The Challenge Invasion - Ep8 - Puzzled Champs

The Challenge Invasion – Ep8 – Puzzled Champs

Things are getting puzzling…


Title: A Low Down Dirty Shane

Night out in Thailand! Some possible Darrell/Bananas foreshadowing, and by the looks of this screenshot, facing Darrell isn’t what Bananas wants.

Darrell vs. Bananas coming soon?

Meanwhile, Cory has moved on from what’s-her-name and is cuddling up with Camilla. They go the bathroom and he’s shirtless over her, they are definitely making out (10 points each).

The next morning Shane and Nicole are talking. Shane’s Underdog girls are wondering why he’s talking to the enemy. Sylvia, Amanda and Smashley wonder if he wants to be liked or if he’s scummy. But they also need Shane, since the votes come from the opposite gender.

Time for The Challenge! It is called Curry Up. The competitors have to race to a station with curry soup. There is the same amount of curry for the fewer champs  as the more plentiful in numbers underdogs. Their place-mat is a puzzle piece and they’ll take it with them. More running, more spicy soup. Each team member must finish their soup before they can move on to the next checkpoint. Whichever team finishes the puzzle first wins.

It’s Underdog elimination day so extra pressure on those guys. The first place guy and girl to finish station two and bring their puzzle pieces to the board are safe and get to nominate someone for the fortress.

Jenna’s worried as she can barely deal with the idea of asparagus, let alone actually exotic food. Camilla can’t wait to see the puke.

Oh, also this challenge isn’t worth $10k like the last two, it’s worth $15,000.

Horn is blown and they start to run. Station 1 curry, go! Sylvia pukes a little (5 points). CT can’t wait for second serving. Cory and Shane puke (5 points). Sylvia vomits again (5 more points). Remember: There is a limit of two vomits per episode, so while Sylvia may have vomited more, she is capped at the 10 points.

A Team That Curries Together, Wins Together

The Champs are making the Underdogs look like chumps. They have no problem with the soup and trot along nicely together, getting to the first puzzle station first and dropping their pieces with no issues.

But Shane has to yell at his team to get their act together. Shane and Nicole finish way before anyone else. Shane even takes down and extra bowl of curry. The Underdogs finally get running and Sylvia is lagging behind. Smashley vomits (5 points).

Champs make it to the second hotter curry station first. The picture of the completed puzzle is there for them to see. Camilla vomits (5 points).

On the Underdog side, Shane is the camp counselor/cheerleader/annoying leader. Cory, Amanda, Shane again, Cory again, Sylvia again. Jenna, Hunter… it’s a montage of vomit (5 points each).

The Champs bicker about the puzzle, but there’s no clear fight. It doesn’t matter, Champs are way ahead. Hunter and Nicole run up the hill from the 2nd curry station the fastest and win immunity from their elimination. Then they check out. Some of the Underdogs want to win the money, but they are way behind and the Champs win (15 points each).

Bananas, who loves to stir the pot, decides to rub in the win. Bananas teases the Underdogs for losing. Nelson talks back. Hunter verbally attacks Bananas in an angry tirade (5 points).

Now it’s politics time and fast. Let’s review the Underdog alliances… there’s the Dario/Cory/Jenna/Nicole alliance of 4 vs. the Shane/Hunter/Nelson/Amanda/Smashley/Sylvia alliance of 6. Sylvia knows she performed terribly this challenge and essentially nominates herself. Because Nicole won and is safe, some girl from the Shane alliance of 6 has to go in anyway. The guys side is a little more complicated. Nicole and Shane made a side deal to not vote for each other. When T.J. asks, Nicole sends Nelson into elimination, while Hunter predictably goes against the other alliance and sends Jenna.

Nelson is annoyed that Shane cut a side deal with Nicole. Cory and Dario offered Nelson some sort of deal, but Nelson stays true to his alliance. It’s not clear what the deal was and seeing as Nelson is already going to the elimination fortress, it doesn’t much matter. Shane is older and more experienced than the rest of his team. He’s not afraid to talk to these guys about his strategy.

Shane admits to the side deal. Nelson and Dario are not pleased, they yell at Amanda, asking if she knew. This is a Nelson/Dario/Shane fight (10 points each). And it’s dumb. Shane is strategic while Dario is panicky. Dario or Cory will be voted in, so Dario is trying to get the girls to turn on Shane. They don’t offer the girls loyalty or any kind of deal. Nelson and Dario simply point at Shane and call him shady.

Shane sits with his alliance girls and explains that he was never going to put them in harm’s way, he was just worrying about himself. Instead of being understanding to his game strategy, Amanda think he’s selfish. Shane reminds them that he is one of the stronger team members. Nelson tries to get to the girls, influence them to put Shane in. Sylvia trusts no one.

While Smashley and Amanda are in the pool, Bananas steals their toilet seat and sends it on a floaty to the swamp. This is because Bananas likes to be annoying and because there’s no TV in the Oasis so they must entertain themselves. Smashley has a meltdown and wants to go home. She pushes over a chair and slams a door, but she doesn’t near freak out on Oasis the way Nelson did. This does not yield physical attack points. She’s chocked up and upset. By the end of the talk with Amanda and the producer, Smashley (5 points). Smashley eventually calms down and doesn’t quit.

T.J. shows up to get the Underdog vote. Since Hunter and Nicole won and already nominated someone, they don’t get to vote this round. Ladies vote first. Amanda doesn’t know if she should vote for the anti-alliance, Cory or Dario or two-faced Shane. Amanda goes with Dario. Turns out Dario’s strategy backfired. Cory’s silence worked for him. T.J. identifies the “team within a team” and how problematic that seems. Jenna votes Shane. Sylvia says Dario. Sylvia votes Dario as does Smashley. It will be Dario vs. Nelson.

The Challenge Invasion – Ep8 – Underdogs Voting

Dario votes Sylvia, citing that Sylvia said she wants to go in cause she knows she sucked that challenge. The rest of the boys vote the same way because she made it easy for them.

In the kitchen, Bananas confronts Sylvia. He doesn’t understand why Sylvia, who has won an elimination, feels the need to prove herself again. He assumes Syliva volunteered to go in because she’s checked out. He also reminds her that nobility gets you nowhere in the Challenge. Sylvia really wants to prove him wrong. To the fortress they go.

The elimination is called Bell Ringer. Each player has a bell suspended 15 feet in the air with 16 tiles. The player must knock down and/or smash all their tile idols to win. Guys go first. When they hits the idols, blue or red powder comes out. Must be hard for them to see, Camilla notes. Dario is lost. Nelson wins (25 points).

The Challenge Invasion – Ep8 – Bell Ringer Elimination

Jenna sees this as technique, rather than strength. Jenna figures it’s anyone’s game. They both get two fast and then get stuck. Jenna goes for lasso/rodeo style and Sylvia just doesn’t have the rhythm. It works. Jenna wins (25 points). Sylvia is disappointed, cries (5 points) and realizes that volunteering for the elimination was not smart.

Cara Maria thinks this outcome makes the Underdog team stronger. I’m not sure she’s wrong.

Camilla reads a love note to Cory from Kailah, which is kind-of hilarious. Camila doesn’t know or care about whatever was going on with Cory and Kailah. I’m sure we’ll learn more about the feelings of this triangle at the reunion.

While Smashley and Amanda are in the pool with Shane, Camila, Cara Maria and Laurel sneak chips under their sheets. They’ll lay down and hear crunches. It’s actually pretty great.

Smashley and Amanda have no sense of humor. Hunter thinks it’s funny and then Smashley, Hunter and Amanda fight about chips in the bed (10 points each). Hunter is done with Smashley… done with her sexually, showmantically, and done with being in an alliance with her.

Cara Maria and Nicole think this is hilarious because it is. Cara Maria even drops some puns about them being salty. Nice.

The Challenge Invasion – Ep8 – Sylvia

Stray observations:

  • Laurel’s first eating challenge? Really? Wow.
  • Sylvia looks better now than she did in the beginning of the season. The beach life, shelter/curry diet and home gym are serving her well.
  • We may need to add producer intervention points next season.
  • Is there any chance the Underdogs sit down and decide to pull names from a hat, go by performance or use some sort of new strategy that eliminates this inner alliance? I’m not counting on it.
  • Of all “nothing personals” thrown around at voting time, I believe Jenna. She recognizes that Shane was the best player on their team in the Curry Up challenge.
  • Cara Maria is absolutely right: if you get pissed at a prank, they will prank you more. Be cool.
  • Without Ashley K.’s presence to motivate, Dario just couldn’t do it. And/or he’s not that good.
  • T.J. is just not saying “you killed it” this season!

Episode 8 scores shown below:

The Challenge Invasion – Ep8 – Scores

A link to the excel score spreadsheet is here: Invasion – Ep8 Scores

Best player performance of the episode: Nelson (35 points)

Worst player performances of the episode: Nicole (0 points)

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