It’s hard to imagine that it’s been over two years since MTV has graced us with a new season of Road Rules. I think everybody knows the formula by now. Road Rules is like The Real World except the strangers get real in an RV instead of a house. And while the people on the The Real World compete for nothing besides reality famewhoredom and scabies, the people in Road Rules are given a prize for letting us watch their journey, although the prizes are more a reward for all of the competitions and challenges that they are asked to perform. Long before Fear Factor was asking attractive twenty-somethings to do stunts and eat pig rectums, Road Rules gave us all of that and more. This time around, we are going to have Road Rules: Viewer’s Revenge. The show is going to be filmed in real time and the viewers are going to have more of an effect on this show than any other thing on television not named American Idol.
Road Rules: Viewer’s Revenge premieres tomorrow, Tuesday, January 30th at 9 PM EST, but MTV has been airing a casting special all week, so let’s take a look at what we’ve got.Road Rules has always been about competition, although that usually meant that the people in the RV would be competing for a cash prize at the end of the show. After Survivor became so popular, every reality show had to have some sort of contestant elimination, and Road Rules followed suit, with the cast members voting somebody out if the group failed a certain number of missions.
Viewers Revenge adds another twist on the competition. Although the game starts with six Road Rules alums (Abram, Veronica, Shane, Adam, Kina, Susie), the people in the RV will nominate one guy and one girl each week for elimination. The viewers will then vote on their competitors among the “Pit Crew”, which will initially be filled with contestants as of yet untainted by reality TV. One person from the RV will compete with one person from the Pit Crew. The person who wins gets to go into the RV and the loser gets placed back into the pit crew.
It’s sort of confusing at first, but if there was anything missing from The Challenge it was the ability for us to choose the competitors. Since the people in the RV have no idea who the viewers are going to choose for them to compete against, they might actually have to use some strategy, because you may never get a chance to get back to the RV once you are in the pit crew. Since most of the competitors depend on their appearances on shows like this for the bulk of their income, it should make for some great fights. Then again, if the viewers keep sending the same people into the elimination, it might just suck balls. But I think for the most part the viewers are going to want to see the new faces in action in the competitions, with the exception of Abram and Veronica. Clearly they are crazy enough that we all should want these two competing as much as possible.
Now, what about that cast? These casting specials are always difficult because the people who have already been on the show are trying to sound like they are too cool to be on the show, while the people who have never been on the show are apparently worried that they may never be on television again, so they try and say things that they think will get them on television. For both groups, this makes them sound retarded, and although our host Susie really tried, it was clear that she was really just trying to go through a list of questions. However, the lack of any interesting information will not prevent us from making completely uninformed and overly judgmental decisions on all of them.
When Kina first appeared on Road Rules, X-treme, I thought she was going to be one of the nice girls that go on to do nothing. The most exciting thing about her tenure was she was replaced by Angela, finally giving us the perfect mascot should Road Rules ever make a Muppet edition. Since leaving X-Treme, Kina has proven me wrong, and then some. She seems to find herself in the middle of numerous fights, and while I think she has avoided being placed in the Tonya/Veronica/Tina über-bitch category, I believe she is only a few more appearances away from reaching that plateau. This show should give her that chance.
Abram came onto the scene in Road Rules: South Pacific. Initially, I really hated him, but in retrospect, I probably should have awarded him a medal for punching Donell in the face. Since then, he has become a staple on the challenges, and has brought us many of our favorite moments, including a steamy shower scene during The Gauntlet. There have been some crazy pairings among various combinations of Road Rules and Real World veterans, but Abram’s relationship with Coral really had us doing a double-take. I still kind of grate when he tries to get serious and play philosopher and it seems like Wes is playing Abram better than Abram ever did these days.
Do we really need to say anything more about Veronica (Road Rules: Semester at Sea? I think you know my true feelings, so why go into further detail? However, nobody can deny that Veronica is one of the great reality show villains of all time. It will be interesting to see how she manages without Rachel or Tina backing her up, but Veronica always manages to find herself hanging around at the end.
Shane, from Road Rules: Campus Crawl is another great competitor and although he has proven himself in a number of challenges, people continue to believe that he will be easy to defeat simply because he is gay. I like him because he seems to be pretty smart and he really adds a balance that these shows need. He’ll get drunk and hook up with the best of them, but has a strange ability to combine that with a sense of logic that escapes almost everybody else that appears on these shows.
I’m not sure why they picked Susie from Road Rules: Down Under other than her previous history with Kina. I’m not sure how long she will last because viewers tend to like big personalities, and I think her tenure in the RV is going to be dictated by how well she gets along with Veronica.
And then there is Adam. I guess he is an OK guy. He has proven himself a good competitor, but is usually a dick to everybody else. He makes his way through these things by playing the bully and if the people in the RV ever vote him for elimination, I think people will want to see him compete with the Pit Crew every time.
And now for the pit crew. I really loved Real World and Road Rules Challenge: Fresh Meat, so I was glad to see they were going to find a way to get new faces onto the show. My only problem is that I am not sure how often the new faces will get to be in the RV. While MTV Susie kept the veterans on stage, we met the pit crew backstage. This allowed the new faces to be introduced AND gives the veterans a chance to talk shit about them!
David is from the Midwest and he is trying waaaaay too hard. He says he is a crazy ass white dude from the Midwest. Oh, and he’s a daredevil. How can you tell? To quote David, “THAT’S WHY I DIDN’T GO TO HIGH SCHOOL MOM. THAT’S WHY I’M STILL LIVING IN YOUR BASEMENT DAD.” I think they explained the High School Education + Living in Your Parents Basement = daredevil rule in my Calculus class the same time we were learning integrals. Since I have blocked that out of my memory for eternity, I’ll just have to trust David. He might be a fun guy, but I am not sure he’s got the chops (or actually, he’s been eating too many of them) to beat many of the others in a physical challenge.
Continuing the proud legacy of outspoken lesbians is Ivory. And she’s not just a lesbian, but a wild, untamable lesbian that…wait for it…speaks her mind! Imagine that? An outspoken lesbian! I haven’t bumped into one of those since my last yoga class, and, you know, every single time I step into Trader Joe’s. Ivory did say that she thought Kina was fine and would like to “give it to her real good”. And you know that that means? Strap-on jokes are now fair game!
Jerry hails from Fresno, California, a town made famous for being home to people like K-Fed. And “Party in Fresno” has a special meaning to L. Ron Hubbard fans everywhere. Jerry says that he is a ladies man and wants to get everything that he doesn’t have, and by the looks of him, he has been trying to get a hold of “taste” and “class” for some time now. Perhaps he is cool, but the stupid Johnny Rzeznik hair is way too distracting for me to take him seriously
Kristen is small and might. She reminds me a lot of Casey from Fresh Meat because I think she is more talk than actual toughness. She says she packs a lot of game, but I think it would take about fifteen seconds with Veronica to show her what it really means to be feared.
Most of the drama surrounding Angel centered on the amount of hair products she required. She seems a little high maintenance and more of a sweet girl then a competitor, but I guess she has a chance to prove me wrong.
Tori is a pageant winner and probably the most attractive girl among this cast, and again, seems more nice than anything else. She’s from Virginia, plays softball, and is a preacher’s daughter. The best thing about her is that she’ll cause a lot of the other girls to become jealous.
Hoping to corner some of the “Stomp the Yard” crowd, the producers give us Lamonte. Other than his dance troupe, Lamonte identifies himself by his extensive tie collection. The veteran guys don’t seem to think that he is very intimidating, but he has the type of personality that I think people will want to see on the RV.
Finally, we have Dan. He’s a Marine, and is clearly the latest attempt to come up with a successor to the Miz. He seems to be OK, but I am still trying to come to terms with what he said about his heroes being Edgar Allen Poe and Dane Cook. Things should be interesting because he says he’ll fuck up anybody who disses the marines OR the war. Combine that with his physical abilities, and I think a lot of people will vote to get him into the RV.
There you have it. I think it is a pretty good mix and it will be interesting to see how things will progress now that we are all involved with the outcome. But really, as long as people are stabbing each other in the back for some money, won’t we all be happy? Who is your favorite veteran? Which people from the pit crew do you want to see in the RV?