It’s been a minute since my last Power Ranking. Since, we’ve seen my number one ranked female (Laurel), my old go-to (Bananas) and the guy that brings a new level of watchability (Bear) all sent home. While Laurel rubbed plenty of fans the wrong way, Bananas actually came across as fairly likable this season(gasp!) and Bear was as polarizing as ever.
After losing a handful of who-cares types (Nicole), we find ourselves at a double elimination tonight. For some reason, the Americans willingly give the keys to Ashley, Cara & Paulie. You’d think it would be a rule at this point to never send in two from the same couple —it essentially gives them all of the power. Ashley is aligned with them of course, but if Cara & Paulie decided to do something crazy, no one would be able to stop their 2/3’s majority. Makes me wonder if they’ll allow Jordan and Tori to serve on the same tribunal next week.
We got yet another entire episode of Cara with sour-face. I have to ask, Cara stans: how do you do it!? Is your fandom so deep-rooted that it honestly doesn’t matter what she does anymore? We have literally seen Cara directly after the US won the weekly challenge, and immediately before she was named to the tribunal (on two separate occasions!!!) stand in front of TJ looking as if someone just stole her man or shot her dog or something. She is in a state of constant bitch face. The only time she ever cracks a smile is when she sees Bananas on the verge of going home or while Kyle was physically struggling to finish the elimination this week.
I’m at the point where I’m honestly waiting every two weeks for a female elimination for the tiny chance she might actually have to prove herself against one of these big, bad women. I’ve written extensively about how I think Cara has gone from the worst competitor to the biggest faker on the show —she was handed Vendettas after being thoroughly beaten by Zach, and hasn’t had to prove herself en route to a handful of consecutive finals (all losses save for Vendettas) —but I am ready for her to put up or shut up. If Cara can go into a one-on-one elim with any of the women left and beat them, I’ll shut up for a minute.
We do see in the mid-season preview that Tori and Cara get into it, with the idea of an elimination possibly looming. Please. Please?
So tonight, Team Tori/Jordan have a chance to flip the game upside down with Georgia/Theo changing teams and shifting power from Cara to Tori, however it doesn’t fly.
Can we acknowledge that the UK team is starting to look fierce now that they’ve trimmed the fat? I commented before the season that the UK was full of jokers, particularly female. Now, Kayleigh is their worst player by far. Jenny, Georgia & Dee combined with her make an above-average group of women, with Joss, Rogan, CT, Theo & Idris making a fairly formidable male cluster.
Questions have to remain for the Americans—they might be playing nice now but the shitith will hitith the fan…ith (name that movie without looking). Cara & Paulie will be challenged, and it will come from the other top duo, Jordan & Tori. We are to the point that MTV is putting the two sides in our face, labeling this as Team Cara v Team Tori, and I for one am 100% here for that.
US|Jordan: Jordan and co. turned over all the power this week to the other side (Paulie/Cara/Ashley). On one hand, they ended up doing the right thing sending two strong UK players in, however they were let down when both Georgia and Theo ended up staying with the Brits and not being a massive shift in numbers. Tori absolutely boosts Jordan’s potential this season, being his voice of reason and negotiator —and while he has won two finals without her, it seems as though he’d be in trouble if she went home. His #1 ranking is solid, but might be contingent on Tori being in the game.
US|Paulie: I understand the hate for Paulie. I have been a staunch defender of his game and his place in the Challenge, but goddamnit does he make it hard when he is in the same frame as his girlfriend. We’ve seen Paulie be the calm, smart player he can be, and we’ve seen him go bonkers. A lot of where he finishes in this game will depend on which player shows up, and what happens to Cara. Contrary to Jordan, I actually think Paulie goes farther in this game without Cara Maria. True, Paulie and Cara are a formidable duo, but I think he plays a different game with her than solo, and his solo game socially is much stronger. The sky is the limit for Paulie — I truly believe he is the future of this show — but how long will it take for him to get his first championship?
UK|Theo: Theo has now come out of consecutive eliminations victorious. Sure, it shows strength, but ending up on the Proving Ground too often means you’re a target - and you can only go in so many times until you don’t come back. Theo is a great all-around player, but his cocky attitude and mouth have gotten him in much more trouble than I expected.
US|Turbo: It feels foolish ranking Turbo outside of the top three, but he hasn’t really done himself many favors this time around. I think the previous season did a lot to enamor fans and fellow Challengers with the foreign stud, however his argumentative attitude and stubbornness have led to altercations with several of the women, as well as the big blowup with Jordan. And while they shook hands, that animosity has a way of rearing it’s ugly head. Turbo won’t make another final without seeing the Proving Ground —question is who does he face and what game will it be?
UK|CT: Well, well, well. CT has spent the better part of this season playing both sides, and while he’s been called out a couple of times, it’s still working for the most part. There will be a time that CT needs to pick a side, and it will just be a question of whether he chooses correctly. For some reason, I fully expect him to be running in the final, the real question might be which side he ends up doing that on.
US|Zach: Zach is maddeningly interesting to me. I’ve been a Zach fan from day one, and I will die on the ‘Zach was screwed out of the Vendettas win by production’ hill. But taking that season along with his Champs vs spinoff, the Amanda debacle, etc. he has been one of the most dominant players in this game. Even TJ can’t bite his tongue in proclaiming Zach was a beast in the last daily, which seems to be a theme. I would honestly have Zach mixed up in the top three somewhere if he had a true alliance to work with —after the weirdness with Bananas and his odd decisions of late, I just wonder if Zach has the mindset to stick it to the rest of the Challengers and take home another title. He is better and smarter than maybe everyone except Jordan in this game.
UK|Joss: Another duo that feels like they should be higher. Joss should have beaten Bear in their elimination, and he did. That’s what champs do…they beat players they should. Joss is a good, well-rounded player and he still has his number one ally…
UK|Rogan: …which is Rogan. I for one am ecstatic that Rogan came back and has been successful. Everyone gave this dude such a hard time for his rookie season, and the truth was he had a balky back. Most impressive to me —when called out during a tribunal, he fully confessed that he was not ready the first time, but worked his ass off to be here for another season. He was lucky enough to get his shot, and while fans have given him shit for begging not to go into an elimination, I think he just knows how quickly this dream can end…and he will not go quietly. I think we see team Jogan running in this final.
US|Leroy: Despite how he might finish, I have loved this side of Leroy. He has done everything he can to shed his image of Bananas’ lapdog since his buddy was sent packing, and he’s been the focal point of bringing this team back together. Will it be enough? Not likely. But I think most of us are rooting for him.
UK|Idris: This one is interesting. After his first elimination, I was underwhelmed. Since, we’ve heard plenty of times that he is a bottom-tier player on the UK (surprising). He stands on the fence with CT, and that might help him move farther in the game.
US|Josh: Josh isn’t nearly as weak and dumb as most see him. That said, the best chance he has at winning money is coasting along as a bit of a layup —as you can see, there aren’t too many of those on the US men’s side.
US|Cara: It always pains me to give her credit, but Cara continues to find a way. I criticize how she has done it, but making a final is the ultimate goal, and she continues to do it. I just wonder if this season will finally be the one that makes her prove herself. We haven’t really seen Cara in an elimination since season 29’s Invasion of the Champions (I know, right??), where she beat Ashley K and lost to Laurel. The only other true elimination she has seen since then was during Final Reckoning when Shady Shane and Nelson ousted her and Marie. She boasts about her elimination record, she talks about being proven —but she hasn’t been tested in a long, long time. It’s about motherfucking time y’all.
US|Tori: Tori takes a bit of a jump since my last ranking. Reason being: She is clearly the hero to Cara’s antihero this season, and it almost feels as though MTV is trying to set up a Rick v Negan thing over here. Choose a fucking side, let’s go to war. While we’ve seen Tori be successful, we’ve also seen her less than, but it’s quite apparent she’s got what it takes to make and run a final. We deserve a Cara v Tori elimination this season, I’m praying we are rewarded. Who ya got??
UK|Jennifer: If there were any questions about the unknown, Jennifer answered them in her elimination against Nicole. Now, I’m not saying Nicole was a good competitor, but we did get a taste of Jennifer in a physical setting, and just watching her shimmy up those walls certainly struck fear into the heart of every single woman on the Challenge (and maybe some of the men, too). Jennifer is a force to be reckoned with, and we can only hope for a Cara/Jennifer hall brawl, amirite??
UK|Georgia: So very intriguing. Georgia doesn’t exactly scream athlete to me. However, she proved herself multiple times last season: she made a final as a rookie, so far has steamrolled into this season, and has gone into eliminations and put. bitches. down. I’m not saying Georgia is the best competitor, but I am saying Georgia shows her best competitor. She will not go in without a massive chip on her shoulder.
US|Kam: Killa Kam can be just that, a killer. She has proven her aptitude and physical prowess. She had one of the best rookie seasons for a woman that I can remember. Kam is fantastic socially, and makes other women fear her. For some reason, I just don’t have a great feel for how she is going to finish this one.
US|Ashley: I want nothing more than for Million Dollar Mitchell to beat Cara and ride into the sunset as a three time champ, surpassing any and all doubt that she is the undisputed champion of all the women (if that’s even a question now). Skeptics say that she won the season with the easiest final —so then why didn’t any of the other women win that final? If it was easy for her, it should have been easy for the rest of the field? It’s also where CT picked up his second win and I’ve never heard one person discredit him for that win. The second time, she won with Hunter. While I believe he absolutely carried that team physically for much of that run, she also played an incredible social game and outed some very strong teams in the final. Save for the eating portion, she had to have been right there with him the rest of the way (and maybe stronger, considering we were led to believe she beat Hunter overall), and regardless of how she did it…she did it. She was part of the duo that won, whether you care about her taking his portion or not.
UK|Dee: I just haven’t seen much out of Dee that excites me. She is a very emotional, hasty player. Physically, she appears much stronger than she has shown. She is also very public about her relationship with Rogan, which is only giving everyone a target to put directly on her —not to mention she appears to be much more interested than he is.
US|Ninja: Jesus is she irritating. I thought when she paired up with Paulie last season, it was the dream team. And really, they did well. But Ninja didn’t seem to hold her end as often, and was also seemingly out-matched by some of the other women. She has rubbed several people wrong this season —most recently Zach— and despite how you feel about the elimination, she was beat by Laurel at her own game. All that said, I realize she made and did well in the final, but I see her goofy, bi-polar attitude sending her packing sooner than later.
US|Nany: Another player I’ve had a rocky relationship with recently. I'm rooting for Nany this season, but I also think she is very weak in most areas of the game at this point. She might have an upset in her, but I don’t see her being a major factor in this one.
UK|Kayleigh: Let’s be real, we haven’t seen much out of Kayleigh other than leaving after being bullied a few seasons back. She’s the weak link on the UK team, and should be the next one up for an elimination appearance - however she does have allies. If the UK team is truly trying to trim the fat, we’ll see her on a boat back to England sooner than later.