So I am starting to get used to this new format for the Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Things on The Inferno II, while not being completely original, at least gives us a novel approach to doing some things. I made fun of Dave Mirra last year because of he looked so very out of place on MTV. This year, he is much more comfortable and it shows. The real enjoyable part of the show is the Bad Asses. We all watch Real World and Road Rules because we want our first peek at candidates obnoxious cast member we will hate for eternity, and the Bad Asses have really packed them in.There was a big fight between Karamo and CT last week because after some of the teammates were less than eager to hear Karamo’s idea about who they should nominate. You would think that the Bad Asses would try and formulate a strategy that would keep as many of their players in the game as possible. With Beth’s departure, they are only one elimination away from being equal strength. Unfortunately, the people who are “stronger players”(read: more athletic), are actually scared to death to go into the inferno because a lot of their power and intimidation is a result of having a bunch of like-minded assholes around that agree with everything each other says. I’m not naming any names, but you can take a wild guess.
That being said, we know that Karamo is whiny and tends to pout when things aren’t going his way. I also know that he has joined the Mary Kate and Ashley fitness program, because he seems to have lost all perceivable muscle mass. As a few readers mentioned in my last recap, he seems a lot smaller than he was in Philadelphia. Some of that may be attributed to clothes, but when they were strolling around Fiji, I never thought to myself “Wow, Karamo just spent six months in a Turkish prison.” Then again, like I said last time, I think Karamo could have psyched himself up to go against Landon, which would have given him a fighting chance in the Inferno.
Another thing I have become very accustomed to on the show is the Sidekick II placement. I know that T-Mobile must have paid a lot to get that shameless product placement, but with all of the Paris Hilton scandal, do you really think a bunch of b-level reality celebrities are going raise your cred? If this was airing in September, it might have been money well spent, but the buzz about the Sidekick II has come and gone, and their are clearly other phones out there that have more cachet. One thing the Sidekick II product placement lets us accomplish is a whole new insight into Karamo’s hands. That guy must get a manicure every other week. But what’s with the coke nail on his pinky? That’s kind of gross.
Our competition this week was called “Dodge Your Balls”. I think Bunim/Murray should hire one of the TVgasm writers to help them out with the puns and double meanings of their games, they are just so lacking in creativity. If you hadn’t guessed, “Dodge Your Balls” involved dodgeball. Dodgeball is one of the great American playground pastimes. At my school, we played both ways, the one where you had two teams go against each other, and the one where you had people lining up against the wall. Since this challenge was going to take place on platforms in the water, it was obviously going to be a variation on the first one.
The Bad Asses and the Good Guys divided their teams into two groups. There would be two semifinal matches between teams, and the winners would go on to play each other to see who was best. Every player had to participate, and the standard dodgeball rules applied, although I was too lazy to look them up at the International Dodgeball Confederation. (By the way, how freaky is that page, and what’s with the bullseye dodgeballs that look like deformed aureolas?). In order to assure that the best teams would go against each other, both teams decided to stack one group with good players, and the other group with the crap left over. The difference was like choosing between a St. Pauli Girl, and a Natty Light. There was no comparison.
The teams: Good Guys1: Julie, Jodie, Jamie, Shavonda. GG2: Mike, Landon, Darrel, BRad. Bad Asses1: Tina, Rachel, Derrick, CT, Abram. BA2: Dan, Karamo, Veronica, Tonya. The guys were especially salivating at the chance to play, and I have to admit, it does bring back memories of the careful waltz of playground domination that consumed so many young boys and girls in our elementary years. Just the idea gets the blood going. As Dan mentioned, it seemed like the some of the members on his team wanted to masturbate with the dodgeball. Quite a disturbing image, but probably something Harvey Keitel has already done on film.
In GG1 vs. BA1, the Bad Asses made short work of the Good Guys. Big snaps to Shavonda for being the last one on her team, and at least attempting to take somebody from the other team out. Her thirty seconds of work was greatly appreciated. GG2 vs. BA2 was being delayed by Karamo. Karamo hates water, and although the platforms were not out that far, he really didn’t want to go. Just as we thought that perhaps his teammates had convinced him, somebody notices that there are water snakes all around. After that, there was no way he was getting into the water. My mom can’t even look at a snake on television without feeling like she is going to faint, so I can see where Karamo is coming from. The Bad Asses had already started the “Karamo just complains, I would be happy to see him go” type speeches earlier in the episode, but they all pretended to care enough about him to get in the water. He didn’t get in and BA2 forfeited the game.
We were left with the match that we had all been waiting for, Testosterone vs. Testosterone (yes, I know Tina and Rachel were paired up with the guys, but I think either of them has bigger balls than Landon). Machismo vs. Machismo. Early on, it looked like it was going to be pretty evenly matched, but the Bad Asses really did benefit from having an extra player, as it was impossible to think about winning the game when it was 3 against 1. The Bad Asses took home another $10,000 and an Dell Inspiron laptop, which CT and Derrick will probably sell for backstage passes to a donkey show.
As discussions were going on about the Inferno, Landon decided that he wanted to sacrifice himself to save the Miz. He had lasted the longest among the Good Guys, and he wanted to prove that he was a strong player. The players on his team treat Mike as an elder statesman. They always look at him for inspiration and motivation, and it would really hurt morale if he lost. To his credit, Mike was not having any of this. He said he wasn’t scared, and has never lost an individual challenge in the Gauntlet or the first Inferno, and he had no intention of stepping aside for Karamo, who is seen as one of the weakest players in the house.
In the end, Landon didn’t listen to Mike, and he went up against Karamo in “Knock Your Block Off”, another amazingly creative title from the people of Bunim/Murray. This was much more of the American Gladiator style of challenges. Each person had a helmet on their heads with a cube, or block if you want to stay with the analogy. Basically, it was how you would play joust if you didn’t want the people trying to knock each other off the platform. It was quite the heated battle, and I really wasn’t sure who was going to win. Karamo was definitely in it. Even though he didn’t care about his teammates, he didn’t want Landon to beat him without a fight.
Landon did eventually beat him, and he said his goodbyes, or at least some of his goodbyes. All of the Good Guys said goodbye to him, as well as all of the girls on his team and Dan, who gave him a friendly peck. You can tell that Dan is probably going to be next to go. He also speaks his mind and doesn’t know his place, which really pisses off team players like CT and Abe. None of the guys on the Bad Asses team acknowledged Karamo. I can understand why, because Karamo was a punk for not getting into the water. He might have been scared, but I think his case was similar to Beth’s. He didn’t want to put a lot of effort into helping people who didn’t really want him around in the first place.
The teams are even numbers wise, but the Bad Asses are still pulling in the money. The Good Guys just don’t seem mentally tough, and by the previews of Jodi crying next week, it looks like they aren’t getting any better. I do eventually think that the marriage of convenience that is the Bad Asses team will start to break apart more and more, and give the Good Guys a chance to win in the end. I just don’t think they have what it takes to win a lot of challenges to pad their money total.