Television

Takin’ on ‘The Challenge’: Frenemy of the State

The Underdogs win! The Underdogs win!

This week Team Moriah finally broke through to win the daily challenge. They responded by sending Faysal straight into The Zone. Chauncey pulled the safe dagger and chose to save Bananas, which was a big win in its own right for Team Faysal, meaning their two aces wouldn’t go against each other in elimination. In the end, Faysal sent Nelson home, which means that the Nelson/Nurys duo is our first Ride or Die team to be completely eliminated after the split.

Question 1: Was Jordan saying “I do not negotiate with terrorists” — implying that Tori was a terrorist — the funniest moment of the season so far?

TD: I certainly laughed loudly. We talked last week about Tori’s emotions towards Jordan impacting her game, and they certainly bit her in the ass this week. As obnoxious as Jordan can be, I’m on his side here. Tori says he’s making the game harder for her, but she’s the one focused on him. I understand the feelings are there, but you gotta play the game with your head and not your heart.

Blaine: It was boneheaded hyperbole and MTV’s editing room played it well. TD finds Jordan a bit annoying. Not me. I like his style and truly think he plays with integrity. He’s tried to rub shit in Tori’s face, but I don’t know that full story. If you believe Jordan when he said that he and Tori never bring outside life into the game, then she deserved the overkill of his “terrorist” bit. Also, how are we not discussing how Tori had a fling with Faysal shortly after the dissolution of her and Jordan’s engagement? Her approach to save Fessy and Jordan’s vote all played for great TV, no matter who was in the wrong.

Question 2: What do you make of Moriah’s decision to say Chauncey’s name during nominations, which avoided a tie and sent Faysal straight into elimination?

TD: On the surface, it was rough to hang her ride or die out there like that; but it’d also be ignorant to act like Fessy has been loyal to her since the split. Everything he’s done and said has been one-sided — as Moriah even pointed out this week — so he had it coming in the karma department. She also raised a fair point about not knowing what would happen in a tie, with her team being sent in as a possibility. The real interesting part here is how Fessy handles it going forward.

Blaine: It’s laughable even to think Faysal wouldn’t throw poor Moriah in first chance he got. It’s just now he’s got a reason, which he’ll use as soon as he can. Is my memory so bad or didn’t Faysal basically relish getting to play his own game when the teams were created? He’s practically bullied her into doing only what he wants. Kudos to Moriah. Hell, she should’ve felt emboldened enough to vote for him, flat out.

Question 3: We’re now three episodes into the split, if you were on the show, how would you approach the game at this point?

TD: Being a fan/viewer of The Challenge, I would definitely proceed with caution. Going into the first week, I would work under the assumption that if my partner got sent home, I’d go home, too, so I’d protect them at all costs. After that, I’d assume that at some point I’d be reunited with my original partner, so I’d still play to win but want to protect my partner on the other team. The game is a delicate balancing act between politics and physical prowess.

Blaine: My head would be spinning. I would be so involved in trying to stay alive, but surely a vet would know something may be cooking with the way T.J. doles out surprises. What was tough, however, was seeing Nelson eliminated once more and then having to find out that not only is he certainly going home but so is Nurys. The production team always seems to give Nelly his due with a dramatic goodbye, and why? Because he’s genuine, he’s a tough competitor, he’s fun, he’s rather kind, and he always makes deep runs. It’s sad to see him go. I would play it out for Nelly. That’s what I’d do. Long live Nelson T.

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