The stars are great and all…
…but no one could have been prepared for the awesomeness that is Pep’s No. 1 fan, Yolanda. She seriously might be the best to happen to The Surreal Life ever.
At the start of the episode, the Surreal Lifers are carted to meet the mayor of Las Vegas.
Mayor Goodman offends Verne immediately by referring to him as "Mini Me." Verne gets all finger-waving and head-bobbing, much like a Flavor of Love girl telling Mayor Goodman that he best respect him and call him by his real name.
The mayor apologizes and corrects himself. And you know what? Good for Verne for not taking his crap and accepting what he was given. Verne can be a pain in the ass, but he’s kind of awesome for not being afraid to put the mayor of Las Vegas in his place, you know?
Nothing else notable happens, except that the mayor names that day (whenever it was) "Surreal Life Day in the city of Las Vegas." Honorable. He also gives the celebs keys to the city and "lucky chips." This makes Traci happy. She says she needs "all the luck I can get right now." Doesn’t the fact that everyone got one make the chip less lucky? Isn’t the playing field just as even as it was before? Just saying!
Then, at home, Ron and Traci discuss her favorite topic: celebrity. She asks if he considers himself A-list or B-list. Those are the only
options? He says there’s no way he’s A-list because A-list doesn’t do
The Surreal Life. Self-awareness on this show? Get out! She tells Ron that she’s ready to kick
ass with Grace Jones-level intensity in her eyes.
Then, something horrible happens: Ron goes to the bathroom. Or, as Traci puts it: "He wasn’t just going to the bathroom, he was really going to the bathroom." Specifically, it’s "her" bathroom, and so she feels entitled to mess with him while he’s on the can.
Look at the porn star getting modest all of a sudden!
Ron says that as she messes with him, Traci is making an ass out of him. Uh, his ass is doing a good enough job of that, if Rob’s reaction to Ron’s concoction is any indication:
When the air clears, it’s time to congregate. A message from Robin informs the celebs that he’ll be bringing to the house, "some people who love you very much." These aren’t family or friends, but fans.
That’s Dee Dee, Traci’s fan.
That’s Ginia, Rob’s fan. Rob says he knew that Ginia was a true fan when she quoted some lines from his little-seen, but totally notorious vanity film Cool as Ice. That really is a good barometer, not just of Rob-fandom, but of patience and loyalty.
That’s Yolanda, Pep’s fan and the most awesome woman in the world. Pep says that her fan was smiling at her and making her nervous.
Pepa’s afraid that Yolanda wants to shoop.
This is Ron’s No. 1 fan, Kim Fields. Just kidding. Her name is Tawanda, and she first caught wind of Ron via his adult movies. She has no interest in him sexually, though. Is that in spite of, or because of?
And here’s Verne’s fan, Monique. As you can see, she brought some friends. They’re also fans of Verne.
Here’s how the challenge will go down: there will be an alarm attached to the fan’s hand:
This hand must remain on the body of her respective Surreal Lifer at all times. If it leaves, the alarm goes off and that Surreal Lifer is out. The last two standing will be spared from the hell that is Back to Reality.
The game begins. Ron has Ginia slide her had under his wristband for safe keeping. Traci does something similar with Dee Dee’s finger and her bracelet. Ron goes to his room and binds his and Tawanda’s fingers together with a shoelace. That’s totally cheap. Meanwhile, Pepa just holds on really hard to Yolanda. She says that she won’t let go because of the promise of the prize money for the winner of The Surreal Life. Yolanda responds:
Yeah, way to corner your "favorite artist" in her weakest moment. Good work, Yo-Yo.
Meanwhile, Verne’s all like, "Touch me anywhere." What’s good strategy for getting lucky is poor strategy for this challenge. Monique apparent moved, and 15 minutes after the challenge has begun, Verne is already out.
And then there’s Pep, holding on for dear Surreal Life.
She says, though, that if Jesus could take the pain, she can do this. Is she calling Yolanda her cross to bear?
Traveling into the kitchen, Pep sees that Ron has tied his and Tawanda’s fingers together.
Pep decides that she’ll do this, as well and as soon as she does, she lets go. Bye, bye, Yo-Yo.
Yolanda looks like she’s crying in her parting shot. We all are.
Then, Robin decides to take the challenge to the next level and has all of the remaining Lifers stand up from their spots on the couch.
During this process, Dee Dee slips out of Traci’s bracelet and that’s that.
Gee, that was easy. Only for Traci Bingham would standing prove to be an unsurmountable challenge.
This means that Rob and Ron will be spared from Back to Reality. This week’s game will be…
This is kind of awesome and meta. Basically, a quote from one of the Surreal Life Fame Games cast will be used for each question. A word will be taken out and the panel must fill in the f***ing blank. Like so:
This one’s easy:
They’re all right. The first two to thee points are safe.
This is awesome because even though Traci said it, she can’t spell it:
Silly rabbit! Sleeping holes are for…rabbits.
Anyway, the game progresses. Pep’s the first to hit three points. She’s safe. Then, it’s down to Traci and Verne. Their final question is:
During this, we see Rob and Ron watching the game. Ron leans over to Rob and says, "I think I said testosterone." It doesn’t seem important when it happens, but it becomes so, so remember it. Anyway, Traci picks "testosterone" and Verne picks "growing up to do," so Traci wins. When she finds this out she literally squeals. She’s gonna sleep well in the rabbit hole tonight.
Verne’s all salty because he lost, and so is Pep. She says that during the final question, as Robin read off the multiple choice answers, Rob (who knew the answer thanks to Ron) shook his head "no" to "issues," "anger" and "growing up to do" and nodded to "testosterone." This could have sent Traci the signal. Why it couldn’t have sent a signal to Verne is not discussed. Maybe it had something to do with the lucky chip that Traci carried around with her. Anyway, at the suggestion that he cheated, Rob becomes up in arms and belligerent. You get the feeling that Rob would become belligerent at the suggestion of a wine at a restaurant.
A producer steps in, corroborating Pep’s story.
We see footage of the big reveal:
At this, Pep feels vindicated.
Or maybe she feels like a contestant on The Price Is Right, if her arm-flailing is any indication. Hard to say.
Anyway, since it’s impossible to tell whether Rob was signaling or just unconsciously reacting to the false answers, the outcome stands. Really: it’s not like Verne couldn’t have observed this, too. He could see over the podium and everything.
More fighting ensues.
Verne is clearly ready to go.
He says his goodbyes and it’s pretty sad. He really was in it to win it, and his occasional bad attitude really just masked insecurity.
He says goodbye to Traci and you know that he’s gonna miss her most of all.
They’ll always have that weird drunken encounter in Verne’s bed that may or may not have resulted in sex. Precious memories.