The Challenge 36

Episode 14 Recap – In Deep Water

Joseph Hadaway recaps all the latest action.

Photo: MTV

Cory upsets four-time Challenge champion Darrell in a physical elimination, getting him a Golden Skull and stealing Kam as a partner in one fell swoop.

This leaves Big T as the sole contestant without a Skull. However, due to Cory stealing Kam, Big T is put back with her original partner CT, which hopefully will allow her to get her hands on one.

Plate Technotronics

The episode begins where the previous one ended, with Nany stealing Fessy as a partner from Aneesa. Then, the contestants start to rub their brain-cells together to figure out how to play the upcoming round.

The episode then reminds the viewers of the long-term relationships that they’ve been neglecting this season. To summarize them:

  • Cory and Aneesa have a mother-son relationship, which is creepy because they used to hook up.
  • Leroy’s two important loyalties are to Kam (his girlfriend) and Nany (his Real World: Las Vegas II roommate).
  • Leroy is close friends with Kyle (on the show), Darrell (off the show), and Cory (off the show).

The “Challenge Activated” alert then sounds, revealing the next challenge to be “Undercover.”

In Undercover, all teams will need to swim in scuba gear between two tectonic plates to retrieve six rings. When all six rings are retrieved, they can use them to solve a word puzzle. The first team to solve it wins.

Challenge 36
Photo: MTV

Challenges like this are often good indicators of how strong teams are at potential finals, and with the final only two rounds away, there isn’t much time to change partners, meaning that this could be an important indicator for the final.

The first pair to go, Kyle and Aneesa, both excel at underwater swimming and are quick to solve the puzzle, setting a high bar for this competition.

This bar is then immediately dropped, as Cory and Amber B surface, disqualifying Cory/Big T and Darrell/Amber B from the round. Fessy then kicks Nany’s canister, forcing her to surface, disqualifying them.

Despite this, both Leroy and Kam overcome their respective fears of water to put up strong showings in the water but struggle in the puzzle, giving Aneesa and Kyle the win.

Threats and Loyalties

With Leroy and Cory’s target of Kyle immune due to being the Double Agent, a new target needs to be determined.

Aneesa makes it clear that due to her loyalty to Cory, she needs to send Cory and Big T to elimination to give them the chance to win their Golden Skulls. Kyle elaborates that if Cory and Big T are selected, he will retaliate by sending Leroy and Kaycee against them.

This declaration forces Leroy to decide between Nany, Kam, and Darrell. Leroy then tells Darrell that he is going to be the house vote. In response, Darrell threatens Leroy, saying that if he wins, he will steal Kaycee.

While a clever threat and something I genuinely like about the format, Darrell’s words fall on deaf ears as Darrell and Amber B get voted in.

After Kyle and Aneesa make good on their deal with Cory, Cory and Big T are sent into elimination to face them. TJ then reveals the elimination as a male elimination day, meaning that Darrell will go against Cory.

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Photo: MTV

Snapping Point

The elimination is shown to be “Snapping Point,” where both Cory and Darrell will be connected via bungee cord and will need to run across some poles and then hit a button. The first to hit their button scores a point, first to two points wins.

Before this elimination, my initial thought would be that Darrell is one-hundred percent the odds on favourite. Cory does not have many impressive elimination wins on his Challenge resume, while Darrell is one of the best athletes to compete on the show.

However, in two heats, Cory shows that he can outrun Darrell, hitting the button before the rope tenses up twice in a row.

After a disappointing season, where Cory could not participate in nearly half of the challenges, he becomes the first person to eliminate Darrell in a purely physical elimination. To celebrate, Cory decides to steal Kam as a partner, putting him in a solid position to win.

More importantly, Cory choosing Kam leads to CT partnering up with Big T as a consequence, leaving Amber B as the Rogue Agent.

Final Thoughts

With (supposedly) only one elimination to go, the two teams that I would consider the frontrunners to win the season are Cory & Kam and Leroy & Kaycee.

Based on the edit, the relationship between CT & Big T seems to be the main focal point of the season, which implies that something important happens with them at the end of the season.

Written by

Joseph Hadaway

Joseph Holopainen-Hadaway is an Australian/Finnish/Filipino (long story) business graduate, who currently lives in London despite studying a law degree in Sydney (longer story). A life-long reality-tv fan with hot takes on everything from Santas in the Barn to Beauty and the Geek Australia, he has been a superfan of The Challenge and Survivor for nearly a decade. You can follow him on @josephhadaway on Twitter or @ilosttheway on Instagram.

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