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The Bad-Ass/Good Guys construct introduced was a cheesy, but necessary way of creating teams for the season. Cutthroat aimed to shake things up by having three teams instead of the usual two.
The second Battle Of The Seasons was unrelated to the first (hence no number in the title), which was a good thing in theory.Their unexplained absence, plus the unreasonably long stay of the RW: Saint Thomas team, produced a season lacking in Challenge mainstays that turned out...mostly boring. But the reigning king of Modern Challenges has locked up his spot in the final, and the crop of contenders doesn't look much different than it ever has.The Inferno II was the first installment after Road Rules was canceled. Free Agents seemed tailor-made to end the era of Bananas dominance in the Challenges: The elimination selections are random! So much for that "anything can happen" tag line, eh?Eliminating players helped the game, but this season was a far cry from the down-and-dirty battles of Under Armour-clad folks we get these days.We owe all modern Challenges to The Gauntlet, but that doesn't make it great.The Inferno improved slightly on its predecessor by adding the life shield, which allowed the person nominated for elimination to save themselves.
In addition to adding drama, the life shield added additional challenges, which made it a better show.
Improving on the original, this season had Real Worlders and Road Rulers face off, but the format was still a Road Rules clone (RV travel, "missions" in different cities).
And as the show was still in the pre-Survivor era, there weren't any eliminations, which is such a key component of the show that it places 24th on the list.
At that point, Bananas had only participated in The Duel (and was eliminated in the first episode), so we didn't know what a full Bad Ass he could be but... The Duel, a good format, was significantly lamer in its second installment thanks to a rag-tag crop of players. — AND the show gave us the very weird, making-it-work-in-real-life coupling of Abe and Cara Maria.
The field weakened on night one when CT annihilated Adam's poor face and Adam fought back, ending both their runs. OK, some of the exes were a bit of a stretch (did anything happen on camera ever between Bananas and Camila? Mark Long coming out of retirement to be paired up with Robin, who cried at literally everything that season, was one, but nothing topped the CT and Diem story.
The concept was solid — teams of four from an original Real World city season battling it out — but the casting was poor, which isn't usually a problem for this show.