A new challenge has arrived and once again MTV has changed the format. I’m not sure if they think they make it more interesting by changing it up or if they just don’t feel like they’ve quite gotten the right format yet, but the Fresh Meat format is my least favorite, so I’m glad for something new.
This time around, there will be three teams. Each week, all three compete in the challenge. The team that wins gets immunity and $20,000 while the two teams that lose must vote a guy and a girl into the Gulag (that might be worse than Survivor’s Medallion of Power…) where they fight to stay in the game. One guy and one girl will go home after every Gulag. (I don’t want to say every week since they sometimes leave it as a cliffhanger. For some reason they think that makes it more exciting.)
Oh, did I mention, the votes are cast in secret (taking a page from the Survivor handbook huh?) The response to this bit of news: so I can tell them one thing and do something different in the vote!
In another unexpected twist, the contests aren’t divided into teams before the show starts. Instead, they race to the house and then the three losers (shockingly all girls) are made team captains and pick the teams.
For some reason they’ve decided to hold this challenge in Prague (Czech Republic). I’m not sure why. I’ve been there twice and it certainly has areas of interest (mostly for Jews who want to see the place the Nazis in WWII wanted to preserve as a sort of museum), it’s not exotic the way Jamaica (Battle of the Sexes) is.
Camilla Nagakawa (team captain)
Paula Meronek (is it a bad idea for her and Dunbar to be on the same team)
Tori Fiorenza (yeah, she and Brad are married)
Johnny Devenanzio (bananas? how will he do without his usual posse?)
Katie Doyle (she just loves the abuse because I don’t think she’s ever had a good experience on the show yet she keeps coming back)
Theresa Gonzalez (apparently the resident mean girl)
Emilee Fitzpatrick (team captain)
Cara Maria Sorbello
Dan Walsh (newly recovering alcoholic–it’s always nice to see people from these shows grow up)
Laurel Stucky (so glad she’s back, maybe people will be nicer to her this time around and maybe she’ll decide it would be smart to stop drinking)
Luke Wolfe (let’s see how he does now that there’s no Evelyn–not saying she carried him through all the time, but sometimes…)
Sarah Rice (glad to see her away from Kenny)
Shauvon Torres (team captain, of implant popping fame)
Now to this week: the usual partying and drinking takes place, during which Theresa accuses Camilla of being a thief and a bunch of other girls decide to jump on the bandwagon. Paula steps in to tell her not to let them bother her, they are just trying to upset a newbie. Laurel meanwhile gets drunk and challenges Shauvon to wrestle. Shauvon, perhaps fearing another implant malfunction is not keen on the idea. (Or perhaps just worried that Laurel will kill her, because she could.) A sobear Dan wants to prove he’s still fun so he goes streaking.
The challenge: run into a gas chamber (this is so tactless MTV, think about where you are!) to get numbers that will allow them to unlock the diagrams for how they should assemble their giant puzzle pieces. (No one should ever come to a challenge without buying one of those small versions of the blocks and practicing.) Perhaps surprising everyone, though not me, the grey team won the first challenge. (I mean, they have Abram, Laurel, Sarah, and Luke who are all solid and this wasn’t a challenge that required much more than a cool head)
The Gulag: Brandon and Camilla are voted in for the red team, Derek and Emilee are voted in for the blue team. All newbies, notice. I don’t understand why the new competitors allow this. There are a good number of them (well, there are eight of them but I guess they are spread out). It is basically a cycle of bullying and mistreatment. Take Theresa as the perfect example. Last season she was the newbie and had to put up with being bullied and this season she begins the bullying first. Anyway, the challenge is to wrestle a a ring away from their opponent. Whoever manages to secure five rings first wins. The red team sweeps and blue team ends two members down.
I’m interested to see how this season will play out though I am sad that some of my favorites are MIA: Ev (she did say it would be her last challenge), the Miz, Ruthie, Coral…