spoilers i guess...
I caught a marathon of Real World/Road Rules Challenge on MTV during the holidays. I was entertained, but the later episodes had me glued. Basically the former castmembers from the two shows compete in reality TV challenges for a chance at cash for their team. Then at the end each team votes in a player to the Gauntlet
. The winner of the Gauntlet
stays in the game, but the loser is forced off the show and gets none of the prize money. The team that loses the player is now also at a disadvantage most of the time since they have fewer people to go against the other team that kept their player.
The amusing part is that on the Road Rules(RR) team, they sent one player named Sarah in five
times. I was so fascinated by the fact that she got chosen so many times and kept winning that I actually read up on her. Apparently on her previous season of RR she was voted off then too because she wasn't a team player and did not do well at events.
In the show she is not a superstar at the normal events but she shone in the Gauntlet
, earning the nickname "Gauntlet Queen". In one of the first events Sarah was voted out, even though she did OK in the event and her team had said it was going to go by performance. Guess memories of her past performance made them vote for her. The Real World team sent one of their best players (I think his nickname was "the Hulk"). Sarah lucked out and the event chosen was called "Deadman's Drop". Basically, the two people hang by their legs from a trapeze until one drops into the pool below. Needless to say, the heavyweight lost and Sarah survived.
In other episodes Sarah got sent to the Gauntlet
again and again. In most cases she was not the worst player. She took out one girl in a swimming/puzzle (the girl had defeated another person on Sarah's team who had bragged on his puzzle solving skills in the same event) and another girl named Rachael in a mechanical bull-riding contest. That time was sad for Sarah (but entertaining for viewers) since she had made really good friends with her. After one Gauntlet
her team decided to get her a cheap cake. As the credits ended, she said it was kind of weak, and the cake itself made her sick. Hysterical.
Sarah also beat two others in "Deadman's Drop" (another guy and one girl). The last episode, the one where she beat the girl in "Deadman's Drop", made some great viewing. Sarah went against someone very much lighter than her. The time for hanging was 48 minutes before she won, the other Deadman Drops lasted about 6 to 15 minutes at most.After all that, they declared the next day as "Don't Send Sarah into the Gauntlet Day". As one forum post wrote, "I'll beleive it when I see it."
One of the main reasons I find this so interesting is that her team keeps sending her because of her perceived weakness, but when looking at achievement, sending more and more of the RW team packing helps her team a lot more than what the other players on her team are doing. Last I saw, a total of 8 people have been beaten in The Gauntlet
on the RW side. Sarach took out 5 of those, so she kicked off more players than her entire team. About 1/3 of the RW team.
Yet another element is that the more times she wins, the more people there are to split the pot at the end. So not getting kicked off screws the people on her team some by reducing their cash as well as letting her keep her chance to get any at all. The factions that keep voting her off are probably getting more and more PO'd too.
Her blog Sarah's Fiasco
has some more in-depth details on her trips to The Gauntlet
She even got a mention on ESPN
I can't think of anywhere else to put this, so let's stick it here: Sarah's performance in the "Road Rules/Real World Challenge" is worthy of its own "SportsCentury" episode at this point. The weakest player on either team, she has this Elway-like ability to pull things together in the Gauntlet every week -- she's knocked off five people so far, even though the ungrateful bastards on her own team keep voting her back in. I'm not kidding ... if this were a real sport, we'd be comparing her to MJ and Muhammad Ali. This is amazing stuff.