“This is ridiculous. This isn’t even a final. This is just manual labor.”—Jenn
“Well, ladies and gentlemen, just when you thought I couldn’t get any more amazing….” —Kenny
It’s really great we have Kenny and Wes. Not only are they a consistent source of amusement and tension, but they really saved last night’s Rivals finale—and the season in general—from being an anticlimactic stream of people gushing about their partners. Up until now, with the notable exception of Evan and Nehemiah, who weren’t speaking by their final Jungle, every single pair of “rivals” has ended their trip echoing Fatboy Slim: We’ve come a long, long way together, through the hard times and the good. I have to celebrate you baby; I have to praise you like I should. Even Adam and C.T. left on good terms!
So the overriding theme of Rivals was basically that people can set aside any differences and bury any past grievances when their financial interests are aligned. But then there were Kenny and Wes. Although they made it all the way to the end and in many instances put their animosity on hold to strategize, they bickered throughout the competition and constantly argued about who was failing the most in the challenges. So while every other team was friendly heading into the final challenge, it was clear that Kenny/Wes were on the brink of fracture. Continue reading »
“I want you to cry, because you’re worthless!” —Laurel
“This is the worst case scenario for the mob because somebody’s going up against ME. The mob is going to have to vote against each other and that is going to be good… This is going to be so good.” —C.T.
I knew this episode of Rivals was going to be good almost instantly. As soon as it opened with a series of slow motion close ups on the cast’s excited yet apprehensive faces—not unlike the piano scene at the end of Act I of The Deer Hunter—it was clear that MTV was setting up something big.
Instead of shipping off to Vietnam, though, the contestants were shipping off to Buenos Aires, trading their Costa Rican paradise for one farther south. Once in Argentina, their behavior veered from hedonistic bacchanalia to inmates-running-the-asylum type madness. There was screaming and nudity and violence, all to no apparent end, like some Nietzschen dystopia. Continue reading »
“I’ve mastered the art of losing right before the final, but now we’re officially in the final.” —Paula
“I would have never thought I’d see the day when the only person to really have my back was my worst enemy… but she’s got me.” —Cara Maria
Why’s everyone been acting so messed up towards Cara Maria?
Last night was the final female elimination before the final challenge, so everyone was probably a little on edge, but Cara Maria ended up taking the brunt of it.
The episode started with the mob questioning Laurel’s loyalty, given her recent closeness with C.T.* As a result, Kenny/Wes were thinking putting them second in the order for the next the challenge. As Johnny Bananas** put it, “How would you feel if we were fraternizing with the enemy?” But when Cara Maria pointed out that it’s not only Laurel who was doing some treasonous fraternizing, but also Jenn (who seems to be getting more serious about Adam)—well, that kind of evenhanded logic has no place on the Challenge. Rather predictably, Jenn did not react well, but the argument was quickly quelled when Cara Maria agreed to go second. Continue reading »
“Everybody’s watching every move I make. It’s fun at this point. It’s like, let the games begin…” —C.T.
“We’re playing the game with a bunch of bitches and I’ve got the biggest one on my team.” —Nehemiah
Just a week after I broke down my problems with this season of the Challenge, Rivals had its best episode yet. Things that had been brewing all season long—fraying rivalries, the tension with C.T., C.T.’s love triangle—finally boiled over.
It seems that the moronic “D-Day” plan from two weeks ago did not die with its initial failure—the Wes/Johnny/Evan alliance put it in motion yet again last night. The plan was essentially the same: Evan would throw the challenge to get sent into the Jungle, where he would hopefully meet and defeat Adam/C.T. There were many obvious problems with this plan, the first of which was preventing Adam/C.T. from winning immunity. Continue reading »
“Tyrie’s terrible at this game….He’s not gonna help me at all.” —Davis
“There’s me and everyone’s revolving around me. And everybody’s thinking: What are we going to do about this kid?” —C.T.
Somewhere, the MTV executive who thought up the concept for Rivals is laughing maniacally. In episode two, everything is going according to plan: Some of the pairs are being drawn closer together, and others are being torn apart at the seams. We have couples forming and fights breaking out. And C.T. is building an air of invincibility while simultaneously drawing the ire of the rest of the cast. Mwahahahahaha!
We began the episode with a simple prank: Kenny, Johnny, Evan, and Wes lift a giant sculpture of a swan from their yard and leave it in Mandi’s bed. They seem to think this is the funniest thing that anybody’s ever done. Mandi doesn’t know what to do, but luckily her new beau is C.T., and he’s a monster. He lifts the swan—which required four people to lift it the first time—by himself and carries it back outside.
Even in a show like The Challenge, where people are loathe to admit their own weaknesses or inferiorities, everyone seems scared of C.T. Continue reading »
“Evelyn is a superior partner. I’m pumped, and then I remember: We don’t like each other.” —Paula
“Wes’ weakness is his ugly face…I’m gonna show this guy what a finish line looks like.” —Kenny
“Madness is everywhere and it’s not me.” —C.T.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we’re back! It’s been over six months since the last season of The Challenge concluded, and that’s too long to go without a Challenge-fix. The unusually long gap was likely due to T.J. Lavin’s recovery from last year’s injuries, though, so I’m cool with it. It was a classy move by MTV to wait for Lavin to come back rather than go forward with a new host.
Also making the wait the more palatable was the format of the new challenge: Rivals makes perfect use of the history and drama inherent in The Challenge by pairing people who hate each other. If this isn’t exactly what the show should be, then I don’t know what is… Continue reading »