Jersey Shore has been trotted out one last time for everyone to have a good look at before it is mercifully put down by MTV. The flash-pan popularity and cultural significance of this program has long since been extinguished, and this final iteration features a cast that has been scrubbed of all the traits that made them briefly entertaining in the first place. Watching the whole two-hour premiere felt like watching a former prizefighter come out of retirement to get pummeled for one last paycheck. Yeah, Jersey Shore is basically Mike Tyson getting his ass kicked by Kevin McBride. I’m watching for nostalgia’s sake, and only nostalgia’s sake.
Regardless, we drew up some rules:
Jersey Shore Rules
Then we had a quick draft.
Connor: Pauly D
Simmons: Sammi and Vinny
Jersey Shore’s lack of longevity stands in stark contrast to The Challenge, which stays fresh with new formats, new locations, and new lunatics like Camila, this week’s leader on the GRTFL Scoreboard.
Camila (The Challenge, House), 25 points: Longtime GRTFLers remember Camila for her early 2012 hits such as “The Zombie Swim,” “Banana’s Hammock,” and “The Demonic Death Threat,” but she’s closing out the year with a comeback performance for the ages. This week her teammate Brandon was the target of one of her patented switch-flip, rage monster, teary hate-tirades (5 + 5 = 10 points), which crescendoed with her standing up, lowering her voice four octaves, extending two middle fingers to the sky, and spinning in a weird dancing motion while screaming, “YOU CAN GO BLEEP YOURSELF, YOU CAN GO BLEEP YOURSELF, EVERYBODY! YOU CAN GO BLEEP YOURSELF” over and over and over and over and over again. She then stormed off and announced, “I am going home, I’m leaving!” (15 points)
Brandon quickly (and accurately) diagnosed her: “You need help. You need therapy. Like, you are fucking crazy for real.”
Now, if you’re going to go theorizing about the source of her ragey craziness, it would be idiotic to attribute her behavior — as The Challenge legend Johnny Bananas once did on a podcast — to her Brazilian heritage. Which is exactly why I am going to do it. But instead of relying on the simplistic (and offensive) old saw that “Latin women are hot-tempered,” I have identified the exact source of Camila’s affliction. It took a lot of time and research at the Grantland labs, but it is now clear to me that she’s routinely possessed by a Candomblé deity called an Orixa.
Let me explain: When the slave trade was channeled through Latin America, hybrid religions formed that were based partly in Christianity and partly in traditional African beliefs. One of the popular ones in Brazil is Candomblé. Candomblé beliefs hold that Orixas are minor deities that are summoned and possess believers during certain rituals. While the possessed are under the trance of the Orixa, they take on the voice, speech patterns, and movements of the Orixa. Which is exactly why Camila seems to morph into a rage monster every time she has a couple drinks. She isn’t actually just a drunken crazy person; she’s being possessed by her Orixa and her Orixa wants everybody to fuck themselves.
Got it? Glad we cleared that up.
Devyn (The Challenge, Undrafted/May not exist), 25 points: When we made the rule “Slandering someone’s sexual performance — 25 points” it was one of those jokey rules that we never thought would actually, ya know, happen. Well, thank you, Devyn:
“Real World: Las Vegas is going to throw in Real World: Brooklyn? Sarah, do you not know how to give a proper blow job? I just don’t understand how that is happening.”
Microsoft Word just corrected me and asked that I change “blow job” to “blowjob.” I never knew Microsoft Word was such a slutty computer application.
Chet (The Challenge, House), 20 points: Remember when Pete Sampras puked all over Queens in the 1996 U.S. Open? No? Well, check it out. Chet totally did the same thing (10 points) after winning the elimination challenge this week. I knew he was going to win because in the “This season on The Challenge” (my favorite five words in the English language), he makes out with Trishelle. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if at some point in the early 21st century Pete Sampras made out with Trishelle as well. She gets around.
Sonja (Real Housewives of New York City, Kang), 15 points: Sonja got into an argument with Heather (5 points) about her stupid toaster oven business (10 points). Nothing says, “I’m a high-class socialite” like having a signature toaster oven line.
The worst part is that as much as I make fun of her for it, she will likely become a bazillionaire selling these stupid toaster ovens and I will live check-to-check making fun of her for it. I’m good with that arrangement, though.
Skupin (Survivor, Connor), 15 points: Skupin is the Greg Oden on Survivor. When he was originally on the show he burned his hands off in a fire. Well, in the mere nine days he’s been on the island this time, he has injured his head, foot, hand, and this week cut open his face in the immunity challenge. We can now add “Getting injured in an immunity challenge in an unathletic manner — 15 points” to the “rules that were kind of jokes that were scored this week” list.
Ronnie (Jersey Shore, Lisanti), 14 points: When Ronnie and Sammi announced that they were together in the premiere episode of Jersey Shore, it was like getting off the plane for a beach vacation and finding out that it is going to rain during your entire stay. Single Ronnie is the greatest reality-TV character of all time (not true, but whatever), and Sammi’s Boyfriend Ronnie is the worst (also not true, but stay with me). Every single time Sammi’s Boyfriend Ronnie gets slammered (9 points) you can see the inner Single Ronnie say, “Look at all these women in this club that you could be smushing if you were Single Ronnie,” and then he sabotages his relationship.
This week in the middle of Karma he unleashed this one on unsuspecting Sammi, “I don’t need to be with you if you don’t talk to me. I have a million girls that can do what you do.” (5 points)
This wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for Sammi’s Boyfriend Ronnie, but the next morning he tried to piece together the prior evening’s events and had this exchange with Sammi:
Ronnie: “I want to apologize if I was mean last night.”
Sammi: “You were.”
Ronnie: “I don’t know, I blacked out.”
Sammi: “You were VERY mean to me.”
Ronnie: “You probably did something to piss me off.”
There is nothing better than the shame-dripped stubborn ignorance of a guy who blacked out but still tries to defend his actions. Well done, Ronnie. Oh, by the way? She totally did nothing to piss you off, you are just a lunatic. Cool, thanks, bye now.
Sarah (The Challenge, Simmons), 10 points: Sarah notched 10 points for winning the elimination challenge, but she didn’t puke like Chet did. Lame. She also inspired her crush — the greatest athlete in our species’ history, Alton — to declare, “You are like me, only a white girl. Or I am like you, only a bald black guy” and “Sarah honestly completes the picture for me. A full-on picture of what I can see my life being.” Yes, a woman that he just met four days ago on a reality show “completes the picture for him.” I hope that picture includes the two of you breaking up immediately upon a return to the States once you realize that you were only attracted to her because she was one of the only 16 girls that speaks the same language as you do that you met in that last month.
Russell (Survivor, House), 10 points: Oh no, is this a third jokey rule that scored this week? Why yes, yes it is! Russell scored 10 points for “having so much trouble swimming that it briefly seems like you might drown” and also made this statement before going into tribal council, “There’s been a lot of people that have come before me. My ancestors that have dealt with the middle passage, Jim Crow, whatever. People whose shoulders I stand on have persevered and at the end of the day that is where I am going to draw my strengths. Because not continuing to fight would be a spit in the face to all those people who have endured so much.”
OK. I’m just going to leave that one alone. But … I mean …
No, Jacoby. Just leave it alone. [Editor’s note: Good call.]
Deena (Jersey Shore, Kang), 10 points: Deena cried the entire fucking episode. First she cried because her boyfriend wasn’t there (5 points), then she cried because he was there (5 points). If you took that last sentence and replaced the word “boyfriend” with “alcohol,” it would also be accurate, by the way.
Alton, Trishelle, Dustin, and Nany (The Challenge, Various Teams), 5 points: Team Las Vegas is far and away the most entertaining bunch on this show. You have reality legends Alton and Trishelle, the sexy Nany, and the RA of the Fratpad, Dustin. They won the challenge this week and then promptly fell apart while deliberating about who to put up for elimination. Alton did not want to put in the Brooklyn team because Sarah is on that team and Sarah, ya know, “completes the picture” for him. While Trishelle and Dustin were discussing what to do, Dustin suggested that he was going talk to Alton and Trishelle snapped, “You can’t even go in that room right now because he will brainwash you.”
Trishelle, he is Alton from Real World, not Charles Manson. Dustin is a big boy, he can handle himself, it’s not like he was tricked into doing gay Internet porn or anything … oh wait.
Cara Maria (The Challenge, Kang), 5 points: You will be missed, Cara Maria. You were not the only one crying when you left the show (5 points), you are easily the most attractive woman on television that looks like a pirate, is obsessed with horses, and dated a dude that covered his jail cell in feces.
Brandon (The Challenge, Simmons), 5 points: Dude, the woman that you are arguing with is possessed by an Orixa (5 points). Be cool, man. Take it down a notch.
Ramona (Real Housewives of New York City, House), 5 points: Confession time: Even though I lived in New York for 16 years, I was never once invited to a fancypants charity event. But based on every episode of every Real Housewives ever, they’re just places where inslopsicated women in their forties get together to argue (5 points). Is this accurate? Can anyone confirm this for me? Thanks, I need to know what I am missing.
Aviva (Real Housewives of New York City, Simmons), 5 points: Aviva’s dad and best dude that ever duded, George, attended one of those fancypants charity events I am talking about and argued with Ramona. She then had him escorted out. Aviva confronted Ramona about this and actually made the following statement, “Unless he stole something from the party or he raped somebody, you have no business throwing him out of a party.”
I am just going to leave that one alone too. But … I mean … No, Jacoby. Just leave it alone.
Sammi (Jersey Shore, Simmons), 5 points: Sammi scored five points for getting screamed at by Ronnie and I realized one of the thousands of things that annoys me about her. Warning, if you read the following sentence you will forever be watching and wondering about this and it will ruin Sammi for you the way noticing Whoopi Goldberg has no eyebrows has ruined Whoopi Goldberg. Sammi is constantly tugging at the bottom of her poom poom shorts. Constantly. It is almost as annoying as, ya know, everything she says/does.
Situation (Jersey Shore, Jacoby), -5 points: The Situation is sober. Not only that, all he does is talk about being sober, how things are different now that he is sober, and his sobriety. It has only been one show and it is already getting old. He went to rehab because of his abuse of alcohol and prescription pain killers, but there is a subtextual nod to the fact that he may or may not have also used other drugs. Fuck it, I am just going to say it: It sure seemed like good ol’ Sitch was also using the booger sugar. Matter of fact, this week’s GRTFL Top Five is The Top Five Things Mike Said That Made Me Think He May Have Been Abusing More Than Just Painkillers and Booze, listed from “That might be a reach, Jacoby” to “Oh wow, how did I not notice that Sitch was Charlie Sheening for the past four seasons of this show?”
5. Sitch Quote: “I am ironically having more fun than when I was using.”
Cocainey Subtext: “Using” is a term that people use for hard drugs. That fact is 100 percent based on my extensive exposure to Dr. Drew’s rehab shows. (I told you the first one was a reach.)
4. Sitch Quote: “I quit the hard bleep.”
Cocainey Subtext: Do people really refer to alcohol and painkillers as “hard” drugs? I don’t think so. Do people refer to cocaine as a “hard” drug? Yes, yes they do.
3. Sitch Quote: “This is the first time I have ever gone to a club sober of prescription painkillers and alcohol.”
Cocainey Subtext: Prescription painkillers aren’t exactly “club drugs,” they are much more “pass the fuck out” drugs.
2. Sitch Quote: “I don’t snort, smoke any of that, or take hard drugs.”
Cocainey Subtext: Again with the “hard drugs” thing. No one has ever had a shot of tequila and said, “Man, I need to slow down with these hard drugs.”
1. Sitch Quote: “I was just exhausted. I was just tired and I just needed … I wanted to go to sleep, ya know?”
Cocainey Subtext: People that mix alcohol with painkillers do not have trouble sleeping, they have trouble standing up, speaking, and not making poor romantic decisions.
Again, I have no idea what really caused The Sitch to go to rehab. What I do know is that he seems to be in a much better place. Sure, him talking about being sober all the time is a little annoying, but not nearly as annoying as him being the paranoid lunatic he was on that camping trip last season. While off the sauce, he was still up to his old Sitchy standby triple-threat move of making out with chicks at the club (5 points), bringing them back to the house and then finding a reason not to hook up with them (-10 points). He has done that at least a fafillion times in the last five seasons of this show.
Pauly D (Jersey Shore, Connor), -10 points: Pauly D also brought a girl back and didn’t hook up with her. He didn’t hook up with her because Sitch explained to him, “We kind of got um, something going down. I spoke to my girl and she said that your girls has ummmm … her period.”
I had to watch it three times because I thought he said “We kind of got um, something going down. I spoke to my girl and she said that your girls has ummmm … herpes.” It was so much funnier when he said herpes. On that note …