After last week’s big change in format, the three newly formed “cells” battled for control of the game, with the Emerald squad coming out on top once again. Ed went into The Lair and chose Kyle as his opponent, much to his detriment. Kyle then defected to the Sapphire squad, joining CT, Ashley, Amanda, and Bettina, and sending Nelson to join his best bro Cory on the Ruby team. We also got a lot of T.J. laughs, and that’s always good for the soul.
Question 1: Cory held a boot camp for the Ruby squad. What would your boot camp consist of?
TD: I’d have them run laps, then eat something disgusting, as CT throws pillows at them, and Amanda and Ashley scream in their ear while they have to answer trivia questions. The Challenge is chaos, embrace it.
Blaine: I’d do some serious, strenuous meditation. A lot of the eliminations and challenges are about blocking out the noise of your opponents and your own voices. And if there was more time, I’d work on some puzzle-solving skills.
Adam: We would run hills, work on grip strength, and collect items from the bottom of the house pool. And then join TD’s boot camp, he has it completely figured out.
Question 2: Yes, Kyle made a bonehead move during the daily, but why did he catch so much flak when there were other members of his team that failed, too?
TD: I really don’t get it, man. T.J. said he cost his team the victory, Kyle blamed himself as well. But, it’s not like he was the only member of his team to fail. Only two teammates successfully completed the daily, and the rest failed while performing even worse than Kyle, in fact. He didn’t cost his team the mission any more than the others who couldn’t complete the course.
Blaine: I believe this is one of those instances that was played up more for the camera and in edits than maybe it was in actuality so that Kyle had a bit of underdog or salvation storyline for the elimination.
Adam: Yet again, Kyle put on a clinic top to bottom this episode, bettering a lot of the “more athletic” guys along the way. My wife (and Take contributor) Natalie pointed this out: did Emerald win because they had people fall almost instantly? That would technically make them “faster,” while Ruby gutted it out. Yes, Kyle knew the rules and wouldn’t or couldn’t do it, but I can’t see anyone but him getting the flak he did. Thank God he was the focus, though, because we got to see a great elimination AND hear two nuggets of wisdom courtesy of his grandfather, one of which is seared into my memory forever now. Like watching your favorite pub burn down!
Question 3: For the second week in a row, a rookie called out a vet in The Lair and got sent home for their troubles. Was Ed’s decision admirable or dumb?
TD: Both, really, but mostly dumb. Look, it’s nice of you to let Logan rest, but you’re a fucking moron, Ed. There was a wounded animal there for the taking, and instead Ed chose to try and take down the best pole wrestler in Challenge history. See ya next time, Ed.
Blaine: I’ll admit, I was a bit peeved at the vets for their degradation of Ed and his decision. It’s so infrequent that you get a nice guy and a nice guy doing nice things, so I was openly pulling for Ed and screaming at the TV during elimination. That’s not to say I don’t like Kyle; I do like him very much. He’s very entertaining. And I almost always pull for the vets. But Ed is something special. He’s a Matthew McConaughey of The Challenge. It was a very dumb move, but I appreciated it as much as one could from home. The fact that the rest of the cast seemed to rag on him relentlessly for it made it worse. But, I get it. I’m eager for Ed to return so I hope it’s next season. He could be a legend one day.
Adam: Ed was faced with an impossible decision. If he called Logan down, his rookie-rookie alliance is destroyed by default. If he can somehow get the win against a vet, their numbers look even better. But I think Ed’s gotta go lone wolf in this scenario and do whatever is necessary to stay. Logan and Ed ranking Cory and Kyle (with Nelson as an afterthought) was a personal highlight this week. Gotta imagine it stings a little for the Team Young Buck leftovers.
Question 4: How excited are you for season two of Challenge All Stars?
TD: Extremely. The trailer looks great, and it seems like this season will be less nostalgia-kick and more ass-kicking.
Blaine: I’ve purposefully avoided any trailers because it’s something I know I’ll watch; therefore my level of excitement is very tempered at the moment. I enjoyed the last season quite a bit, and I’m sure this season will satisfy my Challenge-sized cravings.
Adam: Super pumped. The cast lineup looks great, and it appears that they’ve all gotten in even better shape than the last crew for their returns. Cohutta has long hair! MJ still looks giant! Jasmine is back!