Over the last few weeks, the Real World/ Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat has really taken a turn. Whenever theses challenges get down to the final few teams, the strategey gets a little more complicated. People start to realize that eventually there will be no more eliminations, and the prize money is going to come down to a head-to-head performance. If you’re playing for the largest sum in Challenge history, wouldn’t you want to compete for that final challenge against a weaker team? With only a few teams left to eliminate, that means that of people are going to find out who their friends are, and the team testing those friendships more than any other is Derrick and Diem, who are defining the cancer patient/alcoholic romance for an entire generation.The longer Derrick and Diem have been in Australia, the closer these two have become. You know, it’s not unusual for two people on one of these challenges to become infatuated with the other; I think it’s called Stockholm Syndrome. I guess I can understand why the chicks would dig Derrick. He’s usually drunk enough that he uses the foam of his Pabst Blue Ribbon to shave, but even in that condition, he is smooth enough to compliment Diem’s awesome smile and her great body. Don’t you remember the first time somebody looked into your eyes, burped some bourbon, blinked a couple of times to focus, and then smiled and said “Like, you’re beautiful”? And they say romance is dead!
I’m not sure if Diem has fallen for Derrick, but they are getting close enough that she is starting to worry about what their future together will mean. As we all know, Diem has ovarian cancer, which is scary enough, but like anything that affects your body and has dramatic side effects, she is worried how people will treat her during her treatment. She’s cute now, and Derrick seems to care about her, but will he feel the same when she is bald and puking all through the night? The thought of that type of rejection is literally enough to make her cry.
You know Derrick seems to care bout Diem. He says he enjoys her company, and he even thinks that she is getting something from hanging around Derrick. I’m not sure what that “something” would be, but if I was hanging around Derrick, I would probably be worried about getting something called “stupid”. He drinks so much, I would be afraid of retroactively contracting fetal alcohol syndrome.
“Your pants must be mirrors, because I see me in them”
But in all seriousness, I don’t think Diem has to worry about Derrick being so shallow as to dump her for getting treatment for cancer. Let’s be honest, guys will dump girls for reasons even more petty than that! Most men are jerks, and Diem should know that there are lots of things that can go wrong. What if he’s “Taste Great” and she’s “Less Filling”? Sounds like a recipe for disaster to me, and they better call it off. The only way to combat this is to be an insane psychobitch and attempt to control every aspect of his life. That ALWAYS works.
Whatever you say about Derrick and Diem, it’s not as odd of a pairing as Tina and Kenny. Kenny seems like a cool person. He doesn’t take things too seriously, he seems to have a lot of fun, and he does all of this while paired with one of the most notoriously annoying people in the history of reality television. If I knew I was going to be in a foreign country with Tina for any extended period of time, I’d make sure to have a couple of bottles of Xanax and a do not resuscitate order in my carry-on. Should things start to become too much for me to bear (for example, she starts to talk), I can quickly end the suffering without too much pain. I almost ended it all here in the states when Tina said that Kenny takes care of her outside the challenges as well. What does that mean? I don’t want to know.
This week’s challenge took place four miles off the coast of Australia, and the way that TJ Lavin was calling it the most extreme thing that was ever done on the challenge; I couldn’t wait to see what was in store. Like most of the challenges, this one was overly complex for what actually happened. The teams would use a free diving (i.e. without SCUBA gear) sled to descend to thirty feet below sea level. Once there, they had to grab a flag. Once they grabbed their flag, they had to stay underwater as long as possible. The team that was able to stay underwater the longest would win.
It sounds sort of easy, but as anybody who is a swimmer can tell you, diving even ten feet without SCUBA gear and most people start to feel pressure on the ears. By the time you get to 25 or 30 feet, the pressure is going to be about twice as much as it was on the surface, meaning you’ll have headaches and lots of pressure on your lungs. That still doesn’t explain why they had to travel four miles off the Australian coast. Essentially, this challenge is about holding your breath, so they could have held it in any pool really. Actually, to save time, they could have just had people dunk their heads in the bathtub. This has the added benefit of convincing the viewers that Wes actually knows how to bathe, or at least find a bathtub.
Tina and Kenny went first, and the pressure was so great that they immediately surfaced. Tina said that there was so much pressure in her head that it was the worst feeling that she ever had, which just goes to show you that Tina has never had to watch herself for three months of television. Now THAT’S pain, and I think we can all relate. Darrell and Aviv were next, and they were able to get the flag, but Darrell surfaced almost immediately afterwards.
Chanda and Theo, who probably have to be considered the strongest team of those still in contention, were next. Chanda hasn’t said a lot, but she has easily been the toughest of the girls during this challenge. She hasn’t kicked ass in any of the challenges, but there was never a time when you thought that Theo was carrying her and she couldn’t pull her own weight. For this challenge, Chanda said that she would drown herself if it meant winning the challenge. Chanda didn’t drown herself, but she and Theo were able to stay underwater longer than either of the teams that went before them.
Wes and Casey were next, but once again, their strategy wasn’t so great. Instead of waiting to the count of three before pulling the rope to send them underwater, Casey simply pulled the rope, and since it surprised both of them, they had a little trouble getting a deep breath. They got their flag, but weren’t able to stay underwater for long.
Finally we got to Derrick and Diem. Some may say that his motivation for being in the game and doing it all for her is a little misplaced, but it has really helped him focus, and when Derrick is focused he is a very difficult person to beat. When the two of them got in the water, the producers decided that it would be a good idea to show some sharks in the water, but it was clearly some file footage they had lying around or something. The only great white I saw anywhere near the water was not a shark, but the Great White Idiot, Wes.
Derrick and Diem barely beat out Theo and Chanda for the win, and when it came time to pick somebody for exile, it seemed like it would be fairly straightforward. Theo talked about how he, Darrell, and Derrick had a deal to look out for each other. Derrick and Diem would pick either Tina and Kenny or Wes and Casey, leaving Darrell and Aviv and Theo and Chanda around to vote the remaining team into exile. Sounds pretty easy right?
Well, it should have been fairly easy, but it looks like Bunim/Murray made the prize money big enough that people are really starting to sell out their friends in the hopes of getting a larger piece of that pie. Derrick already convinced Diem to screw over a couple of her friends, and now it looks like he was starting to think that maybe it would be smarter to vote in Theo and Chanda. It took them a long time to think it through, and I never thought that they would actually send in Theo. You see more cronyism in these challenges than in defense contract bidding and Ivy League admissions.
Way to take it like a man Derrick.
Sending Theo and Chanda into exile opened up a real opportunity for Tina and Kenny and Wes and Casey. If the two of them got together, they could send Darrell and Aviv into exile, and with a little luck next week, one of them might even be able to make it to the final. This was such an easy decision that not even Wes and Tina’s influence was going to be able to fuck it up.
As much of a tough that Derrick is, he wasn’t even man enough to look his friends in the eye after what he had done with them, happy to let his partner do the talking. Derrick had no problem sending in Theo and Chanda, but when he realized that Darrell and Aviv were going in, he couldn’t believe it, saying that if he thought he did the math, and figured that Tina and Kenny were going in. I understand that Derrick could have been confused, but what is this thing about doing the math? Is he serious? Doing the math involves counting, all the way up to THREE. Next thing you know, Derrick is going to say he lost count trying to figure out how many balls that he has. OK, he was under a lot of pressure and had to make a decision, and they only gave him TWENTY MINUTES. That’s not a lot of time, especially considering they were four miles away from the coast. If he left his calculator on the mainland, how do you expect him to do the math? IN HIS HEAD?
I know Exile is scary, but I’m more worried about the Unabomber
Anyway, Derrick’s actions caused a lot of craziness, but Like Paula Abdul said, sometimes you take two steps forward and two steps back. Besides, losing Darrell and Theo as friends, Derrick also gained a new ally in Wes, perhaps the only person who could understand what Derrick did. Wes convinced Derrick that he didn’t do anything anybody else wouldn’t have done, and Derrick decided that they should look out for each other. Now, there is always the possibility that Theo and Chanda or Darrell and Aviv will capture first place and gain a pardon, and I wonder if Derrick teaming up with Wes means that there is a Karma boomerang heading his way soon.
Still, let’s not dwell on what Derrick lost; let’s talk about what he gained. Towards the end of the episode, we see Derrick, once again very drunk, and he seems to have finally won enough of Diem’s approval that she thinks it’s safe to lock lips with him. Hey, when you are in line for chemotherapy, the thought of herpes sores is not enough to hold you back from a long relationship. Besides, Derrick is so romantic. At the end, he says that he sees the beauty in Diem, and if he wins the money, maybe it will save her life. Other things that might save her life: 1) not flying to Australia when you learn you need to treat your cancer, and 2) not contracting any disease that would affect your immune system.
So, we only have a few weeks left, and the teams are really starting to play for keeps. What did you think of this episode? Did Derrick and Diem make the right choice by betraying their friends? Who do you think will go into exile? Who do you think will win?