Here in 2018, we have our first respite from The Challenge, after four weeks of Final Reckoning reunion disaster scene (what did "Final Reckoning" indicate, anyway?) and CT's loved ones getting put under the microscope as he got married. Right now, there is way too much conflict between Challengers on social media, as if hating each other (or pretending to do so) is now their official job. On the bright side: Cara Maria & Paulie have broken up, but I think her standing as the "fan favorite" female has taken a hit. Also, three former Challengers got engaged to their respective love ones. Granted, it's just Johnny Reilly (probably the most obnoxious person from RW: Portland after Nia), CJ Koegel (from RW: Cancun, two seasons and fourteen missions, zero titles) and Chuck Mowery (an Are You The One? transplant that got bounced early from Final Reckoning along with noisome partner Britni), but at least they're trying to resemble adults. And Rachel Robinson -- ol' Butterface herself -- recently became a mother again; this time, her partner gave birth. Right now, I reckon we should focus on peace on Earth, goodwill towards men . . . at least until The Challenge: War of the Worlds kicks off. Then all bets are off.
Episode Aired:November 15, 2004
Recap Posted: November 20, 2004
The teams duel, Wild West style. Can Angela bounce back from her disastrous performance last week? And will the editors give away the unlucky person going home this week?
Previously on Battle of the Sexes: Angela stepped up to be a leader in the Junk Boat mission, then stepped back down. Coral felt that Angela was dead weight, and I agreed with her about that. Coral being with Abram? Not so much. The women finally won a mission, besting the guys in Junk Boat. Mike interviewed that this was the first time he was a leader, and it sucked that he lost. The fellas cut him some slack, sending Derrick home instead. The ladies' Inner Circle voted out Cynthia rather than Angela, provoking dissension in the ranks. Angela sought refuge with Frank, whom she felt was the only person on her side. Cut to the girls bickering, with Tonya holding her head, trying to wish herself into the cornfield.
Frank and Angela take a relaxing stroll. He tells her to not to call the other girls out, but to defend herself. She interviews that Frank is there for her, and that he encourages her for missions. They walk to one of the lodges, where Frank announces that they just had sex. There's a "ha, ha, yeah right" vibe, which means that Frank is not dead to me. "I think Frank is a sweet guy," Angela interviews, "and he kinda has this geeky cute thing going on." Frank tells Steven that he hasn't been attracted to anybody else. Steven replies that everybody is attracted to Frank. Oh, and that Frank is huge down there. I'd worry about Steven, but that would mean caring about him. So I won't.
Hot tub. The guys chill out as Eric talks about leadership. Mike interviews that he's been disqualified once already, and he's never been in a situation of vulnerability. "It's hard for me to come into this Challenge," he continues, "and not be the guy everybody is looking at as the leader." Well, he's in my top five, along with Eric, Mark, Theo and Dan.
In the bedroom, we see Shawn. What the heck? He interviews that if the guys stick with the policy of voting, he doesn't think he'll be in the "hottest seat," but his name might come up. Now why would we hear from Shawn right now? While we ponder this, Brad smacks a ping pong ball off the wall. Almost like he and Randy never left San Diego. All we need is Jamie to pop up in a luchador's mask.
Clue time! Rachel and Theo read off their phones: mission begins at 9 a.m., wear jeans and shoes, and "be alert and aware," since they'll need full control of their senses. This group? Good luck with that. Aneesa interviews that it feels good to win. "The more that we win and see how we can work well as a team," she adds, "the better off we'll be."
Daytime. Old West ghost town, or reasonable facsimile thereof. Jonny waits for the kids, wearing a cowboy hat. The players get off the buses and walk through the swinging doors of a saloon. The girls see Pottery Barn gift certificates propped up on the table, and they are thrilled to pieces.
Jonny welcomes everybody to J.W. Eaves Ranch and today's mission: High Noon. Long story short, it's a "good ol' fashioned quick-draw shoot-em-up showdown." Jonny shows off paintball markers, which will be used as weapons. Players march to opposite ends and step into circles marked by rolled-up lassos. Aneesa expositions that the players wait until Jonny fires his gun, and then they open fire on each other. The first player to take our their opponent wins. Today's prize: a $500 gift certificate for each winner to Pottery Barn Teen. I associate "Challengers" and "Pottery Barn" the same as "gun" and "Jonny Moseley." Jonny gives both sides 30 minutes to pick leaders.
On the guys' side, Eric feels good to lead. Frank suggests Randy, since he's good at shooting. Brad steps up, bandana already over his mouth. On the women's side, Arissa expositions that she volunteered, since she's the only one to shoot a paint gun. Tonya goes up, since she has good leadership skills. That, and she has two penalties already. Finally, Angela feels that last week's events were a mistake, so she's stepping up no matter what.
Jonny announces the Inner Circles, as everybody is now wearing cowboy gear. He then goes over the scoring system: each player is assigned a different playing card, ranging from two to ace. Each card represents the number of points to be won, going up to fourteen for the ace. The team leaders will carry the highest cards (ace, king, and queen). Jonny suggests that the less confident shooters take the low cards. We cut to Shawn taking a two, interviewing that he has no experience with paint guns. The girls figure out the order, while the guys whoop it up. Tina draws the obvious parallel about guns and urine stains. Whatever.
Outside. We haven't heard anything from Theo today. "If it were a sewing machine shoot-off?" he interviews. "The girls would be great. They'd be firing quilts and dollies at everybody, but it's not. It's a Wild West shootout, and these young lassies can't even work a pistol." First of all: shut up. Second: who was constantly sewing last year on The Gauntlet? Wait... that was you. Robin and Shawn get ready with their protective masks as we head for commercials.
While there's a break in the action, I feel the need to send a message to Bunim-Murray Productions. Guys? Enough with the foreshadowing. We've seen Shawn twice before the first commercial. We know he's gone. There is zero drama now. And you guys have been doing this all season. Knock it off!
Two-Card: Robin vs. Shawn. Jonny fires his gun, and Robin manages to get the drop on Shawn. She shouts, "What? What?" several times, clearly channeling Brad. Jonny formally declares her the winner, as the ladies go up, 2-0.
Three-Card: Katie vs. Frank. She admits to having shaky hands, "but I want to shoot Frank in the balls." Good to dream, Katie. Jonny fires. Neither player connects. Jonny calls it a draw, and both competitors playfully bicker about shooting each other. Frank is obviously drawn to the wrong scrub. Girls still lead, 2-0.
Four-Card: Aneesa vs. Mark. He wins, taking a bow afterwards. Men lead, 4-2
Five-Card: Coral vs. Nick. Jonny asks both players if they're ready. Coral: "I was born ready! I stay ready! I ain't got to get ready, Jonny!" Jonny: "I know." The way he says it, like he was expecting Coral to pop off, amuses me. Jonny fires. Coral gets the shot, doing a victory dance afterwards. Women lead, 7-4.
Six-Card: Veronica vs. Steven. Veronica thinks she has to be patient, and she wants to get one paintball on Steven's butt. Jonny fires. Coral and her teammates yell for Veronica to stay calm, but Steven nails her in the mask. "I'm from Texas!" Steven boasts. "Did you expect anything less?" Shut up. Boys up, 10-7.
Seven-Card: Tina vs. Shane. What does our fair cowboy Shane want to do? "I want to [bleeping] kill her and send her ass far the [bleep] away from me." Jonny fires, and Tina wins. Good for her, and good that Shane failed after such a boast. She yells Bruce Willis' line from the Die Hard movies, the one where me slapping "Oedipus Rex" would diminish it. The girls hug Tina, and Tonya gets smacks Tina's butt. Ladies up, 14-10.
Mike gets ready for his duel. Eric lays out what we've known for weeks, that Mike is on thin ice. "How am I in the hot seat every time?" Mike gripes. "Because of the stupid name, DQ. That's the only reason why." Cut to Mike getting disqualified during Dangle Drop. "This DQ is basically going to be brought up every frickin' mission." Ibis smiles, getting readying to take on Mike. Suddenly, a dust storm kicks up. Shane thinks the gods understand the importance of this match, as the players take cover. Mike stays outside, knowing he has to win.
Eight-Card: Ibis vs. Mike. Jonny fires, keeping his hat on with the other hand. Mike wins, and the guys celebrate. You know, I had a fellow viewer theorize that the guys keep Mike on the team since they live near him and wouldn't want to kick him off unless he screws up royally. Mike: "The Miz is back, baby!" And sadly, he says that in his busted-ass Rock voice. By the way: thank you, Mike, for opening the door to BMP cast members having alter egos. At least I can tell Landon and MJ apart now, since MJ is the one who gets drunk and calls himself "Muja Star." Thanks a load, Mizanin. Oh, and the guys lead, 18-14.
Nine-Card: Sophia vs. Theo. "I just want to put this broad down," Theo interviews, "send her to the graveyard. Not only do I hope to hit her once, I hope to hit her eight times." Bad enough that he says all that, but he says that about Sophia, who is one of the mellowest cast members. Try saying that to Coral's face, swamp rat. Sadly, Theo does tag Sophia, running the guys' lead to 27-14.
Ten-Card: Rachel vs. Chris. He gets her in the arm and whoops it up. Guys lead, 37-14.
Jack: Ruthie vs. Dan. Finally, a battle of Challenge legends. Jonny fires his gun and Dan proceeds to crouch down while shooting. Hey, he does stay within the circle, so I don't have a problem. Dan wins, and the guys lead, 48-14.
Queen: Angela vs. Brad. Jonny expositions that the women have to outshoot the guys in the next three showdowns to win the mission. Angela interviews that there's a lot of pressure on her to win.
Back from commercials, Angela and Brad fire at each other. Brad wins, clinching the victory, 60-14. Angela interviews that this was her chance to shine. Arissa adds that the ladies have to finish the mission. She continues, "You compete for your spot to stay on this team between the other leaders."
King: Tonya vs. Eric. God help us, Eric is swinging his jump rope. I want him to take out his eye with one of the handles. Tonya interviews about being nervous and not affording to lose. Both take their shots and connect. Jonny declares the duel to be a draw, with nobody getting points. Eric explains it to Tonya, and she thinks that she's safe.
Ace: Arissa vs. Randy. Jonny tries to talk it up, but comes across as a drunkard trying to impersonate a cowboy. It's not enough to make me wish for Dave Mirra, though. Randy wins, and the final score has the guys winning, 74-14. "I tried," Arissa interviews. "I don't know what else to do."
Saloon. Jonny gives the win to the guys, as well as the gift certificates. He goes over the Inner Circle: the three male leaders pick off a guy, the ladies get to send one of their leaders home. We get shots of Shawn and Nick, as if we didn't see the end coming already. Ibis interviews that Tonya should go home. "Angela should be given a break," she continues, "until she does something that is legit and she should go home then." So Angela has to do good before getting kicked out? That could take forever. Coral interviews that she hopes Angela goes home.
Boys' Inner Circle Meeting. Eric thinks the vote comes down to Shawn and Nick. He points out that Nick has two losses (Bombs Away and High Noon) and has never led the team. In fact, Nick is the only guy not to step up as leader. Eric: "That's not a guy you want." Back at the Main Lodge, Nick sweats it out, thinking Shawn might be below him in competition. Sure enough, Brad notes that during Bombs Away, Shawn was barely snacking on his onion. Randy adds that Shawn has gone first twice in missions. Eric thinks both are on thin ice. Oh, the suspense is just nudging me.
Girls' Inner Circle Meeting. Rachel thinks that even though Angela stepped up this time, she should go since Tonya hit Eric. Ibis thinks that Tonya's hit did nothing for the team. At the Main Lodge, Tonya figures it's down to her and Angela. She interviews, "I think it's going to come down to how many people you earned respect from in the house." Angela hopes that the girls keep things fair. "If that's the case," she adds, "I think Tonya will be going home." Keep thinking that, Angela. Back at the Girls' Lodge, Coral says that Angela hasn't impressed her. Veronica votes for Angela, as does Aneesa, who figures she might hate herself for it.
Elimination Hill. Jonny asks the guys for their decision. Eric comes up, jump rope wrapped around his head. He says that the Inner Circle based their decision on past performance. In other words: it's Shawn. Shocker, I know. Shawn gets hugged by his teammates, then goes into his farewell speech: "THIS IS A RACIST-ASS GAME! ALL Y'ALL IS RACIST! I HATE YOU! I'M GONNA BLOW UP YOUR HOUSES! BLACK POWER!" Not bad... everybody laughs, and he just did a great impression of Dave Chappelle. He gets serious, saying that he felt like it was his time. He wishes the guys luck, and he salutes the women.
Ibis comes up to make the announcement for the women. She says that it was a tough decision. Our bootee? Angela. One episode too late, but a good boot nonetheless. She interviews that there was no fair way to play the game, and now she wants to speak her peace. "I heard people thought I wasn't psychologically ready for the game," she tells her team, "and I think that's just basically saying that I'm not a bitch and I don't backstab people, because that's what the game is about and it sucks." Upon further reflection, I think this is basically Angela saying that she's "too punk rock" for this show. Of course, I'd rather hang with Frankie than with Angela. Then again, I'd hang with Frank over Robin and Cameran, but that just might be me. The girls laugh and cheer Angela's speech, as Tonya and Tina remain silent. Angela continues, saying that she learned that she needs to be tougher, and that she doesn't expect everybody to like her. She adds, "I don't know if you guys are like this in real life. I hope not." Okay... she gets a point for that. Frank interviews that he's so proud of her because she said what everybody was thinking.
Sunset. Shawn says his goodbyes to the guys. He interviews that he trusts the guys, and he thinks the game was played fair. Note to BMP: more normal people! Less Veronica, more Msaada! Angela and Frank rock on the hammock. She interviews that he's a genuine person, and she'll continue to be friends with him. "I spoke my mind," she goes on. "It made me feel better about walking down the hill." Shawn and Angela get their stuff loaded up and say their final goodbyes. Rachel: "Angela was just a drama queen. She became a burden. Angela's gone, and I think that the team, as a whole, is a lot stronger now." True words... but look at the source. Want to know the difference between Rachel and Veronica? Veronica has proven herself to come back from being eliminated. Rachel hasn't. Right now, she has the top spot on my "Must Go" list, and I will be eagerly awaiting her departure. Angela hugs Ruthie. "Good speech," Ruthie says. "Wish you could have said more." Wonder what she meant by that?
Next week: Coral thinks that the others figure she's buddied up with Rachel and Veronica. Katie: "I am not scared of them. I'll take them all on." Coral then calls out Aneesa and Katie... at least, that's what the editing wants you to think The mission? Something like worms. Lots of worms. And something clinging to the crotch of Arissa's shorts. It's gonna be a long half-hour.
Happily, Angela never came back. I know, that sounds mean, but absence makes a hater wonder what all the loathing was about. Remember Ellen? I figured she'd come back after a superb performance in Battle Of The Sexes, and I wound up missing her. Here is Angela's IMDB page; the only thing I remember seeing her in was an edition of Epic Rap Battles of History, playing Cleopatra against Marilyn Monroe.(here's the behind-the-scenes clip). Sadly, she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.
Shawn? I have little clue. Here's his Instagram. As 2019 approaches, he will be on a Semester at Sea boat along with his fellow cast members from the eighth edition of Road Rules to celebrate their twentieth anniversary. I don't remember the cabin prices, but I'm pretty sure that doesn't include any loose money that would magically disappear when Veronica passes you by.
I just realized I was hard on Rachel. I stand by that. I'm good with her now because she hasn't gone back to suckle on the BMP teat . . . as opposed to her RR: Campus Crawl cast member Shane, who not only has been bitchier than in his first few seasons back in the day, but still hasn't won a title. Basically, he's Homer Simpson looking for that Employee of the Month award. And Sarah Greyson is the inanimate rod.