Challenge Total Madness Episode 5 Recap: Ten Biggest Takeaways
Episode 5 is in the books. You probably have some thoughts, so let’s compare. Instead of giving a simple summary, I decided to focus on the 10 Biggest moments/takeaways from the fifth episode. These will be integral storylines that the fifth episode focused on, and I’ll breakdown why they matter for the season.
10 Wes and Jordan fighting over more than the game
The argument between Wes and Jordan wasn’t out of nowhere. Jordan has been taking jabs at Wes for over half a decade now, and Wes has been a pretty good sport about it. Even when Jordan has gone below the belt and attempted to diminish Wes’s career and accused him of steroid usage. Wes got into BetaBlox boss mode where he told Jordan straight up, don’t talk to me that way, or else some problems will arise. It felt like Wes embodied a strongly-worded email. In classic Jordan fashion, he swung a giant sausage in Wes’s face and referred to it as his dick, which was him mirroring Wes’s seriousness with absolute opposite demeanor. All honesty, Wes getting this serious, was weirder than Turbo trying to murder Jordan last season.
Wes loses this argument when he says, “you won’t talk to me like you do your wife.” Which implies that Jordan is a bad fiance/husband, and even though Jordan is an asshole, his relationship with Tori is fantastic and irrelevant to the conversation. Not to mention, it’s an unnecessary low-blow since Tori is his friend. Jordan had a fight like this coming, but Wes made an ass of himself in the process.
9 Dee and Rogan are back together?
Seeing Dee send bunches of flirty tweets and comments towards Jay on Social Media the past few weeks, only to vote him into elimination, go back into Rogan’s arms, and them cheer each other on this week is fucking wild.
I don’t know whether I love or hate this Dee/Rogan relationship. The content writes itself; they are incredibly toxic with one another, and yet, they manage to succeed and advance in this game while others burn in flames. MTV is pushing them as the two new faces of the franchise (Dee has been in the lead for overall confessionals this season), and it’s somewhat not working because they are giving them too much exposure. If you reduce the Dee/Rogan content by 20%, then fans will like them 80% more (that’s calculus). They’ll still be featured heavily, it’s just at a certain point, once a person does not like someone, they will begin to find more and more reasons to dislike them. I know it’s true because I wake up every morning waiting for my brother to annoy me in some new way.
8 Jenna and Zach want to start a family
I’ve poked a lot of fun at Brooke and Zach’s relationship over the years, and I’ll set that aside for now because I’m genuinely happy that they are in a good place right now and plan of progressing their relationship. Jenna stating she came on to win some money on top of the likely healthy appearance she gets as a long-time veteran makes sense as raising a family is expensive. A friend pointed out to me that Jenna’s been interacting with fans on social media and posting videos on YouTube with Zach since moving away from her family. Had Jenna done this in 2016, her already sizeable social media following would be far more considerable by now. Better late than never!
7 The Daily Challenge was fair, balanced, and made sense
After last week’s debacle of a challenge, this week, the teams were all capable of winning the daily challenge, and teams got rewarded for aligning their squads in the right way. Bayleigh and Melissa making Kyle and Cory runners made sense, sadly, Cory couldn’t find where to insert his rods, which was a definite first for him. Wes’s team was set-up well, it’s just Jay missed the first set of numbers and didn’t use the walkie-talkie properly (they were also the first team to attempt the challenge).
The only group who made a questionable choice was Team 2. Bear should never have gotten put in that position. Dee, Tori, and Bananas are all smarter than him, and Dee solved the math equation earlier this season incredibly quickly. They fumbled the bag on this one.
6 Swaggy C has been impressive
Besides talking in the third person, Swaggy C has silenced haters by performing well this season. In five episodes, he has been in 3 Tribunals and has established himself as a solid player. His ability to solve the math with ease and speed was the difference-maker for his team. You may not like his tweets or his game on Big Brother, but the guy is bringing it this season.
5 Nelson is trying his best
I feel bad for Nelson. He’s been trying his best every week, has been attempting to socialize and politic, yet everything seems to go wrong for him. Even in the daily challenges where he is not set-up to win, he still tries his ass off, and that is an admirable quality. I love that Nelson was able to converse and talk game with Wes, even poking fun at the fact that no way in hell could Wes lay low with that crazy beard. He then showed a bit of savvy when talking to the tribunal. Nelson does shine in these tribunal interrogations, even dating back to Vendettas. The guy has some charm to him, and when you talk about eliminations, it’s something he is comfortable with that he transforms into a more confident player.
4 Jay is feeling the Rookie Blues
I don’t feel bad for rookies thrown into elimination over and over again. The day you get thrown in a sixth time in a season is the day you can complain because then you’ll be breaking a record. It is a bit crazy that Jay is still not feared after taking out CT. He is a small guy, but at the end of the day, I think you’d instead take your chance with someone who has never been in elimination or has lost many eliminations. Kyle lost three eliminations in one season, Josh has never won an elimination, Cory lost an elimination to Matt Rife, and Bananas is 2–11 in his last 13 eliminations. There are other juicier Red Skulls available.
Honestly, I might be more disappointed because Jay brings a distinctive personality and energy to the show that’ll feel sorely missed if he gets eliminated.
3 Josh and Wes’s non-rivalry rivalry
I don’t know if I feel bad for Josh. Josh is pursuing Wes harder than Bear is going for Kailah, but Wes isn’t kissing back. I don’t think Wes is lying when he says he doesn’t care about Josh in the game because historically, Wes doesn’t target players like Josh at all. Wes is a big-game hunter; he goes for Darrell, Kenny, CT, Bananas, and Jordan. At no point in time does Wes ever go for a player in Josh’s tier. Josh is beginning to get under Wes’s skin a bit. Devin to Bananas is like Josh to Wes.
Do I agree with the statement that Josh is the worst player in the game? No, but at the same time, as competent as Josh is, he ranks lower than Jordan, Bananas, Wes, Nelson, Kyle, Fessy, and Rogan. Jay probably ranks higher than him because of his elimination wins, and Cory is historically excellent in daily challenges. So really, it comes down to Bear, Josh, and Swaggy, and as we’ve seen, Swaggy is a much better puzzle person than either of the two, so it comes down to Josh and Bear.
I’m glad Josh brought up that Wes was voted into elimination by Josh last season. However, Josh saying that he humbled Wes is pretty hilarious when you consider Wes has had much much much worse happen to him, and he’s still not humble. Part of me is disappointed Josh didn’t volunteer for elimination, because it was a purely physical game and he has 50+ lbs on Jay. Josh is never going to have a better shot at a Red Skull in this game. He also would have shut Wes and his haters up by getting that win.
2 Great Balls of Fire
Whoever decided to call this elimination “Fire Balls” is an idiot. They had like 5 or 6 months to pick a name for this elimination, and they came up with Fire Balls???
Moving on, the excitement I had for this version of Balls In got quickly blown away when Rogan slammed Jay to the floor, and everyone wondered, “wow, is Jay’s arm broken.” As enthralling as Jay’s win against CT was and reminded us that anything could happen on the Challenge, Rogan smashing Jay in the ground is a quick reminder that life sucks and then you die.
1 Kailah and Bear are the affair of the century
Initially, I had this as my 3rd point as it would transition into the Josh-Wes kissing joke smoother and would have made for good comedic effect. I couldn’t do it because the kiss between Kailah and Bear was easily the most significant moment from this episode. My favorite Kailah season has always been Invasion. Her playing the role of the girl who can kick ass in the challenges, look hot in a bikini, hook up with whoever she wants, and then be in the middle of drama while also holding herself as a partier made her a five-tool reality star.
Then she started dating that weird DJ guy who is friends with Ninja Natalie, and she was loyal to him from Dirty 30 on, and she was a bit underwhelming as a house presence. Her highlights were lowlights (throwing Kayleigh’s suitcase, and getting DQed on Final Reckoning). Kailah kissing Bear is cheating, and that’s wrong, but from a pure entertainment standpoint, her dropping her fame-thirsty boyfriend for a five-second fling with Bear is an absolute win for MTV, the fans, and most importantly her. The same people who are going to make fun of Kailah being a cheater are mostly the same people who already disliked and made fun of her relationship beforehand.
At least, we’re getting a Bear-Kailah showmance, that is going to be messy, going to result in Kailah being a more prominent presence on the show, and potentially sets the two up for an Exes season. The morale of the story is if you are going to cheat, prepare for the repercussions of getting caught. I don’t even want to say don’t cheat because I know fantastic human beings who have cheated (along with less fantastic ones). Jordan and Tori have a healthy relationship that formed while they each had a significant other at home.