Two weeks in the books already, and one full cast from The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons has been shipped home. Danny and Melinda couldn’t keep their endurance up against Big E and Camilla, as Fresh Meat won their second consecutive elimination round in as many weeks.
As writers and Challenge experts Greg Kaplan and Mike Aurigemma look back and reflect on how this season is shaping up, the two get into a conversation about more than just a changing of the tide on this season…
To read a recap of Episode 1, click here.
GK: That’s two episodes in the book so far, Mikey, and right now we’re down to only 7 teams from the original 8 as Real World: Austin has officially been sent packing after only two eliminations.
Before we get into the things that the two teams in the “Endurance” elimination did right or wrong, we really need to talk about the new theme of this show. Frank said it himself, it’s the Revenge of the Rookies. We’ve talked often about how we felt this was a transition season in terms of introducing new faces to the challenges and bringing in new blood. However, I still believe we both saw this being a season dominated by a team of veterans.
Clearly, that just isn’t the case. All of the rookies teams, with the exception of St. Thomas, have teamed up and easily dominated this week’s challenge. So much so that, for the first time i can remember, T.J. became visually pissed off with what he was watching. He honestly looked like as if he had been cheated by the strategy in the game. Is this something we’re going to have to get used to? Is there any way a veteran squad can crack into the top spot?
This is a crazy sight to watch as usually the rookies are really the veterans’ bitches. It is extremely smart for them to team up because they out-number the veterans.I still think that the veterans are going to be smarter playing the game from here on out. We have seen Frank lose control at times and that could easily make that alliance a lot weaker in a second. When this does happen I fully expect the veterans to capitalize on the situation.
As for your other point about the rookies throwing the competition, I do not think we will see that all the time because not everyone is a competition against another team like that. This is when we could easily see a veteran team win a challenge and take control of the game.
Now I want to get to the elimination and mainly talk about Danny. Can this guy ever step up? I feel like he has to be the biggest choke artist we have seen on this show. Give me your thoughts on him and also their strategy in the elimination that I did not agree with.
Will Fresh Meat be able to rally together as a unit after another Elimination win?
GK: It seems to me that the endurance challenge was actually a strategy challenge. To me, the clearest strategy would’ve been to keep almost all the balls on your side very close to the center wall and with about 30 seconds left, bash the balls over the wall, giving the other team a very limited amount of time to react and send them back. The way it was played was better for Fresh Meat, because they weren’t trying to kill the balls over the wall. Instead, they simply moved them where they needed to be.
Danny was trying to muscle up and really force them over, taking more time to get one over than Big E. Obviously, that was what held him back. And I agree with you. He’ll never step up to the plate on a Challenge, plain and simple. I think the show’s producers are trying to groom him to be the next Brad, but I just don’t see it happening.
Speaking of players on this season be the “next”, Trey has been tabbed the new Wes. I didn’t watch Real World: St. Thomas, so I don’t know if this is his true personality, but he’s ego-ing up on people for no reason. Literally all he’s had to do so far is keep his mouth shut, not create any waves, and Frank even tried to include him in their plot. For some reason, Trey talked his way out of it and into isolation. What’s the deal here, man?
I am so confused by what Trey is actually planning here. Does he actually think that this is a good idea? He was awful on the Real World and you can tell that he does have a pretty big ego but just suck it up and you can stay a little longer. I was shocked when he was not chosen to be sent into the elimination round. I think the only thing that could save St. Thomas at this point is that they are not on either alliance. So of the San Diego alliance wins they might choose to send in two from the veterans side. This is the only way that it could work out. As for the Wes comparisons, I just do not think he is smart enough to manipulate people like Wes once was able to.
Something else that confused me in this episode was the decisions for Brandon to not volunteer to go in. I understand he does not want to go home, but it looks like you will need all of your team members and did he really think “Big Easy” going in in an endurance competition was going to work out. They got lucky that as you mentioned it really had nothing to do with endurance.
It seems like another card MTV is trying to play is how so many people might be coupled up. This was a very common theme in this past season of The Real World. What do you think about showing so many people trying to start a relationship? I literally do not want to hear Knight being drunk and talking about Jemmye one more time.
Apparently, both Mike and Greg aren’t a fan of this duo
GK: I actually remember watching part of Knight’s and Jemmye’s season of The Real World and what a train wreck they were. However, none of this is new. People have been hooking up on Challenges with other team members since the beginning of time. Remember, Brad eventually married a cast member.Alright Mike we’ve been ranting a bit this week, so lets bring it home. Its prediction time. What are you thinking is going down in Week 3?
MA: Well I think we are going to see the veterans actually go ahead and win a challenge for a change, but still not be able to send home someone from the San Diego alliance. I think we will be seeing Trey and Laura sent home next week as Trey finally backed himself into a corner he cannot get out of. What about you. Who do you see being sent hom next week?
GK: I’m not as confident as you that the vets are going to win this next challenge. And if they don’t, I think the rookies smell blood. Fresh Meat is without a doubt the most dysfunctional team in the house. They’ll continue to go into eliminations until they’re all gone.