The episode opens like a scene straight out of Saw and after last week’s set up, it looks to be an exciting challenge. The challengers are chained to their partner by their wrists, held within wire cages inside a large darkened warehouse. The lights start flashing on and off, screeching sounds echo throughout the warehouse, and Nany reports the place smells like fish. The lights turn on and the first task is revealed within what will surely be a night of terror involving multiple tasks all within one daily challenge. For the first task, The challengers will be required to pick up a heavy “bomb” which looks like a large medicine ball and they are to hold it for an undetermined amount of time. Nany seems to be doing all the work for her team as Kyle is admittedly just lazy, and Aneesa is carrying the load for her team since Fessy admits he is actively trying not to win today’s mission because he wants to be able to switch partners.
After two hours, TJ tells the challengers they can put down their bombs and now need to eat the edible items that have been provided for them. The challengers are given ram testicles which reportedly smell like rotten eggs and are quite large. They are given something called “Artic cheese juice” to wash it all down with and while I am not quite clear on what that is, Cory seems to be a fan. CT reports the fermented shrimp actually stings the nostrils the stench is so potent and several challengers start to throw up throughout the warehouse. Eventually the challengers start to finish their entrees and we see Leroy and Kaycee flip their tray over which has an equation printed on the back for them to solve, their next task. They start shouting across the room for Kam to do their math and they manage to unlock their lockbox which reveals their next task, finding a hidden key within some cinderblocks. Kaycee and Leroy start to hammer away at their cinderblocks, find their key, and unlock themselves from their handcuffs and chains. They head over to the blackboard within their wire cell at TJs request to discover their next task, meanwhile Cory and Gabby start to gain on them. Leroy and Kaycee have more trouble than one might expect in scratching a blackboard, but are finally are able to figure it out and their blackboard reveals the message “The key to freedom lies beneath” so they start their 6th task, to dig for tools. They find a pair of metal files buried in the dirt floor and in the background it looks like the other challengers are simply standing and watching these two complete this challenge. It is annoying to me that MTV will allow this kind of garbage sportsmanship. Viewers want to see competition and there have been too many challenges this season where these ‘athletes’ who have the privilege of participating in this supposed elite competition are picking and choosing which events to compete in during the course of the actual event. If I wanted to watch a group of people stand around when they should be competing I would attend a toddlers soccer match. If these adults are so tired of this competition that they can not be bothered to even pretend they want to participate then they should retire and let someone who would actually appreciate the opportunity entertain the masses. Who knows, it might actually be entertaining.
As Kaycee and Leroy become the confirmed winners, TJ calls out the majority of the challengers for essentially giving up but throws some honorable mentions to Cory, Gabby, and CT for seeming to want to give this week’s challenge a try. The challengers return to the house at 5am after what should have been a long night of competition but without feeling like they are giving it their all, I almost feel like this episode has been stolen from us viewers. Fessy tries to bring a little life into the episode by furthering his love triangle with Tori and Gabby. He seeks Gabby out, flirts with her and Gabby is more than willing to entertain his advances. They spend the night together and people everywhere are wondering if Tori is watching this episode, and how she might be reacting to ditching her engagement to an actual competitor for this clown. The next day Cory starts needling Fessy about who he likes more, Tori or Gabby, and Fessy tries to convince us that his polidicking is going to somehow effect how his life outside this game. Are producers trying to bring in the drama now since the challengers decided not to compete this episode? To that I say too little too late. Either bring the drama all season long or focus only on the athletics. It feels like production is trying to play games with the audience rather than encouraging the challengers to play the actual game they are getting paid to participate in. Could you imagine if NFL players acted the same? You can put me in this week coach but I won’t be participating, next week’s game might be more important and I just want my friend to get a W this week!
After yet another uneventful night out at the igloo, the challengers head to deliberation where Nany asks the group to vote for her and Gabby to go into elimination to try and earn their gold skulls. There are only three women left without a gold skull, and Big T is ineligible to go in this week as the rouge agent. The tension rose within the deliberation only when the women were asked if they would switch partners and neither seemed anxious to answer. Nany was clear that she does not trust her current partner Kyle as he has traded her in before this season and Gabby seems to want to be partners with Fessy both on and off the field so switching from her current partner Cory is not out of the realm of possibilities for her. Again, it feels like production is trying to bring drama to an episode after avoiding it most of the season because the actors they hired decided not to play their parts this week. Dull.
Leroy, wearing a KILLA shirt (pause for swoons) and Kaycee find out in their secret Double Agent room that Gabby and Cory have been voted into elimination this week. Fessy starts to stress out because he is convinced he would not be able to win a final with Aneesa as his partner. To that I say he should be so lucky to have Aneesa stick with him through the final! People really need to stop sleeping on Aneesa, she has more than earned her way to the final. She shows up when it counts and is not afraid of a competition, which is more than I can say for Fessy. Through both his competitions and personal relationships he has only proven thus far that he avoids any and all actual confrontation and hardship. It is starting to become clear that despite the athletic success he saw playing football in college, why he never made it to the professional leagues. Who would want that kind of attitude on their team?
TJ welcomes us back to the crater and reveals Cory and Gabby have been voted into elimination, to literally no one’s surprise. Leroy and Kaycee throw their votes over to Nany and Kyle and the two go down into the crater. TJ tries to fake everyone out, again to add drama to the episode but it’s another total dud. He eventually confirms tonight’s elimination is indeed a female elimination and it is called Ring of Spies. The women will start on opposite ends of the crater and with TJ’s signal, the women will have to race towards then battle out ownership of a large metal ring, wrestle it away then hook it onto a nearby post. First woman to hook 2 of their 3 rings will win their gold skull and the opportunity to run in the final.
Nany and Gabby line up on opposite ends of the crater. TJ blows the horn and the women race towards the center of the ring where their target ring is hanging in the air. Gabby grabs its first and makes Nany chase her around the ring before she flings her to the ground. Gabby manages to wrestle the ring over to one of her poles and gets the first point. Nany is beside herself as she worries about going home just before the final yet again like in so many of her past seasons. Nany and Gabby duke it out, and they seem pretty evenly matched. It comes down to Nany’s experience vs Gabby’s fitness career strength in flip after flip. Experience eventually comes out on top as Gabby eventually loses her grip and Nany takes her chance to earn her own point. This evens up the score, making this next point the final point, and in a tied game, the most important point. TJ blows the starting horn and Nany flies up to the ring, grabbing onto it first, hits her with the juke and simply outruns Gabby, winning the final point.
Gabby heads home as TJ wishes her luck and extends a hope to see her at a future challenge. She was, after all one of the three lone challengers who decided to actually try at this week’s daily competition. TJ turns to Nany and asks her if she would like to switch to a new partner or ride with Kyle through the end of the game. Nany choses to steal Fessy of all people from her friend Aneesa who is neither thrilled nor surprised. Aneesa is then left to choose between Cory and Kyle, and despite a solid friendships with Cory, she picks Kyle in an effort to avoid the curse that comes along with being Cory’s partner. This leaves Big T to be paired with Cory, CT remains with Kam, Amber B with Darrell, and Leroy with Kaycee as we look towards what may be one of our last few episodes coming up. TJ once again tells us to expect the unexpected and the challengers head back to the house to consider what exciting Icelandic challenges may be in their future. Tune in next week for what I hope will be a more exciting episode as this one was a real snoozefest.