Guilty Pleasure: MTV’s The Challenge

Excuse this break from potty training and mommy posts so that I can nerd out for a sec.

Most people don’t know this about me (I think the closest people to me just found out about this like last year?) but I am a Challenge super-nerd. For the majority that have no idea what I am talking about, The Challenge is a show on MTV.

For some reason I have just never talked about the Challenge to people. I just watched it, emitted a squee or a groan at opportune times and kept my little obsession to myself. I think this stems for the idea that people I talk to regularly just had never heard about it, so becoming obsessed with it seemed like a solo mission. It could also be that I started watching The Challenge out of desperation because when I lived with my parents we only had one TV and at least 3 different view points on what makes quality television so I was relegated to my room (the basement) with my laptop and very naive knowledge of streaming content. Keep in mind kids this is before Netflix so MTV was one of the only places online that I found anything remotely interesting to watch. I binged old episodes of the Real World on demand and then got intrigued by The Challenge that I kept seeing pop up. Enter in my fascination with this guilty pleasure.

Basically The Challenge is like Big Brother but with ex-Real World contestants. So if you are familiar with their RW season, it adds another layer of intrigue and drama to the contestants. After over 30 seasons of RW and 28 Challenge seasons there are some interesting contestants and lots of past history that sucks you in. A few seasons ago they also added contestants from the show Are You The One? But I personally find these people more like Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants meaning they are all super good-looking but seem to be lacking the competitive edge that is needed for the Challenge. Because The Challenge is exactly what it sounds like, a challenge. Each season there is a different theme (Rivals, Battle of the Exes, Battle of the Seasons, Cut Throat, Fresh Meat, etc) and the 26 contestants are either competing individually, in pairs, or as teams depending on the theme of the season. They have challenges that they have to do every week while also all living in a house together so you get the best of the Real World but it doesn’t get stale because there is a competition to break up the regular drama. I actually got Brian hooked on The Challenge because of how competitive it is (#Athlete4Life) a couple years ago and he is pretty well-versed in Challenge trivia and has his own favourite contestants.

Now that everyone is caught up, Season 29 is filming right now (!) in Thailand and I was just going to fangirl solo but then decided to spread the love and possibly rant about this upcoming season of The Challenge on here because I just can’t hold it in anymore and while Brian likes watching it, he doesn’t nerd-out as hard as I do so I am in desperate need of an outlet for allthefeels that this show brings out. I might do another post of my all time favourite contestants (this will be SUPER hard) but we shall see. I will leave you with this GIF of an iconic moment in Challenge history that Brian and I reference an embarrassingly large amount whenever the topic of how awesome The Challenge is gets brought up. This is CT (Brian’s #1) wearing Bananas (super vet extraordinaire) like a backpack to dominate an elimination challenge.

bananas-vs-ct-bananas-backpack-the-challenge

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Reading, Rodeo and VMAs

Why hello there! Did you all have a good weekend? Brian was out of town so I spent most of my time bach-ing it and that meant eating eggs for most of my meals and reading an entire book in a day. #LivingLarge am I right?!

On Friday night I went to a rodeo with my friend Jo who was one of the bridesmaids at my wedding. Her job takes her out of town a lot so I hadn’t seen her since the wedding and it was great to finally catch up with her. She comes from a farming background so she could also tell me what was going on at the rodeo as I had no idea there were so many rules to each category! Saturday I bought a new book called The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare.

It was an impulse buy and it reminded me of a mix between Twilight and Harry Potter with the main character, Clary Fray,  witnessing a murder in a nightclub but realizing that no one but her could see the situation happening. It turns out that the person who was murdered was not a person at all but a demon killed by Shadowhunters Jace, Isabelle, and Alec and Clary is in fact from Shadowhunter blood as well. It turns out that her mother had gone to great lengths to keep her from finding out about her abilities and had had a Warlock cast a spell on her memories every year so that she would not remember that she has ‘the sight’ and is not just a mundane (human). I only had 100 pages left when my mom and I went to the movie on Sunday. The thing that bothers me the most when books become movies are the changes that happen, granted some changes are necessary for on-screen adaptations, however in the Mortal Instruments movie they completely changed the ending from the book. Like COMPLETELY. There were little changes here and there throughout the movie which was fine but I hadn’t realized how significantly they changed the ending of the story until I finished the book when I got home from the movie. It was unfortunate because I liked the book (for an easy weekend read) and I liked the movie (for a tween movie) but they ended so different that to associate them together does not make sense. It is interesting because I wonder if it is because the author jumped at the first screenplay that she saw to hopefully rise to the same fame as Suzanne Collins and Stephanie Meyer or if the movie executives did not give her a say. I think the issue lies with the author here, because the book ending was not a bad ending and I would have actually preferred that ending over the demon infested, portal shattering ending from the movie. Personally, I would be very disappointed if I was the author and saw this movie. Ok my rant for the day is done!

Did anyone watch the MTV VMAs last night? Here are the things that I liked about it:

1. ‘N Sync reunion obviously

2. Justin Timberlake’s performance. 20 minutes are you kidding me!? He was awesome.

3. Bruno Mars’ performance

Things that I didn’t like about the show:

Everything that wasn’t listed above.

It felt like I really wasted my time. Every performance I was excited for minus JT’s really disappointed me. I mean Robin Thicke sounded great but looked like Beetlejuice and Miley Cyrus can be summed up by the Smith Family’s reaction to her:

the-smiths

(source)

I felt uncomfortable watching her. I mean I get that she is trying to reestablish her image as far away from Hannah Montana as possible but I think it could be done with more class and less crotch lifting and foam-finger gyrating. I actually like her new song “We Can’t Stop” but she couldn’t even sing it live because she was out of breath from twerking Robin Thicke in front of his wife. Like I said: class.

So I guess I had two rants in me today! For a Monday that is pretty good! Did you watch the VMAs? What did you think?

xo T