Grantland Reality Fantasy League: Marlon Switch-Hits for the Cycle

MTV The Challenge

What looked like a light week in the GRTFL schedule turned into a trap game: Sure, The Bachelorette ground to a near-halt with the “Men Tell All” special, but The Challenge hit with the force of 1,000 sharknados. This week’s episode featured hetero and homosexual hookups from Marlon, Trishelle’s belief that being African American and Jewish are mutually exclusive, and TJ reconfirming his hatred of quitting, quitters, the word “quit,” the song “2 Legit 2 Quit,” and even quilts by proxy. It was glorious. We have to start with Trishelle, though; she was so Trishelley, let’s just say no one is going to recruit her for the debate team.

Top Scorers

Trishelle (Challenge, House), 95 points: Trishelle is a legendary Real Worlder. Her prominence among the hundreds of other strangers who stopped being polite isn’t because her performance on the show — or even her appearance on multiple Challenges — was particularly memorable. It’s because of the predictable and prominent post–reality TV career she has cultivated. Trishelle swallowed her pride and took off her clothes in every imaginable way a lady can trade on her looks to revive her relevancy: Playboy, laddie mags, low-level reality TV, lingerie football, GoDaddy. She has gone from prominence to perpetually half-naked punch line, known more for her body than her brains. This week on The Challenge, she did nothing to change that perception.

Aneesa caught wind that Trishelle was discussing her mixed heritage and decided to resurrect some vintage 2007 Aneesa argument thunder (5 points):

Aneesa: “What are you saying?”
Trishelle: “Really, right now you are Jewish, you are black …”
Aneesa: “What point are you trying to make with your little …” [Trishelle goes for a solid 25-point double-hand choke.]

Now it is worth noting that apparently Trishelle doesn’t understand that a human can be both “black” and “Jewish” when in fact it is not only possible, it is commonly referred to as being “blewish.” (OK, by “commonly referred to” I mean “in high school we commonly referred to my homeboy that way,” but I am sure we weren’t alone.) Regardless, the choke was quickly broken and the two fell back on verbal warfare. A style of warfare for which Trishelle is, well, not well equipped. Case in point:

Aneesa (quoting Trishelle): “’You’re black and Jewish? What the [bleep] does that mean?’”
Trishelle: “That you are right now … going … and being like, ‘Oh, yeah yeah yeah. I’m here. I’m here …’ I cannot believe that you are like … it’s ridiculous.”

She then punctuates her vicious, pointed, laser-sharp rebuttal with this gesture:

Now, my wife and I watched Trishelle’s above response to Aneesa at least five times. The first two times we were laughing too hard to really take it in, but the last three times were just fucking baffling. She either (a) had so many brilliant comebacks in her head at once that they all got jumbled together, (b) forgot how sentences are structured, or (c) had a stroke. Realizing that she was out of her comfort zone — you know, using words — she reengaged in physical warfare with Aneesa. That didn’t go so great:

Note Aneesa’s nonchalance. She throws punches like Chris Paul throws no-look passes. Trishelle, realizing she was outmatched on all fronts, decided her only recourse was to leave the show. She packs up her shit and drives away in an unexplained car waiting for her:

This is CLEARLY the GRTFL questionable moment of the week:

Where the hell did that car come from? How does she even know her way around Phuket? Where were the keys to the car? Does she get to take home her Under Armour gear? Does she forfeit her appearance fee? Does she get her cell phone back? Who books her flight home? Seriously, how does she even know which way to pull out of the driveway? Is it a standard? Does she even know how to drive a standard? Why do they even make standards? Why am I terrified that one day I will be in a position when I will need to drive a standard and not be able to? Do they have “here is how you drive a standard” classes? Can I register for that class under a fake name?

Trishelle’s exit was VERY disappointing to TJ (30 points). More on that later. Right now we have to deal with Marlon, who is breaking new GRTFL ground damn near every week.

Marlon (Challenge, Jacoby), 35 points: Marlon hit for the GRTFL cycle. In one week he fellated a dude (25 points), made out with one of the hottest chicks in the house (5 points), tried to get into a fistfight (5 points), and released a rap album. He is the Mike Trout of the GRTFL.

As for “The Men Tell All” … well, because she is hilarious and I am lazy, every week I am going to pass the mic to GRTFL Super Scorer Caitlin Mangum to go in on a paragraph or two. This week she bodied the GRTFL Top Five:

“The Men Tell All” is like the All-Star break, except instead of an assembly of the best athletes a sport has to offer, it’s a group of twentysomething discarded Bachelorette suitors there for a free trip to L.A. Even worse, we’re forced to wait another week for the best episode of the season — the show-sanctioned coitusfest also known as the overnight dates.

Still, there were some highlights of the episode. In honor of the hardest Chris Harrison works all year, here are the Top Five Takeaways From “The Men Tell All”:

1. “The Men Tell All” reemphasizes that The Bachelor is way better than The Bachelorette. “The Women Tell All” offers the chance to see who has gotten hair extensions, who has lived in a spray-tan booth for the past six weeks, and who has been prescribed Xanax since the show ended. “The Men Tell All” gives us the opportunity to see grown men pretend to fight over a girl they’ve already forgotten about.

It’s like comparing Larry Bird’s basketball skills to those of an actual bird. No contest.

2. Every year, the most outspoken guy on the “Men Tell All” episode is the one you’re not convinced was even a contestant on the show. Enter Dan. Well, Dan Who I’m Not Sure Was Even On The Show decided to argue with Ben, a.k.a. Tate Donovan’s Evil Tank Top–Wearing Twin, about his parenting skills:

I really didn’t have that big of an opinion about it until I was in Vegas, and your son’s mom came and approached me. … She happened to say that the way you had cheated on your girlfriend was with your son’s mom.

I watch this show at least twice every week and write about it, and I don’t remember Dan. How did Ben’s baby mama recognize him at 3 a.m. in the back of a Vegas nightclub? I’m lucky if I can remember my own name when I go to Vegas. Regardless of where the truth lies, I’m now even more depressed that we will not be seeing Ben’s Bachelor Pad debut in 2013.

3. ABC is clearly priming Juan Pablo to be the next Bachelor. As Chris Harrison directed every follow-up question at the dreamy, former professional soccer player, it became clear Juan Pablo would soon be the next in a long line of personality-challenged Bachelor Bros. Why did the producers leave out his story line the whole season? Probably because Des never learned how to say the guy’s name correctly.

4. Even though Juan Pablo is a lock to be the next Bachelor, Zak decides to play the “I’m still completely heartbroken” card as a last-ditch effort to win the job. To do so, Zak first reveals that he had written a love note in invisible ink on the back of the journal he gave Des. Great idea. I often run a black light over gifts from my boyfriends.

If that wasn’t enough, Zak performed an original song to express his sadness about his breakup. I’m not sure that Zak is there for the right reasons, unless the right reasons are a record deal. Bachelorette contestants, take note: Televised speed dating is no path to music stardom.

5. ABC reveals that this season’s finale is going to be a two-parter … meaning I have to wait twice as long to find out which couple’s breakup I should expect to read about in Us Weekly three months from now. This season will never end.

Aneesa (Challenge, Litman), 35 points: Aneesa scored for crying (5 points) and ethering Trishelle out of the house (5 + 25 points). The most underrated part of Trishelle’s performance during this fight was that even after the argument was over, when the rage/adrenaline/prescription pills cleansed their way out of her oft-nude body, logic still could not find its way in. “She is everything! She is a stripper, she is Jewish, she is black, she is Armenian. She is everything, so something is always going to offend her.” I really think that somewhere in a depressing Los Angeles apartment Trishelle still answers the question “Why were you mad at Aneesa again?” with “BECAUSE SHE IS EVERYTHING!” And then swigs from a bottle of Boone’s Farm while checking her Craigslist replies.

Derek (Challenge, Jacoby), 25 points: I think Derek came out as the big winner this episode. He not only got fellated by one of the greatest humans to ever be human (25 points), he was super chill about it. He made it clear that he didn’t know if Marlon was out or not, but kept it super low because he didn’t want to blow up any spots in case Marlon wasn’t open about his sexuality. He also made it clear during the after-show that it was Marlon who pursued him, not vice versa. He is a chill, adorable, Mexican, gay Venus flytrap of fellatio reception.

Knight (Challenge, Litman), 15 points: Knight scored for being a dick to Marlon (5 points) and winning the elimination challenge (10 points). Knight later threatened to melt down a toothbrush and stab Marlon with it.

Oh no, I think we just hit a second GRTFL Questionable Moment of the Week!

I have never been in a prison riot: Do you melt down a toothbrush or file down a toothbrush to make a weapon? If you were melting down things to fabricate into weapons in the Challenge house, how far down the list would toothbrush be? 124th? 132nd? During that whole time he was melting down a toothbrush to stab Marlon, couldn’t he just have gone to the kitchen and gotten a knife? Does he know that making the toothbrush is only half the battle and that you have to make a handle for that fucker too? If he melts his toothbrush down to fabricate a weapon, what does he brush his teeth with before the attempted murder? Does he have any experience with this or did he just see it on Discovery channel like the rest of us?

Preston (Challenge, Lisanti), 10 points: Mr. Rondo, just because you are wearing a wig doesn’t mean we won’t recognize you before you win an elimination challenge (10 points):

Nany (Challenge, Yoshida), 5 points: Oh yeah, Nany is on this show, and she is making out with Marlon (5 points). Oh yeah, Theresa is on this show, too; I remember her. Did Jonna lose the ability to speak? How has Camila not tried to decapitate anyone yet? Why is Bunim/Murray depriving some of the most attractive women in the house of story lines?

Sarah (Challenge, Yoshida), 5 points: TJ regrettably sent Sarah home in tears for the kabillionth time because she has a dud partner (5 points). But she also prompted the greatest TJ monologue in history:

As you guys know, Trishelle quit, she is obviously a quitter. I hate quitters. So now, Trishelle is on that list of people I am not feeling.


Zach (Challenge, Jacoby), -10 points: Zach lost 10 points for wearing a competitor’s shirt to support them in the elimination challenge, but none of that matters because ZACH IS IN LOVE WITH A JAR OF PEANUT BUTTER!

This torrid love affair began when Zach was at the table to scoop out some delicious nut nectar for himself as Sarah blabbered on about this or that:

Later the two were spotted canoodling on the couch:

Note how he caresses it with love and protects it at the same time. He is such a gentle giant.

Check back next week as we track the development of the relationships between Des and her bachelors during the network television–sanctioned promiscuity that is Bachelorette overnight dates, while we also track the development of the relationship between Zach and his peanut butter jar. Enjoy your weekend.

Filed Under: ABC, Mtv, Reality TV, Reality TV Fantasy League, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, The Challenge, The Decline and Fall of American Civilization

David Jacoby is an ESPN producer who somehow became a writer and editor for Grantland.

Archive @ djacoby

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