Last night marked the beginning of the new season of MTV’s The Challenge! The Challenge: Rivals II had a special 90-minute premiere featuring all my favorite things about this show: drama, romance and pure idiocy. Also, if I took a shot for every player who wore non-prescription “hipster” or ”nerd” glasses, I’d blackout before the teams finished being assigned. Honorable mentions for accessories worth taking shots for go to hippie headbands and hair extensions.
The theme of this season, as was the original Rivals, is that your only partner is your biggest enemy. This is supposed to make us think that some of the best players in these Challenges will falter because they’re stuck with someone they hate. The previous Rivals taught us that this isn’t necessarily true, because these people will do whatever it takes to win money to keep them from having to get real jobs.
As of last night, here’s who I think will make it to the final challenge for the guys and girls’ teams:
Paula and Emily
“Paula Walnuts” is entering her TENTH season on this show, and finally has won a couple challenges, after pulling the “always a bridesmaid” stunt for a while when she began. While Emily is not quite as seasoned a veteran, she has been a top performer in all of the Challenges she’s participated in. Their “rivalry” mostly has to do with the fact that Paula was romancing Emily’s partner, Ty, in a previous Challenge and Emily didn’t like her partner being distracted from the game. Because they truly don’t have any major beef and have a combination of political experience and physical ability, I think it’s a very safe bet they’ll make it to the end.
Diem and Aneesa
Diem and Aneesa are the classic “double-veteran” powerhouse. Put together, they have more battle wounds and kick-ass pasts than all the other female teams combined. I foresee them making it far in the beginning out of the rookies’ pure fear of them, and when push comes to shove, they’ll keep going with their talent. Aneesa holds the title of “Elimination Queen” because she’s the biggest survivor of eliminations in Challenge history. Also, some of the Rookies who remember Diem’s infamous romance with CT, will keep her around to see if love blossoms again for the pair.
Jemmye and Camila
Jemmye is only a season or two in her Challenge experience while Camila falls awkwardly between rookie and veteran. They mostly hate each other because they’ve gotten into several drunk arguments. Now that they’re on the same side, these two can party together, then drunkenly battle and intimidate the less fiery female teams. Also, based on my expert social media stalking, the twosome have named themselves “Team Subtitles”, due to the fact they both have thick accents (Brazilian and Southern, respectively).
CT and Wes
Combined, this pair have participated in 16 challenges, made it to many finals, yet Wes has only won once and CT never has. They are the eternal bridesmaids, much like Paula once was, of The Challenge. They attract the most drama and fear among fellow contestants due to their volatile behavior. Both are extremely athletic which will get them far. As long as they can dodge and/or win however many eliminations the inevitable alliances will try to throw them into, they have a huge chance to hit the end based on pure skill alone.
Frank and Johnny
On the opposite side of things, where CT & Wes are the top athletes on The Challenge, Frank and Johnny are the biggest political plotters, master manipulators and all-around backstabbers in Challenge history. They don’t care who they offend, who finds out their plans, or what anyone thinks, because they always get their way. This duo creates the ultimate male powerhouse because Johnny has control of the Vets, while Frank is Ruler of the Rookies. Based on political power alone, I don’t see how they couldn’t be absent from the finals, unless a major revolution takes place.
Jordan and Marlon
This pair is much like the rookie pair from the original Rivals season, Mike and Leroy. Both teams weren’t actually enemies per se, with Mike and Leroy actually being friends (side note: Mike replaced Leroy’s original partner Adam, after Adam was kicked off for fighting). Jordan and Marlon are more like brothers who annoy each other and as Marlon mentioned in the episode, know how to piss each other off. As long as they don’t allow their self-proclaimed egos get in the way, or get too distracted by the ladies in the house, I can see these Rookies getting far.