Real World/Road Rules Challenge: The Ruins, Week 4 Power Rankings

Tonya“Veronica’s got blood on her mouth; Tonya’s on the floor crying her eyes out, and everyone’s just standing around like, ‘Wow, I guess we should have stopped this sooner.’” —Cohutta

“Me and Evan are running this game. Everyone feels that we’re just a bunch of chauvinistic pigs. But there comes a time when someone comes to you and says, ‘I can’t swim. I can’t run.’ What are we supposed to do with you? I mean, you’re completely worthless to anyone. Why would we want you here?”—Kenny

A lot happened in last night’s episode of The Ruins. In many ways, it was a turning point.

For one, the Champions took two great strides in the “trimming the fat” stage of competition. The first step was losing Tonya, who slapped Veronica for calling her “insane.” Since the show is, unfortunately, only an hour long, the viewers got no context for Tonya’s sudden maelstrom against Veronica; it seemed that, without provocation at all, Tonya was declaring that she’s “never hated anyone as much as [she] hates Veronica.”

Veronica, for her part, didn’t do much to defuse the tension—nor did Cohutta, Wes and Evan, who sat quietly by as they watched the two of them berate each other. Eventually, Veronica struck a nerve with the “insane” remark, and Tonya lashed out, getting her sent home.

The Champions, of course, won’t really miss Tonya; in the episode’s challenge, the best of the new season thus far, she proved how inept she was. When it was her turn to swim out, unlock a plank and connect it to the bridge, she took so long that she forfeited the lead. Fortunately for the Champions, Casey proved to be even more inept than Tonya, as she couldn’t get her plank unhooked at all, and the Challengers had to slowly watch their rare lead vanish.

In the eliminations, Katie called out Sarah, who she decided was “messing with her” by being in the room when Kenny and Evan were actually messing with her—it was the worst instance of displacement since “Mom and Pop Art.” Of course, Kate talks a big game, but it didn’t amount to much, as she lost to Sarah in the Ruins.

So the Champions managed to lose their two worst competitors in one episode  and still win the challenge.

The Challengers, meanwhile, lost another guy, as Danny was sent home by Darrell. They are now down to three guys and only seven players.

The other reason last night’s episode was a turning point is that, with Wes now more or less appeased by the Champions’ unofficial leaders (Evan, Kenny, Johnny), their attentions have shifted toward getting rid of their own weak players. Now that Katie and Tonya are gone, Veronica, Ibis and Susie may be next.

A telling visual moment (and credit MTV’s editing team for this) came when two unidentified people were hiding in a bunk in one of the beds, with Evan’s voice saying, “We have to strategize.” I naturally assumed he was trying to surreptitiously come up with a way for his new squeeze Veronica to stay around, only to find out he was actually cuddling and strategizing with Kenny. Those two are devious when they’re in bed together.

The Rankings:

Eliminated: Tonya (Champion), Katie (Champion), Danny (Challenger)

I thought Danny had a shot against Darrell, but I’m never upset to see Danny go home.

Probably Going Home Next: Veronica (Champion), Cohutta (Challenger)

I think Veronica is, as she put it last night, “in the middle of the chopping block,” and Cohutta is the weakest of the remaining Challenger guys.

Barely Hanging On: Ibis (Champion), Casey (Challenger), Kimberly (Challenger)

Ibis is also in danger of being thrown off by Kenny and Evan. Casey is sticking around as long as the Champions can keep her around, since she is such a burden for the Challenger team. Kimberly has yet to prove herself in the Ruins.

Coasting on a Recent Win: Syrus (Champion), Sarah (Challenger), Kelly Anne (Challenger)

Winning an elimination has bought all these guys some time.

The Top Ten:

10. Johanna (Champion, —): She’s probably not immune from the Evan-Kenny machinations, but she’s certainly not high on their list.

9. Derrick (Champion, NEW): After a brief time out of the top ten last week, he’s back, more or less by default.

8. Susie (Champion, —): I really enjoyed her frank admission of being glad Tonya was gone.

7. Darrell (Champion, +2): I had some doubts about Darrell after being incognito the last two episodes, but he proved his mettle against Danny.

6. Dunbar (Challenger, -1): All Challenger males have to be bumped down until one of them wins an elimination.

5. Johnny (Champion, +1): He’s not as integral to the Champions’ top 3 as he’d like to think, as evidenced by being excluded from Evan and Kenny’s snuggle session.

4. Brad (Challenger, -2): For a while I figured he was untouchable as the strongest Challenger male, but now that there are only 3 left, it may be tough for him to avoid an elimination.

3. Wes (Champion, +1): I have to admit that I kind of liked Wes in this episode, especially when he cut off Evan’s declaration that “We all like to have fun at Tonya’s expense” by pointing that it was really only Evan, Kenny and Johnny who were doing that.

2. Kenny (Champion, +1): His quote at the top may be cold, but it’s honest.

1. Evan (Champion, —): I’m running out of ways to say this: Evan is the best competitor on the show.


4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by James Schneider on October 22, 2009 at 5:19 PM

    im running out of ways to say this: kenny>evan


  2. Posted by Kriss Kross on October 30, 2009 at 12:56 AM

    What I like about Wes is that he creates some competition on the Evan/Kenny monopoly. Yes, he was a bit whinny this season, but overall Wes rocks.


  3. […] Danny and Sandy: I spent much of The Ruins doubting Danny, and he didn’t really prove me wrong. Now he has a partner who doesn’t like […]


  4. If you Google some combination of “Tonya Cooley+Evan+Kenny+assault”, you’ll find out a truly horrifying reason that Tonya’s fight with Victoria–and particularly her enraged reaction to what would otherwise just come off as Victoria being kind of a bitch–was NOT a random anything. It will also shed light on whey Evan and Kenny, who had been cornerstones of this little franchise, have not been around very much since then.


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