By Jesse Holland
Special to UFCmania
Episode 5 starts off with the standard recap of the previous week and lest anyone forget Gabe is still fat and Weems is still a wimp. We get a brief look at Andy versus Brandon and what surprised me was how easily a three-second clip summarized the fight:
Brandon threw combinations and Andy ate them.
It's training time and BJ starts to wonder why his team is 0-4. In a moment of clarity he actually compares them to the Bad News Bears. I wondered aloud if he's ever seen the movie because if his team is the Bears then as coach that makes him Morris Buttermaker. Coach Buttermaker was a racist alcoholic.
And doesn't he know the first rule of leadership? Everything is your fault.
Noah is apparently unsatisfied with being just a sub-par fighter and appoints himself class clown as well. He continually goofs off during training and an irritated Tony DeSouza has seen enough.
Tony takes it upon himself to school Noah on the mat and that makes Noah mad. So mad that he waits until he's alone with the camera to denounce Tony's actions and declare himself old enough (at the ripe old age of twenty-five) to ignore training advice.
I don't know about anyone else but I think I'm at the point where I've had enough of the eliminated fighters. I miss the old days when they were sent home after losing.
Speaking of fighters who should be sent home, Gabe scales in at a portly 176. He announces to the group that he will definitely make weight should the need arise. Not surprisingly, the team doesn't share his optimism (stuffing his face with cake may have had something to do with that).
At the fighter picks Dana is mysteriously AWOL for the second time and Jens leads us through the motions. As promised in the previews Corey picks Gabe and ever the yuckster, Gabe brings a box to stand on for the face-off.
The box made him taller. Taller than Corey. The gag is designed to poke fun at Corey's height by exaggerating Gabe's. Funny, isn't it? I can't believe he didn't follow it up with "How's the weather up there?" Boy that Gabe, what a card!
Corey talks about the fight and thinks it will be fast-paced and exciting. Huh? Either Corey has been spending a little too much time in the sauna or he's reading a teleprompter.
Gabe, equally delusional, claims to be prepared for Corey because he's already fought the best. Well, with KO losses to Hermes Franca and Melvin Guillard I'll say one thing, he's certainly lost to the best.
After the picks Gabe makes cutting weight his #1 priority. But first he has to go back to the house and take a nap. Over on Team Pulver's side, Corey is training hard and for the first time this season, actually looks like a serious threat instead of a barking broomstick.
Not to insinuate the episode was moving at a torrid pace, but things really start to drag as it becomes the Gabe Ruediger show.
First we see him dogging it in the gym in his rubber suit looking like a bloated cosmonaut. In fact what should be running on the treadmill looks eerily reminiscent of Neil Armstrong's first few steps on the moon as Gabe bounces to and fro at a blistering speed of 1.5 and an incline of zero.
After a lengthy minute-and-a-half Gabe's had enough of actual effort and opts to hold up the wall under a pile of towels. What better way to melt off the pounds than to bury your head in a towel that was probably just used to wipe DeSouza's pit-juice off the mat.
With only two hours until weigh-ins Gabe is finally coerced into the sauna by BJ and Gray. They toss Emerson in there with him as kind of a fail-safe in case Gabe doesn't make weight.
Things don't start off so well as Gabe goes in and out of the sauna so many times I thought he was auditioning for Door Jam on MXC.
Gabe then starts speaking in tongues and passing out (but is still able to land softly to avoid getting hurt). Nobody is convinced by his performance and after repeatedly stuffing him back into the sauna, Gabe verbally quits and simultaneously dethrones Kenny Stevens from Season 2 as most pathetic contestant in TUF history (Eli Joslin is a close third for those keeping score).
Gabe begins crying and begs the guys to put him back in. It becomes pretty obvious to me at this point that there isn't going to be a fight this episode. I can now appreciate how Corey must have felt when he got the news.
Speaking of Corey, ten minutes from weigh-ins Team Pulver gets pulled from the gym to much suspicion. They arrive back at the house just as the ambulance is pulling in to resuscitate Gabe.
Now if only they had a way to resuscitate the millions of lost viewers after episodes like this one.
Brian relegates Gabe to the future cast of Celebrity Fit Club and sums things up best by calling Gabe the biggest piece of crap he's ever met in his life. Jens, always looking at the positives, is confident Gabe has future sponsorship from a variety of fast-food vendors.
The next day the teams are assembled for a special meeting. Dana returns and stares a hole right through Gabe. After a few shots at his commitment, Dana tells him to pack his bags. Gabe admits to making a fool of himself and apologizes to Corey for disrespecting him.
Now who is going to apologize to us for having to sit through this episode?
In what I can only hope is his last appearance on camera, Gabe weeps about his life as a fighter and how he can't give up his dream. I'm close to weeping myself but for very different reasons.
The last segment sees Dana penalize Team Penn for letting Gabe fail and give Team Pulver the next two picks. Corey does not advance due to the forfeit and will fight a reinstated Emerson for next week.
Jens goes on to make his second pick and thankfully it's Brian versus Joe (who could be the only one to stop Team Penn from getting swept).
Although I'm excited about two fights next week it will be a long time before I forget the travesty that was tonight's episode.
Stay tuned next week as we get a double-dose of action and a rare appearance by Steve Mazzagatti's moustache.
See you then!