Challenge Invasion Episode 11 Recap: Underdog Bloodbath was better than the hype

Allan Aguirre
8 min readApr 13, 2017

Wow.. Just wow. That was one of the 5 or 10 best episodes of the Challenge that I have ever watched. I think I might re-watch this season a lot in future years in order to just get up to these final episodes. We got Bananas/Darrell and Laurel/Cara last week, but this week we got double free for all eliminations (the first one was a “challenge”, but it was basically an elimination).

After TJ tells the house the news of the Underdog Bloodbath, some take immediate precaution: Nelson sits down scared, Shane stops drinking while concerned, and Hunter becomes antsy. Cory on the other hand, begins drinking and making out with Camila in the middle of a hula hoop. I do love that Camila calls him her booty call, glad she’s not crazy over him like she has been with guys in the past (cough Johnny). Ashley pretends to be excited, and Nicole decides to spit game and make out with Laurel. Some people’s heads are in the game and others aren’t.

An awkward moment is when Nelson calls winning the Challenge like a Super Bowl Ring, which obviously is not the same magnitude at all, but for him it probably is the closest he will ever be. Gotta love that passion, but someone needs to inform Nelson that the Challenge is not the NFL.

Now get the beginning of the “bloodbath”, though there’s not really any blood.

The first free for all: It’s a math puzzle. The game is a giant pillar in the middle of the sand, and attached to is an apparatus similar to fan blades except face, almost like a acute windmill or something. If there was a simple world to describe it I’d use it. So here’s a screenshot I took:

In the sand are colored sandbags with symbols on them. Each player has their own colored corner where they throw their sandbags in. Once they have all their sandbags, they may unhook themselves and begin working on their puzzles. The game is essentially a sudoku puzzle only going to up to the number 6, but encompassing one large board. What makes it difficult is that the puzzle pieces have symbols instead of numbers on them, so it’s hard to decipher the difference between something like a 5 and a 6 is.

The males go first and finish as(approx):
1st Shane 1 hr 45 min
2nd Cory 2hr 0 min
3rd Nelson 2hr 15min
4th Hunter eliminated

Hunter, Nelson, and Cory were just sad to watch. Nelson asked what the difference between a row and a column was, Cory was mixing up his numbers, and Hunter did not even understand the rules of mathematics. Watching Hunter lose was a bit sad, he threw a little tantrum walking away and started crying(not seen, but sounded like it). As much as I hated the way Hunter acted in the later part of this season, the guy was a physical beast, so for him to lose that embarrassingly on a puzzle was just sad. Although I like to make fun of how dumb some of these people are, Hunter seemed legitimately angry with himself and the game.

The girls round went much better. It ended up(approx):
1st Amanda 20 mins
2nd Ashley 30 mins
3rd Nicole 55mins?
4th Jenna last

Ashley is the first one to get her puzzle pieces by a solid margin of a couple mins, Jenna and Nicole finish after at the same time, and then Amanda finished about a couple minutes after Jenna/Nicole in gathering her pieces. Shane started yelling at Amanda to hurry up, to which Amanda replied: “chill, I’m smart”. Usually when people say shit like that, they finish in last, and start giving excuses. Instead Amanda just torched them all while taking her time.

In Amanda fashion she flipped everyone off and strutted of the floor. Maybe she should have been humble, but that’s not her style. Amanda is 5'3 105 lbs, she is not going to dominate the game physically, she is going to play the drama angle and beat you with her mouth. Ashley finishes quickly after a couple missed checks, but then gets it. She runs around frantically after with excitement. Her and her bestie Amanda are in the final, and two non physical girls are in the final 3 for the Underdodgs, playing the game with their brain and mouths, which is refreshing as a fan of the show.

After a while, Nicole beats Jenna. They were both close, and in the end I attribute Laurel’s coaching to Nicole’s win.

The best part of the daily challenge was the Champ commentary, which you need to watch to listen to.

House: They get back to the house where Amanda and Ashley are talking shit, per usual. The duo jokes about where Ashley is going to get her boners now that her “Hunter B” is gone. Cory and Nelson are colluding to work together for the final elimination. We then go to the physical elimination.

Second Free For All: We get to the elimination and find out we will be getting a 3 person tug of war where rope is attached from their backs and that there will be a bell at the equal radii of each competitor.

For the girls there was a big difference is strength and size:
Amanda about 5'3 105 lbs?
Nicole about 5'6 150 lbs?
Ashley about 5'8 120lbs?

While Nicole does not look that much bigger than the other girls, you have to account for the fact muscle is much heavier than regular fat/mass. And Nicole is all about gains.

The game begins and they all get immediately snapped back to the middle. From that point they dug their knees and claws into the ground and inched over to their bells — half killing themselves. Nicole is surprisingly struggling when it comes to going towards the bell, Amanda has her bony ass knees dug into the ground and just keep plowing away, while Ashley is just doing poorly despite her good initial sprint to the bell. It looks like Amanda begins to get decently close to the bell. Nicole decides to turn around and reel in the girl by using her upper body to pull the rope and girls in. She pulls them in, Ashley cries, and Amanda just tries bull dozing her way back to the point she was already at.

Ashley starts to complain that the metal is puncturing her(makes sense considering how skinny she is, the total amount of weight on them, and how tight the harness are). Amanda admits in the interview that the weight is collapsing on her, but she is just going to keep going. The crowd is stunned by Amanda’s heart/strength, they think Nicole should be winning easily(though playing with bad strategy), and that Ashley is dead.

Nicole begins to pull the girls in more and makes a heave for the bell where she gets the closest out of anyone so far. Shane tells the girls that the only way to beat Nicole is that they need to work together. They decide to do so and pull Nicole to the middle. They then sprint for the bell, and Nicole tries to hold Amanda back(mostly due to her hate for Amanda), and then Ashley gets the bell. Ashley cries as she is too lucky, she won only because Amanda did not want Nicole to win, and also did not want to see her best friend in a 1 v 1 elimination. Loyalty.

After losing, Nicole begins to curse out Amanda about how she is going to kill her. The 1 v 1 elimination is two people tied to each other at the waste by a small rope. First person to run out of the circle and get two feet out wins, best of 3. Nicole wins easy, right?

Not exactly. Nicole bodies Amanda on the first round, but at the last second Amanda scuttles her feet out of bounds, and get one out. The bad part is that the other foot hits the rope instead of the ground first and Nicole ins because of this. She loses the first round by a inch.

Round two begins and Amanda pulls a fast one on Nicole by keep as close as she can with no pull back, and then does a spin run to tap her to feet out of bounds for a point! Nicole has fear in here eyes, Amanda despite being much weaker is outsmarting and outplaying her. Nicole is a jock, and now the jock is losing to a nerd. It’s hard to react properly to that.

For the third round Amanda tries to attempt the same strategy, but Nicole drags her back an inch away from the rope. The two wrestle on the ground until Nicole crawls her feet out and win. It’s obvious from the get-go that Nicole should have tried to just get them to the floor in the first as Amanda cannot beat her physically. In the end it was a good showing from Amanda, she far exceeded all of my expectations of her, and in the last two eliminations showed more than about any of the Underdog girls did for most of the season.

Guys round: Nelson v Shane v Cory. Cory says in his interview that him and Nelson have a plan to pull Shane out towards the middle, and then Shane says in his interview that him and Nelson are aligned pull Cory out. Well the game begins, Nelson takes one step toward the middle and fakes to the bell winning in less than 10 seconds. Cory is pissed because he just got snaked by Lenny from Mice of Men, while Shane respects the dirty game play, but tells Nelson that he is just as big of a snake as himself.

In order to get a free ticket to the final, Shane starts to instigate drama between Cory and Nelson to get a fight. Alas, we get a to be continued.



Allan Aguirre

27 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.