The Challenge Invasion – Ep12 (Last Week) – Laurel vs. Camila

It’s time for the last Champs elimination before the finals.

Thanks to Mix for filling in for me last week! Outstanding call on that Challenge being like the final on Legends of the Hidden Temple.

Season 29 Episode 13

Title: A River of Endless Light

Two of the best cast members by far this season are up against each other and it’s bittersweet. CT and Darrell are playing “Knot So Fast” to win the elimination and stay in the game. CT’s strategy is to tie a knot. He’s swinging around a little nest area thing that he can lay on like a hammock when he’s done. Darrell has stamina, and ran a giant web, which is tiring to undo with a heavy-ass rope. Both guys give it all they’ve got, but in the end CT’s tightly-wound knot was the better strategy. CT wins (25 points).

The Challenge Invasion – Ep13 – CT in His Knot So Fast Nest

T.J. is super impressed by CT’s knot and is very complimentary to CT, but doesn’t drop a “you killed it.” Come on, T.J.! Camila says it. Nice try, Camila. Then T.J. announces that everyone who is still there is in the finals and is taking a trip. There is excitement in the air, but there’s pressure, too, of course.

They go out and celebrate at a bar. Shots are had. Cory and Camila make out (10 points each). Nicole obviously wanted Laurel to win, so seeing Camila getting some is making her jealous. Back at the house, Smashley is frustrated because all her friends are gone. Nicole and Nelson talk about how much Nicole wished Laurel was there, and how much she likes Laurel even though, she’s tough and “don’t fall for no one.” Nicole cries (5 points) and then cries even talking about her feelings for Laurel in the interview (5 more points). Nelson tries to cheer her up and keep her head in the game.

Thinking they are talking about her or something, Smashley has a meltdown. She pushes the camera away and knocks Nelson’s hat off (15 points for physical attack). She yells at him and even though he keeps his cool, he’s heated and yells a bit, so it is a fight (10 points each).

Smashley is chocked up, upset. CT cheers up Smashley by assuring her that she has everything to be proud of, and forget those guys and their negativity, this is the end of the road! Time to cash in on that bank! Good talk, Dad.

Cast says goodbye to the Oasis and is transported to an amazing beach resort. Perhaps this is to be sure that when they leave Thailand, they will remember it as beautiful beaches and happiness, not the gross, hot, shower-less Shelter.

Feelings are good.

The cast finds out they will be participating in an ancient Thai festival that pays respect to the Goddess of water. It’s a traditional act of renewal. They will each place two lanterns into the water: one symbolizing their past and the other their future. CT mumbles that this is quite the day for this spiritual demonstration. He seems as close to pissed as he has all gotten season… like “thanks for doing this, production.” The underdogs don’t know what’s up and, even though they are often annoying, this time they are legitimately curious.

Camila tells them that it’s the anniversary of Diem’s death. Camila cries talking about Diem (5 points).

When it’s time to go down to the beach and do this thing, the emotions really come out for (almost) everyone. Smashley is chocked up talking about wanting to let go of caring about what other people think and working on personal growth. Nicole almost cries talking about letting go of her old girlfriend, thanks to finding a new girlfriend. CT now has a new feeling: he realizes this was an amazing coincident that her day is this day. The most amazing coincidences often feel like fate. His eyes are red and chocked up, but he doesn’t actually cry.

Camila in her interview, however, does cry (5 points). She’s thinking about all of those she’s lost and wanting to appreciate the short time we have.

The Challenge Invasion – Ep13 – Thai Renewal Festival

Nelson takes it seriously and says he cried, but we don’t see it.  Smashley has worked hard her whole life and is looking for happiness and peace. She admits it was a tough season for her. And CT, obviously, takes  this opportunity to let go of Diem. He is so happy being a Dad, and it’s helped him handle Diem’s death. I get that, totally. It’s the whole circle of life thing.

Seemingly the next day, they have a nice dinner and are server a phone that messages them that the final begins tomorrow. All the nerves and excitement are really building up now. Obviously, Camila and CT are hungry, ready and confident. As soon as they arrive, T.J. informs them that this is the “hardest final ever”, which I think we hear every season. Something new, however, is that it’s 3 days long. They are not as much surprised as afraid.

Also, the teams are done. Now it’s every one for themselves. Individual times. Individual prizes. And like we’ve seen before, they will be paired with different people for each leg of the race until the final stage, when they will each be alone.

To get their share of the banked money, they just need to finish. But there’s $240,000 more out there: 3rd place gets $5,000 each, 2nd gets $15,000 each and the winners get $100,000 each. “That’s a lot of diapers,” CT notes.

The Challenge Invasion – Ep13 – Long Swim Ahead

For the first part of this epic final, they pick partners to swim to an island with. They have to do a puzzle on that island to get the key, then paddle board back to the boat. CT and Camila pair up immediately. Nelson grabs Smashley, thinking she’s smart and a good swimmer. Cory feels stuck with Nicole, who hasn’t shown she’s can solve puzzles and, apparently, isn’t a great swimmer.

T.J. blows the horn and they are off. CT and Camila are swimming closely and in sync, leading the pack. Nelson is having a tough time with the current, and is falling behind of the others.

More epic final next week…

The Challenge Invasion – Ep13 – Finalists on the Starting Line

Stray observations:

  • I would eat so much at that Last Supper. They barely get edible food during these finals.
  • Thank you, MTV editing for dedicating a nice chunk of time to one of the best eliminations ever.
  • This seems like the first time in a long time that the finals was in the same (general) location… at least the same country, as the season was filmed in.
  • This is an interesting final group of girls. I’ll call them shorty, scrappy and the tough guy. They all are emotional…  no matter what Nicole thinks, and they have all cried a lot this season.
  • Smashley’s “…multiple alliances, multiple wins, multiple loses…” shows that she may be underestimated, but some of it is warranted.

Episode 13 scores shown below:

The Challenge Invasion – Ep13 – Scores

A link to the excel score spreadsheet is here: Invasion – Ep13 Scores

Best player performance of the episode: Smashley & CT (25 points each)

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

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  1. Jared says:

    Two questions. Didn’t Smashley knock off Nelson’s hat on 2 separate occasions? Should that be another 15 points? Also when everyone was on the boat after the elimination at the beginning of the episode didn’t Smashley pull down her pants and moon a boat that was passing by? Shouldn’t that be 10 points for nudity?

    • rachelarbeit says:

      Thanks for being so observant! We considered Smashley’s behavior that entire scene to be the same physical attack. For example, let’s say someone punches someone else then it breaks up for a second, and that person goes back 5 seconds later and begins punching again, we wouldn’t score that twice. But if she also went for his head on the boat or during the Thai ritual, it would be its own thing.

      As for her mooning, it was weak. Considering there were no blurred parts and she barely pulled her pants down, no nudity points.

      Your comment is actually a great reflection of this season: so many close cries, almost real fights, almost “you killed it” – it seems like there could have been a ton of scores this season that just weren’t. I blame MTV editing for not caring about our league.

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