When we last saw our booze-soaked buddies of The Gauntlet II, everyone was having a ball celebrating Mark Long’s “thirty-ish” birthday party. That is, everyone but Jo, the temperamental Brit from Real World: San Francisco. Apparently she had forgotten what exactly it was that she had signed up for (co-existing amongst alcoholics of varying mental acuity with occasional mormons thrown in for good measure) and completely freaked out when she found a smattering of chocolate syrup near her bed. Basically, she had a full-on breakdown. I don’t know whether or not it was the stress of being team captain or the general lack of attention she was receiving, but Jo not only insisted that she go home, but threatened to call the police if she were not allowed to pack. And we all know how local authorities love those packing-violation complaints. So what would happen this week? Would Jo come to her senses and realize that living with a bunch of drunken fools was a good thing? Or would she burden the Trinidad and Tobago police force with her demands for an escort? Well, let’s find out, shall we?As usual, the show began with its ostentatious rise-from-the-womb-of-the-sea montage where we got to see how busty the girls all are and how jacked the guys have become. Well, everyone but poor Cyrus — a.k.a. the only guy wearing a tank top. Gotta feel bad for the fat guy wearing a t-shirt in the pool. The truth of the matter is that Cyrus really isn’t that plump, but compared to the pec-tastic other guys, he looks like the latest Biggest Loser failure.
Anyway, back in the Gauntlet house, we found leading chiseled candidate Alton holding Jo back from, well, nothing in particular. Doesn’t he know any better? SHE WILL NOT BE MANHANDLED! Finally, after enough empty promises, Jo decided to back up her claims and call the fuzz. “I’m being attacked and mandhandled,” she complained. “I’ve got wrist marks!” Note to self: never give Jo Indian burns.
Nevertheless, Jo continued her rant to the cops: “If you do not get your f*cking butts here now, I will sue this island!” That seems like a reasonable demand. I mean, all island nations should be held responsible when chocolate syrup appears near various beds and linens. This could really be a landmark case.
Well, Jo finally concluded her emergency call by declaring, “I’ve been seriously manhandled on the island of Tobago.” Seriously manhandled. I’m sure there are a few, I don’t know, rape and assault victims who’d like to smack you right now, Jo.
Sadly, the ballad of crazy Jo came to an end with the cops did eventually show up and escort her back to the land of mental instability from whence she came. “Bottom line: she’s just crazy,” Ruthie said with a sigh of relief. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. I would have really liked a Jo/Coral matchup, but I guess that just won’t be in the cards anytime soon.
Anyway, enough of this awesomely dumb drama. Let’s get to an awesomely dumb challenge. The teams headed out to the beach where a pile of coconuts awaited them. Unsurprisingly, this challenge was called — wait for it — “Chock Full of Coconuts.” Teams basically had to transport a set number of coconuts to a circle by using two bamboo logs. Just imagine balancing five peas on a set of chopsticks. Okay, got the visual? Cool. There were other stipulations to this challenge — something about fallen coconuts and dragging the bamboo and whatnot, but honestly, how much info do you really need to know for a Gauntlet competition? It’s just filler for the next ridiculous fight or meltdown.
Well, because Jo had since retired to a place with no chocolate syrup, manhandling, or packing impediments, Kina was promoted to Rookie Team Captain based on her runner’s up performance in the Rock Paper Scissor 2005 Invitational. Luckily for her, this was a “Men’s Gauntlet,” meaning that whichever team lost would be sending a male captain into the Gauntlet. So sit back and relax, Ki-Ki (my new name for Kina). The only people who should have been fretting were Alton (captain o’ rookies) and Adam (captain o’ vets).
Of course, what always entertains me about these “captain” scenarios (first introduced in Battle of the Sexes 2) is how the team leaders are culpable for failures, despite the fact that almost all of these challenges require little by way of strategy or leadership. This “Chock Full Of Coconuts” competition was no exception; although, I guess there was a modicum of thought necessary in choosing who should be paired up for each round of coconut carrying. Nevertheless, the vets decided to pair up boy-boy and girl-girl while the rookies opted for a co-ed girl-boy tandem for every round. High level stuff, man.
As the challenge began, the vets took an early lead as a weak Ibis couldn’t keep her bamboo together, causing several coconuts to fall to the ground. And if that sentence didn’t sound mildly suggestive, try this one on for size: “Squeeze, Ibis! Squeze, Ibis!” Alton urged. Okay, I’ll just say it: Squeeze, Ibis? I’m sure she’s heard THAT before! Rimshot!! Bet you didn’t see that one coming!
But seriously, Ibis is a dirty whore.
Just kidding. I actually like Ibis and her can-do attitude, even if she sucks at holding bamboo. Anyway, she and Alton returned from their task and holy shit! Is it me or did Alton become about ten times more jacked in the past thirty seconds? Makes me feel kind of lame for chowing down on that bag of “Munchies” JetBlue provides (yes, I’m presently on a plane. And by the way, JetBlue “Munchies” are possibly the best snack ever. It’s literally Doritos, Cheetohs, Sun Chips, and Pretzels ALL IN ONE BAG!!! It’s the Traveling Wulberries of snacks! Update I’ve just been told that these crazy “Munchies” actually exist in the store. I guess I’m just not up on the latest snack trends. This does not dampen my overall enthusiasm for the product though.)
Anyhoo, the rookies rebounded from their slow start (thanks, IBIS) and soon overtook those cocky vets. Ibis explained that her squad had begun learning how to best approach this challenge and was really happy about that. Yay coconut education! But just when it seemed like the rookies had this one in the bag, the vets suddenly came back with a twenty point surge out of nowhere. In time, the two teams were tied, and it all came down to which team would cross the finish line first. Wow, this was nuts! Nay, coconuts! C-o-c-o-n-u-t-s. Sigh. Not as good as bananas.
Well, lucky for the rookies, MJ and his mighty afro of coconut-carrying prowess powered his team to the victory, causing veteran Julie to shriek, “F*ck! What the f*ck did we do wrong??” Hey, that’s not very Mormon. Aren’t you supposed to be born again? Nevertheless, while Julie may have been in trouble with Jesus, Adam was in trouble with fate. He was headed for the Gauntlet, but who would he fight against? Perhaps another nasally clogged reality star? There’s only one way to find out: team meeting!
That plucky dude Mark Long suggested pulling names from a hat, thus prompting a dependably silly Derrick speech. “I think that’s bullshit. Why can’t people f*ckin come up here and say what you want to say. Say what you want to say in front of everyone.” Huh? How about you “articulate” what you want to say instead. Still, everyone — particularly Aneesa — felt that secret ballot would be best. But not Derrick! “No! No! No! I don’t like that bullshit. That’s bullshit. F*ck that and f*ck you too!” he said, directing his last bit of wino rage towards Aneesa and her fro-hawk-mullet. Ever the diplomat, Brad then told us in an interview, “You know, Derrick’s testosterone factor getting out of control.” Testosterone factor — also known as new steroid routine.
Well, secret ballots ultimately won, and it was a good thing, according to the ever eloquent Ace: “If someone says a name that’s not you, you’re like ‘Yeah, it’s not me. So it is him.’ And then everyone else will jump behind the bandwagon and do the same thing.” Behind the bandwagon, on the bandwagon — same difference. I think Ace’s point was that a secret ballot cuts down on unfair railroading due to peer pressure. And yeah, that’s true. But railroading is more fun to watch. Then again, if the first Gauntlet taught us anything, it’s that a secret ballot can still yield tons of drama (Veronica vs. Sarah, anyone?).
Anyway, Derrick unsurprisingly was sent into the Gauntlet where he faced Adam in a rousing game of… “Name That Coconut.” No one really knew what that was, but that didn’t stop Derrick from being amped. “I’m gonna brush my teeth and get ready for war!” A war on PLAQUE!!! ARGH!!!
Turns out that “Name That Coconut” was merely just trivia. But trivia TO THE EXTREME!!! Basically, TJ would read a question, and the answer was written on a coconut. The first person to retrieve said coconut would win a point, with the trick being that players could try to knock the coconut free from the other person. Of course, “knocking a coconut free” quickly translated into “homoerotic wrestling” as the two guys found themselves sweaty and pawing at each other like two horny raccoons. Or so I’d imagine.
“They’re not messing around!” commented Jeremy from the sidelines. SHUT UP. Who are you? You were on Road Rules: South Pacific for like two episodes. Stop forcing yourself onto MTV.
Meanwhile, rookie team member Cara — who acts like she’s the only reality star to ever pose for Playboy — noted that it would be good for Adam to go home because he’s not only strong, but “he’s like the brains of the whole function.” Wow, that’s just sad.
Anyway, alleged intellectual tour-de-force Adam took an early lead over Derrick with a score of 2 to 1, but the feisty lush came back strong, tying it up and then eventually moving ahead, 3 to 2. When asked a question about his cast mate Danny, Derrick yelled out, “You’re my boy, boo!” Aww, that’s sweet. Now get back to the challenge. We’ve been watching this for about forty-five minutes now.
In an attempt to get back in the game, Adam tried a new, more erotic strategy by essentially dry-humping Derrick. Every time Derrick got on his knees to investigate the coconuts, Adam would literally shimmy up from behind and envelope his opponent in a gentle man-on-man embrace. Truthfully, he was just trying to get into better position to knock a coconut from Adam’s hands, but whatever. It was the most romantic moment since MJ and Landon shared a tender evening together on Real World: Philly.
Ultimately, Derrick won the Gauntlet, meaning that he would now be team captain. As for Adam, it was time for him to go bye-bye. “Adam going home is very detrimental to this team,” lamented future AARP member Timmy. Hey man, at least you’ve still got Derrick, and surely he won’t lead to any problems at all. Except for his surly rage. And alcoholic belligerence. And general insecurities.
Later, as Derrick moved into the captain bedroom, someone called out “Hey Derrick!” To which he replied, “Actually, just start calling me Captain now. Ha ha! Just kidding.” Not really. This kid’s about to go on a power trip, and it’s not gonna be pleasant. Let’s just say I wouldn’t want to put him in any Stanford prison experiments. But as long as no one calls anyone “Cappy,” I’ll be fine.
What did you think? Did you like this episode? Will you miss Adam?