With the game slowly winding down, opportunities to earn a spot in the finals are dwindling. Everyone is feeling the pressure of winning and protecting their gold skull.
No one is feeling the pressure more than Lolo, who is starting to crack. The olympian believes the house is purposely keeping her out of elimination, which is true. The other women don't want to see her get to the end of the game because she will be a real threat to win.
The main problem for Lolo is that she has struggled during the daily missions all season. She should excel at the challenges but cannot seem to get her footing. For an athlete of her caliber, her poor physical performance has weighed heavily on her emotionally.
The daily mission this week proved to be no different, resulting in another emotional outburst. After weeks of Lolo's mental state slowly deteriorating, numerous breakdowns, and bouts of lashing out at Nam, the stress of the game may have finally have gotten the best of her. Lolo decided to call it quits on The Challenge.
It's sad to see her go, but it is probably for the best. I don't think Lolo's presence in the house was doing her mental health any favors. At least she can now find some peace and focus on training for the Olympics.
While Lolo struggled in the daily mission (to be fair, she lost a shoe), Air Lift featured surprisingly strong performances across the board.
In Air Lift, teams start on the front of the speedboat before grabbing ropes attached to a passing helicopter. Players then have to hold onto the rope until they reach a drop zone, where teams will let go of the rope and swim the rest of the way to a podium. The fastest time wins.
Overall, most teams appeared to perform well, minus a few exceptions. Josh and Devin both missed their ropes, resulting in disqualifications for their teams. The Challenge gods were hard at work on this one, serving Devin up a steaming plate of karmic justice after mercilessly ridiculing Josh for his faux pas before doing it himself.
Devin's antics continue to push Nany and Josh's buttons, but I have to gift Josh credit here. He managed to remain calm despite Devin trying to get under his skin. Devin's subsequent rope gaffe probably helped, but it was still a moment of maturity for Josh.
The funniest moment from the daily, though, belongs to Aneesa. After grabbing the rope for about three seconds, she slowly slips down, similar to sliding down the pole at your local firehouse. There was honestly very little difference in the actual footage versus the slow-motion footage, making it all the funnier.
Ultimately, Big T and CT pulled out a victory. Big T's performance shocked the house as she not only easily held onto the rope, but she beat CT in the swimming portion. They blew the house out of the water, making them this week's double agents.
On a quick aside, I have to say that CT holding Big T's hand before they start the challenge and telling her he is proud of her no matter what happens is the dad energy the show has been lacking for years.
Give Me The Goof
For CT, the daily victory could not come at a better time. Over the years, CT has carefully cultivated a sense of fear in his competition. Well, his strategy may have worked too well as the house is sacred to let him get a gold skull.
Now that he has won the daily, though, CT can throw himself into the Crater. All he needs is the house to vote in someone with a skull. And if CT has his way, the house will feed him the goof.
Of course, the goof is Josh. CT doesn't like Josh and sees him as an easy win in the Crater. Once again, give Josh credit here. Leroy later relays to Josh that CT has called him out. Josh has a history of blowing up when someone threatens his spot in the game. Instead, he remained collected and put his trust in his alliance.
The other name floating around the house is Devin, who continues to alienate anyone who crosses him. All season long, Devin has waged war against Big Brother but has left himself little room to maneuver politically. Now, he is starting to piss off his partner as well.
Devin tried to smooth things over with Amber after blindsiding her last week, which only upsets Gabby. To her, it seems like he is placing all the blame on Gabby for blindsiding Amber.
Gabby is starting to realize Devin only cares about his game and calls him out for it later in the evening. In all fairness, this conversation with Amber here is a harmless strategy talk, but the two will have to find a way to work together if they hope to have any chance at winning.
Devin recognized this week that he continues to shoot himself in the foot by opening his mouth. He did it again by making fun of Josh during the daily mission before making the same mistake. He is a smart guy, but he holds himself back strategically by not making the necessary adjustments to get himself further in the game.
Josh may be the goof, but Devin has had his fair share of goofs throughout the season.
I think it's safe to say that Darrell is killing it in the confessional game this season. He is honest, poignant, and funny. He often lays low in the house, so it's nice to see his personality shine.
Darrell entered the season as a feared competitor with four-Challenge championships to his name. He has never really dabbled into the political side of The Challenge, mostly relying on his strong physical game to carry him through.
Double Agents is no different with Darrell letting his partner Amber maneuver for them strategically. That is, until this week. Darrell was the deciding factor in the vote, forcing him to pick a side in the house.
Heading into deliberation, no one knew what Darrell would do. CT hopes Darrell throws him a bone considering their long-standing relationship, but he isn't sure where he stands. CT is bewildered by Darrell's close relationship with the new kids and fears he will choose their side.
The deliberation further complicated the choice. Both Devin and Josh make fairly compelling pitches. Devin essentially plays the layup card, letting the house know he cannot win in the end. Why get rid of him now when you could keep him around for the final or a later elimination. Josh, meanwhile, goes the loyalty route. If he has your back, he will stick with you to the end.
Ultimately, Darrell decides to vote with Big Brother, sending Devin into elimination. CT is disappointed but is still ready to head down to the Crater, even if it is against his friend.
Only time will tell if Darrell made the right decision. This vote doesn't improve his position in the game in any meaningful way. I guess we'll have to wait to see if and when he gets his shot at a gold skull to judge this moment.
Quite honestly, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Big Brother alliance throw Darrell in to face CT in hopes he can beat him in a future elimination. If that happens, I imagine Darrell will regret this decision down the line.
Outside of Lolo quitting, the other big event of the episode was the lack of elimination. With Devin and Gabby standing on the Crater floor, sirens started going off. TJ indicated the challengers are about to experience a security breach.
If this sounds familiar, it's because this is the second security breach of the season. The first came in the wake of several female competitors withdrawing from the competition due to health reasons. With Lolo quitting, does this mean an eliminated female agent will return? Will Ashley get a third shot at the million dollars?
Considering the pomp and circumstance, though, I think it is something different. The first security breach felt like a quickly strewn-together idea to explain Ashley rejoining the game. This moment feels planned, which makes me believe we are in for a twist.
Either way, we will have to wait till next week to find out.