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We’re back, Gasmii! After two long weeks, I’m sure you’ve all forgotten that the blue team won the last challenge thanks to both of the other teams falling to their impending dooms. Or falling three feet, whatever. The red team sent in Dunbar (on account of him falling) and Camila (on account of the same bullshit reasons as every other time). The gray team sent in Dan (on account of it being his turn because they have to be FAAAAIR) and Hulkel (on account of Skull Beads keeping Little Abe happy). Dunbar and Hulkel were both victorious, although the latter came away with a chip on her shoulder the size of the Dakotas.
Got it? Good. Now let’s dive into this week’s CockTease of an episode. (See what I did there?) A couple of random little observations: 1. Super-Dramatic Voiceover Guy refers to Skull Beads as Abe’s “cuddlebuddy”in the previouslies, which amused me. 2. I literally JUST noticed that the opening credits only include the remaining players! Have they been doing this all along? I kind of like it.
Hulkel and Sarah are tanning while they strategize, something I don’t think we’ve ever seen from Kenny and Evan. They do it in the shower or turn their bunk beds into a blanket fort to do it. (Discuss strategy, that is. Allegedly.) Anyway, they remind us that they are the only gray team members who give proper thought to planning for the final challenge. Well, Abe has already admitted he’s thinking with his little head, Skull Beads is just trying to save herself, and Luke is too busy dreaming about sunshine and rainbows to properly comprehend Challenge politics. You just know Luke was a Care Bears fan growing up.
Anyway, the girls declare Abe an “idiot” if he wants Skull Beads in the final. Hulkel informs us that she felt “completely 100% stabbed and insulted” even though since Sarah didn’t vote for her she should only feel like 80% stabbed and insulted. Yeah, that’s right, I know math.
These girls just do not achieve the same level of homoeroticism as the guys. Sorry, 3 heterosexual males who watch this show.
Luke is off being Share Bear to Skull Beads, telling her he feels bad about the way Hulkel and Sarah have been treating her. Skull Beads says that even if the challenge was finger painting, they would still come over and ask her if she was okay in a kindergarten teacher’s voice. Well, maybe if Skull Beads didn’t look like she was going to cry half the time, they wouldn’t do that. Although I guess being treated like a child doesn’t help; it’s truly a Challenge version of the chicken-or-the-egg conundrum. Abe and Luke continue their justification when they say that Hulkel has not proven herself as a competitor, but I’m going to have to call bullshit on that one. She seems to have done well in every challenge as far as I’ve seen, and certainly better than Skull Beads. But what do I know?
Tori comes over and immediately knows who they’re talking about. It’s actually just a sneaky segue into Tori telling us how difficult it is to keep Brad happy and out of the Gulag while also keeping her friends happy. It’s a “big game to play.” As much as Tori can be annoying, I have to respect her for getting in with the veterans via Brad pretty much right away, and therefore bypassing all of the rookie bullshit. Of course, that makes me far less sympathetic to her telling us how tough the game is right now. And I also have a grudge against her because I liked Brad so much more back in the day, and now I can barely remember why.
Okay, maybe I can KIND OF remember why.
Then Brad starts talking about how much he misses their puppy and I remember a little more about why I liked him.
Bananas give his team a pep talk in the form of trash-talking the guys on the red team. I like Kenny’s rude but funny pep talks better. Especially when Bananas’ criticism of Tyler amounts to “he eats like a fat bastard.” He’s also done well in competitions, but Bananas can’t handle that logic. That being said, at least he and Derrick are encouraging the girls on his team to work out with them instead of berating them for not being able to keep up. It’s a strange change of pace.
Tyler, meanwhile, cements his place as my favorite remaining red team member when he rolls his eyes about his team voting off of their best players and freaking out about challenges. He even goes so far as to say they probably won’t win again. I can’t say I disagree.
Sarah continues to be logical when she reminds us that since bank accounts at the end of the season are split between remaining team members, the smallest teams make the most money per person. She and Hulkel contemplate losing the next challenge but making Skull Beads look responsible, therefore convincing Share Bear to vote for her. Abe wanders into the room long enough to grunt at them for a minute, and let them know he’s suspicious.
Meanwhile, they’re bringing new meaning to the term “blanket strategy.” Also, this is much more Kenny and Evan’s style.
Wow, I really need to stop talking about Kenny and Evan. Moving along, clue time! Key words: looking up. This somehow leads to theorizing that “maybe there will be balls in the face.” No doubt there will be, the question remains whether that will be at the challenge or back at the house.
Derrick tells some of the girls on his team that he had a dream that he lost to Tyler in the Gulag. Apparently that’s a horrible nightmare and a terrible scenario. Derrick wants his whole team to make it to the end since he apparently does not think like Sarah.
Brad exhibits his first instance of independent thought this season when he tells us that he wanted to throw himself into an earlier Gulag in order to “feel like [he] did work.” He’s been around these things long enough to know that going into an early Gulag is a great excuse to stay out of the later ones AND that the earlier Gulags are easier. I mean, wouldn’t YOU rather go against Derek than Derrick? However, despite that logic (with which I happen to agree), Tori would not permit Brad putting himself at risk. He tells this to Walnuts, and Tori tells him he’s being dramatic and that’s not what happened. He asks her what the plan is, and all she can do is stutter for a few seconds before asking him what HIS plan is.
Here you have it Gasmii, the master planning of the red team. I can’t imagine why they’ll end up in last place.
Walnuts, for her part, tells us that she would like to stay out of the middle of this one. Can’t argue with that. She puts her makeup on in the corner (trying to cover up that growth on her chin, I suppose) while Tori condescendingly tells Brad they can talk that night after the challenge and he tells her to stop talking to him like he’s a five year old child. She finally leaves and Brad tells Walnuts that he feels “like he’s been playing the game with [his] balls in her purse the whole time.” You don’t say?! I’ve only been saying this since… Brad and Tori started dating.
Challenge time! This one (called “High Ball”) involves carrying balls atop “martini-glass looking” ball carriers from the bottom of a hill to the top. The ball carriers (not Tori, the ones for the challenge) are hard to describe, but luckily I can just show you a picture!
Got a good reason for taking the easy way out.
The tops are pretty much flat, so balancing the balls on top while climbing up the hill to the basket will be no easy task. The teams have 90 minutes to move those balls.
The teams begin to strategize, and Sarah tells us (after checking to make sure no one can hear) that she’s not too concerned about losing because she “kind of” has a plan. Bananas tells us that walking up the hill once has him winded so they’ll have to be “slow and methodical… like in bed.” I shudder at that mental image.
“I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be slow and methodical in bed… maybe that’s when baking bread… or giving head. It’s something like that.”
The challenge begins and we get a nice lengthy montage of all three teams struggling mightily to complete this task. The balls keep rolling off of their carriers before anyone can get too far up the hill. Dunbar tells us that no matter what combination of looking up/looking at the ground they try, nothing works. Abe and Hulkel have partnered up despite their differences because they are close in height. Abe says they’re working well together.
A nice little perspective shot for you guys. I wonder if that camera is throwing off the balance at all?
Hulkel and Abe are moving well up the hill and communicating even better when Teej gives out the “30 minutes left” call. So essentially, they’re 2/3 of the way through and no one has gotten one in yet. Hulkel says she thought about throwing this challenge, but can’t back down when there’s a chance to perform. I like that competitive spirit. Sarah notices this and when she realizes they can win, she also decides to go for it. Abe and Hulkel reach their basket and approach it “slowly, a couple inches at a time” for your TWSS of the week. They manage to score the first point of the game.
Not long after, Bananas and Derrick also score a point. Everyone else, however, is still having just as much trouble as they were an hour ago. It turns out Tori is not nearly as adept at carrying balls when she doesn’t have her vice grip. Dubar tells us in a very intense voice that he’s “been to anger management courses before, and let me tell you, they really paid off in today’s challenge.”
Perhaps he should have taken some “not being on the hapless red team” courses.
A couple of pairs make some progress, but then one little misstep ruins it. Meanwhile, Abe and Hulkel score their second point. Then, Derrick and Bananas continue to get frustrated while Abe and Hulkel score their third point. Skull Beads is amazed by this. We get some more failures set to whimsical music, much to the delight of TJ:
I don’t think I’ve seen him this happy since last season’s “swinging upside down and knocking down your opponent’s carefully constructed stack of something” challenge.
Bananas and Derrick have a particularly frustrating run up the hill when they drop the ball only a few feet from the basket. TJ calls out that there are five minutes left, prompting Bananas to tell him to just blow the horn, and Abe to agree heartily while he and Hulkel are en route to their fourth point. They score said point shortly before TJ blows the air horn to signal the end of the challenge.
Share Bear and Sarah run up the hill to hug Hulkel in congratulations, and she shoves poor Share Bear out of the way for sending her into the Gulag. She also throws out a nice hearty “Fuck you, Abe!” She tells us this is how she performs and she can’t believe they ever doubted her. And there we have my issue with Hulkel. I respect her competitive spirit, but there’s no way I can defend her pushing poor Share Bear (on a hill, no less). She plops down on said hill to sulk about her situation.
Thus posing the question: Who is worse, Hulkel or Sulkel?
Abe is frustrated by the anger, but it doesn’t take long before he’s laughing it off. He just won money, what does he care? He may not have the logical edge in this argument (I still think Hulkel is a better competitor than Skull Beads), but he does have the maturity edge by a mile over Hulkel. I’m still on Sarah’s side, though, especially because she looks uncomfortable every time Laurel Hulks out.
Teej makes the requisite announcements and dismisses everyone back to the house. The gray team sits down to their victory dinner and Share Bear is back to flowers and puppies and whatnot. Sarah congratulates Abe and Hulkel, thus proving that one can be both logical and mature. Abe takes a shot at Hulkel by thanking her for not getting angry, and Sarah plays Captain Obvious when she tells us that the gray team may work well together, but they don’t really get along. Cut to them eating their victory dinner in strained silence.
Over with the blue team, Derrick points out that at least their team is getting along, unlike the other two. Which has been the blue team’s biggest success since they got rid of all of their free-thinking players (namely Katie and Big Easy). Bananas reluctantly steps up when he realizes that Derrick already has and he needs to maintain the team harmony. Theresa also volunteers since Jenn’s been around longer and Emily went in last time.
I bet Kenny’s still kicking himself for not getting with this “hottest in the house” piece of ass.
As for the red team, Tori volunteers herself which seems to confound Brad. He asks her again if he’s supposed to vote for her and she says yes. He just wanted to clarify so he doesn’t have to sleep on the couch at home. Tori says that there are worse things in life than losing a Gulag, something I’m sure we’ll never hear from Paula. Tyler volunteers himself in an attempt to avoid drama, even though he seems to think Brad will take the next one and Brad seems to have no such intentions. Brad also tells us that Tyler would have been going in anyway, which we pretty much knew.
Despite all of this volunteering, we still go through the voting montage. Teej announce the results, and Tori pretends to be mad at Brad for a second for some comic relief. Bananas talks about some allegedly tumultuous past between himself and Tyler that I didn’t remember and calls this “poetic justice.” Well, Bananas has been less of a dick this season but I’m still rooting for Tyler. And as for Tori/Theresa, well, at least one of them will be gone.
Brad and Tori have a nice little making up scene and things seem nice and rosy for them. The biggest shock to take away from this conversation is that Brad apparently knows what a Venn diagram is. Brad tells her she can win the Gulag, but apparently she’s scared of the final because she knows it will involve running and she “can’t hang like that.” She tells us her main concern is that she hasn’t been running with the team.
Well, maybe you should have spent more time busting your ass instead of busting everyone else’s balls.
So basically, she’s deciding whether or not to throw the Gulag. Brad encourages her to make her own decision and promises to support her either way. He also promises that he will win the money either way so whatever happens with her, it will be fine.
Brad reiterates the conversation to Walnuts, who says she doesn’t want to be in the final with someone who doesn’t want to be there. Oh, and in case you haven’t heard, Walnuts REALLY wants to be there. Like, even worse than she wants to bang Dunbar. Tori comes in and jokes that if she’s going down, she’s going to “pull a Ty…. ‘Oh my God, I can’t move!”
You guys, Tori just made a funny! There really IS a first time for everything!
Unfortunately, her humor is wasted on Brad and Paula, who do not look amused.
Jenn and Theresa are confident about Theresa’s chances, since Tori doesn’t get scrappy and has no fire in her eyes. Jenn tells Theresa that Bananas is preparing himself for “the looong, haaard win.” Yeah, I’m sure he is preparing himself for something long and hard. Jenn’s worried about Bananas, since even though he’s quicker than Tyler, Tyler is bigger and heavier.
Tyler and Abe pretend to play chess while they talk some more about how useless the red team is. They roll their eyes at their respective teammates (Tyler’s for being afraid of everything, Abe’s for hating him) and seem to have a nice mutual respect for each other. Abe wants Tyler to beat Bananas, and I’m pretty sure everyone except the blue team wants that. He also wants Tyler to come back and tell his team to shove it up their ass. Tyler very much wants to do that.
I suppose we’re to gather that Tyler’s a pitcher?
Emily and Skull Beads enjoy a nice peaceful sunset outside, while Hulkel bitches about Skull Beads some more inside. Sarah tells us that Hulkel doesn’t want to share anything with Skull Beads, not even “the air she breathes.” Basically, Hulkel still wants to sent Skull Beads to the Gulag. In case you hadn’t gathered that by this point.
Tyler is apparently unaware that he and Bananas are mortal enemies, as he says Bananas is “like a brother” to him and will probably make him giggle during the Gulag. Maybe Bananas will talk about their dramatic history and Tyler will laugh at his ass because it’s such a joke. Also, Theresa is apparently keeping a Challenge diary.
Although it seems inaccurate, since Mandi and Brandon are not crossed off. Maybe she’s just crossing off people who have rejected her.
Outside, Bananas and Derrick are talking about Tyler’s overeating some more while inside, he’s eating a giant quesadilla. Man, I’m hungry. B & D also question whether or not Tori will compete in the Gulag, stating that it wouldn’t make any sense for her to throw this one, but nothing the red team has done has made sense. No kidding.
Inside the house, Tori once again voices her concerns about her ability in the final to Brad and Paula. Brad tells her to decide for herself because if she regrets it, he doesn’t want it to be his fault. Walnuts says that the final challenge is never just running, and there are always other parts. Which is true, but running is always a big part of it and we have seen teams lose challenges based on slow people who can’t run. Tori says she wants Brad & Walnuts to win more than anything and she doesn’t want to be the reason they lose. Brad is sad. I am tired of hearing about this and ready to see this damn Gulag.
Oh, yay! It’s FINALLY Gulag time! Teej congratulates the somber gray team once again and announces that the Gulag this time is Back Up Off Me. That’s the one where the players are attached at the back and have to drag their opponents across the dirt to knock over a barrel. But WAIT! There’s MORE!
I totally WOULD NOT have seen this coming… If it wasn’t in every commerical for this show for the past three months. Way to rain on my surprise parade, MTV.
TJ tells the Gulag contestants that instead of facing each other, they will be facing these “heavy-hitters from back home.” Well, Tina’s heavy and CT is certainly a hitter, so that seems accurate. The four people who have to face them are crapping their pants, while the rest of the challengers are laughing with amusement and shocked delight.
After a nice commercial break, TJ introduces them as if Walnuts hadn’t already been shouting their names, and says he thinks they can smoke all four of the Gulag contestants. Tori is hilariously nodding in agreement with a terrified look on her face.
This is probably the same face Brad makes when she tightens his ball vice.
We’re reminded of the “heavy-hitters” and their violent pasts: CT trying to murder Adam on camera last year, and Tina punching Beth back on the first Duel. It really has been awhile since I’ve seen Tina. Teej says whichever challenger does better against their heavy-hitter will stay, and the other will be sent home. A coin flip will determine who goes first/second. Tori wins the coin flip for the girls and has to look at Brad to tell her she wants to go second. Um, duh? Also, this seems like a pretty big advantage if you ask me. These elimination rounds are tiring, and CT/Tina will each have to do them twice in a fairly small time span. Tyler also wins his coin toss and elects to go second.
This means Theresa vs. Tina is first. Theresa hopes Tina’s bark is worse than her bite. Tina tells us she’s not competing for money or prizes, but for pride, and “this chick better hope she can keep her head.” They start, and despite Tina’s size advantage, Theresa seems to be winning. At one point, Tina is pulling on Theresa’s foot, either as a game tactic or because she’s trying to take a bite, I can’t really tell. After much struggling, Tina pretty much just gives up, but Theresa still has to drag her dead body weight to the barrel. She does win though, so so much for heavy-hitter Tina.
How’s that pride working out for you?
Tori is still crapping her pants on the sidelines as Teej congratulates both of them and sends them away so he can call Bananas down. Bananas tells us that of all the challenges he’s done, this will be the biggest test of what he’s got. CT says they just let him out of his cage and he hasn’t eaten yet, and he’s looking forward to putting little Bananas and his big mouth in the dirt. Teej blows the horn and there’s some shouting and then we immediately cut to:
See? What did I tell you?! COCK TEASE!!
So, next week we will finally get to see the results of this Gulag, along with Hulkel still being pissed at Skull Beads and a dirty, bloody challenge.
I’m still loving this season, but the big shocker this episode wasn’t one because of all of the promotion, and there was a lot of sitting around talking this week. It got a bit redundant, especially during the recapping. I still don’t think the red team has a shot in hell at winning, and as for the others it will come down to which players are left I guess. I think next week is the last regular episode before the final, and I kind of wish we could keep going until more people were eliminated because it’s just fun. At this point I think I’m rooting for the gray team. I know everyone hates Hulkel and I can’t defend her, but I really like Sarah and Abe and even Share Bear. What about you guys? Are you rooting for any particular team or challengers? Are you pumped for the last few episodes, or sad it’s almost over? Were you riveted by Tori/Brad’s marital spat or Tyler’s eating habits or Hulkel’s excessive hatred of Skull Beads? Yeah, didn’t think so. Nonetheless, I’m excited for next week! Any predictions yet? Talk to me!