Television

Double Agents – FINALly there

There was no shortage of drama this week, as we found out which four teams will run T.J.'s final.

He’s been teasing it for a few weeks now, and last night on The Challenge our glorious leader T.J. said the magic words: “Let’s fucking go.”

Before we got there, we got to see TJ kidnap a few cast members, Amber B show us how embarrassingly bad she is a math, Kam call out Fessy for being a misogynistic asshole, and Kyle go through an emotional roller coaster before breaking his finger. It was a great episode.

We started with a conversation between Leroy and Kam, where Killa Kam spit out some motivational bars. After Leroy called his previous seasons failures, Kam corrected him by calling them lessons. I’m not one for cheesy inspirational quotes, but respect where it’s due. A lot of people have a problem with Kam’s confidence, and while some of that criticism might be valid, the best don’t get there by thinking they’re average.

As the house was sleeping, T.J. paid a visit to wake them up and take one member of each team with him. He gave the cast no details, just said he needed one member from each team to come with him. All of the guys ended up going, but it wasn’t as bad as they feared.

The daily ended up seeing the guys handcuffed to briefcases in a cave–sorry, 500 feet below the surface in a frozen volcano, as they told us multiple times. They just had to wait there and stand. That’s it. However, Fessy did find it a good time yet again to bitch about his partner and prompted Kyle in a confessional to give the line of the episode: “Fessy, you’re not a superhero, you’re a super douche bag.”

While the guys endured Fessy, the girls ran a 5 mile race with two stops for puzzles. By puzzles, I mean math problems. You solve the problem, unlock the box, get the puzzle piece, and move on. Kam accomplished this first at the initial stop, followed by Nany and Kaycee. Amber B… well, let’s just say it wasn’t her best look. It certainly seemed like her nerves didn’t help her, and math isn’t for everyone, but Amber B couldn’t even get past the first stop. Kam and Cory ended up winning fairly easily.

Then the fun began.

Kyle was just certain he was going in, either by house vote or Kam and Cory. The question was who would face him in the crater? Kaycee, in a tight spot of choosing to vote for her friend Fessy or her partner Leroy, actually tried to convince Fessy to go in himself, win the elimination and choose her as a partner.

Fessy, who balked at Kaycee’s suggestion, then got put in his place by Kam, who rightly called him out for talking down to and about every one of his partners this season. She told him he doesn’t think any female in the house is worthy to be his partner except Kaycee, so why not go into elimination and get her as your partner? Fessy again balked.

Later, Cory tried to get in his ear with the same message. Meanwhile, Leroy — who was paranoid he might go in — hatched a plan to vote Fessy in and have Kam vote for herself and Cory to go down, assuring Leroy’s safety. To get the votes, he enlisted Kyle. They shook hands. Kyle and Kam shook hands. Kyle made a deal to save his ass.

Then, at deliberation, Fessy read a press release apology and asked for the house vote. To quote Leroy: “Say less.” Kyle thought he was golden, as well. However, Cory then told Kam about his conversation with Fessy, and Kam felt like he was responsible for saving Leroy, and that double-crossing him would be shitty.

When the time came, Kam said Kyle’s name. The elimination was Hall Brawl, and during the first round Fessy got a vicious jump, met Kyle on the plus side of the halfway mark, and wrecked Kyle. He knocked him over, drug him while poor Kyle held on to his ankle like a toddler, shook him off and walked to the goal. Kyle had the right strategy to try and get lower — but Fessy was a football player, and he knows all too well that low man wins.

As he got up for round two, Kyle glanced at his hand and realized his finger was gruesomely broken. For a second, I thought Kyle was actually going to gut it out, but T.J. informed him he was medically DQ’d, and we had to say goodbye to the best confessional in the house. Fessy will no doubt be obnoxious about this.

One has to wonder if Kam made the smart play. If there’s a pecking order on the guys side, Kyle is probably at the bottom. If I were Kam, throwing Cory against Fessy guarantees at least one very strong male goes home, making it that much easier for Leroy. Plus, should Cory lose, Fessy would pick Kaycee as a partner, leaving Leroy free to pick Kam, giving them a shot at winning together and taking the whole million dollar prize for themselves. Then again, Kyle beat Fessy in the final last year, so who knows.

In the end, Fessy did indeed steal Kaycee from Leroy, who then chose his friend Nany (Kam was ineligible to be stolen as Double Agent), leaving Amber B. to team with CT. Then T.J. told the remaining four teams what they’ve waiting to hear: it’s final time.

The four teams entering the final: Leroy/Nany, Fessy/Kaycee, Kam/Cory, CT/Amber B.

Again, we don’t know if they stay together in the final. All we do know, as gathered from the tease for next week, is that one team is getting eliminated during the final. Can’t wait.

Confessionals

Adam
Hello, Fessy is still the worst. Fessy is Michael Scott in that early episode of The Office where they play basketball with the warehouse guys and Michael keeps yelling “What is WRONG with me today?” as he bricks shot after shot. Fessy has been tamed, he says, hampered, by poor partners. That’s his reaction to someone pointing out that he has been shielded all season long by this terrible alliance. Fessy is a large baby. That said, the large baby did explode into Hall Brawl and deserves the credit, even if Kyle had a medical DQ. He’s a beast. He’s just insufferably arrogant and still somehow boring. I’m going to say something controversial here, and you, dear reader, may assume it’s because I love Kyle, which is fair, but that’s not my motivation this time: there should only be one Hall Brawl per season. Any of these pure strength eliminations make for excellent television, but the body count is getting too high. There are other ways to display feats of strength. A glimpse ahead: I don’t think the weakest Final runner went home. I think he won Hall Brawl, and expect him and Kaycee to do poorly going forward. Leroy and Nany are a match made in Challenge perma-bridesmaid heaven, and I’m pulling for them, but Nany’s suspect endurance this week isn’t inspiring. I would never dare bet against CT, but Amber B didn’t exactly wow anyone in the daily. He can pick up the slack on math and puzzles, though, so if she can run, it’s game on. Which leaves Kam and Cory, who I think any reputable oddsmaker in Vegas would put as the favorites. Am I saying they win? No. But Kam has proven it down the stretch again and again, and Cory has always done well physically in a grueling Final. Now he’s got a partner who can keep pace AND pick up the slack where he’s weak. Bring on the sufferfest!

Blaine
Though Kyle bears guilt for doing the same thing that Kam did to him this week, viewers surely find it rough to see. Perhaps that’s due to Kyle’s self-effacement, quick humor, and perfect confessionals. Alas, Kyle, I’d hoped you would’ve made it to the final once again this year. As CT said, you hate Kyle and you love Kyle. After seeing that trailer for next week when we are knee-deep in the final, I knew it would be impossible for me not to mention my excitement. One shot encapsulates it: Amber B vomiting up what looked to be pure blood. Wow. It doesn’t bode well for my favorite competitor, CT, but it does sell me on tuning in next week. As if I wasn’t going to do that anyway.

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