Did Bananas Split On The Challenge?
Sarah D. Bunting has the dish as two more champs go home and TJ crashes a house party.
...Yes, Bananas is out, without much delay once we resume The Fortress we left in progress last episode. Cara Maria takes longer to go down, but Laurel's just too big and "intense," and Cara's sent home too (with a "complimentary" talking-head snark by Bananas about how having to spend the flight with her is almost worse than losing, like, please go to law school or something and leave us alone).
Later, at the club, Laurel is twerking on someone and Nicole is snotty about it, but they take advantage of Shane stirring shit with everyone else in the house to have a calm, rational conversation about why Laurel felt played and why Nicole in turn felt she shouldn't.
The week's challenge is a thirty-thousand-dollar non-elimination river-tubing affair that involves boy-girl pairs crawling suggestively over each other, but when CT expresses concern that Teej is throwing them a house party to lull them into complacency, he's right: TJ appears when everyone's good and drunk to announce that the house is lousy with Underdogs, and they should all pack their shit before the next challenge. About damn time.
Let's see how these fools acquitted themselves this week.
Rids us of Bananas. Has the proper attitude towards Shane, namely that he's playing the game and you can't get that torqued about it. The "and I am the all-time champ, 'cause I sent your ass home" he eulogizes Johnny with in a talking-head isn't smug, just matter-of-fact. All business, no drama.
He alone clocks TJ's pleasant "let's just have this challenge be for money, and hey, I'm throwing you a party" line as cover for a twist. Not sure what's going on with this Darrell imitation
but my man would have to tie up a kitten in Red Vines and eat it before he'd fall out of the top two at this point. And it's possible even that wouldn't do it.
What does Jenna like best about tubing? Being on the tubes. "Tubes are fun!" Cory, next to her in a pre-challenge interview, is looking into the camera all, "Well, they gave her a driver's license, so...idk?" Hee. She doesn't do great on the challenge, but I think she had a larger role in brokering a Laurole peace
than we might have seen.
Regretful but businesslike in dispatching Cara Maria, and mostly keeps her cool with Nicole. She's verrrrr' drunk at the house party; I'm a little surprised we didn't see her hurl. (Yet.)
But I've always felt like Laurel takes a ration of shit from boy and girl Challengers alike for her size and strength, like Nelson's "linebacker" comment, and it makes me want to defend her more.
Ashley, Cory, Nelson
No objection. The boys do pretty well on the challenge, and despite an objectionable hat on Nelson at the club, they're both quite a bit humbler than when the season started.
He's not necessarily correct that Hunter used Ashley for game purposes and then stopped sleeping with her when it no longer helped him, but even if he is right, we heard you the fourteenth time, guy -- and that "America's dirtbag" "burn" he keeps throwing at Hunter isn't as fiery as he thinks it is. But he's successful as usual at getting under people's skin without their realizing it's purposeful, and he beasts the challenge.
I have, I think, a higher tolerance for Nicole than the average viewer. Maybe it's because I covered her Real World season and she was the least of some seriously annoying evils -- but I get how her hate-the-playa attitude would wear on people, and it's not a great look for her early in this episode when she's mean-girling about Laurel trying to make her jealous instead of accepting responsibility for getting them both here. It's nice, then, that later she's able to listen to Laurel's issues with her behavior, and apologize for creating weirdness. They would make a cute couple, IMO.
I don't have much use for the dude generally, but hat-tip to how openly and directly he handles Shane's accusations, or tries to. Could he chill with the repeating "ain't nobody gonna beat me!" a hundred times? For sure. Should he figure out that screaming at someone to get out of your fucking face is not as effective as removing your own face from the zone? Totes. But he cops to calling Amanda and Ashley sharks, and when it's obvious that Ashley isn't upset about game stuff, but about feelings stuff, he goes straight to her and says he cares about her and he didn't use her, it just...ended. Okay, she's not rull responsive?
And it may be because he considers it His Thing to be honorable, and that sort of self-satisfaction gets old fast. Here, though, it seems sincere. Wrong venue for plain dealing, but at least he's trying.
She did her best, but it's Laurel.
Times out on the challenge and should know better than to take Shane's bait by now, but I am impressed with her ability to pull an intimidating stinkface while wearing a kimono romper that leaves almost nothing to the imagination.
Condescending about Cara's lack of strategy in The Fortress; calls Nicole overrated; thinks anyone cares about her flirtation with Cory. Over it with this one.
MVP: Goofy talking-head pairs.
LVP: The producer who let so many Underdogs hang around so long.Best Reaction Shot:
Best Quote: "It's basically watching a lesbian porno, live." - Nicole on the Laurel/Cara Fortress round.
Sickest Burn: "Seriously: at the end of the day, I am not smart? But I am fucking hands above [sic] smarter than these fucking assholes." - Shane.Crimes Against Fashion:
She has a nice butt. These shorts are not a friend to said butt.
The Wrath Of Teej: Expresses jealousy that he didn't get to do the tubing challenge, but no wrath.