Cut to 2004. I was a few months past the finale of Road Rules: X-Treme . . . a season so dogshit, it basically killed the franchise. Angela was the second subsitute that season, after the team screwd up a mission and they drew names to see who would leave have to leave (Kina). I dimly remember being really annoyed with her, particularly her infatuation with resident alpha asshole Patrick (I thought Derrick would be that season's pain in the ass. Live and learn.) And then Jillian dropped in to replace Ibis, and that made things worse. Basically, if you wanted positives from X-Treme, all you really had was Derrick, X the X-Treme puppy that got adopted by the team, and the mission where the Roadies took turns getting tackled by German Shepherds.
And then there was Cynthia. Her history went further back than anyone on the women's team: Real World: Miami (1996). Sure, there were a lot of highlights that season, like to roommates being nudged into a business venture, Dan and Flora ripping into each other, comically-undersized Joe (an ancestor to Jay from RW: X-Plosion) and his tall girlfriend, and the threesome between Mike, Melissa, and a waitress named Melody (remember, this was 1996!) Cynthia also stood out as funny, with her snark, dragon-like fingernails, and tendency to use the word "hella." Back when I was posting on the Television Without Pity forums, I rigged up a "March Madness" style tournament of cast members from the first twelve seasons (New York-Las Vegas). Cynthia won that, defeating her roommate Sarah (blonde tomboy who was working with Wildstorm Comics at the time, so you know I liked her) in the final match. To me, Cynthia was awesome. Angela was not. And then this episode happened.
Oh, and my family had a dog named Cynthia. Totally unrelated. Basic brown mutt. Remind me to tell you about the time with her and the possum.
Episode Aired: November 8, 2014
Recap Posted: November 14,2014
This week, the teams build boats out of junk. Can Angela rebound from a disastrous decision, or will the ladies send her packing?
Previously on Battle of the Sexes: Derrick came a-calling with the booze, and that didn't make a good impression on his team. But he rebounded nicely, winning Dangle Drop for the boys. Dan admires how long he hung onto the bag. Huh… we haven't thought of the Frog Whisperer in a long time. Wonder if he's going home tonight. The girls lost Bombs Away, dropping their record to 0-4. The boys booted Abram, while the ladies kicked out Ayanna. Let's let her get in one last rant, shall we? "I ALWAYS! HAVE! PEOPLE'S BACKS!" And Apex thought Stacie J. was insane? Ruthie interviews that the girls feel like crap. "We're playing like a team," she goes on, "but at the same time, it doesn't really feel like we're a team.”
Let's get physical! The guys work out in the exercise room. Eric jumps rope, and he really needs to lose it. "It's a big ol' cornucopia of dudes," Theo drawls. "If this was a pasta, it would be Testosteroni." Thanks for sharing. Derrick walks in with two empty bottles. He interviews that he drinks every day, but he doesn't feel the pressure of being sent home since he's gaining respect. Apparently, he doesn't feel the pressure of anvils crushing him. Eric interviews that Derrick is a tough competitor, but he is a loose cannon. Eric wears the jump rope around his neck like a scarf. Enough, man. Let it go.
Elsewhere, the girls lie around, lamenting their winless record. Robin blahs that she would be cocky with four wins, and she's sick of the guys winning. Katie: "Boys are bubbleheads." Cut to a flashback of Mark breaking a stick on Eric's leg. What was that about? Rachel figures that when the guys lose to girls, it makes things much sweeter. "I have no idea what we need to do to win," Robin interviews. "We just need to win, bottom line."
In the bedroom, Angela and Frank talk. My heart sinks, since Frank was the closest thing to a favorite I had on The Real World: Las Vegas, and he's bonding with a ten-car pileup of a woman. Sure, he was attracted to Trishelle right off the bat, but we didn't know how bad she would be back then. Angela goes on about how she's stuck with people who don't like her, and that Frank gives her attention. Speaking of people who don't like Angela, we got a herd of them in the kitchen, talking smack behind her back. Shane: "She's not here. She hates this house." Tonya: "Try to be part of the group, why don'tcha?" Coral interviews that Angela is a competitor. "We need cutthroat women that can back it up," she continues, "and she's not that."
Coral reads the clue from the sponsor phone. Outside, Mike also reads: the mission requires great teamwork and patience. Coral reads that the players have to be ready to depart at 9 a.m. and to wear bathing suits. The ladies groan, and Coral tries to reply to the message. "We've been getting our asses kicked," Cynthia interviews. "It's about time we actually won."
Daytime. Conchiti Lake. Jonny welcomes the players to today's mission: Junk Boat. We get a look at a big pile of junk, most of which could help in the creation of a boat. Nick lays down the exposition: the leaders on each team pick one item at a time and bring it back to a "build zone." The teams go back and forth, until they decide there's enough material to start building. Remember the boat-building task in Celebrity Mole: Hawaii? Same idea. [2018: Dead link] It's a shame Corbin Bersen couldn't be brought in as the Super Veiny Mission Mayor. Jonny stresses that the players cannot build the boats until all the materials are picked up. There's a close-up of Derrick. You think something will go wrong with him? Steve expositions that seven people from each team will row the boat around the buoys and back, then the remaining players do the same. Today's winnings get a seven-day trip to Mykonos in Greece. Damn, why couldn't Jacquese still be playing? I'd love for the locals to mistake him for Nelly again. Jonny gives both teams the usual thirty minutes to pick leaders.
On the ladies' side, Robin steps up to lead. Coral asks Angela about her puzzle-solving abilities. Angela admits she has no real ideas on how to perform the task. Coral: "So, I'm thinking you're good at puzzles? I dunno, that's just my thought." It's hard to tell if Coral is being honest or manipulating Angela into a trap. "If we lose this mission," Veronica interviews, "maybe I want Angela to go and be a leader, so she can go home." Man, I hate when I'm on the same page as Veronica. Ruthie volunteers, as does Angela, who interviews about feeling "peer-pressured" into it..
Steven drops the three leaders on us: Mike, Derrick and Randy. Derrick plots out the boat construction, interviewing about feeling like he's a great leader. Sadly, the guys can't understand his way of thinking. "Derrick is a great competitor," Steven interviews. "He's young and he's excited, but he really doesn't make any sense."
Back at the girls' meeting, Angela announces that she is clueless, and she wants somebody to replace her as leader. Rachel: "I realize now that not only has she annoyed me outside of the game, but she's annoyed me inside of the game, and she needs to go." Remember what I said about agreeing with Veronica? Same goes for Rachel.
After commercials, Angela tells her teammates that she feels everything is going too fast. Veronica decides to replace her. She interviews, "I spoke without even knowing what I was getting myself into." Angela feels like the other players wanted her to lead in order to sabotage her.
The teams present their leaders. The girls do a cheer: "Let's go to Greece!" I guess Robin worked them into a frenzy, since she went there during her season. Jonny suggests to the players that they not touch the junk once it has been chosen, and that he will disqualify anybody who builds before collecting. Cut to Derrick, tossing a ball up and down.
Jonny blows his airhorn to start the mission. Ruthie grabs an oar, earning the jeers of the men. Mike interviews that they can use anything in the pile as an oar. Tina calls the guys “idiots,” and we cut to Derrick holding on to a toilet seat cover. Tough break from the ladies; they could’ve replaced the covers that Abram took away. The guys cheer as their leaders bring in a big board. Ruthie snags another oar, while Randy picks out a plastic case. Both sides pick wooden boards.
Suddenly, Coral points out Derrick messing with the items. Sure enough, he’s trying to fit a small piece of pipe on a larger piece, and that is the same as building. Mark interviews that Derrick is a leader, and he should have known all of the rules. Jonny makes the men skip a turn, and the ladies pick out two of what Derrick was examining. The guys are ticked, and Coral declares that her team is done selecting. The girls start duct-taping, while the guys finish collecting.
Both teams frantically build their vessels. “It’s kinda like automatic pilot,” Ruthie interviews. “Everyone starts doing something, and it all just seems to fall in place.” Eric interviews that his team needs a big boat to make up for the weight difference. As the teams build, we hear some bizarre barbershop quarter/sea shanty hybrid in the background. The ladies float their boat, which is basically a board on tubes. Their first seven players get on, using the oars to row. Coral shouts at Angela to row harder, interviewing that she’s barely paddling. Sure enough, Angela is barely putting her oar in.
The guys take their boat out, using two-by-fours to paddle. “I feel like we’re Noah’s Ark,” Theo interviews, “only on our ship, we gathered two of every kind of idiot.” From the beach, Mark and Chris yells contradicting rowing instructions to their teammates. The ladies finish their first heat, and their second seven start out. Steven thinks that his team isn’t that far behind. But the girls are far ahead, and they win, prompting a huge celebration. Mark rows in, sour-graping that he hates Greece anyway. “They’re going to Greece,” he interviews, “which sucks because I’ve never been to Greece. [pause] Bitches.” Cheer up, “Cruiser.” I’m sure you could go with your new Extreme Dodgeball buddies. Rachel gloats about the win before she gets ugly. Well, uglier. “Bye bye, Angela!” she hisses to the camera. “See ya in Greece, but I won’t see you here anymore!”
The girls are still giddy about their prize – which Tina calls the best of the bunch so far – as Jonny wraps things up. He reminds the ladies that their three team leaders will pick somebody to go home, while the men’s team will send one of the three leaders off. Mike interviews that Derrick won the first mission and the trip to Cancun for the guys. He adds, “There’s no way they’re going to take Derrick out over me.” Derrick feels that it’ll come down to him and Mike, and that the guys might take his mental flub into consideration. As Angela yammers on her cell phone, Ruthie interviews that Angela feels a lot of votes will be cast against her. “I don’t really think there is a lot of basis for that,” Ruthie continues. “I don’t think it’s really fair. It’s not a popularity contest, but sometimes it is.”
Meanwhile, Frank tells Angela that when and if he leaves, he’d want to be friends with everybody. He then urges her to socialize with her teammates. Match, meet gas. Angela feels that nobody is on her side except for Frank, and that she’s going home. She adds, “If evil prevails, I don’t want to be a part of the game anyway.” Shut up, Angela. This is my fourth season recapping the Challenge, and I’m still doing it. After a while, you get used to evil prevailing
Girls’ Inner Circle Meeting. The ladies go over the boot list. Coral? Fine. Ibis? Fine. Cynthia? Red flag. We get a flashback of her talking to the team: “If I don’t ever want to be a leader, I don’t ever have to be a leader. If I don’t ever feel comfortable with being a leader, I’m not going to be a leader, and that should be the end of it.” Suddenly, I start to feel queasy. Robin interviews that she feels like that’s not being a team player. Veronica figures there are stronger players. Tonya? Fine. Angela? Ruthie feels that Angela is a good performer. Veronica doesn’t feel that Angela brings a lot to the team. Robin says that Angela thinks the others are out to get her.
Cut to Angela talking on the cell phone to persons unknown, whining about how the others don’t like her. If I wanted to recap Road Rules: X-Treme, I would’ve done that already. “Maybe I’m too nice to be in this game,” she deludes. “Maybe I’m not mean enough to win a game like this.” Cry me a river. Five-to-one says that she’ll declare herself “too punk rock” by the time she gets voted out. She continues, “Those [bleepin’] bitches are sitting in their seats laughing right now, because I’m going home, exactly what they wanted since day one.”
Cut to the Inner Circle walking to Elimination Hill. Robin doesn’t want issues in the house. Ruthie feels that they’ve reached a fair decision. “I want a happy home,” Robin declares. “I don’t want to go home to some [bleepin’] drama.”
Elimination Hill. Jonny calls on the guys to reveal their decision. Dan steps up, saying that the team didn’t want to make the decision. They based their choice on disqualifications, performance and leadership. The choice? Derrick. Once again, Mike wriggles off the hook. Derrick looks pain, but Dan hangs on to him, singing his praises. “He has no filter,” Dan proclaims, “between his heart, his mind, his actions, his words. I’ve known this kid for two weeks, and look at me!” Man, I love Dan. Derrick can barely look at anybody, and Dan’s trying to cheer him up. Derrick interviews that he’s hurt, and that he figured enough people saw him in action. “I know it’s a game,” Derrick interviews, voice cracking, “but it just hurts sometimes.”
Women’s Lodge. Insurrection. Aneesa declares this to be the worst decision made. Cynthia brings up her statement on leadership, stressing that she won’t take it back. Aneesa insists Cynthia shouldn’t be going home. “Those three bitches need to get a realization!” Tina blows up to nobody in particular. “They wanna play the game grimy, let’s [bleepin’] play the game grimy!” Aneesa feels that a pattern has been set. Tina: “They knew that there were better calls to be made, but they went with it anyway.”
Over at the Men’s Lodge, the team drinks in Derrick’s honor, trying to reassure him. “Losing a player like Derrick is hard,” Randy interviews, “because he has so much heart and so much will to win. That inspires the rest of the team.” Derrick thinks going home sucks, but he’s learned so much from his teammates. As flawed as he might be, I think Derrick has a lot of promise in whatever he does. At least he’s not Patrick, I can say that much.
Cynthia says her goodbyes. “There is no reason why you guys need to keep me here to jeopardize the rest of the team,” she interviews. “If I’m the weakest link, then let me go.” She tells the girls, “See you bitches in Greece.” She interviews that she knows the girls will win, and she hopes they’ll make the right choices and “have the right ladies win.” So long, Cynthia. You’ll always be hellacool to me.
New day. The ladies play Tuesday Morning Quarterback. Robin explains that she didn’t want to make it personal. She points to Angela, saying that if the team had lost, she would have been sent packing. I’d like to think Veronica would have been booted instead. Robin says that she doesn’t think Angela performed bad in the last mission. Coral asks about Cynthia’s choice of not leading factoring into the decision, then declaring it as “whack.” “She stepped up and then stepped down,” Coral adds. “That’s worse than never stepping up!” I wonder what Donald Trump would have done to Angela if she flip-flopped like that on The Apprentice. Nothing I can print here, that’s for sure. Veronica points out the lack of a points system, then says that the decision came between making the right choice and making everybody happy. Coral: “Then make everyone happy next time!” Sophia feels that half the team wanted to make things personal, and the rest wanted to base the decision on performance. “Winning this mission is the downfall of our team,” she interviews. “This so-called ‘semi-unity’ we have is now diminished.” Aneesa repeats that the decision set a tone, and that she’ll remember it. Tina: “There’s a grimy underground tune that’s going on right now. And I feel it, and I don’t like it one bit.” Quick shots of the ladies, ending with Tonya holding her head and Arissa shaking hers. Fade to credits.
Next week: Frank walks with Angela. “She won’t tell you this,” he tells an unseen person, “but we did have sex just now.” Oh, Frank. Angela interviews that he is there for her. Great, now I’m hoping Jillian would pop by and flirt with Frank, just to see Angela’s reaction. Jonny introduces the mission as a “good old-fashioned showdown.” Players shoot each other with paintballs. And once again, Mike stands in front of the firing squad. Drop the hammer, guys! Get it over with!
My hatred seems downright quaint, doesn't it? For God's sake, I probably forgot about Angela sucking wind the instant Beth Bethed back into my life in Inferno II.
We know Derrick's story . . . he becomes a regular, suffering tough lose after tough loss, finally winning with the Bad Asses team in Inferno 3 after replacing CT, who had gotten ejected for punching Davis before the first mission. Derrick would also win in The Island and The Ruins, getting on my bad side to the point where I made jokes about his height on the forums similar to Theo's cheap shot in Fresh Meat. But I'm good with Derrick now. Better to be "Wee Dee" than "Other Derrick"/"Shit The Bed Derrick" from Are You The One?
Oh, and sometime before or during this season, GSN was airing Extreme Dodgeball. Mark was on the Reef Sharks team, and his nickname was "Cruiser." That seemed easy enough a target for me, as Mark started to fade from the decent guy I had seen in the past.