If you look closely on Ride or Dies, there are a few teams who are just coasting through the game. They haven’t won anything, and they haven’t had to face an elimination. Instead, they just hope for the best and take losses each day.
After the past two weeks, there’s no doubt that Jay & Michele have made some enemies. They’ve nominated six unique teams into The Zone, and the majority have returned, because winning a challenge means calling out four teams and putting targets on their backs.
According to Bananas, a lot of teams weren’t trying too hard for this very reason.
Here’s the issue — if you lose, there’s a chance you’ll be nominated, which leaves you with a chance of going into elimination. If you win, you’re guaranteed safety, and you’re guaranteed to ruffle a few feathers.
So, this makes it easy for teams to throw competitions and lose, because they don’t want to make enemies. In the past, we didn’t have this issue. Coming in last place guaranteed a spot in elimination.
This is a conundrum we’ve seen over the course of the past few seasons, and I’d certainly say it’s hurting The Challenge. After all, the show is meant to be a challenge — the last place team shouldn’t be in the same position as the second place team. But do they need to go straight into elimination? Not necessarily.
I think it’s quite obvious as to what should happen on Ride or Dies; the last place team should automatically be a nominee. This gives them a definite risk, even if they only go to the dagger draw, but it still gives the daily winners the chance to make a big move. There’s also a benefit to the winners. They can, if they want, call last place team directly into The Zone to make the game “fair.”
Of course, I understand that production has to make a show and fill about 60 minutes of airtime (without commercials). With these longer episodes, we need to have a story to follow. The show likely puts in the twists to make the episodes interesting, even if they’re at the expense of fairness.