Ladies and gentlemen, I have wonderful news. For the first time in weeks, MTV did not ruin an episode of The Real World/Road Rules Challenge by showing us footage of the winning team during an on-air promo. This represents a major step for the network, which previously had never seen a vital plot point it couldn’t plaster all over the airwaves. As a result, we were able to fully enjoy this latest “Exile” episode of Fresh Meat; although, I use the term “enjoy” loosely. Not because I don’t like the show — I certainly do. It’s just, well, I’ll explain my unhappiness later. For now, let’s hop into the inflatable kayak of our memories and relive the latest episode.This week’s episode began with an unsettling, rather disturbing and nauseating image: Tina hanging out poolside. Her plucky partner Kenny was trying to kick her into the pool, possibly hoping that the chlorinated water might rinse the stank off her. I can’t quite remember if he succeeded in this endeavor because truthfully, once I saw Tina in a regretfully form-fitting bikini, I couldn’t help turning away in an effort to save my eyes from burning like campfire marshmallows.
Anyway, we then cut to Tonya nearby who was still seething about her recent nomination to go into Exile. She certainly was a force to be reckoned with. I wouldn’t want to be on her bad side, lest she mobilize her army of crabs to attack and infest. Nevertheless, Tonya was über-pissed that she was going into Exile and not Tina, her arch rival since Battle of the Sexes 2. We then were treated to a flashback from that season, and we relived that first glorious Tina/Tonya battle when the two fought over, well, nothing really. I highly enjoyed the clip, if only because I could then more accurately gauge just how many Klondike Bars Tina’s been consuming over the past two years. Girl’s been packing on the pounds. Must be preparing for winter.
When we returned to the present, Tonya seethed, “I don’t think you understand how crazy I am.” Uh, yeah. We understand perfectly well. You’ve only plastered your face on every reality show for the past four years. I fully anticipate that she’ll be doing a cameo on Meerkat Manor next week.
Well, Tonya then told her fellow Exile-ee, Wes, that if he were to win the pardon, he should put Tina in because she could certainly beat Tina in Exile. I didn’t know if Wes was gonna go along with the plan, but he did try to be all metaphorical by saying, “Tonya is a bomb. She might not have blown up right, but trust me, her wick is getting thin.” Hmmm… a little force, Wes. Might I suggest the more apt “tinderbox” analogy? And wicks don’t get thin; they get short. Gosh, get your explosive imagery correct, JERK!
Of course, Tonya couldn’t be sure that Wes would nominate Tina out of the goodness of his heart; so she had to throw in something to sweeten the deal. “If you beat her,” she said, “I will suck your toes.” Congratulations, Wes. You might be in store for some good ol’ fashioned toe herpes!
Speaking of unbridled romance, we then learned that there was a bit of a love connection going on with Theo and Linette. No one could really explain it — maybe Linette was won over by his inner-Last Comic Standing potential. Theo chalked it up to her having a heart condition; although, technically, I think that would merely lead to cardiac arrest, not baffling romantic choices. Still, if she were to fall for anyone on the cast, Theo was probably the least embarrassing.
Uh, check that.
Theo then appeared on screen in a bunny hat and said, “We’re just a couple of crazy, little rabbits just having a good time in Mr. McGreggor’s garden.” First of all, I don’t even know where he got the bunny hat. I fear that someone actually brought it as a prop in anticipation of hilarious, goofy antics on camera. Second of all, has Timmy been writing Theo’s material? Because that certainly reeked of Timmy-ness. The good news is that Theo has a lot more goodwill with me, and since he didn’t actually make bug-eyes at the camera while making his little rabbit joke, I was able to tolerate it significantly more than if Timmy had attempted it. Still, that being said, he should never do it again. Ever.
It might be more of a lamb hat than a bunny hat. Either way, it’s awful.
The next morning, Linette braved the gauntlet of curious gossip wags as the guys all asked her what happened with Theo the night before. She brushed it off, saying that nothing happened — natch. “Super-harmless cuddly,” she said. This, of course, was in stark contrast to the usual Tonya experience, which was more “Super-drunken disease-y.”
Linette then said that she hasn’t slept with Theo because “I want him to respect me.” Ha. Here’s the bad news for you, Linette. You’re on The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat. There’s no such thing as respect anymore for you. Besides, we all know you’ll be porking him by the end of the episode.
Later, the teams all prepared for the next challenge. Crazy Tonya once again began talking about winning, but that didn’t deter Casey. The only things that can get her off track are butterflies, balls of yarn, and lilly pads. “I’m not nervous going into Exile because it’s my fourth time in a row,” she said, “and I know for a fact they brought a lot of stuff.” Uh, Casey, have you ever seen Johnnie? The guy could carry a Mac truck on his back, and it wouldn’t slow him down.
We then went to commercial break, and when we returned, we found the teams all arriving at Brunswick River where TJ Lavin eagerly awaited their presence. Our drawling host introduced everyone to this week’s challenge: the Incredible Deflating Kayak. Excitement incarnate! Personally, I was hoping for The Amazing Wilting Fern or The Astounding Rotting Compost Heap, but I guess a deflating kayak is pretty sweet too. The way this challenge worked was that teams would blow up inflatable kayaks, go to a launching area on the river, paddle across to the other shore, grab a team flag, return to the original shore, deflate the kayak, and stuff it in a bag. Oh, and during the river passage, everyone had to stay completely in the kayak, or else they’d have to start over. To illustrate this point, by the way, the producers then cut to footage of Eric completely falling out of his kayak. Silly fat men. They can never stay in their inflatable devices.
First up in the challenge were Shane and Linette versus Katie and Eric. Shanette completely dominated. They wisely inflated their kayak greatly, which meant it would travel faster on the water. Eric and Katie, on the other hand, were fairly useless. Eric pretty much spent the entire time reclining in the kayak, dreaming of culinary wonders. Evan commented, “Eric’s just lounging out. He probably wants pastrami or something.”
Next up were Tina and Kenny vs. Derrick and Diem. Tina was sure her team would dominate because Kenny was so full of hot air that he’d blow up the kayak super fast (TinaRimshot). Of course, what she didn’t take into consideration was how she’d immediately sink the kayak as soon as she sat down in it. Oh, I keeed! Tina didn’t submerge her kayak, but in all honesty, it did look like it was about to go under. Their real problem, however, was after the paddling when they had to deflate their kayak. Even though they had a lead, Tina and Kenny were completely inept at forcing air out of that thing — Kenny was inexplicably opposed to rolling the kayak on itself — and as a result, Derrick and Diem caught up and won.
Next up were Wes and Casey who decided to inflate their kayak as little as possible in order to start the race portion as soon as possible. Unfortunately, since Wes is a major idiot, he didn’t realize that the more inflated the kayak, the faster it will travel. Not that it mattered because as he and Casey paddled back from the other shore, Wes stuck his foot out of the kayak and grazed the water, meaning that they’d have to start the entire water race portion over again. Suddenly, a random Maria Boren-ish referee popped up and inflicted the penalty, but at that point, Wes and Casey just tossed in the towel, knowing that they wouldn’t be able to win the pardon anyway. I personally was surprised that Wes didn’t somehow blame his foot accident on Casey. You know, something dumb like, “It was highly imperative that I stick my foot out because Casey has a substantially incapable of paddling with my foot behind her.”
Next up were Tonya and Johnnie who started off well, but all dreams of a pardon slipped away as they somehow became entangled in some riverside trees and bushes. I don’t know how it happened, but chances are all vegetation in the area will probably die after having come in contact with Tonya. Seriously, I wouldn’t be surprised if that girl were carrying Dutch Elm Disease.
While Tonya and Johnnie toiled in the brush, Darrell and Aviv passed them and ultimately deflated their kayak first, thus finalizing Tonya and Johnnie’s trip to Exile. Oh well. Some other teams also participated in this challenge, but they weren’t very memorable; so let’s just get to the results. Actually, the results aren’t very interesting either; so let’s just get to who won. Coming in first with the fastest time were… Shane and Linette! Hugs and squeals were had all around, and the two victors happily noted that they were the first team to go first in a competition and take first place. Yay firsts! (We don’t care.)
With the Incredible Deflating Kayak now officially deflated, it was time to start looking towards Exile. “The next people to go home will be Wes and Casey. Tonya and Johnnie are going to kill it,” Diem told us. And, of course, this just meant that Wes and Casey would be winning. Dammit. Further cementing this was Tonya, who boasted, “I don’t see Wes and Casey as a competition to me.” Well, it’s official! Tonya will be losing. I couldn’t imagine how. Must be another forgotten flag issue.
The teams then went off to Exile, and as was the standard procedure, they had to carry the equivalent weight of their bags upon arriving in Australia. For Wes and Casey, that was a cool 113 lbs. (56 lbs for him, 57 lbs. for her). But for Johnnie and Tonya, well, let’s just say they weren’t the pinnacle of efficiency. He brought 106 lbs. and she brought 147 lbs.. Yes, that was a grand total of 253 lbs.! I don’t know why they had so much stuff. Maybe they were considering moving to Australia permanently. Either way, it was heavy, and I knew I’d have to eat my “Johnnie can carry a Mac truck” comment.
Tonya’s standard “come-hither” gesture.
Sure enough, despite Johnnie’s veritable Mini-Hulk stature, even he couldn’t haul around all the weight they’d packed. Their only hope lay in the puzzle. Of course, Wes and Casey just breezed by the puzzle without even attempting it. Casey noted, “We don’t even do the puzzles anymore.” Anymore? That implies that they ever did a puzzle in the first place. Granted, I seem to remember them fiddling with one puzzle on the first episode, but then after that, they simply ignored the brain teasers, despite them being easy enough for a third-grader to complete.
Meanwhile, after several tumbles and complaints, Johnnie and Tonya managed to drag their bags to the puzzle, which featured a three-by-three grid of squares formed by twenty-four little sticks. The rules were that teams had to remove six sticks to form five squares. It required some thought, but after about a minute or two, J-Unit and I had successfully come up with the answer (patting ourselves on the back, as usual). Well, it was imperative that Johnnie and Tonya get this puzzle right because Wes and Casey were already at the next one. Sure enough, Johnnie removed six sticks and left five squares remaining, but unfortunately, he also left two random sticks on the grid:
A meek woman near the puzzle told him that it wasn’t good enough — no straggler sticks would be allowed. They were considered incomplete squares. This rightfully pissed Johnnie off because technically, the rules said leave five squares — it didn’t say anything about incomplete squares too. Furiously, he threw the sticks into the air, causing the ref to duck for cover as if he’d just launched three knives at her face. There was no way they’d win now; although, the producers tried to make this look close by showing random footage of Wes and Casey momentarily lost in the woods… even though there was a clear path.
Johnnie and Tonya then arrived at the second puzzle which had them moving orange and yellow kangaroos. Before we could even try to figure this bad boy out at home, it was too late. Wes and Casey regretfully crossed the finish line which meant a) Wes’s ego trip would continued, and b) the burgeoning rivalry between Tonya and Tina would be coming to a premature end. Boo! I hate you Wes!
Just about the only person excited about this outcome was Casey who said that Tonya had been talking so much shit about winning, but in the end, “Bitch, ain’t going to happen! I’m coming home!” Casey, seriously. Just stop. Be silent.
As for Wes, even with the fourth victory in a row, he still could barely eek out a compliment about his partner. “Casey is doing amazing, but I have to baby her or else she gets pissy; so I have to pretend like I’m a nice guy. I have to pretend like I’m really sensitive.” It’s strange, isn’t it? If you act like a nice guy, people will respond positively! And perform better! What a strange correlation, Wes!
Well, Johnnie and Tonya hugged goodbye to their rivals, with Tonya admitting, “I thought I’d win.” Yeah, and you probably thought those warts wouldn’t come back, but hey, it happens.
Back at the ranch, we soon found Linette and Theo getting all super-harmless cuddly again. It looked like love was blossoming eternal, but Linette warned us that she didn’t want to get her hopes up. Best way to avoid that: don’t date a reality star — especially one on The Challenge.
Coral then talked to Linette about the budding romance and patronizingly said that after the show, “you guys can talk and visit!” Oh, can they? Lovely!
But enough about the love affair that no one cares about. Out in front of the house, a dark SUV pulled up, and out walked Wes and Casey, triumphant again. Everyone was absolutely shocked, causing Wes to tell us, “There’s a substantially great chance that I’m going to go to Exile every single time, but I don’t mind being the only one with enough integrity to kick these people off the continent.” Exactly what does integrity have to do with winning in Exile? Oh, that’s right. Wes just strings big words together and hopes it makes sense. You know, on account of him being an IDIOT.
Wes then said his next target was in Exile would be Tina, which would be a win-win, lose-lose scenario. On the one hand, one dreadful person would be gone. On the other hand, I’d then have to root for someone to win. Choosing between Tina and Wes? It’s like a reverse Sophie’s Choice.
What did you think about this episode? Will Wes ever go home?