The Challenge: Free Agents (Preview of the Girls)

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And we’re back.  Earlier I chimed in with my opinions on how I think the guys side of things in the latest season of The Challenge will play out, and now I’m back to give my preview of the girl’s side of things.

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Aneesa Ferreira, The Real World Chicago

Physical Game: 6

Mental Game: 6

Social Game: 6.5

Overall: 6

I’ve always been an Aneesa fan, but I think we all know this isn’t going to happen for her at this point.  Aneesa’s best finish in The Challenge did come in an “every man for himself” duel format, so that gives some hope, but Aneesa just isn’t in good enough shape physically to win a final. (not trying to hate, I couldn’t run that final either, just sayin).   That being said, I still like having Aneesa around, she always provides some good soundbites, and it’s been interesting watching her progression over the years from a person in the middle of fights to the person breaking them up.  (She did just get in a fight with Trishelle last season, but in her defense Trishelle is crazy, so who can blame her).  Aneesa has no chance to win, but she has made quite a few friends  through her many years on the show, and I think she has a good chance to make it late in the game.  Honestly with how weak these seasons girls are I wouldn’t be shocked to see Aneesa make the final, I just can’t see her winning.

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Camila Nakagawa, Spring Break Challenge

Physical Game: 7.5

Mental Game: 5.5

Social Game: 7

Overall: 7

Another cast member I have always liked, and this one has a much better chance than Aneesa.  Camila may be small, but she is a pit bull, and that has helped her be very successful on these challenges.  Camila’s determination, along with her relationship with Johnny Banana’s mean she will probably do well on this show.  There are really only two other strong female competitors, (Laurel and Cara Maria) and as long as Camila keeps her patented drunken freak outs to a minimum, I think she has a great shot to make the finals.

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Cara Maria Sorbello, The Challenge: Fresh Meat II

Physical Game: 8.5

Mental Game: 5.5

Social Game: 2.5

Overall: 7.5

Moving on from likeable cast members, let’s talk about Cara Maria.  I try to feel bad for Cara Maria, as she is frequently the target of harassment from her fellow cast members, but if there is a big group of diverse people and they all don’t like you, there has to be something behind that.  I think the tipping point for me was last season when Cara Maria managed to get into it with Emily Schromm, one of the nicest and most likable cast members in this shows history.  Also it’s hard to feel bad for Cara Maria when she keeps signing up to come on these shows, if these people really make you so miserable why don’t you avoid them?  The good news for Cara Maria is that she has one of her only allies in the history of this show, Laurel, around to help her out during this season.  The other good news for Cara Maria is that as I’ve already mentioned, this season has an especially weak group of girls.  Even though I find her incredibly annoying, I can’t deny that Cara is a great athlete, although she does have a history of under performing on these shows.  The only thing I can see keeping Cara Maria from the final is her being thrown into the elimination round every week, which tends to happen to her on these shows.  Cara’s biggest obstacle keeping her from winning for the girls (other than Laurel) is that despite her claims that she has taken lessons, she is a terrible swimmer, and swimming often plays a role in the final challenge (Cara Maria’s swimming is like Shaq’s free throw shooting).  Right now I’m feeling a second place finish for Cara Maria, but I could see her going out early if she gets thrown into elimination repeatedly and gets upset.

 

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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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Cory Should Start Filling Out Some Thought Records Before he Speaks (The Real World Ex-Plosion Episode 7 Recap)

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I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but once again I am pressed for time so this recap isn’t going to be as in-depth as my normal take.  The week we pick up where we left off with Cory finding out that Lauren is pregnant.  Not surprisingly he doesn’t take the news well, in fact he takes it about as badly as someone possibly could after finding out their ex that they broke up with over a year ago but were considering getting back together with when they popped up on the reality show your currently filming was pregnant.  That being said, here are my take aways from this weeks episode.

-Cory’s immediate response to finding out about Lauren’s pregnancy is to say “not from me.”  While this is a fair assumption since they only had sex two days prior, it doesn’t make Cory look like the greatest guy.

-Stepping away from the drama for a moment – DOUG IS BACK! I personally couldn’t have been more excited to see him (Doug is the guy who failed at hooking up with Jenny the roommates first night in the house).  Did Doug try out for the show and get rejected so he’s just hanging around getting all the air time he can?  Also how surprising was Brian’s reaction when Jenny told him Doug had stopped by?  Everyone, Jenny most of all was sure he was going to flip out but he seemed totally cool with it.  (I could see him using it as ammo at a later time however).

-A part of me really wants to feel bad for Cory, because the situation is kind of shitty for him too.  However when Cory responds with “I can’t”  when a crying Lauren asks for his support its hard to feel bad for him.  Especially after we find out that Lauren helped Cory through a pregnancy scare years earlier that occurred after he cheated on her with another girl.

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A Numbers Game (The Real World Ex-Plosion Episode 2 Recap)

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Last week’s premiere episode of The Real World Ex-Plosion definitely topped all my expectations going in to a new season of The Real World.  Bear sex, assault with a cheeseburger, and talk of buying and selling people’s families is a lot of action to pack into a one hour show.  I thought there might be a little let down this week after the strong debut, but there was plenty to like about this new episode, so let’s get started with the action which picks up right where we left off last week.

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The morning after the cheeseburger/hot grease to the face assault by Ashley, Arielle makes good on her promise to talk things over in the morning.  Ashley says she was just joking when she threw the grease in Arielle’s face, (I’m not sure Ashley knows what a joke is) and they agree to that Ashley will use a pillow next time instead of a scalding hot pan.  The house then goes on to have a meeting with all the roommates to address Ashley’s behavior the first two nights.  Ashley kind of agrees to reign herself in, and things are looking up for her until a short time later when she and Jamie try to work on their individual issues.  Jamie tells Ashley that everyone likes her when she is sober, but when she starts drinking it becomes a different story, and Jamie wants to know if something can be done to fix that.  Ashley responds by saying that she doesn’t know because she doesn’t like Jamie either drunk or sober because she thinks Jamie is mean and “whispers” about her.  The two ultimately make no progress towards resolving their issues, and things will undoubtedly be very tense at the hair styling station moving forward this season.

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Cast Break Down of The Real World Ex-Plosion

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The other day when I did a fairly lame recap of the premiere episode of The Real World Ex-Plosion I said I’d try to do a more in-depth recap over the weekend, and here it is.  I think I covered most of the major events from the first episode, although I did tragically leave out the “bear sex,” my bad.  Right now I mostly want to talk more about the cast members and my early views on them.  Also, if you think my opinions suck, or you just want to get some other opinions mixed in too, I’m including the link (here) to the Grantland “Right Reasons” podcast, where Real World Alum Frank Sweeney breaks down the first episode with host Juliet Litman.  I really recommend watching the video, Frank shares some great info as always, and the podcast is generally a great place to find a break down of the most recent reality tv programming (although Frank isn’t regular contributor).  Anyways, on with my character break downs:

Arielle Scott: 24-year-old model from Oakland/the bay area. Twitter: @itsarifitz

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One of my favorites from night one.  She graduated from UC Berkeley and came across as well spoken and intelligent during her Real World debut (not always an easy thing to do).  She also remained more poised than anyone else in Real World history when she took a pan of hot grease/cheeseburgers to the face and didn’t fly off the handle.  It will be interesting to see if she can remain that poised when her ex shows up in the house in a few weeks.

Ashley Mitchell: 24-year-old model from San Francisco (originally West Virginia) Twitter: @MTVASHLEYBROOKE

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Now moving on to the star of night one, Ashley.  I don’t know if I can ever remember a time when someone showed they were completely insane quite so quickly on this show.  Ashley managed to insult or assault basically all her follow cast members within the first 48 hours.  She also told her grandfather she wanted to crawl up into his belly and go home, which replaces Jessica telling Tyler she wanted to lick his face during the Portland season, as the most awkward line delivered to a family member/loved one over the phone.  Ashley also spent the whole premiere re-tweeting people saying she was the best cast member, which I found very annoying after a while. (Even though I would probably do the same thing if I was on The Real World).  I really think Ashley is going to tone it down, or at least the focus on her is going to be toned down, once the ex’s get to the house.  Ashley doesn’t have an ex because she has about 10 concurrent boyfriends, and I think the love triangles will steal the attention from the nightly spectacle that is “Drunk Ashley,” but until then I plan to enjoy her crazy and all it has to offer.

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First Impressions From The Premiere Episode of The Real World Ex-plosion

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Ok, I planned to do a full-out recap of this week’s episode of The Real World Ex-plosion, but due to a busy real life schedule I’m cutting down to just the highlights for this week.  I’ve got to say that I had my doubts about this new plan for the show, but so far I’m in.  The premiere episode was better than I expected, and I’m sure things will only get crazier once the ex’s get there.

Highlights/Observations:

-Kind of random place to start off, but the crew was more visible than I can ever remember in the past during this first episode.  There were several times that cameramen were visible in the frame.  I’m not sure if it is just due to the layout of this particular house, or if the producer’s decided to break down that barrier between cast and crew for some reason.  The fact that they also show Ashley on the phone with a producer making plans for the night makes me feel like it could be more of the latter.

-How did Ashley get cast on The Real World “Ex-plosion” when she apparently has several boyfriends?  I’m only letting this go because I think when Ashley says “boyfriend” she actually means someone she sleeps with in exchange for gifts.

-Jamie hates cheaters.  In other news I see a lot of problems arising for Jamie when the ex’s show up in 28 days (show time, not real-time).

-Now let’s cut to the real highlight of this first episode – Ashley and the fact that she is one of the most bat shit crazy people ever to appear on this show (based on one episode of footage).  Ashley is upset that Jamie has called her out for being a cheater and responds by saying that people can’t talk shit about her in “her city.” (She’s technically from West Virginia originally, but like everyone from West Virginia she’s pretending that’s not true, and acting like she was born and raised in San Francisco).  Ashley then proceeds to cry and say this is like high school all over again and claims people are picking on her for no reason.

-Next Ashley starts screaming that Jamie is just upset because she tattooed herself from “neck to ankle,” and will never be able to get a boyfriend.  Then Ashley goes on to say that she doesn’t know who Jamie’s family is but that her family would “buy and sell” Jamie’s.  Cory tries to calm her down by saying she could buy and sell his family, but that doesn’t make her better than him.  Ashley responds by saying “yes it does” without even the briefest of pauses.

-Ashley decides the best way to make up for being a bitch the night before is to act like nothing happened, and flash her roommates repeatedly while making a half-hearted attempt to join their exercise group. (This does kind of work on Cory, at least for a while, so I’ll give her a little credit).

-Doug (the guy that followed Jenny home from the bar) was probably my favorite person from this episode.  I’ve never seen a guy be rejected that many times and still remain hopeful.

-Ashley decides the best way to bond with her roommates on night two is to fling grease/cheeseburgers at their head.  Not surprisingly, Arielle doesn’t appreciate this attempt at making friends.

-Ashley’s feelings are so hurt by this rejection that she drunk dials her grandfather to tell him that her roommates are being mean to her and she just wants to crawl  into (onto? hard to understand the drunk crying gibberish she’s spitting out) his belly.

That’s all I’ve got for today.  I plan to go more in-depth on my feelings about each cast member either next Thursday during my recap or sometime this weekend, it will depend on how my schedule works out.  In other posting news, this week’s The Bachelor post has (most likely) been moved up to late Monday night, and I’ll see you next Thursday for another recap of The Real World Ex-plosion.

Thoughts/Questions/Comments – you can reach me via email – SHMcG223@gmail.com or on Twitter – @NoOneGoesToClev

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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The Calm Before the Storm (and we better really get a storm) The Real World Portland Episode 5 Recap

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After the promising arrival of new roommate Nia last week, this week took a step back in the excitement department.  Never fear though, the preview for next week showed a lot of promise featuring a continuation of the Nia/Jordan battle for dominance.  But that’s next week, for right now let’s stick with going over anything you might have missed from this less than scintillating episode.  (Side note, if you’re a big Jessica fan this episode will be great for you, not so much for everyone else, which means about five people enjoyed this episode).

As expected, we open this week with the conclusion of Jordan and Nia’s sex battle, where Jordan was trying to prove Nia wouldn’t go through with her offer to suck his d*ck, and Nia was trying to prove Jordan acts like a jerk because he has a small member.  Nia won apparently, if you believe her account of things, and her comparison to a french fry later in the episode.  Jordan claims Nia couldn’t get him “up” all the way and that’s why he was less than impressive. (Apparently his d*ck likes to play hard to get with the ladies).  No one seems to really be buying this excuse though, as Marlon and Johnny assert they would have been ready to go in a similar situation.  At the very least it seems Nia was successful in mind-f*cking Jordan, and after the preview for next week it’s clear the battle between them is far from over.

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The Arrival of Tropical Storm Nia (We really haven’t reached hurricane stage yet) – The Real World Portland Episode 4 Recap

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“It’s time to stop being polite and start getting real.”  Following one of the most boring exits in Real World history last week, this week promises to bring in one of the more anticipated arrivals in the shows run.  This weeks episode is all about new cast member Nia Moore, and while she doesn’t seem quite as crazy as she was made out to be, (and it’s really too early to tell) she does seem like someone who will add some excitement to a season that’s been pretty dull thus far.

The roommates seem a little unsure about how they feel about Nia at first (except for daisy – the dog, who seems pretty set on hating her).  She makes Averey and Anastasia so uncomfortable that they have to pretend Daisy needs a walk so they can talk trash behind her back.  Also, on a side note, Anastasia continuously claims she is outspoken and opinionated, but the boldest statement I’ve seen her make on this show is the red beanie she wears later on in this episode.  So either she’s not as outspoken as she thinks or the producers are doing a lot of editing.  Back to Nia, the general consensus seems to be that she has a big personality and could possibly cause drama (which seems like a fair assessment).  I think Marlon summed things up best when he said: “we exchanged one nice booty for another,” Marlon always has his mind on the big picture.

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The Most Anticlimactic Exit in Real World History (The Real World Portland Episode 3 Recap)

MTV Real World 28 PortlandHappy Thursday all! It’s time for another Real World Portland Recap.  Last week we left off with Johnny and Averey finally doing the deed (after holding out for almost 2 whole episodes!).  And this week we pick up with the aftermath, and the girls grilling Averey over how things went.  Following the girls discussion, Averey and Joi decide they need to make a trip to the sex store to spice things up for Johnny (who is a little frightened).  Being in a relationship that ends badly on The Real World is nothing to be ashamed of, it happens all the time.  However, being in a relationship that ends badly because you’re a dude who can’t keep up with his super-sexual female housemate seems like it would be a bummer.

The next day the roommates head out on a “Brewcycle” tour of Portland (basically a pub crawl with the added Portland-y bonus of having a pedal a giant group bike thing to get to each stop).  This is a fun trip for a while until Jordan over-indulges just a tad and goes into “douche bag mode” according to Marlon.  (It seems like “douche bag mode” is only slightly more douche-y than Jordan’s normal personality, but still it’s enough to piss off the guys who usually at least pretend to like him).  The guys manage to squash their beef the next morning when Jordan sort of admits to being a douche.

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