Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Challenge: Rivals Finale

In keeping with the NBA Lockout version of this blog, this post is about what Simmons (correctly) calls America's 5th professional sport, The Challenge. Go ahead and laugh, but I've already got your pageview. Joke's on you.

From its early stages, the game seemed quite demure. The "athletes" would basically get to extend their TV characters for a month or two. They would show up out of shape, smile for the cameras, and take one more shot at the boy/girl they missed out on in their Real World/Road Rules season.

Now? Whole new ballgame. The dudes show up ready to go. Ripped, jacked, whatever you wanna call it. TJ Lavin, Challenge Host Extraordinaire, even admitted on a BS Report that there is prevalent use of performance-enhancing drugs. (See, now it HAS to be a sport!) The girls, as a whole, are less athletically-inclined, but they arguably take this even more seriously than the guys do.

Simmons has recently clamored for two changes: 1) The show should be extended to 90 minutes, and 2) MTV should air more of the in-house drama. I obviously agree with the first request, but I don't need any more of the blabber going on in the house. Sure, it's hard to pass up more video clips involving the MTV trifecta (CT, alcohol, another human being). But the reason why this show has become the 5th sport is because the challenges themselves are downright ridiculous. Jumping off of cliffs, racing up mountains, 2v2 sumo's the best part of the show, and hence, the reason I will cling to when KOBEsh asks me why I'm writing about something other than the NBA.

There are 12 competitors left in The Final Challenge. Predictions are at the end, but to entertain you, I have ranked them in order of how much the participants entertain me.

12. Tyler Duckworth: He's gay. That's it. Relax, he's not at #12 because he's gay. He's at #12 because I can't think of anything to say about him.
NBA comparison: John Amaechi (please don't kill me for that one)

11. Mandi Moyer: She's the most attractive girl on Rivals. But as for her place in all-time Challenge hotties? No shot, Mandi. She showed a glimpse of being entertaining when she admitted to CT that she likes to be choked in the bedroom, but after CT moved on, he went Shang Tsung on her, and took her soul with him.
NBA comparison: Damon Jones (think post-LeBron)

10. Cara Maria Sorbello: On her best day, she's better-than-average hot. Problem? She almost never has a best day. She wears weird clothes, presumably buys makeup in bulk, and cries a lot. Crying on reality shows are so played out. They're entertaining only if the event that caused the tears was entertaining itself. Cara Maria cries because she doesn't have a friend in the house other than her teammate. She brought her boyfriend's clothes from home and dressed up a pillow with them. Sound like 6th grade? It is.
NBA comparison: Chris Andersen

9. Mike Ross: I stopped watching The Real World a while ago, but I had heard good things about the most recent one in Vegas, so I gave it a chance. I ended up not hating it, and Mike was a big reason for it. MTV did a good job placing a total nerd in Sin City, and his bromance with one of the other housemates had a funny ebony-ivory feel to it. But extending that into The Challenge has gotten a little weird. That and other factors led to the other players re-living high school, as they enjoyed picking on him for his ability to read. Gets boring after a while.
NBA comparison: Chris Dudley

8. LeRoy Garrett: LeRoy is the aforementioned ebony to Mike's ivory. He gets points for being the only human being, male or female, to not shake when CT enters the room. He also gets points for befriending a complete dork and being chill as eff when people question him. Other than that, there isn't much to it. He's just a garbage man (dead serious) who looks for trim 24/7.
NBA comparison: Joel Anthony

7. Johnny "Bananas" Devenanzio: He's probably the smartest player to grace The Challenge. (I'll pass on making a joke here because that would be too easy.) Even though he is certainly a meathead, he plows through challenges based on weasel-ness alone. Gotta respect a man who's good at his craft, but Tim Duncan isn't exactly a top-selling NBA jersey either.
NBA comparison: Duncan

6. Evelyn Smith: Beastly. She's the best female athlete in Challenge history. She makes the other girls crap their pants (just kidding, girls never do #2). But like Johnny, all she cares about is winning, so the personality takes a small hit.
NBA comparison: Scottie Pippen (boring + awesome)

5. Laurel Stucky: She could play in the WNBA right now. Super tall and athletic to boot. She even surprised me this season by being sneaky makeup-hot (face only). Even though she's relatively new to the dance, she's not afraid to mix it up with the veterans. Actually seems a little normal, too: she didn't drop trow for CT on sight alone.
NBA comparison: Dirk Nowitzki

4. Jenn Grijalva: Usually when you take sports very seriously, you're at least decent at them. Jenn will cut you in a dark alley if you question her toughness and dedication, but when gametime comes, she's always a step below her fellow girls. However, because I'm being completely honest about Jenn cutting you in an alley, she's ranked pretty high. She will go toe-to-toe with anybody...for anything.
NBA comparison: Ron Artest

3. Kenny Santucci: Nicknamed Mr. Beautiful, Kenny has questionable choices in friends, but he brings the heat when it comes to ripping people. There is no way that MTV doesn't call him for every single Challenge in the next 3 years.
NBA comparison: Ray Allen (ambassador for the game)

2. Wes Bergmann: You know how everyone knows somebody that thinks that he/she is better than everyone? Wes is that guy. Normally that would slot you pretty low on this list, but he is sly enough to win challenges where alliances are established specifically to eliminate him. Major underdog points.
NBA comparison: Dwyane Wade

1. Paula "Walnuts" Meronek: Paula Walnuts is fascinating. This is her 8th challenge. In the previous 7, not only has she lost, she has lost in pretty humiliating ways. In one of them she had a solid alliance, but she threw it away when she inexplicably went against them. In another one, she was granted a "key" as part of a 4-member alliance that played Goliath on their way to winning; only problem was that she was stabbed in the back when her teammates chose to partner with the enemy at her expense. Both times she cried. Before, I said crying isn't entertaining, but Walnuts gets the exception. Her crying is of the type where the act of crying somehow restricts you from breathing. Every sound coming out of Paula-at-rock-bottom is this pathetic whimper as if she's gasping for air. Great stuff.
NBA comparison: Adam Morrison

Finale Predictions
Winners: Johnny-Tyler; Evelyn-Paula
Runners-Up: Wes-Kenny; Laurel-Cara Maria
Going home with no cash: LeRoy-Mike; Jenn-Mandi

Tonight, Wednesday, 10pm MTV.


  1. Soo it's that time again to put my 2 cents in. I love your breakdowns, but your nba comparisons weren't with enough detail. So here you go, i'll let you off the hook with my nba comparisons.

    10. Tyler-Jon Amaechi was a cop out. Im going to go more with a player who thought he was just as strong and as athletic as his counterparts, only to bitch as much as the women. Seems to me, he's a ringer for none other than Vlade Divac.

    9. Mike Ross- little white guy who somehow finds a way to gut through things and win a couple of challenges, riding the coattails of his more athletic counterparts. Guy most likely never to be picked for a team. NBA Comparison- A. Barrea- Honorable mention Steve Blake.

    8. Leroy- freakish biceps, and the muscle behind the brains for his team. He takes direction well, and has a rag to riches kind of story. If you consider the challenge to be riches. NBA Comparison- Antonio Davis/Charles Oakley. Honorable Mention comparison- Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner.

    7. Bananas- Good but not elite athlete. Plays mind games and really gets underneath everyone's skin. NBA Comparison- Dahntay Jones

    6. Evelyn- Sorest loser on the challenge, and thinks she's better than everyone else. Will blame her teammates if she every comes up short. Obvious Comparison would be LeBron James, but let's also throw in Kobe.

    To be continued

  2. King, totally on board with the LeRoy and Evelyn comparisons. Great work.