Despite this season of The Challenge seemingly never coming to an end, the undisputed hero of the season (Big T) is eliminated this episode, which hopefully means that the end is actually in sight.
In what is a relatively uneventful episode, Leroy and Kaycee prove victorious again and send Kyle & Amber B against CT & Big T, where Amber B is able to win her second Hall Brawl and take out Big T.
This episode also reveals that my source of this week’s Double Elimination (Wikipedia) was incorrect. There is still another two weeks of this season (which started five months ago!).
BALLS OF FURY
The main challenge of this episode has both team members stay inside a giant hamster ball. Inside the hamster ball, the team needs to run over targets to score points, while the defending teams try to prevent the others from scoring.
While a cool and unique setpiece, this challenge doesn’t bring any real drama to the episode. This is probably because only three teams are competing in each heat of the challenge. I can imagine that if this challenge was done with many teams, it would be a complete mess.
Strategically, as the previous Double Agents, Leroy and Kaycee pick the way the heats are assigned. I wondered if they could’ve potentially guaranteed their victory by having their allies “defend” against them, then have them throw it to ensure a win for Leroy and Kaycee. However, with TJ stripping the men, who threw the earlier challenge of the right to vote, it’s probably a risky proposition at the end of the day.
Either way, Leroy and Kaycee are revealed to have won their fifth daily of the season. This sounds impressive, but this is also Episode 16, making this Daily Win less special from a pure percentage perspective.
GOING TO ROCKS?
After the win, Leroy and Kaycee bring up a point that I had not considered prior. The Double Agents do not have the right to vote in the initial house vote. This means the alliance between Amber B, Big T, CT, and Kyle could potentially force a deadlock.
This deadlock is reflected in the club scene scored by Depeche Mode, where both alliances discuss their votes with each other. As the gender of the elimination is not revealed yet, no team is willing to turn on their partner.
Amber B is then officially cut out of the Big Brother alliance, who declares her as their target going into the deliberation. CT and Kyle then try to force a split vote by pretending to throw each other into elimination.
However, just before deadlock, CT decides to flip his vote, thinking that the Double Agents had the tiebreaking power anyway, which sends Amber B and Kyle into elimination.
Leroy and Kacyee credit this due to CT thinking he was more confident in beating Kyle than Fessy in elimination, which CT confirms to Kyle.
Leroy and Kaycee decide to send CT and Big T against Amber B and Kyle. The elimination game is then revealed to be a Hall Brawl. TJ announces this to be a female elimination, which saves Kyle again.
This forces Big T and Amber to compete in a physical elimination against each other. Amber is 5’9 and has won this elimination previously, while Big T is 5’1 and is half of Amber B’s weight.
True to form, Big T puts up an impressive fight against Amber B despite the size discrepancy. However, Amber B is too big to overcome, and Big T is eliminated and receives her swan song as CT gives her a motivational speech at her exit.
Amber B elects to partner with Fessy, as she anticipates him to be the strongest player in the final. I personally disagree with this logic, as cardio and endurance tend to be more useful in finals, particularly in the snow. Still, it will be interesting to see if this team holds.
This leaves Nany with the choice between Kyle and CT. Whoever Nany does not pick will automatically go to the final. However, Nany decides to go against the logic her alliance had the entire season of trying to block CT from getting into the final by partnering up with Kyle, guaranteeing that CT will be in the final.
The next round is potentially interesting because the girl who has her partner eliminated will get to run the final with CT, a proven finals contender. However, of the remaining men, Fessy is the only one who I believe would not be a strong finals contender, making the idea of deliberately eliminating your partner not as enticing as if it were the guys who were down a number.
As a whole, this was a real nothing of an episode. The only real drama was the ambiguity of who breaks the tie in a vote, which would probably be the Double Agents. Similarly, Twitter is raving about The Challenge All-Stars, the OG spinoff, but I cannot comment on it as I have not seen it.