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 Guys)

 

 

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It’s almost time folks.  In just a few short weeks time America’s fifth major sport will be returning for a new season.  After several team and partner themed seasons, this year marks the return to an “every man for himself” challenge, similar to The Duel.  The two seasons of The Duel are some of my favorite in challenge history so I was excited to see this format return, even if the claim that there is no alliances is total bs.  Free Agents is a little different from previous Duel seasons, as there will apparently still be partner and team competitions, even though it is technically still an individual game.  This season after each competition the male and female winner will choose a member of each gender to compete about the male and female loser on that day in an elimination round called “The Draw” (possibly the least scary sounding elimination round in challenge history).  The show kicks off on Thursday April 10th at 10 pm, and to hold you over until we get to the premiere, I’m going to evaluate all the male and female contestants on their chances of winning this season of The Challenge.  I’m going to look at the guys side today, and I’ll be back with a preview of the girls on Friday.

The Guys

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Brandon Nelson, Fresh Meat II

Physical Game: 5

Mental Game: 3

Social Game: 4.5

Overall: 4

Overall:  Like in every other challenge he has done, Brandon has no chance here (sorry Brandon).  He isn’t athletic enough to win any challenges by himself, and he doesn’t ever seem to have a ton of friends in the house.  The one area Brandon does a decent job is in elimination rounds, and while he isn’t super popular he isn’t hated either.  I see an early to mid show exit for Brandon.  While I think he should have a mediocre finish like he always does, based on some Twitter messages it seems like Brandon has been hanging out with Knight a lot, this is something that could hurt him as Knight is not a very popular guy with other challenge contestants, but their bonding may have started after this show filmed.

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Brandon Swift aka Swift, The Real World St. Thomas

Physical Game: 7

Mental Game: 5

Social Game: 3

Overall: 3

Ok, so confession time, I didn’t watch The Real World St. Thomas so this was a tough one to evaluate.  Obviously based on his picture he’s in great shape, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to doing well in the challenges.  Also the only person from his season on the show is fellow rookie LaToya, who he apparently was interested in at one point in their season, but ultimately decided he’d rather go after other girls, so I don’t see them being great friends.  He also seems a little cocky, which is never good for a rookie.  This feels like a classic case of rookies go home first, unless he can find a way to save himself through winning some competitions and stick around long enough to gain some allies.

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Chet Cannon, The Real World Brooklyn

Physical Game: 6

Mental Game: 6

Social Game: 7

Overall: 6.5

Chet typically does pretty well in these challenges.  Despite his hipster nerd appearance, Chet is solid in physical competition, and his social game is always solid.  The only person from his season on this challenge is Devyn, and the two have never really been best friends.  I don’t see that hurting Chet much though, as Devyn probably won’t be sticking around too long, based on her weak physical game, and the fact that other than Big Easy, no one ever seems to like her that much.  I think it’s possible Chet could make the final, but it’s more likely he will be one of the last people eliminated before the finale.  Even if he does make the final I have a hard time seeing Chet beating guys like CT and Zach in a physical competition, so a puzzle would have to seriously come in to play for him to have a shot at winning.

 

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