‘The Challenge’ Awards: That Crab In Your Bed Is a Metaphor

Previously on The Challenge: everybody hooked up with everybody else. I’ve considered drawing a hookup flow chart for all the Challenges, but I don’t think there’s enough ink on the planet for that. Also, Evan is a douche and Nehemiah has many good reasons to hate him. This week is a girls’ elimination week. And scene.

Best Couple: Mike and Paula

Paula admits she’s crushing on Mike and that he’s a nice guy, which makes him a million times better than her previous show hookups. (Dunbar, anyone?) Johnny says that Mike is “the little engine that could” and that he wants to hook up with “that old lady Paula.” I hate Johnny. With his puffy drunk face he looks kind of like Jimmy Kimmel. And that talking head of Mike giggling like a schoolgirl is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Worst Couple: Wes and Mandi

Wes says that besides Mandi’s legs, he likes that she’s the most down to earth girl in the house. Cut to Mandi screaming her head off because two crabs got into the house and are right by her bed. SO MANY METAPHORS.

Shittiest Friends: Johnny and Kenny

Kenny voiceovers that Laurel came into the show in an alliance with them, but her flirtation with CT is causing them to freak out. They try to intimidate Laurel by giving her a length of rope and say that she’s hanging herself with it. But when she asks them if they’re mad about CT they both get passive-agressive and say they just want her to “be a better judge of character.” This is the exact same spiel that Wes gave Mandi before. Laurel voiceovers that when they tell her to stay away from someone she only wants to hang out with CT more out of spite. Which, duh, the guy is wearing a shirt with only one button and his glasses in this episode, so who wouldn’t?

Best Teammate: Cara Maria

Cara Maria and Laurel are told they’re going to have to go first and today’s challenge, and while Laurel is lashing out at her alliance Cara Maria doesn’t give a fuck. I wish more people would try to create a counter-alliance: you could easily get Jonna/Jasmine and Mike/Leroy and a few other teams in it and make things interesting numbers-wise. Cara Maria may not love Laurel, but she’s not intimidated by anyone else and is going to do what she has to do, and I appreciate that. Also, I really love her hair. When the challenge is announced, TJ says that they’re going to choose order schoolyard-style, and Cara Maria points out that the whole pecking order conversation was essentially bullshit.

Best Underdogs: Leroy and Mike

Because they’re quiet and not the biggest threats, they’re staying out of the jungle. Everyone is so distracted by CT/Adam that they don’t have time to notice that Mike and Leroy are formidable competitors. They’re staying cool and doing well on challenges, and I would love to see a rookie team pull out a win, especially a rookie team containing people who use complete sentences.

Most Wishy-Washy: Laurel

Laurel is clearly torn between her crush on CT and her loyalty to the stupid alliance. She ignores CT during the challenge, and he correctly calls her out on not wanting to interact with him in front of “the mob.” (Apparently this is what the Kenny/Johnny/Wes/whoever else alliance is called now.) Later she tries to convince him to vote for Mandi and Jenn to go into the jungle against her and Cara Maria, but CT doesn’t give a shit about the alliance and is just going to vote for whoever he wants without needing to consult other people. Imagine that: someone who decides their vote on their own without having to consult a committee! CT tells Laurel that if her alliance is more important to her than anything else, she should just own up to it.

Best Impersonation: Kenny as Cara Maria

The cast goes out clubbing, and everyone’s having fun except Cara Maria, who is sitting alone in a corner because a) she was with Abram Boise at the time and since he wasn’t on this challenge she missed him, b) she’s not really the clubbing type anyway, and c) she clearly hates most of these people, which I don’t blame her for. Kenny does a confessional where he gets Cara-esque extensions and does an impression of her that he calls “Kenny Maria.” It’s actually funny. I hate when Kenny stops being an asshole for five minutes and tricks me into liking him again. Luckily, I still hate Wes, though.

Worst Fight: Jenn and Cara Maria

The Jenn/Cara Maria fight isn’t so much a fight as a bit of yelling and posturing and threats to fight before people pull them away from each other. The only thing interesting about the fight is how it exposes some other alliances – I didn’t realize before this episode that Tyler considered Jenn his best friend, and it seems that the Jenn/Adam relationship is deeper than believed because of their gentleness with each other and Adam’s ability to cool Jenn down. However, we see an ugly side of my darling CT when he tells Cara Maria she’s stupid to pick fights and then starts talking a bunch of shit about Abram. All these challenges run together for me so I can’t remember if there’s specific Abe/CT drama, but CT can save his spiel for Abe instead of yelling at his girlfriend. Major step back there, CT. The one saving grace is that Laurel and Cara Maria bond after they get home from the club, showing how much they’ve worked on their relationship.

Biggest Dick Move: Everybody Wearing Blue

After all the Cara Maria/Jenn drama, almost the whole cast (including CT) shows up at the Jungle wearing blue, which are Jasmine and Jonna’s team colors. As Jenn gleefully points out, that is like a giant sign letting Laurel and Cara Maria know that everybody hopes they lose.

Most Confused About How the Jungle Works: Wes

Wes doesn’t seem to understand that alliances help you get through the game, but they can’t actually help you win in the Jungle. You think he would have learned that from Evan/Nehemiah’s loss last week, but it’s not like the dude is a brain trust. Wes voiceovers that Cara Maria and Laurel are stronger, but Jasmine and Jonna have the support of everyone. That’s awesome, but when you’re in a jungle that is all about brute strength, the support of your friends is worthless unless they can come in and fight on your behalf. On that logic, Cara Maria and Laurel win the jungle and stay in the game.

Best Coming-Full-Circle Moment: Jasmine

Although Jasmine is crying about having to go home, she’s proud of herself for getting this far and says that she now considers Jonna like a sister to her. She credits Jonna for being a great teammate and says that the next time they come back they’re going to be unstoppable. I really liked Jonna/Jasmine and was glad to see a rookie team do so well, so I hope they really have learned something and come back and form an anti-the-mob alliance next time.

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    • Amy

      Wow I’m impressed with how thorough this article was! Someone has done their challenge homework :) Kenny Maria was one of the funniest moments of the whole show. Please write more articles about rivals !!!

    • ines

      I really don’t like jenn and mandi. Laurel and cara maria are my absolute favourite (laurel is like my rolmodel ) and kenny and laurel should just get togethere!