Welcome to the Rotten Banana recap of episode four of MTV’s The Challenge! Anyone else google “blood pressure medication” today after that episode last night? Just me? Cool.
We start the episode with Kyle possibly lying straight to Laurel’s face. Bold move, bro. For some reason, this scene reminds me of when Louise Hazel lied about Lolo’s name being on the lime on Champs VS. Pros. Kyle graduating from polidicking to politicking over the past few seasons has been great to watch, and it will be tested this season since all his alliances are on the other team.
Kam is surprised and unimpressed with Laurel going against Team USA. Apparently, Kam didn’t watch The Challenge before joining the cast of The Challenge because Laurel going against her own team should not be surprising to anyone. If you’re playing Challenge bingo, you should have a square for each of the following: a Johnny Bananas toast, Laurel blindsiding someone, and Cara not using make up remover.
I can’t believe I’m saying this – but I think Paulie was giving Josh the right advice. Josh made a big deal of telling Wes he wasn’t going to let anyone control him, while in the same breath pledging his allegiance to Laurel. Across the house, Cara has apparently forgotten that she thought Ninja was the most annoying person of all time just last season and is
complaining to strategizing with her. I’d like to note here – Cara’s short hair looks really great on her.
Joss and Rogan doing reps in unison while wearing the same Union Jack shorts should have a NSFW label. I say that because I’m currently writing this while at work, and I’m worried I’m going to get called into the Human Resources office if anyone sees those two on my screen. Honestly, it would be worth it. Actually, BRB – let me watch it again.
Bear has a crush on Laurel, Georgia, Kayleigh and Ashley and you know what Bear? You’re not special. I too have crushes on all of them. But I’ve got a secret for you – your choice is going to get 25% easier in the next 48 hours.
Add Ramblin’ Man to the rad vintage Americana soundtrack they’re cultivating this season. I’m going to make a mix CD for this season after the finale. Not a spotify playlist y’all – an actual CD. I expect all of you to listen to it with your windows down and reminisce on a time where the President of the United States and Johnny Bananas didn’t have the exact same resume. Let me know if you’re interested.
Cut to the daily challenge, where each challenger is expected to carry a large relic up a hill while the other team assaults them. This is the least exciting daily challenge so far, in my opinion, but it’s made more entertaining by Bananas and Laurel throwing it. Personally, I think it’s a mistake for Laurel to throw a challenge on a girl’s elimination week, but I’d probably play a more scared game than her if I ever got the chance, so what do I know?
Ashley does what she’s great at and gets really mad at her teammates for throwing it. The fact that Ashley stays out of this week’s elimination after being the final catalyst for Team USA quitting is a downright miracle. Nany and Paulie’s fight is proof of a couple of things: Nany hasn’t changed one bit and Cara doesn’t want any of that smoke. I’m sorry but if you walk up on my man like that, you are going to catch these hands. I do not care what is on the line. Period. Upon second watch – I think Nany said “shut the f*ck up” as a generic message to her team, and then Paulie says it back to her and only her. That’s why she gets mad. Honestly, the real loser here is me because I have two college degrees and for some reason, I’m writing about this argument.
Team UK’s deliberation for who the speaker will be goes EXACTLY the way you think it would considering they just spent 15 minutes celebrating a win by forfeit. They vote one by one, and it’s split between Kyle and Dee as speaker, until CT votes. Cara knows Kyle will send her in, so she campaigns with CT in front of everyone to vote for Dee. Does anyone else roll their eyes when she calls him Chris?
Like Steve from Blue’s Clues, Laurel pulls out her handy dandy notebook to keep track of her politicking. Honestly, I don’t even know if I should call it politicking… aggressively persuading is probably a better term. Laurel makes the decision to flip Ashley and successfully does so in less time than it takes me to decide where to get lunch. Also, I’m going to petition to Logan that we change the podcast name to “I’ll nominate my own mom if I have to.” All hail Queen Ashley.
I can’t believe it’s 2019 and I’m watching Laurel and Cara yell at each other. I’m starting to wonder what wrong turn my life took that has led me to witness a decade of this f*cked up friendship. Paulie remains oddly calm while Laurel gets unhinged and says “secret” 6 times in the same sentence. Bananas, Nany, Laurel, Tori, Jordan, Zach, and Ashley vote for Ninja Natalie. Cara, Paulie, Kam and Ninja vote for Laurel. Turbo votes for Ashley because she quit, and Josh has run out of that big d*ck energy he thought he had last week so he votes for Ashley too. The most Leroy thing to happen so far on season 34 is that we don’t even get to hear who he voted for.
I am a little confused as to why Ninja is so surprised that she gets voted in. Yes, this is her second season, but everyone else has 4+ seasons under their belt, right? I do appreciate her telling the Tribunal to give her Laurel. I’m not Ninja’s biggest fan, but that was a hell of a statement to make.
Laurel continues to talk about secret alliances and Kam overhears and decides to stand her ground. While I don’t agree with Kam comparing her Challenge career to Laurel’s, I am confused about the uproar towards Kam. Corey, Nelson and Hunter have built a whole brand based on coming for Bananas; seriously, I think they sold TYB t-shirts. The Young Bucks rubbed their three brain cells together to establish an alliance with a hit-list to go along with it. Why can’t Kam be unapologetically unafraid of Laurel and stand up for herself?
Cara dramatically crying because Team USA isn’t acting like ‘soldiers’ while Paulie aggressively pets her face is pretty cringy, but at least they finally stopped talking about Kyle. Honestly, I think Cara is crying because she’s been on this show for almost half her life and still doesn’t have the numbers to successfully carry a vote.
The crew goes out to take shots and make bad choices, but the politicking doesn’t end just because they’re in a bar. Bananas is trying to get Cara thrown into the elimination and he hooks Georgia on the idea instantly. Honestly, if I had spent weeks with Josh literally and figuratively drooling over me, I’d have heart eyes for Bananas too. Bear makes a move for Georgia when they all get back, because who could resist that little yellow dress and a late-night egg sandwich? CT giving Bear advice the next morning about the whole hookup is a nice, subtle reminder that he’s gone all-in on being a team player for Team UK.
There’s a brief conversation between a few members of Team UK debating who the strongest girl on Team USA is. Georgia says it’s Cara, Dee says it’s Laurel, and Kayleigh says it’s Tori. I think this is a pretty good assessment, but the major takeaway here is that Team UK’s ability to work together is going to be what keeps them in the game. Team USA will probably continue to dominate physically but get absolutely wrecked when it comes to working together.
We’re back on the proving ground and upon seeing that this is a climbing elimination, Ninja starts acting like that cousin I never wanted to spend time with growing up because they drank too much Mountain Dew and annoyed the shit out of me. Laurel gets voted in by Dee and Idris, and she doesn’t seem surprised at all, just ready to get to work. I’m honestly not really sure how I feel about this elimination and how it all plays out. I think it’s pretty damn exciting that Laurel came back after several years off, and this feels like an unfortunate way for her to go out. Not just early, but because of a misunderstanding and a technicality. However, with all that being said, she acted like this was the biggest and most important elimination of her life and looked absolutely unhinged when she won. In the words of Johnny Bananas, “act like you’ve been here before.”
Just like that, two Challenge legends are sent home in pretty surprising back to back scenarios. This season feels chaotic and unpredictable, but as long as they keep showing #Jogan shirtless and playing classic rock songs, I’m here for it. See you next week for more shenanigans and questionable opinions. In the meantime, don’t vote your mommas into any eliminations y’all.
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