It’s the last day of Boot Camp. Will the ladies go back to the same mistakes that brought them here or will they leave Boot Camp as new, and improved, women ready to take the dating world by storm? The women dress to the nines for the final group therapy session. Tonight, all of the ladies will be on the Hot Seat for the last time. Steve wants to hear how the ladies think they’ve changed throughout this experience and what lessons they’ll bring home with them.
First up is Donna – Miss Ticking Clock. Donna’s journey has been a tough one. Her age was a deterrent the first couple weeks of Boot Camp. But just as she was about to give up hope, she met Chris. Her fear of rejection grew proportionally to her feelings for him. Steve hopes that Donna “isn’t afraid to move forward even when she’s feeling vulnerable.” Donna shares that dating has always felt like “a chore” but that with Chris she’s “having fun.” Steve asks her what the next step for her and Chris is as tears well in Donna’s eyes. She is afraid for their future because there’s a chance Chris will decide he no longer wants to be with her. Steve compares the scariness and excitement of dating to jumping out of a plane. Her relationship with Chris is her “skydive” because “it’s a fear you’re willing to embrace because you think it will be a worthwhile experience.”
Chris joins the group. Donna thanks him for their time together, explains her fears and tells him how much she likes him. He shares his initial apprehension about being on the show, but that she “made it easy for him to keep coming back. Count me in!” Donna is glowing as Steve awards her with a necklace engraved with the word “Fearless.” Donna is ready to take on the world!
Next comes Elizabeth – Miss Gold Digger. It was clear to Steve from the start that her antiquated views on relationships would be a challenge. She spent more time in the Hot Seat than any of the other ladies, but Steve feels “out of all the girls here, she had the biggest transformation.” She learned that “at the end of the day there’s no ornament, no beauty product, no fancy shoe or car that is gonna make you happy.” She truly feels like she found herself (and love) at Boot Camp! Elizabeth sings Carl’s praises as he joins the group carrying a box of beautiful roses which are given to her with absolutely no undertone of manipulation. (Ahem, Paul.)
She thanks him for being there for her throughout this experience. Carl asks her if she’d stay in New Orleans for a few more days to which she replies “Absolutely!” Steve tells her he originally thought she was a gold digger, but he discovered she “has a heart of gold” and presents her with a necklace engraved with the word “Independent.”
After Elizabeth is Despina – Miss Man Eater. Despina arrived at Boot Camp as a woman who went through men faster than most women go through shoes. That is, until she met Austin and let her guard down. The Boot Camp experience has shown her that she’s “sort of a girly-girl deep down, even though I pretend I’m not.” She is realizing how happy she can be for the first time.
Austin joins the group and shares a beautiful letter he’d written for Despina letting her know that “the only thing I care about is you leaving here with me.” The other girls swoon from the sidelines as Austin asks Despina to officially be his girlfriend! She answers “Yes!” Despina has her first real boyfriend! Steve presents her with a necklace engraved with the word “Loving.” She’s not a man eater anymore and Steve couldn’t be prouder!
Next up is Stephanie – Miss Barbie. Stephanie came to Boot Camp hiding her lack of self esteem behind layers of make up. Throughout this experience she learned to love herself, in addition to having higher standards for those who she shares her love with. Stephanie now sees herself as a “person who matches who I am inside.” She met John the first day of Boot Camp and has gone through a lot with him, but in the end they came out stronger because of it. Stephanie expresses her gratitude to Steve for bringing John into her life. She is finally ready “to have a happy healthy relationship because I deserve it.”
John emerges carrying beautiful red roses. Stephanie gets choked up as she tells John “every time I went through something challenging I knew that the reward would be to look at your face, to hold you and to be in your arms and it made everything okay.” John tells her that he is “truly in love” and she agrees that she is too! As if that wasn’t enough, he presents her with a promise ring to tell her he is serious about being with her after Boot Camp! Stephanie is rolling in the presents as Steve presents her with her necklace engraved with the word “Confident.”
Following Stephanie is Shalana – Miss Bitter. When she arrived at Boot Camp she was perhaps the most unlucky in love; she had “been hurt too many times by men in the past.” She shares that her main issue was trust, but she’s learned “all mean are not the same, not all men are going to treat me the same if I open up and give these people a chance.” Aubrey comes out and presents Shalana with a bracelet in her favorite colors, engraved with her initials and he shares with her what a good woman he feels she is.
She tells him that she thinks he is a good man and tells him she is “willing to see where it goes.” Aubrey shocks Steve and all the ladies by getting down on one knee! Instead of proposing (phew!) he gives her a promise ring asking her to continue their relationship after the show. The necklace Steve gives her is inscribed “Joyful” because she is “a joy to be around” and that is the kind of life she is going to live!
Shalana takes a seat and Danielle — Miss Low Standards — takes the Hot Seat. After her trip home, Danielle’s confusion over her relationship with her son’s father, Kevin, prompted her to end things with Corey. Steve wants Danielle to realize that she deserves to know how Kevin feels so he shows her what Kevin had to say (via video screen – which seems like a bad sign.)
Hmm. That’s a far cry (or at least a 50% cry) from the answer he gave Danielle last week ehen he told her they have a 50/50 chance of reconciling. The truth hurts. Danielle’s hurt and humiliation prompt her to walk out on the Hot Seat. Steve hopes that hearing the truth will finally help her move on with her life.
To lighten the mood, Steve calls Melissa – Miss Awkward — to the Hot Seat. Throughout Boot Camp Melissa had trouble staying interested in a guy long enough to be won over, that is until she met Chris (and dumped him and got back together with him.) Melissa learned, “my virginity does not define me. It’s not all about the tingles” She will focus more on other things that are uniquely Melissa (besides her V-card, that is.)
Chris enters, roses in hand, and Melissa thanks him for “giving me more chances.” He “looks forward to seeing where the future goes,” but doesn’t offer any promises like the other guys. But don’t worry, Melissa doesn’t leave Boot Camp empty handed, Steve presents her with a necklace engraved with “Graceful!” Melissa’s journey from awkward girl to graceful woman is complete and we couldn’t be prouder.
Well, there you have it. Another season of Tough Love comes to a close! This season took place in the Big Easy, but Boot Camp showed that love is anything but. Steve started with eight women, cut Tiffany to the curb — narrowing the cast down to to seven, and unfortunately we concluded with only six ladies left standing. Hopefully these ladies take the lessons they’ve learned home with them and don’t revert back to their old ways. Who do you think made the most progress? Do you think anyone could use another round of Steve’s Tough Love? Let us know in the comments section!