The first few minutes of this week's episode show Wilkinson meeting up for a "date" with another hunky I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! costar. This time, it was Jake Quickenden — a popular UK singer who gave Wilkinson an, ahem, steamy shoulder rub in the jungle.
"The hot tub thing happened like two weeks in when I was so f***ing horny," Wilkinson says of her chemistry with Quickenden.
When he arrives, Wilkinson can't contain her excitement over spending the day with him. Later, at the bar, they start pounding drinks, and Wilkinson says she feels like "K. Dub" again. The affection between the two is pretty palpable, which Wilkinson realizes — she confesses she is extremely flirty with the sexy pop star.
Giggling, she points out she is "in the dating stage of my life again." Of course, she's being facetious (we think), because the camera then cuts back to Wilkinson's California home, where Baskett is tending to the couple's two small children, Hank Jr. and Alijah.
Baskett, for his part, seems genuinely down in the dumps until he gets a call from his former business partner and old friend Travelle, who Baskett calls an unbiased person. "I truly appreciate that about him," he says of his pal, solidifying plans to meet up for a meal later.
Shortly after, Baskett gets Rosa to watch the kids so he can meet Travelle for dinner. And, you know, I've not been Baskett's biggest fan throughout this journey (he didn't exactly make it easy on fans), but I must admit it's nice to get a picture of what life is like for him outside of Wilkinson — which, says Kendra on Top's executive producer, we'll be seeing more of this season.
"Hank's new career in the gaming industry has really been taking off, and it's something we will be incorporating more into the show as we go on," says the EP.
Because Travelle is like a brother to Baskett, he feels comfortable venting at dinner about Wilkinson's visits with "Hot Tub Jake" and "Jungle Jimmy" during her London trip. One part of me wants to scoff, thinking, "What right does he have to be angry at Kendra after everything he put her through?" But another part thinks it is a good sign. Baskett loves his wife. If he wasn't made a little jealous by her UK shenanigans, wouldn't that be disconcerting too?
By any measure, Baskett makes it clear he is ready to move on — yet he can't help but feel like Wilkinson "pushes my buttons as some kind of punishment."
To Travelle's credit, he doesn't just let Baskett off the hook. He presses, asking why his friend would put himself in a situation that jeopardized the things he is best at: being a father and husband. Unlike last season, when Baskett always seemed to skirt around the hard stuff, he answers directly, telling Travelle he was extremely depressed and exercised bad judgment.
Perhaps counseling is helping him process his emotions better. "Hank is seeing a therapist," explains Kendra on Top's EP, "and he and Kendra have been seeing a couples therapist who will appear in later episodes this season."
The rest of the episode flies by in a flurry of press appearances for Wilkinson, including one incredibly odd appearance on a BBC Radio show akin to our Howard Stern's.
Aside from the host making Wilkinson answer questions while planking atop him, the thing that stuck out most to me — and this may just be a matter of clever editing — was that Wilkinson seemed to default to sexual innuendo and commentary before she was ever prompted. Was it insecurity? Is she trying to deflect so people don't ask about Baskett and the affair? Curious. Very curious.
And even though Wilkinson has been covering a ton of ground during her UK trip, Kendra on Top's executive producer says that in reality, the bubbly blond mom was ready to wrap it up. "Kendra was there 10 days but was eager to get home to her family," says the EP. "She was missing too many milestones with her kids and wanted to get back."
After the radio show, Wilkinson gets a call from another family member she was missing — her dad Eric, who explained he had to have surgery on his neck and be in the hospital for a few days. It's clear this news visibly shakes Wilkinson up, as she only recently (and memorably) reunited with her dad after what essentially amounts to a lifelong estrangement.
"My dad being in my life actually inspired me a lot, because he is a very free-spirited person," she explains. And much like he did when we first met him last season, Eric busts out with some surprisingly insightful advice for Wilkinson regarding her marriage to Baskett.
"The longer you let that stuff go," he tells her, "the harder it is to mend." Preach, brother. Since Eric is obviously speaking from experience, it would behoove Wilkinson to mull his words over. However, the teaser for next week seems to suggest it might take a while for the message to sink in, as Wilkinson tells the camera about her behavior, "I want Hank to know how it feels."
Ruh-roh... sounds like trouble!
Echoes the show's EP, "Kendra's life these last few months has been a wild ride. Even those of us who work with her have no idea where it is heading — just when we think we know where her life is going, she turns it around. We are still filming as we speak, and anything could happen."
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