Sarah Rice-Patterson had the happy ending. Along with Jordan Wiseley, Sarah powered her way through Battle Of The Exes II, taking home $125,000. Even better, she had sent Johnny & Nany to the final Dome, where they lost to Leroy and Theresa (who was a last minute substitution for Nia, who was kicked off for grabbing Jordan's privates). Johnny was merciless afterward, spewing hatred on her for playing the game he had controlled for so long. Never mind that he and Nany lost to Leroy & Nia in the Dome, only to “earn” their way back through “Battle Of The Ex-iled.” Sarah had committed the sin of throwing Johnny under the bus, which was a transgression almost as great as quitting. While most people figured that Johnny would continue to suckle on the BMP teat, Sarah's story was apparently over.
Of course, that was not the case. Two seasons later, she arrived on Rivals III, and she would be paired with the man she grievously wronged . . . at least if you believed Johnny. He would not shut up about how his one-time friend had stabbed him in the back. Never mind that he went into the season with five Challenge wins, and that he is the all-time money leader in the show’s history. He wouldn't stop whining. But after he and Sarah won a mission, Sarah apologized for her actions. On the forum that I frequent, the hatred for Sarah came roaring back. All we needed from her was an interview segment that her partner wouldn't have found out about for months.
“Am I sorry that I played Johnny? No, I'm not. I wanted to win the money. We all wanted the money. If the roles were reversed, he would have screwed me. But we're in this together, so I have to play to his ego so that we have the best shot at winning. If I have to jerk him off, I'll find tweezers to do it with, because I can't risk breaking his dick off in my hand.”
As the season lurched forward, it became evident that she was still needy for acceptance, even from a scumbag like Johnny. Needless to say, it has not been fun to watch. Also, heading into the final episode, the audience had nobody and nothing to root for.
But then came a twist. TJ Lavin told the final three teams that they'd would be completing tasks, and the best overall time would win it. This wasn't new . . . I hated the notion when it played out in Free Agents and Battle Of The Bloodlines. I felt that the format could have been fixed by BMP to ensure the ending they desired . . . like Johnny’s last win, or Cara Maria & Jamie's triumph last season (I can't dispute Laurel’s win; I called her “Killbot” partially for her athleticism). The wrinkle: Each player would be competing individually for points. Whomever has more points than one’s partner has to decide whether to split the prize money, or to keep it for themselves. This included first place, with the potential for a $275,000 payday, the greatest in the show’s history.
Here's the question: Given how comfortable Sarah has been with Johnny's usual antics, would taking all of the grand prize redeem her in the eyes of the hardcore fans? While she has been such a doormat for him throughout the season to the point where her middle name could have been "Welcome," I would hope there's a shred of pride in her, especially after eating so much shit. The money would no doubt pay for grad school and at least one child. Who cares if she would be guilt-ridden to name it “Johnny,” even if it turns out to be a girl? And isn't it fun to see an asshole get hoist by his own petard? Look at Jon Dalton on Day 38 on Survivor: Pearl Islands, as he struggled to keep his balance on a raft, begging Lillian to make a deal as she went with the flow. Johnny would finally get his sixth win, but he'd have nothing to show for it aside from whatever stipend BMP had given him. Who wouldn't root for that?
Of course, Sarah would have to announce her retirement from the show afterward. Like, five seconds after taking the money for herself. And she would need to skip the subsequent Reunion, where Johnny would no doubt belittle her to no end. Worse yet, MTV never brings in intelligent people to make up the audience, and Sarah would be dragged through the mud again. I hate her only to the extent where I'd want bags of weak tea thrown at her for being such a pushover, while Johnny would get rocks aimed at his head. Instead, the sycophants enable Johnny, feeding his massive ego. Sadly, I think Sarah would elect to share the money with him, because she values friendship so much . . . even if it's with a complete and utter asshole.
If Johnny scores more points and gets the win, he would be embraced in either scenario. If he keeps the money, he is justified for avenging himself upon Sarah, leaving her with next to nothing. And should he continue to appear on the show, that choice would not be held against him like it would for Sarah. Once again: His ass is so tasty, he turns damn near everybody around him into people with hearty appetites for it. Should he choose to share the money, he would be seen as a benevolent Banana, able to forgive Sarah for her ultimate sin. That would parlay into suckering future players into believing he is an honorable guy, where he is usually as full of shit as a septic tank.
As for the other teams? It would take a miracle for them to prevail in the finale.
Devin & Cheyenne
These two have made show history as being the first Are You The One? alumni to make the final mission. They lost the first Jungle, got brought back, and managed to dodge a second trip by drawing white skulls. Devin is basically a poor man’s Wes, with the superiority complex that he needs to lose, even if he is the least of so many annoyances. Cheyenne recently lost it getting picked on by Johnny and his idiot cousin, to the point where she considered leaving. After talking to her mother (whose works would've earned her all of the prize money in a better world), Cheyenne came back to play. It's a pity she's got AYTO stink on her. I may have gotten to like her.
Jenna & Vince
Of course, Johnny's cousin would turn out to be a mainstay. Wince is still an asshole, and a dim one at that. He reminds me of Mac from It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, what with the bulk and mental vacancy. He truly is related to Johnny, given how he lucked into the finale. Should he receive any money at the end, I fully expect Johnny to sell him beans for the prize. He wouldn't even have to claim to have magic beans. Johnny would have found a can at a bodega and pawn it off on Wince. And while I'm thinking about it . . . "Vinny Pineapple" is not a good nickname, Wes. That is yet another reason why you will never be considered cool.
Jenna is just as dull mentally. She probably thinks devices get heavier the more material is downloaded on them, and she didn't feel insulted when a pissed-off Devin labeled the other players "sheep." Her nadir came when she found out that her boyfriend Zach may have been unfaithful to her over the phone. She has crap taste in guys. Jay was a shrimp and a cheater, and he persuaded her to quit the final mission in Battle Of The Exes II. Given Zach’s lack of stamina in finales, I see him as a “two pump chump,” who constantly pinned Jenna to the bed as he went to dreamland. And she would stare at the ceiling, persuading herself that he was the right man for her. Now I hear rumors that she rebounded with Wince. That is a downgrade. If you clog your ears, Zach would be nice to look at. Wince can probably eke out half a pump before collapsing, and Jenna would have to reevaluate her life yet again. The girl needs an intervention.
Recently, I found out that VH1 Classic has been rebranded as MTV Classic, and it will show "classic" shows from MTVs heyday. If they opt to show Real World/Road Rules Challenge, may they air episodes from The Gauntlet. At least we would get a Sarah worth rooting for. The Sarah we got today makes it so hard.