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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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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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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I’m Glad we Finally got to see Some People get Electrocuted this Season (The Challenge: Rivals II Episode 7 Recap)

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The number of teams left in the house is dwindling, and with that being the case the tension is really ratcheting up amongst the cast members.  This week’s episode features a challenge that finally involves some electrocution, (after TJ just teased us in that jungle) and the return of the overly dramatic Frank and Jordan we all know and love, so let’s get started.

This week’s episode opens with the further breaking down of the partnership between Diem and Aneesa.  Diem is frustrated because Aneesa doesn’t want to spend all her time running the little circuit around the house that everyone seems to enjoy.  After their fight Aneesa says she and Diem are rivals more now then when they first arrived in the house.  I really want these two to make it to the final just to see what a train wreck it will be.

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The Challenge: Rivals II Updated Power Rankings

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Seeing as how we just officially hit the half way mark for this season of the challenge, I decided it was time to do an update on the team power rankings.

Girls Teams

1. Emily and Paula (Previous ranking: 1)

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I’ve been having a hard time trying to come up with a more dominant team in the history of this show.  They “kill it” so often that TJ is practically beside himself, and we’re only half way through the season.  They’ve only lost one challenge this season, and that was because they decided to just let another team win.  I just wish there were some better girls (Rachel, Ev, Laurel) here to help judge how good Emily really is physically, because right now she looks like Michael Jordan playing against a junior high team.  I still can’t see anyway this team doesn’t win for the girls, so they’re staying at number one in the rankings.

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