Well, here we are, Gasmii: the season finale! Another season of fighting, quitting, backstabbing, whining, drinking, winning, losing, falling, and injuries is coming to an end. One stray observation from this season: only one real hookup. Plenty of random hot tub kissing of course, but Abe and Skull Beads were the only significant bedfellows (as far as we know)… other than our married couple, Bori. (I don’t know if you guys have heard, but apparently Brad and Tori are married? Quick Poll: Better couple name for them: Bori or Tard? More importantly, why didn’t I think of this ten episodes ago? Also, SO sorry this week’s recap is so late- broken internet and too much going on this time of year. Okay, enough of this gibberish- let’s get to the episode!
Previously: Three teams, blahblahblah. Hulkel and Sarah couldn’t get away with throwing the challenge and therefore are stuck with Skull Beads on their final team. Walnuts continues to be terrible at choosing “friends.”
When last we left our weary challengers, they were preparing for the final Gulag. It would feature a showdown between Derrick and Tyler, as well as Walnuts facing her inevitable failure. Seriously, if Emily does not win this I will be shocked. I also think Tyler’s size will be too much for Derrick to beat, but Little D is pretty badass so he’s definitely got a better shot than Walnuts.
The Gulag this week is Pole Me Over. You may or may not recall Ty’s “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” moment the first time we saw this one. And let’s be honest, you totally do recall that moment because it was pretty hilarious. Something tells me no one will be giving up this time around.
“Give up” is not in Derrick’s vocabulary. Though, to be fair, Derrick is not known for his extensive vocabulary.
Derrick thinks he’s more tenacious than Tyler (I guess his vocabulary is bigger than I thought!), and Tyler wants to earn his place in the final by beating the great competitor that is Derrick. Tyler has got to be the only person left here who wants to earn this. The round starts and it is pretty damn good, I must say. Tyler’s bigger but Derrick really is a fighter. I know I keep saying that, but he’s always impressed me with how strong he is, especially for his size. He puts up a damn good fight but Tyler takes the first round. Also, Tyler pulled a Ty (must be something in the name) and fell over the chains, but he managed to actually get back up and not only finish, but win the round.
Tyler tells us that he’s never been this tired in his life, and based on the fact that he’s as red as his shirt and covered in sweat, I believe him. He says that the only way to understand what he’s saying is to go against Derrick in an elimination round, so I suppose this is something I will never fully comprehend. The second round starts and Derrick is still determined to tire Tyler out. BAH, Tyler has crazy eyes! That freaked me out for a sec. Anyway, after much struggling, Tyler wins the second round and therefore the Gulag. Jenn is in tears because she knows she’s screwed for the final. Tyler is proud of himself, both guys are beyond exhausted, and TJ is sad to say goodbye to Derrick.
Girls’ turn. Walnuts says she can feel running the final and her biggest competitor is herself, which is clearly a lie because Emily is her competitor and also bigger than her. Emily’s hoping to send Walnuts home because she doesn’t feel that bad for her.
Don’t worry Emily, Walnuts has enough self-pity. She doesn’t need anyone else’s pity.
The Gulag starts and Walnuts tells us she needs to win this one because it’s “lucky number seven” and she doesn’t know how many more she’s got in her. That sounds dirty. She claims she’s turning into an old lady.
Well, she’s certainly got the pearls to be one of the Challenge Golden Girls.
Look at that, a poem and a spinoff idea! Meanwhile, Walnuts is losing. Tyler is half-heartedly cheering her on with a dead face, suggesting he’s well aware of Walnuts’ impending doom. She’s on the ground as Emily is sliding her toward the barrels, and Teej keeps telling her to get up and stop grabbing the chain. In fact, she grabs the chain so many times that Teej threatens to disqualify her if she keeps doing it. Soon after, Emily scores the first point. And in the second round, Walnuts keeps grabbing the chain so TJ is forced to blow the Air Horn of Doom, once again signaling “the end of Walnuts’ time here in <insert Challenge location here>”.
Jenn and Emily are both thrilled, of course, while Walnuts is as defeated as ever. Teej gives her the goodbye speech and she hugs the blue team and her own team, snubbing Dunbar with all of her might. Tyler, on the other hand, is actually in tears. Hey Tyler: anytime you’re more upset than Walnuts over her losing a challenge, it’s time to check yourself. He dismisses the “fucking bitch” with a “good riddance.” Walnuts says she doesn’t know what she’s doing wrong, but she refuses to give up until she wins. Well, Brad’s on his eighth try and he’s not complaining one tenth the amount you are, so maybe relax a little?
“Maybe if I look pathetic enough TJ will let me stay! … A girl can dream, right?”
TJ tells the remaining competitors to get some rest, and he is “not kidding.” How ominous of you, Mr. Lavin. Back at the house, Brad and Dunbar tell Abe he’d better hope his team can pull it together for the final. Abe tells us he wants the longest, hardest final possible because he’s “just always been good at these things.”
Famous. Last. Words. I hope you’re also good at putting your foot in your mouth.
Brad, for his part, declares that he’s “running this final for freedom” more than anything else.
That’s might big of you, Bradford. Americans everywhere extend their deepest gratitude.
He says that this is his last challenge, and he’s never won despite being in a handful of finals. He does have quite the challenge resume, I was surprised when he was on the Challengers team a few seasons back. And then he says again that this is his “last rodeo.” Now I want a bullriding challenge. Thanks a lot, Brad.
Oooh, CutThroat Superlatives! Tyler awards “Best Technicolor Self-Mutilation” to Abe. And since I presume most of you have been staring at his tattoos all season right along with me, I probably don’t have to tell you how accurate I find that one. Jenn declares Skull Beads the “Most Likely to Die in a Sex Act Gone Wrong.” Those two awards kind of go well together, in a way. Maybe those two crazy kids will make it work. Sarah and Hulkel are declared “Most Likely to Still be Hated by Their Team in 20 Years.” Sarah tells us she can hang and she belongs in the final. Emily wins “Rookie of the Year” and “I Have More Patience than God for Putting Up With a Crazy Dude.” And “King and Queen” goes to Brad and Tori, for some reason. Vomit. Tori tells us it’s time for them to end with a win and let it go so they can start a family. Oh, great. They’re going to spawn.
This is one of those “if I have to watch this, I’m making all of you suffer with me” moments.
As the most veteran player left (I think), Brad has the honor of reading the final clue. Everyone is excited. Abe tells Hulkel and Sarah that he wants Skull Beads to want to beat them. He tells us that he’s happy he helped her get to the end and he likes her. Hulkel tells Abe to stop trying to make her doubt herself because it won’t help her performance. Sarah claims that the one thing she will never do is quit. Abe keeps telling them they need to prove themselves, and Hulkel asks him to leave. She tells us the team is set and there’s nothing she can do about it so she’s ready to move on.
Final time! The teams line up and Teej reminds them that the blue and red teams have $40,000 each and the gray team has $100,000. They’re competing for another $120,000. Jenn quickly works out that this would mean $80,000 for the blue team. Emily tells us that she’s a broke college kid who doesn’t know what $80,000 looks like. Neither do I, Emily. Neither do I.
Teej tells them they will be running a 12.7 mile race (practically a half-marathon), and will have to stop at various Czech Points. Wordplay LOLZ. It’s the “longest, hardest final” EVER!
After hearing what the final will entail, Sarah breaks down in tears because she’s not a long distance runner and she’s scared. Abe is flabberghasted that he’s been listening to all of the whining about his gal pal and now he’s worried Sarah won’t even try.
Damn it, Sarah, pull it together! You’re supposed to be my favorite!
The race starts, and after a brief montage of everyone running, Tori asks Brad to slow down. ”This is… long… oh…” she gasps out. It’s as if she’s just realizing that. Jenn is surprisingly out ahead of everyone, urging Emily along. Jenn says making it to the final and not winning anything (which just happened to her on Fresh Meat 2) is a slap in the face, and she needs to win. She says this is the kind of race she was hoping for.
The teams reach the first Czech Point, where one team member must stand in front of a target as another team member shoots paintballs at various spots around the target. Jenn, Brad, and Abe handle the shooting for their respective teams, while Emily, Tyler, and Share Bear stand in front of the targets. The red team finishes first with the blue team not far behind. Abe, on the other hand, apparently sucks at shooting and poor Share Bear gets some nice red welts for battle scars.
Abe finally finishes the shooting while the other teams start rolling some giant-ass tires, which is the next task. I can’t believe how much more tired Emily looks than Jenn. I was not expected that, and I don’t think it’s because beating Paula was so exhausting. Also, Teej is riding his little stunt bike around supervising everything, and when he sees the red team in the lead he says “Looks like you guys have been saving it all up for the final!” which I found hilarious because even TJ thinks the red team sucks.
Apparently they don’t today, as the blue team has quickly fallen behind since they each have to roll a tire, while the other teams can share/take turns. Teej tells the gray team they have some ground to make up as the red team has to slide into a pit of what looks like sawdust and climb under a bar in order to ensure maximum dirtiness. Dunbar equates it to being tarred and feathered, and tells us “I’m going to look like a jackass for the rest of this.” As opposed to the rest of the time, when you’re so awesome?
I’d like to think “make Dunbar look like a jackass” was at the top of everyone’s to do list when planning the final.
The gray team gets to the slide/sawdust, and Abe tells us he’s not feeling quite right in the head. I assume he means moreso than usual, because Abe’s got a funky little head on his shoulders. Meanwhile, Jenn encourages Emily by saying that they are using their arms for the tires and saving their legs for later.
Watching players roll down a hill in a tire and then have to roll it back up was a lot more entertaining than this.
The next task is to do an entire lap with one player on a stretcher and the rest of the team carrying it. Tori gets on and the red team heads out. Gray arrives, and Abe is looking wobbly. He’s literally swaying side to side and asking for the shade. Sarah helps him over while commenting on how “backwards” it is that she’s the one helping him. They feed him water and Sarah asks if they can carry him. Skull Beads tells us she’s worried about Abe because she’s “never seen him like this.” Wow, this hasn’t happened in the whole two months she’s known him? Crazy!
They load Abe onto the stretcher and he starts spouting random facts about the elevation of some mountain or something. Oh, this is looking great. The blue team finally reaches the tar and feather slide. Then they get to the stretchers, and find a “massive yellow dummy in a scuba-diving costume” (description courtesy of Emily) and name him “Sexy Ted.” They carry him all of ten feet before dropping him.
We quickly check in with the red team before heading back to find the gray team putting Abe down. He can’t move his legs and Sarah is still amazed that the almighty Abe has fallen and she hasn’t. (Spoiler Alert: yet.) Then he starts vomiting and flopping his arms around like a ragdoll. It’s seriously freaking and I have a weak stomach and I HATE vomit so I’m going to get through this as quickly as possible.
And of course I pause on the Aborcist. You’re welcome for sharing! I mean, I’m sorry.
Sarah tells us that his mouth is white and he’s talking nonsense, “even for Abe.” That is what we call a bad sign. The medics come and Abe says he wants to get to a hospital as soon as possible. TJ has shown up at some point and declares Abe “medically unable to continue.” If only they had that phrase when Coral got that spider bite or when Big Easy almost died.
Anyway, Teej tells the gray team they’re still in it and to get someone else on the stretcher, so Skull Beads hops on. Meanwhile, Share Bear tells us how devastated he is to have to do this without Abe while we get a montage of Abe “leading” the gray team throughout the season.
Teej rides his bike back to the blue team girls, who assure him that they’re “hanging in there.” Red team contemplates taking a break but sees the gray team coming up behind them. Meanwhile, on the gray team, Sarah needs a break. Skull Beads says she’s always seen Sarah as a strong girl, “but she needs to pull it together.” Those are big words coming from the one on the stretcher, Skull Beads. You belong up there because you’re the lightest, but just because you’re up there doesn’t mean you need to make it a high horse. That being said, I hate seeing Sarah like this. They start walking again but have to stop when Sarah starts puking. She says her head is pounding, she’s cold and then hot, yadda yadda yadda. They tell her to go to the hospital, but she doesn’t want to quit. Even Hulkel isn’t on her side this time, telling us “if you’re sick, go to the hospital. Don’t stay here and make me get farther and farther behind red…”
Sarah’s now sobbing while the medics look her over. Even Share Bear gives her a speech about how every time they have to stop they lose their pace, and the whole team is encouraging her to go to the hospital. Skull Beads reminds us that Sarah has little patience for those who aren’t as good as her, and we get a montage of Sarah yelling at Shauvon, wanting A students instead of B students in the final, and promising never to quit. TJ declares her “medically unable to continue” and Hulkel gives her a kiss on the forehead. As disappointed as I am that this happened, I’m still amused when Sarah yells out “this stuff happens to Shauvon. NOT ME.”
Silly Sarah, Shauvon pops an implant or is afraid of popping an implant in like the third challenge of the season, and goes home soon after. She’d never make it to a final for this to happen.
The gray team continues on, now with only Hulkel and Share Bear to carry Skull Beads. I’d like to think Hulkel having to run this final with the two people she was trying to get rid of is a nice piece of karma. The red team is finishing up the stretcher portion and comes up to the next task.
I’ll admit I have a dirty mind and I look for this stuff, but I swear they do it on purpose.
They have to carry that stack of wood up a hill and drop it off in the “designated area.” Tyler says his forearms are burning from carrying the stretcher, and having to do this “sucks out loud.” Try as I might, I just can’t figure out what that means. Anyone know? Or is it just typical Challenge gibberish?
As the red team is carrying the wood, the gray team is approaching and Hulkel is weeping. Both in the race and in the confessional, as she tells us that her knee hurts and her shoulders and back are in more pain than she thought possible, and she feels like a little kid who wants to go to bed and hug her mom.
Meanwhile, Share Bear is looking solid as a rock! Who knew he had it in him?
Just to clarify, I didn’t think Luke sucked, I just didn’t expect him to end up being the least affected by the final. (Even though Skull Beads is also doing fine, I’m giving him more credit because Skull Beads is on the stretcher.)
The red team finishes the wood and moves on to Sign Language, where the teams must memorize a stack of signs (including what they say and which direction they’re pointing), go through some obstacles, and reconstruct the sign.
Meanwhile, Dunbar and Brad scratch themselves and eat bananas because they don’t look/act enough like apes already.
The red team members each memorize a section of the sign and head out, while the gray team finishes the stretcher portion, transfers their pile of wood, and reaches the sign portion. Oh, and the blue team?
Much as I hate to admit, probably could have used Bananas and Derrick.
Emily stops to puke briefly, but is nowhere near Abe or even Sarah’s level of health threat and they continue. The red team arrives at the old Challenge standby- army crawl under barbed wire.
I would be so concerned about lifting my ass up too far while crawling under this. That would be effing painful.
Dunbar informs us that they are not talking because they are all concentrating on remembering their parts of the sign. They finish the crawl and jump into some water they have to cross as the gray team starts to crawl under the wire. The red team reaches the sign post and Tori realizes that there is an extra piece, which is very similar to one of her pieces. Tyler informs us that if they get this wrong, their whole lead that they’ve been working for all day could be gone in a split second. And just to remind us how very dramatic it all is, we get a shot of the gray team wading through the water as we head to commercial for suspense.
When we get back Tyler tells us that his dad questioned his choice to learn Russian. Well, if that’s the only thing about Tyler that his dad ever questioned, he should probably consider himself lucky. Tyler says he always knew it would come in handy, he just didn’t know it would be on a Challenge.
You know what else might have come in handy? SUNBLOCK.
They hinge their decision on Tyler’s knowledge of Russian pronouns, and it pays off when the ref says they’re correct. I’ll bet they’re damn glad Tyler won those two Gulags he was sent into. This prompts Dunbar to bellow, “BLEEPing Ivy League educatioooon!” I know, I know, Dunbar. That’s for the gays and the women. Shhhh, it’s ok. They head out.
The gray team arrives at their sign post and comes to the same realization about the extra piece with one letter difference. Hulkel starts crying again since she’s at her breaking point and doesn’t know. Meanwhile, the blue team finally finishes their stretcher section. Hulkel decides to go for it and the ref tells them their sign is correct. She’s so relieved she hugs Share Bear.
She’s lucky he loves hugs so much. Most other challengers (especially Hulkel herself) would not be so receptive to hugging after fighting and being yelled at/condescended to.
Skull Beads tells us that they realize there can’t be much more, the finish line’s coming up, and they need to run. Meanwhile, the red team is climbing up some stairs into a castle. They literally WALK to the finish line. It is the least climactic win I can remember. Oh, did I mention THE RED TEAM WON? Honestly, I don’t even know what to say. If you’ve been reading my recaps, you know I called this one ALL wrong. Although that was back when the blue team still had Derrick and I didn’t know exactly what the final would be. The gray team didn’t seem that far behind though, if they didn’t have to stop for Abe and Sarah it would have been close and they might have won.
My first thought when the red team won was that someone had better put Walnuts on murder/suicide watch. STAT. This is not a drill. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
But enough about that. Brad tells us he’s poured years of his life into this and a montage of clips played in his head. We also get a (slightly sepia-toned) montage of clips on our screens, including various elimination rounds, the crazy fight with Darrell, and my all-time favorite Brad-on-a-Challenge moment:
“NOW IT’S A NECKLACE!”
Also, HOLY SHIT is that the freakin MIZ behind him?! I was just thinking about that last week, and then it came up in the comments because sometimes you guys just invade my brain. Also, this should not be confused with my favorite Brad-on-Real-World moment which included him getting arrested, hearing mention of the penal code, and declaring that he did not, in fact, pull out his penis. Then Randy and Jacques made “FREE BRAD” signs, but Randy was so drunk that his just consisted of squiggles. And Robin was also in jail, but they didn’t find that out until later. Also, my best friend may have made a “Free Brad” sign that we kept in my car for quite some time. What can I say? We were seniors in high school and we thought it was hilarious.
Anyway, enough about me, back to Brad. Yes, three other people are winning this with him, but he’s the only one important enough for a montage. He says he’s met great people, and this is a positive memory and an incredible moment. Everyone’s happy and hugging as TJ presents them with their check. Tyler tells us he paid for college himself with student loans, and paying them off will be the most amazing accomplishment ever.
Although I’m pretty sure that amount only covers about one semester of Ivy League tuition.
The red team shouts their victory from the mountain stops, and gray stops dead in their tracks. Hulkel is PISSED and give a huge eyeroll in the confessional, while Share Bear initiates a group hug and tries to give an inspiration speech. Skulls Beads is frustrated because she still though they had a chance, but Share Bear is proud of them.
All those who thought you’d see these three riding off into the sunset together… I have no idea how you could have possibly predicted that, so kudos.
In case anyone cares, the red team wound up with $40,000 each, and the other two teams ended with $20,000 each. Skull Beads says hers will go to her horse and her college because she doesn’t need fake tits.
Emily and Jenn are still at the wood challenge, and they hug and are glad they had each other. They meet up with the gray team and ask where the rest of it is. Upon learning they’re in the hospital, Jenn says she “loves it” because Abe was so worried about Hulkel fucking it up for him. She congratulates Skull Beads and gives her a hug. We get the typical montage of season ending happiness, with the only notable comments being Hulkel telling us she needs to be kinder to people she doesn’t understand. No shit, Sherlock. And if she doesn’t understand them, she needs to try to understand them.
“Except for Skull Beads. Fuck that noise.”
The red team takes us out with one last cheer. Good for them, I guess. I can’t say I care all that much about who won/lost. The real interesting part was Abe and Sarah. I honestly did not see that coming (well, if I hadn’t seen the preview I wouldn’t have). I do like Tyler, but I can’t bring myself to be that happy for the rest of the team. Although as annoying as Brad was this time, looking back at his history I do think he deserved to win one of these. As for the blue team, well, the numbers were certainly not in their favor, which is a shame because I like both of them. And for the gray team, I still like Share Bear, Sarah, and Abe. Hulkel continues to frustrate me, and Skull Beads grew on me a bit but she’s still a little too sensitive. They think she’s weak because she looks like she’s going to cry half the time.
All in all, I enjoyed this season a lot more than I expected. When I first saw the cast list, there were so few people that I liked I was afraid I wouldn’t like it, but I think the three team format was the perfect way to mix things up a little without messing with the formula too much. As for the Big Twist of the season, the CT/Bananas thing was AWESOME but they really did tease CT the whole season for such a tiny thing. It would have been more fun if it came from nowhere. It’s funny, I never realize how small Bananas is because he’s always hanging out with Derrick, who’s ever tinier.
And now for some quick thoughts on the reunion:
- Maria Menounos was annoying before, and has only gotten worse.
– Why is Abram dressed as a polar bear? And Skull Beads has HUGE hair.
When will I learn to stop questioning Abram?
- It took Brad eight tries to win one. Shut up, Paula.
- Part of the reason Abe and Sarah never went into the Gulag is that they only lost four out of nine challenges. They couldn’t have sent everyone in even if they wanted to. That being said, I am fully aware of the fact that they would have sent Skull Beads and Share Bear in, which is very funny considering what actually ended up happening in the final.
- Wow, Hulkel is still a bitch. So much for being understanding. Go Share Bear for standing up for himself!
- Abe is such a freak for loving almost dying.
- Props to Sarah for admitting she was wrong and apologizing to Skull Beads. And proving why she is not Hulkel and why I like her so much.
- Walnuts drama, blahblahblah. Stop whining, sweetheart. IT’S JUST A GODDAMN REALITY SHOW. She voted for Dunbar first… And, now she’s crying. This girl needs serious help.
- Of course Bananas is bitter about the CT thing. But holy crap, Tyler went against him for FORTY MINUTES before he gave up? WHY?! That’s pretty badass, but he only needed to go for twenty seconds. And there’s NO WAY going first or second made that much of a difference. Also, I cannot even tell why these fools are fighting.
- Good for Abe and Skull Beads and their twisted love. Nice of Abe to man up and admit that he likes her. Abe really has matured A LOT over the years. Also, love hearing more about their weird ass sex life?
- I’m pretty sure there was another married couple way back in the day, but sure, we can say Brad and Tori are the first. Nothing new to report on the “Brad and Tori are married” front.
- Bananas really wasn’t his usual douchey self, but it doesn’t matter because his reputation precedes him. If he’s going to use Katie and Big Easy’s reputations against them, he has to accept the same in return.
- I did like his theory about the weaker red team girls trying to justify sending Camila into the Gulag repeatedly.
- I am SO OVER this Hulkel/Big Easy bullshit. She’s a bitch, and he doesn’t need to forgive her, but he does need to get over it. He’s starting to look way too sensitive.
- Also, I can’t take her seriously because she spent the first half of this reunion bitching out her own team, and now she’s all sad about Big Easy? Whatever, lady.
- Although it was sort of worth it to see Tyler and Maria Menounos yell at each other and Abe (who at some point ditched his polar bear outfit) throw his drama queen hissy fit and leave the stage on the verge of tears.
And the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role goes to…
- I thought for a minute when they showed the unseen footage montage that they wouldn’t do a S#*! They Should Have Shown, but there will be one! I love those.
- Ewww, Maria Menounos and Bananas flirting… and the Woody Woodpecker/Fran Drescher laugh.
- My DVR cut off here, so I was very glad for MTV.com or I would have missed…
- TJ Tribute! I love that he and Derrick seem to have a little bromance going on (and no, I’m not sick of the word bromance). It’s so appropriate because Derrick is the exact opposite of the quitter personality that TJ hates.
- Special message from TJ, he’s banged up but looks good, and he’s hoping to make the next Challenge!
That’s right Teej, you show these pansies what pure badass is made of.
Anyway, thank you guys SO MUCH for another great season! It’s hard to believe it’s been less than a year since I sent my Auditiongasm in to Flipit and now here I am with two seasons each of Real World and The Challenge under my belt. You guys make it all worth it, so have a fantastic holiday season because you deserve it!