This is the fifteenth in a series of “The Challenge: Rivals 2″ team previews that will lead into the first power rankings of the season. Next up: Zach and Trey, the final men’s team
ROBB and DEREK
Where did we last see them? Robb (with two “bs”) and Derek both deservedly earned some The Challenge respect for some strong gameplay on Battle of the Seasons.
The Rivalry: Robb and Derek had an “in your face” drunken exchange in the middle of a bigger battle on Battle of the Seasons that involved Marie, JD, and Marie pushing Sam into a flower pot (tough moment). Both Robb (in this case Marie) and Derek (in this case JD) were defending other people when they directed their pugnacity at each other.
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: Jenn and Mandi
Highlights and Commentary from MTV bio:
“Robb and Derek can finally laugh at their shirt-ripping confrontation on Battle of the Seasons. Derek jokes, ‘My fight with Robb was one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done. He would’ve killed me and I look like a little Chihuahua!'”
Finally! It took them long enough! In all seriousness, this little spat was over before it began (despite providing producers a great pre-commercial cliffhanger when it looked like something real was taking place).
“Not only has Robb put the past behind them, but has also been training hard since his last Challenge, adding 40 lbs. to his 6’6″ frame.”
This is significant news for the competition. Robb was always a good athlete, but added weight to his NBA small forward frame could make him a serious factor in challenges.
“‘We are very well rounded. I know he can probably endure just about everything. I suck underwater; he’s awesome underwater. And I think we’re both pretty smart,’ Robb says.”
They are both “pretty smart” and Derek will have a good handle on how to connect to some of the more difficult personalities. Derek’s calming, stable presence on Team Cancun on Battle of the Seasons was an essential ingredient to their success and he will be even better one year more experienced.
Best-Case Scenario: Riding a balanced approach that centers on Derek’s swimming and social game prowess and Robb’s utilization of a game-changing physique, they find themselves with a chance to make the finals.
Worst-Case Scenario: With not too many clear friends in this group of competitors, they are on a little island of positivity that is unprotected from an early elimination throw-in.
The Verdict: Robb and Derek, although an unlikely pairing and not of the most heated of rivalries, have a very positive combination of skills, attributes, and strengths. They may not be dominant at anything, but I think they can be good at everything. As long as they stay out of the bottom on challenges and remain socially neutral or in the middle of the power structure, they could stick around for some time. With some more divisive personalities in play, I would not be surprised if Robb and Derek stay right below that radar.
Watch the Robb and Derek’s 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.