The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, Episode 3 recap

Three episodes in, and Fresh Meat has gone to the elimination three consecutive times. Unlike the last two times, Meat was unable to get out of the Arena unscathed. 

Well, what are we waiting? Somebody get Greg Kaplan and Mike Aurigemma on the line! We need analysis!

Oh, they’re already here. Got it.

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Greg Kaplan: Fellas, fellas, fellas. We have three weeks in the books now with this season of The Challenge, and I can proudly say that I nailed it this week, my man. I told you last week that Fresh Meat was so dysfunctional that they would continue to find themselves in eliminations. Three eliminations, three times the Meat has been either put in or lost the Challenge to go in.

This time around, Brandon and Cara Maria got voted in after they group couldn’t decide that on who to go in, going up against the maybe not so soft as puppy poop Brooklyn duo of Sarah and Chet in a strategy elimination. Unfortunately, Fresh Meat was slimmed down two members as they couldn’t overcome. Before we get into specifics about the game moving forward Mike, talk to me about this elimination. What did we learn from it?

Sarah and Chet stepped up and won the Strategy elimination

Mike Aurigemma: Well I think we definitely saw how dysfunctional Fresh Meat really is.  I mean for the second time in a row they were not able to decide who to sent in.  That is just ridiculous to me.  On the other hand we saw that Sarah and Chet were confident enough to nominate themselves to go in.  There is no doubt that Chet is not the strongest player here, but as far as mental or strategy go he can definitely hang with anyone.  And Sarah has always been a pretty good competitor on this show and that showed again last night.

We have also now seen three out of the four possible elimination categories with only mental remaining.  After seeing this, I really think that it could be anyone’s game in some of these.  I am not so sure someone like Zach could dominate an elimination like the one we just saw.  This will definitely make it interesting when we start to see some of the alliances go up against each other.
Going forward we may already be seeing turmoil begin to break up a group in Las Vegas.  This elimination was pretty important to them going forward as well.  How do you see that season bouncing back?  And did they just put a target on their back?
GK: I doubt they have a target on their back. They’re actually in a pretty solid position, despite Trischell going out of her way to make an enemy with Sarah. By putting Brooklyn into the elimination, they appeased the alliance and proved that they’re trustworthy. At the same time, every team not in the alliance still views San Diego as the top dog and would likely send them into an elimination before Las Vegas. Vegas has a real shot to fly under the radar as long as they stop creating waves in the house.

Getting back to Fresh Meat again quickly, I have to say I feel terrible for Brandon. This guy found himself in the worst situation possible. I imagine he felt exactly like Jose Reyes did when he walked into the Marlins clubhouse and realized that Ozzie Guillen (Camila) won’t shut up and will always put his foot in his mouth, Heath Bell (Big E) will disappoint and blame everyone else before himself and Carlos Lee (Cara Maria) is just useless. At the same time, brilliant play by Vegas to keep Camila and E in the house. Aren’t they the biggest liability moving forward?
MA: How excited were you to use that Reyes analogy is what I really want to know.

I definitely think it was smart to leave those two in the house especially Big E mainly because he literally just comes in last in almost every challenge so you do not have to worry about that at all.  Although Big E has shown that with his size he will be a pretty tough out in certain eliminations.  Now if he has to go in a strategy one then it is over right away.
You mentioned that San Diego is the top dog right now and that is pretty clear.  I am really wondering how it is going to shake out once the alliance has to be broken up and they have to go against each other.  CJ just seems like a great competitor that is steady and knows how to stay out of the spotlight.  To me he is probably their biggest threat to stop them from winning it all.  How do you see the alliance going once they have to face off against each other?
GK: I was literally planning all day how I could pull off crapping on the Marlins in just about every post I write for the next four months. It’s all I got going for me. Moving on.

There seems to be a clear pecking order in the alliance. San Diego seems to be at the top, followed by Cancun and then Las Vegas. That much is obvious. Before they have to worry about sending each other home, Fresh Meat, St. Thomas and Brooklyn all have players they can vote in, so I really don’t see if being a problem for a long time.
I actually wanted to bring this up last week, but totally forgot about it. C.J. has to be the house favorite as far as player who is going to win money. How do I know this? He puts Bible verses on his eye black Tim Tebow style. C.J. is Tim Tebow. Just like the Jets are going to rebound from their inevitable 2-4 start once they name Tebow starter and win the Super Bowl, C.J. is going to carry Cancun to the finish line. You will never see anyone compete harder in a challenge. You will never see a team come together as one cohesive unit like Cancun will. They will give every once of blood they have for the greater good of the season. God bless.
OK. But seriously, Cancun is for real. I’d put them up as a Top 2 team in the house power rankings right now. Speaking of which, it’s time for some good predictions. I have the lead so far in the season series, correctly picking a Fresh Meat pair to go home last week. Who do you have this week Mikey?
MA: There has to be a time where a team in the alliance does not win a challenge and then everything can change.  I just do not see that happening this week.  I am going to go with Preston and Mckenzie from New Orleans because I think they will finish in last and those two will have no chance of coming out of the elimination.

Alright big shot, why don’t you tell me who you got going home next week?
GK: That’s Mr. Big Shot to you (sorry, Robert Horry). I still don’t think its smart to put any faith in the Fresh Meat team. They’ve been in as many eliminations as there have been episodes. I’m riding that hot hand and sending Big E and Camila home. They’re going to explode when the smallest of things go wrong and E falls off something into the water and someone calls Camila out on being drunk. Its as predictable as the sun coming up in the morning.