Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Rivals II, Week 8 Power Rankings

What a dick“We can only promise each other until the cards run out.” —Frank


“I’m the one person that never said a negative thing about this fucking piece of shit.” —Camila


Let’s talk about the shadow of the future. For those not familiar with the work of Robert Axelrod, the term basically means that, when two people face the possibility of interacting at some undetermined point in the future, they are more likely to cooperate with each other, even if cheating each other might be more advantageous in the present. In other words, you’re not going to screw someone over if you think you might run into that person again.

And I’m wondering if that affected Frank’s decision to vote in Jonna, a close friend he had promised to protect. His reasoning was that he didn’t have a choice—Camila/Jemmye won immunity, and Cooke/Cara Maria finished last in the challenge. This only left Aneesa/Diem, Paula/Emily, and Jonna/Nany, all teams Johnny/Frank were aligned with. So even though he swore “Jonna’s name will not come out of my mouth”—a promise he technically kept by letting Johnny vote for the team—he voted in his friend.

Of course, Frank did have a choice. He could have voted for Paula/Emily, which would have tied the vote.* Or he could have voted for Aneesa/Diem, which would have basically been a throwaway vote the produced the same result—Jonna/Nany going into the Jungle—without actually voting for his friend.

*We don’t know how MTV breaks tie votes this season.

None of these options were ideal, but it’s hard to see how they would have cost him much. There’s only one more male elimination, and none of these teams will control the order for the challenge, so there’s not much opportunity for Frank to be targeted by these teams, even though both are strong.

But I wonder how much of Frank’s thought process is confined to Rivals II. If Frank continues in the Challenge, then he is far more likely to see Paula, Aneesa, or Diem on future seasons—they’ve all basically made careers out of the Challenge. And if Frank wants them to see him as loyal, he’s less likely to betray them than he is to betray Jonna*, even if Jonna is an actual friend. He’s haunted by the shadow of the future.

*It’s true that neither Jonna nor Nany are rookies, but neither has approached the number of Challenges for the other four, who have combined for 29 Challenge appearances.

Still, I think Frank made the wrong choice, but that might just be because I don’t like Frank. He needlessly went off on Jemmye, Knight, and Nany—which ultimately led to another Camila breakdown—and invokes “right and wrong” even though he’s ultimately just as concerned with survival and money as everyone else. Plus, he could have handled his decision better.

Regardless, it likely won’t hurt him, as Jonna/Nany lost in the Jungle, in Snapper, the same game Knight/Preston won in Week 3.

Now rank the pain away!

Eliminated: Jonna/Nany

It turned out Jonna’s relationship with Jordan had nothing to do with sending her home.

8) Knight/Preston (-1): The weakest guys team now faces a penalty going into the challenge before the last guy’s Jungle.

7) Cooke/Cara Maria (+1): Cooke’s really proving herself this season. She has no allies and a bad partner, but she’s still around in Week 8.

6) Marlon/Jordan (-1): Neither Marlon nor Preston helped disprove the “black people can’t swim” stereotype last night. And on the 50th anniversary of “I Have a Dream”…

5) Camila/Jemmye (+1): A solid challenge win after I called Jemmye an “albatross” last week. Still, they’re not as protected as the other girl teams.

4) Aneesa/Diem (—): This pair is really the closest to the true definition of “rivals.”

3) Johnny/Frank (-1): I don’t like Frank. Have I made that clear?

2) Emily/Paula (-1): And down goes Frazier! I didn’t think they’d ever drop from the #1 spot, but they’ve lost three of the last four challenges, and the remaining girls’ teams are all strong.

1) C.T./Wes (+2): Unlike Emily/Paula, who are slipping down the stretch, these two are peaking at just the right time.

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