The Contender Season Two
Aerial Telly was one of the finest boxers of his generation in his youth and he still follows the pugilistic arts very closely. He was a slick southpaw stick-and-move kind of guy, happy to sit in the pocket, easily slipping your telegraphed haymakers with fluid movement from his hips and shoulders while boxing you silly with tricky counters to the head, crippling you with devastating body shots, expertly tying you up whenever you tried any rough tactics before finishing you off in round three with a devastating 29 punch combination which left you drooling like a retard with fresh shit in your shorts surrounded by paramedics trying to slap some sense into your oxygen starved brain. Most of you "people" probably think boxing is for thugs and morons. And you'd be right, of course. But it's also for people like me, television panopticon and man your girlfriend dreams about.
"Finishing you off in round three with a devastating 29 punch combination which left you drooling like a retard with fresh shit in your shorts surrounded by paramedics trying to slap some sense into your oxygen starved brain"
So it's natural that I rarely miss an episode of The Contender, Mark Burnett's boxing reality TV show where professional prize fighters beat each other up to decide who's the hardest. Housed in a plush converted warehouse, the 16 fighters eat sleep and train together making a match-up between two fighters each week which will decide the fate of both. The winner of the bout stays on, the loser goes home. It's Big Brother with bruises. The final two fighters standing will face off in Las Vegas for a $1 million purse. It's fair to say that there's a lot at stake.
"Often to be found misquoting Oscar Wilde and holding forth on German philosophers ("Nietzsche - that's another crazy bastard") Mora was a brave, cultured fighter ."
The first season Contender final was fought between Sergio "The Latin Snake" Mora and Peter "The Pride of Providence" Manfredo. Aerial Telly liked Sergio Mora a whole lot - the bookish Latino kid from the wrong side of the tracks, desperate to prove himself to his hot black law student girlfriend. Often to be found misquoting Oscar Wilde and holding forth on German philosophers ("Nietzsche - that's another crazy bastard") Mora was a brave, cultured fighter and an intelligent commentator on the complicated house politics of Casa Contender.
Mora outpointed Manfredo comfortably despite Sylvester Stallone's best efforts to convince us we were watching a close fight. "Yo, it's all on this round - it's whoever wins this" he said as they entered the 7th and final round. Judge Paul Smith disagreed giving all seven rounds to the Latin Snake. Nice try, Sly. It's probably for the best that Stallone is nowhere to be seen in season two. Oscar-winning acturd he may be but his qualifications as a boxing coach are somewhat suspect.
"The $1 million prize for winning The Contender should at least placate his future in-laws about the prospects of their sexy daughter wrapping her lips around his Latin snake"
Mora is a fine boxer who lacks the knockout punch needed to be a genuine world-class contender. Four knockouts in 19 fights speaks for itself. Still, the $1 million prize for winning The Contender should at least placate his future in-laws about the prospects of their sexy daughter wrapping her lips around his Latin snake.
"Why, none of them have even committed suicide What is this show coming to?"
And season two of The Contenturd is now upon us and while it's still a good watch I can't help but feel there's something missing. There seemed to be no real characters in this season's bunch. Last year we had baby-faced assassin Alfonso Gomez, the hilarious conflict between Ishe "my wife's so fat...." Smith and Ahmed "Hizbollah" Khaddour, self-proclaimed best father in the world Anthony "The Bullet" Bonsante, Joey Gilbert with his ridiculous military father and Sergio Mora of course. This season seems to be a bland parade of God bothering journeymen with identical styles, wives and children. Why, none of them have even committed suicide. What is this show coming to?
"I've seen episodes of Songs of Praise where God gets mentioned less. It's perhaps fitting that the first winner of The Contender is a disciple of philosophy's most notorious atheist."
I'm still watching The Cuntender, still enjoying it even but they've got to come up with a twist to the formula of pre-fight tension, loving families and sneakily edited fight highlights. And I'd seriously consider a ban on mentioning God on the show. I've seen episodes of Songs of Praise where he gets mentioned less. These morons never seem to work out that the Great Cut-Man In The Sky isn't going to help you out when you box like a mook. No amount of ass whippings seem to get this message home. It's perhaps fitting that the first winner of The Contender is a disciple of philosophy's most notorious atheist. Stick that in your sermon, pastor.
The best thing about it: The in-house rivalries
The worst thing about it: The incessant God bothering
The verdict on The Contender Season Two: Still cool, but needs shaking up
Marks out of 10:7
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© James Donaghy 2003-2013
About Aerial Telly
Aerial Telly in The Guardian
Aerial Telly on the radio
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