It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Forget holidays and Santa Claus and winter wonderlands: The Challenge is back!
After months of waiting and Googling spoilers from tipsters on the scene in Turkey, the wait is over. Our favorite MTV stars are back, and this year is totally bonkers, because if you’re like me and have seen every single episode, obsess over Challenge stats, and even have a fantasy league with randos from AOL chat rooms, you’re like, “Huh? Who are these people?” This year, MTV has introduced 14 completely new people who’ve never appeared on MTV before: contestants’ family members. Hence, “Bloodlines.”
It’s like Fresh Meat all over again, and if you’re fans of Evelyn or Kenny, that may be a good thing. But if you’re a purist (or a gambler), it throws a wrench into things. These folks may be Bananas’ cousin or Camila’s sister, but they’re complete strangers to us. How are we supposed to predict if they’ll be able to chug six gallons of fish semen oil in three minutes or climb up a 4-million-foot mountain wearing just a loincloth?
We can’t, and to me, that makes this season of The Challenge that much more exciting. Here, real emotions are involved because real family members are participating. In the intros alone, half of the teams tear up and all of them say some form of, “I will literally kill any person here who tries to mess with my bloodline.” When that sort of loyalty — and we’re predicting betrayal — is at stake, all bets are off.
I’m calling it now: Bloodlines will change The Challenge forever, in the way Ex-Plosion changed The Real World format. This year, I’ll be here for you, recapping the madness and the glory, the agony and the ecstasy of the greatest show on television, The Challenge.
Each week we’ll rank the teams, but not in terms of who actually won. An extremely scientific calculation of screen time, maniacal behavior, and general insanity will determine the Bloodline Rankings.
Wednesday’s premiere reached peak Challenge pretty quickly. There were fights, hook ups, physical altercations, multiple kinds of cheating, tears, barf bags, and so so so many bottles of red wine. God, I love this show. Let’s get started.
1. Tony and Shane
Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. Tony from Real World: Skeletons makes his first Challenge appearance, and if you thought he looked bad in his original run on TV, which was plagued by living with two exes and his current girlfriend, he’s already dug himself a deep, deep grave.
Paired with his brother Shane (who also cameod on Skeletons), Tony spent the first night/morning hooking up with Christina and talking dirty to her while referring to Madison back home. “My hormones are raging,” he tells her. “I wanna like f–ing bang you. It’s gonna feel so good.”
As if the Melinda-Danny break up didn’t already destroy our faith in MTV-brewed romances! C’mon dude.
But Tony didn’t stop. On the second night, he fights with Larissa and Nicole, but as we’ve learned, when you mess with one person … you mess with their family. And when family means Nany and Camila, you’re out, dude.
But that’s not even it! He then proceeds to psychically throw down with his own brother Shane, throwing him against the wall and knocking down a few plates. It’s legit scary and harkens back to his dark times on Skeletons. Good ol’ TJ Lavin lets them stay with a warning, but oh man, Tony. What are you doing?!
NEXT: And the Pit winner is…[pagebreak]
2. Christina and Emily
Oh look! The eleventh girl! Die-hard Are You The One? fans (all few hundred of us) will remember Christina as the contestant everyone wanted to hate from the show’s second season. But here, she starts off with a bang and an unbuckled belt, hooking up with Tony, who’s dating Madison from his Real World season, on night one. But, she wins a bunch of kudos for admitting they got together in the bathroom, which is more than Tony did. “Yeah, we hooked up,” she says. “So what?”
Even though she and Emily actually kind of crushed the challenge, they were sent into the Pit, where Christina lost to Jenna as they tried to swing a giant rope over wooden poles. Bye Christina and Christina’s sister.
3. Jenna and Brianna
You guys, Jenna’s back! Jenna, who made it to the goddamn FINAL of Battle of the Exes II. Jenna, who traded Jay for Thor (a.k.a. Zach from Real World: San Diego). All hail, Jenna!
This year, she brought her cousin Brianna who admittedly hooked up with three of Jenna’s ex-boyfriends back home, and she’s already proven to be a pretty poo-poo competitor. They came in last in this week’s challenge and were thrown into the pit against Christina and Emily… and they won! Well, Jenna won. Go Jenna.
4. Nany and Nicole
Nany, my girl. She’s tired of being called a “whore,” didn’t hook up with Cory, and Cohutta dumped her. Let’s collectively give Nany a break and see if her cousin (and her cousin’s insane colored contacts) can pull through. We’re rooting for you, Nany.
5. Cohutta and Jill
Out of the gate we learn Jill actually postponed her WEDDING to come on The Challenge. Girl, way to have your priorities straight! (Actually. Not sarcasm. This show is the most important thing in the world. She and Cohutta go on to win the challenge with some help from KellyAnne and Cara Maria’s co-ed teams. They then make the sensible, right choice to send in Christina and Emily. Man, you can always count on Cohutta to Do The Right Thing (even though we found out he broke Nany’s heart after Free Agents. Yeaaaah, we’re gonna need more info on that one.)
6. Leroy and Candice
+1 to Candice for puking in a bag tied around her head and saying she still looks cute.
NEXT: Here’s our episode 1 pick to win it all[pagebreak]
7. Dario and Raphy
8. Thomas and Stephen
9. KellyAnne and Anthony
KellyAnne does a good impression of Dario. She also teaches some of the girls how to twerk. Solid appearance from KellyAnne.
11/ 10. Cory and Mitch AND Aneesa and Rianna
Let’s just pair these teams together for 10th and 11th place since Cory slipped into Aneesa’s bed around the same time Rianna fed Mitch cold cuts on a top bunk. Though, praise Queen Aneesa for PREACHING: “Cory’s a sweet kid… but he’s such a kid.”
12. Camila and Larissa
It’s pretty charming watching Camila interact with her “baby sister” in such a sweet, protective way. But that’s about all from Team Brazil this week.
13. Cara Maria and Jamie
Cara Maria gets points for rigging this week’s challenge so all the girl-guy teams banded together to defeat Bananas and Vince, but other than that, meh.
14. Bananas and Vince
Oh look, the Hulk mutated into TWO HULKS. Unfortunately, based on sheer size, it seems like these guys will destroy everyone if plot twists don’t knock them out first.
Based on the coming attractions, Abram and C.T. seem to still be in the wings with their Bloodlines — if Bloodline teams even remain intact all season. Who’s to say what’s in store for the newbs and the vets as the Challenge gets underway? How are you feeling about Bloodlines so far and who do you think will take down Bananas and Vince?