With librarian Dan eliminated from “I Survived a Japanese Game Show,” we as viewers have to now watch which sinner has the best chance at winning the grand prize in the season finale. It’s every humiliated American for him- or herself!
Game #1: “Dude! Where’s My Luggage?”
The gist? Players run on a conveyor belt with luggage coming out of it. They have to identify luggage with blue tags on it, and throw those into a nearby bin. If the player falls, or if 30 seconds passes, the next player gets on. Because the Green Tigers have a man advantage, Brent has to wear a carrot suit and boxing gloves. As is Japanese custom.
The outcome? Carrot Man can’t do much of anything with those gloves on. But having the third player gives each member of The Green Tigers more time to rest in between shifts. They win, 24-17.
Choice quote? “You’re gonna throw luggage and toys and car seats at me? Please, I’m a mother of two!” Cathy, explaining why she’s the Tiger Woods of this game
The Green Tigers get to ride on a futuristic boat as their prize. It’s super sweet and looks like it belongs in a Bond film. The boat takes them to what looks like the coolest Dave and Buster’s on the entire planet, Joyopolis. The Red Robots go to the equivalent of monastery boot camp. It looks absolutely horrible. They are emotionally broken before our eyes, with Megan turning into Beatrix Kiddo on national television. Weird. Does that mean she’s going to kill Rome Kanda?
We’re on to the first elimination, where Justin and Megan have to channel their torture-by-monks into the chance for $250,000. It’s the end of an era people: the Red Robots will soon be no more. Don’t say a prayer for me, save it for the morning after.
Elimination Game #1: “Balloon Assassin!”
The gist? The players bounce on a trampoline while strapped to an elastic harness, trying to pop balloons overhead. (No, don’t kill the nice old man from “Up”!) Yellow balloons are one point, blue balloons are two. Most points wins!
The outcome? Megan starts out strong, but has a harder time reaching the higher blue balloons. She manages to channel some of her inner Daniel-san by the end, however, and finishes strong. Justin is slow out of the gate, but gets a good rhythm towards the end. Judge Bob awards the game to Justin, 31-23. We have our final four, and it’s right on to the next game. No rest when a quarter of a million dollars is at stake.
Game #2: “You Stand Still! No, You Stand Still!”
The gist? Two players sit on spinning chairs. After getting dizzy to the point of vomit, they meet in the middle of a small walkway, where they have to exchange outfits while standing on another set of spinners. They then cross to the other side, retrieve and item, and return to their original position. I’m not sure the bartering system should be this complex.
The outcome? It’s Battle of the Sexes time, with Justin/Brent versus Cathy/Linda. Justin chants “Boys are sending the girls home!” while he spins wildly around. Probably not best to brag, dude. And really, this Battle of the Sexes was over the moment Cathy decided to not have a sex change before it started. The ladies win by thirty seconds.
Another game, another reward/punishment. The girls get to go on Japan’s #1 talk show, “Zoom In Super!” The men work at a bento shop, prepping and delivering sushi. When they return to the studio, the girls are pulling for Justin to defeat Brent in order to help their chances in the final three. Each man puts on approximately 500 t-shirts and hit the stage.
Elimination Game #2: “T-Shirt of Torture!”
The gist? Each player removes one shirt at a time, hanging them on a clothes line. Each shirt has a letter on the back. Because they put the shirts on wearing blacked-out goggles, they don’t know the letters on the shirt until they take them off onstage. They have to decipher the word or phrase hidden in the letters and say it out loud. First person to do so wins!
The outcome? Well, there’s one more part of the game: a ginormous flood coming from the sky via giant buckets. Oh, and flour. Whew. Thought we’d go an entire episode of “Game Show” without the players getting doused in flour. Next up? Seaweed! Oh dear. Someone win before the next item that falls from the sky scars me for life. Brent guesses slight variations on the phrase about 10 times, a stunning series that sounds like Philip Glass trying to solve “Wheel of Fortune.” Justin only guesses once, but he guesses correctly. Final three: Justin, Cathy, and Linda.
From now on, no more teams! After each game, someone’s going home. My wife mentions that if Justin goes all the way, she will do things to my television that I do not want done to my television. So, GIRL POWER!
Game #3: “Making New Friends in Japan!”
The gist? It’s kind of a scavenger hunt by way of bachelor party dares. Each player has to go out into the city and get people to do five things: 1) bow ten times, 2) apply lipstick to the player and let the player kiss them on the cheek, 3) recite a phrase so they tickle the player, 4) lend the player their phone to make a call, and 5) kill a baby seal. Kidding. Just seeing if you’re paying attention. Number 5 requires the player to make five people do ten chorus line kicks. At that point, I guess you’re in the Majide fraternity. Last player to reach the Tokyo Tower after completing these tasks will be sent home.
The outcome? Helicopters follow the action, as if they are tracking terrorists. And in pink wigs and schoolchildren outfits, the players do seem pretty scary. It’s pretty interesting to finally bring the madness of the game into the streets, proving that not all of Japan is as insane as those inside the studio. I won’t describe all the action, but suffice to say there’s much that’s lost in translation. After Stage 4, Rome Kanda moves the whole crowd to the Tokyo Tower, where Linda arrives first. So she’s into the finals. It’s then a foot race for the final position, and Cathy keeps the winning streak alive by beating Justin by mere seconds.
Judge Bob leads the way to the final reward: a celebration in their honor hosted by Rome. The girls walk through the crowd like freakin’ rock stars. It’s like when I roll into a TGIFriday’s. Only when I go to get my mozzarella sticks on, I don’t get greeted by the first female Japanese defense minister. And is it wrong to say the minister is kind of a looker? Because she is. She’s way hotter than Donald Rumsfeld.
The next day, it’s onto the final game of the year. Everything this season boils down to this game. Please let there be flour please let there be flour please let there be flour….
Final Game: “Super Majide!”
The gist? It’s sort of a mash-up of every game played so far this year rolled into one. Conveyer belts, balloons, spinning floors, tennis balls attacks, sticky floors, hanging squids, dogs and cats, living together, MASS HYSTERIA! It’s the insane obstacle course to end all insane obstacle courses.
The outcome? I can’t describe the action and respect myself in the morning. It’s messy, it’s gross, it’s slippery, it’s better than “Cats!” Also, because this game involves Cathy, why delay the inevitable? She wins. As always. A game show streak to rival Ken Jennings. And Ken never had to bite squid, people. All hail Cathy! Omedeto!
Did the right person win? And will you come back next summer?