“The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons” (1.2): Good, old fashioned oil wrestling


Episode 2 starts out with shots and dancing at the beach club. Divorced couple Danny and Melinda have moved on an have significant others, but Danny says he will suck it up, work with his ex wife and go for the money.

Later on at the house, Fresh Meat’s Big Easy comes in with a clue from TJ. “A lot of you have pulled slick moves in the past. Better bring you’re a game tomorrow, wear your swimwear and see you first thing.”

San Diego’s Frank informs us that he is going to run the show. An alliance has formed between San Diego, Cancun, Vegas and New Orleans, despite Frank‘s outburst in Episode 1. Or perhaps since the outburst was primarily directed at Wes, no one really cared and everyone was secretly thankful. St. Thomas’ Trey is reluctant to play nicey nice with Frank, and Marie is worried that not cooperating may hurt St. Thomas in the long run.

The next morning, TJ tells everyone that the next challenge is called Oil Change, and they will be doing “good, old fashioned oil wrestling.” “Yeah!” yells San Diego’s Sam, probably remembering the infamous oil wrestling scene in The L Word, relieved that she cut her hair, so none of it will be yanked out in fistfuls. The first team to win four matches becomes the power team.

The teams in the mega-alliance quickly figure out how to rise to the top. They strategically pit themselves against each other and alternately throw matches against each other to gain easy wins and push other teams to the bottom. San Diego becomes the power team, and now Frank calls the shots. Is this really a good idea? Camila from Fresh Meat and Frank snap at each other during the challenge, which irks Frank.

After San Diego, Cancun, Vegas and New Orleans wrestle themselves to safety, the other four teams duke it out to last place. Brooklyn, Fresh Meat and Austin form an alliance and St. Thomas realizes that they are the odd team out. The bottom two teams end up being Austin and St. Thomas, and St. Thomas narrowly squeaks out a victory. Austin is going to the arena.

Big Easy tells Cara Maria Fresh Meat needs to pucker up and kiss San Diego‘s behinds. During their meeting with San Diego, Fresh Meat bites their tongues and pretends to be friendly with San Diego. Then St. Thomas talks to San Diego. Frank tells St. Thomas that he wants the rookies to rise to the top and to eliminate the veteran teams. St. Thomas’ Trey continues to be dense. He brags and talks shit, and in the middle of negotiations San Diego’s Zach yawns and walks off. St. Thomas’ Marie tells us that if Frank picks her team to go into the challenge, she will come back for them.

Frank announces that Fresh Meat will be going into the elimination round against Austin in an endurance challenge. How St. Thomas avoided a retaliatory spanking is inexplicable.

But first, let’s drink! As everyone gets more tipsy, their personal issues starts bubbling to the surface. Trey and Laura were an item but aren’t anymore, but they get a little friendly. Zach and Jonna look like they are going to U-Haul after the Challenge. Knight makes sloppy drunken attempts at winning Jemmye back, and Melinda sees them bickering and tells Jemmye to shit or get off the pot – either take him back or completely walk away. Danny tells Knight he needs to stop worrying about his issues with Jemmye and just think about the $250,000.

No one volunteers from Fresh Meat this time for the elimination, so Frank throws Big Easy and Camila into the arena. Camila’s disagreement with Frank during the oil wrestling challenge must have figured into the decision.

The elimination challenge is called “balls out.” The teams shove balls down wires to the other team, and at the end of five minutes, the team with the most balls on their side loses. Fresh Meat avoids elimination for a second and Danny and Melinda are sent home.

Back at the house, Trey gets emo and tells us that he thinks the whole house hates him. Maybe he should take a cue from The Hunger Games and be a little more Peeta and less Gale. Stop the revolutionary talk and charm your opponents.

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