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The Challenge: Vendettas - Episode 2

By James Bullock Jan 15, 2018 - 8:07 AM print


Previously on The Challenge: 28 competitors with scores to settle with each other ran up the Rock of Gibraltar to survive an initial purge except for Nicole R. of “The Challenge” fame and “Ex on the Beach UK” star Rogan who were promptly sent home.

The show picks up where the last left off as the competitors are enjoying their lavish living quarters while recounting tales of betrayal including potential power couple Britni and Brad having drawn the respective angers of Leroy and Tony as the prior unintentionally got Leroy eliminated from the last season “Dirty 30” while the latter has gone on social media declaring he’ll eliminate Tony if he has the chance. Brad admits to the truth of Tony’s claims as it was in defense of Cara Maria. But there’s also another potential couple that could shape the game as Johnny Bananas and “Big Brother’s” Natalie are hitting it off.

There are also some political moves being made courtesy of Marie as she tries to figure out a way to realign Kailah and Cara Maria, but there’s a chance romantic squabbles could change all that as “Geordie Shore’s” Kyle has grabbed the hearts of both Marie and Cara Maria. But none of that stuff might matter come this week’s Challenge, “Who’s Got Balls”: an individual Challenge where each competitor (guy/girl heats) must jump into a soapy water pit to grab a ball and attempt to climb back up to deposit a ball in a barrel with the male and female who successfully does this three times before anyone else attaining $12,500. Host TJ Lavin reveals that this is a male elimination week where the last place competitor gets sent into the Elimination Round immediately while the top three competitors are put in the “Troika” – a trio who decides the other competitor to enter the Elimination Round. TJ warns everyone to never let your vendetta get the upper hand. The ladies are up first and it’s up to the first three girls to finish to stop the game. Nicole Z, Kam & Britni set the pace.

Unfortunately for almost everyone else they are slipping and sliding like crazy. Eventually Britni pulls out a first-place performance while Cara and Kam come in second and third place respectively. The guys take their positions and Shane gets on the board first, but it’s Brad who gets two balls on the board first. Johnny Bananas plays catch-up for the win.

Kyle gets second place with Brad pulling up third. It’s a desperate race for the avoidance of last place. Nelson and Leroy are the last two with the latter pulling out the struggle of a lifetime to send Nelson into the Elimination Round. After the Challenge, TJ Lavin reveals that Brad, Johnny Bananas & Kyle had the fastest times; making them the Troika where they’ll have to name three potential nominations who have to eventually plead their case and hope not to be sent in to take on Nelson. The guys start politicking; specifically Shane. When the Troika sits down to deliberate, Bananas immediately puts Cory’s name up. Bananas tries to defend Tony’s name, but Brad argues against it to the point Johnny has to give Tony’s name. When it comes down to the third name, everyone in the Troika is conflicted until they decide to just throw a name out there; Victor from “Big Brother”.

When it’s time for “The Inquisition” (the moment where the nominees must plead their cases to the Troika), Brad takes the lead in telling the nominees no one will know who voted for whom. Cory, pretty much accepting his fate knowing that having him or Nelson got home would break up their alliances, reveals that Brad is working alongside Victor and several other competitors with the intent of getting rid of Bananas in the near future. Victor is dumbfounded and denies any type of alliance. Brad backs up Victor’s denial while Bananas tries to goad Cory into revealing his sources. Cory, unfortunately, has no sources and figuratively hangs himself. After the dinner, Cory convinces Kyle that they’ll stand together to potentially take down Tony and send him into the Elimination Round. Kyle having a thing for Cara definitely helps in his decision as Cara and Tony don’t have the best of relationships. Actually, Kyle makes another big decision during the night by shacking up with Cara for the evening. A night of pirate booty doesn’t necessarily help Kyle clear his mind as to whether or not he’ll send in Tony or Cory; leading to The Ring – the Elimination Round’s home for this season.

The Troika has to make their announcements who will go in and both Bananas and Kyle decide Cory will go in. Brad agrees, sending Cory in with Nelson. The episode ends on a cliffhanger not only because we don’t know who wins this Elimination Round, but also the revelation of a physical twist in the game called the “grenade” that an Elimination Round winner can use to avenge themselves against their vendetta.

Episode High(s): Where Do You Stand? One of the most interesting aspects of any “Challenge” season is how some alliances form, how long they’ll last, and who will be able to avoid succumbing to the number’s game. This episode was built on who is getting along with whom and what might come of it with a Challenge sandwiched between.

Episode Low(s): Not Enough Action. With an episode based around politics and a bunch of talking (and some hooking up) there wasn’t a lot of tried & true “Challenge” action especially considering we didn’t see the conclusion of the Elimination Round. If you don’t care about the politics game of “The Challenge” this isn’t an episode for you.

Weekly Challenge Winner(s): Britni & Johnny Bananas

Eliminations: Nicole R. (Episode 1); Rogan (Episode 1)

Most Embarrassing Athletic Display: Nelson. Not surprising, Nelson is a physical specimen who has the look of someone who should dominate the game. The problem with Nelson is he’s a very inconsistent player who will fall short at times when you reasonably expect him to do well. This episode was a great example of Nelson being Nelson in “The Challenge” as he slipped, slid, and potentially put himself out of the game before it even really begins.

Competitor of the Week: Brad. While Brad didn’t get first place or the fastest time overall, the fact is Brad – a guy who hasn’t been around for multiple recent seasons – has reestablished himself as a force both on the field and when it comes to convincing people to see things his way in nomination proceedings. Seriously, Brad got Johnny Bananas to agree to put Tony – a Bananas guy – the potential chopping block.

Episode Summary in Five Words or Less: Politicians can’t be trusted.



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