Double Agents - Nut up or shut up

I realize that the people typically cast on reality television shows are not the brainiest people around, but you would think as much as they respect T.J. Lavin, they'd listen to him. All season T.J. has said "get your skull while you can" and by and large the cast has not listened.

Last night took the cake, however. Gabby had a golden opportunity after her and Devin won the daily, earning double agent status. The house voted for the team of Cory and Amber M., and when the house descended upon the crater for elimination, the Hall Brawl setup was waiting for them. Gabby is no physical specimen herself (not in the athletic sense, anyway...), but Amber M. is tiny and not made for Hall Brawl at all.

Alas, Gabby passed on her chance to get a gold skull. Instead, she rather unwisely listened to her partner Devin and threw in the team of Darrell and Amber B. Amber B. housed Amber M. and easily won a modified Hall Brawl -- they just added a bucket of balls at each end, and the first retrieve all three balls won -- to earn a gold skull and make Gabby look foolish.

To her credit, Gabby knew she fucked up; but, hindsight don't mean shit on The Challenge. Now there's only one free gold skull left, and Gabby needs to earn another opportunity to lay claim to it.

Hot or Cold?

Let's play a little game where we look at the teams and determine their temperature in regards to their chances at making the final.

Amber B. & Darrell: Hot

Amber B. just earned a gold skull, and while Darrell doesn't have one, he is damn sure gonna try to get one, and you gotta like his chances in elimination.

Aneesa & Fessy: Very Warm

They both have gold skulls, Fessy shouldn't lose in elimination, Aneesa is one of the all timers in eliminations, they have strong alliances... but you can't shake the feeling Fessy wants to ditch Aneesa and do it at the worst time for her.

Big T & CT: Lukewarm

Neither holds a gold skull, Big T's prospects in a elimination don't seem great, their alliances aren't the strongest in the house; but CT is the greatest and most intimidating elimination competitor in Challenge history, and he'll take out the whole house to get a shot at stealing someone else's skull.

Devin & Gabby: That kind of warm that is technically warm, but not satisfying at all

Sure, Devin has a gold skull and has played arguably the best game of the season. But, he didn't do himself or his teammate any favors after their daily win, and didn't really accomplish anything with the power other than getting rid of a weak competitor and pissing off a team with stronger alliances. Gabby's mistake this week will go down as one of the biggest in the show's history if she doesn't find a way to claim a gold skull.

Josh & Nany: Warm but dropping fast

Josh has a gold skull, and Nany is savvy enough to get a shot at one. That said, she thought she could get Gabby and Devin to call her name (which, really? No way in hell was Devin doing Josh any favors), and that didn't happen. Now the window is closing fast, and not only does Nany have to worry about getting a chance to win a gold skull, Josh needs to worry about someone coming after his.

Kam & Kyle: Fucking scalding

They both have gold skulls, are in a strong alliance, and both are pretty solid in elimination (with Kam being probably the toughest out left on the female side). Hard to see one or both not making the final.

Kaycee & Leroy: Boiling

See above. Both have skulls, strong alliances, and aren't likely to fall in elimination.

Lolo & Nam: Frozen

Hahahahahahahahaha. What a dud of a team. They had SO MUCH potential at the beginning of the season, and they've done fuck all with it. Their cracks have become full blown canyons. Lolo breaks down every week and Nam is left a stuttering mess because he's over it and confused as to what the hell she's even going on about, and has absolutely no clue how to work with a personality like Lolo. Sure, either would be a formidable elimination foe, but they aren't likely to get voted in, and it doesn't seem like they can work together to win a daily.


When Kam asserted that Devin should use his power this week not for revenge but to play nice, I just had to laugh. Some of these people have zero self awareness. Devin and Gabby didn't do a lot with their weekly power, though, so maybe Kam was on to something. Watching TJ blatantly attempt to convince Gabby to enter elimination was jarring. Why won't anyone listen or think through this? During that elimination, we were reminded of what joy CT brings to the show: can we have him conduct mock commentary for every elimination match? And speaking of CT, two things: 1. how do y'all interpret his "Fuck you" during his private vote of Josh and Nany, and 2. anyone else ready to see him demolish Josh in an elimination to steal that gold skull? As for elimination, Amber B. made some big boasts after getting her win, but she needs to remember that she defeated easily the weakest competitor I've seen on the show. That's a low bar to hurdle. I'm pretty sure that someone's Meemaw could've beaten poor Amber M. And poor Nam. I feel you, dude. Lolo needs Josh as a partner so they can cry each week on one another's shoulders.

The year is 2021. As a pandemic nears its 12th month, Joy Division soundtracks a strictly quarantined season of the Challenge shot in cold Icelandic weather. Sounds weird when you say it out loud, huh? Anyway, the music this go round has been stellar. Been meaning to note that. I bet Kyle knows Joy Division. Moving on. I'm with what's already been said. Kam talking about revenge was comical. Own it! Devin is totally aware of what he's doing, where he is, etc. He finally got power, but the house did him no favors with their vote. Gabby made the mistake of the season (so far) by refusing to go down. Look at the undisputed greats: CT and Darrell are chomping at the bit for a chance. I assume CT is being actively plotted against. They want him as far from elimination as possible, without a skull and with Big T. TJ has been trying to warn them. I had a feeling Lolo would self-implode during a real season after her Champs Vs Pros appearance, I just had no idea it would be because she thought she was on a dating show. Did y'all know she was an athlete? Poor, poor Nam. Meanwhile, Nany has gone from likable part of the Bananas Brigade to just kind of...petulant and unimpressive? Always wanted to do a Hall Brawl, huh. I'm just not buying it. Congrats to Tall Amber for the win. It was a pushover win, but maybe she can be more of a physical threat than we've been thinking. Bring on the SECURITY BREACH!

Blaine Duncan
Blaine Duncan
Editor-In-Chief, Host of Taking It Down
TD Wood
TD Wood
Editor and host of Takin' On Sports
Adam Morrow
Adam Morrow