We’ve been waiting with bated — we mean normal — breath for the return of the guiltiest of guilty pleasures: the Real World/ Road Rules Challenge: Rivals. Street’s here to recap what will hopefully be the most malicious season yet because well… we’re addicted. And it’s the summer. So why not waste all our time on Bravo and MTV reality reruns?

And so it begins

The season opens up with some classic smack talking (cheerleader Jenn, you’ll always have a place in our heart) and Robin reminds viewers as she does every season that this season has the craziest group she’s ever seen! Mhm, girl.

The group frets if their beloved host TJ Lavin will come back after a cycling accident. In true MTV fake foreshadowing they debate, will he or won’t he? Well considering we’ve seen the previews, we’re going to bet he is coming back. We’re right; out comes TJ in baggy shorts and a backwards cap, dapper as always. He reveals what exactly the game is: RIVALS (if you couldn’t tell by the name). The former reality superstars (nobodies) are divided up into pairs based on who hates who the most. This has potential.

A bunch of people we don’t recognize are paired up and we want to scream at MTV, “Nobody watched Real World Cancun! Why do you insist on having not one but two castmates from that season?!” Thankfully, old favorites like Paula and Evelyn (yo, sweet crimped pink hair Ev!) are teamed up much to Paula’s delight and Evelyn’s horror (“Paula’s going to actually need to win a challenge.”) But most of all we love Sarah’s observation, “I thought I was one of the nice ones! I thought I didn’t have any enemies!” Until she realizes she’s paired with Katelyn. “Oh that’s right,” Sarah reminds herself with that evil–Sarah smile.

Last but not least we have classic competitors, Wes and Kenny, teamed up.  Though they say they have a tumultuous past the only indication of hatred rests on Wes’s insistance that Kenny is dumb and then Kenny calls Wes ugly. Twice.

Onto the rules

Typical stuff. Pairs compete in physical challenges and each week is either a male or female challenge. One pair gets thrown into the “Jungle” with another pair who gets voted in by the rest of the cast (hereafter known as the “bandwagon”).

After the rules are explained, MTV launches into the most notorious sequence known to reality television: the montage of new castmates running to the house and running to get the best room and old castmates poppin’ bottles. Let the debauchery begin. Meanwhile, CT mentions that Evan looks pregnant.

Oh. We also find out they’re in Costa Rica.

Drinks are poured. Wes begins manipulating. CT begins apologizing (except we find out that his brother had been murdered since the last season ended so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he’s actually turned over a new leaf until proven otherwise). He also compares himself and teammate Adam K. to ninjas. We’re into it.

Can’t forget about a T-Mobile MyTouch 4G product placement. How we’ve missed you.

Off to the races

The first challenge sets up at a waterfall, which challengers soon realize they must jump off to win. Cue cameras to horrified faces of those who fear heights. At home we shake our heads and ask ourselves for the umpteenth time, “Why must you go on a show where you know you will unwillingly face your fears and complain about it?”

The first challenge is thankfully a female challenge (we’re already sick of a few). Within minutes, half of the competitors disqualify themselves. Typical out of shape former reality hacks.

Vegas newbies, Adam R. and Leroy tie with Paris vets CT and Adam while fresh-faced Cancunies Jonna and Jasmine tie with old foes, Aneesa and Robin. TJ declares that both fresh meat teams win. We pick our jaws up from the floor.

Evelyn and Paula are automatically thrown into the Jungle and we find ourselves yelling at Paula for deliberating with Wes. You know better brunette Paula! Don’t revert back to your blonde Paula days of crying and looking hungry!

And on the bus back we watch Laurel write/ strategize in her journal. You know better than that Laurel! Not only can the cameras see what you’re writing but so can ball­–busting Aneesa. It takes Aneesa all of two minutes to call her out.

In official deliberation, Robin starts defending herself and Aneesa. But does this not sound like English to anyone else? Robin, speak up! No one can understand you! Even the fresh meat roll eyes in the background.

So Aneesa throws Laurel and Cara Maria in to no one’s surprise but to viewers’ shock, Laurel actually has pull. She somehow manages to get supreme vets Aneesa and Robin thrown in. Voice of reason Tyler knowingly points out, “If you feel there’s a bandwagon jump right on it.” Word, dude. Word.

After this “drama,” everyone gets drunk and viewers remember why they watch. Bikinis. Boobs. Abs. Body shots. The villa turns into a SWUG* night out at Smoke’s on a Tuesday. TJ is Kweder. Robin starts crying (only took 37 minutes!) because she now has a daughter (huh?). Jasmine, despite reminding everyone she has a boyfriend, makes out with Tyrie and screams, “Guess I wont have a boyfriend, now!” Kenny, always with the one–liners, reminds us, “Tyrie is disgusting. That guy sleeps with his sneakers on. Jasmine’s gonna smell like bacon for the rest of her life.” Confusingly, the other Ty continues his own round of douche baggery by telling Laurel that she’s tall but has cellulite.

But of course, Adam R. from Las Vegas ruins all the fun and ends up knocking Mandi (does anyone else think she looks just like Heidi Montag post–plastic surgery?!) to the ground. She’s concussed. We sigh knowingly. Peace out Adam R.Mandi gets taken care of in a rickshaw–like ambulance. We send her ESP that she’s better off with all the abusive meatheads Johnny Bananas — always the MTV pawn — has been trained well and narrates to viewers what’s going to happen next. Is Leroy getting a new partner? Yup. It’s Michael from Vegas! Aw the lovable loser.

Into the Jungle

We wonder why MTV misses the opportunity to blast Guns n’ Roses classic 1987 hit, “Welcome to the Jungle”? The teams begin a game called Hands On. Partners lean against one another as leverage while TJ moves wooden platforms further and further apart.

Robin thinks they’ll win because Paula is too top–heavy. Oh really, Robin? Is she? Is she really? Aneesa and Robin fall into the mud first and Aneesa cries. Bummer.

Everyone says goodbye and gets excited for next week. But not before Kenny calls out CT for only playing the nice guy; he’s really a creep. Yes Kenny, it’s better that you just put your creepiness right out there for everyone to see. You win.

And thus ends the first episode of the Challenge: Rivals. But not before MTV indulges us in yet another shit–storm montage: boobs, glass shattering, fists thrown in slow motion, mud, water, helmet cameras, boobs, homoerotic ass grabbing, kneed balls, name calling, lap dancing, boobs, girl on girl kisses, gut–wrenching screams.

Ah yes. It’s good to be back.


*SWUG: also known as a Senior Washed Up Girl

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