…a rematch. Oh the suspense!
Ishe, who seems to think he’s analyzing a basketball game, takes a quote right outta Dennis Rodman‘s autobiography:
“When a true champion loses, it’s not how he loses, it’s how he rebounds…and how he gets drunk and marries a really hot chick”
Peter retires for the night while the other boys stay up gossiping and giving each other makeovers. Somewhere Pretty Boy is
admiring his face cursing himself for missing out on all of the fun.
Are you there God? it’s me, Brent.
Brent begins his story by babbling about how having that fight in you makes anything attainable (only nowhere near as coherently). He claims that 8 or 9 months ago he was arrested for a DUI and served ‘fiddy’ days in jail. Brent, AKA Boomhauer, then starts stringing nouns together as if he were filling in a Mad Lib - alcohol, drugs, divorce, wife, work.
Within the first ten minutes of the show, we learn that not only do Brent and Jesse have drinking in common, but they also have the ‘dude’ thing in common as well, with Brent now dropping the ‘dude’ bomb about every other word, dude.
Now most folks know that when you get in trouble with the law, you find Jesus. Brent tells the boys that he got a DUI and found Jesus and says that his relationship with Jesus is outstanding, to which Ishe gives a surprisingly less-than-enthusiastic “that’s great, man”.
Brent: “The more you hunger after God, the more he gives you”.
Yes Brent, but remember that the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
…cut to the prerequisite yet wholly unimportant scenery clips and then to the family housing of Peter Manfredo.
EPMB, realizing that the vast majority of boxing fans are male, throws in some footage of Yamilka (I’ll refrain from the name jokes…they‘ve all been done already) Manfredo for good measure (pun definitely intended). She goes on and on about how Peter is her life and makes her shine and how they’re just babies, man. Then Peter tells his wife that they need to go on more dates and we catch a glimpe of how she really feels when she rolls her eyes in disgust at the mere thought of spending more time alone with the man.
Sugary Ray and the Tiger
We return ringside, where Sugar Ray is getting handled by Brent “The weakest link“ Cooper. “I haven’t had gloves on since 1997“, says Sugar Ray. He continues to excuse himself by stating that Brent “has good hand speed and may turn out to be a tiger in the ring”. Yeah, maybe if he’s expecting a fight between a tiger and wood-chipper.
The guys are talking about the upcoming fights. The teams have agreed upon the remaining three fights already, so everyone is anticipating the Anthony v. Jimmy match-up next. Jimmy says that he’s dangerous because his plan is to win…as opposed to everyone else’s plan to lose, I suppose. But good ole Anthony had other plans. His plans included being an underhanded liar who used his teammates and basically kissed any chance of winning this game down the toilet. But we’ll come back to that later.
Thank God it’s Peter-day!
Sugar Ray informs us that today is Peter Day. Peter is presented with the golden gloves. Sugar Ray announces that Sierra Mist is sponsoring the team’s reward, and if I were these guys, I’d vow to never ever drink Sierra Mist after their pitiful reward. More on that in a minute.
Right now, it’s all about business. No wait, it’s all about Ishe and his prophecies Ishe says that the east winning the reward spells danger for the remaining guys, though I have a sneaking suspicion that none of them have the foggiest idea how to spell danger.
As we shift to some more cheesy LA shots, we discover that, apparently, Peter Day is celebrated by attending horribly unfunny late-night talk shows. Peter and crew are
rewarded punished with tickets to The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and actually get to meet and pose with this pillar of comedy backstage! Now there’s a reward! I mean, it’s a freaking free show ferchrissakes! Sierra Mist really went all out for these guys! WTF makes Sierra Mist anyway?
Back at home, the West Siderz are feeling defeated, having just lost their first reward. Turst me guys, you ain’t missing out on squat. Jesse channels Sister Maria from the Sound of Music and rattles off a few of his favorite things to calm the other boys’ nerves.
“Mowing the lawn and the sweet smell of grass
Watering the yard while I sit on my ass
Spanking the children so hard that it stings
These are a few of my favorite things”
Cut to Anthony, who gives the “I make my own decisions“ speech (not to be confused with the “I am the one who has to feed my family” speech, which is still to come) while he’s playing up the Anthony v. Jimmy stuff to his teammates. He strings his team along some more, bragging about how he’ll have Jimmy’s head on a platter and how Jimmy will find out what happens when he gets hit with “a bullet”. Kinda hard to do when you’re not actually fighting Jimmy, but that’s just splitting hairs.
Back to the glorious NBC studios for more Jay Leno action. Jimmy, ever the mathematician, tells us he’s seen the Tonight show a hundred times. That’s about ninety-nine times more than most sane people would admit. Peter lets us know how incredibly lame his life has been by sharing that this is the best time he’s ever had. Ouch…guess his life kinda sucks, eh?
All of a sudden, somewhere in Contenderville, the phone rings. It’s Anthony calling his children. In the phone booth, Anthony quickly transforms into Number One Daddy. NOD yaks with his kids about the first day of school and how his parents got divorced when he was four years old, making him believe he is some completely abnormal man with super daddy powers. We’re treated to the “anyone can be a father, but not everyone can be a dad” speech. He says he will never relinquish the title of Number One Dad. That’s great because it’s probably the only title he’ll ever have, cause he sure as heck ain’t winning this thing (for reasons we’ll soon learn about).
Anthony is still keeping his teammates in the dark and pleads with them to win the challenge.
“I know I’m still fighting Jimmy, but I still want to win that challenge so I have the opportunity to call him out rather than him calling me”. These guys fall for it hook, line, and sinker and plan to do what it takes to win the next challenge.
A New Day, a New Challenge for the East to Lose
And we’re back…and we’re at the Sepulveda Dam for the next West v. East challenge. Now that the East has actually won a bout, one of the West’s winners has to compete and today it’s Jesse.
Here’s what the challenge consists of:
There are 90 medicine balls - cleverly (or not) positioned to spell out West and East - and each team must get all 90 medicine balls to the top of the damn (using a pulley system powered by their own strength) and then into the bed of, well whaddya know, yet another Toyota Tundra! Then they have to release the team flag, ensuring their victory and the right to set the fight.
Sugar Ray channels Yoda and gives his version of the “Fear leads to anger... Anger leads to hate... Hate leads to suffering” speech. And they begin.
Joey and Jimmy are atop the dam and are in control of getting the medicine balls over the ledge and into the truck, while the other three guys from each team are below - gathering and loading them into the nets and hoisting them up to the top of the bridge.
The two teams are both fairly even until Joey heaves the net a little too wildly and causes it to land on the very top of the steep incline below. Jesse has to chase after the net, losing valuable time for the west. But, in typical east form, Jimmy royally sucks and has trouble getting the net over the ledge, dropping a few medicine balls back down to the ground and giving up their lead. The west comes back and now has just a slight edge, but Jimmy sucks yet again and lets another ball drop, ensuring the West yet another victory and the right to set the fight. Anthony says to Jesse that he’s choosing his own destiny. Uh…earth to Jesse…seems to me that would mean that he’s not going with the pre-determined match-ups. And he can’t even use the “I was drunk” excuse yet.
Toe the Line
Sly begins with the “toe the line” speech and Anthony steps up to the plate. And in a move that surprises everyone on the team but no one in America, Anthony chooses The Weakest Link, Brent. The West had planned to save Brent for Joey, who is now in full whine mode at the prospect of actually having to earn his way into the next round. For shame!
The West and East are equally ticked and Jimmy is in disbelief as he’s been mentally preparing himself for this fight for, like 3 hours or something. Jimmy proceeds to walk off as Anthony tries to “explain” himself. He gives the “I am the one who has to feed my family” speech and Jimmy tells Brent to “kick his ass”. Brent gives yet another
intoxicating intoxicated half-smile and mumbles something about being a victor not a victim and a head not a tail (someone get this man a speech-writer, stat).
Oh no he didn’t! That’s MY Man!
Joey whines to Jackie about how he feels used. He says that every bag he pulled hurt but Anthony told him that he wanted that psychological edge in being able to call out his guy, so he and the rest of the West gave it their all in the challenge.
“Anthony took my guy., cries Joey like a high school cheerleader who just walked in on her football-player boyfriend and her best friend getting busy.
Jackie tries to sell Joey on the idea that Anthony may have made a mistake picking Brent, but we all know that Anthony knew exactly what he was doing when he picked Brent. Ishe tries his hand at prophesizing yet again, saying that “maybe he bit off more than he can chew…he could have just toted his way right into the lion’s den”. What is it with these guys and the lion analogies? Everybody knows it’s all about the tiger.
Yet again, we’re being treated to more gossiping amongst the men folk and more whining about Anthony’s selection of Brent, this time by Jimmy, Jesse, and Joey. They all say it was unexpected,
“Lucky I don’t ring his neck”, says Joey. Yeah, you tell him now that he’s gone!
Boys Just Wanna Have Fun
Brent joins the boys for a night on the town. He doesn’t drink (but he still makes those funny faces), but Jesse more than makes up for Brent’s lack of drinking. It seems that DWFB has been drinking so much that he thinks his teammates are sorority girls - he gets a little friendly with his ’bros’ - pinching their nipples. The guys seem to be having a good time (I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that Anthony is not there), while Anthony prepares for the fight.
“The night before the fight, I don’t go out. I stay at home. I think about what I have to do to win that fight.” Foreshadowing much?
“God Help Brent Cooper”
While Anthony feeds off his children, Brent feeds off his faith. Brent says that his confidence comes from the Lord and that God is his strength.
Poor Brent didn’t realize that God is currently a little busy. See, there’s this little thing called the Papacy. Not wanting to be left out of the reality TV craze, the Lord Almighty is working on his own reality TV series: The Pontiff. The Pontiff sets out to pit Catholic leader against Catholic leader in head-to-head battles of faith and morality and conservatism.
…In the blue corner, hailing from Nigeria….he’s 72 years old, and weighs in at 156 lbs. Put your hands together for Francis “The Black Cardinal” Arinze
And in the red corner, representing Argentina… he’s 68 years old and weighs in at 155 lbs. Give it up for Jorge Mario “The Argentinian Archbishop” Bergoglio
Brent might wanna think about relying a little more on his fists and a little less on the Lord's will...just sayin'
At the ridiculously lame press conference...
Anthony: “Nobody makes a match for me…I make my own damn match”
Brent: “The Lord’s plan is for me and Anthony to fight…I put my faith in Him…The Lord gives victory to His anointed”
Ishe “The Prophet“ Smith: Prediction #3: “Brent will win. He’s faster and he’s smarter” Now there’s not much disputing Ishe’s boxing record, but I wonder how stellar his record will be in predicting tonight’s fight.
Anthony says, “It’s not going to be an easy fight. Brent Cooper is probably in the best shape”.
Brent theorizes, “I think the Lord put me here for a reason…to be The Contender. I know God’s got something for me.” Something tells me that 'something' isn't what you're expecting it to be.
Meanwhile, Anthony cries like a schoolgirl when he sees that his children have unexpectedly come to the fight (as if EPMB would allow that).
“The kids…they’re the fire inside me. They’re gonna make me win tonight. God help Brent Cooper.”
Trying to give Brent some words of encouragement, Tommy says, “God likes people who help themselves, remember that”. Only, apparently Tommy didn’t remember that Anthony had just helped himself by calling out Brent instead of Jimmy. Oops.
Ladies and gentlemen…
Fighting out of the blue corner and representing the East: Brent "The Disciple" Cooper
Fighting out the red corner, representing the West: Anthony "The Bullet" Bonsante
A hush falls over the West bench as tumbleweed dances across the ring. No one is cheering for the traitor.
Round 1: Anthony is making this thing look WAY too easy. Brent isn’t doing anything defensively to counter Anthony’s flurries. Anthony gets a couple good blows (a jab here, a hook there) and ends the round with a few combinations…Brent gets in some decent shots here and there, but he’s not landing a whole lot of blows.
Round 2: Brent’s playing a lot of duck and cover. He’s leaving his face wide open and is clearly getting pummeled. Anthony is getting in a lot of great shots, with some really great body shots. Anthony keeps getting Brent in the corner and Brent just seems to sit there like he’s paralyzed. As much as we’re seeing from Anthony (thanks in large part to Brent being a non-entity) he’s pretty much sticking to jabs and hooks, which may be working for Brent, but we’ll just have to wait and see how well it will work against the others.
Round 3: Anthony is just killing Brent. Brent is completely overmatched and there doesn’t seem to be a thing he can do about it. A flurry of powerful body shots, following by another flurry of head shots, with a couple coming down on the top of Brent’s head. Brent is taking a beating and Ishe and others call for the fight to be stopped.
38 seconds into the 3rd round, the referee stops the fight, awarding the first Contender knockout to Anthony “The Bullet” Bonsante. Anthony had a message for the others:
“With my two kids by my side, I am unstoppable”
Brent: “It just wasn’t the Lord’s will for me to win.”. No Brent, it was apparent that even the Lord’s will wouldn’t have helped you.
LeAnn: “Don’t be upset”
Brent: “I couldn’t do nothing”
LeAnn: “Don’t beat yourself up…it wasn’t meant to be.”. Yes, please, don’t beat yourself up. Anthony already did a fine job of that.
Brent: “I know. God has always pulled me through. You just follow him and trust that everything is gonna turn out great.” And when it doesn’t, you just look back and wish that you’d put more of your energy into training instead of trying to figure out what the Lord’s will is.
Cowboy Brent rides off into the sunset and his final words are “God Bless”.
Next time on the Contender:
“A betrayal from one of their own will start a battle outside the ring”
Ishe throws stuff.
Joey will whine.
The East will suck.
Sly will say something stupid.
Jesse will say bro and/or dude at least 43 times.
Ishe will make at least one incorrect prediction.
Someone will hang up his gloves.
...And PhoenixMons will breathe a sigh of relief now that she's finally got her first summary under her belt. *whew*