This is the first in a series of “The Challenge: Rivals 2” team previews that will lead into the first power rankings of the season. Next up: Aneesa and Diem.
ANASTASIA and JESSICA
Where did we last see them? Bird and Jess were recently seen serving frozen yogurt to locals and bonding over relative sanity (during the climactic Hurricane Nia) on Real World: Portland.
The Rivalry: Despite some end of the season commiserating during the Johnny/Averey/Nia “uncomfortable TV viewing” brawl, Bird literally broke up her friendship with Jess on the grounds of “dislike.” Jess often found herself on the outs of the Bird and Averey friendship nest and her well-meaning attempts at confrontation were quickly dismissed.
Rivalry Meter on a scale of 1-10 (where 1 is a Leroy and Mike from Rivals I “Rivalry? They’re actually really good friends” rivalry and 10 is a Kenny and Wes from Rivals I “they have hated each other for years” RIVALRY) – 5, best Rivals I comparison: Jonna and Jasmine
Highlights and Commentary from MTV bio:
“…may be far more at home at a makeup counter than they are on the playing field…”
Fair. There was not a moment on the Portland season where I said, “Wow, Jess and Ana would be great contestants on The Challenge.” Notwithstanding, Jess is game for some extreme biking and both of them seem to find creative ways to serve frozen yogurt, so there’s that.
“This team quickly makes waves when Anastasia hooks up with one of the game’s most notorious troublemakers, infuriating another girl in the house.”
As season trailers have deliciously previewed, Bird and the Mighty CT seem to have a little romantic tryst that leads to some violent Bird to CT face clawing. Challenge rookies are often easily swooned by the aura of Boston’s finest Challenge competition killer, but it always seems to end in flames. I have a feeling that this Bird will be on fire.
“Will Anastasia’s new romance win her a valuable ally? Or will this pair of princesses melt down in a hurry?”
CT just wants to win, still has a unique and indescribable bond with Diem, and is not easily pulled in too far to “extracurricular nighttime activities.” My money, as is most often Challenge rookie (especially female) tradition, is on a hurried melt down.
Best-Case Scenario: Wes and CT recruit a rookie/sophomore alliance allowing Jess and Ana to avoid early eliminations. If they make some friends and score a top four women team finish, it will be a successful first season.
Worst-Case Scenario: Resentment from an Ana/CT dalliance creates an even bigger rookie target and they are thrown into a first elimination.
The Verdict: One thing that was clear throughout Real World: Portland and is accentuated in the most memorable moment of all Rivals 2 preview clips, Anastasia (watch yourself CT) and Jessica (as Jordan can attest) are fighters. They both do not easily back down, and, despite some likely “competitor” shortcomings and rookie inexperience, they will at least not be steamrolled by veteran alliance target practice. The best thing for them to do here, in their first Challenge, is to make some connections with Challenge neo power players (the Jonna/Nany team could be a good place to start) that will serve them in future competitions. One additional note: their sometimes tumultuous relationship with Jordan and Marlon could be a detriment to their success (think some of Team St. Thomas struggles between Marie and Trey in Battle of the Seasons). Jordan and Marlon are going to be an athletic force that will be looking to make their own waves and past goodwill built on Jessica’s infamous “thirsty and junk” recording session will only get you so far in Thailand when real money is at stake.
Watch the Anastasia and Jessica pre-interviews here.
Other team previews:
David J. Bloom can be reached on twitter @davidbloom7 and writes about MTV’s “The Challenge,” pop culture, and the NBA for Bishop and Company. His weekly “The Challenge: Rivals 2” power rankings will begin the week of July 10.