This week’s episode of The Challenge features not a lot of teams left. This season is going by rather quickly, really.
SEASON 26 EP 5 (322nd episode in the series)
Title: Love, Sweat & Tears (Is that a promise that we’ll see some hooking up and have crying points? Don’t let me down, MTV!)
Episode starts at the bar where Bananas reminds us that he and Wes do not like each other.
Nia left her wallet at the bar. Naturally, while at the gym part of the house with the boys, she pitches to make money ($70 to be exact) by drinking Zach’s sweat. This is so disgusting. Just finish your book and make money that way, Nia! Ugh.
She vomits (5 points) as do many people watching.
The pre-Challenge text message explains to be ready with bathing suit. Leroy reminds us that he’s not a good swimmer. Foreshadowing?
The Challenge is called Open Arms (a la Mariah Carey and Journey songs). There are two zipline parallel over water. The female competitor rides down on a heavy bag while the male competitor rides down next to her on a surf board-looking thing. Rules are a bit unclear, but the guy is to jump onto the heavy bag and ride down with the girl as far as possible, but doesn’t have to jump? Either if/when they fall or get to the end of the zipline, the team has to swim around a buoy and ring a bell for their final time.
In order to encourage teams to attempt the jump, T.J. will shave 10 seconds off the time of anyone that successfully makes the jump.
Zach & Jonna are the power couple, so they set the order. Bananas wants to see Wes & Theresa put first or second because the fewer people you see do the challenge, the less idea you have on the best strategy. Also, Wes is a good swimmer. He’s like the opposite of Leroy.
Zach is not interested in Bananas’ plan and wants to do his own thing. He puts Wes & Theresa 4th. Bananas is not happy about this.
Adam & Brittany go first. Adam doesn’t like his odds/misses the moment of good timing, so they just ride down as far as they can and swim it out.
Jay & Jenna go second. It’s cool that Jay tries the jump, but he’s short and he jumps from pretty far, a clear miss.
Leroy & Nia go next. Leroy’s jump attempt is pretty close, but he can’t hang on. He wasn’t on the board very long, making him have a long swim ahead of him.
Wes & Theresa go. Wes is confident that he’s such a strong swimmer that it’s better for them to ride out as far as possible then attempt the jump. They have the time to beat, strategy seems good for them.
Johnny Portland tries the jump, but can’t hang on.
Bananas needs to make the jump, feels like he needs the 10 second bonus, but he misses his opportunity and doesn’t jump. There goes his grand plan!
Zach & Jonna go next. That’s right. These two set the order and didn’t even put themselves last… the accepted best position to be in for a challenge like this. Rocket surgeons, these two.
Zach tries the jump, fails. Jonna swims slowly. Zach is embarrassed. Is this jump actually possible? Did anyone from MTV try this out? What kind of quality assurance do these things go through before they just throw the contestants up there?
Sarah & Jordan go last. They think they’re good swimmers and want to try to beat Wes & Theresa at their own strategy. Seems like they make pretty good time, but it’s always tough to tell with the editing.
T.J. then drops a massive amount of points on the remaining competitors by scolding them. He says, “Great challenge today, but I definitely expected more out of you. If you don’t think you can handle a challenge like this, then I hate to see you in a final.”
Leroy & Nia aren’t surprised and know that there can’t be swimming in a dome elimination. They seem to feel pretty good. The fact that they get along certainly helps.
Wes & Theresa have a happy power couple dinner, set to put in Bananas & Nany… excited that Leroy & Nia are in, a pair that has a chance to take out the reigning champ. They call over Zach, who is proud to have his own brain. Zach tells them how Bananas wanted Wes & Theresa to go first, but Zach is a big boy and makes his own decisions!
When Wes & Theresa announce who they are sending to the dome, Theresa mentions that a certain pair wanted them to go first and how rude it is to have strategic goals against an opponent. Bananas asks who told them that (even though he knows it’s Zach), but Theresa is a wuss and just says she heard it from many-a people.
Not reacting well to her fate, Nany “has all the power to be the raging bitch Theresa has no idea she can be” or something. Oh, Nany. We all know you can be crazy/drama queen/bitchy. Theresa & Nany exchange words (5 points each), with Theresa barely raising her voice, but bickering back. So passive aggressive upper midwest.
Bananas and Zach have their own verbal fight (5 points each). Zach is unable to own the strategy he implored. In front of Johnny Portland, Leroy and Jordan, Bananas calls Zach out for lying and playing all angles. If Bananas is going to have to go to the dome and possibly not come back, he wants to be sure that Zach is exposed for being unfaithful to his allegiances. The message seems to get through to the others.
After that, Zach mentions to Johnny Portland and Jordan that he as the “rare ability to do very small things and they get exploded,” because it’s easier to say that than to say, “I guess Bananas noticed I played him.”
Jonna makes sure Zach knows that she’s clueless about the politics and Zach tells her to leave him alone. This team is perfect for each other.
The dome challenge is called Strung Out. There are 4 branch high hurdle things, one for each contestant. Each person will be “strung out” by their hands and feet below each branch/pole thing. It’s a relay race where each team member has to make it across, hit the bell and come back, hit the bell again, then the partner goes and does the same.
Looks like a fairly even match, since each team member has to contribute on this. Girls go first. Nany beats Nia to the first bell, making Zach realize that if Bananas & Nany win this, it’s not going to be good for him back at the house.
While Nany and Nia are close most of the way back, Nany gets stuck on a bump in the branch thing.
Nia rings the second bell, sending Leroy on his way. Leroy flies across and back. Leroy & Nia win (25 points each). Because Nany never gets unstuck, Bananas doesn’t even get a chance to go. I’m insanely curious as to how Bananas would have done versus Leroy, who impressed. But we didn’t get to see it.
Disappointed in her performance, Nany cries (5 points).
Leroy notes that even though it was great to take out the champion, Bananas was his only ally in the house. Good thing for Leroy, there are still 2 rookie teams hanging around, which could buy them some more time.
FYI, there were no hooking up points. You only delivered on the sweat and tears, MTV.
Oh, and as you may have seen or guessed, of course Bananas & Nany beat JJ & Simone easily in the Battle of the Ex-iled.
DID YOU KNOW? Both Nany and Theresa have the last name Gonzalez.
Scoring for Episode 5 is noted below:
A link to the excel file is here: BOTE2 Scores – Ep5
Best player performances of the episode: Nia (40 points)
Worst player performance of the episode: JJ & Simone’s Battle of the Ex-ile lost gives them 0 points for Episode 5.