There are certain actions so egregious that one cannot ever adequately atone for having participated in them. This assortment of garbage behavior runs the gamut, from eating the very last bakery cookie – the one I was saving to nibble while watching Southern Charm, though I swear this is a purely fictitious example and I didn’t recently go ape-shit on anyone – to locking children in cages, right here on U.S. soil. Yes, there is a wide range of misdeeds on the YOU ARE NOT MISTAKEN; I REALLY AM THIS DISGRACEFUL OF A HUMAN BEING list, and somewhere smack in the middle of said list is the choice to willfully hock a gigantic loogie onto someone’s head from a balcony.
I am not a violent person, unless you count the words I sometimes wield instead of razor blades, but being spit on in front of a crowd and a fleet of cameras would probably cause me to yank that person’s vocal cords straight out of her neck and then strangle her with them while I danced a fucking jig. There is maybe nothing more intentionally vile than spitting on someone, and I don’t care if the spitter feels justified and I don’t care if the spitee is clinically unbalanced and I really don’t care if the guy holding the spitter back is experiencing some rock hardness in his nether regions. (I figure if a chick grabbing him by his hair in a bout of fury turns him on, someone engaging in a bit of phlegm rain must make him ready to blow.) But see, none of that matters. What does matter here is that these people are technically adults and one of them has a child and this footage will exist forever and yet the only thing I see any of them doing once this televised horror experiment ends is quickly sign up for the very next reality show that crawls their way. They will have learned nothing, and their total commitment to being this brazenly unrepentant makes me wonder if perhaps a new biosphere is being constructed somewhere because I really need a break from this insanity. Can a biosphere be built on Mars? And can someone politely ask Elon Musk to stop fantasizing about his very own candy company and start building that subterranean fucker, because I hereby vow to be the first inhabitant. I have very few requirements for my participation, but included in my rider is the need for frozen Twix bars and – just to be safe – I’d prefer my biosphere to not have a balcony.
Since I haven’t yet secured my passport for interstellar travel, I have some time to let you know what happens after Taylor’s saliva lands splat on Alicia’s forehead. Suffice it to say, Alicia behaves differently than you or I would. There is no skin washing or torching of Taylor’s valuables; instead, Alicia nonsensically pulls up her shirt and pulls down her pants while pointing at a girl who isn’t even standing there anymore because that girl is in a bed with Cory who makes it known to us that Taylor’s behavior was unbecoming of a potential stepmother, but he doesn’t say any of that to her and instead caresses her ass cheek and muses about why Cameron needs to be eliminated at the next ceremony. The most shocking thing about any of this is that Cameron knows he’s being targeted and could be voted off that island of insanity and he is disappointed. As there is no reasoning to be done here, let’s shift our focus to Paulie and Lexi. They are so happy to be together and Paulie tells us the two of them can clear any obstacle that comes their way. It’s a statement I find rather perplexing in light of the fact that a slew of recent articles have been written about the shame Paulie feels for cheating on his very beloved girlfriend – and that girlfriend’s name is not Lexi. Count yourself lucky, sister, and move on forever.
Then we have Victoria. Oh, Victoria. This girl is still scheming to figure out a way to get Chase – a walking hormone – to basically sigh and say, “Fine. I’ll bang you.” Nothing she’s tried thus far has worked, so she brings the Love Experts, Cory and Taylor, in to strategize. Cory suggests getting him drunk and then sauntering over to him wearing a short dress and no underwear. Girl. Girl. You should never have to work this hard to get some guy to fuck you. And yes, I feel like that advice is the sort of thing one would find inside of a fortune cookie and maybe Confucius himself once uttered those words to a pathetic person long ago, but even if he didn’t, it’s really best for Victoria’s dying dignity to cut Chase loose before her insides start decaying. Something tells me that house already smells putrid, and decaying dignity would probably just make the scent worse.
In other parts of the villa, Cameron asks Shanley if they can talk about the argument they had caused by his slut shaming of Taylor. Their conversation is brief, concise, conducted at a proper decibel, and does not conclude with anyone getting hit in the face by an unwanted bodily fluid. In short, if MTV put this scene on a loop and declared it their next series, I’d watch it every hour on the fucking hour. Unfortunately, that series doesn’t yet exist – and it never will – so we must instead head into the elimination ceremony. The targets this week seem to be Charles (because he’s “weird”), Cameron (because he called a spitter “easy”) and Humanity in General (because I like to call it like I see it). Before the votes are read, Romeo – wearing a shirt that defies comprehension, so I’m just gonna assume he lost a bet somewhere along the way and this outfit is his punishment – asks both Alicia and Taylor if they have any regrets about what went down. Shocking absolutely nobody, each woman says no. And that’s when Romeo utters a sentence of such fucking horseshit that I am quite sure someone should immediately drive to my house and hand me an award simply because I refrained from throwing my laptop clear across the room.
“Remember the reason you’re here,” Romeo says solemnly, “You’re here to find love.”
“Amen,” mutters Faith – so someone please fashion her a crown worthy of the Queen of the Idiots.
We’ll get back to the elimination in just a moment, but let’s talk honestly here, shall we? This is not a show about finding love. If it were, exes wouldn’t be dragged out of the sea in an effort to shock and the cast wouldn’t be populated by people who have already appeared on other MTV dating shows and will soon turn up on another. If this show was really about love, casting agents wouldn’t run after people like Angela, an alleged human being who has beaten up more people than I’ve shaken hands with, and the show wouldn’t include as part of its construct a voiceover that does nothing but make fun of its participants. So spare me the romance angle here, okay? Just tell me which fortunate person is leaving the villa and will not be heard from until the next season of The Challenge starts.
We find out that both Charles and Cameron have three cut votes, so now there’s a tie. It will be the exes who determine which guy stays and they unanimously vote to keep Cameron, so adios, Charles! You can pick up your fig leaf on the way to the shore.
Back at the house, Angela is questioning her emotions. Allow me to analyze you, dear. You are feeling both bored and desperate – that’s all – but go on ahead and deal with it the way you always do, by getting hammered and falling back into a pretend romance with a dipshit. Derrick is the dipshit du jour, and the moron is still smitten. He will finally get his chance to get super close to his volcanic ex since the house decides to engage in a very cerebral game of Dare Or Double Dare. The whole thing is Victoria’s idea and my guess is she’s planning to tell Chase that his Double Dare is that he has to fuck her, but before she can bring forth the romance, Cameron’s face is covered in Reddi Whip and Shanley licks it off. Joe is the next person to be applied with food – this time it’s jam because Faith is allergic to whipped cream, chocolate, and common sense – and she goes ahead and licks it off the guy and when Joe stands up, he needs a black box from an editor to cover his hard dick because nothing says hot like having a condiment licked off you in front of a crowd. Then it’s Derrick’s turn and the guy sprawls across the table in a second flat before Angela straddles him and drags her tongue across his body like he really is a Snickers bar. The entire display is so tummy-turning that I finally feel like my love for all things chocolate has been tarnished forever.
“What Tor’i doesn’t know won’t hurt him,” Angela states to a motherfucking camera because she’s 1) really stupid and 2) was clearly dropped on this planet straight from the underworld only to provide sound bites on reality shows.
Looks like the game worked. As Cameron so romantically phrases it, he finally “put the hot dog into the bun.” For those unfamiliar with the language of Douchebag, that means he had sex with Shanley. Also “releasing some tension” are Jasmine and Marco and Joe and Faith. And now that everyone – except Chris – has been properly laid, the producers of this show (who really just want these people to find forever love) allow them to engage in an afternoon of fun before intentionally destroying whatever temporary peace has covered the villa like a salve covers a herpes sore. The house throws a pool party that includes lots of alcohol and Chris inhaling helium to say “Gucci” with a Munchkin voice because we haven’t already been tortured enough. That’s about the moment every single person who has already been eliminated from this shit show comes back for more. What are their motivations, you ask? Well, motivations 1-537 are for another shot at faux fame, but motivation 538 varies depending on which person you’re talking about. Chelsko and Hayley are back to ruin Chris’ life. Tor’i is here to be with his girl, the one who would never do anything unseemly in his absence like lick dairy products off her ex in front of a row of cameras. Skyler would like to find out where she and Chase went wrong, and maybe she’ll stay sober long enough to have that conversation. And the clear motivation of the creators of this show is to make every single person who is participating feel as shitty as possible, so mission accomplished, you guys! There’s not a doubt in my mind that, upon your eventual arrival in Hell, you will be anointed royalty for the dastardly misdeeds you once did with a smile.
So here’s what you need to know about the arrivals:
· Tor’i enters the pool area flexing.
· Angela leaps into his arms like the two are finally being reunited after a mass genocide wiped the planet clean and each walked sixteen million miles of dusty apocalyptic terrain to find one another again.
· Cory announces Angela was a very faithful girl in Tor’i’s absence and leaves out last night’s public licking.
· Victoria sees Skyler, is worried her appearance will cause Chase to be even less into her – as though that’s even possible – and pulls him away to discuss it, whereupon he first stares at her blankly and then agrees to do “whatever” with her, at least for the rest of the day.
· June high-fives Faith and saves his energy to give bear hugs to all the guys.
At some point, Derrick thinks it wise to lead Tor’i away and tell him that last night he and Angela engaged in a wee bit of flirting, but nothing else went down. He leaves words like “licking,” “straddling,” and “substantial erection” out of his explanation, announces Angela has made it clear she’s fully into Tor’i, and swears to keep his distance from the two of them going forward, but Tor’i is still concerned. Um, yeah, dude. You’re “dating” a lunatic who needs attention more than fucking oxygen! You should be very concerned.
Though he’s been attempting to steer clear of his former two girlfriends who have recently become allies, Chris is eventually asked to join them so the girls can receive closure. Personally, I think all Chris should say to Chelsko is he cut her because of the clunky white shoes she’s currently wearing with her bikini, but he doesn’t say that and the entire conversation goes south quickly and ends with the DJ storming away while the girls console one another and suck on ring pops. And no, that’s not a euphemism for anything – these chicks are both wearing ring pops.
Also: Hayley explains to the cameras that she’s not sure where things with Chris stand. Did he not cut her and smile as she crawled back into the waves? Did he not look annoyed when she reappeared? Did he not just stalk away from her and leave her like a piece of trash in the grass? Yeah, I’m thinking it’s time to admit that you know full well where things stand, Hayley. Here: I’ll make you feel better. The guy is a self-proclaimed international DJ who shouts the word “Gucci” and is a humungous tool. Feeling closure yet?
In other news, Andre and Joe are bonding, Skyler reveals Chase left a note in her suitcase proclaiming his love for her, Chelsko is still wearing her ring pop, and the elevator rises into the living room carrying Romeo. He has some news! There will be a crush ceremony coming up where anyone can declare affection for someone else and maybe that person will crush right back and maybe that will not happen, but before any of that can transpire, the housemates should prepare for multiple calls to the Shack of Secrets. Angela knows there will undoubtedly be footage of her cavorting with Derrick, so she takes Tor’i aside to explain. He doesn’t trust her, but the way she fights with him turns him on and I think it’s clear that these two people deserve one another. But if I can put in a quick request to whomever runs the Shack of Secrets thing, can a sterilization procedure occur down there? Because if these two psychos breed, the world will be far shittier than it already is, and writing that sentence this week actually means something.
Nell Kalter teaches Film and Media at a school in New York. She is the author of the books THAT YEAR and STUDENT, both available on amazon.com in paperback and for your Kindle. Her Twitter is @nell_kalter