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The Joe Schmo Show: “The Rise Of The Lamas”

Illustration for article titled iThe Joe Schmo Show/i: “The Rise Of The Lamas”
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It’s not uncommon for competition reality shows to experience a lull right before the grand finale, and as it turns out, that can also be the case for fake competition reality shows. The numbers have dwindled, and the biggest personalities are no longer with us (although that will change next week when everyone returns for the big reveal). Randy’s absence in particular leaves a void in the show that’s only partially filled by the return of Lorenzo Lamas.

But although this is a more placid episode than we’ve grown accustomed to seeing, there’s still time for one more big screwup on the part of the production team. The final immunity challenge is an obstacle course on which the contestants must knock down a series of doors and make their way through falling feathers, paint, glitter, and spray from fire hoses to claim the immunity vest. The challenge has been rigged to ensure a win for Lorenzo Lamas, guaranteeing that he will go up against Chase in the final vote. Chase’s doors have been reinforced to make it much more difficult for him to complete the course, but Chase is such a maniac in challenges, it ends up not mattering. He plows through all of the doors in one big burst, leaving the production members slack-jawed and Lorenzo wondering what the hell just happened.


The producers have to scramble again, this time sending Allen to convince Chase they should vote for Chico instead of Lorenzo. Honestly, I didn’t think this had a chance of working, given how ineffectual Allen has been throughout the season, and the case he presented to Chase seemed wishy-washy at best. Isn’t the best reason to bring Lorenzo to the end the fact that he didn’t even play most of the game? As far as Chase knows (and as he confides to his spirit animal later), it was random chance that brought Lorenzo back into the game in the first place. Nonetheless, whatever Allen says appears to do the trick, and Chase is soon on board with voting Chico out.

Chase being Chase, he feels he has to let Chico know what’s about to go down. This puts Chico in an interesting position as far as the fine line he has to walk. The actor knows his character is going as part of the master plan, and he doesn’t want to do anything to dissuade Chase from voting him off. At the same time, he can’t be too nonchalant about it, lest Chase’s suspicions be raised yet again. He goes with a sort of shrugging “hey, you gotta do what you gotta do” routine that seems to work well enough, and the stage is set for a final three of Chase, Allen, and Lorenzo.


As for the latter, Lamas has taken it down a notch or two since his brief run early in the season. The Casual Pouch does not make an appearance, except in flashbacks, and the most outrageous thing he does in the episode is taze his own wife as part of challenge. Like that’s not a regular part of the Lamas marriage anyway! (And yes, that was the actual Mrs. Lamas, Shawna Craig, on the receiving end of what didn’t look like a particularly high-voltage shock. She’s wife number five for Lamas, if you’re keeping score at home.) We did finally get the long-awaited “Lady Justice, may I come inside of you?” moment, though.

But if the episode was light on hilarious hijinks, it did provide a surprisingly sweet and funny interlude between Chase and his spirit animal. Sure, the llama tried to eat a candle, but he and Chase really seem to have bonded. I hope Chase has room in his backyard for the little fella. Before that happens, however, we’ve got the big reveal coming up next week, and I honestly can’t wait. I just hope Chase isn’t too crushed to learn that his hero Jake Montrose is a fraud.

Stray observations:

  • In case you were wondering whether the absurd movie titles Lamas was claiming as part of his filmography were fake… nope. A perusal of his IMDb page reveals that Snake Eater I, II, and III, as well as Terminal Justice, Hope Ranch, and Latin Dragon, are all the real deal. And he didn’t even mention Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus!)
  • I hope the guy in the wheelchair finally got $10.
  • Even after hearing it three or four times, the line “Is Jorge aqui?” still cracked me up.
  • “What is Chase gonna do with a llama… in Pittsburgh?”
  • Any predictions for the finale? Do you think Chase is going to take it well, freak out, or just get horribly depressed that his dream of becoming a bounty hunter is over? For what it’s worth, he is on Twitter with a #JoeSchmo hashtag in his profile, so he can’t be too upset… right?

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