Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Cutthroat, Week 7 Power Rankings

“Let’s be honest: Cara Maria’s cute and she’s way more fun than the other girls. Of course, that plays a role in my decision.” —Abram


“They have the team that they wanted now, but I’m sorry—I don’t think that’s going to be good enough.” —Camila

 

The theme of last night’s episode was “proving yourself.” There was debate about what constitutes proving yourself, who had done it, and how much that should matter. Most of those surrounded Camila who, after last week’s fiasco, is as on the outs with her team as anyone can be. Tori, Brad, and Paula had all vowed to send Camila into the Gulag at every opportunity.

And yet, as several people pointed out in last night’s episode, Camila was really the only girl who had “proven herself.” In addition to winning the Gulag twice (while no other girl on her team has won even once), Camila has also been the strongest girl in challenges. Last night was no different: In a challenge that involved tight-rope walking in pairs across two skyscrapers, Camila was the only girl on her team to make it across. Paula fell off (and brought Dunbar with her), and Tori didn’t even try, since by then Red had already lost.

Not that it really mattered: Camila had already sealed her fate and she seemed to be aware of that, barely putting up a fight in team deliberations. Red sent her back to the Gulag, along with Dunbar.*

*In a perfect illustration of Red’s idiotic voting priorities, Dunbar got sent in because he fell off the rope while Paula—who was the reason Dunbar fell off—was the only player on her team NOT to receive a nomination for the Gulag.

Over on Gray, discussions weren’t as rancorous, but there was still discord. Gray looked like it was set up for another win in the challenge when its first two pairs had good times across the rope. In a major strategic error, though, the last pair was of Luke and Dan, teaming a player with a massive fear of heights (Dan) with a player with what Tyler called “the wingspan of a hobbit” (Luke). As a result they couldn’t traverse the rope, disqualifying them and preventing Gray from winning.

For the Gray guys, who seem to be readily embracing the concept of “proving themselves,” Dan and Luke both seemed willing to go into the Gulag, with Dan ultimately volunteering to earn his keep.

The girls, though, were much more contentious. All three girls on Gray completed the challenge, so it wasn’t nearly as obvious who hadn’t “proved” herself. Ultimately, the vote came down to Laurel vs. Cara Maria. Laurel seemed offended to even be mentioned in the same breath as Cara Maria—who Laurel has been disparaging as a performer all season—but Cara Maria has at least one thing going for her: She’s canoodling with Abram, Gray’s unofficial leader. Abram tried to make the point that he was voting on performance, and that Cara Maria had bailed Abram out on the tightrope, but as his quote above shows, it’s clear personal loyalty played a role. The vote ultimately sent Laurel in, much to her chagrin.

Now, I can see why Laurel is angry: It’s pretty obvious that if you were voting based on who you wanted with you in the final challenge, you wouldn’t want to lose Laurel. Thus, it’s pretty obvious that Abram is playing favorites.

Nevertheless, Laurel has nowhere near the grounds for indignity that Camila has. Cara Maria may look overwhelmed a lot of the time, but she hasn’t yet cost Gray any challenges, and she’s already been to the Gulag once. Laurel hadn’t been there yet and, though she’s probably “proven herself” in other ways, Abram was kind of right that Laurel hasn’t been as dominant on Cutthroat as she was on Fresh Meat 2 (that’s mostly because of the way the challenges have been designed and not due to any fault of Laurel’s, but still). In other words, she hasn’t proven to be so valuable that she gets immunity.

This is why the concept of “proving yourself”—even if it seems like a sucker’s game—really exists: to keep players from unjustifiably claiming to be invaluable or immune (cough, Tori, cough cough). Dan, Laurel, and Dunbar all had to prove themselves last night. Dan failed, losing to Dunbar, and Laurel narrowly avoided the upset and finally rid the Red Team of Camila.

Better eat enough Vitamin D or you’ll end up with Rank-Its:

Eliminated: Dan (Gray), Camila (Red)

I was rooting for Camila to pull off the upset just because I wanted Camila to start throwing challenges for Red.

Girls in Danger: Paula (Red), Cara Maria (Gray), Theresa (Blue)

Now that Red has lost Camila and Brandon, they’ve got no whipping boys or girls left.

Guys in Danger: Johnny (Blue), Brad (Red), Luke (Gray)

I’m surprised too, but Brad admitted last night that he wasn’t Red’s leader, so he’s probably vulnerable.

9. Emily (Blue, +1): The current Blue Team is a great example of the benefits of “trimming the fat.”

8. Dunbar (Red, N/A): Based on the logic Red uses, Dunbar could be going back to the Gulag after the next Red loss.

7. Tori (Red, —): I’m really starting to hate her this season.

6. Sarah (Gray, +5): She may be in danger as Laurel’s only ally, but it probably won’t become an issue.

5. Jenn (Blue, +1): Jenn sneaks into the Top 5 mostly due to her team’s win.

4. Tyler (Red, +1): I kind of liked Tyler in last night’s episode. Not only did he offer a comical and apt criticism of Gray’s strategy, but he tried to stick up for Camila.

3. Derrick (Blue, —): A rare glimpse of Derrick’s Machiavellian side as he tried to convince Camila to start throwing challenges.

2. Laurel (Gray, —): She should probably drop after a trip to the Gulag and a feud with her team…but there’s just nobody to put ahead of her in this oddly even challenge.

1. Abram (Gray, —): Saving Cara Maria showed that Abram has as much clout as anyone in this game.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sal on November 18, 2010 at 7:55 AM

    Great point on the Dunbar/Paula voting thing

    Tori is a lot more fun to cheer for as an underdog than a favorite. I’m with you for disliking Tori.

    The challenge is starting to get real good as teams are down to their core players now. Things will get very dicey as teams are forced to put their friends into the gulag and risk losing their strongest players. True colors will come out.

    I’m torn how I would vote if I was on the show. From a pure logical standpoint you would vote on expected future performance and not past performances, but there is a strong moral consideration of fairness and team play. Or, you may just want to save yourself anyway you can.

    I don’t see how what Abram and Cara do is different from Brad and Tori.

    No Challenge next week!?!?! Thank god its Thanksgiving-eve

    C.T.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

    • Posted by John S on November 19, 2010 at 3:03 AM

      What Cara and Abram are doing is different from Brad and Tori for a couple of reasons: 1) Cara has actually been to the Gulag once, and won, 2) neither Abram nor Cara gets offended when other teammates vote for them (Abram even voted for himself a few weeks ago), and 3) both of them have consistently performed well in challenges. What bothers me about Brad/Tori isn’t that they try to protect themselves (that’s the game, after all) but that they seem bothered by the fact that other players don’t yield to them.

      On the other hand, I wholeheartedly agree with “C.T.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

      Reply

      • Posted by walbert on November 19, 2010 at 11:23 AM

        When *is* C.T. coming? MTV’s wonky scheduling prevents my DVR from recording the last five minutes of the show so I never know what’s happening in the following week, but I do recall seeing a glimpse of C.T. really early in the series. With Chet removed for non-Gulag reasons last week, I thought they would have the big reveal for C.T. this week; MTV has been pretty good about replacements for medical reasons in seasons past.

        Reply

  2. Posted by John on November 18, 2010 at 8:13 AM

    Just found this site and was looking at the power rankings, there are more then 1 person on each team in danger.

    think you should switch paula with tori, paula, tyler, and dunbar are now the majority on the red team, if they were smart brad and tori would be going in. dunbar claims he would not vote for brad but hes def not voting for paula and neither is tyler so that would mean tori would prob go in.

    for the guys i would swithc brad out for tyler, dunbar is not voting for him so he claims and neither is tori.

    im actually shocked that paula voted for dunbar this week, i dont know what to make of that so who knows.

    power rankings- emily at 1 with two challenges left and two other girls on the team. having just went in i believe theresea is next and with 1 challenge win she is in the finals, with 2 losses i think jenn may go in before her having not been in.

    at 2 laurel looks right to me

    at 3 i would put jenn, if the blue wins one challenge she is going to the finals, if they dont she will get theresea in there and maybe emily again in there before here.

    4 is derrick, one challenge win away from the finals.

    people in danger i think both cara and sarah are in danger of going in the gulag, sarah more so then cara, both abram and luke are in danger, abram more so then luke but it really comes down to how the gray team wants to play it,

    everyone on red is in danger, if they were smart brad and tori would be.

    blue johnny is and theresea

    Reply

  3. Posted by james Schneider on November 18, 2010 at 10:59 PM

    Cara Maria(who I like)>Sarah(who I don’t dislike)

    Reply

  4. Posted by Derreck on November 19, 2010 at 4:07 AM

    What is this obsession with CT? He is a chump and the one person in challenge history who has less class than Johnny and Kenny combined. After the shit he pulled last time he was on the show he doesn’t deserve to even be on tv again let alone be involved in another challenge. He is a waste of air time and quite frankly isn’t that good anyways…then again I suppose it is a little hard to gauge the abilities of a complete moron who gets kicked off the show so much…

    Reply

  5. […] back to Cutthroat: Last night’s episode started where the last episode left off: with the Red Team in disarray and Laurel complaining about having had to go into the Gulag. W/r/t […]

    Reply

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