LOVE AND WAR: The drunken competitions
for Tila’s, uh, hand resemble Big Brother on
Tila Tequila terrifies me. It’s not because she’s a diminutive, tattoo’d bisexual freak with thousands of MySpace friends who all, it seems, want to bone her. I’m okay with that — she’s just doing her thing, and who am I to judge? What scares me about Tila is that, having come to the conclusion that she was “tired of being alone,” she decided she would entrust a cable network with the task of finding her a soulmate.
Maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps Tila, who got her start on Fuse’s Pants Off Dance Off, doesn’t actually want much more than a new, extended hook-up. Of course, admitting as much wouldn’t make for very good television, would it? It’s hard to tell with Tila. The only thing I have to analyze is her barely cognizant performance on a program that will simultaneously determine the lowest levels she’ll sink to and the longevity of her fame. A Shot at Love (MTV, Tuesdays at 10 pm) pits 16 single straight men against 16 single lesbians in a sleazy battle of the sexes. The show’s title is deceiving — it suggests what’s at stake is her heart and soul. But to quote one of the young suitors who boozily took full advantage of his alone time with Tila in the premiere episode, “We’re here for one reason, and that’s for your fine ass.”
All’s fair in love and war. Particularly when both tequila the drink and Tequila the woman are involved. You can bet there’s a whole lot of both kinds making an appearance on this show; only the morning scenes are shot without contestants swilling from red Solo cups of loose juice. Two virgins somehow made the cut, though there aren’t any sober or straight-edge individuals in sight, and for good reason. After Tila picks her favorites out, she invites them to move into her tricked-out pink mansion. That’s when the trouble begins. The contestants share a single, gigantic bed at night and are forbidden to engage in orgiastic activities when she isn’t around. And every day they wake, drink, and fight for a private moment with the lady of the hour in drunken competitions that resemble Big Brother on summer-camp crack. No surprise, A Shot at Love has nabbed the #1 rating in its time slot for 18-to-34-year-olds. Three cheers for the evil-genius producers!
Ashley, a Southern boy who can’t seem to keep his tenses straight, professes his love for Tila first. The rest follow in a balls-out attempt to make her see that she’s all they care about. Neither these false declarations nor Tila’s warnings stop the girls from kissing girls (and boys). Tila, poor, misguided little Tila, is vacant enough to expect them to behave better. This after telling Dominico, a “server” born in Milan who she nicknamed “Mr. Italy,” that she needs to pleasure herself at least nine times a day.
Once Ashley is deprived of his Shot at Love, the virgins are thrown out on the street, and mama’s boy Michael is sent packing back to his parent’s couch, I become more and more perplexed by what it is, exactly, that Tila wants. She doesn’t like innocents, but she’s kept several liars, the crazy Italian (who I’m convinced is going to get his own comedy sit-com after this show ends), and a bat-shit-insane manipulator named Vanessa around. “I’m feeling very vulnerable right now,” Tila confides to the cameras, pouting. Buck up and get ready for a taste of your own vitriol, Ms. Tequila, because I can’t remember the last time an MTV-generated social experiment ended well for anyone involved.