Challenge: Total Madness

Jay’s Third Elimination: Does It Make Sense?

Jay just got sent into hist third consecutive elimination. He already has two red skulls while the eleven remaining guys in the house still need their ticket to run the final.

It’s common for rookies to get the thrown into early eliminations, but Total Madness is different. Eliminations aren’t a death sentence, they’re a necessity. Competitors should want to get their skull, and Jay doesn’t need another one.

Jay’s done really well in eliminations this season, but there are strong arguments to keep sending him into elimination. Mostly because this is an individual season. If you don’t have a skull, it doesn’t matter who Jay has beaten. It’s nice that he did your dirty work, but in the end only one male will win.

As a competitor, Jay might be pretty dangerous in a final. He’s pretty well-rounded, but he’s still the smallest guy in the house. He probably has the endurance to run as well as the mental stamina to complete the checkpoints. Competitors like Rogan are mostly skilled in one area: physical strength. In reality, he’s going to want to go against a smaller guy. It’s nice that MTV has a storyline with Rogan, Jay, and Dee, but it’s really not that deep. Rogan want to play to his strengths, and they’re certainly not mental. Other competitors like Nelson, Cory, Kyle, and (most likely) Fessy are going to want to do the same.

If you dig a little deeper, Total Madness is just like every Challenge season. There’s the game and the meta game. The only prize from a daily competition is getting in the Tribunal. When the point of Total Madness is to go into elimination and win, the Tribunal isn’t a great reward unless you can use it to your advantage. So, competitors will want to get in the Tribunal to volunteer themselves in Purgatory if they feel they can win.

Jay’s third trip into Purgatory comes after he choked on the Bomb Squad challenge. Sure, he has two red skulls, they those skulls aren’t helping anyone but Jay. If he can’t get you into the Tribunal, he doesn’t have a great purpose in your game. This trip to elimination is akin to Brandon’s third elimination on Cutthroat after the Surf’s Up challenge. It’s frustrating to see the same person go in multiple times, but this time his position in elimination was earned.

The real issue isn’t necessarily with Jay. It lies with the missed opportunity held by production. When there’s no benefit to having multiple skulls, there’s no reason to keep a skull-holder safe. Jay should have received some power with his second skull, but he didn’t. Now Jay’s (and viewers are) paying the price.

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