Are you guys ready for a double dose of recap? I got behind once again, and then I was stupid enough to put a poll on twitter. I was kind of hoping all the people on there that secretly hate me would vote “no” to a catch-up recap, but DAMNIT all you nice and supportive people voted yes, so here we are. We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s get started.
There is a big discussion on alliances as everyone gets back from the Joss/Bear elimination. Oh, if you missed it, Joss eliminated Bear in a hall brawl that looked like something out of Maze Runner. Also, Joss is dating Bear’s “cousin” from last season, so I guess he’s doing better than him in real life and in the game. Bye Bear!
There are two teams, and two alliances, but they definitely aren’t the same lists of people. Rogan seems to be the only person who can figure out that while losing every daily challenge definitely sucks, trimming fat can be good in a team game. If the final was tomorrow, UK has a fairly good chance of getting their team across the finish line first, and less people to split the money between. Team USA’s daily domination is great, but right now they have enough people on their team to fully staff an Applebee’s on a busy Saturday night.
CT calls Kyle out on his bull shit and gives him an incorrect vocabulary lesson at the same time. To clarify, floating back and forth between alliances is not “rubbernecking.” Rubbernecking is defined as “to turn one’s head to stare at something in a foolish manner.” You might say “Bear was rubbernecking when a group of 9th graders passed him on the street.” (You didn’t think those jokes would end just because he went home, did you?)
Ninja & Dee have a chat about what great friends they are, so keep your eyes and ears open kids because that was, what the professionals call, a clue.
Flash forward to the daily challenge, where everyone is informed it’s a double elimination and Paranoia-Nany is immediately worried. Here’s the deal: Both teams have to carry 125 crates (or for those of us who speak ‘pinterest’, they’re pallets) all over a field and collect hanging relics that are several yards up, then carry the relics and the crates back to the start. Everyone is getting their steps in today, y’all. Joss says he thinks Team UK has an advantage because “we have a Theo.” Did anyone else get major Tony-Stark-we-have-a-Hulk vibes?
Several things seem to benefit you in this daily challenge: Strength, Endurance, Communication and Strategy. Neither Team USA or Team UK have all of these things, so this should be pretty entertaining to watch. For the record, I couldn’t do this shit either, Esther. Something I noted here, is that Zach really shows up for Team USA. When his story line isn’t focused on the fact that he’s a shitty boyfriend, and he can just focus on the competition side of things, he’s almost pleasant. (Chill, I said almost.)
Team USA wins ultimately because they had a decent divide and conquer strategy, they have better endurance, and most importantly, there are more of them. I don’t appreciate Team UK girls talking shit about Esther basically right to her face when discussing why they lost. We get it, we know she’s your weakest girl… but check your strategy before you check her abilities.
Ashley is the Team USA speaker and picks “Napoleon and Medusa” to join the Tribunal and my face morphed into that Chrissy Teigen at the Oscars gif. Quick thought – Is Paulie even tall enough to be compared to Napoleon? Ashley’s strategy here is that whatever happens, everyone will blame Paulie and Cara since they’re a couple. Fair enough – we already blame them for everything else.
Esther says in a confessional that she’s nominating herself so everything can be “kumbaya, sweet, no stress” and I’m like BITCH you thought. If these can people can cause stress, they will. However, I admire the move. She’s sat at that deliberation table and heard her own name enough times to know it doesn’t feel good. Also, by volunteering, she unknowingly messes with Cara & Ninja’s strategy.
Ninja tells Dee they have to save Esther, and you can already see Dee rejecting the idea of going along with someone else’s game. Look, the final is too close for you to make a choice because it’s what someone else wants. Period.
Jump to Team UK’s deliberation. Esther nominates herself, as planned, and Cara (in a confessional) says “Dee! Do something!” What exactly was she supposed to do here, Cara-Mastermind-Maria? The eye-roll between Cara and Ashley is BEYOND annoying because if Esther was on their team, I PROMISE you they’d be praising her for stepping up for the sake of the team. There’s a bunch of arguing but ultimately Kyle is going in. I’m honestly surprised it took this long considering all of his alliances are on Team USA.
Has anyone else noticed that it looks like they go to the same bar every night? When I was in college, I would dress bougie as f*ck and go the same bar every Thursday – Saturday like the staff there hadn’t seen me throw up in my purse at least twice. This reminds me of that.
Next up is the “Dee is a bad bitch” hour. I would absolutely cry my eyes out if everyone ganged up on me like that and my friend didn’t do shit about it. Actually, I’d cry my eyes out anyway if Ninja was my best friend in the house. I like to imagine that one day a squirrel magically woke up a human, and that’s how we got Ninja Natalie. Anyways, back to Dee. It’s not easy to face that circle of women who not only have years of experience on you, but they’ve formally initiated your best friend Natalie into their cult. (I’m pretty sure that’s why the side of her head is shaved.) Kyle’s bullying of Dee is the most annoying part of this whole thing because he’s avoiding a confrontation with Rogan, by having one with Dee instead.
I tweeted about this in the moment, but I want to remind everyone that Dee didn’t hesitate to stand up for Ninja, even though Ninja was wrong in the argument with Turbo last season. That energy was absolutely not reciprocated when it came 5 or 6 people all ganging up on Dee. I know I give Ninja a lot of shit, but this is hands down the most annoyed I’ve ever been by her.
I still have a whole ass episode to recap so I’m going to move this right along to the Proving Ground. Georgia is going in against Esther, and Theo is going against Kyle. Keep up, I’m going to move through this pretty quickly, because it goes exactly the way we think it’s going to. Esther shows that despite nominating herself into this elimination, she’s not going down with out a fight. Georgia wins the elimination, but Esther wins the bigger picture. She’s a nice reminder that you can play this game and still be a good person along the way. Kyle has a poor strategy in carrying the light relics first, and unfortunately gasses out along the way. Theo also appears to have a lot of help from Georgia. Theo and Georgia both give speeches about team-work and heads in asses before returning to Team UK.
Normally my least favorite part of this whole process is wrapping the recap up in some adorable way, so I’m going to take advantage of being tasked with writing two recaps and roll right into the next episode!
Team UK opens the episode with the conversation that we’ve all been begging them to have this entire time, but just like when Paulie says he’s going to quit cheating, we know nothing is going to change.
I can make a list of couples I’d like to watch wrestle each other, but the couples I’m actually watching wrestle each other would not be on that list. No one asked, but Ryan Reynolds/Blake Lively vs. John Krasinski/Emily Blunt is at the top of my list. They’re at the top of several “lists” actually. My issue with the wrestling garbage between Tori/Jordan and Cara/Paulie is that they’re all using the term “power couple” which isn’t a thing, and if it was it would be Joss and Rogan anyway. Winning a wrestling match that Turbo is officiating will not change the fact that both of these relationships came from people cheating on their significant other. Stop using The Challenge to add credibility to your relationships.
Speaking of dysfunctional relationships, Kam and Leroy are making out! Just kidding, they’re very cute together, at least according to CT. Dee is off getting hot and bothered for another reason – she appears to have a bit of a hangover combined with heat exhaustion. Rogan doesn’t seem as concerned as I think Dee would be if the tables were turned, but that doesn’t surprise me. I don’t think anyone is getting tattoos of each other’s faces any time soon. Dee is off to get an IV at the hospital which means she’s coming back healthier than the rest of the cast.
The puzzle in this daily challenge looks like it would be pretty hard even without the damn thing tipping back and forth. Also, only like, two people appear to have noticed there is a key to the puzzle. It’s a girls’ elimination week, which seems unfair because last week also should have been a girls’ week until it was a double elimination. Everything is pretty predictable here – Idris kind of sucks, Turbo overreacts, and CT still can’t add “idiot wrangler” to his resume. Also, Team USA wins. Again.
Josh is chosen as the Speaker for Team USA because he has a really great track record as a successful Speaker for the team. Ninja and Leroy join him in the Tribunal, so needless to say, all my faith is in Leroy at this point.
I know a lot of people have Fantasy Leagues for The Challenge – but my guess is no one had “Theo and Paulie kiss in front of everyone” in their pool. Paulie, who has never finished a fight he has started, in a sad attempt to intimidate a man who is an entire foot taller than him, kisses Theo. Theo definitely started this whole thing, but the difference here is that Theo can take it as well as he can dish it out. Theo responds to Paulie kissing him by saying to the effect of “if you want to get weird, I can absolutely get weirder.” He’s come such a long way from making bad 8 mile references. Also adding to the hilarity of this whole altercation is that all the girls are laughing at them – except Cara. Cara is, once again, doing absolutely nothing while her man gets into another fight he can’t handle.
Jordan “officially out of fucks” Wisely, is talking to Zach in the kitchen seemingly after all the bull shit by the pool and says the only way to send Paulie and Cara into an elimination is do it from Team UK. He suggests volunteering to go into the elimination against Idris and switching over to Team UK, helping them finally win, and having the numbers to vote Paulie and Cara in. At this point, I’m HYPED. Well, as hyped as someone can be sipping a Coors Light from their couch. Finally, someone with a damn strategy! Much to my chagrin, I guess Jordan remembers how it went the last time he sent himself into an elimination, and changes his mind, because we never hear about this plan again.
So, let’s be honest here. We’re friends now, and I don’t want to waste your time. The deliberation & elimination are the least exciting parts of this episode. Would anyone be mad if I skipped right over it? Cool. Idris is going home at the hands and brain of Theo.
I notice there’s still about 15 minutes left in the episode and think to myself – “here comes the main event fight between Jordan and Turbo.” You know, the one we thought we were getting two weeks ago? Did I think it would come down to Turbo losing his f*cking mind because someone made fun of his walk? No, no I did not. Before we get there though, here’s the ultimate problem between Jordan and Turbo, as far as I can see it. Turbo has the ONE thing Jordan will never be able to add to his resume – a rookie season win. Jordan has an impressive career – two wins in two seasons, a final in his third season, and a hell of a story to tell when Bananas sent him home. Jordan also clearly thinks he could have won the original War of the Worlds. Unfortunately, we don’t have time machines yet, and once we do, I’m going back in time to keep Chet from ever being on the show in the first place. (look it up.) Therefore, we’ll never know if Jordan could have beat Turbo.
The biggest takeaway here is that Turbo is slowly becoming unstable. The kicking of the relics fight, demanding apologies, getting mad at Joss for throwing a medicine ball, and now it seems his ultimate unravelling is Jordan making fun of his walk. THE WAY HE WALKS, Y’ALL. People call me fat on the internet literally once a week and I’ve never needed 7 security guys to hold me back. This is where the episode ends, and obviously exactly where we’ll pick up at episode 10. I expect we’ll be nothing but full throttle from here until the final.
I know I said I felt all this pressure to wrap these up in an adorable way, but the facts are there’s a new episode 90 minutes from now and I’ve had a bottle of wine while writing this extra-large recap. So that’s it!