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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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)

Environmental Portraiture On The Set Of MTV's "The Challenge" - Phuket, Thailand

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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Man, TJ is Tricky this Season (The Challenge: Rivals II Episode 4 Recap)

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This week’s episode didn’t quite have the fire power of last week, but we did get one quality fight involving Jemmye’s Ketchup phobia, and we got some other fun moments, so let’s get right into this.

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It took her a minute, but Jonna figured out who to sleep with to help get her to the end again this season.  With Sarah getting sent home, and Jordan performing well in the challenges, it looks like Jonna saw an opportunity to hook up with a strong guy and she went for it.  My favorite part of Jonna and Jordan’s exchange in the club is when Jordan says, “I’m like The Great Gatsby,” and Jonna responds by saying, “what the f*ck does that mean?”  (Jonna doesn’t know what The Great Gatsby is Jordan, don’t confuse the girl she just wants to make out).

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Crazy Trishelle has Returned and All is Right with the World (The Challenge: Rivals II Episode 3 Recap)

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Last fall during Battle of the Season’s I wrote a post about how much Trishelle seemed to have matured since her season in Vegas (you can read it here).  I’m pleased to say that after watching her performance on this season of The Challenge (and later portions of Battle of the Seasons) that I was totally wrong, and the crazy ass Trishelle we all know and love is alive and well.  While it was a little sad to see Sarah get sent home early again, I wouldn’t trade a classic old school fight like that for anything, so sorry Sarah but as TJ say’s, “I’m sure we’ll be seeing you again soon.”  (Sarah did express some doubts about her return to The Challenge during the after show, but I’d be very surprised to see her sit out more than maybe one season).  I’m getting ahead of myself here though, before we can really talk about the fight between Trishelle and Aneesa we need to deal with the earlier drama from the episode, the fight between Knight and Marlon.

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Welcome to Literally the Hottest Season in Challenge History (The Challenge: Rivals II Premiere Recap)

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It’s finally here!  Last night was the premiere of the new season of The Challenge: Rivals II, and while it wasn’t the most exciting premiere episode ever, I still love this show.  I wrote a preview earlier detailing how I expect things to play out this season, and based on the first episode I’m pleased to say my predictions are looking pretty solid.  (You can read the preview here).  But I’m sure there will be some twists I didn’t anticipate, so I’ll stop gloating and start the actual recap of last night’s action.

To kick the episode off we get the typical introduction from TJ where he lets the cast members know what this year’s theme will be, and then pairs the players off into teams of two.  I got two of my favorite quotes from the night during this segment, the first coming from Jessica who says during her intro that she and Anastasia will be “team Barbie” and will have to be like “stop, lipstick check.”)  I really just like this because it helps validate my feelings that Jessica is the most annoying cast member in history.  My second favorite quote of the night comes from Naomi who describes herself by saying, “I’m from New York City, I love shopping, I love brunch.”  Fierce competitors always love a good brunch, so I think this is a great sign for her teammate Cooke.  The only other real take a ways I have from this opening segment are:  1.  Not too many of these people are really acting like rivals, at least right now, and 2.  Hey look, Jonna is a hipster now.

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The Challenge: Rivals II Preview

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Last week the cast for The Challenge: Rivals II was released in an US Weekly exclusive.  (Unfortunately for US Weekly the cast list had already been circulating around online, which makes it a pretty standard tabloid exclusive).  Despite the fact that this news wasn’t all that exclusive, and the fact that the show doesn’t debut for over a month, (July 10th) I was still super excited when I found out.  While my love for The Real World has faded over the years, and blogging this season has taught me that I really may just be getting too old to watch a full season, I still f*cking love the challenges.  That being the case, I decided to put together my Rivals 2 season preview a little early.  I’m going to assess each team based on their physical game, political game, and team chemistry, and then rank them in order from weakest to strongest.  I’ll start with the guys teams.

Team #8: Wes and CT

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Physical Game: 9

Political Game: 2

Team Chemistry: 1

Evaluation:  Both guys have a history as great physical competitors, even if they did both burn out the last time they had to run a final (Kenny literally carried Wes part way up a mountain on the first season of rivals, and cigarette clogged lungs hampered CT during ex’s).  Unfortunately for this team physical is all they’ve really got in this show.  All signs point to Johnny Banana’s running the show again this season, and he has never hidden his distaste for either of these guys.  I predict they will be picked to go into elimination early and often, and will have to find a way to work together to save themselves.  Also, as we saw during the first season of rivals, the teams that did the best were the one’s without any real animosity left between them.  Unless these guys made up at some point off camera, they definitely still have bad blood, and should have trouble working together.  They are also both chronic DQer’s. who fail to listen to the rules for each game, that fact could prove especially harmful on a show full of people gunning for them.  I can see these two winning a few eliminations and sticking around for a while, but it would take a miracle to get these guys into another final.

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