Sunday, September 12, 2010

Season 1, Episode 2

Cars and golf and laughter, oh my!


Previously on The Best Damn Show In The Universe: Some stuff, but the "previously on..." segment wasn't on my copy of the episode, and I'm too damn lazy to go back and check when there's a perfectly non-stupid recap of the episode for you to read. (Well, mostly non-stupid.) (Well, partially non-stupid.) (Well...)

Credits. Wow, Josephine almost looks tolerable when she's muted.

Day 3. The teams have journeyed halfway across Tasmania to the town of Ross, which has a big, old-looking church, with a tower and everything. Grant reminds us that James was just eliminated, and that the contestants (walking through the town in slow-motion, as you do when you're in Tasmania) are now contemplating their own mortality, at least in terms of the game. So, naturally, the next challenge will be a high-speed car race around town. Grant tells us that "the race will be along the lines of the Tasmanian Targa Rally." Luckily, while they were down at the police station helping Ben with his speeding fine yesterday, the production crew took advantage of the opportunity to get the roads closed for the challenge.

Grant welcomes the nine remaining players, and tells them to split into three trios, each with "a navigator and two mechanics". Because it's just not hard enough to tell them to divide into three navigators and six mechanics. As the women giggle, one of the men (Rocky, I think) works out that three groups of three makes nine people all up. He's right, you know. As they continue working out how to divide themselves, Grant informs us that this is going to be "a ten thousand dollar relay race against the clock". There are three weird looking cars being used for the race: two from the sixties, and one from the late-nineties. As it turns out, Patrick, Bev, and Linda are the navigators, while everyone else gets to be a mechanic. The three navigators will take a car each, and must complete two laps of the race course. An old guy who looks like Colonel Sanders explains how they'll be using "a set of notes" to get around the course, because you just can't trust your own eyesight, apparently. The drivers have been told to do sweet fuck-all if they're not being directed properly, which makes a nice change from the usual "You Are Ballast" tasks you'd normally get in such a situation. Patrick reiterates to Linda that she has to keep talking. Somehow, I doubt that will be a problem.

The six mechanics -- Josephine and Jan; Rocky and Alan; and Ben and Abby -- will each have to change one of the back wheels when their driver finishes their first lap. Rocky turns out to be the only one who's ever used a trolley jack before, and as such is next seen running down a road for no reason. As the girls try and work out how to use the jack, and as Rocky squats in the middle of the road, Grant tells us that "success in this challenge" will depend on whether they've put the right people in the right roles. Of course, Josephine whines about thinking she'll be completely useless because she doesn't have a car and doesn't drive. Also, she doesn't navigate. I think she'll be completely useless because she IS completely useless. (And: You're not actually navigating, you're just following a set of instructions. If you can't read a set of instructions, go audition for Big Brother instead, and quit wasting our time.)

Patrick's navigating first, and Jan and Josephine will be changing the tyres during the mandatory Pit Stop. Rocky, Patrick, Jan, and Josephine all think the girls should have been one of the later pairs, so that they could see what they had to do. Because, you know, women can't do anything without being shown how first. Like, say, having children. (One wonders what they thought the other nostril was for.) The second car will be guided by Bev, with Rocky and Alan as the Pit Crew. Bev tells everybody she can follow maps, even though she "may not be technical". Linda will be in the last car, while Ben and Abby change its tyres. Grant seems to make special effort to make us notice that Abby is the lightest person in the entire cast. Apparently, they'll learn whether they fucked up in just 35 minutes.

Standing in front of the three cars, as though he's a grid girl, Grant tells everyone once more that the challenge is worth ten grand, and mentions the time limit to them again. Colonel Sanders counts them down, and we are off. Patrick decides to complement his loud directions with some hand movements. You know, I always used to say this show needed more performance art, and then that stupid Underwater Charades game came up, and ruined the concept for me. Grrrr. Grant voices over that the course is three kilometres long, and that they'll have to get "average lap times of three and a half minutes". So, just a teensy bit over 50 kilometres per hour, really, even though Grant seems to think they'll be going at over 140. Patrick's driver seems to be annoyed with how fast he's giving the directions, needing them to be repeated. Grant also adds that the mechanics will only have "four-and-a-half minutes" to change their wheels. His estimates works out to 34-and-a-half minutes in total, so it's nice to see the producers gave them thirty seconds in which to fuck up.

Patrick's first lap takes him eighteen seconds less that Grant thinks it should have. But Jan and Josephine suck as the Pit Crew. Jan at least manages to get her wheel off of the car pretty quickly, as Patrick patiently asks the driver "what else [he'd] do on a Tuesday". Hee! Patrick is one of those people who would sound boring if you were reading about him (how am I making him sound, by the way?), but in real life he seems to be a funny, funny guy. Josephine gets her wheel off, and Jan orders her to "take the one between [Jan's] knees". Huh. What a shame Ben wasn't the one who said that. Grant tells us that putting the replacement wheels on this particular car is going to be hard, because the bolts don't stick out. While Jan sucks it up and deals, Josephine whines that her arms aren't strong enough to lift up the tyre. Jan tells her to use her head, like that's going to be more capable of lifting the tyre up and into the right position than her hands are. Jan gets hers done very quickly, it seems, and goes over to hold the tyre up for Josephine to "put the bolt in". Yes, that's right, Josephine has successfuly managed to whine her way down from "change this tyre" to "put this bolt in". Patrick tells the driver he "strongly suggest[s]" that a nut-tightening will be in order after the challenge is over. Patrick seriously owes me a new keyboard, as well as a glass of Diet Coke. (Fine, it was real Coke, but don't tell the boyfriend, okay?) The extra time Josephine has taken them up to nine minutes and ten seconds, a full minute and ten "behind schedule". Grant assumes that the only place they can make up the time will be in Patrick's second lap. Which is probably fair enough, given that Bev will be the next navigator. He goes, and Jan tries to hug the incompetence out of Josephine. Patrick navigates.

Ben checks to make sure Bev knows what she's doing, and that she can't stop off for a quick game of bingo on the way around.

We learn that the "lap record" is two minutes twenty-six, and that Patrick's second lap took a touch over three minutes. It's not good, but at least they're only about fifty seconds over time at the moment. Bev leaves and Grant tries to convince us that Bev will need to be an even better navigator than Patrick was. Naturally, his voice over finishes just in time for her to fuck up her directions. Soon after, she manages to get them lost. Great map-reader she is. Grant tells us that -- gasp! -- her wrong turn is wasting time.

Commercials. Why am I using a printout to solve an electronic Rubik's cube on my computer? Shouldn't it be the other way around? Or not at all?

Bev is still lost. Her actual directions to the driver to get back onto the right path are, and I quote, "we have to go back". Because, you know, that's so helpful. So the driver reverses slowly down the street. Heh. It turns out that, by the time Bev gets the car back on the course, she's only lost about fifty seconds all up, so it's not as bad as Grant seems to be trying to make it sound. It's still pretty poor, all things considered, but it's not an absolute catastrophe. Yet. Bev eventually somehow flukes her way onto the right track, and her driver speeds off, having to do a donut in an intersection because her navigation skills are that horrible.

With many thanks to the show's editors for not having to put us through the entire rest of the lap, we soon see her arriving back for the wheel change. Rocky and Alan are doing the change. Meanwhile, the driver asks Bev how it was, and she says it was "confusing". Probably should have paid more attention, then. Apparently, these wheels are "much easier to change" than the ones on the first car, which sort of makes you wonder why the only person with any experience is working on this set. Mole! They manage to make up a little bit of time on the change, but they're still almost a minute and a half behind where they should be. So, you know. Go team! She's off again, while Josephine hugs Rocky because he was so much less sucky at the task than she was. Grant tells us Bev's first lap took her "five minutes and twelve seconds" to complete, but the second one is "over a minute quicker". And she's back already. I don't think she got so damn lost this time around.

Linda's off and racing, so to speak, and she, Ben, and Abby have got about ten minutes to get two laps and a wheel change done -- which might be tough, considering it's two minutes faster than even the first group. Abby looks nervous. Flashbacks remind us that Patrick was a good navigator, while Alan and Rocky were good roadies; but do not remind us that Bev and Josephine sucked. Grant tells us everything the final threesome does has to be faster than anything the first two groups had done. It's a good thing Ben's in this group, then, because if anyone in this group knows all about speeding, it's him. Linda has the fastest car, but she's still got to be close to perfect at giving the directions in order for it to be an advantage for them. Just between you and me, I suspect it's not a coincidence that they saved the fastest car for last. Linda's doing a pretty good job navigating, as far as I can tell. Her first lap took three minutes and two seconds, which is the fastest lap so far. Abby and Ben seem to not be doing particularly well with the tyres, causing Jan to order Abby to "use [her] shoulder and [her] forehead". What is it with Jan trying to find other uses for heads? Just because the show is one big mindgame, that doesn't mean you have to use your head for everything. While Linda waits for the mechanics to finish, she snarks that there's "no pressure" to do well on the last lap. Heh. I like Linda. Shame about everything else that's happened since. And just like that, they're done. Linda's got to do her final lap in two and a half minutes to win the ten thousand dollars.

Commercials. Oh, my God. That's who Jan reminds me of: Denise Drysdale!

Linda is having no issues with the navigation at all, and she even manages to do so well the driver gets to a speed of 153 kilometres per hour, thirteen more than Grant had predicted. See what I mean? Ben's in this group, and it's going faster than anyone seems to think it should. Grant implies that fucking up while she's going this fast will result in an unscheduled Pit Stop in a bloody mess on the road. It's perfectly natural, therefore, for Linda to tell the driver to "run over the cameraman" if he needs to. It only took her 2 minutes and 29 seconds to finish the lap -- three seconds less than the course record. Awesome.

After Linda stops and everyone's all sorted out, Grant tells us that "it was close, it was very close", but that they've managed to win the money. Rocky, Abby, Ben, and Jan share a group hug, while Alan watches on in the background. We learn in a voice over that the group won with eighteen seconds to spare, and that they've managed to win "three out of four challenges", and "a total of $25,000" for the kitty.

Night 3. Video Diaries. Ben thinks Bev is the Mole because she couldn't read a set of instructions. Bev tells us she's "going to have a totally miserable time" until everyone else forgets how badly she sucks at map-reading, and that they'll think she's the Mole in the meantime. But if she's not the Mole, wouldn't that work to her advantage? If everyone else thinks she's the Mole, they're not tracking down the real Mole, and Bev can catch some sabotage they miss. Alan is getting "the irrits" from Bev, because she's "incredibly annoying". I noticed. Thanks, Alan. Linda says something about the "psychological mindgames", but I can't figure out what it was because shewastalkingsofastitallsmooshedintooneword. Jan tells us that Bev is sometimes "sharp as a tack", and sometimes acts like she belongs in a nursing home. (She mentions Alzheimer's, but the basic point is the same, really.)

It's now Day 4, and the players have been magically teleported back to Launceston. They meet Grant at a bandstand or something, and he welcomes them, with a video camera in his hand. Before the group finds out why, he asks which of them "has never played golf before". Josephine sheepishly raises her hand, and Grant thanks her for volunteering, his opinion of "Oh my GOD, this is going to be a trainwreck" evident in his tone, before sending her back to the hotel. Heh.

For everyone else, the challenge is simple. Using the two gigantic video cameras provided (were they really that big back in 2000? REALLY?), they have to film a minute of people laughing, making sure to get both sound and vision recorded. Of course, because it's that simple, it's only going to be worth $5,000, but still. They can do whatever it takes to get the laughter, but they only have two hours to do it. Jan and Linda try to feed each other icecream in one group, while Bev runs around in some sort of shopping centre shaking bottles of water around and generally pestering the locals. As Grant voices over that this isn't actually the real task, Patrick records Bev and Abby dancing on the footpath. We learn over a bunch of assorted attempts at humour, looking about as awkward as Tom Williams's hosting style, that the real task will be to do exactly the same thing as they're doing at the moment -- except wiht one small catch. You see, when they try again this afternoon, teams have to hide the cameras they'll be using to record what's going on. Rocky tells us the task is "a snack", and that he "can make people laugh just by the way that [he] look[s]." Jan sits on some random lady and reveals that she has a sore backside because she was just riding a horse. Speaking of pains in the arse, Rocky offers some lady a shoeshine. Grant tells us that, although a lot of what they did was actually funny, some of it -- such as Rocky's shoeshine stuff and Jan wondering whether sitting on top of a washing machine will work the same way as a vibrator -- falls flatter than the Jackson Jive being pushed out of a skyscraper window. (Yep. That's how long it's been since I started writing this recap.) He contemplates what it is that makes people laugh, and this is already one of the most boring challenges I've ever had to recap, and we haven't even gotten to the actual challenge yet. Sigh.

Meanwhile, Josephine has been practicing for her challenge. She's got to finish the final hole at the Launceston Golf Club. Luckily, we have been spared seeing her whine her way around the first seventeen. The hole is a 350 metre Par 4, but Josephine will be allowed to take up to fifteen strokes to complete it, because she's just that bad. A golfer guy tells her that he's going to try and teach her enough of the technique so that she can finish the hole. Surprisingly enough, the first thing Josephine asks isn't, "Do I have to wear some ugly pants?" Unfortunately, it's even worse. She seriously has to ask what this strange and unfamiliar concept of a "hole" is. I wish I was joking. Josephine is very quickly moving up the List. Soon, she might just overtake Petrina. Grant tells us she's only getting an hour's practice with the golfer guy, whose name is apparently Bill. She looks like she's a somewhat decent golfer, once she figures out what she's supposed to do with the cute little ball-shaped thing and the long stick-like thing Bill seems like he wants to whack her over the head with.

Back at the bandstand, the remaining players return after their not-a-challenge challenge. Grant clarifies that only footage from unsuspecting schlubs will be allowed to be used in their minute of laughter, before silently walking off. Grant voices over that it's going to be harder and more embarrassing, because they can't use the camera as an excuse for looking like idiots, and are "quite exhausted from the morning's efforts". You know, if I had have known sitting on a washing machine consumed that much energy, I probably would have... let's just say I'd need a lifetime's supply of Powerade. He adds that some of the players might even try and cheat in order to win. Quelle surprise!

Commercials. Boy, it's hard to believe how long it's been since I wrote anything for this recap. No joke, everything before this point has been sitting on my laptop since about January. Clearly, I'm too lazy to even procrastinate by writing any more.

Once again, the players have two hours to record a minute of people laughing. Bev's camerawork is all over the place as she records Ben standing on the edge of a fountain while arguing with Abby. For some reason, Ben is wearing a bra. Because when you like to speed, everything goes flying everywhere, and he would like to keep his pecs still for once. Rocky also makes an even bigger nuisance of himself than usual.

Over at Launceston Zoo, Jan, Linda and Alan make like monkeys while Patrick records. Real monkeys watch on in abject horror. There seems to be a decent amount of laughter recorded, actually. Grant tells us that because all the players are wearing their own microphone, recording the sound of laughter won't be a problem, but they've still got to make sure people can't see the camera recording them. Linda seems to think that because she's wearing the microphone, she has to be near the camera. Which she doesn't. She continues that Alan's got to be actually recording what's going on in order for it to count towards their minute of filmed laughter, and she's entirely right on that count, even if she's not very good at explaining it.

Bev is trying to hide in order to catch some decent footage, by standing right in the middle of the town square. Unsurprisingly, one of the people being recorded notices and waves to her, making the entire bit pointless. Way to hide yourself and the camera, Bev. (Still, who the hell waves to a camera recording someone else's holiday? Damn Tasmanians, apparently.)

Slow motion shots designed to fool said Tasmanians into thinking the contestants are all completely lethargic accompany a Grant voiceover in which he pretty much says "Comedy is hard work". Well, yeah. Have you noticed how long it's been since I last posted a recap? And really: All about me, let's be honest. But the narration is also a cheap segue into an argument between Linda and Alan about where Jan should be standing. And by "argument", it's really just Linda mouthing off, complete with token bleeps and everything. Alan toddles off to tell Jan exactly what Linda just told him. Yeah, he's not whipped by a woman he just met four days ago at ALL.

Elsewhere, Rocky is trying to have a discussion with Abby and Ben, but it's pretty much impossible to tell what he's saying beneath all the fucktacular bleeping. I think it's some problem with the camera not being aimed in the general direction of the person laughing. Grant intones that the challenge is almost half finished, and they only have a few loose shots of feet and zoo enclosures to show for it. He says plenty of laughter has been recorded, but only scarce amounts of it have actually been seen. (This is the same problem Australia's Funniest Home Videos has with trying to gain credibility.) Linda calls someone a "shocking cameraman". Ironically, she's on the one reality show with excellent production values, so I'm not sure what she's on about. Let's see if her next remark helps clear us up. "When I say look at the monkeys, I mean the fricking humans." Well, nice to see she's giving clear directions. Alan tells us he's got the camera set on "very wide", and isn't actually doing anything else other than waiting for people to laugh. Linda decides that just because the cameras are (supposed to be) hidden this time, they can't be idiots. I'm not entirely sure how the two things are mutually exclusive, to be honest. And what happens if someone being recorded waves at the show's actual cameras instead of one of the ones the contestants are using?

Over a shot of what appears to be Ben's ass in some rather poorly-fitting jeans, Grant tells us that she's recorded only a few seconds of people actually laughing. (But she does get a bonus for being the first person in history to record actual vision of a fart.) Their group -- Abby, Ben, Bev, and Rocky -- have trouble working out how much footage they actually need to get, given they've got to split a minute of footage between two pairs. I think that's their first problem -- in a task like this, it's not "do the bare minimum, assuming everyone else pulls their weight", it's "do as much as you can, so you don't have to rely on the others so much". Especially when there's a fucking Mole around.

In the other group, Alan and Linda both think they've only got about fifteen seconds. Yeah, this one doesn't look like they're going to win. Oh, well. Soon, Patrick is outright asking for laughter just to get a few seconds more. Grant says it's allowed... until Patrick decides to point out where the hidden camera is. Sigh. Naturally, Alan manages to record this, but can't record any laughter. Hmmm. Back with the other other team, Rocky's doing the same thing, but gets caught by the show's cameras themselves. What is it with these people and thinking they can be on a television show without being recorded by cameras? Idiots. And the sad thing is Bev still can't capture so much as a stifled snort.

The Dramatic Tinkling Of Impending Foreboding kicks in, as Grant tells us they all pretty much quit after about two hours, but won't find out the results until later on. But first... Golf!

A few clumsy closeups of golfballs being hit passes for "she now knows how to play golf" exposition. Good thing there's a Grant voiceover to belabor the point. He once again tells us her challenge is to complete the final hole, a 350 metre Par 4. For the first time, we leant that the 15 strokes she could be allotted to complete the hole will be earned by the other members of the team, by answering quiz questions. Yay! I love trivia! (Except for this new guy we had at the pub tivia night I go to every week last Thursday. Such a douche. Frankly, we would have left, but we still had prize vouchers to spend. But anyway...) Grant explains that the questions are on five different subjects: Tennis, the environment, psychology, sex, and fitness. I'm thinking it's a good thing Josephine's playing golf instead of answering any of these. Josephine and her unfascinating fascinator must decide who will answer each question, as well as how many strokes she will earn if the question is answered correctly. The implication Grant makes here is that she can put all fifteen strokes to one question, but as you'll soon see, she was clearly forced to split them so that one was worth one stroke, one was worth two, and so on. He claims this is a test of how well she knows everyone. Does she know that Linda plays tennis, or that Rocky is a fitness junkie? Or that Abby's a psychology student? Or that Alan's job deals with the environment? Or that all eight of the others were conceived through the act of mating? Decisions, decisions. If only she had a few minutes to mull it over...

Commercials. How nice to see Julia Gillard sitting in the crowd for the Bulldogs/Swans semi-final. If only she had somewhere else to be. (Perhaps at an NRL game instead, to show the New South Welsh powerbrokers that she's not out of touch with what three random union heavies nobody even likes think?) (Although... does anyone actually still care about the NRL, given everything that's happened over the past few years?)

Grant welcomes everyone "back", even though they've never been in the room they're currently in before, and points out that they've rather "cryptically" called the next challenge "Golf". Yeah, you laugh, but there's now a whole bunch of different interpretations of what to do with balls and woods. (It's a shame Tiger only slept with 17 cheap hookers, because Elin would make 18 women, meaning he just missed out on the 19th hole.) It's worth $10,000.

The first question is the tennis one, and she's given it to Ben, who only gets one stroke. With this much over-compensating, that might be all he really needs. The question involves the Poo's (other) nickname, and not surprisingly Ben gets it right. Yawn. And now for the one swing she earned... which misses the ball completely. Heh. Alan gets the environment question for three strokes: "The weather report gives a southern oscillation index. What are the common names for it's two ranges?" Dude, thank God she gave this to the right person. Imagine the frustration if she gave it to, say, Bev. But he still doesn't know, thinking it's "isobars and pressure zones", when the answer is actually El Nino and La Nina. No stroke for you. Abby gets the Psychology question for four strokes, so I don't think Josephine actually did too badly when splitting up the questions. The question's all about how Freud developed the concept of ego, and if there's one psychological construct all reality contestants should know all about? That was it. Good thing she got it right. That could have been really embarrassing. Josephine gets to take four strokes, and prays that she can just get it off the tee. Funny, yes, but also Josephine, so *slowclap*. She takes the first stroke fine, but then misses again, before shanking it into the nearby rough. I'm rather impressed she can go so off-target in such a small distance. Her final stroke goes so well she's now only 190 metres away from the whole, with a maximum of seven strokes left. For five strokes, let's talk about sex, baby. The entire group titters when they learn it's going to Rocky. The question is actually repeated from when the same challenge turned up on the Belgian version (in fact, most challenges this season are from it), which might explain the unusual phrasing a little. "You can divide the human race into men and women. Only one is able to bear children. Which one?" I don't know whether he actually needed to pause for as long as seen here, or whether he was just stalling for misplaced "comedy effect", but either way it doesn't look good. Still, he does thankfully get it right. With two decent shots, yet another air swing, and two shots so bad she might as well have been using a DVD case as a putter, she manages to get the ball only about five metres away, but on the edge of the rough behind the green. She now only has two more strokes left to earn, and she'll only get them if Jan knows her fitness. It's a pretty tough question, though certainly not on the level of Alan's -- give the Latin name for one of the muscles in the human back. What, "ass" isn't descriptive enough? She tosses up between trapezius and trapezium, eventually deciding that Eveything In Latin Ends In "-Us". Good thing she did. Her first hit at least lands on the green, but unfortunately rolls wayyyy too far. Perhaps she would have been better off putting from where she was? Her final shot is worth ten grand, just in case you thought there was random mid-afternoon inflation on game shows, and... misses the hole completely, coming to rest back out on the rough. Wish I could say I was surprised.

Grant offers his fake sympathy, before congratulating them on the laughter challenge. He says there was a great deal of laughter recorded. However, between Rocky and Patrick breaking the rules (helpfully illustrated with flashbacks of the same footage I've already recapped once), and Alan and Bev taking ridiculously bad footage (again with the requisite repetition), they only managed to capture 43 seconds of syncable sound. So, you know, no money here either. Clearly, though it is certainly very pleasant to look at, Launceston is not the hotbed of prosperity it tries to claim to be. It's like Sydney but without Kochie or Grant Denyer. (Ergo, thousands of times more tolerable.)

The irritating tinkling kicks in again, as we learn courtesy of Grant that someone's getting the boot tonight. Ooooh, I hope it's whoever chose that damn elimination sound effect they used. But instead of finding out immediately, it's video diary time. Jan sits in front of a fireplace to tell us that the possibility she might be forced to fuck off makes her feel sick. If only I cared enough about any of these people yet to offer sympathy hugs. The only people I'm really even close to liking at this point are Patrick and Abby, who you pretty much can't not love as soon as you see her. The rest of this group range from "eh" (Jan, Alan) to "are you STILL here?" (Rocky, Josephine) in my mind. It's rather unfortunate, but does at least mean I'm likely to be happy with the end result of this episode. (I am of course going on the assumption that watching this ten years later means the result has changed somewhat. SPOILER!)

Commercials. Ew, Jonah Hill is writing a 21 Jump Street movie. Was he even alive when the show was on? Does he know the show actually had a modicum of class?

Look, I'm bored, and all these video diaries are the same. Let's go through them as quickly as I can. Rocky wants someone else to get knocked out instead of him. Ben thinks he's "more of a fighter than that". Quick, someone cue up Eye Of The Tiger! Linda thinks people are finally realising it's a game, while Patrick tells us it's been a game since before the players arrived. Josephine talks about exiting with dignity, while her hair looks like a hen's night guest at the "Fine, just one more body shot off this stripper's chest, and then we'll leave" portion of the evening. Oh, irony. How I love thee.

We rejoin the entire group at what Grant calls one player's "Last Supper". One wonders whether he'd have made that connection if there wasn't a Judas in the group, but whatever. He also informs us that surviving the elimination will be "bittersweet", though I suspect the ratio of bitter to sweet varies from player to player. On the other hand, the Mole will be to the very end, so they can be both bitter and sweet about the whole thing. Abby thanks everybody for the supporting words, and... awwww. She's definitely more sweet than bitter. Patrick find it "incredible" that Abby "can drink so much and remain vertical". Hee! Jan also gets a cheer, but it's not entirely clear regarding why. I don't think "virtuousity" counts as an actual reason, considering my spell-checker doesn't count it as an actual word, but... you know. Jan seems like a nice lady, so she probably deserves the praise. If only they could come up with a reason for it.

Grant walks into the dining room wearing a grape shirt and some glasses, because nobody in history has ever looked dumb while wearing glasses. Except for Jan Brady. He's there to tell them that it's time to take the quiz. As usual, there are twenty questions. This time, we mostly see the options rather than the questions, but they seem to basically be of the usual boring "What colour eyes does the Mole have?" type this week, so I don't blame them.

Jan thinks Bev would be a fantastic actress if it was her. Presumably, the end of that sentence ("...but it can't be because she's so damn obvious") was edited out. She remarks that Bev is often somewhere between "astute" and "dementia". I know it's no laughing matter and all that, but I really miss the days when dementia could be a punchline. (Yep, political correctness has made the List.) Ben thinks it's either Jan or Patrick, but doesn't know which. Abby thinks Jan is on her "top one" list of suspects (heh), but is still unsure about Josephine, as is Alan, who has decided his main suspect is Rocky. Josephine is so unsure she basically names everybody except herself. Even Grant probably would have gotten a mention had we kept listening. (But more importantly, I am wondering what possible question could have had the choices of Metal, Leather, Other, and None.)

Gazebo Of Impending Doom. We've moved outside for the elimination this week, and the nine players are all crammed onto picnic benches. Heh. Grant congratulates them for winning less than half of the money that was on offer for this episode, giving them a total of $25,000 in the kitty. He does not mock them by pointing out that they could have had twice as much. I blame Bev. And now... someone's getting booted. Yay! Ben is first, and safe. What is it that makes Grant hate capitalisation so much? He's like k.d. lang, if only she was awesome and not a one-trick pony. Abby is also fine. Yay! Patrick is not, unfortunately. Sniff. Still, they managed to correct the problem with the sound effect from last week, so now it does actually start at the right time. One point, producers. Patrick leaves remarkably quickly, and sad music decides to try and make shots of everybody looking bored take on a different tone. It doesn't quite work as much as the producers would have hoped, I don't think. As he gets in the Losermobile, Patrick wishes Grant "good luck". Heh. He's going to need it, dealing with Rocky and Josephine and Ben and Bev. Patrick says it's been great, and is driven off. Doesn't even get a schmaltzy set of final words. This is the way reality shows should be. Stop filling time with "we're so sad we lost" speeches, and start showing us exactly why they lost. Just a suggestion.

End credits. Hmm? Was I supposed to be making a joke here? I was too busy playing the air guitar. (Even then, I have approximately zero talent.)

Next week: I don't know.