The Kyoto Dragon (Episode 2-2)

Airheads debating politics and dweebs singing karaoke. What other reasons could you need to watch Beauty and the Geek?

This week, the game began in earnest for the geeks and their partners. After winning a pop culture quiz and the right to switch up any two teams, Amanda decided that she’d prefer to switch out of her partnership with Chris. They swapped team members with Brandon and Tristin. Would it be the right strategic move for Amanda, or only a convenient way for her to avoid the condescending Chris?

After the teams were swapped, the pairs got their first assignments. The geeks would have to overcome their fear of public embarrassment by karaoke-ing the Foreigner song “Hot Blooded” in a club packed with strangers. It was an especially difficult task because no one can sing the word “rendezvous” without sounding stupid.

The beauties, normally comfortable in the company of strangers, would have to give a speech on politics or the environment in an auditorium full of people. None of the girls are political science or environmental studies majors, and most have no interest in current events at all. Danielle summed up the merits of the two-party system of government with the observation, “Whatever works for me is best.”

Before giving their speeches, the beauties studied with their partners. When Tristin got excited simply because she’d heard of Social Security before, Chris said about his partner, “Her life is just one long, blonde moment.” Josh faced similar challenges with Cher, who assumed that the Kyoto Protocol was somehow related to “the Kyoto dragon.” Exhausted after five minutes of studying, Cher took a nap.

In between study sessions with their partners, the geeks had to rehearse for their own performances. As an Asian guy who can’t sing, Tyson was afraid the audience would compare him to legendary American Idol failure William Hung. Because the beauties would appear onstage with the guys while they sang, Ankur and Jennipher worked on a routine, reasoning it would be better to emphasize style over singing quality.

Josh was first to perform at the club, and, after a few stops and starts, he was actually able to have a good time singing. Karl actually had the most potential as a vocalist, and Ankur won points by ripping open his shirt. But the audience voted Tyson the winner, after he solved a Rubik’s cube during the guitar solo. That’s a little more original than playing air guitar, but it’s only a matter of time before the cube gets old.

After the club, teams relocated to a lecture hall for the beauties’ challenge. The girls spoke one at a time after picking a topic at random. Danielle went first but struggled to answer the question, “Do you support lower or higher taxes?” After saying that rich people should pay higher taxes, she proceeded to talk about how she’d tried to dress “smart,” taking special pride that her necklace and shoes matched. Jennipher, Thais, Sarah, and Amanda performed equally poorly, with Amanda reduced to bewildered silence after forgetting everything she’d learned from Brandon about global warming.

Not all of the speeches were awful. Brittany deserved credit for understanding that the Social Security systems depends on people paying taxes when they are young so that there will be money for them when they are old. Tristin, who couldn’t remember specifics about pollution prevention, tried to make the audience laugh by advocating a return to a hunting-gathering lifestyle. Cher was lucky to pick the question on Social Security, as she’d taken care of her ailing grandmother and was familiar with Medicare and the importance of long-term financial planning.

Cher’s coherent speech earned her the win and a hug from Josh, who was impressed that he had the courage to hug her. The victory meant that Cher and Josh would be able to one of the couples to send into the elimination round, while Tyson and Thais would pick the other couple.

But before the doom and gloom of elimination day, the contestants spent the night drinking champagne and holding a spontaneous toga party. The guys balked at the girls’ suggestion of playing Truth or Dare, preferring instead to stage a toga fashion show. The beauties were both baffled and relieved that none of the guys seemed interested in hitting on them. Jennipher said, “That’s what makes them (the geeks) cute.” Any nerdy guy will tell you that the word “cute” is the kiss of death, the label that means you are a friend and can never be anything more.

After the couples eligible for elimination spent the day studying, everyone convened to learn who’d be fighting to stay in the game. Tyson and Thais made their selection first. To no one’s surprise, they nominated show villian Chris and his partner, Tristin, for elimination. Cher and Josh wanted to send in someone who had a good shot at beating Chris, and Brandon and Amanda were chosen as the other team. Tristin rolled her eyes as Thais announced that she hoped Brandon and Amanda would emerge the victors.

The two teams up for elimination were given time to pack and say their goodbyes. Tristin cried, and it took all of Chris’s willpower not to run out of their room.

The girls were up first in the elimination round, and the guys watched the competition on closed circuit television in another room. The first round consisted of three questions each, in the category of politics and U.S. government. Amanda bested Tristin with two correct answers to her rival’s one. The teammates switched places, and the guys answered questions on pop music. Brandon seemed to choke under the pressure, getting only one question right. Chris then brought home the win by answering all three questions correctly. It seems Amanda made the wrong move by dumping Chris as her partner.

On the next episode, viewers will see how the rest of the contestants react to Chris and Tristin’s victory. Challenges intensify as the beauties learn electronics and the geeks decorate a bedroom.