The Challenge Bloodlines Premiere

The latest season of MTV’s The Challenge kicked off last night. This year the show is Battle of the Bloodlines, where 14 members of the MTV shows Real World and Are You the One bring a relative with as a partner and compete as a two person team. The change was previous years is that there is a mix of girl/girl, guy/guy and girl/guy. Other than that, things are the usual mix of stupid drama and tough physical competitions. Here are a few thoughts after one episode:

  • The mixture of gender on team is going to make things interesting. The first game was very physical and the guy/guy teams had a definite advantage. It is going to be very interesting to see how this plays out as things go along. I am sure there will be challenges where the playing field is more even, but even still I worry that the guy/guy teams have too much of advantage. I am hoping they have some sort of physical games later where strength/size are a disadvantage to sort of even the playing field.
  • It will be interesting to see if the Pit (or whatever it’s called) will always just be one-on-one of if at some point there will be full two-on-two eliminations.
  • Along those same lines it’s unclear whether it will alternate girl/guy eliminations each week, or if it will always just hinge on who the last place team is. In other words, if episode 2 is a guys elimination week, but a girls team finishes last, does that mean it’s the lowest team with a guy that get’s thrown in? That could be yet another twist that is coming.
  • Experience is usually a big help, but with so many newer competitors (half of the cast is completely new), plus there are/were 4 other rookies (so 18 total out of 28) that longtimers Bananas, Aneesa, Cara Maria, Nany, Leroy and Camilla might have the usual advantage. Especially because many from that group don’t get along.
  • Bananas and his cousin Vince look like the strongest male couple early. Not hugely surprising. Bananas has won a lot, and knows the ins and outs of this game better than anyone. As long as he can keep his cousin in check they are in good shape. The fact that they so dominated the first game despite essentially facing a team of five players was very impressive.
  • Hard to say who the weakest all guy team is. Tony/Shane got into a physical altercation on the first episode so it’s hard to see them holding together until the end.
  • None of the girl/girl teams stood out in the first episode. There are few of the super athletic females in this game at all, and none of them on are all female teams. Nany/Nicole has some promise despite almost losing the first game, but they have to keep their emotions in check.
  • Christina/Emily seemed like the weakest all girl team and they are already gone.
  • Of the mixed teams, Cohutta/Jill look really strong so far. Cohutta is level headed and underrated physically. Jill seems very similar and that will help them play smart. If I had to bet on a mixed team to make the finals it would be them. Cara Maria has been here a lot of times, which gives her a big advantage over most of the people on this season. So her and Jamie are a team to watch.
  • Leroy/Candice sure looked like they are in trouble after the first episode. Leroy is such a beast though, and there are probably times where he will be able to singlehandedly save them. But Candice in an elimination could be dicey. I don’t know enough about KellyAnn/Anthony yet, but their lack of screen time early could indicate they are going to be around for a while.
  • One strategy I would take, if it’s a guys elimination week and Leroy/Candice finish last I would take the opportunity to throw in Bananas/Vince, Cory/Mitch or Dario/Raphy. Those three teams look strong, but Leroy is good enough to beat any of them.