Monday, September 04, 2017

The Inferno Episode 6: Hearts Afire

Looking back at this recap, I had forgotten that this was around the time Survivor: All-Stars was airing. This was around the time Richard Hatch (the series' first champion) had gotten naked during a challenge and grinded his ugly whatever on Susan Hawk. Rich wound up getting voted off, but Sue was really damaged, thinking that her husband wouldn't forgive her. I mean, I knew that wouldn't be the case, but when you feel that alone, the depression cuts deep. Anyway, before the next challenge, Sue goes double bugfuck with cheese before leaving the game on her own. Her tribe celebrated afterward, complete with Tom Buchanan (the farmer I suspect diddles his goats) singing "Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead." Amber didn't join in, which was probably her most admirable moment in her two tours of duty. I know, she won that season, but she probably wasn't among the first people Mark Burnett called up.

This episode: I still wasn't Team Katie. I still did not think much of Jeremy. Looking at what I wrote, I forgot that Trishelle had been a complete bitch even without being on the show itself. The only other Challenger I can recall pulling that off was Zach in Rivals III, when Jenna found out he was unfaithful to her when another girl picked up his phone. I know, Jenna's taste in guys stinks, but that was low, even coming from a Neanderthal. I'm amazed his knuckles aren't constantly bleeding from dragging them on the ground.

Airdate: March 1, 2004

Recap Published: March 6, 2004

It's all about surgery this week, as both teams attempt to take each other's hearts out of the game. In other news: Mike and Kendal heat up, Katie continues to stink, and Trishelle makes waves without being in Acapulco.
As I start to write this recap, it's early Friday morning. I've watched the latest Survivor, and I'm feeling a blinding hatred for most of those contestants. Suddenly, this Challenge has become a pleasant diversion. Bring on the in-fighting! It's like Club Med, and I'm sipping a virgin Daiquiri on the beach with Rachel B. and Theo V. Not even the impending showdown between bitter rivals can compare to the All Stars train wreck.

Previously on The Inferno: Mike and Kendal flirted with each other. Real World halted their losing streak by winning Disco Domino Derby. Mike volunteered for the Inferno, wanting to set the right tone for his team. Over on the Road Rules side, Jeremy stepped up, but backtracked once he and Mike were picked to go into the Inferno.

Nighttime. Mike and Kendal are cuddled in bed. In reality television circles, that means they're married. Mike interviews that they enjoy each other's company, and they've been hanging out. He's playing it by ear, so there will be no drama when he gets back home. Kendal pops out of the bed. She interviews that they have a strange connection with each other. She tells Mike to be prepared to lose tomorrow. She interviews that they're sleeping in their own beds right now.

Outside. Mike is on his cell phone with a friend from back home, saying he's done nothing with Kendal. Turns out somebody has been spreading rumors. He interviews that Kendal was dating one of his friends, and that person heard that she and Mike had been sleeping together. Who has been spreading this rumor? I'll give you a hint: her name kinda rhymes with "bitch hell." Yes, in an effort to maintain her presence on a show without being on it, Trishelle has decided to spread some rumors. Who does this? She kisses five guys in front of Mike, and now she's doing this? Is she even from this planet? Mike insists that he hasn't tried anything because he's friends with Blair (Kendal's last boyfriend) and some fella named Jonathan. Mike interviews that he hurt his best friend, and he doesn't know how to get out of it.

Mike tells Kendal that he's been consoling Jonathan since 5 a.m. Kendal tells us that she had dated Jonathan, but the spark wasn't there on her part. "I'm supportive of it," Mike interviews. "I get it. I don't like it, but what can you do?" They hug, and Mike apologizes.

Daytime. Mission site. Dave welcomes everybody to Balls Out. Everybody cheers, since Dave said "balls." There are two rows of stationary bicycles, each with a clear tube. The objective: pedal on the bike, blow air through the tube, and keep a small ball afloat inside a safety zone. Each team also has garden hoses and buckets. When players are eliminated, two of them can take turns messing up their opponents. Dave declares this a "last man standing" event. Coral chimes in with "wo-MAN." Please don't play the gender card. Dave tactfully calls it a "last person standing" event, with the winning team getting $10,000 and Dave's signature bike. Also, the last player left on each team receives the Aztec Lifesaver.

Strategy sessions. Jeremy interviews that he's going to stay on the bike even if he cries blood. Timmy tells the others that the mission will come down to knocking out the opposition. Katie and Shane volunteer to go after RW with the water. She interviews that they will quit immediately so they "can get Real World wet and try to mess up their balls." Feel free to snicker. On the RW side, Leah has the same idea. Coral interviews that she and Leah will figure out a way to put water in the hole to block air from keeping the ball aloft.

Dave blows his airhorn, and the plans go forward, as Coral and Leah; and Shane and Katie get off their bikes. Timmy is wearing an old-school flat-topped Pirates cap, which really looks out of place in Acapulco. Coral starts in with a bucket of water, while Shane works a hose. Katie starts dumping water at a rather high arc. In an interview, Veronica bitches about Katie laughing and dousing herself with water. "That's not funny," Veronica snipes. "You're supposed to get these people out." While Katie is still tossing, Shane is ineffectual with the hose.

On the RR side, Coral starts thrashing water into the hole on the bottom of the tube. Jeremy? Gone. Christena and Holly? Gone. Coral punctuates the eliminations with "Outta there!" Hey, it's funny for me, anyway. Abram interviews that he doesn't know how Coral is taking out his team. Leah and Coral double-team Darrell. Meanwhile, Shane is still having problems with the hose.

Back from commercials, we see that RW has six players left, while RR has four. Shane nails Julie in the face, and the ball pops out from the top of the tube. Interesting... so pedaling too hard has consequences as well. Syrus eliminates himself in the same way. On the other side, Leah and Coral eliminate Darrell, Kendal, Abram, and Veronica to get the victory. Katie interviews that the team thinks the loss is due to her and Shane. She rolls her eyes when she says this, so I'm guessing she's not taking this seriously.

Since an Aztec Lifesaver is at stake, the remaining RW players keep going. For some reason, RR is still allowed to douse them. Shane sprays David, eliminating him. Mike interviews that there are three people left in the game (him, CT, and Mallory), and RR is focusing on him. Darrell has replaced Katie on bucket duty. Mike pedals hard, almost knocking the bike over before getting eliminated. He throws a hissy fit, slamming his cap to the ground. Mallory is eliminated, giving CT the Lifesaver.

Denouement. Dave awards the $10,000 and the bikes to RW, tying both squads at $30,000 apiece. He awards the Lifesavers to Veronica and CT (or "C-Tizzle," as Mike calls him.) Dave announces that he will see them at the Inferno tonight. RW celebrates, while Christena grouses about losing the money and prizes. "The two most important variables you should have on a team: trust and communication," she continues. "We don't have those."

RW members laugh about Katie's ineptitude. They call her their teammate, going so far as to hug her and lift her in celebration. And she lets them. Man, RW never did that with Sarah, and she wouldn't have let them. Just another reason why Katie is such an albatross. Timmy and Holly look on, clearly disgusted. Veronica vents some more, declaring it embarrassing. Christena orders Katie away from her new-found friends. "Katie was giving people bubble baths," Timmy interviews. "Now it's time to not be so nice and start cutting off some weak links." Fun fact: you cannot spell "weakest link" without "K-A-T-I-E.”

Night. Villa. Jeremy and Katie have a conversation which turns my stomach. Jeremy thinks that Katie is a focal point for the team's negative attention. "We have this unspoken camaraderie that we're the underdogs," he interviews. "I love underdogs in this world, and she's one of them. She's feisty, she gets in people's faces and things like that, but there's an inner person that some people don't know." In other words, Jeremy is trying to convince us that Katie is this season's Sarah, which is a total crock. At least Sarah tried her best most of the time, which is a lot more that what I've seen of Katie. Also, Sarah never tried to rip somebody's head off for votes against her. I haven't forgotten that Katie took shots at Sarah in the preview special about how she just let the votes happen. Katie's a scrub, end of story.

Now it's time for Katie to make my eyes roll. She says that people are more concerned with money with than each other. Jeremy figures that Katie is looking for respect, and he'll sit down and regroup after he beats Mike. Katie: "I think Jeremy is the heart of Road Rules, and definitely the most positive person on our team." Say what? Jeremy is not the heart of the team. He's barely the appendix. He's wasn't even the first choice when it came to replacing Abram on South Pacific. To me, the heart of a team is somebody who pumps life into the teammates and whose elimination would be crippling. On the RR side this year, that's Timmy and Holly. If Syrus had gone into the first Inferno, we wouldn't even be listening to Jeremy talk about how he has to prove himself.

Elsewhere, Mike talks to Kendal about feeling like an a-hole. Kendal interviews that Mike's mind is somewhere else. "He's not able to focus," she continues. "If he can forget about all the drama that's been going on, and put his head in the right place and focus, he can do anything when he puts his mind to it." Sure, but he's on the opposing team, Kendal. His happiness might end up being your sadness. Kendal tells Mike that she feels bad for him and his inner turmoil. Mike interviews about dealing with the Kendal and Trishelle situations. "Now I gotta go to the Inferno," he snipes. "This is fantastic. I'm having a great week."

Inferno site. Shots of flames. The players walk down the stairs in slow-motion. Mike: "Every time we walk down to the Inferno, it reminds me of Hell. I feel like Dave is Satan, and that's his lair." You know, Jonny Moseley was never referred to as a Prince of Darkness. Syrus openly wonders why it's "200 degrees in this bitch." Timmy cracks wise about this not being "the Chiller." Interesting note: most of RW is wearing Mike's Miz shirts. Anything to boost sales, I guess. Dave welcomes everybody to tonight's event: Human Candelabra. Both players will hold lit candles with outstretched arms. Sadly, the players won't be forced to sing "Be Our Guest" the entire time. Dave asks CT if he'll bail out Mike. CT wants Mike and his big muscles to stay. Dave asks Veronica about Jeremy, and she lets him stay.

Preparations. Jeremy figures that Mike's big arms will work against him. Dave shows both guys two stands coated with paint. If a player's hand drops four inches, it will hit the paint. Mike repeats what Jeremy said, and reveals that he has named his arms "Big Dub Diesel" (left) and "The Boss" (right). Such a tool, I swear. The candles are lit, and Dave bangs his gong to start the match. Both men stretch their arms out. "Mike is the heart and soul of the Real World," Holly interviews. "If you can take the heart out of the team, which is what Jeremy intends to do tonight, then you don't have a team anymore." See, Holly agrees with my definition. As big a schmuck as he can be, Mike has been the heart for the past few seasons. Nobody else has come close.

Back from commercials, Jeremy lowers his arms a little. Mike stares at him, giving off his version of Coral's infamous Evil Witch Stare. He interviews that he has to stay for his team. Elapsed time: 4:00. Jeremy lowers his arms, his hand coming perilously close to hitting paint. Elapsed time: 5:00. A hush falls over both sides. Mallory interviews that Jeremy is shaking and losing his focus.

Elapsed time: 5:13. Jeremy's arms are shaking, while Mike is rock steady. Jeremy's hand smudges the paint, and Mike to repeatedly yells and curses to point it out to Dave. Gong. Game Over. Mike: "There's no feeling like going into the Inferno and then coming out victorious." Mike taps Jeremy's shoulder, but the loser decides to slam the candle down. RW celebrates their first Inferno win, while Jeremy stalks off. Timmy: "The best man and the nicest guy on the whole crew, on either team, is going home. The nicest human playing this game needs to go home. That's why this is all [bleeped] up." I swear, when I heard this, I was wondering why Timmy was leaving. Then I realized he was talking about Jeremy.

Dave congratulates Mike for his win, and Jeremy for toughing it out.. A graphic shows that RR has now lost one player, while RW has lost two. "We knew that Road Rules' strategy was to take the heart out of our team," Leah interviews. "That's what the Miz is. He's the heart of the Real World team and he wasn't leaving. But nice try, Road Rules." Katie interviews that the loss of Jeremy will hurt RR, that they wanted to take out RW's heart, but RW did it to RR.

RR area. Jeremy gives a speech about how his teammates should be truthful to each other. He brings up wanting to talk with Katie in a constructive manner. With her only friend gone, Katie is dead meat. Christena tells Jeremy that RW's departures had been sour, and he has lifted the team back up. Seriously, is Jeremy that special? I honestly don't see it.

Jeremy gets escorted out of the villa. "Jeremy was a good competitor," Abram interviews. "He was doing well in the missions. Our team is not as strong as it was with him." Slow-motion shot of Katie. Back to Abram: "We're going to be voting her off the next time until we figure out how to scheme and plan and throw a mission just to get her off the team." At first, I thought Abram was being an idiot, but he might be on to something. RR could nominate two ladies other than Katie, ensure that the nominee wins the Aztec Lifesaver, and Katie gets placed into the Inferno. No way would RW pick her, since she damages her own squad by being there. That and a few RW members are probably still smarting over getting their butts handed to them by Sarah. Jeremy gets on board the short boat, as Timmy and Julie say their goodbyes. Damn, Julie gets into everything.

Nightclub. Random shots of fun and merriment. Mike and Kendal get close. Mike interviews that he always finds himself around Kendal. She tells him that they have nothing to lose, but it's something. "I can't help it if a girl likes me and I like her and my friend got in the middle," Mike interviews. "It's not my fault. It's almost like I'm looking out for me for once." Kendal, looking a little tipsy, gives Mike her trust and respect. She interviews that their friendship has developed into something meaningful. They share their first kiss, which is kinda tame by reality standards. Fade to black.

Next week: Something with cargo nets. Coral gets tangled up, and Julie gets frustrated with her. Coral curses out Julie. Julie: "I'm not willing to just sit back and let her run the show." Syrus: "You do not want to get into an argument with Coral." Coral: "I just don't like the bitch, because her personality sucks." That's right, boys and girls. It's Coral vs. Julie. Shoot, who needs grinding and drunken hillbillies?

Jeremy would return in Gauntlet 2, lasting eleven missions on the Rookies team before being dispatched by Alton. Jeremy is not the most famous Challenger ever. He's not even the most famous Challenger from Parma,OH; that would be Mike. He's probably a decent guy, but I wasn't kidding about the "appendix" bit.

Next time: Coral vs. Julie, which is probably why most people go back to watch this season.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

The Inferno Episode 5: Disco Inferno

Apologies for the delay. It's not like I've been super busy. Like most of you, I've been watching Dirty XXX with some horror at how it's playing out. I mean, Johnny could go out next and CT could retire with his second straight win, and I'd still nitpick all the twists. However, I have to acknowledge that BMP is looking back at Challenge history . . . especially with the latest episode, where they brought out bits of the awesome-in-retrospect Battle Of The Sexes intro to go over the relationship between Aneesa and Veronica. Which . . . ick. Aneesa can do SO much better. On the bright side, Rachel got shit talked about her, and that's awesome by me since I still don't like her.

 Bottom line: even though MTV would probably only run "my" seasons online (Gauntlet 2 is currently available; I really wouldn't recommend it), I should keep up with the archiving. This might be a little problematic, especially since I will be covering two comic book conventions and start undergoing vocational training in a few weeks. Screw it, I will make the time. Also, since lots of Challenge alumni peek on the Facebook group I'm on, I never know who will be reading.

Anyway . . . here's a blah mission, the start of Mizdal, and I bring up the Sally Jesse story at the start of the recap. Also, Darrell murders "Inferno" and leaves its limp body in the open. Good times.

Airdate: February 23, 2004
Recap Published: February 29, 2004 (hey, Leap Day!)

The players go retro and play with dominoes. But while Real World has no problem finding volunteers for the Inferno, the Road Rules guys don’t want to face the music.
Before I get started on this episode, I should throw in my two cents on the treatment of Trishelle on the final episode of The Surreal Life 2. Make no mistake, I don’t like her. We’re in different worlds, and I don’t necessarily see her youth as an excuse for her behavior. And yes, I celebrated each time she was bounced from the Challenge. But you know what? She did not need to be dressed down by the likes of Sally Jesse Raphael. Treating Trishelle like trash was Sally Jesse’s job? Last I checked, she didn’t have a job. I had the misfortune of attending a taping of her show back in the day. Believe me, Sally Jesse belonged in that house more than anybody in there, including Trishelle. Now that I’ve defended Trishelle, anticipate pigs fly over Wrigley Field in October during the Red Sox/Cubs World Series.

Previously on The Inferno: After a heated Real World meeting, Trishelle ended up going to the Inferno. Road Rules thumped RW in Climbing Wall. Abram taunted Mike with “Who’s the big winner?” I’m telling you, that’s quickly supplanting Laterrian’s “Hoo-RAH!” as the show’s catchphrase. In the Inferno, Holly outlasted Trishelle in a chili-eating contest. CT interviews that his team needs to step up.

Night. Now it’s time for another Challenge tradition: Mike looking to hook up with a girl. This season, the lovely Kendal is in his crosshairs. Here, he wrestles with her playfully, calling out moves and tossing her around. As much as I loathe the “Miz” persona, I concede that Mike has good amateur wrestling skills. He’s so quick, Kendal has little time to react. Mike interviews that Kendal is very sweet and angelic. She interviews that she’s enjoying Mike’s company. He manages to pull down both her socks and pulls a sneaker off her foot. Yeah... that’s love.

Mike is at a table with Julie, who is showing off 327 of her front teeth. He’s going on about he uses Jacuzzis in a romantic way. Kendal thinks that he needs a tool to get the girls. “All this cuteness with Mike and Kendal is just overwhelmingly sickening,” Julie interviews, “Mike and Kendal are Ken and Barbie. They’re the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.” Mike keeps insisting that all women go for the Jacuzzi, and that they want to be bad. Kendal leaves, but returns to dump a glass of water on Mike’s head. The hilarity never seems to end.

RW area. Coral tells the team that the losing “ain’t cracking.” She figures that the team should decide who should go and win in the Inferno. Syrus interviews that the team has “huge freakin’ hogs, like thoroughbreds,” but none of that want to go into the Inferno. Mike interviews that they’ve tried several plans, but none of them work because of the in-fighting.

Breakfast. A shirtless and scruffy David reads the clue off the sponsored communications device. I can hear the thuds nationwide, as the ladies swoon and hit the floor. CT interviews that RW has to step up, since they have two fewer people. Christena: “We want to keep this lead we have. I think we’re tearing away at their team, and I think it’s beautiful.”

Shots of Acapulco life. Cut to Dave, welcoming everybody to El Alebrije, the largest club in Latin America. Today’s mission? Disco Domino Derby. Each team gets 110 giant dominos. The objective: line them up and knock them over with one push. The first team to get it done wins $10,000 for their bank, as well as a home entertainment component. Naturally, the kids cheer harder for that than the check. Dave’s motions with the arm? Pretty good for a novice host. Gotta move that product, man. “Any time you throw a prize in there,” Coral interviews, “greedy Real Worlders will snatch it up.” Dave adds a twist: the teams will be geared up with roller skates and disco outfits. Nice way to distract from a dull mission.

Both teams suit up. After Heavyweight Hustle and the fat suits, I have no problem with the retro gear. Afros are everywhere... even Darrell gets one, even though he’s got another back at the villa. Katie tries to find a feminine outfit. CT looks like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever... y’know, if Travolta had walked the streets of Boston. Mike has a helmet over an afro, and I keep thinking of Oscar Gamble. Syrus dons a lime pimp suit with black-and-white zebra-striped lapels. Timmy’s suit has an eagle on it. Needless to say, the players are having fun, and I don’t hate them for it.

RR skull session. Timmy instructs Jeremy to deliver the dominoes. Jeremy goes off on yet another monologue about how he’s the New Kid and he has to Prove Himself To The Others. Holly: “I think there’s some Real World pride at stake here. To go behind 4-1... wouldn’t that be pretty for them?” Over on the RW side, David advises his goofy-suited troops to be efficient. Mike interviews that RW is down by two players, and they have to work twice as hard to make it up.

Dave blows his airhorn, and both teams start rolling. Here’s where I’d be screwed. I can’t skate. I’d be clinging to a wall, shouting directions. “We have more people to set up the domino, more experienced roller skaters,” Jeremy interviews. “If we don’t win this, there is something seriously wrong with our team.” More rolling and assembling. Mallory interviews about the importance of skating. Suddenly, Mike tips over a domino, leading to a premature chain reaction. What kills me is that David calls out “Michael!” That is such a David thing, calling Mike by his birth name. Mike interviews that he managed to knock down the back half, and his mistake could cost his team the mission. RW frantically starts reassembling. David interviews that the only thing to do is keep your head in the game.

More rolling. More assembling. This is the soccer of missions... fun to play, boring to watch. Jeremy rolls around, bragging about how he was born on four wheels. He was born in a car? I can see that. Assembling. Position adjusting. RR rushes, as does RW. Suddenly, the atmosphere takes the feeling of DEFCON 2. RR pushes their first domino, followed by RW. The camera follows one RR line... but pans to another, which has stopped dead on a staircase. Kendal interviews that a domino was on the wrong stair. Actually, the problem is that a stair was skipped, and one domino didn’t strike another with enough force to continue the reaction.

Meanwhile, the RW line keeps moving, finishing first. The team celebrates, as the lights flicker brightly. Syrus to Mike: “You are three men and one woman all in one!” What? Seriously... what? Mike interviews about how the team came together, while Coral and Syrus playfully grind on him.

Denouement. Dave awards the $10,000 and the component to RW. Mallory interviews that this was the boost they needed. Holly interviews that the morale is down for RR. Dave tells both teams to decide which two men will be nominated for the Inferno. Syrus interviews about learning from the past to plan the strategy.

RW Meeting. Coral declares there are no weaker guys here. She wants a nominee to “not pull a Trishelle, not pull an Ace.” As much as I can like Coral, I’d want her to shove peppers down her throat first, or coat her face in syrup and bugs. Leah wants to have confidence in whoever goes into the Inferno. Coral openly wonders who would be crazy enough to go in. She keeps going, basically talking about Mike without bringing his name up. Eventually, he volunteers to be nominated, but he vows to win the Aztec Lifesaver. He interviews that the only way to do things right is to volunteer and feel like winning. Coral asks CT if he wants to go, but David volunteers instead. He interviews that they can’t lose again, and he and ”Michael” feel confident in themselves. The team does a cheer, and the girls chest-bump each other.

RR Meeting. Timmy asks who want to go. Abram volunteers, prompting Holly to call him a stud. Thankfully, Veronica keeps her trap shut about the icky stuff. Abram interviews that he must be out of his mind to volunteer. Timmy asks for another volunteer. The other three guys don’t say a word. Shane looks especially displeased. He declares that he doesn’t want to volunteer and then get pushed into it in the future. Basically, he’s playing the Sarah card. Holly thinks everybody should have a shot, and she can’t guarantee not going back in. “No one wants to go to the Inferno because anything can happen there,” Veronica interviews. “No one here is taking initiative, so we’ve got some problems.” The camera cuts around the guys, who are silent.

Coming back from commercials, Jeremy breaks the silence, declaring that he has no problem going back in. Holly interviews that no one should offer themselves up after winning. Holly, where the heck were you last season? Sarah needed you, girl! We get a flashback of Bug Helmet, with Ace bailing and Jeremy jumping around like a spazz. Holly: “I think everybody should share equal time down there, but if you’re willing as Jeremy is to go, then why not?” Shane interviews that he is happy, and he will never volunteer.

And now let’s get a nugget of wisdom from Jeremy. “People like to be led, that’s the bottom line. There’s the few that like to lead, and I’m one of those.” I laughed. Hard. Whatever you say, Jeremy. For somebody who’s always wanting to prove himself, Jeremy has an ego on him. Katie: “To volunteer yourself once is pretty ballsy. But to do it twice, then it just shows the other guys as wimpy.” For once, I agree with her.

Dave announces the nominees. Mike beats his chest as his name is called along with David’s. Abram and Jeremy are announced, and both sides cheer. Abram and Mike clink water bottles. Dave gives both sides ten minutes to make their picks. Darrell goes over the process again. He does it cleanly... except he pronounces it “Infuerno.” I want a remake of My Fair Lady with Darrell in the lead. How would be mangle “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain”?

RW Meeting. Mike: “One word, two syllables: Abram.” Everybody shoots him down. He mentions that he beat Abram once before. He keeps begging to drive Abram to the School of Hard Knocks one more time, beating his chest. Julie figures that Jeremy is a guaranteed win, and RW has to eliminate from the bottom up. Isn’t that what they thought before Ace ran off?

RR Meeting. Jeremy suggests Mike. Everybody agrees. Shortest meeting ever. Abram interviews that he can take Mike out of the game. Group cheer: “One, two, three, KILL!” Yeesh.

Both teams make their presentations. Once again, there’s the usual standoff before the plates Once again, Jeremy’s plate is misspelled, having an extra ”e.” Julie is confident that Mike will win the Inferno, since he’s bigger than Jeremy. She also says “big winner,” but it sounds like her voice has been infected by the virulent Boston accent. Coral: “We’re just hoping that we send his cute lil’ ass home.” Speaking of Jeremy, he’s a little nervous now. “When Miz was drawn to go up against me,” he interviews, “I take a deep breath and I’m thinking to myself, ‘What am I gonna do?’”

Night. Time to hit a local restaurant. That is, unless you’re one of these kids. Then you go to Hooters. Yes... a Hooters. In Acapulco. Christena and Mike talk about the RR guys not stepping up. She interviews that those guys look pathetic and weak.

Elsewhere, Abram and Jeremy are walking and talking. Abram gripes, telling Jeremy that he’ll keep quiet for now, but would force the others into volunteering. “Now I realize why I don’t trust any of these people,” Abram interviews. “Everybody’s got a knife in their pocket.”

Hooters. Christena tells Mike that her team has to get it together, or go home. “I don’t know what we’re afraid of,” she interviews. “My team is getting weak!” How is going 2-for-2 considered being weak? Back outside, Jeremy wants Darrell and Shane to go next. At Hooters, Christena tells Mike that Jeremy volunteered to get nominated. Mike thinks Jeremy was stupid, and I agree. Jeremy expositions that there’s another mission before the Inferno, and he can win the Aztec Lifesaver. If he wins it, he gets to pick somebody else. My fantasy involves Darrell getting shoved in and losing, then having to deal with Sarah (5-for-5 in the Gauntlet) on the boat ride home. Seriously, I had to listen to one negative thing after another from Darrell, and watching him get served would be sweet.

Hooters. Kendal interviews that Jeremy is a great teammate, but she likes flirting with Mike. Mike interviews that he’s friends with Kendal, but he doesn’t know if that will escalate. For now, he seems content dancing like a dork behind Kendal as he follows her.

Next week: Okay, I have no clue. I see stationary bikes, tubes, and water. Oh, and whatever they’re doing, Katie stinks at it... enough for Timmy to call her a weak link.

Rereading the recap . . . I predicted a Red Sox/Cubs World Series in jest, especially after they both came up short in 2003. Of course, the Red Sox would wind up winning their first title in 86 years, and they would come back 3-0 against the Yankees in the League Championship Series. Hey, remember when Curt Schilling wasn't the entire horse's ass? That was forever ago.

And dang, I was hard on Darrell. In retrospect, I can understand wanting to get rid of Sarah in Gauntlet, and he wasn't at the level of Adam, Rachel and Veronica (sorry for the flashback). I didn't start embracing him until Inferno II.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Inferno Episode 4: Hollyday

Not much to say about this episode. Once again: I was not Team Katie at this time, and her hesitation at competing in the mission did not make me a fan. I probably figured, "Damn, at least Sarah didn't balk once. I mean, she didn't do Red Barron, but Road Rules had a three-person advantage, and Cara and Darrell sat out as well." And I really had enough of Trishelle at this point. Also Julie, but she wouldn't get her dismissal for another eight weeks, much to my chagrin.

Oh, and I really, really, REALLY regret likening Timmy and Holly to Judd Winick and Pam Ling from RW: San Francisco. While Timmy is more of an alpha guy than Judd, Pam had NEVER pissed me off the way Holly did in The Inferno. But I wouldn't start getting mad at her for a while longer.

Airdate: February 16, 2004
Recap Published: February 22, 2004

Meet Holly. Holly is Road Rules’ leader. Holly can talk Katie into performing. But can Holly take on Trishelle in the Inferno and live another day?
Previously on The Inferno: Mike had the absolute gall to dance with another woman in front of Trishelle, who got bitched out by Coral. Road Rules won Wreck 'n Roll, upping their bank to $20,000. Trishelle was shocked when Mike and Coral led an effort to nominate her into the Inferno. RR was stunned when Real World chose designated team leader Holly for the Inferno over perennial scrub Katie. Trishelle made her peace with Mike, but was still furious with Coral.

We open with Holly and Kendal on the hammock, joking about how Holly wants to go back to Colorado with a tan. Kendal interviews that Holly is more scared of the Inferno than she lets on. “As far as I’m concerned, she’s like She-Ra,” Kendal continues. “She can do anything. She’s like the most powerful woman in the world. So I think Trishelle should be scared.”

Inside the Villa, Julie and Trishelle have a similar conversation. The key difference? My skin doesn’t crawl when I watch Holly and Kendal. Julie says that she should have been more vocal at the meeting, and that it would be an enormous defeat if Trishelle lost. The thing about RW is that there’s no de facto alpha female. I don’t get scared by Trishelle or Leah, Coral is 80 percent mouth, Mallory’s soccer skills don’t translate to the missions, and Julie is borderline psychotic. I’m beginning to see why the genders are alternated. Julie interviews that Trishelle shouldn’t be going to the Inferno. She continues, “The fact that certain members of our team have that much influence in meetings is a little bit worrisome.” She tells Trishelle that she doesn’t want “Coral garbage” since Coral has problems with them. Trishelle is pissed that Coral manipulated the votes. Julie continues, saying that everybody who had a problem with Coral voted fairly. Yes, this team is a third-world nation, and Coral is the dictator. Shut up, Julie. Trishelle: “Last season, I didn’t say anything. And [bleep] that. I’m not going to let her walk over me and intimidate the [bleep] out of me.” I guess she forgot about stinking so badly that last season everybody but Mike voted her into the Gauntlet. Twice! Julie concludes that Coral will control the meetings unless she or Trishelle stops it.

Mission site. A giant wall dangles from a crane. Mike expositions that there is another mission before the Inferno, and the players have a chance to win the Aztec Lifesaver. Dave welcomes everybody to Climbing Wall. Yeah, that’s the name of the mission. The objective: climb the wall and secure the sponsor flag on the top. The team with the best average time wins $10,000 for their account. Should a player fall off the wall or drop the flag, that person gets the slowest time logged, plus a two-minute penalty. The fastest players on each side get the Lifesaver. Mike interviews that Holly and Trishelle are going to the Inferno unless they win the Lifesaver. It’s interesting that Mike’s hair is all messed up. My theory is that since he’s about to “see” Kendal, he wants to look like Blair, who she dated for a while.

The wall slowly spins around as Shane and Syrus get ready. They climb up, using the various ledges and nooks. As Syrus breathes heavily, Shane gets to the top first, but he takes his time putting the flag up. Shane finishes at 52 seconds, while Syrus comes in at 1:08.

Holly interviews that if she were the fastest person up the wall, it would change the Inferno. Her opponent is CT. Cut to Shane wearing a “MILF” t-shirt. Coming from a gay guy, I have no idea what that means. Holly gets up the wall quickly, but CT beats her, getting a 0:46 time to her 1:20.

Jeremy vs. Julie. He makes good time, but she slips. Unable to hang on, Julie lets go for the disqualification. Ha! If loving her failures is wrong, I don’t wanna be right. Meanwhile, Jeremy finishes at 1:25. Julie interviews that she was cocky going up, and that she’s an idiot. I can’t argue with that.

Veronica vs. Leah. Veronica gets up the wall as Leah slips and hangs on to a ledge. As Veronica finishes, Leah slips for the DQ. Veronica’s time: 1:33. Mike tells Leah she did well, but she doesn’t want to hear it.

Christena vs. Mallory. Christena slips twice, while Mallory slips and falls for the DQ. Christena follows suit, getting a DQ as well. Christena gripes that everything she tried didn’t work. Mallory thinks the mission sucks. Christena can’t believe Holly did it so fast.

Shot of the wall. Shot of Katie. After a dramatic pause, she announces that she won’t climb the wall. Shane asks why she came in the first place. She replies that she didn’t think it would be this hard. “Katie sees the climbing wall and she’s frightened,” Shane interviews. “She doesn’t like heights. She doesn’t like physical activity. If it doesn’t involve smoking or drinking, she doesn’t want to do it.” Katie says that ice cream eating and swimming pools don’t scare her. Maybe she would’ve been equipped if she hadn’t bitched her way out of last season. She interviews about not feeling confident when the team doubts her. You know what inspires confidence? Not drama queening about the stupid mission.

Back from commercials, Holly gets in Katie’s face, asking how she can believe in somebody that doesn’t want to be here. Holly tells Katie that she must prove herself. Katie says she wasn’t expecting a wall. Holly knows she can do it. Katie promises to try, but she isn’t expecting to do well. Holly interviews, “In terms of being the positive one and encouraging every single player on our team, I definitely have it in me to step up and be the leader.” Darrell playfully taps Katie on her helmet.

Katie vs. Coral. Holly shouts encouraging words. Veronica crosses her arms, a sour look pasted on her face. Katie struggles, while Coral falls for the DQ. Katie gamely keeps going, jumping to reach a ledge, but she falls as well. Her teammates clap and cheer her effort. “There’s a lit cigarette down here for you!” Christena shouts. Nice incentive. Holly tells Katie that she made it further than most people, and that she impressed her teammates. Cut to the jaw-dropping sight of Katie getting hugs from the others. Oh, sure… RR is all smiles now. Last season, it was all Adam and his cadre could do to keep from throwing Sarah down the stairs.

More races. David beats Kendal, finishing at 0:53 to her 1:35. Abram beats Mike to the top. “Hey, Mike!” he shouts while clipping his flag in place. “Who’s the big winner?” Heh… nice payback from their Gauntlet. Abram finishes at 1:00, Mike at 1:06. Leah reminds us that Trishelle will go to the Inferno unless she wins the Lifesaver. As Darrell goes up the wall, Trishelle grabs a ledge, but slips for the DQ. Ha! Darrell finishes at 2:27. I’m guessing that he bitched about the heights, but the interview was cut out. Timmy goes solo, scorching up the wall at 0:37.

Dave announces the average times. RW finished at 2:54, and RR finished with 1:57. Dave hands the cardboard check to RR, as they go up to $30,000 to RW’s $10,000. Dave also awards Aztec Lifesavers to CT and Timmy for their times, saying that they can save their teammates and sacrifice themselves. I’m confused… I thought that the Inferno was a same-sex affair. Wouldn’t the teams just reconvene to pick another person, like RW did with Syrus? Dave tells both teams that he’ll see them at nightfall.

Villa. Abram and Holly chat on the couch, thinking their team is solid. But Holly is worried about the Inferno. “It is a very daunting place,” she interviews. “You can’t help but wonder what it is you’re going to be doing, what if there’s an unforeseen variable and you lose, and you’re done.”

RW area. Coral asks Trishelle if she’s scared, or if she’s mad for going into the Inferno. Trishelle is mad, but she doesn’t want to talk about it. She interviews that her team was unsupportive, and the vote was manipulative. Coral brings up the club fiasco once again. “She wants to yell at me for going to the Inferno,” she interviews, “she wants to blame it on me? Whatever. I can take it.” Trishelle blathers about how votes were changed once Coral spoke up. Unless the editors misled us, I’m sure Mike got the ball rolling with that. But I guess Trishelle can’t bring herself to scream at Mike. Coral says that she believed in what she had to say. Trishelle accuses her of talking over everybody else. As Coral starts to rebut, Julie talks over her, causing her to snap. Trishelle looks at the camera, all “See what I have to deal with? Gawd!”

Back from commercials, Coral is still rolling. “It’s not my fault you’re going to the Inferno!” she tells Trishelle. “They picked you, not me!” Actually, “they” should be a “we.” Trishelle once again maintains that it’s all Coral’s fault. They go back and forth until Syrus breaks them up, telling Coral that Trishelle has to get ready. Coral leaves, muttering “copout” as she passes Mike. “I think I got what I was feeling across,” Trishelle interviews. “I’m not going to put up with your [B.S.], basically. I’m calling you out. It’s easier for other people to do the same thing.” Way to delude yourself, Trishelle.

As the bile in my stomach rages, Julie tells Mike that Trishelle stood up to Coral. Say what? Trishelle decides that Coral is to blame, and that’s stepping up? I saw paper ballots last week. I’m guessing that it wasn’t an open vote, where minds could be changed in a minute. And even if it was, Mike started bringing Trishelle’s name up. Not Coral. I feel that Coral can be shut down, but Julie’s celebrating like Trishelle did it. I wish that Coral had gone back to the room, grabbed their heads, and knocked them together. Julie and Trishelle totally deserve each other. If they get locked into a room with Adam, Katie and Puck for eternity, I wouldn’t be happier.

Inferno site. David: “I see five or six bowls line up full of really hot chilies. Based on looking at it, you can see it’s not a good time.” Dave welcomes everybody to Chili Counter. The object: eat as many chilies as possible within one hour. The winner stays, and the loser goes home. Dave asks CT if he’ll save Trishelle. CT declares that she will go, because she is confident and she’s from Louisiana. Is that the state with the hottest peppers? Remind me to ask Blair or Theo. Dave poses the same question to Timmy. He can’t say anything, and Holly has to speak for him, declaring her intention to go. Anybody else think Timmy still carries a torch for Holly? They would be a great couple… totally the Judd and Pam of RR. Shane interviews that Holly wants to go to the Inferno. Mallory figures that if Trishelle wins, RR will lose their best female competitor.

Inferno time. Dave bangs a gong to get things going. Trishelle munches on a larger pepper, while Holly pops a small one into her mouth. Trishelle holds her nose, obviously feeling the heat. CT tells her to “take a little sip of milk, have a little crackah, take your time.” It’s the accent that makes it funny. Trishelle interviews that she’s nibbling on one pepper, while Holly already has two down. Holly thinks she’s going to be sick. Trishelle shakes her head as she drinks.

Time remaining: 31:00. Holly has a 5-2 lead. She scarfs down another pepper, while Trishelle takes her time. Kendal interviews that Holly is confident.

Time remaining: 18:00. Holly is up 7-3, but she wishes time would go faster. Trishelle eats, wiping sweat from her brow. CT interviews that she looks ready to quit. Julie grabs her by the shoulders, giving her a pep talk. I don’t want to say what’s going on in my mind at that moment. CT yells that Holly isn’t as strong as Trishelle, prompting her to tell him to be nice. Coral: “EAT THE [bleeping] PEPPERS!” Who says she isn’t a team player? Holly complains that parts of her body are on fire. Wait until tonight, Holly. Trishelle is still feeling the heat.

Dave announces the five-minute warning. Julie cranks it up a notch, cheering on Trishelle. Mike joins in. Now the whole team chants her name, but she’s too busy sweating. The editors put things in slo-mo, inserting effects that make Trishelle look even more damaged. The team cheers in slo-mo. Voiceover: “There are decisive moments in all of our lives.” First of all, who the hell are you? Second, what is that supposed to mean? Maybe this is the moment when Trishelle decides to hang with the likes of Vanilla Ice and Tammy Faye Messner.

Dave bangs the gong. Game over. Holly wins, 9-4. Needless to say, I am a happy, happy camper. As RW stares in disbelief at a two-person deficit, RR celebrates Holly’s victory. Trishelle gets water bottles applied to her face. Holly says she’s on fire all over her body. Trishelle interviews that she’s disappointed in letting her team down, but she couldn’t make up the deficit.

Denouement. Dave congratulates Holly for her win and sends Trishelle packing. Leah gives Trishelle a hug. CT interviews that RW need to step up, and quickly.

Villa. Several RR members pamper Holly, who is lying down. Not for much longer, if those chilies kick in soon. “She’s like our team leader,” Christena interviews, “and we needed her to come back.”
Elsewhere, Mike tells Trishelle that he wanted her to win. He interviews that his relationship with her is like a roller coaster. Must be because throwing up is heavily involved. “As of right now, we’re on the ups,” he interviews. “We’re all good.” Trishelle interviews that it’s sad to go and she tried her best. As always, Coral has the last word. “Trishelle causes her own drama and she brought it on herself,” she voiceovers. “She didn’t want it that bad, and it wasn’t worth it for her. That means she needs to go back to L.A.” Unlike two weeks ago with Ace, Coral’s meanness coincides with my feelings. Here’s hoping she rids us of Julie in four weeks. Trishelle gets on the short boat, as Katie and Leah say their farewells from the dock.

Next week: With Trishelle gone, Mike’s free to wrestle and flirt with Kendal. Yes, Mike is on the prowl again. Long live Mizdal! Coral complains that, “This losing crap just ain’t cracking.” Dave welcomes everybody to Disco Domino Duel. Bad wigs, bad costumes, and giant dominoes. I have no idea.

That was the end of Trishelle as far as BMP shows were concerned . . . or at least that was what I figured. And then she showed up on the second edition of Battle Of The Sexes in 2012, on a team made up of housemates from the two Las Vegas-based seasons, alongside Alton, Dustin and Nany. To my shock, Alton went out along with Nany near the end of the season. In the following episode, Trishelle & Dustin defeated Marie & Robb from RW: St. Thomas to stay in the game. In the end, Trishelle & Dustin finished in second place, splitting $50,000. That was not a good season, since the rookie team representing the not-so-great San Diego season won, and Frank and Zach worked out their frustrations on Sam, who really deserved better. The team from RW: Brooklyn finished in third because the Challenge Gods -- if they truly exist -- were content to sticking it to Sarah Rice, giving her beta males in Chet and JD, and Devyn Simone, who did make for awesome television. Seriously, Devyn was the closest we'd get to Coral and Melissa back then.

Trishelle did not go out on that high. Instead, she followed up her only completed season with Rivals II, teamed with Sarah. Remember what I said about her and underwhelming teammates? Anyway, Trishelle got into it with Aneesa, and Trishelle wound up bailing on the game, never to return because host TJ Lavin HATES quitters. And Sarah was booted from her second Challenge in three seasons thanks to a partner being an asshole (fat fuck Vinny pulled Mandi's top off in Battle Of The Exes). Like I said: Challenge Gods did not like Sarah.

I leave you with what I would like Trishelle's ultimate legacy to be: popping up in the video for William Hung's cover of "She Bangs," fighting another woman over him. Yes, this really happened. Well, in a video, but you know what I mean. Also, when confirming Trishelle's appearance, I had it on mute. Because I may hate myself, but I don't hate myself that much.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

The Inferno Episode 3: Enter the Wiznitch

I'm going to start by saying that this episode might have the best mission in the history of the Challenge. I mean, I will badmouth the Infernos up and down, but Wreck 'n Roll looked awesome to play, and it was awesome to watch. In fact, that got reincarnated as a"Pit" in Battle Of The Bloodlines, where Mike Boise defeated Stephen Buell. This was a bit dramatic . . . basically, Cara Maria gave Stephen a "handful" on the bus, and she was going to keep her boyfriend Abram (Mike's brother; all-around psycho) out of the loop. And then Abram and Mike showed up, and Johnny -- being the small-dicked pot-stirrer that he is -- dropped a dime on Cara Maria. Abram got into it revving Mike up, to the point where he got a nosebleed, seemingly from the anticipation. It's stuff like that that has led me to theorize that the Bozo From Bozeman has been murdering hobos and drifters throughout the state of Montana for years.

The title? Well, The Inferno was running around the same time as the second season of The Surreal Life was wrapping up, with Trishelle as one of the cast members. One of the episodes centered around the has-beens and never-weres putting on a play for children, and Trishelle played "The Wiznitch." Because 2004, that's why. As much as I have disliked Trishelle over the years, I will say this: NOBODY deserves to be trashed by the likes of Sally Jesse Raphael the way Trishelle was in the finale. I attended a taping Sally Jesse's show. Afterward, the audience got served pizza before the next episode. I dug in, ate a slice, and got the fuck out of there.

Oh, and we get to an ongoing theme: "Katie Is Weak, And She Will Destroy Road Rules From Within." The funny thing is that Mike and Coral saw how RR treated Sarah in The Gauntlet, and they still won. Hell, they probably would have triumphed even if Coral didn't get bit by the spider.

Airdate:February 9, 2004 (two days before my essay on the season premiere got posted)
Recap Published: February 15, 2004

Think your last breakup was messy? Trishelle comes after Mike after he has the nerve to dance with another woman, and gets slapped for her actions. Meanwhile, the kids live like rock stars for a few minutes.
In case anybody was wondering, I did not write about the Fantasy Challenge. Basically, it’s the same set of rules as last season, with 10 points going to the Aztec Lifesaver winner. Going into this episode, I had my team (Team name: “In Brightest Day…”) picked out: Coral, Mike, Julie, Kendal, Veronica and Katie. But after seeing the commercials, I substituted Trishelle for Veronica. Would I reap the benefits? Let’s find out.

Previously on The Inferno: The players arrived in Acapulco, and got the lowdown from new host Dave Mirra: each mission is worth $10,000, and the final mission pays out $150,000. Road Rules won Grope the Rope, while Real World triumphed in Birdfeeder. Syrus bailed out of a date in the Inferno by winning the Aztec Lifesaver, and he sent Ace in his place. Sadly, Ace lasted all of eleven seconds against Jeremy in Bug Helmet, as he became the biggest joke in BMP history… at least until David Broom got busted for patronizing a prostitute. Damn, and he had been so good lately. Insert your own “Come On Be My Baby Tonight” joke here.

After the credits (Yellowcard, “Miles Apart,” underwhelming action), we hit the Villa, where Leah, Julie and Trishelle talk about hot guys. Leah goes with Darrell, while Trishelle likes CT. Leah always likes Mike. Trishelle reminds us that she went out with Mike during The Gauntlet, and they broke up when they got home. Oddly, she’s wearing a red Miz shirt. She tells the other girls that she dated him for his personality, not his looks. Have I mentioned that I hate her? “I didn’t break up with Mike because I didn’t care about him,” she interviews. “I’m really bad with relationships. I’m really not datable. I’m very hard to tame.”

Cut to Julie, with Mike and Darrell. Mike tells Julie about the day he and Trishelle broke up. Apparently, she had made out with five other guys in front of him. Julie laughs as Darrell counts it up. Mike interviews that Trishelle doesn’t know how to have a boyfriend, and she thinks the world revolves around her. “I can be her friend,” he adds, “but I can never have a relationship with her.”

Nightclub. Lots of dancing: Coral with CT, Mike with Christena, Leah backing into Darrell. Julie’s spastically dances by herself, which suits me fine. Cut back to Mike and Christena. It looks innocent by BMP standards. Trishelle looks pissed in every possible way. “I don’t necessarily like to see my ex-boyfriend hook up with other people in front of my face,” she interviews. It hurts my feelings.”

Trishelle yells at Mike. Since the party’s at full blast, the editors insert subtitles. Trishelle calls Mike an ass and bitches him out, but he walks away. “I’m gonna kick your ass!” she shouts. “[Bleep] you!” Mike doesn’t understand how her mind works. He adds, “Drama-filled night, once again, here we go.”

Coral reads Trishelle the riot act about her hurting Mike. I don’t know if its Coral concerned about her friend, or just wanting to bust on Trishelle. Either way works great for me. Cut to Mike looking on, and Abram dancing like a total spaz. Perhaps he should hook up with Julie. Wait, I take that back. More arguing. Trishelle insists she’s not serious. Coral tells her to chill out. Trishelle gets in Coral’s face, refusing to chill. I know Coral’s bark is probably worse than her bite, but Trishelle isn’t being smart here. Coral walks away, and Trishelle threatens to beat her ass. Jeremy tries to put a hand on Trishelle, and barely avoids her swipe. “[She] wants to beat us up, which I didn’t like,” Coral interviews. “I don’t really like when people talk crazy to me. The editors waste Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” on Trishelle yelling, asking Mike what the problem is. Mike won’t talk to her, and walks away.

Night becomes day, and we got a new mission. Dave welcomes everybody to Wreck ‘n Roll. The mission: “decorate” identical hotel rooms by wrecking them like rock stars. Of course, everybody loves this mission, especially Abram. Dave introduces Yellowcard, which makes Julie really happy. The band will give a guy and a girl on each side a new guitar. As they play a song, both teams must use the guitars and their strength to smash everything. The ensuing rubble must then get shoved into three crates given to each team. Abram basically repeats everything Dave said in an interview, adding that the crates have eight-inch holes. In other words, stuff has to be broken down before it’s shoved into a crate. Dave adds that the team with the most debris by weight wins $10,000 for their bank account. Julie does another spastic dance.

Mike and Julie get their guitars. Julie has this crazy look in her eyes. I start fearing for the lives of her teammates. RR discusses strategy, as Christena gets a guitar. Holly recommends Abram for guitar-wielding duty. Darrell interviews that Abram is already strong, and the weakest male player – Jeremy – should get it. Interesting… Mike and Julie are the most aggressive people on RW, while Christena and Jeremy strike me as even-tempered. “I’m going nuts!” Jeremy shouts at the camera, Miz-style. “I’m amped! I’m charged! I’M GONNA BREAK EVERYTHING!” Shut up. You’re on the damn show already, so dial it down a few notches.

Back from commercials, Yellowcard starts playing “Way Away,” and both sides start grabbing stuff and throwing it down. “It feels so [bleeping] good to just pick that thing up and smash it on the ground,” Abram interviews. “It’s great. Loving this mission.” Timmy dumps a plant into a crate. RW has 39.0 lbs of debris, while RR has 46.5. Christena slowly hacks away at a bureau with her guitar. Katie interviews that she hasn’t been performing well, and she’s trying to concentrate. Jeremy starts wailing on drawers.

Over at the RW room, Mike does a 360 with his axe, chopping away. This display of lumberjacking would make Sean proud. One guy bashes a chair. Mike obliterates the drawers. More stuffing into crates, and Timmy still working plant detail. RW 76.0, RR 79.5. Timmy interviews that they’re doing great working as a team.

Jeremy busts a television with his guitar, and then stands in awe. Abram joins him, using a chair to deal his blows. Jeremy: “You have the opportunity to take a brand new guitar and smash it straight through a brand new television. I mean, this is a guy’s freakin’ dream.” For a record, I have two dreams: employment and doing commentary on a VH1 show. I can handle I Love the 90s. Abram shatters his chair, and Darrell finishes off the TV. Julie hacks away weakly with her guitar. Christena and Jeremy team up. More dumping. RW 115.5, RR 111.0.

Jeremy hacks into a table, while Holly carries debris away. Julie bangs some more. Mike grabs a mirror, throws it to the ground, and smashes it. First of all, he’s just guaranteed himself seven Challenges of bad luck. Second, the mirror probably weighs a few pounds. Third, he turns the shards into little jagged shards. He voiceovers that he’s beating stuff in time with the music. In other words, he’s having way too much fun with this mission. Julie hacks away. Darrell breaks stuff. RW 160.0, RR 169.5. Jeremy bashes a piece of a guitar. Julie yells at her teammates. Dumping. RW 236.5, RR 239.0. Christena throws her guitar on the ground. Julie is clearly wiped out, but still hacking. Abram interviews that every bit counts.

Syrus drags out the decimated drawers. The singer does a backflip off a speaker. Julie screams that the song is almost over. Christena breaks her guitar, obviously out of editing sequence. One of the RW guys shakes his foot out of a broken TV. More bashing. And finally, the airhorn sounds, signaling the mission’s end. In terms of watching, I think Wreck ‘n Roll was one of the best missions ever. Both teams come down from their respective highs. “Dude, that was the best experience of my life!” Julie gushes. “I can die a happy woman. Now I lived my dream fantasy!” Darrell interviews that he’s not feeling good, and he hopes everything will be fine.

Dave reads off the results: RR brought in 290 lbs, while RW got 266. He awards the cardboard check to RR, which Timmy busts over his knee and throws to the ground. That’s not gonna make the sponsor happy. Veronica updates that RR is up 2-1 on RW, and they’re sitting comfortably. Dave tells the teams that they must decide which two women are to be nominated for the Inferno. Jeremy shows off the check and his guitar.

RR meeting. Katie immediately offers herself up for nomination, since she stunk up the first two missions. Kendal interviews, commending Katie for volunteering. Holly also considers putting her name out. She is wearing a bandage under her eye; in her recap, she revealed that Shane took a victory swing at some shutters, and she nearly lost an eye. Holly figures that she can’t be beat if she goes into the Inferno. Darrell: “Holly, Holly, Holly, what is you doing? You’re too valuable for us. If we lose Holly, we’re gonna be in trouble.” Apparently, Darrell will love anybody on his team who isn’t Sarah. The team confirms the nominations of Holly and Katie.

RW meeting. Julie decides to vote on the times from the first mission, going with Mallory (disqualified) and Leah (slowest time). Mallory interviews that she knew she’d be on the chopping block. Trishelle agrees, adding that she can’t vote for herself, since she had the best time in Grope the Rope. She interviews, “I am thinking that there is no chance in hell that I’m going to get nominated for the Inferno. That’s not even an option to me.” David goes with Leah and Mallory. Leah interviews that she expects the nomination.

Now it is Mike’s turn. He votes for Leah for her slow time… and then Trishelle, who had told him, Coral and Mallory that she was going to beat their asses. “As a team, no one should get into fights with each other,” he says. “No one should be getting into any kind of drama.” I’m sorry, Mike… is this your first reality show? Trishelle gripes over Mike’s reasoning. “He felt that I was threatening the team,” she laughs. “I’m a huge threat, I guess.”

Mallory votes for Leah and Trishelle, as does Coral. She interviews that Trishelle brought the drama on herself. “If this is going to be a factor in your three votes every team,” she snipes, “you [bleeping] send me right now, because that’s not going to make me do this for our team.” Mike and Coral proceed to gang up on Trishelle. “That’s not cool saying you’re going to beat people up,” Coral chides. “That’s never cool.” I know… she’s going to come off as a hypocrite when she tells Julie that she beats bitches up. Seriously, I don’t care. Trishelle: “Coral is just so freakin’ manipulative. She does not want me because I am competition to her.” Yeah, because Coral is so afraid of Trishelle. Shut up. Syrus votes for Trishelle and Leah. CT reads off the totals, Trishelle has four votes, and Leah has six. She interviews that she’s pissed at Mike.

Trishelle bitches to Syrus about the vote. Being a man of peace, Syrus tries to calm her down, telling her not to get emotional, lest she get thrown to the wolves. She sighs, asking about her incentive. Syrus starts to say something, but she doesn’t want to hear it. “I’m on the most selfish team that I’ve ever been on in my entire life,” Trishelle interviews, “and I don’t intend on letting anyone walk all over me.” To review: she does some sketchy stuff to her peers, and acts surprised when she’s called on it. Suddenly, her being friends with Julie makes more sense than ever, since they can’t see that what goes around comes around.

Villa. Trishelle asks Mike if they’re on the same team. “You think?” Mike responds. “We’re wearing red, aren’t we?” Actually, he’s got his black Miz shirt, but I get his point. He brings up the threatening of teammates, telling her that she should have apologized. He interviews that she had done so, the vote might have been different. Trishelle doesn’t believe this. “If you’re going to vote for people on a personal note,” she interviews, “keep your reason to yourself. I do not think that’s being a team player. And it more hurt my feelings as a friend.” She tells Mike that she has a problem with him kissing other people. Mike rightfully throws that back in her face. I imagine Mike watches The Surreal Life, setting up his own drinking game with Trishelle in the center of it, and passing out before Vanilla Ice throws one of his hissy fits. He tells her that he was sorry to have voted her in, but all she had to do was explain her actions. As he says this, the editors bring in some music, which I instantly recognize from the song played during Coral’s flashback montage last season. Even though Coral can be a rampaging bitch, I sympathized with her back then. Trishelle? Not so much. She wipes her eyes before hugging Mike. “I had way too much pride,” she interviews, “and I didn’t want to admit any faults. When you really care about somebody, you have to put that aside. I guess I’m learning that now.”

 Dave announces the nominations: Leah and Trishelle from RW, and Holly and Katie from RR. Timmy thinks that RW has “more grudges, more he said/she said.” Julie interviews that RR has a good strategy of sending in the strongest and weakest players. Dave tells the teams to make their picks.

RW meeting. Coral doesn’t want to vote based on how RR will vote. She wants to ensure that the RW representative will stay by picking Katie. Trishelle wants to vote for Holly, since it would be better to get rid of her. Over at RR, Katie wants a weaker player, since she’s 99 percent certain that she’ll get picked. She interviews that Trishelle has a lot of pride.

Back at RW, Mike tells the team that Holly would kick RW ass in every mission. He figures that voting Katie would be easy. But, according to Mike, “we keep Katie in there, she’s gonna mess up every mission for the team. If she messes up every mission, we win every mission.” RW agrees to send Holly to the Inferno. On the other side, Holly suggests Trishelle, since she’s a better player than Leah. Her teammates concur.

Outside, the teams keep their plates hidden from each other before putting them up for display. You’ll be happy to know that the names are spelled correctly this time. Both teams hug and act cordial, but Timmy looks nervous. “There’s a huge fear in losing Holly,” he interviews. “I don’t want her to leave. She’s a strong female, possibly the strongest we have.” As Holly and Veronica hug, Timmy mouths at the camera, probably about how this is a bad move. Or he could be pimping his show. I really need subtitles. Veronica interviews that having Katie on the team helps RW, since they wouldn’t vote her into the Inferno. “In an ideal utopian world,” she adds, “Holly would win the Aztec Lifesaver, and she would pass that right on over to Katie.” Looks like Katie and Veronica still hate each other.

Trishelle asks Mike if the team will support her. She interviews that he’ll always be a friend, even though he pisses her off. “He thinks I might win the Inferno just to spite him,” she adds, “and I may just do that.” Coral: “There’s not one person on our team that would sacrifice themselves for Trishelle. Not one person. I’m looking forward to seeing her in the Inferno with some roaches on her head.”

Next time: We got a climbing wall suspended by a crane, and Katie doesn’t want to climb it. Shane: “If it doesn’t involve smoking or drinking, Katie doesn’t want to do it.” Holly: “How do you believe in someone that doesn’t even want to be here?” I don’t ever want to hear another word about Sarah being a quitter ever again. Coral and Trishelle argue. Dave lays out the second Inferno: eat as many chili peppers in one hour. Suddenly, the word “Inferno” takes on a new and scary meaning.

Postscript: Trishelle brought in 92 points for me. While Julie netted a disappointing six, the Coral/Mike juggernaut brought home 45, giving me a respectable 143 points to start things off. I’m getting that Saturn this year. I just hope Julie isn’t the one to award it to me.

Totally forgot about David Broom actually "servicing a ho" back then. For $10. I'm thinking he would've paid more if he got further than five missions in his two Challenges. Also forgot Kendall had a blog; luckily, Archive is able to bring it back.

I have to end by posting the video for "Way Away." I'm a little nervous; in the past month, I have brought up Danny Dias, who wound up overdosing. Then I posted Linkin Park's video  for "Numb," and lead singer Chester Bennington committed suicide. All I'm saying is that I hope nothing bad happens to anybody associated with Yellowcard. "Way Away" resonated with me, especially when my relationship with the recappers of Reality News Online became increasingly strained. Before I started recapping Inferno II, I opened a post with lyrics from that song. I liked the band, I liked that song, and I'm really, really, REALLY hoping my blog isn't some sort of Death Note. Oh, and I think the same guy does the sweet backflip in the final verse that he did in the episode.