Monday, October 01, 2018

Battle of the Sexes 2 Episode 4: Meltdown

Rather than bitch about the state of The Challenge: Final Reckoning and how it will stink no matter what the ending, I thought it would be a good time to talk about ice-based missions . . at least heading to BOTS2.

2002 (actually 2001): The final six pairs had been determine to compete in the Battle Of The Seasons finale, but they continued to compete for points and prizes. In this case: Hands on a Saturn, where the players had to keep body parts on a car-based ice sculpture. Highlights included Timmy peeing on the "car," Kelley looking over to find that her partner Danny had quit and was sipping a beverage on the side, and Mike costing himself and Coral a pair of actual Saturns, giving to win to his girlfriend Tara and her partner Dan (from Road Rules: Northern Trail, which I consider to be the best season in that series' history. Afterward, Mike threw a few tantrums, and it was embarrassingly fake, as he went into his "Miz" persona. So sad. I'm honestly surprised that he turned that into an actual professional wrestling persona.

2003 (actually 2002): Hands on a Saturn must have been a hit with viewers, because BMP brought it back the following year on Battle of the Sexes. This time, in Freeze Your Butt Off, players had to sit on ice benches that simulated a roller coaster (seriously, I don't know) while wearing minimal clothing. That meant Speedos for the guys. A fun time was had by all . . . at least before the mission. The guys wound up dropping out quickly, and the girls won mountain bikes. According to Melissa, they also got welts on their butts from pressing against the ice. That did not happen to Melissa. No, she had to be pried off her bench after almost three hours, as her pulse rate dropped and she broke into shivering. I'd like to think that after seeing someone suffer like that, BMP decided to go back to the drawing board, lest they wind up with another girl weighing around 100 pounds almost dying. If you forgot about the mission, don't worry . . . that was followed up by the Women's Inner Circle (Ruthie, Ellen and Emily) elected not to vote off their respective friends, opting for Rachel instead, who was fourth-to-last. That led to her "This game is ugly!" rant.

Fast-forward to 2004. Battle of the Sexes 2. Melt With You. Enjoy!

Episode Aired: October 25, 2004
Recap Posted: October 30, 2004

The gap between the newbies and veterans increases, while the players find innovative ways to melt ice. Really innovative ways.

Previously on Battle of the Sexes: There was a pool party. Tonya sucked face with Ace. Actually, it was more of a kiss, but "sucked face with Ace" rhymes nicely. The veterans on the women's team took the lead. The guys won the first two missions. Ace and Cameran got voted out by their respective squads. "If the girls can just not argue over petty and stupid stuff," Cameran says, "I think the girls can honestly win." Silly Cameran… teamwork is for kids.

Nightclub. Lots of dancing. Tonya dances awkwardly on her own. "I'm here to have a good time," she interviews. "I'm gonna drink, dance and play. I'm young and single, I'm having fun." While we hear her saying that, she makes out with Theo. Damn, we never got to see Theo operate before. Cut to Tonya dancing with Angela, then back to making out with Theo. Ruthie interviews that she doesn't know if Tonya is here to party or to compete. "She's getting DQ's," Ruthie adds, "and that's not cool." Tonya and Theo move to the van. I don't know what's weirder: Cynthia being in the front seat while this is going on, or Cynthia not yelling at them to knock it off. Remember when she found out about the Mike/Melissa/Melody threesome in Miami? "Tonya and I are like two kids in summer camp," Theo interviews, as we see Tonya pull his shirt off, "sneaking across the lake in the middle of the night to go play crazy games with each other's body parts." Cynthia looks bemused. Two words to Theo: "shady ordeal."

Back at the resort, some of the players fool around in the hot tub. Kina interviews that she has a great team. She tells Mike that she doesn't think there's a conspiracy, and she doesn't care either way. He thinks there will be an alliance on her team… if there isn't one in place already. "There's always alliances on Challenges," Mike interviews. "If the new kids don't prove themselves, then they'll probably be the first ones gone."

Clue time! Angela reads off the sponsor phone: the mission will test endurance. Be ready to go at 10:15 a.m. Tina yells about talking on the phone as long as possible.

Daytime. Tina is in a snit. She interviews that Tonya commented about using the cell phone. "Sorry, sweetie," she snipes to us, "big mistake!" Tonya says that Tina is on the phone a lot. Tina calls Tonya the biggest liar in the lounge, and threatens to call her out. Tonya maintains a certain level of calm, while Tina yells and drops f-bombs. Coral takes this opportunity to officially "pass the torch" to Tina. "I'm happy that I'm not the first bitch to cuss somebody out," Coral interviews. "My money's on Tina, because she fights dirty." Wanna know the difference between Coral and Tina? Coral needs a reason to jump down your throat. I don't see her losing it over a phone. On the other hand, I now feel validated about calling Tina "Discount Coral" last year. Yay, me.

Mission site. Jonny stands in front of an ice block with the BOTS2logo carved into it. Today's mission: Melt With You. Production people reveal two giant ice cowboy hats. He tells the players that this mission will test endurance and strategy. Derrick has no clue what is about to happen. C'mon, man… you didn't see Freezing Your Butt Off in BOTS1? Research, man! [2018: . . . .and I got the mission name wrong. Damn.]

After commercials, Jonny lays down the exposition. In each hat, there is a cell phone wrapped in plastic. The object: melt the ice to get the phone, then call a nearby "central phone." Tina yells about having it "hook, line and [Oedipus Rexin'] sinker!" Jonny tells the players that they can melt the ice any way they can, except for urination. Everybody groans, and I get a nice flashback of Timmy relieving himself on the ice car during Battle of the Seasons. Good times. The winners get a Playstation 2 game system with two games. Honestly, I don't see any of these people getting into Hot Shot Golf: Fore!. It's like Mario Golf, but without the Mario. The prize package is worth $400 apiece. To the winners: if any of you aren't thrilled about the system and like my writing, e-mail me. We'll work something out. Brad interviews that the mission is crazy. Jonny gives both teams 30 minutes for the teams to pick leaders, and adds that those leaders would have a final say on team strategy.

The guys huddle up, and pick leaders: Dan, Shane, and Shawn. Fittingly enough, Dan won the ice mission with Tara in Seasons. His plan: put the guys on top of the ice and use them like a saw. The girls pick their leaders: Kina, Ibis and Aneesa. Ibis figures to have as many bodies on the ice as possible, interviewing that she have good leadership skills. Coral: "Some of the newer people volunteered themselves. It's just stupid. It's not a strategic move. You'll probably going to end up going home."

Game time. The women are in bikinis, and the men are in Speedos. I guess the “guys gripe about how their thangs can’t breathe” footage got cut. Immediately, Mark gets on top of Mike, and the others pull them back and forth on the ice. To anybody getting a cheap thrill and/or cheap laugh, be sure to thank Dan. On the other block, the girls rub with their hands and butts. Mike interviews that the ice will crack due to the pressure and heat. Now Theo is on top of Frank, while Eric backs himself up on the ice. Grind it, Eric! Grind it! Shane gets sawed solo, shouting, “Every one of my fantasies fulfilled!” So you’ve dreamt of being pulled on a cold surface? Whatever, dude. Shawn goes on top of Steven. Adam rubs his butt on the ice, interviewing that he doesn’t care where he rubs, as long as the ice melts. The girls continue to rub. Cynthia: “I have never been so close to other girls’ asses in my life!”
The girls rub some more. Tonya handles a rock, interviewing that she will do whatever it takes to win, and to prove that she’s a competitor. Her method: popping rocks into her mouth. Really, she does this to heat up her mouth. That’s about as “outside the box” as you can get. “[It] doesn’t surprise me,” Angela interviews. “I don’t think she really cares whatever goes in her mouth, so this is Tonya’s VIP mission.” Nasty! Tonya blows on the ice, as well as rub it with her hair. Aneesa feels that Tonya is redeeming herself.

Randy lies on top of the ice (whoa). Frank gets on top of Randy (Whoa!). Theo gets on top of Frank and Randy (WHOA!!) It’s triple-sawing action on the men’s side, and I think half the audience just fainted. Both sides work, forming small holes on the blocks of ice. And now, this verbal nugget from Veronica: “Our strategies are just so stupid. [huffing and puffing] Blow and suck! Blow and suck! Use your hands!” The other half of the audience fainted from Veronica giving such an easy line. The girls rub with their hands as Kina shouts instructions. “It’s basically a rap video with a big ice cube,” Dan interviews, as we see the women rub butts on the ice. “They’re doing every thing they can to get it melted. I kinda wish I was their cell phone.” What? I like you, Dan, but seriously ... what? Both sides get closer. Sophia interviews that the girls are so close to winning. Intense rubbing. Bruises develop on bodies.

A commercial for next week’s episode? Already? Bunim-Murray recycles the gross food mission from Road Rules: X-Treme, coupling that with blowing up cardboard cutouts of the players. Theo poses with Arissa’s copycat, telling us that this is the only chance he gets to make out with her. He adds, “Hell, I’ll take a paper cut!” He doesn’t kiss it, but rather rolls around and smothers it. I’m sure Mr. Arissa will be pleased. And we got a fight! Aneesa vs. Ayanna! “My ass is getting stronger!” Ayanna emotes. “Would you like to kick it some more? Here it is!” So much for Alaska not getting snow this year.

Back to the action: the guys crack the ice open and grab the phone. As the women keep working, Dan makes the call. The central phone rings, and the game is over. I’m getting tired of the guys winning, but at least Dan and Shawn are out of harm’s way this round. Shawn feels the men had “a lot of hot hands and a lot of hot asses,” and thnaks his mother for his own ass. The ladies feel that they did a good job. Tonya whispers to Aneesa that she’s not going anywhere. Kina compliments Tonya for her rock technique. Coral feels Tonya is crazy, since she’ll do anything to win.

Jonny awards the game systems to the guys. He goes over the voting procedure: men’s Inner Circle picks off one guy, women vote out member from their Inner Circle. Ibis interviews about bringing a lot to her team, but she can’t be certain.

Boys’ Inner Circle Meeting. The lads get down to Mike, Abram and Adam for past disqualifications. Shane ignores Mike’s DQ. Dan brings up Derrick, thinking that the newbie might be too flustered. Shane and Shawn are not willing to give Chris up. Shawn interviews that everybody on the team helped, and that it is a tough decision.

Girls’ Inner Circle Meeting. Rachel feels the team lost due to a lack of leadership. “I watch what everybody’s doing,” she tells her teammates. “As much as I’m participating, I’m constantly watching you guys and seeing how intense you are now.” Coral thinks Kina worked hard, but wasn’t leading hard. Katie interviews that the new girls are easily intimidated.. “Some of the older girls piss me off,” she adds. “I’ll gather all the new girls, and I’ll flip out and find alliances.” Tonya feels that Kina didn’t lead her. Robin feels Ibis did an amazing job. Sophia thinks Kina is a great competitor. Tina would rather vote out Aneesa than Kina or Ibis. Coral votes for Kina, while some of the others can’t make up their minds. Sophia interviews that the veterans are in an alliance and are running the show.

Elimination Hill. Time to send two players packing. Shawn comes up for the men. He says that it wasn’t easy. The Inner Circle based the vote on past disqualifications and experience. The victim? Adam, who looks disappointed upon hearing the news. Shane interviews that a DQ equates to a zero in his mind, and that Abram and Mike had more experience. Why do I feel that Shane will probably get voted off by either or both of them within the next few weeks? Given that the missions are for prizes, as opposed to money, wouldn’t it make more sense to dump some muscle in order to level the playing field? Adam tells the team that he is pissed, but he wishes them luck.

Arissa steps up for the women. Basically, the vote came down to two people, and Kina is the one to go home. Apparently, Kina can’t get a break when it comes to voting. [2018: defunct link to the RNO recap of X-Treme where the cast basically picks a random name to leave the game, and Kina wound up going home] The girls applaud, as Kina has no hard feelings. “Newbies are just gonna be picked off left and right,” she interviews. “Instead of forming these alliances, we should all stick together, because essentially, we are one big team, and we should act that way.” Jonny dismisses the troops, as Adam stalks off by himself.

Night. Adam gripes to Brad about the “rookie excuse” given by the Inner Circle. Brad gets upset over the veterans, saying he’s not impressed by team. Adam interviews that he stayed on the bag longer than Mike during Dangle Drop, but Mike has done Challenges before. He adds, “It’s hard to take when I feel that, for the first three missions, I’ve been a really strong competitor.” Brad asks Adam if he got disqualified during Snake Pit Poker. Adam replies that he didn’t. “I’m speaking for the people who aren’t standing up for themselves,” Brad interviews. “I feel like everybody’s in the same boat. Nobody’s better than anybody here.” Cut to Kina and Adam going through their respective farewells. Adam thanks Brad for sticking up for him, interviewing that he wanted to leave without feeling cheated, but he does feel like that.

Daytime. Tina talks to Angela, Sophia and Cynthia about cliques forming on the team. “People are afraid to speak their mind around here,” Tina claims, “because they’re going to get crucified for it.” Cynthia feels there wouldn’t be as much drama if the same people didn’t come back. I love Cynthia, even when she states the painfully obvious. Angela: “Basically, the girls who have done this for the last six years of their lives think that they have control over the house, and that they can bully people around. It’s a little shocking to them that the newer girls are outnumbering them.” She tells her comrades that she won’t back down. I get what she’s saying, but it there was any bullying, I bet we would have seen it. Remember Sarah? Or Katie? I’m probably dismissive since this is coming from Angela, whom I feel needs to go home, and soon. Sophia wants to be realistic, and she feels it’s impossible to be fair. Cynthia tells the ladies not to be bullied. “Don’t be afraid to confront,” she continues, “even if that means you gotta go home. You need to go home with your dignity.”

At the pool, Coral fools around with Tonya and Arissa, saying how great it would to win $60,000. “I play the game the way I play the game,” she interviews, “and everybody can kiss my ass.”

My thoughts? I do feel bad for Adam. Others hate him, but I got a soft spot in my heart for that knucklehead. That said, I like his ouster, because it proves that nobody is safe. In BOTS1, the men had a set system (lowest scorer goes home), and it resulted in minimal drama. With the new format, a team can perform perfectly in a mission, but would be forced to send somebody home anyway. This leads to drama, sabotage, anger, rage, and all the other stuff Bunim-Murray loves to give to us. I still miss the Gauntlet format, but I can live with this ... at least until somebody I like goes home.

Next time: Eating foul stuff. Blowing up cutouts. Aneesa vs. Ayanna, which is an extension of the battle that had in BOTS1 that never made it on air. Luckily, Lori managed to share with us, so you guys have something to gnaw on until Monday.

Wow. Definite high point. Dude on top of dude on top of dude. And the dude on top was Theo, who would have been considered in a "bromance" with James in Road Rules: Maximum Velocity Tour if that phrase had been coined. And nobody almost died!