Archive for the ‘Real World/Road Rules Challenge’ Category

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Rivals II, Week 5 Power Rankings

Zach is mad“You want a show? I’ll give you a fucking show!” —Zach

 

“Leroy and his gang of girls are so caught up in burning votes to skate by that they burn themselves. I mean, it’s classic!” —C.T.

 

So that was interesting. I’ve been complaining about the stupid voting structure of Rivals II all season long, but it finally paid off in last night’s episode, thanks to the contestants’ stupidity. I knew I should have trusted MTV—nobody ever lost money betting on the inability of Challenge contestants to strategize.

The seeds were planted early in the episode, as we saw the flourishing love story of Leroy and Theresa. I like Leroy, and frankly, Theresa seems like a real upgrade from Jemmye, who Leroy was doting on for most of last week’s episode, so I was happy for him. Wes, on the other hand, was not happy for him. Wes and Theresa, of course, hooked up back on Fresh Meat II, and Wes didn’t like Leroy going after his “seconds”* or the fact that the did it on the bunk right above him. Continue reading

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Rivals II, Week 4 Power Rankings

C.T. and Wes

“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. Continue reading

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Rivals II, Week 3 Power Rankings

These two are gone. One by choice.“I feel like we’re watching a very twisted version of The Golden Girls.” —Zach

 

“She’s obviously a quitter. I hate quitters. So now Trishelle is on my list of people I’m not feeling.” —TJ

 

Poor Sarah. None of the contestants seems to love the Challenge as much as she does—she has a Lou Gehrig-like streak of seven consecutive Challenge appearances going—and yet this is now the second time in three seasons that she’s been sent home for something completely beyond her control. Whereas her partner Vinny was kicked off for fighting in Battle of the Exes, her partner on Rivals II, Trishelle, abruptly quit after getting into a shouting match with Aneesa the night before.

Of course, I’m tempted to be as harsh on Trishelle as TJ was,* but it’s always strange when someone like Trishelle comes back to the Challenge after more than a seven year absence (Before Battle of the Seasons, her last Challenge was The Inferno, which aired in 2004, even before TJ started hosting). It’s possible she’s just too old for this shit.

*Man, I NEVER want to end up on TJ’s list of people he’s not feeling.

Continue reading

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Rivals II, Week 2 Power Rankings

C.T./Diem or Romeo/Juliet?“It’s C.T. and Diem. That’s like saying Romeo never loved Juliet.” —Theresa

 

 

 

 

“Cara Maria tweeted at me once and it wasn’t very nice.” —Cooke

 

Let’s talk about C.T. Last week I said C.T. was the only reason I was back for another season, and while that’s certainly an exaggeration, there’s some truth behind it. But why do I like C.T. so much? Why is he the most interesting person on The Challenge?

C.T. is like the Achilles of MTV. He’s mercurial and short-tempered, but completely unstoppable. He’s hard to get along with and he disappears for long stretches at a time, but when he actually tries he does things like this.* Most importantly, though he seems selfish and cruel, he’s earnest and emotionally raw. Just like Achilles.

*I know I’ve linked to this like 100 times, but come on, how cool is that?

Continue reading

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Rivals II, Week 1 Power Rankings

The-Challenge-Rivals-II“I hate Emily, but why would you not want Emily as your partner?” —Paula

 

“…You guys have had some serious beef on Twitter.” —TJ

Look, I was on the fence about even doing another season of these power rankings. After slogging through the dismal Battle of the Seasons, I thought perhaps it was time I finally quit The Challenge, after a decade of loyal viewership. Of course, once I found out C.T. was coming back, I knew I’d be back for at least one more.*

*And if this is my swan song, it’s fitting that it comes in a season set in Thailand, which also hosted the first season I wrote about. Not that you asked…

And the new season reboots a format that has been successful before. The first Rivals season was generally successful, boding well for Rivals II.

I say only “generally” successful, though, because there are some problems, which were evident in Wednesday’s premiere of Rivals. First, since the format separates the sexes, as opposed to mixing them, it’s basically like there are two different games going on simultaneously, one for the girls and one for the guys. This season’s “solution” to that problem is to have the girls send male teams into the Jungle*, and the guys send female teams in. This is stupid. It makes absolutely no sense. The men aren’t competing against the women, so the only reason to throw any team into the Jungle is if you don’t like those players. But what makes the Challenge exciting is when personal relationships clash with competitive goals. By eliminating those competitive goals from the voting process, MTV has drained it of any real intrigue. Continue reading

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, The Grand Finale

Stupid San Diego“Having Sam as part of a team is like having 140 pounds of fat stuck to your side. It’s a tumor. It sucks.” —Frank

 

“I would hate to hand over $250,000 to a bunch of bullies.” —Sarah

 

 

Well, our long national nightmare of a Challenge season ended last night and, without spoiling too much, I must say the ending was incredibly fitting for this season.

Even last night’s final challenge was kind of a letdown. It wasn’t bad, so to speak, but I’ve gotten accustomed to MTV outdoing itself with every new final challenge. Last night’s was difficult, but it seemed to be mostly a lot of running. There was no standout moment—nobody had to eat a boar’s head, or carry a teammate on his back, or puke uncontrollably until they were Medevac-ed.

Continue reading

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, Week 11 Power Rankings

Team San Diego

“Everyone’s puking. I’ve never seen so many people go to the medic in my life.” —Zach

 

“I have the endurance of a young, virgin colt.” —Chet

 

As is the custom for the penultimate episode of the Challenge, MTV relocated somewhere even more remote in last night’s episode, in this case Namibia. The contestants always get really excited when they find out where they are going, which makes sense, but from a viewer’s perspective, it’s like, Eh, one foreign country’s the same as the next.

On the other hand, the location of the final challenge always shapes its look, and Namibia seems to mean deserts. Last night’s challenge, though, was pretty basic, as they have generally been all season long: Called “Sling Shot,” the team’s were split in pairs, where one player rode a four-wheel ATV that pulled the other along a ramp and shot them into the water. Once in the water, that player had to swim to a bell and back. Continue reading