I just today realized that this didn’t run two weeks ago when it was supposed to for some reason. If anyone’s still interested, here’s my thoughts on the fourth episode of The Challenge: Rivals.
Oh Challenge contestants, when will you learn? After an incredibly shrewd move by Paula and Ev that pitted two solid teams in the Jungle in last week’s episode, I thought people might start playing this game smart. Hell, if no one else, Mike, the evil super genius should be deceptively running that shit. Instead, the closest thing to a plan we got was a rehash of an idea from the very end of that same episode where the brain trust of Kenny, Wes, Evan and Johnny decided that they need to have Evan throw the challenge and then get everyone else to vote CT and Adam in. It was a stupid plan, Ev called them on it and it wound up not working out, but you’ll have to read on to find out why and how these doofuses should be playing the game better (from a dude sitting on his cough drinking a beer, no less). After a day at the beach filled with much frolicking and plotting, the fellas mentioned above who I will now be referring to as the Boy Alliance sat around with no shirts on and talked about the same plan again. They still think it’s a great idea. Cut to the house later that night and Wes is telling Ev and Paula their idea. See, the Boy Alliance needs them to lay out the challenge order so that CT and Adam go first and then there’s a specific order after that. Paula agrees, but Ev has problems which she voices to Wes. Wes doesn’t really care. They’re not going to deviate from the plan for ANYTHING. Heh. Sure. This is followed by some Truth or Dare nonsense with Ty and Paula kissing. The real point of interest though is that Laurel reveals she has a thing for CT. Of course, so does Mandi. This has the potential to throw a wrench in the Boy Alliance’s plan because that’s two votes they probably won’t get for CT (I’m still unclear as to if each team gets one or two votes).
The challenge is called Hammock Crawl. Two suspended (of course) platforms have a series of hammocks between them. The teams have to cross from one platform to another using said hammocks. Both teammates have to be in one hammock before moving on to the next one and you can’t touch more than two hammocks at a time. The whole thing has to be done in fifteen minutes. They REALLY wanted to get people disqualified in this one. After the explanation, Ev and Paula are told to set up the order. Ev has huge reservations about all this, but goes with it because she doesn’t want to make enemies. Later she says she’s in an alliance with them, but do the math, honey. There’s three teams in the Boy Alliance and only three spots in the finale. They don’t want you there. Plus you’ve got Paula on your team, the queen of getting screwed over by those jamokes.
As usual, the teams have to go two at a time, but they’re not really competing against each other. CT and Adam go up first against Leroy and Mike. Both Adam and Mike get flipped over and are dangling from the hammock, but pull themselves up. CT and Adam beat Leroy and Mike, but both finish. Next, Jenn and Mandi go against Katelynn and Sarah. Katelynn punks out and doesn’t do anything, then Jenn falls, both teams are DQed. They’re followed by Wes and Kenny against Brandon and Ty. Kenny flips over and is hanging there, but eventually falls. I thought this might have been part of a new plan, but apparently Kenny just sucks at everything. I’ve got a few thoughts on this coming up. Brandon and Ty finish.
Cara Maria and Laurel finish of course, but Jonna falls immediately, not even getting on the first hammock. Jasmine has no problem with this because she doesn’t like heights. Johnny and Tyler then compete alongside Evan and Nehemiah. “D-Day” their dumb Boys Alliance plan is now out the window and the new thing is for both teams to haul ass and try to win so CT and Adam aren’t safe. Both finish with Evan and Nehemiah going pretty fast. Finally, Ev and Paula go alone. Paula flips over, struggles for a bit and then lets go, telling the camera that it wasn’t worth all the effort. Can’t really argue with that. Turns out, none of the female teams did the race in the 15 minutes aloted so none of them got the cash. That’s the first time I ever saw that before. Then it came down to three teams for the winners: Evan and Nehemiah, CT and Adam and Tyler and Johnny. Turns out Evan and Nehemiah got the best time, but they touched three hammocks at once and wound up getting bounced, so it went to the next fastest time: Johnny and Tyler. Kenny and Wes did the worst.
I’m gonna jump in here and toss my two cents. I mentioned last week that I thought the Boy Alliance’s plan was stupid and that Wes and Nehemiah would have had a much better chance against CT and Adam. Ev said something similar. I thought it was incredibly interesting and telling that, as soon as Wes and Kenny were on the chopping block, they no longer wanted to do “the right thing” and get rid of CT anyway. I can understand Wes not wanting to do this because he’s basically dragging Kenny’s useless carcass through the game (something he even agrees with later in the ep). Kenny has this amazing talent for building up this huge rep for himself, making people fear him, on the rarest occasion actually proving himself and making his way to the end. Dude has done zilch this season. Frankly, neither has the rest of the BA this season with only one victory going to their squad. He spends a good deal of the rest of the episode moping with Evan talking to him like Kenny is the doting wife of a man who just lost his job.
Back at the house, Wes pulls Mike aside and tells him they’re voting for Brandon and Ty and that he should to. Mike agrees, passes the plan along to Leroy and says he trusts Wes. Oh Mike, so silly. Dude needs to use his natural skills and form his own alliance. Or better yet, CT should do the same. Right now, everyone votes for the same people for the most part. They’re all afraid of the Boy Alliance but there’s enough of them to form their own alliance and actually do some damage. CT should talk to Mike and they should get something going. You’ve already got Laurel and Mandi’s vote. Those aren’t super powerful teams, but it’s not bad. Meanwhile, Brandon and Ty say then need to throw Leroy and Mike’s names out there, but only to each other. When the discussion begins Brandon gets up and gives a pretty good speech about not giving into manipulation that will bite you in the ass the next day. It doesn’t work and almost everyone votes for them with the exception of Brandon and Ty and Jasmine and Jonna. When the girls say their vote, Wes says they just painted a target on their backs. No one cares because this team doesn’t have a real shot. It’ll be Wes and Kenny versus Brandon and Ty. No real shocker, but that’s still a team with some potential.
Post-voting, Ev’s talking to the Boy Alliance and tells them how dumb their plan was, but points out that she still went along with it. That’s followed by a drunken club night. Laurel gets all up on CT and almost kisses him, but he only seems into Mandi. It’s awesome seeing this mean, spiteful chick feeling bad (which I realize makes me a bad person, I get the irony). Johnny tells Laurel that she’s screwing up by getting close to CT. Again with this nonsense. Hell, Laurel’s smart enough to start her own alliance, why is she playing this game so stupid? It’s frustrating.
I missed what the name of this particular Jungle was called, but four ropes hung over a pool of water with a team on both sides. When the bell sounds, they have to run, jump at the ropes and then climb to the top and ring a bell. If the fastest two people are on the same team, they win, if not, the two fastest have to go and do it again on their own. The horn blows and everyone but Kenny is climbing pretty neck and neck. Soon Ty falls back, but Wes and Brandon are both really close and ring the bell. They have to go again, horn sounds, both run and dive for the rope, they sink into the water and both start climbing. Cut to a commercial. Come back and Brandon slips into the water, while Wes shoots up the rope. Brandon tries again, but futility soon sets in and Wes wins.
Kenny’s so freaking lucky that he’s got Wes on his team. That sack of dead weight has done nothing this season and he very well could have been knocked out by Brandon and Ty (well Brandon, Ty’s equally dead weight). Again, I’m hoping someone wises up and starts up an alternative alliance because there are not enough spots for all these goofs to get to the finale.