Dwhittled (v.) 1. A combination of the words dwindled and whittled coined by Wes in the seventh episode of The Challenge; The numbers I had at the beginning of the game have been dwhittled down.
Tough, tough episode for my boy Wes this week. First, Evelyn throws down a stone cold rooster block on the Theresa action and then she eliminates him from The Challenge. On top of that, his partner Mandi outruns him during the Exile and completely emasculates him in the process. Wes’ excuse: “I’m carrying a lot more weight than she is.”
Which is true. It did seem as though the mental effort required to manage a constantly shifting sea of alliances eventually took its toll on Wes. As I said last week, he made a crucial strategic blunder sending Landon in against CJ. This effectively sealed his fate as he was guaranteed to lose one member of his alliance while turning another against him for the rest of the game.
But what’s done is done. Wes is gone now and that makes the game much clearer. Unless she wins a Challenge, Evelyn will be sent into exile every time from here on out. Most likely, she’ll face Ryan next week (which she will win) and Jenn the following week (the outcome of which is less clear).
The only strategic move left in the game belongs to Ryan and Jenn, but they are too timid and uncreative to take it. Ironically, their status as the two physically weakest teams left in the game* gives them an advantage because the stronger teams would like to bring them into the final Challenge for easier competition. They should leverage this advantage by making an alliance with Landon now. When the winners of the next Challenge send Evelyn into Exile, the Ryan/Jenn/Landon voting bloc should send Kenny/Laurel in to face them.
If Evelyn wins, they should keep the alliance with Landon but secretly ally with Jillian/Pete and set up a Landon vs. Evelyn Exile. If Kenny wins, then he would send in Landon next week and either Jenn or Ryan could make a deal with Kenny to screw the other one over. This is really their only play at this point.
Of course, they won’t do this. Jenn and Ryan have been complete nonentities in this game. They haven’t won any Challenges nor have they participated in any Exiles. They have merely wafted back and forth between whichever alliance is stronger at any given time, waiting around until they are no longer necessary. Kenny and Jillian have complete control over the game and Landon seems to be the only other team capable of winning a Challenge. Unless Evelyn digs deep and wins a bunch of Exiles, it really seems like the finale will be composed of these three teams.
One other thing that’s been bugging me: for a gay dude, Ryan sure has kissed a lot of girls on MTV over the years. I mean, he’s kissed his share of guys as well, but you’ve got to break a few eggs to make an omelette.
The Official Las Vegas Reality TV Examiner Challenge Power Rankings After Episode 7
The power rankings take into account the physical & mental ability necessary to win the Challenges as well as the ability to influence the outcome of votes.
1. Kenny/Laurel – Laurel showed a little chink in the armor this week. Her outcast status is starting to wear on her and she may be a little injured. I think she bounces back with a strong performance next week, but the game is undoubtedly starting to wear on her.
2. Landon/Carley – Awesome showing from the hometown favorites this week. I really like this team. Landon has played a clean game and Carley seems like a nice girl. I’m fully rooting for them to win.
3. Jillian/Pete – These guys just keep plugging along as a well oiled cog in the Kenny/Laurel machine. I don’t really see much trouble coming their way. Anyone would rather face the untested Ryan or Jenn teams in an Exile, so they should be safe.
4. Evelyn/Luke – The game is pretty clear for Evelyn at this point: win or go home. She going to need to win either a Challenge or an Exile every week from here on out.
5. Jenn/Noor – If Jenn would only grab the bull by the horns, she really could win this thing. We will know by the end of the next episode if she has any shot at all.
6. Ryan/Theresa – This team has no chance whatsoever of winning the show. Hopefully Ryan can make out with a few more girls before he has to leave.
* * *
* I’m not counting Jillian/Pete because of their rock solid alliance with Kenny/Laurel
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