Takin’ on ‘The Challenge’: Nelly: Ride (or Die) Wit Me

This week’s episode featured T.J.’s favorite challenge: trivia. As per tradition, the contestants embarrass themselves on questions a second-grader would ace. Highlights included Moriah and Faysal failing to answer questions about each other — you know, their supposed “ride or die,” Kaycee not being able to name Adam & Eve, and ya boi Nelly T smoking everybody.

Team Fessy won again, but tensions started simmering during the nomination process when Nelly pointed out not everyone was involved in the voting process last week, and even though the team claims they want to weaken their opponents, that’s not how they voted.

In The Zone, Amber defeated Nurys in a modified game of pole wrestler, sender her to T.J.’s nowhere dimension to hope Nelson survives long enough for her to rejoin the game. Team Fessy now has a two-person advantage, so Team Moriah desperately needs a win next week.

Question 1: Like T.J., we enjoy trivia every season, but what is your favorite type of trivia to throw at the cast: random bits like this episode, or Challenge related questions like we’ve seen in the past?

TD: While I do enjoy making the cast member actually pay attention to the show they’re on, the random trivia gives us too many gems — like Kaycee’s aforementioned gaffe or Devin showing just how drastically out of touch he is with modern music (and hell, it was a song from damn near 20 years ago now, c’mon Devin).

Blaine: As the Internet will say, why not both? I was thinking that they needed to make the trivia closer to a bar-type of trivia, but dear sweet lord. Not knowing Adam and Eve!?! And Jesus, even I knew it was Elsa and Anna from Frozen. I love T.J. and wouldn’t never throw him shade, but he even mispronounced Anna’s name. Oh, wait. I live with a five-year-old. Carry on.

Question 2: Tori isn’t even trying to hide her pettiness at this point, leading the charge to nominate Nurys because of her dalliance with Jordan. Do you expect her jealousy/emotionally-focused b.s. to derail Tori’s chances of winning, or is she protected by her strong team for now?

TD: It will absolutely hurt her in the end, particularly when you factor in that she’s seperated from her partner Devin, who keeps her in her lane. Despite what she thinks, Tori is not a strong enough player to forego strategy in her game.

Blaine: I think she’s in good hands, honestly. That team may have her back because whether or not she’s strong enough, those team members think that she is for most competitions. Now that Nurys, whom I was really sad to see go, is out, who’s gunning for her? I don’t see Jordan being as dirty to throw her in or simply say her name. Well, that is if his team can ever put together a win.

Question 3: Kenny and Nurys are off in the wings, rooting for Kaycee and Nelson respectively to stay in the game. When do you think T.J. reintroduces the “eliminated” participants?

TD: I don’t think it’ll be that long, really. They’ll need to stockpile eliminated partners to make the surprise worth it, but I do think they’ll reappear before the final. Maybe some penultimate an episode or two before the final.

Blaine: I dislike big team competitions on The Challenge because, like we’re really going to see next week, it creates a unbalanced set of players, which usually creates an unfair advantage. Luckily it was only trivia this week, but one could argue that with an extra player, Team Faysal had an extra brain to score another answer correctly. Hard to say when T.J. will rope them back in, but I’m hoping for sooner rather than later.

Question 4: Do you think you have a feel for who’s going to make the final, or has the format change clouded the future?

TD: It does seem like there are some protected people within the teams, like Fessy & Bananas, who’ll make a deep run because they’re smart enough to insulate themselves. What I’m really looking forward to is how the dynamics between the original duos change once they reconvene.

Blaine: I’m with TD on this one: as soon as I read the question, Bananas and Fessy popped into my head. I’ll wager that Jordan makes it as well. As for the ladies, it’s only a matter of time before Moriah is eliminated. Who does that leave, really? Aneesa will get pushed out before the final, as always happens to her. Olivia won’t live to see the end. Wouldn’t it be something if Horacio makes it? Seems certain we’ll have Faysal, Bananas, Jordan, and Nelly for the guys. For the ladies, I’ll bet Tori, Kaycee, Nany (because no one’s willing to throw her in…alliances and shit), and Amber.

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