Monday, October 03, 2016

Real World/Road Rules: 19 Degrees of Reality Hookups

Sometime during Battle Of The Sexes, MTV decided to do a special on all of the hookups that was on Bunim-Murray programs through the years. Bear in mind, this aired in 2003, when it was a manageable mess. These days, you'd need at least four walls to chart all of the "showmances." The only person I can see being able to keep track unassisted would be Stephen Hawking, and he'd yell, "OH, HELL NO!!!"  And that wouldn't be through his computer . . . the guy would be able to bellow that and temporarily overcome ALS. While this wasn't part of BOTS, I did recap it, and I present it to you.

Recap Posted: February 21, 2003 (I can't find when it aired. I don't think it preempted the Challenge)

It seems like every time you turn around, somebody from Real World or Road Rules is hooking up. That may be because, well, every time you turn around, that is indeed what is happening! MTV had a special on discussing the various hookups. Let’s take a look.

We start with an off-camera voice asking Theo to define a hookup. No, he’s not the Theo currently on Battle of the Sexes. This is Theo from Road Rules: Maximum Velocity Tour. He mulls on the question, his bright blue headband sucking away at his brain. Aneesa (Real World: Chicago), Steven (RW: Las Vegas) and Mike (RW: Back to New York) respond with “kissing,” “sex,” and “getting busy.” Theo is still thinking. Kendal (RR: Campus Crawl) thinks it’s something that lasts more than three seconds. Theo has an answer: “A whole lot of patty cake.” I miss Theo.
Montage of cast members getting intimate/cuddly/wild. An unseen narrator says that RW and RR cast members hook up a lot. Coral (Back to New York) pops up to deliver her classic line to Jisela: “Get off the ho train.” There’s more kissing and embracing. Becky and Norman (RW: New York) kiss… wait a minute! I know Norman doesn’t swing that way! What are you trying to pull, MTV? There’s the one where Steven and Trishelle make out, while a frustrated Frank points the finger gun at his own head. Cut to Trishelle: “I love to kiss boys.”

After the title sequence, we get establishing shots of Los Angeles. Our narrator? Dan Renzi of RW: Miami. Apparently Dan is so big nowadays, they let him use his last name. Congratulations! His hair’s messed up, but it beats his “George of the Jungle” coif in Sexes. Dan shows us the concept of this special: to link nineteen RW and RR cast members together via hookups.

Dan points out that most of these get-togethers take place in Los Angeles, which is home to over 60 ex-cast members. He wonders why they’re all there. I try to hold off my cynical comments. Theo says it’s safe, since other cast members live there. Blair (RR: The Quest) believes it’s refreshing to go out and hook up with somebody who doesn’t care about the show. Timmy (RR: USA) thinks that the hookups happen because they’re in the same area. For some reason, there’s a shot of Holly and Chadwick kissing, which makes me feel icky.

Dan introduces a quick montage. Turns out that there have been 40 on-camera hookups on both shows combined. In the interest of speeding up the story and not being too anal, I’ll stick all of them on the back of this article. Highlights: Becky getting too friendly with Bill the ex-director; the Melissa/Mike/Melody threesome from RW: Miami; Rachel and Sean, along with their baby at the 2000 reunion. David (RW: Seattle) and his romance with casting director Kira; Colin and Amaya (RW: Hawaii) getting romantic; and Malik (RW: Back to New York) and Jisela (RR: The Quest) getting cuddly, followed by Jisela kissing Kevin and Lori (both Back to New York), and going topless for Blair (The Quest). It ends with Trishelle and Frank kissing, from a recent episode of RW: Las Vegas. Cut to Arissa in the confessional: “I feel like I’m in a porn that I can’t escape!”

Dan tells us that some hookups don’t happen on camera. Jisela basically repeats what Dan says. Theo notes that not having a hookup revealed is revenge on the producers because they catch so much. “It’s like your sneaky little way of betraying the universe,” he adds.

Back to Dan, who promises to link two Back to New York cast members through nineteen degrees of “spit-swapping separation.” He starts with Mike. Cut to Mike in Miz-mode. I hate wrestling, and I hate the Miz. Mike gets links to his love interest on Seasons, Tara (RR: Northern Trail). Mike interviews that they clicked well, and they got to kissing. Cut to Mike totally copping a feel. Mike continues, saying they tried to keep things secretive, and that one cameraman kept following them around. There’s the scene where Tara gets out of bed, sees the camera, and immediately flees to another room, pretending to exercise.

Dan narrates that before Mike, Tara was interested in Dan. Not that Dan; that would be a miracle in itself. No, this Dan was on Northern Trail with her. Shot of the couple making out on the beach. In an archive interview, Tara tells us she’s never been in love before. Dan is scared of getting close. “What am I talking about?” he adds. “She’ll probably get rid of me in two weeks anyway.” Narrating Dan tells us that Dan and Tara are friends, and were partners on Seasons.

Next, there’s Dan and Holly. I’ll clear it up: Hetero Dan and Holly from RR: Latin America, who met on Challenge 2000. Holly hugs Dan after he skydives. In an archived confessional, Holly says that Dan is the best friend she’s ever had. Yeah, that is Dan’s effect on people. Teck pops up briefly, saying that Dan has a girlfriend back home. In a present-day interview, Timmy says that both of them denied that a hookup happened, but he doesn’t believe them.

Next up: Holly and Timmy. I never heard about that. Anyway, during Hurricane Julliette, cast members weren’t allowed outside. Cut to the toga party, with Stephen and his insane headdress, and Mike dry-humping Sharon. Good times. “We just spent so much time together,” Timmy says, “sharing peanut butter, if you will.” Nice euphemism. There’s a clip of Holly saying that the hurricane was a “huge turning point,” but that’s probably not related to her and Timmy. He says that she got so much flak about Dan, it was reason enough to keep it off-camera.

Timmy also met Becky on Seasons. Wow, I’m learning so much. Timmy says that nothing happened between them until after Seasons. There’s a “Wacky Timmy” montage. He goes on about how he and Becky rarely talked, but they got together afterwards. Theo says he’s glad they spent time together.

After commercials, Trishelle thinks that RW cast members hook up more than RR. Steven believes that the RRs seem to be “dirtier.” Blair: “I’d like to think the guys from Road Rules are pimps.”

Dan comes back to reiterate the concept. He adds that sometimes, cast members don’t necessarily hook up with each other. Trishelle interviews that the only way to go solo is very quietly. Cue Divinyls with “I Touch Myself.” Ew. Mike interviews that he’d pretend to be sleeping. Aneesa heard some do it in the shower. Theo talks about Stephen (RW: Seattle), and how he caught him “just making out with himself. There were mirrors involved, and smoke.” Steven: “I openly admitted to masturbating like a banshee.”

Dan is as grossed out as I am, so he suggests that Seasons was an ideal place for love connections. Timmy compares it to Spring Break. Theo: “If you’re a guy and you can’t hook up on the Challenge, you basically need to donate your penis to charity.” Dan tells us that Theo would say that, since he hooked up twice on Seasons. “Becky invited me over for a bowl of chowder,” Theo drawls, “which turned into ‘chowder and,’ if you know what I mean.” He goes on about how a director was trying to find Theo while he was hiding in Becky’s room.

Theo had also spent time with Coral (Back to New York) on Seasons. I remembered seeing the clips, so this didn’t shock me. Cut to shots of Theo and Coral close to each other. Why didn’t BMP pick up that ball and run with it? Theo says that they spent time with each other after Seasons.

Dan drops a bomb: Coral has dated Steven. Suddenly, Coral drops ten points in my book. Steven? Ick! Steven interviews that during the casting finals, the producers brought in Coral to give him a hard time. Puddle of Mudd’s “She Hates Me” plays in the background. Steven goes on, saying that they went out for coffee, and thought there was electricity, but nothing happened. Mike adds that she liked him but he didn’t want to be in a relationship with her. Okay, maybe Coral’s judgment isn’t that bad, and the writers just needed an easy link to Steven.

Dan introduces the obvious hookup of Steven and Trishelle. She interviews that they were attracted to each other. Steven: “When we kissed, there was just something was there.” Cue the Steven/Trishelle montage of dancing and cuddling in bed. Trishelle admits that in an effort to get some action away from the cameras, she accidentally locked herself under a stairwell. Steven knew they wouldn’t be dating; only hooking up. Trishelle has no regrets, and they’re friends.

Dan comes back, saying that Steven had ticked off Trishelle so bad at one point, she hooked up with Eric. Man, I forgot most of RR: Campus Crawl. Aside from the UTEP mission and Steven getting handcuffed in the hot tub, everything is a blur after Sarah got voted off. Trishelle says that the producer asked her if she did it to make Steven jealous. Cue Eric lifting Trishelle into a Jacuzzi. Steven told her he didn’t care. From what I heard, the get-together of the casts of Campus Crawl and Las Vegas was Hookup Central, where almost everybody got lucky.

Steven wasn’t the only one affected. “It was horrible!” Kendall laments with a smile. “It was my worst nightmare!” Trishelle admits to not knowing about the RR relationships. Dan sets the next degree of Eric and Kendall. Montage of kissing, including them making out after they screwed up the first mission. Kendall is embarrassed by some of the things he said. Cut to an archived Eric confessional, saying he can’t get in a relationship with somebody who gets angry. Cut to the fighting montage. There’s a shot of Kendall puking. Campus Crawl was all about the vomit. Kendall reveals that she’s friends with Eric, and they call each other for love advice.

Quick digression: does anybody remember the video for Coolio’s “Too Hot”? It was about people who had unprotected sex with each other. A would lie with B, B with C, and so on (I remember a “Javier” and a “Loopy,” but that’s it). At key moments, these people would burst into flames, combust, or turn to ash. Somehow, this chain reminds me of the video. It’s probably just me being weird.

Back from commercials, Dan goes over the chain from Mike to Kendall. After Campus Crawl, Kendall dated Blair. That’s trading up, in my opinion. Blair interviews that the premiere party for the show was at the Saddle Ranch where he works. There’s a shot of Blair operating the mechanical bull. Maybe he tried to waste those American Idol wannabes when they were flaunting their credentials. They clicked immediately, going out for six months. Kendall adds that they spent every waking moment together, but they just broke up because it was time to do so.

Before Kendall, Blair had gone out with Keri (RW: Chicago). That’s news to me. Theo says that he spent New Year’s with them. Blair was happy about meeting a girl who would go drinking with him until 2:30 am, then take him to a strip club and buy drinks for him there. Not my idea of Nirvana, but that’ll work for Blair. He adds that he didn’t take it to the next level, and they stayed friends.

Of course, Keri is linked to one of her housemates, Kyle. Or as some forum dwellers dub him, “SpongeKyle Squarehead.” Montage of Keri/Kyle intimate moments. Kyle from 2001: “We are very touchy-feely friends, and that’s fine, because no man can be in constant restraint 24 hours a day.” Somebody pipes in Jimmy Fallon’s “Idiot Boyfriend.” I love that person. Blair interviews that it was more of an involved relationship. Aneesa adds that Kyle wanted to be respectful of his family and girlfriend. In a clip, Keri tells Kyle that she thinks it’s lame that she put herself out there. Cut to the Keri/Kyle fight montage.

Dan surprises nobody in revealing that Kyle has been dating Lori (Back to New York) for the past year. I could write 500 words on that relationship, but it would be me typing “Why, Lori?” 250 times. Mike says that they met during the Chicago wrap party, and didn’t click right away. Dan says that neither Kyle nor Lori wanted to be interviewed for the show. After all, Lori’s probably got enough hate mail as it is. Jisela playfully grouses about how Lori told her they’d be single forever.

Before there was Kyle, Lori had been interested in Kevin (Back to New York), who she met during the Casting Special, back when she had a boyfriend. In a clip, Kevin interviews that there is an attraction between them. On the first day in the house, Lori announces she’s single. There’s the montage of Kevin and Lori getting cuddly, but things didn’t work out. “I feel like such an ass,” Lori laments in a confessional.

Dan: “And then Jisela showed up.” Dan? That’s “Hah-sela,” not “Yee-sela.” Great, now I’m nitpicking. A puckish producer plays Christina Agurelia’s “Dirrty,” as Jisela tries to pull Kevin’s pants down. Cut to the confessional, where Kevin and Jisela deep-kiss. In an interview, she thought it would be funny to do that on camera. “I can’t say I kissed that many people in one night ever again,” she adds. Of course, they show her kissing Lori and taking her bra off for Blair.

Dan ends the degrees of separation by talking about the one guy Jisela didn’t kiss that night, the one who invited her to the house: Mike’s roommate Malik. He’s the one with the quiet temperament, the scraggly facial hair, and the afro you can see from orbit. In a present-day interview, Malik calls Jisela a playa that can’t maintain relationships. Jisela counters, saying that his feelings were not hurt, adding, “I know I can’t fall in love with somebody, at least not that quick.” Cut to archive shots of a pensive Malik. “Imagine if you got your heart broken on national television,” he says. “The sympathy and love you get… I get e-mails from Africa, Ireland and Japan. I’m like, ‘Okay… road trip!’”

“Bootylicious” accompanies shots of Mike and Malik together. Malik can’t believe he’s hooked up with Mike in that way. Neither can I; the aspiring wrestler and the mellow would-be DJ do make for an odd couple. Dan takes one last look at how Mike and Malik are connected through 17 other cast members, punctuating that with “Suck on THAT, Kevin Bacon!” He adds that if Mike and Malik ever hooked up, the chain would be a chain. Dan wonders what that would be like.

Cut to a beach. Malik and Mike are running towards each other in slow motion, while “Dream Weaver” plays. Either you were annoyed, or you laughed really hard. I laughed. Sue me. Mike falls down in regular motion, and Malik makes an “Oh, that Mike!” face. They meet, their lips inches from each other. Then Dan interrupts: “Actually, Mike and Malik would be pretty gross.” Cut to the duo shouting “Hell, no!” to the camera. Yeah, that relationship would keep me up at nights.

Dan thanks us for watching, and says that if cast members keep getting that way with each other, “we’re going to end up with one giant pot of reality hookup stew!” The camera pulls out as Dan rides the mechanical bull, as Blair operates it. Dan thrives at first, but Blair manages to throw him off. Dan pops back up, shouting “Do it again! Do it again!” Cut to end credits.

These were the 40 hookups shown in the first segment, along with my notes.
  1. Becky/Bill, RW: New York
  2. Mark/Kit, RR: Season One. I don’t remember this relationship, and the local station hasn’t shown their season.
  3. Devin/Emily, RR: USA. Haven’t seen that season, either. I do know that the people in Emily’s town frowned on her dating him, and they ended up traveling together
  4. Puck/Rachel, RW: San Francisco. The less said, the better.
  5. Chris/Michelle, RR: Europe. I had to pause the tape. I actually thought they were Antoine and Belou at one point.
  6. Jake/Kalle, RR: Islands. Brief clip of Jake admitting an attraction.
  7. Mike/Melissa/Melody, RW: Miami. Voted as the best moment by users in 2001. Note to future cast members: threesomes are only as good as the supporting cast. Here, we had Sarah poking fun, Dan grousing about the trio using his shower, and Flora trying to squeeze herself between window panes to take a look.
  8. Dan/Tara, RR: Northern Trail.
  9. Noah/Anne, RR: Northern Trail. Say what? In the clip, they just look at each other, and Anne kisses Noah’s face. I don’t get it.
  10. Judd/Pam, RW: San Francisco. Is this a hookup? They don’t get romantic until after their season, they date for several years, and then get married. Nice use of clips: Pam revealing Judd as her guy in the 1996 reunion, and her showing off her ring in 2001.
  11. Sean/Rachel, Road Rules All-Stars.
  12. David/Kira, RW: Seattle. This relationship was covered last year. Sadly, they’re not shown trying to out-drama each other in a parked car.
  13. Abe/Susie, RR: Latin America. This was big. Susie was a member of the Australia team that competed against Latin America. Abe basically puts on another face and seduces her. Gladys calls Abe on his fakery, he calls her a bitch several times. Next thing, Gladys is beating the crap out of Abe, and he’s whining about calling the federales on her.
  14. Janet/Jason, RW/RR Challenge (1999). It’s funny that they’re were three other hookups that happened which were not shown: Noah/Montana, Nathan/Kalle and Kefla/Roni. Weird.
  15. Ruthie/Kaia, RW: Hawaii. It was one kiss. Ruthie was so hammered, she didn’t even remember kissing Kaia.
  16. Matt/Kaia. Two of the more hate-worthy cast members shared a passionate kiss.
  17. Amaya/Colin. “You kissed my bunny” sounds like an euphemism, but Amaya didn’t mean it like that.
  18. Kathryn/Laterrian, RR: Maximum Velocity Tour. The infamous restroom hookup.
  19. Dan/Holly, RW/RR Challenge 2000.
  20. Lori/Kevin, RW: Back to New York
  21. Malik/Jisela
  22. Jisela/Lori
  23. Jisela/Kevin
  24. Jisela/Blair
  25. Adam/Ellen, RR: The Quest. The worst couple ever? He had ADD, and she had her own problems. There’s one clip of bedsheets writhing. Ugh.
  26. Steve/Katie. Are you kidding me? Okay, they were slightly interested in each other, but they had significant others back home. The clip lasts less than two seconds. “Blink and you’ll miss him” sums up Steve’s RR experience.
  27. James/Rebecca, RW/RR Extreme Challenge. I’m still trying to figure out how folk singer Rebecca got interested in balls-to-the-wall rugby jock James. My only answer: she started wearing makeup during the season. Maybe it leaked into her brains.
  28. Keri/Kyle, RW: Chicago
  29. Chadwick/Holly, RW/RR Challenge: Battle of the Seasons. Met at the end of Holly’s season. God loves them, because nobody else will.
  30. Mike/Tara
  31. Eric/Kendall, RR: Campus Crawl
  32. Rachel/Darrell. I forgot about them making out. Once again, that season was a blur.
  33. Eric/Trishelle.
  34. Steve/Trishelle
  35. Trishelle/Brynn. The clip is accompanied by Steven talking about how much he likes bisexual women. Shut up, Steven.
  36. Brynn/Trishelle/Steven. Oh, sure, it’s all fun until a fork gets thrown. Then certain people get all pissy.
  37. James/Emily, Extreme Challenge and Battle of the Sexes. I’m still trying to figure what she sees in him.
  38. Ayanna/David, Battle of the Sexes. She’s not shrill, he knows her name. What gives? Give me something to work with!
  39. Alton/Irulan, RW: Las Vegas. And they’re still such a darling couple! Yeah, right.
  40. Frank/Trishelle. That was shown four days before the special. Not a big deal.
Quaint, right? It's funny that Mike wound up hooking up with Trihselle and Kendall (in The Gaunltet and The Inferno, respectively), further screwing the map up. And I still find it awesome that the editors piped in "Idiot Boyfriend" for Kyle, because fuck that fiveheaded asshole, that's why. If you don't have an aversion to Jimmy Fallon, then this is for you.

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