The Challenge: Total Madness recap: Another double elimination decimates a strong alliance
Another double elimination week on The Challenge: Total Madness saw yet another red skull owner get sent home while two more players stamped their ticket to the final. But one former champ's "diabolical" plan to turn on an alliance member could backfire as she pushes away all her allies. Let's get to recapping all the action and drama!
The bunker is still reeling from last week's double male elimination that sent Jordan and Bear home. Josh is making good on his promise to try to rally the house after learning Swaggy knew Wes was going to send in Bear on a "blindside." (Can it really be a blindside if Bear was picked as one of four Purgatory nominees?) Josh is still convinced Wes is "coming after" him, so it's hilariously misguided. Wes isn't concerned at all, because he doesn't need to be.
And in a shocking turn of events, Dee is starting to question her self-described No. 1 girl ally Jenny running against her in the final, wondering if she should throw her into elimination. Hm, maybe she should have thought of that when she handed Jenny her red skull earlier this season? She tells this plan to Rogan, her self-described No. 1 guy ally, who rightfully starts to wonder what Dee will do to him if she's capable of stabbing Jenny in the back so easily. All it takes is one win and she's letting the power change her — this is not the Dee we saw last season! Rogan says he won't help her do it because it'd be like "suicide" in this game. And it's clear that he no longer trusts Dee. Will their weird alliance finally end like it should have when he tried to send her last season?
The Challenge: Tunnel Rats
Walking into this week's daily challenge, Big T is still on crutches after drunkenly splitting her toe open. TJ announces she's been deemed medically unfit to continue, and after a round of hugs, she's sent home.
On to the challenge! Played in teams, they'll be dropped one-by-one down a hole into a system of tunnels. Players must find and collect five puzzle pieces, run back, and solve the puzzle. Whoever finishes fastest, wins. And it's another double elimination week, this time for the females. Team 1: Fessy, Nelson, Kaycee, and Jenny. Team 2: Bananas, Rogan, Kyle, Melissa, and Jenna. Team 3: Wes, Cory, Bayleigh, Nany, and Dee. Team 4: Josh, Swaggy, Aneesa, Mattie, and Kailah.
Degree of physical difficulty: Low. There's a bit of running, but it's mostly the big drop and swimming in dark tunnels that will trip up some of these players if the anxiety gets to them.
Degree of mental difficulty: Moderate. The puzzle doesn't look too difficult, but again, the mental aspect comes from the fear of falling into the dark hole and running through tight, dark tunnels.
Potential for drama: High. With these conditions, we are going to see someone freak out!
Winner: Team 3: Wes, Cory, Bayleigh, Nany, and Dee.
In the first heat, Melissa freaks out over the drop, but her team works well together. Nelson still can't swim, so Jenny and Fessy have to go back to help him. Team 2 finishes the puzzle faster than Team 1. In the second heat, Swaggy starts freaking out, shouting, "Help!" repeatedly. A medic has to save him (even though he's in a life jacket!), and he gets disqualified. Josh has to swim twice to get Swaggy's piece, causing their team to lose a lot of time. Of course, Team 3 finishes before Team 4 ... because Team 4 doesn't even finish. They can't figure out the puzzle (and Swaggy's helmet is on backward?), so TJ puts them out of their misery. Overall, Team 3 was the fastest to finish.
Tribunal: Wes, Cory, Bayleigh, Nany, and Dee.
Back at the bunker, Jenna keeps trying to call Zach, and he's not taking any of her calls. I thought she had put all this drama on the back burner and was focusing on the game! "I don't blame him for not answering ... I'm the one that f---ed up," she tearfully tells Nany. Seriously?! You're here fighting for the same shot your boyfriend had: to win The Challenge. This is your best season yet, and your best chance at winning a final since you already have a red skull. Staying on the show to stick to your commitment is not f---ing up. Nany's getting just as annoyed at her as we all are, saying she's talking Jenna off a ledge every day, and she's fed up. Could this be the end of the Holy Trinity alliance?
Kaycee kicks off nominations by throwing herself in, and it's an honorable move for a rookie. I'm excited to see what she's got finally! For the second loser pick, Aneesa votes for herself, wanting her shot at a red skull. It's the most polite, calm voting session ever. Bananas tries to start drama by saying rumor has it Jenna doesn't want to be here, and she downplays it, but like, does she? Jenny's confident she's got friends on the Tribunal, so she's feeling safe they won't vote her in but ... Dee does not have your back, girl. She's getting Nany and Bayleigh to do her dirty work for her. I predict drama is coming because we haven't seen it yet, even at nominations. The bunker is too quiet.
Rogan goes straight to Jenny to let her know what Dee's planning because he's had enough. He says Dee "scares the s--- out of" him, and he's not "allowed to have fun" while she's around, so he wants to get rid of her before she can flip on him like she's flipping on Jenny. But Dee's in this Tribunal, so he tells Jenny to be ready for this elimination, come back, and then in the next female elimination, they'll flip on Dee.
Later that night, when the players go to a bar, Josh starts yelling at Swaggy about ... honestly, I don't even know. It's all nonsense. Bayleigh gets involved (of course), Swaggy starts yelling, "Suck my d---, p--sy," and Josh throws a drink on him. Security separates them, but Josh won't stop screaming. Then he climbs on top of the bar to keep yelling. They all look like fools.
The next day, the Tribunal picks Jenny, Kailah, Melissa, and Jenna for interrogation, and Kailah surprises me during her meeting with the winners. She says she wants to go in against Kaycee because she's beat Aneesa before in elimination. She wants to prove herself and beat someone she's never beat before, a.k.a. a "badass bitch" like Kaycee. She's angling to beef up her Challenge resume. I'm impressed! Hopefully, it works out for her like she wants.
Despite TJ's constant reminders that they need to get their red skulls ASAP, Nany and Bayleigh both decide not to go into elimination. The Tribunal votes Kailah to go against Kaycee (but Nany weirdly burned her vote on Jenny?), and Jenna to go against Aneesa (again, Nany burned her vote on Jenny). All of Nany's friends are now going against each other in elimination, and she still hasn't gone for a red skull herself. Not the best strategy!
Elimination challenge: Bombs Away. Players start in a giant dumpster with 100 heavy medicine ball "bombs," and they have to unload all 100 bombs. Once their dumpster is empty, they have to hop out and detonate a smoke bomb. First to detonate their smoke bomb wins.
Degree of physical difficulty: Moderate. This is all upper body strength and endurance.
Degree of mental difficulty: N/A. This is all physical.
Potential for drama: Low. Even though it's a double elimination, there will be only one more female red skull added to the group after this, since Jenna already has one. Either she keeps hers and another girl gets one, or Jenna is sent home and two other girls get red skulls.
Winner: Kaycee and Aneesa.
In the first matchup, Kaycee destroys Kailah and gets all her bombs out quickly. It wasn't even close! Bet Kailah's regretting her request to go against her now. The second matchup is much closer, and despite Jenna having a solid start, she slows down near the end, and Aneesa picks up steam, finishing first. Kailah and Jenna walk out of Purgatory arm-in-arm, and Wes shouts after them, "I hope your lives aren't all ruined at home!" Yikes. But also ... true. They're both heading home to some messy boyfriend drama.
Challenger of the week: Kaycee for showing no fear going into her first elimination and killing it. Now I'm excited to see what she can do in a final!