9:22 PM. Peter and Sarah. Five minutes behind Duke and Lauren, when Sarah got on the rope at about the same time as Duke. I think that to some degree, Sarah's freak-out on the rope looked worse than I was -- I think she had the initial reaction that it wasn't going to be possible, but once she calmed down, she was able to do it, although with a lot of effort. She explains as they leave the mat that her hydraulic knee is "blown out," so while she can get around, it's "like riding with a flat tire." I can't point you to a particular authoritative source, but having had lunch with Professor Google, it looks to me like that really is a serious problem for users of hydraulic knees. I imagine that if all the fluid leaked out of my knee, that would be a problem also, actually. It's all about common ground, people. "I just have to keep moving forward," she says cheerfully. They, too, sign up for the midnight bus.
9:36 PM. Dustin and Kandice. Dustin says that the two of them were "randomly paired together" at Miss America, and that's how they became friends. She goes on to say that it's really good to have close friends in a competitive crowd like they run in. At first, I didn't really get this comment, but then I was thinking about the fact that as Miss New York and Miss California, they both have to have been considered serious contenders (unlike Miss Delaware, who's like, "Why did I bother?"), and they roomed together, and the fact that they bonded closely in a situation where they were in a fairly high-stakes competition does speak well of them, I think. If I had gotten to that kind of a pitched point in a competition -- not that it would be pageants, of course, given... basically every single thing there is about me, including my dislike of spray glue and my lack of performance talent -- I don't know that my roommate/competitor would have become a fast friend, so it's interesting. Maybe they just have a bond because they want an army of identical blondes to rise up and defeat ugly people, but that's not the vibe I'm getting for the moment. They are fourth on the midnight bus.
9:51 PM. Rob and Kimberly, still Pointy as ever. She says they've been together for a little more than two years, and she says they're at the point where you either take another step or you bail out. I'm always interested in that analysis, because it makes everything sound so timetable-y. It's like there's an expectation that you do this, and then you do that, and... I'm not saying that if you want to get married, you don't eventually want to ask whether the other person intends to never get married, but it's two years, you know? It's not like it's, you know, twelve years. I've never not regretted treating situations that way, like they're supposed to progress in a logical, step-like fashion, because all it does is create artificial pressure and make everyone act weird, and then you shoot yourself in the foot anyway. Not to overanalyze the Pointies, but... relax, kids. They are the last to sign up for the midnight bus.