The Duel

Throwback: Beth VS. Svetlana


There’s a summer lull going on right now, so I’m going to seize this opportunity to talk about some Real World & Challenge moments that happened before this blog existed.

Right now, we’re going to talk about the kind-of-controversial Beth VS. Svetlana Duel we saw 8 years ago.

During this Duel, Svetlana fought Beth is a game called Push Me. Both competitors started behind a pole and had to push toward the flag. By inching toward the flag, you were inching your opponent away from the flag. Once you get to the flag you must unclip the carabiner and retrieve the flag, you can’t just rip it off.

After a half-hour stalemate, Beth pushed herself to the flag. Frustrated by this, Svetlana begins to cry, jiggles the pole, then leaves the playing field to cry. As she jiggles the pole she causes the poorly attached flag to rip off of the carabiner. Then, but unclips the remaining portion of the flag while Svetlana cries.

Ultimately, Svetlana wins this Duel because Beth was disqualified for ripping the flag. But who truly deserved to win?

Firstly, if this game was based purely on who can push the opponent, Beth would have won. She was stronger than Svetlana, and it seems like that was the objective of this game.

Secondly, Svetlana walks off of the playing field. I’ve always wondered why this wasn’t considered a disqualification. She just left to the game to go cry, leaving Beth in the game.

Thirdly, TJ clearly says you can’t “just rip the flag.” Beth didn’t just rip the flag, she ripped it and then unclipped it because Svetlana walked away from the game.

So with these pointS, I believe that Beth should have been the victor. I truly believe the decision to DQ Beth was made because Svetlana was deemed “more entertaining” by production.

Who do you think should have won?


  1. Beth and Svetlana both need to return and have a proper rematch so Queen Beth can stomp her and claim the win that was rightfully hers. Great elimination though!

  2. I’m not sure if I agree that production thought Svetlana was more entertaining than Beth…Beth is a magnet for conflict and production seemed happy to feature fights between her and other challengers during this season plus flashbacks to rivalries carried over from season’s past. This was a controversial win both when it happened to Beth / Svetlana & CT / Brad. The flag ripping rule added a level of difficulty to the challenge that gave the less strong competitor a fighting chance. To me, the call in Svetlana’s favor made sense based on the rules of the game even though I hated to see applied against CT later on.

    I see what you’re saying about Svetlana leaving the game zone. It did seem like she gave up but there was no confirmation. Usually when someone seems to be quitting, TJ will ask several times, “Are you quitting? Are you DQing?” But in this situation, Svetlana walked away when Beth grabbed the flag without realizing that the rip would disqualify Beth. I guess in the end, I feel like the best call was made but this particular duel game definitely allowed a few surprising upsets.

    1. I’ve read multiple places that production had lengthy discussions (well 30 minutes during what should be a seamless process) with over whether or not Beth should be eliminated. Production loves when a rookies manages to make it to the end, in fact it happens suspiciously frequently (Wes on FM, Svetlana on The Duel, Janelle on Inferno 3, Brittini Duel 2, Sarah on Ruins, many on Cutthroat, Leroy & Mike on Rivals, Marlon & Jordan on Rivals 2, Johnny on Free Agents). Production is also used to Beth leaving midway.

      To me, Beth and CT’s performances are separated on 2 fronts. Firstly, CT should have learned from example and Brad intentionally shook the pole to cause CT to rip the flag. Secondly, Svetlana walking away allowed Beth to unclip the flap with ease despite the fact that she ripped it. Brad was still an active participant in the game and was intentionally preventing CT from unclipping the flag. While Brad’s victory isn’t the most noble, his motives were intentional.

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