The basic problem with a two-hour edition of American Gladiators, as I may have hinted at last week, is not that there’s not enough action in the show, but rather that there are far too many commercials and far too many commercial breaks. Frankly, I’m more than a little scared about what this coming Sunday’s two-hour finale is going to have in store for us. I do however like the added event, I think that the extra chance contenders have to really separate themselves from one-another is good, and might almost make up for the commercials (maybe). Enough talk though, it’s time for "Gladiator Monday!"

The men got us started tonight and there was no doubt that I was rooting for Evan, the guy who wasn’t playing because he won last week and who either Andy or Alex (who were playing tonight) will be going up against in the finals. Seriously, Andy and Alex’s incessant, inane trash-talking really makes them both unlikable. I know that they do it in jest, but it’s not funny and I can’t wait for Evan to tear one of them apart next week.

To make matters worse, the guys got started on Hit and Run, and I think we all know how I feel about that little medicine ball-filled walk in the park. Gee, Gladiators is there anything more you could do to distress me before we were even 10 minutes in tonight? Why, of course there was, Alex and Andy both got knocked down and sent into the water without utilizing all their time (Andy grabbed two points and Alex 6). The contestants actually made Hit and Run look difficult… maybe the two of them both deserve to move on to the next round for that skill alone.

Event number two for the men was Hang Tough. Andy avoided contact as best he could and picked up five points for lasting until the end (Justice did pull Andy down well after time had run out though). Alex did somewhat worse, going into the water before the time ran out and earned a big old goose egg, he did however manage to hang on with Justice literally on top of him for a good long time (not that one gets points for that).

The men had to run the Gauntlet for the third event, which, while painful, seems easy to score on. Andy grabbed 10 and Alex 6, but Toa’s head butt (is that legal?) slowed Alex down right at the end. Alex slipped further behind during Joust, where Wolf sent him swimming before Andy took the hairy one down (Andy complained that none of the contestants like the event prior to his win, one wonders if his opinion has changed now). During Wall, both men looked awfully fast, but a little slip but Andy allowed Alex to get to the top first for 10, just in front of Andy who got five.

In the Eliminator, Andy had a five second head start, but Alex had nearly caught up by the hand bike. Andy was still in front by a little at the Travelator, but both men slipped their first time around on it and had to do it again. Alex fell the second time too, but pulled himself up via the rope. For his part, Andy fell at the very top and couldn’t get up fast enough. Alex busted through the finish line first and will have the honor of losing to Evan next week.

On the women’s side, Venus went up against Monica. Here I was hoping for Venus to come out on top, but I wasn’t going to be upset with a victory by Monica or Crush (yeah, like I wasn’t going to give Crush a shout tonight). The women started with Power Ball, and Monica put up 9 points to Venus’s 7, both contenders looked good, but the gladiators did seem to give up some easy points which greatly disappointed me.

The women, like the men, had Hang Tough for event number two. Venom seemed to take a wrong turn and allowed Monica to pick up 10 points, but went right after Venus, sending her into the water with nothing.

Event three for the women was Joust and while Venus ended up in the water, Monica got the better of Siren for 10 points. Things got even worse for Venus in Wall, where she went into the water yet again, and allowed Monica to get even further out in front – Monica was able to fight off Siren and get to the top, earning another 10 points. In the last pre-Eliminator event, Pyramid, Venus managed to not fall further back, as neither woman scored anything at all. Okay, so that was more due to gladiator prowess than Venus’s skill, but as Venus didn’t score elsewhere tonight I’m giving her the moral victory here.

For the Eliminator, Monica had a monster, massive, huge, 16 second head start. Poor Venus never had a chance. Venus kept talking about how she had caught up last round on the Eliminator, but that was only because her opponent couldn’t make it to the top of the Travelator. Monica had no such difficulty, leaving Venus (who couldn’t manage the cargo net tonight) in her dust and getting herself a spot in the finals.

So, that’s that. This Sunday is the big old finale. And I think the clear favorites are Evan and Monica. Sure, hypothetically anything can happen, but I don’t see any NY Giants-type comebacks around the corner.

What is just around the corner though, or, at furthest, a mouse-click away is The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews. Why not head over there while you wait for Sunday to arrive.

Posted by:Josh Lasser