THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
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One man will get a second chance to make a first impression upon seven ladies from his past. But this time, he's competing for THEIR affection instead of the other way around. Whose heart will be broken again?

Recaps by Chico Alexander, GSNN


FACT FILE:
Creator:
Joe Livecchi
EP: Joe Livecchi, Bob Kusbit
Packager: NBC Studios
Airs: Monday, May 31 at 9:00pm ET on NBC


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Episode 1 - May 31

My nightmare has come true... for someone else... in reality-show form. One person, Skipper Kress, will have to choose from seven different women one to be his soulmate. The thing is... he's had relationships with all of them.

But before we meet the ladies, here's Skipper. Southern gentleman and bartender from Charlotte, NC. Ladies' man. Self-described flirt. Freelance consultant. Golfer. Only room in his heart for one. Wants badly to love and be loved. "I'm undeserving of a lot of things, but I definitely deserve to be in love."  Yeah, you were in love seven times before. That's how you got yourself into this mess. And he's risking it all for a second shot.

So what's a guy in his position to do? Go south of the border from Carolina proper to Carolina... un-proper. Skip is planting himself in a mansion in McClellanville, SC. He has no idea who will show up, which is weird because he knows all of them.

First up, Erin Dagenhart, who knows Skip from high school. Erin wanted a commitment that Skip couldn't give. "She expects a lot."

Next, Kristi Simpson, whom Skip had a crush on for five years. He's hoping that five years is long enough for him to prove that he's ready to commit.

Katie Gray dated Skip three years ago. It was a summer fling. They are both crazy. The two of them = explosion of fun. But Katie's a bit more down to earth.

"Lemme tell ya 'bout Mindy Chambers," Skip's best friend who wants more. He would be hurt by her the most.

Then comes Skip's most recent conquest, Grace Koy, your classic love-hate relationship. Skip sees this as the last chance for their "relationship".

Amy McIlwane, co-worker with a 2-year crush on Skip. She watches him flirt. He thinks she's cute. "To be the Skipper's girlfriend... could be the adventure of a lifetime."

And finally, Mallory McCombs, Skip's childhood sweetheart from 6th grade. They dated around the same time Skip was dating Katie!

So the past has come back to haunt him. Big time. Starting off with... Bikinis! And from a westerner's point of view living in the south for 12 years, I can tell you... They have NO problem showing off the stuff... But they do have a problem calling dibs. And the girls note that this may be a little unnerving to our hopeless romantic.

And, to prevent this from getting any more tedious, 15 minutes in, and it's elimination time. Formal dinner party. Very tough, especially with all seven at once. For one, he can't remember where any of them first met. Hoo boy.

After the dinner, one-on-one time, where Skip says that he wants to change as a man and that he wants the ladies to help him. Example from Amy: "You're a man. What man hasn't done what you've done?"

*raises hand*

Grace doesn't think that Skip has it in him to change. Erin is trying to choose between the honest Skip and the party Skip. Mindy's hoping to put Skip in check. And Erin, the biggest standout so far, gets the extra-special version, as they wonder if they're on the same page of music. Skip reassures Erin that he's going to make some changes. Well, procrastination is one of his vices, as she asks what is keeping him from finally growing up.

Next day, fishing. Hard to be one of seven people simultaneously dating a schizophrenic. Amy has no problem with it. And Skip has no problem with Amy.

Wish I could say the same for Grace, as she's just stand-offish. "You and I have something that none of those girls have. But you also have something with them that you and I don't have, so which one's stronger?" Argument ensues. Resolved. Much to Erin's dismay, who's now questioning everything she had thought prior.

Next up, 20 Questions on the beach. Like the WLTI game of the same name, the only rule is that you must answer completely and honestly. We find out that Erin thinks that Kristi or Amy is the most jealous, Amy is intimidated by Grace, Skip's biggest myth is that he's heartless, Skip thinks that Mindy or Mallory are the most likely to break his heart, and that after tonight, three would remain.

Would one be Mindy? She goes off with him for a while, where she says that she wants to stick around. Skip tries to prove it with a kiss. Mindy's scared of being hurt. But it was worth taking a risk, she figures, as she goes in for the kill.

Impending elimination talk. Everyone's scared of opening up. Grace is bitching. Skip is nervous. Very nervous. So nervous that instead of just telling the girls outright, he writes them all letters, which you can see for yourself at NBC.com. The four letters on his plate are addressed to... Katie ("Actions speak louder than words"), Amy ("Grow up a little bit"), Mallory ("I hope he finds what he came here to find"), and sweet Mindy ("We're gonna be great friends"). Erin, Kristi, and Grace (who has the excitement factor of a dead goldfish) get golden passes.

Opening up the second half with a twist. Because every good reality show (and even the not so good ones) has one. This twist: the girls get to choose which among them is the next to go. Grace: "What?!" My thoughts exactly.

Indy dates now, as Erin meets Skip for a moonlight cruise... on a rowboat. Skip cares deeply about her, as they have some catching up to do. They talk about moving back to Charlotte and having a family. Skip isn't really tied to the Queen City, and would move if given the option. But Erin sees otherwise, as she couldn't see herself with a girl-crazy bartender, thus confusing him. Maybe it's selfish on Erin's part. Maybe she's being wary. Maybe she just doesn't like it. "I just want to know that I'm important."

Okay, I'm voting for A, especially since they come back with a full bottle of wine.

Kristi gets a chance to act on her crush, while Skip promises that they'll have a good time. He surprises her with a little game of "Would, you, like, to,.. dance?" A night under the stars borrowed from the set of "Who Wants to Marry My Dad?" So we have lights, a disco ball, and music. Very fairy-tale-ish. Kristi thinks it's beautiful, and Skip's enjoying it.

Then he goes and spoils it all by asking if she kisses on a first date. Well, she does, so he does. And he proclaims his feelings. Again. They've never had "the talk" before, but she can see Skip in a positive way. Good start. And they keep kissing. And kissing... Annnnnd kissing.

Next is Grace, who's freaked out by the whole date thing, though she was the latest casualty of the cupboard of Skip's love. The two nervously tour the city in a '57 Caddy. Onto G-town, Georgetown, SC. And bad hip-hop. And now playing at the Strand Theater, "Skip and Grace". And here I was hoping for Spider-Man. It makes her cry... and kiss. "I was really speechless." The rest of the time is spent in a liplock, right until they get to the boardwalk and chocolate fondue in a restaurant there, where they talk about why both of them arrived. She asks if she's mean to him; he says "Sometimes". Oh yeah, they're meant for each other.

Yet another elimination forthcoming. Kristi and Grace think that Erin doesn't belong. Will that translate over to the vote? Montage ensues. Then Erin walks in. She gets paranoid, and then we see a naked statue.

Firesides conversations lead into elimination, as Skip says that Kristi helped a lot. How? We'll see. Remember, Grace and Kristi voted for Erin to leave, leaving Erin to X out Grace. But, "the decision is, in the end, still mine."  Grace is down first... and she's in, leaving Erin and Kristi. Erin is down... and citing a confusion... that she wants the best out of a person... she's asked to stay. Grace is shocked. Kristi's got a letter and a cab waiting for her, with nothing more to say than "I guess he really didn't take [what I said] to heart."

Down to two now. And I can say that they genuinely hate each other now. Next day is the last chance for Skip, Grace, and Erin. We've got the Box o' Questions... But we don't have question. We've got a twist. "Skipper, the person who could be the real true love of your life is here to confront Grace and Erin."

What... the hell. Wait a sec. It's nephew Mike. "This brother's needed a wing man." Mike asks why Erin would be a good aunt (because she comes from a large family). Same question to Grace (she doesn't know - she's thrown for a loop, as she doesn't like children). Erin wants to be Skip's girlfriend because they have a lot of history. Grace wants to be Skip's girlfriend because they have a lot of connection.

See ya round, Mike. Thanks for the help. Holla.

So you have Erin who likes kids, and Grace who finds them awkward. One final walk with the Skipper. They talk about Mike, the final decision, and being scared of logistics. He's ready, he's serious, but he might not be the best at it. "The man that I am is the man you care about."

Grace isn't used to children, and Skip tells her to get used to it fast. Whatever decision he makes, she'll have to respect it. She says she's ready, but does her constantly-open-and-shut-and-open-again case precede her?

Erin and Grace go at each other, pertaining Kristi's elimination. Grace doesn't think Erin's right for him. Erin doesn't think Grace's right for him. It's a catfight without the cats.

But enough catty chatty, as Skip doesn't want to choose tonight unless love is in the cards for the future. He approaches the lawn with one more letter, and one more chance for one of the two that got away. Erin could be in love with him. She meets him out on the lawn, laying all of her cards out on the table. Then Grace meets Skip out in the lawn, thinking that they could have a relationship. She can barely tell him how she feels a lot a lot a lot about him.

Then it's Skip's turn. Saying that he wants the best for Erin, and thanking her for being sweet to Mike... and saying that the friendship between him and Grace has been mostly a safety net... Skip tells Erin that a relationship is black and white and there is no more room for that kind of bond to grow. She gets a letter, while Grace gets the long-drawn decision. She's also given a letter, but not one of goodbye, but of hello.

Erin knows what she wants... and it's obvious that she won't get it here, as she waah-waah-wahhs... As for Grace, Skip is looking forward to the beginning... and a trip for two to Greece on the peacock's dollar, which, from what I hear, isn't worth that darn much.

And so the last one that got away comes back round full circle.

And as for NBC, who is most fortunate to just limit this to one series, I have one word, and you will thank me for using it.

NEXT!

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