“I know I don’t have a rocket scientist as a partner, so this is basically going to be the blind leading the blind.” —Johnny
“I just want to say: Johnny, you’re the worst person to motivate someone.” —Camila
Spreading the final challenge over two episodes has some obvious logic to it: It allows MTV to continue making them more and more difficult every season, and it led to a nice cliffhanger ending last week, with the shot of the three team’s sleeping on the mountain. The problem, though, is that it meant that last night’s episode was all one challenge. There was no foreshadowing or exposition or storylines being set up.
While I appreciate the leanness of an episode like that—as opposed to the filler included last week—it can diminish some of the payoff of the ending. So when Diem was trying to get C.T. motivated, or when Ty/Emily briefly took the lead, there wasn’t as much resonance as there should have been because the episode lacked any real personal moments in the house (like Abram declaring that he has “always been good at” final challenges before crapping out in Cutthroat, or Landon vowing to do whatever it takes before pushing his partner up a mountain in Fresh Meat II).
The finale began in the middle of a challenge, with TJ Lavin rousing our contestants at 5 AM to begin the second day of the final. Continue reading »
“What? Iceland? Who goes to Iceland?” —Emily
“I’m scared to die.” —Camila
First off, my most sincere apologies for the delay on this week’s rankings. I was unavoidably detained. Luckily, I will be able to provide a prompt recap of this week’s finale.
Last week’s episode, on the other hand, seemed like a lot of filler. With two teams needlessly sent home at the beginning of the season, MTV had to do some reshuffling to reach the usual ten episodes for a season of The Challenge. As a result, the episode killed a lot of time focusing on Mark’s choice of headgear and Robin’s latest crisis of confidence before getting to the task at hand: The final Dome. Continue reading »
“Camila turns into the Camilanator and I don’t even know what happens to this girl.” —Paula
“Emily competes almost like a dude.”
How is MTV’s Challenge like this Republican primary season? Well, in many ways, but the most obvious is the pressure that comes with being the frontrunner. Following in the tradition of Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain, Johnny and Camila seemed to crack under that pressure last night.
The episode began with the cast drinking and carousing at Club Ohno—the name would be an ominous presage of what would come. Signs of discord began at Ohno—Oh no! Camila doesn’t think Johnny is paying enough attention to her and Oh no! Camila is drinking way too much—but things really came to a head back at the house, when a drunk Camila fell asleep in Johnny’s bed. Rather than sleeping somewhere else or just sidling up next to her, Johnny decided to kick her out. Someone—I believe it was Ty—made the mistake of telling Camila that Johnny was “really pissed off,” which sent Camila into a screaming, chair-throwing, walking-into-the-pool-with-clothes-on rage. Continue reading »
“I’m loving me some Paula right now. She’s nailing these questions.” —Dunbar
Emily: “You’re a little scared, in my opinion…”
Paula: “She is correct! …Yes ma’am! Have you seen you?”
So the contestants this season are really dropping like flies. After last week, when Vinny and Sarah were sent home for Vinny’s sexual harassment, a fluke injury to Dustin when he tripped on some stairs ended up sending him and his partner, Heather, home before last night’s first commercial break. Battle of the Exes is rapidly turning into a battle of attrition.
Dustin and Heather’s departure left only nine teams for last night’s challenge, and man was last night’s challenge lame. I can only assume MTV’s producers wanted an extra week off or something, because “Mental Connection” was obviously put together in under ten minutes: Players were asked questions and, when they got one wrong, they were flung from a catapult into a river. It was just a really dangerous* trivia game. Continue reading »
“Vinny really surprises me. Maybe I should be eating more lasagna…” —Paula
“You’re too good for this, Sarah.” —Dunbar
Does anyone know MTV’s official fighting policy? Everyone knows there’s a No Fighting rule—since someone gets sent home for violating it seemingly every season*—but there’s obviously some ambiguity about what constitutes a “fight.” Contestants often say that they’re not allowed to hit anyone, but even that isn’t totally clear—Jasmine clearly hit Tyrie during their brief fight in last night’s episode, but there was no mention of her going home.
*It’s not actually every season, only Rivals, The Ruins, The Duel II, The Inferno III, The Duel, Battle of the Sexes II, and the Extreme Challenge. Just those seven. Oh, and now this one, so eight.
Of course, the difference between what Jasmine did and what Vinny was ultimately sent home for was that Tyrie was obviously never threatened by Jasmine’s violence (probably because she’s like three feet tall) while Mandi clearly and justifiably felt violated. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with this, but it seems like the policy is not nearly as black-and-white as the audience is led to believe, and I imagine that there’s an awful lot that goes on behind the scenes that leads to someone getting sent home. Continue reading »