THE CHALLENGE: RIVALS 2 Weekly Power Rankings – Week 6

This week’s midseason report column broke down the many sights and sounds of the at times too revealing “Still to Come on Rivals 2” preview.  A “Zapruder Analysis” of the tape yielded some unconfirmed SPOILER ALERT results.  In the power rankings this week with some positions locked for the time being, I try to differentiate among the facts, opinions, and predictions concerning each competitor.  With ten remaining men and ten remaining women and due for two more Jungle Eliminations for each gender before the Finals, there is so much season left to play and so much extracurricular nighttime activity to be had.

On to the rankings…Once again, as became tradition last year during Battle of the Seasons, the individual competitor power rankings and team power rankings will be released weekly sometime shortly after each new episode airing.  Here are the individual and team rankings after week 6…

RIVALS 2 INDIVIDUAL POWER RANKINGS

 NOTE: the rankings will again be based on my un Zach Lowe-like analysis/sabermetrics method known as “My subjective experience and observations watching all 24 seasons of the show.”  Weight will be given to how well teams and individuals do on competitions, on strategy and in the social game, and whether he or she is a “good competitor.” 

THE MEN

THE FRONTRUNNERS

1. Johnny Bananas (9th season, last week: 1)

CHALLENGE WINS: 1

VOTES AGAINST: 1 (Cooke/Cara Maria)

VOTES FOR: Cooke and Cara Maria, Cooke and Cara Maria, Cooke and Cara Maria

FACT #1: As footage for the rest of the season proves, Johnny will appear in the Finals.

FACT #2: Johnny Bananas has had the most prolific career of any Challenge competitor in history and nothing else can happen this season that will in any way change this fact.

OPINION: Johnny Bananas working partnership with Frank has already been more impressive than his partnership (that eventually led to a win) with Tyler on Rivals.

PREDICTION: Despite some respiratory difficulties in the Finals, Johnny and Frank will win the men’s bracket of Rivals 2.

2. Frank (2nd season, last week: 2)

CHALLENGE WINS: 1

VOTES AGAINST: 1 (Cooke/Cara Maria)

VOTES FOR: Cooke and Cara Maria, Cooke and Cara Maria, Cooke and Cara Maria

FACT: As footage for the rest of the season proves, Frank will have appeared in the Finals of his first two The Challenge seasons.

OPINION: Despite some inexcusable verbal attacks on Battle of the Seasons and some emotional outbursts that leave something to be desired, Frank is a wonderful person whose off-camera self is thoughtful, insightful, and kind.

PREDICTION: There will be a moment in the Finals where Frank’s endurance and motivation keeps his team in contention.

THE CONTENDERS 

3. CT (9th season, last week: 3)

CHALLENGE WINS: 1 (although it was handed to them)

VOTES FOR: Sarah and Trishelle, Cooke and Cara Maria, Theresa and Jasmine

FACT: CT will be appearing in the Finals of Rivals 2.

OPINION: If the above “Fact” is indeed a fact, it would be hard to argue against CT and Wes as this season’s most unlikely, bur successful pairing of teammates who were actually rivals to begin with.

PREDICTION: Rivals 2 will not be CT’s first Challenge win.

4. Jordan (Rookie season, last week: 4)

CHALLENGE WINS: 1

VOTES AGAINST: 2 (Cooke/Naomi/Cara Maria), 1 (Jasmine/Theresa), 1 (Nany/Jonna), 1 (Jemmye/Camila)

VOTES FOR: Cooke and Cara Maria, Cooke and Cara Maria, Theresa and Jasmine

FACT: Jordan is in serious contention for this season’s MVP.

OPINION #1: If anyone can prove my Johnny and Frank Finals prediction win wrong, it will be Jordan.

OPINION #2: The hoopla about Jordan’s vote shuffling this past week is not substantive.  Jordan and Marlon, by voting Theresa and Jasmine in to the Jungle, made the correct move.  Period.

PREDICTION: Jordan and Marlon outlast Ty and Leroy in the last male Jungle to make it to the Finals.

5. Marlon (Rookie season, last week: 5)

CHALLENGE WINS: 1

VOTES AGAINST: 2 (Cooke/Naomi/Cara Maria), 1 (Jasmine/Theresa), 1 (Nany/Jonna), 1 (Jemmye/Camila)

VOTES FOR: Cooke and Cara Maria, Cooke and Cara Maria, Theresa and Jasmine

FACT: Marlon has stood up to both CT and Knight this season.

OPINION #1: I was impressed by both instances.

OPINION #2: Marlon, as honest and comfortable as he is about who he is, is a great thing for The Challenge.

PREDICTION: Marlon will be a beast in the Finals.

6. Wes (8th season, last week: 6)

CHALLENGE WINS: 1 (although it was handed to them)

VOTES FOR: Sarah and Trishelle, Cooke and Cara Maria, Theresa and Jasmine

FACT: Wes has been to three finals in his Challenge career before this season.

OPINION #1: When he makes the Finals this season, it will be his most surprising trip since Fresh Meat.

OPINION #2: As much as they don’t get along, Wes is most enjoyable to watch when Kenny is around.

PREDICTION: Unlike in the Rivals Finals when Kenny literally carried Wes on his back, if CT and Wes lose, it will be due to incredible play by their opponents, not a less than performance by Wes.

7. Leroy (3rd season, last week: 7)

VOTES AGAINST: 2 (Theresa/Jasmine), 1 (Nany/Jonna), 1 (Diem/Aneesa)

VOTES FOR: Theresa and Jasmine, Nany and Jonna, Aneesa and Diem

JUNGLE: Beat Zach and Trey (DQ) in Week 5

FACT: As footage for the rest of the season proves, Leroy and Ty will face Jordan and Marlon in one of the final two Jungle eliminations.

OPINION #1: Leroy has had an underrated third season on The Challenge.

OPINION #2: If Leroy had been on Battle of the Seasons, the entire power dynamic would have shifted.

PREDICTION: Leroy and Ty will lose the final Jungle elimination to Jordan and Marlon.

8. Ty (4th season, last week: 8)

VOTES AGAINST: 2 (Theresa/Jasmine), 1 (Nany/Jonna), 1 (Diem/Aneesa)

VOTES FOR: Theresa and Jasmine, Nany and Jonna, Aneesa and Diem

JUNGLE: Beat Zach and Trey (DQ) in Week 5

FACT: There have been episodes this season in which the edit did not show Ty speaking.

OPINION #1: During those episodes, Ty didn’t have too much to say.

OPINION #2: I want to hear Ty sing more.

PREDICTION: Ty and Leroy will be in the Final Jungle because they lost the challenge, not because they were voted in again.

IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME…

9. Knight (2nd season, last week: 9)

VOTES AGAINST: 1 (Nany/Jonna), 1 (Paula/Emily)

VOTES FOR: Sarah and Trishelle, Cooke and Cara Maria, Jonna and Nany

CHALLENGE LOSS: Week 3 (DQ)

JUNGLE: Beat Derek and Robb Week 3

FACT: Knight served as CT’s bodyguard during CT’s first several physical altercations.

OPINION #1: Knight is unnecessarily provocative and cruel at times.

OPINION #2: I wish he would more often highlight his better qualities.

PREDICTION: This will be Knight’s last week on Rivals 2.

10. Preston (2nd season, last week: 10)

VOTES AGAINST: 1 (Nany/Jonna), 1 (Paula/Emily)

VOTES FOR: Sarah and Trishelle, Cooke and Cara Maria, Jonna and Nany

CHALLENGE LOSS: Week 3 (DQ)

JUNGLE: Beat Derek and Robb Week 3

FACT: Preston does look like Rajon Rondo.

OPINION: Preston has had a sneakily “ok” sophomore season.

PREDICTION: This will be Preston’s last week on Rivals 2.

ELIMINATED

11. Trey (2nd season, last week: 11)

12. Zach (2nd season, last week: 12)

CHALLENGE WINS: 2

CHALLENGE LOSS: Week 5

VOTES FOR: Cooke and Cara Maria, Cooke and Cara Maria

JUNGLE: DQ against Leroy and Ty

13. Derek (3rd season, last week: 13)

14. Robb (2nd season, last week: 14)

VOTES AGAINST: 8 (Emily/Paula [2], Ana/Jess, Camila/Jemmye [2], Sarah/Trishelle, Diem/Aneesa [2])

VOTES FOR: Sarah and Trishelle

JUNGLE: Beat Tyrie and Dunbar Week 1, Lost to Knight and Preston Week 3

15. Dunbar (6 season, last week: 15)

16. Tyrie (6th season, last week: 16)

CHALLENGE LOSS: Week 1

JUNGLE: Lost to Derek and Robb Week 1

 

THE WOMEN

THE FRONTRUNNERS

1. Paula (10th season, last week: 1)

VOTED FOR: Derek and Robb, Derek and Robb, Knight and Preston

CHALLENGE WINS: 5

FACT #1: Paula and Emily have dominated this season.

OPINION: Paula has had the best possible female competitor partner on both Rivals (Ev) and Rivals 2 (Emily).

FACT #2: Paula knew this when TJ announced her partners both times (go back and review the tape).

PREDICTION: Rivals 2 will be Paula’s second The Challenge win.

2. Emily (3rd season, last week: 2)

VOTED FOR: Derek and Robb, Derek and Robb, Knight and Preston

CHALLENGE WINS: 5

FACT: Emily and Paula have one five of six challenges this season.

OPINION: This is the first season that Emily’s fate has not been so intertwined with her relationship with Ty (most potently in Battle of the Exes) and this has only been a good thing for Emily.

PREDICTION: Rivals 2 will be Emily’s first The Challenge win.

THE CONTENDERS

3. Aneesa (9th season, last week: 3)

VOTED FOR: Derek and Robb, Derek and Robb, Leroy and Ty

VOTES AGAINST: 1 (Leroy/Ty)

FACT: This is Aneesa’s 9th season on The Challenge.

OPINION: Whether she makes the Finals or not, this has been Aneesa’s best season.

PREDICTION: Aneesa and Diem will lose in the final Jungle Elimination to Jemmye and Camila.

4. Diem (7th season, last week: 4)

VOTED FOR: Derek and Robb, Derek and Robb, Leroy and Ty

VOTES AGAINST: 1 (Leroy/Ty)

FACT: Diem is the second most successful women from the original Fresh Meat season (after Ev).

OPINION: Diem’s heroism and model of courage in the face her two cancer battles has been one of the most important stories Bunim/Murray have ever shown.

PREDICTION: Diem and Aneesa will be voted in to the Jungle that eventually eliminates them.

5. Jemmye (2nd season, last week: 5)

VOTED FOR: Derek and Robb, Derek and Robb, Jordan and Marlon

JUNGLE: Beat Theresa and Jasmine in Week 6

FACT: Jemmye suffers from mortuusequusphobia.

OPINION #1: Jemmye has been consistently (along with Jasmine and Johnny Bobble-head) my favorite sound byte of the season.

OPINION #2: If Jemmye makes the Finals, her performance will the most unexpected of the season.

PREDICTION: Jemmye and Camila will beat Diem and Aneesa in the final Jungle Elimination to make the Finals.

6. Camila (5th season, last week: 6)

VOTED FOR: Derek and Robb, Derek and Robb, Jordan and Marlon

JUNGLE: Beat Theresa and Jasmine in Week 6

FACT: Camila, according to the “Still to Come on Rivals 2” preview, will have a extracurricular nighttime activity blowup.

OPINION: This was bound to happen at some point.

PREDICTION #1: It will probably be about Johnny.

PREDICTION #2: After missing out during last year’s Battle of the Seasons debacle, Camila will make a return trip to the Finals on Rivals 2.

7. Nany (2nd season, last week: 9)

VOTED FOR: Knight and Preston, Marlon and Jordan, Leroy and Ty

VOTES AGAINST: 1 (Leroy/Ty), 1 Knight/Preston)

FACT: Nany did not make the Finals on Battle of the Seasons.

OPINION: Nany deserved to make the Finals on Battle of the Seasons (and would have had she not stepped up to go into an elimination).

PREDICTION: Nany will not make the Finals in Rivals 2.

8. Jonna (3rd season, last week: 10)

VOTED FOR: Knight and Preston, Marlon and Jordan, Leroy and Ty

VOTES AGAINST: 1 (Leroy/Ty), 1 Knight/Preston)

FACT: Jonna did not make the finals on Battle of the Seasons.

OPINION: Jonna deserved to make the Finals on Battle of the Seasons (and just missed out).

PREDICTION: Jonna will not make the Finals on Rivals 2.

9. Cooke (Rookie season, last week: 11)

VOTES AGAINST: 2 (Zach/Trey), 3 (Johnny/Frank), 2 (Knight/Preston), 2 (Jordan/Marlon), 1 (CT/Wes)

VOTED FOR: Marlon and Jordan, Marlon and Jordan, Johnny and Frank

JUNGLE: Beat Jessica and Anastasia Week 2

FACT: Cooke and Cara Maria have received more votes to go into the Jungle than any other team in the competition.

OPINION: Cooke has had a sneakily good rookie campaign.

PREDICTION: Cooke and Cara Maria will beat Nany and Jonna in the next women Jungle Elimination.

10. Cara Maria (6th season, last week: 12)

VOTES AGAINST: 2 (Zach/Trey), 3 (Johnny/Frank), 2 (Knight/Preston), 2 (Jordan/Marlon), 1 (CT/Wes)

VOTED FOR: Marlon and Jordan, Marlon and Jordan, Johnny and Frank

JUNGLE: Beat Jessica and Anastasia Week 2

FACT: Cara Maria has been a late game addition to the last two The Challenge seasons.

OPINION #1: This has not helped her be successful.

OPINION #2: I would love to see her compete with Laurel again.

PREDICTION: Cara Maria and Cooke will make the Finals.

UNFAIRLY SENT HOME

11. Sarah (7th season, last week: 13)

VOTES AGAINST: 2 (Derek/Robb, CT/Wes)

VOTED FOR: Derek and Robb

FACT: Sarah continues to climb in the power rankings and has not been on the show in several weeks.

ELIMINATED

12. Jasmine (4th season, last week: 7)

13. Theresa (4th season, last week: 8)

CHALLENGE WINS: 1 (although it was handed to them)

VOTES AGAINST: 1 (Leroy/Ty), 1 (Jordan/Marlon), 1 (CT/Wes)

VOTED FOR: Marlon and Jordan, Leroy and Ty, Leroy and Ty

CHALLENGE LOSS: Week 4 DQ

JUNGLE: Lost to Jemmye and Camila in Week 6

14. Jessica (Rookie season, last week: 14)

VOTED FOR: Derek and Robb

CHALLENGE LOSS: Week 2

JUNGLE: Lost to Cooke and Cara Maria Week 2

LEFT THE SHOW

15. Naomi (2nd season, last week: 15)

ELIMINATED

16. Anastasia (Rookie season, last week: 16)

VOTED FOR: Derek and Robb

CHALLENGE LOSS: Week 2

JUNGLE: Lost to Cooke and Cara Maria Week 2

QUIT

17. Trishelle (4th season, last week: 17)

VOTES AGAINST: 2 (Derek/Robb, CT/Wes)

VOTED FOR: Derek and Robb

 

RIVALS 2 TEAM RANKINGS

Note: Team rankings are compiled by averaging the two individual rankings.  Teams with the lowest total average rankings are ranked better than the highest (i.e. you want as few points as possible).  First tiebreaker goes to number of total past wins.  Second tiebreaker goes to years of experience.

THE FRONTRUNNERS

1. Paula and Emily – Team Average: 1.5, last week: 1.5

2. Johnny and Frank – Team Average: 1.5, last week: 1.5

THE CONTENDERS

3. Diem and Aneesa – Team Average: 3.5, last week: 3.5

4. CT and Wes – Team Average: 4.5, last week: 7

5. Marlon and Jordan – Team Average: 4.5, last week: 5.5

6. Camila and Jemmye – Team Average: 5.5, last week: 6

7. Ty and Leroy – Team Average: 7.5, last week: 6

8. Nany and Jonna – Team Average: 7.5, last week: 9.5

9. Cooke and Cara Maria – Team Average: 9.5, last week: 11.5

IT IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME…

10. Knight and Preston – Team Average: 9.5, last week: 11.5

NO LONGER WITH US…

11. ELIMINATED: Zach and Trey – Team Average: 11.5, last week: 7.5

12. ELIMINATED: Jasmine and Theresa – Team Average: 12.5, last week: 7.5

13. ELIMINATED: Sarah and Trishelle – Team Average: 15, last week: 6.5

14. ELIMINATED: Derek and Robb – Team Average: 13.5, last week: 12.5

15. ELIMINATED: Anastasia and Jessica – Team Average: 15, last week: 14.5

16. ELIMINATED: Dunbar and Tyrie – Team Average: 15.5

LEFT THE SHOW: Naomi

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 “The Challenge: Rivals 2″ power rankings will post weekly starting on July 10.

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