“All is fair in love, war, and challenges.”
MTV’s The Challenge premieres Wednesday night at 10 p.m., promising the usual mix of violence, partying, and, yes, romance. A lot of familiar faces have been brought back for the new season and forced to pair up with one of their “worst enemies.” But which teams have the best chance of cutting through the drama and the competition to rise to the top?
At first glance, Chris “CT” Tamburello and Wes Bergmann seem the obvious favorites. Between the two, this team has seen twelve different Challenges and won over $250,000. But both CT and Wes have a way of sabotaging their chances; CT’s notorious temper and Wes’ huge ego could come back to haunt them yet again. If the two can check themselves and keep their eyes on the prize, they might be unstoppable.
The rivalry between Diem Brown and Aneesa Ferreira was sparked in 2006 on The Duel, when Aneesa made the choice to send Diem to an elimination round. The move ended Diem’s courageous run on the show and paused her budding romance with CT. Since then, the ladies have gone on compete in numerous Challenges but keep falling short of the win. Maybe this time they can combine their years of experience to push out the other teams?
It was the sheer force of their personalities that doomed Johnny Devenanzio and Frank Sweeney to be together on this season, and that could be the key to their success. Both men are reviled for their arrogance but they’re not just talk. Johnny “Bananas” has won four Challenges (making over $250,000) and Frank led his team to a dominating victory on his first appearance. They could easily find themselves one of the last teams standing, if they don't kill each other first.
Paula Meronek had made a name for herself for her streak of losses on The Challenge, competing seven times before finally winning on the original Rivals. It seemed like all she needed was a stronger (emotionally and physically) teammate to push her to victory, and that’s exactly what Paula gets with Emily Schromm. Lightening might strike twice, if Paula can keep up with Emily.
Unlike some of the other teams, Leroy Garrett and Ty Ruff don’t have too much tension between them. On the original Rivals, Ty provoked Leroy’s teammate until he was disqualified, but Leroy simply ended up with his best friend Michael Ross instead. Then, on the following Battle of the Exes, Ty sent Leroy home in an elimination round — though Leroy's weaker partner shared some of the blame there. Both men have proven to be strong, dependable players, so if they can look past their history of competition they could sneak past the louder teams.
This team may still be reeling from their screeching argument on Battle of the Seasons in 2012. Luckily, their rivalry was sparked in part by their incredibly terrible taste in men, so they might be able to put hurt feelings aside for the new competition. Jemmye Carroll hasn’t proven to be an exceptional player but Camila Nakagawa has enough fight for the two of them, so these two just might blow past the other teams.