Posts Tagged ‘the Challenge’

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?

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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, 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

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, Week 10 Power Rankings

Robb and Marie

“Realistically, I think Brooklyn is a strong team. Do I want to test that theory? Hell no.” —Devyn

 

“People in the house may think it’s me protecting Jonna. And, actually, that’s what it is.” —Zach

 

 

MTV is really drawing out this nadir of a Challenge. Normally, we’d be at the final challenge by now, ten weeks in, but there’s at least one more episode left, and possibly two. Throw in the two off weeks, for Halloween AND Thanksgiving, and this season will have been on for over three months.

And honestly, I’m sick of it. I can’t even figure out what they’re fighting about anymore. After last week’s hissy fit from Dustin about Trishelle’s refusal to volunteer for the Arena, he backed off of his threat to go home in a scene that took about five seconds. So last week’s big “cliffhanger” amounted to nothing. Instead, last night’s episode was devoted to Marie and Robb screaming about how the rest of the teams were all “corny” and “sleazes.” Continue reading

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, Week 9 Power Rankings

“A woman would at least be quiet and listen to her men.” —Alton

 

“There’s a fight in every corner of the house… Where am I?” —Chet

MTV’s fighting policy is weird. There’s zero tolerance for throwing punches, but apparently you get unlimited pushes and shoves, even when someone gets shoved to the ground for no real reason, like Sam was in last night’s episode.

I imagine MTV’s thinking is much like the NHL’s: They don’t want to be seen as condoning fights, but eliminating them completely would take something away from the game. Last night’s episode, in which everyone seemed to be fighting with everyone, showed just how fights and the game are interconnected. Continue reading

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, Week 8 Power Rankings

“I didn’t do anything wrong in this game. Not one thing!” —Frank

 

 

“I love watching San Diego fight. It’s sort of like a television show. It’s great.” —Trishelle

 

 

 

Last night’s episode picked up where last week’s left off: With San Diego in disarray and Frank as the villain. Zach specifically wanted nothing to do with Frank, while Frank somehow insisted that he did nothing wrong in backing out of the Arena at the last minute.

Luckily for San Diego, last night’s challenge, “Hunger Games,” didn’t really require much in the way of communication: Set up like a 1970s game show (so that MTV could capitalize on the Jennifer Lawrence movie AND Richard Dawson’s popularity), it was basically an eating contest. TJ Lavin would announce a food item, the teams would wager on how much of it they could eat in four minutes, and whomever wagered the highest had to actually do it. Continue reading

Real World/Road Rules Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, Week 7 Power Rankings

Sarah: I guess I have a reputation for being good at puzzles. I don’t know how I got it…

Chet: Because you brag about it.

 

“Sam, you’re not Jesus carrying the cross.” —Frank

The Challenge is back, after a week off for MTV to celebrate Halloween. The layoff seemed to have reset the narrative—whereas I just declared Alton to be this season’s villain, this week’s episode brought a new one into focus: Frank.

Frank was the one who started fighting with Alton in the last episode, and this week he was pulling apart his own team. The problems started in the challenge: Logged Out was kind of a mini-final, consisting of checkpoints and a puzzle. The teams climbed a mountain and passed three checkpoints. The first showed the puzzle’s solution, the second contained the puzzle pieces, and the third was where the solution had to be reassembled. Continue reading