This is the fourteenth in a series of “The Challenge: Rivals 2″ team previews that will lead into the first power rankings of the season. Next up: Robb and Derek
PRESTON and KNIGHT
Where did we last see them? Preston and Knight shared their first The Challenge as members of Team New Orleans on Battle of the Seasons. Preston was a little bit of a struggle throughout and Knight’s play picked up when he and Jemmye were left to fend for themselves after Preston and McKenzie were eliminated. Also of note: Knight decided to throw Nany’s clothes into the pool for no apparent reason.
The Rivalry: These two have been butting heads since The Real World: New Orleans. It seems like their relationship largely consists of Knight putting Preston down.
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) – 7, best Rivals I comparison: Adam and CT
Highlights and Commentary from MTV bio:
“Knight and Preston go together like gym socks and high heels, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a force to be reckoned with.”
Yes, Knight and Preston have always had their difficulties finding the right mix (or simply liking each other), but to their credit, they both have very strong personalities that will be heavily involved in the strategic and social machinations of this game. Preston seemed to gain a little more confidence and drive toward the end of his stint on Battle of the Seasons, so maybe he is ready to begin this season with a similar energy.
“Knight reveals, ‘People look at us and are like, ‘Hey, we want to bring these guys to the Final.’ What they don’t know is Preston is a runner. Preston can run for days.’”
This revelation – that Preston can “run for days” – could be an underrated factor this season. Knight is just beginning to flex his muscles as a strategic player and will have worked on some his weaknesses from his rookie Battle of the Seasons campaign in the offseason. With this intel about Preston, does Knight play the “bring us to the final because you will beat us there” card? Knight is always (commendably) looking for an advantage. Perhaps keeping Preston’s running acumen a secret is the strategic direction they take.
“Preston recalls, ‘Knight and I have always had a very messy relationship. If Knight’s opening his mouth, he’s saying something offensive. I don’t know how we’re going to get along.’”
Yeah, the volatility of these two is based on both their respective quick-tempered and stubborn personalities and on the glaring differences between their respective personalities. As long as Knight can become Preston’s biggest cheerleader and support and not be a continual demeanor, they could find some success this season.
Best-Case Scenario: Per Knight’s pre-interview commentary, Knight and Preston, in professing weakness as a reason to carry them there, persuade other teams to bring them to the end. In the finals, Preston unleashes his running ability in a mostly endurance based event, and they somehow find a way to win.
Worst-Case Scenario: Preston loses what confidence and positive karma he accrued on his last day in Turkey and struggles mightily in both an early challenge and elimination.
The Verdict: The odds are admittedly against Preston and Knight from becoming a serious factor this season, but Knight is shrewd and committed to finding a way to win. If he can learn to foster Preston’s talents and help him gain additional confidence, they could last longer than anyone expected. Unfortunately, this season is more stacked than Battle of the Seasons, so the road will be that much tougher. I have a feeling that Rivals 2 may not yet be their time.
Watch the Preston and Knight 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.