Challenge time. It takes TJ only slightly less time to explain it than it would have to read the collected works of Charles Dickens out loud, but the gist is: obstacle course; three giant bolts with giant wingnuts; pairs of Challengers run through the course and unscrew all the wingnuts on the way to the finish line, it was the best of times and the worst of times, et cetera and so on. One guy needs to compete twice for the Rookies since they're down a man; winners are safe from the Gauntlet, and get a free Zune. Jillian: This is intense. Ev: I'm a threat.
The Rookies decide to front-load and send all the guys through first, to give themselves an early lead. Derek is going twice. Tyler apparently came straight to the Challenge course from a Dee Snider impersonation contest, because what's with the crazy amounts of eye make-up? Kenny is worried that the Rookie strategy might work. Pull the other one, Kenny.
You guys, please watch Making The Band 4 with me. It is so very hilarious, but if it's just me and Diddy's mom watching it, they'll cancel it.
Back from the break, TJ blows the horn, and they're off -- Ev and Kenny versus Derek and Nehemiah, whom Kenny refers to in an interview as "Niedermeier." Hee. Attempts to gin up the action with self-important slo-mo fail; the course is kiddie-playground in nature and it's boring to watch. Melinda interviews that she thinks guy-girl pairs, which the Veterans went with, is the smarter play. The Vets are still out in front as Ev and Kenny finish and CT and Diem enter the course. Yelling. Air horn. Derek and Nehemiah finish; Tyrie and Frank enter the course. Frank is prancing around the first bolt like he's an extra in a barn-raising-party scene in Witness. Tyrie interviews about vertigo. CT and Diem finish; Robin and Brad enter the course. Air horn. Tyrie and Frank finish; Ryan and Tyler enter the course. It's like the bat races at minor-league games, everyone staggering off the bolts all dizzy from the spinning. Paula and Johnny tag in for the Vets. Ryan and Tyler finish and have brought it up even, which Tyler brags about in an interview, complaining that nobody gave the gay guys props for catching their team up. Well, wouldn't that be a little condescending of them? Why should your teammates assume you couldn't get it done because you're gay -- wouldn't you rather have them take it for granted? More pairs. Still pretty close. Beth and Danny are paired up, which is frightening in several ways. Coral says the course is hard. Evan is two-left-footing around. Zach is trying to support his pairmate, Brooke; Frank interviews that she sucks. It's down to Casey and Adam versus Derek and Angel, and it's edited to look really close, but the Vets take it. Tori says the Rookie team isn't clicking, and thinks it's because of some dodgy business with alliances.