This week in reality TV we saw kind of sexy, mostly disgusting oil wrestling; a hilarious removal of an oil painting, and a budding affair on Survivor that is rooted in a shared love of snuggling and lack of self-awareness. But before we get to all that, this week, several members on The Challenge had the nerve to disrespect the competitive integrity of America's fifth major sport by throwing challenges, and as you can imagine, this didn't sit well with T.J. Lavin.
Camila (Battle of the Seasons, House), 50 points: Over the course of his BMX career, T.J. Lavin has broken nearly every bone in his body, been in a coma, and nearly died. When a man like this — a man that has sacrificed his body and almost his life — is put in charge of a reality TV show competition, he expects a certain level of effort.
Before we even get to the week in GRTFL scoring, there are some developments in reality TV that must be covered:
First, Emily Maynard is totally Tiger Woodsing Jeff With One F. She got caught getting all sexty on her phone with some other dude. His brother even confirmed it. Oh wait, Jeff says his brother is just trying to “see his name in a magazine.” Whatever. Are you telling me that a television show formatted to make a woman fall in love with four dudes at the same time would lead to a troubled engagement? Nah, that’s just crazy talk.
Second, America’s fifth major sport, MTV’s The Challenge, debuted the trailer for its latest incarnation, “Battle of the Seasons.” I may or may not have watched it 37 times.
Look, I don’t always enjoy watching these shows. Sometimes when I sit there and listen to a wealthy, Botoxed, pilled-up, piss puddle of a human complain about how hard her life is because her Gucci Chihuahua raincoat is the wrong size, I have one of those "How the fuck did this become my life?" moments. You know those moments? When you ask yourself, "If I started right now, how long would it take me to become a Shaolin monk? A dolphin trainer? Olympic curler? Seaside crepe-shack owner? Snuggie inventor?" These fits of introspection can leave you feeling like you don’t have a purpose, like a rudderless dinghy rocking in the wake of the passing speedboats. It’s a big ol’ drag ... until it happens. The moment you realize that you were born to do what you are doing. For me, that's when there's the occasional episode of reality television that is so captivating that when it ends I say to myself, "I can’t wait to write about this." An episode like that reminds me that making semi-offensive, poorly constructed jokes about reality television is what I was built to do.
This episode of The Bachelorette was one of those episodes.