By Lori Bizzoco

Broken engagements, boyfriend stealing and love triangles galore.  Welcome to this summer’s most anticipated show, Bachelor Pad 2.  ABC pulled out all the stops when collecting the current list of castoffs from seasons past.  We watched like animals in heat tonight, glued to the television witnessing one of the most talked about and controversial casts this summer.  Is it a coincidence that all the references noted above point back to one person: Vienna Girardi?  Hmmm, it leaves us wondering if the show would even be worth the three hours it premiered if it wasn’t for her and Jake Pavelka’s drama-induced past.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Vienna and Jake, it’s safe to say that they’ll probably go down in The Bachelor history as the most remembered (not in a good way) contestants.  She won the love and proposal of Bachelor, Jake Pavelka, Season 14 and broke his heart when she sold their break-up story for $90,000, according to reports.  Then, they trashed one another on Primetime television when the relationship ended, and it was so brutal that Vienna stormed out of the interview.  They haven’t talked since that fight took place a year ago.  Now, they’re both back in the house, under the same roof, competing for the $250,000 grand prize.

Last night we witnessed the first challenge of the season which included each of the 18 contestants partnering up with someone in the house.  The men were ousted into the air by harness with the women hanging on to them wherever and however they could.  The prize for the couple who lasted longest was full immunity and a rose.  With those stakes on the line, it’s no surprise that the challenge came down to Jake and Vienna being the remaining two.  Partnering up with Vienna was her new beau and “guard and protect” tattoo-man from Ali Fedotowsky’s season, Kasey Kahl.  While Jake partnered with understated Jackie Gordon from Brad Womack’s season.

It came down to the final four and after thirty minutes, Kasey couldn’t hold on to Vienna any longer.  She begged him to hold on so that Jake wouldn’t get immunity, but he couldn’t.  Jake and Jackie not only win a rose, but they also have a one-on-one date and get an additional rose to save one other person in the house.  Guess who gets the rose and a free ride?  Surprise, surprise!  Jake convinces Jackie (although it looks like her idea) that he must give the rose to Vienna as a truce; to put closure on his wound that obviously hasn’t healed.  Strategic or stupid?  It’s most likely stupid, as Vienna laughs about it behind-the-scenes.

One person who clearly states the stupidity of Jake’s rose decision is Vienna’s ex-best friend, and the only two-time Bachelor Pad contestant, Gia Allemand.  Gia can’t stand Vienna after finding out that she hooked up with her ex-boyfriend, Wes Hayden.  Gia (also on Jake’s season) is good friends with Jake and feels betrayed by his decision to give the rose to Vienna instead of protecting her.  Worried that she may now be eliminated, she confronts Kasey in a one-on-one scheme and talks him into an alliance with her.  As she’s doing that, Blake is trying to get Jackie to vote off Kasey.

All of this makes for good television, but we can’t forget the other contestants in the house who also have interesting stories:

First, there’s Michael Stagliano and ex-fiance, Holly Durst.  We didn’t see too much of their relationship drama tonight, which leads us to believe that producers are saving the best for last.  We can’t wait to watch how that plays out.  We would love to see them back together, but Holly has admitted to being a commitment-phobe and from the first evening in the house she’s had her eyes on last season’s resident dentist, Blake Julian.  It’s a shame for Holly, because the promos clearly highlight that Blake is also caught hooking up in the house with former Brad Womack contestant, Melissa Schreibner.  There will be tears.

It also looks like last season’s boxing champ (joke) and nice boy, Ames Brown, has already formed an alliance (and possibly a relationship) with lonely heart, spider-hater (she called Michelle Money a spider), Jackie Gordon.  Both Jackie and Ames are New Yorkers, and you can hear them mumbling on last night’s episode about spending time together when they get back to the city.  “We should go to Central Park,” Jackie says to Ames.  Being the Ivy League-educated gent that Ames is, he’s probably wondering why she couldn’t have thought of anything more unique and original to do.

Then, there’s one of our fan favorites, Utah hairstylist and accredited crazy lady, Michelle Money.  For the record, we don’t think Michelle is crazy. We think she’s a witty, smartass, and we love it (yes, we’re a bit biased).  We also hear that southern philanthropist, Graham Belle hooks up with Money (that’s Michelle Money, not the greenback kind, if you know what we mean).

Other contestants that haven’t raised the drama meter too high yet are Erica Rose from Lorenzo Borghese’s season who creates her own fanfare by wearing a tiara and claiming she’s a princess. Kirk DeWindt from Ali Fedotowsky’s season and the too-truthful comedian, William, from Ashley Hebert’s season are both under the radar right now, as well.

Then there’s Ella Nolan, the Tennessee mom who was dumped by Jake Pavelka. Talk about a back story- her own mother was murdered by her stepfather right in front of her when she was three-years old. She’s doing this all for her son so that she can give him the life she never had when she was young.  I feel like I am watching Lifetime Television.

Lastly, we have Justin “Rated R” Rego (should be ‘ego’).  He’s the professional wrestler who appeared on Ali Fedotowsky’s season and bragged to the men about having a girlfriend back home. Interestingly, he’s like a G-rated version of what Bentley did to Ashley Hebert this past season.  And last, but not least, we have apparel buyer, Alli Travis from Brad Womack’s season.

In a nutshell, the rest of the night was based on forming alliances, with both Gia and Kasey coming to a close call on being eliminated.  They’d probably be gone if Justin didn’t betray his alliance by telling Alli that Graham is going to “work on her,” meaning he is going to get her to come to their side.  Alli confronted Graham, which made Justin look two-faced.  No time to waste.  He’s Gone.

Alli also seems to be playing two sides and not making a decision where her alliance is resting.  The other contestants are in it to win it.  Alli’s eliminated, too.

There you have it. Two down and 16 people to go.  This should be an interesting summer.

Our early predictions: Michelle Money, Michael Stagliano, with close calls to Ella Nolan and Ames Brown.

Stay tune for next week’s recap.  In the meantime, if you have questions about the Bachelor Pad 2, send them in. We will have former winners, Natalie Getz and David Good with us all season to answer them.