Live Blogging: The Challenge Rivals 2 “Rumble In The Jungle”

ct and wes rivals 2I’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. leroy and ty rivals 2

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. sarah and trishelle

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.  Continue reading Live Blogging: The Challenge Rivals 2 “Rumble In The Jungle”

Live Blogging The Challenge Battle Of The Seasons Episode 8

Well, it took eight episodes, but The Challenge Battle of the Seasons finally had a good, solid challenge that was both interesting and a bit of a nail biter. I’m not talking about the food eating challenge that made up the middle of this episode, though that wasn’t too bad I guess (I was glad to see it wasn’t all gross food), but the Arena which had two heavyweight contenders playing the game that Big Easy sent Wes home on back in the first episode (now that I think about it, that was a pretty riveting challenge too).

Anyway, the episode also dealt with some of the fall out from the previous episode which saw one-time show runners San Diego falling apart thanks to Frank and Zach’s inability to be supportive of Sam and Frank’s sneaky nature bothering Zach as the former weaseled out of doing the finale leaving Zach to clean up his mess. Continue reading Live Blogging The Challenge Battle Of The Seasons Episode 8

Live Blogging The Challenge Battle Of The Seasons Episode 7

Well, it was bound to happen. Enough of the fat has been cut away from The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons — possibly the fattiest cast in years if you really think about it — for things to start falling apart with the super alliance that was bound to fail from the beginning. I was actually surprised at who exactly got into fights, though.

Even more interesting to me, though, was the challenge itself. It was basically a mini version of a final challenge that combined memorization, strength, endurance, teamwork and composure. It’s no real surprise who did well when you take all that into account and it really showed the cracks that one particular team had been hiding, ignoring and avoiding. The pressure gets to you though. Anyway, I liked this episode, I like who won and I like who go thrown in. At this point, I’m rooting for Brooklyn as the underdogs and think they’ve got a pretty good shot. Good luck to them. Hit the jump for my live blog! Continue reading Live Blogging The Challenge Battle Of The Seasons Episode 7

Live Blogging The Challenge: Battle Of The Seasons Episode 5

As you’ll remember from last week, we didn’t actually get to the Arena and instead ended with Devyn throwing herself in against the Fresh Meat team which consists of Camila and her Challenge boyfriend Easy. I gotta say, after being relatively bored with last week’s episode and the general pointlessness of the challenges considering they were all getting gamed, I dug this episode. Thanks to this one having two Arenas, one less couple to worry about and a pretty fun challenge, it actually moved along at a surprisingly fast clip. I understand that the drama and the hook-ups are important to the show, but it really does feel strange zeroing in such a small group when so many other people have barely made a dent or a sound bite. Heck, even someone like CJ who came out swinging on the first episode when he campaigned to send Wes in, has barely made a peep (and I’ve heard on various podcasts that he was actually playing the game pretty hard and possibly dirty behind the scenes).

I’ll also say that it’s far less interesting watching these episodes and knowing that so many weak ass players are having their bacons saved from the fire just because the one or two teams not in the alliance don’t win. It’ll make for good TV in a few episodes when the alliance has to start eating itself, but for now it’s kind of boring. Still, this was a pretty cool episode. Hit the jump if you want my particular brand of play by play. Continue reading Live Blogging The Challenge: Battle Of The Seasons Episode 5

Live Blogging The Challenge Battle Of The Seasons Episode 4

My wife is losing interest in this season of The Challenge. I think the producers didn’t expect the cast members to band together so quickly and form such a large alliance (currently sporting four and a half teams). I also don’t think they figured said cast members would so cleverly figure out ways to game the challenges. This is the second one in a row where a pretty simple plan wound up easily putting one team in the bottom regardless of their skill level and knock off a few others along the way. There was some chance and skill to it, but not really, especially when it was so planned out.

Here’s something else about not only this season but the Challenge in general that’s a little crazy. If a guy hits a guy, he’s automatically sent home. I think it’s the same for a woman hitting a woman. However if a woman hits a guy, it’s not as big of a deal. Worse yet, a person can literally chase you around a house yelling terrible things at you and you literally can’t get away from them because most of the rooms don’t have doors. You have to rely on either your roommates to help keep that person away or, after putting up with enough torment, try and knock them out yourself. Of course, at that point, you get sent home. All of this is a roundabout way of saying that Knight is a douchebag who thinks he’s playing the game, but doesn’t understand that no one has ever won based entirely on psychological warfare, you also have to either be a beast yourself or not be saddled with the biggest joke team I’ve ever seen on one of these things.

Anyway, I’m guessing that things are going to get more interesting in the next episode or two (or at least hope they do). No matter who wins or loses the Arena that we won’t see until next week, one of the sickeningly sweet couples will be broken up, which I’m all for. I also think that the already rocky larger alliance is breaking down to a few core teams, which will at least make for some more interesting challenges. No one really thought this would last for more than a few Arenas, right? Anyway, if you want to check out the live blog, hit the jump.

Continue reading Live Blogging The Challenge Battle Of The Seasons Episode 4

Live Blogging The Challenge Battle Of The Seasons Episode 3

Well, I’m not quite sure what to say about this episode. While it could have been a pretty huge turning point for the overly large San Diego/Las Vegas/Cancun/New Orleans alliance, it really wasn’t. There was some lovey dovey stuff which I know some people dig, but I’d honestly rather see more interactions between the cast members. We’re still at the point in this game where there are SO MANY people hanging around and not doing or saying anything. The episode was also a tricky one because the challenge and the Arena were really difficult to explain without images (and MTV has made it far more difficult to copy and paste their pics, so you’ll just have to head over there to check them out). Anyway, let’s jump on in to the live blog already. Continue reading Live Blogging The Challenge Battle Of The Seasons Episode 3

Live Blogging The Challenge Battle Of The Exes Episode 2

After seeing Wes got sent home last week, I was pretty excited to see what would go down this week and the rest of the season as this Challenge is made up mostly of rookies or people who haven’t played the game in quite a while. And, for once, my Challenge wish came true! Frank somehow got an alliance together between his season, San Diego, Vegas, Cancun and New Orleans. Not only that, his alliance actually figured out a way to game this episode’s challenge so that they all didn’t lose! I was shocked, this kind of things almost never happens. Clearly, the wheels will fall off and things will get heated when more and more teams get knocked out, but it’s fun to watch now. Anyway, hit the jump if you want to check out the live blog! Continue reading Live Blogging The Challenge Battle Of The Exes Episode 2

Live Blogging The Challenge Battle Of The Seasons Episode 1

Alright gang, I’m kicking it old school today and going with the live blogging format. It’s been a while and I’m pretty rust, so I actually forgot to put the time stamps on when things are said or when I had my reactions, but here they are! They’re mostly unedited, though I use a fun little Challenge shorthand I’ve worked out over the years that I’ve converted and taken out a few profanities to keep things PG. Anyway, if you’re interested in seeing what I thought of the first episode of The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons episode one, read on… Continue reading Live Blogging The Challenge Battle Of The Seasons Episode 1

This Will Be My Last Season of Real Housewives Of New York

Sweet merciful crap, I think the second–and mercifully last–half of the Real Housewives Of New York Season 4 reunion was one of the most annoying bordering on infuriating 90 minutes of television I’ve ever put myself through. The waves of pomposity and petty, mean girl nonsense washing out of my TV were reaching tsunami levels. The worst part? Not that I won’t get those 90 minutes back. Not that it’s like watching adults cluck “I’m rubber, you’re glue” for a combined three hours. Not because it actually made my brain hurt when they were trying to shout over each other. No, the worst part was that I actually used to like (some of) these women. I actually caught a Season 2 rerun a few weeks back and it was shocking how nice and normal these people were. Sure, Ramona’s clear alcoholism was there early on as well as Kelly’s third grade mentality, but it was all toned down so much more. I’m not sure if they were hiding their craziness from the cameras or if the cameras and the ensuing fame wound up feeding what was already there like Seymour the man-eating plant. With no one left to care about or even root for and rage being the only emotion I feel at the end of each episode, I’m done with the season.

But before I bow out, I’ve got a few things to say about each woman and how they’ve each contributed to my dislike of the show overall. But before I do, I’ve got to say that the set-up of having the blondes on one side and the non-blondes on the other was a bad move. Watching them toss insults across at their frenemies or whatever only to then turn to their fellow mean girls, laugh and give little high fives about their sick burns was skin-crawlingly awful. They also all have this tendency to not listen to whoever they’re talking about, throw out pointless jabs at one another and ask for proof about claims followed immediately by said evidence and then brushing it off as inconsequential while also making a huge deal out of their own perceived sleights. It’s awful. Okay, now on to the rundown.

Cindy. Man oh man, what a waste of space. A more humorless woman I’ve never seen on television. At first I liked how she seemed to be the “man on the street” persona of the show, but the fact that she never ever got a joke or did anything productive or interesting aside from starting drama with people pushed her into my mental dustbin which is a shame because a single woman with two young twins should be interesting. I appreciate her not wanting to put up with Sonja’s nonsense about social levels or whatever, but taking a call in the middle of breakfast? Classless. Oops, don’t tell Alex I used the c word.

Speaking of Alex, she’s easily my favorite. I would definitely watch a show with just her, Simon and their two kids, even though it would border on pretentious. However, her incessant need to be the righter of wrongs this season got old, quick. I like that she’s found her voice, but she needs to learn how argue down and dirty like these awful specimens of humanity she’s surrounded by. LuAnn is MEAN and doesn’t listen to anyone, you can’t just roll into a restaurant and expect to lay out how she’s been mean. She’ll just make fun of your shoes or your skin (super classy) and walk away.

Ugh. LuAnn. I used to like her. She should have been likable to some extent this year considering she just went through a divorce, but not a chance. Hurling insults with a smile and while putting on some bullshit French accent still makes you a bitch. Not admitting to being mean compounds the issue. Saying you’re not trying to school people on manners after literally writing a book on the subject is just ridiculous. How do people like this exist? She’s so completely out of her head or reality that it would actually make me sad if she wasn’t such an awful awful person to watch. Also? Totally a weekend mom.

Speaking of moms, where were Kelly’s kids this season? Okay, enough of that segue. I’d say Kelly’s the worst, but, really, most of these women are so uninteresting, mean and bad in their own ways, that you can really pick your flavor of haughtiness. Kelly’s always been a head-in-the-clouds kind of person on these shows. That episode I mentioned seeing from a while back happened to be the one where she told Bethenny she was on one level and Kelly was on a higher one. You could see her strange view on life back then as well as her complete lack of real world view. How many times did she tell someone they were being weird as if that’s the world’s greatest insult? How many times has she commented on Alex getting red? This is a woman we saw lose her mind on camera last season and yet never owned up to any of it. I really think she has the mentality of a child. She believes what she wants to, ignores everything else and just wants everything to stop being weird and not nice. Also, did anyone else notice that she didn’t really have any of her own storylines this season? Everything was a lunch with someone else or piggybacking on other peoples’ drama. That’s odd, right?

I have no good way of connecting Kelly and Sonja. Maybe they didn’t even have a scene together. Ah well, whatever. Sonja’s the closest thing the season has to a character you can root for. She’s gone through a divorce, she’s having money problems. She’s also the one who told Cindy there was a pecking order and continues to make a fool of herself by not wearing parts of her costumes and doing awkward burlesque shows. Don’t get me wrong, I do think that older women can be gorgeous and beautiful, but when they try to throw it in your face at every single moment, it reeks of desperation. Otherwise, she was okay. I wouldn’t want to watch a show about her, but she could be the wacky neighbor who comes over every now and then.

Ramona fits a similar bill, though should would be the character that embodies irony in every sense of the word. She’s stand there talking about how someone else has a drinking problem with downing another bottle of her signature pinot grigio at 10:30AM or explaining how much she trusts her husband as he flirts with the delivery boy in the background. I mean, seriously, does anyone think she’s not an alcoholic? Doesn’t everyone have at least an inkling of a notion that Mario’s fooling around with someone? She tries to play it all off as wacky and fun, but I’m not buying it. Her daughter clearly has a strong desire to be with her parents, though they’re not around. She absolutely never listens to anyone or apologizes for anything (even a simple slip of the tongue). What redeeming qualities are there? I got nothing.

And finally, Jill. Blech. The way she carried herself through this reunion was appalling. Whispering little jabs to LuAnn, tossing fourth grade insults at Alex and Ramona, getting upset when talk of children came into play and yet attacking Ramona’s parenting and even going after Ramona’s marriage (that’s something for snarky bloggers and Tweeters to do from behind a wall of anonymity. All of this would be bad enough, but after a whole season of Jill being Jill, I’m just done. At the beginning of every season she talks about how much she’s changed which she echoes at every reunion only to be followed by a montage of her being awful. She then follows that up by saying she likes who she is and doesn’t want to change. Which is it? Have you changed or haven’t you? Just pick one and stick with it.

A lot of people–including some of the Housewives–will blame editing for the way they’re portrayed on the show, but I’ve never bought that excuse. The cameras pick up what’s there. The editors might mess around with the timing and the regularity of those moments, but they’re there. I’m sure they all have their good moments and aren’t horrible people, but that’s what I’ve been shown and I’ve had enough. There was a time when the show was built around the relationships these women had either as friends or business associates. They didn’t always like each other or get along, but there was enough realness to hold onto as a viewer who isn’t only in it for the trash factor. With all that, I’m out. Good luck with next season, but I won’t be watching.

Live Blogging Real Housewives Of New York Season 4 Episode 2

Woof, tonight’s episode of The Real Housewives Of New York was another rough one. Alex kept sticking up for herself both when she should have and when she should have chilled out. LuAnn showed herself to be the stuck-up mean girl she really is. Ramona was Ramona. Sandy’s okay I guess, I’m still not sure yet. Jill and Kelly have been pretty non existent so far, but I don’t think that will last long. And finally, Sonja kind of sickens me with how full of herself she is. I don’t know if there’s a hero in this season or even a victim to really root for kind of like Bethenny was last season. Ah well, hit the jump to read the live blog. Continue reading Live Blogging Real Housewives Of New York Season 4 Episode 2