Although Abram was deservedly kicked off from last week’s Road Rules, I was really disappointed. First Veronica, and now Abram. I can’t really stand either of them, but I was counting on both of them to deliver to make this a drama-filled season of Road Rules. I am not saying that Shane, Adam, Susie, Kina or any of the newcomers aren’t up to the task, or the show won’t be as good. It’s just now I think we’ll have to wait until somebody steps up to the plate and hits one out of the park, and by “one” I mean “Kina’s head”. This week we found out which guy won the battle to take Abram’s place on the RV as well as getting a look at our first “Pit Stop” of the year.With Abram’s departure last week, the top two vote getters from the pit crew squared off the see who would take his place. You the viewers picked Monte and Dan, which is not that big of a surprise. Dan would have been chosen because he is jacked, and Monte easily has the most charisma of the newbies, so having either of them compete in the missions would be OK.
I think the Pit is a pretty good idea, but it’s clear that the challenges aren’t going to be much more than some of our favorite games from American Gladiator repurposed for the smaller screen and slightly less violence. Personally, I think it would be much more interesting if they could get Under Armor to come up with some Gladiator outfits and give all of these people Gladiator nicknames. Actually, it would be really awesome if there were an feature-length film about American Gladiators, only because I think it would be funny to see if Dean Cain’s career has dropped off so far that he would sign up to play Nitro in this film.
In this edition of The Pit, Monte and Dan were placed on opposite sides of “field”. A single football was placed at the midway point, and the goal of the game was to grab the ball and get it to your opponent’s side. It was easy to see that Dan was going to have an advantage in this game because of his size, but Monte really surprised me by taking the first round of this best-of-five challenge. Dan eventually won the contest pretty easily, but snaps to Monte for giving us at least a fleeting moment of suspense.
My hopes for a quality episode were dashed a little bit when I saw that they actually took time to show Shane’s adventures merging in Los Angeles traffic. What’s the next big thing? Avoiding the smell at the Tom Bradley International Terminal? Waiting in line for Starbucks? There has to be more than this, right?
Of course there is! The next stop for the Road Rulers was Pismo Beach. I once pitched the idea of a film noir called Pismo Beach. I thought it was a great idea until my friend basically told me I was describing the movie Red Rock West. So it sucks that I never made my millions from that idea, but Red Rock West is a good move and you should check it out.
On the way to Pismo Beach, the talk in the RV was all about Dan and Tori, who in the few weeks since the show has been taping, have formed a little bit of a connection. I think these two got together because they were the only ones with accents, so it was very easy for them to understand each other. And as the Amazing Race showed us with Ron and Kelly, military men and beauty queens are often the perfect match. Nothing has happened between the two of them yet, but everyone was placing bets on how long it would take for the two of them to kiss. Some guessed seven days, but I am going to say “About two hours after Dan finds a place to buy a 12 pack of Natty Light”.
After the last couple of rounds had the Road Rulers competing in challenges on their own, we had our first “Pit Stop” of the year. I know that they are trying to keep up with this road trip nomenclature and everything, but I am starting to get confused. We have the Pit, the Pit Crew, and a Pit Stop. Why don’t they call the time that people are fighting in the Pit, the Pit Stop? Because then they would need to come up with something to call the current Pit Stop. Something like “This Pit’s For You” or “Looks Great, Less Filling”.
Anyway, the six people from the RV were Pit-ted against the top six vote getters from the Pit Crew, as if this was some honor or something. With only seven people left in the Pit Crew, that meant that only one person was left out. That person was Kristen, so it must be great for her to know that she is the least inspiring person of so-far uninspiring group.
The actual mission looked fairly hard. Each team paired up into guy/girl teams, and the challenge took place in the middle of a large sand dune. Imagine that scene from star wars where Jabba the Hutt kills all of those people by feeding them to the sand monster, except that the only person threatening to eat people alive was Veronica. The team that could bring back 40 tires from their position on the sand dunes first would win.
I love these challenges because there is always some sort of strategy that would really make life easier, but nobody is ever smart enough to figure out the strategy, so it’s fun to watch them all struggle. The only thing that even comes close is when there is a brainteaser of some sort, and they all take hours to master something the rest of the world uses as part of a pre-school entrance exam.
When I saw the challenge, I must admit that it didn’t look like too much strategy was involved. Everybody decided that they would get the highest ones first, with the idea that it would be much easier to do the harder ones at the beginning than struggling to get them at the end. Teams could take up to four wheels at a time, and I think they had to carry them, because if they just rolled the tires down the hill, it would have been a little too easy.
Scaling the walls of the sand proved difficult, and while the pace was fast and furious early on, it really started to slow down when each team was starting their second time through the course. A lot of the guys were practically dragging their partners around the course, including Shane, who was constantly yelling at Tori to get her butt moving. To me it looked like Shane was just trying to keep her motivated, but some people thought that he was a little mean. I say that Tori still has to prove that she can do what it takes to stay in the competition. Until then, she is just a beauty queen on an RV.
The Road Rulers took a slight lead, but the Pit Crew was not far behind. Everybody was really sucking wind, and suddenly Jerry started feeling light-headed. He has asthma and was looking for his inhaler. Unfortunately, they were looking hard enough, and he started puking from the exertion. I am a bit of a workout puker myself, so I know how he feels. Tori could also sympathize with him because she started puking as well. Shane still wasn’t letting up, saying that she had rid herself of all her weakness and could now get back to work.
While the puking had stopped and Jerry felt that he was going to be fine, the doctors wouldn’t let him back in the game, meaning he was disqualified and the match had to stop. Instead of the first to 40, they decided to count how many tires the teams had collected up to that point, and Road Rulers were ahead, giving them the win by default.
Well, DQs always blow, but the RV got to take its $10,000 and pick the person to go into the pit. I am not sure if I missed the explanation, but only one person was put into the Pit. Everybody decided to pull names out of a hat, and since Dan was immune this week, he got to pick. He pulled the name out and it was Tori! Ouch! It’s hard enough to send somebody to the pit, but this was twice as hard because the two of them were starting to get really close.
There you have it. It had the potential to be a decent episode, but the DQ kind of made it anticlimactic. Tori is going into the Pit, and I have a hunch that the viewers are going to want a rematch with Veronica. Only time will tell. What did you think of this episode?