April 3, 2001
This week, the kids are sent to London, perhaps for a tea-drinking competition? Extreme pub-crawling and turbo pinky-lifting? After all, how bad can the next event be; the cast members have recently competed in cheerleading trials. Both teams are simply giddy as they check out their double-decker tour buses and see the sights. At one point, Kameelah stops a complete stranger in a black sports car and asks him if he has any Grey Poupon. I say, old chap, that's just not cricket!
But, my little puddings, let's not forget that this program is about the challenges (unfortunately!), and these youngsters do have a game to play. Susie says that she "needs major dollars" but senses that her teammates have different priorities, such as fun and friends and experiences. You know, all that hooey. This could be a decisive moment for the Road Rules team, since they're only one victory behind, and Miss Mercenary Susie is out for cold, hard cash.
Both teams are shipped out to a remote farm, site of the annual "Tough Guy Contest," complete with lots of mud, ropes, electrified mazes and a retired general with enormous moustaches. Kameelah (evidently full of beans nowadays) calls it "Boot Camp on Crack," but I'm sure this is mere peanuts in a country where eating offal and a lack of dental hygiene could be considered endurance sports. Jamie has no qualms about hurling himself into the fray, and neither does Road Rules resident tough guy James. Of course, my dears, Dan thinks the whole situation is "gross."
There are seven different obstacles in the "Tough Guy" course, most with names like "The Swamp" and "The Deceiver." All the obstacles seem to involve clambering like a monkey and splashing wildly through the mud just like my cousin Biscuit does in the summertime. Since the rules say that the whole team must move as a unit from obstacle to obstacle, the teams must wait if someone falls and has to do the obstacle over. There was some foreshadowing of this earlier when the kids were told, "You're only as strong as your weakest link." By the second obstacle, Dan is getting cramps, Julie has fallen, and Susie has begun her eternal refrain of "I'm tired." This isn't what you'd call pretty, my sweets. Weak links abound!
After mere moments into the competition, Susie can't even walk straight, let alone climb and swim. Laterrian and James basically drag her through the course, all the while ignoring her cries of, "I can't breathe, dude!" Lucky for them, she doesn't have a fatal asthma attack, and the Road Rules team actually pulls up to the Real World team on the last event, "The Dragon Pool."
The Real World team's weak link equivalent of Susie this week is Dan, who by this time, has already fallen into yon Dragon ool (notice there's no P in it!) two or three times. As the Road Rules begin across the rope bridge, Dan is struggling with his noodle-legs a-shakin' to join his team on the other side. Only with the support of his teammates does he make it across with time enough to assure a Real World victory. And the team effort doesn't stop there, folks; the other Real Worlders don't even laugh at Dan when he bursts into tears and starts hugging everyone in sight!
So, the Real World team is ten grand richer, and Dan, even though he was the weak link in the bunch, gets the MVP award. I suppose he won just for finishing the darn challenge. Susie, however, has learned a lesson about teamwork and priorities from her tough, tough teammates. "This isn't about me," the newly repentant young lady says, "this isn't about ten thousand Monster.com dollars." She claims that her team was actually the more successful one. Oui, mademoiselle, but who has the larger prize so far?
Who's Topless: If you're into wet t-shirt contests, this episode may provide some fantasy fodder. Otherwise, James is the only one to go sans chemise, however, and only at the very end of the episode.
Who Cries? Susie cries through the whole course out of sheer exhaustion, and then Dan is a regular Baby Weeps-a-lot as soon as he's across the finish line.
Best Quote: Susie sums it up perfectly, "I want this to be over."
Most Annoying: As soon as Susie gets tired, she just flops over like a rag doll. That's pretty darn annoying.
Coming In Two Weeks: Is Julie a cheat? Is Emily a hothead?
Coming soon: Catfight 2001!