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The Challenge: Vendettas - Episode 3

By James Bullock Jan 21, 2018 - 11:14 AM print


Previously on The Challenge: After a wet & wild weekly Challenge that saw Brad, Johnny Bananas & Kyle earn the right to decide who will battle in the Elimination Round, the episode ended on a cliffhanger as competitors and best friends Cory and Nelson decide fight for their spot to stay and potentially change the game with a grenade.

The show picks up where the last left off as everyone stands inside The Ring for the first Elimination Round of the season. Before things get physical, host TJ Lavin drops a bombshell that an Elimination Round winner has the chance of “blowing up the entire game.” But instead of elaborating, TJ moves things along by introducing the Elimination Round’s challenge, “Great Balls of Fire”: a game of flaming soccer where one competitor must kick a ball on fire through a wall of fire into the goal that is being blocked by their opponent. Nelson doesn’t do a great job starting the game.

Nelson does a better job playing goalie than as a kicker, but only gets one chance to show his skills because the bloom falls off the rose fast for Cory and neither man can kick the ball in the right direction for what seems like an eternity. TJ tries to put this game out of its misery by announcing a sudden death round where there’s no goalie. Nelson actually succeeds on his first try.

Cory on the other hand…

As Cory walks off into the figurative sunset and Cory’s love interest Alicia is left with a target on her back with no one to support her, a locker is carted onto the field holding three color-coded grenades. Grenades allow for Elimination Round winner to get even with their vendettas. For Nelson, he has the opportunity to take $5000 from any player who has money, add time to a player’s overall weekly Challenge that could mean the difference between success & failure, or become a member of the Troika and/or send someone into the Elimination nominations in the very near future (members of the current Troika are exempt from grenades). This is actually a pretty good twist. Nelson is given to the next day to make his decision. When Nelson returns home, he calls out Kyle in front of everyone about Kyle promising to not vote Cory in, only to go back on his word. While Nelson is incredibly serious, Nicole and Melissa of “Ex on the Beach UK” are running around together naked as the day God made them. Melissa says in the confessional that she’s trying to get close to the strongest competitors while playing cheerleader alongside Natalie – cutting her foot in the process. But all that stuff doesn’t compare to the next weekly Challenge, “#Vendettas”: a game where five competitors must race across a giant hashtag sign floating above the water collecting mini-hashtags with the intent of putting at least four on an opponent’s post before returning to their starting post. Melissa, due to her cut foot, is forced out of the game before it begins – putting her in The Ring for the first female Elimination Round. Nelson has to decide before the game begins what grenade he should use – taking $5000 from Joss. The guys are up first and they are walking across it like the base is lava; well, everyone except Shane whose fear of heights overcomes him.

Victor is the first guy to get all four of his hashtags on someone else’s posts. When it’s time for the ladies, Natalie does a marvelous job while Nicole decides to be a jerk and knocks Alicia off the hashtag for getting near her post.

Round two of the guy’s heat, Kyle becomes the new Shane while Devin pulls a Natalie and smokes the competition. The women’s second round sees Sylvia step up and run across the hashtag like the thing is on fire, with Marie and Kailah pulling up the top three spots to follow in that round. Overall, Natalie and Devin had the fastest times for their respective genders – making them two-thirds of the new Troika. The third person is none other than Johnny Bananas. When it comes to people trying to politic, Veronica becomes a personal project of Natalie, as well as trying to keep Kailah on her good side. When the Troika comes together, Devin throws Alicia’s name up immediately. Natalie, though a believed backer of Alicia, decides she’s not strong enough to last. Natalie stands strong in defense of Veronica and shows her intentions are to keep the most powerful people on her side. So the Troika decides to make in an all rookie nomination.

Melissa is stunned as they are not opponents she would like to take on. So when it’s time for the Inquisition so the nominees can plead their cases, Kayleigh does a great job putting over her loyalty while Alicia tries to play the “aren’t you tired of the same people running the game” card. Kam, on the other hand, ends the episode questioning Natalie about her reasons for voting for her; promising to not forget who came after her if she returns from The Ring.

Episode High(s): The Waiting Game. With an Elimination Round and a weekly Challenge making up this episode, the most interesting aspects were definitely the fallouts from each and how they could potentially shape the game in the early going. Nelson not being worst than his buddy Cory allowed for him to get some extra money while Natalie started flexing her political muscles in a way that could come back to haunt her. It was a tale of two different strategies playing out by a veteran and a rookie where both might be in over their heads when it comes to support both now and down the line.

Episode Low(s): Big Girl Panties. When it comes to people flexing their muscles in this episode, none did it in a more annoying manner than Nicole. No one was a jerk the entire weekly Challenge even when moments like Shane blocking paths in sheer fear except for Nicole as she knocked poor Alicia into the water for no other reason other than she wanted to show off how strong she is. Nicole is a very good competitor, but little things like that might cost her in the end.

Weekly Challenge Winner(s): Devin & Natalie ($12,500 each & total)

Eliminations: Nicole R. (Episode 1); Rogan (Episode 1); Cory (Episode 3)

Most Embarrassing Athletic Display: Shane. Though Kyle wasn’t much better in the weekly Challenge, Shane set the standard of cowardice in the heat of “battle”. While understandable that one’s fear of heights could get to them in “The Challenge”, you have to know what you’re getting into especially if you are a “Challenge” vet like Shane. Shane has found the guts to overcome in the past, what happened here?

Competitor of the Week: Natalie. The better half of a budding relationship between herself and Johnny Bananas, Natalie made some big moves this time around as she not only did better than a majority of competition during the weekly Challenge, but also as a political player in the game learning under, arguably, the best player to ever grace “The Challenge”. It’ll be incredibly interesting to see how far her success takes her while sitting under the Bananas learning tree.

Episode Summary in Five Words or Less: Don’t cross me.



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