CT and Wes

Via MTV.com

Let’s face facts here. MTV’s The Challenge is the single most exciting reality TV competition show out there. MTV doesn’t waste parts. They’re like the Goodwill of TV networks. Re-utilizing characters from their own network better than anyone else, The Challenge features cast members from The Real World, Road Rules, Fresh Meat, and they might as well start throwing the Jersey Shore cast into this thing.

Their new season of The Challenge is a sequel to Rivals which originally pit two cast members on the same team who didn’t like each other. Teams like Kenny (Mr. Beautiful) and Wes, Evelyn (the alpha female) and Paula, and Adam and CT competed together to win the cash prize.

This year, the teams don’t look to be as explosive, but at least CT is back. The Challenge is always better when CT is on it. Also returning are challenge-king Johnny, Wes (paired up with CT), Dunbar (the porn star), Knight, Frank, and Leroy.

I’m going to handicap the field and preview the show. If you missed MTV’s own preview hosted by Mr. Beautiful himself and Snooki (for whatever reason), you can watch it below.


And now, it’s time to handicap the field.

None Chance

These pairs have zero chance to win this show.

Derek & Robb – Being an ex-hooper, Robb should be better at the athletic events than he is and Derek, also a former hooper, seems to be one of the least noticeable guys on the show. When you don’t get camera time, you’re not doing much.

Anastasia (Bird) & Jessica – The RW Portland alums are your best bet to leave first. I can’t imagine either of these girls are good at much, though, Bird is kind of feisty. I just wish she had a better partner.

Aneesa & Diem – These are two veterans of the game. Both are now in their early 30s and this is turning into a young person’s game. I have a feeling the reason Diem is on the show is simply to find feelings for CT again and vice versa.

Knight & Preston – Knight is entertaining as all hell, but he’s also unlikeable as his insults cut deep. Preston is more social player than physical player, though, he does look a heckuva lot like Rajon Rondo.

Jasmine & Theresa – I’m just going to say it. I don’t even remember Theresa who was on Fresh Meat II. And Jasmine is a ticking time bomb. She has one of the better chances to get kicked off the show for fighting.

Jonna & Nany – You can have one princess on a team, but you can’t have two. Neither is gritty enough to carry the other.

Can’t Win With Only One Good Player

These teams are too mismatched to win.

Dunbar & Tyrie – Dunbar was on the team that won Cutthroat so he has a winner’s pedigree, but Tyrie hasn’t won anything. He’ll be the weak link and he’s generally unimpressive for being such a big dude.

Leroy & Ty – If Leroy had a somewhat strong player, I think he’d be a shoe-in for the top three. I think they gave him Ty, who we’ve seen the worst of over the years, to sabotage Lee. They don’t want him to start winning these things quite yet.

This is the reason they are Rivals.

Sarah & Trishelle – Sarah is the master of the puzzles and far younger than she looks. She looks like the wizened old veteran, but she’s only been with us since 2009 on the RW Brooklyn season. She’s a gamer, but unfortunately, she’s pared with Trischelle, or shall I say, Trashelle.

Close, But No Cigar

These two teams are strong, but there’s just something about them that worries me.

CT & Wes – On paper, they’re one of the favorites. Wes can be a mastermind as long as he’s not losing challenges. With CT, he’ll be on the winning side more often than not. The problem is in them getting along. I don’t see it. They may just fight each other.

Jordan & Marlon – Marlon’s been making them all thirsty and junk. He and Jordan have hinted that they do fairly well this season. They’re both very good athletes, but their rookie-ness will cause them to step out. Marlon is going to be a player in this game for a long time.

Trey & Zach – I feel like Zach can carry most people, but Trey was a bit of a baby in the Battle Of The Seasons. Zach is an alpha male-type and he’s going to break Trey. That will be their undoing.

Don’t Sleep

These are my two underdog teams.

Cooke & Cara Maria (replacing Naomi) – Cooke is a professional soccer player, so she should give her team a great chance to win. But Naomi is like having a minus partner. However, her replacement Cara Maria has spunk. I think they could do really well.

(Spoiler alert: I’m not quite sure why Naomi leaves, but Wikipedia says it’s because of a family issue.)

Camila & Jemmye – This might be my favorite team of the bunch. The fiery Brazilian and the feisty southern girl on the same team? The only thing holding them back is alcohol. I think that will ultimately be their undoing. Oh, and Knight. He’s going to ruin Jemmye’s stay like he always does. I fully expect them to stick around for longer than people think.

Best Bets

If you could bet on this stuff, this is who I’d put money on. If the rules are the same as the first Rivals, one all-male team will win and one all-female team will win.

Frank & Johnny – The two most cerebral players, they are also good enough at physical challenges and really good at the other challenges. Even though they are probably the favorite, I think they pull it off. Johnny has amassed over a quarter-million dollars in prize money from challenges. Frank, even though he seems to have a personality disorder, will probably win him a few as well. I think this will be one of them.

Emily & Paula – If you had Evelyn and Emily on the same team, I think it would be the single greatest Challenge team of all time. But this one isn’t far off. Paula has grit, she’s a gamer, and she’s able to take criticism after years of being made fun of on this show. She finally won on the first Rivals. Emily is the second coming of Evelyn and has a chance to be even better. She has a chip on her shoulder. She just has to make sure she doesn’t fall in love and fall off her game. She’s an amazing competitor. Please keep crappy Ty away from her.

Those are my picks. Check out the show, which starts next Wednesday, July 10 on MTV.

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