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Episode 8 Recap – Weak or Strong

Joseph Hadaway recaps all the latest action.

Photo: MTV

In one of the least impressive wins in The Challenge history, Josh finally wins an elimination round, taking the final men’s Golden Skull and eliminating Mechie from the game.

This comes after a divisive vote where Amber B is forced to choose between her Big Brother and Rookie Girls alliances, electing to side with the Big Brother crew by sending Amber M and Mechie into elimination. This meant that the Double Agents, Kam and Kyle, could decide their opponents, sending Josh and Nany into the Crater.

In the elimination, Mechie’s inability to solve a sliding puzzle overwhelms Josh’s inability to throw balls, giving Josh the win.

Skull Shocked

This episode is really focused on the central theme of strong versus weak. Lolo mentions that due to her physical strength, she is unlikely to be sent into elimination. While this means she is safe, this also means that she can’t get a Golden Skull unless she wins a challenge and sends herself in. However, due to her communication issues with Nam, neither have been able to do well despite their obvious physical superiority.

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Photo: MTV

On the other hand, Mechie talks about how he is still getting a handle of the game while Josh mentions how everybody perceives him as weak. As the house strategizes about using them as targets that anybody could beat in an elimination, the next challenge is announced.

All Brawl

This idea of strength and weakness is seen in the daily challenge this week, a modified version of Pole Wrestle called All Brawl. All Brawl is played in two heats of five per gender, where an x-shaped pole is hidden somewhere in a muddy crater and the first person to leave with the pole wins the heat.

The winner of each heat must then compete one-on-one to determine the winner per gender in Round 2. In Round 3, both of the winners of Round 2 will take turns competing against the other’s partner until one pair has successfully won both rounds, who will then become the Double Agents.

Nany finds the pole in the first heat, only to be immediately tackled by all four other women in the heat. This causes a wild skirmish, including Aneesa grabbing Lolo by the neck, leading to Kam picking up the first-round win. Theresa then repeats Nany’s mistake, unable to maintain a poker face allowing Gabby to take the pole from her.

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Photo: MTV

The men’s heats are much less eventful, with both Nam and CT managing to secretly find and remove their poles to secure easy wins—indicating that their ‘strengths’ are more than their obvious physical strengths.

In Round 2, Kam easily beats Gabby, while after a long bout, CT beats Nam. This leads to a Round 3 between Kam and Kyle against CT and Big T. Knowing that Big T would never win against Kam, CT cuts a deal and throws the challenge, making Kam and Kyle the Double Agents.

Weak vs. Meek

Back in the house, Lolo is angry at Aneesa for grabbing her throat during the challenge, as Amber M and Mechie are targeted for being the weakest overall pair.

Kyle and Kam talk strategy, with Kam wanting the vote to be Amber M and Mechie, so she can get some goodwill with the Big Brother alliance by putting up Nany and Josh. In contrast, Kyle wants the vote to be Aneesa and Fessy so he can put up Nany and Josh to try to target the Big Brother alliance.

At the club, Kyle begins to rally the votes against Aneesa and Fessy. The Itty Bitty Small Committee also targets Fessy and Aneesa as the Big Brother alliance targets Amber M and Mechie, leaving Amber B as the swing vote. It’s revealed that Amber B decided to betray her friend and stick with the Big Brother alliance, sending Amber M and Mechie into the Crater with 10-8 vote.

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Photo: MTV

Asset Destruction

At the Crater, Kyle relents and votes Josh and Nany in for elimination, as TJ announces it’s a Men’s Elimination. TJ then reveals the challenge is Asset Destruction II, where each person will need to solve a sliding puzzle and then pull a crate of balls across a track and throw those balls at a grid of tiles. The first to break all of their tiles wins, while the other person is eliminated.

When the challenge starts, Josh quickly solves the puzzle and pulls his crate across the finish line, while Mechie struggles to complete his puzzle. Josh embarrasses himself by being unable to throw a ball at a tile roughly two meters away, giving Mechie a chance to make a comeback.

However, Josh’s lack of coordination is only outweighed by Mechie’s lack of puzzle-solving ability, as Josh is eventually able to break the tiles. This gives Josh the final Golden Skull for the men, as he selects to stick with Nany as the episode ends.


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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