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The Challenge (Re-)Plays The Legend Of Zenna

A bad romance is rekindled for a hot minute as the Underdogs prepare to send two home.

The Challenge has, it seems, begun its customary mid-season descent into episodes that don't do a whole lot to move the ball forward, so to speak. "The Mile-High Club" is devoted primarily to off-the-field drama: whether Cory is going to deign to continue Doing It with Kailah; Nelson getting ripshit and knocking over a bunch of furniture because Sylvia won't take LaToya's sloppy seconds; CT's relationship with his son (no objection; his wistful report that one of his nicknames for the nipper is "Fatface" made my day); and whether Zenna will once again be A Thing, which Jenna seems to want despite Zach having cheated on her and blocked her number.

But it's probably not going to happen thanks to The Rumor, which I call shenanigans on our not having heard about before now, to wit: Jenna and Bruno "shared a blanket" on the flight to Thailand. And can someone help an old lady out here -- is there actually a difference between finger-banging and finger-blasting? Much seemed to hinge on this semantic distinction; I thought they were the same thing. Also, who cares, Jenna! You weren't together and he cheated on you in the first place; if he gets mad about it, fuck him!

Don't literally fuck him! Bad call! When a man tells you he's a bad bet, you have to believe him!

...Speaking of "who cares"; I shouldn't get so worked up over this. In actual gameplay news, after close votes between Cory and Shane and Kailah and Ashley, Shane and Kailah are sent into The Fortress against Tony and Sylvia, and lower centers of gravity carry the day for Shane and Sylvia. Tony goes home having stayed sober the whole time, which is great; Cory's power is weakened, which ditto, although it obliges me to agree with Bananas's snotty commentary, which boo.

But is Bananas the worst? To the rankings!

  1. CT

    From the shooting-himself gesture when the camera cuts to him from Zach and Jenna canoodling to his concern that "CJ" is "gonna think his name is No," strong week for our old friend.

  2. Shane

    Immediately clocks the elimination challenge -- getting the first tuk-tuk across the finish line by, basically, body-slamming it down a driveway -- as an issue of staying low, and wins handily. Later that night, slurrily but accurately jumps up Cory's ass about Cory creating the division within the team and not owning it.

  3. Nicole

    The whole wrestling-with-Cara subplot is a snooze, but she's so right when she asks Jenna, "Why do you feel like you always need to defend yourself?", AND she manages not to gross us out by snacking on a full gallon of peanut butter this week.

  4. Ashley M.

    Advises Sylvia to "listen to my redneck voice" calling out tips during the elimination.

  5. Amanda

    Helps Nelson hydrate, and has a hilarious telephone-chain "that's what I heard she said you thought I heard, which is why I said I heard" etc. etc. moment that had me droning "thank you, Simone" at the end of it.

  6. Bananas

    His withering THes about Nelson and Cory happen to align with my own opinions. How annoying.

  7. Sylvia

    Strong week for her: kills it in the challenge and is fine negging Nelson.

  8. Darrell, Dario, Hunter, Ashley K., Camila, Cara Maria, Laurel

    No objection.

  9. Jenna

    See my remarks above. Okay, Zach told US he's "a horrible boyfriend," but I can't imagine he hasn't told Jenna the same thing -- not to mention proving it with The Brooke Incident and then ghosting Jenna, like, we've all done the devil-you-know calculus and I don't judge her. My issue is that she judges herself, and cares that others judge her. You were single! Flights are boring! Live your life!

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    No doubt this is at least partially motivated by feeling alienated from the rest of the house in a small alliance, and wanting the comfort of the familiar, but: egg up, kid.

  10. Tony

    It's kind of painful to watch him struggle in the elimination and never figure out how to get the tuk-tuk moving, though that pales beside the blubbery TH breakdown he has, in which he addresses his unborn child directly. "Daddy did this for you!" Like he liberated a POW camp. But he earned the pride of Teej, and his snarky comparison of Nelson to himself last season is pretty funny.

  11. Zach

    Shouldn't string Jenna along; definitely shouldn't troll us by calling her "a super-smart person."

  12. Kailah

    Her proudly cutesy "I always get what I want" talking-head about refusing to take no for an answer from Cory is not a good look; that her "this could be my last night in the house" boo-boo-kitty guilt trip works on Cory speaks more poorly of Cory than it does of her, but still: aim higher, girl. Sorry she couldn't pull it out against Sylvia but she was doomed from the beginning, and announcing that she's "not here to make friends" didn't help her last ranking.

  13. Nelson

    At least he admits he got out of control, but the flailing about that has the producers so concerned

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    is weak sauce. Rattling a bunk bed?

  14. Cory

    When Bananas and CT think you need to check your head, but can't even rise to the level of "irritated" in their THes and are kind of openly laughing at you? Have a seat. Have a whole bench. Work on your stupid "Cory Hookup Poll" since you're the only one who cares about it.

Episode Superlatives

MVP: The editor who cut from naked Kailah on top of Cory

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to a streaming fountain,

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in a nod to her bed-wetting last week.

LVP: Cory's Hookup Poll.

Best Reaction Shot:
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If only she'd stuck the landing.

Best Quote: "I have zero problem going on top, I promise you that." - Nicole.

Sickest Burn: Perpetrated by Zach upon himself, when he describes his relationship fails thusly: "Something always seems to go wrong mentally."

Crimes Against Fashion: Does Cory wearing Kailah as a vest count?

The Wrath Of Teej: Pleased by the efforts of the competitors, and makes sure to add that whatever happened to the old Tony, he really likes this new one. Aw.

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