Monday, March 13, 2017

Showdown at the Real World/Road Rules Corral – Gauntlet Preview Episode

Here's the preview special for The Gauntlet. The one from MTV, not the one where I overthink things. Since tomorrow's forecast calls for a crap-ton of snow, I'll try to get the opening episodes covered tomorrow.

Airdate: September 22, 2003 (once again, I'm thinking this aired the week before the opener)
Recap Published: September 30, 2003

It’s the Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Gauntlet preview episode. Find out bits and pieces of what will be happening this season as Jason brings us all the details.

Last Sunday was a good day. I watched the repeat of Survivor and I witnessed The Amazing Race get an much-deserved Emmy, shocking the critics who didn't know better. Twenty-four hours later, I'm stuck watching the preview of a show that I'm probably going to loathe in about a month. Why do I do this? For the love.

By the way, you might want to read my preview first to find out about the competitors and my initial views on them. I think I was wrong on a few of them... and the show hasn't officially begun yet. Not a good sign for me.

Random shots. Jonny Moseley: "Welcome to the Gauntlet." Katie voiceover: "I think the Real World team sucks [bleep]!" Very classy. Games in the mud. Roni smears some brown stuff in Theo V's mouth. Cara: "This game has serious potential potential to get ugly." Mike yells at Darrell. Rappelling. Old-fashioned airplanes. Theo G: "We're the Real World. Keep it real." Mike gets off the plane. His first words? "Road Rules, kiss my ass, baby!" Delightful as always, Mike.

Credits. Techno-Western music plays as the faces flash on the screen. Irulan voiceover: "I feel like I just wanna [bleeping] punch somebody in the face." A female player rides a mechanical bull. Two guys wrestle. More faces. Guy cheering in the cockpit. Coral dances in the cockpit. More faces.

Cut to out hosts: Jonny Moseley and Coral. Nice choice. Jonny welcomes us to Telluride, Colorado, at the Wyndham Rocks Resort and Spa, where the show takes place. He introduces himself as the "debonair and most-talented host" from Battle of the Sexes. Debonair? Try "merely adequate." Cut to clip of his cell phone going off during Razor's Edge. [2017: The clip aired during the Reunion] He introduces Coral as "most lovely, talented and saucy." Clips of Coral during Battle of the Seasons. Coral talks about how she won $50,000 and how she's back for more. New rules, new missions, etc. Coral: "We got 28 of the most cash-strapped, drama-filled kids to compete for $300,000." She's blunt, but it's mostly good.

Introduction of Mike. Clips of Mike acting like an idiot during Seasons, including going into Miz-mode (his wrestling persona) and talking to Theo with his butt cheeks. Mike took the winnings and enrolled in wrestling school. Cut to the present: Mike rolls around on the floor with another guy, as Darrell handles referee and announcer duties. Mike tries to flip out of the pin, and Darrell gets a leg to his head. Mike to camera: "They'll be many rounds." Panning to his wrestling buddy... Abram: "But we're comin' back for round two!" Confession: in an early commercial of Abram flipping out, I thought he was Mike making a cameo in South Pacific

Introduction of Abram. Of course, we cut to his fight with Donell, which got him kicked off. I don't want to get started on that. "That was a really good experience for me," Abram interviews. "It was a reinforcement of my ideas and my character." Say what? He spewed out some questionable beliefs, alienated half the cast, and let the most obnoxious teammate goad him into a fight. And that was good for him? Whatever. Shot of Abram in a bubble bath with a girl.

Introduction of Elka. She tells us she won $50,000 in Seasons. She's single, and wants to figure out what she wants in a relationship. Shot of her in a hot tub with Theo V.

Introduction of Theo. Quick clip of him in Seasons, challenging people to knock the bottle off his head, only to get a ball to the chest for his troubles. Clip of him losing control of a scooter he just won as it smacks into the curb. Honestly, I missed Theo. You can keep James, dude. Theo admits to having a crush on Elka. Here's my theory: since it's been established he hooked up with Becky and Coral, I think he's working through the cast alphabetically. Theo and Elka chat, and she jokingly suggests marriage.

"Hoo-RAH!" Introduction of Laterrian. Clip of him lifting the guys during Sexes with "RIDE OR [Oedipus Rexing] DIE!" They don't show him getting eight points in two missions. Anyway, he interviews that he's a year older and more of an adult. Cut to a clip of him in a fat suit, struggling on the ice. Word of warning: I'll try to hold off on Donell jokes, but when I get to that episode, all bets are off.

Introduction of Montana. The editors decide not to air her getting reamed out over the phone by her boyfriend, but they do show her getting fired for letting kids taste wine. She insists that her life is "completely different" and that she's changed. For some reason, we get an old clip of her attacking Sean with a broom.

Introduction of Matt. He's wearing a funky cross around his neck. Old clip of him talking to Danny about how sexuality is given to people by God. There's Julie playing Spin the Bottle, grabbing it and trying to kiss Matt. "She's not playing by the rules," he says. "She was expecting a kiss, man!" Old analysis: he's too much of a pig. New analysis: he can see evil in all forms. Yeah, Julie's still on my list. Present day shot of Matt trying to grab a giant blue ball. He tells us he's been speaking in churches as the Life Teen spokesman. Well, better him than Chadwick. Shots of a bible, as Matt talks to the group about voting strategy.

Back to Jonny and Coral. Jonny asks Coral about Matt. "I hope the Lord is with Matt," she replies. "He's gonna need the Lord." She adds that he's one of the skinnier players out there. Well, so was Danny in Seasons, and he lasted until the finale. Coral moves on to Theo, calling him one of the stronger competitors, and suggesting that his loss in Seasons would make him go insane. Cut to a clip of Theo talking trash, "starting with you, Miz-erable." Well, he's not always witty. Jonny asks about Mike, and Coral says that she knows him as "Mike from Parma." She can't say too many bad things about him, since he helped her win the big money. She brings up Abram. Jonny: "I've seen his work." Quick clip of Abram pounding on Donell. It takes Coral a while to spit out that his bark is worse than his bite.

Quick introductions before commercials. First, there's Nathan. Old clip of him smacking Irene in the face with a boxing nun puppet. There's an unwritten law that says Irene has to be showed getting whacked during any preview special. This time, the editors held off on Stephen slapping her. Way to show restraint, MTV. He asks Roni about discussing something rather than talk behind people's backs. Introduction of Roni, or as I like to think of her, the anti-Anne. She says she came to the show because she had no job for the summer. Who wouldn't want to hire her? She's cute, smart, a great dancer, and she was part of the best Road Rules season ever. She gets hugged by her teammates.

Back from commercials. Introduction of Rachel B, with clips of her all big-eyed as she walks around New York. Honestly, she looks a lot more mature. She says that she loves the city, and she's never bored there.

Back to Jonny and Coral. Jonny pimps the show, which will be on "The 10 Spot." MTV still uses that term? I am so out of the loop. Coral goes on about how people watch the Challenges for the drama, and a big part of that is the elimination process, which is worse this year. Jonny agrees, as he brings up the Gauntlet. We get vague black-and-white clips: a variation of Dead Man's Drop, a stick battle, and mechanical bull riding. The hosts explain the new deal: the winning team gets $10,000 to bank, but both teams must vote a teammate into the Gauntlet. The loser goes home, while the winner reunites with the people who voted for that person. Coral thinks that's brutal. Let's see if the footage agrees with her.

Veronica suggests to some of her teammates that the girls have been voted on, while one of the guys hasn't been performing. Sarah feels everybody has something to offer and has screwed up in at least one mission. At the RW pad, Coral lectures about how the current strategy isn't working, and how things need to change. Adam in the hot tub: "I want to make sure I have the strongest balls in my court." Sounds like a double entendre Chuck would've said. Katie says that the "Real World idiots" are cocky. Irulan says that the team can't afford to lose anybody that isn't ready to go. Nathan says it's about winning money. Matt tells his teammates he's prepared to go into the Gauntlet, and he's taken criticism from the first day. While he's going on, Elka rolls her eyes. Now this is a shame: Mike, on the verge of tears, can't bring himself to vote for Coral. Alton and Irulan talk outside, and she's near tears. Katie yells at Veronica, and Laterrian tries to calm her down. Rachel R.: "I'm telling you, us women are taking down each other." She's been there and done that. Irulan says she can't do this. Adam tells Katie it's not about friendship. Laterrian feels like crap. Katie explodes at Veronica. "You're one of the bitches that voted me [bleeping] off!" she bellows. "I'm not dumb! I know you did!" Uh oh. Hide the axes!

Back to Jonny and Coral. Jonny thinks the players are a tough crowd. Coral responds, "We are some tough-ass bitches!" She wonders what ever happened to voting off the lowest score. Like you did with Stephen and Lindsay? I'm kidding... Stephen would have been dumped no matter what, contract or not. Jonny segues into the next contestant introductions.

Introduction of Adam. Montage of Adam acting like a jackass, attributed then to his ADD. Since his season, Adam has biked across the country, and he's now in Los Angeles to pursue acting. He's got a beard, but it's not as scraggly as Jamie's. Present-day shot of him climbing out of a car. He tells Katie that he's the strongest competitor. Her response? "He's gonna make the game ugly because you're being a [bleep]!"

Introduction of Katie: a freeze-frame of her, cigarette in one hand, flipping the bird with the other, saying "they can go [bleep] themselves!" Classy. Clip of her in Spain, during the meringue fight. Clip of her licking Steve's face. She has moved to Hollywood to take acting classes, and her roommate is Trishelle. Shot of them in the hot tub.

Introduction of Trishelle. Clips of the hot tub orgy and making out with Steven. I want the part where Frank, who was smitten with her, makes the gun-to-the-head gesture. Suddenly...topless women! Trishelle explains that she and Katie posed for Playboy. I guess Hef saw them as a package deal; who'd get hot and bothered over a substitute Roadie? Trishelle: "The photos look great. They're tasteful, and-" Katie interrupting: "No crotch shots!" I have no response.

Introduction of Steve. Hi, Steve! I'll try to keep the Television Without Pity references to a minimum. Anyway, there's Steve in Fes, getting his organ crushed in the narrow corridors. "Since I was on a reality TV show," he says, "I decided to move to L.A. and become an actor." Soundtrack grinds to a halt. "Wait, that's everybody else." Ha! Clip of him squirting a girl with meringue. He voiceovers that he taught second- and third-graders, and he's moved to New York. Clip of him running in a fat suit. He treads water. Cut to David getting out of the water. I hate these segue clips.

Introduction of David. Old-school clip of him scatting. I can't begin to sound it out and convert it to words. He's making a weird face, and that's not helping. Melissa and Danny get on his case as David gets angsty. Clip of him messing up Breath HoldBungee. "My Challenge before was good," he tells us, "but this one's gonna be better." That might be debatable: we get a clip of him throwing out a towel in disgust. Maybe him and water really don't get along.

Introduction of Sarah. Old clip of her crying about how her parents didn't know. The editors don't show any of her failures, opting for the nude painting and her grabbing a key in a case containing spiders. "Watching yourself on TV," she philosophizes, "you kind of start to realize maybe you're not exactly how you see yourself." Shot of her at a table, chatting up Rachel B.

Introduction of Norman. Old clips of him in New York. Clip of him preparing for Slam Dunk in Seasons without his partner Becky, who was scared of heights. I think I had more to say about him than MTV. That's sad.

Introduction of Rachel R., standing in the bubble bath, soap covering her chest. Highlights of her in Sexes. She interviews, "I decided to do another Challenge because I was so cheated out of my experience last time." Cut to the Inner Circle From Hell, where Emily and Ellen trash on her, and Ruthie lets them. "This game is ugly!" she tells the camera. "The Inner Circle is ugly!" She claims that she's better prepared now.

Back to Jonny and Coral. Jonny does the absolute worst Rachel impression ever. She should smack him for that, it's that bad. Coral laughs, urging Rachel to stay in her bikini. Jonny brings up Trishelle. Coral goes for the obvious path, thinking that there would be men here. "Dudes in the dude ranch," Jonny quips. Shut up, Jonny. Maybe Colin did take Jonny's place after all. Coral doesn't think Katie can control her temper.

Introduction of Theo G. Clip of him telling Tonya to shut up. He interviews that he's never been on television with a girlfriend before, and he might act differently than before. He adds, "I don't feel like I need to starve for attention like a lot of other people may be doing here."

Introduction of Tonya. Old clip of her feeling the need to throw a glass at Theo. It's hard to imagine that at one time, any interaction I wanted with her was with a crowbar. Anyway, she's enrolled at UCLA. She insists to others that she hasn't performed poorly.

Back to Jonny and Coral. They banter before commercials. Coral: "Don't go anywhere. I'll send the Miz after your ass." Big deal... I just throw a six-pack to the side, and I'd be safe.

Introduction of Darrell. He's changed his hair and lost the crazy sideburns. Clip of Shane smacking him in the face. One reason that I've softened on Campus Crawl is that those two eventually settled their beef in the same episode. And they beat South Pacific. Anyway, we see him paddling on an inflatable raft. "I'm here for the free trip," he interviews, "and I'm trying to win some more money."

Jonny and Coral are poolside, wearing robes. Coral takes a look at the rest of the contestants, "including a few romantic couples, which makes me physically sick."

Introduction of Dave. Clip of him in the stripping mission. Pardon me while I wash my eyeballs after getting another look at Donell in a thong. Introduction of Cara, who voiceovers that they started dating after the show. What happened between Dave and Mary-Beth? Not that I care, of course. Dave tells us that Cara dumped her boyfriend and he moved in with her. In the present, they lay in bed, and Cara wishes that Dave didn't want "alone time" right now. Cara in interview: "There might be some kind of drama along the way. It could be a little whiney." Cara and Coral argue, and Cara curses. "Don't say [bleep] you to me," Coral replies. "I don't know you like that. That's a little much." Messing with Coral? That's a rookie mistake.

Introduction of Coral. She dances the "I won money and I don't gotta share it with Holly" boogie in Seasons. She thinks that her previous experience as a "proven winner" gives her an advantage. "I will [bleep] somebody up for a car," she tells Tonya. "I will eat bull nuts. I will eat a cow's [bleep]. I'm talking about balls of hair soaked in [bleep]. Gimme the Saturn!" Who knew Coral had a Campus Crawl player within her?

Introduction of Tina, the discount Coral. She learned that she's very high-strung. "I don't give people chances," she interviews. "I am quick to judge." Cut to her shamelessly flirting with Dave, while Mary-Beth, Dave's squeeze at the time, concentrates on picking a lock. Tina insists she has mellowed out. Cut to her crying in a pool with floating snakes. Is it wrong that I find pleasure in that?

Introduction of Veronica. Brief clip of her parachuting in Challenge 2000. She rappels in Telluride. She interviews that she'd like to own her own business, since she can't work for anybody. In a competitions, she keeps grabbing Irulan. "You don't put your [bleeping] hands on me, period," Irulan snipes, "because you will get dropped." Oh, please. After dealing with Emily, Veronica probably isn't afraid of anybody.

Introduction of Irulan and Alton. Clip of them wrestling in Vegas. They're currently living together. Alton: "I would say my head, my heart, and my spirit have just been with Irulan." She says they've been trying their hand in the entertainment business. I guess not all reality alumni can be teachers. Alton roots a teammate on in rappelling. Irulan jumps towards a rope, but misses and falls in the water. She says that their ultimate goal is to win the money.

Back to Jonny and Coral. She thinks Irulan is "small and scrawny," but she might be one of the top competitors. After all, Irulan did outwrestle Rachel R. a while back. Coral continues: "There's this girl Coral on the Real World team. I heard she was a bitch." Clip from Seasons of Coral smacking Mike with an answer card. Jonny moves on to Veronica. He doesn't want to say anything, but he knows about one person taking part in a threesome, and how that could be used strategically. Shot of Veronica walking out of the shower. I can hear Emily cracking her knuckles. Jonny segues into how the cast members get "dirty" around water. "That's why I lock my shower door," Coral replies.

Montage of free love. I never guessed that was missing in Sexes. Darrell's in the bubble bath, and he's moaning as Adam gets naked, the Road Rules logo covering his butt. Roni takes a picture of Abram, Veronica and Rachel R. Mike drops his shorts on a dare. Veronica pecks Tonya's lips in the hot tub. I see Abram getting into the shower, and he's macking with somebody. I think it's Rachel R., but don't hold me to that. Off screen, his teammates urge him to write "Real World Sucks" on the steamed glass. Pan to Roadies in the bath. Theo's wearing a Santa cap. Once again, I missed Theo so much.

Back to Jonny and Coral. Jonny notes they haven't talked about the missions yet. Missions? So it's not just about the fighting, gossiping and casual sex? Color me shocked.

Players jump on a rope suspended by a helicopter. Dave paddles frantically on an inflated raft. The players whirl around on a giant turntable. Log rolling. Running an obstacle course in fat suits. Steve: "I'm engulfing the powers of the Yokazuna, the grand champion of the sumo, and combine it with the raw power of Donkey Kong." More running in the suits. Climbing on a rotating ladder. Theo G. climbs out the window of a car suspended a few hundred feet in the air, negotiates a horizontal ladder, climbs into another car, and honks the horn. Old airplanes flying. Jonny voiceover: "Your next challenge: Red Baron." Dogfighting. Awesome. Players trend snake-filled water. Roni holds onto a rope above the snakes. Rappelling. Adam: "That was an awesome effort! Way to not give up!" Team rowing. Adam again: "Hey, Real World, see you in Telluride!"

Back to Jonny and Coral one last time. Jonny pimps the start date (Monday at 10 pm) and the Fantasy Challenge (on Coral guarantees she'll be in front of her television set, finding out who's been talking smack about her. I will also be in front of a set that day, fearing for those who disrespect Coral. See you next week! Hoo-RAH!

Not much I can add. Keep warm and safe tomorrow.

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