Here's Stefen on this week's Fresh Meat 2. Make sure to share your nominees for the various awards in the comments, too:
We’re going to keep this week’s recap short. Since we’re getting pretty close to the end, I thought it would be a good time to hand out some late season awards. You’ll see them at the bottom of this post. Now to the episode…
Early in the episode, Landon realizes he’s kind of on his own, and tries to politick with Kenny. This does not go well. Landon’s a great competitor, but he just doesn’t have the internal shadiness needed to play this part of the game.
The Challenge is called “wrecking ball,” where the guy members of the team build a rock puzzle in the middle of a circular playing field. The female team member hangs upside down from a rope, but when they are lying still, they are in the way of the puzzle. So you have to build the puzzle, while spinning your partner around so they don’t careen into the puzzle while it’s being built.
Noor ends up flying through this challenge and notches him and Jenn’s first win. Only other real highlights of this challenge were that Theresa smashed into the rocks about seven times, and Jill puked.
After the deliberation, it’s Ev/Luke against Landon/Carley in the exile. There’s a weird wrinkle in this one though… the exile is right after deliberation. Exiles are hard enough. Throw in it being cold and pitch black and this could be ridiculous.
The exile is “Weight On Me” – where there’s a pole on your shoulders with buckets on either end filled with weights. Landon/Carley did this one before, but when they did it, it was 100 pounds to distribute. This time it’s 150. Much more difficult, and they have to use flashlights attached to their crotches to see anything. (Actually, I kind of like that part.)
During exile both teams are struggling, as the weight and blindness is overwhelming. The teams stay close, and at the second puzzle Carley is literally dying and can’t even concentrate on what’s going on. Landon does the puzzle himself and tries to convince Carley to come, but she is absolutely lost and delirious. I must say, it was pretty surreal to watch.
(I think this is a good time to say… how extensive do you think those waivers are that the MTV producers make these people sign before going on the show? It has to be like 100 pages right? It seems like every season someone is minutes away from death. Enjoy this show while you can… you may see a Challenge contestant death in the next five years. It might be from an overdose at a nightclub in Miami, but still).
Carley can’t carry any weight, meaning Landon has to carry ALL the weight the rest of the way. Carley is still collapsing and literally useless at this point.
They get to the third puzzle and Carley is still lost in her own mind. The third puzzle involves you moving a marble through a maze. If you can’t finish, you can get five minutes added to your final time. Ev/Luke catch up to Carley/Landon and Ev decides to just skip the puzzle and take the five minute penalty, which Luke doesn’t agree with. Landon/Carley finish the puzzle, which means if they stay within five minutes of Ev/Luke, they’ll win. Ev/Luke finish first, so the countdown begins. It comes down to the wire and all of a sudden we get the “To be Continued…” screen.
I can’t tell you how many profanities I yelled at the TV when this happened, but it was definitely in the double digits.
And now, on to the Challenge awards.
The “Gone too soon” Award – Cara Maria
Theresa may have gotten all the buzz, but I always thought Cara Maria had potential for best looking girl in the house. She was also a decent athlete, and it seemed like the team of her and Darrell had a realistic chance to win the whole thing.
All that doesn’t win her the award though. The reason I felt she was gone too soon is the fact that it came out in the MTV “After Show” that she’s a dominatrix. In a season that was fairly light on scandalous hooking up, she would have brought an element to the house that could have potentially taken this season to another level. Some things in life just aren’t fair.
Most Entertaining – Luke
There’s a lot to like about Luke. He provides me with an endless supply of Half Baked-like jokes. He’s a hippie. He’s gotten naked more than any other castmate (by far). He’s straight and kissed Ryan. He’s actually a half-decent competitor. Everytime he came on screen I laughed. Just an all-around good performance by him.
Best Newcomer – Noor
Anyone who reads this blog knows how I feel about Noor. He’s one of the best athletes on the show, and he’s always good for one great one-liner per episode. Unfortunately for him, he drew a terrible partner in Jenn, but his Challenge win this week secured him the award. He looks to be a Challenge lifer.
Most Disappointing Performance – Ev
Normally Ev is the lovable underdog. She’s an incredible athlete, who plays the game “the right way” (whatever that means), and fights against the bullies. In this Challenge, she was the bully, only it backfired in her face when her alliance crumbled. I would have even tolerated all of that if she still brought it in Challenges, but she was terrible there too. She didn’t win any Challenges and her performances ranged from throwing them, to complaining about having to go first, to blaming Luke for every one they lost. And she didn’t even throw herself at a straight girl to give us off-the-field entertainment. An all-around terrible showing by her.
Most Surprising Performance – Paula
When Paula comes on these shows, there are certain things you expect. You expect her to try to hook up with any eligible guy there is. You expect her to get embarrassingly drunk on a regular basis. You expect her to have a few hilarious confessionals. You expect her to have a couple of crying meltdowns. And you expect her to go home with no money.
What you don’t expect is for her to compete incredibly well. Her exile performance was fantastic, and if it wasn’t for her waste of a partner Jeff, she would’ve beat Ev/Luke and could’ve made some noise this season.
It’s really a shame. Luckily, the chances of seeing her on another Challenge are about as good as if the sun will come up in the morning.
MVCM (Most Valuable Cast Member), Female – Laurel
I never thought this award would go to a rookie, but Laurel has more than proven herself this season. She’s a giant, competes like a Division-1 athlete (which she was in college), and far outplayed every other female on the show. Throw in the fact that she’s still prone to the drunken blackout - coupled with making out with girls, eating terrible food, and getting drawn on – and it’s easy to see that we have a Challenge all-star in the making.
I think it’s safe to say that Darrell’s first pick of Cara Marie over Laurel was the equivalent of the Portland Trailblazers taking Greg Oden over Kevin Durant in the NBA Draft (oh wait, sports analogies don’t work here? Hmmmmmmm. How about this? It’s like watching the first episode of Jersey Shore, and thinking Angelique was going to be a better character than Snooki. Does that work?) (Note from SKK: Any Oregon references work here, as far as I'm concerned, sports or not. But that might just be me.)
MVCM, Male – Kenny
Frequent commenter BOFF touched on this phenomenon a little bit in the last post, and I’m going to expound upon it now. I was never a fan of Mr. Beautiful before this season. He seemed like he was able to just ride his alliance to the final, without ever seeing an elimination challenge. His crew, which included Evan and Johnny Bananas, ran these games and were such unredeemable human beings that I found myself loathing him and everything he stood for.
MTV purposely revolved this season around the “Wes vs. Kenny” plotline, stripping Kenny of his close friends, and seeing if he could control a game without them. He stepped up to the challenge (no pun intended). He dominated the challenges to save himself from the exile, and wrestled control of the game away from Wes, when it seemed like there was no way he’d make it to the end. His performance proves that it actually takes skill to win these things (that skill might revolve around not having a real life job, devoting your life to back-stabbing people, and going through Barry Bonds-like “routines” a few months before each Challenge, but still…).
Kenny played this game perfectly. I’m actually (gasp) impressed. I never thought I’d write that last sentence about Kenny.
(Photo courtesy of MTV)