****Please welcome back TinyElvis with The Duel Finale!! The reunion will be up shortly.
Previously on the Duel: Those of you expecting a competition were sadly disappointed when all you got was a Dr. Phil episode. Tori and Brad got un-engaged, re-engaged and, just when you thought you might never see any physical activity again, they both ended up in the duel.
If I never see this again, it’ll be too soon.
We return in the middle of Tori and Aneesa battling it out in The Elevator and we’re led to believe that it’s an equal match-up. Diem and Brad are cheering for Tori and all I can hear is “baby” this and “baby” that. All Aneesa can hear is Rachel and Brit and my eardrums are jealous. In a shocking twist, Aneesa wins and breaks down in hysterics.
It’s not like you won an Emmy.
Evan reminds us that it’s down to the finals and you need to fight for every inch and Tori didn’t have the fight in her. I hate Evan. Tori hates that she can’t be there to finish with Brad but he has what it takes to finish on his own. Yeah, he has her 9,000 miles away. Tori says it was great to be in New Zealand (and the cheesy montage proves it). She and Brad got together and worked as a team and it was a great moment for them.
I think she forgot this moment.
Tori leaves and Brad and MJ are going to battle it out in Duel Pole Dancing. [As an aside, I would like to mention that I do not understand the prizes they win. Some sort of MP3 docking station? What happened to cars and plane tickets?] Anyway, MJ talks about his family (again) and says that he and his wife are trying to have another baby and this win could help them out. I think being on the same continent would help even more but I’m no doctor.
Brad says he understands that Tori isn’t there any longer and I’m so relieved that the smart ones have a chance at making it to the finals. Cue the most boring duel yet. There’s a lot of pole climbing and not much else. But then! MJ! Grabs! Brad’s! Ankle! Brad shakes him off and wins it. Woo. Hoo.
Big excitement in the duel.
TJ tells them to say goodbye to MJ and follows it with, “I’ll see everybody else soon.” TJ has never uttered the words “see you soon” and it has the players in a tizzy. I’m shocked anyone pays attention to anything that comes out of TJ’s mouth.
You can tell by my display of emotion that something is going to happen.
Mark says goodbye with excessive use of the word “dude” and Evan says that although MJ is great to have around, they’re down to the wire and every threat that leaves, the better. MJ, as required by contract, says the experience was great and he wouldn’t trade it for the world. Again, the montage proves this is so.
What a great experience.
The remaining T-Birds complain that they have no idea what’s going on. TJ shows up – looking for weed, I imagine – and says he has good news. Once all of them are together, he says, “this is the final eight. Congratulations for making it this far.” Diem has an aneurysm and only Mark (because he is ninety-seven years old) is smart enough to realize that TJ’s statement means nothing since only six people are going on to the final.
My excitement may have been premature.
TJ says there is one more duel and Brad rightly points out that this isn’t really good news. Again, smart guy goes to the finals. TJ has cards with a duel game on each and has Aneesa pick for the girls. She picks Push Over. Brad picks for the guys and gets Back Off. They then have an hour to decide who is going in and that player will choose their opponent. So we get two duels and a final challenge this week! It’s like an actual competition again.
The guys are deliberating and no one wants to be the first one to talk but Landon suggests a couple of ways to choose. Either pick randomly or base it on performance. Brad suggests a vote. Landon, who is more pretty than smart, agrees and runs out to grab a hat to hold the votes. When he leaves, Evan decides they should vote Landon in. “What a gentleman you were Landon. You were gone just long enough for us to decide to throw you into the duel.”
I’m a tool.
What I think they forgot is that one of them will have to go up against Landon and the only person who could beat him is Grandpa Mark.
It’s the girls turn and Rachel asks what they want to do. Diem says that “everyone should say a name out of their mouth.” Most people call that “voting” but I can’t be sure. Rachel pretends it’s about strategy and picks Diem. Of course, if it was about strategy you would pick someone who wouldn’t stand in your way of $100,000 in the finals but we all know Rachel is a little evil so we’re not surprised. Brit says Diem because she’s a heartless witch and Aneesa says Diem because she would do whatever Rachel told her to do.
I can’t even bother to hide it. I’m just a bitch.
Brit asks Diem to tell them who she’s going to choose and Diem refuses. She’s not going to let any of them sleep well and wants them all to worry. Smart girl. But I’d bet she’d trade ten IQ points for ten pounds of muscle right now.
Back in the boys’ room, Brad gives it a ‘let’s do this’ like no one knows what’s about to happen. To add insult to injury, they let Landon pull his own name out of the hat. Three times. Landon thinks it’s crappy that he got picked when he has the best record. Well then Landon, you probably shouldn’t have gone with the old ‘let’s put our votes in a cowboy hat’ option. Proving he’s just a pretty face, he tells Brad he’s going to pick him.
Hmm. Maybe I should have insisted on a performance based decision?
The next day, everyone is lined up at the final duel and Landon chooses Brad. Mark knows he’s guaranteed a spot in the finals and is already counting out his dollar bills.
This is how we used to count greenbacks.
Diem says that since her name came out of all three of their mouths (also known as “voting”), she doesn’t feel bad for whomever she picks. And she probably shouldn’t since they can all crush her like a bug. She picks Brit who says she knew it and that she’s been preparing mentally and physically for this. In all of ten hours? Really? Diem knows Brit is a tough competitor but that she can beat her.
See my nostril flare? That means I’m tough.
The guys are up first and Landon is so wound up right now, he can’t stand himself. Yeah, well, I can’t stand you right now either. And they’re off. They each manage to grab each other’s hook and they’re supposed to run off and clip it on their own ring. Landon decides he would rather wrestle and starts body slamming Brad, which is a clear violation of Back Off Rules, Regulations and Standards. TJ laughs at Landon for not knowing the rules (which isn’t actually funny) and Brad scores the first point.
That’s going to leave a mark.
The throwing, wrestling, kicking and smacking continues and Landon gets the second point. The next person to score, wins. Round three starts and Diem starts screeching “don’t you dare” a hundred times over (which must be some sort of CT flashback) and even though I don’t understand why, I would rather hear that than just one “baby” out of Tori’s mouth.
Each of them gets the other one’s hook but they’re standing under Landon’s ring. In a monster show of genius, Brad grabs the ring and swings it out of Landon’s reach. This confuses the big ape long enough so Brad can run across the circle and clip the hook on his ring.
Now, this goes where?
Landon chucks his helmet and is pissed because he knows the game was in his hands and he screwed it up. The hardest thing for him to deal with is that he won more than half the challenges and deserved to be in the finals. Not if you can’t manage to convince three meatheads to vote based on performance you don’t. But blah, blah, blah, he’s grateful for the experience. Cue cheesy montage.
I feel the same way my friend.
And it’s the girls’ turn. As Diem dramatically tells us, there’s a new element in this game and it’s rain. The platform is slick and I bet Diem will use that as an excuse when she loses. Brit says she didn’t make it this far to go home without the money (and how I would love for her to go home without the money). Diem is sick of everyone thinking she’s a push over and they can never do that to her again. What? Vote you into the last duel on Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Duel 2? Yeah. You’re probably right.
I’m no push over! Maybe a sit-downer but no pushover.
The first point goes to Brit as she handily knocks Diem off the platform. I’m embarrassed at how easy this is going to be for Brit, but lo! Diem comes up with a sneaky little move and cuts Brit at the knees. Brit falls off and it’s one all.
Diem says she wants to win the money for so many amazing reasons and she just can’t lose this. So I’m kind of sure she will. Round three begins and Diem tries her sneaky move again. Unfortunately, it’s only sneaky the first time and she goes down. Brit wins but TJ tells Diem that she showed so much heart and no one’s going to call her a pushover ever again. Well, not to her face . . .
They won’t call you a pushover but I’m sure they’ll figure out other ways to mock you if you insist on doing this.
Diem keeps saying she can win this final, she just knows she can win it. Except you can’t because you’re not in it. Pay attention, please. Unsurprisingly, she learned a lot from the duel. She learned that she can be pushed to her limits and that she will not end up with CT. She needed a duel to tell her that?
The guys are celebrating with champagne and Mark feels like it’s his birthday. His 87th birthday. Rachel knows this is going to push her in ways that she’s never been pushed. Except that I have a feeling she’s been pushed every way possible.
And this prepares you for the Final Challenge, how?
The next day is the final challenge. “If you’re standing in front of me, you’re making money today,” TJ says. If I had nickel for every time I heard that . . . The final challenge is an endurance race across Queenstown Hill. There are five checkpoints each reminiscent of one of the five duels and they must complete all five to finish. Each third place winner gets $15,000, the second place finishers get $35,000 and each winner gets $100,000. TJ sees them to a jet boat (when the boat stops, the race starts) and goes off to get high before he meets them at the end.
Evan says it feels like your whole life builds up to this one moment. This moment? That’s quite a life. He’s nervous, excited, scared and anxious. I hope he craps himself. They take off on the jet boat and we hear inspirational music from Poison? Oh, how I would love a Rock of Love/Real World/Road Rules crossover.
The boat stops and they’re off. They run the beach toward a black rope which they need to hold onto to cross to the other side of an ice-cold river. Most of them make it to the other side and they change out of their wet clothes. Did no one think it would be a good idea to ensure Landon’s place in the final??
While the rest of them change, Aneesa is drowning. She sees them all on the beach but can’t get over to them and feels like she’s going to die. Not that I would wish for that, but it would make this total snooze somewhat interesting.
Anybody have a cigarette?!
Aneesa is being dragged downstream and says if she ever does this again she’s going to train and throw away her cigarettes. That would have been a good call this time around. Evan and Rachel take off first and Rachel realizes she’ll get a good head start. Brad is right behind, followed by Mark, Brit and Aneesa. They’re hiking up a hill that looks completely vertical and I’m exhausted just watching.
The first mini-challenge is Spot On. Evan, Brad and Rachel show up in that order. Puzzles are too taxing for Rachel’s tiny (evil) brain and she’s afraid she’s going to lose her lead. Mark kicks butt and passes her so it’s Evan, Brad, Mark, Rachel, Brit and Aneesa. Aneesa has opted not to put on her pants and my eyeballs beg for mercy.
Why God? Why?
The next mini-challenge is Duel Pole Dancing where they have to climb to the top of a pole to unlock a mountain bike which they’ll ride to the next challenge. Evan is an enormous moron and decides to climb the pole while carrying the bike. Brad is already finished by the time Mark shows up and Brad and Evan take off. Rachel, then Brit, then Aneesa arrive and I pray for pants (or to go blind).
I am not a smart man.
Brad and Evan are in the lead with Rachel and Brit behind them. The girls are weak and pathetic and cannot bike up the hill so they walk with the bicycles. (I say this like I’m not sitting on my couch eating a bag of cheese puffs, followed by a Doritos chaser, for dinner.)
Brad arrives at the third mini-challenge, Back Off. Each player must chain themselves to a 45-pound iron ring with a partner of the opposite sex and run to the next challenge. Rachel gets there first and chains herself to Brad. Evan asks Rachel if Brit is far behind. Rachel says she couldn’t see her and Evan loses his mind. He’s about to watch Brad take the best girl partner while he waits, but he saves his best sympathies for Mark who’s going to end up watching the sunset while waiting for the pantsless wonder to arrive.
Cut to Aneesa complaining. Her back is aching, her hands are sore, her forearms are killing her, she’s not wearing pants. Trust me, this hurts me more than it does you.
Oh, for the love of all that is good and holy.
Brit appears in the distance and Evan starts screaming at her like a dumb animal. It’s a curse-filled diatribe which does not mention the fact that Evan climbed the pole wearing the bike, causing him to fall into second place, allowing Brad to take off first with Rachel. Details.
Rachel and Brad arrive at the fourth mini-challenge, Push Over. They need to push a sand-filled sled across a line and uncover a key to free themselves from the metal ring. Brad is digging and Rachel is shouting encouragement but not actually helping. Brad tells the camera that she should move some clay but he doesn’t bother actually telling Rachel. Interesting strategy.
I just kind of though you were used to having girls tell you what to do. Baby.
Days later, Aneesa shows up at Back Off and Mark helps her with the bike. Mark says he’s not going to scream at her because he knows she wants to finish the challenge. And now I love Mark a little. They finally take off with the ring and Aneesa is trying to strategize the best way to get to the next challenge. “Let’s pretend we’re going downhill.” Excellent idea but um, you are going downhill.
Back at Push Over, Brad and Rachel free themselves and Rachel takes off. Evan and Brit aren’t far behind. Rachel, Brad and Evan arrive at the final challenge which is Elevator. Somehow, Rachel pulls herself up, grabs the carving at the top, gets back down and sprints to the finish line before anyone.
The only part of this girl worthy of a compliment.
Brit arrives at the Elevator just as Brad and Evan are finishing. One of Brad’s chains gets jammed and Evan beats him to the finish line by seconds. Evan says he just went to hell and back. Don’t worry, my friend. I’m sure you’ll see a return trip.
Is that a jock?
Or a man-thong?
Brit finishes and wins $35,000. Mark and Aneesa are finally freed from the ring and he waits for her so they can finish the whole thing together. His kindness is a stark contrast to Rachel screeching “You crossed the finish line! You crossed the finish line!” as though that was all that Aneesa should have expected in the first place.
Is she still breathing?
TJ hands out the requisite big fake checks, each player goes through the requisite ‘things I’ve learned’ speech, and the requisite montages are shown.