!" While obviously the geeks' geekiness and the beauty's dimness are played up for the show, they're typically believable as real live people. Maybe it's because most of them don't already have an extensive IMDB resume. First, I find out that the winner of The Pickup Artist is a professional actor and now this? I've lost my faith in reality TV.
Actually, Sam Horrigan's presence does cheapen the show a bit and make it seem much more stagey than it seemed previously. As this became apparent, I hoped that Sam and Nicole would be like the plus-sized girls on America's Next Top Model (i.e. there as a token but doomed to fail early) but Sam won the beauties' debate challenge. Since the beauties and geeks were all ready to give him and Nicole the boot, Sam's sudden spark of debating brilliance about the benefits of partying with drunken 18 year olds seemed a little suspect. So we're stuck with these two for at least another episode. Perhaps Sam might come across as a little more sincere in the next episodes but we won't know if that's really him or just some acting chops that he picked up on Grace Under Fire or 8 Simple Rules...for Dating My Teenage Daughter.
In the end, Tony and Amanda got sent home, he for not knowing that the rapper Nas is not white, she for not knowing what OPEC stood for (um, I didn't, either. Does that mean I'm a beauty?) While it would have been great to get rid of Sam and Nicole, Tony and Amanda probably were best trimmed from the group early for getting to the "I learned so much from you!!" part of the show too soon in the season. Amanda barely seemed like she knew Tony was already exhorting him to come out of his shell, and then he wept as he told us he would do "anything" for her. Be a geek, man, but don't be a pussy.
--While Sam is fake, the girls' reaction to him didn't seem to be. Instead of flocking to him, they appeared to resent his addition to their cute, cuddly geeks. Aaw.
--My further problem with Sam is in addition to his fake character, he doesn't even seem to be a real beauty, but a guy who's just playing a good-looking guy. I mean, look at his headshot on Wikipedia. He looks like he's trying out for the role of Biff in the stage adaptation of Back to the Future. Then again the glare of his face was so intense, maybe I wasn't seeing it clearly.
--The geeks' challenge of performing an autobiographical rap seemed much easier than the beauties' debate, did it not? This once again proved the old adage that all you need to do to be a successful rapper is grab your groin and juggle, whereas the beauties couldn't fall back on that tactic. Waggling boobs does not win arguments. At least on this show.