Battle Of The Exes time!
Wednesdays are now the busiest night in television. With the premiere of Survivor, it now means that three of reality television’s finest programs are all on the same night with American Idol and Battle Of The Exes. That is in addition to Revenge, Criminal Minds and Modern Family. Yikes.
The only thing scarier than my DVR schedule on Wednesday was the animal make-up the Exes contestants wore on the second episode. In one of their typical opening parties, Johnny and the gang all adorned animal costumes for a jungle-themed party. Perhaps it was their way of celebrating the Survivor premiere in the Dominican Republic.
Diem obviously looked the best (as usual), but Jasmine and Camilla also got top marks. One of the funniest moments of the season was when Robin came out in full Twilight gear even though everyone else looked like they ahd escaped from The Lion King.
The challenge asked the teams to spin on a suspended rubber log for as long as they could before getting dizzy and falling into the ocean. They would then have to swim to shore with the fast team to get there winning the status of power couple and the slowest team being sent immediately into the Duel.
Paula and Dunbar selected the order as part of their prize for being last week’s power couple. The challenge itself had the usual results with Johnny/Camila, CT/Diem and Ty/Emily dominating. The final showdown saw Johnny/Camila take on Ty/Emily with Dunbar/Paula nervously looking on because a victory by the former Real World DC housemates certainly met that they would be sent into the Dome as payback for last week.
In the end, Johnny/Camila were victorious and Tyrie/Jasmine were sent into the Dome.
The most interesting part of the episode was seeing who Johnny/Camila would nominate. With the newbies all sent home already, my thinking was that they would probably send Ty/Emily again. That’s when the first major secret of the season was made, when we learned that Johnny still harbored a grudge against Rachel from her voting for him over Abram on The Island. I absolutely relished in the reveal. While some say that they are sick of the Evan/Kenny/Johnny triumvirate on Challenges, to me they are the key to the show’s success. The fact that Johnny was still mad about what Rachel did several Challenges ago was almost mob-like in its execution.
The most interesting part of the Challenge was also the history behind Rachel’s relationship with Mark. While Mark claimed that he had always looked out for Rachel, Camila revealed that in a discussion after the Challenge, Rachel said that Robin (Mark’s partner) was ‘ready to go home.’
A fiery confrontation between Aneesa/Rachel and Johnny ensued in the backdrop of a night out and the result was that the power couple picked the lesbians to face off against the hapless Tyrie/Jasmine.
The only thing I didn’t like about the episode was the fact that the Dome Challenge was the same as the one in the first week where Nate/Priscilla lost to Wes/Mandi. It involved jumping over rotating obstacles in the style of double dutch when skipping rope.
As I initially suspected, Tyrie and Aneesa were knocked off first leaving the dirty work to their partners. Given Jasmine’s size, it was only a matter of time before she fell off and Aneesa/Rachel were crowned the victors.
I am not sure how long they will be able to enjoy their victory. Despite their thirst for vengeance, I believe that Johnny/Camila simply have too many allies and that the only way Aneesa/Rachel can win now is if they sweep every remaining power couple challenge. The time for them to make a move is over because the newbies have all left so they have almost no support versus the tight Johnny/Paula/Mark/Diem stranglehold at the top.
Let’s get to the power rankings.
Johnny Bananas & Camila
I don’t see them moving from this position until maybe the finals when they will inevitable have to face off against CT/Diem. That will be one spectacular finish. While I feel like fans of the show will argue with me on this one, considering the fact that Johnny/Camila’s repeat status as the power couple has not only made them a target but has also made enemies of Aneesa/Rachel, I don’t think they have anything to fear. No one can stop them.
CT & Diem
I promised myself that I would objectively critique Diem’s performance this week, but her stunning beauty makes that almost impossible. Strategically, I think she had a strong week and while she butted heads with CT, ultimately he listened to her and that will be the key to their success. What I like the most about the game they are playing is that they are not making any enemies and allowing Johnny to take all of the bullets for them. I think their plan is to sail to the end and then show how strong they really are. I also think they cleared a major hurdle in their relationship in this episode and can only work as more of a cohesive unit from here.
Ty & Emily
Ty and Emily continue to rise up the rankings. I think Ty works better with a partner and it is clear that Emily has him under control. While I usually don’t think ‘newbies’ will do well, this team is changing my perception. I am not sure if it is because the vets generally like them or are just intimidated by their strength but I think it is a combination of both. As Dunbar/Paula found out, these are not the guys you want to send to the Dome because if they come back, they are coming after you.
Abram & Cara Maria
Another controversial pick for #4, but I think Abram/Cara Maria are performing well and like Ty/Emily are capable of winning. While I don’t think they are in any kind of alliance, I just feel like they are what they are and aren’t making as many enemies as the other teams are.
Mark & Robin
Tough week for Mark. His pal Rachel apparently threw him under the bus and it’s clear that his partner isn’t long for the game. I think Mark could have won this season if paired with a better partner but hey, I guess you aren’t thinking about how a girl will do in Challenges years after the fact when you decide to hook up with her. In that respect, I’d totally hook up with Laurel. Not only is she hot but she can beat any two-person team by herself.
Dunbar & Paula
While Ty/Emily are still coming after them, they stayed under the radar this week and I think the feud between Rachel/Johnny will last until one of them is gone meaning the other teams won’t be under-the-gun as much.
Aneesa & Rachel
Big drop for Aneesa/Rachel. While they won in the Dome, I think that they have the one enemy that I wouldn’t want. Johnny will stop at nothing to get rid of them and I think that they will basically be in the Duel every week unless they win Power Couple. They are finished.
Not too much else to say other than the usual. I hope there is more Diem in the next episode.
The Challenge: Battle Of The Exes airs Wednesdays at 10 pm on MTV & MTV Canada