I must start this recap off with a horrible, horrendous, and sickening confession: I had a dream last night that involved The Duel. Even worse, it centered around Kina. Now don’t start getting any dirty thoughts — things didn’t get anywhere close to illicit with her. However, in my dream, she did come over to my house and yammer away about things. Luckily, in real life, my cell phone made a noise and woke me from what could have been a truly awful sleeping experience. I don’t know why I was dreaming about Kina (who’s pretty much the reality version of Freddy Krueger), but chances were it was my subconscious telling me “Write the recap… write the recap…” So here I am, at my own psyche’s urging, writing the latest recap of the Real World/Road Ruels Challenge. I just pray that my dreams tonight are free from any further reality specters.This week’s episode began where the last one left off: the punch heard ’round the world (or at least the TVgasm offices). We once again witnessed Tina clocking Beth in the face, and thankfully, this time we got to see it at full speed (none of the slow-mo crap from last week). As a result, we were able to appreciate the full force of this strike, which, sadly, was not that great. Still, it was enough to make Beth walk away as Tina mocked, “Nice face!” Ooh! Good one, Tina! The “nice face” bit always tortures people for years!
Tina then explained to us what it felt like to slam her fist into Beth’s blotchy cranium. “Punching Beth is like punching a frozen piece of pig,” she said, implying that she’s actually punched a frozen piece of pig before (which is not totally out of the question). She then added, “But I know you didn’t feel it because that Botox has gotten your face all frozen.” C’mon, Tina. Don’t act like you won’t be injecting all sorts of stuff into your forehead ten years from now.
Nevertheless, as per the rules, punching is not allowed, and so Tina learned that she would be going home. “That was worth $150,000!” she proclaimed. Um… no, it wasn’t. You could have punched Beth any other time. For free. However, at this point, now that Tina was actually going home for the punch, she had to justify it as best she could, and so she babbled on as if it was the most liberating catharsis of all time. “Honestly, it’s like I just came back from a spa.” she confessed to us. Yes, a spa that cost you $150,000.
Of course, Tina may have been all proud of her actions, but everyone else could see she’d simply been played by Beth. Even nimrod CT could figure out what was going on, saying, “Beth played her like a flute.” Or fiddle. Flute or fiddle. I guess they both work (except, of course, that “flute” sounds idiotic).
Meanwhile, as Tina was escorted away by TJ, Beth puffed out her chest and talked about how tough she was. “She’s fuckin’ intimidated by me,” Beth said, and she was right. Not everyone can be so good at putting on makeup terribly. Beth then boasted, “I could clock the bitch too, you know what I’m saying?” Yeah, Beth. You keep it real! Clock that bitch upside the head! All your homegirls from da streez will get yo’ back!
“Save my beautiful face!”
As much as Beth probably wanted to continue clucking around, she had to eventually visit with the medics who tended to her gaping, bleeding wound (read: it was a tiny scrape). I have to say, I was quite annoyed — not at Beth, but at a person I met at a random party back in June who told me about this incident and then claimed that Beth had a black eye for like the next few episodes. What a bruise-tease. I was really hoping to see a battered Beth. Of course, as bruised as she may have been in my hopes and dreams, I knew she could never be as glorious as Trishelle was during those first few days after her mysterious “bike accident” several seasons ago.
While Beth received the finest medical attention in all the land, Tina was officially sent home with rousing applause from her cast members. It was all good, you see, especially because according to Tina, “I’m leaving Brazil with finally finished business.” I assumed that meant she finally got a real job and career path, but then I remember she was just talking out of her ass again.
Tina, I’m not sure the producers appreciate you taking a dump in their bucket.
Well, with Tina off the continent, it meant there was no need for a female duel anymore (boo). Might as well move on to the next competition. That night, as is always the tradition, the producers sent a clue to the cast members via their brand-spankin’ new T-Mobile Sidekick III, the official mobile device for poseurs across the land (especially if they’re bedazzled). Anyway, the cryptic message told the kids, “Tomorrow, you will need to choose your steps wisely, or victory may pass you by. Wear your bathing suits.” This immediately spurred a feisty round of conjecturing and theorizing as to what this clue could possibly mean. Beth chimed in with her brilliant deduction: “Passing by is falling down.” Um, actually, falling down is falling down. She might still be recovering from that near-fatal blow to the head.
Anyway, the next day at the challenge, we then learned what all this “passing by” nonsense was all about. Set up high above the ocean was a rickety bridge connecting two platforms. Players had tho choose partners and go from one platform to the other in the quickest amount of time, passing each other by in the process (they would start from opposite platforms). One catch: there was a red plank in the middle of the bridge, and both people had to touch it before they could pass each other. Oh, and one more thing: no sitting or kneeling on the bridge, and if hands touched any part of the bridge, that was verboten also. So basically, this was gonna be impossible. Gotta love it when the producers don’t test out the challenges beforehand.
Well, TJ then had the boys all pick out girls for this challenge, causing Wes to gripe to us, “Oh no. Not another partner thing. I was so happy about not having any teams so I could prove myself as an individual competitor, and now we have to go pick a person? This sucks.” Actually, Wes, last season, you did prove yourself as an individual player already, and you SUCK.
Anyway, first up were Kenny and Beth, the latter of whom apparently had a debilitating fear of heights. That didn’t stop her from charging full speed ahead across the bridge (fairly impressive, considering Beth’s tendency to simply give up and boast about her integrity and humiliating herself etc). Nevertheless, Beth may have galloped full steam ahead, but would that be enough? And furthermore, did we even care? I guess we had to because we then went to commercial on this ever so gripping cliffhanger.
When we returned, Beth was still trekking across the bridge, and while she certainly gets an A for effort, her execution was kind of, well, an F. That’s right, halfway through, she full on fell off and into the water, eliciting the cheers and jubilation of her fellow cast members. Didn’t matter if she fell in or not though. She and Kenny would have been disqualified anyway since he hadn’t even left the platform yet (and she certainly would have passed him before he had touched the red plank. Horrors!).
Well, Beth wasn’t the only one who suffered a DQ. Derrick and Kina were next, and faster than you can say “pumpkin skin,” she had already touched the bridge with her hand. DISQUALIFIED. Aneesa and Nehemiah were next, and despite the crowd yelling “Do not touch! Don’t you touch that!”, Aneesa still touched the bridge. Wes and Svetlana were next, and the two seemed better than anyone else as they both arrived at the red plank together, but of course, Señor Douchebag lost his balance and touched the bridge. Way to prove yourself, idiot.
Yes, it was all about touching the bridge. One team after another after another all disqualified themselves by touching the damn thing. Granted, there were those who also lost their balance, like Eric who grandiosely managed to fall in between the rungs — shockingly not destroying the bridge in the process.
Diem and CT on the other hand seemed like they had it in the bag. Diem even crossed all the way to the other platform, but leave it up to CT to screw everything up. He fell off the bridge, causing him to later remark, “I feel like a bum! I drawwped the bawwl after Diem makes it all the way across. I rushed myself and do a little two step up on on the bridge and fall off like a meatball in the end.” Yes, a meatball with giant, dumb hair.
This is way more disturbing than it should be.
Last but not least (okay, sort of least), were Tyler and Paula. They had to cross this bridge otherwise, well, I didn’t know what would happen. I mean, what happens when no team can complete a challenge? Does someone get fired? Nevertheless, the two nobly attempted to cross the bridge, but about three rungs in, Tyler took a huge, wonderful spill that was equal parts painful and embarrassing. It was perfect.
With all the teams having failed, TJ then gathered everyone around and said, “Alright guys. First round’s over with. Nobody got it done; so we’re gonna go ahead and start round two.” Ahhhh… Suddenly there are rounds. How convenient. Well, enough chatter! Let’s start round two, or as I like to call it, “The backup plan in case our challenge totally sucks.”
Basically, for this second go-around, the rules were exactly the same, but the only difference was that people could touch the bridge with any part of their body. This made the challenge infinitely easier, and a little more boring too since we didn’t get any of those nifty splashes that were so fun to watch. Eric injected some excitement into the proceedings by galloping across as if he were being chased by bulls, and Tyler also spiced things up by falling dramatically again, but this time saving himself by crawling back on top of the ladder. The good news was that he avoided disqualification. The bad news was that it didn’t matter anyway. In the end, the team with the fastest score was Jodi and Evan, who narrowly edged out Eric and Robin for the win.
We then headed right into this week’s pick ‘em as Even chose Beth, who in turn chose Nehemiah (which was funny because earlier on, he’d been fretting about being a major target. I guess that was just setup for something down the line). Anyway, the picks went on and on, and ultimately, it came down to Casey having to decide between — shocker — alums from Fresh Meat (Kenny) and Key West (Tyler). Who would she choose??
After the commercial break, Casey announced her pick: Kenny. No shock there. They were fellow Fresh Meat-ers, after all. This meant that for the second time in a row, Tyler was picked last. The disregard these women have for his Madonna-singing-along skills is reprehensible! Anyway, a bitter Tyler tried to hold in his rage, but he couldn’t help but snap, “I don’t know who of you doesn’t like me, but whatever.” Um, based on being picked last for two Duels in a row, I’d have to say whoever doesn’t like Tyler is everybody.
Now last week, Tyler picked his fellow cast mate Johnny Bananas to go into the Duel with him (resulting in John’s early — some might say premature — exit from the show). This time around, Tyler had no Key West fools to target; so he happily revised his strategy to go after the “biggest and best” guy. In this case, that somehow meant Derrick. WELL. This did not go over smoothly. “We’re all like [gasp],” Aneesa told us. Yes, how dare Tyler choose Derrick! I mean, Derrick can send Tyler into the Duel no problem, but Tyler then taking Derrick in? That’s just uncalled for!!!
And by “Uncalled for,” I clearly meant “awesome.” For whatever reason, these kids get some massive egos and sense of entitlement the more challenges they do. Just because Derrick has no life and discernible future and therefore appears on these challenges season after season doesn’t mean that he’s untouchable. Good for Tyler for challenging the social order. For a moment, I was transported back to the early part of the Key West season when Tyler did things that actually entertained me.
Well, having been chosen for the Duel, Derrick had to go stand next to Tyler and TJ, and just to show that he was “serious” about competing, he actually cloaked his head in a towel as if he were a heavyweight boxer about to face Mike Tyson. Shut up, you solemn douchebag.
How nice of you to join us, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine.
Anyway, Tyler picked one of the oversized novelty Duel cards and learned that he and Derrick would be facing off in… “ASCENDER!” Oooh! How scary! Meanwhile, an irritable Derrick moped to us, “I’m hoping that the Ascender with ascend Tyler’s ass into fucking space!” GOOD ONE! Too bad that was an improper use of “ascend’s” transitive properties. GOTCHA!
We then flashed forward to the Duel where Derrick was looking even more glum than earlier. This was high school mentality at its greatest: the surly senior angry that the brazen freshman was taking him on. Dare I say that I was actually rooting for Tyler in this situation? What an awful turn of events.
Anyway, TJ told us about the Ascender, which basically involved climbing up ropes, swinging across monkey bars, releasing a hanging bag of puzzle pieces, going back down the rope, and then putting together a tangram. This caused Brad to tell us, “We see that there’s going to be a puzzle involved in it. I’m thinking Tyler’s got a lot better shot than I thought he did.” He then added, “You know, because Derrick’s a total idiot.” He ain’t scurrred!
Well, the competition began, and unsurprisingly, Derrick climbed up the rope and released the pieces way faster than Tyler, but that’s not to say the Key Wester was far behind. Before long, the two were slaving away at their tangrams (not sure what this puzzle had to do with “ascending”). From the sideline, Kina offered gentle support to Derrick, saying, “It’s okay, baby, breathe!” It should be noted that Kina loves tangrams, but mostly because you can’t say “tangram” without “tan.”
And speaking of Kina, she soon appeared on the screen to deliver her over-dramatic, moronic comment of the day: “It is the most stressful, anxious situation. Honestly I feel like I’m going to go into, like, cardiac duress.” That’s right. Cardiac duress. Not arrest. Duress. And let’s be honest, nothing is quite as harrowing as watching an intense tangram race!
“OMG! I just realized! I totally forgot to apply my evening bronzer!”
Amazingly, Derrick actually pulled off the win, and afterwards, Tyler told us, “I tried my hardest, and certainly my self-esteem is not based on how well I put a puzzle together.” Yeah, um, if Derrick can beat you on a puzzle competition, then I think your self-esteem just has to take a hit. You can’t emerge from that situation and feel good about yourself. Then again, I sometimes forget that Tyler derives his self-confdience from different areas — like his natural gift for painting instant masterpieces. RED GOD!!!
Anyway, as a prize, TJ Lavin handed over an XBox 360 to Derrick, who accepted the reward with nary a smile nor a thank you. Seriously, LIGHTEN UP. And with that, everyone except Tyler left the area. I’m not really sure why Tyler didn’t get to say goodbye to anyone back at the house, but maybe he wanted to stay back and write burn books for each cast mate. At the very least, he could attach a nasty note on all of their doors.
Later on, we found Beth and Aneesa talking about The Punch again, with Aneesa telling Beth that she was smart and playing her own game (yeah, that’s the point this season, Einstein). Ultimately, Aneesa requested that if Beth were to stab her, to stab her in the front, not the back. Meanwhile, Derrick stood in the doorway, quietly eavesdropping in on this brain-numbing conversation. When Beth declared, “I don’t think I’m that difficult of a person to talk to,” he suddenly yelled into the room, “YOU ARE KIND OF DIFFICULT!” Indoor voice, Derrick. Or rather, sober voice. He then followed this with an equally loud bellow of, “ANEESA, LET’S GO!!!” Was it me, or was he sounding very Tony Danza-ish in this scene?
Derrick then continued his drunken rant, saying, “You need to learn how to be a good person. Be a good person!” And by “good,” he meant “drunk with lots of ugly facial hair.”
Beth, of course, completely wrote Derrick off, saying, “Thanks. Go get drunk.” WELL. No one tells Derrick what to do, especially if he’s already drunk! He quickly snapped back, “Hey, go eat some shit, you dirty fucking piece of shit!” How very self-reflexive!
The episode eventually ended with Derrick warning that if Beth continued to stir up trouble, bad things would happen to her. Baaad things. What ever could they be? I guess we’ll have to wait to find out!
What did you think about this episode?