Are the ‘battle of the exes 2’ rookies the game’s biggest threats?

You know the “Challenge” routine: Rookies move in, wax optimistic about their chances at a first-place finish and then, more often than not, wind up taking the early flights home. But is “Battle of the Exes 2” about to shake up the system?

On tonight’s premiere, nine brand-new competitors — roughly a third of the game’s entire cast — dropped their bags in Panama for a shot at some HUGE money, and, predictably, the veterans didn’t pay them much mind. But when the game finally got underway and push came to shove, it was the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed who really came through.

Straight out of the gate, Averey, who hadn’t competed in a single game before stepping foot out onto “I Got You, Babe,” took control of the mission and completely smoked Jessica. And her success in the game wasn’t often repeated, as one-by-one, her fellow Challengers dropped like flies. When the dust had cleared, only four teams successfully crossed the cable between two towering skyscrapers, and among them were Thomas and Hailey of “Real World: Ex-Plosion,” who were also totally new to the circuit. Sure, vets Wes and Theresa ultimately took first place, but the freshman class certainly made a showing.

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When it came time for the inaugural Power Couple to decide which team to sentence to The Dome, Wes and Theresa realized that playing it safe meant sparing any rookie team from possible elimination. As far as Wes was concerned, the new kids had the numbers, and the longtime vet chose to be their “silent partner” rather than jump to oust them from the competition. So, he and Theresa nominated Dustin and Jessica, instead.

In “Pole Position,” the newbies continued to prove that they came to win, and Adam and Brittany, two total outsiders from “Are You the One?“, managed to overcome Brittany’s small stature and ultimately sent their veteran opponents packing. And with a W under the rookies’ belts, the vets had two fewer people to count on in the house.

So, considering three rookie teams pulled out all the stops tonight, and that the newbies now account for a huge chunk of the cast, do you think they’ve officially got the upper hand? Share your thoughts on how you think they’ll perform!