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The Latest Episode Of The Challenge Is Scrum-ptious

TJ rocks a trebuchet (not a euphemism), a certain showmance is all wet (a euphemism), and the Ashleys get cheeky.

This is The Challenge at its best: a legit tough, suspenseful game; alliance drama; and house/booze drama, plus a completely unnecessary catapult that I have no doubt was added at TJ Lavin's request to keep him (and me) amused AND CT kicking it old-man-style with a dominoes game.

Once the Champions get settled in the arena, TJ has to explain the needlessly-complicated-as-always new rules of the Invasion, namely that now everyone's playing as teams, Underdogs and Champions, with challenge prize money going into a team bank account and elimination days alternating between Dogs and Champs. Since the Dogs currently outnumber the Champs, they'll start with an Underdog-elimination challenge, but everyone plays...and in the ensuing rugby-esque battle, the female Champs get their asses handed to them with a relative quickness. The guys hang on a bit longer, but eventually subside, and afterwards, it's time for the scorers of the first points for the Underdogs to choose who's going into the actual elimination, right there and then. Ashley freaks, then chooses Tony; Dario throws everyone a curveball by throwing Sylvia in.

But the plot's only just starting to thicken, when Kailah drinks so much

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that she wets her bed, and Cory is so turned off that he dumps her the minute she's conscious the next day, and proceeds to talk shit about her immaturity loudly enough for her to hear and get her feelings hurt. But is one of them the LVP? To the rankings!

  1. CT

    Is a beast in the game; plays dominoes; has a cute kid; his delivery of "this is your fault, fix it -- fix it!" when mock-berating Bananas for the Champs' overcrowded rooming sitch is hilarious. "Once they get the makeup bags out we'll never see the bathroom!"

  2. Shane

    Alienates Cory, who has elected himself King Shit Of Strategy Mountain for some reason since arriving at the Oasis, by saying openly that his game is to last as long as possible, not to play for his team with honor or whatever Survivor-Lex garbage Cory's on about. I don't think there's any substantive functional difference in their motives for getting to the end, in terms of how it would affect their play, and Shane has more experience in the field anyway...experience which leads to a flashback reminiscence of doing Road Rules: Campus Crawl with Darrell, and in turn to this shot

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    of a fetal Teej, who is not listed anywhere as a host of RR, but that's definitely him, right? Meeeemorieeeeees... Anyway, that's probably not a great reason to rank Shane that high, but the enemy of my smug Cory is my etc.

  3. Darrell

    He's back on the show to win a camper so he can take his kids to Yellowstone...and not deal with any bugs, or do any horseback-riding, because he "don't fuck with them animals." Hee.

  4. Ashley M.

    Draws first blood against the Champs; could stand to show a firmer spine about her choice for the elimination when she's put on the spot (and to acquire and wear a full pair of underpants, although she does have a nice bum, so good for her, I guess), but at the same time, cheerfully DGAF about Bananas trying to shade her for her tats and her double-fisting vodka and beer.

  5. Nicole

    Also DGAF about Bananas dragging her, and smartly lets it be known that he already used his "best" material on Twitter anyway. Should probably chill on flirting with Cara Maria, but treats Kailah like a human being in the aftermath of Peegate, which is more than you can say for anyone else in the house.

  6. Dario

    Not a hundred on his decision to "smooth [his] way in" with Ashley K., but after he shut down the dumb melodrama of the Dogs' meeting by saying basically that everyone ends up a pawn at some point in the game, I'll forgive him quite a bit.

  7. Amanda, Hunter, Nelson, Ashley K., Camila, Laurel

    No objection.

  8. Kailah

    Hey, it happens. It won't seem like it now but she did herself a favor, I'm thinking.

  9. Jenna

    I'm sorry -- did she say she sees this as an opportunity to get back together with Zach? Honey: no.

  10. Zach

    Fine, okay, women are pigs. Your point might stand a bit better if you didn't spend a later talking-head saying that Jenna still has a nice ass -- with hand gestures.

  11. Tony

    Scores the deciding point against the Champs, and goes a bit heavy on the gloating, as well as boring his housemates and the audience with yet another mention of his "girls" and his sobriety. We get it, you're a man now.

  12. Bananas

    I meeeeeean, I agree that Tony's maybe too full of himself, but the Dogs actually do get to brag; they beat you, period. Also, Nicole doesn't look like Andy Dick any more than any other pale Caucasian with glasses does, The Challenge is NOT like a bowl of curry, and shut up.

  13. Sylvia

    She gets in Dario's face for throwing her in because she was the last one into the house -- and while that's kind of a wimpy way of putting it, yes, it means he thinks you're a weak competitor. You are a weak competitor, hun. Getting offended by that every time is not a great use of your energy.

  14. Cory

    His imitation of Laurelzilla is sort of funny

    2017-02-28-challenge-cory-laurel-imitation

    but anyone who got that thoroughly yard-saled by CT, repeatedly, on the field of play should maybe not act quite so lofty about game strategy. Nobody on this show should act like s/he's above the occasionally embarrassing behavior of anyone else on this show, because you're all...on this show instead of getting real jobs.

  15. Nelson

    This fuckin' guy. Maybe keep your critiques of the girls' cube-rolling techniques to yourself until you've either 1) tried it and won, which, spoiler, isn't going to happen, and in fact you finished dead last so zip it; or 2) you've gotten into the Oasis yourself. His melodramatic "I embarrassed myself; I embarrassed my family" isn't even satisfying, because he doesn't get what he should be embarrassed about.

Episode Superlatives

MVP: The Teejbuchet.

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LVP: Morning-after regret. Kailah:

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Jenna:

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Best Reaction Shot: A handful of fun cheering-section snaps to choose from

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but I gotta go with Camila's disgusted survey of the Dogs:

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Best Quote: Nelson's knee connected with Zach's nads so forcefully, "my grandchildren started crying."

Sickest Burn: "If you came here to fall in love, it's the wrong show." - Nicole, to Kailah.

Crimes Against Fashion: 2017-02-28-challenge-ash-ass

The Wrath Of Teej: Wrath-free, though his supportive comments about the Champs' performance were oddly patronizing.

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