Grantland Reality Fantasy League: Our First Sociopath!

Courtesy MTV Ryan Knight

Do you know what a sociopath is? Like, for real know? Sociopath is one of those words that we hear all the time, use ourselves, even, but can’t truly define. If someone walked up to you in the street and said, “What is a sociopath?” you would have trouble answering, wouldn’t you? Don’t lie, you would. Well, thanks to MTV’s The Challenge, you will no longer have that problem:

so·ci·o·path [soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-]
a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

Now, if someone walks up to you in the street and says, “What is a sociopath?” you can calmly reply, “Someone who behaves maliciously toward others without remorse, like Ryan from Real World: New Orleans. No, not the creepy Ryan that used to blow-dry his entire body; Ryan Knight, the one from Battle of the Seasons who makes women cry for sport, that one. Ryan Knight is what a sociopath is.”

Top Scorers:

Knight (The Challenge, Lisanti), 15 points: “If somebody goes against us, be ready to get a mental bleep. Because I am going to bleeping bleep with their brain, nobody can take it, so I am just going to keep bleeping with people how I do.”

When you hear Knight say this it’s hard to take him seriously: His face has a solid helping of Wisconsin bro chub to it, his voice labors to escape from his chest like a stony substitute teacher, and he is, ya know, kaslammered all the time. In short, he looks like an idiot. Before watching his breakout performance this episode, if you were to ask me what I thought of Knight I would have said, “He’s the one from New Orleans, the first white guy that Jemmye coitused, right? That one? Not much to him, though — why do you ask?” If you asked me today I would say, “That man is a psychological bowling ball and the rest of us are pins. Never speak to him and never make eye contact; he will steal your soul and chase it with a shot of Jagermeister.”

First, some context. The Las Vegas team is a powerhouse and Knight the Sociopath has targeted Nany as the team’s weak link. Nany has the emotional stability of a pregnant Andy Dick, and Knight the Sociopath knows this. Thus, for no real reason Knight throws Nany’s laundry in the pool. He is to The Challenge what DJ Kay Slay is to the New York hip-hop scene — the drama king is in the building, he only feels right when those around him feel wronged (5 points), and he could care less what they think. It makes for fantastic television. Now, veterans know that the old “throw someone’s clothes in the pool” move is a reality-TV staple. I have never seen an episode of Bad Girls Club where someone’s clothes didn’t get chlorinated. So of course Knight would never finish with such a hackneyed maneuver — he’s just laying the groundwork for what is to come. This is an amuse-bouche, if you will, before the sociopath serves up an onslaught of psychological combination punches.

After one of those rare glorious nights when the producers gather the cast together and ship them out to a bar in buses to get inslopsicated, coitusy, and loose-lipped, the cast were in a bus on the way back to their mansion/prison when Camila decided to get a little loud about the way the “rookies” were forming alliances and playing the game like a bunch of (word that kind of rhymes with “rookies”). This sort of passive-aggressive vague boozy insult is all the reason Knight the Sociopath needs to completely unload on Camila (5 points). Think of every disrespectful word that you can call a woman and imagine it surrounded by variations of the F-word and screamed/slurred/spit at Camila by a pointing, drunken frat bro on a short bus. That happened. Tremendous chaos ensued: a beautiful, disgusting, cringey, captivating mess of inslopsicated ego-beings screaming, spitting, swaying, insulting, and pushing. There on the bus, in the middle of the anarchy he created, you could all but see Knight the Sociopath giggle and soak in his success. He was Heath Ledger’s Joker watching Gotham burn. For Knight, each little flare-up of anger and emotion in every corner of that bus made him stronger, and he wasn’t done yet.

Upon arrival at the house, he strode past Nany and calmly said to her, “Nany, you are a bleeping bitch. Bleep you.” Again, unprovoked, uncalled-for, and with the understanding of exactly what would follow. Nany lost her shit (5 points). She went to attack Knight the Sociopath, but was restrained by Frank the Alcopsychoholic. You know you have lost your mind when Frank the Alcopsychoholic is holding you in check. Knight just coolly continued to push buttons, staying in her line of sight and routinely mumbling insults, sending her into rhythmic rage waves. He was playing her like an instrument. This is Knight’s happy place — his massage table, his Friday after-work beer, his meditation. When his ex-girlfriend and teammate Jemmye inquired, “Why did you call Nany a bitch?,” he looked at her and said, “Because she wanted to say that … like … we … that that that I used … that … I don’t feel bad about it … like … at all.” In that statement lies the nuance and evil genius that is Knight the Sociopath. He has no idea why he is doing what he is doing. Reason is for the weak. All he knows is that he doesn’t feel bad about it … like … at … all. Again:

so·ci·o·path   [soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee-]
a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

Nany (The Challenge, Simmons), 60 points:
Oh wait, Nany is next up in the column and I get to talk about Knight the Sociopath some more? Perfect. Knight turned to Trishelle at one point in the episode and announced, “I’m not stupid. You know what I am doing, Trishelle. In the end, this is a bleeping game and these people who can’t hack it up here. I am going to bleeping own.” Nany is one of those people who can’t “hack it up here.” After Knight was finished marionetting her rage puppet, she emotionally melted (15 verbal fight points), smashed a glass on the ground (10 points), and wept, “I waaaant to go hooooooooome!(5 + 15 points).

Nany’s remarks while she was being held back but still trying desperately to attack/cannibalize Knight the Sociopath struck me the most. She screamed, “You did nothing but instigate it. That bullbleep, that’s bullbleep, don’t come at me and say bleep you bleep because you don’t know who the bleep I am!” Why are people that are about to fight constantly reminding each other how little they know about each other? We have all heard the “you don’t know me” fly around before bar fights dozens of times, and it has always perplexed me. How is “you don’t know me!” a threat? Are you saying that if I got to know you we wouldn’t have a problem? Are you saying that there is some dangerous secret about you that I don’t know about? What is the source of the “you don’t know me” move? Who was the first person to make this declaration? Who is patient zero of the “you don’t know me!” disease that has spread? How did it catch on so fast? I need to know these things.

Mike (Jersey Shore, Jacoby), 30 points: Mike got into it with Snooki (5 points), but who cares? Jersey Shore is so boring this season that I am going to list six actual story lines from this episode that occurred this week and you are going to have to guess which one I made up:

1. Pauly and Vinnie played pop a shot; Pauly won.
2. Deena put on makeup without a mirror.
3. Ronnie and Sammi played beer pong.
4. Mike sang a karaoke song. (20 points)
5. Snooki ate cheese balls.
6. Pauly instructed the audience in how to say the word “porch.”

Can you guess which one I made up? None of them. They’re all real. Actual intelligent television professionals spent hours of their time carefully crafting those scenes. At some point some editor had to call his wife and say, “Honey, I know you made lasagna, but there is no chance I am going to make it home tonight. I’m cutting this scene where Pauly D comes up with a new way to say the word ‘porch’ and it’s really giving me a hard time. He says it stressing the first two letters. It’s fascinating and it isn’t something that should be taken lightly. I need to spend some time with this section — it is really testing my abilities as a storyteller.”

Sitcho also notched five “gossiping about someone’s sexual activity points” for this zinger about Ronnie as he was about to ride a mechanical bull: “I’ve shared a room with Ron and I know that Ronnie cannot ride anything for more than 30 seconds.” Here’s my thing about mechanical bulls: Unless he is training to ride an actual bull, a man should never ride a mechanical bull. We all know that they’re just in bars because it looks sexual when a woman rides one. The women know this too. Also: bros out there who want to ride mechanical bulls, the guy at the controls is going to throw you off it in like five seconds to make way for the young lady behind you in line, so just save the 15 bucks and buy another beer. Cool? Thanks, glad we covered that.

Deena (Jersey Shore, Kang), 27 points: Deena did her Deena-y thing, got slammered (7 points), fell over (10 points), cried for no reason (5 points), talked about her bowel movements, and inspired Jay Kang to write me the following e-mail:

Subject: Dude
Text: Deena’s nose job is terrible.

Devyn (The Challenge, undrafted), 25 points: The oddest of odd couples — Devyn and Big Easy — are apparently in a full-on relationship. They are making out (2 x 5 =10 points), arguing (2 x 5 =10 points), and make-up crying (5 points). I have to say, it is just weird. One is the high-maintenance city slicker beauty queen and the other is, ya know, Big Easy–ish. Their argument was about the age of Devyn’s ex. Now, when your girl won’t tell you how old her ex is, there is a reason for that. Here is how it went down:

Devyn: “What exactly are you harping on again?”
Big Easy: “I am harping on the fact that I gave you four times to tell the truth and you dodged it four times.”
Devyn: “Four times to tell you the truth about the age of my ex and all of a sudden it is big enough that we aren’t going to spend time together and that we are going to be in separate corners?”
Devyn (in interview): “Eric asked me what is the biggest age difference between me and someone that I dated and I am hesitant to tell him. Not that I am keeping secrets, but some answers require explanations.”

Devyn, we all know the explanation. He was your sugar daddy. I had to find out exactly how old the fella was, so I tuned into the After-Show. First off, Jonny Moseley, what did you do with your hair? Second, dude was 62 years old. Even more shocking than that? Devyn and Big Easy are still together, like in real life.

Jasmine (The Challenge, Jacoby), 20 points: Jasmine, what the hell happened to you? Last season you were the knife-wielding, mirror-smashing, booty-poppin’, point-scoring psychopath and this season you’re barely on the show? She scored 20 points for flashing her ass at a bar, but honestly I didn’t even see it and I watched the show twice. I’m worried about you, Jasmine. At this point you are going to have to start coitusing people, cooking them, and then eating them just to maintain your scoring average.

Big Easy (The Challenge), 15 points: Big Easy notched some points for snogging up on Devyn (2 x 5 = 10 points) and their “Was the dude that you dated before me a senior citizen?” beef. Also, Big Easy got into some Twitter beef with Zach.

Is there a website that tracks all Twitter interaction between reality-TV stars? If so, it would totally replace as the first site I go to in the morning.

Jemmye (The Challenge, Jacoby), 10 points: Jemmye got into the altercations detailed above (2 x 5 = 10 points), and during her rage fits after Knight threw Nany’s stuff in the pool she shed some light on why her relationship with Knight the Sociopath ended. “Be a bleeping man and tell her you did it. Be a bleeping man and tell her you did it. You had a bleeping chance. When you did me wrong, you couldn’t stand up to it. And when you did her wrong, you can’t stand up to it. Don’t bleeping look at me. I hate you more right now than I have ever hated you in my bleeping life.” If you want to see this couple during happier times, here are their mug shots from when they were arrested together. In Panama City, Florida, do they really give you matching black-and-white-striped outfits when you get arrested? That is amazing. I need to get arrested there, for real.

Camila (The Challenge, House), 10 points: Camila got 10 arguing points this week, but in the promo during Jersey Shore for next week’s episode she loses her mind and is once again possessed by a Candomblé deity. I can’t wait. Also, those promos were the best part of Jersey Shore.

Snooki (Jersey Shore, House), 10 points: Snooki scored five crying points and got into an argument with Sitch. These two going sober is the worst thing that has happened to reality television since Paradise Hotel was canceled.

Abi and RC (Survivor, Jacoby and Kang), 5 points: Abi and RC got into it on Survivor (5 points), and based on how she is handling it, I don’t think RC has dealt with Abi’s particular brand of crazy before. Good thing Blair from The Facts of Life is on the show to offer her summation: “Abi’s little Brazilian spice is too much for RC.” I always liked Jo better. (If you are under 30 and reading this, there was this show called … matter of fact, forget it.)

Marie (The Challenge, Jacoby), 5 points: Marie got super pissed about getting sent into the Arena (5 points). Guess what, everyone on this show? You are going to get sent in the Arena. Just once I would love it if someone was all, “Look getting sent in sucks and everything but I understand, it’s cool, I am new here, I am just going to go in there and give it my all.” Oh wait, no — no, I don’t wish that at all. It’s way better with them acting like they are being burned in a sacrificial ceremony every time. My bad.

CJ and Chet (The Challenge, House), 5 points: CJ never made it in the NFL as a punter.

Malcolm (Survivor, Connor), -5 points:
Malcolm couldn’t make a fire on Survivor (-5 points) and may or may not be childhood friends with Grantland’s Rembert Browne, who may or may not be in this YouTube video, which may or may not be the proudest moment of my producing career.

Denise (Survivor, Lisanti), -10 points: Denise the Sex Therapist voted Russell off this week (and put 10 points’ worth of flair on her vote card when she did it) after he had this freakout when his tribe lost for the third straight week:

Russell: “Same old crap. Same old. Lord, I don’t know what happened. You gave me another opportunity, I don’t get what’s happening, Father, you gotta help me understand this. I just can’t take this.”
Jeff Probst: “Russell, you have been going on breaking pots, I don’t know if you are talking to God … ”
Russell: “I am talking to God, Lord — I mean Jeff. For me this isn’t supposed to happen.”
Jeff Probst: “Russell, with all due respect: You sometimes talk like you are a superhero like superman is never supposed to fail. You are just a guy.”
Russell: “I am a guy who was forged by God’s hands a perfect creature. And as far as I am concerned that is how I am supposed to live my life — in excellence — and everything I am supposed to do is excellent.”
Jeff Probst: “And that means never failing.”
Russell: “Right!”

OK, quick recap: Russell is a perfect creature forged in God’s hands who is never supposed to fail, ever. Also, Jeff Probst is God. Any questions? No? Cool.

Reality TV Fantasy League Standings

Filed Under: CBS, Jersey Shore, Mtv, Reality TV Fantasy League, Survivor, The Challenge

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

Archive @ djacoby