Television

Takin’ on ‘The Challenge’: Split Decision

This week’s episode brought us a mini-final and a major shakeup in the season’s format. After Faysal & Moriah dominated the daily — seriously, it was Fessy’s best showing of his Challenge career — T.J. informed them they would not picking teams to nominate for elimination. Rather, the competition would be split into two larger teams, once captained by Fessy and the other by Moriah. Every duo would be split and put onto opposing teams. In the end, we ended up with these teams:

Team Faysal: Kaycee, Aneesa, Bananas, Chauncey, Nelson, Olivia, Tori.

Team Moriah: Kenny, Jordan, Nany, Amber, Nurys, Horacio, Devin.

We were offered nothing else about how the rest of the season will work, other than an ominous warning from T.J. that “you do NOT want to lose.”

Question 1: First things first, what do you think of the teams?

TD: Everyone on the show was of the opinion that Fessy’s team is stacked and far better than Moriah’s team, but I’m not so sure. Athletically, yes, they are the superior team; but as someone (Horacio?) pointed out, there are a lot of alphas on that team that could cause a lot of friction. Moriah’s team isn’t completely helpless on the physical side, either. They also have a lot of great Challenge minds on their side. Plus, as everyone is quick to point out, who can really trust Fessy?

Blaine: Fessy is becoming one of the easiest challengers to despise this season. He did exactly what everyone thought when he went into deliberation and tried to push Moriah around. Why they didn’t deliberate in a draft fashion, I didn’t understand. And to backbite the very person who was comforting his crying ass earlier? Not a good look, Faysal. Sadly, though, his team is stacked. I’m hoping Jordan leads Moriah’s team to glory, though. Speaking of Jordan, it may be best for Moriah that Tori didn’t end up on Jordan’s side. Not sure what would’ve happened there! With Nurys now on Team Moriah with Jordan, do their sparks fly higher?

Question 2: T.J.’s warning that the newly formed teams absolutely do not want to lose seems to imply that the team that loses the daily will have to nominate two of their own for elimination. Is that how you see it working?

TD: It’s definitely pointing that way, but I wonder if there’s a twist in there? Maybe whoever loses, their original partner has to leave as well? I certainly don’t think it’ll be like the seasons of old where one team could create such a numbers advantage through dailies and eliminations that the winning team has like six members. Rather, I think the finals will see the original duos come back. Either way, I like the shake up.

Blaine: I love the intrigue. I love the variation. As for what’s to come, I’m not sure. One thing I thought, though, was that maybe the losing team would have to submit two pairs (or people) to the winning team’s one, but that would be dependent upon keeping the draw aspect of the elimination. That’s probably not likely.

Question 3: The teaser for next week showed some mystery participants. More than likely, they’ll be mercenaries competing in the elimination. Any guesses as to who they’ll be? An eliminated team or some fresh faces we haven’t seen this season?

TD: It’d be a disappointment to bring back an eliminated team, in my opinion, so I hope it’s just a good ol’ ringer team. Definitely some former champs, Perhaps a CT or Wes, and a Jenny or Ashley.

Blaine: I’ve alluded to as much in this column, but for some reason, I don’t see mercenaries being done again. I’ve been wrong a lot before. But unlike TD, I very much see an eliminated — and strong — competitor coming back as sort of mercenary role. I’d like to see Darrell come back and knock someone out of competition or even Michelle. Dare I say Jay?

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