Alright, I have to say it. The Challenge is killing it this season in the music department. The '80s based soundtrack, including the remixes, have truly been inspired. I guess the spy drama is ripped straight out of the era of Regan. So, more of this lyrical goodness, please!
Similarly, we have witnessed some inspired gameplay from Killa Kam this season. She seems to have a hand in dictating much of the house's social strategy. Now that she and Leroy have Gold Skulls, they hold a lot of power.
That probably spells bad news for Theresa. Kam wants her gone but needs to pick her spot. Once there is a female rogue agent, Kam plans on getting Theresa nominated into elimination. Even if her partner Kyle is bound and determined to get Fessy and Aneesa out, I have to imagine Kam will get the last say.
Then again, a date in The Crater isn't the worst place to find oneself. There is a limited number of Gold Skulls left, so everyone is jockeying for their chance to get one. Those opportunities don't come often. Or at all for players like CT and Lolo, who the house continues to keep out of elimination. So you have to take your spot when you can get it.
It's a shame Nam and Lolo can't get their act together as a team. As CT pointed out, if they could just figure out how to communicate, they would be unstoppable.
On a quick side note, was anyone else shocked to find out that Amber B named Lolo as a member of the Big Brother alliance? Are we counting Celebrity Big Brother as cannon now? Considering we have yet to see Lolo have a single conversation with or about the Big Brother alliance, I was taken aback by the revelation.
The daily mission this week is entitled All Brawl. As you can probably guess, this is a physical competition that played out over three rounds. It sounds straight forward but is highly convoluted in explanation.
In round one, groups of five would enter a mud pit in search of a Challenge relic. The first person to find the relic and cross the finish line wins their heat. CT, Nam, Gabby, and Kam win their heats by outsmarting their competition. The relic is a cross pole used for pole wrestle, a classic Challenge elimination.
The only real fireworks in round one come from Lolo and Aneesa. The two get into an argument AFTER their heat due to Aneesa tackling Lolo by the neck. While Lolo aggressively complains throughout the day, the two clear the air the next morning. No harm, no foul.
In round two, winners of the same gender will face off in a pole wrestle. The first challenger to rip the pole from their opponent's hand and race to the safe zone wins the heat.
Kam dominates Gabby. Killer Kam has a way of making seemingly difficult sounding challenges look easy, and pole wrestle was no different. She continues to impress this season from a competition standpoint.
CT and Nam is a much more physical battle. Nam puts up a good fight, but old man CT still has it. It's a statement win letting the house know that CT is ready to compete with the best.
The last round finds CT and Kam facing off in pole wrestler against the other's partner. The first team to win both matchups will be this week's new double agents.
Big T stands no chance against Kam, though she does seem to last longer than Gabby. Kyle surprisingly pulls off the upset against CT. It's debatable how hard CT tried here, but you can't take the win away from Kyle. He and Kam are now the double agents.
Walking the Thin Line
Kam and Kyle find themselves in a delicate position as double agents. The house isn't sure if it will be a guy or girl's day. It creates a dilemma for the two of them. How do you navigate nominations to further your game without upsetting the major power alliances in the house?
Kam wants to play is safe by targeting Amber M and Mechie. Kyle wants to make a big move by targeting Fessy, Aneesa, and Josh. Kam isn't on board with throwing Fessy and Aneesa in as double agents, but she also cannot stop the house from voting them in either.
So Kyle goes to work. At the bar later, he recruits all of the rookie girls to vote for Fessy. Now, I don't think Kam gave her blessing to Kyle, but she didn't stop him either. Any politicking here against Fessy and Aneesa is from a vengeful Kyle, upset at them. It doesn't reflect negatively on Kam.
Honestly, Kyle lobbying for Fessy and Aneesa only helps her position. If they don't get voted in, it looks like she managed to talk Kyle down from targeting them. If voted in, Kam can leverage their position to throw them a bone by nominating Amber and Mechie to face them in The Crater.
It's a win-win for Kam.
When the house vote rolls around, the only names on the chopping block are Amber/Mechie and Fessy/Aneesa. The house seems divided but ultimately chooses Amber and Mechie. I think the two of them claiming they aren't ready to go in sealed their fate.
And, honestly, why would the house vote in Fessy and Aneesa? They don't know who Kam and Kyle will send down. And they don't know if it's a guy or girl's day. Why risk potentially having to face Fessy in a physical elimination?
The show did try to create some tension by not showing the nominations until The Crater. It seemed like we might have had a tie or something that we have not seen yet in the voting box. But alas, it was just a fakeout. While I appreciate the swerve attempt, it fell flat when Amber and Mechie got called down. The amount of juice didn't warrant the effort of the squeeze here.
Asset Destruction 2, Electric Boogaloo
With Amber and Mechie anxiously awaiting their opponents, Kam and Kyle revealed they chose Josh and Nany to head down to the elimination floor.
It's a great choice on their part. Josh and Nany wanted to go into elimination so they won't be upset. Kam doesn't piss off the Big Brother alliance by throwing in Fessy, who would beat Mechie in most competitions anyways. And Amber is mad at the other Amber for stabbing her in the back and not Kam, who wanted to send Amber M in the first place.
The elimination this week is Asset Destruction 2. Aneesa and Tori competed in a variant of this elimination several weeks back. Here, Josh and Mechie will have to solve a puzzle before pulling a heavier cart to release their balls. Challengers then use the balls to break various panes on a wall. The first to break all the necessary panes wins the elimination and the last men's Gold Skull.
There is no drama to this one. Josh wins before Mechie can even finish the puzzle. Don't mistake that last sentence as a statement of Josh's dominance. The guy completes the puzzle and tips his cart over in about two minutes before falling apart.
Look, I'm sure Josh is good at many things, but breaking the panes on this wall is not one of them. He throws awkwardly and cannot hit his target. There is a distinct moment Josh started looking over at the puzzle for the location of each target. Maybe he didn't realize it was essentially a map of the targets?
Nevertheless, it was a humorous moment. I have never heard TJ laugh so hard during an elimination, but his ever joyous chorus of jubilation rang loudly throughout The Crater that fridge night in Iceland.
There have been a surprising number of similar moments this season, which have yet to get old.
Once Josh finally got the hang of it, he finished off the wall in quick order. If you didn't know any better, you would think he just won the Super Bowl. He strutted around the arena like he owned the place, puffing out his chest and shouting at Devin to come down and face him next.
I know this was his first elimination win ever. And he is competing for his family, so Josh is understandably emotional. But come on. If anyone else was down there with him, I don't know if he wins.
When presented with the choice to switch partners, Josh chooses to stick with Nany. Amber M is now the first female rogue agent, you know, only eight episodes into the season. It speaks to the impact early female exits have had on the game.
With his victory, Josh has secured the last Gold Skull. The only way to get a Gold Skull as a male is to beat someone in elimination for theirs. For some of the guys, it doesn't look so advantage to get a Gold Skull early, because now they will be easy targets each week. I think we may be seeing Josh, Devin, and potentially Kyle in an elimination again sooner rather than later.
Kam continued to kill it this episode, showing once again why she is a front runner to win it all. If any week illustrates Kam's strategic prowess, it's this week. She handles the situation as a double agent beautifully, positioning herself to target Theresa next week without angering anyone. She is one of the few double agents to play her hand correctly this season.
Then again, she is the queen for a reason.