Mrs Filthy's "Battle of the Seasons" Review


April 1, 2002

Episode of Doom

As soon as the Reality TV All-Stars see the rope ladders strung across the jagged rocks of Cabo San Lucas, their vocabulary is reduced to one syllable words ("Wow." "Yo." "Dude.") and bleeps. Lots of bleeps. Coral, one of the first on the course, tells us that she just wants to "hurry up and get this over with." That's odd, my pets, because I feel the same way. After all, it's hard to get any backbiting done when everyone is strung up to a safety harness.

Just to remind you, the "Ladder of Doom" challenge is the last elimination round, and some teams have more to lose than others. The two fourth-place teams, Josh/Holly #2 and Norm/Becky, hope to finagle their way into the inner circle, even if it requires a fellow cast member plummeting to his death. Road Rulers Josh and Holly #2 both perform tres bien, causing Josh to exult, "I'm an animal!" But, the most agile clambering won't get these two monkeys anywhere unless the third-place team, Dan and Tara, fail to complete the mission.

And of course, darlings, Real Worlders Norm and Becky don't stand a chance. They're old. Their bones are creaky. Their minds are stuck on "Matlock" reruns. As it turns out, Becky is even slower on the rope ladder than New Orleans' Danny, the guy who practically wets his pants climbing a curb. Norm seems a bit exasperated to have to compensate for Becky's senior-citizen climbing style, but then again, he doesn't do all that much better than she does. It looks like the Real Worlders have lost their elder statesmen, mes amis.

So really, the only drama in this competition is waiting for Road Ruler Tara to fall off the ladder. She's afraid of the heights, she's got low self-esteem, she allowed Mike to fondle her - she must be Shark Chow! She and her partner Dan feel that they have the most to lose. But, Tara doesn't have to excel, she just has to finish the course. She takes almost twice as long as fellow castmate Holly #1, but in this world, that's good enough.

So, the teams for the rest of the Challenge are pretty much set long before they're announced. Team Real World is composed of Sean/Elka, Mike/Coral and Danny/Kelley. Team Road Rules has Theo/ Holly #1, Timmy/Emily and Dan/Tara. These are the faces we'll be seeing for the rest of the season, my pets.

All that's left is to enjoy Theo's creative similes and metaphors and to bid goodbye to the also-rans. Holly #2, while nominally grateful that no one died during the Ladder of Doom, is also greatly disappointed to be a mere "survivor." She's used to being a dominatrix, goshdarnit! Only her partner Josh can calm her ire enough so that she can spout the usual pleasantries about "meeting great people" and "having a great experience."

Norm and Becky leave with little ado, other than a brief can-can on stage. Certainly, young whippersnapper Mike isn't all that sorry to see the "grown-ups" go. He rattles on to opponent Theo about the strength of the final Real World team, remembering to get a few digs into Road Rules' voting strategy. Theo doesn't say much, but immediately heads to the gym to sweat out his anxiety. I wonder if he hears his "nerves crashing against (his) skin" again!

Next Week: Is Emily the Antichrist? Does she hide little horns in that bed-head hairstyle of hers?

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This Week, Mrs. Filthy's Reading:

Track of the Cat by Nevada Barr