The Challenge Rivals II Episodes 8 & 9

AI take more pride in these Challenge write-ups than I probably should. It might sound a bit silly, considering the subject matter, but I try to cover them like I would a sporting event that has more and more drama sprinkled in with each successive season. And yet, sometimes the review just doesn’t jump from my notes to the site, hence the lack of a post last week. So, to make up for that and keep some semblance of continuity here, I’m going to do a much quicker summation of Episode 8 and then get back into the usual detail with tonight’s latest addition to Rivals II. Read on if this is your bag, gang! 

Drama-wise, there was a bit more CT and Diem flirting this week, but that was overshadowed by the fact that Frank is continuing his rampage from the previous episode. While talking to Jonna, who he said he would never vote in (or “have her name come out of his mouth,” a phrase that’s super popular this season) he goes on about how trashy these younger kids are, wondering why Jemmye and Knight are even there. We went on to trash Jemmye which she heard somehow even though they were in a loud club. This lead to a fight back at the house that night that somehow went from Jemmye being bad that Knight didn’t stand up for her to Camila wanting to kill Johnny. To be fair to Camila, Johnny was instigating her, but not in the mean kind of way Knight would have. She just needs to learn to relax a little bit. At one point it took four women to keep Camila from going yard on Johnny. I’m pretty sure she would have walked away from a part of him if they weren’t there.

The challenge was called Swings. Both teammates grab onto a trapeze bar and swing towards a second bar that will lower them into the water. They’re supposed to jump, grab onto it (or more likely fall 30 feet into the water) before swimming out to a buoy and then back to the finish line. Since it was a women’s day, I’ll just say that Knight and Preston quit and that CT and Wes. For the ladies, it came down to Aneesa and Diem and Jemmye and Camila (fueled by the previous night’s rage and a renewed sense of team spirit) who were up for the victory with the latter walking away the winners. For a bit of editorializing here, I can’t believe even Camila’s ridiculous fighting spirit has been able to keep Jemmye moving this far into the competition.

For the losers, Cara Maria and Cooke were automatically sent in for CM’s terribleness (I think I’m starting to see what everyone on the show dislikes her). That left Aneesa and Diem, Emily and Paula and Jonna and Nany up for possible Jungle participation. The choice seemed pretty obvious considering the first two teams have strong ties to guy teams (Diem and CT, Paula and Johnny for what that’s worth). Frank is talking to the women and keeps saying that Jonna’s name will not come out of his mouth. Are they going for a drinking game I didn’t know about? Anyway, CT and Wes for for the obvious choice while Jordan and Marlon dodge the issue by voting for Paula and Emily, Knight and Preston are up next who go along with the plan (because Knight loves Johnny) and finally it’s up to Johnny and Frank to vote and they go for Jonna and Nany. To make sure he’s not a liar, Frank has Johnny say this. Loophole. For some reason, the next day, Frank feels the need to poke and prod Jonna, saying he never lied and then has the gall to wear her name on his head during the Jungle which is that game Snapper from Episode 3. It’s Cooke versus Nany the first time around with Cooke winning followed by CM and Jonna. They took a long time to get there, but Cara Maria finally walked away with the snap and the victory. The episode ends with Frank telling Diem that he’s not the deceitful person he was made out to be on Battle Of The Seasons. Nonsense. He’s showing right now that he’s that guy.

Which brings us into tonight’s episode which decided the final three teams for the men! As with many of the season’s previous episodes, this one kicked off with a club scene that found CT flirting with Diem. The two of them made out a little bit and she wanted to sleep in his bed back at the house. As you might expect, CT was pretty excited about this, especially after she jumped right into his bed. The problem? As he was putting up some privacy sheets, she fell asleep in the bed. Sure he’s bummed, but he then sleeps on the floor next to her bed which is equal parts nice and brave considering she’d been drinking that night to the point where, the next day, she said she couldn’t remember anything which CT completely called.

The episodes’s challenge is called Rampage. There’s four quarter pipe ramps across from each other with balls and basketball hoops at the top. You’ve got to run down the ramp with a ball, run up the opposite ramp and get the ball in the basket. There’s 20 balls and you have three minutes. Contact is allowed, but winds up not being very common. I’d wager cash money that this game would have been a lot more violent had it been played earlier in the season and not set up as the deciding factor of who’s making it to the final. Anyway, CT and Wes get to set the order for the game and decide to put Frank and Johnny against Jordan and Marlon first followed by Cooke and Cara Maria against Paula and Emily. Then we had Jemmye and Camila versus Diem and Aneesa (a present to Diem) and finally Wes and CT squaring off against Knight and Preston for what they think will be an easy victory.

Turns out, though, that this is a pretty tough competition that taps a lot of these contestants batteries with a quickness. Johnny was worst off, though, wheezing afterwards, lying on the ramp and even throwing up at one point. Later he’d claim that he got the wind knocked out of him (repeatedly), but everyone seemed to call BS on that one pretty succinctly. The only team that made it look easy was CT and Wes who easily breeze through, getting all 20 balls in the net with about 15 seconds left. I’ve got to say, seeing those two get along is kind of amazing. As far as the winners and losers go, Emily and Paula won once again for the ladies and CT and Wes easily took home the V for the men earning their spot in the final. Meanwhile, Knight and Preston did worst, so they wrote their own ticket into the Jungle leaving the teams to chose between Marlon and Jordan and Johnny and Frank.

Though there was almost a glimmer of hope of an uprising against Johnny and Frank with Cooke and Cara Maria saying they’d vote for them.  When asked if they’d do the same, Jemmye said she would but that Camila — who still has some kind of thing for him even though she hates him — wouldn’t go for it. It turned out that the C team was the only one that didn’t vote for Marlon and Jordan. Immediately after TJ told everyone the results, noting that Johnny and Frank were also safe, Wes started throwing digs at Johnny which blew up into a full-on war of the words between Johnny and the united front of CT and Wes. Johnny, who can dish it out but never take it, keeps referring to their past failures and his past successes, but ignoring the fact that he just spent several minutes getting sick in front of everyone still there. It got pretty crazy with some pushing, but didn’t get to the place where Knight and Jordan were hoping so they could stick around.

The next morning Johnny continued his campaign which is pointless and clearly the sign of someone who knows they got shown up and put down on national television, someone who used to win these things pretty handily and now has two other solid teams looking to put him and his partner down. He went on to talk trash about him and Diem, with Paula looking on, nodding like crazy which is totally two faced considering earlier she told Diem she thinks that she and CT just work.

The Jungle is Break On Through, the game that wound up sending Zach home for breaking the rules. It’s the one where one team member has to smash through a section of a three story structure, eventually getting them down to a door they’ve got to break through. Considering the physical nature of this one, it wasn’t much of a surprise that Marlon and Jordan took an early lead. It didn’t help that Knight completely sucked at the one where you’ve got to cut through chains. In fact, he wound up losing the whole thing for Preston while the other guys ran rip shot through the game. After that it’s another party night with Diem and CT flirting while Johnny sits around with his entourage and talks smack about Diem and CT. Go spin, Johnny.

So, we’ve got the three male teams and one more episode before finding out who the three female teams will be. There’s still some hope that there will be some epic upsets this season. If Cara Maria can pull her poop together and win with Cooke who’s a top notch athlete (by Challenge standards at least) that will really throw things out of whack. I’m hoping for that, of course. Then, in the final, you’ve got three pretty solid teams. Most eyes are on the vets, but let’s not forget that Marlon and Jordan are younger dudes who are both longtime athletes who haven’t shown the world that they don’t have what it takes to finish one of these things. As Johnny pointed out (and the editors showed us during the fight) Wes had to be carried by Kenny and CT screwed up during the Battle Of The Exes finale. Of course we also just saw Johnny show what he’s working with this season, so who knows how this is going to shake out, but I’m excited to find out!

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