Monday, November 12, 2018

Battle of the Sexes 2 Episode 5: Choose to Lose

Apologies for not posting this sooner. I talk about how these recaps are the closest thing to a legacy that I [currently] have, but I can get too lazy to put them up. I can go on about how lackluster BOTS2 was, but that's not much of an excuse. Besides, with Final Reckoning getting set to end (final-fucking-ly) and no Champs vs. Stars to tide us over until next season, I gotta step things up . . . even if it involves the episode where Ayanna goes batshit on cable TV one last time. Also, I unconsciously write the words "goes boom" a few too many times.

Episode Aired: November 1, 2004
Recap Posted: November 6, 2004 

Gross food. Puzzles. Explosives. The most dramatic Elimination Hill ceremonies ever. Two lovers separate. And Ayanna loses it yet again. This episode has it all.
Previously on Battle of the Sexes 2: Abram and Coral got romantic. Coral: "He's a big part of what makes me happy here." The ghost of Nostradamus: "Dude, I didn't see that coming." The women's team lost Melt With You, falling to an 0-3 record. Kina and Adam were picked off by their respective squads.

Women's Lodge. Ayanna talks to some of her teammates about the drama of her last Challenge. She interviews that things are different for this Challenge. She adds, "I let a lot of competition stuff creep in." For some reason, we cut to Extreme Challenge, where she's crying to Christian (the Norwegian nudnik from Road Rules 2 and RR's lone bright spot in that Challenge) about him "rubbing it in." Some context: Christian had been learning American slang from Laterrian, and he dropped a "n-bomb" on Ayanna, who proceeded to beat him up, resulting in her expulsion. Honestly, competition had nothing to do with it. Back in the present day, Aneesa says that she feels iffy about Ayanna due to drama from the original BOTS. "Now that we're here together," she says, "it's all love." Anybody need a quote from Ayanna? "If Aneesa was on a street, and a train was coming, she wouldn't get hit, and that's all I got to say about that..." That should hold you guys until later on.

The Foreshadowing Fairies now turn their light upon Coral and Abram. Coral interviews that Abram had a belief that different races didn't have to be together. She adds, "I definitely would not have to expect him to be open to a black woman." Flashback to RR: South Pacific, where Christena asks Abram what would happen if his soulmate was not white, and Abram figures he might hesitate. Who would have guessed? Not about Abram loving Coral; I mean that I'd hold Abram in slightly higher regard than Christena, in light of the events from last season. Back in the present, Coral and Abram dance. "The concept of color has never even come up in my mind," Abram claims. "The only color I could ever see in Coral is beauty." Anybody got a barf bag? Seriously, is Abram reading off a script? More dancing. Coral tells us that Abram brought out a kinder side in her. They kiss, smacking into a wall.

Back at the resort, Frank gets the clue off the sponsor phone: be ready for an 8:30 a.m. pickup. Aneesa reads that the teams have to wear team colors and shoes. Coral laughs, telling her team that they have to give 100 percent to win. Tonya interviews that she need to "bust ass," since she was penalized twice during Snake Pit Poker.

Daytime. The players arrive, surprised to see life-sized cardboard cutouts of themselves. Jonny welcomes everybody to the Vista Clara Rodeo Grounds and the next mission: Bombs Away. He recommends the teams pick their leaders wisely, and that they would want strong problem-solving skills and strong stomachs. The leaders pick two people at a time to go head-to-head in an eating contest, with the food going from bad (balls of wasabi) to worse (bowl of mayonnaise). Abram expositions that if either teammate throws up, both players are out of the competition. Frank adds that the losers get their cutout counterparts blown up. Once the eating is done, the remaining players move on to a puzzle, where they run pieces over a balance beam. Tina interviews that the more people work on the puzzle, the better the chances are to win. Jonny announces that the team who wins gets two video phones per player. He then gives both sides the usual 30 minutes to pick leaders.

Abram explains that the men rotate leaders with every mission. This week, we have Mark, Steven, and Chris. On the women's side, Coral and Sophia step up to lead. Ayanna interviews that she decides to step up if nobody else would. She tells her team that the three losses were "acts of God." Veronica figures to pair up the strongest people.

The teams announce their leaders. Coral interviews that being a leader might mean becoming a scapegoat if the team loses. Jonny brings up the first set of players. "I don't know what to expect," Cynthia interviews. "I don't know if something was going to come out and jump out at me, or start crawling away." Brad interviews that he's prepared for the worst.

Round One: Cynthia & Sophia vs. Brad & Shawn. The food: Garlic cloves and onions. Brad interviews that the garlic has an intense flavor which is an "explosion of burning." Cynthia can't hold it in, and she throws up, taking herself and Sophia out of the game. Cynthia's cutout goes boom.

Round Two: Coral & Robin vs. Dan & Frank. The condiment: glasses of hot sauce. Coral starts gagging right away. "As soon as it coats my throat," she interviews, "it's curtains." The guys chug their glasses for the win, and the girls' cutouts go boom.

Round Three: Rachel & Veronica vs. Steven & Theo. The food: peanut butter. Steven interviews that it's hard to get down. Veronica has problems with it, and the guys win. Veronica's cardboard copy goes boom. Theo: "Gosh, I love seeing her head blow off." You and me both.

Aneesa flexes her muscles while Tonya grabs her breasts in front of the camera. Tonya tells us she'll do anything to win. Mark smirks that the boys haven't had problems yet. "If we can keep on that theme," he adds, "it's going to be fifteen versus two doing that puzzle." It's the attitude that bugs me. Shut up, Mark.

Round Four: Aneesa & Tonya vs. Mark & Mike. The food: balls of wasabi. For those who don't eat sushi: a little of that stuff clears your nose right up. Imagine having to chew on a big ball of that. Both sides try their best. Ruthie eggs Tonya on, and the girls get the win. Mike interviews that he's never been vulnerable to elimination before. Mark and Mike's cutouts blow up. Aneesa: "Now it's time. We're setting the tone."

Round Five: Ibis & Ruthie vs. Chris & Derrick. The food: sticks of margarine. Ibis interviews that the taste is nasty, but she can overcome it. The ladies show off their empty mouths to the camera. Cutouts go boom, prompting a rattled Jonny to mutter, "Holy smokers!" Derrick can't believe Ibis ate three sticks.

Round Six: Arissa & Katie vs. Randy & Shane. The food: spicy cow brains. Somewhere, Danny from RR: X-Treme is in the fetal position. "The flavor is like rotten eggs in my mouth," Randy interviews. "The texture's like swallowing slime." Katie jokes that the brains are probably good for her. The boys win, and Katie's cutout goes boom. Cut to Theo sidling up to Arissa's cutout. "This may be the only chance I ever get to make out with Arissa," Theo drawls, "even though it's only cardboard. Hell, I'll take a paper cut." Theo rolls on the ground with the cutout. I'm sure her husband must be thrilled watching this.

Before his match starts, Abram laughs about how Angela doesn't eat red meat and Ayanna is a vegetarian. Ayanna interviews that she has to be a leader and set the tone to win the mission.

Round Seven: Angela & Ayanna vs. Abram & Nick. The food: Balut, or duck eggs. Abram coughs, while Angela looks ready to cry. And then Abram pukes on Theo. No, seriously, he spews right on Theo. The girls celebrate, while Abram reminds us that he is now "further down the list."

Round Eight: Tina vs. Eric. The condiment: mayonnaise. Tina interviews that she could either eat faster or wait for Eric to puke. He doesn't, and Tina's cutout goes boom.

Now we get to the puzzle portion of the mission, as both sides run back and forth with pieces, until all the pieces are on the same side as the puzzle. The guys go in with a 9-6 advantage. Randy interviews that everybody wants to work the puzzle at the same time, and nobody wants to just stand back. Ayanna interviews that her team is split in two, with half listening to Angela, and half listening to Ibis. She orders everybody to stop, then starts to organize her team. But the guys get their puzzle completed for their fourth consecutive win.

Regrouping. Ibis: "Nothing sucks more than when you know you have it, and you're just not heard." She tells Ayanna that she had ideas. Ayanna tells Coral that she fought through the mission. Coral responds that Ayanna has to take criticism, which Ayanna doesn't want to start up about. "If Ayanna had not have been there to screw everybody's mind up," Coral interviews, "we would have a better chance of winning." That brings up an interesting question: shouldn't Coral have won her heat in order to take part in the puzzle portion? Ayanna might be a pain, but she was the only leader to advance, and Sophia has the excuse of Cynthia throwing up.

Denouement. Several of the players hold their cutouts, and Theo holds Arissa's. Seriously, that's a little unnerving for me. Jonny throws the sponsor promotion to Mark before giving both teams' Inner Circles one hour to deliberate. Chris interviews about how tough it will be for him.

Boys' Inner Circle Meeting. Chris throws out Abram and Mike for consideration, which Mark is okay with. Steven points out Mike got disqualified in Dangle Drop. He then calls Abram "overzealous," and brings up his penalty in Snake Pit Poker. Chris compares Mike's DQ to Abram's two infractions. The guys end up agreeing on who to send home, which will remain a mystery for the moment. Elsewhere, Mike interviews about being nervous over his status. Meanwhile, Coral and Abram are out feeding apples to horses. Seriously, I'm dying over here. Abram interviews that he feels vulnerable with his DQ today.

Girls' Inner Circle Meeting. Aneesa feels that the loss came down to communication. She says that Sophia is a newbie and "extremely even-tempered," and Coral has done Challenges "a million zillion times," but she had pulled her weight. Aneesa explains that she loves Ayanna. She continues: "When you lead, you cannot be yelling and screaming. It was so [bleeping] confusing today for me." She interviews that Ayanna has good ideas, but doesn't know how to express them in a way everybody can understand. Tonya doesn't want Ayanna's type of leadership at the end. Ibis feels like she got shut down three times, and she votes for Ayanna. A few of the ladies feel that Ayanna will flip out, but Aneesa is willing to take the heat.

Elimination Hill. As we put on protective gear in preparation of Ayanna's meltdown, Chris comes up to drop the hammer on the men's side. He says that the Inner Circle tried to vote for the good of the team. Mike looks really worried, thinking that his streak of 47 missions without getting voted off is about to end.

After commercials, we get the verdict: it's Abram. The girls open their mouths really wide, while Abram nods in resignation. Coral cannot believe it. Abram interviews that he had an opportunity to prove has was a strong competitor, and he didn't fulfill his part. He tells the guys that he's okay with it. Who are you, and what have you done with the real Abram Boise?

Aneesa takes the stage for the Girls' Inner Circle. Already, Ayanna looks stressed, as Aneesa calls her an "amazing competitor." Aneesa drops the hammer, and Ayanna rushes up for her rebuttal. Duck and cover, folks!

"When we sat down in those chairs and nobody stepped up ... eight of y'all. That's all I needed, was eight of y'all to have! My! Back! All! I needed! Was eight! [cut to Coral, asking Mike what Ayanna is talking about] I SLEPT IN MY UNIFORM LAST NIGHT BECAUSE I WANTED TO WIN TODAY! [crying] But nobody stepped up today. Nobody stepped the [bleep] up today! That's all I got to say! That's all I got to say!"

Wow. Let's hear from a critic. "If Ayanna was an actress," Rachel interviews, as we see Ayanna stalk off, "that would have been one of the great Academy Award performances I have ever seen. But, unfortunately, that's really her, and that's one of the reasons why we can't have a time bomb like that." Strong words ... until you realize we're listening to Ms. "This game is ug-lay!" herself. Jonny dismisses the troops, giving Ayanna and Abram until 10 p.m. to clear out.

Girls Lounge. Ayanna takes her cardboard cutout and plops it on Aneesa's bed. Oh, yeah. Real mature move there, Ayanna. Aneesa throws it on the ground, accusing Ayanna of making her feel bad. The girls argue some more, to the point where Ayanna sticks her butt out. "My ass is getting stronger!" Ayanna tells Aneesa. "Would you like to kick it some more? Here it is!" Aneesa interviews that she made the right decision, and that she'll get over it. Ayanna packs and leaves, muttering about how she doesn't want to come back to the house. "Don't call me after this is over," she interviews, "because if you wanted to talk to me, you would've kept me here. And that goes for all of y'all." From the bottom of my heart: shut up and grow up. In her last Challenge, I felt bad for her, since she had to deal with bony Anne. But she wears her heart on her sleeve too much, and that's what killed her today. If she had toned it down, Coral would've gone home. Do yourself a favor, Ayanna. Heck, do all of us a favor, and don't come back.

Twilight. Coral and Abram spend their final moments together. Abram tells her that he'll miss her even from a few feet away. "Hell," he purrs, "I've been missing you just when I have to walk away from you for five minutes." Coral: "If I had to choose one friend for life, Abram would be it." Over your roommate Melissa? Are you kidding me? Abram interviews that he enjoys spending time with Coral, more than anybody he has ever known. He tells her they have to walk away from each other. More hugging. Fade to black.

My final words on "Cobram"? I'm still baffled. To me, Abram can't change his stripes, and that has nothing to do about Coral being black. Abram has done some awful things in the past, and I can't get over that. Part of me feels like the duo set this story up, that they don't really love each other and they want to put us on. Then again, I've always been allergic to schmoopy-woopy couples in general, and seeing those two threw me. Coral is a tough cookie. She could have pulled an Emily and left with Abram, leaving her team with an enraged and insane Ayanna. All Coral has to do is get back to her usual routine. All she needs is for some hapless dope to do something stupid around her, so she can sink her fangs into that person. And all will be right in the world.

Next week: Jonny announces the next mission: The Junk Boat. Angela doesn't want to lead anymore. There's another time bomb for the women to defuse!

Man, I keep forgetting how much I hated Rachel.As for Ayanna . . . I stick with what I said, and I am glad she didn't come back, but I hope she's led a good life. Also, if she had come back, she would have encountered some of the headaches of the modern Challenge. I don't hate Ayanna remotely that much to wish that on her.

I covered Abram two episodes ago. I'm still seriously amazed he and Coral were an item.

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