Bye Bye Banana’s The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines “Out for Blood” Recap

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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.

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This Season is Rigged, The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines Recap

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Well, looks like I’m running a little behind schedule on my recaps, but better late than never right?  Since it’s almost time for this weeks episode I’m not going to go too far into things from last week, but there are a couple of things I need to get off my chest before we go any further on this season.

The most important thing we learned last week?  This season of The Challenge is fixed!  For seemingly the ten-thousandth time in challenge history Johnny Banana’s was able to somehow save himself when it seemed like the game was finally turning on him.  After being put into the elimination round for the third time, with Vince being a leader in the voting each time, Jenna decided she was finally done being a pawn for Banana’s and his creepy cousin.  Jenna even makes a deal with Cara Maria and her cousin Jamie that they will watch each other’s backs.  Even though Cara Maria was clearly lying when she said Jenna and Brianna would be their number one alliance, (clearly Abe and his brother were her top partnership) I still hoped that this would be enough to convince Jenna to actually turn her back on Banana’s.  Unfortunately, as we’ve seen frequently during her time on this show, Jenna can easily be swayed by almost any assertive male cast member.  Johnny convinces Jenna that they need to get rid of Cara Maria because Jenna wouldn’t be able to beat her in a final.  You know who else Jenna can’t beat in a final? Johnny Bananas!  Honestly at this point the only team Jenna and Brianna could probably beat in the final is Aneesa and her cousin, and even that is up for debate.  Despite how shady he has been this season Banana’s is still a better ally than Cara (just ask Tom about how good she is at saving teams in her “alliance”).

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Bitter Banana’s The Challenge Bloodlines “Blood is Thicker than Mud” Recap

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Is this the least likable version of Johnny Banana’s since The Island, is Aneesa the lamest lesbian ever?  Have Thomas and Cara Maria been murder by Ab yet? I’m making my triumphant (and possibly very brief) return to discuss all these topics and maybe more as I break down the latest episode of The Challenge: Bloodlines.

On last night’s episode of The Challenge we saw Johnny Banana’s screw over yet another member of his seriously dwindling alliance.  Banana’s comes up with the always controversial plan for the red team to throw this week’s mission in an attempt to place nemesis Cara Maria in an elimination round and hopefully send her home.  (Although honestly what girl on the red team could possibly beat Cara Maria in an elimination, getting rid of Jamie, Cara’s cousin seems like the much easier plan).  After the blue team puts in a fairly poor performance in a challenge that is essentially just crossing a cargo net over a big pit of water, Johnny puts his plan into place.  Johnny decides he and Anthony, his new bff will both fall, and in a particularly dirty move, essentially rips Rianna off the cargo net so she falls as well.  Banana’s lets himself fall immediately, but Anthony really goes for the academy award, putting up a long struggling battle before letting himself drop just before the finish line.  Despite their best attempts to take longer on the challenge,(both teams lost three players) the red team still claims victory over the lowly blue team.

Following their loss the blue team must decide which female player they will select for the elimination round.  The vote comes down to Kelly Anne and Jenna, and with the deciding vote Mitch inexplicably decides to send Jenna in instead of Kelly Anne.  (Someone really needs to help Corey and Mitch out, it’s never a good idea to help Banana’s alliance when you have no alliance yourselves).  However it doesn’t really end up mattering that her own team didn’t send her in, because moments later the red team votes to send Kelly Anne in as the second participant in the elimination round.  The “shocker” (if we can call it that at this point) is that Banana’s goes along with his team and votes in Kelly Anne, despite his supposed alliance with her cousin Anthony.  This is the second time this season Banana’s has not only done nothing to defend a “friend,” but has only personally thrown them in to the elimination round.  Obviously the betrayal of Nany, someone who has seemingly been close to Banana’s for years, was much more egregious than what he did to Anthony this week, but both were underhanded moves.  While Banana’s offered Nany some weak excuse about his girlfriend from home, and not wanting to look like he was favoring Nany too much, I feel like maybe this is just a return to the Banana’s of old.  The past few seasons we had seen a kinder, gentler Johnny Banana’s.  That fact ultimately came back to bite him last season when he was out played by Sarah and ended up going home just before the final.  I was left wondering if Sarah’s betrayal (which I personally greatly enjoyed) has turned Banana’s back into his old self, AKA the Banana’s from The Island that screwed over Paula, and essentially refused to feed any of the girls in response to limited food rations.  Whatever is happening with Banana’s this season, it doesn’t seem good for his game in the long run.   With the elimination of Kelly Anne and Anthony last night essentially the last piece of Banana’s alliance is off the show.

Speaking of alliances, let’s step away from Banana’s for second and talk about Aneesa, who could be in every alliance or no alliances at this point as far as I can tell.  I want to start out by saying I’ve always liked Aneesa, (actually I didn’t like her much on her original season of The Real World, but since then I’ve liked her) that being said I have no idea what is going on with her this season.  Aneesa, who until this season I was pretty sure was a pretty full time lesbian, ended up falling for Corey, who I’m pretty sure is a full time douche.  Corey just does not seem to be a nice guy.  Aneesa is the third woman we’ve seen him with on television, ans he’s basically treated them all like crap.  I get that he’s good looking, but come on Aneesa, he’s basically put you on blast every chance he’s gotten for the past couple of episodes and you still seem to have his back.  Corey pulled a Banana’s and went out of his way to vote for Aneesa this week when he easily could’ve just gone along with the rest of his team and voted for Kelly Anne.  I’m begging you Aneesa, get over this lame crush and put Corey in his place, and get back to being the lovable lesbian you’ve always been.

Following the departure of Kelly Anne and Anthony it’s unclear where things will go from here this season.  Cara Maria seems to be in a good place to finally get her first victory with a solid alliance of her cousin Jamie and Abram and his brother Mike.  It seems like things didn’t really turn south for Cara and Ab until they got back home, and possibly until they went on The After Show last week.  It will also be interesting to see what decision’s Jenna and her cousin make, as they are yet another team that feels betrayed by Banana’s.  (Side note, I really love Jenna, I don’t even know why really, but she’s usually good for at least one good one-liner each episode and she’s kind of a lovable underdog.  Unfortunately I think she could have some trouble when Zach shows up this season).  While I don’t know the outcome of this season, based on things I’ve picked up during The After Show, it seems like Banana’s might have burned too many bridges to pull off a victory this year.  Could we be seeing the end of Banana’s reign on The Challenge?  Could this be the year Cara Maria finally claims victory?  Could Abram maim the entire cast and cause the final to be cancelled?  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.  I hope to be back next week to talk more about The Challenge, and possibly get into some Bachelor talk, but not making any promises, see you next time.

Thoughts/Questions/Comments: I can be reached on Twitter @NoOneGoesToClev

 

Love in the Fast Lane (The Challenge Free Agents Episode 2 Recap)

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I want to start off this week’s recap by saying I’m loving this season of The Challenge so far.  The draw has really put in an added dimension of suspense about who is going home that week, and instead of just watching Johnny Banana’s pick off rookies, we got to see challenge heavyweight Frank go into elimination for the second week in a row.  It’s possible that I’m just loving this format because none of my favorites have gone home yet, or because Dustin got sent packing this week and I was saved from watching another Jessica romance play out on-screen, whatever the reason, the point is that I’m in on this season.  This week we got our first big fight of the season, some stomach turning courtship between Jessica and Dustin, and the always suspenseful elimination round, so let’s get started.

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We open the show with Jessica and Dustin cuddling on the couch.  Dustin tells Jessica that everyone in the house keeps telling him how much they like her.  WHAT?!  I’m sorry, I try not to be overly judgmental, but Jessica is just SO annoying, I can’t understand how the people in the house like her.  I give her tons of credit for getting into shape for this challenge, that takes a lot of work and I was impressed.  However, it looks like she spent so much time working on her body that she had no time left over to work on her incredibly annoying personality.  Despite that fact that other people on the show do seem to genuinely like her, as was evidenced by them going to bat on Twitter for her against her attackers, so maybe there is some part of Jessica that I’m missing.  The only thing I was really looking forward to with Jessica on this season was seeing if she would stick to her vow of purity that she took during her Real World season, but with Dustin gone I think that story line is pretty much dead.

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Live Free or Die (The Challenge: Free Agents Premiere Episode Recap)

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It’s finally here, season 25 of The Challenge is upon us!  If last nights hour and a half premiere taught us one thing, it’s that this will be the hardest season to predict the outcome in the history of The Challenge.  I went into this season believing that despite what the previews had said, there was no way this would legitimately be an individual challenge, but after watching the first episode it truly is an every man for themselves format.  Each week the contestants will compete in either a group, pair or individual challenge, the winners on that day get to pick one male and female to go into the elimination round.  The twist that makes this an individual game is that the selected persons opponent is determined by all other losing players from that day flipping over a card.  If the card you flip is blank your safe, but if you get the “kill card” you are heading into the elimination round.  This twist proved it was going to stir things up right away when vets Jemmye and Frank were sent into elimination on night one.  I think everyone really needs to give kudos to the creative team at Bunim/Murray, they have pulled off legitimate game changing twists two series in a row, first with The Real World Ex-Plosion, and now with this new format for The Challenge.  Despite the fact that this twist has the potential to blow up my predictions for this season, I’m still super excited to see this show play out, so let’s get right into and talk about what happened last night.

As always, to kick the show off the entire cast meets up with TJ in the elimination arena to learn what the theme of this season will be.  The best part of this is watching all the people who have always used alliances to hide their limited abilities, and seeing how worried they look when they find out this is an individual game.  Another highlight from the opening segment of the show was the always entertaining Jasmine declaring that she is single for the first time on The Challenge, and that she wants to be “the whore of the house.”  (a title she is trying to steal away from her Real World Cancun cast mate, Jonna.  Also doesn’t Jasmine always hook up on The Challenge? Since when does it matter if you’re single on this show?)  Now for a few other quick takeaways from this opening segment:

-If this was a basketball competition Theresa would be the favorite, as she almost beat CT in a game of strip bball.  Unfortunately for her I don’t think there’s going to be much basketball involved in the actual challenges, so she’s probably in trouble.

-Laurel is back, which is awesome, but she said she was going to be nicer this time around.  Who wants a nice Laurel?  That sounds like a terrible plan to me.

-Oh Jessica, you are such a crazy b*tch.  Jessica declares that she didn’t come on the show to find a boyfriend, but then immediately follows that up by talking about how great Dustin is.  Dustin better watch out, his picture could be in a “family” picture frame next to Jessica’s bed any day now.

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The Challenge: Free Agents (Preview of the Girls)

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And we’re back.  Earlier I chimed in with my opinions on how I think the guys side of things in the latest season of The Challenge will play out, and now I’m back to give my preview of the girl’s side of things.

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Aneesa Ferreira, The Real World Chicago

Physical Game: 6

Mental Game: 6

Social Game: 6.5

Overall: 6

I’ve always been an Aneesa fan, but I think we all know this isn’t going to happen for her at this point.  Aneesa’s best finish in The Challenge did come in an “every man for himself” duel format, so that gives some hope, but Aneesa just isn’t in good enough shape physically to win a final. (not trying to hate, I couldn’t run that final either, just sayin).   That being said, I still like having Aneesa around, she always provides some good soundbites, and it’s been interesting watching her progression over the years from a person in the middle of fights to the person breaking them up.  (She did just get in a fight with Trishelle last season, but in her defense Trishelle is crazy, so who can blame her).  Aneesa has no chance to win, but she has made quite a few friends  through her many years on the show, and I think she has a good chance to make it late in the game.  Honestly with how weak these seasons girls are I wouldn’t be shocked to see Aneesa make the final, I just can’t see her winning.

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Camila Nakagawa, Spring Break Challenge

Physical Game: 7.5

Mental Game: 5.5

Social Game: 7

Overall: 7

Another cast member I have always liked, and this one has a much better chance than Aneesa.  Camila may be small, but she is a pit bull, and that has helped her be very successful on these challenges.  Camila’s determination, along with her relationship with Johnny Banana’s mean she will probably do well on this show.  There are really only two other strong female competitors, (Laurel and Cara Maria) and as long as Camila keeps her patented drunken freak outs to a minimum, I think she has a great shot to make the finals.

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Cara Maria Sorbello, The Challenge: Fresh Meat II

Physical Game: 8.5

Mental Game: 5.5

Social Game: 2.5

Overall: 7.5

Moving on from likeable cast members, let’s talk about Cara Maria.  I try to feel bad for Cara Maria, as she is frequently the target of harassment from her fellow cast members, but if there is a big group of diverse people and they all don’t like you, there has to be something behind that.  I think the tipping point for me was last season when Cara Maria managed to get into it with Emily Schromm, one of the nicest and most likable cast members in this shows history.  Also it’s hard to feel bad for Cara Maria when she keeps signing up to come on these shows, if these people really make you so miserable why don’t you avoid them?  The good news for Cara Maria is that she has one of her only allies in the history of this show, Laurel, around to help her out during this season.  The other good news for Cara Maria is that as I’ve already mentioned, this season has an especially weak group of girls.  Even though I find her incredibly annoying, I can’t deny that Cara is a great athlete, although she does have a history of under performing on these shows.  The only thing I can see keeping Cara Maria from the final is her being thrown into the elimination round every week, which tends to happen to her on these shows.  Cara’s biggest obstacle keeping her from winning for the girls (other than Laurel) is that despite her claims that she has taken lessons, she is a terrible swimmer, and swimming often plays a role in the final challenge (Cara Maria’s swimming is like Shaq’s free throw shooting).  Right now I’m feeling a second place finish for Cara Maria, but I could see her going out early if she gets thrown into elimination repeatedly and gets upset.

 

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The Island of Misfit Challenger’s (The Challenge: Rivals II Finale and Reunion Show Recap)

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The end of another season of the challenge is upon us.  Last night’s finale featured the worst projectile vomiting I’ve ever seen, followed by the most uncomfortable reunion show in series history, so let’s get started.

This week’s we pick up right where we left off, with Johnny and Frank racing Jordan and Marlon for the last spot in the second day of the final.  Johnny and Frank manage to pull off the victory, helped in part by the fact that Marlon and Jordan tip their kayak in their rush to be the first ones on the yacht.  With the final four teams safely on board it’s time for a surprisingly leisurely night of chatting and champagne sipping before the gang heads out to tackle “nightmare island” in the morning.

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This years final consists of the teams racing to five check points, at each check point they will have to complete a task to receive an idol.  The first men’s and women’s teams to collect all the idols are the winners.  The first check point consists of a stick puzzle where the goal is to jump various pieces until only one stick is remaining in your game board.  Surprisingly CT and Wes zip through this puzzle just like the one on the first day of the final.  Who would have predicted that CT would be great at puzzles? (apparently this puzzle was just like one he likes to do when he is out to his favorite breakfast restaurant working off a hangover).  Cooke and Cara Maria also finish the puzzle fairly quickly and move ahead of Emily and Paula despite the fact that Emily and Paula headed into the puzzle with a sizable lead.  This marks the second day in a row that the underdogs are leaving the favorites in the dust to start the final.

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Cara Maria Really Needs to Invest in Swimming Lessons Before the Next Challenge (The Challenge: Rivals II Episode 11 Recap)

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First off this week, I want to apologize again for not posting a recap of the last episode of The Challenge.  My real life work schedule is making finding time to post a little tricky, but we’re back on track now, at least for this week, so let’s get right into it.

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This week’s episode opens up with the final girls jungle between Camila and Jemmye and Diem and Aneesa.  The teams are playing the game where you hang upside down and cut through a rope with tiny saws, aka the game where Cooke pissed herself.  Things are bad for Diem and Aneesa right from the start as Diem realizes she can’t reach the rope, and starts freaking out as a result.  Things work out much better for Jemmye and Camila who discover right away that Jemmye can pull the rope up so that Camila can reach it.  (This challenge teaches Diem that it’s never a good thing if Camila and Jemmye look like the calm, poised competitors when compared to you).  Diem and Aneesa finally figure things out, but not soon enough and they are headed home, making Camila and Jemmye the last girls team in the final.  (Diem and Aneesa can at least take solace in the fact that there was no urine in the water the losers fall into this time).

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Diemnesia (The Challenge: Rivals II Episode 9 Recap)

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So this week’s recap is a little late, and it’s probably going to be a little short too because my real life job is wearing me out and my brain is fried.  Don’t worry though, I’ll still be covering Johnny Banana’s return to a less in shape version of his vintage self, and Diem and CT’s continued flirtation, as well as CT’s budding bromance with Wes, so let’s get started.

This week’s episode starts out with a continuation of the flirtation between CT and Diem.  After some dancing, and according to Diem a lot of drinking, (so much so that she can’t remember what happened the next morning) CT finally gets the kiss he’s been after all season.  CT actually manages to get Diem all the way to his bed, unfortunately she passes out almost immediately after she lays down, and he ends up spending the night on the floor, but still a step in the right direction for America’s favorite reality couple.  (Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of CT and Diem together but based on the reactions of all the cast members and people on Twitter, me and Aneesa are possibly the only two people in the world who are against this relationship, so I might have to just let it go).

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The Return of Old School Johnny Banana’s (The Challenge: Rivals II Episode 7 Recap)

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I finally feel like we’re getting somewhere after this week’s episode of The Challenge: Rivals II.  We got a taste of the old Camila and Johnny Banana’s, and we got to see Frank make good on his promise from last week to start letting his “beast” out of its cage.  There is a lot to cover this week, so let’s get started.

This week’s episode opens with Frank talking some sh*t about the “new kids” (aka the people who have done the same number of shows as him).  Frank is talking to Jonna and is focusing most of his trash talk on Jemmye, who Frank is clearly not a big fan of, based on some interviews he’s done.  Frank says Jemmye and the new kids would throw themselves under the bus if it meant winning some money.  This is an interesting quote from Frank, since the whole conversation started out as Jonna wanting to know if Frank had her back, and in the end of the episode Frank votes her into the jungle.  (So I guess even Frank isn’t above throwing people under the bus for some money).

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