After four weeks of bright team colors, we’ve reached the pivotal point of the TBL season where the remaining 12 contestants were blended into teams Black and Blue. (Your usual recapper Darren Franich couldn’t be here tonight, so I’ll be your guide through this fifth week of competition.) Though it seems that all this color meshing might have messed with the contestants’ brains because what occurred by the episode’s end was as twisted and crazy as one of Tracey’s unfocused stares.
And to think it all started benignly with that ginormous wheel of fortune. It was Blue Versus Black time, and under one of a circle of silver platters was a Golden Ticket, which allowed the contestant who landed on it complete and utter power over all of the universe. Or at least the ability to choose who gets put on what team, and with which trainer. Danny declared that he wanted to be He Man and Master of the Universe, but all he got saddled with was a cupcake with sprinkles. Actually, everyone who took a spin at the wheel got slapped with a mouthful of empty calories (though it was funny to hear one of the contestants gasp ”It’s huge!” when Rudy uncovered his heaping 1,000 calorie slice of chocolate cake).
Everyone except for Tracey, of course. This season’s wild card somehow summoned her uncanny power to conjure up the wind and oh-so-conveniently landed on the Golden Ticket, to the complete and utter disgust of her fellow players. Coach Mo, in his sage wisdom, attributed Tracey’s unbelievable luck to something deeper. ”It was supernatural,” Tracey’s purple partner attested. ”She has the ability to gain control whenever she needs it, or wants it.” That’s got to be it, right? It’s too unlikely that it could have been rigged.
Usually, with great power comes great responsibility. But wispy-haired and crazy-eyed Tracey had at best been an inactive weeper, and at worst an impulsive and not-so-kind control freak, and the other contestants were rightly concerned when the Blue and Black teams fell to her discretion. Dina didn’t want to be away from Rudy. Liz didn’t want to be separated from Danny. But Tracey, now flush with power and clutching the Golden Ticket in her hands like a mad Willy Wonka, separated Rudy from Dina, Liz from Danny, and Amanda from her beloved trainer Bob to stack the Blue team in her favor, thus spurring vows of revenge, countless stink eyes, and more tears than a Steel Magnolias convention.
Tracey, who has yet to see the inside of the gym, much less work out with either of the trainers, opted for a less-than-thrilled Bob as the blue team’s trainer (thereby saving herself from a Jillianesque a—whooping — Tracey may be cuckoo for cocoa puffs, but she’s not dumb), and padded her team with Coach Mo, Allen, Rudy, Liz and Rebecca.
Which left Danny, Daniel, Shay, Amanda, Abby, and Dina on the underdog Black team with Jillian. ”This is the beginning of World War III,” declared Danny. Lizzy, particularly, was in a tizzy, even to the point of collapsing on a machine. The 52-year-old from Tennessee did not take her separation from former Brownie Danny so easily. ”To know that he is going to be on the other side of the gym…it kills my soul,” she said tearfully. The tears quickly gave way to anger as Liz resolved to send Tracey home. What happens to a Southern woman when she gets mad? ”We get even,” Liz responded resolutely. ”You stab me in the back, I’m done. She wants to win? She’ll do it at home.”
NEXT: Dina can’t get on the good foot