The episode opens with voices of high drama and pathos over footage of the finalists falling down some mountain in Iceland. And husky dogs! Points for spoiler-preventing snow suits and the additional torture of cold weather. And then… TJ Lavin! What a letdown. Thankfully, he cuts right to the chase. Welcome to the Dominican Republic: 26 famewhores who stopped being polite and started getting frisky will be partnered with their exes for the duration of the game. The couples and my snap judgments are as follows.
Ty & Emily: Team Mutual Disgust
Tyrie & Jasmine: Team Business Associates.
Jasmine questions why she didn’t think to make out with CT or Dunbar.
Reunited and it feels like a kidney stone.
Leroy & Naomi: Team Unfinished Stalker Business
Abram & Cara Maria: Team Weirdo
Aneesa & Rachel: Team U-Haul
Johnny & Camila: Team Circumstances Have Changed
CT & Diem: Team The Editors Love Us, so viewers will be subjected to endless footage, as they have in previous seasons.
AKA Team Two-Mouthed Monster
Dunbar & Paula: Team Just Shut Up. Paula seems to be trying too hard.
Dustin & Heather: Team Pornstar Cuties
Wes & Mandi: Team Kiss the Paycheck
Mark & Robin: Team Robin is a Dumbass for breaking up with Ol’ MethuselAbs
Nate & Priscilla: Team Noob
Vinny & Sarah: Team Regret
First place is $150K, second is $100K, third is $40K and a year’s supply of Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco treat. Each week, the winners of the challenge will become the Power Couple, and they alone will get to choose another couple to go to The Dome with the challenge losers, where they will all get set on fire or something. The losers in this faceoff go home. So no ganging up, but lots of kissing ass.
Mansion. Yelling and chest-beating. Paula wishes she were a virgin. Photos of the exes in various stages of undress and compromise adorn the living room. People dig into their suitcases. Hey, it’s CT and Diem! Did you know he totally helped her not feel like damaged goods when she was recovering from ovarian cancer? I actually saw most of that season, and I’m sorry to report, I tuned in especially to watch that slobberfest unfold. I’m a sucker for Dickhead Redemption with Hurt Chick, what can I say?
I’m glad you’re better, but it was still cooler when Dr. Kimberly Shaw did it.
But I’m mad at them now, for repeating themselves throughout this episode and generally being sanctimonious about how the other one wrecked their relationship when it’s obvious that (a) they were both wrong and (b) something will happen between them this season or they wouldn’t be all in our faces right now. So I already feel manipulated. Shut up, CT & Diem.
Grandpa Mark announces they’ve got a message from TJ on their product-placed phone and holds said phone aloft, at which point he gets pelted with pillows. The entire rest of the cast is sitting in one shot/place, and I just wonder how many takes that took. He turns his ass to them, which I am guessing is as wonderfully sculpted as his abs, and wiggles it some as the pillows and whatnot bounce off it. Tomorrow will be sticky, he says.
And it’s Speedo time!
And just when we’d forgotten he’s a 90s relic, he punctuates it with a “Whaaat?!” And then he does this thing – I’m going to call it the magic cummerbund dance. I think it’s to highlight his (admittedly great) abs, but I don’t know. I am not hip. I am approaching his age.
Naomi wants to be killed in her sleep rather than go to the next day’s challenge. Several noobs chat on some bunk beds about how Paula or Johnny should be sent to The Dome. As if the challenge loser gets picked out of a hat or something.
Speedo morning. Everyone wears color coordinated t-shirts with their names across the boobs. And also black shorts with their names on their asses! Er, thanks producers. I’d hate to get these people confused.
Challenge: Two beams are suspended above the water in classic Challenge style. Competitors walk across the beams to bathtubs full of honey, coat themselves in said honey, walk back across the beams, and have their partners scrape/scoop/slough the sweaty honey into a bucket.
The least honeyed bucket loses. Top two couples honey-off for Power Couple status. Gasping and groaning ensues on the ground.
TJ gives them time to “strategize.” Their strategies are about as complex as you would expect. More worrying.
Hazy with a chance of moisture
Dustin & Heather vs Dunbar & Paula: Paula aptly describes Dunbar as a creature coming out of a swamp. Ty comments that Dustin and Heather are fearsome. They’re like the Wu-Tang Clan of rookies. Dustin and Heather are handily victorious. Paula is worried.
At this point I realize it’s 2 parts honey and 5 parts baby oil.
Aneesa & Rachel vs Abs and Robin: Who wouldn’t want to rub honey all over Mark? Robin asks. A few Gasmii wouldn’t. Sadly, I am not among them. Team Older than Dirt but Built of Bricks takes it, before the time limit, even. But we are really all winners this round, for not having to hear Aneesa and Rachel argue.
Tyrie & Jasmine vs Wes & Mandi: Tyrie and Jasmine win by a wee bit.
Abram & Cara Maria vs Leroy & Naomi: Normally Naomi would like getting the free feel, but this is all too stressful. Abram’s crazy ass is pissed that they got stopped before they got to fill the bucket, even though his team won.
Johnny & Camila vs Ty & Emily:
And the slipping really begins
Johnny & Camila win. Paula frets about her spot in Suck Place.
CT & Diem vs Nate & Priscilla: I appreciate the extra shots of Nate “warming up” and genuinely acting like a wad beforehand.
Who’s got one finger and no clue? This guy!
Serious slipping on both sides. CT actually wins my respect here, for his “catlike reflexes” at least, when his feet go out from under him and he grabs the beam and gets right back up. That actually was awesome.
CT is thisclose to joining Nate in the water
Nate does dismally, and Paula loves him for it, as her day is now saved by his failure. I counted at least five Nate falls, the most painful-looking of which appears at the beginning of the recap.
Vinny & Sarah vs Nobody: Priscilla prays for Vinny and Sarah to wipe out, which is futile, because despite Vinny’s being built like a regular person who just watches TV and isn’t on it, they fill their bucket to the top without any major errors.
Power Couple Finals: Both Johnny & Camila and Mark & Robin filled their buckets before the time limit, so they go heads to heads.
I’m a priceless antique tool!
There is running across the beams, and again, I’m impressed, until Johnny bitches about the hair on his legs being pulled. It’s worth it, though, as he and Camila win Power Couple. He celebrates by pouring the honey bucket over Robin’s head like a cooler of Gatorade, while Mark rolls around in the honey tub at the other end of the beam and considers using honey as a glistening agent in his next competitive body-building event.
Now, if the honey is not liberally cut with baby oil, motor oil, Smart Balance, Lemon Palmolive, or some combination thereof, I’m thinking they have showers and soap off-camera, because the couples are getting awfully clean awfully quick, and none of the girls are complaining about their hair. I have to assume that jumping into the water without any kind of surfactant would just make them wet and sticky. But I’ve never swum in the Dominican Republic. Maybe their water is special. Or maybe these people are just really, really slippery.
Back at the house, Johnny reminds Dustin & Heather that their noob status makes them vulnerable. Wes opts for another tactic and starts yapping at Camila as if she were not the winner. CT tattles to Johnny, who gets het up. I’m not going to try to parse their conversation, because it wouldn’t make sense anyway. Wes cuts Camila off several times, and she calls him on it, which is awesome. Johnny & Camila give up and leave the room. Wes pretends to be sad about having shot off his mouth.
But really, the crazyass, nastyass Honey Badger doesn’t give a shit.
Jasmine and Naomi blow smoke up Diem’s ass about her former coupling with CT and now The Notebook-ey and romantic it was. I feel like this is the complete opposite of what they should be doing. In part because it gives her the opportunity to plug her burgeoning career, you know, the one that was more important than CT. She wants to have a company that helps patients. I should give her the benefit of the doubt here and assume she meant to say “nonprofit association” because sweetie, if you want to stay in business, you need to sell something, and if your target audience is people with – I assume, cancer, or maybe any devastating illness, and you want to help them, it’s usually done by giving them stuff for free. Oh, and dozens of charities are already kind of doing that. But why throw your lot in with them and make it not All About You?
I’m sure she’s great and all, but it’s like the editors want her to get on my nerves.
Hey, remember when CT hooked up with Shauvon and they came back giggling and pulling their clothes on and picking their wedgies out? Did we know about this already, ‘cause I feel like we did. CT conveniently appears on the balcony in the next shot, which conveniently segues into his telling his side of the story, and it’s a bad sign that I’m already way bored with this relationship.
TJ’s back! Bananas and Chiquita sit on wicker thrones at the head of the room. Who gets Domed? It’s Wes and Mandi!
Team Pornstar is saved… for now!
Nate’s gonna go focus. Snerk. Priscilla doesn’t think he’s taking it seriously, probably because he’s spending so much energy mugging for the camera. He fails to put her at ease, but she lets him off the hook anyway.
The Dome. The game of the night is “X Knocks the Spot.” There’s a spinning X with a high bar and a low bar. The competitors stand on boxes and the bars come at them, and they jump over, duck under, and repeat until exhausted and/or humiliated.
The padding is really a misdirect. No one gets hit in any meaningful way.
“I feel like a Care Bear can take that blonde,” says Priss of Mandi. Would that it were true, but of course comments like that are never true on this sort of show.
The X spins, and the competitors jump and duck.
This is how you get really tired really quick
Priss expends all her energy jumping up with both feet, while the others just sort of lift one foot and skip over the bar, and eventually Priss is the first one to lose her footing and fall to the ground.
So it’s Wes and Mandi vs Nate and his color-blocked boxers and his burning quads and his falling pants. Wes can’t tell if Nate’s tired, since he started the challenge with his face red. He is, and he falls near the half-hour mark. Wes spouts some garbage about the Dome experience making him and Mandi stronger and scarier.
Now if I were Nate, I would be thinking about a regular job or maybe some college. But no, he guarantees us that we’ll see a different Nate “next time.” This crap must really pay well.
Guess what happens next? Team All About Us has a useless, pointless conversation about how they have to learn to communicate. Why is Diem wearing half a pregnancy shirt? They make each other mad and go to their separate corners, where they sit and look angsty and we fade to credits.
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