I feel like The Duel just started a week or two ago, but the truth is that we’re already down to five guys and five girls, which means there’s not much time left in this season. Maybe it’s for the best. This iteration of The Real World/Road Rules Challenge started off so promisingly and seemed to get better and better each episode, but with the questionable elimination of Beth, the drama has quietly leaked away. I think one of the main problems is the lack of a secret vote. This whole pick’em thing just doesn’t deliver the dramatic goods. Why not steal a page from the two best reality competitions out there: Survivor and Big Brother. Get them secret votes going! This show needs less X-TREEEEEME competition and more scheming and manipulation.
But for now, I guess we’ll have to deal with what we have, and that’s not bad by any means. With only Brad, CT, Eric, Wes, and Evan left for the men, the big question was who was going into the Duel, and who was going home? (And would CT ever overcome his chronic nose congestion?)This week’s parade of silliness began with Brad and Eric talking about how crazy the Duel is. I mean, it could blow your mind! You never know what the event is; so how do you strategize over who to pick? “I don’t know how I would ever pick,” Brad said, which clearly meant that he would in fact be picking later this episode. However, Eric then told us that he’s not sure who he’d pick to go into the Duel either, but it definitely wouldn’t be Brad. Okay, scratch that last comment I made about Brad. Eric is DEFINITELY going into the Duel and dragging Brad with him. POTENTIAL JUDAS!
Meanwhile, sitting on the ever romantic Bench of Stupidity were Diem and CT, flirting the night away and whispering sweet nothings (emphasis on “nothings”) into each other’s ears. CT explained that he’s been trying to kiss Diem for so wicked lawng, but the only problem was that she had a three week moratorium on smooching. Alas, this meant all CT could do was shower her with compliments like “You’re fine.” And when she didn’t believe him, he insisted, “You are!” But of course, in his Boston-ese, it sounded like “You AHHHH!!!!”
Back at the compound, Evan and Wes announced that they wanted to take out CT from the competition, and their best bet, they figured, would be if Eric were to take him into the Duel — assuming that Eric was going into the Duel, which he may not have been. As you can see, Wes and Evan’s plan wasn’t exactly “foolproof”, or as I like to call it, “Them-proof.”
Later, the clue for the next day’s challenge arrive, and Jodi read it out loud: “At tomorrow’s challenge, you’re really going to have to step it up!” What could it be? Well, one guy off camera suggested, “Maybe we’ll all be riding escalators, dude.” Yes. I’m sure that’s exactly what it is. Everyone knows competitive escalatoring is one of the most intense X-Treme sports out there.
We then saw flashes of locals playing soccer and whatnot, and I got to wondering: why the hell had there not been any soccer-centric competition yet? I mean, they’re in Brazil, home of Pélé. Can we even try to be as smart as The Amazing Race and derive games from the local geography? Apparently not. This week’s challenge had to do with stacking crates. Actually, this was a pretty fun event. Basically, each guy would team up with a girl and then stack crates to create an ascending staircase so they could reach a flag hanging from the ceiling. Fastest team to grab the flag would win both an NHL package for the girl (and you know Kina’s the type that walks around Jersey in a Devil’s jersey) and immunity from the Duel for the guy.
Well, all the men paired up with the women, and as the first three teams prepared for the event, CT began flirting, surprisingly humorously, with Diem — telling her not to fart in his face and whatnot. He told he us he was so confident he wasn’t going into the Duel that he’d rather flirt than strategize. Hey, if you don’t want to compete, how about you cut your hair instead? That beast must be tamed.
Anyway, stacking soon began, but none of the teams actually used any strategy in creating their staircase. They basically formed a 3-D bar graph, with several stacks of crates standing independently of each other. This made each “step” incredibly wobbly and precious. If it had been me, I would have knocked over the staircase in one second. Personally, I would have gone the Jenga route and alternated the crate direction. Instead of several crates all sitting side by side in the same direction, I would have had one layer of crates pointing North-South, another layer of crates pointing East-West. Does that make sense? It would have been much more stable. Ah, but here I go, applying “brainpower” to this show.
Nevertheless, in this first heat, it came down to Brad vs. Evan for that final flag. Both guys jumped at the same time, but sadly, Brad missed whereas Evan connected. With five minutes and two seconds on the clock, it then became imperative that the second wave of teams — ie. Wes and Eric — beat Evan’s time in order to win this event.
Well, Wes looked like he was on top of this mess. He and his partner (I don’t remember who it was) erected a staircase in super fast time, but unfortunately, it wasn’t directly under the flag, which meant he’d have to get onto the top step and jump backwards to reach his bounty. Shouldn’t be that much of a problem, right? Eh. Kind of. Wes tried to hurl himself off that top step, but all he managed to do was knock over his whole staircase. Dumbass.
Meanwhile, on Eric’s team, Aneesa looked like she was gonna bring home the bacon for daddy. With the clock ticking down, she ran up the stairs and launched herself towards the flag, buuuuut… she missed. And with that, Evan won this surprisingly exciting event.
Now, it was time for the pick ‘em. Evan chose Jodi, who selected CT, who picked Diem, who chose Svetlana, who then saved Wes. This meant that Eric was the last man standing and thus going into the Duel. So who would he pick? Clearly not Brad. After all, he had said earlier that he would never pick Brad. And so instead, Eric picked… Brad. Yes, as predicted, he was a JUDAS INDEED!
We then learned that this week’s event would be the homoerotically named “Pole Wrestle,” which did not bode well for Brad, who, in case you forgot, is about three hundred pounds smaller than Eric. “Sometimes, I think people underestimate Brad,” Svetlana told us. Yeah, um, that’s nice, but he’s clearly going home.
Later on, the gang convened at the Duel chamber where a dumbstruck Kina told us that she simply did not know how Brad could beat Eric’s size. Of course, this was one of many things that have confounded Kina. Also on her list was marbles, souffles, and grass.
After spending ten seconds pondering the nature of puddles, Kina’s brain promptly explodes.
Anyway, just as the Duel was about to begin, Eric told us that this wasn’t an ideal situation but “sometimes you gotta go against your buddies.” Um, not if you don’t pick them to go against you.
After the commercial break, we were then treated to one long montage of wrestling. It became quickly apparent that Eric had no strategy whereas Brad, well, he didn’t have strategy either, but he was certainly exuding plenty of scrappiness. The two continually wound up in stalemate positions, with TJ having to resent them over and over again. Finally, after one of these reset, the unthinkable happened. Brad actually wrestled the pole free of Eric’s monster grip (Eric must have suddenly realized it was not a jelly donut, as previously believed).
Well, in a surprise turn of events, Brad actually won, which meant Eric was going home. Served him right for betraying his friend! For his part, TJ became very empathetic to Eric’s emotional state and told him, “I know you got a lot of anger inside you right now; so I accept it if you don’t say nuthin’.” That’s right, Eric. You have been officially relieved of your oral duties at the public court of TJ Lavin.
CT then popped up to say something or another, and it became quite apparent that it was time for him to manscape again. Just saying — he’s sporting a mild shag carpet under that tank top.
Anyway, after the Duel, Brad happily told his buds that this has now changed the game completely. Completely! I didn’t realize how though. I mean, it’s not like anyone’s employed any sort of strategy. How could Eric’s elimination change the gameplan if there wasn’t a gameplan in the first place? Nevertheless, Dr. Wes explained to Brad that he’s in a remarkable position because the reality of his Duel win would soon be dawning on him. “You slowly but surely get happier,” Wes said, proving himself to be the quintessential idiot guru once again.
Evan, meanwhile, said that now that it’s gotten down to the final four guys, he was gonna change things up. He had some special tricks in store. I couldn’t help but wonder, did the tricks involve a bunny? The ace of spades? Three doves?
Just when we thought this episode would be over, it continued. Apparently, we were supposed to be swooning over the beautiful romance blossoming between CT and Diem. We found the two standing next to each other on a bluff, clearly about to kiss. The two thought they were alone. Little did they know that the cameras were trained on them (as well as the eyes of all the roommates who were watching them from the house). At long last, Diem dropped her bandana and kissed CT. Awww. So sweet. IF ONLY WE CARED.
Ten seconds later, all the cacti in the area wilted.
Okay, well, that was sappy, but at least the show’s over. OH WAIT. THERE’S MORE.
Later in the day, Wes informed Diem that everyone saw the kiss, causing her to squeal with embarrassment. How many people saw it, she wanted to know. Four? Five? Six? How about ALL OF AMERICA. Funny thing about reality TV: you have no privacy.
Nevertheless, Diem spilled the beans on the kiss and said that it was absolutely perfect. Yay! I guess? Seriously, we really don’t care about this.
“It was definitely the number one ever best kiss in the world,” she told us. Oh, so sweet. Hope you enjoy your herpes!
What did you think about this episode?