As for this episode? It basically rekindled my hatred of Steven. Right after RW: Las Vegas aired, it was a contest between him and Trishelle as to who was the most obnoxious roommate was. As an added boot to the butt, they were a couple for most of that season, and that wasn't fun. And there was a pregnancy scare. It turned out to be a false alarm . . . I'm convinced that The Real World would have ended that season if a kid had been conceived. I've said that I'm convinced BMP's ultimate goal is to film someone dying on camera. A Steven/Trishelle lovechild would have been considered epic enough for things to have come to an end. This episode would've been basically "Shut up, Steven" even if he didn't jaw with Sophia, one of the few people there I was rooting for.
By the way, I don't think the mission could be filed under "BMP trying to get someone killed." Electrocution by charged aluminum pole would have been too obvious.
Episode Aired: December 6, 2004
Recap Posted: December 9, 2004
The players get shocked in an electricity-themed mission. Viewers get shocked by the new romance, as well as Sophia’s new hairstyle.
Previously on Battle of the Sexes 2: There was tension on the women’s team. I know, big surprise. Tina didn’t like the “grimy underground tune.” The fellas won Sa-Wing! (I still hate the exclamation point), upping their record to 7-1. Coral interviewed that it was hard to keep morale up. “We’re losing by just a little bit,” she added, “and that’s even more frustrating than getting our asses kicked.” On Elimination Hill, Chris volunteered to go home in order to go back to his wife. Katie got the boot from the women’s team, denying us from yet another meltdown against Veronica. Oh, and we get footage of Nick and Shane dancing together. That was weird... I wonder if one of them goes home tonight.
At the Women’s Lodge, some of the girls lie in bed and talk about those not there. Veronica whispers about how Sophia wanted to buy her a drink after the Inner Circle had to choose between Sophia, Tonya and Rachel. For a second, I thought Sophia wanted to buy her a drink for... another reason. Wasn’t ready to go there, and I glad I didn’t have to. Coral adds that Sophia had hugged her goodnight and brought food to her. Coral and Veronica laugh, trying to keep it down. Coral brings up Ruthie getting drunk and saying that Coral has so much power. Speaking of our warrior princess, Ruthie walks closer to the room, in prime eavesdropping position. Coral goes on about how Ruthie wants her to use that power for good. Sure, Coral is practically a PhD in negativity, but it’s good when she jumps down the throat of some punk who had it coming. Look at past Challenges – Coral went after Stephen, Matt, Trishelle (twice) and Julie, all of whom deserved Coral’s special kind of “tough love.”
Ruthie walks in, clearly busting the girls. Coral doesn’t deny anything, and Ruthie walks away. She interviews that she’s hurt, and considers Coral’s words rude and disrespectful. “If you have the audacity to talk about me,” she goes on, “you might as well come into the next room and say it to my face.” Yeah, but going behind the back is so much more fun! Ruthie is clearly broken up, telling Coral how she feels. Coral replies that she wouldn’t say anything behind her back that she wouldn’t say to her face. “Tensions are high, and some people are on edge,” Ruthie interviews. “The rules of the game encourage behavior of people to get together and be cliquey and talk [bleep].”
Cut to Sophia outside, pounding on a punching bag. Honestly, I would not want to mess with her, because she looks like she knows how to hand out a beating. “It’s not about how well you do,” she interviews. “It’s about how many people are on your side, and how you survive. Plain and simple.”
Over in some secluded spot, far removed from the drama, Mark and Robin spend quality time together. Robin wants her team to succeed and for the best girls to win in the end. Mark replies, saying that won’t happen. Robin interviews that it’s fun to hang out with somebody, but it’s too early to know what will happen. Mark interviews that he wouldn’t get involved and get distracted.
It’s clue time in Santa Fe! Frank: “Why, it’s another message from Dr. Moseley!” The thought of Jonny in a white lab coat and stethoscope cracks me up. The clue tells the players to get ready for a “positively electric experience,” to wear socks, and to be ready for an 8:45 a.m. pickup. Back at the Women’s Lodge, Veronica reads the same thing while lying in a hammock with Tonya, who doesn’t want to be electrocuted. “The girls are really sick and tired of losing,” she interviews. “We have the capabilities and the strengths and the wisdom, whatever necessary to win these challenges, if we play our cards right.”
It’s mission time! We see “High” signs, long poles and walls with an electric-themed pattern carved into them. Arissa correctly guesses the purpose of the mission, calling it “pure evil.” Jonny welcomes the players to today’s mission: Electro-Shock. The object: move a 20-foot aluminum pole from one side of the wall to the other, through the pattern. The walls are electrified with 1,000 volts of electricity. Ruthie: “Just thinking that you’re gonna get shocked makes people twenty times more intense.” The three team leaders get in front of the pole. If the pole touches the side of the pattern, a horn goes off, the players get zapped, and they have to start over. There is a line on the pole which cannot be gripped past, and there’s a line on the floor that cannot be passed. If the players do either of those or let go of the pole, the team has to start over. This week’s prize: $1,000 worth of electronic stuff. Jonny gives both sides the usual 30 minutes to choose leaders.
Tonya and Sophia examine the pole. I should add that Sophia’s hair is now flat. The magnificent poofiness is just about gone. It’s jarring, to say the least. Aneesa decides to lead, as well as Coral and Robin. Coral figures that the stronger people should go in front. Over on the men’s side, Randy, Dan and Steven step up to lead. Brad interviews that he feels confident in the leaders. Randy adds that the team strategy is to keep things quiet, listen to the leaders, and go slow and steady.
Both teams reveal their leaders, then take their positions on the poles. “We know we’re gonna take this,” Steven interviews. “We know we’re gonna destroy this course.” Coral tells her team that the guys will get shocked, interviewing that something has to change for her team. Jonny blows his air horn, and Coral and Randy take the front of their respective poles, slowly maneuvering them.
Back from commercials, Coral instructs her team, but the pole hits the side. It’s like Operation, but with actual shock. Dan does the same for his team, and the guys are forced to regroup. “You take your eye off the pole for one second,” Dan interviews, “and the whole thing just shakes, and you hit the side and get shocked.” Coral notices pole shaking and tries to calm her team down, but they get shocked anyway. “It comes from nowhere,” Ibis interviews. You kinda expect it, but you don’t. You’re on your toes the whole time.” The women get shocked again. Aneesa interviews that this mission is more difficult than anything. The horn goes off on the guys’ side, since Dan took his hand off the pole.
Coral instructs her team as they slowly maneuver the pole in the pattern. But they nail the side and get shocked. The guys move their pole. Nick interviews that they don’t have to change anything. “Just keep smart,” he adds, “don’t make any mistakes, and finish this thing up.” Coral firmly instructs her side. Ruthie interviews that Coral is “yelling all over the place.” Honestly, I’m not seeing that. That might be on the cutting room floor for all I know. Coral and Robin lead the pole down a diagonal. Robin interviews that it’s hard to lead with Coral and it’s hard to get a word in. Okay, that I can believe. Randy calmly leads his group. Coral tells Aneesa that she needs more guidance in the front. Sophia interviews that a lot of the team’s weight is in the front, and some people in the back can’t even see the puzzle from the back. While the women struggle, Dan guides his crew. “Fourth quarter,” he whispers, “everybody toughen up.” The ladies make a push, but the guys nail it for the win. Again. Man, this is getting depressing. I mean, it’s all about sponsor prizes and not screwing up until the final mission, but constant losing is not fun.
Anyway, while the guys celebrate, the girls get shocked one last time. Tonya interviews that she’s frustrated with Aneesa, who hasn’t pulled her weight. “The whole team just worked unreal together,” Dan interviews. “Getting ten guys to do it at one time was the toughest thing to do, and everybody came through like champions today.” Shane: “Those girls are heartbroken right now!” Shut up, Shane. I don’t think he’d be gloating if his buddy Rachel were still there.
Jonny awards the prize package to the guys, and goes over Inner Circle procedure for both teams (male leaders pick off a non-leader, women’s team picks off a leader). The women recover, going over what went wrong. Tina is disappointed that they lost again. Coral figures that the back was leading and that’s why they lost. “I don’t think there should be any fingers pointed at the back,” Ibis interviews, “because the leaders don’t know what it’s like to be in the back.” Of course, if Coral is right, it still doesn’t make a difference. They lost, and those up in the front are up for the boot. Nice flaw to the system, isn’t it?
And now it’s time for Steven to remind us why we hated him in the first place. “Unlike the girls, we don’t have weak players,” he tells us. “All of our players are strong. [cut to Coral looking ticked off] All of our players from the beginning have been pretty strong, and that’s the saddest part, because any one of these guys could beat any one of those girls.” First of all, I hate the condescending attitude that comes from these missions. The guys win damn near every mission, so there’s no need to twist the knife. Secondly, those are words meant for a confessional interview, as opposed to an open, “on the fly” interview. Coral comes up to him. To her credit, she tries to be calm, touching his arm and asking him to go easy on her team. He backpedals to the tune of, “Yeah, sure, okay.” Arissa: “At this particular point, Steven’s an [bleep], and right now he’s being a [bleep].” I can’t argue with her. Mark feels the need to defend Steven. Hate him, too.
Now Sophia starts to break up, saying that the girls give guys respect when they win. Steven feels he was just talking about how strong his team was. “It’s my team,” Sophia interviews, “I can make fun of them and bitch about them if I want to, but you can’t, because you don’t have that right.” Steven wants to know how he offended her. Sophia explains that she’s pissed that the girls aren’t getting respect that they deserve. Steven looks away, giving a little chuckle. Shut up, Stifler. The other women look glum.
After commercials, Coral attempts to rally the team. “I don’t care if the next mission is bench pressing,” she says, getting some laughs. “We will win the next mission!” Ruthie interviews that Coral is good at giving pep talks. “She has a great way,” Ruthie adds, “of covering up her negativity or anything that happens on a mission.”
Outside, Sophia doesn’t know what to do in order to make the team dynamic better. Ruthie doesn’t want to point fingers. Sophia adds that she doesn’t want the blame to go to those on the back of the pole. Ruthie feels that the leader wouldn’t blame herself, but rather everybody else.
Men’s Lodge, Boys’ Inner Circle Meeting. The fellas pull out their chart, which is on a crumpled piece of paper. According to their records, the two candidates for the boot are Nick and Shane. So that’s why we saw them in the teaser! Randy notes that Nick lost his round of Bombs Away, and he and Shane lost High Noon. Randy adds that Nick is more serious about the missions and he doesn’t party that hard, but the Inner Circle has to go on performance. He interviews that both guys are close, but a choice has to be made.
We go to Purgatory, better known as the Main Lodge. Robin hugs Mark. He interviews that it would suck if she had to go home. “I hope she stays,” he adds, “but if not, I’m sure she’s going to be bummed, and I will too.” Aneesa hugs and kisses Nick. She interviews that she had her chance, and she might not be here tomorrow. Coral doesn’t feel safe. She interviews that the others might be tired of her.
Women’s Lodge, Girls’ Inner Circle Meeting. Tonya thinks they’re getting down to solid women. Tina notes that in the last mission, Coral and Robin finished, but Aneesa didn’t. Tonya wants to play fair. Arissa has an idea in her head, but she doesn’t want to say it. Sophia adds that the decision is hard to make.
Welcome to Elimination Hill, where the Cabs of Shame are always gassed and ready to go. After Jonny goes through his spiel, Sophia comes up to announce the booting. Man, hasn’t she been through enough today? She goes on about how hard it is for her to sum up what the booted party means to her. Cut to Aneesa in her “DORK” sweater looking away and smiling. Sophia starts cracking again, saying that Aneesa’s elimination was a matter of fairness. They hug, as both sides applaud. Aneesa says that she had a good time, and she hopes the girls win something. Ruthie interviews that she’s sad to see Aneesa go, but it was a fair decision that people don’t take as bad.
Steven comes up for the guys. “Everybody loves this guy,” he starts. “He’s the only person that will let me close to winning in ping pong before killing me.” Our lucky loser? Nick. Damn, I wanted Shane to go. That guy just bugs me. The girls playfully wail in protest, but Nick shushes them. He knew that he was going home, and he’s walking away with prizes and new friends. Jonny gives Nick and Aneesa until 10 p.m. to clear out.
Aneesa gets her goodbye hugs. She interviews that the team’s vibe has changed, and everybody is getting along. “I have faith in the women,” she adds. “They can definitely win.” She gets into the car to leave. Elsewhere, Nick gets love from his team. In an interview, he thanks them for doing things the right away. He gets an escort to the cab from Shane. Nick interviews that he sees himself being friends with Shane. Whatever.
At the Blue Corn Café, Robin and Mark have lunch to discuss things. She feels that her mother will be worried about her moving. Mark offers to write a letter for Mrs. Hibbard about how he’s a little older and more responsible. Robin interviews that she was focused on winning and meeting Mark was a bonus. Mark says the same thing in his interview, that he didn’t expect to meet somebody, and now he’s attracted to Robin. I checked IMDB; there’s almost eight years between them. It shouldn’t be too gross, given that they’re both adults, but she was 14 when he first appeared on MTV. The big question still remains: can Robin handle being a dodgeball player’s girlfriend? [2019:Link to GSN's website for Extreme Dodgeball; I couldn't retrieve it via Archive]
Next time: Tina yells at Tonya. What was Aneesa saying about the vibe changing? Arissa: “We’re in our last week and a half, and everybody is [bleeping] petrified.” The new mission involves jumping bikes off ramps. Ibis brings up Arissa’s fear of heights. Sure enough, Arissa rides offscreen, screaming all the way. Poor girl.
I never got an answer on how or why Sophia's hair was straightened. It wasn't a huge thing in the bigger picture, but it did perplex me a lot at the time.
I have no idea what happened to Nick. Searching online didn't reveal much. In contrast, Aneesa kept doing Challenges, never winning one. Unlike Shane, she had made a few finales (Gauntlet 2 and Duel II).