I hope Paula is Laughing Somewhere (The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II Episode 10 Recap)

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This week’s episode featured the exit of one of the top teams in the game, one of the scariest challenges in series history, and the biggest power move by a female player in challenge history.  As opposed to The Real World, which is still in limbo, The Challenge has been renewed for another season.  I take this as great news, The Challenge entertains me week after week unlike any other show, that being said, let’s get into this week’s episode.

The week’s episode opened with the remnants of Hurricane Nia blowing through the nomination ceremony.  Leroy finally calmed Nia down enough so that Sarah and Jordan could confirm they were still being sent in, and then it was time to head to the dome.

The week’s dome brought back a classic elimination challenge, “hall brawl,” the object of this game is to run down a narrow hallway, fight your way past your opponent and tag your partner at the opposite end, the partners then run back down the hallway, and the first time to ring their bell wins the round.  The winner is the team to take the best two out of three matches.  The no longer “roided-up” Wes is at a significant disadvantage against the much bigger Leroy, and clearly Wes knows this, as he dives at Leroy’s shins to avoid contact, rather than taking a big hit in the hallway.  Wes’s strategy does not pay off, and after (maybe) faking an injured neck, he and Theresa are quickly eliminated 2-0.  Following their elimination, Theresa whines and cries about how it isn’t fair she’s going home.  This is basically all Theresa has done since Banana’s and Nany got back into the house, further proving why she is one of the least enjoyable people to watch on these shows.

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Total Eclipse of the Heart aka The Return of Banany (The Challenge: Battle of The Exes II Recap)

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I loved this week of The Challenge, while I haven’t always been his biggest fan, things just don’t feel right without Johnny Banana’s in the house and we finally got him back this week.  But before we can get to the return of Banany, we’ve got some other things to cover, so let’s get started.

Wes is feeling great at the beginning of this week’s episode.  After eliminating his nemesis Johnny Banana’s earlier in the season, and pulling some Jedi mind tricks on Leroy to get him to throw in Zach last week, Wes feels like he is controlling the game, he just needs to make one more move.  Wes goes to Leroy and Jordan and asks them to agree to throw in Jay and Jenna for the final elimination.  Leroy will take virtually any deal offered to him, and is immediately on board.  Jordan and Sarah on the other hand are not so trusting of Wes and decide this isn’t something they can agree to.  Jordan also decides to mention Theresa being a bitch, which while true, doesn’t help him and Sarah much in the house.  Jordan also brings up that Wes is not the same “roided up” guy that he was in the past.  (Between this comment, winning the challenge, and admitting that he doesn’t need to get any “douchier”, it was a great performance by Jordan all around this week).  Just when it is looking like Sarah and Jordan might be heading into all remaining elimination rounds the group gets a message from TJ, and it’s time to make a surprise trip to the dome.

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You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling (The Challenge: Battle of the Exes 2 Episode Recap)

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As with The Real World, I am way late with my entrance to the blogging game for this season of The Challenge, but don’t worry!  I have been watching closely all season, and am excited to start sharing my thoughts with you as we approach the end of another quality run of The Challenge.

-Biggest take away from this episode: is it possible for Zach to be a bigger asshole.  I didn’t watch the second San Diego season, so my introduction to Zach was on Battle of the Seasons, and he didn’t make a great first impression.  The way he and Frank treated Sam, particularly during the final mission was disgusting, and quickly turned them into some of my least favorite challengers.  However over his last few appearances on The Challenge, Zach had really been growing on me.  He still acted like a douche occasionally, but generally speaking he seemed like a nicer, calmer guy, and he was even good for a funny soundbite from time to time.  This season has made me realize I was right the first time.  I wouldn’t ever say Jonna is my favorite person on these shows, but she’s far from my least favorite, and Zach has treated her like trash from the moment they stepped into the house.  This week, not only did Zach berate Jonna when she did nothing wrong, (her jumping off the truck at the end did not result in a DQ) he also cost the team a victory when he jumped too soon.  That night Zach makes a very half-hearted effort to apologize, but the apology quickly turns into another attack on Jonna who FINALLY says she’s done with him (I doubt that’s really true, but still nice to hear).

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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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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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Revenge is a Dish Best not Served (The Challenge: Rivals II Episode 6 Recap)

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Opening up this week’s episode of The Challenge: Rivals II, Theresa is still feeling a little miffed by Diem.  Theresa still seems to think that Diem should have saved her ass, and not voted for Leroy and Ty after Theresa foolishly voted for them first.  This is all causing a lot of tension between the girls in the house, as Theresa and Jasmine are forced to realize they have even fewer friends in the game than they thought.  While drama like this is par for the course on this show, the real highlight of this week’s episode was this week’s challenge.

The challenge this week is called “frenemies” and is a trivia game about how well the players know their partners.  The players are all asked a series of questions, and their answers have to match the answer their partner gave.  If you give a wrong answer you get a strike, after your second wrong answer the teammate that is hanging above the water is dropped, and your team is out of the game.  This is a girls elimination week, and there is a lot of pressure on Theresa and Jasmine, who, lucky for them, get to pick this week’s order. Theresa decides to stop playing both sides, and make it clear she is siding with the “rookies,” when she puts Aneesa and Diem and Emily and Paula first.  Some of the questions and answers in this game are really classic, and since I’m a nice person, I’m going to share the best response’s with you here.

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What the Phuket?! (The Challenge: Rivals II Episode 5 Recap)

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This week’s episode of The Challenge: Rivals II featured hook ups, hurt feelings, surprise endings, and some of the worst throw away voting in history – in other words basically all the things that make this show great.  We’ve got a lot of ground to cover this week, so I’m not going to waste too much time with the set up, let’s get right into it.

This week we pick up with the blossoming romance between Leroy and Theresa that was hinted at towards the end of last week’s episode.  (After Knight ruined Leroy’s plans to hook up with Jemmye).  Leroy and Theresa are just trying to celebrate the fact that Theresa didn’t get electrocuted in the elimination round with a little coitus, when Wes has to go and ruin their fun.  Wes happens to be sleeping underneath them in the bunk beds, and isn’t enjoying their tryst as much as the other cast members who are watching through the windows.  Wes  thinks this has something to do with the fact that he and Theresa hooked up before on Fresh Meat II, but since Wes is the only person who even remembers that happened, I think he might be reaching a little bit.  Ultimately Wes decides he’s had it with Leroy’s disrespectful ways, and decides to move to a different room.  (But never fear, Johnny Banana’s helped build a Wes Dummy so he wouldn’t be missed too much).

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