Before the season began there was a good amount of hype for Jordan returning to the Challenge after his three season break from the show. During Jordan’s original three season run on the show he was able to finish in 3rd place on his first Challenge (Rivals 2), lost early in infamous fashion on Free Agents, and followed up those mistakes with a win on Exes 2. Along the way, Jordan won 4 eliminations, won quite a bit of daily missions, and hooked up with Sarah and Jonna, dated Laurel, and retired from the show before the age of 26. Jordan did more in 2 years on the show that most people do in a decade.
Jordan was a Challenge superstar who needed the cameras on him from day one. During his first Challenge, he seamlessly transitioned into the game. Being able to compete on the highest level immediately allowed him to stay out of the first three eliminations on Rivals 3, and only had to see it once the game became all strong veteran players. His first hookup was with 7 time Challenge competitor, Sarah Rice. After she was eliminated, he moved in on Jonna Mannion, going with the whole I’m the “Great Gatsby” pick up line.
On Free Agents, Jordan became ready to become the face of the Challenge. He went at Johnny Bananas. He challenged him and acted in peak asshole form until he got what he wanted — an elimination with Bananas. After an embarrassing loss, he came back for Exes 2 with winning on his mind. He helped Sarah and was assisted by the Exile twist en-route to his first Challenge win.
When Jordan showed up on Champs vs Pros, it was expected that he would come back on the series to be the regular, cocky, self indulgent Jordan that we have all come to both love and hate. During CvP they called him Johnny Bananas Jr. He’d often chirp in with little buzzwords and annoying jokes in order to be funny and get camera time. Jordan got a little flirty with Lolo Jones, questioned Wes’s career as a competitor, and also got sent home by Wes.
Entering Dirty 30 with his new 80’s porn-esque mustache, it was maybe expected that he bring some flare to the season. So far his confessionals have been few and unspectacular. Jordan has only had 4 confessionals this season in comparison to Cory, who had 4 the first episode, 6 the next, and 5 this past episode. For such an interesting character and competitor, the season has not focused on Jordan that much. In the preseason trailer he was highlighted in a dramatic scene:
So we know at one point that Jordan gets into a major fight or argument this season. And before he gets into it with Aneesa, he refers to someone else as “dum-dum”, a term he has used before. Jordan is famously pretentious, making me wonder if he was talking about a female competitor, as he usually speaks down to women. With guys he curses them out and yells — alpha male syndrome. With girls he speaks down to them, that’s just what Jordan does.
As the show moves on, it makes me curious of whether Jordan makes big moves later in the game, or whether he is actively playing a low-key game. From my point of view, it is the former rather than the latter. Low-key is not Jordan’s style, he loves to win with flare and flamboyancy. He’d rather lose and look good than win and look like a chump. Then again, his 1 win came with Sarah, and she forced him to basically stay out of the politics for their own good. The Bunim-Murray editing team has enjoyed not putting the spotlight on certain strong players till later in the season when they emerge as they figure that early on they’d rather develop people who are going to be gone soon.
On Exes 1, the CT/Diem relationship went from 0–100 as a focus of the show. Episode 1 it was a big deal, and from there it went dormant as they focused on Wes getting eliminated early, Emily Schromm’s elimination wins, and other random couples. Once CT and Diem began winning the daily missions late in the season, they became the absolute focus.
Rivals 3 was completely a season about Bananas and Sarah. Before they started dominating every challenge, the show played with us and tried to pretend that Vince, Cory, and Ashley were important characters (Ashley did show out). Wes and CT did not show up for most of Rivals 2. It was only during the final challenges that they dominated and ended up killing the final. CT and Evan were more important on Duel 1, then Wes took it. They like to hide the winners sometimes.
Jordan is getting a possible winner edit in the fashion that they are doing so much to hide him so far. Likewise, Bananas and Cory are being shown so much that they either lose early, or are going to lose devastatingly. It may be in a Jordan fashion where a dumb move kills them, or in the Wes/Kenny fashion of fighting atop a mountain.
Other interest tidbits when it comes to screen time so far: LeRoy and Dario are non-existent. In the preseason trailer you could see them occasionally, but their screen time has been useless and inconsequential to the main drama or focus of the show. They probably stick around for a bit, though neither are willing to make big moves to win.
Tony, Cory, and Nelson are being advertised as big drama starters this season. When that is the focus, you know that they are not going super far in the game. Game over everything.
It will be fascinating to see what Jordan does this season. He gets in that fight with Aneesa, another not shown person, and then we had shots like these:
Dario is a chill dude. He wildin’. Jordan must have been a real dick to get this reaction out of Dario. Can’t wait to see what goes down.
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