Episode two of the 37th season of The Challenge saw another player leave mysteriously, a huge return, and an upset in the Lair. This season is off to a hot start, but there’s a long way to go. Let’s get to this week’s questions.
Question 1: How many Challenge titles will Kelz end his career with? Bonus question: what will professional wrestling ring name be?
TD: I did not realize how big this dude was last week. Good lord, he is a unit. And damn if the guys ain’t lucky to get rid of him. Naturally, Fessy is gonna gloat about how he got rid of Kelz or some shit. It’s gonna be awesome next season when Kelz literally takes Fessy’s head off. Seriously though, if this dude wants to make a career out of this, he can threaten Johnny Bananas’ record.
Also, “Big Kelz Churchill” is my vote.
Blaine: Not usually being a fan of rookies, I was in the camp of wanting Kelz to leave. He’ll have his chance down the road, I’m sure, if he wants to return to future seasons. He also begs the question of just how big and brutal and athletic do we fans want competitors to be? Remember when CT was huge? And then Fessy was? Now, Kelz is a monster. Kelz will win at least a few, minimum. The big athletic type has been trending on The Challenge, but at what point does it just become the Olympics or something? I suppose it’s of note that there are still competitions that smaller people are destined to win so there will always be room for the Devins and Jays of the show.
Adam: Kelz standing next to Fessy at the bar really put things in perspective. Fessy may could survive a physical elimination with him based purely on his quick feet (for a big man), but it’s, uh, doubtful. And poor Kelz. He faced the kind of elimination that would have taken care of this Fessy problem two seasons ago, had he pulled it. Instead, he has a place on this show, because he’s only hit on the physical eliminations. I sincerely hope Kelz comes back. All it took was telling Fessy not to rock the boat (love the “intimidate the power holder” move), and calling Josh on his crap at deliberation for me to be a fan. But how about Ed?!? Not bad!
Question 2: Who will be the one to ruin the vet alliance?
TD: I mean, I guess Fessy is the obvious choice, because he’s a coward. Or maybe Josh because of pure ineptitude. My money is on Amanda, she’s a ticking time bomb. Be it an emotional outburst or some big play, she’d be my bet to try and make a big splash via politics. As a cherry on top she’ll probably betray her “best friend” Ashley or something.
Blaine: There’s no doubt in my mind Fessy will ruin it. He’s already itching to do just that. And without eating during the day, his head will be screwed on more crooked than usual. I’m a big fan of the vet alliance, though; it brings me a lot of joy to see them working together. Just watching Josh and Devin play literal chess was a nice moment. But Fessy has it in his mind that he’s above everyone and everything. I hope the vet alliance goes on and on because there are some tough rookies this season and it all makes for great TV.
Adam: Amanda and Ashley seem to have a genuine friendship based on each’s awareness that the other one is capable of absolute insanity in the house. As Amanda showed in her partnership with Zach a few seasons back, she is totally uninterested in playing another person’s game, even to her own detriment. The trouble brewing in Ashley’s world could mean problems for the vets, but maybe not. The format requires them to risk nothing by continuing to throw in rookies. I think the alliance lasts a bit longer than we expect, with some bumpy moments and possibly isolated oustings.
Question 3: Is Amber now the favorite on the women’s side? Or is the target on her back too big?
TD: Did you see Aneesa’s face? That said it all. It’s also exactly how I would react if I were in that situation. I get being excited to see a friend or someone you like, but you’re in competition mode now, the last thing you should clap about is the defending champ coming into the game. Amber is certainly going to be targeted, but she’s also a savvy political player, and has the ability to protect herself. But she definitely needs to drop Josh as a partner.
Blaine: I have thoughts, all good, on Amber’s wonderful return. First, I was thrilled to have her back. I became a huge fan of Amber B. leading up to the finals and during them. I do wonder why she wasn’t on the initial roster, though. I hope she makes the finals again. I hope she and CT can pair again, too. She’s definitely whom I want to see win it all for the ladies’ side of things. Welcome back! But you know Fessy is not going to let a dead dog lie. And the other ladies will eventually break away from the vet alliance and go after Amber out of fear. With no skulls to garner this season, an elimination is to be avoided! This is a good season so far!
Adam: I think she’s gotta be the favorite. There’s some potentially great players amongst the rookies (including Ashley’s new enemy Berna), and the vets will turn on her eventually, but she also has a lot of friends. Josh has already been shown protecting her. I think CT would do the same. But the ladies will see her as a Jordan or Bananas like player: if she makes the final, she will win. Kaycee is the only player I could see challenging her.