Grantland Reality Fantasy League: Motion, Mayhem, and Monster Trucks

MTV The Challenge

We’ve officially reached the point in the season when The Challenge morphs into Bodies in Motion. With only a few episodes left, America’s fifth major sport has taken on a more serious tone: It’s way less “Let’s all get inslopsicated and try to have coitus/drown each other all night,” and way more “Woah, we have a chance at winning some serious money, let’s work out all day and talk strategy all night.” As always, Bananas summed it up best: “With the final guys’ challenge coming up, I think everyone is pretty much in the same mind-set right now. The finish line is so close, that ticket to the final is right there, and the anxiety levels are through the roof right now.”

Diem worked off some of that anxiety by putting on knee braces and running nowhere with a bungee cord around her waist:


CT jogged off some of that anxiety on the super-slippery, flying-cobra-infested deck:


And Bananas worked off some of that anxiety by trying to fellate himself:


Thankfully, this episode wasn’t ALL “Bodies in Motion: Thailand.” We also got plenty of Wes … and his monster truck. Yes, I said “monster truck.”

Wes (Challenge, Lisanti), 30 points

“I have a BMW, a Porsche, a monster truck, and 30 companies. [Bleeping] suck my [bleep].” —Wes Bergmann, self-proclaimed monster truck owner

This statement came after Wes “killed it” in the challenge (25 points), during an argument in which Johnny Bananas asked Wes “What do you have?” (5 points). This statement is everything. This statement is also the GRTFL Questionable Moment of the Week:

Does Wes really “have” all of this stuff? What the hell does one DO with a monster truck? How does one man “have” 30 companies yet appear on reality TV four months per year? Does Wes park the monster truck in the garage and then back over the Porsche and the BMW in the driveway? (That’s TOTALLY what I would do.) Why does one need both a Porsche and a BMW? Is he just talking about a truck with a Monster energy drink promo wrap? What do these companies do? Is one of them a car dealership? Is Wes Bergmann really Warren Buffett? Is Wes Bergmann really Jay Gatsby? Does one have to get insurance on a monster truck? Does one need a special garage? Is one of Wes’s 30 companies “selling shit on eBay”? Does Wes own these cars or, you know, “have” them? When does a truck stop being a “truck with huge wheels” and start being a “monster” truck? What is painted on Wes’s monster truck? Is it named “The Challenger”? Is it named “Ginger Crush”? Is it named “Non-Existent Monster Truck” or “Wes’s Buddy’s Monster Truck That Wes Claims To Own”? When a monster truck breaks down, how does it get towed? When stuck in traffic in a monster truck, how does one resist the urge to drive over the cars up ahead? Is any of this true?

That last question lingered. I wanted to know if Wes really “has” said BMW, Porsche, monster truck, and 30 companies, so I did some research. Now, I want to make this VERY clear: I didn’t, you know, REALLY do research. I just looked at his Twitter feed and did two Google searches. Doing actual research isn’t fun. It feels like work, and work sucks. So:

Question 1: Does Wes “have” a BMW?

Answer: Yes! Not just any BMW, either: a “murdered out” BMW.

Question 2: Does Wes “have” a Porsche?

Answer: No idea. He took a picture of a red sports car and announced it was “pure sex.” I thought it might be a Porsche he bought and named “Pure Sex” or a Porsche he saw and named “Pure Sex.” Then you commenters pointed out that a) It’s a Ferrari and b) Wes says right in the Instagram thread that it isn’t his.

Question 3: Does Wes “have” a monster truck?

Answer: GOD, I HOPE SO. He does seem like the type. Now, people are lying liars, but lying about “having” a monster truck in this scenario just seems weird. If you didn’t have a monster truck, would that be something you made up? Wes likely has access to, or a Jason Kidd–esque symbolic ownership of, a monster truck. I don’t think Wes commutes in one.

Question 3: Does Wes “have” 30 companies?

Answer: Um, well, this is complicated. Start by watching this. Think seven minutes is too long? Perfect, because I have decided to make what I learned in this video about Wes’s “business accelerator” the GRTFL Top Five of the Week. This week’s GRTFL Top Five is the Top Five Things I Learned About Wes From This Weird Video About The 30 Companies He “Has,” listed from “That is kind of interesting” to “Holy shit, this dude might ACTUALLY have a monster truck.”

5. Wes is an experienced entrepreneur: He used to mow lawns. So yeah, trust him with your company.

4. Wes LOVES Excel and spreadsheets: Yep, um, let’s just move on …

3. Wes will accept 16-year-old kids in his program: One of the “entrepreneurs” was 16. He attended with his mom.

2. Not everyone thinks Wes is a captivating public speaker: Check out homeboy in the bottom left:


1. Fame and power are more important than money:


So, if I have no money, but 7,500 “fans,” that means I have $75,000. I think this is how Wes bought his monster truck.

In summary: Wes does own some cars and is involved in some businesses, but WE STILL HAVE NO IDEA IF HE “HAS” A MONSTER TRUCK! Also, he is “part owner” of an art lab for special-needs children, which is super cool. Cooler than owning a monster truck. Wait, sorry, that’s just my super ego trying to say the “right” thing. Nothing is cooler than owning a monster truck.

I am totally going to pitch Wes on Crunch and Mush Café.

CT (Challenge, House), 25 points

Along with Wes the Monster Truck Owner, CT got points for earning a “You killed it” from the Teej (25 points), having an argument with Bananas (5 points), and getting handsy with Dancing Diem, but lost points for wearing his protégé Knight’s shirt to the jungle. All in all, it was a solid performance from America’s favorite Softie Silverback, but it came with a couple hiccups that showed CT is perhaps a little more softie than silverback.

The challenge this week was one of those “Let’s set them up to pummel each other, but they will figure out a way we didn’t think of to do this without touching each other” challenges, in which the contestants ran up and down skateboard park quarter pipes. The Softie Silverback and Wes the Monster Truck Owner were pitted against Knight and Preston Rondo. At the pass where all the contestants were supposed to Chuck Cecil each other, but were actually all avoiding each other, Preston Rondo took down Softie Silverback. If you don’t watch this show, that’s essentially the equivalent of Ray Lewis losing a bar fight to a baby kangaroo. Also, people called CT “Chris” twice this episode. He’s half as intimidating when people call him “Chris.” Please, no one ever call him that again.

Finally, when Diem fell asleep on his bed, CT slept on the floor:


Now, I take no issue with the fact that CT didn’t crawl in bed with Diem, because that would have been a little creepy. However, I do have a question: WHY NOT SLEEP IN ONE OF THOSE EMPTY BEDS? My guess is that CT was hoping Diem would wake up, see him on the floor, and be all, “Get up in here, you big silly goose.” She did not wake up or say that. CT slept on the floor. In a room full of empty beds.

Johnny (Challenge, Simmons), 15 points

I’m starting to worry about my man Bananas. After a three-minute challenge, he was all:


While throwing up weird yellow liquid does earn one 10 GRTFL points, it does not make others confident in one’s ability to win a final challenge that often covers two days and three countries and makes Diana Nyad’s international swim look like a soak in the hot tub with Liberace. This was not lost on Wes the Monster Truck Owner or Softie Silverback. They went in on Johnny (5 points):


They questioned his physical ability and his lack of non-MTV employment, and accused him of paying mom-subsidized rent. This led to Johnny questioning Wes about his possessions, which led to Wes claiming to “have” a monster truck, which led to me spending an hour learning how to start a business in Kansas City. So, all was not lost.

What was lost: Johnny’s physical ability and argument fastball. Johnny is usually one to eviscerate all comers in the verbal octagon, but when he heard Wes’s statement about monster trucks and 30 companies, his comeback was, “Are these matchbox cars or do they actually [bleeping] exist?”

Bananas, come on, you are so much better than that. I’m concerned. If you need help, I’m here for you.

Marlon and Jordan (Challenge, Jacoby and Litman, respectively), 10 points

GRTFL Super Scorer Caitlin Mangum took on Marlon and Jordan this week.

In the least-surprising deliberation of the season, Marlon and Jordan were voted into the jungle to take on Preston and Knight. There are three things we can expect from every season of The Challenge: Camila will become possessed by a drunkcrazy demon and go berzerking, TJ will move closer to (rightfully) becoming the President of the United States, and the remaining rookie team will be voted into the last elimination challenge before the final. What makes this season’s version of that third guarantee so great is that Jordan and Marlon owned it. They didn’t bitch and moan. They refused to politic and beg Paula Walnuts to finally get back at Johnny Bananas for leaving her stranded and penniless on The Island. They didn’t offer Emily votes in exchange for protein shakes. Instead, they manned up. I respect the hell out of that.

This week’s jungle was “Breaking on Through,” also known as the “Zach Is Either a Cheater or Doesn’t Understand Where His Feet Are” challenge. Teams start at the top of a tower and have to switch off breaking through the different levels until they reach the bottom. It was not even close (10 points). Marlon and Jordan crushed Patriotic Matthew Stafford and Barnum & Bailey’s Ringmaster Preston Rondo:


Related: After watching this performance, I’d take the under on both the Lions and Celtics this year.

I’m happy Marlon and Jordan made the final, not only because I love seeing a rookie team (i.e., Leroy and Mike, a.k.a. the most adorable Challenge duo ever) make it far, but also because they’ve earned it. They are definitely one of the three strongest teams, and probably the only team that would pass a PED test. Jordan and Marlon may just be the new Magic and Kareem. My money is on this team to take it all.

Jacoby, you want to take that bet?

[I know who wins, girl, please. Czar here, doi.]

Diem (Challenge, Simmons), 5 points

Dancing Diem made out with CT at the bar after doing a come-hither dance move:


There is nothing interesting about this story line other than the way Softie Silverback says Diem. He says “Dee-Ummm.”

Oh yeah, before I end this column, I’d like to point out one more important thing I learned from The Challenge this week. CHICKS LOOK HOT IN SHOULDER PADS:


Check back next week for more edifying discourse on modern society. Until then, enjoy the weekend.

Filed Under: David Jacoby, Mtv, Reality TV Fantasy League, The Challenge, The Decline of American Civilization

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

Archive @ djacoby

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