Tuesday, December 13, 2005

TARCon: Countdown to Oblivion

The good news: TARCon is offically on tomorrow night, and I'm guessing 95 percent of the crowd will be anti-Weavers. The bad news? We might be in trouble. Big trouble.

It's more than just the luck they've recieved along the way (finding the red coffee bean before the Gaghans, surviving two Yields and a non-elimination leg), despite ther total lack of respect for the other teams and the locales they inhabit. See, I believe in karma...or, at least, I'd like to believe. I believe that what goes around comes around...and yet, I believe that there always has to be a balance.

Last night, I saw Danni beat Stephenie to win Survivor. True, Steph wasn't as ugly a person as I've seen this year on TV...but she had entitlement issues, and watching her closer than in her first stint only to fail miserably? That was fun, but I wasn't that elated.

Cut to tonight and Gauntlet 2. From the commercials, I thought that the whole episode would be fallout over the Jo situation. But they swept it under the rug in about two minutes, and put a "bitch crazy" stamp on her case file (I still think she might've had just cause for her flipout, but I'll never know). So we went onward to competition...and the possible demise of Adam Larson.

Anybody who reads my recaps after the original Gauntlet season might wonder why I hate Adam so much. Since the second week of Road Rules: The Quest and through his two Challenge stints, he's been insufferable. Gauntlet was the worst...true, he did compete well enough in competition. But he was also part of a clique of "cool kids" such as Rachel, Veronica, Abram, Darrell and Laterrian. Their goal? Force out the outcast, Sarah Greyson. Five times, they sent the one they thought of as the weakest link into the Gauntlet, so that a Real World player could take her out. Five times, she walked off the victor.

The worst of these episodes started when the teams competed in the Rolling On a River mission, where the teams had to keep balance on a motorized log. During this mission, Laterrian knocked Sarah into the water as he fell. She refused to rat him out, and got her fourth trip to the Gauntlet for her misfortune. Worse, she had to take on her best friend, Rachel Brasband (the overgrown pixie Rachel, not the hulking butterface). In what remains the most painful endgame ever, the players had to ride mechanical bulls. First off off had to go home. As the editors piped up Chevelle's "Send The Pain Below," Sarah flailled on the bull, barely keeping herself on long enough, until Rachel got tossed. Afterwards, Coral had a heart-to-heart with Adam about trying to accept Sarah. And what does Adam do? He gets her a store-bought cake, saying that it's a "thank you" for saving her team's butts four times. Sickening stuff. Of course, we had a happy ending, as Road Rules won the final mission, and Sarah and Adam went home with some serious dough...but even as I loathed Abram, Rachel and Veronica in following Challenges, I still had a major mad-on for Adam.

Anyway...Adam is a captain. Being captain means that if your team loses, you go into the Gauntlet against one of your own teammates. The mission involves carrying coconuts with rods, using two-person teams. It goes down to the wire, but MJ manages to beat Julie to seal the win for the Rookies. Something concurs to me...Ellen was a member of Road Rules: The Quest. In the first mission of Battle of the Sexes, she got herself and Julie taken out...and as a result, the Inner Circle booted Julie. Could Julie complete the circle? Could her failure doom Adam, who was also on The Quest?

Of course, we need somebody to defeat Adam in the Gauntlet. Ace seems like the obvious choice, but Derrick spouts off enough to get his teammates' votes. I'm conflicted about the guy...he seems nice, and he was the coolestst of the Bad Asses last season. On the other hand: he fooled around with Tonya, got into a fight with Landon, could be seen challenging Brad in a teaser for this season, and is supposed to be doing his fourth straight Challenge after Gauntlet 2. Oh, and his blood type is labelled as "80 proof." You put him on The Real World: Hawaii, and the roommates would've had an intervention for him faster than they did with Ruthie.

To the Gauntlet we go...a weird mismash of grappelling, trivia and coconuts. Derrick blows a few questions, but he keeps up and takes the lead. Finally, Derrick takes the lead, doesn't let it go, and takes out Adam. It didn't matter that Derrick might not be an ideal captain for the Veterans. It didn't matter that Adam didn't do anything wrong this season, except for maybe making time with Jodi. The point was this...after two years, karma laid a beatdown on Adam, and I was thrilled...until I realized the big picture. If all the good vibes were felt today...where would they be tomorrow?

I might be overthinking things, but there are precendents. At the end of TAR5, fan favorites Chip & Kim rallied from third place to overtake the other two teams (including Colin & Christie, the New York Yankees of TAR) and win the $1 million. To start TAR6, we saw five of the nicer teams go out in the first eight weeks, while the more vile duos remained in play. Conversely, I was bummed out after Brad got beat by Abram in the Inferno last season. That night, I feared that the episode would lead into Rob & Amber winning TAR7. Turns out I misread things, and Uchenna & Joyce pulled off the upset.

We have less than 20 hours before we find out the winner. If the Weavers win, it will suck. It won't kill the show for me or most of the show's fans, but it will hurt like a bitch. But tomorrow night, we'll be pulling for the Linzes and Bransens to pull out the win. And if they manage to hold back Linda and her ugly brood, then this will be a great week for reality television.

No comments: