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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Going Out with a Bang (it was really more of a whimper) The Real World Portland Finale and Reunion Show Recap

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The end is upon us folks.  It’s been  long ride, sometimes boring, sometimes crazy, but overall I’ve enjoyed my return to Real World fandom after a couple of years off.  I’m going to go over this week’s episode, the reunion, (which was a little disappointing) and then give some final feelings about this season and the cast members.

This week’s episode starts out pretty strong for a finale, with Averey and Nia continuing their fight from the last episode.

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Unfortunately the fighting is diffused pretty quickly this week.  Nia gets in the slap to the back of the head, Averey lands a few good blows, and then before Nia can really settle into the overhead pounding method of punching she seems to favor, the fight is over.  Johnny manages to pull Averey away, and then uses an interesting combination of coping a feel/trying to make out to distract her.  (You’ll have to watch the video, or just trust me, but his method for restraining/calming her down is really weird.  I think he may have been hoping to just distract her with sex and finally end the fight that way).

In the aftermath of the fight, Johnny and Averey go for a walk and decide that they need to have the roommates vote on if Nia will be kicked out of the house.  This may be the lamest vote in the show’s history as only Jordan has the guts to even give an opinion, the other three all refuse to choose sides, and with their decision made for them, Johnny and Averey announce they are leaving.  It seems kind of silly they couldn’t stick it out for three more days, but given Nia’s track record for not letting a fight end, I don’t entirely blame them.  The departure of Johnny and Averey is great news for Nia, as she is now sure she’s won this fight, and she can focus her energy on Jordan and his attempt to vote her out.  I also want to take time out to praise Jessica (for once) for having the guts to admit she didn’t vote Nia out because she was afraid of her temper, and didn’t want to face her wraith if she went against her.

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Welcome to the Sh*t Show (The Real World Portland Episode 11 Recap with Bonus Sh*t they should’ve shown)

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Here we are folks, it’s the episode we’ve been waiting for!  This week’s episode starts out a little slow, but by the end we’re into the full-blown brawl between Nia and Averey that the show has been teasing all seasons.  Before we get there though I’ll touch on the other topics covered this week such as Jessica’s burgeoning relationship with God, her deteriorating relationship with Anastasia, and Daisy’s shitting problems.

This week open’s with Jessica having a revelation following her painful break up with Tyler.  She has decided she needs to take an oath of purity and not engage in relationships that ultimately don’t go anywhere.  Anastasia feels this way of thinking is foolish as it limits your ability to learn  and grow from past relationships.  Ana becomes frustrated and ultimately has to storm out of the yogurt cart (I’m guessing she really wishes she’d just worked at Pizza Schmizza with everyone else right about now).  While Jessica is at the mall buying her purity ring to show how serious she is about this decision, Averey mentions that she could never take that kind of oath. (Not much of a revelation there, don’t think many nympho’s decide to take a sudden purity oath).  Most of the roommates agree that the purity ring is more of an attention grab for Jessica than an actual moment of spiritual clarity.  Anastasia is so annoyed by the idea that this is just another attempt to get attention by Jessica that she finally confronts her, and ultimately tells her that she doesn’t feel like they can be friends any longer.  Jessica responds by saying that back home “she loves everyone and everyone loves her.”  (This just goes to show that people in the south are too polite, poor Jessica thinks all those people actually like her).

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B*tches All Thirsty and Junk (The Real World Portland Episode 10 Recap)

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So there’s good news and bad news with this week’s Real World Portland recap.  The bad news is this episode is the dullest one to date.  The good news is next week sh*t is going down, and we’ll finally get to see Nia spike Averey’s head like a volleyball, along with plenty of other drama, based on the preview.  This week basically follows three different story lines: 1. Marlon has sex with a random chick he meets at the bar.  2. Johnny and Averey have a fight, and then kill zombies together to make up.  3. Jessica and Tyler’s storybook romance comes to an end.

First up, let’s talk about Marlon.  I really feel bad for this dude.  He’s basically spent this whole season playing the peace maker between various house members, and he can’t even get any frustration out by hooking up with the local groupies because he’s trying to be strong in his devotion to God (and his dad).  I feel like we really need to know if Marlon told his dad about the gay sex thing before he came on the show (obviously he would know now after the show has aired).  Has this been addressed anywhere? I’ll move on while I wait for your answers, the good news for Marlon is the chick he finally does end up banging is arguably the best looking one any of the guys have brought home this season.  She also tells Marlon “I like one on one with males, I like girls, I like everything.  You know what I mean?”  So really whats the poor guy going to do?  His faith and respect for his dad can only help him resist to a certain point and then you’ve just got to go ahead and give in.  Also, in his defense, Marlon seems pretty genuinely bummed out about it when the tells the roommates the next day (while the roommates seem to just be excited for him).

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Bird’s the Word (The Real World Portland Episode 9 Recap)

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After a couple of episodes full of drama, mostly between Nia and other various roommates, it’s time to tone things down this week.  This week’s episode is all about Anastasia, (aka Bird) and unfortunately it’s a little on the dull side.  There is a decent fight with her boyfriend who is in town visiting though, so let’s get down to business.

This week we open up on the day after the major blow out between Jessica, Nia, Averey and Johnny.  In confessional Jessica downplays the bathroom argument she and Averey had, and complains about Johnny being mean to her by calling her names.  She also expresses to Nia that she is still upset about the fight, but Nia is more interested in checking her email than in Jessica’s feelings, much like the majority of the viewing audience.  Ana is also still upset about the fight, and wishes the roommates would stop attacking each other, and would instead spend their time getting to know one another.  (Apparently she’s never seen the show before).   But after Marlon appears clueless about who they are discussing when Ana’s boyfriend comes up, Ana is forced to admit she may be expecting too much out of people.

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Forced Friendships are the Best Kind of Friendships – or not (The Real World Portland Episode 8 and After Show Recap)

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So first things first, totally my bad on saying there probably wasn’t going to be an episode this week, clearly I was wrong.  Hopefully no one just took my word for it, but if you did you’re in luck since MTV replays each episode about a dozen times, and you can watch online, but once again sorry about the bad info.

Now that I’ve gotten the apology out-of-the-way lets move on to new business.  This weeks episode continued to be a step in the right direction for this season in the drama department.  Johnny, Averey, and Anastasia, who have mostly been trying to stay out of the drama in the house thus far were thrust into the action this week. (And judging by the preview for the rest of the season it looks like they’ll be staying in it).

The drama gets started this week when they group heads out to the motocross track to take in one of Jessica’s favorite pastimes.  While they’re at the track (and throughout this episode in general) Averey and Anastasia spend a lot of quality time together.  Averey and Anastasia being friends is upsetting for Jessica who laments that girls always clique up around her, but she never gets to be part of the clique.  Most people could accept that someone just doesn’t like them that much and move on, but in Jessica’s mind Averey and Ana are mean “fake b*tches,” and that is why they aren’t spending time with her.  During the after show Averey says she just didn’t have anything in common with Jessica, and that made it hard to want to spend time with her.  That answer is also not good enough for Jessica however, she thinks the only reason they didn’t want to hang out was because they hated her and were too fake to admit it.  (Personally I don’t think I’d have much trouble letting Jessica know I hated her.  She’s moving up the “most annoying cast member in history” scale at a record pace, and her appearance on the after show this week certainly didn’t do anything to help her, but we’ll get to that later).  Jessica can’t get over Averey and Ana excluding her while they were at the track and decides to confront Anastasia about it while they are at work the next day.  Ana says she thinks it’s a good thing to get to know the roommates one on one.  Jessica disagrees and says when you’re in a group setting you need to include everyone. (I’ve never seen someone try to force people who obviously don’t like them to be their friends more than Jessica).  Ana finally just has to say “I’m all talked out about this” to get Jessica to drop the topic for a minute. (It would have been much better if she’d said “bitch just shut up” like she did in her interview during this segment, but she was too diplomatic for that).

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The A-Nia-Lation Proclaimation (The Real World Portland Episode 7 and After Show Recap)

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To open this week’s episode we’re in the midst of hour 97 (at least that’s what it’s starting to feel like) of the Nia/Jordan battle royal.  It’s the next morning and people are still heated.  The girls didn’t even have time to get dolled up before the fighting, and the debate over who’s more to blame, started up again.  Nia has a solid morning after game plan, she gets to the roommates first and starts to spread her side of the story around.  Nia’s side of things is aided by the fact that Jordan almost instantly starts screaming and becoming aggressive when confronted by Nia and Marlon about his actions (specifically the monkey stuff) from the night before.  Luckily for Jordan there was a witness to all the events that took place the night before who can vouch for things not being all his fault.  Anastasia speaks up and points out that Nia repeatedly went into Jordan’s room and egged him on, causing things to escalate before the explosion with the lamp and the monkey noises that many of the roommates witnessed.  Anastasia even manages to understand where Jordan is coming from regarding the monkey/n*gga situation.  Jordan agrees when Anna says he was just trying to make a point after Nia used the word first.  However, since it’s generally fairly accepted in society that a white person should never use the “n word” regardless of the situation, it’s hard to side with Jordan and Anastasia on this one.  Things end up remaining fairly unresolved with Jordan and Anastasia on one side, and Nia, Marlon and Jessica (she loves a good bandwagon) on the other side, with Johnny and Averey attempting to stay clear of the situation.

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Who Could have Predicted Cheerios Would be Involved in so Many Conflicts this Year (The Real World Portland Episode 6 Recap)

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After a little break last week, we get to dive back into the Nia/Jordan drama with this weeks episode.  Things start out testy between these two right from the beginning this week, and by the end of the episode we get to the all out battle that was teased at the end of the last episode.  This week’s episode is definitely a step up in the drama department from last week, so let’s get started with recapping all the action.

The episode opens with Nia discussing the book she is writing, “How to Play the Game,” a book about finding, dating, and keeping professional athletes.  Nia said she has dated and befriended various athletes, and that is the major source of her research for the book.  When Jordan finds out what the book is about he quickly labels Nia as a gold-digger, a name he will repeat several times this episode is regards to Nia and his view of her work ethic.  And to give some credit to Jordan, Nia’s work performance at Pizza Schmizza is pretty sub par.  But in Nia’s defense she say’s she made a lot of money modeling, and has “friends in high places” who will give her money, and honestly how many people would work in a pizza place if you didn’t need money.

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