Episode 1 is in the books and I decided to focus on the 10 Biggest moments/takeaways from the first episode. These will be integral storylines that the first episode focused on and I’ll breakdown why they matter for the season.
- Kam/Kayleigh’s friendship/alliance
- Bear’s overall role to this season (hardest to not put on)
- Joss and Rogan’s friendship
- Bananas being Bananas
10 Wes is doing too much
Wes is playing the game from day zero. He is sliding in DMs and attempting to create alliances before the game even starts. Coming off an impressive finish of the Champs vs. Stars spinoffs and War of the Worlds, Wes is playing with house money. He feels invincible and is attempting to make a massive bet on himself to start this season. The biggest wrench in his plans is Jordan. Jordan’s bullshit detector is incredibly high, and he has a distaste for Wes’s play-style. There is no world where Jordan wants to play in Wes’s game, and he will target him as soon as possible.
9 It was not the Cara and Paulie show
We have become accustomed to living in Cara and Paulie’s reality show known as the Challenge. Except for this episode they weren’t super featured aside from Jordan and Tori throwing a jab at their relationship. It could mean we see a much more mellow version of Cara and Paulie entering this season, or MTV knows they are going to blow up soon (more likely). If you watch the trailer after the episode, there’s going to be a bit of Laurel and Cara drama, as well as Paulie threatening to kill someone.
8 The British are outsized
War of the Worlds 2, Don't Call it a Comeback! - You F*cked with the Wrong Podcast
Challenge Mania Vegas, sort of discuss the cast of season 34, the new season trailer, what to expect or not to expect.
Esther’s opening confessional brought up a truism regarding the disparity between the US and UK team’s size. The UK women are all very petite, and even with implants in certain parts, they’re still considerably small girls.
Meanwhile, you look over at the US team, and Kam, Nany, Tori, and Ashley are between 5'6 and 5'8 and are in good shape with muscle definition. Laurel is a near 6-foot behemoth, and Cara is only 5'4, but has massive arms and is incredibly muscular. Faith might be on this season too. She might be a personal assistant; it’s still unclear.
It’s going to be a long season for the Brits.
7 Dee and Rogan’s spark
Dee is single this season, and as a former pole dancer, she has chosen to claim Rogan as her pole to work with this season. They make a good couple as they both are a bit uncensored, have strong accents, and are each dummy thicc.
I think Dee is in an optimal spot this season. Whereas Wes is playing the game too hard, Dee is assimilating herself naturally and has taken a page out of Wes’s playbook from the previous season. Not to mention, she’s probably the second-best female on her team and thus will be necessary for the team’s success in the long-run. Rogan making it through the first elimination is a huge accomplishment!
6 Josh is finding his groove
Last season’s premiere episode found Josh sitting away from the large group of people playing truth or dare. Josh was used to the more family-friendly environment of Big Brother, where yes there are fights and hook-ups, but it’s not as much of an orgy type event as most of the UK cast members were accustomed to. He slowly came out of his shell more and more as the season went on, and his emotions sometimes got the best of him.
This premiere episode, we saw a more comfortable version of Josh. He’s acting on his feelings and going for Georgia. He’s involved himself socially into different groups and conversations. However, he should know to steer clear of CT. Josh is not a fighter, and he will get mushed by CT swiftly. Other than that, I feel Josh had a great episode.
5 Jordan and Tori are ready to run the game
Paulie and Cara enter the Challenge house, thinking “as long as we dominate, we will get to live in our little world where we fuck all day and win challenges.” It’s a simple style of playing the game, and it mostly worked for them for last season. Jordan and Tori have a much more thought out version of how they’re going to play the game. Jordan is outspoken and will act as a dominant figurehead, while Tori will be their social butterfly spreading friendship and getting people to trust them. They’re sleeping in separate rooms for Intel of each room and have decided to distance themselves to remove the couple stigma.
Sidenote: Tori looks super hot this season.
4 Laurel has returned!
Despite having done only one out of the last eight seasons, Laurel has a decent amount of experience with most of the US team. It’s more of a testament to MTV’s dedication to a specific group of cast members if anything.
In this episode, we got the full Laurel experience. She physically dominated Big T in the daily challenge, got her flirt on with Bear, and had an awkward moment with Cara Maria.
Laurel is like the Daniel Day-Lewis of the Challenge. Their appearances are few and far between, yet they might be the greatest of all-time within their group and are always dramatically affecting any product.
3 Old CT is maybe back?
CT is big fucking mad. It’s been a slippery slope for CT. He comes on this show to make money, and even with his massive appearance checks, CT is probably frustrated by the lack of money he’s won. His Rivals 2 win was 62.5k, and his Invasion win was only 112.5k, which yes, is a considerable amount. They pale in comparison to the prize pools won in recent seasons. On Dirty 30, CT walked away with 15k and had to watch Jordan win 450k.
To lose early in consecutive seasons and not get picked to play on a team by friends you’ve known longer than girls Bear’s hooked up with have been alive, then yeah, I can see why’s he angry. Sadly, CT took out his anger on Josh. CT went for the softest guy in the entire house, and it’s a weak move from one of the all-time greatest challengers. If this were a decade ago, he would have probably punched him as he did to Davis and Adam.
I am excited to see a motivated CT. I’d rather watch him get in the face of Jordan or Bananas or Bear though.
2 Shipwrecked already
Big T and Sean are the outsiders of the UK crew coming from the TV show Shipwrecked. They got targeted immediately with Big T getting obliterated by Laurel in the daily, and Sean getting thrown into elimination.
I feel bad for Sean as he joins Derek (2x), Tyler, Davis, and Dan as part of a group of gay males who had to be in the first elimination of the season.
1 Adios Sean, Welcome Idris
The funny part about having two challenge rookies play pole wrestle is that neither of them has the right strategy when playing the game. If either had faced a veteran, they would have gotten demolished. Overall, it made for a fun game with Sean putting up a good fight against a pro/amateur boxer. At one point in the first round, Sean and Idris both only had one hand on the pole, which is something we don’t see often. In round two, Sean hooked Idris’s leg and hit a small variation of the Miz’s Skull Crushing Finale on Idris that took them both to the floor.
Idris gets a win he should have, and Sean loses valiantly. I hope Idris can use this performance to gain an opening into an alliance with some of the other Brits.
Sean might become one of the most forgettable challengers ever. He was too likable. I think people will like him enough to forget about him and then only remember him when someone posts an “underrated challenger” thread. We remember the people who we hate or who fail epically. I hope we see him again.