Last night’s episode opened with the castmates waking up to a traditional tea ceremony prepared for them by Mama-San. While I enjoy the clash of cultures that this show offers, I like the clash when it’s offered up for my own interpretation. For example, when a woman in a one-piece jumpsuit falls off a conveyor belt into a pool of ice water while riding her tricycle causing the screaming audience to pound on their tambourines, I’m left alone with my thoughts. But when I have to see Japan through the eyes of these clowns I want to barf. Especially Justin’s eyes. He’s not unpleasant, and I’m sure he’s a decent person, but his trite southernisms are so patently cliche I don’t even think the producers wrote them for him, I think they passed that one off to a summer intern from Specs Howard. During the green tea ceremony he remarks “sweet tea in the South tastes like a piece of heaven, but Japanese green tea…that’s not my cup of tea.” Shut up, Justin.
After Olga’s departure last week, I thought that the only villain remaining was Meaghan, so I was surprised when Mary put herself out there as the worst possible person. She’s passive-aggressive, she thinks she’s really clever, and she’s completely lacking in any kind of dignity or honor when it comes to competing. She’s been one of the weakest players since this show started and yet every week she puts on her librarian glasses and passes judgement on everyone else. Well guess what, Mary. You don’t judge me, I judge you. And I find you guilty on all counts of being unbearable to watch.
The head-to-head competition was a game called “Pedal Fast or Big Splash,” in which two team members pedal stationary bicycles to slow down a conveyor belt on which the other team members ride tricycles, trying to stay within “the red zone,” but if they don’t pedal fast enough they are carried backwards and dumped into a pool of ice water. Sure. How did you learn to ride a bike? Despite a poor performance by Cathy, the Yellow Penguins still manage to eke out a win, leaving Mama San with some sharp words for the Green Monkeys.
As a reward, the Yellow Penguins get a guided tour of the Tsukiji Fish Market, the largest Fish Market in the world. Fair enough. They are told that 35,000 people work there, and 20 million dollars worth of fish are sold there every day. Looks like someone’s going to be in for a happy surprise at their next bar trivia night! At the end of the tour they get to sample some sashimi from a tuna that costs as much as a car, although they do not specify what kind of car, so I’m guessing they were really only tasting Honda CRX-grade tuna. Justin, naturally, describes the tour as “more fun than a cow-tipping,” because that’s how the script told him to describe the tour. Andrew exclaimed how exciting it was for two kids from the United States to see such a thing. Um, Justin still has a youthful face, Andrew, but you’re like 45 years old. Two kids from the United States. Right. Two ad salesman with vested Roth IRAs who are actively planning for their retirement is more accurate.
Meanwhile, the Green Monkeys have to plant rice. It’s sad to watch them, not only because they do a terrible job, but because you know that actual Japanese laborers who are not doing it as a goof because they biffed it on their reality TV show are going to have to actually pull out all their fucked up rice plants and redo it. Then the Green Monkeys have to get ready for elimination. The night before, Meaghan came up with a plan in which she would submit herself for the elimination competition, under the agreement that if she wins, she’s immune from elimination the next time. This would be a perfectly reasonable strategy that one could admire Meaghan for inventing, if she didn’t feel the need to present it to both teams at the kitchen table in her towel, still dripping from the shower. Just because there’s a chapter in The Art of War that says Crush Your Enemy Before Putting On Underwear doesn’t mean this is a tactful or dignified bargaining tactic.
For some reason it just goes without saying that the other person up for elimination will be Darcy, which I don’t really understand. Considering that Pedal Fast or Big Splash was such a rounded team effort in which everyone’s contribution was vital, it’s nearly impossible to decide who performed the worst. Not to mention the fact that everyone takes it for granted that whoever goes against Darcy will win, even though Darcy has been in more competitions than everyone else. Maybe she’s getting the hang of it. Right before they go on-stage, Darnell decides that he doesn’t think Meaghan should get immunity the next week just because she offered to go into eliminations. She tells him that she should have expected him to stab her in the back like this. I’m pretty sure he’s not stabbing you in the back by saying it out loud in front of everyone, Meaghan. That’s called stabbing you in the face.
The elimination game is called “You Look Funny Stuck on the Wall,” and it involves wearing a Velcro suit and bouncing off a trampoline into a silhouette. Meaghan crushes it, Darcy gets carried off on the shoulders of the Yakuza, Darnell has a collagen-lipped enemy, and next week there are baby bonnets. I’ve got five Disney Dollars that says Justin makes a comment like “I don’t want to put on a diaper, but this isn’t my first picnic at the rodeo and I know that sometimes if you want to marry the girl you’ve got to wrestle the pig.” Shut up, future Justin.
SIDENOTE: this week I Survived A Japanese Game Show added a new character. This guy:
That was him during the head-to-head-competition. But then they brought him back the next day for the elimination round.
Check out his cool new tie! He is so crazy for games! I hope that they keep him around. That face is the first thing I want to see when Mary gets sent home.