After last week’s blockbuster episode, it was only natural that this week’s episode came back down to Earth. Not that it was a bad episode, by any means; but, this week was more of a comfort food episode – nothing spectacular, just it got the job done. We got some Challenge standards, moved the season along, got some laughs, and said some goodbyes.
Among those goodbyes was Nicole, who was an unfortunate medical DQ. During this week’s very good challenge – which pitted two teams against each other on top of a moving tractor trailer, king of the mountain style, with the overall win going to the team who eliminated their opponents the fastest – Nicole took a knock from Kam and dislocated her shoulder. Now, to Nicole’s credit, she took it like a boss and basically told the medics “let’s knock this thing back in there so I can get back to business.” Unfortunately, when the cast arrived back at the house later in the evening, Nicole’s things were gone and Devin was informed she was not medically cleared. A shame for Nicole — she definitely had a chance to make noise on the women’s side.
We also said goodbye to Wes this week, and that’s good or bad news depending on your view. While Wes certainly can introduce some drama, for the mastermind he claims to be his act has kind of grown stale, and for as many strings as he wants to pull, there’s nothing on the other end. Wes met his demise after being voted in by winning team Leroy and Kaycee and was eliminated at the hands of Devin; and let me tell you folks, it wasn’t the two-time champ’s best showing. In an elimination challenge suited for the bigger man, Wes did not utilize his size advantage. By the end, even Wes had to admit Devin wanted it more, and it makes one wonder if Wes is coming to the end of his road as a Challenge competitor.
Shake it up
I’m glad to see the competitors are eager to take full advantage of this season’s format, specifically the switching partners part. Last week Kyle made the first big move, trading in Nany for Kam (upgrade), which then pitted Nany with Josh (they’re both blissfully ignorant of how bad this is for them) and CT with Big T.
Before we get to this week’s shake ups, let’s talk about CT and Big T and what a wonderful gift we’ve been given with their pairing. CT has taken Big T under his wing — she’s just plain entertaining television on her own — and has now been thrown in with a larger-than-life personality. This week, CT decided they need cool nicknames and bestowed the moniker “Hawk” upon Big T. She returned serve with “Bunny” – or “Fuzzy Bunny” as CT kept calling himself. The big, lovable Massachusetts muscle wasn’t immediately receptive, but he’s giving it a chance. Long live Bunny & Hawk.
Back to the game and Devin’s big move. After sending Wes home, Devin had a choice to make: take Wes’ partner, Natalie, or infiltrate another team. Devin proclaimed he was going to shake things up, and he chose to break up the pair of Cory and Tori. Tori was none too pleased, as her and Devin aren’t exactly best buds. By doing this, Devin was making a play to break up a strong team, but he only created another strong team in Cory and Natalie. Not sure what Devin’s aim is here, but we’ll see what happens.
So much yelling
We had a couple altercations this week, and while it was nothing too serious, it did lay down some tracks for the season.
The first bout was Kyle versus Fessy, with Kyle taking umbrage at Fessy’s vote from last week. There wasn’t much substance to this shouting match, but it basically lets us know that Kyle and Fessy will be butting heads this season.
The main event was Josh versus his dignity, in the form of CT and Devin. To start things off, CT had a minor, dumb dust up with Kaycee over some frozen pizza and eggs. It was mundane roommate drama that nearly everyone has endured. Well, enter Josh’s big ol’ dumb self to elevate that into an appearance from security. Josh and Kaycee are best friends (and roommates outside of the show, I believe), and Josh is apparently very protective. After CT and Kaycee’s argument, Josh confronts CT outside (loved CT’s “are we seriously fucking doing this?” attitude during this whole thing), and tells him that Kaycee is inside crying. CT immediately ditches Josh only to find Kaycee most definitely not crying, and they laugh at the whole things and call Josh dumb. Enter Devin.
Devin proceeds to just absolutely rag on Josh and needle him at every turn, riling up the big guy to the point where security has to hold him back. At one point Devin yells “Hey Josh, what’s 8 times 9?” and I just about died. Devin is an expert-level prick.
Somehow, some way, as only he can do, Josh made himself look like a fool in two fights – neither of which saw punches thrown. Never change, Josh, the punchline of every joke.
I’ve gotta say, I’m just shocked that asking very fit adults to throw each other off of a moving semi ended with injuries. Shocked! I loved it, though I am sad to see Nicole go like that. What a daily. Two of the key matchups ended exactly like we’d hope for an early season showdown: Darrell and CT both wrestled their young guns to a gentleman’s draw. And Josh lost his first fight of the episode. Devin is right. Big Brother does suck. It produces figures like, you know, Josh, who cries often, and Fessy, who tells the whole house he and Aneesa have known the “secret” votes all along. Geniuses. TD really summed it up in his introduction. We had to come back to earth at some point after two incredible opening entries, and though a legend went home, it didn’t feel all that shocking. Wes was just a lot of Wes this season and it cost him, though I do feel for him. It has been years since he pulled any truly shady stuff, and he still can’t shake that persona. It punishes him again and again. I get why he’s defeated, why he’d be hurt by Leroy, and why his heart wasn’t in the fight with his actual friend Devin. One minor gripe about production these days: when Cara beat Nia in a very similar elimination years ago, they did a much better job at letting us know how much time had elapsed. Even earlier than that, they’d straight up show a running clock. I miss that. Go gently into that good night, Wes. Slice the darkening sky with a rev of the monster truck.
I suppose Fessy’s no intellectual, but I was convinced that he was more responsible than to reveal one of the few pieces of leverage that he and Aneesa had garnered with the secret that they find out who votes for whom. Why give up that information? Fessy came off as if he was too eager to please, something that he didn’t have to do in his first season. The challenge for this week felt like an elimination unto itself and entertaining as it was, the camerawork left a lot to be desired. I couldn’t tell who was whom, who was winning. The cameras on the helmet did nothing to help this time. As for players going home, it’s been my hope that Amber B., Nicole, and Kam get sent packing soon. I got one wish. Goodbye, Nicole. When it comes to Kam, she’s the type of competitor that I dislike in any sport: loud. As a counterexample, I offer up Darrell, who came to the weekly challenge against Lio Rush by saying that he respects “what the man can do.” That’s the way to approach it. Otherwise, the cockiness seems to come back and bite everyone in the ass. Hopefully, Kam finds it hurting her, though I do like her boyfriend Leroy. Lastly, while I know we aren’t getting the exotic, jungle locales this season — many had hoped for a shift in climate since being in a cold, desolate bunker — I’m a fan of this landscape. Kudos to the photography work that captures these amazing views of Iceland. Now if only they could figure out how to portray the dynamics of the action pieces. To wrap, I’ll say that just when I think that Josh can’t come off as more boneheaded, he does! That’s worthy of praise!