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The Surreal Life 5 - Episode 7 Summary

'Be Careful What You Wish For...' By Estee
Original Airdate: September 4, 2005

*SIGH* And here we are again. The season of the true reality shows, the non-quasi-demi-celebrity DAWs, is almost upon us, and I'm still stuck in the Surreal Estate. Joy. It's not as if I haven't applied to do the more popular shows, y'know -- as is 'the ones with more than eight -- oops, seven -- people watching per week'. I did put my name down on the Survivor random list this season. I've put my name in every season since I arrived here and became eligible to try. But -- the draws keep going against me. And I'm just enough of a DAW myself to keep trying. It's like a reality star saying they want to break into the movies. 'Sure, I'm doing The Surreal Life now, but what I really want to work on is Survivor. And direct.'

Still -- this endless, tortured, Geneva-violating season continues, and that's just the way every other houseguest feels about being stuck with Janice. And someone has to make a record of it, if only so the evidence can be entered for the prosecution when a hundred pound heap of assorted plastic parts and two ounces of organics turns up floating in the Pacific, with Bronson's fingerprints all over selected sections. But really, if I had a choice -- Survivor. DAWs with no delusions of prior celebrity and only impossible dreams of future fame to keep them going. Yeah. Sun and surf and thousands of insect bites, plus actual summary readers. That's where I'd want to be...

But instead, last week on At least it's better than slow-motion watching the Fiendship, the Lifers were temporarily exported from Los Angeles because there's only so many quasi-celebrities with reality shows that one city can take and Kathy Griffin took us one over the limit. After several hours of being tormented by a second-by-second recital of Voldemort's True DAW Story, they arrived at a baseball field in Las Vegas, where they were turned into the second-worst softball team in the known universe and sent out to play a group of A-listers, or at least an incredible simulation -- until the point where they got around to simulating Jose with his twin brother Ozzie, which is sort of where the whole 'incredible simulation' thing fell apart, not to mention the 'A-listers' idea. Fortunately for our housemates, they were up against the worst softball team in the known universe -- so despite Jose's inability to remember the score, the inning, whether he was captaining the home or away team, and the fact that he even has a twin brother, the Lifers won by a single run, which gave them an overnight stay at the Real World suite in the Palms. (Yes, it still smells like Trishelle. Bleach can only do so much.) Our happy team decided to spend a little time partying in one of the casino's bars. This gave Janice, who was already worked up from having actually moved earlier in the day, a chance to do the thing she most wanted to do. But since there were still cameras around and the cocktail swords didn't look sharp enough to cut Voldy's throat, she settled for trying the world's most blatant seductions of Carey, Jose, and Bronson instead -- in that order. However, the club had been left behind at the Estate, and without it, Janice's chances of seducing anyone were roughly equal to their blood alcohol level divided by one hundred, 'cause no one's ever gonna be that drunk. As such, her sexual harassment spree was recognized, filmed, played in eight houses (one of which completely swore off all television forever after), and wound up being totally unsuccessful, because her male housemates have something she doesn't: working organic body parts. And they'd like them to stay that way.

What will the Lifers do during their second day in Vegas? Would appearing on Battle of the Network Reality Stars II be considered a step up for our current cast? Are there any males left in the city, or did they flee for the desert when the delicate scent of Janice's pheromones reached them? How many people decided self-castration was the easier way out? And is there any way suffering through this entire season could possibly win me the slightest glint of light off Jiffy's hair?

*re-sigh* Enough daydreaming. Roll opening credits.

And we're back in Las Vegas, where our cast is still at the Palms. That's the Palms, home of one Real World season, every season of Celebrity Poker Showdown, a Beg, Borrow, and Deal appearance, and probably about sixteen other things that I'm overlooking right now. Yes, the Palms, where DAWs who want to file for bankruptcy stay. The Palms, which will do anything for anyone to get any kind of mention in the media whatsoever, so this paragraph ought to be good for at least a free room and a meal comp. And what are our Lifers doing this fine morning? They're wishing they were dead, which makes the first time they've been in perfect sync with us. Sandi is softly moaning into her pillow, and it's in that 'Why won't someone come along and hold this over my face?' sort of way. And Jose painfully declares his intention to spend the day imitating Janice by fake-quitting on anything that comes along, starting with 'getting up'. Jose believes he has the mother of all hangovers. He doesn't. His body is fighting off the various effects passed along by extended, involuntary close contact with Janice at the bar the previous night. Either way, when you're trying to fight off toxins, you're going to feel the after-effects. Or worse yet, the carrier is going to come back and feel you. Again.

Finally, Jose forces himself out of bed and goes counter-intuitive: eating is normally the last thing on a hangover sufferer's mind, but the former athlete realizes he's going to need extra energy to get rid of the lingering symptoms. And with the FDA watching his every move, his usual source of assistance is right out. So he spends some time cooking, and the scent of eggs eventually lures the other Lifers out of bed -- excepting Janice, because an artificial nose generally doesn't come with the actual function option. Plus she'll be stuck in the bathroom for the next four hours, and who can make out any natural scents over the delicate odor of powdered face?

'Last night -- I have never drunk so many beers in my life,' Jose confessional-tells, and then goes on to explain why with the help of a pain-inducing flashback. Remember Janice climbing all over Jose last week? Really? The repression therapy isn't working? Sorry to hear it. Just imagine what Jose is going through. He was at the center of the explosion: we just got the fallout. It's almost enough to make you feel sorry for him -- well -- actually, now that I think about it -- no, 'almost' is still good.

'She gets a little too handsy,' our sexual harassment victim with a $3,000,000 emotional damages case c-ts us, and the camera provides another flashback shot of Jose walking down a hotel hallway, involuntarily accompanied by Janice, who appears to have eyelash-glued herself to his side.

Jose (in flashback, to camera operator): 'Do you know where my brother is?'
Janice: 'Do you know what? I'm going to do you and your brother.'

Let's see: United Nations law code -- major crimes -- no, two people isn't enough for a genocide trial...

Meanwhile, back in main camera time, Jose is practicing self-treatment through the expression of violent fantasies, which is something I can really get behind. 'If I would have had a good arm. Seriously... I would have got her, hung her over the railing by her heels, told her to stop. And brought her back in.' (thoughtful pause) 'Maybe.' (And thus, the first step on the journey in the Reality Redemption Of Jose Steroid is taken.)

Bronson enters the room on the tail end of Jose's beautiful dream, and asks 'Can I take a wild guess? Are you talking about Janice?' Confirmation. 'How bad did it get?'

Voldy: 'Well, he was saying that she was licking him.' (And for this and this alone, we can completely trust Jose's testimony.)
Bronson: 'She treats the man like a salt lick at a cow barn.' (And Bronson would know on so many levels...)
Voldy (c-t): 'When cameras are around, Janice feeds her need for attention by kissing every man in sight.' (Also her need for fresh layers of skin and the occasional drop of blood.) (mainstream) 'Welcome to The Janice Dickinson Show!'

The graphics editors immediately provide the opening credits for The Janice Dickinson Show, which will not be described here because I nearly had a fatality last week, my summary insurance only covers six dead bodies a year, and I'm saving up for the finale. But I will give you this little bit of conversation with Voldy, somehow left out of earlier episodes. The subject under discussion is what each person packed in their luggage, and Janice, who was hitting the not-water a little hard on the first night, replies 'What did you bring, you reality-show be-yotch? I brought a couple of (male genitalia) rings and a condom!' Presumably for her personal use -- eeeuuuuwww!

In the interests of keeping those fatality slots viable for a few more episodes, let's switch focus to the outside of the suite, where today's issue of The Surreal Times is being delivered. Caprice picks it up, notes the headline -- Surreal Castaway Challenge -- and brings it inside, looking vaguely interested. Is there any chance of the day's activity being a group dangle-and-throw of Janice, with the Lifers competing to see who can throw her the farthest? And if so, will vertical distance count?

Wrong. Caprice reads the article in the slow, pained voice that only someone fighting off the combined forces of beer, wine, liquor, Janice, and Jose's cooking can muster. 'Despite the likely presence of hangovers -- Pepa (Sandi), me and you...', the housemates will be participating in an athletic challenge. They'll be taken to a fake lagoon and deserted stretch of artificial beach to compete against each other in a series of physical events. This receives a less than enthused reaction from the other Lifers.

Carey (c-t): 'Not only are we tired and cranky and hung over, we have to go compete...' Well, you have to go. And five other people have to go. What could possibly be missing from that equation? Do you even have to ask?

Janice (mainstream): 'There's no way I can get wet today with my chest.' (Comment about sensation being greatly diminished after certain kinds of surgery censored.) 'There's no way I can go swimming.' (c-t) 'Clearly, there was no way I was going to be able to participate because I was seriously sick with bronchitis.' This fake-quit announcement is followed by a few quick flashback shots showing Janice kissing everything in the club that had working lips and a high tolerance for acid. Including Voldemort, who just couldn't get away in time. (Maybe the transmission path has a different origin point than we originally thought.) Of course, this may not be a fake-quit. This may be simple exhaustion from the strain of having slowly walked after several rolling softballs the prior day. Or all the failed seductions drained her. Or there might actually be enough living cells remaining for their infection to affect the mechanisms. Who knew?

Caprice passes out red scarves for no apparent reason, which most of the Lifers wind up wrapping around their heads -- you know, for some strange reason, that looks really familiar -- and asks if they should change into their bathing suits now, or wait until they reach the fake lagoon. Bronson unzips his pants, pulls them partway down (with the camera mercifully not showing the results), and announces that's his swimsuit. Caprice tells him it's too early in the morning for him to gross her out. Bronson quickly makes an appointment for later that night. Caprice checks her schedule and finds she can squeeze him in. Bronson completely takes that the wrong way.

Challenge time! Let's go out to the fake beach and see the specially-made logo, which is oval-shaped, with a single-color border, and some symbols representing the city of Las Vegas in the center -- in fact, this is The Surreal Life: Las Vegas, where the play tactics are 'Outdrink. Outbitch. Outmoan', and it's a good thing Janice already fake-quit, or she would have won this thing just by showing up. And then, just to top it off, the camera shows a sepia-toned shot of each Lifer -- the one for Janice includes a slow-motion yell, which really isn't an improvement over her usual speed -- accompanied by each name in a font that I'd swear I've seen before, until a not-quite-somber voice intones 'Seven celebrities remain. Who will be voted out tonight?' anyone else having serious deja vu here?

The Lifers walk onto the artificial beach and meet their host for the day's events, Tim Stack. You might remember Tim from some fairly minor comedies where he had some parts that no one even came close to seeing. Or you might remember him from the major motion pictures he's been in, except that he only appeared on screen for about six seconds because he's had that kind of career, but at least it was a major motion picture and they even let him take extra food from the commissary. But mostly, you might remember him from Son of the Beach, where he played Notch Johnson for every season of the world's best Baywatch parody, and if you didn't know Baywatch itself wasn't meant to be a parody, well, neither did I. What you probably didn't know is that he prefers to be referred to as Jeff Probe, and he likes to dress in shirts that look a lot like what another Jeff would wear, and he's here to welcome us to Surreal Life Vegas Castaway, which is 'sort of like Survivor meets Sin City, only without the ratings.'

They didn't!

Those aren't scarves. Those are buffs! They just -- they -- I -- I...


...and it's time for this week's immunity challenge. With the tribe down to seven swimsuit-clad DAWs, winning the prized necklace is more important than ever, because the winner is guaranteed a one-in-six shot at a million frames of total camera time. 'You've had many indignities,' Jiffy tells the contestants, grinning with the light sarcasm we've come to love to so much. (Bronson's best response is a feeble laugh.) 'Well, you're about to have one more.' (Just one?) 'This is a test of Vegas survival -- actually, it's just a cheap obstacle course.' (Well, no. Not really. We had the Plato form of 'cheap obstacle course' in LibraRising's BOTNRS #1 summary, and nothing will ever top it. I hope. But this at least comes close.) 'And you've got to play your hearts out, because at the end of this day, one of you will be voted out of Vegas.' (A series of drumbeats accompanies solo shots of each contestant. Geez, it's only the three hundred and twenty-eighth time Mark's used that stupid artificial drama building device...)

Jiffy explains the first challenge. They're going to run a series of heats, with the last two finishers in each event being eliminated, until only one remains. The Immunity Necklace is up for grabs again, and anyone with a working brain will do anything they can to hang those fuzzy dice around their neck. Of course, given the cast we've been blessed with this season, a group that makes Heidi look like the genius she always claimed to be, Jiffy winds up having to explain the first challenge again. And again. And again, until even Jose's seven-second delay catches up to the information. The contestants will have to get across the lagoon, where they'll find seven natives waiting on the other beach. Each of them has a crucial protective fluid essential to native life on five parts of their skin. Each player will have to spread out that liquid as evenly as possible, waiting for the judge to tell them they've done a good enough job to head back. The last two people to return will be out of future heats. Of course, this needs a visual explanation to go with the verbal, so Jiffie demonstrates the technique. And keeps demonstrating it until the camera operators remind him to stop with the aid of a very large taser. Anyone think Julie's going to be just a little bit upset when she sees this tape?

'Lifers ready?' Jiffy asks, one hand in the air. (Nice to see him finally affected by the climate, by the way. Who knew the Vegas environment was so bad for the hair?) 'Go!' The contestants race off the mat -- at least, most of them do. Janice, continuing to use the only strategy she's displayed so far, Ostens yet again. It's not a bad tactic, really. She can't win any challenges, so no one sees her as a threat, and so loathsome, she's the ideal Final Two partner to make anyone, including Jon Dalton, look good. If she's really willing to settle for second place...

Of course, some challenges just seem to accidentally favor some contestants, and it's not intentional: it's a design mistake. Really. In this case, the mistake was in leaving the crew's construction materials bridge across the lagoon intact, and since Jiffy already told the players to cross the lagoon any way they could, Voldemort and Carey see no reason not to race directly across it. This puts the other contestants, who made the natural move for the water, behind at the start -- and it's a strategic mistake that's going to cost someone other than Janice their spot in the next round. Give Voldy credit: she knows an opportunity when she sees it. (An opportunity to lie, an opportunity to cheat, an opportunity to backstab...) By the time the editors finish inserting their first underwater shot of Caprice's legs, the leaders have already reached the natives and are busy spreading the precious protective fluid, keeping the harsh sun from damaging their skin for another day. Voldy's working a little too high on the native's legs and coming dangerously close to the loincloth, but Jiffy calls her on it and she redirects her efforts to the assigned area. Bronson arrives a little late to the party and winds up with the hairiest, most overweight native in the group -- but that's no problem for someone who's equally attracted to all peoples of every nation that hasn't banned him from its borders yet, so he goes to work with a will. It's enough to let him take off third -- after Voldemort and Carey, whose lead has held up, take off across the bridge again, hitting the mat one-two. Jose finishes rubbing shortly after Bronson -- that Cream experience is really paying off -- and walks back through the shallow water. It's down to Caprice and Sandi, both very slow at spreading the fluid -- really, no one saw that coming -- well, maybe Bronson -- and it comes down to a race for next-to-last place. Jiffy believes Caprice enjoyed spreading the fluid on the native girl as much as he enjoyed watching it, and she enjoyed herself for just a little too long: Sandi hits the mat, and Caprice is eliminated. Janice, who never left her starting position, is out on general principles. Both women take a seat on the Loser's Log.

Step two: still more pampering of the contestants, because when one of your mottoes is 'Outdrink', you've got to give the DAWs as many chances to fulfill it as possible. (And we thought the Palua cast was spoiled? Let's count the number of Lifers who've gained weight! Only Jose is showing a significant loss, and I know people think there's a long-term spoiler there, but it's really just the drugs wearing off...) The contestants will have to get across the lagoon again -- in inner tubes: the bridge has been barred for the rest of the day -- and hit the opposing beach, where they'll find ten margaritas. Each player will have to drink two as quickly as possible, with brain freeze the ideal and camera-worthy goal. Then it's back across the lagoon to the starting mat, and as with the first heat, the last two to arrive will be out. Janice immediately starts to regret her Osten. The camera operators, host, editors, producers, and viewers just heave a sigh of relief in twenty million-part harmony.

And they're off! The contestants hit the water, and Carey takes an early lead again. His previous partner in bridge use, however -- well, let's listen in to the best commentary since 'Morgan Behind'. 'Voldemort calls out for help, hopefully on the edge of drowning.' Remember Voldy's appearance on Fear Factor? (I do. I summarized it. I'd provide a link, but there's that whole limited fatality count again.) She's committed the worst sin a Survivor contestant can make: she still can't swim -- not even with an inner tube holding her up. She doesn't even know how to ride it properly: her body has dropped through the middle, and her hands just barely have a grip on the upper surface. This is no way to make progress through the water, but it's a great way to lower the depth by draining part of the lagoon into your lungs, so Voldy may just have a really interesting strategy going here. Or she could be on the verge of drowning. Or the Salem judges got it completely wrong, because this is how you take out an evil witch after all! -- wrong. Carey and Jose reach the mini-bar, with Voldy crawling out of the lagoon right after them. 'And sadly, Voldemort didn't die.' It's okay, Jiffy. You did your best and no one here will fault you for the results. Besides, if she doesn't get voted out tonight, that'll give you at least two more shots...

Sandi and Bronson emerge from the water -- Sandi's oddly-designed bathing suit skirt slowed her down in a way not seen since about a week ago on Big Brother -- and everyone starts to practice the art and science of speed-drinking. Carey stops his drinking long enough to say he hates the challenge: day-glo alcohol really isn't his thing, plus Janice is still about and her chances with him might approach one percent if the game was forced to go to a series of eighty-seven tiebreakers. But despite his reluctance, he's the second one to head back -- right after Sandi, because if anyone whose name isn't Janice knows power drinking, it's a survivor of the rap wars because forgetting all those dead bodies takes at least two full bottles before bedtime.

Jiffy, with little better to do, drops into cheerleader mode. 'Come on, Jose! Suck it!' And Jose sucks. He really, really sucks. He could not suck more if he tried.

The camera goes back to Sandi and Carey -- in another frustrating editing moment, the order of finish wasn't shown -- with Carey looking like he's about to participate in a time-honored series tradition by bringing his recent meal back for an encore. (Even DAW meals need camera time love.) He can't quite make himself vomit, though -- and so turns to an expert. 'Janice, you're a model. Show me how to gag myself.' Janice, thrilled to be consulted in her third-strongest area of expertise, immediately demonstrates the world's best (and most rehearsed) technique. Carey uses it to good effect and twenty million viewers take careful notes, because if Janice remains on this show, we're going to need that move eventually.

Voldemort finishes her drinks and starts to struggle back across the lagoon. Bronson and Jose complete their sucking -- for the moment -- soon after, but it's not enough to let them catch up on Voldy's flailing lead. Jose and Bronson engage in a classic, near-epic battle to avoid being the last one on the mat, with Jose pulling it out at the last second -- but it was for nothing but (a total lack of) pride, because the last two to arrive are still eliminated. The men go off to the Loser's Log, and Jiffy explains the next challenge, which will only eliminate the last-place finisher: we're going to a Final Two. Capitals not warranted.

Carey, Voldemort, and Sandi will be engaging in a time-honored native tradition: kissing people you met five seconds ago. This time, the people on the other side of the lagoon are there to get a little DAW-sugar. There's mixed genders waiting, and that affects the rules. You can kiss a person of the opposite sex and hold the kiss for a five-count -- or pick one of the same gender, and only have to keep it going for a one-count. (Once again, Jiffy demonstrates both techniques, putting considerably more effort into the first, but getting more out of the second: the native tips him a twenty for the experience. And once again, Mark Burnett, GLA, Line Two.) So there's some strategy involved here: go hetero and be slowed down, go homo and be quickened, go bi and everyone thinks you're a pervert. (Make that Lines Two through Eight.) However, you need a crucial bit of equipment to kiss a Vegas native, no matter what gender you are. But given that none of the contestants have twenty million dollars, the producers have substituted leis, which have to be recovered from the bottom of the lagoon and draped around the neck of the person being kissed before the lip-locking can begin. And just to add a certain something to the experience, Jose and Caprice have been added to the pool of available kissees, and the squeals from Voldemort indicate adrenaline isn't the only internally-produced chemical that can create a surge of energy.

'Don't be trying to slip no tongue in!' Jose calls out. Voldemort replies with 'Squealio!', rendering her temporarily deaf to other people's needs -- wait, that one's always on...

Jiffy drops his hand, and the next-to-final heat begins with everyone going after some potentially final heat, especially after their SOs get ahold of them. Carey's the first in the water, first to a lei, and first to the kiss of a native: he really, really doesn't want to risk being open to the vote, especially since his athletic skills make him a challenge threat, his political skills make him a jury threat, and how did he wind up on this show again? (He still burns an extra four seconds on an opposite sex kiss, but his lead is big enough to let him risk it.) Voldy sticks to the shallows and finds a lei waiting for her there, which isn't contest rigging at all, now is it? Sandi's skirt slows her down again, and somewhere in America, a woman named April still doesn't care about anyone but herself, her big-boned husband, and her slightly homely dog, with possible exclusions on those last two. But Voldy's lack of water skills means they still reach their targets one-two -- with Sandi going for Caprice and the one-second kiss to let her get off the platform all the faster. Voldemort, on the other hand, wants Jose. She really wants Jose. So she rests the lei against his shoulder, does everything short of wrapping her legs around him and using the Full Body-Bind to make sure he can't get away, and goes in for the almost-kill and what, in the name of mercy, will only be described as the longest five seconds in the history of television before she starts to head back.

There's just one problem and Jiffy's about to tell us what it is, because when you need someone to point out the obvious, you know exactly where to turn. 'She didn't lei her man!' The kiss doesn't count. It'll have to be repeated.

'She's throwing the game to spend more time with Jose!' Jiffy declares, and he's absolutely right. Voldy is potentially giving up future camera time to get a little more current camera time in with the Steroid SideOBeef -- so after the second longest five seconds in the history of television pass, she finally heads back for her official last-place finish. Which doesn't matter. As Jiffy says, 'For the first time on national television -- this is what Voldemort looks like happy.' And really, you can barely make out the scales at all. Carey finishes first, Sandi second, and we're off to the last challenge.

The final contest is lagoon blackjack. There's several playing cards scattered around the lagoon floor, and the contestants will have to dive down for them one at a time, bringing each card back to shore and posting it before going back for the next. The first person to reach twenty-one wins immunity. There's a full deck down there, which means it might take some time to find an ace-face combo -- or less to go for a potentially closer number card combo. So there's some actual strategy involved here, along with a hefty dose of dumb luck. Gee. Luck determining the winner of Immunity. That's never happened before.

Jiffy does what he does so well, triggering Carey and Sandi's race for the water. Sandi's skirt is still holding her up, though, and may be doing so in more ways than one: she's having trouble getting underneath the surface. (Jiffy describes this as 'Sandi is inexplicably reluctant to go down.' He really makes the language his own, doesn't he?) In fact, Carey goes down and gets a lucky ace before Sandi even thinks about diving -- and gets it posted about three seconds before she officially Janices. Sandi will not dive. Sandi is giving up Immunity. And why? Does her skirt really contain sixteen cubic feet of air, making diving a physical impossibility? Wrong. Sandi will not dive because Sandi has a hair weave and she refuses to get it wet. Sandi will go down, but her hair won't. And so Carey has all the time he could possibly want to find his face card, finish first, win the Fuzzy Dice Of Safety for yet another show -- challenge whore! -- and get his one-in-six chance at all that precious footage. To Tribal Council we go!

In the shortest pre-vote interview session ever, Jiffy asks exactly one question -- how will Pink feel about Carey kissing another woman? -- she won't like it, but she'll forgive him because she knows he's competitive and that's why he did it -- I guess Jiffy's as sick of these people as we are -- and we go to the vote. (Janice is shown with her hands clasped in prayer, hoping someone will honor her Osten. So say we all.)

Bronson's up first. He writes his lipstick vote onto the napkin, and holds it up to reveal Janice's name. 'I still think you're an intriguing woman, but you are a pain in the All-Star Survivor.'
Sandi: vote not shown, because she's too nice to say anything bad in front of the camera.
Jose: vote not shown, because he's over his vocabulary limit for the day.
Carey: vote not shown, because he did it as an extensive tattoo design and it took three hours to explain it.
Janice: vote not shown, because she talked about exactly why she hated the person enough to vote hir off, and they ran out of film.
Caprice: vote not shown, because her accent slipped on her handwriting.
Voldemort: votes Jose. 'If I don't kick you out of Vegas tonight, we'll wind up shagging together, and we can't have that.' You're right. We can't. We can never have anyone use the word 'shagging' on television again, and it's all your fault. By the way, remember Janice's expert vomit-inducing move? You shouldn't need it any more.

Jiffy brings back The Ice Chest Of Destiny, and begins reading off the votes.

Janice. (Janice cheers)
Jose. (Janice is dismayed)
Janice. (Another cheer)
Janice. (Still another cheer)
Janice (And to all some really, really good cheer!)

Janice's quitting strategy has failed. Wow. Who saw that coming? That's a whole lot of PTTE columns wrecked beyond repair... She has to leave Vegas immediately, driving herself to Loser's Lodge, also known as The Surreal Estate for no apparent reason, in a Rent-A-Wreck Ford 1992 Aspire, as in 'I aspire to drive an actual car...' Janice is so depressed about this that she can only express the emotions inside her by hugging Jiffy and rubbing against him a lot.

'Janice was so depressed that we exorcised her out of Vegas,' Voldy mistakenly c-ts. 'It was all an act, trust me.' Right. And the Emmy for Best Reality Performance goes to...

...ummm... was I writing something?

Wow. Look at the tape. That must have been one long commercial break... anyway, it looks like the Surreal Life producers decided to separate Janice from the group, because she's about to drive herself back to Los Angeles. They've provided directions and gas money -- which, since this series was shot in the spring, is less than three thousand dollars. What they didn't provide is a new attitude. 'Just another (censored) day in paradise,' Janice c-ts, and nearly runs over an oncoming car by driving in the wrong lane until the very last second. Because all lanes belong to Janice, and she's not going to share. But honestly, would you want to use a lane after she'd been in it?

Meanwhile, the exhausted cast decides to recharge their batteries with a meal at the Pink Taco -- and history is made. For the first time, a Lifer is recognized as a quasi-celebrity. The waitress, a heavyset bottle-blonde woman in her mid-40s who's wearing a typical Vegas waitress outfit -- cloth only where absolutely necessary -- knows Jose from his time with the Yankees, and is intrigued enough to make the following speech, badly translated in closed captioning from Spanish, presumably used so the more Caucasian members of the cast wouldn't catch on.

'You know something? I'm a Mexican woman. Outside of the bed, I'm the queen of magic, darling. Who are you here with? With a woman? She's got nothing on me. You know what? I will kiss your hand.' And it's very plain that she's willing to not stop anywhere near there -- but she leaves to get the food. Jose grumpily thanks the other Lifers for all their help, which presumably took place post-translation. Not that much was needed. Some body language is universal, and they've all had plenty of exposure to immersion classes lately -- as Bronson reminds them.

Bronson: 'You know what? We just got rid of Janice. Do we really need another older woman who thinks she's sexy?'
Carey: 'Hey, we've got an open bunk.' And it would be a tremendous improvement! -- although she might not be able to match Janice's begging skills. Watch Janice spot a sports car at a gas station! Watch Janice ask the owner of the car if he's single! Watch Janice get down on her knees and beg to swap vehicles because she's the world's first supermodel and would look so much better in the more expensive car! Watch the owner of that car reject her! Go, car owner! (Actually, she might be able to match Janice's begging skills...)

With the meal over, it's time for the other Lifers to go back to their fake home: they board the bus, with an exhausted Caprice -- too tired to realize what she's saying or keep her accent up -- bunking in the back of the vehicle. Bronson takes the bunk above her, his appointment time comes around, and thus, Sexual Harassment III: The Return Of The Perv, has been set up for the ages. Not that the ages care or anything. (I don't either.)

Caprice sleepily declares that she likes her back and face tickled. Bronson offers to do it, because most males would. Caprice tells Bronson she doesn't trust him, because most people with a functional brain wouldn't. But when you're sleepy, your resistance is down -- so Caprice eventually winds up with her blouse halfway up her back and Bronson lazily stroking her skin. Carey walks in on them, leading to an immediate withdrawal in the upper bunk and a immediate protest from the lower. Carey leaves, bemused -- and, for the first time in the series, ready to say something less than helpful about a fellow housemate. In c-t, he lets us know 'I love being on the tour bus while Janice is beating the pavement in a little piece of crap car.' Because Janice isn't on the tour bus, and isn't not being with Janice something we can all get behind? Our little Carey is growing up. He's starting to bash on his own! It's baby steps still, just little flattering lines and he still has to grab the script for support, but... *sniff* ...I'm so proud...

Cut to Janice, who's getting a meal at the drive-thru and asking the server, in a voice completely free from bronchitism, to never let anyone know she was there, because it would be really bad for her image, plus she doesn't eat this kind of food. But of course, Naomi Campbell eats it all the time. And so does Tyra. Everyone on America's Next Top Model eats that food. Host, judges, and contestants. Constantly. You can trust Janice on this, because it's not like she's bitter or anything. Even so, you may be asking how being seen eating fast food could be bad for Janice's image, especially when it proves that she still has to eat. It could be very bad for the image of the company whose food she's eating, but her? When you're already -40,000, what's another dip? And by the way, the name of the fast food company whose product Janice is jamming into her mouth like a castoff arriving at Loser Lodge for their first meal -- where did that image come from? -- is McDonald's. And you thought Super-Size Me did some real damage.

Thus refueled -- artificial nutrients for artificial people! -- Janice declares her intent to let a nearby trucker (censored) her in exchange for use of his CB, then gets on the horn, declares her false identity as the world's first supermodel, and starts looking for someone who'll load the Aspire into the back of their truck and carry her all the way back to the Estate. She quickly gets someone offering to drive in 'Mommy and Daddy' formation. I have no idea what this means and since Janice is involved, I really don't want to know...

Back on the bus, a very long exchange is being edited for your protection. Bronson wants to give Caprice an abdomen massage. Caprice doesn't want one. In mild and very shortened paraphrase:

'It's where you carry all your tension.'
'It's weird.'
'It's good for you.'
'Super weird.'
'Just give me five seconds.'
'You're a freak.'

Guess who was saying which lines, then repeat it out for two minutes, and you'll have a good feel for the scene. You won't have a good feel for Caprice, but that's Bronson's job. He offers to massage Caprice's forehead until she falls asleep -- if he gets to share her bunk with her. This c-t distresses Voldy into calling Bronson a pervert -- again -- but Bronson's mainstream reply to Voldy's upset look is 'It's called 'being an adult',' or at least trying to get a rating for adults -- and he climbs in, spooning her. (As much as I hate to say it, wouldn't this be a really great time for the PTC to intervene -- yuck! I don't believe those words just came off my tongue! Soap! Soap!)

Caprice: 'Okay. Get your wiener facing that way. That way.' (Who brings hot dogs into bed with them?)
Bronson (c-t): 'She knows I don't mean any harm. There are oobies in the way, but I'm really aiming for the heart.' (And this is someone he thought was plastic in the first episode -- but as noted in previous summaries, now that he's seen what plastic really means...)
Caprice: 'Now you're dry-humping me!' (Who brings camels into bed with them?) (c-t) 'He's quite naughty, naughty, naughty!' (Get the exorcism kit ready again! It's the spirit of Jo Frost!) (mainstream) 'Get back in your bunk! You're out of your mind!' Uh-huh. You invited him into bed with you and he's out of his mind. Sure...

Meanwhile, the delicate flower that is Janice spits out the window before reaching the Estate, where she thanks the car for its sterling service by kicking it a few times before re-entering the 'dump' she calls a temporary home. And the time she spent alone with the possessions of all her housemates was not shown on camera. (Don't you just hate it when the best stuff gets confiscated for court evidence?) The bus pulls in a few hours afterwards, with the weary Lifers reluctantly disembarking, knowing what awaits them on the other end. And Bronson takes out a calendar of Caprice photos, opens it to the centerfold, and props it up against his bed's pillow. He feels the time in the bus was a good start. He thinks Caprice is the type of person who cries after having a really good time that involves multiple occasions of having a really, really good time. He believes he's going to find out for himself. He thinks the really, really, really good time will be fantastic, and it will happen to him. He even thinks it'll involve Caprice in some capacity. And it will. Because the picture is right there. Caprice herself, however, is asleep in her bunk.

Good night, little house in the hills. Good night, Voldy. Good night, Jose. Good night, Caprice. Good night, Sandi. Good night, Carey. Good night, Bronson. Fall into a million pieces, Janice.

Next week on The Surreal Life: Janice pulls a knife on Voldemort.

I'm not joking. Stay tuned.

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