Welcome back to MTV’s The Challenge where we find ourselves back in the crater where Natalie of previous Survivor and Amazing Race fame is faced with a huge decision. Having won her elimination round, she now has the option to stick with her partner Wes, switch to work with CT, or steal someone else’s partner entirely. Natalie makes a decision to stay with Wes but not before announcing she finds Wes hard to get along with. I really respect a player with loyalty, but I hope Wes will return this in kind. TJ turns to CT and announces he is now a “rogue agent” which means he stays as a single this week and whichever female wins the next elimination could be his partner.
The crew heads back to the house and CT peeks in on Kam, starts sucking up to her a little bit realizing she was the entire reason he was voted into the crater. She seems skeptical of his newfound kindness and rightfully so. He made an announcement at the previous deliberation that he would be coming hard for anyone who came for him. Kam made it really clear she wanted him gone and as far as she knows he could be completely playing her. CT does mention in his confessional that he respects Kam’s game and actually regrets not picking her when he originally had the opportunity. After a taste of almost going home, I bet he regrets it.
We peak in on the dining area where everyone but America’s Got Talent’s Joseph seems to be enjoying a meal. He appears to be wiggling around on the living room rug in his street clothes claiming he is doing his “regular ab routine.” It is actually so unrecognizable as exercise that Leroy actually asks him what he is doing and Big T assumes he is doing the WAP. A few of the girls start dishing about whether or not they want to switch partners. Kam states her confidence in her partnership with Josh and Nicole does the same in her partnership with Devin. Nany confesses she is not happy in her partnership with Kyle. She feels he does not take the game very seriously and likes to float his way to the end rather than step up and compete as she prefers to do. Kam, who is hilarious by the way, brings our attention over to Nam, who comes to us from a show called Ultimate Beastmaster and rarely wears a shirt. The cast all equally seem obsessed with him but Nam acknowledges only having eyes for his partner Lolo. Make way for this showmance as he stakes his claim and announces he actually is interested in both winning the million and the girl this season.
The green light flashes throughout the house and we know what that means. A new challenge awaits! The challengers slow mo walk their way over to TJ who is ready to describe Ice Spy. He states that the pairs are going to swim in freezing cold glacier water out to a boat where they will have to hoist themselves on board then grab a heavy block of ice. They will have to swim the ice back to shore as fast as possible where they then have to smash apart their ice block with an ice pick to free the kill (peg) frozen inside. They take that kill and place it in another team’s station which is essentially a holding space for three pegs. Once a team has 3 pegs in their block, they are out of the competition. The goal is to be the last team standing and become this week’s double agents.
The race begins and everyone but CT rushes towards the reportedly freezing cold water. CT sits out as he is the rogue agent for this challenge but decides to use the opportunity to size up possible female partners for later in the game. Wes and Natalie get to the boat first, which is not really a surprise with his swimming background. Gabby (of Love Island UK and Big Brother UK) and Lio (WWE) come up last which automatically makes them a target. Everyone starts whacking away at their ice blocks and descend upon Wes and Natalie’s station first, eliminating them from the competition. Natalie realizes she may have made a mistake staying with Wes. Cory essentially announces he was the mastermind behind this plan, rubbing his hands together like an evil villain. He doesn’t want anyone getting too comfortable in this house and felt Wes was getting too arrogant in his position.
Mechie wants to put his kill in Kyle and Nany’s station because it is the closest to him, literally for no other reason did he just make possible enemies of these seasoned veterans. Then he somehow appears shocked when they put their peg in his station. Come on man. You do not even need to have previously seen the show to realize that was going to happen. Amber M and Nelson are next to be eliminated, then Nany and Kyle. Big T tries to hatch a plan to work with Kyle and Nany as well as Liv and Mechie but somehow Joseph has decided his best play is to be antisocial and proves he will be of no help in the social game scenario. Cut to the water where Mechie is seen gasping for air as people are yelling that he needs a medic. As he is explaining that his limbs seized up due to the cold, Fessy comes up and essentially sweeps Mechie up in his arms and brings him to safety. It’s all very romantic.
Next eliminated are Kam and Josh, then Big T and Joseph who stayed in the game much longer than anticipated. Nicole and Devin get cut and CT notices that not a single team has put a kill in Aneesa and Fessy’s block. LoLo and Nam are eliminated then everyone just starts standing around staring at each other. No one wants to make a move against another strong team and seem to prefer playing a scared game. I really hope that is not the norm in this season. Nam steps up and eliminates Theresa and Jay. Gabby and Lio are next and Darrell figures out Fessy must be working with everyone, because he still doesn’t have a single peg in his block. We are left with 4 teams at this point. Amber and Darrell are cut first, then Kaycee and Leroy, Tori and Cory are next leaving Aneesa and Fessy to win, again. It’s great to see Aneesa win, she of all people has more than earned her stripes, but I continue to be annoyed with these players playing a safe game. Tori made a comment that this may be the easiest road since it means Aneesa and Fessy will be the only ones to have blood on their hands, or in other words, they are playing a scared game. TJ calls everyone out and states that he should really just write the check out to Fessy and Aneesa since every one of the current challengers seems to be afraid of them. You know TJ can’t stand anything but a well played game.
Back at the house, Kyle warns Wes that he is most likely going into elimination. Wes doesn’t take it too well but then Joseph announces to a room filled with the guys that he wants to throw himself in against Wes. This was not Big T’s plan, and frankly its pretty stupid, but it is a guy’s elimination week so ball is in his corner I guess. Joseph tells us his family is depending on him for this money and he wants to win it for them. Nelson, Jay, and Leroy who tell him to go for it, also mention it is a ridiculous game move.
Cory and Fessy get to politicking and Wes getting voted in is confirmed by Cory. He asks Fessy if he wants to go in vs Wes and Fessy essentially says no, unless it’s a banger. CT approaches them and then Wes comes over and starts campaigning which essentially looks like begging. The guys almost look shocked but more so confused by this. Wes goes into a speech first about how they should let him be the janitor of their alliance because he has never had a job and they should give him a job. Nelson does not look amused by this. THEN Wes announces that smart people hire CEOs to run their companies for them and they should actually make him CEO of their alliance and mine was not the only jaw drop in America. Fessy, Nelson, Cory and CT all start laughing at his hypocrisy and it’s a tough moment to watch quite frankly.
It is time for the team to go out for the night in their night club igloo and they start politicking. Nany approaches Fessy and suggests she would pick him if Kyle happened to get voted in. Fessy, unsurprisingly, says he would be into that idea. LoLo and Nam fall more and more in love as the house falls more and more in love with Nam’s abs. Devin approaches Kyle to try and control the house vote. Kyle, inexplicably wearing a white turtleneck with a white blazer which I have some questions about, essentially acknowledges that he lied to Fessy when he said he would vote Wes in and has no intention of following through. Joseph very confusingly gets in a public fight with his partner Big T who compares their partnership to a bad marriage. She wants out and no wonder when he openly mocks her while announcing he will not trust her. Worst partner ever. Big T starts to plot against him and decides to try and get the house to vote them into elimination so she can get rid of him. Does she not know he has been angling to get sent into elimination? These two just could not be more of a mess.
In a spirited elimination discussion, the rookies once again come for the vets! At some point Wes gets called out for being both rich, and not being as rich as he makes himself out to be, then Joseph volunteers as tribute. It’s odd because despite wanting to go in he still somehow manages to get into a fight with Wes and Natalie about who should be voted in. The players vote and Fessy and Aneesa as the challenge winners get to see that Big T and Joseph get voted in but also who voted for them and therefore who has lied to them during the voting process.
We find ourselves back in the crater for the elimination round with all the Challengers dressed in their elimination finest. Joseph, who has officially replaced Josh as most annoying on the cast jumps up and down like a child when he gets voted into elimination. Fessy once again declines to head into elimination and TJ mocks him. For the 11th time, you have to go into an elimination in order to be eligible to run the final. Regardless, Fessy votes in Kyle and Nany and Aneesa has his back, doing the same. Turns out some late night flirting will get Nany what she wants and Aneesa does NOT appreciate Kyle lying to her. Wes feels validated in feeling like he is the most powerful player to grace the game. Big T is rooting for Kyle to win so she does not have to deal with Joseph anymore, and Nany pretends to be supportive of Kyle despite being part of the reason he is down there in the first place.
The elimination is called Ring of Spies. The two competitors start in the middle of a dirt floor holding onto a metal ring. The goal is to wrestle the ring away from their opponent and place it on the post, like a ring toss. The first person to get to two out of three wins, earns their gold skull and is eligible to compete in the final. Seems odd Fessy would not go for this one, considering it is the exact competition he said he wanted. This episode has made me question both Wes and Fessy, neither of whom are playing as I would expect, but still seem to be winning at their respective games.
Joseph announces he is ready for battle and licks a tin of mustard, promising it will be the key to his success. Kyle joins him in the ring and as they start to wrestle Joseph appears to have some regrets. Kyle drags him across the field not once but twice to easily take home the win. He is now eligible for the final and suspects there is a large alliance in the house he is not a part of. Kyle has some choice words for Fessy pooching out of the elimination and frankly he is right. Fessy talks a big game but had two opportunities in a row to go into elimination to earn his skull and he did not take those opportunities. Is he here for the show or to run a final?
TJ offers Kyle the opportunity to stick with his partner Nany, who you will remember was asking for him to be sent in, or to switch to another female, including Big T who is now left partnerless with Joseph’s departure. In a huge twist, Kyle selects Kam to be his partner, breaking up Kam and Josh. Gasps are heard around the crater as Josh decides Kyle doing this on his own means the entire house is against him. Josh is then given the option to choose between Nany or Big T, the only remaining females without male partners. In a move that surprises absolutely no one, Josh chooses to work with Nany due to their genuine friendship established on a previous challenge. CT is paired with Big T and puts on quite the show to celebrate his good fortune. Smart game move on his part. We have not seen a lot of what Big T can do but as CT says, she has heart, and not only would she naturally be excited to work with a former Challenge champion, she feels like he wants to be paired with her and her own self esteem has skyrocketed. Just like that, there are 8 skulls left to be won and 3 brand new teams to contend with. Keep it here with The Buzz as we continue to chop up the Challenge week after week, knocking out skulls as well as challengers; according to next week’s preview anyway.