“She’s obviously a quitter. I hate quitters. So now Trishelle is on my list of people I’m not feeling.” —TJ
Poor Sarah. None of the contestants seems to love the Challenge as much as she does—she has a Lou Gehrig-like streak of seven consecutive Challenge appearances going—and yet this is now the second time in three seasons that she’s been sent home for something completely beyond her control. Whereas her partner Vinny was kicked off for fighting in Battle of the Exes, her partner on Rivals II, Trishelle, abruptly quit after getting into a shouting match with Aneesa the night before.
Of course, I’m tempted to be as harsh on Trishelle as TJ was,* but it’s always strange when someone like Trishelle comes back to the Challenge after more than a seven year absence (Before Battle of the Seasons, her last Challenge was The Inferno, which aired in 2004, even before TJ started hosting). It’s possible she’s just too old for this shit.
*Man, I NEVER want to end up on TJ’s list of people he’s not feeling.
The source of Trishelle’s fight with Aneesa was—indirectly—yet another fight, this one between Knight and Marlon over a joke the former made about the latter’s bisexuality. Of course, the episode was edited in MTV’s predictably confusing way, so it was impossible to tell how the joke escalated into a fight that nearly came to blows. Luckily, though, Marlon was held back, and neither of them was sent home.
The challenge—Mind Over Splatter—was little more than a rope course. As punishment for quitting in Week 2, C.T./Wes and Knight/Preston had to go first, and each team was assessed a 30-second penalty also. That didn’t really matter for Knight/Preston, though, after Knight fell into the water, forcing Preston to hang from the ropes waiting for him while he started all over again. By the time he got back, Preston fell, and the team DQed.
Three teams ended with really good times, but Johnny/Frank ended up slightly ahead of Trey/Zach and Marlon/Jordan. (Should I even waste the space to tell you Emily/Paula won for the girls? Of course they did.) And, of course, the voting was predictably boring, thanks to the stupid, terrible, no-good system in place this year: As Diem helpfully explained, the girls have no incentive to alienate another team, so they all just voted for who they voted for last time (excepting Jasmine/Theresa, who reciprocated a vote they got from Leroy/Ty). This meant Derek/Robb were voted in again.
At least the Jungle challenge was cool—a blindfolded sword fight, with each player trying to break a wooden sword against their opponent. To make the players work together, they had to listen to their partners for information about where the opponent was. Derek told Robb the precise moment to swing against Preston, so they won Round 1. But then Knight/Preston developed a strategy of staying low (and also using a secret code word for no real reason) that helped Knight beat Derek, and then Robb in the tiebreaker, thus sending Derek/Robb home.
Now put your hands up like these rankings can’t hold us!
Sarah really is a tragic figure: When she doesn’t get saddled with a terrible partner who gets sent home or weighs her down, she’s made the final challenge three times. And still never won.
Goodbye, Robb. I will not miss typing the extra “b” in your name.
12) Cooke/Cara Maria (-1): This is still not a popular team, and they didn’t show challenge prowess last week.
11) Knight/Preston (+3): A Jungle win helps, but Knight’s pissing off too many people.
10) Marlon/Jordan (+2): With Derek/Robb gone, a lot of those fights will slide to the rookies even though they’ve been impressive in challenges.
9) Camila/Jemmye (+4): A big climb for this pair, but mostly by default.
8) Leroy/Ty (+2): Ty continues to hold Leroy back in the challenges, as expected by everyone.
7) Jasmine/Theresa (—): I can’t tell if their vote for Leroy/Ty was dangerous or shrewd.
6) Jonna/Nany (-1): Nany’s new relationship with Marlon could be dangerous for them.
5) C.T./Wes (-1): Wes admitted that they are bonding, but there are a lot of other male teams vying for top position.
4) Aneesa/Diem (-1): Aneesa getting into fights—what else is new?—and they’re not working together well in challenges. Experience is really the only reason they are so high.
3) Johnny/Frank (+3): A big challenge win for them broke Trey/Zach’s streak.
2) Trey/Zach (—): Only losing by a couple seconds doesn’t knock them from the #2 spot.
1) Emily/Paula (—): The queens stay the queens (I know the chess metaphor doesn’t work as well for that one, but still…).