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Spoilers ahead for the September 3 episode of ABC's Holey Moley Season 2.
While 2020 has been an uncertain year for professional sports, ABC has delivered no shortage of athletic action thanks to Holey Moley and its surprisingly intense miniature golf. The second season of the bonkers series is even wilder than the first, with the courses getting more and more challenging, and even the first round has been downright brutal. Entertaining, but brutal! With the latest episode, however, I only made it halfway through the first round before beginning to wonder if all early courses are created equal, and now I'm downright wondering if the first round is unfair after watching all four.
The competition is going to get even more intense now that all 12 finalists have been chosen with Ashley Lewis ending the night with a hole-in-one on Double Dutch Courage, but I think we should take a look back at the four first round obstacles to determine whether the competition was really altogether fair in the penultimate episode of Season 2. The four first round obstacles were Uranus, Slip N' Putt, The Distractor, and Putt the Plank. Read on for a ranking, and decide for yourself if Ashley Lewis was the rightful winner!
In The Distractor, Tony Holyfield and former NFL player Darren Carrington had to prepare to putt despite whatever grand distraction Holey Moley had in store for them. Despite commentator Rob Riggle hoping for bees, the wall turned around to reveal world champion sumo wrestlers who engaged in a "battle royale" that definitely pulled focus from trying to put a little ball in a little hole. Holyfield came out on top, but no shame to Carrington!
I give The Distractor the fourth spot in the ranking due to the simple fact that there was no risk of much of anything other than embarrassment. It was tricky, but not dangerous, and that won't be the case for the next three.
Uranus seems to be a favorite of Rob Riggle and fellow commentator Joe Tessitore, although that may be more due to the number of puns they can cram into their commentary than anything else. Donald Alford and former Olympian Paula Reto had to putt a ball around a ring of Uranus, and then jump across four planets of decreasing sizes over a channel of water. The collision that would cause a fall combined with clearly cold temperatures meant that this was a potentially painful round. Both Alford and Reto managed to cross without falling into the water, and Alford came out on top.
Uranus is more dangerous than The Distractor, and the planets look hard enough that I for one would not want to faceplant into one of them. That said, the first half of the course with the ring putt doesn't require a lot of exertion, so the limited danger ranks Uranus as third this week.
Putt The Plank
Putt the Plank pitted Casey Latto against Erica Dechowitz in a pirate-themed obstacle. The first portion is so uneventful that Holey Moley didn't even show most of it, but the second part can do some serious damage. After Jon Lovitz -- a.k.a. Long Jon Lovitz -- chipped their balls across a channel with one or two eyepatches, the putters had to leap from a plank onto the back of a moving shark and ride it to the other side to start golfing again. Admittedly, the shark isn't real, but it's also not soft, and much more difficult than the Uranus planets. Latto hit the shark hard but held on; Dechowitz wasn't so lucky. She hit the shark hard, bounced off, and had to be fished out. After Dechowitz's hard hit, I was not surprised Latto won!
Honestly, it was hard to choose the first and second slots in this ranking. Putt the Plank seemed to do the most damage to the putters out of the four first round obstacles thanks to the shark collision, and they were cold and wet when they finished! That said, the first spot of the arguably unfair first round obstacles goes to...
Slip N' Putt
Unlike the other three courses in the first round, Slip N' Putt required the putters to pull off the big physical challenge before getting off their first shot, and the physical challenge is pretty mighty. Ashley Lewis went up against Mikayla Ratto, and the two women had to fight their way up the slopes of a "glacier" doused with slippery glycerine. There were hard hits to the ribs, brutal faceplants, and slides down almost every time they made it up one slope. It was painful, and it was slow and drawn out. Ratto never made it up on her own, and Lewis won Slip N' Putt and eventually the entire night of mini golf.
While Putt the Plank looked like it packed a harder punch with a shark collision, Slip N' Putt put the golfers through the wringer over and over again on a slippery slope, coated with glycerine, in front of a screaming crowd, and with the prospect of still having to make the first strike once they fought to the top.
As the winner of the night, Ashley Lewis has a shot at winning the whole second season of Holey Moley, and as the victor on Slip N' Putt to start the night, I'm inclined to say she deserves her victory this week. And who doesn't love a hole-in-one? You go, Ashley Lewis!
Viewers also won't have to wait long to find out if Ashley Lewis will be the champion of Holey Moley Season 2. The season will wrap with a mega two-hour finale on Thursday, September 10 starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Lewis faces some stiff competition, and I'm just sad that good old Mr. Applesauce won't be among the finalists.
Although Holey Moley is nearly out of episodes for its second season with the animated Steph Curry on board, there are still plenty of TV options for the coming weeks despite some shows not being able to restart production as intended. For some of what you can look forward to hitting the small screen in the not-too-distant future, be sure to check out our 2020 fall TV premiere schedule!