(Warning: This post contains spoilers for FBoy Island Season 3, Episode 8.)
Mercedes’ first win on FBoy Island might’ve happened more than a year ago, during Season 2, but this beachside paradise is still weathering the aftershocks of his victory to this day. Benedict, who arrived last season as a Nice Guy but lost to Mercedes, returned as an FBoy—and when forced to reveal that last week, he directly referenced having gotten his heart broken as a Nice Guy as a reason for switching sides. Mercedes and Louise Barnes, who chose him over Benedict, broke up after the show, and part way through this season, Mercedes returned to try his luck again—in spite of the fact that his little brother Marquies was already on this season, trying to date the same three women.
Marquies’ doom was swift and predictable, but Mercedes’ rise to total FBoy Island domination has been remarkable. 28-year-old model Hali Okeowo clearly knows that she can’t entirely trust him, but week after week, he manages to charm his way out of elimination. It doesn’t help that as revealed last week, Hali’s group is down to three men, all of whom (including Mercedes) are FBoys. More and more, however, it’s looking like Mercedes is going to win this thing—a horrific prospect for FBoy Island, for Hali, and for womankind as a whole.
To be fair, Mercedes did at least split the money with Louise when she picked him last time. Maybe he’ll do that again this season. Still, I can’t help but pray, with my hands and knees in the sand: Please, oh please, just let poor Hali pull a Season 2 move and choose herself instead of either of her untrustworthy finalists.
For those who’ve never snorkeled off its shores, FBoy Island is a reality dating show in which dozens of hunky men compete for access to a cash prize the leading women’s love. Some have entered the game as “Nice Guys,” who have volunteered to split the $100,000 cash prize, should one of the women pick them in the end, and others are FBoys—who reserve the right to walk away with all of it. This week, things got intense as all three women (Hali, former competitive snowboarder Daniella Grace, and former Bachelorette Katie Thurston) tried to narrow their top three men down to their final two.
Hali be stuck with FBoys all the way down (Mercedes, EJ, and stealth-FBoy Evander) but she’s not the only one in a tough spot: Katie found out last week that the seemingly wholesome Benedict, who talks a fantastic game, entered the game as an FBoy this time around. Thankfully, her other two picks are Nice Guys, but that did not seem to soothe her fury. “I don’t want to hear it—I really don’t,” Katie told Benedict this week (which resolved the tail end of last week’s reveal). She later added, “I don’t think you know who you are. Truly.”
Daniella is in a slightly tougher spot: She’s got one Nice Guy left, Christian, but he’s… very boring. (Or, in nicer terms, he’s exceedingly private and closed-off.) She’s also got basketball player CJ—who is very hot but also an FBoy—and Jared, an unabashed FBoy who has spent most of the show thus far bad-mouthing her to producers.
Coming into this game, all three women emphasized that they want to find a guy they can trust—which leaves all three of them in a tough position, Hali most of all.
Katie seems the most rattled. She blows Benedict off when he first tries to catch some time with her one-on-one during a volleyball group date, and as she awards her MVP trophy to Marco, she makes sure to emphasize, “Nice Guys win usually.” Katie might not have been feeling Marco before, but after finding out that he’s actually a Nice Guy, she’s now invested in making up for lost time. Her third guy, Vince, has been a contender since Day One, but he’s also been very quick to dive in on the feelings; he already told Katie that he loved her. During this week’s elimination ceremony, he makes sure to do it again in front of everyone, even though the first time clearly made her uncomfortable.
Daniella’s group date turns out to be a seasonal photo shoot, which works great for social media mavens Jared and CJ but does little for Christian, who might be a bit too shy for Daniella’s tastes. Jared makes it a point to tell Daniella that Christian seems too reserved to be her type, and in a fascinating move, she decides to share that information with Christian while trying to convince him to come out of his shell. (On what planet would telling a shy guy that one of your other boyfriends said he was boring help him to open up???) Christian insists he has it in him and that he’ll show it to her, but at the same time, he tells producers, “I ain’t no puppet.”
This might be the beginning of a fascinating turn for Christian. After that little tête-à-tête with Daniella, he confronts Jared about calling him boring, which Jared denies by saying he’d simply said he was more “private.” Later on, when Jared is talking to Daniella and leaves to grab her a drink, Christian makes it a point to pop in and tell her, “I’m not boring, and Jared’s a liar.” Ohhhkayy…
Ultimately, however, Hali’s got the biggest mess on her hands. She’s feeling betrayed by Evander, whom she’d believed was a slightly boring Nice Guy, and she’s never really seemed to find a spark with EJ. Mercedes clearly knows how to make her feel comfortable, but she’s also smart enough to know it could all be a game. Her carnival date was an inspiring exercise in pettiness, as she took her guys to a booth where she got to pie them all in the face while quizzing them about her background. (Miraculously, Mercedes did actually remember her birthday.)
Could the show possibly offer her the same option that the women got last year and allow her to choose herself, walking away alone with all the money? It sure seemed to work out for Tamaris last summer! Something tells me, however, that the solution might not be so simple—especially because Hali does seem to really like Mercedes and his extensive collection of lace shirts. He was among her final two this week, along with EJ, seemingly guaranteeing that she’ll either leave this thing with him or alone.
During her own eliminations, Daniella once again chooses to keep Jared around, and when asked by producers whether he intends to leave the island with her, he makes clear that’s up to him. (Greaaaaat.) In a shocking turn, however, Daniella picks Christian over CJ—perhaps because she can’t stand the idea of losing the Nice Guy insurance policy appended to Christian’s neatly pressed polo shirt.
And while Benedict might be in limbro, Katie still doesn’t seem quite ready to quit him. In fact, she leaves the stage after first saving Vince from elimination, murmuring, “I’m going to throw up.” Previews for next week find host and part-time therapist Nikki Glaser urging Katie to follow her gut, but at this point, it’s unclear where that would point: Should she take a leap of faith on Benedict and trust his word that he’s been genuine, or should she go with the “safe” pick, Marco, in spite of their clear lack of chemistry? Decisions, decisions…
This post has been corrected to accurately state Hali’s age.