Saturday, October 22, 2016

Battle of the Sexes Episode 8: Cold-Butted Snakes

I'm back. Sorry if you've been impatient. Two weeks ago, I hit New York Comic Con, and I've been working on stories from there. I've also been playing catch-up with my television addictions. Yes, that includes The Real World: Bad Blood, which is going to have fourteen cast members in the near-future. "Shitshow" just about covers it. If you just care about The Challenge, two of them are slated to appear in the upcoming season. As for BOTS? We reach a critical point where the true villain makes her first big movie. And this is the last full episode with Puck . . . and thank goodness for that. My condolences if you stumbled across a RW: San Francisco marathon on MTV Classic, and got to see him in action. His shtick is timeless, in the sense that he probably deserves a beating now as he did in 1994 and 2003.

Airdate: February 17, 2003
Recap Published: February 24, 2003 

“You’re as cold as ice. You’re willing to sacrifice…” a good player. Yes, coldness was the theme of the day as first they have to withstand an icy torture and then Ellen the ice maiden boots another woman – to the dismay of many other teammates.
This recap goes out to reality television’s number one fan, Kathy Griffin. She represented herself with honors on Celebrity Mole: Hawaii, raising the quality of the show in the process. Props also go out to our own Brian James, who interviewed Flo for this site, giving a reviled character an added dimension. Will I take a similar route and interview Ellen? Don’t hold your breath.

Previously on Battle of the Seasons: Puck got married to Betty in the biggest wedding on reality television. Well, it was the biggest, until Ozzy and Sharon renewed their vows. Choke on that, Corey Feldman! Lori gets the mission clue on the sponsored phone. She admits that the girls are on a losing streak, and it’s embarrassing. Cut to the first episode, where Melissa brings up voting off Julie. In light of what happens tonight, I don’t see how she “set the tone” for future Inner Circles. Julie was so unpopular, most of the RW women were aiming on voting her out. Christina thinks the voting in a popularity contest. Rachel: “Anyone can go home now, and that’s a threat that you don’t want to live with.”

After the credits, we get shots of the sky and flowers. There’s a shot of a slug crawling. Cut to Puck hugging Betty and Bogart. That can’t be a coincidence. Puck interviews that he dreamt of having a healthy baby and a good wife, and he has both. “Don’t piss her off, though,” he adds. “She’ll stab you with a pair of scissors.” Betty and Bogart ride off in a van.

Women’s Villa. Rachel gripes about how some of the women don’t want to be there for the whole four weeks. So it wasn’t just Amaya? I wish there was elaboration. Genesis explains to us that Rachel has expressed negativity about the group as a whole.

Outside. Amusement park atmosphere. The contestants fast-motion walk to Jonny. When there’s fast-motion, you know there has to be drama squeezed in. Jonny welcomes everybody to Freeze Your Butt Off. Rachel expositions that the object is for the players to sit on a block of ice and hold their hands over their heads, and the person who does this for the longest period wins. Jonny whips out this week’s sponsored prizes, which are mountain bikes for the winning team. Half of them are probably on eBay as you read this. Genesis and Theo give dueling confessionals: she says the girls are hell-bent on ending the losing streak, and he says the guys have to stay focused. Jonny also brings out some hand-held doughnut-shaped thing. Oh, that’s the Ion Lifesaver, which took last week off. Aneesa sees that she’s at the bottom of the standings. Dan observes that he’s third from last, ahead of Blair and Eric, and he has to beat at least one of them in order to stay.

Jonny tells the guys that fairness has to be ensured in relation to the amount of exposed skin. He holds up a pair of Speedos. Immediately, the girls cheer, since they’re obviously fans of male blur shots. “We got to wear punk-ass Speedos!” Theo grouses. “I don’t wear Speedos because my thang can’t breathe!” As if that wasn’t bad enough, we get a shot of Theo getting a wedgie. The guys pull them up and rub sunscreen on each other. Shane wiggles around. Jake: “Quite frankly, we look damn fine.” Thong Boy would say that. More stuffing of male parts. Melissa and Veronica laugh. The guys pose, blurred bits and all. Melissa: “This is the best day ever!” Dan complains that he didn’t know how big his butt was.

Everyone gets ready to sit on the blocks of ice, in what appears to be a grounded roller coaster. It’s hard to tell what exactly the BMP people are smoking. Everybody sits down, butts and feet on the ice. Of course, there’s yelling and screeching. Lori interviews that the ice is so cold, “it’s like sitting on fire.” Puck groans. He’s sitting next to Ellen. For a second, I almost feel sorry for her. More groans of agony. Puck spills some popcorn into his mouth while keeping his arms raised.

Jonny eliminates Antoine for putting his hands together. True story: I actually picked him to replace David on my Fantasy Team. So when he got booted, I got mad. Anyway, Antoine clocks out at 14 minutes, 23 seconds. He interviews that he didn’t realize his mistake because he was focusing on his butt. Aneesa lowers her arms while singing, and one of the masked judges catches her (22:37). Puck reaches into his mouth, only to be busted by Jonny (24:13). Puck bitches about the decision, saying that he was told he could eat popcorn, but he didn’t know he couldn’t pick his teeth. Ever hear of a tongue? Loser. Christina raps about beating the boys as Dan beatboxes along, but he gets nailed for clapping (29:02). He immediately figures that he’s going home.

As Blair leans over to sniff her armpit, Tonya tells us about the girls losing two missions in a row. Blair corrects her, saying that it’s three. Shane gets eliminated (31:22), followed by Syrus (33:12) and James (47:54). “One by one,” Ellen interviews, “all of the guys are dropping like flies.” In fast-motion, Colin (one hour, 17:14) and Jake (1:23:33) bow out. Mark clings to hope, saying that women have a greater tolerance for pain, but the men are motivated. More fast-motion: Blair (1:29:13), Mark (1:33:12) and Theo (1:35:00) get the boot.

Soon, Eric is the last man sitting. Jake interviews that all of the guys’ hopes are on him. Multiple shots of Eric concentrating. “He’s a little dehydrated,” Jake continues, “a little crazy in the coconut.” Tense music plays. Eric looks around before slowly lowering his hand to scratch his ear. The music stops. Eric pulls the arm back up. “No one saw that?” he asks a teammate. Aneesa: “No one saw what, Eric?” Busted!

After commercials, Eric gets eliminated (1:47:45). Mark notes that a lot of the women are still in the game. “The girls have won that mission,” Antoine says softly. “They have the mountain bike. But two hours down the road, arms up, ass on the ice, fighting for one little point.” Man, that’s evil. His accent makes him sound a lot more diabolical.

More shots of the ladies. A fly crawls on a stomach. One of the masked judges sees Rachel’s foot coming off the ground and boots her (2:14:14). She interviews that she did well, beating all of the guys and four of the girls. Following her are Lori (2:27:07), Veronica (2:29:07) and Ruthie (2:43:22).
Melissa is in pain. Mervin Palmer, an on-site medic, checks her pulse. “Melissa has turned blue,” Christina voiceovers. “She’s completely blue.” In other words, she’s a Melissicle. Mervin tells her that her pulse is 64, which is below normal. He tells her she could get hypothermic, and there are no drugs to treat her. As her legs shake from the cold, some of the contestants beg her to get off the ice. Jonny assures her that she would get 33 points, her highest score since the first mission. She finally bails out after 2:58:37. “She’s such a tiny little lady,” Christina says. “She’s like 80 pounds. Melissa is, like, my leg.” Melissa lies down on something inflated, crying in pain while the feeling is rubbed back into her legs.

Meanwhile, a judge busts Emily for lowering her arms (3:00:25), paring the contest down to Ellen and Ayanna. Ellen, cool as a cucumber, turns around. Ayanna looks skyward, in obvious pain. Finally, she quits at 3:09:15, giving the mission to Ellen. Eric lifts Ellen from her seat, taking her to get warmed up. Ayanna reveals that this was a strategic decision; since she will team up with Ellen in the next competition, Ayanna wants Ellen and herself to remain healthy. Eric dips Ellen in water. Ayanna goes up to Rachel in fast-motion and shakes her hand, causing Rachel’s breasts to bob up and down violently.

Jonny awards the bike to Ellen on behalf of her team. Puck, being the consummate good sport that he is, razzes Ellen while giving her two thumbs down. As you know from last week, Ellen did flip the bird to Puck when he won last week. Oh, wait… that didn’t happen. So shut up, Puck. Ellen dedicates her win to Ayanna. Aneesa says that the girls can beat the tough guys. “The ladies just held it down,” Theo interviews. “They represented, and they beat us.” Why can’t Puck take lessons from him?

Fast-motion takes us to the scoreboard, as Jonny announces the Inner Circles. For the women, it’s still Ruthie, Emily, and Ellen. For the men, it’s Colin, Theo, and Mark. He gives both ICs one hour to decide who goes next, and reminds them that Ellen holds the Ion Lifesaver.

Ayanna approaches Ellen in regards to the IL. “You earned it,” Ayanna tells her. “Now do with it what you want to do.” Can you say, “famous last words”? Ellen considers giving it to Dan, but she respects the guys and their system of voting out the lowest scorer. Lori hugs Dan, telling him he can’t go, but he sees his score as the lowest. Aneesa is disappointed in getting the lowest score. Behind her, Colin is carrying Melissa. Since I recapped the hookup special, I wonder if that would be mentioned next year. They would make for a cute couple. Dan hugs Aneesa, asking, “Shall we exit gracefully?” Tonya hobbles along, still injured from last week, knowing that’s a disadvantage to her. Rachel is happy, telling Veronica she’s moving up in the standings.

Women’s Inner Circle. Ruthie asks Ellen who will get the IL. Ellen brings up Dan again, but she mentions a flaw: if Dan is saved, Blair and James are tied for next-to-last. Since Blair is Ellen’s friend and James is Emily’s boyfriend, that would be problematic, so Ellen decides to give it to Tonya. Emily brings up Aneesa, but Ruthie shoots that idea down, since Aneesa brings morale to the team. Since Tonya is saved, Ruthie moves on to Christina, which Emily immediately rejects, since she’s friends with her. “I think it’s hard for me to send somebody home that I really like,” Emily adds, “where there are people left in the game that I think should go home first.”

Ellen asks for another name. Emily complies, bringing up Rachel. Ruthie asks if Rachel’s performance has been consistent. “Consistently bad,” Emily snipes. Meow! The claws are officially out. She goes on to say Rachel is unfocused and uncompetitive. Ellen interviews that Rachel was the only person all three Inner Circle members had to question. Ellen is on a roll: she calls Rachel flaky and suggests that she has done some shady things. Emily says that Rachel reminds her of girls she knew in high school who made her life wretched. Oh, good, now Emily is projecting. A few muscular girls stuffed Emily into a locker when she was 15, and now Rachel is going to suffer for that. “I don’t think she deserves to be here,” Emily hisses. “If she stays, she’s just going to be a toxic teammate. I just want her gone.” Emily? Honey? Do you even know Ellen? She deserves biohazard signs all over her. Ruthie says that Rachel was the only person where elimination dawned on all three of them. Emily grins.

Judgment time. Jonny invites the Men’s Inner Circle to make their announcement. Theo spares us the drama, giving the boot to Dan. He’s a good sport about it, telling everybody that there’s chocolate cake in the girl’s kitchen. Everybody cheers.

Women’s Inner Circle Decision. Ellen steps up, and produces a long-winded speech on how nobody can compete without the support of others. She keeps going, making Genesis’ booting of Julie downright abrupt. And it continues: “The person tonight who’s leaving, I’m sad to see go, but thank you so much for all you’ve given and all your hard work. And Rachel, we’ll be sad to see you go.” There’s a cut to the guys. If BMP ever needed to make money, they could sell posters of that shot. Theo’s lips are puckered. Antoine’s leaning in, almost as if to say, “Excuse me?” Dan’s eyes are so bugged out, they threaten to knock his glasses off. “The girls’ house is nuts!” he voiceovers. You would know, dude; you’ve spent half the time there. Tonya’s eyes dart around in surprise.

After commercials, the guys are chattering as Rachel comes up to make her speech. Lori interviews that there’s no reason to vote her off, adding, “I think the Inner Circle made a very big mistake.” The guys continue to cheer Rachel on. I think half of it is caring about her; the other half is that the girls bring the entertainment to these announcements. Jake: “It’s clearly ‘[Cat hiss], I don’t like you, you took my makeup, who ate my cheese.’ It sucks, it’s lame.” And Jake calls Eric nuts?

Rachel starts to break down, saying that the IC is B.S. The guys (led by Puck, naturally) egg her on. She goes on to say that the IC set a negative tone that won’t disappear. Emily mouths off silently, probably telling Jonny to wrap things up. Rachel stalks off from the cameras.

Now it’s time to announce who gets the Ion Lifesaver. Ellen gives it to Tonya, since she “took one for the team” in the last mission. The men jeer the decision as Ellen hands the IL to Tonya. Ellen: “I feel like I’m being completely criticized over every decision I’m making, and nothing I do seems to be right.” My goodness, it’s almost like she’s talking to me!

After the announcements, Rachel decides to give Ellen a piece of her mind, telling her she doesn’t mind being sent home. But she objects to the charge that she’s not a team player, saying she’s done nothing but work things out. Ellen interviews that the Inner Circle takes three people to make a decision. She should be a bank teller, since she’s so good at passing the buck. “This game is ugly!” Rachel laughs at the camera. “The Inner Circle is ugly! And I don’t want to be a part of it anymore.”
As Rachel stalks towards the general direction of away, Ayanna passes her, muttering to herself. She tells Ellen she doesn’t want to be partnered with her for the next mission, adding that she would “rather be a partner with Tonya hobbling along on some damn crutches.” She interviews that the only reason for Rachel leaving is that somebody saw her as a threat.

Speaking of Emily, she’s avoiding the drama, as she hangs with James, Antoine, and Christina. In a confessional, she says it’s a game, and anybody can be eliminated that’s either a threat or undesirable to have around. “I don’t think there’s anything dirty about that,” she adds. Christina adds her two cents, saying that Emily is getting a bad rap, and everybody is overreacting. “It’s ridiculous high school drama,” she adds. Oh, sure, and when Julie got voted out, she thought that Inner Circle was an “evil cheerleading cult.”

Fans of Semester at Sea get something they’ve been expecting: Ayanna babbling off the deep end. “You talk about negativity?” she yells at Ellen. “There’s other people that have been heckuva more negative than her from the break! From the break! Don’t give me that negativity rhyme!” Ellen tries to tell her that it wasn’t a personal decision, but Ayanna isn’t buying it. Ruthie has to intervene, yelling, “If it wasn’t her, it would’ve been somebody else!” Ayanna calms down, telling Ruthie that she just doesn’t understand why Rachel had to go. In Ruthie’s interview, her voice wavers a little. She says that she didn’t realize how much the decision would hurt the others. Out of the three IC members, I expect Ruthie to lose the most sleep. I still like her. Ellen keeps babbling about things not being personal, and Ayanna decides to believe her. A defrosted Melissa interviews that it wasn’t fair that Ellen and Ruthie were the scapegoats. “I find it highly suspicious,” she adds, “that after that vote was made, Emily was nowhere to be found.”

Ruthie and Ellen walk together. Ellen thinks that they’ve tried to be fair in the Inner Circles, and she feels they weren’t fair tonight. You think? She starts to cry, blubbering that she felt played by Emily. “She’s the one who threw [Rachel’s] name out,” she sobs. So she just conveniently forgot about the time she wanted Rachel out because she wouldn’t help her with the log cabin? And it’s all Emily’s fault for following the logical path from last place to fourth-from-last? Is this girl kidding me? If Ellen gets $50,000 for winning the Challenge, then I might have to hurt somebody. Emily was catty in wanting Rachel out, and Ruthie should have sacrificed Aneesa for the good of the team, but Ellen chooses to live in denial. She keeps sobbing, “Now I don’t know if I trust someone else.” Shut up. Fade to credits.

Happy fantasy game postscript: I was all set to personally dropkick Antoine back to Belgium for his abysmal performance. But he gave me 56 points, 45 of them coming from three acts of nudity as he stuffed himself in Speedos. So thank you, Antoine, for not being afraid of the cameras. Rock on with your Belgian self.

Next week: Were you wondering why Puck’s family was in the first scene? Well, Betty gets detained, since she’s not a U.S. citizen and she left her green card at home. Puck is ticked. Female voice: “There was a break-in.” Puck tells the cameraman to not point the camera at him. Christina: “And then he walks out with a machete in his hand.” As anybody from Big Brother 2 will tell you, there’s nothing more dangerous than a would-be mental patient with a sharp object. He’s not so endearing now, is he?

I think this was the last time I was on Rachel's side on anything. I don't think she gave me anything really critical during Battle Of The Sexes 2 a few years later, but I wound up regarding her as "all muscle, no hustle," a competitor whose build scared off people from voting her into endgames. On the flip side, I think that I was pro-Emily prior to this episode. I probably doubted her sanity being in a relationship with James, but I didn't start to hate her until this episode. Not a fun week for me . . . I liked Dan, hated the Women's Inner Circle's decision, and my favorite cast member almost froze to death. If memory serves, Melissa said on her blog that didn't get any deep bruises from the ice like most of the other women. Oh, and the guy writing the summary saw "Cold-Butted Snakes," and didn't make a connection to Paula Abdul.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Real World/Road Rules: 19 Degrees of Reality Hookups

Sometime during Battle Of The Sexes, MTV decided to do a special on all of the hookups that was on Bunim-Murray programs through the years. Bear in mind, this aired in 2003, when it was a manageable mess. These days, you'd need at least four walls to chart all of the "showmances." The only person I can see being able to keep track unassisted would be Stephen Hawking, and he'd yell, "OH, HELL NO!!!"  And that wouldn't be through his computer . . . the guy would be able to bellow that and temporarily overcome ALS. While this wasn't part of BOTS, I did recap it, and I present it to you.

Recap Posted: February 21, 2003 (I can't find when it aired. I don't think it preempted the Challenge)

It seems like every time you turn around, somebody from Real World or Road Rules is hooking up. That may be because, well, every time you turn around, that is indeed what is happening! MTV had a special on discussing the various hookups. Let’s take a look.

We start with an off-camera voice asking Theo to define a hookup. No, he’s not the Theo currently on Battle of the Sexes. This is Theo from Road Rules: Maximum Velocity Tour. He mulls on the question, his bright blue headband sucking away at his brain. Aneesa (Real World: Chicago), Steven (RW: Las Vegas) and Mike (RW: Back to New York) respond with “kissing,” “sex,” and “getting busy.” Theo is still thinking. Kendal (RR: Campus Crawl) thinks it’s something that lasts more than three seconds. Theo has an answer: “A whole lot of patty cake.” I miss Theo.
Montage of cast members getting intimate/cuddly/wild. An unseen narrator says that RW and RR cast members hook up a lot. Coral (Back to New York) pops up to deliver her classic line to Jisela: “Get off the ho train.” There’s more kissing and embracing. Becky and Norman (RW: New York) kiss… wait a minute! I know Norman doesn’t swing that way! What are you trying to pull, MTV? There’s the one where Steven and Trishelle make out, while a frustrated Frank points the finger gun at his own head. Cut to Trishelle: “I love to kiss boys.”

After the title sequence, we get establishing shots of Los Angeles. Our narrator? Dan Renzi of RW: Miami. Apparently Dan is so big nowadays, they let him use his last name. Congratulations! His hair’s messed up, but it beats his “George of the Jungle” coif in Sexes. Dan shows us the concept of this special: to link nineteen RW and RR cast members together via hookups.

Dan points out that most of these get-togethers take place in Los Angeles, which is home to over 60 ex-cast members. He wonders why they’re all there. I try to hold off my cynical comments. Theo says it’s safe, since other cast members live there. Blair (RR: The Quest) believes it’s refreshing to go out and hook up with somebody who doesn’t care about the show. Timmy (RR: USA) thinks that the hookups happen because they’re in the same area. For some reason, there’s a shot of Holly and Chadwick kissing, which makes me feel icky.

Dan introduces a quick montage. Turns out that there have been 40 on-camera hookups on both shows combined. In the interest of speeding up the story and not being too anal, I’ll stick all of them on the back of this article. Highlights: Becky getting too friendly with Bill the ex-director; the Melissa/Mike/Melody threesome from RW: Miami; Rachel and Sean, along with their baby at the 2000 reunion. David (RW: Seattle) and his romance with casting director Kira; Colin and Amaya (RW: Hawaii) getting romantic; and Malik (RW: Back to New York) and Jisela (RR: The Quest) getting cuddly, followed by Jisela kissing Kevin and Lori (both Back to New York), and going topless for Blair (The Quest). It ends with Trishelle and Frank kissing, from a recent episode of RW: Las Vegas. Cut to Arissa in the confessional: “I feel like I’m in a porn that I can’t escape!”

Dan tells us that some hookups don’t happen on camera. Jisela basically repeats what Dan says. Theo notes that not having a hookup revealed is revenge on the producers because they catch so much. “It’s like your sneaky little way of betraying the universe,” he adds.

Back to Dan, who promises to link two Back to New York cast members through nineteen degrees of “spit-swapping separation.” He starts with Mike. Cut to Mike in Miz-mode. I hate wrestling, and I hate the Miz. Mike gets links to his love interest on Seasons, Tara (RR: Northern Trail). Mike interviews that they clicked well, and they got to kissing. Cut to Mike totally copping a feel. Mike continues, saying they tried to keep things secretive, and that one cameraman kept following them around. There’s the scene where Tara gets out of bed, sees the camera, and immediately flees to another room, pretending to exercise.

Dan narrates that before Mike, Tara was interested in Dan. Not that Dan; that would be a miracle in itself. No, this Dan was on Northern Trail with her. Shot of the couple making out on the beach. In an archive interview, Tara tells us she’s never been in love before. Dan is scared of getting close. “What am I talking about?” he adds. “She’ll probably get rid of me in two weeks anyway.” Narrating Dan tells us that Dan and Tara are friends, and were partners on Seasons.

Next, there’s Dan and Holly. I’ll clear it up: Hetero Dan and Holly from RR: Latin America, who met on Challenge 2000. Holly hugs Dan after he skydives. In an archived confessional, Holly says that Dan is the best friend she’s ever had. Yeah, that is Dan’s effect on people. Teck pops up briefly, saying that Dan has a girlfriend back home. In a present-day interview, Timmy says that both of them denied that a hookup happened, but he doesn’t believe them.

Next up: Holly and Timmy. I never heard about that. Anyway, during Hurricane Julliette, cast members weren’t allowed outside. Cut to the toga party, with Stephen and his insane headdress, and Mike dry-humping Sharon. Good times. “We just spent so much time together,” Timmy says, “sharing peanut butter, if you will.” Nice euphemism. There’s a clip of Holly saying that the hurricane was a “huge turning point,” but that’s probably not related to her and Timmy. He says that she got so much flak about Dan, it was reason enough to keep it off-camera.

Timmy also met Becky on Seasons. Wow, I’m learning so much. Timmy says that nothing happened between them until after Seasons. There’s a “Wacky Timmy” montage. He goes on about how he and Becky rarely talked, but they got together afterwards. Theo says he’s glad they spent time together.

After commercials, Trishelle thinks that RW cast members hook up more than RR. Steven believes that the RRs seem to be “dirtier.” Blair: “I’d like to think the guys from Road Rules are pimps.”

Dan comes back to reiterate the concept. He adds that sometimes, cast members don’t necessarily hook up with each other. Trishelle interviews that the only way to go solo is very quietly. Cue Divinyls with “I Touch Myself.” Ew. Mike interviews that he’d pretend to be sleeping. Aneesa heard some do it in the shower. Theo talks about Stephen (RW: Seattle), and how he caught him “just making out with himself. There were mirrors involved, and smoke.” Steven: “I openly admitted to masturbating like a banshee.”

Dan is as grossed out as I am, so he suggests that Seasons was an ideal place for love connections. Timmy compares it to Spring Break. Theo: “If you’re a guy and you can’t hook up on the Challenge, you basically need to donate your penis to charity.” Dan tells us that Theo would say that, since he hooked up twice on Seasons. “Becky invited me over for a bowl of chowder,” Theo drawls, “which turned into ‘chowder and,’ if you know what I mean.” He goes on about how a director was trying to find Theo while he was hiding in Becky’s room.

Theo had also spent time with Coral (Back to New York) on Seasons. I remembered seeing the clips, so this didn’t shock me. Cut to shots of Theo and Coral close to each other. Why didn’t BMP pick up that ball and run with it? Theo says that they spent time with each other after Seasons.

Dan drops a bomb: Coral has dated Steven. Suddenly, Coral drops ten points in my book. Steven? Ick! Steven interviews that during the casting finals, the producers brought in Coral to give him a hard time. Puddle of Mudd’s “She Hates Me” plays in the background. Steven goes on, saying that they went out for coffee, and thought there was electricity, but nothing happened. Mike adds that she liked him but he didn’t want to be in a relationship with her. Okay, maybe Coral’s judgment isn’t that bad, and the writers just needed an easy link to Steven.

Dan introduces the obvious hookup of Steven and Trishelle. She interviews that they were attracted to each other. Steven: “When we kissed, there was just something was there.” Cue the Steven/Trishelle montage of dancing and cuddling in bed. Trishelle admits that in an effort to get some action away from the cameras, she accidentally locked herself under a stairwell. Steven knew they wouldn’t be dating; only hooking up. Trishelle has no regrets, and they’re friends.

Dan comes back, saying that Steven had ticked off Trishelle so bad at one point, she hooked up with Eric. Man, I forgot most of RR: Campus Crawl. Aside from the UTEP mission and Steven getting handcuffed in the hot tub, everything is a blur after Sarah got voted off. Trishelle says that the producer asked her if she did it to make Steven jealous. Cue Eric lifting Trishelle into a Jacuzzi. Steven told her he didn’t care. From what I heard, the get-together of the casts of Campus Crawl and Las Vegas was Hookup Central, where almost everybody got lucky.

Steven wasn’t the only one affected. “It was horrible!” Kendall laments with a smile. “It was my worst nightmare!” Trishelle admits to not knowing about the RR relationships. Dan sets the next degree of Eric and Kendall. Montage of kissing, including them making out after they screwed up the first mission. Kendall is embarrassed by some of the things he said. Cut to an archived Eric confessional, saying he can’t get in a relationship with somebody who gets angry. Cut to the fighting montage. There’s a shot of Kendall puking. Campus Crawl was all about the vomit. Kendall reveals that she’s friends with Eric, and they call each other for love advice.

Quick digression: does anybody remember the video for Coolio’s “Too Hot”? It was about people who had unprotected sex with each other. A would lie with B, B with C, and so on (I remember a “Javier” and a “Loopy,” but that’s it). At key moments, these people would burst into flames, combust, or turn to ash. Somehow, this chain reminds me of the video. It’s probably just me being weird.

Back from commercials, Dan goes over the chain from Mike to Kendall. After Campus Crawl, Kendall dated Blair. That’s trading up, in my opinion. Blair interviews that the premiere party for the show was at the Saddle Ranch where he works. There’s a shot of Blair operating the mechanical bull. Maybe he tried to waste those American Idol wannabes when they were flaunting their credentials. They clicked immediately, going out for six months. Kendall adds that they spent every waking moment together, but they just broke up because it was time to do so.

Before Kendall, Blair had gone out with Keri (RW: Chicago). That’s news to me. Theo says that he spent New Year’s with them. Blair was happy about meeting a girl who would go drinking with him until 2:30 am, then take him to a strip club and buy drinks for him there. Not my idea of Nirvana, but that’ll work for Blair. He adds that he didn’t take it to the next level, and they stayed friends.

Of course, Keri is linked to one of her housemates, Kyle. Or as some forum dwellers dub him, “SpongeKyle Squarehead.” Montage of Keri/Kyle intimate moments. Kyle from 2001: “We are very touchy-feely friends, and that’s fine, because no man can be in constant restraint 24 hours a day.” Somebody pipes in Jimmy Fallon’s “Idiot Boyfriend.” I love that person. Blair interviews that it was more of an involved relationship. Aneesa adds that Kyle wanted to be respectful of his family and girlfriend. In a clip, Keri tells Kyle that she thinks it’s lame that she put herself out there. Cut to the Keri/Kyle fight montage.

Dan surprises nobody in revealing that Kyle has been dating Lori (Back to New York) for the past year. I could write 500 words on that relationship, but it would be me typing “Why, Lori?” 250 times. Mike says that they met during the Chicago wrap party, and didn’t click right away. Dan says that neither Kyle nor Lori wanted to be interviewed for the show. After all, Lori’s probably got enough hate mail as it is. Jisela playfully grouses about how Lori told her they’d be single forever.

Before there was Kyle, Lori had been interested in Kevin (Back to New York), who she met during the Casting Special, back when she had a boyfriend. In a clip, Kevin interviews that there is an attraction between them. On the first day in the house, Lori announces she’s single. There’s the montage of Kevin and Lori getting cuddly, but things didn’t work out. “I feel like such an ass,” Lori laments in a confessional.

Dan: “And then Jisela showed up.” Dan? That’s “Hah-sela,” not “Yee-sela.” Great, now I’m nitpicking. A puckish producer plays Christina Agurelia’s “Dirrty,” as Jisela tries to pull Kevin’s pants down. Cut to the confessional, where Kevin and Jisela deep-kiss. In an interview, she thought it would be funny to do that on camera. “I can’t say I kissed that many people in one night ever again,” she adds. Of course, they show her kissing Lori and taking her bra off for Blair.

Dan ends the degrees of separation by talking about the one guy Jisela didn’t kiss that night, the one who invited her to the house: Mike’s roommate Malik. He’s the one with the quiet temperament, the scraggly facial hair, and the afro you can see from orbit. In a present-day interview, Malik calls Jisela a playa that can’t maintain relationships. Jisela counters, saying that his feelings were not hurt, adding, “I know I can’t fall in love with somebody, at least not that quick.” Cut to archive shots of a pensive Malik. “Imagine if you got your heart broken on national television,” he says. “The sympathy and love you get… I get e-mails from Africa, Ireland and Japan. I’m like, ‘Okay… road trip!’”

“Bootylicious” accompanies shots of Mike and Malik together. Malik can’t believe he’s hooked up with Mike in that way. Neither can I; the aspiring wrestler and the mellow would-be DJ do make for an odd couple. Dan takes one last look at how Mike and Malik are connected through 17 other cast members, punctuating that with “Suck on THAT, Kevin Bacon!” He adds that if Mike and Malik ever hooked up, the chain would be a chain. Dan wonders what that would be like.

Cut to a beach. Malik and Mike are running towards each other in slow motion, while “Dream Weaver” plays. Either you were annoyed, or you laughed really hard. I laughed. Sue me. Mike falls down in regular motion, and Malik makes an “Oh, that Mike!” face. They meet, their lips inches from each other. Then Dan interrupts: “Actually, Mike and Malik would be pretty gross.” Cut to the duo shouting “Hell, no!” to the camera. Yeah, that relationship would keep me up at nights.

Dan thanks us for watching, and says that if cast members keep getting that way with each other, “we’re going to end up with one giant pot of reality hookup stew!” The camera pulls out as Dan rides the mechanical bull, as Blair operates it. Dan thrives at first, but Blair manages to throw him off. Dan pops back up, shouting “Do it again! Do it again!” Cut to end credits.

These were the 40 hookups shown in the first segment, along with my notes.
  1. Becky/Bill, RW: New York
  2. Mark/Kit, RR: Season One. I don’t remember this relationship, and the local station hasn’t shown their season.
  3. Devin/Emily, RR: USA. Haven’t seen that season, either. I do know that the people in Emily’s town frowned on her dating him, and they ended up traveling together
  4. Puck/Rachel, RW: San Francisco. The less said, the better.
  5. Chris/Michelle, RR: Europe. I had to pause the tape. I actually thought they were Antoine and Belou at one point.
  6. Jake/Kalle, RR: Islands. Brief clip of Jake admitting an attraction.
  7. Mike/Melissa/Melody, RW: Miami. Voted as the best moment by users in 2001. Note to future cast members: threesomes are only as good as the supporting cast. Here, we had Sarah poking fun, Dan grousing about the trio using his shower, and Flora trying to squeeze herself between window panes to take a look.
  8. Dan/Tara, RR: Northern Trail.
  9. Noah/Anne, RR: Northern Trail. Say what? In the clip, they just look at each other, and Anne kisses Noah’s face. I don’t get it.
  10. Judd/Pam, RW: San Francisco. Is this a hookup? They don’t get romantic until after their season, they date for several years, and then get married. Nice use of clips: Pam revealing Judd as her guy in the 1996 reunion, and her showing off her ring in 2001.
  11. Sean/Rachel, Road Rules All-Stars.
  12. David/Kira, RW: Seattle. This relationship was covered last year. Sadly, they’re not shown trying to out-drama each other in a parked car.
  13. Abe/Susie, RR: Latin America. This was big. Susie was a member of the Australia team that competed against Latin America. Abe basically puts on another face and seduces her. Gladys calls Abe on his fakery, he calls her a bitch several times. Next thing, Gladys is beating the crap out of Abe, and he’s whining about calling the federales on her.
  14. Janet/Jason, RW/RR Challenge (1999). It’s funny that they’re were three other hookups that happened which were not shown: Noah/Montana, Nathan/Kalle and Kefla/Roni. Weird.
  15. Ruthie/Kaia, RW: Hawaii. It was one kiss. Ruthie was so hammered, she didn’t even remember kissing Kaia.
  16. Matt/Kaia. Two of the more hate-worthy cast members shared a passionate kiss.
  17. Amaya/Colin. “You kissed my bunny” sounds like an euphemism, but Amaya didn’t mean it like that.
  18. Kathryn/Laterrian, RR: Maximum Velocity Tour. The infamous restroom hookup.
  19. Dan/Holly, RW/RR Challenge 2000.
  20. Lori/Kevin, RW: Back to New York
  21. Malik/Jisela
  22. Jisela/Lori
  23. Jisela/Kevin
  24. Jisela/Blair
  25. Adam/Ellen, RR: The Quest. The worst couple ever? He had ADD, and she had her own problems. There’s one clip of bedsheets writhing. Ugh.
  26. Steve/Katie. Are you kidding me? Okay, they were slightly interested in each other, but they had significant others back home. The clip lasts less than two seconds. “Blink and you’ll miss him” sums up Steve’s RR experience.
  27. James/Rebecca, RW/RR Extreme Challenge. I’m still trying to figure out how folk singer Rebecca got interested in balls-to-the-wall rugby jock James. My only answer: she started wearing makeup during the season. Maybe it leaked into her brains.
  28. Keri/Kyle, RW: Chicago
  29. Chadwick/Holly, RW/RR Challenge: Battle of the Seasons. Met at the end of Holly’s season. God loves them, because nobody else will.
  30. Mike/Tara
  31. Eric/Kendall, RR: Campus Crawl
  32. Rachel/Darrell. I forgot about them making out. Once again, that season was a blur.
  33. Eric/Trishelle.
  34. Steve/Trishelle
  35. Trishelle/Brynn. The clip is accompanied by Steven talking about how much he likes bisexual women. Shut up, Steven.
  36. Brynn/Trishelle/Steven. Oh, sure, it’s all fun until a fork gets thrown. Then certain people get all pissy.
  37. James/Emily, Extreme Challenge and Battle of the Sexes. I’m still trying to figure what she sees in him.
  38. Ayanna/David, Battle of the Sexes. She’s not shrill, he knows her name. What gives? Give me something to work with!
  39. Alton/Irulan, RW: Las Vegas. And they’re still such a darling couple! Yeah, right.
  40. Frank/Trishelle. That was shown four days before the special. Not a big deal.
Quaint, right? It's funny that Mike wound up hooking up with Trihselle and Kendall (in The Gaunltet and The Inferno, respectively), further screwing the map up. And I still find it awesome that the editors piped in "Idiot Boyfriend" for Kyle, because fuck that fiveheaded asshole, that's why. If you don't have an aversion to Jimmy Fallon, then this is for you.

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Battle of the Sexes, Episode 7: Everybody Loathes Ellen

I'm done with my job. I wasn't fired and I didn't rage-quit, so I consider it a good run. In five days, I'll be covering New York Comic Con for Bleeding Cool. Before then, I'll try to post recaps, including the MTV special spotlighting hookups on BMP shows, circa 2003. Also: my predictions for Survivor: The Amazon. Deena wound up finishing sixth . . . my prediction was not as good as saying Ted (fifth place) would win in the previous season (Thailand, which Mark Burnett and Jeff Probst would deny ever happening), but I'm nowhere near as close when forecasting. On the bright side, I nailed Rob Cesternino finishing third. Gotta count for something, right?

Airdate: February 10, 2003
Recap Posted: February 13, 2003 

Ellen is wonderful and cares for the team – just ask her. But don’t ask anybody else, ‘cus you’ll probably get a very different answer. But there are actual challenges going on (besides getting along with Ellen) – running on cars to gather up rings. Who succeeds, who fails, and who goes home?

Before the episode starts, we get a disclaimer. I haven’t seen one since the car flipping on Campus Crawl. It’s the standard cover-the-butt: the scenes are supervised, don’t try this at home, don’t sue MTV and/or Jonny Knoxville, etc.

Previously on Battle of the Sexes: Colin sprained his ankle on a Styrofoam log during Treehouse, and he’s not looking to go home. Ellen whines about how some people weren’t helping out. In an interview, she admits she has a guardian angel complex, and she has to carry things if nobody else will. If George Bailey had her as his guardian angel, he would’ve jumped back into the river. Just my opinion. Amaya tells Ruthie that she has to leave by Wednesday.

Credits! Midtown! I didn’t contribute to the Roundtable on that other “battle of the sexes” show, so I offer my order of elimination: Roger, Joanna, Janet, Daniel, Ryan, Christy, Matthew, Alex, Butch, Shawna, Heidi, Jeanne, Jenna and Rob. In the end, Deena will triumph over Dave to get the million bucks. There will be one “twist” that shakes things up. Daniel will act like a wrestler at least twice. Anybody who forms an alliance with Butch will be referred to as “Sundance.” Matthew will ignite the hatred in me, but it won’t be as hot as my targets on this show.

Women’s Villa. Aneesa gets the mission information on the sponsor-provided cell phone. Basically, everybody has to pair up once again. Ellen interviews that her partner is Melissa. Wait a second. Melissa? Several weeks ago, Ellen was thinking of ways to avenge Julie’s ouster, and now she’s Melissa’s partner? And Melissa wants Ellen as a partner? Too weird. Rachel says she’s partnered with Tonya. Amaya interviews: “I take a nap, and when I wake up, everybody has their names up on the sign-up sheet.” We get a look at the registration board: Christiana and Anne have nicknamed themselves “Frick” and “Frack,” Aneesa’s name is misspelled next to “Beaver Juice,” and there’s a “G-Dawg” registered with the nickname “Silent Bob.” I’m guessing the latter is Genesis, but she doesn’t strike me as a “dawg” or as Kevin Smith. Puck is totally Jay Mewes squared.

Anyway, Ellen points out that Amaya and Veronica have not been chosen, and they can’t team up since they did that already. Christina interviews that there’s a scramble to see who would get them. She tells Aneesa that she doesn’t want to break up with her, given their chemistry. Amaya doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. “I’m feeling really great right now,” She says. “My self-esteem is shooting right up.” Rachel suggests that Ellen pair up with Amaya and Melissa team with “what’s-her-name.” Ellen thinks that it’s lame that some of the girls talk about team unity, and they should be volunteering. Tonya, being Ellen’s Best Friend, backs her up, saying that Ellen was backed into a corner. I don’t really see how this is a big deal; trading Melissa for Veronica or Amaya isn’t that great a sacrifice. Rachel feels that Ellen is making it bigger that it should be, and Ellen challenges her to find a solution. Rachel: “Ellen, for one, is… I’ll say it bluntly, a drama queen.” Cut to a quick shot of Ellen tilting her head and smiling. Rachel continues: "Ellen wants to make this a dramatic scene.” Rachel, welcome to the Ellen Bashing Bandwagon. It’s a little cramped right now, but we can squeeze you in. Tonya reassures Ellen, telling her that she lays herself out there. Amaya’s hair is in cornrows. I never thought of her as cornrow material. Ellen tells us that it’s not about being a good person. Tonya feels that Ellen was being short with her. So even the Best Friend has issues with Ellen. To think I feared Melissa would be the show’s outcast.

Morning. Puck blows on a conch shell. Maybe it’s not editing, and you can get a decent tune. Yes interviews that Colin’s ankle still hurts. Eric rubs it, explaining to us (with a straight face) that he’s drawing energy from the sun and “throwing a little love” into a potion to help out Colin. You know, when I look for alternative healers, I always ask if they hosted a dance show on MTV in the early Nineties.

Women’s Villa/International House of Drama. Group meeting. Amaya: “We need a [bleeping] plan.” Ayanna brings up how Amaya wants to go home next week, and she doesn’t want a partner who is going to bail out. Melissa goes to the defense, saying that Amaya has family business. Ayanna counters that Amaya should be with her family. Amaya starts crying, saying it’s not anybody’s business. In an interview, Tonya says it’s not worth getting emotional, and she decided to team with Amaya. “I’m willing to take one for the team,” she adds. “It’s not that big of a deal for me.”

Once again, Ellen gripes about the lack of team unity. As she’s talking, Emily walks into the doorway, and walks away while making a face. In an interview, Emily says she doesn’t want to bicker and gossip. Ellen points out that Emily wasn’t there for the discussion. Emily: “I think there are certain people in the group that feel that’s necessary.” Ellen: “Then I have a problem with you, Emily!” Ellen flashes a fake smile in her interview, while Emily rolls her eyes in hers.

Men’s Villa. Eric leads the “HOO-RAH!” chant. Ian should be getting royalties by now. Puck wants to kick some ass. James and Dan slap five. In layman’s terms: Boys? No drama. Girls? Huge drama.

Cut to five SUVs in a circle. Jonny Moseley, fresh from testing the local moguls course with the Jamaica Freestyle Skiing Team, welcomes everybody to Seven Rings of Saturn. The SUVs are Saturns, which are circling in one direction. The object is for the pairs to run on the cars, picking up rings scattered along the way. On the lead car, they have to place the rings on a post, slide into the car and honk the horn. The winner of this mission gets acoustic guitars for the entire team. Ellen interviews that the girls need a win to lift the team’s spirit. She’s probably disappointed she’s not competing for a violin she could play anytime she doesn’t get her way.

The first team up is Ruthie and Emily. While the cars are circling, another disclaimer warns us not to do it. If I have five cars and a mechanism that allows them to go in a circle, and I decide to ignore the warning, then I would deserve to get hurt. I did count at least four people looking after contestants. The ladies climb out through the windows (Dukes of Hazard style) and start running on the cars. They grab the rings, get into the car, fasten the seat belts, and honk the horn. As they hug, their time is revealed as 42 seconds.

Mark/Colin. Mark tells his partner that it’s just one lap. Colin’s left ankle is taped up. Both sets of toenails are colored, so I guess Dan’s been keeping busy. The duo run close to each other, and Mark has trouble fastening his belt before he honks the horn. There’s one guy in the backseat whose involvement is a mystery to me. Seriously, he looks like a hostage. Mark and Colin whoop it up, and their time is 41 seconds.

Genesis/Anne. Ellen cheers loudly from the sidelines. “Ellen has more enthusiasm in her pinky nail,” Emily states, “than I do in my entire body.” Mark adds that Ellen’s a great cheerleader, but her voice drives him nuts. Genesis and Anne crawl on the cars, finishing after 51 seconds.

Dan/James. They run, but Dan kicks a ring away. He then slips and falls through one car’s sunroof. A loud buzzer sounds off. Dan pops up in one piece, asking if he and James are disqualified. A caption certifies that, accompanied by the same annoying buzzer. James pats Dan’s chest, as opposed to ripping him limb from limb. James will explode; it’s just a matter of when. James tells us that they’re out since Dan dropped the ring. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Dan for wiping out James’ potential Fantasy Points, leaving me with Colin as my only male contestant with points. Nice going, Dan.

Ayanna/Lori. Ayanna notes that she’s on the bottom of the scoreboard, and says some stuff I can’t understand. They run close to each other, clocking in at 43 seconds. Ayanna loudly sings and dances in her seat. Ruthie tells us that the girls have been awesome, since none of them fell off.

Antoine/Shane. Before they start, Antoine kisses Shane’s cheek. They finish with 44 seconds. As Shane starts a post-mission interview, Antoine exclaims, “You were fantastic!” and kisses him. “Someday,” Shane muses, “he’ll be gay.” Shane, you should hit the forums I visit. Half of the people from there were probably shouting, “What do you mean, someday?”

Tonya/Amaya. Tonya assures her partner that she’s not worried, but confesses in an interview that she feels bad for not having complete faith in Amaya. It’s a slow run, and Amaya drops a ring, provoking the buzzer. Tonya drops to the platform, clearly in pain. Amaya interviews that all she could think about her how she blew it for Tonya.

After commercials, the disclaimer is shown one last time. Amaya is still bummed over blowing it for a partner who didn’t pick her first. Tonya’s ankle is hurt, and she realizes that she’s gone from the middle of the pack to the bottom because of Amaya. “Why do I always hurt myself?” she gripes out loud, getting hugged by Theo. I’m a sucker for intra-house love.

Blair/Jake. Blair interviews that he’s in last place, and he’s motivated not to go home. Jake gets stuck getting out of the car. At one point, the screen freezes, and an arrow points at Jake. Turns out he dropped a ring, and he turned around, grabbed it on the windshield, and fell on the hood. Damn. That takes skill. Blair, oblivious to this development, keeps running. Jake bobbles another ring, but grabs it. They finish at 59 seconds. Jake’s t-shirt says “Yoga Kills.” He tells Blair what happened with the first ring, complete with slow-motion instant replay. They hug each other, winding up on the ground.

Melissa/Ellen. Apparently, my mind hasn’t started producing bizarre scenarios, and these two indeed are a team. Ellen falls on her butt while running on a roof. Melissa pulls the rings from her shirt and puts them on the post. I know I’m too a Melissa cheerleader, but that was very clever of her. They finish after 54 seconds. In an interview, Melissa says it was good to be tiny, since she had more car surface to run on. She and Ellen do a happy dance.

Syrus/Jamie. They clock out at 45 seconds. They’re hard workers, but they’re neglected by the editors.

Christian/Aneesa. Ellen is still cheering loudly. Aneesa kicks a ring, and can’t lunge fast enough to grab it, resulting in the buzzer and the disqualification. Aneesa tosses her helmet aside. Rachel interviews that the contestants will be fine as long as they don’t drop the rings.

Rachel/Veronica. Veronica feels the pressure, since a disqualification would send Rachel home. They crawl on the cars, finishing at 59 seconds. Veronica interviews that the plan was Rachel getting the small rings and Veronica getting the big ones.

Theo/Puck. Ellen cheers for both of them. Wonky continuity aside, does anybody think Ellen’s been drugged? She’s not exactly a card-carrying member of the Puck Fan Club. Both of the guys run hard, and a caption shows the time to beat (:41), Puck can’t get the belt down quickly, but they finish at 39 seconds. Puck: “We’re all about snatch and grab!” Shut up.

Eric/Yes. Yes interviews that he “lives and dies” for the missions, and he doesn’t want to be at the bottom. Cut to Eric and Yes arguing over strategy. You guys were there for how long, and you didn’t come up with a plan? They run close to each other, but the buzzer sounds. I had to use slow motion to see Eric drop a ring. “It ain’t no crazy strategy,” Yes grumbles. “Just hold on to the damn ring!”

Everybody claps as Jonny awards the guitars to Puck and Theo. Jonny asks if they have anything to say. Why give Puck a reason, man? You should know better! Puck: “Hell, yeah, man, me and Thee-dog kicked ass because we run from cops for fun!” Speak for yourself. James points out the obvious to the diehard fans, saying the guys won three straight missions. Antoine: “We find ourselves fairly united against a completely disunited team of girls. That’s why we’re winning so well.” That, and they’re a Puck cult. Actually, I could see Puck as Brad Pitt in Fight Club. Think about it: “The first rule about Battle of the Sexes: you do not talk about Battle of the Sexes.” I keep seeing Syrus ending up like Meat Loaf, which I wouldn’t want to happen.

Tonya’s ankle is taped up. Maybe she and Colin could date and paint each other’s toenails. She interviews that she felt like a team player in taking Amaya, but she feels selfish in wondering about staying with Rachel. The scoreboard has her in last place. Ouch.

Jonny announces the Inner Circles. For the ladies, it’s Ruthie, Emily and Ellen. For the guys, it’s Colin, Jamie and Mark. He gives them one hour to deliberate. We don’t see which guy is in last place.
Women’s Inner Circle/Ellen and Ruthie’s House of Blues. Ruthie confirms that Amaya wants to go home, and then questions why Amaya should be kept around. Emily asks Ellen what she thinks. You have to forgive Emily for the rookie mistake; it’s been over a year since she was in an Inner Circle. Ellen wants to discuss team morale, and how Ruthie and Emily should be more involved in discussions. Emily pipes up, “I’m not going to come in a bickering group of women.” I wonder if Emily is ranking Ellen with Julie and Holly in her head.

Emily tells Ellen that some of the other women were humoring Ellen by attending the meeting. “The majority of the people don’t have a positive view of Ellen or her intentions,” Emily adds in an interview. “I think a lot of people think she’s whiny and way too sensitive.” Ellen asks what would’ve happened if Tonya hadn’t volunteered to take Amaya. Emily bluntly says she wouldn’t want Amaya or Veronica as a partner. That’s harsh, given that both haven’t been stuck at the bottom on the scoreboard. On the other hand, Emily’s partner was Ruthie. Who doesn’t want to have Ruthie as a partner? She’s kicking more tail than most of the guys. Emily adds that if nobody wanted to be their partner, then that speaks for itself.

Inner Circle Announcements. Because of the extra Ellen drama, this scene is heavily edited. Ruthie says that somebody had to go. There’s a shot of Tonya on the wicker chair, but psyche! Amaya is given the boot. She takes it well, hugging Ruthie. Close to tears, she addresses her group: “Remember, you’re a team, and please always remember that. I know everybody here has eyes and ears. What you guys should be using right now is your heart.” Very profound. The ladies clap.

Onto the Men’s Inner Circle. Colin tells Yes that his time is up. Yes? Really? Sure enough, he’s at the bottom of the scoreboard, a few points behind Blair and Eric. Yes tells the group that he was hesitant to come to Jamaica, given what happened last time (re: booted out by Holly and Chadwick). But for him, this was the exact opposite, and he thanks everybody.

Farewells. Colin hugs Amaya. Finally! Look, it’s not like I’d want another ill fated romanced between those two. I just wanted them to acknowledge each other’s existence. Yes and Veronica hug. This is the first time they’ve ever been spilt up on a BMP show. Veronica is disappointed because she likes Yes and Amaya. Yes writes “We Miss Yes” on the van window. Do you have any last words, Amaya? “I think I have put in a really good fight while I’ve been here. Fifty G’s would be wonderful in my pocket right now, but I’m leaving here with a great experience.” After all the stupid things she did on Real World and Challenge 2000, I thank Amaya for not embarrassing herself on television. She lasted longer than I would have guessed, and kicked a lot of butt on the way. She leaves with most of her dignity intact, unlike some other players. And she looked good doing it, too. The van goes off into the night.

Women’s Villa. Ellen tells Tonya that she feels like a sucker, that she gives people chances but doesn’t get them back. Tonya interviews that Ellen will go far once she tones down her intensity and emotions. It’s obvious that Tonya never saw The Quest. Ellen talks from her high horse, saying she’ll prevent people’s feeling from getting hurt. Tonya reasons with Ellen, noting that she stirs things up. In an interview, Ellen says that some people react badly when she sticks up for herself or others. Tonya interviews that she’ll remain Ellen’s friend, regardless of where that puts her in the rankings. Seeing how she spent a few months in the company of Cara and Kyle, I’m guessing Tonya’s threshold for pain is absurdly high. Ellen tells her that she’s done trying to be everybody’s savior. “I’m done,” she adds. “I really can’t do it anymore.” The scene fades to black as the crickets chirp, laughing at Ellen.

In case anybody is wondering: Yes was named after the rock band. It could have been worse: one Road Rules participant was named after her father saw her come out of the birth canal. He thought she looked like a squealing pig. Hence, Piggy.

Next week: Jonny bring out a new game: Freeze Your Butt Off. Everybody sits on what appears to be a roller coaster, with the seats and footrests made of ice. At the Inner Circle, it’s still Ellen, Emily and Ruthie. Ellen doesn’t trust her. Who? Emily: Those are the kind of girls that made my high school life completely wretched.” Once again… who? Emily interviews that anytime in the game, somebody has to be eliminated. Ruthie yells at Ayanna that if not her (whoever she is), it’s somebody else. Ayanna to Ellen: “I can’t be your partner on that [bleep], dog.”

Still not regretting being hard on Ellen, though I'll wind up making a sharp turn in the next episode. This episode was the last we saw of Amaya and Yes. I know that Amaya did stuff for Current TV, but I don't know what else she's done. Yes has a Facebook account, and that's all I have on him. And I think this was the first episode where Rachel and Veronica got together. I keep flashing back to their threesome with Abram in the following season, and Veronica wrapping her legs around Rachel in Inferno II. Not good times.