This was the most professional wrestling-esque episode of The Challenge, I swear. By that I mean nothing of major consequence happened, the episode just kind of slogged along with a few notable moments, and then they ended on a big ass cliffhanger that has us clamoring for the next week to fly by so we can see what the hell happens.
Big T and CT won the daily, and all episode we were led to believe they would volunteer to face elimination and earn a gold skull. Problem is, once we got to elimination, TJ triggered a security breach and… then the fucking episode ended! All we needed was Tony Schiavone yelling “we’re out of time! we’ll see you next week!” and we would’ve been transported back to Monday Nitro circa ’97.
Since there was no overarching theme/plotline to this episode, let’s go over the notable moments and maybe predict what happens next week.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Lolo Jones has left the building — Has there ever been a more disappointing season than the one Lolo (and Nam) just put up? How they didn’t win at least 3 dailies is beyond me. I mean, hell, for whatever reason she thought a backstroke was the best strategy for timed event — and at one point she was swimming away from the platform. While you might think Lolo leaving is a big development for the ladies, does anyone think Lolo was gonna get a shot at a gold skull? She and Nam were finished as a team, and they didn’t have any sway to collect the votes to try for a skull. I’d like to say I want to see Lolo in the future, but… do we? I will not miss that fucking whining and crying, that’s for sure. If she can learn that The Challenge isn’t the Olympics, I think she could do well, but alas.
- Speaking of the Olympics, Darrell once again had the line of the episode when speaking about Lolo’s decision to leave. Referring to her expectations of dominance and the stark difference between the Olympics and The Challenge, Darrell said, “It’s not apples and oranges. It’s like a peach and a damn asparagus.” Pure poetry.
- We had an early scene where there was some AWKWARD flirting between Nany and Josh. Basically, Josh was making googly-eyes at Nany, who responded by telling him she was his sister and calling the whole thing creepy. Oof. I mean, when Nany, the absolute queen of Challenge hookups, turns you down, you’ve had a rough day.
- The daily had four memorable moments, three of which were absolutely hilarious. The challenge involved riding on a boat until a helicopter hovered above, at which point the teams had to grab onto ropes hanging from the chopper, hang on until a drop zone, then swim to a platform to finish. The first laugh out fucking loud moment was Josh just completely missing the rope. Like, just a big ol’ whiff, and then he tried to grabs Nany’s rope and caused her to fall off, resulting in a DQ for the team. Josh gonna Josh, always and forever.
- Naturally, Devin gives Josh relentless shit for this miscue. Just rides the hell out of the poor guy, to the point where his partner Nany wanted to swing on him. Well, Nany and Josh literally got the last laugh when Devin DID THE SAME EXACT THING. As fun as it is to watch Devin drive the Big Brother alliance insane, it’s easy to forget what an annoying prick he is and how satisfying it is to see him fuck up.
- Aneesa then had her own blunder, bless her heart. She managed to successfully grab onto the rope, but as soon as the boat pulled away and she had no footing, she slid right down the rope like it was covered in grease. Just couldn’t do anything in that fight against gravity.
- The second best line of the night happened when Cory, jealous that he couldn’t compete in a fun challenge, hollered “put me in coach!” only for Kyle to quip, without missing a beat, “Stop sending your partners home and maybe you’ll get to play!” Kyle is absolutely in the running for this season’s MVP.
- Early in the episode, CT decided to put Big T through some, um, eccentric training, which he called a “bio hack.” This involving throwing some straps on Big T, having her balance on an exercise ball with some weird paddle looking things on her hands, and then just chucking pillows at her full speed while she tried to… dodge them? Deflect them? Who knows?
- Whatever it was, it worked like a charm, because they won the daily in a runaway. So much so that TJ even gave a little speech about how he normally singles out three teams and builds the drama, but the times weren’t even close enough to fake that drama. Hell, Big T even outswam CT and beat him to the platform.
- Back at the house, CT angled for the house to vote in Josh/Nany, so he could steal Josh’s — aka “the goof” — gold skull. The BB alliance countered by aiming for Devin/Gabby.
- The swing vote came down to Darrell, whose partner Amber B is in with the BB alliance. The four-time champ hadn’t picked a side yet, but ultimately chose to vote with BB. I’m not so sure this was the smart move by Darrell, as I don’t see them having any incentive to let him get a shot at a gold skull.
- With Devin/Gabby winning the house vote, it looked like we were headed straight for a CT/Devin elimination. HOWEVER, when the house got down to the crater, TJ triggered said security breach which wasn’t revealed.
- There are two possible things that could happen with this breach: firstly, Nam could get a new partner since Lolo left him high and dry. It may be late in the season, but it’s not unprecedented to give someone a replacement partner this late. In Battle of the Exes II, Leroy lost a partner to injury right before the final and got Theresa as a replacement; so it’s possible a previously eliminated female comes back to partner up with Nam.
- In which case I pray that it’s Ashley because that would be fucking hilarious.
- The other possibility for the security breach is a mercenary type of situation. I would not be shocked at all to see Bananas and Jenny, last season’s champs, walk out of the shadows to square off with Devin and Gabby in elimination.
- The kicker in that situation would be how that would impact the Big T/CT team. Would the winners still get a shot to volunteer for a chance to win a gold skull? Do we get backpack part 2?!?!? Damn you for this hell MTV!!
The actual most important Challenge-related thing to happen yesterday
Great, another goddamned streaming service to sign up for.
Despite what TD noted of having little forward momentum, this week’s episode did have some great one-liners. TD awards the winning quote to Darrell with Kyle’s quip to Cory coming second. I’d vote for Lolo’s assertion as the best of the night. (Yes, that Lolo, who went to LSU?!? I did not know that.) When comparing her unfruitful athletic abilities to the challengers, Lolo notes, “These agents just drink beer!” And that is where I want to go with my confessional. One of the reasons that I’m propelled to watch this show with baited breath comes from the idea that these are a group of people who are not athletic in any classic sense yet prove they can beat “true” athletes often, both physically and mentally. Take CT’s classic berating Terrell Owens in years past. It’s an amazement. Speaking of CT, can MTV just set me up with a CT and Big T sitcom in The Challenge off season? That would rule.
Give CT THE GOOF. He wants THE GOOF. He doesn’t care who you send down, he’s going in, but he wants THE GOOF. I have to think that once he slipped into mumbly Boston accent multiple times during the daily and its aftermath, production made a health and wellness decision to not have the elimination be a head banger. Much like a Nick Saban team who has deferred the kickoff to the 3rd quarter getting the ball back with a couple minutes left before half on the 50, this is CT’s window. The Security Breach introduces a lot of possibilities, as TD pointed out. I love a mercenary appearance, but am sadly skeptical about it happening during a pandemic season. A double elim? Is THE GOOF the second house vote? Or maybe it’s a guy’s AND girl’s week? I appreciate that the show has gotten back on a regular daily-deliberation-elimination schedule after a few messy years with a lot of cliffhangers, and it made this one feel earned. Between a fun daily (go BIG T), the politics, and the Lolo drama, there was a lot of ground to cover. Hot guesses for next week: production tipped their hand a few times. Darrell talks his political approach early on, and his position as the swing vote was really the only game drama this week. Devin relentlessly mocks Josh during the daily, and then does almost the same thing (I argue Josh’s goof is worse because of its faux chivalric nature). When Devin is voted in, who do they show smiling? The Goof. When the Security Breach happens, who do they show looking shocked and scared? THE GOOF. GIVE CT THE GOOF!