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.