Okay . . . shutting up about the present now. Moving on to the horror from the mid-2000s.
Episode Aired: October 11, 2004
Recap Posted: October 17, 2004
A new Battle brings new rules and new rivalries. Can the guys continue their dominance? Will the women be able to rebound? And what is Derrick doing with that frog?
Before we start officially forgetting the abysmal season that was The Inferno, I just want to thank you guys for reading my stuff. This is my fourth season; if I had a life, maybe I wouldn’t be doing this. Then again, making you guys happy after watching the Challenge makes me happy as well. Keep sending those e-mails.
Credits. This years theme is “Come Out Fighting” by The Vandals. The bad news: no ultra-cheesy opening sequence. It’s just eighteen pairs in front of a blue screen. There is cuteness, like Cynthia swiping Jacquese’s glasses, and Coral attempt to give Dan a noogie, but the lack of a third dimension bugs. If you want to try and figure out patterns, here are the pairs: Rachel/Nick, Adam/Ruthie, Frank/Kina, Ace/Arissa, Derrick/Katie, Jacquese/Cynthia, Veronica/Brad, Mike/Robin, Shawn/Ayanna, Mark/Tina, Sophia/Randy, Angela/Abram, Aneesa/Steven, Chris/Tonya, Coral/Dan, Cameran/Eric, Ibis/Theo, and Genesis/Shane. Take another look .... Coral and Mike aren’t together. End of an era, folks.
Back to the action: Jonny introduces himself. Coral’s wearing one of Mike’s “Miz” shirts, while Tonya’s top says “Boy Beater.” Make your own jokes. Jonny tells the kids that they’ll be competing every day foe $180,000 in prize money. The field will be narrowed down from 36 players to six. “I would do anything for this money,” Tina interviews. “I will stab a chick in the back if need be!” Good to know, Tina.
Jonny lays out the rules: once the teams find out what the mission is about, they appoint three team leaders who would be responsible for strategy. The leaders of the winning team decide who to send home. The losing team convenes to boot out one of the leaders. Coral cackles at the news. Rachel interviews that people are never safe in this game. Jonny dismisses the group, telling them to get ready for the first day.
As loyal viewers would expect, there’s a lot of awe as the players check into the lodges. Randy loves the ranch setting. Abram rides around on a bike inside. Dude, Dave Mirra was so last season. Eric lays claim to the “old guys room.” Jacquese interviews that it’s time for the new boys to step up.
At the main lounge, Cameran says hi to Coral, who doesn’t know who she is. Cameran interviews that she thought people would be friendlier. She voices her concerns to Robin, who interviews about not feeling the need to prove herself to anybody. Katie high-fives Kina. “I came back to do this Challenge,” Katie interviews, “because I won the last one, and it avoids getting a real job.” At least she’s honest. Veronica interviews that she and Katie don’t actively hate each other. Damn… so much for looking forward to their seasonal fight. It would’ve been tough for Katie to top her tantrum from last season.
Derrick starts yelling, clearly happy about his new surroundings. He interviews that being a new guy is a demerit since the veterans are in their cliques. The guys sort out their beds. Nick: “Can I sleep on top of you, Shane?” It’s the first day, Nick! Take it easy! Ace interviews that he’ll be going all-out this time. “If there’s going to be a safety cord,” he adds, “I’m like, ‘No safety cord!’” Can you say “overcompensation?” Guy gets ripped after he couldn’t handle a few dozen bugs to his face, and suddenly he’s Evel Knievel. Mark expositions that there’s a 200-yard dirt path between the boys and girls’ lodge. Theo contemplates getting naked in the pool.
At the girls’ lodge, Aneesa sings a happy tune about the number of lesbians on her team. “With girls, it gets a little catty, it gets a little petty,” she interviews. “I’m hoping it’s not going to happen.” Cynthia interviews that she’s a mother to a two-year-old son. To her credit, she didn’t bring the kid over with her. That only works if you’re Dutch and insane, like Belou. Kina interviews about moving into her first apartment and looking for a job.
Eric and Coral relaxing on massage chair. Mike and Coral indulge us in half-assed impressions of Dave Chappelle impersonation Rick James. “It’s a celebration, bitches!” is so old. How much do you bet that he’ll be doing Dave doing Lil Jon before he leaves? “Coral on the opposite team is going to be so great,” Mike interviews, “because she is going to just screw with all those girls’ minds.” Coral: “My motive is to win all the cash, all the prizes, and to cuss a couple of bitches out.” She’s gotta play to her strengths. Derrick shows off a beer funnel to Adam and Jacquese. Rachel: “You will see me on Senior Citizens Challenge when we’re all 60.” Some of the guys ride around in a golf cart, and they slam into Derrick. “Derrick is blunt and brash,” Nick interviews. “He’s a character.”
Sunset. Derrick is having fun, bringing booze for the ladies. He talks to Eric about not getting hung over. Eric has the jump rope around his neck, like a scarf. Yikes. He interviews that Derrick’s drinking causes concern. “It shows signs of weakness,” he goes on. “This is a competition. We’re here to perform. Partying will affect performance.” Derrick gets away from Eric and Chris (wearing a t-shirt which says “no.”) to get some alone time. “I’m a rebel,” he tells us. “I’m a renegade. Whatever you want to call it.” He then engages in a classic outsider activity: following a frog around and talking to it. He even sings “My buddy, my buddy” to it. Cut to people in the pool having fun. “See?” Derrick sighs to the frog. “This is why I have you.” Sounds like somebody needs another heart-to-heart with Chris.[2018: I think the link originally went to a RNO recap covering the X-Treme/South Pacific face-off on Road Rules.]
Daytime! The kids roll into the mission site and pile out. Abram and Coral walk together, and I get a little nauseous. Jonny welcomes everybody to Cochiti Lake and the first mission: Dangle Drop. The deal: a contraption is set up over the water, holding nine punching bags. The players must hold onto the bags as long as possible. The winners of each of the four heats go on to the final to decide the mission’s winner. The prize: Student City Spring Break trips to Cancun, worth $90,000 ($5,000 per person). Eric seems enthused, even though he belongs at Spring Break as much as he does on Santa’s lap. Jonny gives the teams 30 minutes to decide who the leaders will be.
Mark interviews that the girls don’t have a prayer to win the mission. I’m starting to lose my patience with Mark, and it’s only the first week. Genesis goes off to mediate. She interviews: “I think that now we’re just about pissed off enough to hang on as long as we can to take this home.”
Cynthia feels Rachel is a good player, but Genesis and Tina motivate her. Ibis feels goodness from Genesis. Ayanna feels that Tina stepped up, and that she loves Genesis, but Tina held on to the bag for so long. Veronica votes for Genesis. Katie feels that Tina wants it more. Cameran doesn’t have a vote of her own. Ayanna asks if anybody can abstain, and the others shout her down. Coral’s vocal opposition is so strong, Ayanna withdraws while shouting “daaaanng!” It’s all in good fun ... for now, anyway. Cameran: “Not everybody is here to win that money. Some of us are here to try and chill out, meet cool people, play a game and have fun.” Anybody else think Cameran should have stayed home to do those things? She votes for Rachel, and Coral thinks Cameran is crazy, given how Rachel beat most of the guys.
Sophia breaking down would be a running trope that season. Once again: I had interviewed her in 2001, and I was rooting for her. Seeing her in tears was not fun here. It would get worse down the line.
I was spoiled on the first two sets of eliminations. Jacquese getting voted off first was sad. For me, he was the best cast member from Real World: San Diego. I mean, Brad was the dopey meathead, Randy was the dopey stoner-type, but I would've gotten along better with Jacquese. He was sane and funny, which I found was a rare mix on BMP shows. For the hell of it, I searched his name in Facebook, and I found this. He doesn't post much; my takeaway was his current picture. I never would have pegged him for a beard. I did miss him. Meanwhile, we got bug-eyed Brad on The Challenge, with the relationship with the younger Britni. Not unlike the Mark/Robin situation, as you'll see the the recaps to come.