Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Rivals, Week 9 Power Rankings

“Finally I get to do something where I get to put my hands on people.” —C.T.


“Adam, please do not do what I think you’re doing….” —C.T.



The perfect ending for Rivals would have been for Adam/C.T.—the pair with the most history and the most animosity of any in the house—to finally come together to defeat all the teams that had been looking to send them home all season long, with Adam finally admitting that he and C.T. were friends as they walked off into the sunset with their $100,000 prize.

Alas, that was not to be. And it looked so good for them: The final elimination challenge emphasized speed, Adam’s biggest strength, and finally allowed C.T. to tackle people—his own biggest strength. Yet it was Adam’s repeated misunderstanding of the rules that doomed them. Each player had to carry five balls from one end of a half-pipe to another while his partner ran in the opposite direction. The two half-pipes intersected in the middle, allowing for the possibility of collisions in the middle. Collisions weren’t really a problem for Adam, but he twice picked up C.T.’s ball and carried it back, which was explicitly forbidden, meaning he had to take two extra trips.*

*Tyler made the same mistake at first, but Johnny alerted him to it immediately and Tyler didn’t screw it up again. Adam made the same mistake at least twice.

In order to keep his team in the game, C.T. needed to “put [his] hands on people”—in one brilliant move, he managed to level both Johnny and Tyler, allowing Adam to make up some time. C.T. and Johnny both completed their racks with their respective partners needing one more ball. It was so close that Adam and Tyler actually met in the middle. Both were obviously tired, stumbling to complete the race. C.T. came charging to the rescue, knocking Tyler to the ground and then attempting to carry Adam—since he wasn’t allowed to carry Adam’s ball—to the finish line. It was very Samwise Gamgee of him.

Still, it wasn’t enough. It probably would have been smarter for C.T. to spend his time tackling Tyler and preventing him from completing his course. This would have given Adam the time to get the ball to the other side himself. The loss was hard to take, but Adam and C.T. took it gracefully. Adam immediately blamed himself, but C.T. tried to cheer him up. Jenn and Laurel were each disappointed to say goodbye to their beaus (Laurel took it a lot harder than Jenn), but as Adam and C.T. walked off they seemed one step closer to burying the hatchet.

The rest of the episode was pretty uneventful. Wes and Cara Maria got into an argument. Wes defended pouring soda on her:

Cara Maria: “You poured an entire bottle of cola on me and you’re saying I’m immature?”

Wes: “…Yes”

Tyler and Jenn got food-poisoning on the morning of the final challenge. Against the advice of the doctor, Tyler insisted on finishing.

With only ten minutes left in the episode, we got our first glimpses of the final challenge. We didn’t see much, just the initial kayaking leg, but it was enough to see that Jenn/Mandi will need a miracle to win.

And now let’s move on to other predictions:


3) Jenn/Mandi: Jenn’s ability to make it to the end without accomplishing anything is somewhat impressive. Her diplomatic skills might be the best in the game. With that said, her and Mandi’s inability to navigate the kayak did not surprise me at all. Heck, Jenn was already talking about quitting…

2) Cara Mara/Laurel: As I said last week, I really want these two to win—this season has been kind of defined by Laurel and Cara Maria trying to bond. With that said, Laurel has a history of underperforming in final challenges. Endurance is not her strongest attribute and she may need to rely on Cara Maria more than she realizes.

1) Evelyn/Paula: Paula finally getting her first challenge win would be a nice touch, but she and Evelyn have been on autopilot since they beat Aneesa/Robin in Week 1. There has been so little tension between them that I often forget they’re on the show. Plus, Evelyn has always been dominant on the challenges that it’d be really boring for her to win again.


3) Kenny/Wes: Wes keeps yammering about how Kenny has been holding him back and sucking this season, but the truth is Wes hasn’t been much better. And his performances in the last few seasons should not inspire confidence. He lost to Cohutta in Ruins and he got burned by Mandi (Mandi!) in Exile during Fresh Meat II. This is really a team of two weak links.

2) Leroy/Michael: If there is one defining aspect of MTV final challenges, it’s that you are only as strong as your weakest link. While Leroy is probably the best competitor, now that C.T. is gone, I’m not sure Mike will be able to handle what looks to be an epic final challenge. Nevertheless, I’ll be rooting for these two crazy kids.

1) Johnny/Tyler: They bonded. They won three challenges. They beat C.T. And as of the end of last night’s episode, they were in first place. Even if Tyler has a bit of food poisoning, these two have to be the favorites. Like Evelyn/Paula, they are the boring pick, but they are the most likely to win.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Great recap!

    I can’t believe CT told Adam prior to the match, “I’m going to be the guy who’s going to pick you up when you fall.” & he did.


  2. Posted by james Schneider on August 18, 2011 at 3:51 PM



  3. Posted by Josh on August 18, 2011 at 7:28 PM



  4. Posted by Lars Mulrich on August 22, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    I have to admit that I wanted to continue disliking CT this season, because I thought his behavior throughout his long run on MTV has been mostly boorish at the least, atrocious, and borderline psychotic at worst. But over the course of the season, I really started to root for them, because while CT still has his rough edges, it seems like he has really grown a lot as a person, and the fact that most of the rest of the house were against them, I really wanted them to at least reach the final.

    I feel like most of the other males in the house were afraid of him athletically, so they were forced to hang their hat on what a monster CT USED to be as a person, instead of having an open mind about the possibility that maybe he has matured, learned from past mistakes and the death of his brother, and giving him the opportunity for redemption and attonement. With Adam, I can totally understand him not cozying up to CT, but basically he was the only one of the guys on this season that CT has directly done anything to. I feel that makes them less mature than him DESPITE his past transgressions, and really a rather bitch approach from an athletic standpoint. As much shit as I have heard Wes talk this season about what a stud he is, and from Kenny in the past, they both know that everyone who saw the show knows that they wanted NOTHING to do with facing CT in any competitive situation. Chumps. I think Leroy would have faced CT without complaint, or finding a “way out” if that’s what it came down to. He probably would have lost, but he wouldn’t have been cowering over the corner like a bitch trying to come up with political ways to not have to go up against him. I lost a lot of RW/RR Challenge respect for those cats over how they approached this season, for whatever that’s worth.

    In any case, I was REALLY upset when they lost, and it was, indeed, pretty much all Adam’s fault. At least he manned up and accepted that, and I think CT again demonstrated a lot of maturation in his handling of a loss in which he obviously did the damn thing, and almost won it singlehandedly, when he refused to excoriate Adam, even though we all know he did lose it for them. Obviously from a team perspective, Johnny and Tyler have performed best this season, but individually, I would say CT, Leroy and Tyler, in that order, have performed the best, and CT has proven that he clearly belongs in the all-time top 5, based on physical performance. I have seen some other people’s rankings before, and they’re usually pretty close to what I recall, but if I had to make up my own dream team for a challenge, it would definitely include CT, along with Alton, Landon, Brad and Derrick.

    Going forward, I’m rooting for Leroy and Mike, but Johnny and Tyler have to be the favorite. And if the previews were any indication, it aooears there is a chance that Wes, and his overrated ass, will flame out in the finals. Again. Lots of talking the talk, much less walking the walk from that kid.


  5. […] the two of them go, particularly in a relatively dull elimination challenge (which was really just a toothless, nonviolent version of the game Adam screwed up on Rivals); although it was nice to see Ty/Emily—another team that’s put in its work, with three Dome […]


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