The Challenge Rivals Episode 2 “Through The Looking Glass”

I had some problems with tonight’s episode of The Challenge: Rivals and I’m not talking about people playing the game stupidly, pointless fights or them cheering for friends instead of people they should want to be sent home. I’m peeved because MTV has been really sloppy with a lot of the editing and previews they’ve created and how spoiler filled they have been. It’s frustrating. To find out what I’m talking about and what the above picture is, hit the jump!We start off with some house shenanigans. A group of guys decided to put a heavy-ass concrete swan in Mandi’s bed. At first I thought it was dead which made the prank a lot meaner, but it was just a lawn ornament. CT walks in, picks the thing that a group of dudes had to carry and moves it out of her bed…by himself. Then there’s some hooking up between Tyrie and Jasmine after Tyrie stole some Magnum condoms from Tyler, who was apparently the only dude to bring rubbers. Kenny has some funny commentary on Tyrie’s supposed dry spell, the clue for the next day’s challenge gets read and Johnny thinks it involves smashing cakes. Is this dude for real? He’s always had the worst/dumbest guesses, but it’s hard to tell if that dude’s just playing it up for yucks or not. The next morning they get several people to tell the camera that Mike is a nerd. Yeah, no shit. To make it more clear, they show him talking about some plant crap to a table FILLED with people who clearly don’t give a shit. I don’t see Mike lasting long unless there’s a lot of brain teasers coming up.But enough about that, it’s challenge time! This one’s called Car Crusher. Each team gets put in the cab of a backhoe. One drives, one works what I would call the claw, but they all call the bucket. Since the cab is so small, one has to sit on the lap of the other. While controlling this giant piece of machinery–thankfully in the middle of nowhere to limit civilian casualties–they have to grab a car from a line-up, drag it across a field, smash it and push it across a finish line that has a crossbar on top of it, meaning they have to crush it small enough to fit under a limbo bar. As if that weren’t tricky enough, they have to do this alongside another team and keep everything within boundary lines, which winds up being really tricky.

And here’s how that shook out. Because Jasmine and Jonna won the previous challenge, they got to choose the order. Jasmine wanted to put Tyrie and Davis later in the rotation because she’s banging him and this somehow lead to an argument between the two of them. Anyway, the first two teams to go are Johnny/Tyler and Brandon/Ty. They seem to be pretty close to each other, then Brandon/Ty go out of bounds leaving Johnny/Tyler time to finish on their own. Camila/Theresa and Mandi/Jenn are up next, Mandi and Jenn work pretty well together, but go out of bounds. After that Kenny/Wes take on Nehemiah/Evan, but go out of bounds almost immediately because Wes wanted to go backwards a little. Sarah/Katelynn get DQed while competing against Jasmine/Jonna, then CT/Adam finish as do Tyrie/Davis, just not as quickly. In my personal favorite of the pairings, Cara Maria and Laurel get disqualified by knocking over the crossbar AFTER Laurel started hooting and hollering out the side of the cab. Hilarious. They were going up against Ev and Paula who finished. Leroy and Mike went last and finished pretty quickly.

This is a guy’s challenge day which means the ladies are competing for money. That came down to Camila/Theresa and Ev/Paula with the latter taking home the cash. For the guys, the winners were either CT/Adam or Leroy/Mike, with CT/Adam coming out on top. This pleased no one because the Kenny/Evan/Johnny contingent wants CT gone. What also didn’t please them was the fact that Kenny and Wes came in last and automatically got sent to the Jungle. In what will probably be the fastest deliberation of the bunch, Kenny and Wes essentially said they wanted to go up against Tyrie and Davis and it was so, which means two things. First, as I wondered last episode, the people definitely going in DO get to sit in on deliberation. And two, all of these people are stupid because they’re not playing the game well. It IS a vote, so if someone like CT–maybe the winners aren’t in the room? I wasn’t looking for them–got some of the rookies together, they could have been smart and thrown Evan and Nehemia in against Kenny and Wes. This would have made their alliance–which is designed to send home lower tier/rookie teams–weaker by one no matter what. Huge missed opportunity here. Most of these dopes are there to party and not win the cash. I think CT’s a huge contender in this game, but he’s also not throwing his weight around enough. Anyway, with the formalities out of the way, it’s time for party/fight portion of the episode which doesn’t disappoint, but probably confuses. Davis worries that Tyrie might be partying too much before going into the Jungle the next day. After that, Tyrie talks to Jasmine and Jasmine says he’s been like a brother to her. Remember, they hooked up the previous night. Then Tyrie tries to explain to Jasmine and Jonna that they need to get on the same wavelength. At this point, Jonna brings up for the second time this episode–out of nowhere both times, mind you–that she doesn’t like Camila who seems to have done nothing offensive to her. Until slightly later when she accidentally calls Jonna Jasmine’s name. This sets both J girls off for some reason. There’s lots of arguing, Camila tries to find out what the deal is and Jonna basically says she’s rude or condescending or something. It’s basically like watching a four year old get really mad at a seven year old, neither know what’s going on or what the other’s saying, but they both get worked up. Sarah swoops in and takes Jasmine away which leads to her punching a mirror and shattering it on someone’s bed. She’s shaking like a crazy person, this chick needs to chillax. Oh, I almost forgot, Kenny and Wes go and meditate with Nehemiah only to be interrupted by CT and Leroy. Like Nehemiah, I was surprised that Kenny took it seriously. He didn’t even walk off when the other boys made fun of him and pretend he was tricked into doing something lame. At this point in the episode, I had to call some bullshit on MTV for spoilers. Usually, they do a good job of putting ads for episodes together pretty well without giving too much away, but not this season. The glass punching thing wasn’t that big of a deal, but you knew it was coming from the “on this episode” stuff as well “on this season” commercials. It’s supposed to be a point of tension in the episode, yet it got completely deflated. Even worse, though, is that fact that, at this point, anyone who has paid attention to the commercials and ads knows that Wes and Kenny are not going home in this Jungle. Why’s that? Because in every spot for this series–and possibly the intro of the show itself–they show Wes and CT getting in an argument. I’m not one of those real eagle-eyed or super-memory viewers. I didn’t watch Lost and keep it all perfectly categorized in my brain. I had to look a lot of things up, but still enjoyed the show. All that being said, I still had these scenes in my head, so I’m sure other people did too. At this point in the episode, there’s really no point in watching to see what happens because you already know. I could have watched something else for those last 10-15 minutes.

But, since I did watch, I might as well write about it. The next day, Camila just seems confused about why Jasmine and Jonna got so angry. I think everyone did, but none of them would have cared if these broads smacked each other around and got sent home. Both these teams have to kick some major ass to not get sent home on the quick. There’s some talk about who wants who to come back, pretty much no one cars about Tyrie and Davis except Jasmine. Evan looks really worried while Kenny packs his things up, says he’ll leave if Kenny gets sent home and even wears one of Kenny’s Rivals shirts. It’s weird. The Jungle game is called Blast Off. It’s pretty simple. The teams are tied together at the hip and have to push the other team out of the ring they’re in sumo-style. If you somehow lived in a vacuum, this one would still seem lopsided. Sure, Tyrie is a big dude and played football, but Davis is smaller than both Wes and Kenny, which means no matter how hard Tyrie pushes back, he’s going to get thrown off. And that’s exactly what happens. Tyrie puts up a hell of a fight and so does Davis, but it’s not enough. The game is to three points (one for each time you knock the other team out) and Kenny and Wes do it in three. Big shocker there. Thanks MTV. During all this, the geniuses in the stands are hooping and hollering for the two people who will most definitely send them home or scheme to do so. At the end, Jasmine says she’s glad Tyrie got sent home because he was a distraction. Ouch. Then, Adam’s talking to Wes, Johnny, Kenny, Evan and Mike (who’s only there because he sleeps in the room and probably was angry that they were talking instead of sleeping at 9 PM) and they’re all saying they are on his side, but want CT gone. Adam says he’d love to get rid of CT too. Now, this is kind of interesting for a few reasons. One, the Kenny/Johnny/Evan team-up is clearly trying to primarily drive a wedge between CT and his partner and secondarily, getting someone on their side for voting and if CT gets sent home for punching someone. At the same time, I think Adam’s playing the game too. Last episode, he and CT talked about playing up the fact that they don’t like each other and seeing where it lands them in the game. I hope that’s the case and not Adam falling for petty nonsense.

I can’t remember if I wrote this last week or not, but the thing that strikes me about Rivals is how little the teammates seem to dislike one another. There was some static between Jasmine and Jonna, but I think this Camila nonsense brought them together in a weird way. Nehemiah seems pretty chill, so I’m guessing he got over whatever was between him and Evan while Evan’s always focused on the green. Heck, even Ev and Paula seem to be appreciating each other. I’m guessing that a lot of these beefs had been worked out or forgotten. I know CT was a bastard to Adam, but it’s got to be difficult holding a punch in the face against a guy whose brother was shot and killed. They say that time heals all wounds, so the teams that will have the most difficulty have had problems most recently. However, old wounds can always be opened up and I’m sure that will happen as the newness wears off and the money gets closer to becoming a reality. On that same note, look for a variety of people to try and get CT to slug them so they don’t have to go up against him in the Jungle or the finale. I would actually put money on that one. Any takers?

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