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S36.E04: Duplicity

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Loyalty is tested in a volatile new partnership. Agents must put their intel skills to the test while in a lava tunnel during "Mission: Drone Control." A stunning battle in The Crater causes ripples.

Airs Wednesday, January 6th.

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I know Fessy is polarizing, but his "you're scared every season, Josh" in the previews for next episode is a mood.

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Well this was an interesting episode even though the daily challenge was stupid.

Josh wanted to go into elimination but I absolutely believe he would have lost against Nelson.

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I'm not that mad at Fessy. It's probably due to today's events, where assholes screwing assholes seems so petty in the bigger picture. I mean, I really don't like guys like Josh and Devin, but even they have limits. They are masters, but in a pocket universe that we can detach from. Or, in today's case, watch as a distraction.

Am I a softie for wanting the players to get to practice with the drones? Apparently, few of them had experience with those, and it didn't look intuitive at all. I don't think TJ would've had better luck. Of course, Devin and Tori are the only ones who finish it, and the dominoes wind up falling on Nelson. Fessy flexes on Nelson in Hall Brawl, then swipes Kaycee from Leroy because he wants to burn all the bridges around him.

And Josh is still a dope. Picking a fight with Jay wasn't a good move, because I've seen the dedication of Jay's fangirls. They love him, possibly more than Jeff Probst, and they would love a reason to pummel Josh.

Seriously, though, why another guys' elimination? I know Liv (who?) had to go home after Nicole, but I would think a woman other than Natalie would've gotten a Gold Skull by now.

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49 minutes ago, Lantern7 said:

Am I a softie for wanting the players to get to practice with the drones? Apparently, few of them had experience with those, and it didn't look intuitive at all. I don't think TJ would've had better luck.

I always laugh when TJ or Probst mock people on these shows for not being able to do stuff.   TJ offends me less because the dude was/possibly still is an athlete, but you know Probst can't do half of the challenges he mocks others for failing at.  But yeah like you said, I would love to see how good TJ would do on something like this.

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The drone challenge was dumb.  They didn't get to practice flying and they have to fly blind because most of the partners gave bad instructions.

So yet another physical elimination, that seems like most of the eliminations have been physical.  At least the Hall Challenge is out of the way.  I mean visually interesting but again, a big mismatch in size and weight.

And they're changing the rules as they go along.  TJ wouldn't tell him which gender elimination it was.  Maybe they withheld the information to see which way Tori and Devin would vote so that they can set up this villain story line for Fessy.

Was Fessy putting his hand into Nelson's face while they were piled up?

 

 

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41 minutes ago, aghst said:

Was Fessy putting his hand into Nelson's face while they were piled up?

 

 

It looked as if he might have been.  I was half paying attention so I could not be certain.  It looked like he slammed Nelson's head either into the side of the chamber and into the ground as well.

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4 hours ago, AntFTW said:

Well this was an interesting episode even though the daily challenge was stupid.

Josh wanted to go into elimination but I absolutely believe he would have lost against Nelson.

Because...they lost two women unplanned and it fucks up their whole scheduling? 

I have a feeling they will let the women have a free for all for skulls at some point to make up for it 

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5 hours ago, Racj82 said:

Because...they lost two women unplanned and it fucks up their whole scheduling? 

I have a feeling they will let the women have a free for all for skulls at some point to make up for it 

1) I was thinking when the challengers started questioning whether it was gonna be a guys or girls day, did they receive some sort of cryptic information that we’re not aware of? Even though they unexpectedly lost two women, they just had a guys elimination, why are they assuming it’s gonna be a guys day again when they’ve clearly been alternating between men and women’s eliminations?

Sometimes they’ve canceled eliminations because a cast member unexpectedly leaves. Sometimes they bring in replacements. Sometimes they continue as normal. Why assume it’ll be a men’s elimination???

2) Another thing I’m also wondering now is if one person of the “Double Agents” want to go down, does that put the other “Double Agent” at risk?

Lets say it ends up being a double elimination where a man and a woman goes home, and the woman wants to go down to get her skull and the man doesn’t because he has his skull already (like with Tori and Devin this episode)... I’m now extremely curious at what happens.

It sorta seems like if Tori went down, Devin would have been in the elimination against Nelson.

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AND ANOTHER THING! What’s up with these men being so overly dramatic???

Nelson “confronts” Devin because Amber is supposedly crying on his shoulder and then the camera goes to Amber and there are no tears. What is going on?

First Josh with his “Kaycee’s crying in the kitchen 😭” and now Nelson? These people really want their camera time.

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40 minutes ago, AntFTW said:

AND ANOTHER THING! What’s up with these men being so overly dramatic???

Nelson “confronts” Devin because Amber is supposedly crying on his shoulder and then the camera goes to Amber and there are no tears. What is going on?

First Josh with his “Kaycee’s crying in the kitchen 😭” and now Nelson? These people really want their camera time.

Josh is a ridiculous crybaby moron.* But aside from him, I think you answered your own question: camera time. 

* I'm still scarred from BB19. 

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So we’ve had three guys eliminations in a row:

Ashley v Natalie

Kyle v mustard guy whose name I don’t remember

Wes v Devin

Fessy v Nelson

My guess is that because two girls went home, that’s an “elimination.”

Ashley, Mustard Guy, Nicole, Wes, Liv, Nelson... I guess that’s still alternating between men and women except the women only have one skull so far.

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I'm still chuckling that big man baby Josh actually thought he could win against Nelson in a hall brawl. And this is after he was campaigning for the house to vote in the smallest male competitor, someone in his own alliance, once he found out he was the most likeliest to be picked by Devin. 

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I can't stand Kaycee, but the look of horror on her face when Fessy selected her as his partner was great. She certainly recognized that he had severely fucked all trust between most of their alliance and she does not want to go down with that ship.

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33 minutes ago, luckyroll3 said:

I'm still chuckling that big man baby Josh actually thought he could win against Nelson in a hall brawl. And this is after he was campaigning for the house to vote in the smallest male competitor, someone in his own alliance, once he found out he was the most likeliest to be picked by Devin. 

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I can't stand Kaycee, but the look of horror on her face when Fessy selected her as his partner was great. She certainly recognized that he had severely fucked all trust between most of their alliance and she does not want to go down with that ship.

I don't think Josh realizes he sucks at playing this game.

Is it me or is everyone stupid this season? No one in particular is playing a good and entertaining game. Everyone just seems to be winging it.

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As soon as Fessy sees that it's a hall brawl, he asks Tori to pick him while not knowing that the house vote was gonna be Nelson and Amber and not knowing if it was gonna be a men's or women's elimination. Without thinking about any other parts of the game, he asks to go in and then chooses Kaycee as his new partner. It seems like he was just winging his strategy throughout the entire episode.

Nelson, Nelson, Nelson... here we go again. Nelson is a fucking idiot! Nelson got himself thrown into elimination.

...and Nelson and these hall brawls. Nelson doesn't lose these hall brawls because of lack of athletic ability. He's loses them because he's stupid. He always misses his opening to make a run for it by like 1 or 2 seconds.

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1 hour ago, AntFTW said:

As soon as Fessy sees that it's a hall brawl, he asks Tori to pick him while not knowing that the house vote was gonna be Nelson and Amber and not knowing if it was gonna be a men's or women's elimination. Without thinking about any other parts of the game, he asks to go in and then chooses Kaycee as his new partner. It seems like he was just winging his strategy throughout the entire episode.

Not quite. When they walk in, he says to Tori, "if it is Nelson I want to go in against him". And Tori yells over her shoulder, "It's Nelson."

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I don’t get Fessy. He’s not entertaining in the slightest. He’s big and athletic. But I get the sense he’s not built for finals. So, whatever with him. I’m over all of the Big Brother people. 
 

Josh continues to be arguably the worst and most annoying cast member of all-time. He starts arguments simply for camera time. Which isn’t unusual, but the guy has such a delusional opinion of his ability. He’s always searching for rivals, but his biggest rival will always be his fat tongue and trying not to choke or bite on it when he talks. 
 

Poor Nelson. I actually think he could win a final, but I question if he’ll ever get there again. 
 

It amazes me how Darrell continues to fly under the radar. He’d smoke all of those fools in a final. 

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12 minutes ago, luckyroll3 said:

Not quite. When they walk in, he says to Tori, "if it is Nelson I want to go in against him". And Tori yells over her shoulder, "It's Nelson."

DAMN! I missed that. I didn't hear that at all. Now I gotta rewatch.

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Nelson went on Instagram live after the episode aired. He said that Tori told him that Josh begged her not to put him in. Josh was just putting on a show for the cameras by asking to be put in and Tori knew it wasn't genuine,  which is why she didn't put him in. He also said that he jammed his finger in the last challenge but didn't tell producers for fear of being medically eliminated. He said that only fessy and Corey knew that and fessy was kneeling on his bad hand as well as putting dirt in his eyes during the hall brawl. All of which means that Josh is as big of a loser as we all suspected and Fessy is a total scumbag. He's 6'5 and had to play that dirty to win hall brawl?  That tells me he's not as good as he thinks he is

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Everything Josh does is for air time. And he needs to find a replacement to fight with now that "his greatest rival evah!", Wes, is gone.

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Devin, did Amber M. pee in your Cheerios, or use your egg quesadilla pan (TM CT), or something?  I don't expect much, but that was just mean telling her to leave.

I think Mechie seems like a nice person.  

Jay's face when Josh was being so irrational and jerky...poor Jay.  

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That clip of Josh saying at some earlier time to Faysal he wanted to go in proves nothing, because like most people on earth, Faysal was most likely not listening to a damn word Josh said.

Josh is the WOOOOOOOORST.

Faysal and Nelson both lowered their heads.  15 yards, offsetting penalties.

I like Nelson still (I KNOW) but FFS.  When was Amber crying?  Never, that’s when.

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So... I don't hate Fessy's decision. Short term, he gets the skull. Long term, he's probably bought himself another season. And since he's not generally very dramatic, that's a big deal. Was it the smartest move, the way it played out? No. But "smart" is not, has never been, and will never be his strong suit.

Also, I'm still in the shallow end of the pool that I jumped into gleefully during BB20. He's hot. Fire hot. It's reality TV, I've got to get my enjoyment somehow, and it's not going to be from these people being spiritual role models. 🤷‍♀️

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Fessy was the biggest winner this episode. Gold skull, and new partner. No one is going to challenge Fessy for his skull. Free ride to the final.  Fessy and KC are a strong team. He couldn't wait to dump Anessa. "Someone is going to steal me eventually". The ego. 

2 hours ago, Treehugger9 said:

Nelson went on Instagram live after the episode aired. He said that Tori told him that Josh begged her not to put him in. Josh was just putting on a show for the cameras by asking to be put in and Tori knew it wasn't genuine,  which is why she didn't put him in. 

I figured as much. Josh is by far my least favorite challenger across all seasons. I also believe he turned his sights on Jay because he felt it would be easier to beat him in elimination rather than Nelson. Meanwhile the eliminations are wild cards, and Jay did beat CT last challenge. 

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24 minutes ago, LaurelleJ said:

Fessy was the biggest winner this episode. Gold skull, and new partner. No one is going to challenge Fessy for his skull. Free ride to the final.  Fessy and KC are a strong team. He couldn't wait to dump Anessa. "Someone is going to steal me eventually". The ego.

No one is gonna challenge him but that doesn't stop others from throwing him in, especially if they (the "Double Agents" specifically) see its something janky and not physical.

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55 minutes ago, LaurelleJ said:

I also believe he turned his sights on Jay because he felt it would be easier to beat him in elimination rather than Nelson.

I half-think that, and I half-think Josh has this weird "if you're not with me, you're against me" mentality left over from BB19, and because Jay is floating, he sees Jay as not "with" him. And Josh is sort of not wrong there. I think Jay senses the hierarchy in Kaycee's coalition and knows he'd be close to the bottom, plus he has a MTV vet partner. Since all Jay wants to do is not get thrown in, he's going to lean on his social game and jump ship whenever he senses he's becoming a target. So, oddly enough, Josh is probably right in that Jay will not stick with their alliance, but Jay is also probably right not to do so.

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Ok probably a stupid question but could Fessy given his spot to Josh?  I thought once a team was chosen they had to go in and couldn’t trade it.  I couldn’t figure out why Josh was begging Fessy to trade and then got so mad when he wouldn’t.  

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2 minutes ago, LBS said:

Ok probably a stupid question but could Fessy given his spot to Josh?  I thought once a team was chosen they had to go in and couldn’t trade it.  I couldn’t figure out why Josh was begging Fessy to trade and then got so mad when he wouldn’t.  

I think it’s possible but if I had to guess, it would be with the consent of the Double Agents, Fessy, and/or Nelson and Amber.

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8 hours ago, luckyroll3 said:

Not quite. When they walk in, he says to Tori, "if it is Nelson I want to go in against him". And Tori yells over her shoulder, "It's Nelson."

Aww! I completely missed that. 

I’m mixed about Fessy picking Kaycee as a partner. He probably thinks it’s more likely that he wins comps with Kaycee, which I think is true. Also, he and Kaycee are both strong, so that’s another layer of protection - anyone partnered with someone thought to be weak is vulnerable, like Nelson. However, he pissed off 2 more people in the process, and Kaycee has the same allies that he does, so that’s not really helpful. 

I can’t stand Josh! I get why Nelson and Cory were mad at Fessy, but Josh can STFU. I like Nany, so I hate that she is partnered with him, but I don’t want them to win anything. Hopefully, he gets beat soon and she can get a new partner.

 

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13 hours ago, IndyMischa said:

Josh is a ridiculous crybaby moron.* But aside from him, I think you answered your own question: camera time. 

* I'm still scarred from BB19. 

I think we all are. 

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52 minutes ago, AntFTW said:

I think it’s possible but if I had to guess, it would be with the consent of the Double Agents, Fessy, and/or Nelson and Amber.

Since we now know that he begged Tori not to put him in, I bet he knew that Fessy couldn’t give it to him but was putting on a show for the cameras. 

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40 minutes ago, Jess14 said:

Aww! I completely missed that.

So did I! I had to go back and rewatch. My jaw dropped!

Tori told Fessy that it was Nelson going in and Fessy said to send him in.

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10 hours ago, ImpinAintEasy said:

Josh continues to be arguably the worst and most annoying cast member of all-time. He starts arguments simply for camera time. Which isn’t unusual, but the guy has such a delusional opinion of his ability. He’s always searching for rivals, but his biggest rival will always be his fat tongue and trying not to choke or bite on it when he talks.

 

He is actually pretty tame on The Challenge.  He was a hell of a lot more annoying on Big Brother.  But to tell you how loathsome the people were on his season of Big Brother.  I absolutely despised Josh, yet once he was in the final three I wanted him to win so bad.  Because the other two people in the final three were even worse.  The guy he beat was the one who controlled Josh and told him what to do to get under people's skin.  The other member of the final three was a chick who I think might be a legit psychopath.  So yeah that tells you how bad that season was, when I was beyond thrilled that Josh picked up the win.

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6 hours ago, BK1978 said:

He is actually pretty tame on The Challenge.  He was a hell of a lot more annoying on Big Brother.  But to tell you how loathsome the people were on his season of Big Brother.  I absolutely despised Josh, yet once he was in the final three I wanted him to win so bad.  Because the other two people in the final three were even worse.  The guy he beat was the one who controlled Josh and told him what to do to get under people's skin.  The other member of the final three was a chick who I think might be a legit psychopath.  So yeah that tells you how bad that season was, when I was beyond thrilled that Josh picked up the win.

Yup.   100%.   

As for Fessy, he was in the majority alliance in his BB season that got picked off one by one by the minority alliance which only lost 1 member of their own in the process.  And every elimination, Fessy was shocked that the target didn’t go home.   Shocked!

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6 hours ago, BK1978 said:

He is actually pretty tame on The Challenge.  He was a hell of a lot more annoying on Big Brother.  But to tell you how loathsome the people were on his season of Big Brother.  I absolutely despised Josh, yet once he was in the final three I wanted him to win so bad.  Because the other two people in the final three were even worse.  The guy he beat was the one who controlled Josh and told him what to do to get under people's skin.  The other member of the final three was a chick who I think might be a legit psychopath.  So yeah that tells you how bad that season was, when I was beyond thrilled that Josh picked up the win.

Was that Paulie, Cara Maria's new psycho boyfriend. I don't watch BB, so I can't remember if he came from the season with Josh.

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1 hour ago, luckyroll3 said:

Was that Paulie, Cara Maria's new psycho boyfriend. I don't watch BB, so I can't remember if he came from the season with Josh.

It was Paul. Ugh, I despise that little man. 

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Yes, Paul and Paulie are two different awful human beings.

I watched this episode online, and MTV had tags like "hall brawl" and "rivalry."  But the first tag?  DEAD PARENTS.  WTF, MTV??  You're showing less respect of Big T sharing her story than Devin.

Although, speaking of which, I actually think it was the DEAD PARENTS conversation that triggered Devin.  It's not uncommon for people to choose anger over pain when it comes to grief.  I'm not excusing his behavior.  I just wondered if that's where it came from, because it was like DEAD PARENTS - pause 2 seconds - AMBER I HATE YOU GET OUT OF HERE.

And seeing this all play out, I'm surprised Tori has hitched her wagon to Fessy.  It's good for him, but I don't see how it much helps her (in terms of staying cast on this show).

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Honestly, I'm not mad at Fessy. You know if any of these guys saw an elimination that they were confident they could win, they would ask to be thrown in too. He got his skull. All of the "how could Fessy do this to Nelson" is bs. If given then chance, any of them would do the same. Probably not Cory, since he and Nelson are pretty good friends. I don't like that Fessy played dirty though.

Everyone completely failing during the daily challenge was pretty hilarious. As was Nany's "shut up Josh" while Josh was doing his shocked WOOOOW. I agree with Big T, Josh needs to have some tea and meditate. Although I doubt that would help him. 

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51 minutes ago, lasu said:

Yes, Paul and Paulie are two different awful human beings.

These are 2 separate people?!?!? Which one is on The Challenge/dates Cara Maria? Which one is Josh's puppet master from BB?

giphy.gif

 

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1 hour ago, luckyroll3 said:

These are 2 separate people?!?!? Which one is on The Challenge/dates Cara Maria? Which one is Josh's puppet master from BB?

Paulie is Cara's boyfriendly person. Paul with no eeee is Josh's puppet master who lost Big Brother TWICE, and it was glorious.  There are few people who annoy me as much as Paul no eeee, because he competed on Big Brother in back to back seasons and came in second both times.  I was already pretty thrilled that he lost to JOSH of all people, but when I found out he didn't study BB before his first season was bad enough.  But the fact that this asshole didn't review ANYthing between seasons is hubris beyond reason.  Luckily though, I don't see him coming on The Challenge.

On another subject, I know I've complained a bit about how much athleticism The Challenge now requires, but truly that is just because I think we lose some of the personalities we might see otherwise, and I also accept that this show has evolved.  I get it.  But I really do not like seeing things like Hall Brawl.  I understand that any of these challenges can lead to injury, but some of these are just too brutal and the likelihood of someone getting hurt becomes LIKELY, not just possible.  I don't enjoy boxing or football or hockey (and other such sports) because I don't think it's ok to put human beings in situations that are going to harm them for sport.  I just don't see how they can keep doing these brutal challenges without someone getting seriously injured.  I'd rather see them jump around on tractor trailers where there's a chance someone might dislocate a shoulder versus people doing physical things like tackling when they don't know how to do it without a high likelihood of real injury.

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Thanks y'all. I haven't watched BB since season 2 (with Dr. Will), so I don't know none of these folks until they show up being assholes on The Challenge.  

I don't mind the increased athleticism too much, but I do wish they included more equalizers, either as separate challenges or within the predominantly strength-based challenges. Some of them are so boring, especially when competitors are clearly mismatched by size, that they could benefit from more suspense that a brain teaser or strategy game could provide.

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5 hours ago, lasu said:

Paulie is Cara's boyfriendly person. Paul with no eeee is Josh's puppet master who lost Big Brother TWICE, and it was glorious.  There are few people who annoy me as much as Paul no eeee, because he competed on Big Brother in back to back seasons and came in second both times.  I was already pretty thrilled that he lost to JOSH of all people, but when I found out he didn't study BB before his first season was bad enough.  But the fact that this asshole didn't review ANYthing between seasons is hubris beyond reason.  Luckily though, I don't see him coming on The Challenge.

On another subject, I know I've complained a bit about how much athleticism The Challenge now requires, but truly that is just because I think we lose some of the personalities we might see otherwise, and I also accept that this show has evolved.  I get it.  But I really do not like seeing things like Hall Brawl.  I understand that any of these challenges can lead to injury, but some of these are just too brutal and the likelihood of someone getting hurt becomes LIKELY, not just possible.  I don't enjoy boxing or football or hockey (and other such sports) because I don't think it's ok to put human beings in situations that are going to harm them for sport.  I just don't see how they can keep doing these brutal challenges without someone getting seriously injured.  I'd rather see them jump around on tractor trailers where there's a chance someone might dislocate a shoulder versus people doing physical things like tackling when they don't know how to do it without a high likelihood of real injury.

For me, I'm the opposite, at least, with regard to Hall Brawls. I need a good Hall Brawl every season. My first season watching The Challenge was BOTS 23 and I think that was the season they introduced Hall Brawl. Once I Zach and CJ go at it, I couldn't go back.

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11 hours ago, luckyroll3 said:

Thanks y'all. I haven't watched BB since season 2 (with Dr. Will), so I don't know none of these folks until they show up being assholes on The Challenge. 

Honestly even though I become obsessed (TM Tommy Bracco) with the show almost every summer, you haven't missed much.  In the twenty years that you have missed there have been maybe four or five really good seasons (Seasons 3, 6, 10, and Fessy/Kaycee's season 20) the rest have been either somewhat watchable to just plain horrible (Too many seasons would fall into this section but Josh's season 20 and seasons 21 and 22 are really bad).

As I was saying before the final three during the season that Josh won might very well be the worst final three out of any show in the history of reality television.  It had three of the most unlikable assholes to ever grace television as the final three.  Okay I know this is not a BB thread so back to the actual show I am meant to talk about...

12 hours ago, lasu said:

 

On another subject, I know I've complained a bit about how much athleticism The Challenge now requires, but truly that is just because I think we lose some of the personalities we might see otherwise, and I also accept that this show has evolved.  I get it.  But I really do not like seeing things like Hall Brawl.  I understand that any of these challenges can lead to injury, but some of these are just too brutal and the likelihood of someone getting hurt becomes LIKELY, not just possible.  I don't enjoy boxing or football or hockey (and other such sports) because I don't think it's ok to put human beings in situations that are going to harm them for sport.  I just don't see how they can keep doing these brutal challenges without someone getting seriously injured.  I'd rather see them jump around on tractor trailers where there's a chance someone might dislocate a shoulder versus people doing physical things like tackling when they don't know how to do it without a high likelihood of real injury.

I don't mind something like Hall Brawl if the two people are evenly matched or somewhat evenly matched.  Nelson/Fessy are somewhat evenly matched so I did not have a problem with them.   But I would cringe if say it was someone like Jay or Mechie going against Fessy or CT.

The challenge that took out Nicole and Liv I was not fond of.  Even before both of them got injured, I had a strong feeling that there were going to be folks getting hurt in that challenge.

I watch MMA and other contact sports and I have no problem with them putting themselves in harms way because they are highly trained athletes who know the risks (Well until recently a lot of football players did not know the risk but that is a whole other topic.).  I do not enjoy seeing people on a reality show being put in certain situations because while a lot of the contestants are in fantastic shape, they have not been training for this their entire life, can you really train for some of these challenges, and that's what makes me wish they would ease back on some of these challenges.

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Fessy seems like an idiot, but I was grateful for him at least making this an interesting episode. I can't follow people who are super into "loyalty" when this is an individual game at the end of the day. And Josh not getting what (he at least was claiming to want) was great. 

Devin is definitely the character I enjoy for periodic smart ass statements that make me laugh but then I dislike for being a jerk for no apparent reason (being a jerk to rile up Josh I get). I did enjoy the banter with him and Tori. I hope they are stuck together for a while like the premise of some sitcom. 

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Whoever was on the testing team must have some familiarity with flying drones, because almost no one was getting it. Though I appreciated it as a competition because it didn't rely 100% on being big/strong.

Devin was really smart/aware in saying that the game plan is going to change in every round as partners change. I do like this kind of rotating partners/alliances setup for the challenge. You can't really scheme or plan out how the dominos will fall too far down the line when partners could switch the next day. It's a nice change from earlier seasons where you could pick out the order everyone was going to go into elimination based on the alliances (I don't know if this is more the norm now, I haven't watched the last few seasons) 

I'm just waiting for one day when they walk in and see hall brawl set up and it turns out it's like... who can paint the wall faster or something that's a total bait-and-switch. Not everything has to be physical vs puzzle, but some more variety would be nice. 

Josh continues to annoy me. He's trying so hard for screen time with his big "blow the house down" act without being smart enough to realize that he is coming across so badly. Fessy (also, "fess" hee!) is also really annoying and egotistical, and not in an entertaining way. For new people I do like Jay and Big T, hoping they stick around for a bit.

Love the Leroy/Aneesa team. REALLY rooting for them! 

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I’m really enjoying the format this season. I thought this episode was the most unexpected one I’d seen in a while in terms of how the elimination players worked out. Also, the social media implosion between Tori, Jordan, Fessy, and Haleigh that corresponded to this episode was fascinating. Fessy is a very strong competitor, but I think this was a short sighted move if he intends to have a long challenge career. You can’t play this game alone. After the events of this episode, I wouldn’t want Fessy as an ally on a future season. I also lost respect for him with his dirty elimination play. He double crossed someone who thought they were friends. The fact that he then used underhanded tactics against his so-called friend just added insult to injury. 

I assume the testing team had little difficulty with the challenge, or they would have adapted it, but this is a great example of one that apparently the testing team is just much better at than the contestants, leading to not much competition. I knew as soon as I saw the word “binary” that they were probably overestimating our cast’s abilities, but for the most part that didn’t even come into it.

On 1/7/2021 at 8:21 AM, AntFTW said:

1) I was thinking when the challengers started questioning whether it was gonna be a guys or girls day, did they receive some sort of cryptic information that we’re not aware of? Even though they unexpectedly lost two women, they just had a guys elimination, why are they assuming it’s gonna be a guys day again when they’ve clearly been alternating between men and women’s eliminations?

Sometimes they’ve canceled eliminations because a cast member unexpectedly leaves. Sometimes they bring in replacements. Sometimes they continue as normal. Why assume it’ll be a men’s elimination???

They haven’t canceled an elimination in years, and they know no replacements are likely because of covid and the extremely thorough multi week process they all went through to be there. And it’s a partners game, which means they can’t leave the numbers uneven for more than a week or so. Many of these people are super vets and know how this game tends to work. TJ has been clear this season that each elimination has the potential to be either men or women and he isn’t telling them which until competitors have all been selected or volunteered. That’s been consistent from the beginning. 

On 1/7/2021 at 2:07 PM, ImpinAintEasy said:

Josh continues to be arguably the worst and most annoying cast member of all-time. He starts arguments simply for camera time. Which isn’t unusual, but the guy has such a delusional opinion of his ability. He’s always searching for rivals, but his biggest rival will always be his fat tongue and trying not to choke or bite on it when he talks. 

Everyone (in the cast, not the viewing audience) talks about how genuine Josh is, but it seems so clear to me that Josh knows what his role is on this show and pursues it vigorously. He’s not a competitor, he’s not good at eliminations, he’s not funny or witty or good at storytelling. He fights with people and causes drama. That’s it. That’s his contribution and his key to continuing to get invitations. And boy does he know it.

On 1/7/2021 at 9:29 PM, Eolivet said:

I half-think that, and I half-think Josh has this weird "if you're not with me, you're against me" mentality left over from BB19, and because Jay is floating, he sees Jay as not "with" him. And Josh is sort of not wrong there. I think Jay senses the hierarchy in Kaycee's coalition and knows he'd be close to the bottom, plus he has a MTV vet partner. Since all Jay wants to do is not get thrown in, he's going to lean on his social game and jump ship whenever he senses he's becoming a target. So, oddly enough, Josh is probably right in that Jay will not stick with their alliance, but Jay is also probably right not to do so.

Interestingly, Kam and Leroy said in their patreon recap that they came into the season really liking Jay and wanting to work with him, but that by this point in the season they agreed with Josh that they didn’t get a trustworthy vibe from him. A little too vague, and smooth, and not specific enough. I am a big Jay fan, but I couldn’t fault Josh for wondering if his alliances are widespread and flexible, because based on his Survivor game I would wonder that as well. However, this is a different game and Jay is smart enough to adapt accordingly. 

On 1/8/2021 at 9:44 AM, lasu said:

Although, speaking of which, I actually think it was the DEAD PARENTS conversation that triggered Devin.  It's not uncommon for people to choose anger over pain when it comes to grief.  I'm not excusing his behavior.  I just wondered if that's where it came from, because it was like DEAD PARENTS - pause 2 seconds - AMBER I HATE YOU GET OUT OF HERE.

 

This scene was super interesting to me. In my opinion, if a similar thing had happened but with a gender switch—Devin was talking about the loss of his dad and a woman was initially listening and empathizing but then started antagonizing someone else a moment later—I think the reaction would have been very different. I think Devin would have given a bunch of disappointed/snarky interviews about how he can’t even open up in peace, and everyone wants attention and to make it about them,  and it would have been backed up by other dude-bros being like, “Respect Devin opening up! That was so inappropriate! We should be focused on Devin!” I think these people are way more used to women opening up personal things, to the extent that they don’t give it the “reverence,” if you will, that they give men doing basically the exact same thing. I think your point about Devin being triggered is a really good one, and makes me give him more slack than I otherwise would, because I did find his actions to be...insensitive at best, hypocritical at worst. After all the drama and grief he started on Final Reckoning on the night he got into it with Johnny, the fact that he stepped on Big T’s origin story to bully a woman a third his size seemed really tone deaf.

I’ve said this before—I know hall brawl is a challenge staple, but it makes me deeply uncomfortable. Most of the cast agree that everyone who does one ends up with an injury, some of which become chronic. There are so many tried and true physical eliminations in this game that don’t give quite such a big advantage to the physically larger person. And we all love it when our older players come back, like Darrell—I wouldn’t be surprised if Hall Brawl specifically is what keeps some of them from even showing up. As someone pushing or over 40, why would you ever want to put yourself through that and risk permanent injury? I can see that this one is only going to be retired when someone gets seriously, seriously injured from it, but I am convinced that day is coming. 

 

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