Mrs Filthy's "Battle of the Seasons" Review


May 6, 2002

Castles in the Sand

The Challenge is finally winding down, darlings, and it's dawning upon the Real Worlders that they might not be the complete losers that everyone (including the Real Worlders themselves) assumed they were. "I thought we'd be cruuuushed," Sean admits in a morale-boosting moment. Now, however, the Real Worlders' expectations are headed for the stratosphere. "Going home with nothing would be blecch!" says Kelley. I guess I can't argue with that, dear hearts!

Lawyer/lumberjack Sean dreams up yet another scheme to split the winnings and avoid general blecchiness. This is odd, because I always thought lawyers, as a rule, were in favor of blecchiness. However, this new system involves each participant choosing a partner on the opposing team to share the spoils; no matter who wins, everyone will go home with something. That something might be an intestinal parasite, but at least no one will be emptyhanded.

As if anyone cared, the contest this week requires the kids to erect towers out of giant foam blocks. The aim is to retrieve the blocks from the ocean and build a monochromatic structure on the sand at least four blocks high; since each block has more than one color (the hues remind me of the polyester pantsuits I wore back when I was a slim-tastic size 18), this takes some skillful rearranging. This tres pre-schoolesque exercise not terribly exciting. As a matter of fact, it's terribly, eye-gougingly dull, but the challenge is apparently tough enough to throw certain cast members for a loop. More on that later, pets.

However, Tim and Emily complete their tower in a jiffy and are thrilled to finally win first place in an event. Emily is excited about the Local Motion prize package, which will allow her to fulfill her surfer girl fantasies, even as it induces selective amnesia; "I've always wanted to be a surfer girl, " she gushes, "and to date a surfer. Wait, I have a boyfriend!" (That boyfriend, my bonbons, is that party-pooper James from the last challenge, I kid you not.) I get the feeling, mes amis, that Timmy is just excited to be winning anything, "When I win things, all sorts of things come flying out my nose. You'll have to excuse my victory snot." Perhaps it's a good thing he's been such a loser during this Challenge!

Sean and Elka could've been the victors, but a simple oversight prevents their tower from being completely color-coordinated. They then must endure the humiliation of clashing, as well as the humiliation of second place. The other Road Rules teams finish next, until only Kelley and Danny and Coral and Mike are left. It appears they still have a long way to go, too. Mike has been bringing block after block in from the water, until he resembles "some sort of sea raccoon," in Coral's words. Even when the remaining Real World towers are finished, they aren't structurally sound, to say the least. "You want me to stand on that?" Kelley asks, before adding "Run away! Run away, Danny!"

Now that the Blockhead challenge is over, with one more game to go, the kids are thinking more and more about the endgame and the final prize. Over a sumptuous Chili's buffet (because where better to eat faux Mexican than Mexico?), the kids pick their partners and discuss Sean's "insurance" plan. No matter how Sean tries to paint a shiny-happy portrait of cooperation, there are some holdouts among the cast. Holly doesn't want to share, because she's so sure she'll win and Jesus wants it that way! Other cast members are still skeptical of the plan, notably Elka, who says she doesn't trust anyone but Sean. Emily approaches Elka to be her partner in the winnings, because "You can't look at Elka and not trust her!" But Elka doesn't feel the same way about herself. "We'll just have to wait and see," she smirks.

Next Week: The Miz, God bless him, makes Holly cry.

Want to tell Mrs. Filthy something?