7/12 recap: "Kickin' It Tenth-Grade Style"
Did anyone here ever see “Congo”? That so-bad-its-funny gorilla movie? I remember it being so horrible that by halfway through, I was almost rooting for the gorilla to win, except that it was so obviously a dude in a bad gorilla suit that I couldn’t root for it, either.
That’s kind of how I felt watching this week’s Average Joe. It was just so over-the-top I couldn’t feel sorry for anyone. I was rooting for them all to be torn apart by savage, molting gorillas.
Last week on Average Joe, of course, we saw the seven hunks slooooowly approaching the mansion/yacht/beach/general area of the show. Luckily for them, they managed to arrive right before the show ended, leaving us with an ominous look at glowering hunks and nervous Joes (and a gleeful Anna).
A Little Dante Goes a Long Way
That makes this week’s episode the one where the hunkholes move in and attack. We pick up the action after the Joes get back to the mansion that night, but before the hunks get there. Arthur is concerned that the hunks were already making eyes at Anna – although, why wouldn’t they? That is, after all, what they came for.
Dante keeps saying hysterically that he warned them, and now the hunks are upon them and they have no strategy. The other Joes decide that now the threat is real, they’re willing to develop some sort of game plan, and Gino wants to elect a team leader. As if that weren’t too much like he’d been possessed by Human Resources aliens, Arthur then says they’re ALL leaders. Oh dear, are they going to have a group hug?
Maybe. Because they decide, despite all of them being leaders, to make Dante the official Biggest Leader. Obviously this not the choice of men who have decided they come in peace.
Dante is more than willing to be the “crazy guy.” Jason says he has no problem with it either. “I’ll tell them you’re crazy all day long,” he says. That wouldn’t even be stretching the truth. With their leadership in place, the Joes psych themselves up – which consists of Gino yelling “We gonna let them take us down?! NO!”
They finish this exercise just in time – the hunks arrive, and Dante pounces, greeting them frenetically. Undissuaded by being accosted by a maniac, the hunks slither into the house. Despite Arthur’s attempts to divert them toward some unused bedrooms, the hunks home in on the Joes’ rooms and claim them as their own by tossing everything the Joes own out onto a patio. Gee, you think they were coached to do that?
Through most of this, Clay watches passively, and Nathan points out they missed a shoe. But Dante, as is his job as Team Leader, gets irked. He starts hollering about personal property like Judge Judy is watching, and pushes his way back into his own room.
Also, during this time Josh suddenly gets a LOT of airtime narrating the events. And I honest to god thought he was one of the hunks at first (he didn’t have his glasses on). Boy might be short, but he’s a cutie.
Methinks He Doth Protest Too Much
Now, the ringleader in most of the room-denuding has been a hunk by the name of Carson. (Actually, that’s his last name, but that’s what everyone calls him, so I’m going with it.) With commendable speed, Carson defined himself as the hole-iest of the hunkholes. I get the feeling that Carson, along with his sidemonkey Michael, are the type of people who, when given a little bit of power over someone, immediately and consistently take it too far. They’re the kind of people who, if cops or soldiers, abuse prisoners. So I’m guessing the producers said to the hunks, “Hey, go mess with these Joes’ heads a little, throw their stuff out, create some conflict.” And Carson and Michael heard, “You have free reign to be the biggest ass you are capable of being.”
Fortunately for dramatic purposes, the side effect of being a total asshat of a person is that you often have deep-seated insecurities and no sense of humor. Such is true of Carson.
See, the hunks have challenged Dante to try to remove their stuff from his room. Dante winds up nose-to-nose with Carsonhole. Dante’s solution to such a standoff is to do something unexpected, he says. In this case, he leans over and gives Carson a quick peck on the lips. I have to say, that was hilarious. It almost made up for Dante’s foot-funk last week.
True to the side-effects-of-asshatness formula, Carson wigs out. He’s so pissed he stomps around growling impotently (yeah, Carson, I said your name and “impotent” in the same sentence.) and punching walls. Meanwhile, his flunky Mike says the kiss maneuver was disgusting and that he’d rather be head-butted. Neither homophobic assclown seems to realize their reaction was exactly what Dante was trying to provoke.
Eventually, Carson enters the room where Dante’s playing pool, and inexplicably, Dante apologizes. Dammit, why? He had the upper hand, he should have held his ground. After all it’s not like Carson, gorilla that he is, is going to forgive him. Carson snarls that if this weren’t on TV, the outcome would have been different. I guess he’s threatening that he’d have beaten Dante to a bloody pulp. Carson continues to whine about how when “some fat @#$# gets in my face and tries to stick his tongue down my throat…” and then some more yammering that I didn’t bother to write down. Like I said, Carson obviously doesn’t get it.
By this point, the Joes are a bit nervous about having unleashed the crazy man. Art says they’re gonna have a war on their hands, and if it’s this bad now, a few hours into it, imagine what it’ll be like later. Poor Nathan just whimpers that he doesn’t want to live in a war zone.
Rasslin’ and Hasslin’
Despite all this, there is no footage showing us where everyone winds up sleeping. Instead, we zoom straight to the next day, when it’s time for yet more personification of every geek-vs-jock stereotype. Yes, folks, we’re going back to high school. In a limited, Hollywood-set sort of way, of course. That’s about the only way you could drag ME back to high school.
Josh, still looking hot, says it’s ok, the Joes have all had to deal with the Carson-type meatheads back in the dizzay. From his calm demeanor, I guess Josh experienced only a minimal amount of swirlies, wedgies and taunts about his clarinet. In other words, he wasn’t in school with a Carson, who laughs nastily that while high school was fun for him, he can imagine that it wasn’t for the Joes. Show of hands – who ISN’T surprised that Carson enjoyed high school? Yeah, me neither. I’m guessing that’s about when he peaked.
First period – oh, ha ha, they’re so witty with that – is wrestling, and the Joes and the hunkholes line up in unflattering-to-all wrestling skivvies. Anna prances in wearing a schoolgirl outfit that must have come from www. dirtyskoolgrrrls .com or similar – she looks sluttier than Britney Spears. Ok, maybe that’s more of a draw.
The Joes are prepared to be thoroughly humiliated in the wrestling challenge. But they don’t completely suck. Jason, who weighs all of 98 pounds soaking wet, actually wins his match against a burlier hunk.
As Josh says, that gives the Joes hope. But, alas, not skill. Josh loses as well, as does Arthur – who takes heart in the fact that he wasn’t pinned immediately. And then finally, of course, it’s Dante versus Carson. Who saw that coming?
Dante stares Carson down and tries to shake his hand, but Carson angrily bats it away like it’s a gay pride sticker. Dante, in a confessional, gets all emotional about this match, saying that Dante is everyone who’s ever picked on him, that he just wants to show people he’s a good person, and that all his life, he’s never felt love. And then he cries. I’m not exaggerating for emotional effect here, people. The pathos is real. Well, I mean, as real as it gets on a scripted reality show full of wannabe actors. You know what I mean.
Anyhoo, Dante and Carson roll around on the mat for a bit, but Carson wins. For whatever reason, Carson is still pissed. I’m betting Carson has only a few moods – pissed, getting ready to be pissed, slightly pissed, and plotting to steal little kids’ lunch money. I’m thinking that’s his entire range.
Sloppy Joes, Smarmy Hunks
It’s time for the second challenge, this time in the cafeteria. Anna is now wearing a tiny pink outfit that looks like it came from an establishment featuring “live girls nightly!”. The contest will be to see which team can eat more sloppy joes in five minutes.
The Joes look like they can’t believe their luck. An eating contest! They can do this! They can eat! The hunks, however, look ill at the prospect of touching processed food. One whines that they’re all on strict protein diets. Oh, cry me a river, muscle boy. Anyone that can’t appreciate a good sloppy joe is way too far up his own ass for my liking.
Nathan proudly says he can eat six sloppy joes in one minute, but is afraid Anna will think he’s gross. However, the Joes launch into the contest with enthusiasm, stuffing sloppy joes into their mouths as fast as they can. (Poor Igor! Finally, a contest that would have been right up his alley, and he’s gone.)
The hunks are watching, waiting their turn. But Carsonhole decides the Joes look like pigs shoving food into their mouths, so he spreads a new strategy among the hunks. When their turn comes, not a single one of them touches the food – they just stand up and applaud. Yeah, I know that was probably a producer’s idea, but it was still poor sportsmanship on someone’s part. Or at least the appearance of it. Anyway, the Joes’ victory is now tainted. Tainted like a white shirt with sloppy joe mix on it.
If You Can Dodge A Cliché, You Can Dodge a Ball
Completely randomly and shockingly, the score is now Joes 1, Hunks 1. The tiebreaker will be dodgeball. It is clear the producers saw the movie and loved it so much they decided to use it over and over again in this show. I mean, did dodgeball factor into the earlier seasons at all? It does help that the show’s title, “Average Joe”, makes it so easy to bring “Dodgeball” into the mix. I’m just surprised they didn’t put the hunks in matching purple-and-black outfits and make them do the Cobra on their way into the gym.
In the locker room, it’s “Dodgeball” meets “Old School” as the Joes pep each other up encouragingly. I just hope no one decides to go streaking. As one Joe says, the veteran Joes “trained” them in dodgeball, so there’s no way they’ll lose. Ok, A, “threw balls at for 10 minutes” does not equal “trained.” And B, you know any display of confidence is the kiss of death in reality TV.
Meanwhile, in the jocks’ locker room, the muscular morons are doing push-ups off anything that will stand still. Carson says that you can’t beat the feeling of beaning someone in the head with a ball at 30 miles an hour. And there you have it – Carson summed up in one sentence.
Out in the gym, Anna – now wearing a skimpy referee outfit – decrees that despite the two teams wearing different colored shirts already, the game will be shirts and skins. Naturally, the jocks will be the skins.
And let the games begin! Since this is not a movie, but is instead “reality,” you all know what’s going to happen. The Joes go down in flames. Clay has some good shots but even he falls writhing to the floor eventually. Not only do the Average Joes lose, no one even wins enough money gambling to buy a gym.
Anna says it was a slaughter. Rushing quickly through her “aw, too bad, guys” look, she says that since the hunks won the “This Was Your High School Experience” challenge, one of them gets to go on a date with her. She chooses Rocky, who is both the best-looking of the muscled ones, and not one of the uber-asshats, so far. Anna claims it was this latter quality that won her over, because he was polite during the wrestling. Rocky tells us the date is a huge deal and a chance to show his true self.
Bedazzled and Befuddled
The date takes place on Anna’s yacht. As she and Rocky sit and chat, she tells us she feels shy and giddy, because he’s “just so beautiful.”
But she does have enough brain cells left to realize the things he’s saying aren’t the things she wants to hear. Rocky says he’s a dreamer and a hopeless romantic, and while Anna earlier characterized herself in similar terms, she’s looking for a bit more get-up-and-go in a man. She wants someone who has plans, and says it’s risky to fall for Rocky.
None of this, however, precludes her from readily agreeing to join the dreamer in the hot tub. There, they drink champagne while Anna drools some more. “When he looks into my eyes, it’s like he’s looking into my soul,” she says. Yes, she really said that. I’m surprised a model/welder would come out with something so insipid, but then again, I’m not.
After about 2.3 seconds of champagne, Rocky smoothly takes Anna’s glass away and slides in for the kiss. What am I saying – THE kiss? No, honey. The tongue. And I ain’t talking church tongue, my babies. Things get hot and heavy. Still plummeting in my estimation, Anna coos that she was “powerless” and that no girl would turn that down. Honey, get a grip on yourself! We’ve all made out with hot guys, but that’s no reason to lose your head completely.
Fortunately she has sense enough – or regains it later – to recognize that that kind of passion – i.e. “purely physical” – is dangerous and just might not form the basis for a lasting relationship. Unlike reality-show dating, for example.
All this, by the way, is juxtaposed with scenes of some Joes in their own pool, which is notable in its lack of bubbles, champagne, and the girl. They think it’s unfair a jock got the one-on-one date, since they were here first and some of them still haven’t been on a date. And Arthur thinks Rocky will come home smitten.
Why Does No One Ever Want To Be Goose?
The next day – or sometime – it appears the hunkholes got their own group date with Anna. Unlike the poor Joes, relegated to Sea World and Dante’s Foot Funk O’ Death, the hunks get beach volleyball. They’re quick to draw the inevitable “Top Gun” connections; Rocky says he wanted to be Maverick since he first saw that movie. Now, he’s 24, and Top Gun came out in, what, 1986 or something? So he’s wanted to be Maverick since he was … 5? 6? Oh god, I’ve done the math and the boy was born in 1981! I remember 1981. *sob*
Anna takes some time to talk to each hunk. Several of these conversations reveal just how vapid the muscled ones are. There’s a lot of “I bartend/wait tables/model” going around. However, someone scores points for having traveled and for visiting Prague. And Anna displays commendable insight in being irked at Carson’s “tough guy” routine.
Josh, the hunk Josh, is from Las Vegas and it turns out he and Anna have a lot of friends in common. Does anyone else wish they’d just met that way and saved us all this trouble? Yeah, me too. Josh wins the one-on-one date.
Again, this date is on the yacht. Josh arrives and he and Anna giggle over how they’re both wearing pink. Shoot me. She also notices that he orders a Shirley Temple – he doesn’t drink. Josh says he quit drinking about 8 months ago and feels great. Anna feels guilty at having assumed he’s a typical partying Las Vegasian. Or whatever people from Vegas or called. Las Vegan?
They further bond over a shared love of ballet – which Josh may regret admitting on television. He says she’s incredible; they share a kiss, although not of the “I’m trying to suck your soul out through your mouth” variety.
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling
Back at the house, dinner with the Joes and the hunks at the same table is about to take a nasty turn, and I’m not talking salmonella here. I’m talking about Carson. Carson declares that Anna is a fake who is just on the show to further her career (unlike who, Carson?).
Arthur says maybe Anna just didn’t like Carson – which could easily be true, as I doubt Carson’s own mama likes him. Remember, Arthur is apparently head over heels for Anna – he gave her his dice and everything – so he’s irked at the lack of respect Carson and his monkey Michael are showing for Anna.
“Don’t rain on my parade,” Arthur says. “Just because you’re not capable of seeing the beauty of Anna doesn’t mean I can’t.” I wonder if Arthur would say the same thing had he known how much of the “beauty of Anna” that Rocky saw earlier?
Under the guise of trying to be his friend and help him see the light, Carson and Michael gang up on Arthur, relentlessly pounding into him the idea that Anna would never truly go for a guy like him and that she’s only pretending to further her career. Carson says there are girls who will “respect you guys for the way you are.” Wanna take bets he didn’t mean “respect you guys for how smart and nice you are”?
Under the onslaught, Arthur crumples. He begins to doubt Anna’s sincerity, and is embarrassed that he opened up and shared things with her. He doesn’t want to be the brunt of a joke. (say it with me, people: WHY is he on this show?)
Nah, it really is kind of sad to watch Tweedledee and Tweedledum tear Arthur down like that. Other hunks, however, swoop in to try to boost him up. One says that Carson is a predator and goes after people, which is a spot-on assessment.
Also, at some point, Josh (who I guess is going to have to be called Joe-Josh, which is only one step away from “goodnight, John Boy”) notes that the real love-match seems to be between Carson and Michael. The happy couple is shown frolicking in the pool together, playing in the house together, and happily giving noogies in warm companionship for hours. I really hope Carson watched this episode in a bar with all his friends.
Back to sad little Arthur, he looks like shit. But he’s starting to rally – the encouragement of everyone except Car-michael has helped change his mind again. Clay points out that they, the Joes, know Anna better than Carmichael do, and Arthur decides he’s back in the game. He wants to go back to being on cloud nine.
Carson and Michael, Sitting In a Tree
Finally, it’s elimination time. Anna must send off two Joes and two hunks. Those of you praying for Carson’s departure obviously are not wise to the ways of reality shows, in which everyone who creates drama gets to stay for at least two episodes.
And the eliminations are:
Michael: He says he got what he wanted (Carson’s love child) and that Anna does nothing for him. He departs with a hope that Carson doesn’t win either, because “she might end up tagging along or something with us.” Heaven forbid.
Jason: He’s surprised, but he’s the only one. He’s 22 and never got a one-on-one date.
Greg: A spiky-haired hunk. Anna says he was wonderful and a sweetheart, just not wonderful enough to keep. He’s surprised, and says it’s a shock to his ego that based on what he looks like, he’s not her type. WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF 99 PERCENT OF THE POPULATION, GREG.
Dante: It’s about time. Anna says he’s a “beautiful person” (on the inside, presumably) and Dante isn’t particularly surprised. He says he proved that he can stand up for himself and say what he feels, and he doesn’t mind going.
Wouldn’t Soap Work Just As Well?
Particularly since Dante is the makeover. His life coach tells him he’s dying for attention. “You’re overwhelming. You smell. How does that make you feel?” she asks. “Sad,” Dante replies.
Some … I don’t know, body-odor experts, or something, show Dante a six-part body treatment to deal with his odor issues. Six parts? I mean, did they chop the soap into six pieces?
Dante also gets a hair cut and a back waxing, as well as some serious dental work. At his first glimpse of Dante’s gappy teeth, the dentist declares it impossible. But after 8 hours in the chair and 19 veneers, the teeth are fixed.
Add all that to some contacts and a tan, and Dante does look a bit better, although largely the same.
The guys go out on the town, not realizing that this is a set-up. Clad in prosthetics, Anna poses as a waitress and catches someone – who looks like a hunk – hooking up with Another Woman in the bar. Will these people never learn? Before you go on a reality show, WATCH THE PREVIOUS SEASONS! And learn how to make fire and drive a stick shift.
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