So for anyone who doesn’t know the current season of MTV’s The Challenge is Battle of the Seasons 2. The only problem with this season of The Challenge is large rookie/youth movement which cuts into the enjoyment for old school Real World/Road Rules fans such as myself. So in light of not being very happy with this seasons cast I decided to cast my ultimate Battle of the Seasons. I’ll be going the route of the original Battle of the Seasons and am only going to take one guy and one girl from each season (really how many seasons have there been where there is 4 people you’d like to see again, I can’t think of many). I’m planning to include every season of The Real World and Road Rules (and will probably really be regretting that decision somewhere around Real World Hawaii) but that’s my plan and I’m sticking to it, so without further ado let’s get started with my extremely biased selections for each season.
Season 1: New York
Male: Eric Nies. Really who else could it be. The former host of The Grind and two-time challenge winner feels like an obvious choice.
Female: Heather B. Feels like an obvious choice to me again. I always thought she was funny, and she brought the camera crew into the bathroom on her one previous challenge (Challenge 2000) to catch Piggy smoking. That’s the kind of dedication you need to win these challenges.
Prediction: Probably not a great team physically, even if Eric still looks like he did during The Grind it might be hard to compete with the younger guys and athleticism isn’t really Heather’s strength. I think this team will do well in the social part of the game and finish in the top half.
Real World Season 2: Los Angeles
Male: Jon Brennan. He’s always been kinda lame but since he is the only male from this cast that doesn’t seem to have disappeared he’ll be my pick. Plus he did win the first season of The Challenge, (All-stars, 1998) granted that was back when challenges were stuff like ‘men vs. women cook off’ and ‘write a theme song’, but still a win is a win.
Female: Irene Berrera-Kearns. I think its time for a break from Beth Stolarczyk, while she provides some quality entertainment, she also basically guarantees this being one of the first teams to go home. Irene has had a lengthy career as a police officer which should help in physical challenges. Plus Jon was in love with her on their season and even though that was 19 years ago I’m going to pretend he’s still holding that flame.
Prediction: Ok so even though there’s no Beth I don’t have much hope for this team, unless they go back to challenges like eating a lot of ice cream I think this team is making an early exit.
Real World Season 3: San Francisco
Male: Puck. He’s always good for some drama, and I’m pretty sure he’s the only guy from this season who would agree to be on the show.
Female: Rachel Campos-Duffy: After failing to realize her dream of being on ‘The View’ multiple times Rachel will have to settle for more MTV programing. Also it would be nice to have the wife of a republican congressman on a show with this much debauchery.
Prediction: Rachel and Puck had a love/hate relationship on their season, but it ended up as mostly hate and I’d say that’s probably where their relationship stands today so partnership won’t be too strong for this team. I see another early exit here, unless some sort of alliance can be built between this team and the Boston season with Rachel’s husband Sean Duffy.
Season 4: London
Male: Neil Forrester. So everyone knows this season kind of sucked. I considered just leaving them out but I committed myself to every season and I’m sticking to it, plus the man got the tip of his tongue bitten off, that has to count for something.
Female: Kat Ogden. She was on the varsity fencing team at NYU, so we know she had some athletic ability. This is also another sort-of couple from their season, and I’m sticking with the idea that these people are all still sort-of hung up on each other decades later, and so this could add some extra drama to the season.
Prediction: Like a lot of these older seasons I’m calling an early exit for London. I don’t think they’d do great in competition, and none of the younger kids will really know who they are, plus no one likes this season so we might as well get rid of them.
Real World Season 5: Miami
Male: Dan Renzi. Sort of flamboyant gay men from the south Florida seasons of this show do pretty well on the challenges (Tyler from Key West being the other example). Dan won the Extreme Challenge season, (one of the few times a Real World team beat a Road Rules team in a challenge) and he’s always been pretty entertaining so he’s my pick here.
Female: Cynthia Roberts. I remember her having a fear of water which is always good for some drama on these shows.
Prediction: Frankly I kind of hated this season so I wouldn’t be sad to see this time go home early, but I think they’ll do ok, somewhere in the middle of the pack.
Real World Season 6: Boston
Male: Syrus Yarborough (oops there goes that Rachel/Sean husband/wife alliance). Big Sy is a Challenge classic, and generally a solid competitor even though his days of athletic glory seem to be past time.
Female: Montana. Another competitor who is afraid of a lot of things which always leads to some quality ‘a terrified person being screamed at by teammates’ television.
Prediction: Sean and Elka from this season were actually two of the winners from the first Battle of the Seasons, but they are also kind of boring so they don’t make the cut here. Syrus has some friendships with other competitors that I think will keep them around for a while, but I don’t see them winning any challenges.
Real World Season 7: Seattle
Male: Stephen Williams. Anytime you can get someone who’s been arrested more than once since their time on the show (prostitution 2001, stealing a car 2002) you have to jump at the opportunity. Plus he delivered the greatest slap in reality tv history.
Female: Irene McGee. The other half of the ‘slap heard round the world.’ I personally thought she was hilarious, at least until she kind of lost it and left the show. (on a side note I have been fucking terrified of getting lyme disease ever since this season of The Real World).
Prediction: There’s no way Irene is even showing up, (she has been an outspoken critic of the show since her time on it) but it would be extremely interesting to see these two on tv together again. However since Irene isn’t showing up I guess it looks like a DQ and last place finish for this team. (I actually loved this season and would be happy to see anyone in this cast heroically show up in her place).
Real World Season 8: Hawaii
Male: Teck. Colin is the only member of this cast to ever win a challenge season, but I’ve never really forgiven him for leading Amaya on during their season so I can’t pick him here (even if she was pretty annoying). Teck was always entertaining and he jumped into the pool naked on the first episode of this season, so what else do you need really.
Female: Ruthie. Always a strong competitor, and also had a lengthy career speaking about substance abuse after her season ended. (I always find this amazing, who goes to see these people speak, I love Ruthie but I would never pay money to hear her give a speech).
Prediction: Ruthie got kind of screwed in her last challenge (The Duel II), and that might happen to this team if they can’t find an alliance to join. Ruthie is a strong competitor with a moral compass in the game, which can spell big problems, I think they’ll unfortunately be one of the earlier teams to go home.
Real World Season 9: New Orleans
Male: David Broom. The man wrote the greatest song in Real World history, he has to be the pick here.
Female: Julie Stoffer. Julie has a pretty strong challenge history, and she once tried to kill another competitor (Veronica) by trying to pull off her safety harness, so I think she’s a solid pick here.
Prediction: If there’s a singing challenge they’ve got it in the bag, otherwise I think they might have some trouble. I think the social game will really hurt this team, and they’ll be going home early.
Real World Season 10: Back to New York
Male: Mike. The Miz, we’re back to obvious choices here.
Female: Coral. Again obvious.
Prediction: These two are a well seasoned team having done 4 challenges together in the past. Coral left her last challenge (The Gauntlet III) in kind of sad un-corally fashion, quitting essentially because she got her feelings hurt. Mike should be loaded up on steroids from the WWE, and hopefully with him back Coral will be back to her old self. I think this team has the potential to make it to the end, but Coral might get stabbed in the back again and voted out early.
Real World Season 11: Chicago
Male: Kyle Brandt. We haven’t really seen any of these guys in a while, this is just because I had a crush on him, and he was on Day’s of our Lives after his season.
Female: Tonya. This is a tough call, Tonya and Aneesa both basically live on these shows, and are both always entertaining. I thought about not having a male from this season and including them both, but it seemed unfair to have Aneesa on a team with two woman against male/female teams for the second challenge in a row (she was teamed with Rachel on Battle of the Ex’s). Ultimately it came down to the fact that Aneesa seems to be slowing down, while Tonya is still a complete train wreck. Train wreck will always win that battle.
Prediction: I always hope Tonya will show up at one of these with her shit totally together and prove everyone wrong, however I just don’t see it happening. What I do see happening is that Tonya will probably hit (like Veronica in her last challenge) someone and eliminate this team by episode 4 or 5.
Real World Season 12: Las Vegas
Male: Frank or Alton. They’re both kind of annoying but pretty good at challenges, so take your pick.
Female: Trishelle. Another player that’s always been entertaining, she’s also acting as the moral compass for the current season of The Challenge.
Prediction: I think Trishelle can handle the social part of the game, and both guys are good competitors. This team should get pretty far in the game, unless Alton tries to bail like during the current season, then they might have a problem. (Also I know I stopped using last names a couple of seasons ago, I got sick of it, and I’m not sure I trust Wikipedia on up to date last names anyways).
Real World Season 13: Paris
Male: C.T. He seems to have gotten over a lot of his old issues, and made up with old foes (Adam, and Diem), and he’s still one of the most physically imposing cast members in history. (The way he crushed Johnny Banana’s as a surprise competitor in an elimination round proves that).
Female: Mallory. She played D1 soccer at Iowa St. and has worked as a model since her season ended, so physically she should be a strong competitor.
Prediction: C.T. will always have enemies on these shows, his real advantage is that no one wants to face him in an elimination round. This should be one of the top teams physically, if C.T. can keep himself in check they should do well in the game.
Real World Season 14: San Diego
Male: Brad. Always a strong competitor and one of my all time favorites (despite the fact that he married one of the most annoying women in the shows history).
Female: Robin. I feel like Robin is in a competition with Tonya for the title of: Ex-cast member who things just haven’t worked out for since they were on the show, and seems crazier and crazier every time we see them. Robin has always been a little crazy but she has seemed genuinely unhappy and kind of desperate in her last few challenge appearances. (She has spent most of her time on camera recently crying, lashing out randomly, talking about needing money to support her baby, and crying more).
Prediction: Brad won the last challenge he participated in (Cutthroat) and is always solid in competition. Robin used to be a strong competitor, but has fallen off and been increasingly unstable in her last few appearances. If Robin can get back to being her former self this team has a chance to make it far in the game. Regardless Brad has a lot of friends and I can’t see them finishing outside the upper-half of the competing seasons. Unless Brad decides to fight Darrell again (one of the most random challenge fights of all time) then all bets are off.
Ok, I think I’m going to end part one here (I was pretty accurate was my prediction I’ve been totally exhausted and regretting the decision to do this since about half way through the Seattle season). Will hopefully get the next section of this post up by Saturday at the latest, in the mean time please feel free to comment on my selections up to this point.