So remember a couple of days ago when I wrote that this game was rigged after Banana’s managed to talk Jenna into voting in Cara Maria and her cousin Jamie to face off against Abram and his brother, guaranteeing that one of the biggest threats to his winning would be eliminated. Then at the end of that post I wrote that it seemed like a lock for Banana’s to get another title with how weak the remaining teams were. Well it looks like I might have spoken a little too soon, because this week we saw Johnny and his creepy cousin Vince get sent packing.
In this week’s episode the remaining five teams competed in an endurance challenge that resembled a mini final, and the results could not have been much more surprising. The players, now back into pairs with their bloodlines, raced up a mountain carrying a heavy bag (75lbs for the guys and 40lbs for the girls). Like a final the teams had to complete various check points along their trek up the mountain with the teammates trading off carrying the weight after each check point. I don’t know if there has ever been a sadder performance by two personal trainers than what I witnessed Vince and Cory put in during this challenge. Cory can blame his torn ACL for some of his difficulties, but it seemed like both he and Vince spend all their time lifting weights instead of doing cardio based on how quickly they both gassed out during this challenge. In fact with the exception of Banana’s all the remaining male cast members struggled mightily to get up the mountain, which led to a shocking situation that had Aneesa and Rianna in first place heading into the next to last check point. Unfortunately Rianna has “noodle arms” as Jenna would say, and the team is stopped dead in their tracks when faced with crossing a set of monkey bars to complete the check point. Rianna’s struggles send their team all the way into fourth place, just ahead of Mitch and Cory heading into the final check point, the dreaded puzzle. In another shocking outcome, the team the reached the top of the mountain first? Jenna and Brianna! Jenna is really good at seeming like she’s a weak competitor and then surprising everyone. Either that or she’s really lucky, I haven’t totally figured it out just yet. While Banana’s is busy talking about how Cory might need to get airlifted off the mountain, Cory and Mitch finally make their appearance at the final check point as the other teams struggle to figure out the puzzle. As most of the teams are busy screaming at each other, and making very little progress with the puzzle, Mitch calmly steps up and figures it out almost immediately, giving him and Cory one of the greatest come from behind victories in challenge history. The remaining teams all manage to eventually figure out their puzzles, except for Jamie and Cara Maria, who’s puzzle strategy was to scream at each other and throw pieces around.
Following the challenge Cory and Mitch have to decide who they will put up for elimination against Cara Maria and Jamie. Banana’s tries to convince Cory that Jenna is somehow a bigger threat than he is in a final, and for a minute it almost seems like it’s working. Luckily Cory comes to his senses and it ends up being a heavyweight match up in the final elimination round with Banana’s and Vince facing off against Jamie and Cara. Part of me always wants to root for Cara Maria in these situations. I generally pull for the underdog, and Cara has played the underdog role for years on the challenge. That being said, I can’t do it, Cara Maria is just too annoying to cheer for, even going up against Banana’s. I was kind of hoping that both teams could somehow be eliminated. (Side note: has there ever been another person on this show that the whole cast has so universally found annoying. Even Laurel, who is supposed to be best friends with Cara talks about how annoying she is. Side note #2: While we’re on the topic of Cara Maria being annoying, who calls their cousin “cousin” or “cuz” all the time, why doesn’t she just call him Jamie?) Heading into the pit, it once again looked like this game was rigged in Banana’s favor when TJ explained that this elimination challenge would consist of the teams breaking through a brick wall with a sledge hammer before moving on to Cara Maria kryptonite, a puzzle. Both teams easily get through the wall, only to be slowed down greatly by, what to be fair, looked like a very difficult puzzle. After a false alarm from Banana’s, Cara Maria somehow manages to figure out the puzzle first, and send Johnny packing just short of the final for the second straight season.
Following the elimination round the remaining teams find out they are not only saying goodbye to Banana’s, they’re also saying goodbye to Turkey, as they’ll be packing their bags for Berlin for the final stage of the season. I can’t think of another season of this show when the final was so wide open. If players were competing as individuals in the final it would be Cara Maria’s game to lose, but with her cousin possibly holding her back I honestly think any team could win the big prize. It looks like there will be a good amount of drama between Cara and the other teams next week based on the preview, and we’ve got one more elimination round to look forward to before we get down to the three teams that will compete in the finals. I’ll be back next week to recap all the action, and I hope to have a break down of the new Real World: Go Big or Go Home (premiering March 17th) cast out sometime next week as well, hope to see you then.
Thoughts/Questions/Comments: I can be reached on Twitter @NoOneGoesToClev