It’s The Challenge Finale! And, er, congratulations to Bunim-Murray and Co. for the upcoming season twenty-freaking-three! I actually had no idea they’d had that many. That is nuts. Guess I should have done more research. I gotta sleep some time, though. Only one couple will emerge as champions!
Lango-Kill-You Glacier, 5 am. Temperature, -16 F. TJ wakes them in the frozen darkness. They slowly put on more clothes. And suddenly it’s light! I guess maybe they did have some breakfast. Today they will collect five artifacts. If they lose them… TJ will be running along behind them to give them back. Seriously, how did someone not drop one when they were tunneling underground? Soundgarden-alike plays. Six puffy coats walk, with CT and Diem in the lead. Johnny is disheartened. Camila brings up the super-rear. Their first challenge of the day is a food challenge! Well, at least it’s something they have to eat.
Just put it on a real plate and make some squiggly lines around it with sauce, and someone will pay top dollar for it.
Diem helpfully informs us that it’s a head, with a horn of blood chaser and some soured shark, which looks like cheese or tofu, and she so wishes it was. She’s been a vegetarian since the 6th grade. Bet the school lunch ladies were charmed by her, eh?
When I said she should cram it in her cakehole, I was just thinking something harmless like a t-shirt or a rock.
CT digs right in, God bless him. To Diem’s credit, she does choke down the shark, trying not to let it touch the sides of her mouth. Emily and Ty show up next and chow down. By the time Johnny and Camila get there, the burping and barfing has begun in earnest. Diem interviews how grateful she is to CT for scarfing down most of the feast. Everyone remembers to take the medallions, and the other two couples finish shortly after.
At checkpoint four, there are some snowshoes and poles locked to a wooden pole. The key is in a sort of plastic tub thing, and they have to use a rock to break it open. Ty’s slowing down a little. Diem and CT unlock their snowshoes.
Wait, where’s CT and Diem’s third medallion? In false alarm land, that’s where. Camila asks Johnny how she can help. “Shut up, that’s how you help,” Johnny snarls. The two also-ran couples get their snowshoes unlocked, and off they go. The girls are helped by their snowshoes, while the guys’ keep falling off. Everyone narrates in their tank tops, which is a bit disconcerting. Emily interviews that she thinks maybe she and Ty can get a lead here. Ty gets the hang of the walking, and he and Emily pull into the lead. This puts Johnny and Camila in the rear, and Johnny in a very foul mood. Wide shots and slo-mos. Or maybe the slo-mos are just my computer. Ty squanders the lead. Johnny narrates that everyone is switching positions constantly.
The Great White North. Not great meaning good.
And it’s the first puzzle challenge! Here are 13 giant poles making the boundaries of 6 areas. Remove 1 pole and again make complete boundaries for 6 areas. Diem starts to git ‘er done, and CT uses the words “love” and “you” in a sentence together. People start by trying to turn one of the rectangles into two triangles, which would be too easy, not to mention cruel to the people who would take forever to get it anyway. Turns out, they have to give the six areas, which start with a linear orientation, a more circular orientation, and basically make six triangles within a hexagon shape. CT and Diem figure it out quickly, and CT shoulders the spare log. They destroy their puzzle so no one can copy.
I was gonna say it’s the Chrysler logo, except the Chrysler logo had five triangles and hasn’t been the Chrysler logo like since Reagan was President.
Commercials. I’m torn as to which would be a bigger waste of time: American Reunion or a Hotmail account.
“Help me think then!” they show Camila saying for the second time. Well… Johnny insists that he is. He complains in an interview how heavy the poles are. If only there was some way to work the puzzle through without moving them, and then just move them once… If only…
Emily and Ty’s puzzle looks like someone dumped a bunch of poles out of a plane like Pick-up-Stix. Ty interviews that he and Emily both want to take the lead, but since both of them are suffering from head-ass positional confusion, this is not possible. He doesn’t say that last part. But it’s clear neither of them is qualified to take this particular lead, and that it’s a new feeling for both of them. Johnny and Camila have been working when we weren’t looking, and they finish next. Emily and Ty try to arrange all their poles in Xs.
The next checkpoint has three sets of pickaxes, also arranged in Xs, which they need to use to tunnel through part of the snow until they get to the manmade tunnel (made just for them). They need to cross through the small tunnel on their backs or their bellies or whichever way they fall, and dig back out the other end. And don’t say the producers never gave ‘em nothin’, ‘cause look how much is already dug out for them.
CT is not given the option of literally using his head.
Johnny and Camila show up and start hacking at the hole. Johnny gets a few digs in about how Camila’s girl ass sucks at it. Diem is invigorated watching her big strong man. CT and Diem go through the tunnel. The refs release a stumped Emily and Ty from the puzzle challenge. CT starts to get fatigued. The growly music is replaced by the plinky piano of about to lose their lead for good. CT notes that the heavier players (in this case, the guys, but probably anyone over 125 pounds) have to make more effort – they can’t just skip lightly across the snow because their feet keep sinking in. So they have to lift their legs much higher with each step. At this point, Diem is thinking that earnestly coaching CT and telling him he’s awesome and has the biggest steps will work.
Pickaxes are useless as walking sticks, btw.
Emily and Ty finally get through the tunnel, and Emily endeavors to really boogie through the rest of the course. At least she starts to. Camila notices Emily’s gaining on them. You’ll never guess what kind of challenge is next.
Actual life-size Jenga would’ve been pretty cool, too.
CT uses his last fumes of gas to get to the checkpoint and is galled to find out it’s just another puzzle. He sits down on a rock to rest. Diem tells him to read her the letters, which are Runic characters. The challenge is to rotate all these “slices” on the wooden totem poles until each side looks like one of the pictures of the rune-planks on the ground. There’s a distance between the pictures and the pole that’s just large enough for whatever you just looked at to magically fall out of your memory. And the snow keeps drifting over the pictures, too. Johnny and Camila arrive at the Rubik’s Rune challenge. Camila doesn’t know what to do, and Johnny lets out a stream of profanity. CT and Diem approach the end of the puzzle.
Close, but not yet beating Bananas
CT hollers “Shut up!” sounding a little bit like Paula. He and Diem finish the puzzle. Johnny and Camila make a series of errors. Emily and Ty show up, and Johnny and Camila complete the puzzle just as they get there. Johnny and Camila bicker their way across the next stretch of snow.
Diem sees a sign in the snow and squeals, thinking it’s the finish line. It’s actually just the last challenge, titled “Finish It.” CT takes this fairly well, all things considered. He has a little lie-down on the snow.
…half-wishing Diem would be a little less smart just this once.
This challenge involves putting the collected medallions into place on a sundial, which unlocks the sundial to reveal a horn, which they have to carry up the mountain and blow, if they have any breath left. The actual finish line is at the very tippy-top of this mountain.
They’re almost there! Like Chicago is almost Boston.
CT continues to not go very fast. Johnny and Camila pass him.
I have never seen “gas” and its various adjective and verb forms used as much as it has been this season.
There is more mountain. There is more re-dubbed encouragement, discouragement and yelling. Emily and Ty finish the medallion puzzle and see Johnny and Camila pass CT. Diem gets to another flag that isn’t the finish line. This is seriously like watching a four-hour movie. A French art film, maybe.
Don’t forget to read the MiniCap. It’s got some quotes and funny stuff that I’m trying not to repeat.
Camila interviews that passing CT gave her the incentive she needed to keep going.
Anyone else feel bad about calling him a knuckle-dragger now?
Johnny and Camila approach the finish line.
Dun dun! Friggin finally.
Johnny tackles Camila across the finish line.
And then there are flashbacks. Camila throws a chair and jumps in the pool. This doesn’t make me happy at all. It’s not an arc so much as a drunken scribble. CT and Diem finally drag ass up there. And hey, remember how they fought? And how annoying she was? Remember how everybody did really well in the challenges and nobody fell or looked stupid? Wait, what show are we watching?
Bla bla, gave it their all, place in my heart, pain in my ass, bla.
As painful as this finale was, it has been a much greater privilege to recap for you Gasmii. Big thanks to everyone who read and commented, as well as to Flipit, for helping me realize a dream I’ve had since I first owned a computer that went online. May you never have to do anything remotely close to this. Unless you’re one of those adrenaline weirdos, in which case, may you keep all your limbs. See you in the comments and with 16 and Preggers. I have not watched this much MTV since the 1980s. (And at neither time has it made me any hipper.)