I’m writing this team evaluation part before the first episode of The Challenge Rivals 2 has aired yet partially because I haven’t talked about this upcoming season yet, partly because I want to comment on a few of the teams and partly because I want to link to my posts about the first The Challenge Rivals. I’m most excited to see Wes and CT. I think they’ve got a shot at knocking longtime winner Johnny off the gold medal stand if Wes can restrain his douchey nature a bit and CT doesn’t go into a berserker rage. I think the former’s far less likely than the latter.
Speaking of Johnny, he’s teamed with Frank based solely on a Twitter feud that I would wager was at least partially manufactured like the old timey Jack Benny/Fred Allen one. Even if it wasn’t, both of these guys are smart enough to put on a good deal of theater for the cameras while not actually letting it get to them. That is unless enough teams smarten up and do their best to get rid of them early on. I’d say Real World: Portland dudes Marlon and Jordan have a fair shot too if they can win early and dodge going into elimination rounds. However, Jordan’s kind of a hothead and has zero experience with Challenges, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he loses it.
Ty and Leroy should be interesting. He got third with Emily on Battles Of The Exes, so he’s got some cred while Leroy made it to the end on the first Rivals. Camila and Jemmye got into one fight, but one of them’s a total hothead and the other likes to shout at folks when she gets drunk, actually, they both do, so this could be an explosive pair no matter what.
Dunbar and Tyrie seem like a pretty lame duck team. Both have skills, but neither seem adept at actually learning this game. Maybe getting burned so many times has taught them though. Jasmine’s also kind of a joke on these shows too, right? She’s there to get drunk and smash stuff, but do her and Theresa have a chance? Who knows, I can’t even remember why they supposedly don’t like each other. Paula and Emily are both pros when it comes to these things. I put high odds on them winning this thing.
Preston and Knight are a joke. Knight’s only skill is talking all kinds of smack and becoming an emotional terrorist to the women on the show. I have a real problem with the way he treats people. Preston’s alright, but he’s not super athletic and is saddled with an anchor so unless it suits the other teams, they won’t be around very long.
In the “not really enemies, but we wanted to shoehorn them in” category you’ve got Real World: Portland alumnas Jessica and Anastasia who probably just got sick of living together and Robb and Derek who got in one drunken fight that lead to Robb ripping his shirt off in Battle Of The Seasons 2. If Robb could take weeks of crap from whatshername from his season, he should be able to squash this and move on easily. Still, he’s a rookie, so there’s a target. I’d put Trishelle and Sarah in this category as well. Trishelle stirred up trouble when she thought Sarah was getting with Alton just to cause problems with their team on Battle Of The Seasons 2, but that’s just how the game is played.
Trey and Zach are going to have problems. Trey wants so badly to be part of the group but only if he can lead which will never happen. Meanwhile, Zach still looks like Thor and could literally carry Trey through the entire competition if need be. Finally, I can’t remember why Diem and Aneesa, Nany and Jonna and Cooke and Naomi even have beef. I’m guessing booze and hurt feelings over competitions or fellow cast mates were involved though.
Alright gang, that’s what I think is going to happen. Hit the jump to find out what actually happened in my patented live blog format. SPOILERS for the episode follow, if that wasn’t already obvious.
*Set in Phuket, Thailand.
*Wes looks kinda small.
*Diem and Aneesa have strong potential. This beef looks OOOOLD, but there was some backstabbing.
*I forgot Cooke even existed.
*Hearing Dunbar say Tyrie isn’t top tier made me laugh.
*The Frank/Johnny rivalry is such a joke.
*Rules: Guys vs Guys and Girls vs Girls. Winning team is safe. Losing team automatically goes to The Jungle. Other team gets voted on in public. $125K for first place winner, $35K for second and $15K for third.
*Villa reveal scene. I predict drinking and partying from rookies.
*CT’s telling the rookie girls some rules to help them out. He’s got a thing for Anastasia.
*Trey’s trying to patch things up with Zach. They might dislike each other, but neither wants to lose. Zach really doesn’t like Trey.
*Out by the pool, Marlon got pushed over and broke a glass. CT says it’s time to get out of the pool because if glass gets in the pool, they can’t go in the pool. Someone pushes Marlon in and a fight starts between the two of them. It looks like CT grabs for Marlon’s throat first, but it’s after a cut so it’s hard to tell. Cut to commercial.
*CT Wants to let the young bucks know the old man’s in the house. Leroy talks some sense into him.
*HAHAHAHAH Drunk Marlon thinks he can take CT.
*Tyrie passes out naked on the toilet.
*Oh man, can I handle more CT/Diem relationship tension? He hops in the pool after she’s talking about how much she still likes him, but they don’t have a relationship.
*Aneesa’s not happy about Diem and CT flirting again. Diem explains that after Battle of the Exes her ovarian cancer came back. CT wants to see her without her wig on. “If you take it off, I’ll kiss you.” She looks great with short hair. He helps block the camera for her.
*Preston looks like Bill Cosby with his short lavender hair which just looks grey.
*Guys challenge day first. Game of Inches. One person hung 30 feet off the water. The other jumps off a platform and grabs onto their partner for 15 second. If you fall or don’t jump, you’re out. After each round, the platform goes back a foot. Ladies get $1K for winning and get to chose the order next time.
*Ladies up first. Round 1 – Everyone holds on the first time.
*Round 2 – 5 go down. Jonna/Nany Paula/Emily & Aneesa/Diem remain.
*Round 3 – Aneesa falls, the other two are good. Just Jonna/Nany and Emily/Paula.
*Round 4 – Now it’s just whoever hangs on the longest wins. Cut to commercial!
*We are halfway through this episode and haven’t seen Wes scheme once.
*Back from commercial, Jonna doesn’t catch Nany, so Emily and Paula win! As you might imagine, they seem to be getting along a lot better now.
*”It’s just a big hugging challenge, really.” – Robb
*Round 1 – everyone makes it.
*Round 2 – Dunbar falls.
*Round 3 – Ty falls.
*Round 4 – Trey’s the only one to hold on, everyone else falls!
*So, Zach and Trey win. Dunbar and Tyrie are definitely going into the Jungle.
*In the slow-mo you can see it’s all Zach lifting Trey up like a parent with a child. Good for them though. Pretty sure Zach still hates Trey.
*This has been a strange first episode of a Challenge because there’s been zero scheming so far.
*I spoke too soon. CT and Leroy do some scheming on the bus ride back to the house. CT wants to throw Johnny and Frank in first to send a message. It also makes sense because Johnny’s won like five of these things. Now CT’s talking to Tyrie. Tyrie wants to go up against Johnny and Frank. Wes doesn’t want to go with the plan because he thinks it’s a big move too early that will paint a bigger target on them.
*Now Johnny’s talking to Frank about it. They both think it’s a dumb idea for CT.
*The girls are all talking about sending in Robb and Derek because they have the least connection to them. Knight comes over and tells them that they’re talking about sending Frank and Johnny. None of the girls think this is a good idea. I see where they’re coming from, but they always seem to play a little more scared than the guys.
*At this point, Johnny knows that CT is gunning for him which is basically the same as doing it, right? So even if they don’t go for it, it’s not really going to matter because Johnny and Frank are still going to be pissed.
* The girls start the voting. Paula/Emily go with Robb and Derek. J/A follow suit. Nany/Jonna vote for Knight and Preston. C/T – R/D. Cooke and Naomi go with Marlon and Jordan. Most of the girls just go with Derek and Robb, but Nany and Jonna vote for Knight and Preston while Cooke and Naomi vote for Marlon and Jordan.
*Oh snap! As we shift over to see what the guys are going to do, TJ drops a bomb: the voting is only up to the opposite sex teams! Robb and Derek are going in! This means there’s no same sex alliances unless they’re fairly elaborate groups.
*Now CT and Johnny are getting into it. Johnny thinks CT made a huge mistake, but how? I don’t get it.
*Wes helps turn the living room into a nightclub so they can blow some steam off.
*Oh no. I don’t want to see CT and Anastasia together. Right in front of Diem! Anastasia’s just the latest newbie chick to fall under CT’s spell. Kinda funny that she doesn’t understand that him ingratiating himself to members of the opposite sex is now a huge part of the game. On the other hand, as my wife points out, this could piss the other ladies off a lot more and put them against CT because they like Diem.
*Naomi calls home because her dad had a heart problem. Clearly she’s got to go. Cooke’s telling her to go, but Naomi doesn’t want to leave her high and dry. She’s going home, of course.
*So, is Cooke out? That’s how it’s been lately. However, it was on the first Rivals that saw Mike replace Adam as Leroy’s partner.
*Frank tells CT that CT made a first shot and a war was started and that he’s going to stop it. It’s funny when Wes is calm about scheming and playing the game smartly. This was the guy who came in on day one and told everyone he was running things not too long ago.
* Before The Jungle between Dunbar/Tyrie and Robb/Derek gets started TJ brings up Cooke’s situation and then it cuts to commercial. When it comes back, he explains that she’ll be partnered up with someone else. Shouldn’t be hard to find another enemy for Cooke who came into the Vegas house and caused all kinds of trouble. Nany’s already there, so I’m guessing it’s Heather, but it could also just be someone random who will help stir the general pot.
*The Jungle is called Last Chance. There are two walls a few feet apart. The teams are split between offense and defense. The defenders block each other in the middle while the offenders try to get past them to ring a bell. Robb and Tyrie are on D, while Derek and Dunbar are running. Best of 3 wins. This should actually be fairly balanced.
* Round 1 – Derek zooms right by and hits the bell. Robb actually pushed Tyrie into Dunbar. Gotta admit, I’m surprised Robb could match up with Tyrie so well. Maybe it’s true what everyone says and he’s pretty much useless on these Challenges.
* Round 2 – Tyrie puts his arm up to stop Derek. Dunbar gets through, but falls. Derek wasn’t stopped for too long. It turns out to be super duper close, though. TJ says it was the closest Challenge judgement of all time at 1/10th of a second.
*Robb and Derek win! Dunbar hit the rope when he fell, but not the bell until a second later when he got up. This will be interesting when Robb and Derek get to vote for the ladies.
* Dunbar and Tyrie are both pissed. Tyrie’s just repeating how he doesn’t want to be on camera and hates losing or something while Dunbar stares angrily into the camera sayting he was screwed from the beginning. Bold words for a guy who couldn’t hit a bell the first time.
* After all that we get treated to a club night! CT’s flirting with Diem again now.
*Theresa’s talking to Johnny and says that she knows what CT’s up to. Then Anastasia shows up. Anastasia doesn’t think she’s just another silly rookie girl getting ropes into CT’s game. Heh, we’ll see.
* Johnny talking about how conniving and manipulative CT is makes me laugh.