The Emerald Cell Is Ruining The Game (And Not In A Fun Way)

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- The Challenge -
The Emerald Cell Is Ruining The Game (And Not In A Fun Way)

Generally speaking, a Challenge season is most interesting when the strongest players are at odds. The less unified your Veteran powerhouses are, the more likely they are to let egos disrupt otherwise well-laid plans, and generally work against their own best interests. This kind of dissent also gives Rookies a chance to infiltrate alliances, cut deals, make big moves in the house. Chaos is a ladder!

And honestly, that’s the special sauce that makes the Challenge great: cast members returning season after season means that resentments can smolder for YEARS, on-screen and off. As soon as they step foot in the Challenge house, almost every Veteran player has friends they want to work with and enemies they’ll do anything to eliminate based on rich histories full of backstabbing, hookups, pranks, and injuries.

Even though my whole heart believes that Bananas and Wes never actually hated each other, their Golden Years are perfect examples of this. These two were always physically well-matched but at opposite sides of the social game, to the point that they’d literally risk elimination rather than work together cooperatively. Their outsized egos made them both so completely incapable of compromise that one of them (usually Wes) would be forced to trawl the Rookie waters for support, adding a random element to a game that can sometimes feel strictly hierarchical.

As soon as you saw Wes and Bananas on a cast list, it was a given that the Vet population of the house would be divided, and a safe bet that they’d let their rivalry cloud their judgment. Watching a bunch of impressive physical specimens lack foresight is basically what the Challenge is all about, so this made for EXCELLENT television.

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