Managing expectations is the key to success. When you draw a money hand, you should slow-play it — all the better to draw the suckers in. You keep the element of surprise in your corner. This week in reality television, Real World and Survivor overplayed their hands; they raised big with story lines that didn’t live up to expectations. There was no mutiny among the alliances in Survivor and there was no cannibalistic fellatio among the cast mates on Real World. The calm status quo in this week’s GRTFL shows was, in a word, boring. Don’t sell me on cannibalistic fellatio and feed me a Subway sandwich. Yes, a sandwich is leading this week’s column, but it isn’t any sandwich, IT’S A TUNA-AND-TURKEY SANDWICH. TUNA. AND. TURKEY.
Johnny (Real World, Jacoby), 30 points: Can you trust a man who orders a tuna-and-turkey sandwich? Imagine the clashing consistencies of the cold tuna salad and the sliced deli meat. Imagine the flavor of the smoky turkey mixing with the salty tuna. Who would request such a thing? Who, with a cornucopia of sandwich options in front of him, would select such a combination? What type of person does this? You know who does? A Masshole:
Bill insisted that I do the Real World Masshole Power Rankings this week, but before we get to that I’m not done with this sandwich. The ordering of this sandwich is by far the GRTFL questionable moment of the week:
Has he tried this before? Was he asking for two sandwiches and there was a mistake? Does he know this isn’t kosher? Does the sandwich artist double-check to make sure they heard correctly? Does it matter what you put on it after you started with “tuna and turkey”? Can bacon save this sandwich? Can bacon save any food item? Is bacon a food or a superhero? Does he know the caloric implications of his combination? Are all ingredients on the Subway menu up for grabs when creating a sandwich? Can I make a Philly cheesesteak, chicken cutlet, and tuna sandwich? Are we sure that society is ready for that type of responsibility? Is our species responsible enough for this kind of freedom? How laissez-faire should our governing policies be?
I don’t know the answers to these questions. I'm not smart enough to answer them. But after a five-episode arc in which Johnny managed to bed the hottest girl in the house, unabashedly poop with the door open, and have sex at work, you have to ask — is Johnny the greatest Masshole in the history of Real World? I am smart enough to answer that. At the request of Mr. William Simmons, here are the Real World Masshole Power Rankings. To be clear, these are male human beings raised in the 617 area code listed from “I barely remember who that is” to “I would allow you to remove my toenails with pliers just so I could have a beer with him”:
9. Chris from Chicago: Apparently there was a gay fella named Chris on the Chicago season. All I know about this season is that it brought us Challenge legends Tonya and Aneesa. Where would we be as a species without Aneesa?
8. Randy from San Diego: This guy wasn’t a Masshole, he was a bro from Massachusetts. Explaining the difference would take me 5,000 words — just trust me on this one.
7. Joey the Rock Dude from Cancun: This guy was one of those “I’m going to go on Real World and that's going to make my band famous” guys. He went on Real World. His band did not get famous.
6. Brandon from St. Thomas: He swears he did only one bump in the bathroom.
5. Preston from New Orleans: How Rajon Rondo filmed a complete season on Real World as a gay man from Boston and no one noticed remains one of life’s greatest mysteries.
4. Danny from Austin: Does anyone besides me remember the engagement in Central Park? The courtship? The wedding? The divorce? Why is this so important to me?
3. David from Seattle: THIS IS THE REALEST SHIT YOU GOT!
2. Johnny from Portland: Likable, funny, relatable, crazy enough to irrationally have your back but not crazy enough to hurt you, Johnny is poised for a couple seasons of likable early Challenge exits and up-the-ladder hookups.
1. CT from I’m not even explaining this one.
Johnny doesn’t take the top spot, but come on now — who could wrestle that away from CT? Bill Clinton, Bill Murray, and Santa Claus are the only people more universally loved than CT. Oh yeah, Johnny scored 30 points for various fights with his girlfriend/roommate Averey. For his sake I hope she never realizes that she is way too hot for him and his terrible Masshole tattoos. God bless Johnny and his terrible Masshole tattoos.
One more thing: Johnny poops with the door open. I have no idea why this makes me like him seven times more than I should, but it does. I can only follow my heart.
Brenda (Survivor, Jacoby), 15 points: My girl Brenda lost it this week. I may or may not find her so attractive that I'm giving her a pass for breaking down in tears three times (3 x 5 = 15 points) and covering her face in peanut butter:
By the way: WHY DID THE PRODUCERS MAKE THEM COVER THEIR FACES IN PEANUT BUTTER? LOOK AT THIS SHIT:
The only way that peanut butter could be more disgusting is if it were in Johnny’s tuna-and-turkey sandwich.
Nia (Real World, House), 5 points: When we last saw Hurricane Nia she was about to cannibal-fellate Jordan on the pool table in front of an audience (she insisted they view the proceedings). If you didn’t read last week’s GRTFL or see the episode, this really happened on our television screens. Cannibalistic fellatio was very much on the table. However, when we returned to the pool table this week things went well let’s go to the tape. Here is what happened when Jordan unleashed his manbits on Nia:
Nia: “Not what I thought.”
Jordan: “That’s fine.”
Nia: “I’m a vegan.”
Jordan: “All right, next.”
Nia: “Are you sure?”
Jordan: “That’s what I thought, you don’t have the balls.”
Nia: “I may have the balls but you don’t.”
Jordan: “Anything else?”
Nia: “Nah. Goodnight.”
Wait, what? These two were each half-naked sprawled out on a pool table and now they are all, “Anything else? Nah, thanks”? “Anything else? Nah, thanks” is how you hang up with a customer-service rep, not how you end a sexual encounter (5 points). Then they each gave their rationale for their part in one of the strangest moments in the history of Real World:
Jordan: “Last night’s events were pretty epic. Nia tried to do the call-me-out; tried to do the whole embarrass me in front of everybody. But I called her bluff.”
Nia: “I just wanted to prove to everyone, y’all, that is why he is the way he is. He has that inferiority complex because he has a little dick. That is how it usually is.”
Um am I the only one confused here? Is Nia trying to say that she got half-naked, made out with a dude repeatedly, and insisted an audience witness her act of cannibal fellatio to prove a hunch about his manhood? After two episodes of Real World, Nia is officially in the Tyson Zone. Next week she punches Jordan in the face; it is unclear if this happens before, after, or during their makeout session, but the smart money is on "during."
Cochran (Survivor, Simmons), 5 points: Cochran received a letter from his loved ones this week that moved him to tears (5 points) and apparently reminded him that he is not a robot: “Part of me is happy that I still am a person that values family and love, and I guess these things that are really important.”
WHAT? That one little sentence just launched this week’s GRTFL Top Five. This week’s GRTFL Top Five is The Top Five Most Disturbing Aspects of That One Sentence listed from, “Yeah, I could slip and say that” to “We should probably quarantine this dude for life in case he is contagious”:
5. “Part of me is happy ”: Only a portion of Cochran is happy that he received a letter from his loved ones and not an encouraging nod from Jeff Probst. He would most certainly prefer the latter.
4. His cry face was kinda fake:
He looked like he was trying to cry to prove that Survivor gameplay was not the be-all and end-all of his existence. Problem is, when men cry, they look like they are trying not to cry, not the other way around.
3. “ I still am a person that values family and love ”: What change did he go through that made this even a question? The only acceptable reasoning for verbally recognizing that you “still” recognize “family and love” are Wait. Sorry. Couldn’t think of any. There is no situation in the human condition in which an individual ceases to recognize “family and love” as important. None.
2. This dude wrote a thesis about comparing the judicial system to the Survivor jury system: Does that need explaining?
1. “ I guess these things that are really important”: WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU, COCHRAN? How is valuing family and love something that you “guess" is "important”? I am concerned. I am concerned that over the next two decades Cochran is going to follow the Survivor production team from location to location as if they were the Dead in the early '70s. I know that the Dead acted like they loved it, but I bet sometimes they were like, “Guys, the shows are pretty much all the same. You are wasting your time; either learn an instrument and join the band or stop following us around from city to city. This is creepy no matter how much blotter acid I take. Go home already, jeez.”
Averey (Real World, House), 5 points: The following is a list of things that Averey and Johnny actually fought about this week (5 points):
1. Some girl calling Johnny “babe” in an e-mail.
2. Johnny going streaking in a bar.
3. Johnny thinking that Averey said “Somebody come fuck me” instead of what she actually said: “Somebody come rub me.”
When you read them like that, they sound like the most insane reasons to argue with someone you are into, but anyone who has been in a relationship for more than three months can rattle off at least 10 dumber reasons they have been in arguments. My lady and I once WENT IN ON EACH OTHER over the proper technique for closing the blinds. Apparently you pull the string to the left and then down. This is very important.
Jessica (Real World, Kang), 5 points: How the hell did Jessica end up getting an invite to go on The Challenge? She is not worthy. Oh yeah, by the way, here is the new Challenge cast, separated by sex and turned into zombies. Sometimes the Internet is so perfect you just want to freeze it so you can thaw it out later.
Oh yeah, Jessica. Sorry.
Jessica has some gigantic suitor about whom she said, “I didn’t expect to meet someone in Portland, so meeting Tyler was a bit of a shock to me. I am gaining that trust in myself that I am not going to screw this up. I am not going to do something to make him, you know, run away.” How many times do you “do something to make him, you know, run away” before you are forced to “gain trust in yourself” not to? Is this a real thing that normal girls go through? No, right? Thanks. That’s what I thought. Just wondering.
Dawn (Survivor, House), 5 points: Dawn cried this week (5 points) because she read a letter from her loved ones, but who cares? All I know is that Juliet has been all over Malcolm to join the Reality TV podcast, and it looks like he may do it in the coming weeks. You just have to love a guy whose first words after getting voted off are “I need a drink!” Looking forward to that.
Check back next week for Hurricane Nia’s first punch, Reynold and Eddie holding on for dear life, and the review of my first tuna-and-turkey sandwich. I mean, I have to try it once.