Play Smarter, Not Harder

The episode that Challenge fans have been waiting for finally arrived. Tuesday night, The Challenge: Invasion of The Champions had my eyes glued to the TV and excited for next week’s episode.  If drama, love triangles, and kick ass challenges/eliminations arouses you, find a way to watch last night’s episode.

The episode started out in a club, which is great that they can finally get out of the house. Nicole found herself chasing  flirting with both Cara Maria and Laurel. She states in her interview that she wants both of them and that “Laurel looks good, but Cara Maria looks better.” Ouch. I know Laurel has to cringe watching Nicole who’s currently her girlfriend, say harsh things. Nicole is all over Cara Maria, who isn’t into to Nicole, but loves the attention.  So, a rejected Nicole finds her way to Laurel, who feels played, rejects her as well.

A sad, bitter Laurel goes and admits to Amanda that she pranked her by putting chips in her bed sheets. Laurel states it’s at love, that it was just a joke. However, Amanda blows the situation up. Amanda finds herself in a screaming match with Laurel until the CAMILA-nator comes to save the day. At this point, its Amanda against two vets, and her bestie Smashley didn’t have her back because she’s “avoiding drama”. Ashley’s head is in the right spot. Avoid drama, play the game, and win the challenge. Making enemies for future challenges is never a good thing unless their filming for Rivals 4.

The challenge next morning was wet platform with two ropes over 200 ft of water. Each component had to hold on to the rope as long as possible while the platform moved. However, the underdogs and champs were both on the platform together which made things even harder for those who have no upper body strength. The girls went first and as soon as the platform moved everyone fell into the water except for Cara Maria and Camila. Camila then decides to wrap her entire body in the rope avoiding the fact that if something went wrong she could potential kill herself. TJ tells her to unwrap herself. Cara Maria falls into the water first and is upset because she felt that it was unfair that Camila won, making her safe for elimination. However, the only reason why Cara Maria is complaining was because she played harder, not smarter. If Cara Maria used the same strategy as Camila she wouldn’t be complaining. If it was considered ” unfair” , production would’ve DQ Camila.

Back at the house, Laurel and Cara Maria have a heart to heart about their friendship and Nicole. Both of them admit that it’s going to be hard going up against each other in elimination. Cara Maria also admits that her flirting with Nicole isn’t serious that it’s just for fun. She advises Laurel to tell Nicole how she feels.  Laurel finds Nicole and the talk doesn’t go so smoothly. Nicole doesn’t see any fault for her flirting with Laurel and Cara Maria because everyone is single. They confess that they both have feelings for each other, but Laurel says she’s done feeling like she’s being played. This is the first time that viewers have gotten to see Laurel become a vulnerable person and it’s the first time she’s pursued a woman in life. So, it heartbreaking to see Nicole put Laurel through all this. However, we know due to their Instagram’s that they get a happy ending. For Nicole, her worst nightmare is happening…she’ll be forced to only play with one girl. Nicole wants both, but fate didn’t work out in her favor.

The Champs have to play classic challenge games in elimination rounds, which are very physical. So the boys started it off and Darrell has Johnny Bananas shaking. Darrell has won 4 challenges back to back. Johnny Bananas has won 6 total challenges, just sporadically. The game consisted of a ring where players couldn’t step out of, a bin that’s in the middle of the ring, and a ball. The offensive player has to get the ball into the bin without letting the ball hit the ground or go outside the ring. The defense player has to stop the offense player from getting the ball into the bin. The whistle blows and Bananas puts up a fight, but Darrell hits him too hard. Second whistle blew and Darrell was on offense and scored the ball into the bin while an out of breath Bananas is searching for strategy. The third whistle blows and the episode ends on a “to be continued…”.

Annoyingly, we won’t find out who’s going home til Tuesday, but my money is on Laurel and Darrell. Laurel hasn’t lost an elimination, has played with and against Cara, and although she is physically aligned with Cara’s strength  she plays smarter than her. Darrell is one of the best competitors to be on The Challenge and he still plays with agility, strength, and logic very well.

 

Shaking Things Up

Things were intense this week on The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions. Serious pranks were made, alliances started to shake, and an expected hook up took place.

Following up from last week’s elimination where Ashley K. and Zach were eliminated,  the cast got to have their first night out of the house. Everyone seemed to enjoy their time at the club especially Cory who couldn’t help but notice Camila’s Brazilian booty. Cory found himself later that night to be a lucky man when Camila found her way into his bed. I guess Kailah was just another notch on his belt because he didn’t seem to care the next morning when Camila teased him for hooking up with Kailah. Hopefully, Camila is careful when dealing with one of the biggest players in the challenge house.

The challenge this week was a food challenge. Food challenges are always tough because it shows the heart of each competitor. Food challenges typically don’t occur until the final round, but this episode was the exception.  Each team had to eat two round of spicy curry. The champs however, had to always eat double to make up for the lack of team members. The bowl had to be completely empty before the team could collect their puzzle pieces and race up the hill. The girl and guy on both teams, who reached the top of the hill received immunity from the elimination.

It was clear from the start that the champs were going to have the advantage because they’ve all-except Laurel have done an eating challenge in their finals. Unfortunately, the underdogs couldn’t get it together except for Shane. Shane finished his bowls, other people’s bowls, and continues to scream at his teammates as motivation. His teammates weren’t happy with him because he went a bit overboard, which helped the champs take the W for that challenge. By the end of the challenge he formed a secret alliance outside his own with Nicole. They both decided they would never say each other’s name. However, a sneaky Dario, heard the conversation and decided to tell everyone to avoid elimination.

Ashley, Sylvia, and Amanda were furious at Shane for making another alliance without including them. They wanted to play the game as friends and they have trouble understanding that the challenge is an individual game. Although, they now don’t trust Shane the snake, they still decided to vote in Dario instead of him. So, Dario was voted to go against Nelson in the elimination. Meanwhile, Sylvia felt that since she performed poorly today during the challenge she wanted to vote herself into elimination against the BarbieBeast Jenna.

Bananas the pot stirrer decided to prank the underdogs by removing their toilet seat and putting it into the lake. Such a small prank made Smashley on the verge of quitting the show completely. Apparently, she spends “80% of her time in the house on the toilet”. The champs are laughing their asses off because the pranks were considered nothing to back in the day pranks. Pranks on old school challenge days were cruel and funny. They use to throw cookies at Mike while he was sleeping, Preston would strip and try to caress all the men in the house, and Knight made a trail of ants come into Preston’s mattress. These newcomers are only good for starting drama and making up rumors. Which is why they were furious when the female champs crumbled up chips inside their sheets. Amanda and Ashley both took their anger out on Hunter, who then ended his challenge “relationship” with Ashley.

The elimination aka The Fortress was interesting tonight. There hung a huge bell with idols full of powder hanging from it. In the center of the bell, was a long rope which each competitor had to use to break the idols. However, the more idols each competitor broke, the more they were covered in powder causing them to not be able to see anything. For players like Dario and Sylvia this was their problem throughout the elimination and it caused them to lose. Jenna and Nelson both had rhythm and strategy to help them keep their spot in the house. The episode ended with a sobbing Slyvia who states that she regrets voting herself in.

There’s an “I” in Team

Before last night’s episode, I considered every episode a pre-season to The Challenge because the show really wasn’t juicy until the vets invaded.

This episode it got REAL. TJ decided to throw another curve ball: each team will compete against their own. So, this means that the champions and underdogs will only go into eliminations rounds against each other, while competing throughout the show as a team. This changes everything. So, one week will be an elimination day for the champs and the following week will be an elimination day for the underdogs. However, the champions only have eight players while the underdogs have players. This will be interesting to see how this plays out because the champs could be at a slight disadvantage during each challenge like they were during last night’s challenge.

Finally, TJ gave the players a physical challenge. This weeks challenge was called Knockout. Which meant players had to get a hold of a ball and score it in their designated tunnel. Since it was an underdog elimination day, the first guy and girl to score got to choose who was going into the elimination round. So, guys were against the girls and vets were against the underdogs. The challenge may sound easy, but of course the vets and the underdogs were putting up a fight.

First round was left to the girls and the underdogs took the win  W with 0 points from the girl vets on the score board. Smashley  Ashley M. scored her point and was ready to “throw people under the bus”. When it came down to the men, the lack of players on the vet side didn’t effect them as badly as the female champs. This challenge was brutal, low blows were taken, knee to the groin action was happening, but in the end the underdogs got the W with a score of 2-3. Dario, was the first guy to score which he was ecstatic about his win until he learned that him and Ashley had to determine on the spot which teammate of theirs were going in to elimination. Dario chose Sylvia because he said that she was the last person to get her key into The Oasis. Ashley choose Tony because she didn’t know who else to pick.

The vets get to move in to The Oasis which makes some cast members like Jenna, walk on egg shells. “I just want to be Zach. I don’t want closure, I don’t want us to end.” Jenna and Zach had a year long relationship until last season when Jenna found out that Zach was at home cheating with a girl named Brooke. Fortunately for Jenna, Zach can’t seem to take his eyes off of Jenna and her butt. Rookie Andy Dick  Nicole, finds Miss Cara Maria extremely attractive and offers to share her bed along with a nice back rub. Cara Maria curves Nicole very quickly stating, “I think she wants my vagina, but I don’t want her vagina. I just want to make it the final and win.” Dario has his eyes on champ Ashley K. and she’s crushing on him too.

Meanwhile, the underdogs are having a hard time coming to an agreement on what guy and girl from their team should go up against Sylvia and Tony since they were all separated in two different alliances. Shane gets antsy because he thinks his guy teammates wants to throw him in. His game plan is to stay out of elimination rounds and go to the final with his friends. This rubs Cory the wrong way because he feels that since they have to compete as one team he only wants strong competitors left for the final. So the underdogs, cannot come to a final decision and decide everyone is still in their alliances even though they are one team. The champs are just watching the underdogs squirm and are laughing because “The alliances are all wrong. Alliances should be made upon players who are the strongest not just because their you’re friend” says Johnny Bananas. Bananas is right. Back in the old challenge days all the best competitors were in alliances (with the exception of CT because he’s a beast), there were no layups, and each player was a true athlete.

Whispers spread among the house that Kailah, the most hated girl in the house may go against Sylvia. Kailah then preceded to drink vodka and red bull to drown her troubles away. She found her beau, Cory pleading to him “I need you for everything”, as she shuts the bathroom door. She then passes out and pees on herself while she’s sleeping. Cory see this and immediately ends their relationship. A heartbroken Kailah,overhears Cory telling Amanda that he never really liked Kailah and can’t be with someone who wet the bed. The episode ends with Kailah crying her eyes out and Nicole stating “If you came here looking for love, you’re on the wrong show.” Little did Nicole know that she was foreshadowing her own words.