This is the tenth in a series of “The Challenge: Rivals 2″ team previews that will lead into the first power rankings of the season. Next up: Johnny and Frank
DUNBAR and TYRIE
Where did we last see them? Both were last seen battling Exes (again, stretching the term) with Dunbar having a more successful run. Tyrie had some memorable “extracurricular nighttime activity” with Jasmine 1.0 (the wine glass tossing version).
The Rivalry: The opposite of CT and Wes, this is a literal non-rivalry and a complete surprise to Dunbar (watch his pre-interview – it seems like he was barely aware of Tyrie’s presence, let alone longstanding grudge).
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) – 2 (although not because they are close, but because they literally have nothing to do with each other. Dunbar in the pre-interview: “I didn’t even know his last name!”), best Rivals I comparison: there is really no comparison – they are an entity all on their own
Highlights and Commentary from MTV bio:
“Imagine not even knowing why your rival had it in for you. That’s the situation Dunbar walked into when he arrived in Thailand.”
Imagine creating a construct for a television show teaming up rivals and then choosing people who have literally nothing to do with one another. That’s the situation the viewer will arrive in on Wednesday night.
“However, his partner Tyrie has a longer memory when it comes to the Challenge, explaining, ‘Our relationship goes back to The Island where Dunbar basically got cakewalked to a power position. Seeing him be successful right off the bat without necessarily having to earn anything, it rubbed me the wrong way.’”
Ok, let’s refresh. This rivalry doesn’t even exist, but, whatever kernel of tension that may exist dates back to The Island when Tyrie was jealous because Dunbar was a rookie and more successful than him? Really? I like Dunbar and he has certainly had his share of memorable The Challenge moments and successes and Tyrie, despite a mostly unsuccessful Challenge career, is worthy of another shot, but it takes away from the game to have some rivals be actual rivals juxtaposed with pairings like Dunbar and Tyrie.
“Can these two channel their competitive fire? Or is this time bomb doomed to detonate?”
I wouldn’t exactly call it a time bomb, but the point is taken. Dunbar and Tyrie will not be expected to win anything, but this could play to their advantage and perhaps they will have more in common than they knew to explore before on other Challenges.
Best-Case Scenario: An early clutch win in an elimination against a powerhouse gives them some momentum to have a chance to make the finals.
Worst-Case Scenario: With few viable teams to align with, they find themselves thrown in to an early elimination and lose.
The Verdict: I have now watched their pre-interview video several times and each time I do a better job convincing myself that this odd couple could be a potential dark horse. Their is something so bizarre about their pairing that just might work. I would not be surprised if they are out early (nor would Dunbar), but a successful run is not out of the question. They are both athletic, but as Dunbar points out, maybe not in the right ways for the challenges. In the interest of an unexpected underdog, I am rooting for Dunbar and Tyrie to surprise us all.
Watch the Dunbar and Tyrie pre-interviews here
Men Team Previews:
Women 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.