Almost immediately on Money Hungry, the claws are coming out…
But first, there is peace. Joe notes that following last episode’s elimination, the camaraderie has been running deep.
We see dancing cut from an Episode 1 bonus scene…
…and hear unison chants of, “Show me the money.” Bonding over a Jerry Maguire quote is exactly the 1996 flashback I needed. These people complete me.
Mark notes the weirdness of all this merriment and good nature in this context: “You don’t have to do that. This is a competition. You know, you could just ignore everyone around you and just be concerned about yourself, but that’s not what they’re all about.” They’re not here to be not here to make friends, basically, is what he’s saying. Josh says that they all get along well, and Melissa says that’s not going to change no matter what. Famous last (civil) words!
The hungry grubbers are shipped to the site of their first team challenge: Big Sky Ranch, whose most daunting feature is a giant hill.
Or, in Gerogette’s words…
Dan Cortese lays out how these challenges will go…
The winning team of each week’s challenge will be dubbed the Big Heavies and they’ll have immunity for the week. They can then select one more team to have immunity. The losers of the challenge will be in the Bottom 2.
Dan begins explaining this first event by calling weight loss a “Sisyphean challenge.” Bridget interviews that she didn’t sign up for syphilis. No one does. You don’t choose syphilis; it chooses you. It’s like the priesthood or rapping. Anyway, he mentions the myth of Sisyphus because it has clearly influenced today’s challenge: like that king of Greek mythology, each team will be given a boulder to roll up the wall of a hill. If it rolls down, they have to go back and get it. And, yes, like Sisyphus, they just might have to do this for all of eternity, if they can’t get the ball and themselves past the finish line. Wouldn’t that be a fun show? Just a live feed of overweight people becoming increasingly less overweight as they chase a ball up and down a hill forever? It could be its own channel. It could be its own religion.
The ball-pushing starts.
Immediately, there are complaints all around. Many feel that they are going to die. Don’t threaten us with a good time! I don’t wish any of these people any real harm, but at the same time, a challenge casualty would be really dramatic and probably make The Soup. Just something to aspire to, if you’re so inclined. Anyway, these people’s pain and suffering is all worth it when it yields wonderful description like Phillip’s: “My chest starts to burn. My ass starts to burn. I feel like I got Icy Hot comin’ out my nose.” Wouldn’t that be great if you really could produce Icy Hot out of your nose? Then you could heal your burning chest and ass without ever having to spend money at the drug store.
Early on, Phillip lags way behind Stephanie.
And everyone, for that matter:
He seems almost certainly headed for the Bottom 2 when, by the grace of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or some such deity, Double Chocolate lose control of their ball and end up having to chase it down the hill…
Meanwhile, A Pair of Nuts take first place, Mission Slimpossible second, and everyone seems to be on the verge of death:
Phillip lumbers his way toward the finish line, eventually receiving assistance from Josh…
That’s heroic in the Jerry Maguire kinda way. Practical heroism is what this show’s all about.
So Phillip makes it past the line, while Double Chocolate push their ball all the way up the hill once again…
They refuse to give up, the blood of Kate Bush pumping through their veins as they’re eagerly running up that hill.
Still, Double Chocolate is being chased down not by the hounds of love, but the hounds of elimination — for coming in last, they are headed for the Bottom 2. It is now that Dan drops a bombshell on the players — the other team in the Bottom 2 will be selected by group vote. Whichever Bottom 2 team has lost the lowest percentage of body weight will go home. The democratic element throws everyone off and we hear at least five different people exclaim in succession, “This changes everything!” (Best example comes from Phillip, obviously: “I know there’s about to be some drama and I’m a-static. This changes everything!”) I love when a show becomes its own supercut. Saves me work.
With this in mind, Double Chocolate gets to working their asses off, literally. “It ain’t over till the fat lady sings, and I ain’t singing,” says Georgette. You know who is singing, though? Jamie. In light of Jamie’s elimination from this episode (SPOILER!!!), Georgette inadvertently predicted the future. I love it when pun becomes prophecy!
Anyway, speaking of Jamie, she dances with Georgette.
This seems to be her favorite form of fitness. It’s at least one of her competitors’ favorite form of fitness to watch…
Josh watches yearningly and then confesses that he has a crush on Jamie: “She’s cultured, y’know, she’s stylish, she takes care of herself…” These criteria could also be applied to a Persian cat in a rhinestone collar eating Fancy Feast, but whatever. Josh goes on to explain his dilemma: his partner Melissa “obviously” had a “ginormous” (fantastic word choice, btw) crush on him, but “if you’re a football player, you gotta date a cheerleader. You can’t go date somebody from the band. That’s kind of the situation that I find myself placed in.” I’ll buy Josh’s “football player” comparison when I see him actually holding a football.
Given her moves, though, Jamie as a cheerleader is a lot easier to swallow…
Not everyone is mesmerized by her curvaceous cavorting. Missy interviews that her team, Grading Curves, has formed “really great relationships” with A Pair of Nuts, Mission Slimpossible, Chicago Deep Dish and No Excuses. It’s an alliance of sorts and they have their first collective target:
Missy says that the sight of Jamie makes her sick. Tricia does jazz hands and mocks her.
Watching people whose appearance presumably has been mocked (because it’s a cruel world, especially to overweight people) mocking someone for her appearance is a little disturbing. This is the dark side of empathy. We also hear from Phillip that he hates Jamie — he calls her “Miss Jazzercise.” I don’t know, Miss Jazzercise is exactly the kind of person I’d want to keep around, if for nothing else, camp value. Regulators, too, join the dog pile, talking about how everyone’s fixing to eliminate Roll Models. Jamie overhears this and interrupts:
The Regulators find themselves unable to dog Jamie to her face.
…So they snicker when she leaves the room. Well, at least they aren’t openly unpleasant to her. That’s more that can be said for their costars.
Just as Jamie’s trying to collect some sympathy, tragedy strikes. Shante gets a call bearing bad news:
Except, that’s not right. I don’t know if her husband got his grandmother confused with hers (all old people look alike, after all!) or if the subtitler got it wrong, but here’s actually the story:
So Shante has to tend to that mess, leaving Jamie as the sole Roll Model to plead their case to the other teams. A bunch of dudes sit around in the hot tub, which gives Jamie the perfect opportunity to turn on her feminine charms (if this show were to go an entirely different way, it’s also the perfect opportunity for some bear porn).
First, she tries buttering up Yamil, talking about his victory and the brawn that led to it…
She’s laying it thick on already occupied bread.
There’s no room for additional condiments, let alone condoms, so Jamie switches tactics.
Meanwhile, Phillip, who let’s face it, was never going to be seduced by Jamie’s charms anyway, is watching her cry over the death of Shante’s husband’s grandmother like, “What?”
Jamie’s really going to town with the waterworks…
Except, of course, she did. After her song and dance (which is song-and-dance free, for once) Dave hilariously concludes the scene with:
The only way this could have been more awkward is if she had indeed interrupted actual bear porn in progress. For all the good her flirtation efforts did her, she might as well have.
Jamie seeks refuge in the arms of the one who is susceptible to her charms:
I’m not sure that the last word in this sentence is subtitled. I think it’s “deal.” Of course, “big” is the most important part of the sentence, so not like it really matters.
Josh interviews in a creepy hush that the house is not thinking strategically. Whether it’s strategy or his penis that’s guiding him, he proposes to the house that they consider eliminating Grading Curves instead of Roll Models.
He reasons that as long as Roll Models are around, there will always be a target, thus buying every team another week. This is a very I Love Money rationale, but I miss that show so much that I’ll take it.
Meanwhile, Jamie keeps up the campaigning…
Her rivals are not amused.
Missy calls out Jamie’s scheming. “How silly,” she says, as if by attempting to round up everyone to oust Jamie, she wasn’t doing the exact same thing. How silly times infinity. You can’t really knock a player for playing the game, you know?
Meanwhile, Jamie cries in confessional, saying that her hot tub plea was a symptom of her being an emotional person.
You know, I defend Jamie’s right to do whatever she sees fit to stay in the game, but come on with that. Who’s zoomin’ who?
Dan collects the groups — it’s time to vote for the team that will join Double Chocolate in the Bottom 2. But first, A Pair of Nuts select Mission Slimpossible for immunity, since M.S. came in second. That is so fair and reasoned, I can’t help but wonder if A Pair of Nuts are on drugs.
The teams will vote by fruit. Seriously. One by one, each will enter the kitchen, where there are pictures of all the teams and an apple in front of them. To vote against a team, bite their apple. The team with the least amount of apple left goes in the Bottom 2. Good thing they’re not here to get syphilis because this voting method seems like a hotbed for infection. They might have to settle for thrush.
So that happens, and then it’s time for weigh-in. Dan asks if anyone voted strategically and Bridget offers, “Jamie’s a little annoying!” as proof that she did. Going with your gut is one kind of strategy, I guess. Really, it should be expected on this show. Anyway, everyone agrees that Jamie is annoying except for Josh (“I’m not gonna answer that”). Very well played — you don’t want to alienate the people who could vote you off…or a potential nookie source. Josh is smart. Or maybe just very horny.
Anyway, weigh-ins begin. They are:
A Pair of Nuts
Chicago Deep Dish
A very obvious highlight to the weigh-in ceremony is Slenderellas’ victory bump:
The visual gags keep coming (although to be fair, this would be funny at any size).
Of course, it all comes down to Grading Curves and Roll Models. Dan tells them that one team received six votes, the other received five. We get a chorus of “Holy s***”s. Ah, the soothing comfort of repetition. Anyway, Grading Curves go up…
…and it turns out that they weren’t the ones voted in the Bottom 2. That goes to Roll Models…
…who are a tenth of a percentage point behind Double Chocolate and, therefore are going home. It’s kind of crazy that this happened because all of the pre-weigh-in chatter suggested as much (Mark went as far as calling it “preordained”). Usually when all signs point to X, Y is the turnout. Classic reality show manipulation. In this case, X did happen. Foreshadowing as foreshadowing — what a concept! As Roll Models prepare to leave, Missy calls out, “Looks like their plan backfired!” After all, what are knives made for if not twisting?
Jamie gives another teary interview, in which she says, “It’s very stressful to be in a house where people don’t like you and you don’t know why.” That condition has led plenty of reality stars to act absolutely deranged. Jamie, just be glad your stress was interrupted. See you in that great big Zumba class in the sky…