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I wonder if Alaskans realize how lucky they are. Today was the longest day of the year, and for Anchorage residents, this means almost twenty four hours of daylight. I’m sure people spent the whole day drinking outside at festivals or fly-fishing at midnight. Surely, they were not at home watching TV. Otherwise, they may have stumbled upon the tired Bunim/Murray machine creaking through the motions with another edition of Road Rules X-Treme. With only two episodes under the belt, we’ve already covered well-worn Bunim/Murray territory such as a bungee jump, a rappelling challenge, and a homophobia dilemma. Tonight’s installment tackled two more MTV cliches: public nudity and the hometown honey. Doubling up again on the formula? Wow, this is X-Treme! Yeah!!!The show opened romantically with a very koombaya campfire ablaze, and Jodi and Patrick staring at the stars. Patrick pieced together words in an ordered sequence, that if spoken at a normal rate, would have resembled phrases, sentences, and other syntactical goodies. He rambled about his girlfriend and how he loves her but he cheated on her and now he’s on poontang probation. One false move, and that shop is closing up for good. Cut to Jodi, apparently wearing some sort of Janeane Garafalo costume, chiming in about having to respect the hometown honey’s feelings and blah blah blah. While she yammered on, Patrick noted in an interview how cool Jodi was, but then added the perfunctory disclaimer that he was going to remain faithful…
And yes, that “aooogah” sound you heard was the Bunim/Murray jalopy pulling up on America’s driveway.
Meanwhile, resident tough-guy Derrick signed, sealed, and delivered his sidekick application by challenging Patrick to about five wrestling matches and losing each one. Danny did not participate in the Greco-Roman antics, but I’m sure he snickered the obvious comments about Derrick’s homophobia and his eagerness to wrestle. Nevertheless, with the dominant male pecking order now firmly in place, Derrick tried to maneuver some sort of suplex on Kina, but instead he crumpled to the ground in an embarrassing display of slapstick. In the process, he also re-injured his bad knee, possibly jeopardizing the next day’s mission.
Speaking of missions, the cast members proved to be cognitively absent when MTV text messaged a clue about the next day’s activities: “What do you call a man who has no arms, no legs, and hangs on a wall?” Most people would say “Art” since the joke’s been around since, you know, forever. But our plucky travelers thought it was some sort of velcro skydiving mission. Sadly, they’re still trying to figure out what’s black and white and red all over too.
Tricky riddles aside, the RV made it’s way up to Santiago, Chile, where the kids trudged their way into a Puma store to learn their new mission. Today’s challenge: to stand nude but painted in a store window for an hour. Yes, nothing says art like the exploitive commercialism of a Puma/MTV collaboration. News of this mission rippled through the teammates like an atomic bomb – as much as that ripples – leading Ibis to go bug-eyed and slack-jawed. Adding insult to non-injury, the kids learned they needed to shave all the hair off their bodies from the neck down. Yes, we mean ALL. This endeavor would require a little teamwork, therefore prompting Patrick to salaciously ask “Who wants my ass?” Judging by this episode so far, that would be Jodi and Derrick.
In the midst of all this fretting, someone had the gall to say that this mission was X-Treme. Actually, if I remember correctly, Campus Crawl did the exact same thing two years ago, except those chumps didn’t have the luxury of nudity-obscuring body paint, and instead of standing in a window display, they sat in a gallery with people mere inches from their exposed flesh. But that’s okay. These X-Treme kids are so wired up from complimentary Capri Sun, they don’t know what’s hardcore anymore.
The actual mission passed by without incident. I applaud the producers for trying to create scandal by having Patrick pressed up behind Jodi, and Danny face to face with Derrick. Any sort of arousal would have been fantastically awkward television. But alas, the only movement came when Patrick shifted his foot, effectively docking his team fifteen minutes. Derrick, with his bum knee, leaned against Kina, who acted as if a twelve ton structure were bearing down on her. When the curtain finally closed on the exhibit, she and Ibis inexplicably burst into tears. Yes, performance art can do that to you. I heard they had to be airlifted out of a Blue Man Group performance.
After the group toweled off and won their X-Treme key, they put on their club gear and hit the town. Jodi explained that she can’t dance; so Patrick gave her a little Footloose 101. You just have to be confident, he instructed. Later he demonstrated the signature white man’s move of raised elbows gliding back and forth – sort of like a mummy on a NordicTrack. Before Patrick dazzled with his dirty dancing, Jodi detailed her growing attraction for him: “I definitely feel like Patrick and I connect on a bunch of different levels. He’s tall, he’s handsome, he has dark hair…” She also added that they both like peas and could talk or not talk about things for days, and still find things to not talk about.
Later in the club with a bottle full of bub, Patrick kissed Jodi, and darned if he knows how it happened. They both did damage control for their sure-to-be-watching suitors by firmly dismissing any emotional resonance to the smooch, but I’m sure these two will be locking lips again soon. In the meantime, Patrick vented to sidekick Derrick, who gave some sort of inarticulate advise about other fish in the sea. Thankfully, Patrick’s inevitable break up with his girl was quick and painless, unlike the drawn out affairs on The Real World. Because Bunim/Murray can’t record both sides of cell phone conversations, we were treated to a succinct “Hi. Let’s not see each other. Bye.” sequence that merrily tied the bow on that recurring scenario.
Next week it looks like Bunim/Murray serves up another popular motif: the noxious food challenge. And with Danny’s green, sludgy puke pouring forth into his bucket, it looks like he’ll be taking an early lead on this season’s vomit tally. Just goes to prove that we don’t have to take our clothes off to have a good time…