The Challenge: Battle of the Exes, Episode 2

Arguably the Greatest Show on TV

***In what will become a weekly edition to TheWavierWire, Mike Aurigemma and Greg Kaplan will sit down and discuss what happened in the previous night’s episode of The Challenge: Battle of the Exes. SPOILER ALERT: we do discuss the results from the show. If you haven’t seen the episode yet, don’t read this until later. Really. It’s that simple. Just don’t be stupid.***

What a crazy two episodes it has been. If you are asking yourself right now why we didn’t run an article after the first episode, its pretty simple. The first episode only exists to set up the season as a whole. Analyzing it thoroughly would be like declaring winners and losers from Spring Training results. We get a taste of what’s to come (like CT and Diem potentially killing each other or Johnny and Camila doing work) without seeing anything substansive.

Lets get to it…

Kaplan: Alright Boston, let’s jump right into this. Starting first with the challenge “Hook Up” this week. Weak challenge, nobody really stood out with the exception of Johnny and Camila. Are they going to be the recurring Power Couple through this season?

Wes wasn't enough to knock off Leroy

Boston: Yes I definitely think that they will be the power couple throughout the show, but I think its a different story when it comes to the eliminations in “The Dome”. I think Leroy showed that he is a tough out and you obviously cannot count out CT in eliminations. We’ve seen what can happen to Johnny when he has to go in. CT carries him like a backpack on his way to school. But with Wes out of the picture it looks like Johnny should be able to control the game.

What did you think about Wes being sent home so early in the game? Clearly he had a big target on his back.

Kaplan: It’s no question that Wes has made a lot of enemies along the way in all the challenges he’s been in. But, while I was absolutely rooting for the upset with Leroy, I must admit I’m a little bummed to see Wes go home so early. His entertainment value, to me, is right behind CT’s on these shows. You just never know what bullshit is going to come out of his mouth next. I want to get into Leroy and Naomi a bit later, but I want to stay on Wes and Mandi first.

We both knew that they were a flawed team (though I don’t think either of us had Wes, not Mandi, being the reason they go home early). Wasn’t there a huge opportunity missed here by MTV not pairing Wes with his ex-fiance or ex-wife Johanna? I mean, once we heard this season would be called Battle of the Exes, I think you and I exchanged txts stating our excitement over a possible reunion for those two, no?
Boston: Greg I completely agree that Johanna should have been in this challenge, but I disagree on who I think her partner should have been. I think it would have been awesome to have her paired with Kenny to completely rub it in Wes’ face. They have had a long going rivalry and I have been on the side of Kenny throughout all of it and what better way to shut Wes up. I mean just think about that, Wes isn’t even good enough to get paired up with his own ex-wife. Just priceless. How could MTV miss out on this opportunity? Disappointed to say the least.

Was Sarah's exit from The Challenge unfair?

Kaplan: Alright, fair enough, that’s a great point. As much as you hate Wes, I think we both agree that in this competition, he was in the Top 5 strongest male challengers, with an argument to be made that he might be Top 3.

But, in my opinion, there was NO QUESTION that Sarah was the strongest female competitor. She was itching for a breakthrough in this season, and that was obvious with her dominating win with Vinny in this week’s competition. But, your homeboy from Medford decided to rip off Mandi’s top at a bar, sending both of them home. How big of an impact will this move have on the rest of the competition?
Boston: Yes without a doubt Wes has proven to be a great competitor and real threat and I would have liked to see him stay around longer, but not at the expense of my boy Leroy.Now onto Vinny who is from the same city as me. I do agree that Sarah was a great competitor from the girls side, but I think in the end Vinny was going to be the one holding her back. Now onto the decision to have him kicked out. I did not think that that was a reason to get kicked off of the show though. I mean just last season I remember footage of everyone in the house ripping off Mikes clothes. It was a surprising move, but I cannot defend the way Vinny left the house. Couldn’t even look at Sarah afterwards. Just disappointed he couldn’t represent Medford in a better way. But back to the girl competitors, I think two of the strongest girls may be on the same team.

What do you think about MTV pairing Rachel and Aneesa together? And do you see anyway they can compete with the rest of the couples?

Kaplan: Can they compete with the other competitors? Absolutely. And honestly, its because neither one of them will hold each other back. They’re studs. I don’t think there is a girl competitor that is stronger or even as strong as them. Who is the top girl left in the house now that Sarah is gone? Camila? Robin? We don’t know what we’re going to get out of Heather until she’s challenged. And we both know that something tragic is bound to happen to Paula that will prevent her from winning. I really think that Anessa and Rachel may prove to be the Challenge’s most balanced team.

By balanced, I mean they don’t have a true strength or a true weakness. They’re just…there. And I think that will play into their hands. Now, how the Dome will work when or if Anessa and Rachel get voted in, I don’t know. I guses it would have to be a puzzle or something.
Ok, let’s talk about some of the most unstable teams. In my opinion, there is no team here more ready to combust than Tyree and Jasmine. We’ve seen Jasmine blow up before, and she’s already broken the team picture with her and Tyree and this week she took a swing at the kid. The girl is a psycho. On the same level with Naomi. What do you think?
Boston: Greg I do agree that Rachel and Aneesa are balanced and could sneak by pretty far because they may go unnoticed and other people will want to face them in the finals.Onto some teams ready to explode. Tyree and Jasmine are definitely at the top of the list. And how did she not get sent home for hitting him the face and both teammates were involved with that fight and it would have been fair for both of them to be sent packing, but in MTV I trust. If they were to have been sent home it would have just summed up Tyrees challenge career. I mean has it not suck in his head that he isn’t good at these. He’s got all the physical skills and was a college football player. Just a complete bust. So much potential, but never put it together. I mean you could argue that his challenge career makes Kwame Brown look like a lock for Springfield. Yes he has been that big of a disappointment. I mean Danny finally realized he sucked at challenges and Ty could be next on this list if he doesn’t start to show something. I mean its not like were talking about a bunch of Adams here. These guys have the tools to great.

Sorry Greg, had to go on a rant there. Its been eating at me for a while now.

I know you mentioned how you wanted to get back to Naomi and Leroy and I definitely expected more from Naomi. How do you see the rest of their challenge playing out? Does Leroy even think about getting it in with someone else in the house?

Kaplan: He’s already thinking about it. Who has that conversation with anyone if they weren’t on the prowl? Look, I know you love Leroy and I think, in some order, he, Johnny and CT are the three strongest guys left in the house without Wes.

But, Naomi is going to kamikaze this team in some way. I mean, Mandi is a weak competitor when it comes to physical challenges. There’s no question about that. And yet, Mandi dominated her as if she wasn’t there. If that coin flipped tails, Wes and Mandi are still in this challenge. Naomi doesn’t offer anything to this challenge except her bat-shit craziness. I don’t see a team being able to send Leroy home, but if I had to put money on another team being DQ’d for something, its Naomi going off.
As far as who I see as the strongest team left, that’s hard. As I said, every team has a clear weakness. Leroy and CT are the strongest guys, but Diem is a stick in the mud outside of a puzzle and Naomi is Naomi. It pains me to say Johnny and Camila, to me, seem like the strongest and most cohesive team. I really don’t think they’re going to fight as much with each other. I also like the idea of Dustin and Heather, as they’re the closest thing to a couple in the house. But, they’re rookies, I fully expect the two of them to be going into the next Dome next week. How they respond from that, then I’ll know how to judge them.
My strongest two couples, as of today, are Johnny/Camila and Mark/Robin with my weakest two couples being Tyree/Jasmine and Dunbar/Paula. What do you think?

Will there be too much drama for them to pull through?

Boston: I do agree that both Diem and Naomi could be the reason both of their teams fail. With that being said I can also see Robin being a serious problem for Mark. I think she should have stayed retired and not pulled a Brett Favre.
Its funny though I could see Johnny being the reason his team loses in an elimination round if he goes up against CT, Leroy or Mark. I just cannot see anyway he has to go in unless he finishes last. No one wants go get on his bad side and I think people know that.As far as weakest teams I definitely think Tyree and Jasmine are right there with Dunbar and Paula closely behind. Dustin and Heather could be wild cards although I think they will be heading in next unless they somehow win and become the power couple. An interesting point about them that I have noticed so far is how little interaction they have had with Leroy and Naomi. I mean normally when rookies come in they stick with people who were in the same season as them. Now Leroy and Dustin were not best friends, but they were not enemies either. And Naomi and Heather were pretty close. Maybe MTV has not been showing footage of them talking because its not an important, but just some I found interesting.

Alright Greg give me a surprise team. Any chance it could be Ty and Emily or do they have too much baggage too?

Kaplan: I can’t put any stock in Ty. Not after what happened in Rivals. That was such a pathetic piece of work. You know, I can’t help but keep going back to Dustin and Heather. They’re the great unknown, and they like each other. That can’t be overstated. The trend has seemed to be bucked recently with not putting in rookies first. As long as Dustin and Heather don’t create any real waves, why can’t they be the stunning upset?

Give me your surprise pick and then we can wrap this bad boy up.
Boston: I really do like that pick, but for argument sakes I’m going to go with someone else. May not be a surprise team, but we haven’t talked about them yet. Yes that’s right Abram and Cara Maria. They just have that weird chemistry and you can never count Abram out. I mean the guy was an absolute beast and psycho on these shows before and if he can get back in that zone he can take that team a long way.We will have to see though. I am positive that the rest of the season will not disappoint. How can it. It is just the most entertaining show on television in my book right now.

Kaplan: Agree 100%. Its America’s unofficial fifth sport. Alright I think we got everything for this weeks show. Final prediction: who goes home next week?I vote Tyree/Jasmine.Boston: I have to go with Tyree and Jasmine. I mean I’ve trashed them enough how can I not pick them.

Kaplan: Alright, til next week.

Greg Kaplan and Mike Aurigemma are staff writers for TheWaiverWire

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