Maxine is completely torn between her two final Callers, but she’s coming to the end of her journey. It’s Decision Day. 😮💥

After the hang up, she meets each of her last two Callers in person for the first time 🤭 and hears what they chose: either the cash 💰 or the vacation 🌴. Will the winning Caller choose Maxine back or leave her behind? ☎️


Previously on Hang Up…

Maxine: I look fantastic in a bikini.

Maxine went on her final date with Charlie and Sabo.

Charlie: All expenses paid trip to Miami, it could pop off.

Sabo: It could totally pop off!

It was the last chance for all three of them to get the answers they need to make their big decision.

Maxine: My choices right now percentage-wise are 50/50, I don't know what I'm going to do.

All will be revealed today cause it’s DECISION DAY, y’all!!

This is Hang Up, a reality dating show with no rings attached.

I’m your host, Zakiya Gibbons.

For the past five weeks, our Star Maxine went on a themed date with each of her Callers…all of these dates were exclusively over the phone.

The Star and her Callers have never seen each other.

And, they all changed their names so they couldn’t find each other outside of the show.

The Callers only had one date per week to stand out from the crowd and woo the Star.

And if they couldn’t establish a clear connection, they got the hang up. Eliminating them from the show.

That brings us up to today, where I will be meeting Maxine in person for the very first time.

Then, she’ll decide who to hang up on for the last time. Either Sabo.

Sabo: Woof

Or Charlie.

Charlie: If I crush too hard, that will be kind of a mess.

And finally, the winning caller will reveal their choice: an all expenses paid vacation with Maxine, or hang up on her, and take the cash prize of one thousand dollars.

Maxine: I really can't pick someone who picks $1,000 over a vacation with me. I really want whoever wins this thing to pick the vacation.

Who will win? And what will they choose?

Maxine: I don't fucking know. Just tell me what you picked please.

Well… I guess we’ll get to it then.

Zakiya: Oh my God.

Maxine: [squeals] Sorry, that's a terrible sound to make into a microphone, but it was a genuine squeal of excitement.

Zakiya: I was going to say, I feel like we should clarify that sound, because it did sound like a teapot kettle going off. But that was your screech.

Maxine: It was me.

Zakiya: Like honestly, it's so wild to like...

Maxine: It's very exciting. We're like looking into each other's eyes.

Zakiya: Yes, deep into each other's eyes. You're so cute.

Maxine: It's not uncomfortable.

Zakiya: It's not at all.

Maxine: Yeah everyone Zakiya's so cute.

Zakiya: Oh my god thanks. OK wait So we have like other shit to talk about which is today's a big motherfucking day. It is decision day. So how are you feeling?

Maxine: Nervous? I have no idea what I'm going to do still. I like I was hoping that I would have it together but I still just I'm like I don't know. We'll see.

Zakiya: Okay, so in the, in the coming minutes you're gonna have to make a decision. You're saying right now. You don't know what you're gonna decide.

Maxine: No I have no idea.

Zakiya: So I feel like that's beyond nervous. You are like shoulders hunched. Your arms are crossed.

Maxine: I look very relaxed. Zakiya is describing me as looking very relaxed.

Zakiya: Picture a relaxed person. Maxine is the opposite of that. But yeah no it makes sense that you're nervous because today's a really big fucking deal. Right after we talk Sabo and Charlie are going to join me here to lock in their decisions, also in person. And they will choose to either walk away with you looking forward to an all-expenses-paid vacation, or they'll walk away without you and a thousand dollars in their pocket. And you have a decision of your own today. The final hang up.

Zakiya: Let's chat about your final date with Charlie and Sabo last week. So how has it been this past week as you're wrestling with this decision?

Maxine: I don't know, I don't know what I'm going to do. I think that I… I think what stood out to me the most was just like, how much I feel like I would go out on another date with both of these people.

Zakiya: Really?

Maxine: Yeah so I feel like maybe the deciding factor would boil down to like a physicality thing which is something I like don't really have access to. So we're just feeling it out.

Zakiya: To see you being absolutely dumbfounded and low key distraught, I’m honestly I'm like a little surprised. I'm a little surprised. Are you surprised?

Maxine: Yes.

Zakiya: Tell me why?

Maxine: Cause I didn't think I would give that much of a shit about this. I think also too it's very stressful… that was ruder than I intended.

Zakiya: I don't think it was rude.

Maxine: But I think originally like the first night I was like, I didn't think there's going to be a reality in which I was like, well maybe I could like kick it with one of these people like after this. And now I'm like, I can probably do that with both of these people, if given the opportunity. So I think I'm just like, yeah, like the ending of this, I think it's just a little, it's just stressful. I feel stressed out and I don't know what to do.

Zakiya: Okay, so I know you've been going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, for a full seven days now, could you just kind of verbally talk out everything that's going through your head, like stream-of-consciousness?

Maxine: Okay, I like Sabo, I like the like the little kind of bits and stuff that we've enjoyed and how we have like mixed kids stuff going on. I think that's like probably a vibe. I do see a reality in which like we could have like a cool, you know, like friendship or relationship and like we could probably get along pretty well. But then also I'm like “aw man I fucking hate playing pretend and karaoke” and I could, part of me is like “maybe I can learn to like those things” and I was like or maybe I would just be a huge bitch. And then it would just spiral out of control. And then with Charlie. I like I think we have fun, and I think it would be so fun, and on the way over here I was talking to Marcus, and I was like, we just like go over to Charlie's kick ass apartment and play board games every week, and just like hang out and drink. And it probably just be cool. And we can have like a good time all together. And I, I think, you know, there are at like the differences is that we do have are you know, probably things that could be like more funny than like actually irritating and but then also, what if they're not? What if they're like not small things or just like things I can get over? I guess they're just been, like, littler, kind of little or like the way that they that he talks and then I'm like oh, you know he did say that this has been like a little awkward and stuff so I don't want to like put too much stake in like those smaller things. But yeah, I don't know. I don't know. There was more things clearly wrong with Sabo than Charlie in that is what I just learned from saying all that out loud.

Zakiya: Really say more about that?

Maxine: Well I was struggling more with this latter bit. It felt like. What did you think?

Zakiya: I mean I'm going to tell you what I heard.

Maxine: Please.

Zakiya: It sounds it makes sense that you're so mentally all over the place because there’s so many different factors and also it's tough because it sounds like Sabo on paper's a great fit but like, is the vibe there? But then like Charlie it's like the vibe is just there, but it seems like they are the perfect inverses of each other. That's what I heard.

Maxine: I yeah I'm sure there are a thousand times in my life where I like, didn't know what the right answer was and I usually pick the wrong thing, so.

Zakiya: Is that another part of why this is hard for you? Like not only you don't know who to choose but you're scared of making the wrong choice?

Maxine: Yeah, of course, that's like a hundred percent of it.

Zakiya: Are you still not trying to consider if they'll take the vacation, or is there a little bit of that in your consideration?

Maxine: Both of them like acted like they weren't super interested in the stack. So like, If I like pick that apart then I have to like be like, well I can't trust any of this now. Like is Sabo actually a slut for National Parks? Does Charlie even like truffles? It's a whole can of worms that I can't get into. So I just have to like, and yet to be honest, I haven't been thinking about it, a great deal because I feel like I was like too focused on that part of it, and I it's already just like a reality that potentially is going to be super uncomfortable. So I just have been kind of like putting it out of my head.

Zakiya: How do you physically feel, like do you have butterflies, are you sweating?

Maxine: I feel a little bit of anxiety in my stomach. I just took a shower. So I feel like pretty clean and smooth. Honestly.

Zakiya: You are smooth.

Maxine: Not feeling super sweaty.

Zakiya: When I hugged you I was like 'oh.'

Maxine: Wanna touch my leg?

Zakiya: Yes. Oh my god. So you're feeling anxious and smooth.

Maxine: Anxious and smooth.

Zakiya: OK so today, you are gonna meet Sabo and Charlie in person.

Maxine: That did just make the anxiety in my stomach go up. I forgot about that part.

Zakiya: This is the moment where fantasy is about to meet reality. You've had this idea of a person. Now you're about to see if it's accurate to who they really are. So what's, what's your biggest fear for today?

Maxine: That I pick one and then either like they pick the money or we're just like super not feeling it like once we're in person together and then I like see the other one. And I'm like, damn, that was the choice. You know? Like that was obviously the thing. Like, as soon as like, we, like, lock eyes and like this was it, like, I feel it, it's here like, and then I messed it up. That's what I, that's what I'm the most nervous about, that I make the wrong choice,

Zakiya: So what do you hope is going to happen?

Maxine: I hope that I pick one and then they're like, I want to do vacation too, and then we see each other, we're both like, you're hot as fuck, let's get it, and then, it's great.

Zakiya: Yes. Okay, well, I guess we should do this. When are you going to make your decision?

Maxine: I don't know. I'm going to go sit alone with my notebook after this, and then I'm hoping yeah, that maybe like, my body will just pick one. Probably like, literally right before it falls out of my face.

We’ve blown the rest of our podcast budget on high tech isolation chambers for Maxine, Charlie, and Sabo.

Maxine is being escorted to hers now.

Then, we’re bringing Charlie and Sabo into the studio to lock in their decisions.

Zakiya: Hi Charlie.

Charlie: Hi.

Zakiya: Are you chewing gum?

Charlie: I am.

Zakiya: The boldness of showing up to Decision Day chewing gum.

Charlie: Yeah…

Zakiya: It's so cool to see you in person, it's so wild. How are you feeling right now? Is this so weird?

Charlie: It is really weird. Yeah, it's it's exciting to finally come to the end of a journey. Certainly I'm a little sad to see it go but it's no, it's been fun.

Zakiya: Yeah.

Charlie: Yeah.

Zakiya: What's it like, what six weeks of getting to know Maxine over the phone and today is the day that y'all are going to see each other in person for the first time. How do you feel about that moment?

Charlie: I'm pretty, I'm pretty at peace, with either decision, actually, I'm pretty. I'm pretty happy about it.

Zakiya: Yeah I was gonna say you do seem very chill and at peace. Have you been feeling this way or were you feeling nervous then you've gotten to this point of peace?

Charlie: Um, somewhere down to the final three. I started thinking, you know, I know that it feels one-sided, like Maxine picks us but we also have the opportunity to pick her, right? I mean that's the final thing.

Zakiya: Exactly.

Charlie: And so that's when I, I started becoming a little bit more picky as well. And I know I've joked multiple times about you now, like that's going to affect my decision. But in truth, it does affect my decision, right? Cause, you know, if we, if we do that vacation thing, I'm one half of that vacation, right? And she's the other half and I, I should pick that if I wanted to pick that. Yeah.

Zakiya: Okay, cool. So yeah. Like you said, it's not all the way up to her.

Charlie: It is not.

Zakiya: Yeah, you have your own decision to make. So you are here to lock in your decision. Whether you want to go on an all-expenses-paid vacation with Maxine or ditch Maxine, and take the cash prize instead. Of course, the final outcome is not fully up to you. Maxine is about to put her heart on the line. So you have to as well. Once you lock your answer in, you can't go back and change your mind. So are you ready?

Charlie: Yep.

Zakiya: Charlie. If you are the winning Caller, what will you choose?

Charlie: If I'm the winning Caller, I think I'll pick

Zakiya: Charlie, you are locked in. Next time we talk it'll be on the hotline to hear who Maxine is going to hang up on.

Zakiya: Hello Sabo.

Sabo: Hi. This whole project just activates my giggles anytime I think about it. It's just so silly.

Zakiya: I know how can you not? I've been giggling all day so you're not alone.

Zakiya: This is wild right?

Sabo: A dream come true.

Zakiya: Today's the big day.

Sabo: Sure is.

Zakiya: How are you feeling?

Sabo: Everything. Everything. Like I feel like I've gone through all the different emotions I've been way too intense at work. Just staring at people like, "Is that Maxine?" Just giving all kinds of weird energy I feel like to everyone for the past week. So I'm glad that it's coming to, you know, its conclusion. But yeah, I have been everywhere.

Zakiya: Okay, so you're here to lock in your decision.

Sabo: I sure am.

Zakiya: Whether you want to go on an all-expenses-paid vacation, with Maxine or ditch Maxine, and take the cash prize instead.

Sabo: That's such a strong word.

Zakiya: I know, that’s funny, I even said to Caitlin "is that--?" But it's like, that's kinda what's happening.

Sabo: It is though, she said herself if you pick that money, bro, it's over. I'm like heard.

Zakiya: She said it's over.

Sabo: I like to know my consequences.

Zakiya: Exactly. So you know the consequences. There's a lot for you to decide on. So once you lock your answer in, you can't go back and change your mind.

Sabo: Okay.

Zakiya: Are you ready?

Sabo: Yes

Zakiya: Sabo. If you are the winning caller. What will you choose?

Sabo: If Maxine picks me, I'm going with .

Zakiya: Sabo, you are locked in. Next time we talk, it will be on the hotline to hear who Maxine is going to hang up on.

Sabo: Woof.

Zakiya: Woof, indeed.

Zakiya: Charlie and Sabo are both back in their separate isolation chambers, and now, we’re bringing Maxine back out for the final hang up.

Zakiya: OK, Maxine.

Maxine: Hi.

Zakiya: So, you know, Charlie and Sabo are here in the building with us, they've locked in their decisions. And now it's time for yours. The final hang up. So let's dial into the hotline together. You ready?

Maxine: Yep. Very ready. I feel very prepared.

Robot voice: Welcome to the Hang Up hotline. Charlie and Sabo are already on the line. Please say the password.

Zakiya: Anxious and smooth.

Robot voice: You may enter.

Zakiya: Maxine, have you made your decision?

Maxine: Sure.

Zakiya: You Charlie and Sabo have been through a lot together. So what do you want to say to them before the hang up?

Maxine: Thanks for doing this weird experience with me, please don't be upset with me.

Zakiya: So Maxine. Which caller are you choosing to hang up on for the last time?

Maxine: The Caller, I have very much already decided that I'm going to hang up on is Charlie.

Charlie: Howdy.

Maxine: That felt bad as soon as I said it, I'm sorry.

Charlie: No you're good. Why are you feeling bad?

Maxine: Because I am very anxious and I don't know what, there wasn't like a right choice, right? So I don't know, but I feel like a really obvious right choice. And I hope that I made it.

Charlie: I think you did make a fantastic choice.

Maxine: Aw.

Charlie: You and Sabo were vibing, I was third wheeling that last date. Congrats Sabo.

Sabo: Thank you.

Zakiya: Sabo, you're the winner! How does it feel?

Sabo: Oh, this is wild. It's going to take me a minute to process it. This is very exciting news.

Zakiya: So now that the final hang up is over, we're going to get off the hotline and chat IRL so Sabo we will see you in person in a minute but first Maxine and I would love to talk to Charlie so Charlie come on in.

Maxine: Jesus Christ. Hi.

Charlie: Hi.

Maxine: Do we hug?

Charlie: Hey.

Maxine: Hi nice to meet you.

Charlie: Nice to meet you too.

Zakiya: So what are y'all first impressions of each other?

Maxine: I mean you look like nice, I like this sweater a lot.

Charlie: Thank you. Do I look like a white boy? I wanted to know, I'm just saying, a little bit, you can say a little bit.

Maxine: Maybe like a little bit, but I feel like I like, I like to, the little details of your outfit are Nice in a way that's more...

Charlie: ‘preciate it.

Maxine: Yeah.

Zakiya: What's your first impression of of Maxine?

Charlie: You are super cute girl. I get it. Sheesh. Man. Now we can't go to Hawaii together, rats.

Zakiya: So y'all kinda touched on this but is the other person what you pictured from their description?

Charlie: No I missed, I missed hard. Remember I said I was like I think I would know if I got it right wrong.

Maxine: What did you have pictured?

Charlie: Well I also, I'm terrible with heights. Like I don't even know how tall I am. I say--

Maxine: You said 5'9" but I said 5’7” and--

Charlie: Am I not 5'9" then? Am I 5'7"? Cause we're like the same height.

Maxine: I'm 5'6". For the record.

Charlie: That makes me feel worse. What am I 5'9" on Tinder? God.

Maxine: I think so yeah.

Charlie: Aw kill me.

Zakiya: So I mean Charlie you would always say that you feel handsome-- and, what do you think Maxine?

Maxine: I think Charlie's like an objectively good-looking guy. This is not like worst case scenario.

Charlie: We are done here, cut it, we out.

Zakiya: Don’t worry— we won’t let Charlie off the hook that easily. After the break, we hear the decision he locked in. Stay on the line!

Zakiya: First of all, thank you both for doing this, but thank you Charlie for doing this cause I know it's not fun to stick around and have a conversation after you get the hang up. So how are you feeling right now?

Charlie: Honestly pretty okay. I thought Maxine made a great choice. I would have picked Sabo too. I'm I'm fanboying over Sabo cause they were clicking a lot that last date. I see that spark, I like it, cultivate it.

Zakiya: You're so mature because even if I went in with like a chill level head and told myself I was OK with this outcome, and even if I was okay with this outcome, I feel like I would still my ego, it still have a little pang of like ‘oof’, you have no pang?

Charlie: I think my competitive side was hoping I win. I don't know, like winning for winning's sake is kind of weird. I'm glad something awesome may or may not... You know, I don't know what Sabo picked, so I might want to hold off on that too.

Zakiya: Right, exactly, this story isn't over just yet.

Charlie: It is not, no.

Zakiya: Do you wish you had-- oh and also Maxine I meant to say feel free to like respond to anything or say anything if you feel so moved.

Maxine: I just want to know what he picked, but I feel like you're going to make me listen to you ask him a bunch of other questions first.

Zakiya: Yeah exactly you know the deal.

Charlie: She said I was handsome, she said that, Maxine did. I want that on the record.

Maxine: I think it was recorded in there too.

Zakiya: Yes literally everything is recorded. So we definitely have it on tape. Okay. So Charlie do you wish you had done or said anything differently to not get the hang up?

Charlie: I think I was pretty representative of myself and there's no point in doing this if you're not going to show a little bit of yourself, right? So I don't think there's anything I would change. I can't be more charming, right?

Maxine: Absolutely not.

Charlie: Thank you.

Zakiya: Maxine, is there anything that Charlie could have done differently?

Maxine: I don't think so. Like my whole thing was like, I hope that all this stuff was just kind of like genuine real conversations we had. We actually just like talked and bonded and got to know each other in seemingly like a real way, cause it was certainly like real for me and then he just said the same thing that's very affirming.

Charlie: So I hate to break it to you, but I actually don't like Harry Potter. I care very little about Harry Potter. Surprise twist.

Zakiya: I was gonna say are you fucking with us or--

Maxine: Really just stuck to his guns on some shit that did not matter.

Charlie: What happened was…

Zakiya: Oh my god.

Charlie: She really picked that one out of all the things that I just kind of blabber on about.

Zakiya: Wait I need to be clear. Do you or do you not fuck with Harry Potter?

Charlie: Like it's okay, but like, I don't really don't know the names of all the movies. I know their books. Actually, I actually do know their books.

Zakiya: So this whole time you were trolling us.

Charlie: Maybe a little bit.

Zakiya: If Charlie didn't have this seeming like obsession with Harry Potter, could things have been different?

Maxine: I mean, we'll never know.

Charlie: She says no but her eyes say yes.

Zakiya: OK so earlier today, Charlie came into the studio with me and locked in his own decision. Maxine, what do you think he chose?

Maxine: I don't fucking know. Just tell me what you picked please, I don't know, I've been upstairs for an hour by myself. I have not smoked enough weed for my liking. I would like to just know what you picked.

Zakiya: OK well let's hear it.

Charlie recording: If I'm the winning Caller I think I'll pick the money.

Maxine: Dick move bro. I really kinda feel like I had it. No honestly my brother was like I feel like he was like, “I feel like Charlie and Sabo would both pick the money.” So it was like a thing that I anticipated and I, you know, again like an insultingly low amount of money, especially like, aren't you a dentist? You probably do pretty well. Like $1,000? It's fine. I I mean I'm happy I didn't pick you but now I'm like, “oh shit probably Sabo also picked the money.” But I mean this was a whole adventure and it wasn't really about that, so you know.

Charlie: I picked it for a couple reasons, but you're right as a dentist, I've it's not about the money all too much for me, but I will for the satisfaction of getting closure here. I actually took a job out of the state. I'm leaving in like two weeks or so.

Maxine: Congratulations.

Charlie: Thank you. Yeah, and I just didn't want to have like a long-distance, I just didn't think it would be emotionally responsible for me to get too involved with someone that I liked a lot. Or enjoyed hanging out with and then had to leave within like the shortest amount of time.

Zakiya: So when did you decide for sure that you're going to take the cash?

Charlie: I made the decision relatively early once I found out the schedule.

Zakiya: Early as in, what date number?

Charlie: Oh um like date, number two. I will say though that I mean, it got harder and harder to pick that and I was genuinely thinking about whether or not I should pick vacation after date number like five, I was genuinely on the fence and I was thinking, “wow we could really tear this city a new one.” But then we we did the date with Sabo and then subliminally I was sending them good vibes cause I only want the best for you Maxine honestly and I knew that I still had to stick with money.

Zakiya: So you're saying date number two, you had in your head, “I want to take the money,” but then you did so well that you made it to the top two which means you know you were giving the impression that there was potential for the future. Was it hard for you to square those two things? Did it give you some kind of cognitive dissonance, some conflict or was it easy for you to navigate both of those spaces at the same time?

Charlie: Yeah, I mean yeah I didn't think about it at all cause we're like knee-deep into arguing about random stuff or playing…

Zakiya: When you're saying didn't think about "it" at all, what's the “it”? What weren't you thinking about?

Charlie: The quote, unquote cognitive dissonance which that's a strong word right there. I like that. That's a college vocabulary.

Zakiya: You're deflecting.

Charlie: Oh yeah, I'm extremely uncomfortable, right now.

Zakiya: We gone circle back to my question.

Charlie: Did you wanna say anything?

Maxine: No I don't wanna say anything, answer her question Jesus Christ. Stop using me to not answer Zakiya's questions just answer the fucking question.

Charlie: I have a good answer.

Zakiya: OK let's hear it.

Charlie: I feel like I know myself pretty well. And I do have issues with that kind of portion of dating, but again, I'm logical, so.

Zakiya: But could you have just gone on the vacation for fun?

Charlie: Yeah, I mean it's it's not about the vacation but more so if I get, if I, if I crushed too deep, you know, if I crushed if I crushed too hard, that that will be kind of a mess for me.

Zakiya: So would you say that you were developing feelings for her?

Charlie: I was starting to be very charmed by her. Absolutely. And again while it's just not enough exposure for me to really, kinda get hooked in per se, but vacation together? Absolutely, I think I think that's definitely a real possibility.

Zakiya: Cause you're saying there wasn't enough interaction or whatever for you to really develop real feelings. But you still made a decision based off of potential, you know, you still made the decision to protect yourself from having feelings, which I feel like means that there was room for you to have feelings.

Charlie: So, I mean, I did have feelings, I am a human, but I'm very conscious about what I choose to sequester and where that kind of applies to stuff. In this case, if I, if I don't think it's going to necessarily go anywhere, I don't want to kind of let that go crazy.

Zakiya: I want to dig into that. Like, what does 'go anywhere' mean? Like, why can't you take the vacation with her while also planning to move? Isn't there potentially room to negotiate both?

Charlie: Yeah, I mean, yeah. But then, I leave, and then I crush and then, and then we're living in two separate cities.

Zakiya: Maxine, how would you have felt If he had taken the vacation and then said he was moving?

Maxine: I wouldn't have cared. For example, like I was seeing someone before I started this experience. And like, I was, and I was kind of like, “hey, I'm about to do this thing in like a month so whatever we're doing kind of falls in the confines of that,” and he was like, “oh perfect. I'm moving to Thailand in a month.” So, but like, I don't know. I I am happy for that relationship in my life. I feel like we did get to spend like some positive quality time together, the sex was dope, and it was just like, it's like a good relationship that I'm happy to have. So I don't think that I would… I was perfectly fine with the capacity of our relationship, you know? Like, I was just happy to have had it. I was happy to to have met him and experienced him, like maybe continue to do so in the future et cetera. So yeah, I don't think I would have been too bothered by the fact that you were going to move soon. But that doesn't really seem to affect any of his shit that he just said.

Charlie: Maxine is way more mature than me cause it would have bothered me so much. Cause, you know, honestly, I've had relationships in the past where people have kind of done a similar thing for me, like we really clicked and then they moved away for school or for work and, you know, my friends have to deal with the fallout after that. So given how I feel about that I just I guess I assumed that, that would be the case for other people and also myself. So, in that case, given Maxine's answer, I am being extremely selfish with all that, and I do apologize.

Zakiya: But I mean, I also do you want to say that I don't even think about like emotional immature or not mature. I think it's everyone is different and it sounds like you have like a history of people moving away and then you getting hurt and you're just more sensitive to that whereas it seems like Maxine, you're kind of like… I feel like that's like your logical side, you're thinking try to think three steps ahead what makes sense. But where have you seen more like present in the moment even throughout this whole experience, even saying like so like I'm looking for marriage or to find, you know, my forever. I'm just trying to, you know, see what happens and kick it. So it's not like it's not like you were looking at this vacation as this is the honeymoon. It could have just been like “oh my God, paid vacation? Let's just enjoy it and it's not even that deep.”

Charlie: I'm a little disappointed with myself with kind of what I expected out of everything and how different Maxine has kind of perspective wise on how things could have turned out. I thought what I had perceived to be kind of hard feelings about me leaving soon or anything like that would have been taken more poorly. But yeah, I mean I should have known too based on my my dates with Maxine that I mean she's too cool for school, smooth as ice, twice as nice. Yeah. That's I mean, that's just me kind of getting stuck in my own head more than anything.

Zakiya: Yeah, it sounds like you were making decisions based off of hypotheticals and insecurities like, well, she'll probably choose Sabo, Well, I'm going to move, I'll probably--

Charlie: Well she did choose Sabo…

Zakiya: I know, but I will say, I don’t know if this is messy to say, but I was speaking to Maxine a lot today and literally I kid you not, I had no clue, she didn’t know which way, you all both had an equal shot so I think you saying, “Oh Sabo clearly has it in the bag,” that was not the case, like Maxine really was going back and forth, back and forth, you know what I mean? So it happened to line up with the story you had in your head but it was there is a very real timeline in this multiverse where didn't cause she was this close. Okay. So Charlie, you're back on the market again. What did you learn from this experience that you want to take him to your dating life?

Charlie: Don't take hard stances on chewing gum. Be as neutral about gum chewing as possible. No. I I could probably be a little less in my head for sure about dating. But I will say this, usually I have friends to kind of support me. And yeah, I feel like that would have been huge to be able to queue them in on clue, clue them in on what was going on here.

Zakiya: And you weren't able to because this was a top secret experience.

Charlie: Yeah but I am almost certain at least five people would always would just be pushing me like, “vacation, bro. She said she would be banging in a bikini, why are you not—”

Zakiya: And we see that's true now.

Maxine: You've seen it

Charlie: She would be. Can confirm. Can confirm would be bangin’ in a bikini.

Zakiya: So Charlie, anything else you want to say to Maxine or ask Maxine?

Charlie: Not today but maybe after a little bit.

Maxine: This is probably your last opportunity so I would, if you have something you want to say to me I would get it done.

Charlie: I think she sat through me talking enough so I think we’re good.

Maxine: It was nice meeting you.

Charlie: It was great to meet you too.

Damn, that was awkward!

Let’s keep it moving. Because next, Maxine and Sabo finally meet in person for the first time, and we hear the decision Sabo locked in.

Zakiya: Okay, Maxine. Are you ready to meet Sabo, the winning caller? They're waiting for you outside the studio right now.

Maxine: Let's get it.

Zakiya: OK let's do it. Bring ‘em in.

Maxine: Do you think they're actually going to be 5'9"?

Zakiya: We will see.

Maxine: Hi.

Sabo: Hello. So good to meet you, alright. Wow.

Maxine: I know right? Look at us.

Sabo: Truly yes.

Maxine: You look nice.

Sabo: You look amazing.

Maxine: Thank you.

Sabo: You do look like your voice.

Maxine: I didn't have a very clear specific visual for you but this is good, you're like visually appealing.

Zakiya: What are y'all's first impressions of each other?

Sabo: You're cute as hell yeah.

Maxine: It's hard to feel good about that cause that's what Charlie said. I'm sorry I'm in my own thing now, I felt better about this the first round, you're very attractive.

Sabo: It's mutual yeah.

Zakiya: Yeah you did just come out of a whole other thing so that makes sense, but from what I saw, I saw a mutual up and down up and down glance over so, to the point that I was like do I stay over here? Um Maxine, why did you choose Sabo as the winning Caller?

Sabo: I'm dying to know

Maxine: It was just a vibe you know what I mean? I think. Yeah, it was like, there was just stuff where we talked and I felt like we connected in a way that would potentially be fun for the future.

Sabo: Right on. When did you know though I'm dying to know that?

Maxine: Three seconds before I said that I was going to hang up on Charlie.

Sabo: Damn, down to the wire.

Maxine: I just… Yeah, you know, it's not always easy to make decisions.

Sabo: Of course. I hear you.

Zakiya: Okay. Enough foreplay let's get to the action. Sabo has already locked in their choice. They either chose Maxine and the vacation, or they chose to give her the hang up and take the cash prize. So let's hear what they chose.

Sabo recording: If Maxine picks me, we're going on vacation.

Maxine: Oh shit, oh my god!

Sabo: Of course.

Maxine: Oh that's so, man I'm so full of relief. I really don't think I could have stood to get rejected twice. I was trying to be a grown up about it, but that would have been hard. And I'm also, I'm really excited cause I did. It's yeah, this is going to be good, you're very attractive.You're very cool. I'm down for this, it's gonna be a good time.

Sabo: It’ll be awesome yeah.

Maxine: Thanks everyone.

Sabo: Thanks everyone.

Zakiya: I have to narrate what just happened so as soon as the decision was revealed down a little bit and then you ran to Sabo and gave them a big ol hug.

Maxine: That feels-- was that inappropriate? I'm sorry.

Sabo: No it's lit.

Zakiya: It looked very natural. Like there's that friend hug and then there's that intimate hug where you rock back and forth side to side y'all did that and I was like 'oh ok, mm, the vibes.' I love, I love this energy Okay. Well yeah, a lot of emotions right now. So let's get all your questions answered.

Maxine: Oh boy

Sabo: Exciting.

Zakiya: Oh, my motherfucking god

Sabo: You can say that three times fast.

Zakiya: Oh my motherfucking god, Oh my motherfucking god, Oh my motherfucking god. I am sitting here... I'm, y'all, not to make this about me but my heart right now is very full and I'm so excited to be sitting here with you two. Maxine, I know you were, let's face it, a nervous wreck before.

Maxine: That's rude.

Zakiya: But accurate, right? Anyone would be.

Maxine: A wreck? I don't know about that.

Zakiya: OK it's a turn of phrase, you were extremely nervous before. How have your feelings changed from the beginning of the day up until now?

Maxine: Oh I feel great. I feel light, I feel correct.

Zakiya: You look all of those things.

Maxine: Yeah, we did it. Like I did the best job I possibly could have. That was my whole concern this whole time and I killed it bro knocked this shit out of the park.

Zakiya: Honestly, honestly. Okay, Sabo, why did you decide to take the vacation?

Sabo: I love experiences and I feel like this is something you really can't buy like a thousand dollars is cool sure I got a family to feed and gas costs an arm and a leg. But I was like, yo, like let's make some cool memories and I feel like the vibe just like lined up in a way where I wasn't really ever getting any like, red flags, or even like yellow flags where I really felt like, “I don't know if we'd really like to hang out with each other for three days,” so it was, it just felt natural to make that choice.

Zakiya: Maxine wasn't sure who she was going to pick. Not even an hour ago. Like, literally the seconds leading up to the moment that she didn't know who she was going to pick. So when did you lock in your decision for yourself?

Sabo: When did I lock it in? I think the day after the last episode. I think, I just woke up, and I was like “yeah, this this makes sense.” I'm down to just do it. I think over like time though there was ebbs and flows for sure. Like by date three I was like what if it turns out to be like some horrible time or like whatever like a thousand dollars, dude like just take it, you know, but I the last date kind of, like, it soldered it for me. I was like, yeah, like I feel like a lot of our values are like kind of in the same ballpark at least. And like, that's super ideal. Like this matter where you go with, somebody we go on vacation, like you're with who you're with and all your shit comes with you. So I just seen like in better off making a decision from the place where it seems like a genuine connection. Just the gut I guess it's like the end of it there.

Zakiya: You followed your gut.

Sabo: I did.

Zakiya: Maxine, you're like giddy right now you’re literally like shimmying the shoulders.

Maxine: I feel so light.

Zakiya: You're smiling so hard. You look so—

Maxine: I won.

Zakiya: I was about to say I'm getting like crush energy plus relief. Triumphant plus turned on is what I'm receiving. Cause you're like 'ooh.’ Anyways. You don't have to confirm or deny that.

Maxine: I won't.

Zakiya: Would you say you have feelings for Maxine?

Sabo: Would I say I have feelings? That's a wild question. I feel like—

Maxine: I agree.

Sabo: OK so we're on the same page with that right now.

Zakiya: I'm here to be messy and ask messy wild questions.

Sabo: Appreciate it. I think that there's a great foundation here right now. Most of the power has been in her hands and the equalization, you know, now that starts and kind of like we get to explore like, okay what's it like to have to talk to each other and not have voyeurism happening at the same time you know? So it's like you guys have a whole catalog of what we've been talking about, what the vibe has been like but we don't know what that's like actually until I can have that time.

Zakiya: Cause yeah you all have been in this very particular vacuum of a show. What do you think that transition’s going to be like, going from this world to the real world?

Sabo: Please.

Maxine: I don't want to like, have there be like a weird amount of pressure, you know what I mean? So, I think it'll just be cool to like, hang out and see what's there, but I think that, like, hopefully potentially good stuff based on this whole experience we've had. They haven't, at least displayed, any like, monster stuff.

Sabo: Jesus.

Zakiya: Sabo, what about you?

Sabo: Same boat, I think you articulated that very well.

Maxine: Thank you.

Sabo: Yeah, it just becomes the opportunity to be natural about it and just explore that.

Zakiya: Would y'all say there's potential for a romantic relationship here?

Sabo: I think so.

Maxine: I think so maybe.

Sabo: You waiting for me to answer.

Zakiya: I know I was about to say, when I asked that, you both looked at each other how couples do.

Sabo: I chose you back bro.

Maxine: Oh man.

Zakiya: If y'all do start dating do you feel like, going through this whole experience set you up better for a relationship compared to having like, met on the apps?

Sabo: Ooh for sure I mean, knowing that you're already good at being on the phone with somebody says a lot.

Zakiya: True.

Sabo: I think. Like, over the apps, you’re like texting, but anyone can type anything and they do, and it just like so murderously like frustrating sometimes cause even when you do get the link to hang out, it's like, it's just like, throwing Jello at a tree and trying to nail it down, it just never really liked works out the way you kind of hope it does even though you put your best foot out there, intentions, all that good stuff. So I think this is like, I don't know, like I said, a great foundation.

Zakiya: What did you learn from this experience about dating, romance, or dare I say, love?

Sabo: You're so silly.

Zakiya: I really have to milk this experience OK?

Sabo: I appreciate it.

Zakiya: How often do I get to host a reality dating show and be extra?

Maxine: Hopefully a long long time.

Sabo: You're a natural yeah.

Zakiya: Season two.

Sabo: Killing it. You go ahead and take that away.

Maxine: I, I think that maybe I have learned that it's okay to ask the person that you're seeing to like put forward a little bit of effort cause I did like super appreciate like the long-distance dates. Like like opening your box and everything, like, seeing all the stuff you put in, I was like, man, this is like really nice and I feel like aw this was sick. Like, it was just, it was nice. Like, the amount of effort that you put into like, to spend time with me.

Zakiya: I love hearing that answer because I'm just still thinking back to one of the first times we talked and you were telling me about the people you had dated before and it seemed like they put in negative effort. Like, you were like overexerting yourself to the point of like kind of being like, a mother figure, like a caretaker, you know, and they weren't giving as much back. And so I love that this taught you to be like, “No, I should expect it and yes it's okay to ask for more effort.” Do you feel a shift within yourself?

Maxine: First off I want to say that if anyone who's ever dated me identified with anything Zakiya just said, hit my Venmo.

Zakiya: Yes.

Sabo: Boo.

Maxine: No, yeah. I think that that's accurate. It's not like the most fun adult thing to admit, that I haven't had a great deal of, like, great relationships, but I think it has, like lessons are still lessons and a lot of times when you learn a lesson, in a really shitty way, hopefully it sticks a little harder. So it's nice to like I think now, moving forward, being an adult. It's much easier for me to see what is like, good versus not good behavior.

Zakiya: I can't wait to hear how this vacation goes. So will you all keep me updated?

Sabo: Absolutely.

Zakiya: You promise?

Maxine: Yeah I'll do that, I'll keep you updated. I love to take pictures of myself in bikinis on vacation so.

Zakiya: Amazing.

Zakiya: Alright love birds. I knew that was gonna make you cringe a little bit. Should we go get a drink?

Maxine: Yeah let's go drink and smoke.

Sabo: Let's go do that.

Zakiya: Yes.

Wow, there you have it folks, Decision Day. What a rollercoaster of emotions. But what feels like an ending is actually just the beginning for Maxine and Sabo.

In our next episode, we catch up with them three months from now to hear how their romance unfolded… or not.

Sabo: I think everyone has done exactly what they’ve wanted to do and I celebrate that.

Maxine: If they feel like “man I really would have rather had a thousand dollars” then I would wish that too.

Until next week— stay on the line!

Hang Up is created and produced by me, Caitlin Pierce.

Our host and story editor is Zakiya Gibbons.

This episode was mixed and sound designed by Ben Montoya. Ben is also our story editor.

Music by Jeff Carter and Stephen Pathe of Sandy. Hear more at

Art by Alex Teschel.

Recording by Chioke I’Anson of the ICA Community Media Center. Thank you.

Our sounding board is Allison Behringer, Karla Corrales, Chioke I’Anson, and Grayum Vickers.

This episode uses many sounds from Freesound, for the full list check out our show notes.

Hang Up is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, a network of independent, creator-owned, listener-supported podcasts. Discover audio with vision at

S1 Episode 7: Decision Day