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Lantern7

The Inferno (2004)

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Viewers barely had time to breathe in 2004, as The Inferno picked up where The Gauntlet left off. The rules for elimination rounds had changed: each team nominated two of their own for the Inferno, and the other team made a choice for that endgame. Both players then had a chance to get out of the Inferno by performing the best out of their team in a given mission. The other option was if the best player chose to go into the Inferno for himself. If it sounds convoluted . . . it was.

I also have to mention that the Infernos were beyond stupid. They included enduring loud noises for a long period of time, moving blocks for a longer period of time, riding a treadmill for . .. you get the idea. For the most part, these were endurance challenges, and not very good ones at that. The quickest game was Bug Helmet, where Ace and Jeremy had to shove their heads into a box full of insects, and Ace wound up "bugging out" after six seconds. That was so quick, even Coral gave him grief over it. Yes, that's the same Coral who gotten taken out by a spider in The Gauntlet.

The Inferno represents an important time in Challenge history, and not merely because this was the last time the flagging Road Rules franchise had alumni facing off against The Real World. A lot of drama stemmed from Road Rules' disgust with their weakest player, Katie. Katie was like Sarah in the season before, only more vocal in how badly her teammates were willing to fuck her over. One of the lowest points was MENSA reject Abram flagrantly throwing a mission with zero dignity, while Katie could do nothing but fume on the sideline. Katie did provide the season's epic highlight, when she cursed and screamed at Veronica, also taking out the "Verantula" with her bare hands. In her defense, Veronica had it coming for her continual shysty behavior.

What else? There was the high wire mission, where Julie kept tugging on Veronica's safety harness, to the horror of everybody present. There was the awesome Wreck 'n' Roll mission, where Yellowcard played while the contestants wrecked rooms. There was Challenge rookie CT defeating Shane in the Inferno while taunting him, followed by his throwing a mission to send ex-castmate Leah into the Inferno. Oh, you had showmances between Mike (you couldn't keep him away) & Kendall and Leah & Darrell. This was also the season Darrell coined the term "Infuorno." In the end, Road Rules triumphed in what would be their final mission as a team, though the victory wasn't as epic as The Gauntlet.

Anybody else want to share memories over the likes of Coral, Timmy, and the few seconds of Piggy that I never got around to catching?

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There was Challenge rookie CT defeating Shane in the Inferno while taunting him

 

I love that one:

Veronica: "CT, we're not gonna be able to see your abs after all those cookies"

CT: "You're not gonna be able to see Shane after all these cookies!"

 

There was the high wire mission, where Julie kept tugging on Veronica's safety harness, to the horror of everybody present.

 

Also a classic moment - "Get your hands off my vagina you crazy Mormon!"

 

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I hated that, because I had to relate to Veronica as a human being. Also, Julie made crybaby motions after she argued with Veronica that she wasn't in any danger. Also: JULIE PISSED ON CORAL'S BED. Even if you don't think much of Coral, that's still a mountain of insane from Julie.

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I don't know if that happened, but it would've been during Inferno II. Once again, this was the season where Julie pissed on Coral's bed.

I miss Timmy. I remember the mission where the teams were selling stuff, and Timmy was shouting, "Buy a bucket before you kick it!" Cut to confused-looking old people. Good times.

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The challenges themselves were probably the worst they've ever had (jump rope! a heated battle between Katie and Julie came down to JUMP ROPE!), but the contestants brought the drama. Katie and Coral in particular were at their best when they were slamming Julie. Between Katie's"You think Coral's a bitch, wait 'til you fuck with me," and the eternal "I don't wrestle; I fucking beat bitches up" from Coral (which should be on her tombstone), it was fantastic for those of us who found Julie insufferable. Not to mention Coral's "Melissa will kill you" t-shirt.

And of course, there was this: 

The big fight kicks off at about 4:30. I can't for the life of me figure out why MTV felt the need to blast that music over it, when the music of Katie and Veronica hollering spoke for itself.

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Coral's "I don't wrestle, I beat bitches up" line was ridiculous.  When did she ever beat anyone up?  She looked so scared to me the entire time Julie was yelling for her to come down and wrestle. Bitch was probably never in a fight in her life.  She just screams at people and tries to intimidate them into backing down. Sit the fuck down, National Geographic. (Thank you, Casey for that comment during the Gauntlet III, by the way)

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Just like the original Gauntlet, the Inferno didn't pay off its "underdog survives," storyline. Add the fact that I really didn't feel like rooting for Katie, and ultimately this wasn't as enjoyable as Gauntlet I.

 

The Inferno eliminations were incredibly lame, but they were constrained by their (as Lantern7 said, convoluted,) save rules - even though the Inferno's were scheduled as male - female - male - female, the fact that an opposite gender match up could happen every time meant that they had to be structured to be gender advantage neutral.

 

CT had an incredible "rookie" season, and Kendal seemed sweet - so she never returned. 

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That was the final death round! Before that we sat though them WALKING on treadmills with itching powder. Exciting nail-biting tv there, MTV. Really. Oh and also the Leah vs Kendall round where they carried bricks back and forth! The only good thing about that one was how it turned into everybody else SCREAMING at each other. Really. This challenge was a gold mine, if only because the people were bat crazy. Inferno 2 was not as good, the high point of that was when Tonya threw Beth's clothes in the pool and then it went downhill. Like all I remember from that one is that Veronica and Rachel were pretty awful to her on that season.

Was that when Katie was smoking and walking on the treadmill while yelling at Julie?  Because that is one of my all-time favorite challenge moments ever.

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My favorite challenge moment was all the chaos during the Kendall/Leah  Inferno. You had CT yelling at Leah, Mike yelling at Kendall and Veronica/Katie fighting. And than out of nowhere David runs around naked.

Edited by choclatechip45
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Just like the original Gauntlet, the Inferno didn't pay off its "underdog survives," storyline. Add the fact that I really didn't feel like rooting for Katie, and ultimately this wasn't as enjoyable as Gauntlet I.

 

I hated how I felt the need to root for Katie. I felt that Sarah was more fun to root for, and Katie was a bigger scrub. But then her own team sought to put her in Infernos, and that peaked with Abram throwing a mission in the least concealed manner ever. Of course, threatening to kill Veronica was a good move into my heart. I like how she stuttered In an interview before blurting out, "Screw a couple more cast members, slut!" Good times.

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What's ridiculous about the Road Rules team in this one is that they probably threw away more money by throwing the missions than they probably would have if they'd just tried to encourage and work with Katie. I hate that they won because they acted like a bunch of assholes (even Timmy!) but Katie sticking around to the end and winning it all too despite their best efforts was great.

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Speaking of Timmy . . . is it weird that I didn't really blame Timmy for trying to throw Katie into the Inferno, yet I more or less gave up on Holly and Christena? Timmy was cornier than a Nebraskan's stool, yet I can never hate him.

 

I didn't throw in Kendall, because I liked how she goofed on a mission and botched her team's plans to send Katie to the Inferno. Also, her coat was the second-best part of RR: Campus Crawl for me, after Sarah.

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Had a moment on Friday morning . . . I was at a comic shop for an early morning sale. They play music there, and you know what I heard? "Miles Apart" by Yellowcard, the theme to The Inferno. I just found it funny.

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I've been posting my old recaps on my blog, and I'm approaching Inferno. I've gone over the first four episodes, and holy shit, I was not a fan of Katie to start. Hated her so much before Road Rules started throwing missions. And I liked Holly and Christena, both of whom let me down. At one point, I suggested that Timmy and Holly would be the Judd and Pam of Road Rules. I'm amazed I didn't throw up looking back on that thirteen years later.

Also, I wasn't full-on Team Coral back then, but I think I was with the majority of fans in detesting Julie. Melissa did everybody a favor in Battle Of The Sexes, and nobody can tell me different. Julie's "performance" in Inferno is proof of that.

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Still recapping. Going to post the Coral/Julie "fight" soon. As much of a clusterfuck as that season was, it was times like that where I still smile about.

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