Takin' on 'The Challenge': Family Knows Best

Season 39 of The Alabama Take's favorite thing -- next to college football -- continues with Battle For a New Champion! This season is all about finding a first-time Challenge champ. Every week, devotees to The Challenge answer questions. Spoiler warning ahead!

We began this week with the fallout from last week, specifically elimination survivors Kyland and Horacio deciding not to tell the rest of the house what the elimination entailed (smart!), which included entering the house separate from each other as if they didn't know the other survived (smart and hilarious). This caused quite the emotional outpouring from Olivia and some others. During the daily challenge, Ed surprisingly came in last and was immediately sent home. Jay won, earning safety and the first pick in the safety selection, which ended with (surprise!) Kyland, Horacio, and Nurys going to elimination. When they arrived, T.J. informed them only one of them would be returning to the house. When it was over, we said goodbye to Kyland and Horacio.

Question 1: Were you shocked at Ed's exit via the daily challenge?

TD: I genuinely was. Ed is a superb physical player, but also a smart player. He admitted he made a mistake during a confessional after the daily, and it cost him everything. It's a huge win for the rest of the cast, because he was certainly a favorite to win the final.

Blaine: To state the obvious: it was a turnaround from last week. He seemed well on his way to a final and maybe even a championship. Ed said it himself, he played a solid social game right up to his last moment and when you pair it with a good physical game and some know how with puzzles, it’s hard to beat. For a competitor with so little time on his hands on the show, his political game is one to be admired with shades of C.T. on just how to lay low.

Question 2: Do you think Michele knows it's a game and eventually some of her friends will be eliminated?

TD: I understand that you want your friends to make it to the final, but when she started naming off the people she wanted to save he listed like seven names. It was ridiculous. While watching, my wife said "this is the cryingest bunch of people I've ever seen,” and she ain't wrong. We've talked here before about how these players are way too emotional for this game. This is why they aren't champions.

Blaine: None of Jay and Michelle’s alliance have this aspect accounted for. Each week, I’m more shocked that it’s not biting them in the asses no more than it has. Chalk that up to their numbers and everyone else either playing a frightened game or unsure of how to manage the politics of the house. This is the biggest gap between these players this season and vets: they take everything personally rather than the occasional slight to begrudge. Pitiful.

Question 3: Instead of giving us who you think are the favorites, tell us who you're rooting for? Who don't you want to see win the final?

TD: I can tell you right away I'm rooting against Jay -- what a sniveling little shit -- and now Olivia. I felt bad for her after last season's final, when her and Horacio were on their way to victory before a freak accident knocked her out. But how could she not choose to save him? Especially after her crying episode when she thought he was eliminated? She claimed she had to lookout for herself in the game, but she's a fool. The Jay alliance will jettison her first chance they get. What a fool. As for my rooting interests, Nurys definitely jumped to the top of my list. I was so glad to see her seemingly tell everyone off in the tease for next week. After that, I don't find anyone all that likeable. Maybe Colleen?

Blaine: Anger has fueled me for weeks, and I’m determined to sit this season through to watch Jay fail just before the finals. Bring me that gratification, please. Michelle needs to go down with him, too, preferably in a private elimination which kills two birds with one stone. Now with Horacio and Kyland out, the only player I have any interest in seeing succeed is Nurys, who was amazing in her elimination win this week.

Question 4: Was Nurys' elimination win over Horacio and Kyland one of the biggest upsets in Challenge history?

TD: It certainly ranks up there, if it isn't the biggest one ever. I can't think of anything since Jay upset CT in an elimination seasons ago that registered as much on the upset scale.

Blaine: When that shit went down, I was not ready to paraphrase Cypress Hill. Nurys is good, but she still manages to surprise me and others what with her smaller size. She’s tough, though, and I’m all for her going back into the house and beating the shit out of Berna (annoying), Moriah (simp), Olivia (traitor), Michelle (piss poor), Jay (weasel douche), James (no brain), Corey (how is he still here?), and Colleen (did you know she was even on the show?). Emanuel gets a pass so long as he doesn’t shit talk Jordan anymore and knows his place.

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