So, SO sorry to keep you waiting so long, Gasmii, especially for an episode that I enjoyed as much as this one. Let’s just dive right in:
The Brain Trust (and Danny) are strategizing, and Wes says the only thing that can’t happen is Kenny can’t win. Immediately, I want Kenny to win just because I predict that will provide the most entertainment. Oh, apparently Paula can’t win either. Yeah right, I’ll believe Paula can pull of a victory when I see it. We get another recap of the alliances, because this season is all about subtlety. For those of you keeping score, it’s Wes/Ev/Danny/Landon/Katelynn/CJ VS. Kenny/Paula/Ryan/Jenn/Jillian
Kenny tells us that he knows teaming up with Paula and Ryan is not terribly productive since they pretty much suck at Challenges, but his gay lovers aren’t here and everyone else hates him. Oh, and they’re his friends. Paula knows there’s a target on her back, and the Brain Trust knows that Kenny is the only real threat to win challenges. They decide that if Kenny wins and throws one of them in, they should go against Paula for the easy win.
They get their latest clue, which tells them to be ready to leave by 11 AM. Anyone else remember when they had to be ready by like 6 AM? Anyone… anyone?
I thought 6 AM was a myth, like those stories about MTV playing music videos.
Theresa and Wes are apparently still “crushing” on each other. Kenny tells us that since he rejected her on the first night (for reasons that he refuses to mention), she’s taken refuge in Wes’ freckled arms.
Meanwhile, Paula’s partner Jeff and Wes’ partner Mandi have apparently become BFF’s in their week of knowing each other. In typical Walnuts fashion, she does not take it well when one of her men shows another girl attention and promptly comes over to pee on her territory.
You’re going to want to aim a little lower…
She has decided that Jeff is far too nice and is playing this game with his heart instead of following her lead and letting bitterness lead the way. New flash, Walnuts: he’s too shiny and new to be properly bitter. They both bitch him out for being an idiot but there are much more exciting things coming up so trust me, the details are stupid and not worth it.
The challenge is pretty straightforward: each team has to travel from one platform suspended above water to another by climbing across some vertical logs that are suspended/tied together as footholds. Whoever falls is disqualified, fastest time wins. As is the custom, Landon and Carley choose the order since they won the last challenge. Of course, this results in Kenny and Laurel going first, and Wes and Ev bringing up the rear.
Unsurprisingly, Kenny and Laurel pretty much smoke the thing. I believe Laurel’s the tallest girl by quite a bit, and her height is definitely an advantage on this. Every other team falls except for Jenn/Noor and Ev/Luke. We don’t get to see Ev & Luke’s time, but Jenn and Noor take much longer than Kenny and Laurel. They do get a bit of my respect for finishing though, since clearly this wasn’t an easy one. We also get several gloriously dramatic shots, including Laurel’s tearful, Oscar-winning “Come on, Paula!” and slow motion shots of Mandi jumping onto Wes’ back because he “thinks he’s Hercules” according to Kenny.
Anyway, despite a strong performance from Ev/Luke that Wes’ whole alliance was counting on, Kenny and Laurel pull of the victory.
And apparently someone murdered Ev’s puppy.
Kenny and Paula seem pretty aware of the Brain Trust’s plan to throw Paula in, so Kenny tells us he needs to figure out which team they can beat. This might be a difficult task, so Luke decides to make things easier by telling his partner Ev about how cramped up and weak he’s feeling on the bus with every single player in earshot. Love it. As much as I have been shocked with intelligence this season, there is plenty of dumbness still around. Upon overhearing this, Kenny and Laurel promptly begin twirling their mustaches.
Much to the surprise of his nemesis Wes, Kenny has chosen to send Weezy and the EvBot into Exile since he thinks Paula has a better shot at beating them. Ev is properly shocked that Kenny has managed to make an intelligent move when he had the chance to make a personal one. She lectures Luke a bit but surprisingly does not Hulk out on him.
Back in deliberation, Paula valiantly tries to convince everyone not to send her into Exile. As she puts it in her confessional, “Do I think it’s going to work? No. Is it worth a shot? Hell yeah!” Fair enough, Walnuts. Fair enough.
Walnuts votes for Landon, a few people vote for Walnuts as expected, and then it’s Jenn’s turn. She stutters for a bit before voting for Wes since he had the poorest performance of the day. Walnuts thinks Jenn’s just stupid, but she clearly has not seen the rest of this episode. After that vote though, it’s a done deal that Walnuts is going into Exile.
Jeff understates that Ev is “arguably” a better athlete than Paula. Luke tells us that Paula has her mind “all twisted up.” Generic “we can do this” chatter from both Fresh Meat. One of you is wrong.
OMG you guys! Who dug up Beth and hung her on the wall?
Wes tells Ev that “Kenny is getting smarter, he’s mutating” which makes me giggle. I guess all of that cuddle/shower time is causing him to slowly turn into Evan from the inside out. Wes also tells us it is “a scary day when Kenny starts making intelligent decisions.” A scary day, indeed.
Kenny and Laurel are giving Paula and Jeff a pep talk. Kenny tells Jeff not to be a sissy and Paula that this is her moment to shine. Paula tells us she’s never gone into an elimination round with more confidence. Their amount of screentime is already worrying me.
Wes and Theresa start clumsily making out/flopping around like fish on the pool table, which prompts Kenny to tell Wes that he rejected Theresa on that fateful first night. Ooh, who’s got the sloppy seconds now, Wes? For maybe the first time ever, he is completely speechless. Ahh, sweet mercy.
This position is called “Finding Nemo.”
Mandi decides to ask Jenn why she keeps voting her into Exile. Jenn’s response is that no one knows where she stands and as long as people are confused, she’s doing her job. It’s a weird way to explain it, but it sort of makes sense when I think about it. Either that or my brain has been spaghettified from watching too many Challenges. Then she adds, “You’re new, baby. You’re a rookie. So if you don’t get it, you’re not supposed to!” LOVE that. I didn’t watch Jenn’s season of RW and I’ve been mostly indifferent toward her in the challenges, but that was just such a great response that I’m starting to like her. Seriously, has Mandi never seen one of these?
Mandi calls her a bitch which causes Jenn to push her off of her perch while drinks go a’flyin’. It happened too fast to get a non-blurry screencap, but here’s what I managed:
I have nothing clever to say, I just love the image. Kenny’s horrified face makes it even better. He then proceeds to violate one of the most important rules of the Bro Code by breaking up a girl fight. He almost seems sweet for a second and it FREAKS ME OUT. Jenn proceeds to call her a horsehead, whoreskank, and “Tori Spelling reject.” Ahhh, awesome. Anyone who’s going to lose his/her temper like this on TV should be required to be this funny while doing so. Noor tells us he’s afraid to tell her to stop for fear of her ripping his “exoskeleton” to shreds. Oh Noor, using 5 syllable words is such a rookie move.
Mandi rants to Wes about what just happened, which causes quite the revelation. Apparently, Wes has come up with a convoluted alliance with Jenn. She couldn’t tell her partner anything, she had to live in a separate room from the other members, and she had to vote against Wes for 2 straight weeks. Well, color me impressed. I did not realize these fools could come up with plans so complicated. And props to Jenn because right now she really is the biggest wildcard in the entire Challenge.
After hearing all of that, Mandi’s still wondering why she’s covered in spilled drink courtesy of someone who is apparently in their alliance. Wes, in all of his infinite wisdom, decides it is because Mandi is pretty and Jenn is jealous, and that’s just how us lowly females roll.
Wes and Jenn have a chat about their plan, and Wes tells us that Jenn has done such a good job pretending to play both sides that he can’t tell if she actually is playing both sides. Jenn tells us that she likes Wes but she does not care for Mandi one bit.
“So, uh, you wanna make out? Wait, first tell me, on a scale of 1-10, how attracted are you to Kenny?”
Mandi and Theresa chat about Wes and Kenny, but it’s boring. Mandi tells us that she likes Jeff but she hopes he loses the Exile because that will help her in the game.
Ev tells her partner it would be a disgrace to lose to Paula… and Jeff. I love how Jeff was just an afterthought.
They arrive at the Exile and it’s the same as the first one: navigate through the woods solving puzzles and wearing heavy backpacks. Ev and Luke finish the first puzzle and take an early lead, which Ev hopes the other team finds demoralizing. After that, the editing makes it look like Paula and Jeff have the lead for the second puzzle, but I’m not too sure about that. I will say this though, I am surprised at how well Walnuts is holding up. I expected her to promptly collapse at the start line under the weight of her backpack.
Yes, like that. Thank you for the demonstration, Jeff.
I’m not sure if that fall hurt him or not, but Jeff is falling behind and Paula is yelling at him to hurry and keep up. Okay, SERIOUSLY, this is a Bizarro Challenge, right? MTV is fucking with me or something, because there is no way even Walnuts is coming across this tough while her male partner is stumbling along. Yes, I know his bag was heavier, but he’s twice her size and she has/had an eating disorder and is widely acknowledged as being one of the weaker girls.
Editing shows Walnuts being ahead at the last puzzle, but I still have my doubts. The EvBot accidentally picks up the heavier back, but she knows her partner is useless and decides to prove her strongest girl status. Also, Jeff gets the most amazing pep talk ever from Paula: “You tried out for the Navy Seals. I’m the girl that played the tuba. I wore headgear, and I have fake boobs. Let’s go.”
Fucking Idiot Danny (yes, that is his full name) tells us that this “turnout” (which I assume means “returnee from Exile”) is “the most crucial one of the game.” Yes, moron, you tell us that every week, because every week it gets more important. Also, we’re only on the third episode, so save some drama queen declarations for later on. Or just go home, that would be fine too.
Walnuts is chugging along with all of her might, while urging Jeff to hurry with increasing intensity. It doesn’t seem to work because he seems to be pretty far behind her. Suddenly, the Air Horn of Victory (or Doom, depending on who you are) rings out and Walnuts collapses in wails. Normally I’d mock, but I expected her to fail miserably and she put up a damn good fight. Much more than I anticipated from her.
Even Ev was impressed with Paula, and she wraps her up in a nice big bear hug. It’s actually kind of nice. Paula proves something to both Ev and me. Unfortunately, that won’t get her any money and she’s going home. She’s really upset since this is her 6th loss.
“Next Challenge, you and me baby. You haven’t had your ‘lesbian experimentation’ phase yet, right? Rachel’s getting old, so I’m the go-to gal for that now.”
Luke wheezes about how proud he is of himself but his voice annoys me so I tune out.
Wheezy and the EvBot arrive back at the house, much to the delight of most of them. Kenny sums it up with a “Shit.”
So, between Jenn’s Fresh Meat smackdown and surprisingly complicated position in the alliance, along with Paula’s sudden competence and competitiveness, I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Agree? Disagree? I’m kind of rooting for Team Kenny at this point, even though I’d still love to see Landon take the whole thing. Without Evan around, Kenny is less of a douche to other people, especially girls, even if he is still completely full of himself. Wes, on the other hand, is still degrading to women. I wish Paula didn’t have to go just when she was FINALLY starting to prove herself after all this time. I am liking Ev more than I usually do though. Also, I’m developing a crush on Jillian’s partner. Thoughts on any/all of the above? Talk to me!