Boy oh boy. This episode of The Challenge: Rivals II got pretty bonkers on the way to figuring out which three female teams would make it to the final and which would get sent home. The beginning of the episode kicked off with more flirting between Diem and CT which lead into another scene featuring Diem being told by Johnny, Frank and Camila that he’s no good for her, that he’s just using her. No shocker here, but that will come into play later.
The challenge itself is Color Correction, which made the teams run a mile while chained together, get to a board featuring four colors, memorize the flashing pattern, run back and recreate the pattern. According to some tweets I saw, they actually did this three times instead of the two shown. I’m guessing they cut the middle one out because this isn’t the most thrilling game to watch and there was a heckuva lot more shouting which we all know is more interesting.
The first race saw Paula and Emily getting a nice lead and Jemmye kind of anchoring Camila, which is no real shock. All the female teams got to the light board around the same time, but it was Cara Maria and Cooke who left first, but are closely followed by Emily and Paula. The former finish first, but it doesn’t take the latter long to meet them in the winner’s circle. Jemmye and Camila wound up leaving before Diem and Aneesa. Basically, Diem kept going back to the color box, not trusting herself or her partner. In a minor shocker, Jemmye and Camila get the pattern right first which automatically sent Aneesa and Diem in to the Jungle.
This left Paula and Emily racing against Cara Maria and Cooke for a ticket directly into the finals. Paula and Emily get out to an early lead in the race and even get to the light box a full cycle before their competitors. But, Cara Maria thinks she gets the pattern after what looks like just one cycle, so she and Cooke take off. Both teams wound up stacking colors at the same time, but it was the underdogs who got the win! With Cooke and Cara Maria no longer acting as whipping girls, the guy teams had to think a little harder about who they were throwing in.
All of which lead to mountains of drama back at the house. Actually it started right after the losers were announced in front of that big Rivals sign as Johnny mentioned throwing Jemmye and Camila into the Jungle to Diem as Camila was standing right there. Back at the house, Diem’s got into something of a crazy rage — not a great look for her, but it got so much worse — talking about how she doesn’t like Cooke and wants to beat her in a final. Later she tells a group that includes Frank and Johnny that she’s disappointed that CT and Wes hadn’t asked who she and Aneesa wanted to go against in the Jungle to which Franks responds with some oddly personal stuff (“When was the last time he kissed you?”). That was a gross move, one that Frank couldn’t have possibly known the answer to, I don’t care how close the quarters you’re living in with other people.
Eventually, Diem does pull CT and Wes aside to talk about things. CT explains that he wants to save Jemmye and Camila because they’ve been watching each others’ backs. He also tells Diem that they can’t carry her team forever, which was a pretty crazy statement. Also, not for nothing, but what’s more important, the good, influential team that’s been watching your back or the weaksauce one that’s been doing the same? I’m not in the camp that thinks CT was using Diem the whole time — I actually think he had an interesting point when he said she’s super controlling, which is one of the reasons she got so upset — but I also don’t think he’s necessarily the right guy for her at this point, much as that pains me to type. I love those two idiots together. Seems like they could make it work if they both shed some bullshit, but maybe that’s not something either of them want right now.
Anyway, the only truly interesting talk at the house was between Paula and Emily and Marlon and Jordan. See, the guys wanted revenge on the women for voting for them twice. Paula and Emily were standing there begging and crying which was kinda gross. You’re strong competitors who won nearly every challenge set in front of you, don’t start bawling. Jemmye actually walked through this scene and said something along those lines which was hilarious. At least she’s good for something still. There’s more arguing, but it’s boring.
The actual voting found CT and Wes sticking to their guns and voting for Emily and Paula. They were followed by Frank and Johnny who voted for Jemmye and Camila. That left Jordan and Marlon with the deciding vote. Marlon even made a great speech about wanting to send a team in so they could prove themselves and then…commercial…and THEN, he said he voted for Jemmye and Camila. What caused the change of heart? Jordan explained to the camera that they respected Emily and Paula for winning something like 80% of the challenges. This seemed like an out-of-nowhere flip that could have gotten more screen time, but…
Diem went bonkers, which required more screen time. After voting there’s this great scene as a camera man is just running through the house towards the kitchen/argument between Camila and Diem. It’s not really about anything aside from Camila saying that Diem’s fake. Then Jemmye gets into it and drops some bombs about CT and whatnot. Diem gets even more pissed and spends most of the rest of the episode wandering around with a goblet of wine looking like a crazed salamander reading to strike. She gets into it with Camila, Jemmye, even Cooke for a bit which seemed odd.
Then, there was one of my favorite moments of the season because it felt really real. Diem’s sitting near the pool (with her goblet) talking to a group of other castmates hanging out in the pool. CT walked by and said something I didn’t quite catch and Diem goes after him. At that moment, all the other cast members looked directly at the camera with worried looks on their faces and pointed in the direction Diem just walked off. If I remember, I’m going to grab a screen cap from the MTV site tomorrow, but it was the kind of thing you don’t see often: true emotion aimed directly at the camera (or rather the producers)/concern for a fellow cast member. Good for them, I guess, but none of them actually got out of the pool, so not GREAT for them. In the actual conversation CT basically says he’s done playing the girlfriend game with Diem, which wasn’t cool.
The episode ended on a not-too-surprising cliffhanger with Aneesa and Diem ready to face off against Jemmye and Camila in Hanging By A Thread, the game where the teams are hanging upside down and have to cut through a huge rope with tiny saws. This will be an interesting one because size and speed don’t really come into play. It’s basically whoever can figure out the best technique and stick to it. Who will it be? I’m thinking Diem and Aneesa. Sure, Diem came off as a bit loony, but she’s also got a bunch of rage to focus right now and, so far, gets a lot pretty well with her teammate. Jemmye and Camila, meanwhile, seem to go back and forth on the ol’ hating each other scale.