Notes on Grantland’s Challenge Coverage & Rules’s Coverage of America’s Fifth Major Sport inspires us and drives us crazy at the same time. grantland pop culture

When we started our Challenge Fantasy League last season for Rivals II, we used a modified version of Grantland’s scoring system. When we started this blog this season, it was mainly because Grantland’s coverage of The Challenge left something to be desired. The main frustrations were that The Challenge full scoring did not get consistantly reported (unless they do it on Podcasts, but we don’t always listen to those), and The Challenge gets folded into their GRTFL (Grantland Reality TV Fantasy League) so Survivor and Bachelor and other sub-par shows get all mixed into their posts about The Challenge.

Seeing a quality show like The Challenge be mixed up with other shows is like someone putting tequila in my red-bull-vodka slushy: it’s contaminating something pure and special and it’s just too much.

Furthermore, Grantland had a terrific breakdown of the one-minute trailer, and yet DID NOT reveal their scoring system for this season until yesterday, after the premiere! Grantland even mentions in their premiere post that “you can form your own fantasy teams at home” – ummm…. don’t you think people want to form their own fantasy teams BEFORE the season begins? Why scout episode one when you could playing? And, of course, knowing the scoring dictates how you draft for the league. For example, with our scoring system, there are a lot of points for winning, so drafting cast members who are strong athletes is a good strategy. Also, with our scoring, we reward male crying pretty well, which ups the value of a player like Frank.

Part of the frustration with Grantland not announcing their scoring until now is that we could have added some of their new scoring rules that we really like!

We're Not Saying Zach is Cross-Dresser, But We Can Picture Him Cross-Dressing!

We’re Not Saying Zach is Cross-Dresser, But We Can Picture Him Cross-Dressing!


  • Cross-dressing: 10 points – It’s beauty is its simplicity. The cast has no TV, a lot of alcohol and free time, cross-dressing is certainly possible and warrants a small reward. Cast members whose value goes up with this rule in place? Zach & CT… even though they are too big to fit into even Aneesa’s  clothes.
  • Slandering someone regarding sexual performance: 25 points – This rule puts the “ass” in “classy” – or something. Cast members whose value goes up with this rule? Everyone but Cohutta, who seems too nice to ever say something mean about anyone who was nice enough to interact with him sexually.
  • Causing a vehicle with a siren to arrive: 20 points – As per our notes from Episode 1, future seasons could benefit from a rule about ambulance rides. We do, however, wonder if this warrants negative points.
  • Assaulting an inanimate object: 10 points – Great rule because not everyone wants to be violent in a way that can maybe get them kicked off the show. NOTE: We have no idea if cast members can really do anything to get kicked off this show anymore. MTV: what are your rules on that at this point? Cast members whose value goes up with this rule in place? Camila, Jemmye (especially if there’s ketchup in the house) and CT.
  • Wearing another contestant’s name jersey in support: -10 – Boo sportsmanship! A Free Agents individual game Challenge is no place for solidarity. However, in a team format, this rule may not work, since the cast members would kinda have a decent reason to be cheerleaders.
  • • Misspelling a one- or two-syllable word during the spelling challenge: 25 points – It’s very specific and probably valued too high, but it will happen and it’s funny.


  • Throwing a challenge: -25 points – It doesn’t happen often, but it’s always interesting when a person or team throws a challenge. However, in some cases, it’s an excellent strategy, which means it probably doesn’t warrant negative points. Since both our and Grantland’s scoring systems reward fighting, it would inconsistent to discourage other fun bad behaviors. 


  • Making T.J. dramatically break character: 20 points – Too hard to judge and also T.J. doesn’t have a “character,” he’s just awesome.
  • Announcing you are “in control of the game” (or something close to it): 5 points – Also too difficult to judge.
  • Coitusing an inanimate object: 15 points – Eh, coitus is by the people for the people! Cast members whose value goes up with this rule in place? Chet or anyone else in a relationship whose only hook up opportunity is a vase or a statue.

  • Possessing a cold sore: 15 points – Again, too difficult to judge. These women pack a lot of make-up and these men are very zit-prone (if you know what we mean). Cast member whose value goes up with this rule in place? Everyone.

  • Being the target of a Laurel rage insult attack: 15 points – Not into rules that are based on one specific cast member.

  • Being the target of a CT rage cannibalism attack: 75 points – Not into rules that are based on one specific cast member.

Prior to next season, we will consider adding some of the newer Grantland rules that were implemented this season. Of course, our rules are set for the season.

Grantland happened to get in the middle of a debate we were in midst of, as they awarded Johnny Bananas AND Jordan for fighting in Episode 1.

We found this the most difficult call of Episode 1. Since Jordan is not shown yelling at Bananas, we do not think there should be any points for Jordan for verbal fighting. The case for Bananas, however, is unclear. Bananas is heated and yells at Jordan like he wants a fight/argument, but he does not seem to get one (who knows, they could have yelled at each other for an hour, but MTV may have edited it like crazy).

The big question here is does a cast member need another cast member to engage in order for it to be a fight? Last season Anastasia lost it on CT, yelling at him and hitting him. CT did not reciprocate those actions, but was certainly the cause of the fight, a fight that clearly involved him, so we awarded him points.

With that in mind, we have adjusted our original Episode 1 scoring to award 5 points for verbal fighting for Bananas.

Johnny "He Drives Us" Bananas

Johnny “He Drives Us” Bananas


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: