It’s the headbutt heard round the world… I mean the headbutt without any consequences whatsoever.
Season 32 – Episode 14
Title: Lavender is the New Black
Everyone gets back to the house still amazed at what happened at last week’s elimination. Bananas and Tony find a note that Zach left for them. Bananas is worried about his dwindling alliance, now down to just two teams.
Meanwhile, Team Young Buck (Nelson, Hunter, and Cory) are thrilled to all be together so late in the game. Cory in particular is excited. He hasn’t always seen eye to eye with his partner Devin, but they both want to win. Cory wants to win the money for his daughter.
In a poignant moment, Devin reveals that he originally flew to South Africa for Final Reckoning but after twenty-four hours, he was told that his father passed away and he had to go home. Devin is playing to make his dad proud.
Elsewhere in the house, the Lavender Ladies are squabbling with their former member Marie. Sylvia and Smashley make a veiled threat to Marie because Cara Maria is aligned with Bananas. Marie thinks the Lavender Ladies are annoying.
Over the Redemption House, everyone is shocked to see Zach and Amanda. Zach tells everyone the story of what happened last episode. Why did they need to show this? We already know what happened last episode! That’s two minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. While describing the elimination, Zach is bleeding from his nose, the result of the injury he suffered in the elimination (5 points for blood).
The challenge this week is called “What Goes Up Must Come Down.” The challengers must first race up a staircase to the top of a 200-foot tower. Once up there, one person is suspended down the side of the tower and has to describe puzzle pieces to their partner, so that the non-suspended partner can finish the puzzle. Once the puzzle is done, both partners are suspended on the side of the tower and have to race down. Cara Maria and Marie have a significant disadvantage as a result of losing the previous challenge – the gate to get into the tower is locked and they have to search through a large keyring to unlock it.
Cory and Devin go first. While they go up quickly and have no trouble with the puzzle, Devin is struggling to get down the tower, going extremely slowly. Hunter and Ashley go next but have a lot of trouble with the puzzle. They bicker but it doesn’t rise to the level of an argument. They also have trouble getting down the side of the tower.
Marie and Cara Maria are struggling with the puzzle and are not communicating well. Cara Maria has trouble getting down the side of the tower. However, Marie does so well that Tony wonders if Cara Maria and Marie swapped bodies.
Shane and Nelson are very fast and are communicating really well. They look like the team to beat. Joss and Sylvia go next and nothing of note happens.
Bananas and Tony go last. Everyone else (except Cara Maria and Marie) screams random colors in order to try to mess them up. Undeterred, they finish the puzzle and get down the building extremely quickly. Bananas is incensed that everyone was heckling at him and yells at them (5 points for verbal attack). T.J. reveals that Bananas and Tony win (15 points each), and no one is happy.
Back at the house, the Lavender Ladies are playing some kind of board game. Shane informs Marie that she and Cara Marie will be voted in. Marie is very unhappy and is personally hurt that her buddy Shane is voting for her. Marie quits the board game.
Everyone then goes out to the bar, but Marie is miserable. Marie and Smashley get into a fight at the club about the fact that the Lavender Ladies have turned on Marie (10 points each). Marie then discusses the issue with Sylvia, and Sylvia correctly points out that there are no other teams left besides the Lavender Ladies/Team Young Buck alliance and Bananas/Tony, and Bananas/Tony are safe from elimination. That leaves Cara Maria and Marie. Marie doesn’t feel any better. She talks to Shane and cries (10 points) at the loss of their friendship. Marie goes back to Sylvia and they get into an argument (10 points each).
Back at the house, Sylvia and Marie are mad at each other and get into another argument (10 points each). Sylvia tries to make an egg metaphor about how Marie isn’t scrambling or something, but it doesn’t really work. Turns out comparing someone to an egg doesn’t go . . . over easy.
Still drunk, Marie gets in Sylvia’s face and pushes her head lightly on Sylvia’s head. Sylvia responds by head butting Marie (15 points for physical attack). Sylvia says “don’t go nose to nose with me, bitch.” Security (but not producers) comes in and breaks up the fight. It’s a relatively weak headbutt, though, and Marie isn’t hurt.
The next day, T.J. comes into the house. The audience is champing at the bit to see what is going to happen to Sylvia and Joss as a result of the headbutt. However, it turns out that there are no consequences whatsoever. Where is the line? I understand that Marie wasn’t hurt by the headbutt, but neither was Kailah or Melissa by their fight in the first episode. I think Sylvia should have been kicked off (or at the very least she should have gotten a stern warning from T.J.).
The teams vote. Bananas and Tony vote for Hunter and Ashley. Hunter and Ashley, Shane and Nelson, Joss and Sylvia, and Devin and Cory all vote for Cara Maria and Marie. While voting, Cara Maria calls Marie her friend and they have a nice hugging moment in which Cara Maria cries (10 points). I’m a little tired of the “rivals as partners” concept, but I do like when former enemies become friends (the best example of this is CT and Adam on the first Rivals).
At Armageddon, unsurprisingly Cara Marie and Marie have the most votes. They decide to go up against Shane and Nelson, because Shane is the head of the Lavender Ladies and Cara Maria wants to go big. Shane and Nelson are extremely angry that they were chosen, and Nelson is confident in his 8-1 elimination record. We’ll have to wait until next week to see the elimination though.
- This has been Mix filling in for your normal author Rachel, who is off this week brainstorming better egg-related insults for Sylvia to use.
- We need more information regarding when the eliminated challengers pack their stuff. The show makes it seem like everyone packs before Armageddon, but how are the eliminated challengers able to leave notes? This is now the second time we have seen a note left by an eliminated person (the first instance being Kyle leaving a note for Cara Maria).
- If the Lavender Ladies think (correctly) that Marie should not be surprised that she and Cara Maria will be voted in, then the Lavender Ladies shouldn’t be surprised themselves when Cara Maria and Marie pick to go up against one of them. Shane and Nelson knew this had to be a possibility!
- Nelson struggles with the term “nitty gritty.” I guess he doesn’t play HQ.
- Given that The Challenge has been described as the fifth or sixth professional sport by Bill Simmons (depending on your love for soccer), would it kill The Challenge to announce all the teams’ times? It would have been nice to see how close it really was. I’d much rather see that than see a recap of last episode in the Redemption House.
Stuff on Twitter
- Kailah recognizes that she wasn’t held to the same standard as Sylvia
- Cara Maria has some advice on the next Challenge theme
Episode 14 scores:
A link to the excel score spreadsheet is here:
Best player performance of the episode: Marie (40 points)
Worst player performance of the episode: Many (0 points)