Saying goodbye, going away
Seems like goodbye's such a hard thing to say
Touching our hands, wondering why
It's time for saying goodbye.
-Ralph Burns and Jeff Moss
They say that when you reach the season finale of a beloved show you go through five stages of grief: Denial. Anger. Bargaining. Depression. Acceptance. Now that the finale of I Love Money 2, the greatest television show in history, has come and gone, well, all I can say is--
--I'll let you know when I get to "acceptance."
As the waves crashed against the rocks of the beach, Tailor Made interviews that now that it's down to the final five, loyalty is almost irrelevant. He tells Myammee that he's just "happy and blessed" to be here today.
Happy to be anywhere. It's a nice sentiment, but he's worked too hard for the money to be complacent. He is the man, as I've stated in a previous entry. He deserves to win.
It has been gloating that his intellectual prowess is much greater than anyone on the show has previously suspected. As if to illustrate his point, the episode opens with him stacking empty tin cans, three high, and carrying them downstairs. You see, he can balance cans in both hands while negotiating as many as two or three steps... before those cans come crashing down.
Ha, ha. He can't wait to show everyone just how smart he really is.
He gets his shot quickly, as Craig calls them all out for their next challenge, and it's a terrifying one. "Excess Baggage" features a narrow balance beam platform suspended about 300 feet above those crashing waves we saw at the beginning of the episode. The water of course represents the fluidity of fate- none of these contestants can be sure of their place within the game. One minute, you're riding the surf, and the next you're crashing into it.
Sorry. You see, I'm a little well I guess I'm still in my "bargaining" stage. This blog posting is like a negotiation- if I don't get to the end, then the show won't really be over, right? Doesn't that sound plausible to you? I mean, there's always next week, right? I can do my entry for this episode when I do the one for next week.
Oh, next week is just the reunion. This really is the last episode of the competition. Sigh.
Suspended from the platform are six pieces of luggage. The contestants must negotiate the narrow beam, and unhook the luggage to send them crashing to the waves below. The waves we saw at the beginning-- Dammit.
Craig gives the viewers and the players a jolt: The person who unhooks the bags and returns to the starting point first will be the winner and Paymaster, but the Dead-Last Loser will be sent home automatically. This is it; his or her check will be voided on the spot.
All eyes turn to It. It smiles knowingly. He can't believe he's rooked them all. He is a Superman, can't they tell?
Tailor Made is first, and he begins with timid steps, then squats down on the beam and patents a technique he calls "sit and scoot." He seems to be playing not for the win, but to not come in last. He's worried about falling. For what seem to be excruciating minutes we watch as Tailor Made seems to be giving away the money.
He finishes with a time of 2:02, and worries, "I think I played it too safe." No kidding. You've played most of the game with real abandon, throwing all caution to the wind, and now you're sitting and scooting? The money is on the line, you fool, and you've already stated you can't have Prancer become Paymaster.
Next up is It. He is ready to show everyone what he's got. He has been saving up, convincing everyone he's just a dumb, slow, idiot, totally nonthreatening. Now is his time to take the spotlight. To "make some real good tizzam to unhook the bizzam." Except he's afraid of heights. And he can't see. And he's slow. He sits and scoots, too.
Time: 2:32. Tailor Made is safe. It might be going home, "back to the projects."
Third is Myammee. The crawls on all fours, clearly a position she finds comfortable because she burns through the course at a blistering 43 seconds. She is tearfully happy with her time.
So many tears from Myammee...
Prancer is fourth. She is conflicted. She's afraid of heights. She's worried that Myammee will send her home if she is allowed to be Paymaster. And she is worried that she will fall from the scaffolding and bust her head open on the jagged rocks below.
Saaphyri, going fifth, has a strategy. She walks to the last bags, and then squats down to unhook them. Before she has a chance to turn back, Craig makes the mistake of offering her encouragement. This is perhaps not strictly part of Craig's duties as host, and Saaphyri lets him have it. She tells him to shut the hell up and stop distracting her.
2:43. Saaphyri is eliminated, and sent back to America to face those outstanding warrants. Craig, perhaps feeling bad for distracting her during her run, allows her to void her own check.
Saaphyri was apparently a wanted woman when she appeared on "I Love Money 2." And the other VH1 shows she's done. I wonder, now that she's in prison, does VH1 have cameras inside, following her around? Don't pretend you wouldn't watch that.
Tailor Made won't miss her. It will: "Even though she my girlfriend, she easy to beat."
Later, the four remaining contestants gather for a meal and drinking in a sort of Algonquin Round Table, I Love Money style. Myammee, the Edna Ferber of the group, explains that she wants no one to feel safe- everyone should be shaking in their shorts and peeing themselves with fear.
Tailor Made, the Dorothy Parker, tells Myammee that he has always had her back, and always worked hard to keep her check out of the box. He could add that he has always trusted her even when he shouldn't, considering she was the founding member of the Pretty Girl Alliance that was ready to sweep him out of the game. But no matter. Myammee understands what he says is true, but she also understands that there's $250K at stake. She will do what she has to.
Who should be sent home? Myammee asks them.
It and Tailor Made point to Prancer, the Alexander Woollcott of the group. Prancer then starts to cry that the boys are ganging up on her. Her pain is more evident at this dinner than on the day when she supposedly contused her leg.
Myammee's attention turns to It, the Robert Benchley of the group. "You've done nothing," she says. His retort is difficult to follow, being delivered as it is in his usual, charmingly slurred style, but tonight with a surprising scat be-bop twist: "Now we splain alla those I say you I say yo I say alright."
Tailor Made wryly observes, "The more he speaks, the deeper hole he digs for himself." The irony is, of course, that what It is doing can only be called "speaking" in the most loose sense of the word.
Finally, the final elimination.
Tailor Made: "If she decides I'm too strong, all my past deeds will be irrelevant."
It: "I'm scared. I'm kinda worried. A couple times I tried to save Saaphyri.
Prancer: "I hope she finds a reason to keep me. I deserve to be here. I worked so hard."
Last week, Thrill Fiction had a rather devastating illustration of just who Myammee will be keeping this week:
Thrill Fiction's take on Tailor Made and It. With just a couple of words and a couple of screenshots, everything is made crystal clear. You should read Thrill Fiction, by the way.
Prancer, if she has to "find a reason" to keep you, she will not.
First check to Tailor Made. She tearfully tells him that when she first got there, and felt so alone, he was there for her.
More tears from Myammee. Her tears are like the ocean, the waves we saw crashing against the shore- sorry, I'm still bargaining, I guess.
She calls It up to the box.
"I'm sorry It, you don't deserve the money. Prancer needs it [for her breast enhancement surgery], and I still don't understand how you got here. You can't run, you can't see, you can't jump, you can't do nothin'. NOTHIN'! You just been skating through..."
Last week, Prancer kept It because she knew she could beat him. She sent Angelique home, because she was afraid she couldn't beat her. The week before, Saaphyri sent Ice home rather than It, because she wanted to send a "man" home.
At some point, It could be forgiven for developing a complex. Or at least, retreating into an elaborate fantasy world in which he's actually much stronger and smarter than the other contestants believe.
"Just for those reasons," Myammee concludes, "I'm gonna give you your check."
Prancer's check is voided. "Myammee wants to be against weak people."
No kidding, Prancer. That is the point of sending you home. You were the strongest remaining competitor. That says more about your competition than you, my dear. So don't let it go to your head.
Prancer was sort of the Mr Spock of I Love Money 2. Coldly logical and methodical. Okay, actually, she wasn't much like Mr Spock, I just wanted to use Mr Spock because there's a new Star Trek movie opening this weekend and I hope to get some traffic to the blog by mentioning it. Kinda sleazy, I guess.
Next day, It is practicing swimming on the bed he once shared with Saaphyri. There is something to be said here for the water imagery, the fluidity of fate, and the waves crashing against the rocks at the beginning of the episode but I'm not going to spell it out for you. You can figure it out for yourself. The important thing is:
on his bed.
Ha, ha. He has been laying low this entire time, using his superior intellect to convince them he's really a nonthreatening boob.
Tailor Made tells It that he was really quite impressed by the display of emotion on It's part, when he explained that he wanted to win the money to help pay for the hospital bills of a beloved grandfather.
"Naw, that grandfather was dead before I was born."
Tailor Made looks like he's just found out who Kaiser Soze was. He is shocked. Has It been punking them this entire time?
Will It turn out to be a Kaiser Soze? Would Kaiser Soze practice swimming on his bed?
It interviews that he will break out his Black Powers on the final challenge. Is everyone scared yet?
The final challenge is a gauntlet, a series of challenges based on previous episodes of I Love Money 2. The first to complete every leg of the race is the winner. No jury. Just a race. First up, the contestants have to fill a net suspended above their heads with coconuts, and retrieve the bicycle pump from within the net.
It explains that his being black has endowed him with unique basketball skills. He makes short work of the challenge and speeds off into the jungle to find the next stop of the race. He uses his Superman powers to veer far off course. He cannot see, he cannot follow directions. He can't run, he can't jump, he can't do nothin'.
It is actually that dumb.
Tailor Made has now moved into first place, and takes his pump to the side of the river where he uses it to inflate an inner tube he'll navigate to the next stop at another beach.
Myammee is worried about the Discovery Channel water that surrounds her, and goes into a tearful panic when her hand brushes against a rock. Yes, more tears from Myammee.
The next challenge is to retrieve a coin from a giant block of ice. Myammee is clearly hotter than Tailor Made, so it doesn't matter how much of a head start he has on this one. When Myammee arrives and uses her warm, ample, life-giving breasts, the ice starts to give almost immediately.
Tailor Made is taking whacks at the ice, his hands bloody from the exertion.
It, meanwhile, has found his innertube and is catching up to the other two.
Tailor Made is licking the ice provocatively. But his lips are no match for Myammee's- she is now straddling the ice, which has given way beneath her, in what has certainly got to be the first time anything has lost its solidity between her legs.
Next stop is to take the coin and give it to a cab driver, who will take you to another beach, where you must swim out and rescue a mannequin version of yourself, from the "Under the Bus" challenge. Myammee, no longer concerned about her hair, dives right in, rescues the dummy, and heads off in a boat to the next stop.
I thought for sure that Tailor Made would be martyred in this episode, so I photoshopped a picture of him as St. Sebastian. Now that he hasn't been martyred, I am too lazy to change the picture.
Tailor Made is not far behind, as he rather poetically states, "I can still smell her perfume, so I know I'm close." He swims for his dummy, but forgets to unhook the tether that's held it in place, and spends a few minutes trying to swim while leashed.
Plenty of time for Myammee to make it back to the house and meet Craig, where he explains that she will have to answer trivia questions about either the loutish Frank the Entertainer or the darkly angelic Becky Buckwild. Myammee goes for Buckwild.
As Tailor Made arrives, he's delighted to see that the final challenge appears to be mental- he might have a chance!
But no. Myammee has won. She's answered her six questions correctly, and collapses in a heap of tears.
More tears from Myammee. She cries during her interview, too. Her tears are like the ocean waves crashing against the shore etc. Water symbolism.
Tailor Made: "At least I beat It."
Back at the block of ice, It's given up. He has ordered some shrimp and a cool beverage and is just going to "chill." Then his tray of food falls to the ground. It's not as smart as he thought. Or, maybe, he's still fooling everyone. If so, it's an impressive act.
And I think I've hit the "depression" phase.
Anyway, reunion next week, and it looks like we'll be seeing some Becky Buckwild.
Hot enough to melt ice. The men never had a chance against her.