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Episode 9 Recap – The ‘C’ Stands For Challenge

Joseph Hadaway recaps all the latest action.

Photo: MTV

Kam finishes her quest to eliminate Theresa when Darrell and Amber B win the season-requisite trivia challenge. This gives Kam’s alliance the numbers to vote Theresa into the Crater and the power to put her up against powerhouse Kaycee. In a grueling elimination, Kaycee wins, earning her a Golden Skull and eliminating Theresa from the game.


The drama this week focuses on the fallout of Amber B betraying the rookie girls. While Amber M tries to provoke a fight, Amber B is entirely uninterested in arguing as it could only hurt her position in the game further. However, the women in the house are starting to figure out her Big Brother-style social game, where she is aligned with everybody to avoid getting targeted. However, that kind of gameplay is hard to pull off on The Challenge where the person you betray can easily win an elimination or be randomly declared safe.

In a show where, last season, Nelson sent himself into elimination because Cory needed the money more, being seen as trustworthy is more important than staying out of elimination. To be the whitest person possible and drop a Hamilton quote, “If you stand for nothing [Amber B], what will you fall for?”

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Photo: MTV

Amber B’s betrayal makes the next three targets on the women’s side clear—Theresa, Amber M, and then Gabby. Unless one of them can pull an elimination or main challenge win any time soon, the writing is on the wall.

Theresa spends the opening of this episode talking about her postpartum depression with Cory, which I mention because it’s rare for this topic to be mentioned on reality-tv at all. While there are many dads on The Challenge, there aren’t many moms (excluding the currently filming We Want OGs season/spin-off), and it’s important to acknowledge the strength Theresa has to share this on television.


The contestants then arrived at the challenge, which is revealed to be “Interrogation,” sponsored by Burger King, the annual season trivia competition. For new fans of The Challenge, trivia is consistently a highlight of the season. TJ always has a blast roasting the contestants for their inability to answer simple trivia. Some highlights in the past include contestants not knowing what language they speak in Australia (“Dutch”), what continent the United States is on (“The Northern Continent”,) and how many seconds are in five minutes (“56”).

In “Interrogation,” teams will be split across two separate heats, standing on a platform holding a bar on top of their heads. Every time they get a question wrong, their bar will be lowered, making it harder to hold on. Every time they get an answer correct, they will select a competitor’s bar to be lowered. Whoever gets the most questions correct out of the winners for either heat will win a lifetime supply of Burger King and make their team the Double Agents.

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Photo: MTV

Unfortunately for the viewers, the questions this time around are all true or false, limiting how dumb they can make these contestants look. So, instead of roasting the dumbest answers, which is certainly what the casting team was doing during my recent game show audition, I will rank them by the questions I’m most disappointed that people got wrong:

  • “Wolves are vegetarian” (Kaycee said true)
  • “The sum of all the angles in a triangle is always 280 degrees” (Big T said true)
  • “Washington D.C. is not an American state” (Lolo Jones said false)
  • “MI6 is a subdivision of the CIA” (Amber B said true)
  • “There are 2,174 digits of Pi” (Kyle said true)

In the end, Darrell and Nam win each heat out of a combination of their ability to answer questions, physical strength, and relatively strong social games. Darrell is then revealed to have answered more questions than Nam, which makes him and Amber B the “Whopper VIPs,” in one of the most awkward product placements in The Challenge history.


As the Whopper VIP, Amber B wants to target Gabby as revenge for targeting her in the challenge. Due to fear of accidentally being voted in, the rookie girls hop onto Kam and the veteran girls’ plans to target Theresa, making Theresa and Cory a consensus pick to send into the Crater. This is confirmed when Kam brands Theresa as “Toxic T,” both in the house and through confessionals, getting Theresa and Cory voted in almost unanimously.

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Photo: MTV

In terms of opponents, Nany tells Amber B that Kaycee and Lolo are the two women who would beat Theresa in elimination. Kaycee then volunteers herself as it’s an opportunity for another member of the Big Brother alliance to win a Golden Skull. Amber B’s decision is then relatively easy, selecting Kaycee and Leroy to face Theresa and Cory, allowing her to make no additional enemies from her time as Whopper VIP.


TJ then confirms everybody’s suspicions that this is a women’s elimination round and says that Theresa and Kaycee will be competing in “Snapping Point.”

In “Snapping Point,” both contestants will be harnessed together by a rope, as they will need to drag their opponent across the Crater to be able to retrieve three rings from one side, which they must then place on their pole on the other side.

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Photo: MTV

As a slowed-down cover of “Take On Me” plays, Kaycee completely demolishes Theresa in this elimination, placing all three rings on her poles before Theresa places one. Kaycee, now with a Golded Skull in hand, elects to remain partnered with Leroy, leaving Cory to be partnered with rogue agent Amber M.

Overall, this is the third or fourth episode in a row where the “obvious” result occurred, but I have faith in this cast and this format to pick up once a guy’s day occurs or when somebody in the minority wins a challenge on a girls’ day.

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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