Well, first of all, some sad news for those of you who haven’t heard: TJ Lavin crashed his bike during a stunt and is currently in a medically induced coma. That’s the latest info I have, at least. Hopefully by the time you guys are reading this there will be some better news. Thanks to hollagirl2 and MichyPR for letting us know. Everyone keep your fingers crossed! Poor Teej!
Also, I didn’t know this, but this is TJ’s TENTH season as Challenge host! I had no idea it had been that many. But anyway, on to the recap. Teej would want it this way. Previously: the competitors were divided into three teams. One team wins, the other two send people to the elimination rounds in the Gulag. Pocahontas and Abram like being weird together.
We learn that various people believe the house is haunted. Well, whether or not it was before they moved in, it certainly is now. (Sidenote: I hope you all saw the S#$@ They Should Have Shown for Real World New Orleans. Apparently the crew knew Lips thought the house was haunted and used to mess with her. AWESOME.) Anyway, Abe decided to encourage this thought by telling everyone about a “little girl” in the shower, but of course they just turn it around on him and joke that it was Pocahontas.
Forget haunted, can we talk about how freaking HUGE this place is?
Pocahontas tells us that she and Abram are “enjoying each other’s company and scratching and biting the crap out of each other.” I hope she doesn’t mean that literally… have fun with THAT mental image. Mandi and Chet are in a bedroom, and Mandi is concerned because there is a bee in the room and she’s allergic. Chet manages to kill the bee by throwing a shoe at it, which is actually kind of impressive, and earns a declaration from Mandi that he is her hero. Mark the date, people: this has got to be the first time Chet has been called a hero. Mandi tells us that her attraction to Chet is weird because she typically doesn’t go for “guys that wear pink and funny glasses.” Does ANYONE typically go for that?
Everyone else is participating in drunken merriment when Chet and Mandi emerge from the bedroom (where a shoe was thrown against the wall multiple times BTW). Laurel, who I want to like because she has an eerily resemblance to Robin for HIMYM, starts yelling about Chet “banging that ho.” You may remember from Fresh Meat that Laurel and her fellow female fresh meat do not get along. Mandi looks pissed, and we learn in the confessional that Laurel can spell slut. She asks Mandi if it was magical when her lips touched Chet’s, prompting Mandi to tell us that Laurel is a child who thinks it’s funny to humiliate Mandi. Clearly, Mandi is ashamed for thinking Chet is cute, or she wouldn’t be so humiliated. Just saying.
On an unrelated note, Melinda and Paula look like that inevitable team in every season of Amazing Race that no one can tell apart.
Mandi is getting upset, which was Laurel’s plan all along, of course. Chet steps in and calls her out for being an angry drunk and wanting attention. Mandi is very, very pleased that her knight in shining armor is saving her, the damsel in distress. She rewards him by getting into bed with him for a cuddle session. Well, I assume it’s a cuddle session because we don’t get any dark, grainy under the blanket humping. Also, her hair is dyed to match his exactly. Chet tells us how magnanimous he is for allowing her into his bed, and it’s not at all because he is so relieved to have the attention of a female.
Tori, Brad, and Dunbar are strategizing. Try not to get overwhelmed with the brain power. Tori tells the guys that they should stick together and keep sending the rookies in so as not to risk themselves. You know, Tori is one of the smartest Challengers ever. She shacked up with Brad right away and has been in with the veterans almost as long as she’s been on the show. She talks like she’s been around longer than the perpetually victimized Walnuts. Brad reminds us that they’re married and want the money to start a family. I suppose there is no other way to make money… well, probably not, because do they really have any job skills?
Hey guys, they’ve got a clue! On their <product placement>. Hey, they’re the ones getting paid to say it, not me. Key clue words: hanging around.” They have to be ready at noon, which excited Derrick and Katie, who used to have to get up at 6 AM for these things. Actually, they probably get up at 6 AM anyway for the Early Bird Senior Citizen Special.
Looks like Derrick’s kid is causing him baldness instead of gray hair. Or he uses Just For Men, but not Rogaine.
We’re reminded that the blue team needs to step up since they’re down 2 players. Once they arrive at the challenge, Teej tells us that it’s called Brain Busters, which is just the SADDEST GODDAMN THING EVER after the events of this week. They’ll have to transfer steins (beer mugs, something they should be well-acquainted with) from one side to the other while hanging upside down. Definitely going to involve some hardcore teamwork.
After a commercial, Teej explains that there are four color-coded pedestals on each side of the course. There are eight ropes (two rows of four) from which the contestants will be hanging. They must transfer the steins to the correct color pedestal. He neglects to mention the time limit, but we will soon learn that there is one. I assume the medics had to put a stop to things at some point. The gray team gets to decide the order, which is red-blue-gray. Also, the gray and red teams each need to sit two people out since they’re still at full capacity.
During strategy talks, Abram thinks he should sit out and guide the team from the ground. His entire team (gray) seems to disagree. Jenn tells us that her team (blue) just keeps talking about ideas without making any decisions. The red team will be sitting out Camila and Mandi because, as Tyler tells us, it’s a challenge for veterans. Um, is this fool a veteran? I’m not even sure I got his name right.
As the red team takes the ropes, we learn that the time limit is 15 minutes. Sounds like plenty of time, right? They seem to start off strong, until Brad tells us that Melinda is not moving much. Theresa chimes in to tell us that they look like hanging hams, and also that they look stupid.
Pot-kettle, bitch. You’re looking a little hammy yourself. Go get rejected by Kenny some more, K?
They manage to place one of the steins, but after that it’s just a big old clusterfuck of yelling and hanging and failure. Tyler tells us that he loves his “dummy bear” (Dunbar) but he’s the least coordinated man ever. And just like that, the whistle blows and they have a grand score of 1. Chet (red) seems to think they still have a chance. Ty (blue) is hoping they can learn on the fly and get two mugs. Way to aim high, dude. Emily (blue) is also worried that the challenge is more difficult than anticipated.
The red team is recovering from pins and needles “times a million” while Bananas tells us that the other teams get to sit people out, but he has to let the girls play. Oh wait, he says Katie and Big Easy are their weakest players. Well, perhaps you should have voted them into elimination. I mean, talk about trimming the fat. He says it’s “working against us from multiple angles.” TWSS.
Well, look on the bright side. More losses means more fat trimming. Your favorite!
The blue team starts the challenge while the gray team works on strategy. Laurel tells us that it’s a huge mistake not to watch the teams ahead of them since that’s the primary advantage they gain by determining the order. She’s right, but she might want to pass that little tidbit to Abe. He’s drawing strategy in a patch of dirt while most of his team watches him. Meanwhile, the blue team is passing steins like nobody’s business. Brad, who is on the poor, sad red team, says the blue team’s decision to put the steins in their mouths and use two hands is “an interesting strategy.” Also, a good one and (you’d think) common sense.
Abe says he’s not worried that the blue team is doing well because they have a plan and there’s no point in changing it. Yes, attempting a complicated, uncertain plan is far more brilliant than watching and attempting something that works. Meanwhile, the blue team managed to place all four steins and celebrated accordingly. As Derrick is being lowered back to the ground, he tells us that the blue team “got all four in.” TWSS again.
Thumbs up indeed, bro. Well done.
Teej calls the gray team for their turn, and is unsurprised to learn that Shauvon will be sitting out. Too bad, those funbags upside down would have been hilarious. Abram is also sitting out, prompting someone (either Derrick or Bananas) to tell him he’s “out of his f*(#king mind.” Abe says “or I know what the f*#k I’m doing.” I can’t wait to find out which. Sarah tells us that the whole team thinks Abe is crazy for sitting out, and that he’s not being a team player. Yes, he somehow thinks he’s being a team LEADER by… not competing. He yells some motivation from the sidelines as the rest of the team gets strung up. He tells us he wants the newbies to prove themselves. Apparently that doesn’t apply to (team captain) Shauvon. The blue team (hilariously) starts shouting “hoo-RAH” mockingly at Abe.
Seconds after starting, they realize that their plan is an epic failure. Dan the military man tells us there isn’t enough rope or slack to carry out their plan.
Yes, their master strategy seems to have a few hangups.
Bananas wins a couple of points from me when he says their plan seems like something a mental patient would come up with, and since he’s talking about Abe, that’s not too far off. (His words, not mine.) Abe threatens to kick their asses if they make him look bad. I don’t know if he’s talking to his team or the editors, because right now they are both making him look like an idiot. And I don’t even dislike Abe, but this is all so entertaining that I’m totally laughing at him right now.
They’re making him angry, but unlike the Hulk, I DO like him when he’s angry. It’s hilarious.
Laurel hilariously says that when looking into Pocahontas’ eyes, there is “an absence of thought.” Sarah says JD is screaming “like Whitney Houston. He sounds like the freakin dolphins he trains, and I can’t get him to pay attention at all.” Haha, I knew I liked Sarah. It starts to rain, and Vinny’s hanging there helplessly with two steins, and Teej is giggling like a delighted little schoolgirl, which makes my heart happy. Time runs out before they can place a single stein, which is just pathetic. I’m sure it was more difficult than it looked, but still. The blue team celebrates raucously, which is well-deserved since they completely owned this challenge. Sometimes having fewer people can be helpful.
Teej announces the winner, and tells Abram he was crazy for sitting out since he’s the all-star of the team, he’s gotta play. Damn, TJ is feisty this season and I love it. Hopefully he gets better and can come back. Alone with the camera, Abe acknowledges his failure. TJ sends them back to the house for the elimination vote.
Hurry up and get better so you can return to mock these fools some more!
The blue team sits down for their victory dinner while Bananas babbles for a minute in an attempt to be inspiration. The vets congratulate the rookies on their first win.
The red team commiserates about their loss as Camila tells the team she thinks they ignored her because she’s new. They just tell her she doesn’t know how hard it was since she sat out. She thinks they’ll choose her or Mandi since the rest of them are vets. Brad, who is one of the oldest vets left suggests a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” approach. And you can tell he’s not forward-thinking since he approves of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” approach.
Seriously, Brad was on the Real World when I was still in high school. If this were real life, his “veteran status” would be the equivalent of like a World War II veteran.
After hearing this, Mandi asks Brad if she can ask him if he’s voting for her. Even Brad can’t believe how dumb she is for not understanding the “Don’t Ask” half. Mandi tells us that as a rookie, she’s left out of a lot of conversations. Is this supposed to be news to her or to us? Has she never seen one of these before?
Over on the gray side, Abram takes the opposite approach by volunteering himself for elimination since his plan sucked. Dan pipes up to say that he thinks there are other factors, and some people could have tried harder. JD and Pocahontas get called out by name for not trying hard enough. Vinny brings up the fact that Shauvon sat out, but Luke chimes in quickly to defend her since she was willing to participate.
Teej arrives and reminds them that the votes are anonymous, so they shouldn’t be afraid to vote for who they truly want. Cue voting montage. Noteworthy: Abe votes for himself, Brandon votes for Camila to go back in, and Chet votes for Mandi to prove to his team that he’s not emotionally attached. This is supposed to be a surprise, but it was in the previews so it isn’t.
Results: for the gray girls, Shauvon and Pocahontas received votes, with Pocahontas going in. Yay! She’s all offended that they’re holding a bad challenge against her. I love how bitter she gets about being sent to elimination. For the gray guys, JD/Luke/Abe all received votes, with JD going in. For the red girls, Mandi and Camila received votes, with Mandi going in. Laurel is very happy and wishes she could crush Mandi herself. For the red guys, Brandon and Dunbar received votes, with Brandon going in. Brandon rolls his eyes, and Teej backs him up by saying that he doesn’t understand it either since Brandon has proved himself to be a strong competitor. And obviously no one’s going to vote Brad in anytime soon, but are Chet and Tyler really that crucial? Brandon’s pissed that his teammates won’t just admit they’re trying to save their friends.
Bananas thinks it’s BS that Brandon has to go in again, but he knows the red team are idiots so he’s not surprised. Brad knows Brandon is pissed, but says he should just go in and keep a positive attitude. Pocahontas is upset again, but Luke tries to calm her down and says she needs to prove herself. He says when she comes back it will be different.
No, it won’t. I’ll still be pissed at her for taking Darrell away from us.
Meanwhile, Mandi is also upset about going in because she thought she had it figured out that Camila would be going in. She keeps asking Chet if he voted for her, and he keeps avoiding the question.
The red team guys lay outside sunning together, where Chet admits that he lied to Mandi about voting for her. Dunbar says he’s surprised that a kit who wears “coke bottle glasses and purple bow ties” understands the politics of the game.
And I’m surprised that even in the absence of Kenny and Evan, this Challenge has maintained the same level of homoeroticism.
JD has decided that the best way to prepare for elimination is to iron his little gray bandana. JD gives the stock interview that even though Brandon is bigger, he’s more mentally prepared. Abe tells us that Pocahontas has fight and Mandi’s got no bite.
This elimination is called Back Up Off Me. Players are attached at the back and have to drag their opponent across the dirt to knock over a barrel twice. Teej reminds them that the losers have to go back home to live with their parents. And even when I watched this episode Wednesday night, before the accident, I was thinking to myself how gloriously feisty he was this week.
Seriously, mad props for all the sass this week. Now tell those injuries who’s boss.
You can tell I’m sad because I hardly ever do screencaps of TJ, but there are two this week.
The guys are up first, and JD tells us some ridiculous strategy involving twirling Brandon around until he’s dizzy. The horn blows, and almost instantly poor JD has no chance. Brandon crawls across the dirt while JD flails around helplessly.
He kind of looks like an upturned turtle who can’t get right-side-up again.
Brandon wins pretty easily, and TJ sends him back to his team. Then TJ tells JD that his loss had nothing to do with heart, it was just size. So I guess size DOES matter after all.
Now for the girls. Dan tells us how ridiculous he finds it that Mandi did her hair and makeup for the elimination round. Apparently, when he was in Iraq the female marines with him were not doing their makeup. That is good to know.
I wonder if get credit for being an ACTUAL veteran even though he’s still sort of a rookie by Challenge standards.
Mandi thinks she can win because Pocahontas is a head case. Pocahontas is showing her team that she has the confidence and the will.
One thing she does NOT have? Shampoo.
The first round starts, and it’s a little closer than the guys but Pocahontas takes the lead. They both look pretty exhausted when the second round starts, but eventually Pocahontas takes the win because apparently “skull beads do not lose to blondes.” Oh, and for those of you who like girls in mud:
Pocahontas has trades her white sleeves with holes for black sleeves with holes. I wonder if this is like Evan’s black and white lollipop shirts from a couple of challenges ago.
TJ sends Pocahontas back to her team and tells Mandi it’s time to leave. She says she’ll miss Chet and Melinda gives her this look:
You know you’re pathetic when you’re getting sympathy from someone who was married to Danny.
Back at the house, Brandon tells Brad that he would rather his team just admit they’re trying to save their friends than keep telling him he needs to prove himself. Brad keeps feeding him bullshit even though he knows Brandon’s going back in. Brad may be the “team leader” by default since he’s (I think) the oldest player on the team, but he does not have the brain capacity for these kinds of conversations.
Meanwhile, Abe and Pocahontas have snuck away to a secluded, night-vision corner of the backyard to make out and fondle each other. Abe says he’s not married yet so he might as well enjoy her company. The way he says it makes me wonder if he’s engaged or in a relationship or something but he doesn’t specify. Pocahontas tells us “it’s over, and it feels SO GOOD.” TMI, bitch. T.M.I.
They return to the house and head into the bathroom, where various other challengers spy on them for amusement. Sarah tells us that they’re hooking up and Pocahontas sounds like a cat in heat. Even more TMI, Sarah. They send Camila in to spy and everyone is blissfully amused. Good for Camila, making friends. I may not approve of her qualifications for being on this challenge, but I’m glad people are being nice to her since I can’t stand Theresa. Abe emerges from the bathroom and Camila hilariously calls in to ask Pocahontas if she’s washing her mouth and tells her to brush her teeth. Nice way to end the episode, Camila.
Next week: Lots of people yell at each other and the challenge involves heights, which is usually a good time.
I thought this was a pretty decent episode, better than last week. I’m starting to learn everyone’s names. Laurel was definitely being stupid, but I don’t give a crap about Mandi so I didn’t really care. What did everyone think about Abe’s decision to sit out? Stupid, no? I still can’t decide what team to root for. Anyone care how “intriguing” Abe and Pocahontas find each other? I just think she’s annoying. Anyone going to miss JD or Mandi? I won’t. And for the love of God, how old IS Brad? Talk to me, Gasmii. Finally, everyone keep your fingers crossed and send positive thoughts TJ’s way! Hopefully by the next recap there will be some better news.