I know this Real World/Road Rules Challenge post is a little late, but honestly, I needed a few days to recover from the earth-shattering scandal that was CaraGate. Or maybe SuzieGate. Or CaSuzieGate. Or KazooGate. You see? How can I be expected to write about this controversial episode if I can’t even name it?? Alas, I’ll try my best. Prepare to have your minds blown by this Gauntlet 2 bombshell.The episode started off innocently enough. Kind of. We saw the Real World/Road Rules compound at night, but this evening, trouble was afoot. Dark, ominous sounds rumbled on the soundtrack, almost as if a murderer was about to unleash his wrath on the unsuspecting cast. We then focused our attention on Suzie and Cara who were enjoying a lighthearted game of ping pong. Although, with that music playing, it was fairly obvious this table tennis was pure EEEVIL!!!
Elsewhere on the property, we found Jillian talking to Kina. Gossiping, if you will. According to Jillian, Cara and Suzie had approached her about joining a secret alliance, one that would keep her safe. One that would compromise her values. One that would ROB HER SOUL!!!! Okay, maybe not that bad. Anyway, Jillian was appalled by the idea, saying “I don’t want to have anything to do with it!” Relax. It’s not like you were recruited to assassinate some political figure. Of course, at this point I was a bit confused about what the big deal was over some minor alliance-making. Turns out that Suzie and Cara wanted to join forces with not only Jillian but Brad, Timmy and David of the Veterans. Plan was for those guys to throw the women’s challenges and the girls would then throw the Rookie men’s challenge. This way, neither set would have to face the Gauntlet. Get it? I know, take a moment to let it sink in. SCANDAL!
As Kina fumed through her slanty mouth, we then headed inside to find David reading a clue off his T-Mobile Sidekick. It was something about strength, and for whatever reason, Syrus suddenly piped up in an interview and said that his ass was definitely on the line. I don’t know why really. Maybe it’s because he was on the old side. Or maybe his inability to ever form a suitable set of abs has relegated him to untouchable status in the house. Either way, Syrus was scared — or scurred, if you’re Brad — and that was the end of that.
A little later, the Rookies all gathered together (sans Suzie and Cara) to discuss the duplicitous scheme that Jillian had stumbled upon. Alton, you see, was at risk, should those girls throw the competition. Therefore, it was extra important for everyone to compensate for Suzie and Cara possibly slacking off on the challenge. “Okay, okay, let’s not look like we’re discussing anything,” Kina said. Yeah, good luck with that. Maybe you all shouldn’t sit huddled around in a circle.
“Gather together. This way, it won’t look like we’re gathered together.”
Anyway, the rookies were all concerned — their faces all wearing expressions of consternation, anger, and worry. Well, everyone’s but Randy. He looked like he was thinking about grapefruits or monkeys or possibly both.
This is for the readers who are constantly asking for Alton pictures. Hubba hubba!
The next day at the challenge, teams learned that they’d have to rely upon their strength to succeed. First they had to move a “boulder” across the golf course, then push a pickup truck (carrying the team, of course), and THEN load some cinder blocks into the cab and push the damn thing back again. Sounds simple!
Well, Ace volunteered to drive the Veteran truck because he’s been driving stick shift since he was born, or so he said. By the way, anti-props to whichever mother let her newborn baby handle her manual transmission. As for the Rookies, Jeremy would be the driver, and furthermore, Cara and Suzie’s workload would be completely limited and minimized. This was not great news for Cara who seemed to genuinely want to participate. “Almost everybody else like Ibis and Jillian, they’ve kind of proven themselves,” she said. Wait, Ibis proved herself? I hardly even knew she was on the show. As for Jillian, well, she’s clearly contributed so much to this season. Really stepped up a lot. I’m surprised she hasn’t schtooped Mark Long yet.
Anyway, the competition began, and both teams rolled their “boulders” along the turf. I keep putting “boulders” in quotation marks because obviously, these were not really boulders. We could tell because a) they were all geometric and such, and b) the Veteran’s boulder full on fell apart, revealing its hollow core and wooden skeleton. Way to build that well, CARPENTERS!
Gosh, I hate when that happens.
Believe it or not, this boulder crumble wasn’t much of a roadblock since the Veterans simply collected the pieces of wood and dragged them across the line. Next, it was time to push some trucks. The Rookies had a lead — thanks to their boulder staying in one piece — but the Veterans were right on their tails, thanks to a pushing effort from Beth.
“Beth’s performance today — right on point,” Mark Long said. “She’s one of our better girls on our team, and she should be proud of herself.” Bravo, Beth! You win Mark’s prestigious Golden Faux Hawk of Distinction!
Anyway, both teams crossed the checkpoint with their trucks and then had to load up the cinder blocks. Unfortunately, what the producers didn’t seem to anticipate was that unless these teams had a burly guy named Hans who enjoys dabbling in “World’s Strongest Man” competitions, no one would be able to move these trucks now. Still, it was fun to watch MJ, Julie, Mark Long, and whoever else take one step closer to Hernia-ville by pushing with all their force, all in vain.
Just when MJ couldn’t get any grosser…
Finally, TJ came around to say that at the sound of his airhorn, teams would be able to add two more pushers to their truck. Suzie wanted to volunteer for the Rookies, but lo! Landon shut her down. Whatever, Suzie, it’s not like you’re the bastion of strength. Just simmer down. Anyway, with added manpower, the Rookies were able to get their truck rolling, but those Vets, they just couldn’t get the tires to even move an inch. “1, 2, 3!” the pushers yelled as they flung themselves on the fender to no avail. Suckers.
Well, the Rookies won, thus avoiding further scandal with the Cara/Suzie situation. The Veterans, meanwhile, figured out why their truck had been so stolid. Turns out Ace had forgotten to hold down the clutch. Oops! “What the f*ck?? ARE YOU FREAKIN’ KIDDING ME? THE CLUTCH? THE F*CKING CLUTCH?? ARE YOU KIDDING ME???” Julie yelled as she stormed away. Hey, hey. That’s not very Mormon! I thought you were born again!
Ace, meanwhile, simply laughed it off, telling us, “Oh my gosh. I’m going to the Gauntlet!” Sure enough, he was right. At the deliberations, Ace volunteered himself, giving a partial explanation for his not so clutch performance in the process. You see, he’d never seen a car that didn’t roll when it was in neutral, and furthermore, “I’ve been driving cars since I was sixteen years old.” Congratulations. So had EVERYONE ELSE.
Anyway, TJ spun the wheel of misfortune, and today’s big event: Captain’s Choice! With his usual overabundance of gravity, Derrick opted for Beach Brawl, which would have made him seem really tough had he not then appeared on screen sporting a knitted, puffy, periwinkle cap. Even Danny from Real World: Austin would never wear that thing.
Is Derrick wearing a tea cozy?
Well, the teams headed off to The Gauntlet to the tune of a throbbing beat that seemed to say “This is serious, yo.” Yeah, man. This shit right here is gritty. Everyone knows that 50 Cent was shot nine times, but not everyone knows that it happened IN THE GAUNTLET! Anyway, TJ called Derrick down to the sandy battleground and then asked, “Who’d you guys decide to face you tonight in the Gauntlet?” Dude, you were JUST at the meeting. How can you not remember? Well, Ace hopped over the railing and down into the pit where he anxiously chomped on his gum like a cow chewing its cud. And then the homoerotic portion of the evening began. The boys lathered themselves in oil, and once they were all good and shiny, they commenced a bout of sweaty, Greco-Roman wrestling.
Create your own caption…
The last time we saw this event, it played out less like wrestling and more like a bullfight as matador Alton stepped out of the way of the charging Danny. This time around, however, we had some real rasslin, even if it still was somewhat on the brief side. The first round went to Derrick who managed to push Ace out of the ring easily. Our country boy rebounded in round two as he then knocked Der-Der out of the circle. With the score tied, I paused to reflect about Syrus — seriously, what was the deal with him fearing the Gauntlet this week? That whole notion was such a random flash in the pan. Maybe it was a lame attempt to create some sort of misdirection. Anyhoo, it’s a random thought that has no business invading the ever exciting showdown at the Gauntlet (but while we’re talking about random things, I’d also like to ask if anyone’s ever seen a widow’s peak larger than Landon’s. It’s like a V-Neck pattern on top his head.)
Okay, okay. Back to the wrestling. Derrick regained the lead in round three as he pushed Ace out again. First to three points would win, btw. Well, since I like Ace despite his bumbling and doofus-y ways, I was rooting for him to make a comeback, but we all knew it wasn’t going to happen. Derrick knocked Ace out for the third and final time, thus eliminating the “social chair” of the house. With only twenty minutes to pack and leave, this meant only one thing: paaaartaaay!!! Well, more like onnnnnnne driiiiink!!! The whole gang gathered in Ace’s room where he proposed a well-stated if naive toast: “Remember this. This is all about friendships, experiences, making the most of life.” Yes, and what better place to embrace the joi de vivre than The Real World/Road Rules Challenge: the place where grown adults revert to their middle school selves and revel in a ceaseless parade of gossiping, backstabbing, and fighting. Skoal!
Well, Ace headed home, but we still had some business to take care of. You see, Cara and Suzie were pretty pissed about the challenge today. They felt they had been shut down by the team, and they wanted to know what was up. The girls called a team meeting, and Cara opened up the forum by talking endlessly about “communication” and “laying it out there.” Funny how people who bandy these terms about never seem to actually communicate anything.
Finally, Landon simply cut to the chase. “I have a question for you guys,” he said, looking like he might just cry. “Do you guys have an allience?”
Dunh Dunh DUNH!! We then cut to jaws dropping from Suzie and Cara, followed by Kina’s “Yeah, that’s right, bitches” smirk and Alton’s “Oh, we know” stare. It’s ON!
Well, Cara immediately rejected the accusation, yelling, “Forget it! N-O! You think I’m stupid?” Kind of, but that really has nothing to do with anything.
Anyway, Cara and Suzie tried to defend themselves, but nothing was going to change Kina’s mind. Instead she kept saying “We are WELL AWARE!!!” over and over again until I wanted to shake the TV and scream, “WE ARE WELL AWARE THAT YOU’RE WELL AWARE!” (Actually, I think she said it like twice, but that’s enough for me.)
Eventually, Suzie began to cry, and the team moved the discussion outside for no real reason. Again, Cara tried to dispel any rumors by pleading, “You need to believe me because this is a miscommunication!” Whatever. Rumor is fact, bitch. At least, according to Kina who merely brushed off Cara’s words as “Bullshit.” Eventually, Cara screamed something confusing and loud — I couldn’t really decipher what her words were except that she ended her sentence with “UNTRUE!!!” And as she said that, she grabbed onto the nearby table and shook it, perhaps hoping to upend the umbrella set as a display of frustration. Alas, as the show drew to an end, Kina told us, “I believe not one word that is coming out of Cara or Suzie’s mouth.” And, you know, it’s a good thing you based that conclusion on some gossip, not Suzie and Cara’s own side of the story. Just more of that great Gauntlet logic!
What do you think? Were Suzie and Cara up to no good? Did the team unfairly ostracize them?