Grantland Reality Fantasy League: Ragey Zach Goes A'Cheatin'

Grantland The Challenge

The Bachelorette had her heart broken, made out with a couple people, broke some other dudes’ hearts, fell in love with someone else, and then got engaged all in the course of a week on a Caribbean island. She basically went on spring break. It seems like the episode aired a decade ago and I have emotionally moved on, but I can’t lie: While I was watching the finale on Monday night, at least twice I said to myself, “I have no idea what is going to happen. This is riveting.”

It was. It isn’t every day that you get to watch someone find true love — then get engaged to some other dude.

Chris (The Bachelorette, Jacoby), 65 points: Imagine you have your best suit on, the ring in your pocket, your speech planned, and you’re hand-in-hand with the woman you are about to propose to. As you drop down to one knee, she asks you to stop. You’ve seen this before. The sweat and terror-tingle wash over your body at the realization that you are now the runner-up.

But maybe not.

She says she has something to say, but it doesn’t sound like “What I have to say is going to Bane back-break you.” She gathers herself. Right before you are about to say, “What the fuck is this all about then?” she confesses that a week ago she was in love with another man, then he broke her heart, then she fell in love with you, but didn’t tell you you weren’t the only one she was considering, but now that everyone else is gone she is totally down to marry you, like, forever.

You don’t propose marriage to someone under those conditions. You just don’t. Unless, of course, you are surrounded by TV producers who won’t accept “Welp, didn’t work out this time” as the grand finale of their multimillion-dollar project. Then you kind of have to make out with her a bunch and get engaged regardless (15 + 50 = 65 points):

The whole episode felt like watching zookeepers put two pandas in the same cage and turn on the panda porn. Think about it: After declaring no one has ever loved her the way she loved them, then having her heart broken on national television because some bro didn’t love her the way she loved him, the producers could have flown Ariel Castro in and Des would have been down.

Thing is, even after watching her downgrade to Chris, and watching Chris settle for someone who never really loved her until he was the last man standing, I feel like they’re good for each other. They look good together, are equally astonishingly boring, and share a synchronized delusion about the concept of “poetry.” At first it’s hard to imagine that as their relationship progresses Brooks won’t be brought up during heated arguments, but then when you consider the depth of intellect in play here, you can totally imagine them never mentioning it again.

While marriage sausage may taste good, it’s hard to forget how it was made. But I have to ask: Why is “Welp, didn’t work out this time” an unacceptable outcome? Wouldn’t everyone reading this column have enjoyed the show more if she called the whole thing off and left Antigua while sobbing “NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE ME”? Wouldn’t you have cried? Wouldn’t you have been more emotionally invested in Des’s romantic future? Wouldn’t that have led to a bitchin’ live after-show? Wouldn’t that have made for a super-bitchin’ follow-up season? But most importantly, wouldn’t that have felt like real life? Is real life even what we want out of these shows though? What the hell is happening? I am confused and scared now. While I work this all out, I’m going to go back to Googling panda porn.

Zach (The Challenge, Jacoby), 35 points: I once believed it was impossible to witness true character development in the course of one 60-minute episode of a preposterous reality show. That was before “The Ballad of the Zachs.”

“The Ballad of the Zachs” starts with the birth of his nephew. Hearing the news over the phone, the Riggins-y one immediately broke down in tears (20 points). The gentle-giant vibe suits him well, and at this moment he’s the most likable he has been since he kissed Frank on the mouth as a goof. Solemn Zach is a good Zach:

Sadly, Solemn Zach didn’t last long. Solemn Zach doesn’t like being filmed with cameras while he is crying. Solemn Zach wants to smash the cameras. Solemn Zach turns into Tantrum Zach. Tantrum Zach isn’t very likable.

Tantrum Zach started breaking stuff and Knight kept giving him stuff to break. “I’m not trying to get Zach over the top, but I like to get a rise out of people. I know that makes me a terrible human being, but it’s fun to watch.” Knight is right, it is fun to watch Solemn Zach turn into Tantrum Zach turn into Ragey Zach. Ragey lost a challenge, got in a ragey argument (5 points) and ended up going into the elimination “jungle.” After winning the elimination jungle, Ragey Zach got so ragey that he … well … let’s let Ragey Zach explain himself: “I just pretty much have no respect for anyone on that bridge, so I threw my helmet at them. They are all a bunch of bitches”:

Wait, did Ragey Zach break the rules in the elimination challenge? He wasn’t supposed to break through the first floor, but the cameras clearly show him breaking through the first floor. Thus accused, Ragey Zach turned into Denial Zach and was all, “That’s clearly not what happened, but …”

Even though he’s as unlikable as someone who can’t admit when they have done something wrong, Denial Zach wins out in the end because it is impossible not to like someone who’s wearing sweet American flag socks. Thus “The Ballad of the Zachs” ends where it began. With Zach being likable again. Fin.

Leroy (The Challenge, House), 35 points: Leroy won the elimination challenge that Ragey Zach cheated on (10 points) and won the week because he coitused Theresa on the top bunk while salty ex-Theresa-hook-up Wes stewed on the bottom bunk (25 points). Leroy is the greatest. Three years ago he was a trash man in Detroit; now he works at a fancy pool in Vegas. If democracy does what it is supposed to, in 40 years he will be president.

Theresa (The Challenge, House), 30 points: Dear Theresa, Leroy is the greatest. You know that Leroy is the greatest and you coitused him (25 points). So why did you vote for him to go in the jungle? HOW DUMB ARE YOU? When you do dumb shit it ends up backfiring and you end up making faces like this:

Theresa tried to save face and blame it on Diem (5 points), but she knew she fucked up and made it up to Leroy with coitus. Idiocy can always be counterbalanced with coitus.

Drew (The Bachelorette, Simmons), 20 points: Drew was left in tears (20 points), but who cares? The Bachelorette felt like it ended a year ago, and I am all about looking forward to The Bacehlorette’s older, funnier, sluttier older brother, The Bachelor. Chris Harrison announced that Juan Pablo would be the Bach this year and I couldn’t be happier about it. In fact, this week’s GRTFL Top Five is The Top Five Reason You Should Be Excited About Juan Pablo listed from “Whatever” to “I might actually start watching this show”:

5. He’s Latin: For one thing, it is about time they had someone as The Bachelor or Bachelorette who wasn’t super white. Second, I can’t wait to hear all the chicks on the show get out of the limo and mutter some Rosetta Stone bullshit they just learned on the plane ride to L.A.

4. He Loves to Dance: Not everyone can dance, and watching people who can dance together is beautiful … but not nearly as beautiful as watching one person who can dance get frustrated by a partner who can’t. I look forward to a lot of that this season.

3. He’s a Promoter: You know what kind of people turn into nightclub promoters? People who love to drink, dance, and use their connections to sleep with strangers. The Bachelor is perfect for him.

2. He Used to Play Soccer: At least three girls are going to come out of the limo with soccer balls. The women on this show will basically be Xzibit in Pimp My Ride: “Yo dog, I heard you like soccer, so I put a soccer in your car so you can soccer while you drive.”

1. He Has Some Personality: Sure, not much, but when you compare Juan Pablo to Ben, Brad, and Sean he looks like David Letterman.

When does his season start? And do we get a Bachelor Pad in-between to tide us over?

Ty (The Challenge, Yoshida), 10 points: Ty managed to win the elimination challenge and still hasn’t said a word this entire season (10 points). After making a fool of himself for three seasons, I feel like one of his best friends pulled him aside and was all, “Dude, if you don’t say anything, they can’t make you look like a fool.” That is a good friend. Shout-out to that guy.

Diem (The Challenge, Simmons), 5 points: Diem got into an argument with Theresa and also provided us with The GRTFL Questionable Moment of the Week:

What is going on with her left boob? Is this an implant thing? Is this “big boobs in a sports bra” thing? Is this a cancer thing? If this is a cancer thing do I go to hell now or go to hell when I die? Is she the three-breasted woman from Total Recall? I’m confused.

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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