Quick Take: The Challenge: Battle of The Exes, "Love Is A Battlefield"
The Challenge is back, baby!
Review: The Challenge: Battle of The Exes, "Love Is A Battlefield"
(S1201) MTV's The Challege -- in all of its various iterations over the years -- is one of the very few reality shows that I watch for the pure fun of it. I've agreed with Bill Simmon's take when he said that The Challenge should become "Americas's fifth major sport."
For those of you unfamiliar with The Challenge (which used to be called Real World/Road Rules Challenge), the set up is this: MTV puts together a group of contestants made up of former Real World and Road Rules cast members. These cast members get drunk, get into fights, sleep around... and, oh yeah, they compete in outrageous contests from prizes and cash. Throw in T.J. Lavin, television's most underrated host, and you've got yourself a hit TV franchise.
One of the cool things about The Challenge is that the producers throw in a new wrinkle each season. Sometimes it guys versus girls, sometimes it’s good guy versus bad guys, and sometimes it's an every-man-for-himself situation. This season, which could possibly be the best season of The Challenge ever, teams up ex-lovers to compete against other squads of ex-lovers.
Here are the teams represented on The Challenge: Battle of The Exes:
C.T. and Diem: This couple met on The Duel, while Diem was still feeling the effects of her chemotherapy. C.T. was uncharacteristically supportive and the two began a romantic affair. They dated for a while, but broke up after The Gauntlet III.
Abram and Cara Maria: The two met on a previous Challenge (Cutthroat) and maintained a lengthy relationship until Adam was arrested for public urination. His legal situation was exacerbated when he decided to smear feces all over the walls of his jail cell. Talk about “The Sh*t They Should Have Show”!
Dustin and Heather: This is the couple that I'm most excited about, mainly because Dustin's storyline on Real World: Las Vegas was one of the most compelling things on television last year. I wonder if Dustin's history in gay porn will lend itself to any of the various challenges? Sword swallowing contest, anyone? Sorry, that was in poor taste.
Dubar and Paula: Dunbar and Paul had a series of relatively minor hook-ups on The Island and The Duel II. For the sake of comedy, I would have much preferred if the producers paired Paula with Mike Mike from Real World: Las Vegas.
Johnny and Camila: There is no real concrete evidence that these two actually hooked up, so I suspect the producers chose to pair them with the idea that any excuse to get Johnny Bananas on The Challenge is a good excuse. Agreed.
Leroy and Naomi: I'm very excited about this pairing. Leroy proved last season that, despite being a rookie, he is a force to be reckoned with. Naomi, on the other hand, doesn't strike me as much a competitor. I would have preferred if the producers had paired Leroy with Mike Mike again. They're basically lovers, right?
Mark and Robin: These two old-timers carried on a long-term relationship that official ended at the beginning of The Duel. While its nice to see these faces of Real World's past, I have a hard time believing either of these two stand a chance against the young guns.
Wes and Mandy: If I were a betting man, I'd put my money on this couple making it at least to the finals.
Tyrie and Jasmine: Tyrie has cut some fat and added some bulk in the off-season, and Jasmine proved to be quite a competitor in her first outing. This team could be a dark-horse pick to somehow make it to the finals.
Rachel and Aneesa: The Challenge's only same sex couple. They might be a disadvantage when it comes to the physical challenges, but don't count these two out. They are seasoned veterans who know how to play the game.
Nate and Priscilla: What baffles me about this pairing is: why them? If you're going to get a couple from Real World: San Diego, why not get Ashley and Zach? Something tells me that Zach would dominate these challenges. That “something” is the fact that Zach played wide receiver in college and the semi-pros.
Ty and Emily: My number one choice for "couple most likely to be involved in an incident of domestic violence."
Vinny and Sarah: These two were former partners on Fresh Meat II and things between them went south quickly. Expect fireworks and most likely an early exit from the competition.
In last night's premiere episode "Give Me Some Honey," Johnny and Camila won the initial challenge, exempting themselves from eliminations. Priscilla and Nate came in last, forcing them into the elimination round. As the winners, Johnny and Camila got to decide whom "Natcilla" must face off against in the "Dome." (I suspect "Thunder Dome" must be trademarked). Johnny's main challenger Wes, and his teammate Mandi were selected. Wes and Mandi reigned supreme and the newcomers were sent home with the quickness. I knew they should have went with Zach and Ashley instead.
About the author
Lucas High is a man on a mission. That mission: to watch television for a living. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook and on Twitter at twitter.com/LucasHigh.