I get that people on reality TV aren't the smartest. Especially people who go on The Real World nowadays. But my goodness can they still shock me every now and then with idiocy. Or at least with their ignorance of very simple game theory. Take an econ class, kids. It comes in handy.
Technically this is a spoiler on who gets voted in from last week's The Challenge, but come on -- it's not Game of Thrones or anything so you should keep reading. Johnny Bananas and Nani were in the power position of selecting one guy and one girl to throw into the elimination round. It's the first season of the "Free Agents" voting model, so there isn't a ton of precident to go on for acceptable voting patterns. But, so far this season, the guy basically picks which guy to throw in, the girl picks what girl to vote in, and then they "back" each other so the vote is unanimous. That's what happened with half of the vote last week.
Bananas wanted CT in because he's the biggest competition (duh). Johnny voted first and Nani followed, throwing CT into the elimination round. Next up was the girls vote. Nani voted first and selected Teresa. Bananas did not back Nani and instead voted for Cara Maria (presumably because they don't like each other). It was the first time this season that there was a tie. So TJ Lavin (the host) made them re-vote in the same order. Same results. Nani voted for Teresa. Johnny voted for Cara Maria. Then TJ threw in a twist: they would vote one more time and it if was still a tie, then CT would be safe and Bananas and Nani would be thrown into the elimination round. The second he said that a seemingly obvious (though not apparently to Nani) though popped into my head: the order of the vote is all that matters -- whoever votes first will get their way, with the second person switching. It's the clear equilibrium of the sitution. Then Nani votes first...and premptively switches her vote to Cara Maria. She had all the power. 100% Bananas would have switched his vote to avoid elimination and instead Nani caved. And the kicker was that Cara Maria flipped out at Teresa when this happened rather than calling out Nani for being an idiot (perhaps Cara Maria doesn't understand simple game theory either).
I'd draw a payout matrix if I could figure out how to do that in Typepad, but trust me that it's clearly a sub-optimal outcome from a utility standpoint. And it shouldn't take an economist to realize that.