Shock of shocks. Bunim/Murray got their act together and pulled off a surprisingly good (relatively speaking) episode of Road Rules. Not only did we get a new and unique challenge, but the kids kept their idiotic chatter to a minimum. Plus we were even treated to that most serious of ceremonies: the hallowed voting off of a cast member, and in tonight’s case, that meant Danny. Who would have thunk it?
In case you were having doubts about Danny’s longterm prospects on the show, Bunim/Murray was quick to bolster your suspicions early in last night’s episode. While the rest of the campers happily commented on the beautiful Chilean countryside, Danny noted that he finally feels accepted by the team and that he really thinks he’s contributing now. Now, there’s a certain logic to all Road Rules shows. Whatever a character says in the beginning of an episode will be disproved by the end. If someone says that he’s worried about his place in the team, he will be indispensable in that episode’s challenge. If someone thinks someone else is annoying, everything will be water under the bridge by the ending credits. And of course, if someone is blabbing about how secure he or she feels within the team, chances are that person will face a major betrayal. It’s simple Bunim/Murray logic, people.In this case, with Danny finally feeling less like a black, or pink, sheep, it was clear that something bad would befall him, and given the fact that MTV had heavily hyped this episode by saying someone would be going home, it wasn’t hard to fit the pieces together. So what is left for a humble viewer to do? In my case, I relished the chance to see how this sextet would somehow fail their next mission.
Luckily for me, the challenge was actually pretty interesting. In pairs of two, the kiddos had to navigate a course on a dune buggy with the catch being that the passenger would control the gas and brakes and, of course, be blindfolded. Wow. I guess the mission designers have a few sparks of creativity left in them after all. The first two rounds passed without incident. Derrick and Ibis had a minor snafu when their engine stalled out, and Danny and Patrick swiftly zoomed to the finish line with nary a problem. This again led to more Bunim/Murray misdirection as Danny chimed in about how he really is pulling his weight now and tra la la he’s a member of the team. Yay!
Unfortunately, things went sour for the Road Rulers real quick. The tandem driving force of Kina and Jodie took to the reigns of the dune buggy like… like… I don’t know. Like something awful driving something dangerous. The point is that I wouldn’t trust these two on a country lane, let alone blindfolded and bouncing around on an offroading course. Sure enough, Kina and Jodie – aka Panic and Hysteria – hit a bump or a curve too fast and went rolling off the course in a dusty wipeout that the producers simply relished. Amazingly, the windshield camera caught Jodie reaching her hand out of the roll cage as the car tumbled through the dirt. Now Jodie, I know you’re not the sharpest tool in the shed, or even the world, but if you like to pick things up with your hand or touch things with your hand or even casually gaze at your hand, don’t put it in a place where it can be crushed by the weight of a heavy piece of machinery, or in this case, a dune buggy. Mmmkay?
Of course, this magnificent crash (and by the way, even cold-hearted me was glad no one was seriously injured) resulted not only in the team losing the challenge, but Jodie and Kina turning into teary, bluthery messes. I suppose that’s understandable. It’s sort of a study in contrasts when compared to last year’s Amazing Race when John similarly wiped out on a buggy. The only difference was that instead of bawling, he laughed hysterically.
Well, losing at the dune buggy competition meant only one thing. Time to vote someone off. Danny immediately assumed his grim “This is NOT funny” face, which I can understand since he was the most obvious target. He tried a lame little campaign against Jodie, saying that because she failed the mission, she should go. But Danny, didn’t you fail the first mission, also contributing to this situation? Apparently that’s a silly flaw in his logic. Danny rationalized that he’s pulled his weight in every mission, whereas Jodie has not. So let’s go down memory lane and do a quick recap of Danny’s tenure on Road Rules. He whined during the volcano mission, he needed the constant help of Derrick during the waterfall mission (which he almost blew because he had been vomitting in a bucket the previous 12 hours), and of course he completely lost the cow mission for the team. But then again, last week he drew pictures of snails, trees, flags, and houses really well!
The ejection discussion was fairly straightforward with Derrick casting his first vote towards Danny. He strung together a list of clichés, ranging from “I wanted to tell you man to man” to “it’s nothing personal”. About the only thing he didn’t say was “It’s not you, it’s me.” Nevertheless, everyone cited Danny’s lack of willpower in the cow challenge as grounds for dismissal, and as each new vote was cast, Danny slunk lower and lower into his jacket of shame. Note that this was one of the rare sleeved Danny moments. I guess those guns only come out during happy times. Watch out, they’ll get ya!
Kina, Ibis and Jodie of course cried through the entire process, and Danny topped off this ceremony by adding the passive aggressive comment, “I’m obviously going home, so I’ll get my stuff.” Later, with Patrick and Derrick trying super hard to seem sad, the group huddled together in a hug. Someone insisted that Danny sing the song one last time. Um, what song? But no, Danny was too saddened. Nevermind, everyone decided they’d sing it anyway. And here’s how it went: “1…2…3…Danny!” Was that it? That’s the worst song of all time!
Oh well. Next week promises good times when fresh blood enters the mix. Patrick insists that he already doesn’t like the new guy. But why? He didn’t do anything. He’s not trying to screw things up. As long as this replacement isn’t as annoying as last year’s Tina, whose voice I liken to a buzzard doing a Joan Rivers impression while slowly drowning, I’ll be happy.