“A woman would at least be quiet and listen to her men.” —Alton
“There’s a fight in every corner of the house… Where am I?” —Chet
MTV’s fighting policy is weird. There’s zero tolerance for throwing punches, but apparently you get unlimited pushes and shoves, even when someone gets shoved to the ground for no real reason, like Sam was in last night’s episode.
I imagine MTV’s thinking is much like the NHL’s: They don’t want to be seen as condoning fights, but eliminating them completely would take something away from the game. Last night’s episode, in which everyone seemed to be fighting with everyone, showed just how fights and the game are interconnected.
It started at the challenge, called “Abandon Ship,” which seemed to put everyone in a fightin’ mood. Each team had to jump from a ship to release buoys that were tied up underwater. When all four buoys were untied, a raft would inflate, and the teams had to race them to shore. It was simple enough, but MTV threw a slight wrench in the plans by saying that every player had to get at least one buoy. This meant every team’s weak link was exposed, which almost always brings out tension on the teams.
First, St. Thomas, which was already at a disadvantage by having two players, fell to last place when Robb* couldn’t get to the first buoy. Not only was unable to get the buoy, but he and his teammate Marie seemed lost as to how to proceed: He just sort of floated in the water trying to catch his breath. Eventually he got one of the shallower buoys, and Marie got the deepest one, but by then St. Thomas was already pretty far behind.
*I really hate that he spells his name with two Bs…
Meanwhile, on Las Vegas, Trishelle couldn’t get her buoy, which was only ten feet deep, and held her team up. Alton and Dustin, in what is becoming kind of a motif this season, did not react well to her performance. In layman’s terms, they lost their shit, and just screamed at her in the water until Alton eventually got her buoy, accepting a five-minute penalty. As St. Thomas and Las Vegas were paddling to the finish line, both teams were screaming at each other in their rafts.
The other teams didn’t have much trouble with the challenge, though it was obviously hard for teams of two to paddle: Though Cancun actually opened its raft first, San Diego quickly jumped out to a big lead, since it had double the paddling power. Brooklyn also passed Cancun, though Cancun still finished comfortably out of last place.
Las Vegas beat St. Thomas even with the five-minute penalty, but it didn’t really matter: Vegas knew that San Diego would throw them into the Arena anyway. So St. Thomas was going to the Arena against Las Vegas… and then all hell broke loose. It’s not even clear to me how the fight started, but Frank and Nany, who haven’t liked each other all season, started yelling at each other, which led to Nany accusing of Derek of being a bad friend, which made Derek angry, so he somehow pushed Robb, which riled up Marie, who then pushed Derek, but while Derek was falling he knocked over Sam, who stayed down for a while, so when Sam got up she got angry at Marie, who was by then trying to stick up for Nany. Got it? Also, when Trishelle tried to work things out between Frank and Nany, Frank made fun of Nany’s sister’s heroin addiction. You know, because he’s classy like that…
Anyway, it was obvious that the tension from the challenge was still lingering as everyone in the house was at each other’s throats. And the fight only made things worse, especially when Alton, in what is also becoming something of a motif this season, told Trishelle that the “craziness” made him want to give up and go home. Trishelle, not wanting to go into the Arena with a partner who was ready to give up, asked Dustin to volunteer instead, but Dustin, still pissed at Trishelle from her performance in the challenge, refused. So when TJ asked Las Vegas who was volunteering for the Arena, Trishelle didn’t volunteer herself. Nany, to her credit, stepped up and volunteered herself instead, which Dustin thought was the gravest injustice since Scottsboro.
The Arena challenge was Balls Out, the same Endurance challenge featured twice before, and it was surprisingly competitive. Robb and Marie won the first match, but Alton and Nany won the second by one ball. The third match also came down to one ball, but Robb and Marie had the advantage, sending Alton and Nany home. This was great news for Frank—who hated both Alton and Nany—and terrible news for Dustin, who was now stuck with Trishelle. In fact, Dustin was so distraught that he packed his bags and seemed ready to quit, but that’s a story for next week…
Now we sit around the table, eat turkey, and give ranks:
Eliminated: Alton & Nany (Las Vegas)
Alton was not fun to watch this season, but I never really figured out why other people disliked Nany so much.
5) Las Vegas (Dustin/Trishelle) (-3): I’d really liked Dustin for most of the season, but he was really a petulant whiner in last night’s episode.
4) St. Thomas (Robb/Marie) (—): Marie, at least, seemed to forgive Robb his poor challenge performance.
3) Cancun (Derek/Jonna) (+2): A pretty strong challenge performance for this team in its first challenge as a twosome.
2) San Diego (Frank/Zach/Ashley/Sam) (+1): Being one of the last two complete teams is a huge advantage for them.
1) Brooklyn (Chet/JD/Devyn/Sarah) (—): Not only are they one of the only complete teams remaining