First J-Unit, then sg-dub, and now me. Yes, I too am jumping on the “sorry for being late” apology bandwagon. I wish I had a great story about how I was saving humanity by creating a new algorithm to decode the Gnostic Gospels, but instead I was just trying to save my iPod from the evil one’s newest software update. Fortunately, my recap’s only a day late, but still…
Week four kicked off with Caroline greeting both teams outside the ranch. For some reason, Caroline was wearing a low-cut hippie-esque ensemble, reminiscent of something Stevie Nicks would make had she been a contestant on The Cut. You just know she reeked of patchouli.Caroline told the team, “So far you’ve been in a controlled environment here at the ranch. Now we’re going to test your willpower at the ultimate city of temptation. We’re going to Amsterdam!” Actually, they’re going to Vegas, but I think Amsterdam would’ve been a harder challenge. They put mayonnaise on their French fries there. I’ve seen ‘em do it, man. They fuckin’ drown it in that shit!
Matt is afraid that Vegas will be a real challenge. “On the same hand,” he continues, “we know why we’re here.” Yeah, to changes lives. To inspire a nation. And to mangle more colloquialisms than Markus on The Donald’s Apprentice.
Ryan, having never been to Vegas, is a little worried about the trip. “I’m the music director at my church,” she tells us. “I’ve got to be a little bit good.” That leaves it up to Suzanne to be a little bit bad, Seth to be a little bit country and Suzanne to be a little bit rock and roll.
By the time they reach Vegas, Matt is a little bit confused. “When the Aladdin bus pulled up to the Aladdin Hotel, other people were getting pretty excited,” he said. “I was a little nervous, because I didn’t know what to expect.” Hmm, Aladdin Bus, Aladdin Hotel, they must be in Amsterdam after all!
Inside the casino, Caroline greeted the contestants wearing a low-cut peasant blouse. You just know she reeked of the fields. She let both teams know that eating at Planet Hollywood would be the first part of their challenge. (And if you’ve ever eaten at a Planet Hollywood, you know just how challenging it can be.) After dinner, they’re free to gamble, before retiring to the mega-suites on the 50th Floor. “These are usually reserved for the biggest winners,” she tells them. “But tonight, there aren’t any winners here, so they said we could use it.” Just kidding. She really said tonight it was for the biggest losers.
At dinner that wacky Matt tells the wait staff it’s his birthday. The producers must have tipped off the staff, though, because it looks like they baked Matt’s cake in my sister’s old Easy-Bake oven. Dr. Jeff still complained about Matt not sharing, though. Afterward, Suzanne tells us that she is “totally Lady Luck.” Except, you know, for that whole metabolism thing. Although to be fair, she did win $1600 at the slot machine later that night.
Poor Matt. He’s developing a gambling problem before our very eyes. Maybe when this season’s over, he can look up Art Schlichter and they can hit the celebrity poker circuit.
The next day, Bob and Jillian show their teams a quick workout they can do in their rooms. As Bob explains, “If the gym is closed in your hotel, or if your hotel doesn’t have a gym, that’s just an excuse not to work out.” Another excuse not to work out: I’m lazy.
Jillian chimes in, adding “everyone goes on holiday. That’s not an excuse to abandon your fitness regimen.” Do mine ears deceive me, or did Jillian just go all faux-Brit and say “on holiday?” When did she start training Madonna? Next thing you know, she’ll be calling her team a bunch of “cunting clagnuts.”
For the official Temptation Challenge, the teams gather in the High Stakes room, where a professional dealer tells them the biggest temptation in Vegas is gambling. She also reveals the sky is blue and a dog likes to lick his own balls. Actually, she reveals a giant deck of cards, each of which has a dollar value from $1 to $5,000. If they choose to pick a card from the deck, they’re guaranteed to win something. But, they’ll have to give up working with their trainer until the next weigh-in.
In for a penny, in for a ton.
The guys decide, as a team, that Matt will train anyone who wants to draw a card. The women, meanwhile, immediately start bickering. “If you want to do it, do it,” says Shannon. “We don’t have to decide this as a team.” Ignoring the fact that it’s still a team game at this point, Shannon, you’re absolutely correct. Seth and Mark decide to pick a card, as do Suzanne, Shannon and Jen. Ryan, though, seems to be nursing a not-so-secret crush on Bob, telling us “I couldn’t hurt Bob. I just felt he’d take it personally if I chose money over him.”
Seth makes a quick $1000, while Mark draws $2500. Shannon wins $1000, Suzanne $2500 and Jen draws another $1000. Not too shabby. We’re not done yet, though. This is Vegas, baby! (Speaking of which, this would’ve been a great time for James Caan or Josh Duhamel to stroll through the casino. It’s called cross-promotion, NBC. Look it up sometime.) The dealer offered everyone a chance to go double or nothing with a game of High-Low. Fearing they’d throw away their money and their trainer, Mark, Seth and Jen pass, while Shannon and Suzanne decide to risk it all. To play, they had to pick a card, then guess whether it was higher or lower than the house card: an eight of spades. (At this, my wife immediately started singing, “The Ace of Spades” by Motorhead. I am a lucky man, indeed.) Both girls won, doubling their cash, and, consequently, Andrea’s bitterness. “I was happy they won,” she say, “but afterward I was so jealous I could spit nails.” Wow, TAR:FE’s Paolo family should’ve used that trick to build their watermill last week.
Unfortunately, the players still had to tell their trainers what they’d done. Bob couldn’t believe that three women on his team would turn against his Zen ways. “Did I not teach you the sound of one hand clapping?” he implored. “Have I not taught you to snatch the pebble from my hand?”
Jillian, Seth and Matt show the group their O faces.
Jillian meanwhile, is pissed. And she lets her team know it. “Why in the world would you give up a trainer for $1000?” she asks. “That’s just stupid.” But wait, she wasn’t done. “The work I do with you is everything. The stuff you do on your own is just icing.” You know, like the stuff you put on a cake. Or, in my case, eat directly out of the can. Mmm, coconut pecan…
A few hours pass, and it’s time for this week’s challenge. The teams gather outside the pool at the Aladdin. (On a side note, it looks really windy and cold there. I just knew global warming was a myth!) Caroline tells the teams the winners will also win a return trip to Vegas in 2006, once the Aladdin is officially converted to a Planet Hollywood. (Be still my heart!) “And that’s a prize worth your weight in gold.” Actually, with gold going for $465 an ounce, that’s not even close. Whatever. There’s gold in that thar pool!
A deleted scene from Jessica Alba’s new film, Into the Blue
The actual challenge was pretty straightforward. In the pool were stacks of gold bars. The stack with each contestant’s name was equal to that person’s weight. One at a time, the players would jump into the pool and carry their stack of gold back to their team’s scale. The first team to get all their gold out of the pool wins. Since the women had an extra player, Jen volunteered to sit out.
The two teams were pretty even until the end, when it came down to Seth versus Ryan, who was having trouble carrying more than one or two bars at a time. Seth, meanwhile, loaded up, leading the men to victory. To celebrate, they performed a synchronized version of Swan Lake in the international language of belly flops.
The next day Ryan, Suzi and Andrea are outside training with Bob, while the rest of the girls are upstairs pushing the limits of physical inertia. Later, Matt is training the gamblers on his team when Shannon and Jen come down and join them. “I just hope they remember this down the line,” he tells us by way of explanation for fraternizing with the enemy. “When their own team abandoned them, I was ready to pick them up.” Well, not literally of course. (Ooh, an easy fat joke. I told you I was lazy.) Still, Matt, I’m sure you have nothing to worry about. Women on a reality show would never do something as catty as stab you in the back.
At dinner, tensions on the Blue Team came to a head as Suzanne and Ryan got in an argument about Bob. Evidently, Ryan thinks Bob is happier without the three gamblers. Unbelievably, the Zenster loses his cool, telling the women they can have all the drama they want. “I don’t care anymore.” Later, he tells us, “What I’m seeing in the Blue Team is that there isn’t really a Blue Team. And that offends me.” Meow!
All the contestants are gathered at the foot of the Scale-O-Tronic 4025, so it must be time for this week’s weigh-in. As usual, the men gather for a pre-weigh-in “Go Red Team!” chant. The women, meanwhile, just yell at each other to go away. Since the men won the challenge, they get to pick one of the women to sit out the weigh-in. They pick Jen, because under Matt’s guidance she’s expanded her usual regimen of facial contortions to include actual exercises. Good choice, too, as Jen lost 10 pounds, the most on the women’s team.
Ironically, the three girls who decided to gamble and give up Bob for the week lose a combined 24 pounds. Suzi, Ryan and Andrea, who elected to stay with Bob, only lose 14. That means the women (not counting Jen) lost a total of 28 pounds, or 2.68% of their total weight. In order to win, the men have to lose more than 42 pounds. A hefty challenge indeed. After the first four men are weighed, the teams are tied. If Pete loses more than one pound, the men win. Considering they lost by just one pound last week, the men were a little concerned. Their worries were unfounded, however, as Pete lost a whopping 17 pounds! This brings the Red Team’s total to 59 pounds, or 3.73% of their total weight. Booya!
Still not hip.
Caroline reminds the Blue Team that since Jen was this week’s biggest loser, she’s exempt from the elimination ceremony. “I’ll give you until tomorrow night to decide who’s weighing you down,” she adds. Looks like that catchphrase is going to stick.
After a fast montage of fast-moving clouds, we get a sad montage of sad women working out very sadly.
Elimination Ceremony time. The girls are walking down the hallway carrying silver platters. It’s a lot like how I imagine a sorority rush ceremony would look, except the women are wearing too many clothes and they’re not having a pillow fight. On the same hand, these contestants would also not sleep with me, so maybe it is like a sorority rush.
Before the vote, Shannon tells Caroline “there’s a lot of drama, a lot of tension, and not a lot of team unity, which just shows that we’re feeding into the stereotype that women can’t get along. Which is very unfortunate.” You know what else is unfortunate, Shannon? The fact that, in this instance at least, the stereotype is true. I’ve seen women in prison movies get along better than your team does.
Though the producers tried to edit in some drama, tonight’s vote was more predictable than an episode of Three’s Company. Andrea, Suzi and Ryan all voted for Shannon. Jen and Shannon voted for Ryan, leaving it all up to Suzanne. If she votes for Ryan, it’s a tie, which means the men get to decide who gets eliminated. If she votes for Shannon, she eliminats her friend, but she saves herself from the possibility of being voted off by the Red Team. What’s it going to be? “I work with murderers, thieves and robbers every day in New York City,” Suzanne tells Caroline, “and some of these girls could show them a thing or two about manipulation. Of course, the murderers could show these girls a thing or two about disposing of a body, but I guess that’s a fair trade.” Okay, she didn’t say that last bit, because it wouldn’t be a fair trade at all. But she did tell Caroline if the vote comes to a tie, “it’s a real gamble, because any one of us could go home tonight. But you know what…?”
Time for tonight’s The More You Know break: Brian Williams tells me to watch what my kids watch on TV. Since I don’t have any kids, I tell Brian Williams to get the hell off my TV.
Back to the action: “But you know what…? I’m willing to take that gamble. Because I’m Lady Luck, bitches! Hahahahahaha!!!!” No surprise, Suzanne voted for Ryan.
Caroline is not happy. “Oh ladies, you have left it up to the men.” (Cue Edward G. Robinson: “Where’s your girl-power now, Moses?”) The men arrive, carrying a single silver platter. Before revealing the Red Team’s vote, Mark tells Caroline they decided to eliminate one of the lighter ladies in the house. (Again, this makes no sense. The lighter contestants have less weight to lose, as Mark pointed out last week when he tried to make a case for dumping Seth. Idiots.) He also said something about this person being at the center of too many controversies. Their reasons explained, Mark reveals their choice for elimination: Omarosa. When Caroline tells them they can’t pick her, they settle on Ryan.
Caroline bids Ryan adieu with a heartfelt “You are not the biggest loser. And the Red Team made that decision.” Why the hostility, Caroline? Remember, don’t hate the playa, hate the game. As Ryan leaves the room, her cooler goes dark. And somewhere, another kitten is sacrificed to the Dark Lord…
In the final segment, we catch up with Ryan to check her progress since getting evicted. She lost 30 pounds at the ranch, and another 25 since then. “I really believe that God sent this show to me to help me lose weight,” she says. Whatever. Still, in terms of holy weight loss plans, I guess that’s better than giving you a tumor. Or making you drink one of Pat Robertson’s Diet Shakes.
So what do you think? Did the
women men make the right choice in evicting Ryan? Do the women have a chance at reconciling? Is Nick still an ass?