Every week, I start out my Gauntlet 2 recaps in more or less the same fashion. I remark at how unbelievable it is that these career reality stars seem to explode every episode for no real reason. There was Jo and her litigious battle against the island of Trinidad and Tobago; there was Aneesa and her random tirade against Cara; there was Danny and his hissy-fit of rage; and of course there was Mark Long and his camera-grabbin’ bout of extreme claustrophobia. This week, we can add Derrick and Brad onto the list. Sure, their blow-up was a tad weak compared to the others, but still, spit was spat and hostile proclamations of being “scurred” were exchanged. Just another lovely day at the beach!The show opened up at what seems to be the only bar in Trinidad and Tobago: “Club 330 & Divers Den.” It’s the Dizzy Rooster of the Caribbean. As usual, the whole gang was there drinkin’ and grindin’ on the dance floor (which was certainly not populated by any other tourists or locals. I guess even Trinidad knows to steer clear of these wastrels). Anyway, before we could even get our bearings, we suddenly saw Brad and Derrick having a mild confrontation. “You did change a little bit, D,” Brad said repeatedly. Well, that’s all the motivation we need for the next volcanic eruption. With his arms flailing aggressively, Derrick suddenly bellowed out, “You are shooting me down for NO F*CKIN’ REASON!!! FOR NO F*CKIN’ REASON!!!!” And you are shouting for NO F*CKIN’ REASON!!
A battle of wits and verbal trickery!
Derrick eventually settled down and retreated to another corner of the empty bar where he could sulk and/or ponder vomiting. Brad, meanwhile, noted to Ruthie, “Hey, he’s not the smartest kid goin’.” Man, if Brad’s questioning your intelligence, then you know you really have problems. Or as Brad would say, “Then you really know you have problems, son.”
With this relatively random scuffle behind us, the kiddos (I use that term very loosely for Mark and Timmy) headed back to their resort accommodations where they received their next clue. There was the usual speculation — seriously, why even show it? No one cares — and then the Veterans gathered ’round for a little hand-in-the-middle-1-2-3-go-team cheer. This in and of itself was nothing remarkable, but I did notice the disturbing sight of a jump rope hanging around Derrick’s neck. Was that the specter of Eric Nies making its way onto the show? Who was douchebag that brought this token of lame product placement to Trinidad and Tobago? I’m looking at you, Marky Mark Long. For those of you who don’t know, last season (or maybe the season before — I can’t keep track anymore), Eric Nies brought a jump rope onto the Challenge and spent an unfortunate amount of time extolling the rope’s mystical powers (of which there were none, I assure you). Actually, turns out Eric released some stupid exercise DVD centered on jumping rope, and then it became abundantly clear that this magical jumping rope was merely just a clunky ploy to spur interest in the aging model’s less-than-stellar fitness empire. I don’t know what’s worse: Eric’s jump rope or Veronica and Rachel’s dumb line of lesbian-chic t-shirts.
But enough ranting about reality star entrepreneurs. Let’s get back to the Gauntlet. After the Vets did their little pep-rally, we then caught up with Rookie captain Alton as he bonded with Jamie and MJ. The three talked about how much tighter they were than anyone on the opposing team, with Jamie commenting, “Our nucleus is way stronger than theirs.” Unfortunately, no Veteran would be able to counter such claims, but that’s only because none of them know what “nucleus” means.
The next day, the teams headed back out to the golf course where T.J. Lavin (and some cheery, bucolic music) happily greeted them. This week’s challenge: paint canvases using your bodies. Granted, there were some minor intricacies to this event involving showers and whatnot, but seriously, do you really need me to outline every detail of this? No one really cares about the challenge. In fact, the only reason why the producers set up this silly scenario was to put the guys in Speedos. Yes, all the men had to squeeze into lycra briefs, thus transforming Trinidad into Fire Island for one fleshy morning.
Of course, putting on a Speedo did not come easily to many of the men, especially MJ, who commented, “I’m a little nervous about this one because I’ve just been informed that I’m gonna have to put on a banana hammock.” Look, you couldn’t have been more nervous than we were. Our eyes are still burning.
Before everyone changed, the teams then huddled amongst themselves and strategized. Luckily for the Vets, they had the guidance of Timmy who said, “This is gonna be funny and hysterical, but we can’t go down that road.” I’m not sure that’s a road you’ve ever been down, Timmy. Nevertheless, he continued, “There’s gonna be laughter, we’re gonna be hitting the showers, giggling, touching each other’s parts, but we’re winning here.” And yes, I do now have the image of Timmy touching Aneesa’s “parts” in my head. Now my eyes are burning, but on the inside.
At long last, the much anticipated guys-getting-into-Speedos montage descended upon us, which meant tons of closeups on butt-cheeks and crotches. Adam commented that many of the guys might be stuffing their Speedos, and to be fair, Derrick placed a beer can in his, but for purely functional reasons only. The camera then lingered on Landon, who merely giggled awkwardly. Oh, c’mon. Don’t act like you haven’t worn skimpy briefs in a homoerotic situation before.
Of course, with any Speedo montage must come the obligatory look-at-the-fat-guy scene, and this one came courtesy of Cyrus, who sadly has never won the battle with the bulge. He was ever so kind to turn his back to us and shake his booty, and the producers thankfully augmented this beautiful image by slowing down the image so that every ripple of back fat and cellulite could have its moment of wobbly glory. Cyrus was a good sport about it though; so you really can’t fault him, especially after he offered up his new hotline, “976-Whole-Lotta.”
Thank goodness these two Speedos were not mixed up.
Anyway, the challenge finally began, and soon enough, people were slathering paint on their backs and writhing on the canvases like dying beetles. “It’s kind of like a big, giant Andy Warhol wet dream,” Timmy noted, clearly drawing upon Warhol’s famous Speedo period of the late ’60s. Technically, the more appropriate analogy would be Pollack, but I’m not going to nitpick. Although, I guess I just did. Whatever, POLLACK HATERS.
The challenge went on and on, with the painting momentarily interrupted by mandatory shower trips. “SHOWER! SHOWER! SHOWER!” everyone kept yelling as if they had somehow transformed into Karen Silkwood. For the most part, the two teams were neck and neck, but the Rookies fell behind in that dreaded shower when they failed to enact an efficient washing scheme. Plus, they suffered a major setback when Jeremy was sent back to the showers after having too much paint on his legs. Way to hurt your team, BARELY ELIGIBLE ROAD RULES STAR!
Ultimately, the Veterans won, and in the jubilation that followed, Ace dumped some Speedos on Derrick’s head. The surly captain couldn’t quite figure out what to do as he stared blankly and tried to process the situation. We could practically hear his inner monologue: “Okay, someone just put Speedos on my head. Should I try to punch the nearest person? Or should I try to see if I can get drunk off the Speedos?”
Well, with the Rookies coming up empty-handed at the challenge, male captain Alton had to pick someone to join him in the Gauntlet. For a brief second, I held out the flicker of hope that maybe Jeremy might be going, but as soon as he said, “I’m on the edge of my seat, sweating bullets, hoping it’s not going to be me,” I knew he’d be safe. Instead, Alton selected Adam, who reacted to the situation by promptly lowering his sunglasses over his eyes. That means he’s cool, man!
To be honest, we hadn’t heard much out of Adam’s mouth all season long, and we were just starting to forget how talkative and annoying he was on Real World: Paris. But the old babble-meister came out again as Adam suddenly said, “Yeah, hey, look guys, you know, um, somebody’s got to go, right? And why not me? It’s not necessarily “why me?” but “why not me?” What have I done to keep myself out of that Gauntlet? I am the smallest guy here, and there hasn’t been a mission yet that I can excel at.” SHUT UP. All you had to say was, “Okay.” Oh, and another thing. For a season which features the most random blowups of all, why the hell isn’t anyone getting mad at these Gauntlet deliberations? This is why we need Coral and Veronica and The Miz back. (And yes, it kills me to request Veronica’s presence.)
Nevertheless, everyone was impressed with Adam’s response, causing Alton to remark, “We all love Adam. He’s an awesome person. Coolest guy in the house.” Well, clearly. He IS wearing his sunglasses indoors. Try that, Mark Long!
Anyway, TJ emerged in the room to spin the wheel of Gauntlet fate, and as luck would have it, the result was “Captain’s Choice.” Well, I’m sure everyone expected Alton to choose an event that he could demolish Adam with (ie. ANY event), but since he’s a nice guy, Alton selected “Capture the Flag,” which he believed would give Adam the fairest shot at competing. Aw, that’s pretty gracious. Of course, if you saw Real World: Las Vegas, you might remember that Alton likes to spend his spare time climbing, and wouldn’t you know it, “Capture the Flag” requires competitors to climb up a cargo net to retrieve a flag. Hmmmmm… Was this a tricky maneuver by Alton to give the appearance of leveling the playing field when in fact he was severely tipping it in his favor? CONSPIRACY!
Actually, I believe that Alton had good intentions, and it didn’t really matter anyhow because there was no way he could lose to Adam. Or could he?? “Anybody who’s written this off as Alton’s Gauntlet — he’s gonna win for sure — is making the wrong decision because I have a shot here,” Adam told us. Interesting. Of course, the competition began and about five second later — literally — Alton had already scampered up the net and snagged the flag. Thanks for playing, Adam!
Well, after some accolades from TJ (who was surely happy to see a competitive Gauntlet after last week’s rant against Jisela), Adam finally left the compound. Ah, it was a good run Adam. You were only mildly annoying this time. That’s a major improvement. Anyhoo, all’s well that ends well. Let’s see what’s coming up next week.
But wait! There’s more!
Yes, if you thought this episode was over, you were sadly mistaken. We suddenly cut to later that night (allegedly) as we saw Brad angrily pointing his finger at Derrick and shouting drunkenly, “If I see you in the Gauntlet, then I see you in the Gauntlet… You’re the asshole!” Yes, apparently Brad had accused Derrick of changing again (were they dating at some point? I don’t get this), and this time, it was Brad who was all mad. Derrick, shockingly, was relatively calm and sane. Nevertheless, Brad continued his drunken attack, saying, “I ain’t scurred of you, dawg! I ain’t SCURRED of you!” And clearly he ain’t scurred of sounding like a jackass. Hey Brad, bad news. YOU’RE NOT LUDACRIS.
Well, Derrick responded calmly by saying, “Good. You shouldn’t be,” but that just caused Brad to retort, “I’m not! Oh, believe me, family, I am not scared of you.” Um, I believe the proper term is “scurred.” Let’s try to stay consistent, family.
We then cut to Brad in an interview who explained that Derrick “gets all defensive and mad.” Yeah, what’s up with that? Just because you stick your finger in someone’s face and yell at them doesn’t mean they should get all “defensive” and “mad” and “scurred.” Way to be sensitive, Derrick. Nevertheless, back at the fight, Brad cemented his lack of scurred-ness by spitting on the ground by Derrick’s feet and then suggesting that they put on some gloves and box.
That’s some scurrrry spit!
“You guys are drunk!” Ruthie suddenly yelled. Wait, what? They’re drunk?? It’s about time somebody pointed out the pink elephant in the room. Well, the boys separated to different ends of the house, and Katie — ever the beacon of rationality and sobriety — told Derrick to settle down and not act so crazy when he gets drunk. Later, Mark Long called the boys into his room to squash the entire beef. And yes, Mark was still wearing his shirt/scarf, which leads me to believe this all happened on the same night as the infamous bus meltdown last week.
Anyway, Brad apologized to Derrick, and the two hugged; thus restoring peace and tranquility to The Gauntlet. At least until the next beer is opened. What did you think about the show? Are these people fighting for screen time? Or are they just retarded? Or both?