Monday, June 27, 2011

The Challenge:Rivals Episode 1 Recap

By this time, The Challenge is an MTV establishment. When these people get together now, it’s like a drunken, incestuous family reunion — it’s great television. Even so, there are always ways to make things even more interesting, like by partnering people up with their most hated enemies. And that’s how we came to have The Challenge: Rivals. And oh what fun it is.

From the get-go, I roll through a host of emotions during the first five minutes, ranging from pure, child-like excitement, all the way to genuine tears. But who wouldn’t be excited watching the clips of some of the greatest fights in the history of The Challenge, and hearing Robin say that they’ve assembled the biggest group of assholes ever on the show? And who wouldn’t be moved to tears when host TJ Lavin reveals himself to be the host, after overcoming a really scary fall on his bike and going through a recovery that included a medically induced coma? I shed a tear right along with Jenn. And CT was there, too?! This seems too good to be true. But I had to quickly compose myself, because the Challenge was beginning.

TJ announces the teams one by one, and although it’s no surprise who ends up being paired together, watching their reaction to it is pretty fun. The two new rookie teams are pretty interesting additions to the crowd — Adam and LeRoy from the great Vegas season that just aired are no surprise but sure to stir up some trouble, while Jasmine and Jonna from Cancun caught me offguard, as I had kind of forgotten about them. But was quickly reminded later in the episode what an attention loving spastic person Jasmine is as she makes out with a dude on the first night, apparently forgetting her pledge to stay true to her boyfriend. Come on, that’s the sort of amateur stuff we’re supposed to get through in your Real World season. This is the Challenge, step up your game. Hit someone… (Adam Royer made this transition quickly, as we’ll see later).

But back to the game. The first challenge of the season involves being strapped to your partner, holding hands, and jumping off a cliff. I’m assuming most challenges this season will involve some sort of teamwork/being tied to each other aspect, so we get the most play from the Rivals theme. So far I’m liking it. Couple things stood out to me while they went through everyone’s attempts and the results:

1. Laurel is so much bigger than Cara Maria it’s like someone strapped a little doll to her side and she’s pulling it along. I love watching this.

2. Adam & LeRoy very surprising with the successful jump. I knew LeRoy was an athlete but Adam apparently can jump as well if not better than he can punch out walls. They might be an interesting team to look out for.

3. Two rookie teams take the win on this? Damn veterans step up your game. You can’t haze these kids until you beat on ‘em.

4. CT is there. I still can’t get over it. I love his baby blue eyes and his rage.

Since Evelyn and Paula Walnuts came in last, they will be going into THE JUNGLE to battle with another team for the right to stay in the game. Some basic lobbying occurs, with a few people telling Laurel she should go into the Jungle because it will be her only chance to take out Evelyn. Laurel’s all like “no way I ain’t crazy” and gets everyone to vote in Aneesa and Robin. Pretty straightforward vote. No back stabbing yet. And now that the voting is out of the way, everyone can party! So fun, right? WRONG.

Ty and Adam get drunk and in each other’s faces and Adam goes all Adam on him and throws a punch. As we all know, this results in his leaving. On night one. Which probably leaves this guy kinda mad about his first overall pick in his Reality TV Fantasy League. But he did get a nice amount of points in his short time there. Real impact player out there.

Mandy gets pushed over in the shuffle and hits her head pretty hard which leads us to a nice little scene where CT comes to her rescue, then makes fun of her big head in an interview… did I mention that I love CT?

Onto the elimination. But first, what will happen to poor LeRoy who is now partner-less? Will they send him home already? I pray that they do not. And I am rewarded! Big Mike from Vegas comes out to rekindle his bromance with RoyLee and they embrace with a tenderness that can only emanate from two grown men hugging it out on a wobbly wooden bridge. Now that that’s settled, it’s onto the Jungle.

Tonight's elimination? Evelyn and Paula vs. Aneesa and Robin in a weird game where they have to lean against their partners from futher and further away until someone falls. Several minutes of leaning go by and then Robin/Aneesa fall. It is not the most enthralling elimination, but hey, it’s only episode one. And already a pretty strong veteran team is out the door. Which pretty much means this whole thing is up for grabs. Should be an interesting season. The show ends with a montage of what’s to come, leaving me feeling giddy and excited like only reality tv can. Scene that sticks out the most? A big ol’ knee to the nuts. Eager to see who’s involved and why. I’ve got a weird feeling there might be alcohol involved.

That’s it for episode one! A good start to what should be a very interesting season. I’ll leave you with some teams I think might make it pretty far:

Kenny/Wes - Athletic dudes who have done this so many times. They both love to play political games, and are successful at it. This time they’ll be working together so I wouldn’t be surprised if they come out on top at the end.

Adam/CT - CT is on this team. Enough said.

Evelyn/Paula Walnuts - I’ve got a good feeling about them. Evelyn is a crazy great competitor, and in a game where Paula Walnuts is usually backstabbed by supposed friends, maybe it will pay off to work with an enemy.

Laurel/Cara Maria - Can’t ignore Laurel. Or she’ll kill you. And even though Laurel puts her down every chance she gets, I don’t think Cara Maria is that bad of a competitor. But I guess we’ll see.

My dark horse:
RoyLee/Big Mike - In a game where everyone is teamed up with an enemy, you’re at an advantage when you’re rollin’ with your homie. As LeRoy mentioned on the show, Mike’s smart and he’s athletic, so they’ve got a fighting chance.


Rusty said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rusty said...

we're watching this season! However, with robin and aneesa put already, i think I only know 5 other ppl. #oldpeopleproblems