Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Inferno Episode 15: Penultimate Panic

Once again, the shit really starts to hit the fan. Worse Katie's subsequent tantrum would get cut and pasted one episode later. Given how Veronica treats her here, it would have made more sense not to screw with the timeline, even though putting it after Katie's triumph makes for "good television."

Meanwhile, in 2018, Challenge fans are bummed that Johnny didn't make the cut for Big Brother: Celebrity Edition. In my head, everybody dodges a bullet. Fans don't have to watch The Cleveland Show of CBS reality television, and Johnny wouldn't be stuck in close quarters with Omarosa Manigault-Newman. I wouldn't wish that even on the likes of him. I'll end it here, but I think it needs to be constantly repeated: OMAROSA IS THE ABSOLUTE WORST. I know, breaking news from 2004, and I dropped her name near the end of the recap, but it's not my fault she keeps sucking as a human being these days.

Airdate: May 10, 2004
Recap Published: May 16, 2004 

After the most heated Inferno yet, Coral and Veronica find themselves in the crosshairs. Can they dodge the final Inferno?
Previously on The Inferno: Mike and Kendal's romanced continued to flourish. Real World's scheme to dump Leah into the Inferno succeeded, as she was disqualified in Saturn Valet Ballet. Road Rules had a similar plan involving Katie, but Kendal didn't get the memo. She ended up with the Aztec Lifesaver, as well as a pissed-off Mike, threatening to throw a tantrum should she go into the Inferno for Timmy. Which she did, and according to Voiceover Lady, she was "enraging a drunken Mike." I know he wasn't drinking apple juice. Mike ranted and raved and acted like a total jerk. And if you thought you felt dirty last week, this episode is going to hurt a lot worse.

We're back to the Inferno, as Kendal and Leah continue to walk the plank and carry bricks. Mike: "When a girl lies to me, they will know about it, and everyone else in the whole [bleeping] world will know about it." He is so right. Right now, there's a group of Bangladeshi goat herders watching this show, and they are PISSED at Kendal's treachery. A graphic reveals that both players have carried 166 bricks. Mike blathers about how Kendal revealed her drunken side. Whatever, you drunkard. Kendal interviews that she channels her energy and hatred into carrying the bricks. She thanks Mike for giving her the drive to go on. "As long as that helps you," Mike snarls, "that makes me know what a worse person you are." Leah: "Miz is just torturing her, so it's definitely helping."

Time remaining: Two hours, seven minutes. Leah and Kendal have carried 224 bricks. Mike declares that the team will be going out when Leah wins. Sure, you and your buddies threw the mission to dump her into this mess, and now she's your friend. Shut up. He then ridicules Kendal's backside. She snaps at him for getting personal, as David holds him back. Kendal openly wonders why she ever kissed him. Mike: "Why would I kiss a liar?" Kendal: "'Cause I'm a good kisser!" I'm surprised she's cooing at him, rather than chucking a brick at his head. "Mike is drunk," Darrell interviews. "That boy is drunk, and Leah's pushin' my team's buttons."

Now Mike rips into Veronica for wearing so much makeup. The pitiful attempt to win me over by opposing the epitome of evil fails miserably. Katie interviews that Mike and Veronica trade insults, and then Veronica insults her. Surely Veronica isn't such a bitch that she would drag Katie into this? "Yeah," Veronica snipes at Mike, "because your girl Katie wearing waaaaaaay more than any of us!" Katie rightfully curses out Veronica and uses a four-letter word that I don't hear that often. Kendal interviews that Mike is screaming at the team, and Katie and Veronica are going fast, so she goes faster. Cut to an obviously edited sequence, where Kendal zips back and forth on the plank, while Leah goes at normal speed.

Time remaining: 1:15. The score: Leah 563, Kendal 608. Coral interviews that Leah is still in it, and anything can happen. And now it's time for CT to act like an ass. "Let's be honest," he jeers at Leah, "you need to step up. Enough with the free ride!" Leah calls him an a-hole. The former roommates bicker about stepping up versus shutting up. Leah interviews that Darrell is ignoring CT. Sure enough, there's Darrell sipping something. CT: "Don't get mad at me, sweetie!" Elsewhere, Christena asks Katie what's up between her and Veronica. Syrus: "It's going down! Ding ding!"

CT blathers to Leah about how he's been honest with her. Leah calls him an a-hole once again. Coral yells. Katie: "I'd rather [bleep] than [bleeping] touch that bitch Veronica!" Mike slurs for Coral to root for Leah. Katie: "She's a [bleep] and I called her out on it many times." Christena laughs Katie off in a condescending manner. Leah declares her need to hit CT when they get home. CT: "Whatever." Leah: "It's always 'whatever,' because you can't [bleeping] handle anything!" CT: "Whatever." Katie: "Scrawny lil [bleeping] J-Lo wannabe. I will knock your [bleeping] ass out before you can even blink!" I don't know if she means Veronica or Christena, but either one is fine by me. "It's outta control," CT interviews. "It's a good time."

Two seasons ago, we saw Aneesa go topless for no real reason. Last season, we got to see Matt dance like a total spaz. It's always fun to see familiar aspects of cast members. And now, for no real reason other than total insanity, David jumps between the planks, naked. You heard me: David. Naked. Revealing what he once called "the eighth roommate." That has to do something for the viewers. "I don't know what the hell is going on," Syrus interviews, as we see Abram rolling around. "These people just lost it. The Inferno does it to you."

Two minutes remaining. Score: Leah 816, Kendal 944. Leah interviews that she's down, but she'll going to go the whole three and a half hours. Coral tells Mike that it's over between him and Kendal. Mike can live with that. Coral: "That's all I need to know." Mike: "As long as I got you." Coral: “You'll always have me." Mike: “There we go." For God's sake, just kiss already! Jeez!

Dave bangs the gong, signaling the end of the Inferno, and another RW player taking the short boat home. Christena interviews that Kendal killed Leah, but that Kendal is not happy. "Someone she really cares about here," Christena continues, "just insulted her in front of everyone." Dave congratulates Kendal for her win. He adds, "The best thing about it is that you saved a man from the Inferno." Dave, why don't you just neuter Timmy while you’re at it? He tells Leah to pack her bags. "Leah got cut," CT interviews, "It has to be this way because we want $150K in the end, and we don't want her to be a part of the team because we don't think she'll win."

Villa. Leah voiceovers that she's not sure what will happen between her and Darrell. She goes off on him for not defending her. Darrell goes into a rant about his short temper, and how he'd end up swinging. If CT is the punching bag, I got no problem with that. Leah walks away, obviously unfulfilled. "I ain't gonna fight for you if nobody ain't hit you, simple as that," Darrell calls out. "You're a grown-ass woman." The moral of the story? Challenge romances never, ever work. Mizhelle, Mizdal, Leahrel... it all goes in the toilet in the end.

Pier of Shame. Leah is escorted by Coral and Katie. "I'm the only bitch left here," Coral interviews. "It's not a good situation for me, because the next Inferno is girls. It's not good." Leah sails away, waving and blowing kisses.

Back at the Villa, Kendal lies down, talking to Christena about Mike's hurtful words. "I saw the darkest side of somebody that I didn't think existed," she interviews. "I don't want to date a time bomb that's just waiting to go off, and I don't want to put myself back in a position to be disrespected once again. I don't know what I want to do." Personally, I'd run away and change my identity. That wasn't "The Miz" Mike displayed. Seriously, I don't see how Mike can get a girlfriend in the near future.

Back from commercials, it's daytime at the Villa. Mike lies down, telling Kendal that he feels like an a-hole. Kendal interviews that she's looking at the situation, and nothing feels good. She tells Mike that if she were talking to a friend, she'd recommend staying away from him. Mike calls her a great kisser, and she laughs. He continues, "I just have this charming personality, these boyish good looks that you get out of." Why isn't Kendal grabbing a pillow and suffocating him with it? Instead, she groans about how she wants to kiss him and stab him at the same time. She interviews that she's letting him off with a warning. "I made sure that he understands everything that he said," she continues, "how he made me feel. He's on trial, and he should be on his best behavior." Way to lay down the law. They snuggle in bed, and she kisses his forehead. Blech.

Nighttime. Dave has assembled everybody outside the Villa. Timmy explains that they're going straight into nominations, and they have to have a female Inferno to even things out. What? Seriously... what? I know that the genders alternate Infernos. The last Inferno was supposed to be all guys, between David and Timmy. But RW dumped Leah in there, and Kendal bailed Timmy out. So how hard is it to bring the guys back for the last Inferno? Better question: why do I expect any kind of logic from the producers? Spock's brain imploded five episodes ago.

Anyway, since Coral's the last RW girl left, she's going to the Inferno, no questions asked. Dave tells her she can win the Aztec Lifesaver, but she tells him not to worry. The females of the Axis of Ass (Christena, Holly, Veronica) grin evilly. Dave gives RR 30 minutes to nominate two women to the Inferno.

Christena voiceovers that everybody has "tasted the wrath of the Inferno." Or in her case, "tasted the wrath of listening to irritating sounds for two hours." Katie volunteers, interviews that she doesn't feel like arguing with the team. Come on, you already went! And you beat Julie! Veronica volunteers, since she hasn't gone yet. She interviews that RW won't choose her, since Coral doesn't want to risk going home.

Dave announces that Veronica and Katie have been nominated. He gives RW ten minutes to make their choice.

RW Meeting. CT interviews that since the beginning, the deal was to keep Katie in the game, since she hurts her team. At this point, you just have to shake your head and laugh bitterly. Dave comes to collect the plate. One of the guys puts down Veronica's plate, but Coral wants Katie. Mike and CT refuse to let Coral make her choice. Coral wants to put it to a vote. Mike points out that even if he sided with her, she'd still be outnumbered. Coral points out Syrus, who's on her side. Mike interviews that he has to make the deciding vote. Coral tells Mike that he loves him, and tells the team if they push her, they'll be sorry.

I know what you're thinking: how is Coral's situation any different from the one Julie went through? Both wanted to pick Katie, but met resistance. The thing is that Julie wasn't necessarily a lock to get picked by RR, since Leah was also nominated. Here, it's just Coral. She wanted a say, and Mike and CT tried to jerk that away from her. But I do have one problem with her picking Katie: should she lose, she would have to wear a bag over her head. And Julie would never, ever let her live it down.

Both teams go into their standoff position. Veronica holds the RW plate, as if we don't know who's going in. CT puts Veronica's plate up. She interviews that RW doesn't want Coral making a choice, and that RW thinks Katie would hurt RR in the final mission. At this point, does it matter? With the guys they’ve got, Katie can get knocked out and carried in the duration.

Back at the Villa, Christena tells Veronica that she's in the same situation as Coral, and that neither of them has been to the Inferno. Veronica figures she could win the Lifesaver, since she's done it before. Sure, when your teammates gift-wrapped it for you. Veronica adjusts herself while lying down, and you can see two pimples on her face. I guess Katie wasn't lying in her rant. Veronica interviews that she'll try her best to stay in the game.

Outside, Mike tells Kendal about the plan to keep Katie in the game, and how the vote came down to him. He's pissed that he lashed out at Kendal, and now he's gone against Coral. Speaking of which, Coral overhears the conversation and shouts at Mike for talking to Kendal and not her. Kendal senses drama and flees. Coral continues to snipe about not picking her opponent. Mike wants what’s best for the team. Coral: "Our strategy's not working, Mr. Forty Grand." Rather than call her "Mrs. Forty Grand," Mike figures the team might win $200,000 (current total plus mission win plus $150,000 win). They talk about things changing. Coral: "it's great to know where the [bleep] I stand, Mike. He interviews that Coral is scared to go into the Inferno. Coral: "You think you can win this without me? Might be true, but it's [bleeped] up, Mike. You don't think you can win against them without Katie? Who's scared? Me or you?" Mike brings up the Lifesaver, and even volunteers himself to go in her place. Coral interviews that Mike loses sight about the right thing to do when he gets competitive. Mike mentions the time he voted against Coral. Like I need to be reminded of that. "You know what?" Coral snaps. "You make a great point. You should lower my expectations." She stalks off. Holly tries to comfort her, but Coral blows by her. She interviews that she needs the Lifesaver.

Commercial. Thank you, MTV, for blowing next week's episode. But there is a bright side: Katie vs. Veronica. No more unpleasant interviews, no more backbiting. This is the full-on fight we've been waiting for. And to think I didn't like Katie when I first saw that clip. Kick her ass, Katie!

Daytime. Mission site. Darrell looks up at the tall building, which has ropes hanging down. Dave welcomes everybody to the last regular mission, Window Washing. Players start near the top of the building in window washing rigs. On the way down, they uncover six numbers on the windows. At the bottom is a combination lock, which can be opened using the numbers. Once unlocked, the players descend to the ground. Timmy explains that if a player doesn't remember the combination, they’re disqualified with the usual penalty: slowest time plus two minutes. As always, the team with the fastest average time wins $10,000. The players from each team with the fastest times not only win the Aztec Lifesaver, but also a Spring Break trip for two. Dave tells Coral and Veronica that this is their last chance to save themselves for the final mission. Christena tells Coral that she'll be praying for her RW teammates to fall. Coral: "At this point, I'm asking the devil for some help."

Heat One: Abram vs. David. David interviews that the objective is for the team to win, and for one of the guys to win the Lifesaver in order to "keep the core of our team." That sounded a lot like "keep Coral off the team," which is where closed captioning comes in handy. Dave blows his whistle to start things off. Abram drops, while David has problems with the mechanism, yelling at random production people. On the ground, Coral has a light chuckle. Abram goes down, unlocks, and finishes at two minutes, 25 seconds. David has problems with his lock, causing Coral to cackle. CT and David exchange pleasantries. David finally gets the lock open, finishing at 5:33, and kicks the ground in disgust, "Couldn't do it," he moans. "Couldn't get the lock. Maybe I'm a retard, then I might be."

Heat Two: Timmy vs, Mike. As Mike lurches down, he interviews that he doesn't want to win the Lifesaver, since Coral would expect him to bail her out. Mike lands at 2:22, Timmy at 2:40. "Gravity was the hardest part, man," Timmy jokes. "It's keeping me down. It's been keeping me down for years."

Heat Three: Christena vs. Syrus. Syrus interviews that he has issues with heights. Sure enough, he groans as he swings into the starting position. Christena finishes at 2:22. Syrus can't get his lock open and he quits, earning the disqualification.

Heat Four: Katie vs. CT. Katie interviews that she has to get the Lifesaver. "Veronica's ass is going in fast," she interviews. "Really, really fast." As both players go down, Veronica hangs over the balcony, almost like she's going to hock a loogie on Katie's head. She interviews that Katie is doing well, and she has to dig deeper for the strength. Miracle of miracles, Katie finishes at 1:56. Now that's a top-notch save-your-butt performance. CT lands at 2:12. Katie is obviously psyched by her performance.

Heat Five: Veronica vs. Coral. Coral interviews that she's praying to God for help in beating CT. Both drop down the rope, with Coral going faster. Katie looks up, while Mike and Syrus clap for Coral. Veronica finishes at 1:30, Coral at 1:34. Coral interviews that she's praying to get the Lifesaver.

Heat Six: Kendal. She drops down the rope and reads the numbers, interviewing that her lock is jammed. The clock shows her going past 11:14. Coral suggests she go back up the rope. Finally, Kendal unlocks and finishes at 14:41, interviewing that she thought her team would be pissed off at her. Actually, since Syrus was disqualified, his time is now 16:41. I'm surprised neither team ever thought of tanking in order to make their opponents' times worse.

Heat Seven: Darrell. Once again, he interviews about his fear of heights. "The drawers are up my ass," he says of the harness, "but I am gonna do my best because I wanna win the trip." He lands at 1:40, and he knows it wasn't good enough.

Heat Eight: Holly. With little light left, she drops, interviewing that her team will get the money if she doesn't DQ. She lands at 2:16.

Denouement. Dave announces the average times: RR 4:39, RW 5:59. And shocker of shockers, Road Rules wins yet again, upping their bank to $110,000. But I still hate them. Dave adds that he has to award the Aztec Lifesaver to the best RR player. Katie waits. Abram snickers. Dave awards it to Veronica. Coral celebrates, since she's basically off the hook. Man, shut up, Coral. Katie has the sourest look on her face. "I thought I won the mission," she snipes in an interview, "but lo and behold, that bitch Veronica beat me by a few seconds." Veronica goes into a cackling fit. Think she'll be gracious in victory? "Katie, [bleep] you," she interviews. "I got the Aztec Lifesaver, you're going to the Inferno, and I'm gonna stay."

I’ve got a question: is Veronica saving her own butt twice in the last two Challenges supposed to be karma balancing after she was booted off the two Challenges prior? Damn her. Seriously, I have seldom seen a more obnoxious bitch than Veronica. Sure, you can say "Jerri" or "Trish" or even "Omarosa." But have any of those women been on SIX shows? That's one season of Road Rules and five Challenges. Veronica is never going to change. She'll probably do yet another Challenge this summer, because the producers think she can stir the pot and make other people's lives miserable. I don't care if her teammates didn't help her out this time. I don't care if she deserved the win. Out of the menagerie of jerks, chumps and losers, Veronica is the worst of them all.

Now it's time for Dave to award a Lifesaver to the best player from RW. Coral crouches down. Dave awards it to Coral, who proceeds to celebrate, even jumping on Dave. Okay, that was funny. And if she blows the final mission, blame the guys. They could have beaten her and dumped her into the Inferno, but they couldn't pull it off. She interviews about winning and saving her butt. "Who will I send?" she purrs, clutching the Lifesaver. Cut to shots of David, CT, and Mike. Bet they're sorry that they crossed her.

Next week: Coral brags some more. Veronica: "I'm sending Katie because I want to." Tonight's Inferno: soaking in dead things. Katie: "I hate her. That sneaky bitch Verantula." Now I love Katie even more for the clever nickname. And finally, the fight of all fights: Katie vs. Veronica. Seriously... kick her ass, Katie!

Damn, nobody came off well this week. Except for Syrus. Please notice that when Coral was mulling over whom she'd send into the Inferno in her place, Syrus wasn't shown. Basically, he's like Blair on Battle Of The Sexes. He's everybody's friend.  Meanwhile, I really hated Christena. I did not see that coming. She and David were the best of Road Rules: South Pacific, she gets shipped into the show to replace Piggy, and she's a total bitch. Not Veronica-level, mind you, but bad enough.

And shit, how can ANYBODY like Veronica? Okay, you can make a case for liking her more than Beth, but that's really not saying much. As much as I want to believe that most of her persona was "for the cameras," she still sucks. And it was hella-weird being in the same venue as her when I attended the Dirty XXX premiere. I didn't vent towards her, going with the unwritten rule of TARCon; "Don't start none, won't be none." The funny thing about me going off on her for a paragraph was that she wasn't really heinous in Battle Of The Sexes 2. By the way, who was "Trish"? The Apprentice? I'm too lazy to check.

Next time: Katie finally explodes, and it is GLORIOUS.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Inferno Episode 14:The One Where Kendal Messes Up

Like I said in my previous recap, things get more "interesting" from here on out. Also, you'll notice some key stuff from 2004. Survivor: All-Stars was chugging to a finale where lovebirds Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich would face off for $1 million, mostly because the opposition was just that stupid. They went into Day 36 with Jenna Lewis, Rupert Boneham and Tom Buchanan . . . not exactly people you'd meet at a MENSA shindig. Also, Lex van den Berghe could have voted out Amber, but Rob (stuck on the other tribe) persuaded him not to do it . . . and then Lex got voted off, followed by Kathy Vavrick-O'Brien. To use a quote form Shii Ann Huang: "Stupid people! Stupid, stupid people!"

Then there was the approaching of the fifth season of The Amazing Race, which turned out to be one of the best installments in the history of the series. I mean, not only did the casting department find another grown man that answered to "Chip," he was the direct opposite of the "Chip" they cast in the preceding season. And they BOTH won with their respective partners! Finally, the recap title was inspired by Friends, which had wrapped up one week earlier. And yes, Kendal messes up, and that would turn into one of the most chaotic endgames of all time. Not because of the game itself, which really sucked. You'll see what I mean.

Airdate: May 3, 2004
Recap Published: May 12, 2004 (once again, I display the slow-but-steady speed that would get be "fired" almost a year later)

Both teams scheme to send their weakest links into the Inferno, but Kendal's not in the loop. Drama ensues.
The past two weeks haven't been fun for me. First, my girl Shii Ann got voted out of Survivor: All-Stars, and I had to endure five annoying people going for the grand prize. As I write this, I'm hoping that Jenna or Rupert don't win, or I'll go nuts. CBS put up a page for The Amazing Race 5, complete with a preview clip... which I can't see with my slow dial-up connection. The point: between that and other things that I won't get into right now, I somehow forgot how annoying and loathsome my recap subjects could be. This past Monday, I was reminded. Oh, how I was reminded.

Previously on The Inferno: Kendal and Mike got romantic. Leah messed up Fallen Angel, and was singled out as Real World's weakest link. Road Rules won the mission, upping their bank account to $90,000. Timmy got selected by RW, but his teammates schemed to save them. Veronica contemplates winning the Aztec Lifesaver, then taking Timmy's place. She interviews that losing Timmy would be devastating. On the other side, RW openly schemes to shove Leah into the Inferno, much to her annoyance.

Villa. Veronica, Christena and Timmy chat about how hard it is to throw missions. Veronica interviews that the team is looking to get Timmy the Aztec Lifesaver... in order to send Katie in. But that trick never works! You jerks already have $90,000! She hasn't been that big an albatross! Great... not even a minute into this episode, and I'm already raging. Across the pool, Katie rocks in a chair, blissfully unaware of the machinations. If I'm Katie, Veronica would be my new best friend. I wouldn't let that back-stabber out of my sight. Veronica tells her cohorts to keep it quiet, lest Katie find out. Abram interviews that he hopes everybody is on the same page.

Cut to Kendal, with Mike at an arcade. Did you hear that? That was an anvil falling. I'm surprised it didn't land on you. Mike interviews that he can trust Kendal. He adds, "She's a very smart girl, and a very good, wholesome, down-to-earth fun to be around." Kendal: "Mike's a good guy. He's fun, he's charming, and you know that here's something there by the way you kiss somebody. Mike and I are compatible kissers." Blech. They walk off arm-in-arm.

Day lapses to night, and night lapses to day. Dave welcomes everybody to Saturn Valet Ballet. Apparently, the car manufacturer sent an extra-big sack of money in order to get a second mission. Dave instructs the players to check out the Saturn Ion, and they ooooh and aaaah accordingly. The objective of this mission is to get the car to the valet stand as quickly as possible. The twist? Five other cars have to be moved in order to get the Ion out. Darrell is back to wearing the wig and the fake teeth. Yeah, whatever. Another twist: there are sixteen sets of keys, but the key chains and the license plates match. Holly expositions that if a player doesn't buckle up before starting the car, a one-minute penalty is incurred. Hitting another car or a wall results in disqualification. No word on the usual slowest time plus two minutes, so I'll assume that. Team with the fastest average time gets $10,000. Also, the fastest players on each team receive the Aztec Lifesaver. Christena reminds us that Timmy and David have to win the AL. Timmy interviews that the teams are looking out for their best interests with regards to the final missions, and RR wants him to stay.

Timmy goes first for RR, as he studies the license plates and grabs the keys. He moves the first car out of the way, huffing and puffing as he runs. A referee catches him not having his seatbelt on. Finally, he completes the mission at 10 minutes, 26 seconds. He interviews that he did well, then tells any kids watching to always buckle up. For some reason, I can never stay mad at Timmy. He's such a cornball.

Abram runs, studying the cars, not going out of his way to grind his sneakers into Katie's ego this time. He's still a jackass, though. Katie looks on, her face soured. She interviews that she thinks sabotage is afoot. "He does seem to be taking his time," she continues, "which is not very Abram-like." Abram babbles while he's running, incurs a penalty, and finishes at 14:26.

David talks to Leah about the starting order, wanting to go 1-2 with her. Here comes CT to hammer us with his distaste. "We want to get rid of Leah," he interviews. "She's slowing our team down, she's dead weight, she doesn't even compete in missions. Why should we be splitting money with this girl?" Coral expositions that if David beats Leah's time, the other guys will throw the mission. Leah decides to go second. David interviews that it's a good mission for him, since he does a lot of parallel parking in Boston. He also has this mustache, like he just guzzled chocolate milk.

David starts. Want to know how sad I am? Not only do I recognize the background music, I actually remember it from a previous episode (Battle of the Seasons, the one where they spoof The Newlywed Game). His teammates shout, but he shushes them. He has trouble parking. "So at this stage," Leah interviews, "I definitely still have a good chance to win." David parks the cars, finishing at 10:01."Even if she gets everything in a row," he interviews of Leah, "she's not going to run faster than me." Leah: "Bottom line today is that I have to beat David's time."

After commercials, Leah starts off. She manages to park three cars before smacking into one with the fourth car for the disqualification. She interviews that David beat her and she's going to the Inferno. "CT," she adds, "I hope you're [bleeping] happy." She sits down, breathing hard and sobbing. Darrell comes by, pulls her up, and hugs her, telling her to keep her head held high. I know Darrell's a pain, but that was sweet of him... especially when compared to Mike. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Veronica's turn. Background music: "It's time to take out the trash!" Sadly, the trash is still on my screen. She interviews about shooting for a good time, but not to beat Timmy. She adds, "I don't know if everyone is on the same page." Cut to Kendal, sitting on Mike's lap. Good Lord! That anvil almost flattened you! Veronica finished at 13:07.

Darrell jumps around in the wig and teeth, talking about how he has to give "Mr. Mirra" his car back. He runs around, interviewing that he's on the same page as his teammates. He drives, he parks, and he gets Dave in the car, finishing at 17:56. He also demands a tip from Dave. Katie interviews that she's trying to give her team the benefit of the doubt, but she can't trust anybody.

Christena goes down the stairs, complaining about Dave's air horn blowing in her ear. She interviews that she can't drive a stick shift. "I'm learning to fly planes," she goes on, "but I can't fly stick." I'm curious: how many of you would walk off a plane if you found out Christena was the pilot? She continues having trouble. "I take a nap," Abram smirks, "I wake up, and she's five feet further then where she was." She clocks out at 18:05, actually crawling out through the window.

Holly's turn. She interviews about having problems backing up. Kendal interviews that she has a weird feeling about something going down. Holly finishes at 11:03. Since Leah got disqualified, Mike plans on having fun. He backs into a wall, getting a DQ himself.

Katie's turn. She interviews that she's not a good driver. "I know what I'm supposed to do in my head," she interviews, "but my feet don't like to listen." Holly shouts instructions to Katie, while Christena just smirks. And now it's time to hear another pearl of wisdom from Veronica. "There's not one thing that Katie does well. She is a very weak player, and she is holding us down" You've only lost $40,000! Get a grip! Damn, I hope Katie's feet listen when she kicks Veronica's butt. Katie clocks out at 17:07, and it's not looking good for her.

Syrus does some running and driving. He interviews that it's hard not to perform as well as he can. CT yells at Syrus to take a breath. Leah snipes that she knows what's going on. CT insists he's not being mean. "I don't want to be rude to her," he interviews. "She just didn't make the team. She got cut, and that's the game. That's what happens." Dummy, she's already ON the team! I feel bad for Boston-based Italian-Americans, since they have CT and Rob Mariano as representatives. Syrus clocks out at 15:11. Dave: "C'mon, sir, can I get my damn car?" Syrus: "You gonna speak like that, I will take your stereo." Syrus is basically the only person I like without condition at this point.

CT's turn. Once again, he reminds us that he's not trying to win. Leah yells for him to back into the wall for the DQ. "My feelings are very hurt," she interviews. "I just feel like CT's completely gotten the best of me." Speaking of CT, he finishes at 16:14.

Coral interviews that she's going for the Aztec Lifesaver in order to save Leah. The fan in me thinks this is a noble effort. The cynic figures that if she gets Leah off the hook, Leah will probably go into the final Inferno, since she might be seen as weaker than Coral. If Leah goes, Coral might automatically go into the Inferno, since it's the females' turn. Anyway, Coral runs herself ragged, finishing at 12:05.

Kendal runs and drives. She interviews that she's trying to be precise. Christena shouts that Kendal is beating Timmy's time. "I see Kendal doing good," Abram spits out in an interview. "I'm trying to [bleep] somebody else over, and somebody's [bleeping] me over." Poor Abram. Veronica can't believe this is happening. Kendal's time: 10:16. The RR team is distraught. Abram has his head down. Christena: "Kendal just messed up the whole team plan. I think Kendal just made a $150,000 mistake." Oh, kinda like how you gave Katie the heads-up in Don’t Yank My Chain? Shut up, Christena. Timmy mutters that it's his fault for getting the seatbelt penalty.

Dave announces the times. RW had an average of 16:34, while RR had 14:02. Yippee... RR wins again, bumping their total to $100,000. I'm so not liking them at the moment. Syrus interviews that drama is waiting to explode. Dave hands out Aztec Lifesavers to David and Kendal. To his credit, Timmy claps for Kendal. Veronica thought that everybody knew to give Timmy the AL. Dave reminds us that the AL can be used to save a player from the Inferno. "I feel like I've done really well," Kendal interviews, "and my team won't talk to me. That can't even be happy that I'm succeeding in a mission." The camera pans from Katie down to a crouched-down Kendal. "It makes you feel like dirt."

Villa. As Mike looks on, Darrell tells Kendal that the team didn't want to lose another guy before Katie. He interviews that everybody was supposed to go slower than Timmy, and Kendal didn't know. Gee, I didn't that the first 200 times it was explained to me. He tells Kendal that he doesn't want her to feel like anything is personal. "I don't think people hate me," she replies. "I don't think they're happy with me. I think they'd rather have a more competitive, not-nice person on the team." Is it wrong of me to immediately think of Rachel, Kendal's Campus Crawl castmate? Rachel is probably still picking bits of Sarah out of her teeth.

Cut to Kendal standing near Holly and Veronica. "I'm emotionally drained," Holly whines. "It's her fault that Tim's going to the Inferno. By using her Lifesaver, she can right that wrong. If she goes into the Inferno for Tim, she'll make up for the fact that she didn't throw the mission." Where to start? First of all, maybe you and your comrades should have gotten Kendal in the loop. Secondly, you should just admit you love Timmy, rather than take it out on Kendal. With that comment, Holly is now on my list. Her beating Trishelle in the Inferno means nothing to me now. Veronica and Christena flash dirty looks. Veronica: "I'm allowed to go off on her." Christena: "She made a huge mistake. She's not our best friend at this moment." Christena to the girls: "The bottom line is we all want to win, except for Kendal."

I have an announcement to make. Last year, I became so frustrated by a trio of players and their attempts to break Sarah, I dubbed them the Axis of Ass. Adam, Rachel and Veronica gained my hatred and loathing, and I didn't think the name would be used again. But I must. The new Axis of Ass consists of Veronica (do I have to explain?), Christena (shows as much decorum as Donell right now), Holly (who makes me sick to my stomach) and Abram (the classless knuckle-dragger of the team). Other RR members might have ticked me off, but those are the four main offenders. They made me like Katie, and for that they must be ridiculed into submission.

Day lapses to night. Kendal talks with Timmy, uncertain as to what she should do. Timmy tells her that she doesn't have to save him. Kendal thinks that she'll figure it out when she gets to the Inferno.

Time passes. Mike asks Kendal why she's going to the Inferno. Kendal denies it, interviewing that she hasn't made up her mind. Mike points out that she's dressed to compete. "Just in case," Kendal replies. This sets Mike off, as he rants about how her team didn't let her in on their plans. He interviews that she wants to make RR happy, and he told her that she has to make herself happy. "You think Veronica would do it?" he asks Kendal. "You think Katie would do it? You think any of the girls would do it?" He then threatens to throw a tantrum if she goes in. Kendal reminds us that her team would be pissed at her if she didn't go in. "I promised Mike that I won't put myself in the Inferno," she interviews. "It's not smart for me personally to go into the Inferno. I could be sent home." Mike and Kendal stare at each other.

Inferno site. Dave welcomes everybody to Brick By Brick. The object: walk across a plank, transferring bricks from one side to another. The player who transfers the most bricks in three and a half hours wins. Are you kidding me? Seriously, I want the name of whoever's coming up with this weak crap. Veronica laughs evilly, while Timmy just stares. Dave continues with exposition: if a player falls off the plank, drops a brick or breaks a brick, that's a disqualification.

Dave asks David who he'll send to the Inferno. Of course, David sends in Leah. Dave starts to asks Kendal if she'll take Timmy's place, but Mike interrupts, sputtering "Don't do it!" as a cough. Dave finishes asking his question. Mike: "They'll send you next week too, huh?" Of course they won't, Mike. They'll try and send in Katie. Do you even watch this show? Kendal mulls her choice. Mike mocks some more. Finally, Kendal decides to go in, much to her team's delight. Guys, it's walking and carrying stuff. Timmy could've done that, so don't act like Kendal's your long-lost best friend now. Kendal interviews that she's paying her dues and restoring faith. Does Mike share her sentiment? "I've been lied to by many women in my life," he snarls in an interview. "There's no reason why she's doing it. I hate when people lie."

As the players prepare for the mission, Leah interviews that she's excited that Kendal volunteered. Dave bangs his gong to get things started. Coral calmly cheers for Leah, while Mike swaggers with a glass in his hand. Draw your own conclusions. Kendal asks Mike why he's like a brick. Mike asks why. She laughs, "Because I want to lay ya!" Yeah, joke-telling is not Kendal's strong suit. Mike doesn't want to talk to her. He interviews, "This lie kinda touched a nerve, and it definitely was a wrong nerve to touch." Quick question: is there a right nerve to touch?

Mike keeps sniping, bitching about how he wants Leah to kick Kendal's ass. Veronica thinks that Mike has lost it. "I haven't lost it yet," Mike snipes. "You haven't seen lost, sweetheart." Shouldn't Coral be jumping on him now? The last time I saw this side of Mike, he was screaming at her, as she lay dying of a spider bite. Kendal: "Until now, he's brought me nothing but good times and fun. He's saying the most hurtful and personal things. Mike is a much, much better person than what he's displaying now." Mike's still shouting about the alleged lying and how nobody stands up for her. Fade to black. Mike: "When a girl lies to me, they will know about it, and everyone else in the whole [bleeping] world will know about it."

What did we learn today? Road Rules is a far worse team than last year's edition if you look past the fattened bank account. Darrell is a pain in the butt, but his heart's in the right place. I've officially burnt out on Boston-area reality show guys. And I was reminded that Mike is a gigantic tool. Seriously, I'm guessing that at the very least, his anger and resentment towards Trishelle and their break-up has bubbled up and exploded all over Kendal. I acknowledge that there are other possibilities for Mike's non-Miz tirades, but I don't want to spell them out here. Shut up, Mike.

Next time: Leah interviews that everybody is fighting. Katie tells Christena that she will knock her down. I would pay money to see that. Go Katie! Mike turns on Coral, saying she's afraid of the Inferno. At the event, Dave tells Coral and Veronica that this may be the last chance to stay in the game. Coral interviews that she needs the Aztec Lifesaver. Confused? So am I.

Man, I was cranky as fuck, wasn't I? I don't care that Veronica is back on The Challenge and not being the biggest pain in the ass around. Between the shit she pulled this season, along with The Gauntlet and Inferno II, I will not let go of the loathing for her anytime soon. Mike comes off as big a jerk in this episode. I know he's married now -- to Maryse, a fellow wrestler -- but I kinda hope she saw this season and saw Mike get his third Challenge girlfriend, followed by the crap he pulls in this Inferno. Then again, she probably didn't hold Mike dating Trishelle against him, so I think everything else fell into place.  Also, not like Mike fooled around with three girls in one season. I'm amazed that Cory Wharton's privates haven't been ground into powder by now.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Inferno Episode 13: Relapse

Not much I can say about this episode. Another "calm before the storm" prior to everything going sideways in two weeks (you'll see what I mean at the end of this recap). Meanwhile, in 2017, Vendettas has started, and it looks as complicated as Dirty XXX before it. There are numerous gimmicks in place, including the prospect of a single winner out of the original 28.  A while back, I thought my plan for a Challenge season (written in 2008) was overly complex, especially with me thinking about things a little too hard. Now, I reckon it looks simple in contrast to the grab bag of twists Bunim-Murray Productions keeps using. I have the same thought on Survivor, and I don't think Ghost Island will be any better than Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers.

Airdate: April 19, 2004
Recap Published: April 27, 2004 (probably because I didn't have an upcoming episode acting as a deadline) 

Remember the bad old days, when CT was the guy you loved to hate? His attitude returns, as he seeks to dump a familiar face into the Inferno.

Previously on The Inferno: Leah had a massive anxiety attack, and the doctors sidelined her for health reasons. Road Rules plotted to send Katie into the Inferno by allowing Veronica to win the Aztec Lifesaver. Sadly, Abram’s safety cord did not break, as he whooped and yukked it up, showing that he will forever be the Bozeman Bozo. As a result of RR’s efforts, Real World broke their five-mission losing streak. In the worst endgame ever devised, Katie beat Julie at jumping rope. Once again: jumping rope. What should have been a great moment for me was drowned out by the sheer lameness of the mission. On the other hand, Julie had to take her buggy eyes and 371 front teeth back to Huntington Beach with her... and really, isn’t that the best thing that could have happened?

Credits. While I’m thinking about it, how about Shii Ann’s performance on Survivor: All Stars? Back against the wall, six vultures ready to feast on her, and she pulls off an immunity win. Even better, she gives a Katiesque celebration afterwards, since she was all but voted out. In a way, I’m more impressed with her win than Katie’s. Don’t get me wrong; I am firmly on the Katie bandwagon until the very end. But I’ve liked Shii Ann (or Shiiablo, as I like to call her) since her season, and it hurts me to see her cut down on forums, when there are worse players still in the game. I know that she has little chance of winning the million dollars, but as long as she’s there, the show is more interesting. And if she’s an obnoxious buffoon, then so am I for rooting for her. Ya gotta Shiilieve!

Night. We’re back at Hooters, as Leah talks to Coral about how happy she is with CT. We flash back to Real World Paris, as CT (in his bushy-haired glory) rips into Leah. Hey, there’s Christina! I don’t remember the scene, but I’m guessing Leah was asking for it, since she was the uberbitch of that season. Leah continues, saying that the “mean stuff” from CT hurt the roommates.

Villa. CT tells David that it isn’t fair for Leah to sit out and collect checks at the end. “We want to get rid of Leah,” CT interviews. “She’s slowing our team down. She’s dead weight, she doesn’t even compete in missions. Why should we be splitting with this girl?”

Back to Hooters. I bet this was shot on Day One. Leah thinks that she and CT have let go of their respective differences. She interviews, “The small changes that CT and I have made within ourselves has made a world of difference in our friendship, and it’s great.” Back to the Villa. CT tells David that the team should have a meeting to lay everything out. “Unfortunately,” David interviews, “it’s not going to feel good, and it never will.” CT anticipates Leah thinking that it’s not fair. Back to Leah: “I’m glad that he’s here, and I’m glad that we’re here together. We’re on the same team and it’s giving us another opportunity to work together.” The only thing missing is the word “IRONY” flashing on the screen.

Oh, my goodness. Katie lives! Given the attitude of the RR girls, I thought they’d pull a Code Red on her while she slept. But there she is, typing on the computer, as Darrell sits next to her. He asks about her smoking on the treadmill. She claims that Syrus doesn’t know how she defeated Julie, and that she feeds off being pissed. “Nobody wanted Katie to win,” Darrell interviews, “but Katie got a lot of fight in her, and I think she does better when people are against her.” Katie interviews that the team realized that maybe she isn’t the weakest player.

Mission site. Dave welcomes the players to Fallen Angel. Both teams alternate sitting on platforms over the water. The other team climbs up to pull a release, dunking the competition. Two people will go into the other. Two people per team will be in the water, but only one person can climb at a time. If one person falls in the water, the other can start climbing. The team with the fastest average time wins $10,000 for the bank. Dave announces that Leah has been cleared for this mission, prompting her and Coral to cheer. Leah interviews that she’s excited to be back. As RW gets on the platform, CT openly wonders whether if Leah can climb the rope. He interviews that RW needs a win.

First up: Darrell and Kendal. Darrell climbs the rope first. Timmy explains that each player must dunk at least two people. Darrell pulls on the rope, dunking CT. As Kendal climbs up, Holly says that any duo who can’t complete the mission gets the slowest time, plus a two minute penalty. Darrell and Kendal dunk the remaining four players, clocking out at 4:04.

Syrus and Leah take their turn. Syrus struggles to get up the rope, yanking on the handle with both hands to sink Veronica. Apparently, some witches don’t die after getting splashed. Good to know. Leah climbs, standing on Syrus’s shoulders, slowly going up the rope to dunk Holly. Syrus falls off the rope. On the sidelines, Coral starts getting cranky. Leah falls off.

Mike interviews that both Syrus and Leah are having trouble, and it’s “sucking ass.” Leah: “My team has looked at what I’ve been doing as not enough, which for me personally is everything that I can be doing.” Leah drops into the water, cursing a storm. “I need to prove myself, and this is not helping at all.”

Back from commercials, Syrus and Leah exhaust themselves trying to go up the rope. Coral yells at them to quit, and they do. Syrus interviews that this is the first disqualification he has received on any Challenge. What about... how... oh, wow. He’s right. It was a good streak while it lasted.

Next up: Timmy and Katie. Timmy manages to dunk David and CT, then holds the rope for Katie as she drops Syrus. On the sidelines, their teammates cheer them on. Oh sure... NOW they like Katie. She holds the rope for Timmy, but he falls. RR freezes on the sidelines, as Timmy goes up then splashes down. But wait! Here comes Katie! Supported by Timmy, she manages to dump Leah, who claps before splashing down. Christena interviews that Katie is doing well and she’s making a turnaround. Katie goes up again, dumps Coral, then yells, “No more sabotaging!” Veronica laughs evilly on dry land. Timmy ends it by dumping Mike, clocking in at 10:55, prompting a huge RR celebration.

Timmy interviews that he’s “damn proud” of Katie. Cut to Veronica rushing Katie and hugging her. It’s a credit to Katie that she didn’t floor Veronica right then and there. “She dug so deep,” Timmy continues. “She’s here to win now.”

David shoves a running CT into the water before making his own running dive. CT needs no rope support to drop Christena. David follows by dumping Holly. The RW duo drops the others in quick fashion, finishing at 2:13. Holly and Christena complete the mission with no trouble, clocking out at 5:33.

Next up: Mike and Coral. Mike starts climbing before dropping off. Abram is hooting and having fun from his perch. Syrus: “That [Oedipus Rex] is too strong to be able to do this [bleep].” Coral climbs and drops. Abram is still braying like a jackass. Mike actually tries to climb on Coral for support. “Climbing ropes in the water sucks,” Coral interviews. “When you have a big man on your shoulders drowning you named ‘The Miz,’ it sucks even worse.” Mike drops, and Coral complains about getting kicked in the head.

Timmy interviews that RW is good at nothing, especially this mission. A wide shot reveals two empty perches, which makes me wonder why those dunks weren’t included. After a few more attempts, the RW duo packs it in for the DQ. “There’s no strategy,” Coral interviews. “You can either do it or you can’t do it. I can’t do it.”

Final team: Abram and Veronica. Abram does a weird sideways flip. The boy annoys me even when diving. Abram dunks CT. Veronica dunks David. Abram’s Tarzan yells are so obnoxious that Leah flips the bird before getting dunked. Veronica gets Coral, and Abram gets Syrus. Mike yells, wondering who will dunk him. Abram goes for the lever and pulls, but it’s the wrong one. Idiot. Mike laughs, getting a small victory before Veronica dumps him. Time: 3:14.

Dave announces the results: RW’s average time is 9:35, while RR comes in at 6:18. Dave awards the $10,000 check to RR, upping their bank to $90,000, which is more than they had last season before the final mission. “Yeah!” Abram shouts. “We broke our losing streak!” If he goes through the remainder of this Challenge without somebody punching him in the neck, I will be surprised and disappointed. “Lose five in a row, win one, and then get smoked again?” David groans. “It’s not that much fun.” Dave sends both teams off to nominate two men into the Inferno.

RR Meeting. “Here’s the problem,” Timmy quips as he stands next to Darrell. “I want to go to the Inferno, but he wants to go to the Infuerno.” Heh... I like when somebody acknowledges Darrell’s mangling of words. Holly interviews that the team doesn’t have any weak men to send, so they’ll send in the strongest. “We can send anyone in there from now on and we’ll win,” she continues, “I have no doubt about that.” And then she winks. Who does that?

RW Meeting. Coral doesn’t rest on her laurels now that Julie’s gone, as she thinks sending CT and Mike into the Inferno is a bad idea. She votes for David and Syrus, both of whom take it well in their interviews. David: “This is gonna be aggravating.” Syrus: “For me, if I get sent home? At the Inferno? I would have been sent there twice! I will be pissed off!”

We get a commercial for I Want A Famous Face. Do you want to know how to get a famous face? Simple: become famous, and your face will follow. If you get surgery to resemble a celebrity, you are that much closer to getting killed by a stalker who doesn’t bother with research.

After commercials, Coral interviews that neither David nor Syrus have been to the Inferno. David says he’s willing to step up, even though he doesn’t want to go. Leah votes for Syrus and David. “If this is what the team wants,” Syrus interviews, “then I’m going.”

Dave announces the nominees: Syrus and David from RW, Darrell and Timmy from RR. He gives the teams ten minutes to make their picks.

RW Meeting. Coral and Syrus want no part of Darrell. Leah: “He’s mentally and physically attuned to things.” The team decides to go with Timmy. Leah continues, “It’d be the worst mistake ever to put anyone in with Darrell. There’s no way that anyone’s going to be able to beat him.” This is coming from his girlfriend, so I’m not sure how valid she is on this.

RR Meetling. Darrell think it’s a no-brainer: go with David, whom he considers the weakest player. The others agree. “Dave will compete,” Darrell interviews, “but when it comes to pain and mental [bleep], he’ll just give up.” He does put it a lot better than Shane, who was begging for a beating.

Both teams present the plates. Timmy accidently breaks David’s plate. Coral turns around a breaks Timmy’s dish. Is this the Joe Schmoe show? The old-timers hug. “David is a heckuva competitor,” Timmy interviews. “I don’t care what anyone thinks. It’ll be a tough challenge going up against him.”

Now it’s time for a different meeting, as Katie tries to sell herself to her teammates. She knows that she isn’t the strongest female on the team, but she figures she’s stronger than any RW woman after beating Julie. I don’t know... I’d put Katie between Coral and Leah. As Veronica drinks in her evil way, Katie asks for fair play and honesty. To her credit, Veronica doesn’t spit out her drink and laugh in Katie’s face. David interviews that RR went about their dumping of Katie in a sneaky way. He continues, “I think they have a tough time with conflict or saying things to people’s faces.” Pause for audience laughter. “We’re going to tell the person before we do it.”

And sure enough, RW has a meeting, and CT flat-out tells Leah that he wants her in the next Inferno. Needless to say, she is shocked. He continues, saying that he doesn’t want to risk another male going home. Leah says that she’s not a stellar athlete, but she’s pissed off anyway, and she deserves to be in the game. CT responds that she doesn’t complete missions, and everybody has contributed to the team except her. Mike interviews that he doesn’t know what’s going on. He continues, “CT is going off on her, being brutally honest, but being too honest to where it’s hurting.” Leah asks if the team wants her to help throw the mission in order to send her in. “If you want to help the team,” CT replies, “this is how we feel you can contribute to the team.” Ouch. Leah: “Basically, you want me to contribute to the team by leaving.” After a little back-and-forth, CT says that the team will go on with or without her help. ”The person that I hated so much for six months has just resurfaced,” Leah interviews. “I’m looking at this guy that I just never wanted to see again. It’s all back, and it sucks. My spirits are low, I’ve got absolutely zero confidence, and I kinda just know that I’m going home.”

At the RR area, Timmy jokes to the ladies about the possibility of going home. Holly wants Timmy in the final mission. “To send home the leader of our team would be disastrous, really,” she interviews. “I don’t think we can win the final missions without Tim.” I think they’re still sweet on each other. Veronica offers to win the Aztec Lifesaver and put herself in Timmy’s place. I hate her. That’s the exact opposite of what she pulled on Katie last week. I know Veronica isn’t the end-all of evil queens, but she would sit by the right hand of Omarosa, since she is that evil.

Elsewhere, Leah complains about CT to David. The elder Bostonian figures that either CT is mad, or he’s still poking at Leah for stuff that happened in Paris. “CT just wants to win,” David interviews. “He just gotta be tough like that.” Leah says that the others are out for themselves, and so is she. She continues that the rules let her stay, and screw anybody else. “At the end of the day,” she tells David, “if you guys want me to leave, you’re going to work harder at it. I’m not voluntarily going to [bleep] myself into the Inferno. I’m not letting you push me out of here.” Outside, Leah interviews that she expects everybody but Coral to play things in order to save David. I’m guessing that Coral might see Leah’s elimination as an automatic Inferno entry, but I bet she could be nominated with a male player. Leah says that she hopes to stay longer. Cut to CT staring off into the distance.

I’m torn. At first, I hated CT for wanting to stoop to RR’s level of play. But I read an interview on MTV.com where he blasted Leah for pulling the same kind of crap she pulled in Paris, so now I’m doubting Leah. I guess it’s wrong of me to expect complete 180-degree turns from any of these people. Sad to say, we’ll have to wait another week to find how it all shakes out. That’s because MTV is giving us an off week, airing the first two episodes this Monday. Like any of us needed to relive Julie’s near-murder of Veronica? Or Katie choking on worms and cornmeal? Or Jeremy celebrating his brief Inferno win like he won the World Series? Just print out my recap, and scrawl “evil” next to anything Veronica does. It’ll be like a fresh recap.

What’s on tap for May 3? More Mike/Kendal romance, for one. Mike: “I’ve been lied to by many women, but I feel like I can trust Kendal.” Dave welcomes everybody to game involving Saturns. CT reminds us that he wants to get rid of Leah, since she’s dead weight. Inferno coverage. Mike: “So you did lie to me!” Kendal in interview: “I hate the person that he’s turning into.” Mike: “I haven’t lost it yet. You haven’t seen lost, sweetheart.” Looks like Mizdal is dead. Hey, Mike? Ever consider NOT dating people from the show?

Reminder: Punching people in the face was not the only reason I considered CT to be an asshole. Once again: awesome that he's gotten above such stuff and not acted like a total dick in years (unlike a fruit-themed regular cast member who would never leave the series), but the past can never be whitewashed. At least the guy has peaks. I think the one time I rooted for Camila was at the end of Invasion of the Champions, hoping she pulled out the win over Ashley Mitchell, and that was mostly because Nicole (Staten Island girl who represents the borough well, IMHO) had gotten third place. Camila is basically craziness throughout, with a few titles thrown in. CT never assaulted a production member. I know, doesn't make up for punching Davis (Inferno 3) and Adam King (Duel 2), but he never gotten than low.

Once again: next episode, the fecal will totally hit the fan, and it will keep coming for the remainder of the season. And I will suffer through it, blissfully unaware about the debacle that Battle Of The Sexes 2 would turn out to be.