The surprise twist is revealed… The final Battle of the Ex-iled will occur!
SEASON 26 EP 9 (326th episode in the series)
Title: Total Eclipse of the Heart (Turn around… get stabbed in the back)
As what seems to be the usual, the episode starts at the bar. Wes and Leroy talk a whole, “rookies got a free ride long enough, but I wanna compete against the best in the final” thing. Wes wants to get Jordan & Sarah in on this way of thinking too. Jay & Jenna are the easy team to throw in.
It’s so much speculation, since Jay & Jenna could easily lose and be going in anyway. But this doesn’t stop Wes from wanting to get everyone on the same page all happy family style.
Jordan & Sarah aren’t into that. Why not have the layup in the final? The point is to win the money. Sorry, no deal, Wes, says Jordan. In the conversation, Jordan is honest that they’re a strong team and notes that Theresa kinda sucks and “I don’t like how she talks to people sometimes… like she’s queen of the house… you don’t need to be a bitch.”
Wes’ reply is that “on the bitch/asshole scale, you’re a substantially bigger asshole than she is a bitch.” He then reports to Leroy that Jordan & Sarah aren’t in on “the insurance policy.”
Because Leroy is cool, he says, “let the best man win.”
Because Wes is not cool, he tells Theresa that Jordan was talking smack about her, mentioning the bitch/asshole scale. Theresa cries (5 points).
Theresa’s upset stage is reported back to Jordan who calls out Wes for starting drama. Jordan goes off on Wes, hilariously yelling that “you’re not the same ‘roided up Wes from 10 years ago!” While Wes generally keeps a calm, he does yell at Jordan at one point, so this is a verbal fight (5 points each).
To retaliate a little, Jordan tells Jay why they’re fighting, about Wes’ plan to throw in them in.
Then T.J. sends a clue about going to the dome. Sarah has no idea what to wear. We know from the previews that this is the culmination of the loser bracket Battle of the Ex-iled. T.J. explains the twist of a lifetime/century that is a copycat of many other reality shows that do this and brings back Zach & Jonna.
Jay and Nia clap. Leroy makes a good point, “whatchu all clappin’ for?”
After T.J. explains it, Jenna pulls a, “wait, what?” And Jay explains that there’s been a second challenge going on the whole time for everyone who has been eliminated. Jay & Jenna… they won a trivia challenge.
Then Nany & Bananas are brought back in. The look on Wes’ face is priceless. T.J. explains that Nany & Bananas have been killing it (10 points each) and lists the teams they’ve defeated to get to this point.
The game is It Takes 2 to Tangle.
I think we’ve seen this task in a previous season (in an elimination situation). The dome is equipped with two giant metal crate-looking things and a long rope. Each team has 20 minutes to take the 200 foot rope and tangle it up around the grate, then they switch and have to race to untangle the rope the fastest.
It’s a close battle, in which Jonna again looks like a solid partner, but Nany & Bananas pull off the victory (5 points each). Zach complains about Jonna (again), like a sore loser. Jonna stands up for herself because she knows she did well.
Theresa is such a baby. “The one game I’m actually doing well in… it’s like everybody else gets to come back.” She cries again (5 more points).
Back at the house after a celebratory cannon ball into the pool, Bananas touches base with Leroy. Leroy gives him the update, that he’s aligned with Wes (though Wes hasn’t done anything for Leroy, Leroy merely spared Wes last week). Bananas says the tables have turned so Leroy owes Wes nothing.
For what it’s worth, none of them really owe each other anything at this point. What’s issue if Leroy, or anyone else for that matter, goes back on their word at this point? Nonetheless, the politicking continues.
At what seems like breakfast, Nany & Bananas talk to Sarah. Nany & Bananas just want Wes & Theresa to lose so they have to go into the dome. Bananas suggest that Sarah & Jordan win and then they can put in whoever they want. Bananas doesn’t want to put in Leroy & Nia, but also doesn’t want to have any “blood on his hands” so why not let Sarah & Jordan do the dirty work of picking a team?
The challenge is called Wrecking Ball. A floating platform is suspended 30 feet in the air. Each contestant stands on a podium on a platform. A wrecking ball is released for players to swing at each other. The goal is knock each other off. They also have to dodge balls they can throw at people. The first team with both players knocked off goes straight to the dome, the team with the player who lasts the longest wins.
Nia is crazy afraid of heights (flashback to the trivia challenge where she nearly cried in her burrito) and doesn’t think she has the balance to get up onto her podium. With shaky legs, she can’t even stand on her podium thing. Jordan tries to get her to get up there, but she freaks out and jumps down to the water before the wrecking ball is even released.
Game officially starts and everyone goes after Wes & Theresa. Bananas knocks Theresa off, to Nany’s enjoyment. Then Jordan knocks Wes off. They’re going to the dome.
Someone hits Leroy with their dodgeball and he kinda just sits down then jumps off. T.J. says, “c’mon man” but it’s not quite clear enough to be disappointment points. Leroy is confident that Nany & Bananas and Jordan & Sarah will put the rookies in and he’s cool.
Nany is knocked off, then Sarah and Jay. Bananas “falls” off because he doesn’t want to win and choose who goes in. This makes the final two Jordan and Jenna. How amazing would it be for Jay & Jenna to win the trivia challenge and this one? Too amazing. Jordan knocks off Jenna, then does a beautiful back flip dismount to the water from the platform. T.J. does not award style points, but it was certainly stylish. Jordan & Sarah win (15 points each). They’re pumped about the victory.
Theresa “knows she’s a winner and doesn’t need a game to prove it, as she’s upset AGAIN.
Jay & Jenna likes that there’s fighting in the house and veteran enemies around because they’re in the under the radar position. Meanwhile, Nia is grasping at straws hoping Jordan doesn’t vote her in. Wes & Theresa call her out on living in a dream world. They’re going in.
At the power couple dinner, Jordan & Sarah welcome back Nany & Bananas, assuring them that they’re safe. Cheers!
Jordan & Sarah are committed to their strategy of trying to knock off a better team and they tell Leroy & Nia that they’re going in and hopefully they win. Leroy realizes he got played (don’t hate the player, hate the game) and maybe realizes he should’ve fought harder to win the challenge? Either way, Leroy gets the deal and walks away.
But Nia stays and is angry. She almost fights with Sarah & Jordan, who assure her not to take this personally. Leroy comes back and tells Nia to get outta there.
While the choice is made, as a viewer, it would obviously be the most fun to see Wes & Theresa go against their enemies, Nany & Bananas. But just as we didn’t get to see Leroy against Bananas on the log in the elimination dome, we’re not going to see veterans vs. veterans, because Jordan & Sarah pick Leroy & Nia to go into the dome against Wes & Theresa.
Before they pick, T.J. notes that Jordan & Sarah killed it yesterday (10 points each).
While Leroy was able to whisk Nia away from the power couple dinner table the night before, he can’t calm her now. Hurricane Nia erupts! He calls Jordan a coward for wanting to carry the rookies (whom she calls scrubs) to the finals. She pretty much goes off on everyone/everything, noting that Nany & Bananas came back from the dead.
Bananas points out that if she didn’t jump off and actually tried in the challenge, she wouldn’t be in this position. He has to yell this point for Nia to hear it, and because he screams that she’s a loser, he essentially fuels a Nany and Nia fight (5 points each, including Bananas who is in it enough to warrant points). Nia makes many hilarious slut comments to Nany.
Nia should save the rage for the dome (where it’s worked for Leroy), but we won’t see that til next week, since the episode concludes with:
To be continued…
Scoring for Episode 9 is noted below:
A link to the excel file is here: BOTE2 Scores – Ep9
Best player performances of the episode: Jordan (30 points)
Worst player performance of the episode: Jay, Jenna, Leroy, Zach & Jonna (0 points)