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Tyrie is the best The Real World has to offer.

It's been a while since I last picked apart the travesty that is The Real World: Denver. And although it can be argued -- and rightfully so -- that I've been shirking my responsibilities, I'm blaming MTV.

I mean, come on: How can I be expected to make fun of the cast when the past few episodes have been so boring, have given me so little to work with? Relatively speaking, that is. There's been plenty of drunkenness and inter-roommate outbursts, but the action's been positively tame. You really can't compare the Tyrie/Stephen/Davis calamity to Brooke's psychotic, but very unscary, bitch fits.

Still, it's now time to catch up with the cast and crew, because the way things have been shaping up, future episodes are going to return to all their sleazy glory. So here's the lowdown — and I do mean low:

Episode 13:

Jenn, Colie, Alex and Tyrie are in the mountains on their second Outward Bound trip. They act like typical city kids in the wilderness, bugging out at a skunk, crying about how bad their feet hurt and wondering aloud why they need to learn to climb a mountain ("For Armageddon," I'm tempted to tell them, but we already know they can't hear me or they'd have taken my sage advice long ago). We learn that Tyrie has some issues with asthma.

Back in Denver, Brooke and Stephen are being pansies and whining about how horrible it is to expect them to commune with nature. Davis, for his part, decides to join his roommates at the campsite as soon as he's able. He hopes no one's going to be mad at him for ditching his duties -- a worry Brooke clearly doesn't have, as she's too busy spending $300 on a pedicure, facial, ninety-minute massage and a haircut. Guess she's not too worried about scraping together that rent back in Cali -- oh, that's right, Mommy and Daddy are paying that for her. Must be nice.

Davis arrives at the site and everyone is stoked to see him. He's very diplomatic when he's asked about Brooke and Stephen: "They didn't feel up to it," he says.

Brooke continues to traipse around Denver in heels and her ankle brace. Not a good look.

Once the Outward Bound trip is over, the kids head back down the mountain, stopping at Subway on the way. Promotional cash money, anyone?

Brooke greets the campers at the door in her bathing suit. She looks radioactive -- maybe that's what she looks like tan. "That's all I've been doing, is tanning," Brooke confirms. Good job!

She's clearly excited to see her roommates, but none of them are at all excited to see her. Colie is pissed at Brooke for being a slack-ass, lazy bitch, and Jenn's not too happy with her either. Episode 14:

Remember Colie and Alex? Well, Colie sure does. I mean, partially. She doesn't remember telling Davis that she and Alex are not a good match, and she doesn't seem to remember that Alex just wants to be friends. She also doesn't realize that she's a pathetic excuse for a female. Much as it pains me to agree with Alex, I feel I must: Colie is one of those girls who cannot function outside a relationship with a man. There's Colie and Alex. Colie and Adam. Colie and Corey. Colie and pretty much anyone with a Y chromosome who so much as glances in her direction.

So the crew is at Monarck again -- surprise, surprise -- and Alex makes a new friend named Stacy. "Stacy's cool, Stacy's good-looking and Stacy's not a roommate," observes Alex. What a catch! Especially when you catch this golden snippet of conversation:

"I have to pee so bad."

"I do, too."

"We have so much in common!"

Alex brings Stacy back to the pad. Colie, who's totally not envious at all, says, "I try my best to make her sound like an idiot because I know it will piss Alex off," in a smug tone. I don't know that it will piss Alex off as much as make you look like a crazy jealous bitch, Colie, but whatever you think will work.

Alex and Stacy are gettin' it on pretty hardcore, because before too long, moans of delight that rival Meg Ryan's in When Harry Met Sally are filling the house. "She's having fake orgasms," declares Colie. "It doesn't even sound real. It lasts for, like, seven minutes."

Clearly, though, she's fooling Alex -- he must think he's the biggest stud ever.

The big issue, though, is Colie, who feels as though she's being treated poorly in her own house. "It's uncomfortable," she flares at Alex during their post-Stacy conversation. "I just ask for respect."

"Why are you so upset right now?" Alex wants to know. This is Colie's cue to spark the waterworks. "You've hurt me so much," she sobs, "you don't even care." Alex wants to know how he's supposed to read her mind; too bad Colie doesn't have a coherent answer for that, because I'd really like to hear it.

Colie calls Adam and they decide to go out to dinner. She comes downstairs all hippied out -- I'm really impressed with Colie's wardrobe and ability to change her style according to what she thinks the man of the moment will like best. We should all be such good chameleons.

Adam shows up and here's Brooke's take on the situation: "I would be very embarrassed if I were him," says Brooke. "He lost his job so he can be with a girl. That's embarrassing." And we all know Brooke is the expert on embarrassing -- her behavior can rarely be described otherwise. Brooke and Alex make fun of Colie and Adam for a little bit, and Alex declares that Adam's presence has given him leverage against Colie. Poor, poor Alex. He has no idea of Colie's ability to twist reality and logic to fit her own little ideas of the way things ought to be.

After some time out on the town, somehow Alex ends up back at the pad with Stacy. Alex asks Colie if it's okay that Stacy is there. "If you want me to not do anything, I won't," he says to Colie, even though he feels like he's being held to a double standard. He tells Colie he likes her and she wants to know why he's having sex with someone else. "I like her, too," he explains.

End result: Alex ends up telling Colie that if she quits pursuing other guys, to let him know. My jaw drops open. That whole act-helpless-and-infatuated-to-get-the-guy shtick really does work!

Episode 15:

Davis, Colie and Jenn besmirch the festivities that are Denver's PrideFest with their presence. Davis finds a gay-friendly church and is really excited; he feels like he's truly out and proud to be gay. He and the girls walk around, hand-in-hand. Sunshine and rainbows and love.

Davis calls his boyfriend, PJ, who's coming to visit at the same time as Stephen's love interest, Mercii. This is the episode in which Stephen Learns Something. "Davis shatters the stereotype for me," confides Stephen. "He doesn't act like I thought he would act." Does Stephen think all gay men are like Jack from Will & Grace? Don't answer that, Stephen; I really don't want to know.

Tyrie, who's still hooking up with Jazalle, invites her over after she's been at a lingerie party. As she's a little self-conscious about arriving in nothing but her unmentionables, Tyrie vows to meet Jazalle at the door naked. She doesn't think he will, but I'll be damned if Tyrie doesn't open that gate in all his clothes-less glory, honking cars and LoDo traffic and all. Then Tyrie does jumping jacks in the living room.

"I don't want my grandmother to see all my bits and pieces running around. Grandma, I'm sorry," Tyrie intones into the camera. "Dammit, Ty, put some clothes on!" insists Stephen.

Tyrie is my new favorite roommate.

On Sunday, Davis and Stephen head to church. "I never in my wildest dreams ever assumed that I would be going to church with a gay guy," Stephen declares. Remind me not to visit Stephen's wildest dreams -- I'd probably die of boredom.

Stephen and Davis have a long conversation at this point about rules and the Bible. In the New Testament, Paul states that if a woman does not cover her head, her hair should be cut off. Davis wants to know why gay people go to hell but women who keep their head uncovered are A-okay.

"Davis is genuinely gay, and he's genuinely a Christian, and I never thought you could be both at the same time," notes Stephen. More words of wisdom from the black Republican. "I don't think it's a damning decision, and that's something." At least he's making progress.

They have a long conversation about how Davis has been rejected by his family for his sexual orientation. Stephen notes that there's nowhere in the Bible that says it's okay for a mother to neglect her son or a brother to say he hates someone, and says he thinks Davis needs to be in the church more than before because his sexuality is something he needs to work out with God, not his family.

Stephen's awfully good at picking out hypocrisy and intolerance in other people.

Davis picks up PJ from the airport and is super-excited to see him. They both look very happy to see each other. They make out in the car and Davis declares his intention to have Stephen get to know PJ because it would be "cool" for him to get to know a gay couple. Or something like that.

"The whole, you know, the sex part, I still gotta work on that," says Stephen. "I admit, I am grossed out by gay sex." So he changes the sheets in the guest room and crashes in there -- which ends up totally cockblocking Tyrie, who's planning on sleeping in there with Jazalle. Gays: 1, Straights: 0.

Stephen scoops up Mercii from the airport. "I'm realizing this is the person that I really love and I don't understand how I've ever been stupid enough to kiss someone else," he says. Oh, so maybe there WAS something wrong with that hottub makeout session?

Cut to Rise and some slightly better house music.

Cut to gay sex in the shower and conservative straight sex in the bedroom. Gays: 2, Straights: .25.

Then Stephen, Mercii, PJ and Davis all go out to dinner. Stephen is really learning something, mentions how Davis' parents are "not Christlike." Hmmm ... didn't I say something similar about Stephen once upon a time? Mercii is happy that Stephen's learning "not everything is cut and dried."

"This is my biggest learning experience ever," Stephen declares. He's broken outside of his box ... and it only took him 22 years!

Oh well, better late than never.

Episode 16:

And THIS is where it starts getting good again.

Corey is coming out for the weekend and Colie and Alex (drunk ... what else?) are sitting at Rise having a drunken moment.

"I'm never going to kiss anybody but you after this weekend," Colie vows. She sounds like a little kid asking Mom for just one more piece of candy before dinnertime.

Alex, for his part, gets so drunk that he falls out of bed and Jenn has to help him back in. He sneaks over to Colie's room. I'm once again amazed at how consistently wasted these roommates can get. I remember the last time I got that drunk, and I'm still embarrassed about it. I can't imagine doing that every night.

Meanwhile, Jenn and Tyrie are talkin' smack, wondering when the two lovebirds are going to figure everything out.

"Officially, y'all getting' together is incest," says Tyrie. Amen, brother.

Colie starts cleaning up for Alex's arrival and -- shock, horror -- the kitchen is beyond disgusting. There's an old pot with crusted macaroni and cheese adorning it, and as Brooke passes by the kitchen, Colie asks if the pot with the mac is hers.

Brooke, for her part, wants to know why Colie is targeting her when everyone else and their mother has been trashing the kitchen. She's cleaned the kitchen three times in a row, she declares, as if she deserves a gold medal. "You are such a fuckin' bitch," Brooke tells Colie. "I hope you know that."

"What the hell is going on in this house?" asks Tyrie. A catfight, Tyrie. A catfight.

"You're not my mother," adds Brooke.

Headed out the door, Jenn and Colie make mad fun of Brooke. Jenn tells Colie again she's a bitch. "I know, I just wanted to know it," Colie replies.

In the confessional, she tells the camera what she really feels for Brooke. "You are a stuck-up, immature, psycho maniac." Can't really argue with that.

Brooke is wallowing in her hatred of Colie and doesn't know how she'll get through three more months. (Good God! Has it only been a month or two?) "I will never let anyone talk to me that way," Brooke declares. Coulda fooled me. "She's got remarkable nerve. She's not afraid." Of what, Brooke? Of your twiggy ass going postal on her? Who would be?

It doesn't matter. It clearly makes Brooke upset that Colie is unafraid. She WANTS Colie to be afraid.

Jenn and Colie continue laughing about Brooke and then it's Brooke's turn to explain her behavior to Brett and Kerry (a couple of Alex's friends from school) and Alex. She completely lies about the conversation she had with Colie! I can't believe this. Brooke reminds me of my crazy aunt -- every family has one -- who would tell random, insane lies about her brothers and sister. She would get so into her lying that she really started to believe her own propaganda. Of course, no one in my family speaks to this aunt anymore ... that's kind of what happens when you're a delusional bitch.

I get distracted from this train of thought because Colie is trying to convince Brett that she and Alex are meant to be, and they're standing right in front of one of the signature red Westword boxes in LoDo. And MTV didn't even bother to block out the name! Hey, I guess free advertising is free advertising.

"Alex and I have a very complicated relationship," slurs Colie. I'll say.

Alex says he can't wait till Corey comes. He can't wrap his head around the fact that Colie says they're just friends and then wants to "do" him. Then Alex goes on a tirade about penises, penis brains and penis hearts. (I know, I'm as confused as you are.) His penis' brain is saying "have sex with Colie" and his penis' heart says "no." So when a guy is said to be thinking with his penis, which part is he thinking with -- the brain or the heart? My own brain hurts just thinking about it.

Colie gets up to pick up Corey, trying to not look too hungover. Alex, Brett and Brooke are planning on going to WaterWorld. Brooke can't drive a stick and says so, snidely. Jenn calls her a brat and tells Brooke to get over herself.

"You're a bitch just like Colie," says Brooke. Jenn doesn't give a fuck.

"I don't give a fuck about you either, you trashy bitch," says Brooke.

"Shut up, you fucking whore, no one wants to hear your voice."

This is where Brooke has a total meltdown. Her face is red and she's waving her arms in the air and screaming at the top of her lungs. "If you ever speak to me like that again, you will be sorry!" she thunders. Damn.

It's official: Brooke has utterly lost what little mind she has.

"I have never seen anything like that in my entire life," says Brett.

Jenn decides to be the bigger person and confront the issue; she doesn't want Brooke feeling like an outcast, particularly since Colie and Jenn are so close. "That's how she gets, she just gets really worked up," Jenn explains.

No shit, she's walking down the street like a crazy person.

"I lost it. I went nuts today," Brooke says. At least she knows. Kinda.

"I think Brooke blowing up at Colie and Jenn, Nostradamus could predict that, because Brooke can only take so much," says Stephen. He is one of only two roommates who has not yet gotten into it with Brooke (Davis being the other).

"It's not over, it's just begun," says Brooke. As pathetic as Brooke's tantrum is, I have to say that I would not want to piss that girl off. She's deranged.

Meanwhile, Colie and Corey reunite. "You look amazing, you look beautiful, you always look beautiful," says Corey. What a nice guy. What the fuck is he doing with a skank like Colie?

Everyone meets up at LoDo's for lunch. Alex and Brett and Jenn are there. Alex and Corey are sizing each other up and not so much liking what they see.

Alex and Jenn are getting belligerently drunk and being very flirty with each other -- actually, they're kind of all over each other. They're having the "I love you so much" drunk conversation; it's kinda touching in a vomit-inducing way.

Brett watches Colie and Corey kiss -- then all of a sudden Jenn and Alex are totally making out.

Colie comes up and says, "Hi lovebirds." "The correct statement should be 'drunkbirds,'" Jenn responds. What happened to her vow not to drink so much anymore? Colie thinks Jenn is being a hypocrite and Jenn shouldn't be able to use being drunk as an excuse.

And MTV flashes the ever-annoying "To be continued ..." across the bottom of the screen.

So, let's continue.

Episode 17:

Colie declares herself "shocked" that Jenn and Alex are making out. Not exactly sure why.

The two couples (Colie and Corey, Jenn and Alex), exit the building.

Colie's take on the whole Alex-making-out-with-Jenn scenario is as follows: Colie thinks Alex is trying to prove he has no feelings for Colie by having sex with Jenn. Of course. Because why would Alex do anything that didn't have Colie as its central motive?

Regardless, everyone back home is making out. The camera cuts from couple to couple as they explore each other under the covers. I really, really hope there's no unprotected intercourse going on, because none of these people should breed. Ever. Except maybe Corey; so far his only mistake is being in love with Colie.

Tyrie comes home and is utterly shocked, and Brett is in awe. "I think the second Corey walks out this door, we're going to be right back to the, 'Hey, I'm Colie, I'm drunk, hey, I'm Alex, I'm drunk, let's have conversations,'" Tyrie predicts.

Brett compares the situation to taking "a fucking diarrhea dump right where he sleeps." Disgusting. But perhaps an appropriate analogy.

And then ... and then ... Jenn and Alex are in the shower together. Score!

"She did it again," Colie laments in the confessional "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me." At least she managed to regurgitate that maxim more gracefully than our President.

"I can't cater to who Colie loves each week," Jenn says; she can't figure out how she keeps coming in between Colie and Alex. I think it's the alcohol.

Colie and Corey go for a walk and badmouth Jenn behind her back. Corey doesn't understand how someone can drink all day and make poor decisions. He just hasn't been there long enough, I'm thinking. Colie decides she's not talking to Jenn anymore. We'll see how long that lasts.

Corey thinks the issue is not Jenn's alcoholism, but the fact that she wants to fuck someone and is using that as an excuse. Oh, so now he's a therapist all of a sudden?

Meanwhile, if Corey had his way, he'd be marrying Colie. Okay, definitely something wrong with the boy.

Brooke, meanwhile, thinks it's rude and disrespectful that Colie is not using the guest bedroom and subjecting everyone to her nighttime romps with Corey.

Brooke calls her mom. "Jenn is just, ugh, she gets drunk and she gets in fights with everyone," Brooke complains. Wait ... you fight with everyone too, Brooke, and you don't even get drunk first. Are you smoking crack instead?

From Jenn's perspective: It's hard being in Brooke's position. But she wouldn't have called Brooke a whore if she hadn't gotten called a trashy bitch. "It's not immaturity, it's just the fact that she needs to get her emotions in balance," Jenn adds.

No, Jenn, it IS immaturity.

Colie and Corey have had such a fun, bonding time together. Aw. And Colie is realizing how much she cares about him and how much she likes him in her life. She acknowledges that if it were up to Corey, they'd be an item. She drives him to the airport and he takes off.

"I don't know if Corey and I are going to stay together, I still care about him and I'm not going to hurt him," Colie asserts. Lying bitch. You already hurt the guy; what's your encore? Cutting off his balls?

Here's where it gets really good:

A drunken Jenn apologizes to Brooke, slurring her entire speech. Brooke acknowledges that she's a weird girl and hard to understand. I disagree; Brooke's not really all that hard to understand. She's an immature bitch who takes everything too personally.

And we're back to the Colie/Alex dynamic. "Both y'all need to stop," says Tyrie. "Apparently, Jenn is 3-and-oh on you right now, so..." Ouch! I really do like Tyrie; he's cracking me up lately.

Colie wants to talk to Alex. He's acting like a kid in trouble and doesn't want to talk so they postpone the conversation for later. Colie proceeds to get drunk -- probably the drunkest she's been on the show so far.

"She's getting a little fucked up and I don't want to deal with her," Alex says. A little? You think? She's slurring so she's almost unintelligible and sitting on everyone's lap in turn in the hot tub. Alex is disgusted. Can't blame him.

Colie moves to Alex's lap and starts giving him this really weird look. Like she's trying to hypnotize him, perhaps. She really thought that after Corey left it would be okay and she'd be free to be with Alex. Meanwhile, Alex is SO over it.

And then comes the obligatory break-up phone call with Corey, only unlike everyone expected, it's Corey doing the breaking up.

They love each other. He legitimately cares about her. But they shouldn't. "I know you, I know how you act. This is what you want, I know. Me acting like this is going to be easier for you. I just set you free, be happy," Corey tells her. Colie's sobbing, sniffling, probably snotting all over the phone, begging Corey to stop it.

I really hope that maybe Colie will be single for five minutes and figure out what SHE wants before she tries to put all her eggs in the boyfriend basket. I've said it before and I'll say it again: She's a pathetic excuse for a woman. Colie will probably be a little girl forever.

And what do we have to look forward to this week? Well, one of the two roommates Brooke has not yet fought with calls her a bitch. That's right, Davis snaps at Brooke. Will she have a meltdown in the mountains? Will she take her pants off again? Will she poop in the middle of the campsite as revenge? She's gonna have to come up with something grand to top her previous behavior ... -- Amber Taufen

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun