Tuesday, January 31, 2006


I wanted to talk about the new season of The Amazing Race tonight. I wanted to express my concern about the two roller-skating, liquor-serving babes in the teaser hail from my home borough of Staten Island. I wanted to draw comparisons between BJ and freakin’ Rupert Boneham. Instead, I want to reminsce about Challenges past.

Back in The Gauntlet, there was Steve. Steve was the wiseass from Road Rules: The Quest, the one who went east to New York instead of to Hollywood like all the other reality folks. In the third Gauntlet, Steve trashed Tonya in Perfect Fit, a puzzle-based game. He had bragged about how good he was with puzzles. Some time later, his team dumped him into the Gauntlet, this time against Trishelle. Once again, the game was Perfect Fit...only this time, Trishelle won. The little drama queen got to stay and make kissy-faces with Mike while Coral rolled her eyes at the whole thing, and Steve didn’t even get a farewell sequence.

One week passes. The Real World team sends Trishelle to the Gauntlet again. Road Rules opts for Sarah, their whipping girl. Trishelle rolls the die...and it’s Perfect Fit. Both girls get their puzzle pieces. Both tried to work it out. It was tense...but in the end, Sarah got her third win. I still got that on tape. Sarah slams the last piece in, raising her arms and giving a weird squeak. Some of her teammates mob her. There’s Theo hopping around the pile. There’s Adam, fuming that the one he considers a weak link is still in the game. There’s Sarah, talking about how her win was “the big middle finger to a lot of people.” And finally, there’s Theo telling us that if she wins once more, she should take the Gauntlet home with her. Good times.

Cut to today, and Gauntlet 2. The Veterans lose, team captain Ruthie gets forced into the Gauntlet, and Jisela volunteers...or she quits. Whatever. The spinner comes up on Reverse Tug-Of-War. Ruthie wins that, Jisela goes home, everybody’s happy. Two weeks pass...the Veterans lose, and decide that Beth needs to go home. The wheel lands on Challenger’s Choice, and Beth opts for Reverse Tug-Of-War. Ruthie’s strong, but she’s too small, and Beth wins. Not good times at all.

Tonight, I saw Beth basically give up on her team in a mission, chickening out on doing some tightope action with Timmy. So what do the Veterans do? They give her Montana. Why? Look, I totally respect the need to lose a weak player no matter that. But Montana was the one girl Beth craved to face in the Gauntlet. Nobody should be in the business of giving Beth what she wants, ever. Why not Robin? Or Aneesa? Julie’s always good for saying or doing something stupid in a Challenge...why not send her in? If she wins, we get the glimmer of a redemption arc. If she loses, we make fun of her.

TJ spins the wheel...and it seems to hit the line. The rational part of my brain thinks that it never hit the line, that the camera was set up at a wrong angle. Or maybe there was a rule saying that if the wheel hits the line, the game would be the last thing it passed. But there’s the nagging feeling that TJ just had to give Beth what she wanted. So she got Captain’s Choice, and she picks Reverse Tug-Of-War. I get a feeling of dread, but I’m thinking, “Okay, this is Steve/Trishelle/Sarah. Montana beats Beth, and things are good all over again.”

Montana tried. Oh, she tried. If she won, we could’ve wiped away most of her past sins. Then again, she’s probably done that already. She’s gotten a life, and she probably just wanted some extra scratch and a free vacation. She’s from New York...in my experiences, most ex-BMPers who live in the Big Apple aren’t that bad. When I went to Calico Jack’s back in 2003 for a reality event, I met Sarah, Rachel B., Roni, Antoine, Steve, and Elka. Now...even if you factor in Elka’s bitchiness at the end of her Gauntlet run, and the presence of Eric Jones (the All-American tool boy from Campus Crawl, do you really hate any of those people? Crap, I should have high-fived Eric for talking smack about David E. and Puck in Battle of the Sexes, but I was too sick to think of that.

Anyway...Beth won, and she got to talk shit about how Montana deserved to lose, and that karma bit her in the ass. Honestly, I hate this bitch. Beth stands for most things that I hate in reality television. The biggest fan of hers that I found was the guy who replaced me on RNO. You know...the one who started recapping Inferno II by trashing my writing style. This is the same guy who told me that if I ever ran into Mark Long, Eric Nies or Julie Stoffer, not only would I not abuse them like I did in my recaps, I would ask for their autographs. He came out on Beth’s side after Tonya dumped her clothes into the pool. I know Tonya isn’t right in the head, but Beth totally deserved it. And after dodging an attempt by the Bad Ass team to throw her into the Inferno, she freakin’ left. She’s a quitter...and so was her fan, because he couldn’t handle his workload and a personal life. Beth’s two Gauntlet wins makes this guy happy, and I don’t like that one bit.

Karma will catch up to Beth. Whether it’s Julie finally exorcizing endgame demons or Derrick performing a one-man Code Red in the middle of the night, Beth will get hers. As for Montana? Living well is the best revenge. If I ever met her, I’d shake her hand and wonder why she didn’t punch Beth in the mush before leaving. No matter how the results pan out, Beth will always be a loser.

PS: To the guy who commented on my last recap...Tonya's endgame record is 2-1, while Katie stands at 3-1.

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