This week’s episode of The Challenge: Rivals II is an interesting beast. Sure there was some tacked-on drama in the beginning between Aneesa and Diem, but there was also a pretty hilarious challenge followed by some made-up drama revolving around Frank (huge shocker) and one of the closest, craziest Jungles I’ve ever seen.
Four minutes into the episode, we were already at the challenge which usually means it’s going to be completely insane or there’s going to be some significant fighting later on (especially considering we’re a handful of episodes away from the finale). Instead, the challenge was just funny and worth spending some time on.
Called Blind Leading The Blind, the pairs were shackled together, blindfolded and tasked with going through a bamboo maze. The catch? They had electric dog collar zappers attached to them. Now, you’d think this form of yard-control would be utilized to keep them from leaving the course, but instead they get zapped when they’re going the right way, something some teams seemed to forget in the process of the game. It sounded like each team was going to have the course to themselves at first, but since it was hot one team of each sex went at the same time. Oh, also, they had to finish in 30 minutes.
Ty and Leroy had control of the order after winning the previous challenge, so they went with CT and Wes and Diem and Aneesa to go first. CT and Wes actually did pretty great, with Wes taking control. Diem and Aneesa basically just followed their voices — or cries of pain, really — all the way to the finish line earning them both quality times. It might seem like going first would be a disadvantage, but considering the teams can’t see the course ahead of time and you get to watch everyone else writhe in pain through this course, it actually seemed like a bonus to me.
Cooke and Cara Maria were up next along with Jordan and Marlon. The guys jumped out quickly as Cara Maria begins to lose it. The guys are doing well, but then get tricked up. Both finish, but not quickly. Leroy and Ty went after them alongside Paula and Emily. The ladies do really well, but the guys get turned around and head all the way back to the starting line. Ty eventually took over and got them to the finish.
Frank and Johnny tear through the course and get a really great time while Nany and Jonna huddle together a few feet away from the beginning for the entire 30 minutes. It’s a really hilarious situation because they’re gesticulating wildly about not wanting to get shocked which actually puts their collars closed to the walls, leading to more shocks. Awesome.
Finally, two teams I almost completely forgot about, Preston and Knight and Camila and Jemmye went. Essentially, Camila drags Jemmye — and then Preston and Knight — through the course and across the finish line. For the women it came down to Jemmye and Camila and Aneesa and Diem with the latter team coming away with the win. Oh, hey, THAT’s why they focused on them in the beginning. One of these days I’m going to start seeing the Matrix on these things. Today was not that day.
For the men, the winners were between Johnny and Frank as well as CT and Wes. As it happened, the former team got the W while the last place spot went to Ty and Leroy over Marlon and Jordan. Back at the house the women are talking about voting for Knight and Preston again because they’ve already been voted for. This is still pretty sound logic considering how few teams are still around and how useless those two are in everything but breaking sticks over people.
Johnny talks to a group of the ladies about their plan which he disagrees with. He wants to throw Jordan and Marlon into the Jungle because they want to keep a weaker team like Knight and Preston around to beat/throw in later on. Frank jumps in, reminding them that Jordan and Marlon admitted to breaking their word in the voting last week. Meanwhile, Jordan’s in the other room hearing all of this.
Out in the kitchen, Jordan makes an offhanded comment to Frank asking how the campaign is going. For whatever reason, this sets Frank OFF. He keeps circling around and then yells at Jordan, saying he and Marlon wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for him (not sure how that works). Frank then says that Jordan’s afraid of him before running away from him and slamming a door in his face. All the while, Jordan just stands there eating pudding.
Cut to the actual voting. Everyone except Jonna and Nany vote from Marlon and Jordan. They threw out Preston and Knight’s names, though I don’t see that coming back to haunt them. After that, there’s more yelling. Jordan keeps talking about getting screwed over by Frank and Frank keeps getting INFURIATED by these wild accusations which are completely founded, by the way. Frank just keeps going after Jordan who, while certainly instigating things, isn’t getting physical whatsoever or being overly rude or mean like Knight would be in a situation like this. He just wants to walk to a different part of the house and Frank just keeps getting in his face. I’m actually surprised it took this long for Frank to snap and show this group his insane-ness.
The Jungle is Last Chance which we first saw in the first episode. This is the one where one player blocks while the other one is on offense, trying to run through and rings a bell on the other side. Best two out of three wins. Leroy and Marlon square off on D with Ty and Jordan running. Marlon played Division One football in college. The first round is really close with both runners getting to the bells at nearly the same time. The video tape shows that Jordan, in fact, got there first.
The second round was much more one-sided with the entire group getting clumped up at one end and Ty popping through, easily hitting the bell. With everything all tied up they line up for the third attempt. This one looks like it’s going to go Ty and Leroy’s way right off the bat, but it gets more complicated. Ty’s right there by the bell, but Marlon’s all over him. At the same time, Jordan’s trying to get around Ty which doesn’t look easy. The episode cut to a commercial showing an ominous bell ringing. What are we to think! As it turns out, Jordan got away from Leroy and took a flying leap through the bell. Bam, they won! Were I a more excitable person, I would have been cheering from my seat, possibly standing.
Before leaving Leroy tells the camera that he loves Ty like a brother now. Good for them. Back at the house Marlon says that they’re gunning for Frank and Johnny now. Getting rid of them actually seems feasible at this point, but not completely easy. Depends on who gets sent home on the women’s side next week for sure. Anyway, Preston tells Jordan that Frank was freaked out when they won. We end the episode with Frank talked to a room full of women explaining that he’s going to start letting his inner beast out. Johnny’s in there and then tells the camera that Frank might be shooting them in the foot with this crazy person talk. Will it matter? I doubt it, there’s a scene they keep showing of Frank and Johnny running with Camelback-type backpacks which HAS to mean they’re in the final. Thanks for keeping the suspense alive MTV!