I am not the type of guy who makes a bunch of New Year’s resolutions, because I know I am too lazy to actually complete any of them, and am way too shallow to attempt any sort of change in personality. I did drink enough cheap champagne to give me a huge hangover, but didn’t black out. That makes three mornings in a row that I had complete recollection of the previous evening’s events to start off the year. That’s my best record in nearly five years. Maybe this whole maturity thing is not beyond my reach. I wish I could say the same for the contestants of the Real World/Road Rules Challenge:Battle of the Sexes 2. It’s a new year, and I have let two episodes go without recaps. Fear not though, because this season stuck to the script while we were gone.In the previous two weeks we have seen the elimination of Ibis and Tonya, who did nothing to justify being eliminated other than being a leader on the woman’s team. The guys lost Randy in their usual process of eliminating the people with the most disqualifications, and Steven in a very unfortunate bitch-slap incident. During the last challenge, there was a portion when the teams couldn’t talk. Although there was no disadvantage for them being silent during the portion the producers chose, everybody got pretty worked up anyway. When the teams could talk, each had separated to discuss strategy, and when the guys huddled, Shane grabbed Steven’s arm, and Steven responded by slapping Shane across the face with a Rock-Hudson-on-Dynasty kind of ferocity. It wasn’t enough to get anybody worked up except for the producers, and that was all that counted.
Now we all know that the folks in the Bunim/Murray clique are quite incestuous when it comes to relationships, at least when it comes to the filming of the sows. But honestly, who can blame them? They film a couple of reunions a year, which takes time, and the post Real World/Road Rules speaking tour that follows their seasons always attracts many of the same people. Many live in Los Angeles, and they end up being roommates with each other. They get invited to the same parties(often parties they throw themselves), hang out at the same bars and clubs, and throw up in the same parking lots. You covet what you see every day, and so everybody hooks up with each other.
While I can’t say that these relationships ever amount to anything, I can tell you that whenever they feature a new relationship on a reunion show, it usually means impending doom for one of the members. The latest couple to be set up for a fall was Mark and Robin. They feel a close connection because they are very similar. For example, they both are on this reunion show and both have deep voices. If that doesn’t mean love, I don’t know what does.
This week Jonny Mosely tells the contestants that they will be participating in one of the rare “no swimsuit required” types of challenges. God, if this is as difficult as they last time nobody had to wear swimsuits, uhhh, well everybody will finish, but you get my point. And to add further difficulty to this challenge, long sleeves were required.
“Semi-Cross”, as this challenge was named, involved each of the players going across an obstacle course that consisted of a balance beam, tire obstacle, a see saw, and an over and under segment. Wow, I haven’t seen a set of obstacles so challenging since my kindergarten playground. OK, the Road Rulers and Real Worlders did have the added difficulty in that they were on top of a group of trailers being pulled by a semi at 30 miles an hour. Advantage: Second Street Elementary. Then again, if you fall off the trailers, you get caught by a net. Fall off of my kindergarten playground, and you have nothing to break your fall but some wood chips. Advantage: Bunim/Murray. The guys and the girls would do the obstacles in groups of three, so they wouldn’t distract each other while competing. In kindergarten, we were too young to even imagine that girls or boobs could ever be a distraction. Advantage: Push. After each group of three finished, the total times would be added together and the team with the lowest time would each get a Vespa. At my school we didn’t get an award for anything we did on the playground, but if we colored in the lines, we got a sticker and/or a gold star. Advantage: Second Street Elementary. The Bunim/Murray stars had Subway and Snapple for lunch. I brought my lunch in a Knight Rider lunch box and an ice cream sandwich cost 35 cents. Advntage: Second Street Elementary
So, as you can see from my careful analysis, my kindergarten class was probably more difficult and more rewarding than any challenge, but I was never in prime time, so we will continue with our show. Sophia, Tina, and Robin were captains for the girls, while the guys chose Mark, Brad, and Dan. As easy as I made the obstacles sound, it took the first group of guys, Shane, Brad, and Mark, quite a long time figuring out how to get past the balance beam. It wasn’t one long beam, but instead went back and forth along the top of the trailer. Whoa, might this be an obstacle that would really cause a lot of stress and require some strategy from the captains? Well, of course not. B-side, quite obviously a playground veteran in his day, took one look at the balance beam and noticed that since the sections were close together, you could shimmy along using a second beam for, well, balance, and your momentum down the last beam helped you jump to the next obstacle.
After the guys figured out the secret, it took approximately five more minutes for all of them to complete the course. It would appear that this would give all subsequent groups trying to finish the obstacle course an advantage, and since the guys had to absorb their time as guinea pigs, the women should have some sort of time advantage. That would be the case if we expected anything from the girl’s team. In reality, we all know that the girls don’t stand a chance, and this was indeed the case. Sophia, Tina, and Robin went first, and while the first two were able to get past the balance beam, Robin was taking a lot of time.
In the end, they finished with about the same time as the first guys’ heat, but you know that wasn’t going to be good enough. Why is that you say? Mainly because Coral wasn’t ever going to miss a chance to point out the weakness of one of her teammates. Robin was already upset at what she thought was a horrible time, but Coral made sure to remind her just how badly she did. Robin said it was tough with all of the pressure of being the last person, and Coral jumped right on her. “If you think that is hard, just wait until the last challenge”. Even when the likes of Eric Neis tried to get Coral to calm down and be friendly, she had words for him. “Go take care of yourself and your jump rope”. OK, I admit, that is what I have been wanting somebody to say all year, but Coral is the last person who should be lecturing people about the difficulty of the final challenge. She might take a lesson and remember the last couple of times she reached the final mission in a Battle of the Seasons challenge. Take the Gauntlet, for instance, when Coral nearly passed out, and the team was deciding whether to carry her themselves or to get an ambulance. Or maybe the Inferno is a better example, where Coral had no problem with the physical aspect, but was then taken out by a notoriously difficulty crossword, the likes of which we have never seen before (except, perhaps on the back of my 1st grade spelling worksheets).
In the second set of heats, the guys dispatched of the obstacles fairly easily, no doubt inspired by taking turns kissing Eric’s jump rope. Ruthie and Coral pretty much sped through their turn at the course as well, but were limited by Arissa, who was also having trouble on the balance beam, and psyched herself into getting through it by letting out an impressive string of profanities, only it was about as funny as seeing Andrew Dice Clay in 1995. I am not sure how Arissa has slid by this far, considering she has freaked out on almost every mission, but I guess she carries Coral’s jock strap around or something. With their win, the guys all won Vespas, which is not really that exciting, but Shane did grab two handfuls of Jonny Moseley’s ass when he accepted the prize.
Eliminations weren’t anything special. Shane was up next for the guys, and he took his vote like a man, happy that he has some transport that might get him three or four blocks in Los Angeles before somebody kills him with their Escalade. After feeling the rath of Coral, and despite Ruthie’s saying that they were all good competitors and that she didn’t want to vote anybody out(What? She says that every week? Never mind then.), the girls booted Robin. Robin, for her part wasn’t upset that she left, because she found the real prize. No, I’m not talking about a shirt a bra combination that can hold her tits, I am talking about the next love of her life, Mark. Because, you know, being Bunim/Murray alums, it was going to be hard for them to ever meet at another point in the future.
So we have a couple of episodes, plus probably a two-part finale and a reunion show. So, by the time my birthday rolls around, maybe I’ll have had the gift of watching a decent episode from this season, but I’m not counting on it.