“Everyone’s puking. I’ve never seen so many people go to the medic in my life.” —Zach
“I have the endurance of a young, virgin colt.” —Chet
As is the custom for the penultimate episode of the Challenge, MTV relocated somewhere even more remote in last night’s episode, in this case Namibia. The contestants always get really excited when they find out where they are going, which makes sense, but from a viewer’s perspective, it’s like, Eh, one foreign country’s the same as the next.
On the other hand, the location of the final challenge always shapes its look, and Namibia seems to mean deserts. Last night’s challenge, though, was pretty basic, as they have generally been all season long: Called “Sling Shot,” the team’s were split in pairs, where one player rode a four-wheel ATV that pulled the other along a ramp and shot them into the water. Once in the water, that player had to swim to a bell and back. Continue reading »
“Realistically, I think Brooklyn is a strong team. Do I want to test that theory? Hell no.” —Devyn
“People in the house may think it’s me protecting Jonna. And, actually, that’s what it is.” —Zach
MTV is really drawing out this nadir of a Challenge. Normally, we’d be at the final challenge by now, ten weeks in, but there’s at least one more episode left, and possibly two. Throw in the two off weeks, for Halloween AND Thanksgiving, and this season will have been on for over three months.
And honestly, I’m sick of it. I can’t even figure out what they’re fighting about anymore. After last week’s hissy fit from Dustin about Trishelle’s refusal to volunteer for the Arena, he backed off of his threat to go home in a scene that took about five seconds. So last week’s big “cliffhanger” amounted to nothing. Instead, last night’s episode was devoted to Marie and Robb screaming about how the rest of the teams were all “corny” and “sleazes.” Continue reading »
“A woman would at least be quiet and listen to her men.” —Alton
“There’s a fight in every corner of the house… Where am I?” —Chet
MTV’s fighting policy is weird. There’s zero tolerance for throwing punches, but apparently you get unlimited pushes and shoves, even when someone gets shoved to the ground for no real reason, like Sam was in last night’s episode.
I imagine MTV’s thinking is much like the NHL’s: They don’t want to be seen as condoning fights, but eliminating them completely would take something away from the game. Last night’s episode, in which everyone seemed to be fighting with everyone, showed just how fights and the game are interconnected. Continue reading »
“I didn’t do anything wrong in this game. Not one thing!” —Frank
“I love watching San Diego fight. It’s sort of like a television show. It’s great.” —Trishelle
Last night’s episode picked up where last week’s left off: With San Diego in disarray and Frank as the villain. Zach specifically wanted nothing to do with Frank, while Frank somehow insisted that he did nothing wrong in backing out of the Arena at the last minute.
Luckily for San Diego, last night’s challenge, “Hunger Games,” didn’t really require much in the way of communication: Set up like a 1970s game show (so that MTV could capitalize on the Jennifer Lawrence movie AND Richard Dawson’s popularity), it was basically an eating contest. TJ Lavin would announce a food item, the teams would wager on how much of it they could eat in four minutes, and whomever wagered the highest had to actually do it. Continue reading »
Sarah: I guess I have a reputation for being good at puzzles. I don’t know how I got it…
Chet: Because you brag about it.
“Sam, you’re not Jesus carrying the cross.” —Frank
The Challenge is back, after a week off for MTV to celebrate Halloween. The layoff seemed to have reset the narrative—whereas I just declared Alton to be this season’s villain, this week’s episode brought a new one into focus: Frank.
Frank was the one who started fighting with Alton in the last episode, and this week he was pulling apart his own team. The problems started in the challenge: Logged Out was kind of a mini-final, consisting of checkpoints and a puzzle. The teams climbed a mountain and passed three checkpoints. The first showed the puzzle’s solution, the second contained the puzzle pieces, and the third was where the solution had to be reassembled. Continue reading »
“Strength comes into the gym, not personality.” —Frank
“I am furious. I should be swinging the fish.” —Marie
We’re more than halfway through this season of the Challenge now, and it’s officially clear who the villain is: Alton. It’s certainly a surprise to me, and anyone else who remembers Alton from his days of dominance on The Gauntlet II and The Inferno III, but it’s hard to defend him after last night’s episode.
In at least his partial defense, there comes a time for every veteran player when he is outnumbered by rookies who don’t know or like him, and often the vets don’t know how to handle this. Alton clearly resents the “children” in the house with him this season, and some of that is certainly justified based on their treatment of him and his team, but his response was equally childish. At the beginning of last night’s episode, for example, he denied the whole cast the opportunity to go to the beach because he didn’t feel like it. Continue reading »
“Not only do we have this huge target on our backs, we’ve been given this big burden called Big Easy.” —Camila
“I’m like you, only a bald, black guy who’s much older.” —Alton
Finally, an episode about people I can keep track of…
The first two episodes of Battle of the Seasons were dominated by the turmoil and machinations of people who I’ve never seen before. As such, it’s been hard to get invested in the season. Last night, though, was the best episode yet, thanks to the return of some classic storylines.
First, there were the odd love stories. Every season seems to have a confusing pairing, and this one already has two: Eric and Devyn, and Alton and Sarah. Of course, with every new relationship come allegations that the relationship is clouding someone’s judgment. Here it was Trishelle accusing Alton of protecting Sarah, to the detriment of Las Vegas’ alliance with San Diego, Cancun, and New Orleans. Continue reading »
“This is rookie justice. That’s all this is. This is the rookie revolution.” —Frank
“I’ve never wrestled in oil. I’m excited to do it.”—Chet
This season of the Challenge is harder than any other to recap, for the simple reason that I still have no idea who these people are. Frank? Robb-with-two-Bs? Knight? These guys sound like a forgotten ‘90s boy band.
Luckily for me, though, the teams have made it easier for me by falling into nice, neat alliances already. Surprisingly, the dominant alliance is led by the rookies: San Diego, New Orleans, Cancun, and Las Vegas have teamed up, and those four teams had a majority of the players going into last night’s challenge. The team does have some vets, like Alton, Trishelle, and CJ, but it’s mostly rookies, and the leader/most-vocal-member appears to be Frank. Continue reading »
“Danny and Melinda couldn’t work out their marriage; I can’t imagine they’re going to work on a team together.” —Nan
“We can win the money and then we can go back to Square One: hating each other.” — Chet
Aaaaaaaaaand we’re back! MTV is back with another edition of the Challenge. This time it’s Battle of the Seasons, and I have so many questions: Who will win? Who will get stabbed in the back? Who ARE THESE PEOPLE?
While every season seems to have a few people I don’t recognize, this season is the first time that I almost can’t keep up. It’s like I’m watching a spin-off show, or The Challenge: The New Class. Of the seven seasons featured in the introduction, I never watched a minute of four of them—St. Thomas, Back to New Orleans, Back to San Diego*—and I watched less than half of Cancun; thank goodness the Las Vegas team includes some of the original Vegas cast… 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 »