“We got a problem, man, a real big problem.” —Evan
A lot happened in last night’s episode of Rivals: the main alliance betrayed one of its members, a player went to the hospital, Camila and Theresa launched an elaborate rope-a-dope heading into the Jungle, and Cara Maria and Laurel went through “couples therapy.”
But the episode was still mostly about C.T.
C.T. continues to intimidate and alienate everyone in the house, with the exception of Mandi. Which makes me wonder: Has C.T. done something to these people that we don’t know about? Did he burn down Diem’s house? Does he torment these people off-camera? I mean, their animosity seems to go way beyond being simply intimidated by his prowess in challenges. Last night Wes called him “one of the worst people who has ever been a part of anything.” Then he amended that statement to say, “He’s not a human being.”
Of course, C.T. has proven himself to be violently unstable, but he hasn’t been on these shows for a few years now, and you’d think the cast would give him the benefit of the doubt when he says he’s mellowed. Instead, they provoke him into fits of rage that last nine hours. Although, for Wes, this might actually be a good strategy—the best chance of sending C.T. home is getting him to throw a punch.
The one person who this doesn’t make sense for as an act of strategy is Adam, who is the one person who has reason to despite C.T.* It’s hard to fault Adam for still disliking C.T., but it must be frustrating for Adam to realize that if his best chance to win is to mollify C.T.’s anger issues. If Adam could just intervene every time someone tries to pick a fight with C.T.—you know what? Forget it. Too much can go wrong getting involved in a fight with C.T.
*Ah, the Rivals concept at work…
Making this even more intriguing is the fact that C.T. is now coming off as downright likable in confessionals and his relationship with Mandi. He is funny, self-deprecating, and self-aware. And in one important conversation, he came off as the normal one:
C.T.: Choking girls is just not what I do.
Mandi: See, I feel like that’s normal though…
C.T.: It is?
He then even joked about trying to use that excuse in court—“She wanted me to, your honor!”—unintentionally invoking a great Louis C.K. bit.*
*I assume it was unintentional, but perhaps C.T. is a huge fan of Louie, which would make me like him even more.
C.T. really just seems like a normal guy, with some anger problems that get extreme when he drinks. He should probably just quit drinking…
But ANYWAY, a lot went down besides the C.T. stuff last night, and most of it was quite good. The challenge—a race involving a bucket of dirt, a zip-line, and swimming—was another good one. There was only one DQ, and that was for pretty blatant ignorance of the rules. There were also some very impressive performances. Adam/C.T. cruised to another win, but Michael had a very gutsy performance, beating his partner to the finish line even after Leroy fell on his chest, causing him to cough up blood. On the girl’s side, Evelyn/Paula extended their winning streak.
With Cara Maria/Laurel DQing, Paula schemed to send Camila/Theresa into the Jungle, pitting one strong team against another. And though some of the guys seemed in favor of voting for the rookies, the nonsensical desire to always “go with the numbers” helped Paula’s cause.
This set up an elaborate plan by Camila/Theresa to claim that they were going to throw the Jungle to spite Paula. They actually did a really good job of selling it—they came up with a plausible reason (to keep Laurel around to beat Paula) and generally acted the way a petulant child who was about the throw a challenge would act. Laurel and Cara Maria both seemed to buy it, and went into the Jungle a little overconfident.
They even got a challenge that was perfectly designed for the rope-a-dope. On a wall with 40 doors, each team had to turn the doors so that the logo side was facing them. Whoever had the most doors after five minutes would win. Unfortunately, Camila/Theresa failed to realize that the number of times you turned the doors was irrelevant—it only mattered where they were after five minutes. Camila and Theresa should have spent three minutes strategizing and trying to lull the other team into a false sense of security.
As it happened, it seemed like they were ahead halfway through, but a flurry by Cara Maria at the end was the difference.
And now, since you’ve been naughty, it’s time for a ranking:
Truthfully, I don’t even know why the guys should get a vote on the girls’ elimination day. It doesn’t affect them at all…
11. Jasmine/Jonna (+1): The rookies narrowly avoided getting voted in this time, but they’re still not safe. Also, what the fuck is up with Jonna’s hair? Is Chris Rock doing a documentary on it?
10. Evan/Nehemiah (-4): Evan may have agreed to one of the stupidest plans ever last night, in agreeing to throw the challenge to try to face C.T. in the Jungle.
9. Brandon/Ty (+2): If Evan’s plan doesn’t work, I bet he’ll want the gang to vote in these two.
8. Katelynn/Sarah (+2): Katelynn is scared of both heights and water. I’m surprised she survived this challenge.
7. Leroy/Michael (+1): Michael really proved himself last night, but now he’ll be playing hurt for a while.
6. Jenn/Mandi (+1): I made up my mind: Mandi’s relationship with C.T. definitely hurts her (and not just because she gave him permission to choke her).
5. Kenny/Wes (-3): Wes drawing the ire of C.T. was not a good move.
4. Cara Maria/Laurel (+1): We’ll see if the Jungle does for these two what it did for Evelyn and Paula.
3. Johnny/Tyler (+1): Johnny might be the best diplomat in this game. He always seems to be in the right alliance, but he’s never a particularly strong player.
2. Evelyn/Paula (+1): Is this the year Paula finally wins?!
1. Adam/C.T. (—): The precariously reigning kings stay the precariously reigning kings…