Cory’s got the face, but Nelson has the heart

On Real World Explosion, I thought Cory was a cool guy who was going to be a beast on the Challenge. He seemed like a chill guy from the older days of the Real World except with a little bit of new age swag. When the original house-guests were only there, he was diffusing situations, getting in an argument with drunken Ashley and then making out with her the next night. He had sex in a bear suit it one the first episodes with his cast-mate, Jenny. That is an all time hook up moment for me, so random, yet such an awesome Real World moment.

Then the exes moved into the house, he had to end his relationship with Jenny out of respect to her and Brian. He then had to deal with the drama of his long time on again and off again girlfriend, Lauren. They hook up, and we find out later that Lauren is pregnant. She tells Cory that he is the father, knowing it is not true, and Cory knows it is not true. This hurts as we learn the story of Cory’s past. That he had to drop out of college, resign from his football scholarship, all because a girl had faked that she was pregnant in order to keep him with her. I have a lot of strong negative feelings as a fan of the Challenge when it comes to Cory as a competitor and entity, but that story endeared me to him when he first came on the show. By the end of the Real World, we found out in the Reunion that Cory was a major MTV and Challenge fan who wanted to come in and compete to win. It overjoyed me to see someone with a passion for the show, with the visible physical tools to win actually join the game.

The Problem. Something wrong with Cory is that he is trying to be an image of something, rather than actually doing the fucking thing. I love social media, I love following all of these people on Instagram and Twitter, keeping up with their lives. For Cory, his social media image is the most important thing to him. People do not watch cable like they used to, shows are not covered like they used, and when you’re a reality star, the only true way to check the pulse of your “stardom” is through social media. When watching Cory on these shows, he has trained himself to be the best social media person he can be. He makes his body fine, his hair is stylish, dresses well, and tries to be the cool guy you want to pop bottles at the club with.

Then Cory goes on the show and acts as this guy who is an “alpha”, he wants to be the face of the new generation. The problem being is that he is not that good at the actual physical daily Challenges, he is average to above average at best. He’s terrible when it comes to endurance, terrible at puzzles, bad at swimming, and there is a good portion of male competitors who are stronger than him raw physically. What does he do to improve himself as a competitor? He continues to talk his big game as an alpha, make excuses, and my favorite move of his is that when the drama is off him or he’s doing especially poorly, he tries his hardest. Cory likes to beat up on minor league and weak competition, but the smarter fans know better. He is the guy to post photos of his money on Instagram and when it comes to taking his girl on a date or picking up a dinner tab, he is asking to split. Winning the time buster is cool, but when you’re in deep third place of both portions of the final so far, there is no chance of winning. Cory has been the Devyn or Jay so far in these finals, with the worst being he thinks he’s the new Bananas or CT.

The Nelson. These guys are best buddies off the Challenge it seems, despite being states apart, they are always hanging out with each other. If you’ve watched Nelson interviews this season, he’s pretty terrible at them. He mumbles, his jokes trail off, and tries to hit one liners that fall flat. As a presence he seems like a nice guy most of the time, but he is not an alpha. He is in great shape, just not dominating.

What I appreciate about Nelson is that he wants to be good at the Challenge, and actively tries to be. He plays his alliances and loyalties mostly down the line, he snaked when he should have, and keeps himself in great shape. He might not be the best at daily challenges, but he’s now either in 1st or 2nd during the final, and has won 4 eliminations in two seasons. Nelson had some low-lights this season and on Are You The One?, however, so has most competitors in their first couple seasons. I appreciate his heart, I appreciate him as a competitor, and even though him and Cory have been friends, he’s been the opposite. While Nelson wants the attention and the accolades, he actually works towards it.



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