When MTV and Bunim/Murray asked the viewers to pick the teams for Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Inferno II, do you think they ever thought that they would be so successful. Usually, I wouldn’t say that the average person knows more about making television than your average television executive, but maybe in some cases they do. You can’t discount the positive effect that the changes in how the show itself is structured, and while the competitions and the infernos are not off the charts in terms of creativity, the people responsible for coming up with them should be awarded for finding some that work. How much did the producers take into account the wishes of the viewers for making their teams? I am not sure, but I thank all of you people who voted for one of the best reunion seasons I have ever seen.We open the scene with some crazy antics from The Miz. All of these people like to show off for the camera, and Mike knows what he is doing, he does want to be a pro wrestler after all. He opens the show with what looks like a pre-planned dare where somebody asks him to eat a jalepeno or habanero or something. He eats it, it burns his mouth, and he throws everything he can find in there to try and stop the pain. Nothing like a good icebreaker to prepare us for 30 minutes of back-stabbing action. Thank you, dear Miz, we salute you.
This week’s competition is called Neverending Climb, which brings up a great tangent. Didn’t you just love The Neverending Story when you were younger? That movie had everything. It came out when I was like what, 5 years old? I remember seeing it and being so scared of that wolf thing when Atreyu tries to kill him. Also what was the deal with those sphinx things with the huge boobs? It might be just me, but wasn’t Falcor more scary than some of the “evil” creatures? Come on, a giant, flying cocker spaniel/dachsund mix? And when the horse died, that was more difficult for me to watch than when KITT got totaled in Knight Rider and they had to put him back together. But enough of the 80s nostalgia, back to the game.
In the Neverending Climb, the teams had to scale a structure and make their way towards the top, donkey-kong style, by climbing a ladder and then crossing a beam or pole. Along the way, they had to collect five tribal tokens, which looked like petrified garlic knots on a string, but were really small ceramic pieces tied together. Once you had your five tokens, you would jump off the structure, and you would be let down in your safety harness. You would then place your tokens in a bowl. The total time needed for each team would then be added up and the team with the lowest time would win. If a person fell off of the structure, they would have to wait on the ground for one minute before they could start again.
The Bad Asses were first, and they started right where they left off. Yeah, they have enthusiasm for their teammates, but only some of them. Dan, who has been sick of hearing Tina for the entire time in Mexico, much like most of the viewers here in the states, said that he didn’t want to spend another day listening to all of the bitch yell, and he was really set off when Tina tried to tell him that he shouldn’t go as high on the scaffolding. Right now, the Bad Asses might have more of the best players, but you really have to question how long they can believe this “team” concept is going to hold.
Veronica is the first one up, and she does pretty well, that is at least until she gets down to the bottom. You would think the easiest part of this challenge would be the part where they take the tokens and throw them into the big metal bowl. This proved quite the challenge for Veronica, as her tokens got entangled on her harness and she wasted nearly thirty seconds on the ground untangling them. Not quite the way you wanted to start off the competition. It not only means you have a bad time, but for the other team to see you struggle is a little confidence boost for them.
Everybody on the Bad Asses was doing fine after that, until we came to Tonya. She had said that she had a climbing wall nearby, or as Tina said, in her back yard, so I guess her team was expecting her to be super fast. Although she wasn’t the fastest at the course, she did go farther up the structure than any of the other girls on her team. When she got to the bottom, it was nothing but negatives from Veronica, Rachel and Tina. They were probably insecure about Veronica messing up so badly, so they had to make it look like somebody was worse off so her ego wasn’t too damaged. That, and she wouldn’t be the firecracker in bed with Rachel, and you just have to keep Rachel happy.
As bad as Tonya might have been, she didn’t really cost her team any time because she screwed up. That honor goes to Veronica and Derrick. Yes, Derrick. He was speeding so fast through the course that when he got to a part where you had to sort of scoot your ass across a pipe to get to the other end, he slipped and fell off. He had to start over, and take the one minute penalty. Through all of this, the girls still found some way to blame Tonya for problems. This time, she was talking too loudly about the strategy. Veronica was upset that the Good Guys might learn that you need to take your time going across the tube, and not go too fast. I understand why you wouldn’t want to give up team secrets, but the structure was out in the open, and the Good Guys were watching the whole time. It gave them an advantage to look, but Tonya didn’t give away some sort of trade secret.
With the two minor mishaps with the Bad Asses, the good guys had a bunch of confidence going in. The only thing they had to contend with was they had to have somebody go twice, and they chose Landon, who has all the uh, “juice” he needs to get through the course twice. Everybody went through pretty quickly, and only a couple unexpected things happened. When the Miz was coming down, he didn’t look back and landed square on the scaffolding. Fortunately, he had a good hold of his tokens and didn’t drop any. The other surprise was to see how badly Julie was scared of heights. We heard another “I miss my husband” and she got her self through, but only because she was saying “frikkin’” and “god help me” four times with each breath. As annoying as she may be, she does attempt everything, and does pretty well. She can continue to quote the bible and as long as she does well, her teammates won’t care. When she made it, everybody was really proud of her for what she did and gave her tons of encouragement. She could have pulled a Karamo and sat out, but she didn’t.
The Good Guys ended up smoking the bad asses, and it was time to pick the inferno contestants. The Good Guys were thinking either Abram or CT. Julie said it should be Abram because he was narcissistic and she beat him twice. I wouldn’t quite try and single people out based on narcissism, it is Bunim/Murray, and pretty much everybody who is on the show loves themselves.
At Bad Ass headquarters, CT led the charge to nominate Mike once again. CT has his Taxi Driver look going, and he is also hawking one of the Veronica and Rachel shirts that says “I *heart* Back Seats”, I couldn’t tell if the other side said “and in my back door”, but nothing would surprise me these days. They haven’t been successful in getting him out, but they thought they should try again. Abram didn’t want to vote for Mike, and neither did Dan, saying Mike was nice and he didn’t think it was fair Mike was being singled out because of some politics. Tina then said she doesn’t care about fair because it was a competition, interrupting Dan in the process.
Well, it was all over from there. Dan completely went off on Tina for raising her voice at him. He didn’t yell himself, but he said that it was the guys vote and if she didn’t like it, she can shove. Further, he said he hated all of the shit going on among his team and how people have it out for other based on personality. Tina does make a point, this game really isn’t fair, but then again, I can see how Dan could lose it. Having to hear her abrasive, gutteral voice that is about 50 decibels louder than it ever has to be would get to me as well, and this coming from a guy who doesn’t mind when girls have a deep voice.
After all that noise was made about fairness, Mike was picked anyway. When it was announced that he was going up against Abram, we got a nice little clip of the Gauntlet when Mike came out on top of a joust type competition. The way the other challenges were picked, it was very rare for two strong players to battle against each other. Most of the time, it was too unwanted people. With the Inferno II, there is a better chance that strong players will go against each other, which makes the whole thing much more interesting.
The show ended with Tonya trying to defend herself by the pool against Tina, Veronica, and Rachel. I feel bad for her to an extent, but when Tonya was on the other side, she had no problem joining in when those three were helping her gang up on Beth. As TVgasm reader Jash would say, cosmic justice VERBATIM.