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  1. #221

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    It's not been a problem on the prior seasons, which is why it stood out to me so far. I'm all for having a super-sized premiere or so, but in general, it probably only would take a maximum of 5-10 minutes extra to make a big difference. Since it's a streaming-only show, would it be that hard to be flexible? I don't know anything about tv contracts, so maybe it's more an issue to stray from that set mark even for this.

    Two other things that I hadn't considered. Maybe that's all there is going on with those folks right now. They're disorganized and maybe don't have some big plans? Also, with the non-elimination departures/arrival, weaving that sort of thing in kind of throws episodes off. Hoping that going forward things get more settled. There's only what... 16 people left? You can fit plenty in an hour for that many.

  2. #222
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    The Challenge: USA is premiering on July 6th with a 90-minute episode after the Big Brother season premiere. It will have one episode a week, Wednesdays at 9pm.

  3. #223

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    Sensible move, especially with the number of BB houseguests from recent seasons that were on that cast list (rumored?). Kind of wonder which is going to run longer, but some of that depends on whether Challenge CBS will be more like Challenge MTV or Challenge All Stars. Last two seasons of BB were a couple weeks shorter than normal at 12 weeks, so last week of September, around when Survivor 43 should be starting.

  4. #224

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    All Stars

    Spoiler: show
    The Duel format works for me. I may kind of miss people playing for 2nd and 3rd rather than just giving up if they're clearly not going to win, but whatever.

    But a "coconut chop"/hand out strikes type thing here? Eh. These things are ok for getting confessionals and reactions, but it was tamer than it could have been as the lines were already well defined and they even had that mud challenge which somewhat acted the same way. Either of these challenges were fine on their own, but did we need both?

    This was probably a weak episode (especially with that build-up from the preview last week), but I found it hilarious. This was just classic Beth, nonsense spewing and then the elimination quit. Some people may say "don't cast quitters" but I'm not here for some athletic competition, it's The Challenge. Beth being ridiculous works for me. She got one last "Jen-nay" in at the end too.

    Also an episode which is kind of why I love Brad. Legit he may be my favorite all time because he's not just a good competitor, but he's intentionally and (more often) unintentionally hilarious to me. The whole idea of him nodding along with a plan and then being like "wait, this isn't what I signed up for" after realizing it wasn't a great plan for him cracks me up.

    That elimination was terrible, oof. The concept was fine, but maybe the construction was poorly planned out. Beth spending half the time behind the panels is like exhibit 437 of "yeah, we don't trial run our challenges on this show".


  5. #225
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    Challenge Docuseries incoming, apparently. Later this summer, apparently on MTV itself - Rob Drydek must be on vacation that week or something.

  6. #226

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    So, probably all the final this week and done so it's out of the way before the CBS show begins next week.

    This has been a good season overall. Some narrative choices/exclusions have been an issue, but no more than any usual season, at least. The irregular exits this season has been an issue, coupled with I guess the amount of time between filming. Format has been mostly good (one question about that going into the finale).

    Spoiler: show
    Trying to think of eliminations in recent years that may have been as satisfying as Sylvia's here. Tori's losses to Jenna/Aneesa came to mind. Bananas losing to Devin. Maybe some that were kind of people losing just before a final, but idk. This was mildly surprising to me because it had been an overwhelmingly negative episode for her to the point that I thought they wouldn't eliminate someone like that w/o getting kicked off or something.

    Roni's exit confessional is why I really want to see them pull up more names from the past like that. These people that are too recent, they'll have their time and/or can be on the main show. Some of these people who haven't been there for a decade may only get one shot.

    Jordan calling out Mark with his mythology speech, lmao. I don't know if that is his new shtick, but if so, I fully welcome him going over the top with that.

    Derrick calling out Nehemiah, oof. This is a huge unforced error if he doesn't win, and I'm not sure he can. You throw in Jordan last week, don't think the job is done there. Even if he has 5 stars or however many, can Derrick beat both Wes and Brad? That's I guess a question of what those things do. If they're like individual grenades/advantages or something, versus just using them to stagger a start. I could see Nehemiah contending with those two if he's the one with that haul of stars. Not to dismiss Mark, who's had a great season, but it's just a challenge for him in a modern final with that competition.

    On the female side, Jonna was likely already the favorite/co-favorite, but she's got a ton of stars too. Are they actually going to make the ladies have an elimination, or might that be for stars that got wiped out from people that walked?

    The one thing about this format though... is Brad (and to a lesser degree Kailah) kinda screwed by it? Dude has killed it competitively this season, but also strategically has positioned himself extremely well. Yet, he's only got 1 star and it's not like he's been coasting.

    The Treehouse collapse is wild. They had numbers, were going against disorganized/infighting opposition, and were holding power on the Authority... and now it's possible they could all be gone before the final?

  7. #227

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    CBS show begins tonight.

    All Stars final out there now:

    Spoiler: show
    I'm not a huge fan of wiping the slate clean for the final race, but I know why they do it, and this time it wasn't bad since they did a little bit of this and that. Jonna/MJ winning last season wouldn't have felt as "eh" if the final leg weren't so wack, for instance.

    Wild seeing how close those standings got after the first face-off on the male side. Female side, oof. KA just never had it going this time. Too bad.

    TYLAND

    Didn't Nehemiah have to do some sort of eating last season or the first one? I specifically remember him being vegan and having to suffer something, but maybe it was just smaller. Having to go through 2 pounds of that stuff was seriously offal. I remember Brad chickening out of eating in Vendettas (the episode when Tony would just house everything), so at this point it was like "Wes would have to be pulled from the game to lose".

    The two best men/women this season made top 2 on both sides, and arguably the top one of each won, so all good. It's pretty rare anymore for people to go back-to-back, so that's really well done by Jonna.

    Something felt off with the way they did the stars, like maybe they were supposed to be something else at some point. This was less complicated and a decent bonus, but I do feel like they built them up to be a different way. lol @ the yacht overnight and everyone naturally thinking it's a trap or something.

  8. #228

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    I liked the premiere of Challenge USA. Good challenge and elimination, though I always feel like eating up a ton of time with a challenge in a premiere is not the best idea, especially since there's tons of new faces here, unlike the MTV show. I know 21 out of 28 (and have seen the seasons of 2 more) but it felt like a lot to me.

    "The Algorithm" lmao. I thought I read something like that, but there's legit a physical object? Cynical part of me says to not trust it, but damn if it wouldn't be a good idea for the main show.

    All in all, this was kind of as expected from the various groups in this. Nobody is going to respect Love Island, but there's so many of them that they've got to keep an eye on them for now. TAR has so few people that it's not worth going after as a group, unless it's the "free" target. BB has so many people, but its concentration on BB23 is going to be rough. Not only are there two people that want to be petty and probably will be, but even within the Cookout, there was some real bad blood. I don't know if Xavier will be smart enough to escape that mess, or if he'll be targeted because he's the only real all-around threat out of them. Survivor really feels made for this and are setting up already. Even though some of them had issues, they come off level-headed enough to not let that stuff trip them up.

    Couple favorite quotes that made me laugh, but you'd have to know:
    Tasha claimed to be "Just short of winning, a runner up." Right, except she made the finals and got 0 votes and probably wouldn't have been able to beat anybody.

    Danny: "My heart drops. I really don't like twists." The infamous "hourglass" twist from the last two seasons of Survivor that apparently led to a long argument with Jeff Probst at tribal council. Don't worry, Danny. Nobody liked that twist either.

  9. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vil
    Spoiler: show

    The two best men/women this season made top 2 on both sides, and arguably the top one of each won, so all good. It's pretty rare anymore for people to go back-to-back, so that's really well done by Jonna.
    Watching Challenge USA now, will comment later, but I wanted to comment that Jonna has been the top performing female in all three seasons of the Challenge. She was such a non-factor in her regular Challenge seasons, i'ts impressive how well she has done now. And I feel like she lost of a lot of weight between seasons, as well.

    Looking more forward to All Stars 4 than either Challenge 38 or Challenge USA.

  10. #230
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    Challenge 37: Spies, Lies and Allies (Aug 11, 2021)

    Quote Originally Posted by Byrd View Post
    Watching Challenge USA now, will comment later, but I wanted to comment that Jonna has been the top performing female in all three seasons of the Challenge. She was such a non-factor in her regular Challenge seasons, i'ts impressive how well she has done now. And I feel like she lost of a lot of weight between seasons, as well.

    Looking more forward to All Stars 4 than either Challenge 38 or Challenge USA.
    I had to ask my wife “Was Jonna always this good?”

    The transition she’s made from meager player being yelled at by Zach, to beast mode mom is awesome. The all star season was dope.

  11. #231
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    Challenge 37: Spies, Lies and Allies (Aug 11, 2021)

    The Challenge: USA was good too. Enjoyed the brand new’ish cast quite a bit. The whole thing felt like a throwback to the earlier challenge seasons when it was less athletic and a lot more scandalous.

    Which I’m sure was the intention of CBS. Start off with a clean slate of players so as to not alienate and/or possibly confuse new viewers now that it’s on regular network television.

  12. #232

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    One of the things that cracked me up in terms of "these people are not from the same show/prepared the same way" was that club scene. Survivor/BB has many older people, lots of married folks. They're just kind of having a calm conversation with a beverage. Then pan over to Love Island twerking on each other. God bless them.

  13. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vil View Post
    One of the things that cracked me up in terms of "these people are not from the same show/prepared the same way" was that club scene. Survivor/BB has many older people, lots of married folks. They're just kind of having a calm conversation with a beverage. Then pan over to Love Island twerking on each other. God bless them.
    Love Island contestants are '00s era Challengers.
    Survivor/BB contestants are modern All-Stars.

    Truth be told, I didn't even know Love Island had winners. I expect the Love Islanders will be picked off very quickly before Big Brother and Survivor end up going head to head against each other.

  14. #234

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    "So Tyson, do you plan to just win everything to make it through this?"
    "I don't see why not."

    I appreciate the complete disregard for his threat status, but he's already won a show before and there's an elimination challenge rather than just votes, so I imagine that may allow for some more freedom. That preview and talking about wanting to knock out the weak ones feels spot on for how I was expecting once this format was explained. Get rid of any person who may be dead weight in elimination so they can't catch you at the wrong time.

    While not surprised Tiffany went early, I'm kind of surprised it was here since it almost felt overkill. Sometimes they'll do that to set up the elimination a week or two ahead. Either way, it definitely didn't feel like Alyssa's time, since why waste that effort her talking about wanting revenge if she doesn't get any or even tries to do anything? Cutting things off with the X/Alyssa chat and going straight to the arena and then using flashbacks works for me.

    Felt like a bit of a lose-lose with that elimination matchup. Having TAR down to 1 would have made that super weird, but Tiffany back in the house even if only one more round could have been real good. The amount of sighs of relief that there must have been is kind of why stuff like that can be so infrequent. If I were Cinco, I'd be sweating seeing those two LI guys go back-to-back. I'd worry about a massive target while having a diminishing amount of connections/influence.

    One thing that kind of stuck in my head was X telling Alyssa that he's good friends with Tyson. There's enough reality "events" that a lot of people know each other even from different shows, but I wonder if some of these winners maybe at least agree to kind of watch each other's backs. Xavier/Azah was an option but had like 0 mention other than initially saying which teams were BB-BB.

    Season is 2 for 2 so far. Seriously surprised at how (mostly) smooth that main challenge went. Maybe if it were on MTV, the things would have been like 2 feet further or something just for maximum body counts, but here it was like they actually wanted people to be able to do it.

  15. #235
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    Definitely enjoying The Challenge USA. Hoping the Challenge UK ends up featuring some people I know from The Challenge itself. Might watch The Challenge Australia; I feel like the language barrier of The Challenge Argentina is going to make that harder to watch.

    Regardless, I'm looking forward to more of all of it. This still does very much feel like The Challenge.

  16. #236

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    Ok, so how many episodes til they put a "Kiki counter" on screen for my man Danny's confessionals?

    I realize that it'll go by faster in each episode, but how long til we can skip ahead and just show an on-screen graphic showing all the new pairs?

    Derek X saying he has no idea how to game is believable. Shan trying to claim that she doesn't, when she's probably the biggest and messiest overplayer in the cast is laughable.

    I like Dom and he's someone I wanted back on Survivor for a while, but I'm also enjoying the hilarity of his anguish here.

    Oof @ Tasha/James getting that DQ so fast. I wonder how many people weren't even to that part yet. Go figure The Challenge does something so they can't just copy off a neighbor, but makes it so some are bound to be easier. Eh, whatever.

    James was someone that was towards the top of my list of people who I was liking more on this than their original show, but damn dude. You've got 2 allies here and you want to snake one of them like that so early?

    That elimination, idk. I thought it was going to be like a puzzle or something, and multiple holes to block, with the water being an issue early. Instead, even at the end, he could have just bent over next to it and put his hand over it. The line was so low that it was only going to be a threat if someone completely forgot about it and just let it keep running like Dom did. Kind of wonder if he actually did, or if he just didn't care. Even though Cash did save his ass, why didn't she alert him to it? Weird.

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    One more for the Kiki counter. That's pretty much 100% of Danny's storyline here. And how was he - a professional athelete - unable to name a single hockey team? He played for the Cowboys for four years, you'd think he'd know about the Stars. He seemingly lucked his way into Penguins, but ... yeah. Strange.

    First big name elimination yesterday, that came earlier than expected. Not sad to see Shan go, she annoyed me on Survivor, and her lack of self-awareness here was surprising as well. It's almost like she assumed people didn't watch her season. Didn't have a strong opinion on Xavier, but he seems like a character I would like to see back. And of course he's gotten over the backstabbing from Big Brother 23, he won the damn thing. He should probably be aware of to realize that others may not be aware.

    I really liked that trivia format, gave everybody roughly the same degree of difficulty. Also had a winners and a losers bracket, meaning you had to screw up more than once to get knocked into elimination.

    Was curious why X&S started off breaking the glass, 5 seconds seems like a lot on a small puzzle like that. I would have seen how easy it was for Shan to break the glass prior to making that decision, but keep it as an option in case the delta was too much. Which appears to be what the other two did, and they won, so .... yeah.

    Tyson: "Are you playing for me?" was my favorite quote of the night.

  18. #238

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    Oh, didn't know he played for Dallas. I knew Chicago, but someone before him said Blackhawks. I liked Danny on Survivor, but I'm not going to act like I thought he was some dynamic player/character. So not totally surprised that he's got such a 1-note story here (so far), but it makes me laugh. And Shan, she's someone that I liked early on in Survivor, but by the time she went, I was more than ready for her to go. I wasn't quite at that point with her here yet, but I was getting there. It's so bizarre that she acts like she knows everything about everybody else (she has done her research), but thinks that nobody has done the same with her.

    They did trivia like this on I think the 1st All Stars? Sure they like the drama of handing out strikes to opposing players, but you can do that sort of thing in all sorts of challenges. This form of trivia is really good. That gamble at the elimination I didn't think was necessarily bad but it just didn't work out there. If there were more pieces to the puzzle, maybe it could have been different. One thing that came to mind immediately was that the forced timeout at least gives a moment to catch your breath/let your adrenaline cool off a bit so you're not all frazzled when trying to start the puzzle. Kind of an Amazing Race move, also reminded me of the WotW final where Wes sat down and purposely timed out in a leg rather than exerting himself so he could conserve energy.

    Was that move too early? Maybe? It's a pair game and Alyssa doesn't seem like someone that will lose a challenge for a team, but also not someone likely to carry a mediocre partner. Based on track records so far and the known qualities of some, out of the final 10 ladies, I figure Alyssa is somewhere in the middle of the pack. Would she expect to have many good opportunities like this? I don't know how much she prioritizes winning, revenge, and getting potential calls for future shows. Through 4 episodes, she's done ok at the last two though. Kyland though? Dude's bound to have a super high profile now and none of the other BB dudes do at all. In general, just feels like BB need to worry about numbers.

    I know the preview acted like it's time for some cracks in the Survivor alliance, but I guess that's what happens when everyone wants to play with you. Last week James said he wanted to attach himself to Survivor. This week, Xavier said he'd join with them if they threw him in. Not sure if it was in this episode or the preview but LI seem to want to as well.

  19. #239

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    Turns out the fallout from last week's episode was a mess. Shan can dish it out but cannot take anything. I guess she twice deleted her twitter account in a week, and it's just... not a good scene. She can make an interesting character on these shows because of the balance of how hard and messy she plays, but man it's just not worth it with the extra stuff.

    So, 100% chance of Tyson/Sarah paired next week? I was hoping that Leo would take a dive and get her eliminated, but then I realized that like all that stuff from the preview last week wasn't even in the episode by the time they got to the arena. What the hell was that celebration? That's like you're in a loud arena so you're making exaggerated pantomimes and mouthing words. But there was just some light polite applause, and if you've got something to say, say it.

    The fact that she's done nothing but bitch about her partners to the point that she got thrown in because she buried her partner too bad is hilarious. It's not like she's done anything this season. Even that elimination, thank your partner, maybe? Loved the part where she talks crap about him 1 for 4 in Survivor when she's only gone 1 for 3.

    Dude's got an advantage in the water, but that kind of goes out the window when he's got to tow someone AND they've got to do a penalty lap. Most of those teams should be embarrassed by them winning that daily. I'm not sure I thought they could possibly win that until they put the last piece in.

    But yeah, if that place splits on the lines of that elimination, how many people so far this season seem to be ready to line up with Ben and Sarah? There's a handful of decent competitors that may be wild cards, but the pull has seemed to be with Tyson/Angela.

  20. #240

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    Wanting to prove yourself by asking to go against the weakest guy who has a bad leg and not enough money to qualify? Uh, ok. TJ could offer Sarah $5k to not be insufferable for 5 minutes, and she would still not have enough to run his final. She makes Tori Deal from some of those seasons around Total Madness seem humble. How are you gonna take 8 episodes to have a single good showing in any challenge and still be running your mouth?

    I guess just 3 episodes left since Survivor/TAR back on the 21st. Did they really need to go down to single boot episodes now?

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