“Emily competes almost like a dude.”
How is MTV’s Challenge like this Republican primary season? Well, in many ways, but the most obvious is the pressure that comes with being the frontrunner. Following in the tradition of Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Herman Cain, Johnny and Camila seemed to crack under that pressure last night.
The episode began with the cast drinking and carousing at Club Ohno—the name would be an ominous presage of what would come. Signs of discord began at Ohno—Oh no! Camila doesn’t think Johnny is paying enough attention to her and Oh no! Camila is drinking way too much—but things really came to a head back at the house, when a drunk Camila fell asleep in Johnny’s bed. Rather than sleeping somewhere else or just sidling up next to her, Johnny decided to kick her out. Someone—I believe it was Ty—made the mistake of telling Camila that Johnny was “really pissed off,” which sent Camila into a screaming, chair-throwing, walking-into-the-pool-with-clothes-on rage.
The underlying issues seemed relatively simple—Camila acknowledged that she likes Johnny more than he likes her, and then she can get angry when drunk—but Johnny did that diabolical thing where, rather than matching Camila’s hysteria, he just remained aloof and calm. Of course, this only made Camila madder, and it looked like this season’s Johnny/Camila dominance was in jeopardy.
By the next morning, though, Camila couldn’t even remember what she was mad about or exactly what she had done. There was obviously tension between her and Johnny, but it didn’t really hold them back in the challenge.
That challenge—“Don’t Rock the Boat”—was a decent one. The partners had to jump across a series of small platforms without falling off, and going only platform at a time. The rules were simple, it required communication, and nobody got DQed. With that said, it did largely come down to which girls got scared and hesitated while jumping. Diem and Cara Maria were the shakiest; they ended up with the worst times, with Abram/Cara Maria getting sent into the Dome.
On the other end, Johnny/Camila were one of three teams to breeze through the challenge. Ty/Emily also moved quickly, but Mark/Robin had by far the best time, thanks largely to Mark’s pace-setting. Emily desperately wanted the chance to fight them for Power Couple rights—she still wants revenge on Dunbar/Paula—but she missed out by three seconds. The match for Power Couple was close, but Mark/Robin won once again, capturing their first Power Couple title.
Of course, with great power comes great responsibility, and Mark/Robin had some differences on whom to send into the Dome. While both are established veterans with long-standing relationships with most of the competitors, Robin admitted that her relationships are mostly bad ones. While Mark wants to protect his friends, Robin wants to protect Ty/Emily because they haven’t screwed her over yet. Ultimately, though, Mark wins out—Damn that glass ceiling!—and Ty/Emily were sent in. Once again, Emily was pissed.
The elimination challenge was a repeat of the one that sent Wes and Mandi home in Week 2, and I figured the results would be similar: Emily would win for the girls, Abram would win for the guys, and it would come down to whether or not TJ flipped heads or tails in the tiebreaker. Things looked like they were headed that way. Though Cara Maria put up a fight in the first match, Emily wore her down and, as often happens to Cara Maria, the loss discouraged her—Emily won the second match in about four seconds. Predictably, Abram won the first match on the guys’ side.
But Ty actually fought back. With Emily barking like Kevin Garnett on the sidelines, Ty won the second match, forcing a third. And though I’d have never bet on the pusillanimous Ty over the almighty Abram, Ty actually pulled it out. He was beaten and exhausted by the end of it, but he won. Who knew the desire to sleep with Paula could be so motivating? (Oh yeah, Ty wants to nail Paula…)
Now, call me the Modern Prometheus because I’m Dr. Rankenstein:
Eliminated: Abram/Cara Maria
I like these two, but I’m kind of glad that their mini-soap opera is over with.
6) Aneesa/Rachel (+1): Luckily they patched things up with Mark, because these two will probably need allies.
5) C.T./Diem (-1): It seems that Diem has really held C.T. back this season—far more than Adam ever did on Rivals.
4) Dunbar/Paula (+2): I’m actually starting to like Dunbar this season… it’s weird.
3) Ty/Emily (-1): They had another impressive Dome win, but T.J. immediately threw them under the bus by saying he’d keep throwing them in.
2) Johnny/Camila (-1): A mental breakdown will cost you that top spot…
1) Mark/Robin (+2): …Especially when a team performs as well as these two did.