Hey ‘Gasmii! Welcome back! We’re all Money Hungry, right?! I hope some more of you caught the show this week, because I gotta say, it’s pretty entertaining. The people-watcher in me is getting quite a workout, and the endorphins are amazing. Join me, won’t you?
As many of you saw, some of the contestants found my humble little recap last week and chimed in with their comments. THAT IS AWESOME. Will I be thinking of that with every word I type tonight? You bet. Will it influence my decision to keep thinking someone’s annoying or someone else looks like Corky (for now)? Not one bit. (Sorry, Corky!) You see, I (don’t) get paid to recap the show in all its water-cooler conversation glory, and we all know that no one’s standing around the water cooler to talk about friendly people smiling and doing nothing. Nope, we’re going to mock the chubby chick flirting clunkily with married men in the jacuzzi.
(First of all, HOW did I miss the opening sequence last week? Was my head up my ass? It’s some cartoony thing that’s half-assed Mike Judge-like, with dumpy people running through fields of donuts and burgers, playing King of the Mountain atop a giant cake. The theme song is something I could have come up while playing Sudoku on the toilet (and probably have, a few times). What gives, VH1?? The contestants GAVE YOU the prize money–you couldn’t come up with a better theme song?)
I believe the lyrics to the theme song are “Hungry hungry hungry hungry hungry hungry hungry hungry hungry. Money hungry!” Welcome to my inner monologue. This is what I sing while driving home from work EVERY DAY.
So, hey, we actually start off this week with friendly people smiling and doing nothing! How wrong I was. It’s just after the first weigh-in and everyone’s working out together, having fun. They’re singing a Money Hungry version of Army cadences and cheering each other on. It’s all very pleasant. The Joes Pesci tell us how there’s a great camaraderie in the house right now, which is cool because it’s a competition–you certainly have the right to be an asshole only looking out for yourself.
Having fun! (Is she dancing or farting? I make the same face when I fart elaborately.)
Two of the heaviest jumping rope together, inside one rope! Pretty cool!
Then we get to see a little of the set-up of the bedrooms. One gigantic room has about 15 beds in it, Orphan Annie style. Fittingly, the contestants refer to this room as The Orphanage. Most of the dudes are in here. It looks like the ladies all ended up in the smaller rooms, and I’m pretty sure they’re red, blue, and yellow. (I’ll check in later to make sure. I know you’re on tenterhooks about it.)
Who’s sharing the double way back there?
Don’t worry, this boring friendship stuff doesn’t last much longer! Faux lightning strikes the Money Hungry house (thanks, editors!) to tell us something dastardly is about to happen. What’s that? It’s a note from The Cortayzee, telling the contestants to get ready for their first challenge–their ride leaves at noon. Everyone is a little nervous because it’s the first challenge and they don’t know what to expect. They amble out of the house to a waiting bus, and it’s clear that they were each provided with the least flattering pair of sweatpants one could buy. Dratch looks like she’s wearing trash-bag capris. BBGG hopes it’s a standing endurance challenge, because he could definitely win that. Also, will the bus make it out of the driveway this time? It looks to be the same make and model as last week.
“Like them? It’s Glad ForceFlex for Armani.”
The contestants arrive at a big hill in the desert, where The Cortayzee awaits in his soft plaid shirt. I’m pretty sure it’s from the GAP. Then it dawns on me…the GAP is one of the show’s sponsors. How do I know? Because there are annoying blocks of commercials every five seconds on the online episode, and GAP is one of the offenders. (Also, Cortayzee’s shirt reminds me of the one I’d often borrow from my high school boyfriend’s roommate, on whom I had a slight crush. I’m all warm right now, thinkin’ about that shirt. Ahem.)
“This is how much money I’ve made between 1994 and 2010.”
Anyway, back to reality, Panda. There’s a really big hill. Double Chocolate demonstrates the steepness of the hill for us, and the $50 half of the team ratchets her $9950 partner’s arm up to indicate an almost-vertical wall. The Joes Pesci are reminded of Rocky IV, when Rocky was in Russia, about to fight Drago.
Cortayzee explains how things will work from here on out with these challenges. The winner of the challenge each week will be granted immunity. (And they’ll also be referred to as “The Big Heavies”, but don’t expect me to use that term too often.) The winners also get to pick one other team that’ll be safe from elimination that week.
Team Fraud knows they’re at a disadvantage in the weight-loss arena, since they’re not big and sloppy to begin with. So their strategy will be to win all of the challenges, to keep them safe. Then they make a dry joke about being smart, unlike the stupid people in the house. I see the beginnings of a slow-burn sense of humor I can get behind. If only they hadn’t sullied my opinion from the start with the stupid thongs and the stupid head shaving schtick. I like subtle humor. Let’s get some more of that, please. (“Yes, let’s get a time machine and take the words of some doofus recapper to heart!,” Team Fraud agrees.)
The editors have fun with the contestants with this next bit. The Cortayzee is giving a speech about how difficult weight loss is, how it’s a constant battle, how you must remain determined, yadda yadda. Then he refers to it as a Sisyphean Challenge. The contestants just stare blankly at him as the wind whips through the hills around them. A hawk squawks above, but it’s otherwise silent. Chicago Deep Dratch is like, “Huh, what? Did he say syphilis?” Now, I’m sure that some of them have no clue who/what Sisyphus is, which is okay, but I call editor shenanigans on the whole thing. Cortayzee’s just giving a speech–what were they supposed to say? What reaction were they supposed to have? Knowing nods to each other about Greek mythology? C’mon.
I Googled “syphilis” too, but, trust me, you don’t want to see what I found.
Anyway, Cortayzee explains that Sisyphus was condemned to pushing a rock up a hill for the rest of eternity, and this challenge is meant to emulate that to some degree. There are six-foot cloth-covered balls at the bottom of this grassy hill, and the teams need to shove their balls up to the top (that’s what she said) (wait, ouch). The first team to get their ball and both team members across the finish line wins. The last team across the finish line will be on the chopping block for the week.
My first LOL of the night goes to Poi and Serj. After Cortayzee announces the challenge, the camera cuts to Poi and Serj in the confessional. Poi simply says, “Wow.” And then they just sit there. See? Subtle humor.
The editors have more fun with the contestants, overlaying the shots of everyone running down the hill to the starting line with the sounds of a herd of cattle thundering through a paddock, moos and all. Not nice! (But funny!) Team Fraud’s got one big pink ball (might want to call the doctor about that), and they take an early lead. Joes Pesci aren’t far behind. The other teams are trying, but they poop out quickly. BBGG is having an especially hard time with simply walking up the hill–his partner is way ahead of them, pushing the big ball herself. The other half of Team Cher (the models/girl group chicks) has control of their ball, while Not Cher is wheezing behind.
Tall Team Fraud gets the ball across the line first, and Short Team Fraud rolls over the line, too. So they win! Joes Pesci come in next. Double Chocolate, Team Cher, and BBGG are all way behind. Actually, BBGG’s partner got the ball over the finish line, but BBGG himself is takin’ his sweet ol’ time coming up the hill. He keeps stopping to look around and fix his shirt. Not Cher is still wheezing, doing her best orgasm impression to tell us how out of breath she is.
“I’m coming! I’m coming!” Yeah, great.
All of a sudden, a gust of wind blows Double Chocolate’s ball out of their control and down the hill. Oh shit. Double Chocolate runs after it, and they end up pretty much at the bottom of the hill. Clearly, they’re going to be in last place for this challenge. BBGG gets his second wind all of a sudden and trucks it up to the top of the hill. (With a little help from Corky. They hold hands for about 0.3 seconds, and then BBGG lets go. Ha! It was a nice try, Corky!) Team Not Cher gets their asses up to the top, too.
This won’t last long.
While Double Chocolate is making their second trip up the hill, we get to see the after-effects of this challenge. That is, Short Team Fraud has an oxygen mask on, Poi’s barfing his guts out, and one of the Rocker Moms is yelping for water. We also get a shot of a big loogie of puke hanging off of Serj’s beard, and I just about barf, too. Double Chocolate doesn’t give up and finishes dead last, to the cheers of their competitors. Awww.
So, remember how friendly everyone was being so far? Fuggetaboutit. The Cortayzee announces one last twist. You know how Double Chocolate finished last for the challenge, so they’re on the chopping block for the weigh in? Well, another team will be right there with ‘em. That team will be chosen by a house vote, just before weigh-in. Whichever of those two teams on the chopping block loses the least amount of weight goes home. Things just got fierce. We get about three separate confessionals from the contestants, who all agree: “This changes everything.”
At first, I was a little annoyed with the idea of the house vote, for two reasons. One, I’m not a manipulative person, so I don’t really understand how all these shows work when that kind of game-play is involved. I’m kind of dumb that way. Two, it just makes things more complicated. Isn’t it enough to just have to lose weight? But then I thought about it, and I decided that I approve of this twist. (Again, let’s make sure the producers know that a recapper six months later approves of what they did.) At the end of the day, the weigh-in is still what determines who goes home, so weight loss is still most important. Manipulation and game play comes a close second. The house vote also enhances the people-watching factor a bit. Like when the Snowman Teachers immediately puff up their chests with bravado about their manipulation skills. Riiiight.
(Wait. Does this change everything? I think this changes everything.)
Back at the gym, Not Cher is teaching $50 Double Chocolate how to do some of her dance routines. $9950 Double Chocolate is jumping rope in a heavy hoodie, knowing they’ve GOT to lose more weight than the other team on the chopping block in order to stay. Don’t forget that $10,000 of their own money is on the line.
Not gonna win you $100,000.
Corky and his partner are sitting on the floor, watching the dance lesson in progress. One of the Snowman Teachers is watching from the treadmill, and she thinks Not Cher sucks. She’s constantly performing and is really annoying. The only person who seems to like Not Cher at this point is Corky. In a solo confessional, he whispers to us about having a crush on Not Cher. He likes that she’s cultured and that she always wears makeup. This crush is a problem, though, because his own teammate apparently has a searing crush on HIM. Really? Have we seen this yet? He ends by saying that the football player has to date the cheerleader, not someone from the band. Hold up. He fancies himself a football hero now? Also, Not Cher ain’t no cheerleader. If anything, she’s one of the band nerds he thinks he should avoid. She’s like one of the color guard, maybe. The girl who gives low self-esteem blowjobs on the band bus, then cries when people call her a slut or, ya know, ask her for a beej.
“Let’s go to the back of the bus, huh?”
Okay, I was a little wrong about who’s all in the Orphanage. It’s Snowman Teachers, Joes Pesci, Team Fraud, Chicago Deep Dratch, and Corky’s team. The taller Snowman Teacher kicks off the Not Cher bashing session. She’s spitting venom about Not Cher, and shorter Snowman Teacher chimes in with some comment about Not Cher’s face looking like puke. Wow, that’s actually kinda harsh. Snowman Teachers think that Not Cher’s here to launch her plus-sized modeling career. With a derisive shake of their heads, they look down on that idea. “Not gonna happen.” Thing is, Not Cher is mostly pretty, kinda. Her hair is way too long–it weighs her down and makes her look older. And I’d love for her to stop applying eye makeup like she was in an 80′s Revlon ad. But she’s got a good structure beneath it all. Oh, she’s definitely annoying, but her face doesn’t look like puke.
…and less hair.
Team Fraud is pretty quiet while all of this is going down. I hope it’s because they’re soaking in all the dirt and will play this game intelligently. Corky’s also in the room, and he keeps looking into his lap with a weary expression. You know he’s going to want to keep Not Cher in the house as long as he can! He tells us he’d rather get rid of a team that poses a threat to him. That’s actually wise. But we know his main motivation is to get to play hide the wiener.
(Why is he always wearing his sunglasses indoors?)
Thanks to the editors for replaying the same footage of Not Cher dancing in the gym in her pink Old Navy cami. Oh, and glad to see BBGG doing his mocking version of it in the confessional again, too. But it sets up the next part, where Not Cher high-fives BBGG as she leaves the gym. She’s barely out of earshot when BBGG whispers to BFB, “I hate her.” HA!
BBGG’s Not Cher impression. HA!
I get the feeling that, if left to their own devices, Poi and Serj wouldn’t have much to say about this house vote. Like, they don’t care. But I also get the feeling that the producers told them they have to talk about the house vote, so they do. Awkwardly. Non-committally. It makes me laugh, because it’s so unnatural. And then, wouldn’t you know it? Just as they say, “I think people want to vote off Not Cher’s team…”, Not Cher walks in! Holy shit, that is amazing! Not Cher tells Serj, who’s upset about his only pair of shoes being jacked up from their hill challenge, that she’ll pick every thorn out of his shoe if they don’t vote her off, and he laughs. They’re bad liars, so I’m glad they shoo Not Cher off with a “don’t worry, we won’t vote for you.”
The not-at-all annoying part of Team Cher is prepping a salad for herself when her husband calls. (When will the contestants start talking about their diet? All we’re hearing about right now is working out, working out, and working out.) Bad news–her husband’s grandmother passed away the previous day. Shante (I feel bad using a nickname on her in these circumstances) sighs heavily at the news and tears up. She feels awful that she’s not there for her husband. Not Cher makes it all about her–the burden of keeping their team in this game now falls entirely on her shoulders. Well, then she better get to work!
See that awful makeup? I know she’s trying to contour, but it just makes her look 50.
Get to work, she does. She hoofs it to the hot tub for a relaxing flirt-soak with Team Fraud, Poi, and Serj. Stripper music plays as she takes off her swim skirt and gets into the water. “I didn’t realize it was going to be all guys. Lucky me,” she laughs. The guys all look sullen, and that’s when my giggles start. She starts her flirt campaign, saying that batting her eyelashes never hurt anyone. Actually, hon, I think it IS hurting you! Really! But she doesn’t even see it.
The guys aren’t even making eye contact with her. She tries to talk to Team Fraud about their immunity. Yes, they’re relieved and they offer no other conversation. She keeps rolling with her flirt, prompting someone (I can’t tell who) to say, “He’s married, and I have a girlfriend.” I cackle evilly. Her smile becomes a grimace as she realizes her flirt isn’t working.
So, who said this? Tall Fraud?
Since THAT didn’t work, she decides to play the pity card. Oh lord. She tells the guys about Shante’s grandmother passing, and how sad that is. Get out your Oscar nomination ballots, folks, because this is a doozy. She flutters a hand at her face and apologizes for being close to tears. A whiny little violin plays for us in the background. She stumbles over her lines as she tells the guys about the situation, and it’s so obviously an act. SO obvious. If I were Shante, I’d be pissed that she was doing this. Also, doesn’t it almost make it so that people WANT to vote their team out of the house, so poor Shante can get home to her family? Smart thinkin’, Cher.
“I’m sorry. My acting is so bad.”
The camera pans around and, oh snap, BBGG is listening in from behind the hot tub. He’s not hiding, he’s just standing there, taking it all in with a bemused smirk. He notes two red flags about Not Cher’s antics: 1) she’s more sad than Shante is, and 2) her face is beet red but no tears are coming out. BBGG walks away as Not Cher dries her fake tears. I’m sure this is all non-chronological editing, but Serj then says matter of factly, “I’m married, too.” BURN.
Of course you are. Who doesn’t marry a 400 lb hairy-backed man?
While Double Chocolate is double-timing it in the gym, Not Cher asks Corky if he knows who all the teams are voting for. He leans in, hands around her waist, to tell her that his team won’t put her name down. She says, “All right.” Doesn’t even thank the poor guy. Then she touches his arm to suggest that the house vote off the Snowman Teachers. Okay, the flirt’s definitely working here. Let’s just say that Corky’s blood is not in his brain right now. He’s whispering again in his confessional, telling us that he’s thinking long-term when none of the other teams are, that he’s got this all mapped out. How? Didn’t they all just get here? I know I’m dumb when it comes to manipulating people and situations, but this seems to be a bit much.
It’s the next morning, and it’s the day of the first house vote. Double Chocolate is confident that they did the best they could in the gym, the rest of it is up to fate. Corky wakes Not Cher up to tell her that he thinks he’s successfully led the other teams into voting for Snowman Teachers. She thanks him this time and lies back in bed. Also, she looks a lot prettier here with her hair up and no makeup.
Corky goes to the red room to convince Poi and Serj (and BBGG and partner) to not vote for Not Cher. His reasoning is that as long as she’s here, she’s a target and the bulls-eye will be off everyone else’s backs. So he admits she’s annoying! Or just that everyone else thinks so. Poi and Serj are skeptical. Meanwhile, Not Cher is in the pink room, arm slung around BFB’s shoulders, to convince them to also vote for the Snowman Teachers. BFB looks a little growly at the manipulative show of affection. Rocker Moms are in there, too, and they’re not feelin’ the love for Not Cher, especially since Rocker Moms are affiliated with the Orphanage. By the way, Rocker Mom Carrie (I think?) with the craziest colored hair is gonna be a fucking knockout pretty soon, and I’m not saying that just because she’s reading. HA!
Ugh, I would be standing up abruptly to get that arm off of me, if I were BFB.
Rocker Moms let Snowman Teachers know what they’re up against, and Tall Snowman Teacher makes like Hulk and pretends to rip her shirt off in rage. She seemed so sweet at first, but now I’m a little afraid of her. The venom in her eyes when she was complaining about Not Cher earlier, and the mouth on her. She’s a shit-stirrer.
In fact, she stirs some shit over lunch, asking Not Cher to answer for herself in her back-stabbing politicking. Rocker Mom joins in, and Not Cher backpedals with wide eyes. BBGG brings up the crocodile tears in the hot tub the other day, and Not Cher swears those tears were genuine. In a solo confessional, she performs her second monologue for Oscar contention, about how she’s such a loving and genuine person. She overstates and overexplains her hyper-emotional state in a totally rational way, which *I* would not be able to do if I were so distraught over people thinking I was fake and awful. Eyeroll and sigh.
“Waaaaah! *hiccup* Waaa waaaa waaaaaaaaaaaah!”
Time for the house vote! Here’s how we do this, Money Hungry-style. The team that won the challenge that week has immunity, so their team won’t be shown. The winning team gets to pick another team to be safe this week, and they won’t be shown either. All the other teams have a team portrait set up in the kitchen with a plate and a single apple (or maybe another food item in future weeks) sitting in front of their photo. Each team will go into the kitchen and take a bite of the apple that sits in front of the team they want to vote for. It’s done one at a time, and I get the feeling that the bitten apple is replaced with a whole one every time a new team comes in to vote. Otherwise, we’d have to start weighing apples and percentages of weight lost in bites in order to determine a winner. And you know some of these people can take big bites. Know what I mean? I’m going off on a tangent, let me bring it back. The team with the most bitten apples is the second team up for elimination that week. Then, of the two teams up for elimination, the one with the least amount of weight lost will be going home.
I’m glad I’m not in the house right now, because I can’t stand Red Delicious apples. Sure, they’re, like, the archetypal apple, but they’re usually mealy and gross. Gimme a Fuji or Gala or Jazz any day of the week.
Team Fraud chose Joes Pesci to be safe with them this week. So they don’t have an apple to bite this week. All other teams are potentially up for elimination. Let’s head in to vote. It looks like Snowman Teachers and Team Not Cher are right next to each other, so it’s hard to tell from the positions in the kitchen who everyone’s biting. (Naughty.) It’s funny to watch them all bite. Some take lusty bites, some are like, “ew.” Not Cher, of course, fellates her apple as she bites it. TOLD YA. We get one last whisper confessional from Corky about how he’s masterminding the whole house. Sigh.
By the way, I’m annoyed that VH1 is allowing the contestants to pimp social networking and gambling sites and whatever else on the contestants’ shirts. I’m sure there are some maroons out there who will see that t-shirt and go, “Holy shit, it MUST be a cool, legit site if it’s on some guy’s t-shirt!”, but I’m not one of ‘em. I guess VH1 figures that if they got you to raise $10,000, you can wear whatever the hell you want.
Time for the weigh-ins. First, The Cortayzee asks the teams about their strategy with their votes. Chicago Deep Dratch gets pinned by Cortayzee, and they admit that they knew who they were sending home from Day 1. “Jamie’s a little annoying!,” Dratch chirps. Not Cher shrugs. Cortayzee asks if everyone agrees, and you hear a LOT of yeses. HA! Corky’s the only one who won’t agree and Cortayzee calls him on it.
Okay, just get on the scale, would ya. People lost some weight. Some just barely (Joes Pesci only lost one pounds between ‘em). Double Chocolate killed it in the gym this week, and it shows. They lost 11 pounds this week. They’re on the hot seat while the other teams weigh in. So far, we don’t know who got picked for elimination in the house vote. It’ll only be revealed as they all weigh in. Team after team comes up, and some haven’t lost as much as Double Chocolate. But they weren’t up for elimination, so they’re all safe.
I can barely see what’s happening. That stupid Scream Queens butcher knife is in the way again!
Snowman Teachers come up for weigh in. Cortayzee reveals that they might be the team that was voted to be eliminated. Team Not Cher is the other potential team. Snowmen are FLOORED. Who the hell voted for them besides Not Cher? And, obviously, Corky? Maybe Poi/Serj? They are pissed. Next week is going to be interesting. Cortayzee stirs the pot a bit by asking Snowmen what they think of Not Cher. Tall Snowman is like, “I don’t think anyone really likes her enough to listen to what she has to say.” Not Cher bites back with, “At least five teams did.” Yikes.
Snowmen weigh in, and their weight loss is greater than Double Chocolate’s. However, Cortayzee reveals that they were NOT the team with the most votes, so they’re safe and so is Double Chocolate. So far. Yay! Team Not Cher might be going home! It all depends on this last weigh in.
Well, I called it when I said that dancing isn’t going to get you losing weight enough to win $100,000, and I was right. They lost 11 lbs between ‘em, too, which is good, but it’s not enough to keep them in the house. They’re going home! Hallelujah! I think Shante is gorgeous, and I hope this appearance DOES help her modeling career. Not Cher is apparently doing the interview circuit right now, and I think she’ll be fine, too. Though we do get a very short final submission to the Oscar committee from Not Cher, about how stressful it is when people don’t like you and you don’t know why, boohoo. Shakin’ my head. Someone needs a little self-awareness.
BTW, what’s up with the gym passes they have to wear around their necks? It’s some contrivance for the weigh-in, I guess, because I don’t see them wearing the badges during actual workouts. And if they’re already going home, why do they ALSO have to turn in their gym passes? Why not just…leave? It’s like the producers wanted something like Bret Michaels’ backstage passes, but in reverse, or some shit, and it just doesn’t work. Also, my Nighty-Night tea is kicking in and I can’t think straight. Also, why isn’t the chopping block a literal chopping block? They have gigantic milkshakes in the foyer but can’t get a gigantic chopping block for us?! What is this world coming to? Yep, the tea is definitely kicking in. So is that muscle relaxer I just took. Oh boy.
That is a missed opportunity for the set designer, right there.
Next week! The challenge seems to be some kind of obstacle course/running race, with the teammates tethered together and chasing each other. Here’s where we see Team Serj/Poi chasing down BFB like a bull in a rodeo. The drama Corky feared indeed heats up, and he’s the target. All that manipulation with trying to keep Not Cher in the house backfired, and no one trusts him. What happened to the game-long mastermind, hmm? Come back next week and we’ll tawk.