It was a fairly safe assumption to anticipate a bit of fallout from last week’s big move from Theresa and Jay. What we didn’t know was to what extent the repercussions would go; well folks, it was nuclear-level fallout.
This week’s episode was almost 100% centered around the Theresa/Jay drama, with a heavy focus on Jay’s remorse and Theresa’s… well, let’s dig in to that.
Theresa has gone off the rails
When we last saw Theresa, she had just pulled off a successful power move to eliminate a strong competitor in Ashley. That was the good. And that is where the good ended. The bad? To eliminate Ashley, she threw Kam in the elimination. So, yes, she eliminated a two-time champ; but to do so she gave a gold skull to one of the strongest females in the house. She also pissed off said female and her allies, along with most of the house.
That’s all without mentioning the most important part: in all of this mess, amid all of the chaos and drama… Theresa didn’t even earn herself a gold skull!
But enough about last week, because this week Theresa had the energy of a hammered sorority girl just going through some shit in the middle of a bar.
To start off this week, Theresa told Leroy he should be thankful to her for throwing in Kam — something she did without Kam’s consent — thus allowing Kam to earn herself a gold skull. Excuse me, what kind of delusional nonsense is that?
Next, Theresa had a discussion with CT, where the two talked some strategy, namely who would be ideal to get rid of next. Theresa throws Darrell’s name out there, and CT says during a confessional he doesn’t want to go up against Darrell in a final. There’s nothing set in stone here, though, and during the same confessional CT also mentions his wariness regarding Theresa, giving her props for her smarts while also acknowledging her sneakiness.
This would come back into play big time, when word gets around that Darrell and partner Amber B might get the house vote. Once that word gets back to Theresa, she immediately goes into pathological liar mode and denies ever saying his name, throwing CT under the bus AND calling for the video receipts — which, really? She was damn near in tears calling for everyone to look at the video, despite the video explicitly showing her saying Darrell’s name first. That is some Trumpian shit right there.
During deliberation, when Theresa throws CT under the bus, CT successfully deflects that back onto Theresa. CT isn’t all muscle, folks: he’s a wiley vet with solid creep to his game. Why Theresa thought she could game him is beyond me. After that dustup, Darrell, who has been dropping bars all season, comes in with the quote of the episode: “Y’all swung and hit somebody, and expected not to get hit back. What the fuck is wrong with y’all?”
Before that all went down, Amber B had her own moment to shine during the daily. Theresa got thrown in a heat with mostly rookie girls, and started whispering in their ears to let her win for… reasons. Amber B is no dummy, and does not agree to these shenanigans. Theresa still wins, but in not complying with her plans, Amber B cost Theresa the overall win by one second. Good on you, Amber B.
Inside the bubble bar, Darrell calls out Theresa for her plotting, Theresa denies it, Darrell has none of that nonsense, basically telling her tough shit, you get what you deserve. Theresa then runs to Amber B, whining and crying and throwing a tantrum, to which Amber B responds, “not my problem.” Amber B’s stock is rising fast.
Theresa‘s final act of the episode was to play the victim. She claims people are lying about her moves — they’re not — and cries about how hard it is when the house turns on you, without even a hint of acknowledgment that this is all a result of her actions.
Barring a win next week, it’s hard to see anything other than a trip to elimination for Theresa.
A word on the daily
We got an awesome daily challenge this week, wherein the players basically played king of the mountain while hanging from a cargo net, which was attached to a helicopter that happened to be flying over cold-as-fuck water. The collective squirming done by the cast before a challenge they fear is one of the best things about this show.
Kaycee wins the gals’ first heat, along with the overall, thanks to Amber B’s previously mentioned heroics. I cannot stress enough how much I HATE when people throw challenges, even in the name of strategy. The whole damn point of the show is to compete for a lot of money, and the best way to do that is win as much as possible. You don’t need to politic when you win, so why anyone would ever agree to let someone else win is beyond me. Maybe that’s just how I’m built, but it’s probably the one thing that people do on The Challenge that actually angers me.
Which brings us to the guys, who, as Big T so eloquently put it: “They’ve let down men, the whole population in general.”
TJ agreed with Big T, telling the guys they “fucking sucked” after challenge’s end. Then, right before elimination, TJ announces that because of the guys’ lackluster effort, none of their votes would count. This ultimately doesn’t mean anything, as Theresa and Jay had enough votes to still go into elimination. But it is worthy of notation, because TJ has evolved from shaming embarrassing performances to punishing them. Something to pay attention to going forward.
Jay ends up bearing the full weight of his actions, getting thrown into an elimination against a volunteering Leroy. Leroy was not only hellbent on revenge, but he so desperately wants to win his first final; and as such, Jay didn’t stand a fucking chance. Leroy easily dispatched Jay, sending him home.
During the bubble bar, someone mentioned that if they were Jay, they’d be fuming at Theresa. I wholeheartedly disagree, because Jay did this to himself. Last week, Jay just blindly went along with Theresa’s plan. It’s always dumb to give up your agency in this game, but it is magnificently stupid to do so during this particular season where partners are basically disposable. How Devin is the only one to realize this is beyond me.
Jay could’ve stood up for himself, he could’ve mentioned to Theresa his conversations with Cory and Kyle. He could’ve tried to reign her in and make a smarter play. Jay did none of this, and he did nothing to try and minimise the damage. He admits in a confessional late in the episode that he’s screwed, because Theresa concocted a plan without telling him. You think?
Surely, Jay could’ve tried to cut some deal wherein he’d throw Theresa under the bus the next girls elimination. Instead, he dug in his feet and got sent home for his troubles.
Jay is a great competitor, one I hope to see again. Let’s hope he learns from his first two seasons.
You can’t fix stupid
Devin woke up and decided he wanted to destroy the Big Brother alliance this week, and while he didn’t do that, he was successful in riling up Josh and Fessy. Fessy was his first target, telling him during the bubble bar that no one wants him to win. Fessy, surely with the aid of alcohol, gets in his feelings about it and starts trying to pick a fight with Devin, and the rest of the house really. Josh actually plays smart in getting Fessy out of the situation.
But, if there’s anything we know about this season, it’s that Josh is gonna Josh. The big dumbass returns to Devin, gets in his face while telling Devin to get out of his face (insert Nick Young gif here), then proceeds to shove Devin, yet again getting security involved.
All of that nonsense also stressed out their respective partners. Aneesa gets in Fessy’s face telling him he won’t start fights. Devin has to apologize to his new partner Gabby and the entire house. Even Kaycee admits to feeling unsure about her alliance with Fessy and Josh.
At the elimination, TJ gives everyone involved a harsh warning. When will these fools learn the one true golden rule of The Challenge: under no circumstances should you cross TJ.
Odds and ends
Nam’s name was briefly mentioned as someone who could get thrown into elimination. He desperately needs some allies in the game, because his size alone will not save him.
Leroy and Jay’s elimination was a repeat from the season’s first episode, with some added length. TJ mentions at the end that Leroy finished in under a minute and goddamn if that ain’t a testament to Leroy’s athleticism.
We are now seven episodes deep into the season, so let’s do a status check:
Gold skull holders: Aneesa, Devin, Fessy, Kam, Kyle, Leroy.
Remaining gold skulls: Three for the women, one for the guys. This is something to remember next week, as we could see some kind of double-elimination or purge challenge.
Remaining contestants without a gold skull: Amber B, Amber M, Big T, Cory, CT, Darrell, Gabby, Josh, Kaycee, Lolo, Mechie, Nam, Nany, Theresa.
To do the math, that’s six guys left battling for one gold skull, and eight girls left fighting for three gold skulls. We are in for some compelling television in the weeks to come.
Theresa has ruined everything. Poor, poor Jay. If Jay makes a final, he will win it. Mark it down. I stand by my thoughts from last week: Nany has played a quiet long game of revenge, and it’s worked. She suggested Theresa was a snake at the perfect moment, and everything Theresa has done since then is shaded by that for the other women. And somewhere along the way, Theresa embraced the role. I still don’t understand why Kam is so incensed that she got to take on Ashley in an essentially physical elimination to get her Gold Skull. They all have to go in eventually! A physical against Ashley isn’t so bad, especially if Kam is as good as she says she is. Which brings me to my biggest beef in this episode: a lot of third place finishers talking a lot of game gets old. Kam hasn’t won anything yet. She fought her way into the final on her rookie season, charming and surprising us along the way, but I’d argue she hasn’t lived up to the hype she created then (again, yet). She made the final as part of a team on War of the Worlds 2, and lost. Fessy is in the same boat. He mouthed off at Kyle…but Kyle beat him in the final last season. Speaking of that altercation, Devin continues to be spot on: Big Brother does suck, at least as far as this alliance is concerned. Zooming out, all of the guys who didn’t participate in that excellent daily challenge suck. Lolo and Nam are maybe the most underachieving team in the history of this program. TJ still hates quitters. It’s as reliable as CT and Darrell, who are somehow still in the shadows while the kids fight. Pick your moment, fellas.
Around every little corner was some hot n’ ready drama! I want to focus on Fessy versus Devin by starting with Devin. First, he seemed okay. Then he was made an analog to being a poor man’s Wes, and he wasn’t okay. Then he sort of showed a bit of frailty, and he was okay again. Where is his stock now? I’m not a fan. Fessy is the sort of player I’ve always liked in sports, which I’ve said as much here. He’s a respectable competitor, he’s normally less boisterous than most, and he’s not out picking fights with anyone for no reason. He shows up and (mostly) gets the job done. Devin tried to expose him with another of what Devin believes is a battle of wits but is a lot more of Devin being an asshole. It worked before; it’s old now. And good on TJ for nullifying the votes of those guys who didn’t try — too bad it had so little effect on the outcome of who went into elimination. Speaking of, Leroy put on a clinic. As both TJ and Jay alluded to, no one was beating him that night. I think Jay may be a future finalist soon, but this season may belong to a hyped-up Leroy. That was amazing. (For the record: still pulling for CT, Fessy, and Kaycee to win — subject to change.)