This is the thirteenth in a series of “The Challenge: Rivals 2″ team previews that will lead into the first power rankings of the season. Next up: Preston and Knight
LEROY and TY
Where did we last see them? Ty was last seen eliminating Leroy from Battle of the Exes en route to his first The Challenge finals with partner Emily (a third place finish).
The Rivalry: This is one of those rivalries that doesn’t have too much real fuel in their fire. Although Ty eliminated Leroy on Exes and was the punching bag (and provocation) that sent home Leroy’s first partner on Rivals, Adam (ironically, this ended up helping Leroy in the long run by reuniting his most sincere and endearing bromance with Mike), these two have mostly stayed out of each other’s paths.
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: Brandon and Ty
Highlights and Commentary from MTV bio:
“It was bad enough that Ty sent Leroy home on Battle of the Exes, but Leroy had to stir the pot even further by airing his grievances on the internet, calling Ty ‘crazy.’”
Can you believe that Leroy had to air his grievances…on the internet?
“Although Ty and Leroy have the athleticism to perform in challenges, Ty’s temperamental personality could put a wrinkle in their plans. Leroy worries, ‘Ty is good with getting in people’s heads, but it’s definitely a roll of the dice when you’re playing with him. You never know.’”
This is Ty’s M.O. – he is a bit of a dice roll. Sometimes he is a physical beast and sometimes he is a head case who could lose endurance in a matter of seconds or have an “extracurricular nighttime activity” that puts his partner in an uncomfortable place. On Exes with long-term foil Emily (dating back to their Real World: Washington DC days) under a little duress of her own, he managed for once to put it all together and reach a finals. Leroy’s success in this game will be largely dependent on the quality of this dice roll.
“Leroy makes up for Ty’s unpredictability with his quick wit and good looks, winning him points with the girls. Ty reveals, ‘Leroy is very popular with people in the house. He’s going to make everyone laugh, and he’ll make us a lovable team.’”
By all accounts and as exemplified in interviews, on podcasts, and over the course of his Real World season and two subsequent Challenges, it is easy to understand how great a guy Leroy is. If Ty can remain in check, utilize his bond with Emily (and access point to the Paula and Johnny power structure), this team has a shot to make some loud noise (the good kind) in this Challenge.
Best-Case Scenario: After some strong and consistent play in challenges, sound gameplay strategy throughout, and a Ty dice roll that comes up “calm, cool, and collected,” they make the finals and have an opportunity to win.
Worst-Case Scenario: Ty’s behavior reverts to a more abrasive version of himself, becomes a nuisance in the house, and makes he and Leroy an early elimination target.
The Verdict: I am having a little trouble getting a handle on this pairing. Leroy was very impressive as a rookie on Rivals, but went home so early on Battle of the Exes (having Naomi as a teammate may not have helped) that he was unable to build up much The Challenge momentum for this season. Ty is coming off his most successful season on Exes and will benefit from having a solid player again (in Leroy, as Emily had been) to partner with. On one hand, if these two can ever put it all together, they could be physically unbeatable (the strategy part of the game may need some work). It was notable that Ty mentions Dunbar and Tyrie, because of their formidable size, as a potentially dangerous opponent. This may be true, but this self-proclaimed “odd couple” don’t even see themselves as in the contender conversation, so why would Ty? Their best move will be to look right to Johnny and Frank (and Paula and Emily on the women’s side) as points of alignment and let the other pieces fall into place.
Watch the Leroy and Ty 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.