Here’s what I like about The Gaunlet 2, or actually the entire Real World/Road Rules Challenge franchise: no matter how silly or boring the challenge — and they’re almost always silly and boring — there’s always one or two drama queens around to spice things up. Case in point: Aneesa. Surely sensing a banshee vacuum now that Jo’s gone, this Chicago alum stepped up and provided us with a colorful tirade that reminded us that no Holiday Season is complete without someone yelling “Suck my dick, BITCH!”Before we get to Aneesa’s epic meltdown, we have to start at the beginning of the episode which brought us the pugilistic scene of David and Alton boxing in their skivvies. All sweaty and barely clothed, this was how I imagined many a gay porn have opened up. Before things could get too randy between these men, Ruthie and Kina stepped up to take a few swings, but not before Ruthie announced, “I’ve been drinking!” Oh really? That’s like me saying, “I’ve been BREATHING.”
Anyway, the two girls donned the oversized gloves, and then impromptu referee Mark Long — he of the almighty faux hawk of doom — laid down some ground rules. “We’re doing this almost like it’s just for fun,” he said as we then cut to Ruthie POUNDING Kina. It was a vicious fight, but like any Jersey Girl after two L.I.T.’s, Kina went down in an instant (rimshot!).
Sadly, just as our bloodlust was truly beginning to boil, this Million Dollar Drunkard scene ended as the girls hugged each other and called it a night. What the hell? No bruises? No paralysis? No Mark Long whispering “Mo Cuishle! My darling. My blood!”
Instead, we followed Kina indoors as she sat with Randy and had a tender moment. You see, they’ve been dating for like five months, and they really really love each other. Awww. Now go away.
The next morning, the teams headed out to a golf course to meet their intrepid leader, T.J. Lavin, who presented the next challenge: “Team Builders.” Basically, this was a three-part event, and teams could not advance until each stage was complete. With new captain/professional alcoholic Derrick in charge, the Veterans were already fretting about their chances. “He’s got a lot of psycho popcorn kernels popping in his head,” remarked Timmy, a man who has a lot of not-funny-and-too-old popcorn kernels popping in his own noggin.
Nevertheless, the first stage of the challenge had teams using tires, planks, and ropes to cross terrain. The catch: no one could touch the ground, or else the whole team would have to start over. Wow, how very corporate retreat team-exercise-y!
Well, the Rookies had a safe and sound strategy for tackling this task. They basically laid down the tires and planks and created a “progressive bridge.” And yes, it was just as fascinating as it sounds. The Vets followed suit, but when resident humorist Timmy accidentally touched the earth with his food of comedic genius, his team was forced to begin again. And no silly face could fix that!
Faced with this dire setback, the Veterans did a little thinking outside of the box — I know, not something you normally hear with this bunch. Anyway, they scrapped the progressive bridge idea and instead used the tires as makeshift boots, which allowed them to trek across the course in no time.
As for the Rookies, they were doing just grand until Alton’s foot grazed the ground. He protested the ref’s call, but it was useless. Poor Alton. You could tell he was really upset because he did a cartwheel or RAGE! Personally, I prefer the summersault of compassion.
Having to start all over, the Rookies then decided to mimic the Vets and use the tires as boots, and because of a logistics situation that’s really not worth getting into, Alton wound up carrying the newly-beefy Danny on his back. And by “carrying,” I mean “staggering, shaking, and nearly falling over right there.” Yes, Alton may have had a 30-pack of abs, but hauling Danny’s prissy ass around was more than he could handle. Luckily, human mule Landon was there to save the day as he trekked out and plucked Danny off the buckling Alton and safely delivered his teammate to the finish line. It was kind of like watching a really lame version of Titanic. Well, actually, not really.
I can’t tell who was enjoying himself the most.
At the next stage, teams had to use a plank to jump over a rope and blah blah blah — all you need to know is that no one could touch the rope. After the Landon/Danny fiasco, the Veterans had taken a huge lead, but when good ol’ Ace grazed the rope with his leap of glory, the whole team had to start over, meaning that it was neck and neck all over again! Oh my god! This is so mildly exciting!
Unfortunately for the Rookies, they squandered this good fortune as the lanky, mopheaded, and generally scowl-inducing MJ hit the rope, causing his crew to completely redo this stage while the Veterans went off and played with balls. Okay, to be fair, they only played with one ball, and they couldn’t even use their hands (that takes all the fun out of it, yes? That’s right. A little testes humor to spice things up!). Basically, the team had to guide a giant beachball across the golf course without their arms, which meant a lot of awkward kicking and head-butting. Then again, what Real World/Road Rules Challenge doesn’t have awkward kicking and head-butting? Sure enough, the Veterans completed this task without problems, and voila! They won $10,000! Yay! I’m so very happy for them and their “I can walk in a tire, jump over a rope, and bounce a ball for $10,000″ careers!
As for those plucky Rookies? Well, we all know what losers get: a free trip to THE GAUNTLET! (Thunder clap! Organ blaring!) And just to rub it in, those oh-so-mature Veteran girls chanted, “Not going to the Gauntlet! Not going to the Gauntlet!” Funny, I was expecting them to sing, “Not going to college! Not going to college!” Oh, I kid. I know several of them have college degrees, and hey, it was sort of amusing hearing that taunting chant. It took me back to third grade! Did I mention they have college degrees?
Back at the compound, the Rookies filed into a room to deliberate their Gauntlet options. Since it was a “Female Gauntlet Day,” team captain Kina would have to face the fire, but against who? This was about to get nasty, and Cameran was not happy about it: “Once we have to start voting our teammates off, then people’s true sides are going to flare.” Do sides flare? I mean, I’ve heard of tensions flaring but never sides. I’ll have to check my English-to-Southern-Belle Dictionary.
Anyway, Cameran was so concerned with disrupting the team morale that she actually martyred herself for the greater good. Yes, Kina announced that Cameran had volunteered to go home, causing Jeremy to tell us, “I don’t understand this.” Wait a second. Who ARE you? Why are on this show? You were on like two episodes of your season! That doesn’t count. Leo and Wren from Real World: Austin have had more screentime than you. And you know what else has had more screentime? Adam’s stupid “Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right B A B A” shirt. That was amusing the first time you wore it: THREE SEASONS AGO. Ironic t-shirts have really leapt ahead, man. (Says me, still wearing the same ratty t-shirts from 1998.)
Well, even though Cameran was planning on quitting, the kids still had to go through the motions, which meant TJ had to walk in and spin the magical wheel or Gauntlet activities! When the chipper host asked how hard he should yank the wheel, Kina simply barked, “Just spin that shit!” Wow. It was like what I’d always envisioned Pat Sajak to be if he’d only been a twenty-something girl from Paramus.
Anyway, the wheel landed on “Capture the Flag,” and in an attempt to create some sort of suspense, the producers then shoved a few lame interview clips in our face as people like Susie expressed hope that Cameran might not quit after all. Please. Cameran’s so gone, and if you try to get in her way, Susie, she might just wind up suing the island of Trinidad and Tobago. Oh, it’s already been broughten.
At the Gauntlet, TJ congratulated the Veterans on their victory, causing Timmy to literally do a raspberry. Oh, he is FRESH! I hear he’ll be playing Mrs. Goodhue’s 1st grade class next week! Get your tickets now! (Two juice-box minimum).
TJ then called Kina and Cameran down to the sandy depths of the Gauntlet and told them to fetch a flag from atop a cargo net, but Cammy had some bad news: “TJ, we’re going to let you down because I — I’m sorry, this isn’t going to be very interesting, everybody — but I am surcoming.” We still don’t know exactly what “surcoming” means, but we had a feeling it was bad.
“No, you can’t do that. This is The Gauntlet! It don’t go like that!” TJ protested with the sort of disbelief normally reserved for kids finding out the truth about Santa.
Nevertheless, Cameran continued: “I’ve decided to surcome to the gods of the Gauntlet, and I’m going to forfeit myself.”
“Well, somebody’s gotta get that flag,” TJ insisted. He LOVES the flag!
“Is there anybody else that wants to quit?” TJ then asked. “I just want to know right now because it’s letting me down. It’s letting me down.” Aw, guys! It’s letting him down! It’s like his whole world view has been shattered. Somebody’s gotta fix this!
If there was one person more disappointed than TJ, it was Derrick, who commented to us, “I just busted my ass in the previous Gauntlet, and you gonna come up here and be just like ‘I don’t want to do it.’ You know, whatever. Then go home.” Uh yeah. I think that’s the point.
As Cameran officially called it quits, Aneesa reassured her by saying she loved her, but lo! Not everyone can love THE CAMERAN! “You don’t love her. You don’t know her,” snipped Cara from across the Gauntlet. Wow, that was unnecessarily confrontational. Luckily, Aneesa has always been known for her level-headed temper. Surely, she’ll let Cara’s random bitchiness just roll off her back.
“You don’t know who the f*ck I know!” Aneesa sassed back with finger wagging and head weaving. “You can still care about somebody! I wish you would get in the f*cking Gauntlet with me, BITCH. You wouldn’t f*ckin’ leave it. How about it, BITCH?”
“You are so gross,” Cara replied, clearly reaching into her repertoire of 6th grade zingers. (To her credit, Cara wasn’t exactly wrong, but still, she could have done better).
“‘You are like so gross because I lost twenty pounds, and I’m hot now so I feel like I can act any way i f*ckin’ want.’ Suck my dick, bitch!” Aneesa replied as Timmy supplied a heavy stream of dumb, mocking faces behind her back. Look Timmy, you’re not funny. You never have been, you never will be. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just the way it is. Now, please go away.
We then cut to Cara in an interview who commented, “I don’t really understand Aneesa and her personality and the way she screams things.” Yeah, what’s up with that? Why the hell was she screaming at Cara when all Cara did was randomly attack her for no good reason? Stupid bitch. Cara then added, “And how she dresses? Not intimidated by her.” That’s funny because that’s what America says about you! Except, instead of fashion, we’re usually talking about brains.
“And I like purple. And blue’s cool too. And pink! And purple. Did I already say that? Oh look! A butterfly!”
Anyway, Aneesa wrapped up her rant with the ever imposing threat, “I don’t need a Gauntlet, bitch. I will cut you with WORDS!” She then followed up with an interview, saying, “Now, bitch, you don’t know me! You don’t know who I know! You don’t know what the f*ck I’m gonna do to you if I didn’t care about being here.” Wow. Who did she know? And what were they going to do?? Maybe Aneesa was going to have the lesbian mafia take out Cara (after a poetry recital, natch).
Well, someone still had to go fetch that flag; so Kina scrambled up and retrieved it, surely making TJ’s day. As the teams headed back to the compound, a happy Randy noted, “Cameran succeeding [sic -- of course] from the Gauntlet has secured Kina another night of being the captain.” Thank God Cameran surcomed and succeeded!
Later, as Cammy packed up, Cara put on a sad face and said, “I got into a fight over you tonight. What do you think about that? What does that say about our friendship?” Uh, not much actually, especially since you started the fight for no apparent reason. I think the only thing it really says is that you’re attention-starved.
Nevertheless, Cameran pranced out of the house in chipper spirits, and as the taxi ferreted her off to wherever, Kina and Randy huddled near each other and talked about how being viewed as a couple might be a bad thing. Ah, if only we cared. What do you think? Should Cameran have quit?