Single’s Inferno once again takes us back to a familiar setting where a group of 11 youngsters are left on a secluded island, from where they could escape and go to a place called Paradise only if they match with another person. The concept of the Korean reality show seemed very simple at first, but as time passed, one got to know how tricky and well-curated it was. One more thing that I realized after watching the first three episodes was the fact that first impressions are so misleading, and the audience can never figure out what is really happening inside the mind of the contestant. We saw some very unlikely connections at the beginning of the show itself, and the creators made sure that they broke the pattern and brought about some unexpected twists and turns. What makes this show interesting is the unpredictable behavior of the contestants, how decisions get affected by small incidents, and how perceptions change every moment. I personally liked it when a few of the contestants were caught off guard and found that vulnerability quite appealing, to be precise. Hopefully, genuineness and earnestness aren’t overpowered by pretentiousness as the show progresses because it is that which makes the show stand out. So, let’s find out what exactly happened in the first three episodes of Single’s Inferno Season 3 and what we could expect going forward.
What surprise did the contestants get?
The first thing that we noticed was that as soon as the first six contestants came to Inferno 1, they were asked to take part in the match-making exercise where a person needed to write the name of the partner they wanted to take to Paradise and if that person also wrote their name, then they escaped from the Inferno and left for Paradise. Matching a couple, and that too so early in the game, might have caught the contestants off guard, but there was a bigger surprise waiting for them, which none of them had any idea about. There was another Inferno where there were 5 contestants, which meant that apart from an increase in the competition, there was an unequal number of boys and girls, which complicated things even more. It was at the end of the first episode that the contestants from both islands got swapped, and they realized that they needed to put their best foot forward as there were others who were waiting to seize the opportunity.
What happened in Inferno 1?
During the first episode, it felt like Min-Woo and Gyu-Ri were going to be the most popular candidates and everybody would choose them, but soon we saw that they were the only ones who were left behind, while the other 4 left for Paradise, as they matched. This uncertainty about the outcome is probably the best thing about Single’s Inferno, and just like the judges, I personally didn’t expect things to turn out like that. I would agree with the judges and accept the fact here that Gwan-Hee was a complete surprise package. In the beginning, it felt like his overconfidence would come in his way, but it didn’t, and it came to be known that he had a way with words, whereas Min-woo, who seemed like the most likely candidate to go to Paradise, had a really hard time making connections. This turn of events proved that just being physically appealing was not enough, and one really needed to go out of one’s comfort zone, establish some kind of bond, and make the other person feel close to them. Gyu-ri and Min-woo probably committed the same mistake, as they never really opened up and kept to themselves. After the other four contestants left, they realized that they needed to communicate; otherwise, they would have a hard time making any sort of association.
Who all bonded during their stay at Paradise?
So, Lee Jin Seok went with An Min-Young, whereas Gwan Hee went together with Choi Hye Seon. In Inferno 2, only one couple, Park Min-Kyu and Ha-Jeong, went together, as even Yu Si-eun chose the same guy. All three couples bonded with each other and got to know what the other person did and what kind of person they were. Gwan Hee came as a surprise package and the way he expressed himself in an unabashed manner made the Judges change their perceptions about him completely. Jin Seok was more reserved, but slowly, he too felt a connection with Min Young, though we don’t exactly know how she felt about him. There was a physical intimacy between them, which was surprising as they had barely spent any time together, and additionally we got to know that Min Young was a very cheerful person. On the face of it, Gwan Hee seemed to have really bonded with Hye Seon, but in reality, he felt that she was a bit too much for him, as he said in episode 3. At the end of the first visit to Paradise, partners were swapped, as Hye Seon was asked to join Min-Kyu, whereas Gwan Hee joined Ha-jeong, and for a moment, both couples were not able to ascertain what exactly was happening with them.
What happened during the second visit to Paradise?
Min Young and Gwan Hee were shifted to Inferno 2, whereas Park Min-Kyu came to Inferno 1. In Single’s Inferno episode 3, the couples were once again asked to choose one person they would like to go to Paradise with, and from Inferno 1, surprisingly, Min-kyu and Gyu-ri chose each other when it felt like she was going to choose Min-woo, while from the second Inferno, Gwan Hee and Ha-jeong chose each other, and Won-ik and Si-eun decided to partner with each other. We believed that the highlight of the second visit to Paradise was Gwan-hee and Ha-Jeong’s electrifying bonding. They took each other’s case, and at one point, we believed Gwan-hee went a bit far, but then, in a sudden turn of events, he said certain things that completely swooped Ha-Jeong off her feet. Even the judges didn’t have faith in Gwan-hee’s tactics, and they believed that he would either make a mockery of himself or offend his partner by crossing the limit. But nothing of the sort happened, and he was actually able to take control of the situation to the point that Ha-Jeong accepted that she liked his company more than Min-Kyu.
What can we expect from the upcoming episodes?
On one end, contestants like Gwan-hee, Ha-jeong, and Min-kyu had an extremely nice experience, and they ended up going to Paradise twice. There were others like Min-woo and Yun Ha-Bin who couldn’t establish any sort of connection with anybody, and they realized that they needed to amp up their game and be more active as their competition was with people who were really expressive about their feelings. The disappointment could be evidently seen on Min-woo’s face, especially as he knew that he had let go of an easy opportunity. We felt that he had some sort of connection with Gyu-ri, and she even picked him the first time they were asked to choose partners. Min-woo was unable to take advantage of the fact that he spent an entire day with Gyu-ri alone on Inferno 1. Min-Kyu arrived a day later, and it took him only a few minutes to impress Gyu-ri so much that she chose him above Min-woo. Gyu-ri found Min-kyu more engaging, and there were a few jokes he cracked, which really made her believe that he had a very happy-go-lucky kind of vibe. It would be interesting to see in the subsequent episodes if the people who have been overshadowed are able to pick up their game or not and what tactics the ones who have had a nice run resort to.