I’d argue that there is only one cast member in the history of The Challenge who has a 100% approval rating. And that is a man from the mountains of Georgia named Cohutta Grindstaff.
It’s quite possible he’s the only person named Cohutta to ever live, but that’s besides the point. This is a kind, intelligent soul that truly had no business being on a show with all these scoundrels. But luckily for us, he’s popped in and out over the years to bless the house and out TV screens with his presence.
He may never have a chance to truly win one of these, but beyond everything else, the best part about Cohutta is the way he talks. Nobody else speaks quite like him. Many folks have come on this show and tried really, really, really hard to be funny and original and completely missed the mark. And then others, like Cohutta, just are who they are. Funny and original people. So without further adeiu, I now present to you the Official Encyclopedia of Cohutta-isms. Feel free to add these to your every vernacular, I’m sure he won’t mind…
“I’d do anything. I’d take a bullet right in the ass for that girl.”
Context: Whilst being asked to describe the status of the relationship between he and his ex girlfriend from his season of The Real World, Kellyanne, Cohutta brings up a situation that most likely will never happen, and that is someone has a gun and says he’s either going to shoot Kellyanne or him in the butt with it.
Meaning: I’m way too nice of a guy to hold a grudge against my ex.
“Common sense. When bugs come out, you get a bug net.”
Context: While on The Island, during one unfortunate afternoon, Cohutta and his pals are attacked by a swarm of bugs that absolutely wanted the humans off of their island. While most of the cast runs around screaming and swatting at the bugs, Cohutta heads over to the beds and puts a bug net over his head, blocking out the annoying bugs.
Meaning: The rest of the people on this show are morons. (This will become a theme.)
“…I wanna stand on that damn island and get that money. I feel like at least I deserve that for all the damn fish I filleted.”
Context: Getting towards the end of the game, Cohutta gives his plea as to why he wants to sail off of the island across the sea and win the money. As well as why he deserves to.
Meaning: I’m the only one here who knows how to sustain himself for longer than it takes to go from the couch to the fridge, so I had to prepare meals for everybody. Therefore, I at least deserve to gain something from it.
“…she eats tree bark, I eat fried chicken…”
Context: Cohutta was (yet again) asked during a confessional to describe why he and Kellyanne, broke up.
Meaning: She’s a weirdo vegetarian and I’m a pretty normal guy who eats normal food such as fried chicken.
“Man’s gotta be scared to quack every once in awhile.”
Context: Cohutta and Adam sit on a dock in Thailand watching the regular people go about their work-day. To describe the shit-show that was the deliberation earlier that day, Adam brings up an Asian saying, “The duck that quacks gets shot.”
Meaning: I really wish that Bananas guy would just shut up already.
“Wes sends people home just as fast as he changes his underwear everyday.”
Context: During The Ruins, Wes essentially took on the rest of his team using intimidation tactics that just simply did not accomplish anything outside of stroking Wes’s own ego. So in turn, his team made it clear that they would be sending him into every single elimination, and then executed that idea quite easily. Cohutta, being (maybe a bit too) aware of Wes’s daily hygiene habits, is nervous for their upcoming elimination match-up.
Meaning: Wes has a lot of underwear. I’m concerned.
“I feel ten feet tall and bulletproof right now.”
Context: After a thrilling upset victory, Cohutta takes a moment to bask in his own glory.
Meaning: You may have stolen my girl, but I just stole your cash.
“If a man’s got a real good shimmy about him I think he’ll do alright in this competition.”
Context: After dispatching Wes without even having to change his underwear, Cohutta now finds himself as the target of wily veteran Syrus. After TJ explains the rules of their elimination game, Cohutta comes to conclusion that having a good shimmy about you (do I have a good shimmy about me? How do I conclude what my own personal shimmy level is? Does this mean Leroy has the greatest shimmy about him of all time? I miss Leroy. This parenthesis has already gone on much too long. Alright, let’s get back to reality.) is the key to winning.
“Everytime I win, I keep stackin’ up more salad.”
Context: During The Ruins, each person had their own personal bank account that could bloat by either winning a daily challenge or defeating someone in an elimination and stealing their money. So after dispatching Syrus for his second consecutive elimination win, and second consecutive personal bank account heist, Cohutta now stands alone at the top of the list.
“Devyn, you know, has pretty much the balance of a male bull elephant.”
Context: Waiting his turn from the roof across the way, Cohutta watches Devyn attempt (and fail) at balancing on a rolling log a hundred thousand million feet above the ground.
Meaning: Ya know, I’m not sure. A quick Google search tells me absolutely nothing besides how much elephants remember. I know we cancelled the circus or whatever, but I feel like at least those elephants had good balance. But hey, if anyone would know it’s Cohutta. Wild elephants run rampant in Northern Georgia. He must have watched them trip over themselves all the time sipping sweet tea from his front porch as a child.
“We have a costume party and little did I know to bring a costume to a foreign country to compete in an athletic competition.”
Context: While the house is devoid of misery and full of joy, the cast of Free Agents throws a costume party to celebrate their charmed life and being blessed enough to be on The Challenge.
Meaning: Nobody here has my phone number.
“Baby, baby, baby. Easy Cohutta.”
Context: Resident siren Nany begins showing interest in Cohutta, however insincere and self serving it may have been.
Meaning: I need to dump a bucket of cold water on my head before I make any bad decisions.
“…she smells like wild honeysuckle blossoms.”
Context: Resident siren Nany has now been advancing her interest in Cohutta, and he clearly refused the aforementioned cold bucket of water.
Meaning: This pretty girl smells nice.
(Ya know, I’m not sure what in the hell honeysuckle blossoms smell like. But this just must be how men from Georgia wax poetic. I wonder if the Braves locker room smells like honeysuckle blossoms too?)
“I could do this with a tool belt on and a sheet of plywood in my hand and it would be Tuesday.”
Context: That weeks daily challenge involved crossing along a wall suspended above water using only two planks you and your teammates have to work together to move along the slots. None of this impresses Cohutta.
Meaning: I have an actual job.
“Spell what? I’ve never said the world ‘svelte’ in my life and I’m still not sure what the word ‘svelte’ means.”
Context: Cohutta receives a spelling question during his turn on the trivia challenge during Free Agents.
Meaning: Get these fancy ass New York City liberal words outta here.
“Ghandi’s never been in the National Enquirer, I’ll give her that. Maybe I’m being too hard on these girls…”
Context: During that same trivia challenge, Cara Maria was asked “What was Muhammad Ali’s real name?”. Right now you may be asking yourself, what does that have to do with Ghandi? Well, Cohutta had the same exact question after Cara Maria answered with “Mahatma Ghandi”. Let’s ignore the fact that Ghandi was a famous Indian boxer best known specifically for fighting and excessive violence, otherwise those two don’t really have much else in common, leading directly to Cohutta’s confusion.
Meaning: I might be the only one here who’s picked up a book in the last year.
“After being wrapped in this plastic wrap, for the rest of my life I’ll never use plastic wrap on my leftovers. Just out of respect.”
Context: After competing in a daily challenge where each person is ensconced in plastic wrap and has to roll around the beach through various condiments placed along the route, Cohutta contemplates what it must have been like for all those sandwiches he safely stored in the fridge throughout his life.
Meaning: Wow, being wrapped in plastic wrap blows. I respect the second half of my meal enough so that it never has to suffer the same fate ever again.
“Well, you gonna run your bulldog mouth you better be sure you chihuahua-ass better back it up.”
Context: While doing what bros do best, organizing laundry together, Cohutta muses on the rumors that Jordan is going to flip all of the kill cards and send himself directly into elimination against house heavy-hitter Johnny Bananas.
Meaning: Your ass better be able to cash the checks your mouth is writing.
“Preston, I love you dude, but there is a small coal train comin around the mountain son you best get your froggy ass off the tracks.”
Context: Heading into an elimination with Preston, who is a foot and a half taller than him but also somehow sixty-five pounds lighter, Cohutta gets himself fired up by comparing himself to a coal train and his opponent to a frog. I once used the phrase “froggy ass” while dominating a game pick-up basketball and it’s in the top twenty coolest I’ve ever felt, so I totally get it.
Meaning: Preston get your skinny ass on a plane ride back to America.
“I’m gonna have to move to one of the blue states now.”
Context: While Nany straddles him and applies eye shadow to his face, Cohutta realizes that to continue receiving straddled make-overs, he’d have to move a bit more north than he’d ever like to. (Bonus points to Nany for not knowing what a blue state means.)
Meaning: Oh God, I should have dumped that bucket of cold water on my head.
“My pa-paw and Cohutta’s pa-paw are brothers so we’re cousin’s that way.”
Context: This one’s a bonus, because it was said by his cousin and partner, Jill. Jill accompanied Cohutta to Bloodlines and immediately took the title of most Southern person to ever appear on this show with this one line alone. She pronounces it pah-paw (the first ‘a’ is an extremely hard ‘a’. Think like ‘catch’ or ‘at’. Or maybe my Chicago accent forces me to pronounce it that way. Either way, it’s an incredible way to say the word Grandpa.) which, to my knowledge, is the only time that word has been pronounced like that on television.
Meaning: Our Grandpa’s are brothers, so that makes us cousins.
“Jill, my snakes are getting a little ornery.”
Context: During a daily challenge where one member of the team had to chew up and spit out grasshoppers and the other had to stand there with their head in a box joined by a large, slithery snake. Nobody on the cast is able to speak parseltongue (at least to my knowledge), and Cohutta is stuck unable to communicate with his snake while his cousin Jill struggles to eat grasshoppers.
Meaning: Hey Jill, hurry the fuck up my snake is angry with me.
“You’re playing a flawless game. The numbers are in your favor. The odds are in your corner. You’re gettin’ along with everybody. Whoopsie, your partner’s pregnant. Do not pass Go. Do not collect two hundred dollars. Don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya. See ya.”
Context: During All-Stars Season 2, Cohutta was partnered with Casey, who found out she was pregnant roughly half-way through the season. This forced Cohutta out of the game, as the completely arbitrary rules state that their fates are unfortunately tethered together.
(A quick aside, this might be one of the best summaries of The Challenge ever put on wax. It’s an unfair game, and it always has been. Luck is the biggest factor to winning you can ever have. Even if you set yourself up perfectly, as many challengers have before, sometimes all that matters is whether or not your partner’s husband pulled out.)
Thanks for reading!!! Hope you enjoyed the ride as much as I did. See ya next week!