After 17 episodes, can you believe we're still not at the final on The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies? Neither can the competitors! Just as everyone thought this week's episode would be the last elimination before the final, TJ threw them (and us) a massive twist that once again proves that no one is ever safe in this game. Honestly, we really needed this twist to spice things up. Let's recap it all!
At the house, everyone's feeling antsy knowing the final is around the corner. They all think this may be the last male elimination before the marathon begins. CT knows that no one wants to run against him in a final, but he also knows no one has been brave enough to take a shot at him this season. Since this is their last chance to get him out, will they come for him? He video chats with his wife and son back home and thinks about how nice it would be to finally win two seasons in a row, something he's never done before (unlike Darrell and Johnny Bananas). With the way everyone has been so afraid to come at him all season, his path towards achieving that goal is the clearest it's ever been.
Meanwhile, other players, like Emanuel and Tori, daydream about winning this season too, but they've got a long way to go before they can celebrate. Devin thinks he's "infinitely more valuable" than CT, which is just laughable. No matter where you look in the house, everyone is feeling the tension as the potential final male elimination looms.
The Challenge: Dead Drop
Teams must transfer 10 "top secret" capsules from one end of a giant hanging gauntlet obstacle course suspended over water to the other while the other teams launch weighted bombs at them to try to knock them off. If a player falls into the water, they can climb up and try again. But if someone is knocked off while holding a capsule, that capsule is lost. The team to transfer the most capsules in the shortest amount of time wins. We love to see a sabotage mission, especially so close to the end!
Sapphire is up first, and in classic CT fashion, he absolutely kills it right away, moving fast and dodging the bombs with ease. He takes it one step further by using the bombs to his own advantage, holding on for balance and throwing them back at the other teams. Kyle runs next. He's a little slower than CT, and in classic Kyle fashion, he slips at the very end and drops the capsule, screwing his own team. Then Emy's up, and in classic Emy fashion, she immediately freaks out, screaming "I don't wanna!" and cries before getting knocked into the water with a capsule. Sapphire is really leaning in to all their own stereotypes!
CT is dismayed that he's his team's sole scorer, but he continues moving his second, third, and fourth capsules easily while Kyle gets knocked off and Emy just ... does nothing? We don't even see her get back on the course. CT finally gets knocked off on his fifth try, but climbs up and runs again, getting the fifth capsule and making this whole thing just look so easy. I don't even think Kyle and Emy are trying anymore, because CT keeps turning around and running back and forth through the course without stopping. At the end of the round, CT collects seven all by himself, setting the bar high. This man is a beast, a Challenge god, an icon! But he's only one man, and the other teams have multiple people who will run the course next, so he might still get beat here. If only CT was on a team with two other CTs. Then Sapphire would be unstoppable.
Ruby's up next, and they're all hoping that without Big T they can actually pull off their first win. Logan runs first, using CT's strategy to hold onto the bombs for extra stability. He even impresses TJ with how fast he makes it through. Nelson takes a bomb to the face, lands hard a few times throughout the course, and drops a capsule before dropping himself into the water. It's not a good sign. Poor Nelly T's losing streak continues. And then a bomb sent by Emanuel sends his Challenge girlfriend Tori right into the water. Logan once again flies through the course like a ninja and it's looking like this whole daily is going to be CT vs. Logan vs. Emerald because Nelson drops into the water with another two capsules and Tori drops two — in one run! Yikes. On the last run, Logan drops the final capsule, ending Ruby's turn with only two capsules transferred. That means they're keeping Ruby's losing streak going strong, too. This is not a good day for Nelly T.
During Emerald's turn, Emanuel goes first and promptly falls — thanks to a bomb lovingly sent over by Tori. She's just repaying the favor, bud. Amanda immediately bails and jumps into the water without even trying the course, which is ridiculous. Nany runs through without anyone sending any bombs her way because they're waiting for her to grab a capsule before sending her swimming, so she decides to give up too and jumps into the water on her own. Both Amanda and Nany fail to make it back up the ladder, laughing the whole time. This is so disappointing. This is almost half of the team that's been "dominating" this season? Ugh. This late in the season, we shouldn't be seeing competitors give up in dailies. That's early-season BS and I'm really getting tired of seeing this happen.
Emerald continues with Kaycee and Emanuel both getting knocked into the water, but Devin speeds through and finally gets his team's first capsule across. Emanuel is sent right back into the water, which surprises everyone because he keeps failing, and Kaycee finally makes it through the course on shaky Bambi legs to transfer her team's second capsule. Finally, Emanuel moves the third capsule, and Devin is knocked into the water carrying a capsule. Kaycee gets the fourth as time ticks down, and Devin knows his only shot at safety is if they don't drop any more capsules in the water. He gets the fifth and then yells at Amanda as she finally tries the course again because he doesn't trust her at all, so she just drops into the water again. Devin quickly gets the sixth and Emanuel runs for the last one, successfully bringing it over and tying with Sapphire.
Now, it all comes down to time. Sapphire and Emerald both transferred seven capsules ... but thanks to Uncle CT, Sapphire was faster! Thank The Challenge gods! I can't handle watching Emerald win anything anymore. Back at the house, Kyle and Emy can't stop jumping around, celebrating their hard fought win, even though they didn't do anything, and it's hilarious. Tori tells Kyle to "win with a little grace, you s---head." Considering the team's obnoxious celebrating all season long, it's rich coming from a former Emerald player.
Upstairs, Kyle promises Devin he'll do whatever he can to save Devin from being called out in this elimination. Knowing he's seen as the weakest guy, physically, left in the game, he's stressing. That night, everyone gets treated to a nice dinner next to a gorgeous harbor. The vibes are immaculate — that is, until Nany apologizes to Emerald because "we couldn't really come through the way that we wanted to." Amanda smiles as she jokes, "Not my challenge, sorry." The scowl and contempt on Devin's face are downright ugly because he knows he and Emanuel are on the chopping block now. At least he stays quiet! I've got to say, why is Nany even still here at this point?! At least Amanda won an elimination. Nany has done nothing all season.
On Ruby, Nelson and Logan are worried about being targeted by Sapphire. Tori begs them to not pick each other if one of them is voted in, because she knows she needs both of them on her team to have a shot at winning the final. They promise each other to stay true to Ruby, which severely limits their options.
Devin tries to play both friend and intimidating foe in one fell swoop. He asks his "friends" in The Agency to spare him, and threatens whoever is voted in not to call him out because he can turn it on when he needs to, even in a purely physical elimination. But Nelson says that if Sapphire votes him in, he'll probably go for Devin. Emanuel asks not to be voted in, but doesn't elaborate. Emy begs him to say more, but he just ... stares at them.
CT is annoyed and frustrated that no one is giving him any real information or arguments to go on, so he just lays it out: Emanuel is the only rookie who hasn't gone in, he's on a team of five people, they need to weaken Emerald, and all the other guys have done more for CT. But Logan's also on the table, and neither guy is speaking up to defend themselves! When Sapphire finally votes, they compromise Logan — but only because CT and Kyle support Emy in saving her friend Emanuel. Watching both rookie guys fail to defend themselves here was super lame!
After the vote, Logan is already second-guessing his promise not to call out Nelson because he wants to give himself the best option to win this elimination. Devin is psyching himself up to beat Logan if he's called out, relying on his past wins against heavy hitters for confidence. And CT's expression of disbelief while Devin's talking about his skills is absolutely hilarious.
With "pain in [his] heart," Logan names Emanuel as his opponent so that the potential final male elimination is once again rookie-vs.-rookie. Not surprising and not exciting, but here we are. Time to test out the last rookies' skills in an elimination, finally.
Elimination challenge: Rocket Run. Players have 15 seconds to run, jump over a giant rocket, pull a lever, run back, and jump back over the rocket to pull the lever on the other end of the pit. This will continue until someone fails to make it to both levers in 15 seconds, so this is all endurance. CT and Kyle are laughing at how Logan made a bad choice in calling out Emanuel, but we'll see ….
On the first run, it's clear that Emanuel has speed over Logan as he makes it to each lever more quickly. But as Devin points out, this isn't about speed, since 15 seconds is a long time. It's a marathon of who can last longer. They finish the first run in half the time, which expels a lot more energy than taking the full 15 seconds to save endurance. Logan starts to slow his pace down for that reason, but Emanuel keeps speeding through as if it's a race. Can his legendary endurance keep this up?
Round after round after round goes by, and Logan starts to feel his knee injury acting up. It goes on for so long that TJ decides to bring each round down to 10 seconds. Endurance is out the window now — they've got to speed things up! Emanuel is still light on his feet while Logan is getting heavier, tripping in the sand and slowing down. Finally, Logan trips hard and lands flat on his back. He knows he can't get up in time to finish the run, so he stays down and Emanuel wins.
Logan is sent home, but instead of Emanuel getting the choice to stay on Emerald or swap to another team, TJ tells him to "rejoin the group." The vets know that means something big. As in ... the start of the finale? Nope! There are 10 players left. TJ says that they're in The Lair (where they eliminate people, duh), and that "right here, right now, this is the night of eliminations." Yeah, eliminations. Plural! Two more players are getting eliminated tonight (which we'll see in next week's episode) and no one is happy about this ... except me. I'm thrilled! Because now it's going to show who really deserves to be here and who has been carried by politics and unfair team numbers all season. Let's see some purge action!
Challenger of the week: Obviously CT for proving why he's so feared in this game by winning a team daily all by himself. Is there anything he can't do?!
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