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Season three, episode eight


Before we begin, I'd just like to make one correction. The on-screen timer in the Toro vs. Phere fight was off by a second, so add one to everything I said there. I should know better than to trust Comedy Central, the network that thinks a movie is funny just because it has breasts in it.

End editorial. Time for some good ol' fashioned Battlebots. We continue toward the finals... oh. We're going to see some finals. Tonight? Wow. We're only in episode eight. Okay.

Who will be the heavyweight champion? Will it be Son of Whyachi, which is shown sliding uncontrollably away when it hits opponents? Will it be MechaVore, which is shown getting its skirt torn off by a confrontation with Vlad the Impaler? Will it be KillerHurtz, which got its hammer screwed up when it fought Omega-13? Will it be Hexadecimator, which can flip robots with no self-righting mechanisms? Will it be BioHazard, which is shown getting stuck on Tazbot? Or will it be Overkill, which is shown doing no damage to M.O.E.?

Oh yeah, and we'll see a couple super heavyweights, too.

But back to the heavyweights. Quarterfinal number one of the night is Hexadecimator vs. KillerHurtz. Hey, did you know that Hexadecimator is a robot with a flipping arm? Let's see some random clips of robots with flipping arms! That'll kill some time!

Look, lots of robots with flipping arms. Yep, they sure are there, all right. The last three clips all feature Toro. The final clip is Toro flipping Diesector. Before you get all seething like I was, please note the pleasant absence of screws in the background. This clip was from the season two super heavyweight rumble. Though if I have my way, we'll be seeing that flip happen in the super heavyweight finals this year anyway. And I have ways of getting my way, even with a show with an outcome that was determined months ago. Don't mess with me...

Oh yeah, there's a fight that's going to happen. Once again, KillerHurtz has a camera inside of it. If you access the special "Members only" section of Comedy Central's web site, you can see some very interesting footage shot with that camera while KillerHurtz was just sitting on its table in the pit area.

Time for the fight to begin. Because Comedy Central assumes we're all idiots, they've placed a huge triangle in the upper right-hand corner of the screen that says "Heavyweight Quarter Final." That's up there for about five seconds while the timer is on the screen, too. If you squint, you might actually be able to see some robots fighting in there.

Less than ten seconds in, Hexadecimator flips KillerHurtz onto its back. That big ol' hammer-spike of KillerHurtz allows it to self-right, but it's kind of hard to do that when Hexadecimator keeps ramming into you while you position yourself to flip over.

Hexadecimator has a camera inside of it as well. Shop geeks and A/V geeks unite!

There, KillerHurtz gets itself on its wheels again. Unfortunately, it doesn't do anything to Hexadecimator before Hexadecimator manages to flip KillerHurtz again. To celebrate, Hexadecimator runs over the saws. KillerHurtz waits a couple of seconds before self-righting.

As soon as KilerHurtz is right side up again, it's in a prime position to whack Hexadecimator with its spike. So it does. For some reason, we're treated to a view of KillerHurtz's camera at this point, were we see an extreme close-up of the side of Hexadecimator. Thanks! That tells us a lot!

KillerHurtz pushes Hexadecimator toward various saws. When it gets Hexadecimator over some saws that pop up at the right time, KillerHurtz goes over them along with Hexadecimator.

KillerHurtz pushes Hexadecimator a little more. A time out is called so the two robots can be separated so something can actually happen. John Reid isn't happy about it, and the audience might not be, either. It's hard to tell whether the booing comes from a different fight or not. The Sklars summarize the last ten seconds of the fight.

The spike is out and the fight resumes. "Heavyweight Quarter Final" reappears, in case that whole time out thing threw you for a loop and you completely forgot everything that had happened in the past two minutes.

KillerHurtz takes a couple shots with the spike, but misses. It does, however, push Hexadecimator over the saws.

The two robots drive toward the center of the box, where Hexadecimator flips KillerHurtz. The picture-in-picture of KillerHurtz's inner camera is almost in sync with the motions that the robot is performing. Almost.

KillerHurtz flails around on its back for a while, but Hexadecimator doesn't attack. KillerHurtz rights itself again. The two robots try to position themselves and Hexadecimator flips KillerHurtz yet again. KillerHurtz rights itself yet again, this time without all the bumbling about.

Wow, listen to how excited the audience is. They're really whooping it up every time KillerHurtz self-rights. It sounds really great until you actually look at the members of the audience, all of whom are simply sitting there, motionless.

Hexadecimator tries to flip KillerHurtz once more, but KillerHurtz gets its spike in a position where Hexadecimator can only get it on its rear side, where KillerHurtz can easily drop onto its wheels. Hexadecimator winds up using the flipping arm as a clamping arm for a moment.

KillerHurtz backs off, then drives over Hexadecimator's ramp. After a not close call with the piston, KillerHurtz moves so it can try to hit Hexadecimator more than once in this fight. Instead, Hexadecimator flips KillerHurtz (betcha didn't see that coming).

KillerHurtz moves its arm once, but doesn't flip itself. The arm quits moving. Hexadecimator tries to shove KillerHurtz, but KillerHurtz is on a ramp. When Hexadecimator drives forward, it gets its lifting arm caught under the ramp. All the ramps activate, upping Hexadecimator onto its front corner.

Finally, Peter Lambertson decides to be nice and let Hexadecimator go. KillerHurtz still isn't self-righting. What it is doing is bobbing a piston in the front up and down. A piston that I've never seen move before. What's it do?

Time is up before KillerHurtz can be counted out. Instead, it's the 32-13 decision that puts KillerHurtz out of the tournament.

Look, they actually showed the real judges' scores! Suffice it to say that Hexadecimator received more points in every category.

Visit battlebots.com, where you won't see this video of Toro phlipping Phere, but where you can read lots of rules and buy things.

Before we continue on our path toward the heavyweight champion, we shall watch a fight between Minion and Electric Lunch. Minion is a wedge with a whacking wheel in the back. Electric Lunch is a box with a wedge in the front.

While Mark Beiro introduces the robots, the timer reads 1:44. Great, that means I only have to describe 58% as much fight as usual!

Oh, the clock is reset to three minutes before the fight starts. As Minion comes out of its square, it powers up its wheel, which begins to make the robot smoke already.

There's a lot of pushing in this fight. Minion doesn't get its wheel into play too much, and when it does, no damage is done to Electric Lunch. After a while, Bill Nye appears to present to us this sentence fragment:

"As far as pushing power is concerned, these bots are evenly matched. But if Minion can back into Electric Lunch and give him a taste of 2,000 rpm of metal-ripping steel-toothed disk."

There sure are a lot of things popping up onto our screens in this episode. While Minion and Electric lunch continue to push each other, I'd like to point out why we don't need most of them.

We definitely don't need to be reminded twice per fight that these are quarterfinal matches. I don't need to explain this one, do I?

Whenever Bill Nye pops up, it means that he's going to tell us some statistic on one of the robots to distract us from the fact that nothing major is going on in the fight. Granted, when nothing is happening, it's hard to care whether Bill appears, but he's still taking up a lot of real estate on my screen.

Finally, do we really need to know what the timer reads when the fight starts? I'll just trust my gut feeling that the fight isn't near completion in the first ten seconds, thanks.

Okay. While I was griping, Minion shot up a lot of sparks from Electric Lunch's wedge and did some damage to Electric Lunch's side. I apologize for not describing these events in painstaking detail.

Electric Lunch drives its wedge into a spinner, bringing the spinner up from its base. The spinners aren't just unproductive, they're counter-productive!

Minion keeps hitting Electric Lunch's wedge, doing no damage but producing a lot of sparks. Lots of 'em. Sparks.

The fight ends with Electric Lunch under Minion, Minion's wedge preventing it from being moved.

For those of you keeping track, here's a list of the damage in this fight:

One hammer blow to Minion's wedge
One hit to Electric Lunch's side from Minion's wheel
Lots of sparks from Minion's wheel connecting with Electric Lunch's wedge.
Miscellaneous, insignificant saw damage
Um... did I already mention the sparks?

It's a 24-21 decision for Minion. Whatever.

Oh, they're going to show us the real scores again. Okay, let's see. Electric Lunch gets an 8-7 nod on aggression, that's fair. Minion ekes out the strategy category, 8-7, again, fair. Minion also wins in damage, 9-6. What damage did Electric Lunch do?

After the commercial, we'll get back to the matter at hand -- getting a heavyweight champion.

(fast-forward through commercials featuring bitter beer, dancing marionettes, and children in fruit costumes)

Ah, we're back. Bill Nye shows us some aggressive robots. Technically, it's the drivers that are aggressive with their robots. But technically, people care about the robots more (sorry, drivers/builders, but it's true).

This should be a good fight. It's between two heavy damage-inflicting robots, MechaVore and Son of Whyachi. If you don't remember which ones they are, go back and read some older summaries. I don't feel like describing them again.

Yellow, yellow, yellow, green, it's robot fightin' time. Both robots just sit in their squares while they power their weapons up, then move out very slowly. Son of Whyachi because it doesn't move too quickly, MechaVore because Son of Whyachi is very deadly.

Many seconds pass by while Son of Whyachi sits there and MechaVore is unsure of what to do. MechaVore finally decides to glance off the side of Son of Whyachi, hoping to slow down the latter's weapon with its side armor (it replaced its skirts with a little extra armor on the side).

MechaVore makes its move. The first thing Son of Whyachi hits is MechaVore's spinning disk, followed closely by the side armor, which goes flying. MechaVore is now vibrating very badly.

Undaunted, MechaVore goes for Son of Whaychi again. This time, the collision moves Son of Whyachi around a bit.

Hit number three just pushes each robot backward.

With collision number four, MechaVore is thrown into the wall while Son of Whyachi drives over a saw.

Collision number five slows Son of Whyachi's weapon down and pushes it back while no new damage is done to MechaVore.

In hit number six (MechaVore is the one initiating all of these hits), MechaVore is pushed back and Son of Whyachi's weapon slows down again.

Then Son of Whaychi's weapon stops.

MechaVore drives in and starts to push Son of Whyachi toward the sledgehammer next to the blue square's driver platform. The yellow spike strip wall separating the entrance ramp from the sledgehammer area gets between Son of Whyachi's hammer and body. MechaVore has to get around to the back and position itself in what little room there is to push Son of Whyachi into the sledgehammer. MechaVore is positioning itself... positioning... it's in the right place...

And it quits moving. No! Don't tell me the bot shut itself off after all that!

But MechaVore is off. Not moving. And Son of Whyachi kind of skitters back and forth, though it never really frees itself from the wall. MechaVore is counted out.

Oh, man. That was one lucky break for Son of Whyachi.

The show goes into the builder profile of Team Whyachi. Terry Ewert works in a meat processing factory. If you like seeing dead animal flesh on conveyor belts, then this is the segment for you.

Commercial break, with essentially the same ads as the previous break. This week's old clip is of Complete Control flipping Super Chiabot, thereby immobilizing both of them.

There aren't any more fights in this half hour, but when the next half of the show gets here, it'll be the semis for the heavyweights. I predict that BioHazard or Overkill will face Hexadecimator or Son of Whyachi in the finals.

They show clips of the past three fights at the start of the second half. Hey, when Son of Whyachi ripped that panel off of MechaVore, where did it go? We see it fly into the air, but we never see where it lands.

We'll start with Son of Whyachi versus Hexadecimator. We're told that Hexadecimator added an extra five pounds of armor to its front to combat against Son of Whyachi. I can beat up five pounds of armor if I'm wearing sneakers. I truly doubt it'll help.

The lights tell us it's time to fight. One of the yellow lights is bent down, as if its stand is broken.

Hexadecimator leaves its square more quickly than MechaVore did, though still not fast enough to try to reach Son of Whyachi before the hammers spin up. Hexadecimator throws its front into Son of Whyachi. Son of Whyachi knocks one of Hexadecimator's extra armor panels off and keeps on spinning. Part of Son of Whyachi's spinning hammer diameter is over some saws, which pop up and tell Son of Whyachi that it should be moving at least a little bit.

Hexadecimator tries to get under Son of Whyachi again. This time, not only does Son of Whyachi take off another piece of extra armor, it takes off all of Hexadecimator's right-side front wedge. If you were wondering what Hexadecimator looks like on the inside, here's your chance.

Hexadecimator charges at Son of Whyachi again. One of Son of Whyachi's hammers gets stuck inside of Hexadecimator's open body, naturally. Son of Whyachi spins its body trying to spin up the hammers, then pushes Hexadecimator under a sledgehammer. The referee calls for a time out so the robots can be separated. Robots just like getting stuck inside Hexadecimator, I guess.

The robots are separated, the fight resumes, and as we all expected, that last blow from Son of Whyachi killed Hexadecimator. Hexadecimator's driver announces the robot's death, and Son of Whyachi is kind by not demolishing Hexadecimator any further. One semifinal down, one to go.

Going to commercial, Tim Green says, "People of Earth, we have our first semifinalist." What? I'll let you make up your own joke for this one.

This time, the battlebots.com plug video is of Hexadecimator losing a panel. Wait a minute, that means we might not be seeing... Nah, couldn't happen. Could it?

Bil interviews Terry Ewert of Team Whyachi. Since these interviews are all taped after the tournament has ended, it's fun to see the builders pretend to speculate on "upcoming" matches. Terry says he'd rather fight Overkill instead of BioHazard. I'd like to see Son of Whyachi fight Overkill, too. Good-bye, ineffective blade!

Next, Bill Nye gives us a recap of the most memorable heavyweight rookies in this tournament. Son of Whaychi, Hexadecimator, MechaVore, Shark Byte, and Omega-13 (huh?) are all mentioned. So is Slam Job. Yep, there's the clip. Whew, I was worried for a minute that they might not show that hit for an entire episode. We're up to an even twenty, folks!

Bill Nye picks Son of Whyachi as heavyweight rookie of the year. Well, no duh, it's the one that advanced the farthest.

For the Overkill vs. BioHazard fight, Overkill's blade will be locked down so it can't be swung. This way, Overkill will just be a wedge with a really big blade sticking out of the back for no good reason.

Time to fight. See, with Overkill's blade locked down, to me it seems like Overkill is at a disadvantage because it's easier to tell when it's been flipped. Indeed, a little way into the fight, BioHazard flips Overkill. Instead of Overkill's blade flipping the wedge back to normal like it normally does, its being locked down keeps the wedge inverted. Besides, how are you going to out-wedge BioHazard? Might as well try to dislodge something with big blade whacks.

Still, Christian Carlberg has a very cool strategy for when a flip happens. He simply drives Overkill along the side of the spike strips. One of the wheels goes up and it causes Overkill to self-right. Very clever. Too bad Overkill got hit by a sledgehammer in the process.

Overkill can't do anything to BioHazard though. BioHazard flips Overkill again. After a failed self-righting attempt on a screw (they're useless for everything), Overkill self-rights on the spike strip again.

BioHazard attempts another flip, but only pushes Overkill onto its tire on the side, and Overkill falls right side up. Still, that wasn't all bad for BioHazard. Overkill lands near the slots for the saws. The saws pop up and, thanks to the big blade holding it there, lift Overkill's wedge body for a couple seconds.

Immediately after, Bill Nye appears to talk, and sure enough, nothing interesting happens while he does so. When Bill Nye pops up, it's a good time to blink.

BioHazard flips Overkill again. This time, it's into a corner, and BioHazard keeps its arm up so Overkill can't drive away. Overkill does escape, though, and as it drives toward a wall to self-right (the camera shooting Overkill is focused directly on the Magic: The Gathering logo), it drives over a piston. The piston rises and flips Overkill. See how that whole bribery thing I was talking about earlier works?

BioHazard pushes Overkill under a hammer, with the hammer's stem hitting Overkill's blade (in other words, no damage). A little later, BioHazard gets Overkill to drive near a piston. This time, the piston flips Overkill onto its back. Whoops, guess Pete just realized the hundred was fake, Christian.

Overkill drives over the side of BioHazard to right itself this time. Then the clock reaches zero.

The decision is 38-7, and we all know that BioHazard is the winner.

After the commercial, there's an interview with Carlo Bertocchini. I really have nothing interesting to say here. I know, that's never stopped me before, but this time I'm anxious to get to the last fight.

But! Before we reach that point, let's take a look at the middleweight ladder. I'll make my predictions and then you can all laugh at me when I turn out to be wrong.

                  
Little Drummer Boy|
                  |                  
                  |Little Drummer Boy|
      Eraser      |                  |
                                     |                  
                                     |     SABotage     |
     SABotage     |                  |                  |
                  |     SABotage     |                  |
                  |                                     |
   Twin Paradox   |                                     |
                                                        |      Hazard      
                                                        |
      Hazard      |                                     |
                  |                                     |
                  |      Hazard      |                  |
        F5        |                  |                  |
                                     |      Hazard      |
                                     |
     T-Minus      |                  |
                  |     T-Minus      |
                  |
      T-Wrex      |


(Notes: I know Little Drummer Boy will defeat Eraser because Bill Nye already told us in the first half hour. And while I'd rather see a T-Minus vs. SABotage final (with T-Minus winning), realistically, I think Hazard's going to win (lousy spinners).)

Speaking of robots with the word "Hazard" in their names, it's time for the Son of Whyachi vs. BioHazard heavyweight finals. Oh, baby.

I'm glad to hear Mark Beiro back in full announcing form for this final. Very good delivery on "BioooooooooHazard!"

Now the green light is bent down too far and the yellow light is back in place. Oh yeah, and the fight has started.

BioHazard drives in a straight line across the box, directly into the path of Son of Whyachi's spinning hammers. There is a huge shower of sparks. Son of Whyachi gets knocked back toward the immobile screw while BioHazard gets turned around and loses its left front skirt. For those of you that remember Comedy Central's "brand new shows" summer promo, this is the same shot that they used in one of their ads, back before the season began. Thanks a lot, morons.

Son of Whyachi gets its hammers back up to speed, but BioHazard drives in anyway. No more visible damage.

BioHazard charges into Son of Whyachi again. Another huge shower of sparks. Both robots fly backward. One of the red poles connecting Son of Whyachi's hammers breaks loose on one side. Aside from the sparks, I don't think anything else externally happened to BioHazard.

The hammers on Son of Whyachi have quit spinning. BioHazard charges in and pushes Son of Whyachi toward the sledgehammer, but Son of Whyachi slips off to the side. Holy cow, BioHazard's lifting arm is still fully functional!

The loose red pole on Son of Whyachi gets caught under a screw. This causes Son of Whyachi's body to spin around, which is also effective at knocking BioHazard away. BioHazard pushes Son of Whyachi under the sledgehammer, which starts to hit the hammer arms. Pete seems to be activating these hammer blows a little more slowly than he's been doing in previous fights.

Son of Whyachi's body continues to spin around as the hammer keeps dropping. BioHazard stands by and watches.

Son of Whyachi gets its red pole free and walks away. But BioHazard is right there, ready to pin it against another immobile screw. Son of Whyachi's hammer is in the perfect position to keep BioHazard away. Still, BioHazard raises the arm and lifts Son of Whyachi against the wall. Son of Whyachi slides off the hammer and lands on BioHazard, then gets away. It tries to spin up its hammers again, but only succeeds in rotating its body.

Oh no. No! BioHazard isn't moving, its face just pressed against the base for one of the screws. Man oh man, Son of Whyachi has had two of the luckiest breaks in this tournament.

And now, Son of Whyachi has gotten its hammers spinning again. The bot is a little off balance and swaying now, since the loose pole is swinging weight awkwardly, but those hammers are going fast enough to be deadly again.

Son of Whyachi moves in and delivers another strong blow to BioHazard. More sparks, and BioHazard's right side skirt is ripped off. Son of Whyachi slides toward the middle of the arena.

There's the countdown for BioHazard. Eight... seven... six...

Oh my goodness! BioHazard's moving! He's moving!

BioHazard drives toward the hammers of Son of Whyachi again. The hammers aren't going as fast, maybe only half their usual speed, but that's still fast enough to hurt. BioHazard hits the hammers and slides across the floor.

Now BioHazard is only moving in circles. I think its right wheels have been deactivated. Meanwhile, a few yards away, Son of Whyachi isn't doing much better. It's got its hammers spinning, but every time it tries to walk in any direction, the body just wobbles back and forth and doesn't move the robot anywhere (due to the dislocated pole).

So Son of Whyachi powers down its weapon. The bot can move this way, but every time they try to power up the weapon coupled with the walking, the robot quits walking in the right direction. And Son of Whyachi is slowly migrating toward the wall, away from BioHazard.

BioHazard has quit turning again. I think this is it this time. Dang...

Yep, there's the countdown. Eight... seven... six... five...

BioHazard is moving again!

Granted, it's still only turning in circles, but BioHazard is still moving.

Three... two...

What?! BioHazard is moving!

The buzzer sounds. BioHazard is still turning.

Comedy Central inserts some shots of the audience booing. I'm trying to tell whether the audience is booing during the actual aftermath of the fight or whether this is just post-production drama heightening. Looks like the latter.

Carlo Bertocchini is discussing the fight with Trey Roski, still up on the driver's platform. Tim Green says "Bertocchini" with that accent he likes to use when saying Carlo's last name.

Of course, we're going to have to see a commercial before we find out what's going on. Lousy tension-inducing production decision that I really can't argue against but also don't like...

(A full three and a half minutes of commercials go by. Stop prolonging the pain!)

Yeah, yeah, hit of the week, whatever. Get back to the fight!

Mark Beiro gets a little extra airtime by explaining what the official decision is. Since BioHazard was still mobile when the fight was stopped, it's not a knockout. But since neither robot was going to make any advances toward its opponent in the remaining time (my words, not theirs), they're just going to go to the judges' decision.

Some replays. Okay. Here's the decision.

It's 29 to 16. Seems rather lopsided. I thought it was closer.

The winner is... Son of Whyachi. The team is very happy, and scatters about the Battlebox, cheering. Team BioHazard is very polite about it.

Jeez. They finally start showing the real judges' scoring, and then for this fight, where it really matters, they show their lame "battle stats!" I wanna know how exactly Son of Whyachi won, so I can decide whether or not to complain about this (even though I have no connection with the sport whatsoever and really no right to complain).

Well, the rest of the episode is anticlimactic compared to that fight. It ends with Team Whyachi accepting their trophy. I'd look around for nifty background details, but I'm too afraid I'll see the winner of a different division hanging around in the back or something.

Because I'm already two weeks late with this one, I'm carrying the summary-ending list over to next week's summary (or maybe the week after). I'll just end this by informing you that the letters in "Buddy Lee Stay in Your Seat" can be rearranged to spell "ABLY TEDIOUS ERE ANY STUDY." Hey, it's the best I could find with the time I had.


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