“Ketchup is legitimately my biggest fear.” –Jemmye
“Someone’s gonna die tonight. This Jungle’s going to be awesome.” —C.T.
What is the point of watching these episodes if MTV isn’t going to send anyone home in them? Don’t they know I have better things to do?*
*I have nothing better to do.
The early departure of Sarah/Trishelle last week meant MTV had to adjust on the fly, so as not to lose too many girls too early. And I at least have to hand it to the producers for using the situation to conduct their own little Milgram Experiment on the cast—even though several players suspected that the hypothetical Jungle might result in death, nobody batted an eye and letting Jasmine/Theresa or Cooke/Cara Maria do it. Most of them even seemed excited, even as TJ refused to guarantee their safety.
Just a reminder: These people can vote.
As for the lead up to the fake Jungle, there wasn’t much surprise there: Emily/Paula won yet again, though this time Aneesa/Diem gave them a run for their money. Jasmine/Theresa lost, mainly as a result of Theresa’s arms being a lot longer than her partner’s, it seemed. Since the pairs had to maneuver giant bamboo sticks through a maze, big height disparities were a weakness.
For the guys, Knight/Preston had another embarrassing performance, failing to finish in the allotted time. And it was Marlon/Jordan, the now legitimately impressive rookie team, who won for the men. The voting was once again boring, as all the guys resolved to vote for Cooke/Cara Maria, so as not to risk alienating another girls team. Even a last minute attempt by Cooke to steal some votes was only able to get Leroy/Ty to vote for someone else.
Beyond that the episode devoted the bulk of its attention to the Leroy/Jemmye/Knight, and Nany/C.T./Diem love triangles. Knight wasn’t happy to see Jemmye flirting with Leroy, which started the first condiment-related fight in Challenge history, as he started terrorizing her with a bottle of ketchup.* By the end of the episode, Leroy, put off by the drama, had moved on to Theresa.
*Jemmye’s fear of ketchup did not seem adequately addressed. Where did it come from? Are other condiments implicated? Where did the ketchup touch you, Jemmye?
The Nany/C.T./Diem stuff seemed like a whole lot of nothing. Diem was accused of writing a “rap” about Nany, but since we never the saw the rap, it’s hard to know if it even existed, or if it was at all motivated by jealousy. The whole thing seemed inserted in the episode to set up the end, when Diem finally went out without a wig or hat on. I’m glad Diem feels stronger now and everything, but come on, MTV, you can’t just end on an uplifting personal story and pretend that means something happened in your episode.
And now, the very-similar-to-last-week’s rankings!
12) Cooke/Cara Maria (—): See what I meant about this team being unpopular?
11) Knight/Preston (—): Three DQs in a row for this team now.
10) Jasmine/Theresa (-3): A tough loss that only highlighted Jasmine’s weakness in challenges.
9) Camila/Jemmeye (—): They just barely avoided DQing in this challenge.
8) C.T./Wes (-3): It’s possible I’ve been overrating this team based on C.T., when Wes has really underperformed on his last few seasons.
7) Leroy/Ty (+1): Leroy just seems like a really cool dude. He even wanted to touch helmets before the challenge.
6) Jonna/Nany (—): I don’t want to call these girls sluts, but let’s just say they have a lot of guys with vested interests in keeping them around.
5) Marlon/Jordan (+5): Normally I’d say such a strong performance by a rookie team would put on a target on their back—but the voting system this season makes that irrelevant.
4) Johnny/Frank (-1): Does Johnny have his own bobblehead?
3) Aneesa/Diem (+1): They almost dethroned the #1 team this week. But everybody knows, almost doesn’t count.
2) Trey/Zach (—): Zach was right to resist Cooke’s overtures last night—no sense alienating anyone new.
1) Emily/Paula (—): No team has ever run the table in a Challenge before, right? Could these two be the first?