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‘ElimiDATE’ Goes to Bde Maka Ska and Calhoun Beach Club This Episode

And we’re gonna talk about butterflies a lot.

12:27 PM CDT on May 23, 2023

We’re starting this installment right on Bde Maka Ska, which was going by Lake Calhoun in the '00s. This was also the decade where Uptown was alive and/or dead because places like the GAP and Anthropologie were moving it, but we still had cool things like the Uptown Bar. 

Anyway, we’re going to see none of that in this episode, which is going to be Calhoun Beach Club-heavy. Today’s puppetmaster is Mark. He’s a television commercial producer. He loves Uptown. “Calhoun is THE Minnesota Lake,” he proclaims. 

Next up we meet the ladies. Amy is a law clerk. She’s not a cheerleader-type person; “I will defend myself at whatever cost.” Hm. Is this "baggage" or is this "girl power"?

Caroline is a self-proclaimed “administrative superstar” who hates hairy butts.

Nicola is a media analyst who’s in a band. She’s British and has a great accent. “American boys like cheap beer and sex and British boys like good beer and sex,” she explains. No lies detected there!

Caroline says in an interview that when she thinks of rocker chicks she thinks of “babes who don’t bathe on a regular basis.” Well, the rocker chicks I know definitely enjoy showering, so I don't know who she's smelling around town.

Finally, we get Cristina. She does clerical work and likes to make candles. The ladies are gonna call her the shallow one a lot this episode, but she knows her way around a metaphor. “A lot of people have compared me to a butterfly,” she says in an interview. “Butterflies are very pretty, and once in a while they’ll grace you with their presence. But if you try to try to catch it and suffocate it, it’s gonna leave.” So true.

Interrogation Time!

Mark asks a lot of questions this episode. He starts off asking the women what kind of commercial they would be and why.

Caroline loves the Muppets, so she would be a Muppet commercial... or something. It’s unclear where she’s going with that. Amy says she would be a high-performance race car ad. Nicola would be a commercial for sushi because she really likes it. Cristina wants to be a muscle car or a corvette. All of this tells us nothing.

Time to stand in the water and get asked more questions! Mark tells the women to take off their clothes. “I took all of the ladies out to the lake because I wanted to see who looked good in a bikini,” says Mark, sagely. “Seeing all of them tear off their clothes and run into the water was definitely a cool experience.” Aim higher, Mark.

There’s a shot of everyone running toward the water with the boom mic hanging out in the bottom right hand corner. Is this a cry for help from the sound guy? I see you, buddy.

Once in the water they play Truth or Dare, minus the Dare, and with a soccer ball. 

Back on land, it’s time for another question-based game. Mark asks each lady to write a word in the sand that describe them. The girls are starting to look booooored. Cristina writes “butterfly,” and talks about how butterflies are free-spirited. Dang, those pretty little sky bugs sure have a hold on her. (As someone who was in their 20s in the ‘00s, I get it. We were really feeling butterflies that decade.) 

Mark then asks them to write a word describing one of the other women. Amy chooses “frazzled” to describe noted butterfly stan Cristina, demonstrating that she does not know what that word means. 

ElimiDATE time! Marks chooses Nicola. She responds with a low-key bummed “shiiit” and suggests that she’s too weird for him. She seems cool, honestly. I’ll drink a good beer with you!

Next round! Tennis!

My colleague Jay figured out that the gang is at Calhoun Beach Club’s tennis courts.

Mark has more freaking questions. Here’s a sampling of a few Qs he bangs out between playing tennis instructor with the trio:

“Do you play tennis?”

“What sports did you play in high school?”

“What were you like in high school?”

“Am I a good tennis instructor?” 

“What is the biggest misconception people have about you?”

Caroline answers that last one by explaining that people think all Asians are quiet and polite and good at math and science, which she is not. 

“That’s a woman thing though,” Mark interjects, like he’s just made a great joke. Speaking of lame stereotypes…

Poor Caroline kinda makes a wilting “Oh…” sound of disappointment, and we see a bit of a sour look on Amy’s face while Cristina averts her eyes to the ground. Yeah Mark, you showed your ass there.

ElimiDATE time! Mark gets rid of Caroline because he thinks she’s "intimidating." Uh, what? Again, you seemed cool, Caroline. I’d watch Muppet movies with you. 

"Exotic Meats"

Phase three: We’re inside the Calhoun Beach Club. Mark says he only gave them 15 minutes to get ready. “I don’t like the high-maintenance women,” he claims. 

He then critiques the ladies’ dresses, saying nice things about both. Cool cool cool. At the dinner table, a waiter presents a variety of what Mark says are “exotic” foods. The menu: reindeer, ostrich, armadillo, and calamari with caviar sauce. All of that just sounds mean. 

Cristine is psyched to eat calamari. Amy cracks up because the waiter accidentally called tentacles “testicals.” Nice!

Amy sexily tells Mark she is “all about Santa Claus,” opting to try reindeer. “It tastes like chicken,” she says.

Next, Mark is back on his goddamn question bullshit. He takes each lady onto the lamest rich people dance floor ever, and asks them why he should pick them over the other lady. When they answer he asks them to answer the same question, again

Finally, he takes a break from the questions to ElimiDATE someone. It’s Cristina. He just feels that he and Amy have more in common, which is probably true. And, either way, butterflies are free, just like Cristina in this moment. The show leaves Amy and Mark posing in the Club’s expensive-looking marble hallway looking like two young Republicans from the Dubya era. Enjoy that recession, kids!

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