Finalewatch '08: 'Beauty and the Geek'
The finale of the fifth season of Beauty and the Geek was bittersweet since the show most likely won't come back, seeing how The CW didn't opt to renew it due to failing ratings. Fans of the show were disenchanted that the first few episodes tinkered with the "social experiment" formula -- instead of pairing up the beauties with the geeks to foster tolerance, this season kicked off with the beauties vying against the geeks. Not cool.
Even though equilibrium was established soon afterwards, the damage had been done -- although Leticia and Matt have seemed to grow by leaps and bounds after joining forces.
Google maps show that spoilers are ahead.
After the victory over Cowboy Joe and Tara (both of whom I'll miss for their weird interactions), Tommy and Amanda are thrilled to be safe ... until the next day when they realize the finale can only include two teams. That means they're about to go through their second elimination challenge in so many days. Doh!
A la The Newlywed Game, each beauty and geek must prove how well they know each other. The first team to three correct answers advances to the finale, and then the remaining two duke it out for the last spot. Dammit if it wasn't a rather endearing process. Matt and Leticia kept apologizing to each other when they would guess wrong, but Cara actually said "That's stupid," when Chris guessed her chosen superpower would be telekinesis. I mean, she doesn't even know what that is! Frankly, I'm all about the teleporation, and it's not just because that's the "green" thing to do.
Cute moments: Matt saying "That's right" in a Scooby-Doo voice; Amanda writing "Dan Cook" for comedian Dane Cook; Amanda declaring herself the most beautiful person in the house and Leticia and Matt's dance after losing in a sudden-death round. I'll miss them. Leticia was my fave from the start, being a very pretty but tomboyish chick who knew how to plumb like nobody's business. And while Matt's poetry was rather atrocious, I felt he grew. Also, I give them props for locking lips in the soap opera challenge.
Host Mike Richards informs the last four that they can't prepare for their final challenge, but they get one more day in the house. A special prize -- Cara is hoping to see her puppies -- ends up being all their former housemates (Hey, Matt and Leticia look the same! She's even wearing her guitar pick earrings!) hanging out with them again.
Of course, since Tommy was hotter than any geek could have conceived to be, tensions rose. Amber -- who he dallied with -- played hard to get after she heard from Kristina that he had been snuggling with Tara in her absence. While Amber's haircut was a good choice, her calculated pursuit of Tommy because he'll be successful and take her shopping is so disgusting. Bail out, Tommy! Don't be swayed by your hormones!
Oh, and Tommy utters probably the geekiest line after Amber kisses him upside-down while he's seated: "What, are you Spider-Man now?" Yeah ... that's exactly what she was going for.
It's high school all over again when Tara and Amanda realize that Kristina has been trash talking about them. They confront her, and oh, the waving of the pointer fingers, the insults ("I'm sorry I'm prettier than you.") and just all 'round chaos. Amanda is worried that Tommy will be distracted by his lust for Amber, but he reassures her that his head is in the game.
The final four wake to find their previous night's housemates missing. Mike (who has been funnier and sharper in previous seasons) informs them that they've scattered willy-nilly in Los Angeles, and that only the finalists' knowledge of them would recover them. Well, that knowledge added to a limo, a wifi-enabled laptop, a map book and really pointed and obvious clues about the missing persons. But other than that, it's all about knowing people.
The finale challenge wasn't bad since it provided some adrenline-pumping action (as much as BatG can provide) and showed the teams working together. I don't think it was necessarily the best example of how far they'd come compared to previous seasons though (quizzes about how well they know each other or the eliminated beauties and geeks voting on their progress).
Actually, the real challenge isn't about knowing your former housemates, but about being strategically smart about geography, taking risks and just plain ol' luck with LA's notorious traffic. Several times over both teams had gone to a location only to have found that the other team had already picked up the former housemate (Buff Jason from Gold's gym, Tara from the Roosevelt hotel, Matt from a literary joint in Venice).
There's a time limit of course, or else the finale would have been interminable since 24 this ain't, and so it comes down to who can get the most of the hidden 14 people before returning to the mansion. The tinted windows in limos aren't just about privacy, they also create drama. Who's in there? One by one, each of the "rescued" housemates emerged from the vehicles until four people each stand by the final teams. Tommy's about to have a coronary yet again.
And wonder of wonders, despite their driver making a "fatal mistake" in LA traffic, Tommy and Amanda's team was able to pick up a fifth person -- that scamp John -- thus proving that they are more than just a beauty and a geek. Yup, they're a beauty and a geek with $250,000 between them.
It's a sweet victory for the sweater vest enthusiast and runway model, and unsurprisingly, Chris and Cara are happy for their competitors. Even though the experiment was tampered with at the beginning, it appears the experiment worked nonetheless.
What did you think about this season's crop of beauties and geeks? Did the right team win? Who was memorable? Why wasn't there more Cowboy Joe in this episode during their mini-reunion?