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The boot is back. After last week’s quiet respite from dry heaves and buckets, the Road Rules vomitorium returned in full gloppy force in the latest edition of Road Rules X-Treme. Unlike previous episodes which featured drunken Danny and Derrick spewing forth like mighty geysers of alcohol and shame, tonight’s installment featured a group effort of communal splatter. I guess it was to be expected. During the past few years, Bunim/Murray has become the it production team for capturing all sorts of dramatic barfing, and tonight was an exceptional presentation of their well-honed skills. It was like porn for gastroenterologists, with money shots coming one after another. And leave it up to Bunim/Murray to tack on some lame romantic angle to this mess: boy meets girl; boy and girl throw up; boy and girl sort of like each other more. It’s a classic story!I’m getting a little too far ahead of myself though. The episode began with the roadies receiving a message about their next mission. Unlike last week’s tricky “What do you call a guy who has no arms, no legs, and hangs on a wall” riddle, the producers lofted a softball clue with some phrase like “Prepare to bust a moo-ve”. Kina was the smarty pants who figured out the challenge would be bovine themed. The Jersey Girl bounced around the trailer with excitement, a strange phenomenon that afflicts these kids, even though they know they invariably are going to face some horrendous, tear-inducing challenge.
Meanwhile, a shot of the moon alerted us that we would be shifting gears from Holsteins to romance. Last week, we dropped in on the budding love affair between Jodi and Patrick. This week, we learned of a growing showmance between Kina and Derrick. Apparently he really likes her, but Kina doesn’t want to hook up with anyone, as evidenced by her subtle mocking of his attempts to kiss her. If only they had some sort of personal challenge to serve as a catalyst to their relationship…
Conveniently, we segued to the next mission titled “Don’t Have A Cow”. Kina’s high hopes for some sort of dude ranch or udder-milking activity were dashed when the team learned they would have to… EAT parts of the cow! Ewwww! Who does that? What strange people would ever make cow a part of their daily diet? Oh, I guess that would be us and our Westernized culture. But don’t tell the kids that. Apparently, they think steak grows on steak trees.
The plucky mission mayors explained that there were thirteen dishes of cow parts that needed to be eaten. Our diners would be given five minutes to chow down (they would be fed by a partner) and whatever was left over would be compiled on a tray to be consumed at the end of the mission. Pretty convoluted for a mission whose sole purpose is to just make these kids throw up. But I guess it worked. Even though beef may be what’s for dinner, the Road Rulers approached the challenge with an unreasonable level of dread, especially Danny who was already yakking his brains out before the first dish even surfaced. He did his business in the bathroom, not realizing that Bunim/Murray had furnished him with, yes, an official Road Rules barf bucket, complete with decal. I guess if there’s any one prop that would exemplify this show, that would be it.
Did these guys really think they’d make it through the season without a tasting menu of nauseating delights? Like high altitude jumps or public nudity, the gross-out food challenge is a cliché, er, staple of this series. These guys should have been practicing on butcher scraps long before they flew down to the Southern Hemisphere.
But they didn’t, which is why it was so fun to watch them quiver and sweat in the presence of cow brains and whatnot. Danny was completely useless, and watching Jodi feed him brought back memories of me forcing a pill down my late cat’s throat. I thought for sure he would break out into a series of hisses and scratch everyone in sight, but instead he just blew chunks. For some reason, puking was way more amusing in Fargo when Margie noted “I think I’m gonna barf!” I guess that’s because the Cohen Brothers believe in that thing… uh, what’s it called again? Oh yeah. Artistry.
Meanwhile, as a trail of snot bungee jumped out of Kina’s nose, Derrick made his most romantic move yet: he fed cow rectum to his beloved Jersey Girl. It’s not quite chocolate covered strawberries, but it did the trick. Kina swooned about how the two of them worked so well as a unit and how Derrick really was there for her in her time of need. Bunim/Murray’s clunky juxtaposition of this love story with Danny’s casual – and very sludgy, by the way – booting in the corner was forced and unintentionally comical. That the producers tried to create any sort of romantic significance to this freakshow meal was a joke unto itself. I’m surprised they didn’t try to contrive any metaphors when heart was served.
Nevertheless, everyone continued to choke and gag their way through the challenge. I wonder if they knew that cow tongue is readily available at their local deli (I recommend Canter’s sandwich in LA), or that the intestines they found so abhorrent are the things that keep hot dogs together? And maybe they forgot that they’ve probably ingested all these random cow parts in the last burger they gobbled up. I’d like to see them gag and cry over a nasty plate of cow loin – aka filet mignon. Funny how that sounds so appetizing when it’s given a French touch.
Amazingly, this gluttonous challenge provided the first ounces of drama this series has seen this season. Ultimately, Danny’s digestive system was booked to capacity, and he left too much meat on the leftover platter for Patrick to gulp down in five minutes. The team lost, and they melodramatically congealed in a group hug that reminded me of the final episode of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, or at least the opening credits of the Golden Girls. Betty White loves the group hug.
Moments later, Danny bawled at a picnic table. He’s really come a long way to disprove the gay stereotypes of being weak in competition and quick to cry in hardship. Oh wait…
Since this wasn’t the most triumphant of episodes for our troopers, Bunim/Murray dropped the Yellowcard-esque inspirational punk for the final segment and inserted some generic emo instead. Derrick lauded the virtues of Kina again, this time noting poetically that once you see a girl naked and drool on her, it’s hard not to fall in love. And yet, for some reason, I can’t help thinking that when you’ve been seen naked and drooled on, it’s hard to reciprocate that romantic vibe.
As the episode came to a melancholy close, the group found a cute puppy wandering around. Even though they have no food, vaccinations, or discernible living space for the pup, the cast members still decided to adopt it as their own and make it the team mascot. Meanwhile, a kid is wandering around Santiago looking for his lost puppy. Way to go, guys. I’m sure the dog will be quickly thrown to the curb when everyone realizes that puppies aren’t housebroken, and RVs smell up real quickly.
The real test is for Bunim/Murray. We know they’ll show puke, but are they above dog poop?