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Let’s Watch This Awkward Mall of America Episode of ‘ElimiDATE’

The mall looks the same… and yet so different.

11:48 AM CDT on May 18, 2023

Our latest ElimiDATE puppetmaster is Billy. He’s a model who does runway and print work here in the Twin Cities. 

“I really like a girl who focuses on her body and takes care of herself, because I’m working on myself,” he says in an interview. Spoiler alert: He goes for the lady who jokes about smoking and isn’t sporty.

Let’s go to the mall

Date time! We’re at the Mall of America! (“It is packed with thousands of things to do,” says Billy. Racket can confirm.) There's a mall montage featuring a guy with a parrot (is that at the Rainforest Cafe?), a shot of some NASCAR-themed video game arcade, and a shop called “City Shirts.” Wow. What a weird collection of stuff to showcase for the folks at home.

They’re at Underwater World, which is still here. These days it’s owned by a different company and goes by Sea Life at the Mall of America, but the main structure of the facility, like the viewing tunnel, is pretty much the same. 

“There’s giant sharks swimming around all over the place and they’re kinda hunting around for what they want, and I’m kinda swimming around here looking for what I want,” says Billy, explaining why he “chose” to start the date here. He’s a romance shark, folks.

Time to meet the ladies. First up is Eve. She’s a stunt double. She flexes her arms for the camera and we can see she is ripped. Bad-ass! Katie is a wacky DJ. She’s gorgeous, but is giving strong Jim Carrey circa Ace Ventura vibes. She likes being a DJ because she can be a dork. Brittany introduces herself as a baseball freak. (I kinda love it when contestants on these shows go as vague as possible. It’s a smart move!) And last but not least, there’s Alanna. She’s a bartender at Martini Bar in Minneapolis. “They call me 'the Tom Cruise bartender,’” she says, as we see her flipping a shaker and pouring out a neon blue bev—a very early '00s lookin' drink.

Our fivesome starts the date walking through the underwater tunnel and talking about the fish they like. Then they make their way to the touch tank, where Billy wants to test the women by asking them to touch a stingray—because they can sting! (Nature fact: Stingrays are sometimes described as the “puppies of the sea” and are generally pretty friendly and gentle.)

Billy asks the ladies if they’ve ever been stung. Katie says she was bit by a snake once. Billy clarifies that he was asking about relationship stings. Eve makes a joke about beating her boyfriend. Hm.

Well, that location was kinda a dud. Next they head to some sort of NASCAR arcade thing. It’s one of those places where you sit in a “car” that rumbles and shakes while you drive through a pixelated Playstation 2-era race track. The show actually plays a non diegetic ad as everyone piles into their own car. Billy joins Eve. “I was puking out the window because Eve was driving crazy,” he lies. No one is interacting with each other and it’s hard to tell what is going on with the game. Great date!

WTF is this...

ElimiDATE time!

“Everything has been really fun and everything's been really cool,” Billy’s starts off before cutting Katie. She takes the escalator out of the mall to DJ and date another day.

Is this why the episode is called "Everything's Beachy?"

The next stop is a shop called Ocean Drive Beach Club, where the ladies are gonna put on a swimsuit and model for Billy. The women do not look like they are into it. Ew.

“You guys look so psyched,” notes Billy, who doesn’t seem that into it either. But hey, we all signed up to participate in this show, be it as contestants or as viewers, so we gotta live with that.

They all put on swimsuits. Brittany models a pair of goggles as a joke and it’s pretty adorable. “It showed another side of her that we hadn’t seen before,” narrates Alanna.

Billy is an equal opportunity swimsuit guy, so he asks the girls to pick out a suit for him to model and does a friendly little fashion show. “I gave him a nice high five," says Eve. "I thought he looked really good in them." The sexual tension in this episode is epic! (Not really.)

Next up is a store called City Shirts. It’s one of those make-your-own shirt places that still exist, but are mostly confined to tourist traps and fairs. 

Billy tasks them to make shirts for each other. Brittany gets a tee that says “Oops I did it again,” Alanna gets an “I mate and then I kill” shirt because she has a black widow tattoo on her arm, and Eve gets a shirt that says “Brittany rules.”

ElimiDATE time! It’s Brittany. “I can stay out until five in the morning partying,” says Billy, “and I just think she would have been left behind around midnight.” Partying until five in the morning? Not in this town, buddy!

Thank god! There's beer this round

Next location: Something called “Sports Bar.” They split a pitcher and talk about bad relationships before Billy tasks the two with a sumo wrestling challenge. Remember those novelty, super padded sumo suits? It’s one of those things. It’s really cute to watch. You can tell the girls are having a good time. “I’m surprised they were such good sports because I wouldn’t be,” says Billy. 

Eve wins the sumo match, but she doesn’t win Billy’s heart. He elimiDATES her and opts for Alanna because he “can drink beer with her and can kick it with his boys.” That was not one of your original requirements, sir! What is this flimflam twist? Good day. 

Were you a contestant on ElimiDATE? Hit me up at jessica@racketmn.com; I would love to talk with you!

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