One of the most important things to remember when watching The Challenge is that the cast members don’t act or think the way that normal people do. The world of The Real World and The Challenge are completely different from the regular youth culture. Not only are they used to the attention of fame, they exist on a plane where only sex and alcohol matter.

That’s basically my way of trying to explain the strange behavior of the women in tonight’s episode. I think many of the relationships, fights, and nastiness have a lot to do with screen time.

 Take Diem for example. She’s the perfect example of somebody who can’t exist unless all eyes are on her, with everybody coddling her feelings. She stares, mopey-eyed at CT as he flirts with yet another female competitor. (And can you blame him now that women vote in the men?) But whenever he actually talks to her, she hems and haws about how hard everything is. She doesn’t want him, she wants the positive attention he gives her.  Not that I blame her. I imagine after the second bout of ovarian cancer, her self-esteem took quite the hit.

 But it’s the nastiness Diem exhibits in this episode that truly shows the dark side of craving the attention that these type of shows give. Off-screen, she apparently raps about Nany dancing with CT, with negative undertones.

 When Cara Maria and Cooke desperately try to save themselves from going into the elimination round, Diem says, “They can’t manipulate with their looks, so they’re trying another way.” It’d be one thing if Diem owned her bitchy comments, as so many of the awesome females of Challenge past have, but she’s constantly putting on a sweet façade. It’s a character she plays for a storyline she’s created in her mind.

 It’s not only Diem whose desperation for screen time shows. Jordan quickly moves from dearly departed Sarah to Jonna. Nany sets her sights on CT after ending the last episode with Marlon. Leroy hops from Jemmeye to Teresa in the span of one episode. Either everybody’s self-esteem is extremely low, or it’s a front.

 (Anybody else scratch their head when Leroy said that Jemmeye was one of the cutest girls in the house?)

 One of the benefits of these fake moments of romance, lust, and passion is the possibility of returning for another season. That seems to be Knight’s whole purpose this season. He’s ensuring himself a spot in future challenges as a Wes-type character who has no problem antagonizing anybody and everybody. His first challenge, Battle of the Exes, ended with him embarrassing himself with a terrible performance and barely a few minutes of screen time. Now he seems desperate to ensure that never happens again.

 He antagonizes his partner, his fellow competition, and his ex, Jemmeye. With Jemmeye, he uses her worst fear (just as he said he would with Marlon) against her. Ketchup. I think this might be the first time ketchup has been used in a fight in Challenge history.

 (In case you were wondering about the title, it means fear of ketchup. It’s also the bane of spell-check’s existence.)

 Another moment of screen time desperation was Johnny Bananas and his pathetic bobble head. It might be time for the dude to get a real job.


Other Musings

The rap Wes wrote about Nany was pretty funny. He’s always talking about how smart he is, which is dubious, but he’s not a half bad writer.

Nany calls Diem the crazy ex-girlfriend. I wonder if there are any moments of jealousy we aren’t seeing on screen. The challenge barely seemed fair. The losing team included Jasmine, who is barely 5 feet fall. She definitely couldn’t reach high enough to complete the challenge.

It begs the question: should these challenges be made for any body type? The rain also contributed to it being unfair. You could possibly go home because mother nature worked against you.

Cooke and Cara Maria do a terrible job at communicating. Not surprising seeing as they barely know each other. Wes and CT also do a terrible job. This is one pairing that truly works against each other.

CT is a better competitor than Wes, so Wes tries to overcompensate to disastrous results. On the last Rivals, CT was desperate to make Adam his friend again that he kept his anger in check. If these two end up in an elimination round, their chances aren’t good. “I’d like to communicate my fist to his chest.”- CT about Wes.

Leroy to Ty. “Let’s touch helmets.” That was almost sweet. Camila’s biggest flaw as a partner is her uncontrollable temper. Imagine the terror inflicted in the house in a Camila/CT partnership.

Jordan and Marlon win for the guys. Emily and Paula win AGAIN for the girls. Could they end the season winning every single challenge? The elimination segment didn’t make much sense.

Why set up the car battery torture game if it was just going to be a non-elimination episode? Did this happen because Sarah and Trishelle left? Why even set it up if that was the case? The show might have been better off by ending with one of the random bar scenes, instead of the anti-climactic showdown.