Weenus: WCG Ultimate Gamer Blog #4

BY Andrew Miesner / April 8, 2009

Episode Four: Move It or Lose It

I have to be honest gang, it’s been a busy week with the ESEA Playoffs sneaking up on us, and for some reason I had it in my head that I had actually wrote about this episode already. Which, as you’re finding out now, I haven’t. So this write up may be a bit more brief that the others as I am trying to get this done before the fifth episode actually airs locally for me on the West Coast. Bear with me if I miss some points, and I’ll be glad to discuss them in the comments.

Well, we hit the ground running on Episode Four when Jamal comes into the house, and the way a lot of the people in the house put forward a nice thirty percent effort to even welcome Jamal back actually began to make me feel for him as a person and finally start to understand Jamal a bit better. Jamal realizes early on that people would rather see Alyson than him, but he understands it, and you can tell he cares more about winning than making friends, and can anyone really judge him?

Things get sketchy when Jamal makes an interesting decision to expose the alliance business from a few weeks ago, but making it seem as if Dante was the one who came up with the concept. sWooZie calls Jamal out on changing the story a bit, but instead of anyone actually getting to the bottom of it, they choose to huff and puff about it for the remainder of the episode and I’m sure, the season.

Jamal goes on to call Dante sneaky and sly, which, is really off base. Dante isn’t sneaky and sly, Dante is clumsy and clueless. Jamal, I can dig your sentiment, but at least call it for how it is, man. As a parting shot between the edited crap talking montage, Dante claims Jamal is getting crazier by the hour, and might eat someone. I would personally be much more worried by the guy who has a prefer customer card from Hot Topic, with colored contacts and a slipknot hat that looks like it’s lived Dante’s Inferno.

Geoff also stated that as soon as they arrived, it was clear that it was a set up, as the “club goers” were clearly awkward payed actors. Just some tid-bits.Geoff seems the most offended and worried by the alliance, which I don’t much understand, as Geoff is one of the few people in the house that has yet to piss off a single person. Oh well.

The competitors are then told they’re getting taken out to a club, which should be a nice treat for them. If you’ve listened to the LO3 show featuring Geoff this week as a guest, you would know that this took place the night that Jamal had returned from Elimination, which is usually a night off for the contestants. Geoff also stated that as soon as they arrived, it was clear that it was a set up, as the “club goers” were clearly awkward payed actors. Just some tid-bits.

Hannah shows up and the competitors pretend to be surprised, and they are told the game will be DDR, Dance Dance Revolution.

Real Life Challenge: We find out that the Real Life Challenge will be the competitors dancing IRL, in front of television’s Tyse, a well known Choreographer, and two girls who’s names really will never matter to anyone, to be perfectly blunt and honest. We find out that a few of the competitors had been drinking a little, which should help them. Okay, well, really, it should help us. By making us laugh. Very helpful.

We’re also told that the winner of the Real Life Challenge will be rewarded a phone to call someone from Home with, something that you can tell, these poor cooped up gamers are desperate to get a hold of.

The first ‘heat’ starts, with Mark, sWooZie, and Ciji. Swooz is the clear winner here, with Ciji beginning to dance a little sexy, but I don’t know, I sorta relate what she was doing to that… Party Girl who stands in the middle of the kitchen with a red party guy in one hand full of Natty Ice and her other arm up over her head thinking she is dancing sexy because she really “feels” Coldplay. One thing I will say is that I felt bad because, Swooz was dancing up a storm, and it looks strange with the other two dancers on either side not really close to his style, in retrospect it almost makes him look bad, but it is just somewhat awkward. Anyway, sWooZie takes the round.

Geoff, Dante, and Jamal are next. Of course… Of course, Dante begins to talk about how Asian people are genetically programmed to breakdance. Of course though, Dante makes an excuse to say that he’s just too nervous to break out the big moves. This whole round is just as hilarious and awkward as the last, with Jamal reminding me of Jean Claude Van Damme dancing on that foreign television show, Geoff held it down as the buff dude with some booze in him, and Dante was over on the right… being Dante. Jamal won. I would have picked Dante for the laughs.

The last heat has the ladies and Robert, Amy, Robert, and Chelsea. Robert dances the way you would expect a culturally ‘murky’ guy from New York to dance, he has the ability, he has the timing, but he’s missing any definitive style. Amy seems as confused and out of place as usual, and Chelsea upstage’s Ciji’s sexy dancing with some of her own with this ridiculous club dress on and, I have to say, I’m surprised she didn’t take the heat. Tyse gives it to Robert.

Immediately, sWooZie and Jamal join Robert on the stage, and we’re told that they’ll be dancing to three songs with varying styles. First is Techno, and it’s a really generic, boring Techno song. You’d think they could have licensed some decent, relevant electro or anything that would be played in a club that doesn’t only exist in the world of Heroes or SVU. It seems here as if sWooZie had immediately begun breaking, which I had personally yelled at him for, but he assured me it was all editing, and he had danced a bit before hand. Jamal, not one to be upstaged without burying himself, attempts to do some sort of hand plant or something, and eats it hard. Highlight of the Real Life Challenge.

Next they move to Disco, which Jamal misinterprets as stripping music, and begins awkwardly stripping. At least he’s having fun. I guess. Last is Salsa, which I would say Swooz went totally after, which was hilarious. At the end, Jamal’s attempt to commit suicide was called into question, as well as the fact that Robert literally did the same thing for every single second he was on stage. Guess what? sWooZie takes the challenge. The big surprise coming out of this though is that sWooZie took first, Jamal took second, Robert took third, but everyone else tied for last place. Zing!

The gang comes home to find their DDR gear in the loft, and begin practicing and playing. Dante goes on to contradict his previous statement about Asian’s being genetically skilled at breaking, by admitting he’s not good at DDR. As far as I have seen in arcade’s all over the US, Asian’s seemed to have DDR on lock. The funniest part at this moment is watching Dante read the DDR manual as if that holds any respite for the suck that is Dante.

Dante and Robert then strengthen their alliance, I think as a reply to Jamal’s pot stirring earlier in the show, which almost comes off as a self fulfilling prophecy. Robert and Dante bonding for me is like watching a pigeon dry hump a rat, they belong together, and it’s almost strange that it took so long for the two to identify that fact.

We see the next morning when sWooZie calls home, and we find out about his history in Pro Gaming and how he’s always been looking to really do well by his Momma. It’s a touching moment, sWooZie’s Mom seems awesome, and Swooz breaks down a bit at the end. He told me he cried somewhere throughout the show, at least he sorta had a good excuse! I’m playing. Until I see him cry about a video game on television, I won’t judge him… At least I hope.

The rest of the house continues to play DDR and bicker about Dante, and I have to be honest, while I can follow the drama stuff, I’m sick of hearing about Dante, talking about Dante, and dealing with Dante.

We see the next morning when sWooZie calls home, and we find out about his history in Pro Gaming and how he’s always been looking to really do well by his Momma. It’s a touching moment, sWooZie’s Mom seems awesome, and Swooz breaks down a bit at the end.A new evolution in the show begins at this moment though, and Ciji begins to play with the idea of failing through the song on purpose to take last place, then talking sWooZie into sending Dante into Elimination, where Ciji can send him straight home as she is a strong DDR player. She offers that olive branch to Geoff, who’s desperately looking for a way to survive DDR, which he states is his weakest game.

We then see Robert, Mark and Ciji making sock puppets of all of the housemates, which is mildly amusing, until they go ahead and offend Geoff by stuffing his puppet full of other socks and smashing the Ultimate-Gamer-Socks. Smooth.

Back to the practicing, and Amy is working her ass off along with Geoff to stay out of elimination. Dante catches wind of Ciji’s potential plans, and he pretends to care but with all honesty, we know Dante loves the attention.

Isolation Challenge: We’re at the Isolation Challenge and it felt like an entire episode between the Real Life challenge and Isolation, and they send Ciji in first. The editing is done to make us wonder whether or not Ciji will protect Geoff. We’re then thrown into watching all of the competitors dancing, and Geoff is clearly struggling. sWooZie talks about how DDR is mostly just rhythm based, which is obvious, but it’s tough on those loose mats, and I can see where a guy like Geoff would have trouble with a lack of DDR coordination coupled with a loose DDR mat on a tile floor. They should have gone with a real, hard mat for this competition. I don’t really think that would have changed the standing too much, but it would have been better.

Geoff fails out of the game, as well as Amy, who begins to panic, and we come back to Ciji. She slowly begins hitting notes, before she is full on playing with a big grin on her face. Ciji then explains that she had to keep going, and I can understand, you feel the need to compete, but you would be competing in Elimination, it’s not like that is an easy way out, and it’s not like Ciji is going to come from last place in the Real Life challenge to first place in the Isolation chamber, and find herself at the top of the overall rankings. All she really did was screw Geoff and possibly Amy.

Ciji walks out and literally says “I did exactly what I wanted to.” which, to us viewers, comes off as her making a deliberate remark at screwing Geoff, but it’s taken as a shot at Dante, which starts the “Passive Aggressive Gamer Challenge”. An embarrassing moment where everyone begins arguing awkwardly, other people begin to panic more and more, dragging themselves into the drama only to storm out after throwing fits. sWooZie attempts to squash it, which goes in one ear and out the other, Mark begins to stress out about it suggesting that they talk about it back at home, and he begins shouting Joel’s name so that they can actually deal with the Isolation results.

You can tell at this point, the producers were holding Joel and Hannah back so the competitors could rip each other’s throats out for good television. Sneaky move, producers!

Joel finally shows up and we find that Geoff is in last place. Thanks Ciji. Geoff takes his fate like a man, and we find out sWooZie took first overall, and will be choosing Geoff’s opponent in Elimination, a head to head DDR score battle on No Fail mode.

The rankings for the Isolation Chamber by the way were,

1: Robert
2: sWooZie
3: Chelsea
4: Ciji
5: Jamal
6: Dante
7: Mark
8: Amy
9: Geoff

Looks like Ciji would have probably had Dante in Elimination, if she wasn’t too busy breaking Geoff’s heart, a second time on the show. Poor guy.

Ciji then asks to talk to Geoff and sWooZie, and offer herself up in Elimination. A running theme for the rest of the episode is a bunch of people offering themselves up as the person who would send Geoff home, and while Geoff seems to appreciate these people offering to go in there as friends as opposed to sending someone offensive in, but in all reality, I would be a bit pissed at these people who think they’re doing ME a favor by sending ME home. Come on Geoff, shout out: “No Ciji, I don’t want to see you before you leave, you made me think you had my back and now you’re trying to send me home! Screw you!”, you know it will make you feel better.

Dante then attempts to apologize to Ciji, and the whole ordeal, as I said, is old, and I’m sure when I watch tonight’s episode, they’ll bicker more and more, so I won’t even waste my time or yours by making you read the back and forth discussion between the two that played out almost like the signing of a peace treaty.

Next, sWooZie begins talking to a few of the other guys, asking how they would feel if he sent them into Elimination against Geoff. So far, it’s the best approach I’ve seen all season. We head up to the roof, where Hannah brings sWooZie up to announce the lucky winner of a trip to the Elimination Challenge Date for Two with Geoff, and the winner is… sWooZie. Yes. Swooz actually says, “The person that I have decided to throw in the Samsung Stadium this week is…” walks over to Geoff, and says “I choose myself!” much to the shock of everyone on the roof. DRAMATIC COMERCIAL BREAK!

…and we’re back! Immediately, sWooZie looks as if he’s made a big mistake. I’d say that’s possible, but it was a safe bet. Above all, sWooZie is a smart man, and I can’t really see him making a move like this unless he knew he could walk out of the situation. Above all, he bought a lot of breathing room from the competitors, who all begin martyring sWooZie, with the exception of Jamal who realizes it was a smart move.

Yes. Swooz actually says, “The person that I have decided to throw in the Samsung Stadium this week is…” walks over to Geoff, and says “I choose myself!” much to the shock of everyone on the roof. DRAMATIC COMERCIAL BREAK! I like the move. It was smart, it was character building, and it was safe. Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge this is blind or clueless. I don’t think Swooz is a bad person for making the move, but it was a move, none the less.

sWooZie and the gang hung out upstairs in the Hot Tub, while Geoff practiced his ass off at DDR. The next morning, sWooZie is starting to realize that was a dangerous move, but, I don’t know, he could really be hamming it up, even a well practiced Geoff probably won’t take sWooZie at DDR. While Geoff and Swooz head to Elimination, Dante pretends to care. Great.

Elimination Challenge: We make it to Samsung Stadium, where we see the two competitors practicing throughout the afternoon in their dressing rooms, before heading to the stage to play Jamiroquai’s Canned Heat on Difficult in No Fail mode. The battle starts and much like anyone with a brain expected, sWooZie takes control of the battle pretty early on. Geoff had the lead very briefly, but sWooZie’s multiplier just carries his score exponentially past Geoff. Poor Geoff. Had they played an RTS, Geoff would have dominated, but it just wasn’t in the cards, I guess you can blame that on the concept that people who watch TV only have Consoles.

Geoff heads to the back, he took the loss well, standing up, and accepts his fate. He’s a good dude, and he will definitely be missed.

The Afterthoughts: We’ve lost another one of the few people who didn’t make me want to blow my own brains out while watching the show, and I’m bummed. Episode Five will be Halo 3, so it’s time for all of those big talkers in the house to finally put their sticks where their mouth is… Wait… er. Well, whatever.

This was still one of the better episodes, and each week the show does improve. By the end of the season, I might be able to say I’m fully excited for the next season. If they continue to hammer Dante as the villain on us though, I might stop watching altogether. Much like I had whined earlier, I’m just sick of the guy, and ultimately, that is almost a guarantee that he’ll be around well towards the end. Which sucks.

If you’re missing out on your fix of Dante’s incessant moaning, be sure to check out www.hulu.com, they have the replays of all of the episodes so far, and they upload the episodes late Tuesday night.

Make sure to tune in to the Sci-Fi channel on Tuesday night to see the next episode!