Previously in weird marriages: Elizabeth Taylor and most of her husbands. Elvis and Priscilla. Michael and Lisa Marie. Drew Barrymore and that guy whose name even she doesn't remember anymore. Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Shannen Doherty and that Hamilton she probably beat up. Macauley Culkin and that girl from Guiding Light. The Sound Of Music. Oh, wait -- that last one is "previously in weird marionettes." I'm a little dizzy.
Announcer-Man tells us that "five pairs of perfect strangers are about to take the next step in a bold experiment in marriage." He promises us that they will become engaged without ever seeing each other, which I guess is a "bold experiment" in the same way it would be a "bold experiment" to remove your own lungs to see whether you really need them. We are again shown the bizarre Love Forcefield contraption that will allow the ring to be slipped on the woman's finger without the couple's actually seeing each other. There is a strategically-placed hole, you see, in the Love Forcefield. Announcer-Man says that the couples will then spend five weeks on "a secluded estate," engaging in sex and other whimsical icebreakers. "America will witness it all," he intones seriously. And then big red words come up on the screen, saying, "HERE'S WHERE WE ARE." Surprisingly, there is not a map of hell, complete with a little cartoon devil, leaping flames, and a dot labeled "You Are Here." Instead, we are reminded that each of our five contestants was assigned five possible spousal candidates, and that their illustrious peeps then narrowed it down to two, using mysticism, numerology, and in some cases, what seems like it must have been keen resentment over past wrongs. Once the two finalists were announced, the six people actually watching the show were asked to vote by phone to decide which candidate each should marry. Jill will marry either Markus (seems decent) or Kevin (seems like a smarmy little underwear model). Stephen will marry either Denise D. (terrorism made her realize it would be a great idea to marry a stranger) or Denise L. (doesn't see why you can't dance with two guys at the same time, if you see what I'm saying). Billie Jeanne will marry either Tony (proud to have his own hair) or Michael (who?). Jennifer will marry either Xavier ("Frenchie") or Scott (flop-hair). Matt will marry either Sally (unapologetic for past exploits) or Cortez (too dim to remember past exploits, and too boring to have had any).
"Dong! Dong! Dong!" go the chimes of the reality-show chapel. You know, I really wasn't in too much of a traditional wedding mood as the show started, but now that I've heard the chimes, I totally feel the love. In fact, I may have to go get married myself. I'm sure there's someone at a nearby bus stop who would be appropriate. I'll just get my coat.