January 9, 2001
Assemble twelve young (well, okay- youngish) adults on a foggy Maine island. Tempt them with a yacht and then throw them from great heights and drench them in icy, northern waters. What would this be, mes amis? Well, if you're Jamie, Julie, Kameelah et al, you'd say "Dude, this is the Extreme Challenge!" If, however, you're one of the unlucky souls sitting at home (and therefore not in the running for large cash prizes), you'll probably feel much less enthusiasm.
Back in the olden days, darlings, there was one "Real World" episode devoted to competition between the two reality shows; believe me, thirty minutes was more than enough time to appreciate the subtleties of bungee-jumping. For the last three years, the Lame Games have garnered their own mini-season, and the Real Worlders have not won a single one. I think it has to do with casting, actually. "The Real World" cast is selected for drama, conflict, titillation; "Road Rules" crew is comprised of the relatively more restrained leftovers. So of course they're going to be better at sports!
The first item on the schedule is to catch up with all those castmates we had forgotten all about. Team Real World is made up of Julie (New Orleans), Jamie (New Orleans), Rebecca (Seattle), Kameelah (Boston), Syrus (Boston) and Dan (Miami). We learn a few tidbits about each team member, such as Kameelah's recent grasp of the virtue of patience and Rebecca's self-discovery in Europe. We also learn that a mouse is trying to eat Jamie's lips oh, wait, that's a goatee!
The members of Team Real World all seem to know one another already, and the kids are hugging each other and giggling and whooping it up before you can say "Gore-Tex Extravaganza!" It must be all those company potlucks. Team Road Rules, however, seems a bit more uncertain as to how to proceed. They actually have to introduce themselves. Could it be that even "Road Rules" alumni don't watch "Road Rules?" I know I don't.
The Road Rules team has James (Season 9), Laterrian (Season 9), Ayanna (Season 8), Michelle (Season 3), Christian (Season 2) and Emily (Season 2). Now, I will admit, my dears, that I haven't watched a single season of "Road Rules" all the way through. So, all these kids seem brand new to me, and I'm sure I'll discover just how annoying they really are over the next few weeks.
And who explains the whole messy first challenge to the kids? It's Ramona from the first season of "Survivor!" Were all the other Bunim-Murray alumni too busy selling shoes or something? Well, at least the props department remembered to throw in a few tiki torches for good luck.
The first game of the series, bien sur, involves bungee jumping. Not only bungee jumping, but plunging into a fiery ring in the water roped to a member of the opposing team. Not only bungees, fire, water and enemies, but having to hold on to little plastic balls. It's little wonder that Michelle moans, "I'm going to my doom!" as she's lashed to self-avowed ladykiller Syrus. Actually, I'd be a little nervous, too!
I don't want you to get your hopes up, my little chickadees; the game remains injury and harassment-free thus far. There is, however, a little tiff when James accuses the victorious Real World team of cheating, because they scrunch their little red plastic balls up and so can hold more. Julie resents this implication; she's a "good Christian girl who does not cheat!" Lucky for Team Real World, James has already bankrupted his whine account and so has not one iota of credibility. The Real Worlders sleep on the luxurious yacht, complete with gourmet meals and massages, with little more ado. Julie and Jamie sleep in the same bed, but with a "chastity blanket" between them. "Why does Chastity Blanket get hooked up, and I don't?" wonders Vermin-Faced Jamie.
The second game also has the luxury yacht as its prize, and this time the Road Rulers are out for blood. No more clammy sleeping bags and rainy nights for them! This time, the kids have to climb trees and ropes while carrying water balloons, all the while dodging water bombs from the opposing team. It's a bit disappointing for the television audience, though, because both teams have horrible aim, so we don't get to see any satisfying smacks in the face. The rope courses must be pretty nervewracking by themselves, though, because Dan is practically hyperventilating and James is sweating buckets. All I know, though, is that the event didn't seem stressful enough to warrant a "To Be Continued." I don't think anything in this series would warrant a "To Be Continued," actually.
Who's Topless? Jamie resumes his position as the "Topless Dot Com Millionaire," but Rebecca and Christian also show promise.
Who Cries? No crying tonight, dearies- just some athletically appropriate grunting.
Most Annoying: James, on Team Road Rules, complains at every opportunity. It isn't fair that the other team (of scrawny girls no less) figured out another way of doing things! It isn't fair that the losing team has to camp on a tick-infested island! It isn't fair that all the events so far involve great heights! I can just tell that he was "Mr. Congeniality" on the kickball team!
Coming Soon: Wrestling dwarves, spankings, crying and
maybe even sack races or crab walks!