Spoiler alert: as the title suggests, this episode focus’ on Theresa. Theresa is an old school player, whom we haven’t seen in about 6 years. She was a finalist on Battle of the Exs II as well as competed on Fresh Meat II, Cutthroat, Rivals, Rivals II, and Free Agents. She has since gotten married to NFL player TJ Jones and has recently announced she is expecting her 3rd child with him! She did make note to also announce she was not pregnant while filming this season of the challenge. This time around we will want to keep in mind that she has performed quite well in the past. Theresa competed in 6 Challenges during the course of 5 years including her second place finish behind Sarah Rice on Battle of the Exs II before taking her hiatus. It is really good to see her back, bringing some old school game play to a group of rookies who really have it together and veterans who, let’s face it, Theresa may not know well enough to hold alliances with. Let’s tune in.
We open the current episode back in Iceland at the Challenge house where various Challengers are reacting to Tori having just been sent home by a crew of well organized rookies. Theresa comes on the screen to acknowledge that she has been playing the fence between rookies and veterans but actually finds she is genuinely enjoying the rookie’s company. Nany has a different perspective, that Theresa should be siding only with the vets and felt the need to out Theresa for knowing all day her friend Tori was going to be voted into elimination against her other friend Aneesa and said nothing. According to Nany, Theresa can clearly not be trusted. Several of the women actually start to realize Theresa is a bit of a question mark as well bringing Lolo into the scene. Lolo actually approaches Theresa and asks her straight up why she did not stand up for her friend when she knew the rookies were voting her in. Theresa just about loses her mind, telling us all we needed to know. Girlfriend feels GUILTY. She tries to play it off like she was just playing the game, but loyalty is everything in this game, let us not ignore the stature of one’s character.
Lio who we know from WWE fame opens up about his experiences growing up and how he has learned to cope over the years. It seems the Challenge house is actually triggering for him as it looks similar to a group home he spent time in as a teenager. We catch a sweet moment between Lio and his wife when he confesses he is having a tough time in the house and is certainly ready to come home. We see him packing then saying goodbye to his partner Gabby who is quite emotional about it. She describes him with the utmost respect and I am sorry we will not get to see more of him. It does look like he is doing well at home these days as he recently released a single with fellow Challenge players, Jay Starrett and Joseph Allen from America’s Got Talent so perhaps this was the best choice for him.
It is now time for the next challenge but before the teams get started TJ makes the announcement that Lio decided to go home however TJ completely supports that decision. He encourages all the players to put their mental health first and foremost. If you or someone you know is struggling, help them check out www.psychologytoday.com or www.therapyden.com for online directories of therapists. Professionals can be filtered out by zip code, insurance carrier, therapist specialty and more. Do not wait to take care of yourself, make your own needs a priority and reach out for help when you feel the need.
Back at the Challenge, Devin and Gabby are now both partnerless, so they get paired up as we start the next challenge called Mission Smuggle Run. The teams of two will pick up a large long cylinder called a capsule which they will need to carry shoulder to shoulder as they run a grueling 5 mile race with checkpoints along the way for the Challengers to complete before moving on. The winners of this race become this week’s Double Agents along with $6,000 each and snacks from this week’s sponsor. The Challengers cheer bringing back memories of challenges past when each event would have a sponsor and that sponsor would provide an extra prize for that week’s winners in addition to the much sought after power.
The Challengers line up and hoist their capsules in the air, resting them up on their shoulders. As if on cue, it starts pouring rain. TJ blows the horn and the Challengers speed off to start their run. Well all the challengers except for CT and Big T, who CT refers to as ‘an anchor.’ Theresa starts to pooch out almost immediately and the other challengers spread out. Eventually she finds her stride and Theresa and Jay start to run while the other Challengers walk. This challenge feels more like a final in how it is set up which is really separating the rookies from the veterans. Lolo and Nam have a lovers quarrel while a few of the other challengers get to their first check point. Kyle & Kam and Leroy & Kaycee get to the checkpoint first where they discover the capsule they have been carrying must be inserted into the wall in front of them then used to climb up and over said wall. Ashley pulls out some old cheerleading moves, shows Cory how to hoist her up and over the wall putting them in second place just after Kam & Kyle.
Fessy and Aneesa pop up in last place as karma eats him alive for stabbing his friends in the back to get his gold skull. The Challengers get to the second checkpoint which is a puzzle and Fessy is delighted hoping to make up some lost time. Too bad for him, his partner Aneesa does not feel the same urgency and continues to move at the pace of a leisurely Sunday brunch. The puzzle is a sudoku of sorts, with lines of numbers each intended to total 38. The challengers can find their puzzle pieces within their capsules which hopefully should lighten some of the weight they need to carry throughout this challenge. Cory cheers Ashley on as she single handedly solves their puzzle and they are able to grab their capsule and move on to the next part of the run. The other Challengers follow them with Kam & Kyle in 3rd place, Josh & Nany in 4th, Kaycee & Leroy in 5th place, Amber B & Darrell in 6th, all the heavy hitters. In the second group. Lolo and Nam’s communication continues to fall apart, Amber M seems to be complaining about the weight of the capsule, and the rookies seem to be dropping like flies. Aneesa seems to be not working hard on purpose, which again, karma for Fessy is so sweet. We see the finish line and wouldn’t you know it, Theresa and Jay bring it home for 1st place! I feel like we are really sleeping on Jay here, he seems to be a bit of a beast. Theresa has certainly earned her stripes, but this really was a good week for her to win with all the buzzing about the house. Cory & Ashley Millionaire Mitchell come in second, then Kam & Kyle, Josh & Nany, Kaycee & Leroy, Amber & Darrell, Lolo & Nam who are STILL arguing as they cross the finish line. Gabby & Devin came in 8th, then Mechie & Amber M, Big T & CT, then finally, our gold skull holders, Aneesa and Fessy come in dead last.
Things get more serious back at the house as Jay and Theresa open their winnings, P3 Protein snacks in one room and Lolo and Nam continue to argue in another. Lolo reminds Nam that she is a professional athlete who works on teams and basically implies if there is a problem with the team it obviously is NOT her. Nam seems crushed and explains in an interview that all he wants is some positive reinforcement from his partner. Big T inexplicably watches the entire exchange as Lolo falls apart because she can’t figure out a way to work with her partner Nam. It will be a real shame if those two can’t work it out, their babies would be legitimate champions. Fessy and Gabby on the other hand, seem to have no problem working it out as they spend more and more time together in Tori’s absence. According to the recent interview Ashley Millionaire Mitchell gave to us here at The Buzz, Fessy was entertaining lots of ladies on this challenge, including Ashley herself!
Jay and Theresa start talking game and it seems they want to throw Ashley into the elimination to try and get rid of a strong player. Ashley is a two time champion after all, and she just finished second just behind Theresa and Jay in today’s challenge. Theresa gets to work and starts calling in favors. Jay continues to snack. Ashley starts to realize she might be on the chopping block but when she seeks out Theresa, she lies right to Ashley’s face. Ashley doesn’t take this lying down, is very aware of Theresa’s game and makes a speech at the deliberation. She reminds everyone that if she gets voted into elimination, one of the girls will have to go against her, and she is not a layup people! Ashley has also run a couple finals before and the guys should WANT her to be there at the end to help their game. She then tries to throw the house’s attention to Amber M who isn’t thrilled, to say the least.
Theresa and Jay have just about lost their minds with power as they see that they convinced the majority of the house to vote their way sending Ashley and Cory into this week’s elimination. Theresa throws out the idea of voting in Nany and Josh which is a bit of a jaw drop. Then she brings up Kam and her horns come out as she giggles with power. She goes around the house and starts talking to Kam asking her if she wants to go in if it’s a headbanger elimination. Theresa promises Kam if she wants to go in she can, and that it is not her intention to screw someone over at this point in the game. Jay promises Cory he would give him a heads up if he was going in, but doesn’t because he promised Theresa he would not tell a soul what they found out in the Double Agents deliberation room. He does feel conflicted about this, since he is friends with Cory outside of the Challenge house.
The green light flashes and its game time baby. The challengers head off to the crater which houses a field of metal polls and two large rectangular towers. TJ announces Cory and Ashley were voted into elimination and jaws drop everywhere. Ashley and Cory are both blindsided and enraged as they realize they had been lied to by a mass amount of people in the house. Theresa and Jay are asked if they want to give the crater a chance or if they want to send in someone else. Theresa is seriously considering Kam or Nany which again, is really surprising that she is more interested in working with the rookies over the veterans. Unless she has her eyes on that grand prize and is trying to stack the deck in her favor. Theresa votes in Kam and Kyle, saying that she wants to get Ashley out of the game and she needs to put her up against a girl that can do it. Kam is fairly pissed off about this and both Kyle and his white turtleneck are done with Jay.
TJ announces it is a men’s elimination and shock falls over the crowd as we realize Cory and Kyle are going to have to go in against each other. Total plot twist! Just kidding. That is just good old TJ with his jokes again. That really would have been CRAZY though. Anyway, the women are going to compete in Dead Ringer tonight. They will each be suspended over the ground by wires where they will have to swing around the course hooking their rings on their respective hooks on either end of the tower. The women start swinging over their respective podiums seemingly unable to get a rhythm going to be able to swing out to accomplish the task at hand. Killer Kam to the rescue of course as she hooks that first ring, then the second and so on and so forth flying through the air like a female Michael Jordan. Ashley really seems to be struggling and it becomes tough to watch but then she seems to find her stride and hooks a few rings in a row. Kam had too killer of a lead though and ends up winning, earning her the much desired gold skull.
TJ calls the players attention back to the teams on the chopping block and Cory calls out Jay in front of everyone, announcing Jay lied to his face. Kyle very shrewdly points out that now a whole team of vets are pissed at Theresa and Jay, making them easy targets. With Kyle, Kam, Leroy, and Cory angry, their days may be numbered. Ashley takes off but not before promising she will be back in the future to get her revenge. We know you will girl, looking forward to it. TJ brings our attention back to Kam as he offers her the opportunity to keep her current partner Kyle, switch to Ashley’s partner Cory, or split up another team and steal someone else’s partner. She unsurprisingly decides to stay with her current partner Kyle as Kam does value loyalty like good Challenge players. In unrelated news, Kam and Kyle apparently call themselves ‘The Killers.’ Killer Kam and Killer Kyle. I feel like he is trying to make fetch happen. Regardless, Cory gets to play the week solo as this week’s rogue agent and he seems to be looking forward to it although concerned about his inability to keep a partner. Tune in next week as the challengers climb a heap of cushions hanging in a net over water and Fessy loses his mind on a fellow challenger.