Let's just end this already. My final Challenge recap for Reality News Online. I'll talk about how I didn't know this would be the last one after the recap.
Episode Aired: January 31, 2005
Recap Posted: February 5, 2005
After yet another dismal season, we get the usual reunion. Learn
more about the Challengers, as well as never-before-seen clips, most of which
are better than the stuff we saw.
It's time to put another mediocre season to bed. The good news: this reunion does illuminate what has been a dismal edition of the Challenge. The bad news? We're starting over in a month. More on that later.
Montage of clips and studio
segments. Coral: "I talk to people the way I want! You're not God
here!" Dan play-slaps Brad, then Brad goes into a decent Chris Farley
routine. Eric: "I don't want to know who did it or nothing. Just return
it." Brad: "The real bitches in the end were these four right
here." Ayanna goes ballistic on Elimination Hill. I cannot believe I
picked her to make the final team. Theo: "I'm not busting in your
bedroom, am I?" Brad taunts the camera. Coral feels the reunion is
stressful. Aneesa rubs her butt in bed, laughing that the editors can't use
the footage. Three girls fall out as the bench their sitting on snaps.
After the credits, we go to MTV Studios. Our host is Lala. Complain if you must, but I'm taking her over Jonny Moseley. Heck, I'd take Jesse Camp over Jonny at this point. We have Mark, Brad, Steven, Tonya, Eric, Arissa, Theo, Coral, Dan, Veronica, Mike, Sophia and Tina. Wardrobe of note: Veronica is wearing a t-shirt with a cartoon cat, proclaiming "I [heart] my pussy." Eric has a "Get Tiny" t-shirt. Oh, and the jump rope is around his neck. On the flip side, Mike is dressed real snazzy. Almost makes me forget that he was the seventh guy voted out and wouldn't have been here unless he was "The Miz."
Lala starts with the guys winning thirteen out of sixteen missions and the $180,000. She asks Coral what happened. Coral replies that the "Battle of the Sexes" concept was dumb. "I can't outrun Eric Nies," she adds, "with or without the jump rope." She adds that it was almost impossible to create physically fair missions. It's funny how she wanted to do BOTS during the Inferno reunion. Mark brings up Cast a Spell, which was a mental mission. Tonya curses him out, then flips two birds. Classy! Coral tells Mark to get over it. Lala asks Dan why the men dominated. He thinks that the girls bitched too much. Coral: "Steven slapped someone on your team!" Dan continues that the girls would go halfway through a mission before getting "self-combusted."
Lala tells us that this Challenge wasn't about guys versus girls so much as veterans versus newcomers. Clip montage! Rachel talks to Veronica about the "young bitches" and how they can't let them win. Coral brings up people thinking she's in an alliance with other veterans. Sophia thinks the veterans are running the show. Cut to Rachel getting axed, which she didn't see coming. On the guys' side, newcomer Adam is ticked off that he got bounced, and Brad agrees with him. Coral complains to Mike about him, Abram and Rachel getting eliminated.
Lala asks Veronica if she felt threatened when Rachel got booted. Veronica answers that the Inner Circle took out the one girl that intimidated the guys. She added that the guys would tell the girls which ones had to go. Dan questions that insinuation, insisting that he didn't vote off women. Tina accuses the guys of putting ideas into the women's heads, which caused fights. Eric starts with Tonya, accusing her of stealing his rope, and he wanted payback over that. Sophia says that the young kids got affected about the veterans. Coral thinks the younger players didn't know how to play the game. Tina: "Just perform and you'll be straight."
Coral figures that Rachel left because "a bunch of bitches" tried to break the alliance. "My alliance was with the other girls who could me some cash," she continues. "It could have been Angela, who I hated. It could have been anybody else. If Trishelle's dumb ass was on the show, it would have been with her, too. I want the sixty grand, and I don't give a [bleep] who helps me win it." What makes the rant even funnier is Theo trying to look down Coral's top.
Veronica adds that she and Coral have done a lot of Challenges, and they know each other better than, say, Angela. Coral: "Angela was a little bitch!" Tonya says that she wanted to shove a rock in Angela's mouth the next time she sees her. Yeah, I can see Angela getting that type of reaction. Tina tells Tonya that she was the only person who put rocks in her mouth during Melt With You. Tina adds, "You amaze me what you put in your mouth!" There's a collective "Oh, snap!" moment for the audience and cast members.
Lala tells Arissa that she's been quiet. Arissa thinks the arguing is BS since her team lost. Lala brings up Arissa getting involved with the veterans. Arissa doesn't think she aligned with anybody specifically, and she didn't want drama. Lala moves on to the Sophia/Ruthie alliance. Cut to footage of Ruthie wanting Sophia to take out either Arissa or Tonya, followed by Coral and Arissa giving Sophia flak for wanting to keep Ruthie. Back at the studio, Sophia tells us that she was friends with Ruthie before the Challenge (presumably on the gay & lesbian talk circuit), and they had each other's backs. Some of the other women jump in, saying that's an alliance. Sophia states that the only ones who didn't lead three times were Tonya and Arissa. Tonya reveals she was going after Sophia. After all the Inner Circles where Sophia wasn't even an option for elimination, this is news to me. Sophia says that Tonya didn't want to vote for Katie because they were best friends. Tonya defines Katie as a "good friend." Sophia retorts that Katie had told her about this. Scandal! She adds that she and Ruthie played things fair to the end, and that Ruthie got a raw deal.
Coral says that she told it like it was. She adds that she had talked to Arissa about her not deserving to be in the final three. Arissa nods, as Coral adds that Arissa won the last mission because the guys "played our asses."
We cut to Vertigo, where the guys threw the mission in order to keep Arissa in the game. Mark interviews that the girls didn't catch on. The audience breaks out in mild applause, as if kicking a team when they're down is a good thing. Lala asks what Arissa thinks. Arissa had known she wouldn't get to the end on her physical prowess, since she weighed 107 pounds and was afraid of heights. Sophia adds that it was blatant how Dan threw the mission. Coral says it was blatant after they saw it. Sophia does a decent impression of Dan flopping off the beam.
After commercials, Lala brings up the guys' shady business. We flash back to Car-Go, where Brad got passed over to lead the guys. After he was voted off, he lamented to Coral that he should have fought harder. Eric interviewed that they're not playing an honest game, and he's not going to feel bad about it.
Back to the reunion, Lala asks Brad about getting the "short end of the alliance stick." Brad claims that he didn't put it all together until the car ride back home. He talks about how the guys made fun of the women for acting like bitches. "It was interesting to find out," he adds, "that the real bitches in the end were these four right here." That's the quote of the night. I would've stormed the stage and high-fived Brad for five minutes. He then gives the women respect for putting their stuff on the table. He adds, "If you're gonna play like a man, put your balls on the table and be a man about what you're talking about." Brad concludes that he didn't want to blow up, but he doesn't want friends who will stab him in the back.
Lala turns to the guys, asking them to justify their actions. Eric says that nobody knew Brad before the Challenge, they had to watch each other's backs, and that Mike was in the same situation. Steven adds that the alliance had one or two of their own in the leader positions, and Mark sent Abram home because he wanted to keep Mike. Eric notes that they tried to hang onto Mike, but their system couldn't allow him to stay on, for fear of raising a red flag.
Lala notices that Mike's been quiet so far. Mike laughs, remembering that he got more prizes in his tenure that the women did during the whole season. You want to know something funny? I jotted down the price values, and it turns out that the women's three prizes were worth more per person than the guys' prizes, at least going into the final mission. Lala asks why they couldn't split the big money five ways. Several cast members pipe up, saying that it was illegal. Mark jokes that he'll take contributions. Shut it, "Cruiser." He adds that he apologized to Brad, and that he can only apologize for making deals with his friends.
Lala figures that there's no such thing as "Battle of the Sexes" without "sex." Wow, that was deep. We get clips of the Mark/Robin romance, the Abram/Coral affair (including Coral saying that if she had but one friend, it would be him), and Tonya going wild with Theo. After the applause (yay, promiscuity!), Lala tells Tonya that this is a 180-degree turn from her time on RW: Chicago. Tonya says she was just playing with Theo. Theo: "Playing, pissing, whatever you want to call it." Tonya flips him off, while Veronica shouts, "Rub it down!" Is that what I think it means? Coral says that people only remember certain stuff. "Tonya also told good jokes," she continues, getting some laughter. "She was also a great swimmer."
Lala asks Theo about the situation. Theo: "I'm not busting in your bedroom, am I?" Lala reminds them they decided to be on the show. "All we were doing was just doing a little thumb wrestling," Theo informs us. "With all our thumbs!" He adds that he's just friends with Tonya.
Lala asks Mark about Robin moving to Los Angeles to be with him. He says that they tried the boyfriend/girlfriend thing, but it got messed up. However, they're trying it again. I think she was better off with Mike the Marine. Or Randy. What happened with you and Randy, girl? Lala moves on to Coral. She says that she was on a bus tour with Abram prior to the Challenge, and everybody who comes up to her asks about her and Abram. Turns out they're just friends now. Thank goodness for that.
Lala decides to go after Steven and the Slap Heard 'Round Santa Fe upon Shane. Steven thinks Shane is a great guy, but he admits to having a bit of a temper. Shane had grabbed his arm, and that was enough to warrant the smack. Mark remembers that Steven's stuff was gone by the time they returned to the lounge. Coral adds that Steven had flipped off the producers. Steven lays down the exposition: during Cast a Spell, they weren't allowed to talk. Steven had mimed a writing motion, trying to tell his team a way around the rules, when the producers informed him that it would result in a disqualification. Sure enough, we see a clip of him flipping dual birds. "It's not good to flip off the person," he concludes, "who had the power to kick you off the show."
Now we turn to Tina. Flash back to her cursing out Tonya. Tina thinks it's easy to pick on Tonya, and she was in a bad mood at the time. Coral: "It was the third day we were there, dude." Tonya replies that if she cared, she would have defended herself, so she settled on laughing at Tina. Tina: "Tonya, you got punked out on TV!" Tonya: "And, I laughed at you." Guess what? They're going to be on the same team in the next Challenge!
After commercials, Lala goes to her favorite part of the reunion: the never-before-seen clips. First, we have Mark, Mike, Eric, and Ace admiring the horizon with their shorts pulled down. Ace dismantles a toilet seat and runs away. Tina tries to flush a toilet, then contemplates killing the guys. We see Adam, Mike, and Ace getting interviewed. Mike is holding a rifle for some reason, while Ace grabs onto a giant teddy bear. Adam tells us that they stole all the toilet paper and TP'd outside of the Women's Lounge (shot of Sophia cleaning up). Then they TP'd the inside (shot of Kina collecting the paper). Ace boasts that they grabbed their bear. Cut to Coral bent over in a car, talking out of her butt. Seriously, she's talking out of her butt to Tina about alliances.
Now we go to Elimination Hill, where Eric is telling the others that something was taken from him and he wants it back. Cut to Coral making fun of Eric to the other girls. We go to the Junk Boat mission. Coral and Robin work the cell phone, asking for advice on how to build a boat. Eric asks if the girls are allowed to call out. Outside a club, a cameraman nails Brad and Veronica together. Arissa interviews that she had gotten married to a guy who worked in the Palms, the club where she worked during RW: Las Vegas. We see her dancing with Brad, followed by a shot of them sleeping in the same bed. Six months ago, I would've been repulsed. Today? They'd make for a cute couple.
Back at the studio, Brad laughs, while Arissa smiles. Lala thinks everybody is laughing because Arissa is married. Arissa reveals she's no longer married, and it wasn't because of what happened during the Challenge. Theo whoops it up, probably because his tryst with her cardboard cutout is officially a little less dirty. Lala turns to Brad, in regards to rumors about him and Veronica. Brad says that he got a little flirty with her, but they're (say it with me) just friends. Lala thinks everybody gets loose. "Loose is not the term we use," Veronica demurs. "'Friendly' and 'flirty' is much better, Lala!"
Lala moves on to the pranking. Mike declares that the guys started it. It turns out Ace, Adam, and Nick joined him in stealing toilet paper and TPing the girls' place. Tina reveals that the guys went Numbers One and Two in the toilets, then shut off the water supply. So that explains the commercials with Tina going on about "Nasty Duke." Lala brings up the jump rope. Eric claims that he's partaking in a fight against teen obesity, which I don't buy for a second. Veronica says that everybody was sick of his jump rope. It's always unnerving when I'm on the same side as her. It turns out that Kina had swiped the rope. Coral: "She wanted to return it to him in pieces every day." Dammit, why did the women take Kina out so soon? Lala asks Theo if he took part in the pranks. He denies it, saying that it was childish.
We move on to Junk Boat. Mike says that the girls cheated, since they called other guys to make their boat. Coral doesn't feel like defending one of their three wins. Tina adds that they just wanted to get an opinion of how to build. Coral: "I don't know how to build [bleep]. I called a dude because dudes build!"
Lala tells us that there's a new Challenge coming soon. From what I understand, the players left a few days after the reunion was filmed. She asks the players to raise their hands to indicate participation. Veronica (huge shock), Mike (ditto), Tina, Brad, and Tonya raise their hands. Coral says that Tonya will be happy to know that she's not going. Dum dum DUUMMMM! This bit of news surprises Tina and Tonya. Corals feels that she needs to chill out, and she might end up slitting somebody's throat. Once again, this was recorded weeks ago, before we saw Karamo contemplating doing that to Landon. Coral notes that even the reunion is stressful, and that prospective players call each other to make plans to knock Coral off. "I got bitches plotting against me," she adds, "and they don't even know if I'm there or not." Tonya feels it's time for somebody else. Yeah, this comes from a woman who will be doing her fourth Challenge. Coral: "Don't come up to my face and say nice things to me if you're plotting against me like a 12-year-old. Who plots?" Tonya claims that Coral is cool as far as Real World is concerned. Lala notes that Mike might be superstitious, since he didn't hook up in Santa Fe. Mike agrees, and Veronica teases him.
Lala wraps the show up, thanking the guests for coming over, and telling us that Return to the Inferno starts up on March 7. In fact, once I got online and looked on MTV.com, the new page was already up. All I know is that I’ll have my work cut out for me. The girls might not have had Ayanna’s back, but I got yours. I’ll be focusing on other stuff in the next few weeks, including hoping that Kris & Jon plow through the competition on The Amazing Race. If you’re coming to TARCon this Tuesday, you might run into me. But I’ll be ready by the end of the month, because these people are not going to snark on themselves.
Imagine my surprise when I found my recap, only to find the last paragraph cut after two sentences. It came out, "Lala wraps the show up, thanking the guests for coming over, and telling us that Return to the Inferno starts up on March 7. In fact, the new page is already up on MTV.com." Here's a link to the printable recap via Archive.org if you wish to compare. Soon after, I was told by the website's founder that I was essentially fired, and I was subsequently banned from the site's Yahoo group. Oh, and I was the bad guy for expressing opinions on that group. Even when I went overboard (I can't say "if"), I felt like it would be a good sounding board. It turns out I was wrong.
I'll go over the aftermath of my dismissal . . . maybe. Given how I don't post here often, it might be some time as to when I'd write a proper denouement to my "career" at Reality News Online.
Oh, and Kina was the one that swiped Eric's stupid jump rope. I think. Or maybe it was Veronica. Given that she had at least one thieving experience on her very first BMP tour of duty (Road Rules: Semester at Sea), I wouldn't be THAT shocked.