Saturday, March 25, 2006

Gauntlet 2, Episode 16: Penultimate Pitfall

Previously on Gauntlet 2: The Veterans snapped a two-game losing streak by winning Blind Trust, narrowing the gap to $80,000-60,000. Derrick interviewed that he has to worry about his own butt for the final Gauntlet. In an unaired and rather cute scene, the Veteran girls bounced on a bed, thrilled that they’re staying for the final mission. Elsewhere, Kina had a massive hissy fit in the ladies’ room. She managed to pull it together to defeat Jillian in the Gauntlet. Kina told us that she hoped to get her boyfriend Randy through the next mission, and that she feels blessed. She’s probably the only one at this point.

Mansion. Balcony. Kina asks Alton if Randy would be the next to go in case the Rookies lose the next mission. Alton doesn’t know, and he asks Kina whom she would choose. Kina thinks Alton would choose Randy because of his body type. “Think about a three-mile run,” Alton wonders out loud, “where we have to hoist him over a wall.” Come on, it’s not like Randy shares diet advice with Donell. Alton adds that if the Rookies win, there won’t be any worries. Alton interviews that Randy would be sent to the Gauntlet because “he’s the chunkiest guy on our team. As strong as a tank, be he’s as big as one also.” Harsh.

Kina tells Ibis that general consensus is on Randy. Ibis is honestly shocked. “Do they think that you only need jocks at the end of the day?” she asks Kina. “I don’t understand that.” I have to remind myself: Ibis is kinda hot, and Kina’s the one I need to mock. Kina thinks that judging by body types is stupid. Ibis: “He brilliant.” Oh, Ibis. Randy comes in to greet the ladies, as tension lingers in the air.

Meanwhile, the Veteran girls are in the kitchen. Katie tells us that the guys are nervou about the upcoming Gauntlet, so the ladies will be making cookies. Aneesa has trouble operating the oven, and Robin pokes fun at her. “At least I know my left from my right,” Aneesa jabs back. See, when she says that, it’s funny. When TJ tried to joke about it, he came off as a dope. Julie interviews that it is essential for the team to remain intact.

Randy and Kina hang out as night falls. Randy is okay with the current situation, not being worried about the money as long as he’s there with her. “Everyone who has been sent home had their chance to fight it out,” he interviews as we see him get Kina in a hug, “and it’s been a fair, crazy game and I’m glad the Rookies played it like they did.” See, Kina? Randy doesn’t cry at the thought of going home or making tough decisions. You can learn something from your stoner boyfriend. Anyway, she kisses him and cuddles in his lap. Lots of love. Whatever.

On a less stressful note, the Veteran girls come into the boys’ room with fresh cookies. “You know what I taste?” Timmy quips. “I taste love.” Awwwwwww. He gets kisses from Robin and Julie for being such a cornball.

The players have dinner as the phone rings. Timmy reaches for it and “accidently” falls down. He reminds us that there is one more mission before the finale, and he would go to the Gauntlet if the Veterans lose the mission. “Hey, Challengers,” he reads off the phone. “I hope you brought your ice skates.” Cut to Ibis with a face that says “huh?!?” Timmy admits that he’s just kidding, and Ibis smiles in relief. Honestly, Timmy is nowhere near as bad as BJ and Tyler on The Amazing Race. The real clue: “Don’t let things come apart.” Blah blah blah, Canoe Bay at 9:30 a.m.

Captain’s Quarters. Derrick tells the Veterans that this is the time to find out who wants to be here at the end. Timmy adds that the team doesn’t deserve to send Derrick back to the Gauntlet. He adds, “The team feels really strong without Bad Beth and Beyond.” Everybody laughs, because bashing Beth never gets old. Mark interviews that there is nothing he’d like to do than save Derrick. “I’m gonna do everything in my power,” he continues, “to keep that kid here and not send him back to that pirate-filled sandbox.” That’s the best description of the Gauntlet yet.

New day. It’s raining, judging by the lightning bolts. Both teams are gathered as TJ ride in on a bicycle. Alton interviews that this is the day of reckoning, where they find out who will be the strong team going into the final mission. Today’s mission: Piece by Piece. TJ shows off his fancy signature bike. The mission objective: take the bike apart, reassemble it, and race it. Each team will be divided into assemblers and dissassemblers. When TJ blows his airhorn, the dissassemblers will race out to their respective bicycles and take them apart using the tools provided. The teams will have walkie-talkies to keep the assemblers in the loop. The assemblers will put the bike back together, and the captains ride the bikes to the start. If the bike is put together improperly, or if there are missing pieces, the captain has to take it back to get it fixed. The winning team gets $10,000 for the bank account, and the male captain gets a bike of his own. Ibis interviews that her team is excited and nervous even with the girls being safe, since they need all of their men for the final mission.

Strategy sessions. Derrick asks if anybody can assemble a bicycle. Robin admits not know how, but she is willing to do whatever he wants. Derrick interviews that he is not looking forward to a fifth Gauntlet, and he hopes that his team can pull it off. On the Rookies’ side, Randy tells us that he and Jamie used to work on bikes, so his team has the edge. Kina figures that the girls don’t know anything about bicycles, and she thinks Randy will shine to become the team’s MVP.

TJ blows his airhorn to get the mission started. Disassembling for the Rookies: Landon, MJ, Susie, Kina and Jodi. For the Veterans: Robin, Mark, David and Katie. Derrick sees David jogging out to the bike, and this does not make him happy. “This is my Gauntlet,” Derrick interviews, “and maybe you don’t think that your ass in on the line, but mine is.” Both sides reach their respective bikes. Alton uses a walkie-talkie to talk with his group of dissassemblers, annoying them in the process. Kina interviews that Alton is going crazy, which is the last thing they need. Alton keeps talking. Landon: “Alton, please be quiet!” Alton relents for the moment, chuckling at his own overeagerness.

Super-fast motion disassembling footage. Background music: “I’m gonna make you mine / Tearing you apart makes me feel alive / I’m gonna use you.” Hey, I think I have a new theme song! Alton is still on the walkie-talkie, exasperating his teammates. Veterans disassemble. Rookies go over the parts with TJ, and he clears them to run back to the start. Landon rushes over, slamming on the brakes and actually skidding on the grass for at least ten feet. Robin looks amused, Derrick looks troubled, and Timmy sputters. The Rookie assemblers (Alton, Jamie, Randy, Ibis) run out as we head to commercials.

As I’m flipping around, I see a Gauntlet with Derrick. I know he was in there, thanks to MTV’s spoiler commercials. But now I see him in Reverse Tug-Of-War with Timmy. Yep, MTV just had to make a push for some kind of sweepstakes, and they ruined the last Gauntlet in the process. Thanks, guys!

The Veterans fumble around in their disassembling. Landon tells us that the best Rookies are on assembly detail. TJ clears the Veterans, and they run back to the start. Derrick yells for David to hustle. The assemblers (Derrick, Julie, Robin, Aneesa, Timmy) tag in. Julie interviews about the assorted parts, the rain making everything slippery, and she doesn’t know where to begin. Mark instructs the assemblers on the walkie-talkie, telling them to use the chart in front of them as a reference. Randy tells us that he feels important to his team for the first time in a while, and his experience will pay off.

Alton inspects the bike. Kina happily watches from the start. The Veteran assemblers keep working, as Mark looks at a sample bike to guide his teammates. The Rookies finish up, and Alton slowly pedals to the start. Julie interviews that she hopes the Rookies made a mistake. Veterans keep working, Rookies on both sides get happy. TJ looks over the bike, then blows the airhorn to end the game. Cue the huge celebration, with Randy hollering, “NOBODY’S GOING HOME!” I am not about to hate the lug just because he has poor taste in women. Alton is happy that he made it from Royal Rumble to the final mission (the only captain to pull that off), and now he’s one step closer to $150,000, while the Veterans have to lose a guy. More celebrating. Timmy admits the Rookies disassembled and assembled their bike faster. Derrick glumly reminds us that he’s going back to the Gauntlet.

Denouement. TJ congratulates the Rookies, and he gives Alton the prize bicycle and $10,000. Oh, and he calls Alton “homie” and jokes about his bike-riding prowess. Shut up, TJ. Anyway, this gives the Rookies $90,000 total, better than the Veterans’ $60,000. TJ decides to call Randy “the VIP today.” Huh? Did Kina ask TJ to call him that? Randy interviews that he’s relieved to have been instrumental to the win. He adds that he and Kina do not have to go to a Gauntlet again. TJ tells the Veterans that he’ll see them back at “the crib.” TJ Lavin: worst host ever. I dare you to tell me different.

Veterans’ Gauntlet Deliberation. Timmy can’t believe they’re back here, but they’re still a team no matter what they do. Derrick says that nobody can knock anybody else for today, as far as taking apart or putting a bike together is concerned. He does briefly bring up sprinting to the bike, and he asks the team to make the right choice. As Derrick hands out paper for voting, Timmy tells them that they don’t need it, telling the team to write his name down. Is this regret from missing the Gauntlet two weeks ago? Derrick notes that they’ve voted like this since the first meeting, which he vehemently opposed at the time. Timmy brings up how Ace volunteered himself. Derrick tells him to write his own name down. Timmy interviews that he’s willing to go, but that isn’t how some people want it. Derrick tells us that he is voting for David out of his lack of hustle and respect. Julie interviews that nobody is voting for “Mark the Veteran warrior,” and it’s down to Timmy and David as to who is stronger. Derrick announces another vote, since Timmy and David are tied, and two people didn’t vote.

After commercials, a mild hullabaloo rises on who didn’t vote. Derrick says it doesn’t matter, interviews that it’s hard for some people to vote for David because they are friends with him. Katie admits to us that she and Aneesa didn’t vote. “If I vote for David,” she interviews, “I’m basically stabbing him in the back.” David asks Derrick if he wants to face him in the Gauntlet, taking his shirt off while saying it. Derrick replies that he doesn’t want to do that, but he thought that David respected him. David bitches that the mission wasn’t about sprinting. Derrick mutters about how the mission was about working hard. “Do you understand how dumb Derrick is?” David interviews. “I mean, I’m twice as strong as him. I would eat him for breakfast. I don’t think he makes decisions good under pressure like that. He goes crazy. And I was just like, ‘If you send me, I’ll send you home today’.” Wow...David thinks the world of himself. Twice as strong? How would David be any tougher an opponent than anybody else Derrick has faced?

Derrick counts the votes again, and guess what? Another tie. Looks like Aneesa voted for David while Katie was trying to save him. Derrick interviews that he’s worked so hard, and he isn’t going to let David slide. He asks the team want they want for the final mission. He tells David that he didn’t appreciate the jogging. David asks him to consider the entire mission. As Aneesa hides her face, Derrick still wants to know what the team thinks. Julie suggests that the captain should choose, since she doesn’t want to tell David that she voted for him. David: “Is she shitting me?!?” Shut up, David. Damn, now I’m on Julie’s side. Nothing makes sense anymore. The team bickers and looks exhausted, while David shouts “get outta here!” a few times like the punk that he is. Bicker, bicker, bicker.

Mark steps up, telling the players they have to compete as a team, and they don’t need this division one day before the final mission. Timmy wants everybody to shut up. Julie interviews that everybody is upset, nobody is getting along, and Derrick needs to step up as captain to make a decision. Fasten your seat belts...we’re in for a wild time.

Derrick stands up, trying to catch his breath. Timmy implores Derrick to send him to the Gauntlet, asking if he would rather face him or David in Beach Brawl. Timmy tells Derrick to look out for himself. Derrick swats at something on the ceiling. He kicks the table lightly. “What am I supposed to do?” Light kick. “My conscience says David, but [Timmy] wants to step up, you know? That’s what I’m getting, that’s what I’m getting.” Kick. “What the fuck do I do? It’s not that easy! And I wish my teammates would have made a fucking decision for me!” And with that, he kicks a leg right off the table. Is Derrick being a child for throwing a tantrum? Maybe. Is he justified for being angry? Perhaps. Is this one of the most awesome moments in this show’s long history? Oh, yeah. Derrick interviews that he doesn’t want to be the one choose what’s best for the best. He curses out loud, scaring the hell out of Robin. “I gave my heart out in every challenge and every Gauntlet. Damn, all I wanted was one win today! Just one!” He stomps on the table, effectively killing it.

TJ picks this moment to come in to get the team’s choice. Derrick asks who wants to go, giving the table a few more kicks. Timmy looks willing to keep the peace, as he steps up to volunteer, making this the most painful endgame since Rachel had to face Sarah in Telluride. TJ asks Derrick to spin the wheel, since he doesn’t feel right in deciding the captain’s destiny. Derrick gives an angry spin, and the wheel lands on Reverse Tug-Of-War. I think Derrick might have quit if it wound up on Captain’s Choice. He celebrates by kicking another leg off the table, while TJ gets the heck out of Dodge, wishing both combatants luck. Shots of exhausted Veterans. Timmy: “This team is falling apart like frickin’ Legos. If I go home, it’s honestly not going to bother me. As a matter of fact, it’s probably best that I do go home, because I don’t believe in this team right now. There’s so much diversity. You can’t compete this way, especially going into the finals.” David bitches about how he hopes Timmy wins to send Derrick home. In my mind, David is as big a punk as his boy CT. Shut up, David.

Gauntlet. Shots of Derrick and Timmy get mixed with the sand pit. TJ welcomes everybody to the final Gauntlet. The Rookies cheer, and they are a happy bunch. TJ calls down Derrick, as the Rookies cheer for him. TJ calls Derrick “the most decorated Gauntlet champion there is.” Damn, it’s like BMP has decided to ignore Sarah’s reign as Queen of the Gauntlet completely. Derrick announces that Timmy volunteered, and the elder Veteran hops down. TJ doesn’t even bother with the specifics of Reverse Tug-Of-War. “Derrick has so much heart,” Mark interviews. “He’s the guy that went against a monster every time and slayed the monster.” Flashback time! Derrick comes out to upset Adam in Name That Coconut. He outwrestles Ace in Beach Brawl. He flips the far heavier Syrus over, and he beats Brad in the Gauntlet. Mark: “This kid just doesn’t want to lose. Am I surprised that he took out half of our team? Absolutely not.”

TJ gets the players ready. Derrick tells us that he’ll give it his best shot. Timmy: “This is a horrible situation to be in. Either I win and send home someone who’s got the biggest heart of any competitor here, or I lose and let a very deserving man go to the finals. It’s definitely twisting my brain.” TJ rings the bell. Both players run in opposite directions...and this is where we’ll stop. Stinkin’ BMP.

Next time: It’s all over. Derrick: “I’m praying that I don’t lose.” David screams for Timmy. Derrick struggles in the sand. And he see the final mission, which involves coins, betting, and Kina screaming that her team won. Will she finally get her diapers changed? Can Derrick go 5-0 in the Gauntlet? Did Jo successfully sue Trinidad & Tobago? We’ll find out in the final episode, as well as the reunion special, which airs right after the finale. One hour of wall-to-wall drama awaits us this Monday.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Racing Towards Oblivion

I'm working on the recap of the latest Gauntlet 2 episode, which ended on one hell of a cliffhanger; a game of Reverse Tug-Of-War between the one old-school BMPer who doesn't totally reek (Timmy) and the youngblood who put a few nails in the Road Rules coffin, but who has impressed with four Gauntlet wins (Derrick). Also, we have Krybaby Kina (pipe down, woman...Randy would never weep in a restroom the way you did last week), David Burns (who should change his name to "David Flickers," because he's so much dead weight), and an innocent table that didn't do a damn thing to anybody. I missed out on "Pumkin" spitting in the face of "New York" on Flavor of Love, but I got to see Derrick go apeshit on the table. I think I got the better deal.

Two notes:

1. If you're looking for a repeat of Monday's episode, you'll have to wait until Saturday. Actually, it'll be on Sunday at 12:30 a.m. Spring Break has busted out, and MTV gives more of a crap about that then your needs. Hell, they spoiled Derrick going to the Gauntlet in a commercial, then spoiled Timmy's inclusion during another commercial in the middle of the damn episode. Who does that? Does the Travelocity gnome burst in to tell us which team wins a leg of The Amazing Race?

2. The reunion special will air right after next week's finale. As one of approximately twenty people who watches Reality Remix on a daily basis (I really hate myself), I got to see Mark gab to Kennedy about going to New York to film the special. There will be drama, and Kina will cause some of it. And guess what? Beth is there...with a broken arm. Apparently, she got into a car accident, and she broke an arm. I'd make some smart remarks, but I found out that I alarmed one of my best friends with my extreme anti-Beth diatribes. This friend is not a Beth fan by any means, but she has more perspective than me, and I'm going to try and behave myself next week. Well...that is the plan. Plans are subject to change.

I will say this...this might not have been the best season, but at least it's been interesting. And with Fresh Meat Challenge looming, with the idjits from Real World: Austin and brand new tools waiting in the wings, we gotta enjoy this chaos while we still can.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Gauntlet 2, Episode 15: Blind Faith

Previously on Gauntlet 2: Kina started to succumb to the pressures of being captain, calling the position “the bane of my existence.” The Rookies won The Pit, upping their bank to $80,000. Alton interviewed that the team is beginning to trust each other, and that is paying off. Derrick defeated Brad to win his fourth Gauntlet. Julie: “We will not be embarrassed one more time.”

Sunset. Night. Randy cuddles with Kina, telling her that she’s doing a great job as a leader. She whispers that she doesn’t want to go home. She interviews that tomorrow will bring the final women’s Gauntlet. My guess: BMP didn’t want to axe one additional female after Jo left. “Here I am branded as captain,” Kina adds, “and I know it’s pretty much a death sentence.” She brings up Randy, saying it would be horrible if she was the last girl out. I’d think it would be hysterical, but I’m just mean like that. She goes over potential opponents with Randy, thinking she could beat Jillian in Reverse Tug-Of-War, and it would be difficult to face Ibis in Beach Brawl because of her weight. Randy notes that he understands why Kina wants somebody she can beat. “It’s not a matter of who I can beat,” she replies. “It’s who I can beat easiest.”

Clue time. Julie reads off the phone: “Trust me. This picture perfect challenge will blindside you.” Landon reads off the other phone: wear bathing suits and tennis shoes, be ready to leave at 9:30 a.m. Aneesa interviews that the upcoming Gauntlet brings out the worst feelings in her since she’s been here, because she might have to fight one of her friends.

Daytime. Mission site. Another weird structure hanging over the water. TJ welcomes everybody to the Port Authority for today’s mission: Blind Trust. He shows the players two platforms hanging twenty feet over the water, connected by a balance beam. There are pictures of the players hanging above the beam. Each player walks on the beam, grabbing their own picture, as well as one of somebody who isn’t competing in the mission. Mark expositions that the beam has “speed bumps” of different levels, which makes walking more difficult. TJ adds that the first person across the beam walks without a blindfold. The other players will have to walk across blindfolded, grabbing the pictures along the way. Once across, the player takes off the blindfold to coach the next player. Each player gets ten minutes to walk the beam. Aneesa notes that if somebody falls off, they get the maximum time of ten minutes. TJ wraps up, saying that the team with the fastest time wins $10,000 for their bank, and the winning female captain gets a trip for two to Fiji. Since the Rookies have extra players, they must sit out one male and one female, the latter of whom gets an exemption from the Gauntlet. Ibis interviews that there’s a good chance she’s Gauntlet-bound, and she admits to being nervous.

Kina tells us that she’s sitting out Jodi, because Jodi will be needed for the final mission. MJ also sits out, so Randy will have to work today. Jillian foreshadows that it would suck to go after one and a half months , and she feels bad for whomever has to leave. On the Veterans’ side, Robin wants people with good balance to go first, while the last people on the beam will have less photos to pull down. Julie interviews that this is the most stressful day yet. “We are facing a challenge,” she continues, “where one person can mess up and essentially buy themselves a Gauntlet.”

The Rookies are up first, with Ibis out first and everybody else blindfolded. After TJ blows his airhorn, Ibis walks down the beam, being mindful of the speed bumps. She grabs her picture and Cameran’s, and places them up on the board after one minute and nine seconds.

Randy interviews that Ibis is talking him through. He snags pictures of himself and Danny. After a brief wobble on the beam, he makes it to the platform, where he is guided to place the pictures in their correct positions. Time: 5:09.

Jillian’s turn. As Randy guides her, she has to reach up to pluck her picture. She interviews that the pictures are hard to pull off, and that might throw her off-balance. She manages to get her picture, as well as Cara’s, and places the pictures at 6:51.

Alton gingerly walks down the beam, constantly asking Jillian where he is. He continues to shuffle, repeating, “Talk to me, Jill.” After some wobbling, he grabs his own picture. Jodi interviews that Alton has almost fallen three times because Jillian didn’t give him any direction. He manages to take down Adam K’s picture and wobbles down the beam, continuing to ask for help from Jillian. Alton gets off balance, as Aneesa and Julie enjoy the scene from the sidelines.

After commercials, Alton manages to stabilize himself and get to the platform. Even the Veterans cheer as he puts his pictures up at 8:39.

Kina goes forth, legs shaking on the beam. She interviews that her body is doing the opposite of what she wants to do. “I want to fly across that board,” she snipes to us, “and finish this crap.”She pulls her picture down, wobbles a little, then takes down Jeremy. She winds up putting up the pictures at 9:50. Aneesa interviews that Kina was slow, but all it takes is for one person to fall off and mess things up.

Landon pulls down his picture and MJ’s, placing them up at 3:41. He then guides Susie, who snags her picture and Jo’s, getting a time of 6:48. Jamie interviews that he’s the last one to compete, and he’ll finish this for the ladies. He brings his own picture and Jodi’s, finishing at 3:25. The Rookies celebrate and hug, as Susie interviews that they’re banking on a Veteran girl to fall off.

Katie goes first for the Veterans. She tells us that bad weather has made the board slippery, and that makes her nervous. She manages to walk unencumbered down the beam, picking up pictures of herself and Jisela, completing the task at 2:00. She guides a blindfolded David down the beam. After he reaches for a picture, she curses and tells him that the picture he needs is behind him. David: “Who tells you to go backwards on a plank twenty feet off the ground while you’re blindfolded? Only Katie.” He pulls down his picture and Syrus’s, and puts them up at 4:54. After thanking Katie for her help, David guides Derrick. The male captain grabs pictures of himself and Beth. Color me surprised that his flesh didn’t burn from touching her image. He does wobble a bit, but rights himself as David calls out, “Who’s the cowboy!” Derrick finishes his run at 4:40. Jodi interviews that the Veterans seem to be going faster, and she hopes that somebody takes a dive.

Julie walks down the beam, grabbing her picture and Adam L’s, finishing up at 5:07. Mark’s legs shake, but he gets the pictures of himself and Montana, competing his run at 6:08. Mark guides Robin to get pictures of herself and Brad, and she finishes at 4:54. She interviews that she trusted Mark’s voice, and that made things easier for her. Whatever. Robin guides Timmy down the beam, telling him to reach with his left arm, which he was doing. She corrects herself and asks him to reach with his right arm. After Timmy grabs his own picture, Robin tells him to shimmy his left foot He tells her that there’s a block in front of him. Once again, she apologizes and tells him to go with his right foot. Cut to TJ: “So far, Robin is about 1-for-20 on her left and right foots and hands. It’s amazing.” Funny commentary...but “foots”? Shut up, TJ. Way to ruin your own joke. Timmy grabs Ace’s picture and stumbles to the platform, putting the pictures up at 4:31.

Timmy guides Aneesa down the path. She stumbles and almost falls off. He interviews that the nail-biting mission for $10,000 comes down to Aneesa, and he’s the one guiding her. She pulls down her picture and Ruthie’s, and rushes to the platform for a time of 7:25. She tells us that she feels good, and she hopes to not go into the Gauntlet.

TJ goes over the times. The Veterans finished with 40:10, while the Rookies have a time of 45:46. The Veterans win, triggering a wild celebration for the female team members. How wild? Aneesa pulls Robin’s top down, exposing her breasts for a spilt second. Julie cannot believe that she didn’t get voted off, and that makes her emotional. That’s the sick thing about this season...thanks to Beth and Kina, we barely noticed Julie acting his a brat. Anyway, TJ awards the $10,000 and the Fiji vacation to Aneesa. Five-to-one says Jisela goes with her. Aneesa interviews that it’s so good that she made it to the end (a first for her), and she didn’t have to fight any girls in the Gauntlet. TJ tells Kina that he’ll see her in the Gauntlet. “You’re no stranger to the Gauntlet,” he tells her. “You ain’t scared.” MJ interviews that Kina needs to put Ibis in the Gauntlet even though they’re best friends, since it comes down to what’s best for the team.

Cut to a women’s restroom. Kina whines to Jodi about holding stress in. “I’m just so over it, you know?” she cries to Jodi. She interviews that needed to talk to somebody who will listen to her. Kina goes over the options: if she picks Jillian, the team will be pissed. If she picks Ibis, she wouldn’t know what the reaction will be. Jodi tells her to go with her gut. Kina doesn’t know what her gut is saying. Cue the dramatic music. “I’d love to fucking scream!” Kina whines as he regresses to eleven years old. “I’m so annoyed!” You ain’t the only one. She keeps crying about how she can’t take it anymore. Big fat whatever.

Rookies Deliberation Meeting. Kina tells team that she is in self-preservation mode, and she has based her decision on that. Susie interviews that her heart is racing, and she’s not ready to go home. Cute to Jillian. Susie. Kina. Ibis. Kina. And our lucky winner is....Jillian. Between Ibis getting slated to go on The After Show and Susie being an outcast, I’m pretty surprised. Kina interviews that she based her decision on the number of Gauntlets where she can beat Jillian.

TJ comes in to get the official decision, then spins the wheel. Wonder of wonders, it lands on Sticky Situation, one of two Gauntlets we have yet to see. Jillian interviews that she doesn’t think Kina made the right decision. “There are other people on the team,” she adds, “that either haven’t stepped up or have messed up, so hopefully I’ll get to knock her around or whatever I need to do to get her out.”

Gauntlet. TJ welcomes everybody to the final female Gauntlet. All of the players are gathered on one side as they cheer. TJ calls down Kina and Jillian, then goes over the rules to Sticky Situation. Remember the “Balls In” Inferno last season? Same principle, only with a velcro wall instead of a cannister. One player tries to put a ball in one of six circles on the wall (which is held up by ropes), while the opponents tries to stop her. The defender waits in a box. She cannot cross a line, but she can knock the ball out. If the combatants wrestle, play will be halted after 2-3 seconds. Both players alternate sides. First to three points wins, loser goes home with nothing. TJ gives Kina the option to start on offense or defense, and she picks offense. Jillian interviews that playing defense is one of her specialities, and she has a good shot to win.

TJ rings the bell to begin the match. Kina steps past Jillian and plows through for the point. The players swap places; Kina manages to force Jillian on the ground, but Jillian slips away and gets her point. Kina claims that Jillian was down, but TJ tells her that she was supposed to keep her down for two seconds. Jillian interviews that she landed on her shoulder, and she needs all of her strength to knock Kina down on defense.

TJ reminds everybody of the tied score. Kina plows through, gets pulled down by Jillian, but pops back up to get the point. “These girls are going crazy,” Robin interviews. “This Gauntlet is like watching two female gladiators go at it.” Jillian takes her time with a pissed-off Kina, and she gets pulled out of bounds for her efforts, as Randy tells Kina to hold her down. “I have this girl in front of me that I need to take down,” Kina interviews. “She’s standing between me and a lot of money and some friends and the person that I love.” What a melodramatic queen. On the other hand, if she doesn’t win the final mission, she can make a pitch for a Lifetime movie.

TJ notes that Kina is up, 2-1. He rings the bell. Kina barely has to wrestle with Jillian, and she slams the ball into place for the win. After a bit of wrestling with her opponent, Kina hugs TJ. She interviews that she is so glad to let the pressure go, and she just has to get through tomorrow with Randy. She adds that this has been a roller coaster for her, and it’s been hard for her and Randy. I’m not hearing him whine as much as her.

Denouement. TJ congratulates Kina, noting that she will be in the final mission. He calls Jillian a “true competitor” that did the women proud. Does that include her exaggerating about a possible alliance between the Veteran guys and Susie & Cara? Timmy interviews that Jillian is a great runner, and her absence will hurt the Rookies in the finale.

Night. Jillian gets hugs and kisses on her way out. She interviews about not being happy, and how it’s hard to put on a happy face. Jillian rides off into the night. MJ: “Now that Ibis is gonna be here for the final challenge, I want Kina to carry Ibis to the finish line, because she hasn’t been able to finish some of the challenges, and I will be one mad redneck if we sit here and lose it because of Ibis.” Cut to a shot of Ibis, unaware of the possibility of dealing with a mad redneck. Fade to credits.

Next time: Time for the final men’s Gauntlet. Randy thinks his name is on Alton’s mind. Kina and Randy have another cuddle session Derrick: “This is where we find out who wants to be here and who doesn’t.” The mission: taking apart and reassembling a bicycle. It’s gonna be dramatic...unless you saw the commercial, then you know who loses the mission. Thanks again, MTV!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Gauntlet 2, Episode 14: Television With Pit

Previously on Gauntlet 2: Alton and Jodi got a lot closer to each other. Alton reminded us that he was coming off a relationship with Irulan. The Rookies won Easy Does It, bringing their bank to $70,000. And thanks to Beth’s lack of guts, Aneesa became the new team captain for the Veterans.

Same bar fun, different place. We’re at the Tobago Island Suites this time, as we see Randy and Kina, Mark and Robin, and Alton and Jodi. Alton interviews that he and Jodi gravitate towards each other. Shot of the pair dancing. He talks about how she’s an awesome person, and that he’s building a friendship and relationship that will last past this Challenge. Yeah, good luck with that. Jillian interviews that the duo enjoys each other’s company, and she think that’s great, since they’ve gotten out of difficult break-ups. She adds that she’s okay with the relationship as long as it doesn’t affect the team.

Night turns to day. Jodi tells Ibis and Kina that she could see herself feeling things for Alton, which is unusual for her. Ibis raises the possibility that it hasn’t been long enough for Alton to move on. Jodi doesn’t to be a “transition girl.” “I worry about Jodi,” Kina interviews, “because she has a tendency to look for love in all the wrong places. I think that she just wants to have a good relationship with a good guy, and that’s really hard to find in these situations.” Kina tells Jodi to be cautious and honest.

Sunset. Night. Clue time. Ibis reads off the phone: “Good luck getting yourself out of this situation. It’s definitely going to be the pits.” Jodi thinks they’ll have to get out of a pit. Can’t get anything past her, right? She interviews that a male Gauntlet is coming, and she wouldn’t want Alton to leave because she’s getting to know him.

New day. Alton stretches. Jamie has breakfast standing up while shirtless. He interviews that he wants a win to ease his mind. Brad says that he’s focused on the win. “I’m not trying to think about who might be going in if we don’t win,” he interviews. “I’m thinking win, and that’s the only option.” Alton tells Derrick that he thinks the Rookies will win. Derrick tells us that he’s not worried who he would face, since he’s been to the Gauntlet before. Alton and Derrick chat some more, then share a dorky handshake. Is it wrong that I found it very cute? Alton interviews that a lot of pressure is on him. “I’ve never felt so nervous,” he laughs. “It’s just a game, but I feel like this is like my life or something.”

Mission site. TJ welcomes the players to the Angostura Mangroves for today’s mission: The Pit. Shot of three walls with assorted stuff on the ground. The teams will start at the bottom of the pit, and they will use the “tools” to get up and over the pit. The team that gets itself and the supplies the fastest wins $10,000. Julie expositions that each team will have thirty minutes to get out, and that the team with the most players out wins, with the time being the tiebreaker. Aneesa adds that once a person is out of the pit, they can’t go back in under threat of disqualification. TJ notes that only one team at a time competes, while the other side gets sequestered. Timmy interviews that it wouldn’t be fair for one team to see the other work, adding, “So this gives TJ the chance to use the word ‘sequestered’.” I hope you had a good laugh, because that’s going to be Timmy’s high point of the episode. TJ adds that the Rookies have the sit a male player out, and that guy is exempt from the Gauntlet. The winning male captain gets a DJ package.

While the Veterans go off to the Sequester Zone, Landon figures that they have to sit out the heaviest guy, which is either Randy or MJ. Alton notes that Randy is ten pounds heavier, so “Big Rand” gets to sit out another mission. Jamie informs us that he, MJ and Landon are on the line, and the Rookies have to win.

TJ blows the airhorn to get the mission underway. Ibis points out the pantyhose and duct tape to us, which goes along with the noodles and the inflated yoga balls. MJ interviews that the strategy is to get Alton up first, and they will figure things out as they go. Susie adds that the guys will use their bodies as human ladders. Sure enough, the guys stack themselves in a corner, pulling girls up to the top. At the 21:40 mark, they succeed in getting five out of nine players out. Jamie gets pulled up using the pantyhose. Time elapsed: 17:32. Players out: eight. MJ interviews that they’re doing a good job, and this will be huge for them. Landon waits on the bottom, the last player to go up.

Sequester Zone. Julie tells the team that they need to figure out their abilities, since some people can’t climb as well. She interviews that they have the advantage of getting thirty minutes to strategize.

Back at the Pit, we have 11:40 to go. Landon tries to crawl up the edge, only to fall down. While Randy and the female teammates wait on the ground, the guys are on top, trying to help Landon. He tries to climb up using the hose, but that snaps. Noodles duct-taped together? Breaks apart. Time remaining: 7:30. Alton wonders if he can be lowered down, asking, “Landon, can you climb up me?” Landon: “I can climb up you.” My mind goes to a bad, bad place. Alton interviews that he was to dangle himself out. “It’s my butt on the line,” he adds. “Who else is gonna do it?” Alton puts himself out over the edge with 7:00 left, while Kina gasps on the ground. She interviews that it’s incredible and nerve-wracking to watch him, and that if he falls, the team will lose. MJ and Jamie grab Alton’s wrists. Fade to a shot of Alton’s foot. Kina covers her mouth.

After commercials, we see the Veterans come out of the Sequester Zone. Mark tells us that they have to pass the Rookies, and they have no idea how their opponents performed. Jamie gives a small “How’s it goin’?” head motion that cracks me up. Derrick thinks the Rookies didn’t get all of their players out.

Veterans’ turn. Robin interviews that they’ll be using cheerleading techniques. Brad gets boosted out, and he pulls up Mark. With 27:09 remaining, the team has six players out. Timmy stands at the bottom, wondering how he and the remaining players will get out. Derrick gets lifted away, leaving only Timmy behind.

Timmy tries to crawl up the corner, while the teammates hold a noodle from above. He can’t reach at first, then his hand slips off the noodle. Derrick cringes on the sidelines. Robin suggests a human ladder. Mark gets ready to lower himself down, as Robin and Brad remind him that he would be out if he falls in. Time remaining: 12:05. Mark ends up merely leaning in with support from his teammates, holding noodles taped together. An increasingly cranky Timmy grabs the noodle but it breaks apart, sending him falling to the ground.

TJ gives the Veterans one more minute. Timmy suggests making a rope out of the pantyhose, while he tapes a yoga ball to his feet. Of course, this doesn’t happen that well with 0:30 remaining. Aneesa interviews that it sucks to see Timmy like this, as we see him slip on the ball. All Derrick can do is put his head down, as Timmy throws the ball against the wall, only to have it smack him in the face. Time expires. Derrick thinks the other team didn’t get all of their players out.

TJ goes over the results with both teams. The Veterans had eight players out in under six minutes. Jillian looks rather shocked. The Rookies had their last player up – as well as all of their equipment – in 25:29...and that gives them the win. Cue the huge celebration, as the Veterans look on glumly. We flash back to the Rookies’ technique: Landon crawls up the wall, while the team holds on to Alton. Landon grabs Alton’s legs, and Jamie pulls him up to finish the mission. Cut to Alton hugging Susie. Jodi interviews that it doesn’t get any better than this because she didn’t want Alton to go. TJ gives Alton the $10,000 and the DJ prize package, then he reminds Derrick that his butt will be in the Gauntlet, and that will even out the guys. Wait, I thought they were already even. Derrick tells us that every guy on his team is a tough choice. “I saw weaknesses in Timmy,” he adds. “He couldn’t balance, he couldn’t hold his own weight.”

Veterans’ Gauntlet Deliberation. Derrick tells the team that they’ve gotten close, but they’re not kids and they’re playing for money. He asks them to make the right decision. The team votes. Aneesa interviews that it’s between Brad, Timmy and David, and that it’s hard to pick somebody with the team being this solid. Derrick reads the results to himself and softly curses. Cut to Timmy looking anxious, while Derrick walks away.

After commercials, TJ asks for the result. Derrick tells him that it’s Brad. Why didn’t I see this coming? Brad shakes his head a little, knowing that he’s getting screwed yet again. David tells us that he voted for Brad because he didn’t want to vote for Timmy. It looks like the older guys are clearly in an alliance, and Brad paid the price. Seriously, if Ace and Syrus were held accountable for their failures in missions, why not Timmy? Or how about David, who needed to be bailed out of two trips to the Inferno? Anyway...TJ spins the wheel, and guess what? Captain’s Choice. Again. Derrick picks Name That Coconut, then tells Brad that he didn’t want to do it like that. My guess: he wanted Beach Brawl and a keg of beer for each guy. That would have been awesome. Brad is okay with this, and he gives a quick man-hug. “Brad is one of the boys,” Derrick interviews, “but I’m not looking at him like one of my good friends right now. I’m looking at him as an opponent.” Brad interviews that he wants to stay until the end, and he’ll give his all in the Gauntlet. He adds that Derrick has done good, but he hasn’t gone against anybody like the remaining players.

Gauntlet. TJ welcomes everybody before summoning Derrick. Derrick announces that the team pick Brad, and he comes down. TJ goes over the rules to Name That Coconut. Winner stays, loser goes home. Cue another man-hug. Timmy interviews that this will be a great Gauntlet becuase he has no idea who will win.

First question: “On The Inferno II, this cast member caused a huge fight between Robin and Tonya over Mark.” TJ rings the bells, and the fellas grapple for the coconuts. Derrick gets over Brad, messing with his taller adversary. Derrick flips a coconut out and brings it in. Turns out that Beth is the correct answer. Cut to the ex-captain stirring the poo with Robin. Man, every time we want her out, she gets back in. Derrick leads, 1-0.

Next question: “Who was almost fired from her job in Boston?” Both guys run out. Susie interviews that she loves Brad and she doesn’t want to see him leave, so she’s rooting for the underdog. Derrick grabs a coconut and plows through Brad over the safety zone line. Montana is correct...cut to Anthony from the children’s center canning her. How is that “almost fired”? Also, Montana looks a lot worse in that clip that she does these days. Derrick is up, 2-0.

Third question: “On The Real World: San Diego, who was unable to get into a club because they tried to use a fake ID?” Brad shoves Derrick to the side as they run, and he’s the first to the coconuts. Aneesa interviews that Derrick has fought to be here, and he deserves to be in the game because he’s been in a crappy position. Derrick grabs a coconut while Brad continues to look. Derrick’s guess of Robin is incorrect. Robin sticks her tongue out and does a dorky dance. Brad flings his coconut to TJ, and Cameran is correct. Cut to her getting shut out of the club. Derrick leads, 2-1.

“During the first season of The Inferno, who smoked a cigarette while competing in an Inferno?” Derrick interviews about how Name That Coconut isn’t about trivia. In his mind, it’s a fight, and it comes down to who wants it more. Both guys grapple. Brad grabs a coconut, but Derrick knocks it away and snatches it over the line. “Katie” is correct. Cut to her on the treadmill, lighting one up during Scratchaton. The fact that she could do that just shows how bad the endgames were back then. Derrick takes a 3-1 lead.

“Who knocked out Mary-Beth in a face-off challenge on Road Rules?” Derrick takes the lead. Brad looks through the coconuts. Derrick grabs an answer and runs, but Brad wrestles him down. Derrick does get across the line with the correct answer: Jillian. Cut to her punching out Mary-Beth. Remember how they were both hot for Patrick? What was that about? Derrick is up, 4-1, one win away for staying in the game.

“Who had to go skinny-dipping after losing a bet on The Inferno II?” Brad interviews that he is not giving up, and he will give it everything he has. Grappling. Brad gets a coconut across, and it’s the right answer: Jodi. Cut to her diving into the pool naked. There’s Mike holding out the towel like the tool that he is. Derrick still leads, 4-2.

“Who was sent home after losing a bull-riding competition on the first season of The Gauntlet?” Both guys stand around and look for the answer. Derrick grabs a coconut and plows through Brad. The correct answer? Montana. Cut to her putting both hands on the mechanical bull and getting disqualified. How much do you want to bet that her boyfriend screaming “WHOOOOORE!” at her will come up by the end of the season? Anyway, the game is over, Derrick wins his fourth Gauntlet, and Brad gets ejected for the third straight season. “I’m just fortunate that I’m still here,” Derrick interviews. “I just hope I gain respect from my team now, you know?”

TJ congratulates Derrick, calling him “a true champion.” I’d say he has the lead over Alton based on strength of opponents. TJ is bummed that Brad has to go, and the meathead actually man-hugs the host. Brad interviews that he doesn’t know why he gets booted from Challenges. He adds that he gives it his all, and he really wanted to win. So did I.

Full moon shot. Brad packs up, telling us that he didn’t see his loss coming. Julie interviews that the team is losing somebody who could have been helpful down the road. The team looks hurt, and Robin is sitting on Mark’s lap. Would you two idiots make up your minds? Julie: “It’s a terrible, terrible day.” I know that it’s not like Brad is gone forever. Heck, he’s even started his own thing in the “real world.” I just hate to see him getting boned for the third season in a row. He gives out some hugs before getting into the waiting car. Derrick interviews that it’s hard to lose a team player. The car rides off, the team call out for Brad, and Derrick looks sad.

Tobago Island Suites. Alton tells Jodi that he’s not sure where they are in their respective relationships, and that has nothing to do with their relationship. Jodi asks if she is his “transition,” then admits that she didn’t want to say that. Alton: “I would have to say, to a certain degree, like...I almost have to say, of course.” Smooth move there. He interviews that all he wants is a friendship. I’ll just tack on “benefits” to that package. “I think she’s going to be an awesome friend once we get back into the States,” he adds, “but that’s pretty much all I see.” He tells her that he’s single and free. She asks what he’s feeling. Alton says that they’re hanging out and getting to know each other, and repeats to her that they will have a friendship away from the island. Jodi interviews that she’s not expecting anything, since Alton has stuff to work out when he gets home. She tells him that they’ll be friends, and she tells us that she can’t let herself be attracted to him. More banter. The word “weirdo” is spelled “wierdo” by the crack BMP writers. Big fat whatever.

Next time: We have Blind Trust, where players walk blindfolded down a narrow path over water, while a teammate guides them. Also, Kina has a nervous breakdown.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Gauntlet 2, Episode 13: Beth Ruins Everything

Previously on Gauntlet 2: The Rookies lost their second mission in a row thanks to Ibis falling in Spare Tires. Despite Beth’s customary subpar performance, the Veterans pulled to within $10,000 of the Rookies. In the Gauntlet, Alton wasted Jeremy. Afterwards, the Veterans gave Beth a piece of their mind. “Please,” she bitched in an interview, “accept me as a player, and let’s win this money.” Brad told us that Beth takes no responsibility, and he would love to see her get off the team.

Rolling shots of Trinidad & Tobago bring us to the mansion, where Kina and Randy are sparring. Kina interviews that she can’t imagine going home, and she will do whatever it takes to stay in the game. She would also be sad to see Randy go because she loves him. Kina gets on Randy’s back, but he tells her that he’s not a bull. He interviews about he feels like being on the chopping block, regardless of whether a male or female Gauntlet is coming up. The thought of facing Alton stresses him out, as well as somebody taking his girlfriend out. The couple hugs. Awwwww. I still hope he cheats on her, because he can do better.

Clue time! Aneesa reads about the teams being even in numbers, and gives us this nugget: “Who will step up and tip the balance?” Yadda yadda, meet at the Port Authority at 8 a.m. Julie woos about being excited to tie the game up.

Night. Derrick hangs with Aneesa and Julie, talking about how the game is getting testy and that people will get ugly. Aneesa interviews that somebody has to take Beth out because she is “dead-ass weight.” Julie brings up Beth being broke and need of money. That would explain why she keeps coming back to the Challenges, even though nobody loves her. Aneesa starts talking, but Julie shushes her, as the Bethasaurus rumbles outside. She tells her teammates that she agrees with what they’re saying. The gang acts dumb (easy for Julie), while Beth plays the “Say it to my face” card. “I find [this] very funny,” Beth interviews, “because Aneesa is like the weakest player that we have.” Man, a broken record doesn’t repeat as much as Beth. She tells Aneesa that she hasn’t seen her step up. Aneesa feels that she has heart to do what she has to do. Beth whines in an interview about how she hates the team, about how she’s sick of the lack of respect, and about how she’s sick of getting treated like crap. Cry me a river, bitch.

Actually, that’s exactly what she’s doing in the next scene. According to her recap (never for the faint at heart), this footage came after Syrus went home. I don’t see why she feels the need to dump a bottle of Visine in each eye. Julie comes over to give some insincere comfort, noting that it’s hard not to have any friends, and that people say stuff out of their own fears. Would “I don’t wrestle, I fuckin’ beat bitches up!” fall under that? Julie thinks Aneesa doesn’t want to face Beth in the Gauntlet. Anybody up for a trip to Bethland? “If somebody is trying to ride my fucking coattails, that’s just dirty. That person needs to fight me in the Gauntlet. I’m sick of all the big mouths around the house. I mean, she’s lucky I didn’t fucking bitchslap her. And this negative energy is just fueling me even more, so bring it on, bitches. That’s all I have to say, 'cause no one is getting past me.” My favorite part is Julie sighing near the end of Beth’s delusional rant, wondering if she sounds like that to the others. She doesn’t look convinced, while Beth seems content to the idea that she could smack Aneesa and get away with it.

Back from commercials, we hit the mission site. A platform gets raised. TJ welcomes everybody to the Port Authority for today’s mission: Easy Does It. The objective: players must dive into the water, climb a rope ladder, cross the platform, climb down another ladder, and make it back to the dock. The teams break up into pairs, and each duo gets ten minutes to complete the mission. If they fall into the water, both players have to start over at the bottom of the ladder. Jumping off brings a penalty of ten minutes. TJ adds that the platform is held by two pick points, and that makes it teeter and totter. Julie expositions that have to keep the platform even while holding on to a rope on the platform. TJ ends it, saying that the team with the fastest time gets $10,000 for their bank account. Since this is a women’s Gauntlet day, the winning female captain gets an electronic doodad and a year’s subscription.

TJ blows his airhorn, and Alton and Landon fly off the platform, hitting the water. They climb the ladders in synch. Alton interviews that things feel solid, and they have a good rhythm going. Both guys reach the platform and pull themselves across with ease. MJ interviews that the pair is setting the bar for the Rookies. Alton and Landon go down the ladders and swim towards the docks, allowing Jamie and Jodi to make their run. Jamie gets to the platform first, weighing it down. Jodi grabs the platform, making it tilt in her direction. Jamie grabs the rope to keep from falling. Both players make it across the platform, with Jodi pulling her side down to allow Jamie to cross. The duo walks down the ladder and heads for the dock.

Up next: Kina & Jillian. Jillian pauses at the top of her ladder, while Kina tells her that she needs her weight. The platform tilts, and Kina goes flying into the water. TJ tells the ladies that they have three minutes left. The girls climb again. Kina has problems getting to the platform with 2:15 left. Alton encourages her from the dock, telling her that she can’t give up. The platform tilts again, Jillian flies off, and the duo get the 10:00 maximum.

As Ibis & Susie dive in, Kina comes up to the dock. Alton tells her that it’s not her fault, but she sobs a little anyway. “I’m not Stretch Armstrong,” she interviews. “I cannot reach something that is out of my reach. I don’t like failing, so I’m super upset.” Meanwhile, Susie gets to the edge of the platform, while Ibis hangs on. Susie yells to Ibis that she is not going to the Gauntlet. I guess Susie is still a lock to go in no matter what. Susie tells Ibis to put her legs up and grab the rope. Ibis insists that she can’t reach. Alton yells to Ibis that she has four more rungs left on the ladder. Ibis interviews that she wants to prove herself, but she can’t reach that height. TJ gives the ladies two and a half minutes. Jillian gets to the other side of the platform, but Ibis falls off. Landon understates that Ibis’s second snafu in as many days is not making her look good. The pair hits the 10:00 maximum. Naturally, Ibis is worried that she’s on the chopping block.

Final pair: Randy & MJ. Both men get on the platform as it tilts. Alton instructs them not to get weight on one side. MJ slips and hits the water. Randy is told to climb down the ladder, but he jumps down instead. TJ yells that he can’t do that, and the team is assessed the 10:00. Anybody else get the feeling that Randy’s number is up next week? Jodi can’t believe this is happening. Randy claims he didn’t know he was supposed to climb down. Alton notes that the Veterans won’t lose unless they really screw up. Ibis tells her teammates not to lose hope. “I am so ungodly pissed off,” Kina snaps, “it’s not even funny. I wish the Gauntlet was right there.”

TJ blows his airhorn to kick things off for the Veterans, as Mark & David fly into the water. The fellas climb up, get on the rope, and pull past each other. The platform tilts, but the pair manage to hang on, get down and swim back to the dock.

Next pair: Robin & Katie. Robin reaches the platform first with 4:20 left. Katie can’t bring herself to reach, saying that her arms are about to give out. TJ tells them they have one minute left. Robin interviews that Katie’s arms are tied, so they’ll take the ten minutes.

Up next: Beth & Derrick. Just what both of them wanted, I’m sure. Beth has trouble just climbing the ladder. Aneesa: “She can’t even pull her ass out of the water, and I’m like, ‘This is really our team captain’.” Mark tells her to get her body closer to the rope ladder. Derrick nears the top, but Beth falls off. TJ gives the dysfunctional duo four minutes. Derrick reaches the platform. He tells Beth to get up, but she’s still on the ladder while in the water. TJ gives them two minutes. Beth interviews that she’s trying to get back up the ladder, but there’s nothing left. Time’s up, ten minute maximum. Derrick: “Beth literally can’t pull herself up a ladder.” He adds that somebody should take her out if they lose because she doesn’t belong there.

Fourth pair: Julie & Aneesa. Julie reaches the platform first. Things look good until Aneesa falls off, causing the platform to tilt. Julie hangs on for dear life with 4:15 remaining. Aneesa complains that she banged her face. TJ: “I know you did, come on.” Shut up, Poor Man’s Dave Mirra. Julie climbs again, as Robin yells for her to go to her “special place.” I’m sure Julie was in a “special place” for years. Robin yells some more, but Aneesa drops once again, and the pair gets ten minutes. Aneesa quips that she has a new bruise on her leg. Julie interviews that none of the women made it, and it’s up to Timmy and Brad to get a good time.

Speaking of Old Ham and Meathead, they dive in and climb the ladders. Timmy’s side of the platform drops, but both hang on to the rope. Cut to Kina looking anxious. Mark yells for Timmy to step off Brad’s shoulder. The guys end up crossing the platform, climbing down the ladders and swimming back to the dock. Cut to Brad and Derrick hugging, happy with this round. Derrick can smell the $10,000, while Mark brags that the Rookies will have to send a girl to the Gauntlet.

On the Rookies’ side, Kina and Susie don’t know if the Veterans have won. Derrick: “Attaboy, Timmy and Brad! Fuck, yeah!” Ibis doesn’t like the celebrating, perhaps forgetting the six times that the Rookies whooped it up. She interviews that everybody is wondering who screwed up first, and it’s lucky for them that she messed up. Kina interviews that she knows the decision she has to make. “I hate that I’m branded as captain,” she adds. “It’s like the bane of my existence.” Such is the price to be paid for finishing runner-up in an impromptu rock-paper-scissors tournament.

TJ compliments everybody for their efforts. Both teams had three pairs fall off, for 30:00 per side. Mark & David ran their part at 3:23, while Brad & Timmy got 2:45. Veterans’ time: 36:08. On the other side, Jodi & Jamie came in at 2:00, prompting Jodi to pump her fist. Alton & Landon’s time: 1:37. Rookies’ time: 33:37. Cue the usual celebration on the Rookie side, as Timmy’s jaw drops, which I haven’t seen since Katie beat David in The Inferno. TJ hands the $10,000 check and the sponsor prize to Kina, and Timmy’s mouth is still open. TJ tells the Veterans that he’ll see them later. Timmy can’t believe his team lost. “We’re all grumpy and moping and walking around all sad,” he continues, “and then it kind of dawns on us: ‘Wait, now Beth has to go into the Gauntlet.’ Maybe that’s a victory after all!” Wait a minute...nobody likes Beth, and they were playing to win??!? I know it would be hard to lose $10,000, but wouldn’t it have been nice to screw up? Either the rules were amended to prevent throwing missions, or nobody wanted to involve Katie in such a scheme, since she was victimized in the past.

Veterans Gauntlet Meeting. We’ll just get to the voting. Derrick wants to vote on who can take Beth out. Robin votes for Aneesa, whom she’s sure to scare Beth. Cut to shots of Aneesa and Julie, the latter of which hasn’t gotten past the twelfth mission since Extreme Challenge.

TJ comes in to get the verdict. Beth tells him to she’ll be facing Aneesa. TJ gives the wheel a good spin. Cue Aneesa whispering for Beach Brawl...and sure enough, between Reverse Tug-Of-War and Challenger’s Choice, Aneesa gets her wish. It’s a Gauntlet Day miracle! Aneesa bolts up, cursing and screaming for joy. She storms out of the room, almost knocking Derrick over. Beth smiles and laughs, muttering that Aneesa is crazy. Julie lies back, all teeth and buggy eyes. “The look on Beth’s face,” she tells us, “is like a deer in headlights.” TJ understates that Aneesa is excited, and he will see them later.

Aneesa tells Robin and Katie that she might “piledrive that bitch.” Keep teasin’ me, baby, I like it so. Robin tells her to go “straight-up gangsta” on Aneesa. Derrick compares the Gauntlet to taking a three-point shot at the end of a game. “I’ve been mentally preparing for this Gauntlet,” Aneesa tells us. “I prayed for Beach Brawl and I got it, and Beth had better be shaking in her boots because I’m ready to kill that bitch.” Want to know something truly sad? I was so pumped up for this, I did not see the end coming at all.

Gauntlet. TJ congratulates the Rookies on their win, then he calls Beth down. Beth announces that the team picked Aneesa, and she comes down. TJ goes over Beach Brawl...wrestle in the sand, best three-of-five. Beth: “I’m not doing it.” Once again: did not see that coming, even though I saw it before. Dramatic change in music. TJ: “Why not? Yeah, you are. Come on.” Beth repeats her lack of desire, squealing a little. “I’m not gonna put oil all over my body and have some bitch fight with somebody,” she interviews, “and I think it’s very low-class and I have no interest in participating.” Oh, sure...Reverse Tug-Of-War? Not at all demeaning. Beach Brawl? She is woman, hear her whine! It’s not like she had to strip down to a g-string and pasties before getting oiled up.

Landon claps, telling Beth to represent her team. Aneesa announces that she will represent the Veterans. Beth blahs that Aneesa will be a great captain. Aneesa snipes that Beth showed her true colors, adding, “I know you don’t want to look like a punk on TV, because you would have.” She walks off to applause from the Veterans, while Beth can just say “whatever.” "I would have killed you in the ring,” Aneesa interviews, “and you would have been a punk in there. You haven’t done shit for our team. You are a disease. Goodnight.” TJ thinks that Beth is scared, which Beth denies. TJ asks Beth why she’s still here. He adds, “I told you to quit when the other quitters quit.” Normally, I hate TJ...but it’s Beth, so who cares? Even funnier is Susie on the sidelines, shouting, “Yeah, tell her, Teege!” TJ bitches that Beth is too good for the Gauntlet, giving her twenty minutes to pack up and leave. She clucks that she would like to have stayed, but she wasn’t going to compromise her values and beliefs. That’s Julie deal, bitch. Quit stealing.

Beth gets a few token hugs from the Veterans. “You’re only as strong as your weakest line,” David interviews with Timmy at his side, “and out weakest link is going home.” Derrick: “Beth is a punk. I’m so glad Beth is gone. The witch is dead.”

Mansion. Beth and Julie are hanging out...a changing of the suck guard, if you will. Beth laughs and wishes Julie luck with her new captain. Time for some parting words. “Veterans, you gotta smahten up. You gotta get Aneesa out of there now that she’s captain. I’m sure she’ll take you far with her cigarettes and her asthma and her mouth. So have a good time.” Why does Bunim-Murray let her run her mouth one last time? Hell, why do we get a shot of Aneesa smoking? Beth sucked, wire-to-wire. She stirred up drama, she underachieved in missions, she lucked out in two Gauntlets...and when things didn’t roll her way, she picked up her ball and left. I’m not a right-winger by any means, but you have to make like Bill O’Reilly with Beth and cut her mic. Oh, and “smahten”? She was trying a Boston accent. For that alone, I hope David and CT kick her ass.

Outside, we have a shot of Mark, Aneesa, Julie, Derrick, Katie and Brad. Brad: “On account for Beth being gone.” And they all shout out, “THANKS FOR NOTHING!!” Mark shouts “peace!” as he walks off camera, Aneesa flips a bird. I don’t want to hear how this team is no better than Beth. If she was on your team, you would have get her out. And that’s why I want the Veterans to win in the they can go to the reunion and literally rub the check in Beth’s fat face. And if MTV can set up a sand pit for Aneesa to piledrive Beth, that would be even sweeter.

Next time: With Bethasaurus wussing out, where will we get our drama? Well, there’s Jodi and Alton making out. Jillian tells us that this is great as long it doesn’t affect the team. We have something called The Pit, where players try to climb out. Alton’s butt is on the line, and Kina feels that if he falls, the team loses.