The ever intense rivalry between Kina and Cara boiled over this week on The Gauntlet 2, and only one of them was left standing. If that spoiled anything for you — ie. whether or not the Rookies won the week’s challenge — well, I apologize, but then again, I haven’t ruined anything that MTV hadn’t already. You see, MTV had been airing promos for this episode, prominently showing Cara and Kina in the Gauntlet. It just goes to prove that even the network knows that no one really cares about who wins or loses the events: it’s all about the cat fights. And for those of us who have migrated to Team Kina or Team Cara, Monday’s showdown was an epic battle of titanic proportions. Well, actually, it was more like a petty dustup, but same difference. Either way, the Olympics should take note.The big show began with the council of elders — Timmy, David, and Mark — discussing the plight of their team with younger vet, Brad. The problem, as they saw it, was that there was a cancer on their squad. A cancer with bad skin, crazy eyes, and a bit of an attitude. A cancer named Beth. There was only one way to deal with her. “One of us is gonna have to bang Beth,” Timmy announced. Oh, don’t act like you don’t want to, Timmy.
Meanwhile, Beth was babbling to Kina about her team and how they all didn’t appreciate her and blah blah blah — get the violins out. “I feel dirty and ugly and sick,” Beth said. Funny, that’s kind of how I feel at the end of these shows.
Anyway, all this Beth stuff was nice and everything, but we knew what this episode was really about: Kina and Cara. Let the cattiness begin! Starting things off was Cara, who complained to Susie on the couch that Kina had been completely ignoring her. Susie then explained to us — fairly rationally — that the other girls had isolated them and shunned them away. “It leaves Cara and I to bond, but the more we bond, the madder they get.” What? C’mon Susie. Let’s not be ridiculous. I can’t believe that such mature, rational women as Kina, Jodi, Gillian, and Ibis would ever act that way!
Of course, there are two faces to every coin, and Kina was here to explain her vantage point. “They isolate themselves all the time,” she insisted. Yes, I’m sure they do. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that Kina, Jodie, Gillian, and Ibis were all on the same season of Road Rules and are a natural clique.
Well, with the schism of rage tearing apart the rookie girls, we then moved onto the next morning as the teams prepared for the challenge. Oh, and look! There was Timmy dressed in a hilarious bikini shirt and a mullet wig. That man is a comedic genius. Not since Gallagher or Carrot Top have I seen one man hone the craft of hilarity as much as Timmy.
Anyway, this week’s big challenge was like a strenuous cousin to Tug O’ War. The teams had to split in two. One half would sit on an apparatus above the ocean, and the other half would have to hoist said apparatus up via pulling on a rope. They’d have to keep the team up as long as possible. Both teams would perform this task twice, with each half getting a chance as pullers and sitters. I’m making this sound way more confusing than it actually was.
First up were the rookies who Alton was confident would win this thing. “We have this. Our players are lighter,” he said. Well, maybe not Ibis. But hey, she has a very pretty face. As Alton and MJ and the other pulled and pulled, Mark Long had nothing but contempt for his rivals. “Anyone knows Tug O’ War. You never rely on your hands. It’s all about locking ropes within your body and almost being able to free your hands,” he said. Gosh, Mark. Maybe you should go and join the Olympic Tug O’ War team.
Well, actually, Mark did have a point. The Rookies certainly were not using their leverage properly, and so the team dropped the rope at a mere eleven minutes in. That’s what’ll happen when you have someone like moptop MJ serving as your anchor. Next up was the first heat for the Vets, who clearly benefited from the sage counsel of Tug O’ War shaman Mark Long. “This isn’t a pulling competition. It’s a resistance competition. We’re not pulling at all. We’re resisting the fall,” he said. I could just barely hear the sitar playing and finger symbols chiming in the background.
Sure enough, the Veterans adopted a better tugging strategy and wound up comfortably holding the rope way longer than the Rookies. “Everyone good back there?” Robin asked, adding, “It feels f*ckin’ beautiful up here.” Now is that true? Does it REALLY feel beautiful? I don’t think so Robin, and I don’t appreciate your rampant hyperbole.
Anyway, the Vets made it to the thirty minute mark, which meant that the anchor (Mr. Long) had to step away. But what they lost in strength, they made up for in over-dramatic encouragement. “THIS IS YOUR MOMENT!” Julie yelled. Wow, if this was their moment, they all have very sad lives.
Well, the Vets lasted for a total of thirty three minutes before they dropped their buddies into the ocean. The Rookies then stepped up for their second and final heat. They too adopted Mark Long’s strategy and were able to make it to the thirty minute mark also. But when anchor Randy stepped away, the team just could not hang on very long. Maybe that’s because Landon decided to let go too, for no real reason. Ten seconds later, his chums were plopped in the water, bringing the Rookie total to about forty one minutes.
The Veterans stepped up next for their final heat, and no surprise here, they quickly surpassed the Rookies’ time and then some (they wanted to prove that they could be dominant). After they were done, TJ then revealed both teams’ final times. He first announced that the Rookies lasted forty-one minutes, to which he added, “Very respectable. VERY respectable.” Wow, sounds like he’s been hanging out with Brad — he of the “I feel very violated right now. I feel VERY violated!” But as VERY respectable as the rookie time was, they obviously lost, which meant that captain Beth could claim a nifty prize from Fandango. This, of course, led to the obligatory phony enthusiasm from the rest of the girls who sporadically clapped and said “Yay Beth.”
And speaking of rampant phoniness, at the Gauntlet deliberations, Kina tried to act like she was taking the high road with selecting an opponent, but really it was just the fake bitch road. “I have confidence in the person I’m choosing tonight, and I feel like if they should happen to be the captain that they would do a fine job. And my choice is Cara.” Wow, the sincerity is blowing me away.
Moments later, TJ spun the wheel of Gauntlet fate. Ooh! I wonder if it’ll land on Captain’s Choice! That never happens! Well, as the wheel went round and round, we then cut briefly to Landon who in the flurry of activity had found comfort and stability in clutching life-mate MJ’s knee. Had that wheel spun any longer, they would have been full-on spooning. Anyway, surprise surprise — the wheel stopped at “Captain’s Choice.” I swear, that thing is weighted. Can we just remove that option next season?
“I’m gonna go with Name That Coconut,” Kina announced. For some reason, it seemed like an oddly apt phrase for her to say. I just get the feeling like Kina’s said that many, many times in her life.
Well, later that day, the teams filed into the Gauntlet where Kina and TJ stood. Our intrepid host then called down Cara, saying, “Congratulations, welcome to the Gauntlet.”
“Why is this a congratulations?” Cara asked. Hey, be careful there, Cara. You don’t want to overload poor TJ. It’s already hard enough for him to memorize all those corporate slogans he has to spew out.
Anyway, as the girls prepared for the big event, we then heard them attacking each other in interviews. “Kina, you’re a raging psycho. Clearly you have a problem with me. I hope I win so I’m the next captain and prove you wrong,” Cara said.
“You don’t care about the team, and you don’t care about a damn thing but yourself. And that’s why I’m gonna kick your ass and send you home,” Kina then said. Whatever. You’re both idiots. Just fight already. Or make out.
Well, as per the rules of Name That Coconut (which is still lobbying for Olympic approval), the girls had to wrestle each other for coconuts that had the answer to various Real World and Road Rules trivia. Kina quickly wrestled a correct coconut to the “safe zone,” thus earning her a point. This made me mad because honestly, I was rooting for Cara. Not that Cara’s an angel or particularly less phony, but at least she seems a little sharper than Kina. Plus, she doesn’t babble about all that sanctimonious team bullshit. Honestly, even if Cara lost, I would have been happy if she had just taken one of those coconuts and slammed it into Kina’s face.
The good news for Cara is that she did manage to wrangle a coconut into the safe zone. Unfortunately, it had the wrong answer on it, which meant Kina essentially was able to win another point. If it were me playing, I’d just grab a random coconut and pretend to make a dash for it. Then I’d let the other person pry it away from me and cross into the safe zone. They’d be wrong and then I’d have all the time in the world to search for the right coconut. Wow, did I really just detail a gameplan strategy for Name That Coconut? I’m quite sad for myself now.
Anyway, with Kina up 4 to 0, TJ asked perhaps the most difficult question of all: “Who has a matching tattoo with Landon?” Hmmm… I’m thinking Karamo? No, wait, Willie! I just don’t know! Well, the girls ran for the coconuts and suddenly became very physical, getting all the boys excited and causing This-Is-Your-Moment Julie to yell, “Who wants to stay more?”
“I do, bitch!” Kina sneered as she shoved Cara back and sprinted for the win. And by the way, the answer to that trivia question: MJ. MJ has a matching tattoo with Landon. That’s a shocker.
Well, I was quite sad with this outcome. To think that we could have had two female team captains who were both despised by their underlings. Alas, Cara just did not come through. I guess there’s nothing left for her to do but walk around and talk about being in Playboy — which would have been cool had Trishelle, Katie, Tonya, Beth, and Veronica not done it already. Afterwards, while Susie and Cara were sharing some final moments in their bedroom, Kina entered, saying, “Hey Miss Thang. Good job.” Wow, she really is one phony bitch, isn’t she?
Anyway, a team captain’s job is never done until they patronizingly compliment someone and condescendingly open up a dialogue. “No bullshit,” Kina said, “Everything aside, you did well. And if there’s anything else you need to say, now’s your chance. And no combat, no nothing.” Thanks Kina!
“I think in the future, as like a team captain, you weren’t being a team player when you were excluding me from things,” Cara said, later adding, “You don’t know anything about me.”
At this point, Kina interrupted and said, “I don’t, but I don’t have to because–”
“Was it my turn to talk? I wasn’t sure. You said no combat,” Cara replied passive aggressively.
“All that I’m saying is that you did well tonight,” Kina reiterated with phoniness hanging thickly in the air.
“Thanks, but I’m trying to have like a few last minute moments here, and you totally brought in this energy that I’m not liking,” Cara said.
“I was hoping to tell you that you did a great job. Bottom line,” concluded Kina.
“Thanks!” Cara said, now employing her most fake-sounding voice. And with that, Kina walked away, probably bitching to her friends about how obnoxious Cara was etc. Listen, don’t ask for things you don’t want to hear. And don’t expect Cara to be friendly to you either. Dumb Kina. I hate her now.
And so ended the episode and the rivalry. Luckily, we still have Susie around. As the seemingly most mature of all the girls, I’m not sure how she’ll survive, but hopefully she’ll put Kina in her place.
What did you think? Were you behind Kina or Cara?