However I describe it, though, I have come to one startling and completely unexpected realisation, likely to cause shockwaves in my psyche for decades to come, and change my own outlook and that of my friends and family forever.
I... I’m kind of into boxing now.
There. I said it.
The Philosophy Of Hitting Blokes And That
How am I going to learn about life when this show is over? Who will summarise the complexities of the universe in single, badly constructed sentences? How will I know to add the phrase “and that” to the end of everything I say, and refer to myself as “meself”? This is really going to be distinctly inconvenient. And that.
• When the lads travel to fancy-schmancy restaurant Catalina’s by seaplane, we’re reminded once again of Josh’s discomfort in relation to matters of extreme altitude. Or, as he puts it, “I’m shittin’ meself”. SO SUCCINCT. Victor also pitches in with “My eyes is heppy, but my stomach – very, very unheppy”. I can't believe I have the impulse right now to tell champion boxers to man up. Jeez.
• Before his fight with Garth, Victor impersonates his biceps and says “Watch out, Garth WOOOOOD!”. Impersonates. His biceps. Hot damn, I love this show.
• Regarding his own fight with Kariz, Josh pretty much summarises what it is to be a boxer: “We’ll just put our friendship aside, just for that fifteen minutes or whatever it is, and um… basically punch each other’s head in”. I’d like him to get a job commentating for the Winter Olympics. I can hear him saying “Right, so these blokes on the luge and that, they just put their friendship aside, just for that forty-seven seconds or whatever it is, and um… basically fang down the white skate ramp like the bloody clappers”. MAKE IT HAPPEN, SAMARANCH EQUIVALENT. Make. It. Happen.
This week’s challenge tests the boxers to the ultimate limit, shuddering the core of their very manhood and causing nerves to fray and friendships to strain under its weight.
Yep. It’s ten-pin bowling. Nothing screams brutal testicular force better than shiny balls and two-tone shoes. Victor loses because he’d rather sulk and eat borscht by the sidelines, and Josh wins because he’s a little bit awesome. There is no prize except for the fact that they get to bowl with Anthony Mundine. There is no prize.
• Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the Rose Bay Thick-Necked Thug Catwalk Show. First up, we have our models Kariz, Garth, Josh and Victor, looking actually decent in actual clothes that were actually made for actual men. Who knew?
• Just when you think there’s not going to be any ridiculous headwear or outfits that belong in boy bands, in walks Anthony “The Fresh Prince Man” Mundine. Phew. He announces his arrival with “Sup. Champ’s in the house”. Oh, boom, shake shake shake the room, Anthony. Tell me I’m wrong:
• In the locker room before his fight, Garth ticks off a mental checklist to make sure he’s got everything. Pictures of loved ones – check. Water - check. Dressing gown – check. Hand strapping – check. Delta Goodrem on the iPod – check. Yep, think that’s everything.
The Ladies And Offspring Of The Ring
• Garth’s brother Nathan calls him ‘Garfus’ and kisses him on the cheek. I reckon only someone who flies kites in budgie-smugglers and gigantic cowboy hats could be more wonderful. But that would never happen.
• The glamorous and ubiquitous Svetlana is there with her characteristic fashion sense and her awesome banshee wail. Apparently “AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE!!!” is Russian for “Your opponent is like a chicken, my darling!”.
• After the Josh and Kariz fight, the ring is completely overrun by tiny, adorable offspring. It’s like a swarm of cute ants teeming all over a left-over Kit Kat, if the ants were dressed in Osh Kosh B’gosh, and if the Kit Kat was covered in sweat and blood, and if this analogy was better.
KOs and OKs
• Can we just talk about the theme music for a second? It’s the most stirring thing since Jamie Oliver did a special about stirring stuff, but with a lot less need for condescending uppity wanker. I FEEL IT IN MY LOINS. I would very much like to hear The Contender music play every time I walk into a meeting or my bedroom. Okay, maybe just meetings. The less my bedroom is associated with rings and fists, the better.
• Wow. We made it to the Semi-Final! We’re one step closer to a new ute. Give yourselves a little clap. In fact, keep giving yourselves a little clap, and don’t stop until the credits roll. All anyone does in this episode (aside from wearing nice shirts and punching bejeezus out of each other) is applaud themselves and bleed.
• We’ve been through a lot over these last ten weeks, we have. Drama, fights, mushrooms, training, Ramadan, skipping ropes, tears, guts, glory and Vaseline. So when Josh is asked what his favourite moment of the whole series has been, his answer is obvious. It’s when Kariz went arse over tit in the sand and his head “popped up like a lamington”. Josh, you are the third best thing that has ever happened to me.
Fight One: Garth and Victor
I’m pretty much speechless, so I’m just going to refer to my notes. Yes, I take notes. Shut up. Selected stream-of-consciousness snippets from my frenzied during-bout tappings:
DING DING. Garth is an absolute fucking madman – punch after punch after punch after punch. JAB JABJABJABJAB. Just massive and unbelievable.
Loads of cuddling, and Garth PICKS VICTOR UP and almost dumps him over the ropes. End of last round, it’s just wrestling and tackling. Victor headbutts Garth. Svetlana goes nuts. It’s frickin’ awesome.
It’s a full-on, claret-everywhere, BRAWL. Garth keeps picking Victor up, Briggs rushes the ring and gives the ref shit, it’s all eighteen different kinds of amazing. Garth rushes Victor again. This is just the BEST shit ever. Garth is a punching machine, yo.
GARTH WINS. Johnny says “You’re the most courageous kid in the world”. I love Johnny. Bye, Victor. You were not like a chicken.
I can’t really put it any better than that. Also, welcome to how my brain works when I’m watching television. My mother will be calling me shortly to let me know exactly which soap I should wash my mouth out with. And yes, my brain puts the word “yo” at the end of things. Again: shut up.
Victor takes his loss well, just whispering the word ‘Poop’ under his breath. And also punching sweet mercy out of the set and shouting in the shower.
Fight Two: Josh and Kariz
Josh explains his attitude towards the fight with “I take everything as a joke, but when I fight, I fight serious”. Perhaps with a nice schooner, Josh.
In turn, Kariz describes his outlook with “I see myself as a predator, and my opponent as prey. I’m just focused on chewing his heart. Having his heart on a plate”. Perhaps with some fava beans and a nice Chianti, Kariz.
Josh puts up a valiant and tough fight, his little man-boobs jiggling with every punch, but Kariz just pips him at the post, stir-frying Josh’s heart and sprinkling it with Hoisin sauce and sesame seeds. Boxing is delicious, y’all.
Later when Josh’s kids come in to the locker room and give their awesome dad a hug, he lets a few tears go. THAT’S EVERYONE. Everyone on this show has now had a bit of a sook. PS: I love everyone on this show.
So. That’s it. Final next week. I’ll be going to see it (See definition under “relentless fame-whore”), so next week’s recap will be:
a) Late, because I plan on hunting Josh down and demanding he come for a beer afterwards;
b) Late, because I plan on hunting Nader down and making him listen while I tell him how noble he is;
c) Sketchy, because I’ll be too excited to write anything down; and
d) Crap, because I won’t be able to see the screen through the tears and snot and stuff.
Other than that, it will be totally, totally awesome.