I’m really enjoying The Real World / Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat, but this week’s episode was a bit, um, lacking in excitement. I’m not sure if that’s the show’s fault or MTV’s. After all, MTV pretty much revealed who’d be going into Exile in all their promos; so really we weren’t left to worry over much beyond whether or not Tonya’s STDs would spread to another poor victim. Nevertheless, this episode did provide its share of belly flops, stupid comments, and annoying Wes-isms; so it wasn’t a total lost cause. And as anyone who read my Jetblue travelogue knows, the show saved me from a post-Treasure Hunters malaise, and for that, I am forever thankful.This week’s episode began the way so many Challenge episodes begin: with the cast doing shots at a local bar. Yay impending liver failure! We then saw Johnnie and Tonya talking about better ways to work as a team, and no, doggy style was not an option (although, I’m sure Tonya was thinking that. Johnny Fairplay better watch out. Once Tonya goes black, she might never go back. And by “back,” I mean “crab-infested, syphilitic dirtbag”).
Elsewhere in the bar, Wes was on the phone, speaking to his main squeeze Johanna. Actually, it wasn’t so much that he was speaking. It was more like hostile complaining. You see, Wes was now the only member of the Austin cast left in Australia, and it was dawning on him that like the viewers, no one else on The Challenge really liked him.
“No one cares if I’m back. No one gives a shit,” he whined. Sadly for Wes, he often says this — at family reunions… class reunions… pretty much any sort of reunion. Let’s face it: no one likes him. Still, he was confident that even though he was unpopular, he would still dominate the whole damn game. “I’ll just keep plucking people off on at a time,” he said. Yes, it’s hard for anyone to defeat Wes and his unbridled FrecklePower!
Meanwhile, the next day, we spotted Evan hanging out in a production van for some odd reason. He explained, “I’ve got a growing pain in my abdomen.” For a moment, I thought he meant the Seaver Family had taken up residence in his stomach, but apparently the growing pain was actually a sports hernia (as opposed to the couch potato hernia that I suffered through seven years ago. No joke). Now Evan was worried about how this medical ailment might undermine his chances at fame and riches. Aw, don’t fret Evan. Show me that smile again. Don’t waste another minute on your cryin’. You’re nowhere near the end. The best is ready to begin. Ohh ooooh ohhh. As long as you and Coral got each other, you got the world spinnin’ right in your hands. Baby you and she, you gotta be, the luckiest dreamers who never quit dreamin’. Okay, taking the Growing Pains thing too far. I’ll stop now.
We then cut to our favorite ailing newbie Diem, who announced, “This is a huge escape for me. And it makes me forget that I have cancer.” Sadly for Diem, the next challenge was called, “CANCER TIME!” Actually, no. The next challenge was called “Cross Paths,” and in it, teams had to climb onto a rope (hanging twenty-five feet over water) and traverse from one end to another. The only catch was that each member of the team would start on opposite ends, which meant they’d have to cross paths on the rope. Get it? I actually liked this challenge. Simple in concept, but tricky in execution. Casey, on the other hand, was not a fan of this. “That’s really scary to me,” she said. Other things that are scary to her: dust bunnies, tennis balls, and dandelions.
Well, first up for the big event were Derrick and Diem, who quickly took places on opposite ends of the rope. Diem explained that she had a giant fear of heights, but she was going to pretend there were alligators in the water because her fear of alligators would counteract her fear of heights. Yeah, okay, whatever. Just start the challenge already. The two began climbing along the rope, and everything seemed fine and dandy until they actually had to maneuver around each other. Derrick tried to climb around Diem, but at one point, he nearly lost his grip and had to clutch onto Diem’s body, and d’oh! He was grabbing right onto her ovary! Um, Derrick, she just had surgery there like two days ago. Maybe next time you should grab onto her stomach or breasts or whatever.
Ouch. Right in the baby-maker!
Somehow, Derrick managed to regain his grip on the rope and scramble to his platform. Diem, however, was now totally exhausted. Poor girl was dying up there. Well, not like that. (I really gotta watch what I say around her. So much for my planned Tropic of Cancer joke). Anyway, we went to commercial wondering if Diem would ever be able to finish this ropes course, and when we came back, you’ll never guess what happened: she finished the ropes course! The alligator strategy worked! An inspiration to us all! Derrick was absolutely amazed by Diem’s heart — almost as amazed as he was that his chin could keep producing Brillo pads shave after shave.
Next up were Shane and Linette. Unfortunately for them, Shane slipped off the rope, causing a DQ. “I’m hella disappointed in myself,” he said. And I was hella disappointed that he said “hella.” Johnnie and Tonya were next, and in an effort to get a better time / show off his mini-Hulk abilities, Johnnie traversed the rope using only his hands. No legs, no feet — just pure hands. Try that, ALTON.
Darrell and Aviv took to the ropes next, but they didn’t quite have the Diem luck with them. Darrell made it across just fine, but Aviv shut down about midway through. She began bawling hysterically with pain as if she’d just been shot in the stomach. Finally, she put herself out of her misery and dropped down to the water below. Next up were Tina and Kenny, the latter of whom deserved some sort of award for bravery. Why? Because he endured the unfortunate experience of having Tina’s giant ass in his face. “This isn’t a pretty sight,” he told us. No shit. This is what we’ve been saying for three years now. Seriously, someone should contact the State Department and get this guy a Purple Heart.
Kenny is a brave man.
A very brave man.
Next were Wes and Casey, which we knew would lead to good times. Wes made it across without a problem, and he even did a few cocky pull-ups on the rope at one point. “You’re an idiot,” Katie muttered down on the ground. We’re right there with you, sistah. While Wes was showing off his physical abilities, Casey languished on the rope. She told Wes that she just couldn’t go on, and so he made her promise that she’d kick ass in Exile. She said she would and then just before she let go of the rope, Wes told her to hit the water with her feet. That was nice and all, but clearly too complicated for her. Casey let go, and in one of the funniest falls in Challenge history, she went flailing down into the water below, landing in a semi-belly flop position. This caused Wes to scoff, “I still have to coach her through quitting right.” You know, technically, she didn’t ask for any advice. Don’t act burdened by something you brought on yourself, Wes. I can’t wait for him to be off this show.
Theo and Chanda were up next, and they breezed through in like two seconds. Having more difficulty were Eric and Katie. As you might expect, Eric got about halfway across the rope before he crumbled under his own weight. He dropped from the weight like a giant piano and full-on belly flopped into the water. Just for emphasis, the producers then shook the screen around — almost as if the mere force of Eric’s girth had caused tremors in a two mile radius. Last up were Coral and Evan, who managed to zip through, despite any hernia woes. TJ then read the results, and here’s a shocker: for once, Coral and Evan weren’t in first place. Mayhaps an errant spider got to Coral? No, instead the über-silent team of Theo and Chanda stole away the top spot with an impressive time of fifty-two seconds. It was pretty impressive. The two were all excited about dethroning the reigning champs, but now they were faced with a new dilemma: who to send into Exile? And with that, we had another commercial break — as if there were really any suspense about it. Anyone who’d watched even five seconds of this season knew that Casey and Wes were heading back to Exile, and sure enough, when we returned, guess who Theo and Chanda picked? WES AND CASEY. Consider this mind blown!
Theo didn’t really have to justify his choice, but he did anyway, saying something along the lines of “Blah blah blah blah blah I gotta mohawk.” Trust me, it was actually funny on TV. Wes then tried to intimidate everyone with smug superiority as he said, “Now we get to see how good of (airquotes) ‘friends’ you all are.” Listen, genius. These kids have been doing this for many years. They know they’re not friends. You’re not shattering any illusions they may have. Just shut up and go away already.
We then headed into this week’s deliberations, which we could have fast forwarded right through thanks to the MTV promos, but in case you haven’t seen the commercials, I won’t ruin it for you here. Basically, for the first time ever, the teams had to choose a non-Austin group to face Wes and Casey, and for whatever reason, Tonya and Johnnie became the lucky targets. Why? Not sure. Chances are no one really wanted her stank around. This posed a difficult dilemma for Derrick, who noted, “Tonya is a very good friend of mine.” He then added, “I just got herpes from her last week.”
Well, Johnnie and Tonya voted for Tina and Kenny because… not sure either. They did earn a third place time this week; so it wasn’t based on merit. Katie and Eric, meanwhile, voted for Johnnie and Tonya, as did Kenny and Tina (of course). Evan and Coral, however, sided with Tonya and voted for Kenny and Tina, which brought the votes to a tie of 4-4. And that’s when things went downhill for Tonya. Darrell, Aviv, Shane, and Linette all voted for Tonya and Johnnie, or Tonnie (or would it be Johnya?). Derrick and Diem were going to vote for Kenny and Tina, but at that point, their votes were redundant; so they simply jumped on the Johnya bandwagon instead of drumming up the ire of Tina.
As you can imagine, Tonya was not happy about any of this, especially because she felt she was being voted into Exile based on group hatred of her, not merit (as opposed to her Kenny/Tina vote which was totally based on merit…). Wes also chimed in and told us that no one had any cojones; they had sent Tonya into Exile because it was the easy way out. Well, duh. This is The Challenge — home of scapegoats, slander, and railroading. I’d be disappointed if these people didn’t take the unfair, easy way out.
Later, Tonya confronted her so-called friend Derrick about his vote and once again complained, “This is not based on merit.” No, I think it was based on the current level of STDs in the house. Derrick tried to explain himself, becoming very flustered for no real reason. “Don’t yell at me,” Tonya said, “because I am handling this very well right now.” She then added, “If you raise your voice to me, I will give you crabs. I swear, I will give you crabs.”
Of course, Tonya’s boasts of “handling this very well right now” were soon tossed out the window as she began to freak out on Derrick. The cameras then zoomed in on her face, and man, did she look bad. Who knows if she actually has herpes, but whatever was around her mouth certainly did little to dispel those rumors. She’s an After School Special just waiting to happen.
Ultimately, Tonya told us, “Now you’ve pissed me off, and now I have reason to come back at you, and I will!” She then promised that the “other” Tonya would be coming out and that everyone should be careful. Oooh. Scary! And with that, the episode ended. Yup. That was it. And in case you were wondering, the MTV promos showed that last scene with Tonya freaking out and saying how the vote was unfair. So anyone who saw the promo already knew the teams had voted her into Exile, thus rendering any sort of excitement moot. Way to go, on-air promos people.
Hopefully Johnnie and Tonya will make easy work of Casey and Wes. All they really need to do is solve one of those puzzles. And let’s hope they don’t forget those damn flags like the last two teams. Of course, this is assuming neither team wins a pardon.
What did you think about this episode?