For a brief moment tonight, MTV had us believe that our dear friends on the Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Inferno might be leaving us. After all, tonight’s episode was hyped as the “Inferno finale” throughout a tedious one hour clip show that prefaced the main event. Turned out that tonight was only the last actual Inferno challenge. So get excited Miz lovers. Our cadre of whiners and bickering fools will be back next week for one last hurrah. And probably the week after that for a reunion show. And then probably a few weeks later for the next challenge. For the record, since wrapping up her season of Road Rules: Semester At Sea, Veronica has never NOT done a challenge. Even Mike and Coral took a break from “Battle of the Sexes”. I think.Tonight’s episode started off with classy Coral gloating over having won the prized Aztec lifesaver. Because TVgasm sprung up late in the Challenge season, I have to make this long overdue aside. Congrats to the producers for finally integrating the silly lifesaver into the structure of the competition. Previously, the then Ion Lifesaver seemed to have a murky cause d’etre. Not even the players knew what to do with it, as they often assigned it to random people, some of whom weren’t even in the game. It was always entertaining to see the cast attempt to display some emotional depth by trying to find symbolism in this meaningless token.
Nevertheless, Veronica and Coral were the lucky biatches with the Aztec Lifesavers (which, if I’m not mistaken, were actually blue porcelain plates). Coral was at least diplomatic and alerted David that she would be sending him into the Inferno. Veronica, on the other hand, maintained her age-old feud with Katie by simply snickering in cocky self-satisfaction. Katie dealt with the situation by applying Ben-Gay to her underarms.
Katie, for all her unctious cynicism and trailer-park impulses, has become this season’s Sarah. Granted, Sarah seemed to be a smart, vulnerable, and generally decent human being, but both she and now Katie have wound up in the unenviable position of being team scapegoat. Shamelessly, the Road Rules team has gone to all lengths to drop Katie from the team, even if it means supremely embarrassing her in ways that seem targetted directly at her self-esteem. While the anti-Katie campaign wasn’t as prolongued and wildly unjustified as Sarah’s stint on The Gauntlet, the team’s actions seem to be more venomous and overtly hostile this time around. The Road Rulers, from season to season, have consistently revealed their team mentality to be stuck somewhere in the seventh grade lunchroom. Even Timmy, as he approaches 40, doesn’t seem to have any sage advice to pass along to the youngsters. But I’m not about to get too soft on Katie though. I can feel sympathetic to her for not having any sort of teammate support, but at the same time, she saw this same dark side on The Gauntlet, and she knew the sort of challenges The Inferno was going to serve up. If she’s had a miserable time in Mexico, it’s partially her fault for letting her addiction to televised attention dictate her life.
With that said, we were able to laugh haughtily as Katie and David were submerged into plastic coffins filled with fish chum, rotten egg, spoiled milk, and a few bovine organs. The Inferno was supposed to test the players’ olfactory fortitude, and as CT noted, all the muck thrown on Katie and David “smelled like a dumpsta”. Stone-faced Dave Mirra seemed to be enjoying himself though, as he occasionally flashed some signs of personality with a few jokes here and there. This guy is way too cool for this show, and he knows it.
The challenge clocked in at an unnecessary four hours, and since no one had pulled an Ace and jumped out of the box in the first ten seconds and ran off into the wilderness, the Inferno went into tiebreaker mode. Surprise surprise. Why don’t they skip the first part of the challenge and move to the tie breaker? Rarely do these things ever get resolved the first time around. So in this case, Katie and David had to stick their heads under water and hold their breath. David couldn’t hack it, and he resurfaced first. Everyone was so surprised that they didn’t even think to alert Katie, going blue in the face with cow tongue floating next to her cheeks. Eventually Kendall remembered her promise to Katie (“tap my shoulder, or else I’ll die” – or something like that) and scampered over to her.
The thoughtful and supportive Road Rulers were kind enough to not congratulate their teammate. Timmy stood there slack jawed as if he had just witnessed the Kennedy assassination. Oh the horrors! Katie is around for the final competition. What these dumbasses don’t realize is that Real World is stuck with Coral, who, if they remember correctly from The Gauntlet, was felled by a wayward spider and caused her team to lose. Essentially, Katie and Coral cancel each other out. But wait, has anyone noticed that Katie has been actually kicking ass in not just the Inferno, but the actual challenges? No, because the Road Rulers are stuck in some sort of strange tunnel vision. Even sensible Christena and Holly seem to be completely caught up in the silliness.
Before we had time to digest any of this, the much-hyped Katie/Veronica fight went down. Katie described the causes of the fight: apparently, she was talking to Kendall when something appeared by the bed and… ok, I don’t know why it started. But like a flash flood, it came out of nowhere and poured down hard. The Bunim-Murray camera man scurried into the fight room, where an incensed Katie was laying the verbal smackdown on a curiously topless Veronica. Katie had clearly loaded up her “Fuck you”, “Whore”, “Bitch” iTunes playlist and put it on randomize because what we got was a jumbled mess of those words, punctuated with a two handed finger pointing/chopping motion. Veronica had her innocent, “I don’t know why she’s mad at me – all I did was try to be like J. Lo” face on, but soon she couldn’t resist participating in a good old fashioned catfight. Christena – wearing only a yellow towel (apparently it was naked hour) – uneasily tried to separate the two. Meanwhile, the guys just kept poking their heads in the room and laughing. But when the hands started swiping spastically, Mike – fresh from applying new highlights and restructuring his faux-hawk – separated the two with his mighty metrosexual arm. Nobody beats the Miz.
As the girls calmed down in separate rooms, Holly, in her interviews, seemed to be facing a certain conundrum. They’re fighting and they’re both on my team! What to do?? At this point, Holly turned into a claymation Mr. Bill and got her hand smashed with a gavel. The episode finally came to an end with the introduction of the final challenge which was some mumbo jumbo about the seven deadly sins. As Holly said best, in only a few short hours, it will all be over and done with. We’ll have a nice respite from the callow drama… until Veronica and Katie fight for the first spot on next season’s team.
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