Challenge Final Reckoning Episode 3: Mapping out the game

Last week fans complained Ad nauseam over The Challenge not containing a challenge and elimination in the same episode. This week they made up for it by giving them what they want. Just kidding, they only had an elimination and it went all the way to the end of the episode. However, the episode was enjoyable, we learned the voting format, saw the way teams viewed themselves and their allegiances, and saw a fun elimination. Time to recap:

We find out that the only team safe from elimination is the team that wins the daily challenge. That team also gets two votes for elimination. Each partnership gets one vote, meaning there are 12 votes among 11 teams.

Tracking everyone in the house and their voting status for the first elimination

  • Tony/Bananas. Tony mentions his close allies (Zach, Brad, Kyle), and how that might not matter much because he is partnered with Bananas. Bananas spent most of his episode flirting with Angela. Shane mentions that Bananas can only get Angela because all the other girls know he is scumbag. Bananas has somewhat become the sixth year senior hooking up with a freshman. Their team votes in Nelson/Shane to stir the pot.
  • Marie/Cara. Final Reckoning has been the Cara Maria show so far. Whether she is hooking up with Paulie, fighting with Kyle, or fighting with her partner, she is a main subject of the show. Her alliances are Tori/Natalie, Marie’s alliances are everyone else. When it comes to voting they pick Faith/Angela, even though Marie wants to burn their vote on themselves. Easily the testiest duo.
  • Tori/Derrick. Tori chastises Derrick for his performance in the Challenge. She does not show him any of the support she showed Morgan or Lil Mama, as partners. It is assumed they vote for Faith/Angela.
  • Kyle/Brad. With their supervote counting as two, they pick Paulie/Natalie because Kyle hates Paulie. At the start of the episode they have a testy conversation over whether Paulie called Kyle a pussy.
  • Faith/Angela. Angela is doing her thing with Bananas and Faith has sex with Kyle after Cara informs Kyle she will continue to flirt with Paulie to make him jealous. They use their vote on Shane/Nelson thinking that’s where Kyle’s voting is going.
  • Shane/Nelson. This season has been underrated for Shane as he has had great conversations with multiple people throughout the house. On Big Brother, you would think Shane is winning. Amanda is his best friend in the house. Him and Nelson decide it is too early to vote for Bananas and choose instead to vote for Faith/Angela.
  • Joss/Sylvia. Non-existent this episode. They vote for Paulie/Natalie and are not chosen for elimination.
  • Zach/Amanda. Both non-existent besides a funny bedside conversation between Shane and Amanda. They vote for Paulie/Natalie as Big Brother Rookies.
  • Paulie/Natalie. Paulie finds himself in a lot of trouble with Kyle/Brad, and he has his drama with Cara Maria. People are connected to Cara, nobody cares about voting Paulie in. Natalie is pissed at Cara for putting a target on her duo’s back. They burn their vote on Joss/Sylvia.
  • Kam/Kayleigh. Despite no interaction, Natalie and Kayleigh have many confessionals discussing their distaste for one another. They vote Natalie/Paulie in and get called out for elimination because Natalie dislikes Kayleigh and because they believe they are the weaker team.
  • CT/Veronica. Vote for Angela/Faith as a rookies. CT cannot stop complaining about Veronica as his partner.

Elimination Time

Vote estimations:
5 votes for Paulie/Natalie (2 from Kyle/Brad)
4 votes for Faith/Angela
2 votes for Nelson/Shane
1 vote for Sylvia/Joss

Paulie and Natalie now have to vote one of the teams that voted for them to face them in elimination. They can choose between Amanda/Zach, Joss/Sylvia, and Kam/Kayleigh, with Brad/Kyle being exempt. Already we see the power vote swinging the results one way. They pick Kam/Kayleigh as the weakest team, though Paulie wants to take a shot at one of the guys.

In the elimination, players are connected by a resistance cord and have to run over to retrieve puzzle pieces one at a time, and give them to their partner who is in a cage diagonally between the runner and the blocks. The player must stack the blocks in such a way that they can climb it and jump out through the roof of the cage. First player to escape the cage wins. Kam iand Paulie are the runners for their teams. In order to equalize the Male-Female dynamic, they give Paulie a much thicker and shorter chord to create more resistance.

When the elimination begins, Kam sprints and grabs the pieces with ease. Meanwhile, Paulie is throwing himself at the blocks just to get them to Natalie. The chord difference is too much for Paulie. This elimination was not rigged in the slightest, in the past producers have always attempted to equalize the gender gap. The biggest issue for Paulie is that he’s only 155 lbs, compared to Zach and Tony who push 220+ or even in the 180+ range like Nelson and Brad. Paulie is the smallest guy there. Had Nelson and Shane been in this elimination, they probably would have won with Shane being intelligent and Nelson being a physical beast who would have had much less trouble with the thicker chord.

Likewise, Kam is bigger than almost any other girl on the show. Kam is probably closer in weight to Paulie than she is Natalie. She destroys this challenge with ease and even coaches Kayleigh on what to do when stacking her puzzle. She even calls herself coach Kam. Kam is truly coming into her own as a top female competitor. While Kam did well for herself in Vendettas, she is now becoming a leader and a player who can carry a teammate. Watching her direct Kayleigh on what to do was like watching Kobe play with a random guy. She set her up perfectly and all Kayleigh had to do was make the lay-up. She struggled at first, then she put it together and they won.

Paulie and Natalie were eliminated and are going to the Redemption House. Apparently, the first Redemption Challenge is next week, so we may have to wait until episode five for another daily challenge.

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Allan Aguirre

Allan Aguirre

26 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.