It has been said in this space all season long — by myself, Blaine, and Adam — that it is simply beyond us why some competitors get so damn upset when another competitor makes a move to give them an advantage. After all, this is a goddamned competition, ain’t it?
Last night’s episode was entirely focused on another similar occurrence, when CT won a gold skull via elimination and promptly ditched Big T to partner up with Kam — who he turned down on the season premiere. It was a smart move with an eye on the final. Kam is one of the strongest females left, and CT knows we’re getting close to the final. Big T has shown some fight, and might be a sneaky good swimmer, but at face value it was the right move to make… maybe.
First, let’s get to the obvious: CT was a jackass in the way that he left Big T. It wasn’t necessarily that he broke his promise to keep her as a partner and help her earn a gold skull — hell, even Big T herself said she knew it was coming. Rather, it was his screaming “Kam! Kam! I choose Kam! I’ve been waiting all season long to pick her!” as poor Big T shrunk beside him. We all knew from the rest of season trailers that this split was coming, and that Big T would be mad, but we didn’t know that we were getting a brief flash of old school jackass CT. Particularly after the season long adventures of Bunny and Hawk, Queen Big T and her royal guard, the closest thing we’ve had to a romance angle all season long (no, Nam and Lolo doesn’t count, and the Fessy/Gabby hookup is barely a footnote).
So, it’s OK to be upset at CT for the way he pulled the move off; hell, he even tried to apologize twice, although they just happened to be the worst apologies you’ve heard in a long time. But if you’re upset that he switched partners… maybe you aren’t watching the right show.
Whole lotta shakin’ goin’ on
We ended last week on a cliffhanger, when a security breach was triggered right before elimination. To begin this week, TJ told us that meant it was going to be a double elimination, and the team with the second most votes would also have to fight for survival. That ended up being Josh and Nany.
To pick their foes, the power couple of CT and Big T got to pick Devin and Gabby’s opponent, and when CT asked Devin who he wanted, Devin did the dumbest thing he could and picked Darrell and Amber. As for Josh and Nany’s opponent? CT and Big T happily volunteered.
After TJ told everyone it would be a guy’s elimination night, we all pretty much knew how things were gonna go. CT destroyed Josh. Darrell, however, did not crush Devin, and in fact when the elimination came down to a puzzle, Devin had a clear shot to win. But Darrell managed to get the puzzle done first, and now Devin, who had played such a solid game up until the past couple of episodes, is going home empty-handed… while sitting right next to best bud Josh on the flight home.
When the smoke cleared, we ended up with a few new teams: CT and Kam, Kyle and Nany, Cory and Gabby, and Big T and Nam. That last one didn’t last too long, though, as Nam was medically DQ’d after his back problems became too pronounced. Which means next week the final unclaimed female gold skull will be up for grabs, and Big T will get another new partner. After that, who the hell knows what’s gonna happen.
Another thought about teams
I said above that CT’s move was a smart one with an eye on the final, but that line of thinking fails to account for one thing: are we sure the final is being run in teams? We’ve seen too many wacky finals to just assume the partner you bring in is the one your finishing with. They could split everyone up and turn it into an individual final. They could shake teams up right before or even during the final. Anything is on the table.
I’m not saying that CT should’ve stayed with Big T (I mean, for all of our hearts, yes, he should’ve), but I’m just saying that everyone seems to be obsessed with finding the right partner to run a final with, when we know TJ has more tricks up his sleeve. Maybe CT made the right move, or maybe he pissed off Big T, Kyle, and a few other folks for nothing. We shall see.
What an episode. As great as any competition is, especially the drama-laden Challenge, the hackneyed expressions do get all the more dumb in their repetition. This is why I appreciate Devin’s pre-elimination quip of “I think we both want it” to Leroy as Leroy shouted “Who wants it?!?” And Devin’s self-awareness makes him a damn near likable jerk so I’m actually sort of sad he’s gone. I almost appreciate that talking shit is just about his only strategy so he employs it as often as possible, even taking time to dump on Josh after their losses. On the other side of the self-awareness coin, Kam has none. Did she really say that she doesn’t want to be with a partner who isn’t humble? Kam, Kam, Kam. C’mon. No comment on CT.
I’m with Blaine. Devin deserves an award for carrying this season as far as he did. Think about it. Without him and Kyle, who is bringing entertainment value up to this point? Its the Self Aware Bros. On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have Kam. Telling CT to show a little humility, after her pitch to him in Episode 1 was the incredibly cringey “Killa! Killa!” Kind of like her saying power shouldn’t be for payback. Humble pie is coming for Kam, for Fessy, for them all. Mark it down: CT will destroy worlds from here on out. He treated Big T wrong, very wrong, but it was that display of emotion that shows the volatile guy is back. The winner. The interaction between Big T and CT around the fire was some of the most real stuff I’ve seen on this show in ages. I can’t imagine most of the new crop participating in that level of vulnerability and nuance. It was the well deserved center of this episode. So much so that I haven’t had a chance to gloat about Josh losing horribly. Ha! Josh lost. Final thought: so long, Nam, we knew you too little. Please come back with a vengeance.
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