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!

1 comment:

P. said...

Great recap! I enjoyed it a lot. Keep 'em coming!