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Fear Factor - Episode 100, Part 9 Summary

'So Long, Farewell, Goodbye (We'll Miss You)' By Estee
Original Airdate: June 27, 2006

{But the good news is: not only are we never doing this again, but no matter how much rough paraphrase, strange twists of the local tongue, variant bits of reality, and all-out distortions of the universe I toss in, we've finally found something that can make Fear Factor's last-gasp sputtering ratings look good: the readership numbers for these 'special' episodes on this site...}

{*sigh* Okay, where were we? Oh, right. We started with five teams of two, and since anything involved 'teams of two' means automatic doom for the TAR representatives, Bluehair & Victim went home. We then had to do some actual stunts, and since anything involving physical activity with the Survivors means automatic gales of helpless mirth for the few remaining viewers, Jon and Twila went home, or at least, Twila went home and Jon was packed into his coffin until the next time a camera light went on in his vicinity. (And you thought dripping blood onto vampire ashes was bad?) So that leaves us with three teams: Craig & Tana (Apprentice), Anthony & Carmen (American Idol), and Mike & Trishelle (let's just keep it down to Real World, okay?). One of these pairs will win $150,000 and the right to not do anything resembling actual work for another work. The other two teams will get to take home the leftovers from this season's food challenges, so essentially, they're all getting the same prize.}

{Who will win? Who will lose? Who will care?}

{1. Guess.}
{2. Whoever you didn't guess.}
{3. Every other DAW who no longer has a chance to get into Reality Stars III.}

Joe: 'The stunts you are about to see were designed by trained professionals. They are extremely dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone, anywhere, at any time. And you wonder why we were never able to market a home game. Howie 'I'll take another breath after this commercial break' gets a home game and what do we get? Endless reruns on Spike TV -- actually, given that at best, Howie gets to spend eternity sharing quarters with Chuck Woolery... Hey, Howie? Do you know how you'll spell Deal Or No Deal once NBC finishes doing to you what ABC did to Regis? L-O-S-E-R. I get to draw two balls now, and neither of them could have ever belonged to you. Forty-eight minutes and I'm free... I'm free... they said I could keep the vomit bucket...'

{And thus, we know the last days are truly upon us, for the prophecy of the vomit bucket hath come to pass. And lo, for he did take the rusty thing home with him, and he did blow chunks into it, muchly... Roll opening credits.}

{We are in the basement of an abandoned official building, painted in the corroded browns of unused desks and the sickly greens of some really bad fluorescent lighting. Several large spiders and the occasional lost tarantula crawl about the area, looking oddly comfortable in that 'setting the mood' sort of way. Our remaining pairs of DAWs are making their way to the stunt area, confessional-telling as they go.}

Carmen (c-t): 'Whatever this is, it's going to be worse than whatever's come before it. I'm thinking kissing. Jon Dalton. With tongue. Longest time wins. I plan on quitting before Joe finishes describing the stunt.'
Mike (c-t): 'And here we are: Week Three. Was there ever any doubt? Did you really not have faith in my Miz-Powers to carry me through to the end? Do you really think I wear this cape just because it shows off the back of my neck?'
Tana: 'I want the prize money. The secondary prizes aren't important. Just making it to the third show isn't important. The big money is important. But not as important as my Bedazzler. Have you seen my Bedazzler? You might remember it from national television when I effectively gave up a career in real estate development in order to --'

{The camera quickly cuts away from Tana before we start into another semi-unintentional one-hour commercial, and we move out to the contestants gathering in front of Joe.}

Joe: 'So, everyone here has won a stunt except the Apprentices. Tana, how does it feel to be among the prizeless?}
Tana: 'Beads!'
Joe: 'Spiders!'
Tana: '...what?'
Joe: 'Oh, this isn't the 'scream meaningless words at each other' stunt? Too bad: you would have won. 'Spiders' means something here. In fact, it's a part of your next stunt. Ready to hear what it is?'
Anthony: *raises hand*
Joe: 'Yes?'
Anthony: 'Um -- Mr. Rogan -- Jon & Twila are gone and -- well, they were translating for everyone, and -- we were wondering -- would you mind running through it yourself first so we can see what we're supposed to do? We're not very good at the whole listening to others thing.'
Joe: 'No.'
Carmen (muttering): 'It was worth a shot...'
Joe: 'Spark a few brain cells and see if anything sticks. This is what you're doing.'

{The camera roams over the stunt while Joe explains. There's a sled attached to a track: it starts a full body length out of the wall and can then be cranked down a tunnel deep into the complex. The women will be triply-locked onto the sled, leaving them able to move only their heads. The men will be outside, working the crank. At three points along the way, the women will have to pull a key from the tunnel's roof with their mouths. While they do this, the men will dive into a tank of ice (about three feet deep, five wide, and eight across) to dig for three metal cans. Each can contains a key that can be used to free up the crank and move the women further down the tunnel. Once all three of the crank's locks have been freed and the women have all of their keys, the men can crank the women back to the entrance and unlock them using the keys the women retrieved, stopping the clock. Sounds easy enough? A little cold, a little claustrophobia, and you're done. Well...}

Joe: 'By the way, we thought you'd get lonely in the tunnel -- so every time your sled stops, we'll give you a little company. Nothing too fancy. Some crickets. Spiders. Tarantulas. No more than a thousand or so when you add them all together. You can talk to them, sing to them, tell them thrilling stories of your many fights with the editing teams -- the usual. Doesn't that count like fun?'
Carmen: 'Okay, who on the stunt design team hates women? So far, we've been getting the worst of every stunt! This is ridiculous! When are the men going to suffer for a change?'
Joe: 'Totally my bad. I made the mistake of introducing everyone to a former girlfriend once... But if you really want the men to suffer --'
Carmen: 'And how.'
Joe: '-- I can arrange something.' (Steps away from the camera for a moment, then returns pushing a garbage can on a handcart.) 'The men will have to deal with -- this!' (whips cover off can)

{The women scream. The men faint. Joe gets to use the vomit bucket a little earlier than usual. And --}

Jon: 'It's me! I'm back again! I'm co-hosting the rest of this stunt! Choke on my venom, you me wanna-bes! Choke on it!'
Carmen: '...I'm so sorry...'
Joe: 'Hey, we're doing our last shows and if we couldn't officially jump the shark, we figured we'd at least give him a microphone.'
Tana: 'Snake! Snake! Aaaah!'
Carmen: '...I didn't mean it...'
Joe: 'Too bad: you and Anthony are still going first, as soon as those smelling salts kick in. Now, since this is a high-suffering stunt even for us, we're going to sweeten the pot a little. Not only is this one non-elimination and the winner will get to pick tomorrow's order for the money stunt, the fastest team will win a lifetime subscription to TiVo, plus ten thousand dollars each.'
Jon: 'Now that's worth playing for!'

{A process server wearing an official EPMB buff-tie walks in and stuffs several court documents down Jon's throat. The remaining (awake) contestants wildly applaud.}

Joe: 'And as you can see, the real reason we brought him back is because I truly care about all of you. Hey, Anthony! Welcome back to the land of the living! Let's make sure you're oriented. Did you have sex with Trishelle last night?'
Anthony: 'Huh? No...'
Joe: 'Okay, he's still half out. Everyone had sex with Trishelle last night. Give him another dose.'
Trishelle: 'Wait! He's fine! We didn't do anything!'
Mike & Joe, chorus: 'Say what?'
Trishelle: 'I'm saving myself for Flav.'

Mike (c-t): 'But Anthony could be rich one day! And he likes you! And he's nice! And easy!'
Trishelle (c-t): 'And he doesn't have his own TV show that's actually made it to a second hit season on VH1.'
Mike (c-t): 'You're setting something up, aren't you?'
Trishelle (c-t): 'May-be...'

Joe: 'Carmen, worried about Anthony?'
Carmen: 'Not really. I'm sure his head will clear once the pheromones are out of range. Plus he's Russian, so he should be good with ice. And he didn't get any last night, so he should have a lot of practice at hand cranking.'
Joe: 'I'm just going to pretend I didn't hear that. Lock her in.'

{While Jon clears his throat with the help of a handily-placed blowtorch, Carmen is locked into the sled and prepped in Fear Factor safety gear: earplugs and goggles. There's no mouth guard here, as she needs to be able to get the flags dangling from the keys with her teeth, and her skin is exposed to the normal degree for her badly-chosen outfit for the day: sleeveless blouse and shorts. (When will they learn? Time's up.) As such, she can be bitten and embedded with tarantula hairs to her company's content, but she does have the reassurance that no one can crawl in through her ear and make a new home in the empty space when non-DAWs store a brain. Anthony strips down to swim trunks so as to better enjoy the ice, and we're under way.}

{Anthony starts cranking, and while he doesn't seem to have a lot of wrist strength and Carmen's not that good at using her mouth -- just ask Simon -- she's still got the first key freed by 0:20. This leaves Anthony to jump into the ice tank (up a ladder, then dive right in), searching for his first key while the first of Carmen's company arrives from overhead. Carmen experiences the thrill of having spiders crawling all over her face while the crickets show her just who's got the real musical talent in the tunnel. Anthony experiences -- well, let's just call it 'shrinkage' and not connect it to anything, because making that connection would be wrong. Still, he gets the first can out, pries the lid off, frees the key, and has his first lock off and is working the crank again by 1:30. Jon observes that Anthony looks cold. Joe gives this a very weak 'wah-wah-wah', which is six times the musical stinger that line deserved. Carmen attempts to scream for Anthony, just to find out how he's doing, and learns that every time she opens her mouth, she's going to get a spider in it. Trishelle starts to suffer through some slightly displaced empathy pains as Carmen goes further down the tunnel: Anthony overcranks her a little (which is the only time in his life he'll ever hear that), but she still gets the second key off by 1:52. This sends Anthony back into the ice, and we pause to note a very nice camera shot from the side, with Anthony's limbs appearing indistinctly and ghostly within the mass of solid cold. Anthony might be feeling just a little bit insubstantial himself: the second can is slipping through his wraithly grasp, and nothing is coming to the surface. Carmen gets bitten. Anthony gets frostbite. Carmen starts to lose her mind, Anthony starts to lose several toes, and still there's no second can. The camera takes a major time jump -- 2:13 to 4:53 -- just to show us when Anthony finally pulls the second out, and we're not sure if this is being expressed as minutes:seconds or hours:minutes, with an outside chance at years:days, and doesn't he still look boyish? However long it's been, it's long enough for his hands to go red and number with cold, adding to the time required to open the can and lock. By the time Carmen's moving again, we're at 6:38, and while she retrieves her last key in a hurry, we're coming up on what turns out to be seven minutes. (Jon notes this is about how long Anthony was on AI for. Joe re-stings him.) Anthony can't find the third can. Anthony's getting colder by the second. Ten minutes. Twelve. We are now approaching a serious medical danger point, and Joe gives Anthony the news: if he can't find the third can by the 17:00 mark, they're going to stop the stunt. Hypothermia is visible on the horizon and galloping in at top speed. If left in the tank too long, Anthony could die from this stunt, and that's why you don't try it anywhere, any time, with any one. But Anthony's not thinking clearly, he can't find the can, he can't stop trying to find it, he's starting to lose track of what's around him and why he's even doing this -- and as promised, at 17:00, Joe calls a safety halt and stops the stunt. Anthony is removed from the tank and carefully warmed until his body temperature is back in the safe range and frostbite is no longer a danger. Carmen is retrieved from the tunnel, and the insects are removed from her skin. We hurt DAWs here, but we don't kill them. At least, not while they're still active in the game.}

Joe: 'And welcome back Anthony & Carmen. Anthony, you're all right?'
Anthony: 'So cold... so cold... need warmth... the warmth of Trishelle's body...'
Mike: 'Ice feet. Trust me there.'
Joe: 'Well, Mike, get ready for a little deja vu to your last serious relationship, because you're up next. Trishelle, how do you feel about that?'
Trishelle: *squeaks*
Joe: 'And Trishelle flashes back to her end of the relationship.'
Jon: 'I think Mike will do -- Miz-serable! Hah? Hah?'
Mike: 'I think Jon is -- a moron! Hah? Hah?'
Joe: 'I'm kind of starting to regret this myself.'
Anthony: 'I'll comfort you, Trishelle. I'll keep you safe. I'll ride on top of you in the tunnel and let my body shield you from the spiders by pressing so close, they'll never get in...'
Trishelle: *squeaks*
Joe: 'Would someone throw him back into the ice, please?'

{A loud, oddly high scream is heard off-camera.}

Joe: 'Next week's stunt: we give that mental image to all our contestants and they can't move on until they first get rid of it and then explain to me how they did it, because I never will... Strap Trishelle in. I'll be in the ice tank, freezing my brain.'

Mike (c-t): 'I'll keep it simple. We have to win. It's about the money. It's about the TiVo and granting me the ability to record myself without commercial interruption for the rest of my DAW life. But it's also because if we don't win, we'll be picked to go first tomorrow. I've done enough stuff like this to see that coming. So this is for the ability to follow up last and follow myself forever. I wonder if I can add my own commentary to the DVDs I burn of myself? I think I look so good in this swimsuit...'

{Carmen predicts that Mike will get the cans faster than Anthony due to his larger size -- displacement probably works into this somewhere -- Trishelle is locked into place, and they're off. Mike's not that strong a cranker either and Trishelle isn't much good at using her mouth -- honestly, did anyone see either of those traits coming? -- so they match the Idols' time for the first key. However, that sends Mike into the ice -- and that's when strategy comes into play: Mike decides to get all three cans found before he unlocks anything. So with Trishelle enjoying the feeling of spiders sitting down to a good meal in Hell's Kitchenette, Mike goes digging through the ice, getting the first can out at 0:34, then using it as a extra excavation tool. This still isn't incredibly fast -- there's an element of luck involved here in where you look first and last -- but the tactic and a touch of fortune put him well ahead of Anthony's total pace: all three cans are found by 2:30, the first lock is off at 2:50 -- and we get another weird jump cut to 3:40, which has Trishelle just on her way to the second flag. (Maybe Mike cranked the wrong way for a while. How very odd. You really would have thought it was a natural skill.) Still, while Trishelle's nearly dying just from the effort of not talking on camera for the longest period of her DAW life and Mike still has to get into the ice tank every time he wants to retrieve a can, the tactic continues to shave minutes off the Idols' time. We barely have enough frames to appreciate Trishelle getting bitten within an inch of Flav's potential attraction to her or the pop-eyed look Mike gives the camera every time he stops cranking -- pure instinct -- until all this brings Trishelle back out into the light for Mike to unlock her at 6:39.}

{And here their troubles begin.}

{Guess what? Mike's scared of spiders. He doesn't want to retrieve the keys, because they're lying in a bed of them. He doesn't want to touch the locks, because they're covered in hairy legs, and no, not Trishelle. He doesn't want to touch Trishelle, because he's suddenly developed taste. It's kind of hard to work the locks when you don't want to have anything to do with any part of the process --}

Mike (c-t): *screams like little girl*
Trishelle (c-t): 'What did I ever see in you?'
Mike (c-t): 'I was male and breathing.'
Trishelle: 'Yeah. 'Was'.'
Mike (c-t): *screams like Carson*
Trishelle: 'Well, at least that means you'll finally do something about your stupid hair.'

{-- and the clock doesn't stop until 7:57.4. Mike refuses to touch Trishelle until after she's been completely cleaned off. Trishelle refuses to touch Mike ever again, but that's just taste kicking in. (Hey, there's a first time for everything.)}

Joe: 'So how was it?'
Trishelle: 'They got in my mouth! They crawled down my throat!'
Joe: 'That's funny. We could have sworn we sealed up all the access routes.'
Trishelle: 'The hole in my head itches!'
Joe: 'And -- nevermind. Craig, Tana, the window of opportunity has just cracked open. Can you dive through it?'
Craig: 'I am The Rumble In The Ice Bungle!'
Tana: 'I love him so.'
Joe: 'Is it the body? The speech patterns? The hair?'
Tana: 'The shiny shoes he puts on my pillow every morning.'
Joe: 'I had to ask. Strap her in... Jon, don't you have anything interesting to say about all this?'
Jon: 'Back off, man! I'm in mourning her! That last giant spider Trishelle stepped on was my grandmother!'

{Craig starts cranking -- and look at him go! The man is a monster cranker! He's definitely done this before! Tana has no trouble using her mouth to help her cause -- remember all those Boardrooms -- and anyone who's dealt with Carolyn has no trouble putting up with giant insects who like to nibble on flesh, so she's fine. The first key-flag is freed at 0:12, Craig is into the tank a few seconds later -- and this is where luck and speed really come into play. Craig uses Mike's tactic: he's not leaving the tank until all three cans are found. What he doesn't use is Mike's speed. He uses Brian's. 'Yes, Mr. Trump, I believe you should get me out of this tank.' As such, this is a stunt like a foregone conclusion firing is a Boardroom: in name only. The ice is rooted through, the cans are sifted out, and Craig has all three sitting on a ledge at 1:00, with Mike staring in open disbelief. The rest of the stunt is basically an exercise in waiting to see if either contestant somehow spontaneously combusts before they can finish, and the ice is making that just a little unlikely on one end, so Game Over: 5:26.4, and a spider-covered Tana kisses Craig. TiVo, 20k between them, and guess what?}

Trishelle: 'We're going first tomorrow.'
Mike: 'We are so going first tomorrow.'
Trishelle: 'Why did you have to give him that strategy?'
Mike: 'Did you want me to leave you in there?'
Trishelle: 'We're always supposed to go with what the viewers like to see!'
Joe: 'Craig, you're a monster! And you even find a spider-covered Tana sexy!'
Craig: 'She reminds me of Kristen.'
Joe: 'Now that's just sick. That is so sick that I'm going to bring a twist into this. Guess what? This is now an elimination stunt.'

{Anthony & Carmen freeze. (It comes very naturally for Anthony.)}

Joe: 'Nervous, Idols?'
Carmen: 'No fair! We were Top Three! Even if there's only three left, that still counts!'
Joe: 'Fair enough. You're not being eliminated.' *turns to Jon* 'Say, 'co-host' -- did you say anything funny during that last stunt? Did you distract a single contestant? Did you do anything but use up precious oxygen?'
Jon: 'I don't have to do anything funny. My mere existence is proof that the universe has a sense of humor. I am Jonny Fair --'
Jon: *pulls out a gun and shoots Jon in the forehead*
Joe: *falls down and bleeds*
Mike: '...look, not that I'm complaining, but you just...'
Joe: 'Oh, calm down. It's a mercy bullet. He'll wake up with a headache in an hour.'
Trishelle: 'But -- doesn't that only work when the mass of the brain combines with the skull to prevent passage?'
Joe: 'Umm...'
Jon: *continues to bleed as the sound of air starting to rush into a vacuum registers on the microphones*
Joe: '...whydon'twegetoutofherenow?'

{The contestants flee, the camera people stuff Jon's body into the garbage can from which it came -- ashes to ashes, total waste of flesh to recyclable bin -- the producers do some serious review of the boilerplate before discovering Jon counts as a stunt dummy and no one is liable for anything except the costs of the major party to be thrown later, and we come back in at the desert scrublands, where our three remaining teams are walking towards their final stunt.}

Craig (c-t): 'Yesterday means nothing. Today means everything. Cliches are in my blood. Originality is nowhere near my thoughts. I cannot program the damn TiVo.'
Mike (c-t): 'We'd better set the bar really high, or Trishelle is going to climb into it and spend the whole stunt drinking.'
Carmen: 'Don't you -- forget about me... No, I'm not going to pay for it! I never sang! I just paused strategically!'

Joe: 'Repeat after me: 'Good thing it was only the stunt dummy or someone would have gotten hurt.''
All contestants, choral response: *wild cheers*
Joe (grinning): 'Close enough. Ready for your next-to-last stunt?'
Anthony: 'Wait. What?'
Joe: 'Look up!'

{Everyone looks up just as two cars, suspended from overhead cranes, drop off their hooks and start falling towards them. The contestants scream as one and run from the area, clearing the drop zone just before the cars impact and burst into flames.}

Joe: 'Good! You all get through to the next round! Ready to see your final stunt?'
Tana: 'What happens if we say no?'
Joe: 'We try to beat our time in the last stunt.'
Tana: 'Final stunt, please.'
Joe: 'Great! Let's flip some cue cards! See those cranes overhead? We're going to suspend two open-top convertibles from them, about a hundred feet in the air, hanging from four wires each. They'll start almost bumper-to-bumper, and you'll be in the seats. Now when the clock starts, the cranes will start to pull the cars further away from each other. You'll scramble out and stand or kneel on the trunks, where we've set up a platform for you. The men will have to unhook balls from a storage bin and throw them to their partners. The women will catch them and re-hook them to their belts. Only the balls that are caught will count: if anything goes into the car, you can't retrieve it. And you want to work fast, because the cars will keep separating -- and you've only got a minute and a half to work. The team that catches and hooks the most balls in ninety seconds wins. If it's a tie for number caught and hooked, it'll be the fastest time winning.'
Mike: 'Wait. What happens after ninety seconds?'
Joe: 'The cranes stop pulling the cars back and let them slam into each other before falling from the sky and bursting into flames on impact with the ground.'
Mike: 'And -- where are we when this happens?'
Joe: 'Since when are you this detail-oriented?'
Mike: 'Since there might be spiders in the car with me.'
Joe: 'Oh. Well, we were just going to leave you hanging in mid-air from your own wire, kind of like a giant -- spider.'
Mike: *screams like a little girl*
Trishelle: 'This is why Tobey got the callback instead of you.'
Joe: 'Craig, say the words we're all waiting for.'
Craig: 'Mike and Trishelle are going first.'
Mike: 'I could die from not-surprise.'
Joe: 'Don't worry. Trishelle has the strength of love! Didn't Anthony send you chocolate-covered strawberries last night?'
Carmen: 'You did what? You only called me!'
Anthony: 'Well -- it wasn't just strawberries...'
Carmen: 'What else did you send her?'
Anthony: 'Some wine. A good meal. My car. The trip to Kenya. Fifty percent of my musical earnings in perpetuity.'
Carmen: 'Joe, I need some ice here.'
Joe: 'And I wish I had some to give you. Trishelle, how did you take all this?'
Trishelle: 'With disdain. Why would I need a Nash Gremlin and fifty-eight cents?'
Anthony: 'One day, you will acknowledge your love for me.'
Trishelle: 'Only if I can admit to it in the grand finale on ABC.'
Anthony: 'But -- you'll go to VH1 for Flav!'
Trishelle: 'And do you have gold teeth? I don't think so.'

Mike (c-t): 'He's cute! He's young! He's blonde! What's your problem?'
Trishelle (c-t): 'See? I now have not slept with one man on reality television. I am no longer a slut. Take that!'
Mike (c-t): 'You know, I've been doing the math here, and your share could work out to sixty-five cents. Yearly.'
Trishelle (c-t): '...does he have any cheap beer to go with the strawberries?'

Joe: 'And this concludes today's promo for Passions. Get the Real Worlders into the red spandex, and we'll get started.'

{Lots of set-up time later -- the sun visibly switches positions in the sky -- Mike & Trishelle are well up in the air, everyone else is watching from the ground, and Mike has already fainted twice when Anthony called out 'Webbing!' just for fun. Several doses of smelling salts later:}

Joe: 'Predictions? Keep in mind Trishelle was a quarterback in the Lingerie Bowl, but she'll be catching, not throwing.'
Carmen: 'I watched that for the plot.'
Craig: 'Not bad, but we'll be better.'
Anthony: 'What plot?'

{The clock starts, and the cars, about a yard away from each other at the start, begin moving apart at about two feet per second. Mike & Trishelle scramble out to their hoods and take kneeling positions, the better to keep their balance with. Mike needs some time to find the variable range and misses the closest (and easiest) tosses, but connects shortly after. Trishelle clips it on. Second. Third... and then Mike starts to throw wide left. And then even wider left. Mike's aim has gone the way of his chances at big Hollywood stardom, and just in time to give the other teams the illusion of a chance. As the cars reach their widest separation, he's basically tossing the balls into the next state while Trishelle watches in frustration -- and then the cars jerk out from under them, colliding in mid-air while the Real Worlders dangle from their wires. The fireball that comes from the ground impact reaches about halfway up to our DAWs, and the smoke cloud engulfs them for a few seconds before fading. They emerge coughing and a little despondent.}

Mike (c-t): 'I hate you, Craig.'
Craig: 'Cool. Very cool. Can we get some extra gas on that flame?'
Joe: 'Before or while you go?'
Craig: 'Oh, right...'
Mike (hanging from the wire): 'We suck.'
Trishelle (ibid): 'I don't suck. I'm not a slut any more! Now I just stink!'
Joe: 'Craig, call it.'
Craig: 'Anthony and Carmen. Their votes can't help them now.'
Joe: 'They didn't help them the first time, either. I'm not sure you're making the right decision here. If you'd been paying attention to the environment...'
Craig: 'This is an executive decision. Paying attention to everything around me has nothing to do with it.'

Mike (c-t): 'Five balls, six balls, I would have been comfortable with our position. I couldn't do in ninety seconds what Trishelle does in forty.'
Trishelle (c-t): 'That was in my past. I'm a better person now.'
Mike (c-t): 'You're trying to get Tom Cruise, aren't you.'
Trishelle (c-t): 'I have to act fast before the aliens arrive to judge us all.'

{The sun jumps again -- it does take a lot of time to reset this stunt -- and the Idols are in position. The cranes start up, both contestants get in the kneeling position, and the tosses begin. Carmen snags one ball fairly quickly, then a second -- and then Anthony starts to miss. Carmen stands to give him a better target as her car retreats, with Anthony following suit -- but even though she's coming close on a couple of the slings, she just can't reel in any more balls. This probably would have done wonders for her voting pool in the heartland, but it's not doing a thing for her chances on this show, plus Anthony's standing to lose the range. The time mark when Trishelle hooked her third (0:57) passes, so the Idols now need four to win and about six more minutes to get them in. Anthony has a terrible arm, Mike is celebrating at ground level, Carmen implores Anthony to look at her and aim instead of looking at Trishelle and daydreaming -- and the clock runs out. Crash. Boom. Smoke. Fire. Flood. Insects. Rains of frogs. Wow, we really covered just about all of the classics during the show's run, didn't we?}

Mike: 'Goodbye, little sopranos! Goodbye!'
Joe: 'Anthony, Carmen -- you know what this means. Walk Of Shame, you two. Carmen, it was nice meeting you, and I hope you enjoy your trip to Kenya. Anthony, I hope your rejection sends you on to a promising blues career.'
Carmen: 'I'll live. And all this is Simon's fault.'
Anthony: 'My heart hurts. It hurts worse than it did when I was kicked off AI! I can't take this any more! Trishelle!' (The production staff starts dragging Anthony away.) 'Trishelle! I need you! I'll miss you more than life itself! I'll send you one of my kidneys!' (A security person tasers Anthony. He slumps to the ground. Carmen shrugs and slowly drags his body away.}
Joe: 'Trishelle, how does that make you feel?'
Trishelle (musing): 'I can resell that kidney on the black market, right?'
Joe: 'Such a kind and considerate girl. Craig, Tana, what's the plan?'
Craig: 'I throw balls.'
Tana: 'I catch balls.'
Joe: 'I try not to hate my life.'
Tana: 'Don't mess with the mom from Iowa! I said it before!'
Joe: 'The last time you said it, you lost.'
Tana: 'Which means that this time, it has to work!'
Mike: 'You see, this is what being on twenty-five series does for you. I would have known not to say that.'
Tana: 'Craig, I can see the dollar signs in your eyes!'
Craig: 'That's where my soul used to be before Burnett ate it.'

{One more time jump, and then the Apprentices are playing the last round. Craig gets out to his platform, unhooks several balls, and starts throwing. His first tosses come up short, but Tana snags one eventually -- and misses a chance at another because she's too busy demonstrating her problem as an Apprentice contestant: tunnel vision. All she's concentrating on is hooking her ball. She's not looking for incoming tosses -- and Craig can't be bothered to see she's preoccupied. And then Tana demonstrates more of the qualities that lost her the job by telling Craig to slow down and take his time, because who needs to rush when there's only ninety seconds to work with? And remember when Joe said to pay attention to the environment? All the reset times have brought the sun well down in the sky -- to where it's in Craig's eyes. He can't see very well right now, and that sort of thing is just a little bit important in aiming. The second position was better than the third -- and it's costing them.}

{Total price: $150,000.}

{The wires go taunt. The cars snap out from under them. The fireball explodes. And it looks like -- a face. A familiar face. (If it was human, you could almost say the mass of smoke of top looked something like what no one ever believed was hair.) The explosion roars, and the flaming mouth seems to give words to the sound. It could almost be 'YOU'RE FIRED!' Smoke and ash engulf Craig & Tana. And when it clears --}

{-- they're gone.}

Mike: 'Yes!'
Joe (in shock): 'What just happened?'
Mike: 'Well, you know. Too many times in the Boardroom. Plus they didn't use their time effectively or get enough of a price on the cars.'
Trishelle: 'We won! We won! I don't have to be a real person for another whole year!'
Joe: 'Well -- I guess -- um... congratulations? Recital of the stunts -- evidently fear is not a factor for you -- nice work -- enjoy the ski boats -- have fun with Anthony's kidney -- I -- I need a vacation.' *walks away*

{The camera starts fading to black.}

Mike: 'Wait! I need promo time! That was part of the deal!'

{The camera reverses and goes back to full sunset lighting.}

Mike: 'Thanks. Now -- catch me this winter as one of Donald's Los Angeles crew as I try to become -- the Apprentice! Not that I want the job, but man, can you imagine the place they're gonna live in until they pick a final loser? Sweet!'
Trishelle: 'And I'll be coming to the Flav House in August to try and win the heart of a real musical genius. Be sure to tune in! The things I do will make Anthony commit suicide by diving face-first into a microwave! Hottie may even sprinkle chow mein noodles over the corpse!'
Mike: 'Hey, wait. I thought you were joking about this the whole time. Not even we can be on two shows at once, and -- well, I hate to break the secret, but weren't you confirmed for Survivor last week?'
Trishelle: 'Got bumped at the last minute. Don't want to talk about it.'
Mike: 'Look, it's me...'
Trishelle (muttering): 'Stupid cartoonist.'

{And one last thing to do. Joe, to the main stage, please.}

Joe: 'Yes?'

{You know what comes next. You earned it. Very few ever have. Take what you have coming and get out of here so we can pretend it never happened, okay?}

Joe: *bows*

{Thank you.}

{For Fear Factor and five great seasons of DAWs torturing themselves for very little apparent financial reason --}

{-- roll closing credits.}

{Peace, over and out.}

{Now go take over the hosting duties on Last Comic Standing. Anthony Clarke is annoying the hell out of us.}

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