Posts Tagged ‘Cutthroat’

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Exes, Week 3 Power Rankings

“I’m loving me some Paula right now. She’s nailing these questions.” —Dunbar

 

Emily: “You’re a little scared, in my opinion…”

Paula: “She is correct! …Yes ma’am! Have you seen you?”

So the contestants this season are really dropping like flies. After last week, when Vinny and Sarah were sent home for Vinny’s sexual harassment, a fluke injury to Dustin when he tripped on some stairs ended up sending him and his partner, Heather, home before last night’s first commercial break. Battle of the Exes is rapidly turning into a battle of attrition.

Dustin and Heather’s departure left only nine teams for last night’s challenge, and man was last night’s challenge lame. I can only assume MTV’s producers wanted an extra week off or something, because “Mental Connection” was obviously put together in under ten minutes: Players were asked questions and, when they got one wrong, they were flung from a catapult into a river. It was just a really dangerous* trivia game. Continue reading

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Rivals, The Grand Finale

“This is ridiculous. This isn’t even a final. This is just manual labor.”—Jenn

 

“Well, ladies and gentlemen, just when you thought I couldn’t get any more amazing….” —Kenny

 

 

It’s really great we have Kenny and Wes. Not only are they a consistent source of amusement and tension, but they really saved last night’s Rivals finale—and the season in general—from being an anticlimactic stream of people gushing about their partners. Up until now, with the notable exception of Evan and Nehemiah, who weren’t speaking by their final Jungle, every single pair of “rivals” has ended their trip echoing Fatboy Slim: We’ve come a long, long way together, through the hard times and the good. I have to celebrate you baby; I have to praise you like I should. Even Adam and C.T. left on good terms! 

So the overriding theme of Rivals was basically that people can set aside any differences and bury any past grievances when their financial interests are aligned. But then there were Kenny and Wes.  Although they made it all the way to the end and in many instances put their animosity on hold to strategize, they bickered throughout the competition and constantly argued about who was failing the most in the challenges. So while every other team was friendly heading into the final challenge, it was clear that Kenny/Wes were on the brink of fracture. Continue reading

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

“I want you to cry, because you’re worthless!” —Laurel

 

“This is the worst case scenario for the mob because somebody’s going up against ME. The mob is going to have to vote against each other and that is going to be good… This is going to be so good.” —C.T.

I knew this episode of Rivals was going to be good almost instantly. As soon as it opened with a series of slow motion close ups on the cast’s excited yet apprehensive faces—not unlike the piano scene at the end of Act I of The Deer Hunter—it was clear that MTV was setting up something big.

Instead of shipping off to Vietnam, though, the contestants were shipping off to Buenos Aires, trading their Costa Rican paradise for one farther south. Once in Argentina, their behavior veered from hedonistic bacchanalia to inmates-running-the-asylum type madness. There was screaming and nudity and violence, all to no apparent end, like some Nietzschen dystopia. Continue reading

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Cutthroat, The Grand Finale

“I want the longest, hardest final. It’s going to physically strenuous, but I don’t know… I’ve just always been good at these things.”—Abram


“I’m running this final for freedom. I’m running for freedom more than anything.” —Brad

Say what you will about various seasons of The Challenge—and Cutthroat has been particularly disappointing—but the final episodes are almost always good. MTV’s insistence on designing challenges that are so physically demanding is often a negative during the season, since it leads to too many disqualifications, but it’s great for the finale: The physical demands of the challenge push people to their breaking point, which often reveals tensions and weaknesses that have been latent on a team all season long.

So even though Cutthroat has been a subpar season, there was a lot to look forward to in last night’s episode, and it didn’t disappoint. It started with the Gulag matchups set up last week: Derrick vs. Tyler and Emily vs. Paula. They were playing the same game that Ty had lost back in Week 5 (it has some weird name, like Pole Me Over, but I can’t remember it), which favored the size of Tyler and Emily respectively. Derrick, as usual, put up a good fight, but neither he nor Paula could overcome their diminutive statures. Continue reading

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

“Oh my god! Oh my god! What the fuck just happened?!” —Abram

Laurel: In any other challenge, with other people, you wouldn’t be here.

Cara Maria: …Beg to differ


Sometimes you get all excited for something and as the anticipation mounts your expectations grow to be so unreasonable that they can’t ever be met… and then something happens that actually tops those expectations. This was basically how I felt watching C.T.’s performance in the Gulag last night.

The challenge was “Back Up Off Me,” in which the contestants were harnessed to each other, back-to-back, while seated in the middle of the mud. The object was to pull the other through the mud—as Theresa did to Tina—to your end and knock over a barrel. Now I of course expected C.T. to do something crazy, but I never expected him to actually stand up, carry Johnny—a fully-grown adult human—on his back, and do a high-step across the Gulag, where he didn’t just knock the barrel over, but he spun around and basically body-slammed Johnny into the barrel. And he did this all in 19 seconds. Continue reading

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

“I don’t even know what’s going on. They finally just let me out of my cage and I haven’t eaten yet.” —C.T.

 

“C.T.!!!!!!!!!” —Me, upon C.T.’s first appearance

 

Well, C.T. finally made his much-anticipated return to The Challenge this week, even if MTV decided to end the episode without showing anything he did. C.T. was brought back, along with Tina, another former Challenge participant,* to serve as an obstacle in the Gulag. Rather than go against each other, Tyler and Johnny will each have to go against C.T., and whoever does better will survive. If this sounds like a gimmick, that’s because it is, but I’m not going to complain about having C.T. back.** Continue reading

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Cutthroat, Week 7 Power Rankings

“Let’s be honest: Cara Maria’s cute and she’s way more fun than the other girls. Of course, that plays a role in my decision.” —Abram


“They have the team that they wanted now, but I’m sorry—I don’t think that’s going to be good enough.” —Camila

 

The theme of last night’s episode was “proving yourself.” There was debate about what constitutes proving yourself, who had done it, and how much that should matter. Most of those surrounded Camila who, after last week’s fiasco, is as on the outs with her team as anyone can be. Tori, Brad, and Paula had all vowed to send Camila into the Gulag at every opportunity.

And yet, as several people pointed out in last night’s episode, Camila was really the only girl who had “proven herself.” In addition to winning the Gulag twice (while no other girl on her team has won even once), Camila has also been the strongest girl in challenges. Last night was no different: In a challenge that involved tight-rope walking in pairs across two skyscrapers, Camila was the only girl on her team to make it across. Paula fell off (and brought Dunbar with her), and Tori didn’t even try, since by then Red had already lost. Continue reading