home Archive And THIS Is Why I Love Reality TV: Carpe Diem with MTV's The Duel

And THIS Is Why I Love Reality TV: Carpe Diem with MTV's The Duel

Between the very very wrong in so many ways episodes of Parental Control and the most pathetically creepy episodes of Next and the back to back to back to back blending into one huge episode of Yo Momma, MTV has found time to air yet another Real World/Road Rules Challenge. Why they even call it that anymore, I don’t know. They no longer pit Real World cast members against Road Ruler cast members. Last challenge, they invited contestants who weren’t on either show to compete. The concept was cool and offered some new people to stare at with jaw dropped to the floor in where-did-these-people-come-from disbelief. Every season, such as with The Real World itself, I tell myself I won’t watch and then I get roped in if I catch even a glimpse.

That’s exactly what happened this season with The Duel. Some cast members we haven’t seen in a while are back. Some who are always there are there. It’s a good gig: go to Brazil and win hundreds of thousands of dollars. The shake-up this season is that there are no teams. It’s every man for himself. Or woman. Or person. You know what I mean.

The challenges are inventive enough. The first episode had everyone swimming through a mud pit and then two guys challenging each other to lift watermelons at the end.

Of course, a fight already broke out. Tina took a swing at Beth. She missed. It was actually a jump and punch move because Tina’s shorter than Beth is. The editors also made it slow motion. I love editors.

None of this is very new. We expect fighting. We expect mudpits. We expect an exotic location and lots of prizes and money. The twists aren’t really interesting although they are refreshing.

However, I’m still watching. Because of one person: Diem.

She was Derrick’s partner on Fresh Meat last season where she revealed that she had ovarian cancer. This season, she’s in remission. And she’s wearing a wig.

Now if I were Diem, I wouldn’t want someone writing about me. I wouldn’t want someone singling me out of a crowd of many loonies. But she’s on television. She knows how these shows work. They focus in on struggles. She’s struggled. That’s why they cast her. But that’s not exactly why I watch.

I watch not because she struggled, but because she overcame. Not many women would take off a wig when no one else has seen them without long blonde beautiful hair. Her hair has started to grow in, but it’s short and dark and not her normal look.

Diem has nothing to worry about. I understand that she feels like she’s not herself. My hair is long and dark and curly and it’s a part of my identity. But Diem? Is gorgeous. The girls wore swim caps to make her feel better. The guys stood agape at her beauty. She’s got a rockin bod. She’s got a gorgeous face. She looks good with any kind of hair. She’s just one of those people who look good no matter what. Usually I hate those kind of people. But here, I don’t. I admire her.

[b] And THIS is why I love reality tv[/b]: One glorious act of strength, pride, and determination can redeem an entire network’s questionable taste in the other shows it airs.

Congratulations, Diem. You showed everyone what womanhood is really all about.

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