This was an Amanda-heavy episode. Her status as a teammate and player was the topic of much of it, and she got voted into elimination where she faced Big T and won. We said goodbye to Ashley without explanation (it’s out there if you care; no need for us to discuss it here, really). We also saw a shift in the power dynamics of the three teams, as Sapphire became the first team to win a daily other than Emerald. Ruby somehow looked even worse than usual.
Question 1: This week’s mission was presented by the new Top Gun movie. What other movie(s) would you like to see a daily challenge modeled after?
TD: The Town — Gotta knock off a bank/armored car and make a clean getaway all while using a Boston accent. Also, how many of these cast members have actually seen Top Gun, let alone even heard of it?
Blaine: Can’t we just do Fight Club and have CT or someone beat the hell out of Fessy? I kid. Sort of. They could always give them a gauntlet and have them collect a bunch of stones, a lá Avengers. I suppose they sort of do similar things anyway.
Adam: Well, Wes already decided that Squid Game is what the show would be if Paulie was in charge, so thank God we’re not asking him. Could we get Jason Bateman to do color commentary for a dodgeball tournament? I don’t know, all I can think about is that trench run preview for next week. Let’s do that.
Question 2: DOWN GOES EMERALD! The cell that has won every daily since the teams were formed finally showed some chinks in the armor (*cough* Josh *cough*), struggling in a mission that was theirs for the taking given their numbers advantage. Then, during deliberation, Amanda successfully sowed seeds of discontent within the Emerald squad, then took Tori’s spot on the team. Can they bounce back, or is Sapphire the new team to beat?
TD: Ashley’s disqualification really throws a wrench in things, here. The quartet of CT, Ashley, Logan and Emy was good enough to overcome Emerald’s strength in numbers. Tori gives Ruby a strong female competitor, and actually makes them a decent squad on paper. Devin said Amanda was “the kiss of death” for the Emerald squad, though, so it’s probably not gonna end well for them, numbers or not.
Blaine: I’m still concerned about the numbers. I was thinking that T.J. was going to fix the uneven cells when he stopped the end of elimination and called for Big T to come back. If Tori can mesh well and get over being replaced, Ruby could finally win. I don’t see that happening, though. Instead, I’ll say that Sapphire wins next week again.
Adam: Amanda has been fantastic this season. She’s controlled deliberations from a weak position more than once, and this week single-handedly leveled the playing field for good. Sapphire was going to be a great team down the stretch, but Big T is now a liability. Ruby (or “Ruuuuuuuuubeeeeeey!” as Kyle likes to put it, repeatedly) looks good, but like TD said, that’s a paper roster analysis. Tori gives them a huge physical upgrade, but they will still stall on puzzles. And Emerald has definitely lost its sheen. Now that they are more vulnerable, its hard to see Emanuel not being on the chopping block, much less Josh. Seasons get to crunch time, the bell tolls for the Goof.
Question 3: What are your thoughts on the first look at the new season of The Challenge: All Stars?
TD: First, it looks a lot more like a regular Challenge season than last year’s. Second: Tina. Is. Back.
Blaine: I have mild expectations for it. I agree with TD above that it looks a lot like Challenge of the past, which is great: there needs to be a clear delineation between Challenge: All Stars and a regular season of The Challenge, so kudos to the producers on that. I’m still itching for The Challenge: Champions, though, where we get only two-time or more champs duking it out. I’ll withhold any judgement on this current season of All Stars until I get an episode under my belt, which by the way is today!
Adam: It looks great! I wonder if some of the reunion vibes from the first season will be toned down a bit as things get more serious. Yet again, I anticipate a clinic on why Real World/Road Rules cast members provide a lot more personality and intrigue than the pools the main show draws from now.