The Dubai World Cup, as with most shady horse races, was marred by double-dealing and subterfuge. Catch the fever!

When the dust cleared, Rogue Two (Joe Rakstad and Mike Tomera) still had the fewest points, and were…not eliminated, as this was the second of three non-elimination stages.

Here’s the updated table. Rogue Two hangs on by a thread, with the Macho Brochachoes not far ahead.

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First, the results of the March Madness tournament. Wildly enough, each team sent one person to the second round. In the end, Chris Dykhoff won the tournament to send Ain’t So Chard into first place, while the team of “no name yet” – Zach Schmidt and Rene Pare – fell and were eliminated.

Here are the current standings for the seven remaining teams.

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I really liked Bowl the Vole, but it’s probably tough to read and follow for viewers. Anyway, Chloroform Perfume (Colin Wolfson and Melissa David) stormed up the table with the win, and afterward, we lost In and Out of Sobriety (Carrie Bard and Stacy Snell), who are now able to enjoy their drinks again, after a strict diet of no alcohol during the season.

Here are your updated standings for the season.

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FIFTH STOP: GLENDALE, ARIZONA: MARCH MADNESS

Let’s keep it simple, gang. Well, not that the last challenge was particularly simple. So, let’s MAKE it simple.

There are sixteen of you sweet cats still in this game, and it’s March, so this beautiful confluence leads us to a bracketed tournament. The sixteen of you have been paired (mostly randomly, with the only exception being that you and your partners can’t possibly meet until the finals) and each of you have 1000 energy points to spend for the entire tournament.

For tonight, you will simply submit the number of points you want to spend to attempt to win your “game” against your first opponent. Full integers only – no halves or anything. Then for the second round, we will do the same, and whatever you spent in the first round is gone. We’ll do this until we have a final winner; at the final four, you submit points against your opponent and then the winner of the finals will be the one who got there with more points left.
If the two of you submit the same number of points, you will be asked to submit *again* to break that tie. You will spend all of your original bid, plus the tiebreaker.

Those who lose in the first round will gain one mile. If you lose in the second round, you get three. Third round, you get six. The runner-up will get ten miles and the winner will get fifteen.

Here are the first round matchups, with the first submission due TONIGHT at 9pm Central:

Melissa David vs. Christopher Dykhoff
LizandMike Tomera vs. Jake TwoSheds Elliott
Zach Schmidt vs. Merry Monstergumby
Annette Barron vs. Pete Bruzek
Eric Schapp vs. Rene’ Pare’
Bernice Nystrom Nicaise vs. Joe n’Paula Rakstad
Ashton Stansel vs. Michelle Pratt
Erik Dikken vs. Colin Wolfson
Nonsubs will surrender all miles. I know that’s harsh, but dudes. It’s just one number I need. Cheers, Racers.

Let’s not mince words, folks: this was the best set of stories I ever read in a single challenge. This challenge seems like it repeatedly brings out the best in all of us, so expect me to run it heretofore into perpetuity. Maybe I’ll just do an entire Survivor season full of them and see how long it takes us to run out of ideas.

Anyway, you’ve been clamoring for results.

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Waltz Results.

That was a good time. Michelle Pratt suggested the stopwatch idea, and it turned out not to be nearly as difficult to run as I thought it would be. Anyway, Joe n’Paula Rakstad helps Rogue Two to surge upward, Accidental Brilliance retakes the lead, and we bid a fond farewell to The Limey Sheilas (Erin Leslie and Michael Deighton), whose Mini Cooper just plain ran out of gas.
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In “Actor, Athlete or Killer,” two players were first paired off, and in live duels, were trying to be the first to correctly state whether the name I gave was that of an actor, athlete or killer. The loser was out of the entire challenge, while the winner would choose the next combatants.

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Here we go, gang. Let me preface this with the unfortunate news that Shawn Ashley couldn’t submit this one. Far be it from her to miss a deadline, but there was an animal rescue involved, so even though I myself killed an animal this week, I understand and respect what happened here. So, two of the other three writers advance.

Many words herein.

Under the jump, I’ll name the semifinalists.
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RESULTS: MARCO POLO SASQUATCH

There they are.

In a remarkable coincidence, no tiebreakers were needed.

prev – previous miles
sac – people sacrificed
Mans – people remaining after Sasquatch placement
Miles – miles earned on this challenge

Rene’ Pare’s ballsy decision to place all her people on just two different spots paid off, as neither was hit (if even just one of them had been, she would have landed in second-to-last place). I will be updating the full spreadsheet and making a results/new challenge post in the next hour and a half.

I’m never sure whether to love or be bothered by the fact that so many of our stronger weeks happen when there’s a vague, wide open prompt. Anyway, this is my way of saying I had a really good time here with the six of you who decided to play with us this week. Although this season was marked by apathy, I really did enjoy a lot of the work done all season by those of you still with us; I look forward to the playoffs even despite the challenges getting people to hang around all season long.

Your final results of the regular season.

Annette will let you know the scoring results when she comments here.

Next week, those who finished in 3rd through 6th place will write. Each judge will give one of each medal. The highest-scoring two will advance to the final four the week after, with any ties being broken by regular-season points.

If you’re writing this week, let’s do this one…

“Walking Distance”
Written by Rod Serling
Directed by Robert Stevens
Originally broadcast Oct. 30, 1959

Gig Young gave a terrific performance as Martin Sloan, a 36-year-old ad man tired of his life, who finds himself transported to the hometown of his boyhood. There he not only basks in the remembered pleasures of carousel rides and chocolate sodas with three scoops, but also encounters himself as a child – and his parents, who understandably question his sanity.

You will write about a character who has the opportunity to deliver a message to his or her younger self. This message can be delivered in any way you like, including in person. I’d suggest that it would be hard to draw me in with a story that’s simply the writing of the letter, but if you can make it pop, I guess I can’t stop you.

Word limit will be 1500. Due Sunday at 8pm next week, and hey, maybe Sunday won’t suck for once, and I can start going to bed later again. Cheers, Prosers.

CANADA (FIRST STOP): GODS CHALLENGE: MARCO POLO SASQUATCH

Results of Poutine Slam.
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Your competition, and also you

HALL OF CHAMPIONS

SPOOKYMILK SURVIVOR

I: Rachel "The Double-Dealer" Flynn

II: Ryan "The Snake" Fossum

III: Patrick "The Gentleman" Kozicky

IV: Brienne "The Submitter" Maner

V: Rusty "The Porn Star" Greene

VI: Brooks "The Unlikely Hero" Maki

VII: William "The Soulful" Schuth

VIII: Brooks "The Survivor" Maki

IX: Zack "The Ice Cream Man" Sauvageau

X: Pete "The Vacuum Cleaner" Bruzek

Turbo: Brooks "The 1956-1979 Montreal Canadiens" Maki

XI: Matt "The Cold-Hearted Motherf*&^er" Novak

All-Stars (XII): Andy "The Quiet Man" Rustleund

XIII: Sarah "Clarence's Hope" Bizek

XIV: Dan "The Professional" Kautz

XV: Christina "Assault And" Pepper

XVI: Matt "The First-Time Player" Novak

XVII: Stacy "Saintly Patience" Snell

XVIII: Brian "Checkmate" David

XIX: Annette "Eammon for the Top" Barron

XX: Daniel "Neville "Smash "Hardware" Hardwood" Longbottom" Caouette

GODS AND MORTALS
I: Dragging Rivet's Name Through the Mud One Last Time: Matt Novak (Ultragrandpa) and Michael Rivet (Friph Flipher-Fiph)

BIG BROTHER
I: Brooks "Oh, for the Love of God" Maki
II: Michael "#DDB" Rivet
III: Pete "Fortune's Fool" Bruzek
IV: Erin "All Seven and We'll Watch Them Fall" Leslie

FALL, CAESAR
2014: Brooks "The Creator" Maki
2015: Matt "The Artist" Novak
2016: Matt "Waited Them Out" Novak

CUTTHROAT JUNCTION CHAMPION
Kelly "Yes, He's a Player Too" Wells

Link to the Cutthroat Junction site. Over there, we do once-a-month strategic mega-games while the champion defends his title in a one-on-one. Head over to see how it works.

THE ROYAL RUMBLE
2013: #21 Greg "The Gallant Glutton of Greatness" Johnson
2014: #29 Jonathon "Big Papa" Pope
2015: #8 Christina "Am I in This?" Pepper
2016: #22 Annette "No Backs Stabbed" Barron
2017: #30 Bernice "The Vulture" Nicaise

PLAY WITH THE PROSE
(Writing, non-elimination)
I: Sarah "Centipede Face" Johnson
II: Sarah "The Johnson Eliminator" Wreisner
III: Colin "Lonely Old Moon" Woolston
IV: Melissa "Not Sidebar Material" Diamond
V: Sama "No Family Reunions" Smith
VI: Sarah "Tumor Face" Wreisner
VII: John "Cult Following" Wreisner
VIII: Joshua "Peed the Bed" Longman

WEREWOLF (most recent)

Werewolf Stats Spreadsheet

PUZZLE CHALLENGE
I (Pure): Matthew "The Obsessor" Gilman
I (Power): Kelly "The Novak-Destroyer" Wells

DIPLOMACY
I: Matt "Exploiter of Worlds" Novak (France)

SPOOKYMILK SURVIVOR XX

THE WINNER

Daniel Caouette

THE RUNNER-UP

Bernice Nystrom Nicaise

THE JURY

11th: Melissa David
10th: Ashton Stansel
9th: Sharon Pierpont
8th: Mark Feagins
7th: Michelle Pratt
6th: Tanya Laumann
5th: Jake Elliott
4th: Carrie Bard
3rd: Pete Bruzek

THE EXPELLED

28th: Amber Keyster
27th: Jared Mitchell
26th: David Tucker
25th: Sama Smith
24th: Jesse Vance
23rd: Michael Deighton
22nd: Rene Pare
21st: Colin Woolston
20th: Colin Wolfson
19th: Joseph Rakstad
18th: Shelbi Sarver
17th: Susan Walker
16th: Bret Highum
15th: Jamie Frost
14th: Eric Schapp
13th: Annette Barron
12th: Stacy Snell