This is the sixth in a series of “The Challenge: Rivals 2″ team previews that will lead into the first power rankings of the season. Next up: Paula and Emily
JONNA and NANY
Where did we last see them? Jonna and Nany were last seen habitually near the top of the weekly power rankings for Battle of the Seasons, although both just missed out on an opportunity to compete in the finals.
The Rivalry: Honest confession – I think this rivalry amounts to a whole lot of nothing. Jonna and Nany were a close pair before Battle of the Seasons, but then a Jonna Turkish love affair with Zach and some alliance tension created a division between these two onetime friends that came to a climax in and around the reunion.
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) – 3, best Rivals I comparison: Johnny and Tyler
Highlights and Commentary from MTV bio:
“Jonna explains, ‘I should have stood up for Nany, but instead I chose a guy over a friend and that’s the number one rule you don’t break.’”
Although I think there may be more important rules not to break (traveling in basketball, stealing), preseason buzz on this pair is that the reasons behind the tension (Jonna’s very much over relationship with Zach) appear to be behind them.
“Nany is a strong, athletic presence in the game but her quick temper has been her undoing in the past, while Jonna’s need for male attention fueled their rivalry in the first place.”
There is much to agree with here. Nany’s “strong, athletic presence” was a highlight of Battle of the Seasons. I think her quick temper continues to be something to monitor, but I was more impressed with how she seemed to be able to effectively recover from those moments she would like to forget. Also of note – her bond with Dustin and consummate loyalty to Team Las Vegas was a key to her success last season. She will be able to attain that focus with Jonna as a partner. Jonna’s need for male attention may have “fueled their rivalry in the first place,” but I think she has learned her lesson and will benefit from a two person partnership as opposed to a series of team alliances.
“Although she claims to be solely focused on the game, Jonna could ruin Nany’s plans when she cozies up to a hot new boy-toy.”
This could happen, but my money is on Jonna and Nany having a shot to win it in the finals.
Best-Case Scenario: All of this “rivalry” talk is rendered silly and Jonna and Nany become an irrepressible force in Rivals 2 with a trip to the finals and a legitimate shot to win.
Worst-Case Scenario: Out of the mutual protective shield of surrogate sibling Dustin Zito, some of the stronger male personalities (Knight again, CT, Frank) find those right Nany buttons to push and she struggles with the pressure. Jonna will be loyal and supportive, but no Dustin in Nany’s world (or on this season) is a big loss.
The Verdict: Many of the pairings in this game seem to make little sense in that they are either stretching the definition of what it means to be a “rival” (most cases) or not a pairing that anyone was hoping to see compete in this game (Cooke and Naomi?). Jonna and Nany, although not necessarily “rivals” in a true sense, are a tandem, especially considering their exceptional showing on Battle of the Seasons, that we are looking forward to watching compete. They have a ripe combination of game strategy and challenge athleticism that will be a worthy match to some of their strongest opponents. I would be surprised if they do not got far this season.
Watch the Jonna and Nany 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.