We are oh so close to the final, but T.J. isn’t ready to give everyone the good news just yet, despite every remaining contestant possessing a gold skull.
After last night’s episode, we had to once again say goodbye to Aneesa late in the season. You certainly have to feel a bit bad for the MTV veteran, but there is something to be said about her decision to slack on endurance training. It doesn’t make her an attractive partner in the final. That said, the hand she was dealt was indeed shitty, and it sucks to be the whipping post.
The counter to that is to call out Kyle for how callous he was in dealing with his partner — even admitting in a confessional that he would happily sacrifice Aneesa for Big T. The counter to that counter is to say that newfound ruthlessness from Kyle will only serve him well in the game. Aneesa probably doesn’t have too many of these left in her, so the damage going forward will be minimal for Kyle. And, again, I must mention that we still don’t know how the finals will play out, and there’s a chance all of this partner swapping and double crossing will have been for naught.
She got you jumpin’ off the deck, shovin’ into overdrive
Although it basically amounted to just a half-mile sprint and puzzle race, I was a big fan of the daily this week. Anytime you can get the contestants to confront their fears, it’s a win. And when you tell the cast they’re going to be skydiving, odds are at least one person will be petrified.
That person was Big T, who, as Cory noted, had her soul leave her body when TJ told them what they’d be doing. The poor thing watched in utter fear as the first group went, and then, due to her placement in the order, had to sit right next to the wide-ass-open door on the plane as they ascended to 1,500 feet above the Earth. Of course, because she really is a badass, once she jumped she realized what a beautiful experience it can be to get an open bird’s eye view of the Earth.
Kyle was also none too keen about this challenge, to nobody’s surprise. We love the tall Brit here, but he is kinda a chicken.
While in the air, the contestants had to memorize a puzzle key, which they would then try to complete once they hit the ground and raced the other teams in a half-mile sprint. The challenge didn’t amount to much, as Leroy and Kaycee won the first heat easily, with Kam and Cory taking the second in the same fashion. Leroy/Kaycee took the overall win.
One thing to note here, which Aneesa and Kam both spoke about, was the move by Kyle, CT and Fessy to leave their partners in the dust during the sprint. Kam was absolutely right when she said the boys need to quit worrying about their egos and actually work with their partners — especially considering that TJ explicitly said that they couldn’t start the puzzle until both team members completed the run.
Kyle leaving Aneesa behind didn’t surprise us, given his confessional early in the episode. Fessy wasn’t really shocking either, as we are acutely aware of his me-first attitude and lack of team skills — which is shocking considering the dude played FCS football, the sport more dependent on teamwork than any other.
However, CT was all over the place last night. Early on, he was committed to helping Big T train and was very supportive when she was afraid of the daily. We even got another CT/Big T training scene! Then, during the run, he left her behind and stood there yelling while she caught up. Granted, he was right, because Kam/Cory finished the puzzle before the other teams even finished the run; but still, it wasn’t a good look. Then, late in the episode, he and Big T had a heart-to-heart where he affirmed his commitment to helping her get into the final. He kept his word, too, when he was happy to volunteer with her for the house vote.
The further on the edge, the hotter the intensity
Speaking of CT and Fessy, the two big men got into a heated shouting match inside the bubble bar, dressed in their finest 80s attire for an 80s themed party. Which, by the way, was a delight to see. The older casts used to throw parties all of the time, and it gave the show another dimension. I know some of the partying was curtailed by the producers due to excessive drinking, but some of the newer seasons can feel a little too stiff and competition-like as opposed to a reality TV-based competition.
It all started when Fessy “attempted to compliment” CT by… shit talking CT and saying the vet couldn’t hang with him? CT naturally took offense and went off a bit, as Aneesa noted we saw a glimpse of old school CT. OF COURSE once CT got heated Fessy backed off and tried to laugh and make like he was just trolling, but boy we could smell his fear through the TV. That was the laughter of a man who knew he fucked up. Leroy nailed it during a confessional when he said something along the lines of “Fessy doesn’t know it, but he will get his ass kicked.”
Hopefully, we see these two silverbacks square-off in the very near future.
You’ll never know what you can do, until you get it up as high as you can go
As for elimination, after Big/CT got the house vote, Kaycee and Leroy chose Aneesa/Kyle to face them in the crater. It was a women’s elimination, and we saw the “fire escape” elimination for the third time this season. Big T handily defeated Aneesa and took her gold skull.
Afterwards, she chose to stay with CT, leaving Kyle to partner with rogue agent Amber B (which could be a sneaky team to watch going forward).
So, we now are left with 5 teams, all owning gold skulls. This is where I don’t like the skull concept: if it’s a requisite for the final, why not just have enough skulls for the finalists? It seems as if we’ll get at least one more elimination before the final, so what’s the point of the skulls now? Hope this is something they tweek before next season.
Fessy is awful. Fessy picked a fight with CT, and Fessy didn’t want any once CT actually engaged. Again, as Leroy said about Fessy: “A) CT would whip his ass, B) CT is a better player in this game than he is, and C) CT would whip his ass.” Fessy talks a big game. Fessy didn’t just lose last season’s final to a dude roughly CT’s age (Bananas), he finished behind Kyle and Cory. They’re STILL IN THE HOUSE THIS SEASON, in case you can’t keep track of what tiny cast remains. He didn’t just lose, he lost big time. Again, FESSY LOST TO KYLE. Fessy attempted to say he beat CT on top of the semi trucks this season. CT was having none of it, and the producers backed him up with the receipts (footage). Fessy attempted to downplay the level of competition “back in the day.” Fessy would lose to Evan, Kenny, Landon, Wes, Jordan, Derrick…the list goes on, take your pick. The show has had excellent athletes on it before. Cousin Vinnie bounced around NFL practice squads, Marlon Williams was an all conference linebacker at Texas Tech, etc etc. None of them stayed for long, and none could hang with CT. Thank you, Fessy, for further waking the beast. I hope MTV never calls you or your supposed pals back again, though I did enjoy you throwing Josh under the bus. On the women’s side of things, poor Aneesa. I am a fan, I think her commentary and social awareness in older seasons has aged incredibly well (“woke” before the term existed, if you will), but man…the endurance just isn’t there. You can solve these problems! I have the same frustration with Big T after that super fun daily. How can you come on this show without being able to at least run, say, a 5K? That said, great job by Big T getting her skull. Last note, I am fascinated by how little screen time the remaining Amber got this week. Not a confessional, nothing. The vets drew the attention, but that’s still wild considering how few folks are left.
Theses folks need to put some respect on CT’s name! I don’t care if he is a little longer in the tooth than the rest of them! Didn’t Fessy and some of these other folks see him wrestle the largest competitor from this season (Nam) and throughly take care of him? Their memories must be too short. It was a good idea for Big T to keep him as a partner, which seems to throw a major wrench in Kyle’s plans moving forward. As Adam and TD both pointed out, let’s hope that the fire under CT stays lit this season and that Big T is still evolving into a beast.