“Let’s be honest: Cara Maria’s cute and she’s way more fun than the other girls. Of course, that plays a role in my decision.” —Abram
“They have the team that they wanted now, but I’m sorry—I don’t think that’s going to be good enough.” —Camila
The theme of last night’s episode was “proving yourself.” There was debate about what constitutes proving yourself, who had done it, and how much that should matter. Most of those surrounded Camila who, after last week’s fiasco, is as on the outs with her team as anyone can be. Tori, Brad, and Paula had all vowed to send Camila into the Gulag at every opportunity.
And yet, as several people pointed out in last night’s episode, Camila was really the only girl who had “proven herself.” In addition to winning the Gulag twice (while no other girl on her team has won even once), Camila has also been the strongest girl in challenges. Last night was no different: In a challenge that involved tight-rope walking in pairs across two skyscrapers, Camila was the only girl on her team to make it across. Paula fell off (and brought Dunbar with her), and Tori didn’t even try, since by then Red had already lost.
Not that it really mattered: Camila had already sealed her fate and she seemed to be aware of that, barely putting up a fight in team deliberations. Red sent her back to the Gulag, along with Dunbar.*
*In a perfect illustration of Red’s idiotic voting priorities, Dunbar got sent in because he fell off the rope while Paula—who was the reason Dunbar fell off—was the only player on her team NOT to receive a nomination for the Gulag.
Over on Gray, discussions weren’t as rancorous, but there was still discord. Gray looked like it was set up for another win in the challenge when its first two pairs had good times across the rope. In a major strategic error, though, the last pair was of Luke and Dan, teaming a player with a massive fear of heights (Dan) with a player with what Tyler called “the wingspan of a hobbit” (Luke). As a result they couldn’t traverse the rope, disqualifying them and preventing Gray from winning.
For the Gray guys, who seem to be readily embracing the concept of “proving themselves,” Dan and Luke both seemed willing to go into the Gulag, with Dan ultimately volunteering to earn his keep.
The girls, though, were much more contentious. All three girls on Gray completed the challenge, so it wasn’t nearly as obvious who hadn’t “proved” herself. Ultimately, the vote came down to Laurel vs. Cara Maria. Laurel seemed offended to even be mentioned in the same breath as Cara Maria—who Laurel has been disparaging as a performer all season—but Cara Maria has at least one thing going for her: She’s canoodling with Abram, Gray’s unofficial leader. Abram tried to make the point that he was voting on performance, and that Cara Maria had bailed Abram out on the tightrope, but as his quote above shows, it’s clear personal loyalty played a role. The vote ultimately sent Laurel in, much to her chagrin.
Now, I can see why Laurel is angry: It’s pretty obvious that if you were voting based on who you wanted with you in the final challenge, you wouldn’t want to lose Laurel. Thus, it’s pretty obvious that Abram is playing favorites.
Nevertheless, Laurel has nowhere near the grounds for indignity that Camila has. Cara Maria may look overwhelmed a lot of the time, but she hasn’t yet cost Gray any challenges, and she’s already been to the Gulag once. Laurel hadn’t been there yet and, though she’s probably “proven herself” in other ways, Abram was kind of right that Laurel hasn’t been as dominant on Cutthroat as she was on Fresh Meat 2 (that’s mostly because of the way the challenges have been designed and not due to any fault of Laurel’s, but still). In other words, she hasn’t proven to be so valuable that she gets immunity.
This is why the concept of “proving yourself”—even if it seems like a sucker’s game—really exists: to keep players from unjustifiably claiming to be invaluable or immune (cough, Tori, cough cough). Dan, Laurel, and Dunbar all had to prove themselves last night. Dan failed, losing to Dunbar, and Laurel narrowly avoided the upset and finally rid the Red Team of Camila.
Better eat enough Vitamin D or you’ll end up with Rank-Its:
Eliminated: Dan (Gray), Camila (Red)
I was rooting for Camila to pull off the upset just because I wanted Camila to start throwing challenges for Red.
Girls in Danger: Paula (Red), Cara Maria (Gray), Theresa (Blue)
Now that Red has lost Camila and Brandon, they’ve got no whipping boys or girls left.
Guys in Danger: Johnny (Blue), Brad (Red), Luke (Gray)
I’m surprised too, but Brad admitted last night that he wasn’t Red’s leader, so he’s probably vulnerable.
9. Emily (Blue, +1): The current Blue Team is a great example of the benefits of “trimming the fat.”
8. Dunbar (Red, N/A): Based on the logic Red uses, Dunbar could be going back to the Gulag after the next Red loss.
7. Tori (Red, —): I’m really starting to hate her this season.
6. Sarah (Gray, +5): She may be in danger as Laurel’s only ally, but it probably won’t become an issue.
5. Jenn (Blue, +1): Jenn sneaks into the Top 5 mostly due to her team’s win.
4. Tyler (Red, +1): I kind of liked Tyler in last night’s episode. Not only did he offer a comical and apt criticism of Gray’s strategy, but he tried to stick up for Camila.
3. Derrick (Blue, —): A rare glimpse of Derrick’s Machiavellian side as he tried to convince Camila to start throwing challenges.
2. Laurel (Gray, —): She should probably drop after a trip to the Gulag and a feud with her team…but there’s just nobody to put ahead of her in this oddly even challenge.
1. Abram (Gray, —): Saving Cara Maria showed that Abram has as much clout as anyone in this game.