Challenge Total Madness Episode 7 Recap: Ten Biggest Takeaways
Episode 7 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 seventh episode. These will be integral storylines that the seventh episode focused on, and I’ll breakdown why they matter for the season.
10 Nelson is off the deep end
I’ve been cheering for Nelson since Invasion of the Champions. He always reminded me of Derrick Kosinski in the fact that he’s been impressive in eliminations, will run through a wall to win, and even though there are flaws in his game (puzzles), he’s still going to try to be a champion. Not to mention, he is unintentionally hilarious.
However, I am withdrawing any stock I had in him as a fan after this episode. He pushed the limit of what I could stomach when he cursed out Aneesa over nothing, and then this week, attempting to slut-shame and ridicule Kailah when he is a habitual adulterer displays his total lack of self-awareness. I do laugh knowing he probably can’t pronounce the word adulterer. Nelson attempting to belittle these women who haven’t wronged him in any significant way is gross. His temper is out of control. You have to be a real asshole if Cory is shaking his head at your actions. Also, the portapotty thing Nelson kept referring to was maybe Kailah hooking up with Cory in one during Invasion. I don’t know if this is true, but Emilee Fitzpatrick tweeted that out in an attempt to gain relevance back in Early 2017.
At the same time, something I noted last week, how do you punish someone like this for being an asshole? Kyle said that they could all agree to throw Nelson into the next elimination. However, players are jumping at the chance to get their red skulls, and then you add in the fact that Nelson thrives in eliminations, and it doesn’t seem like a punishment. Considering Nelson went toe to toe with Darrell, nobody on this cast should physically intimidate him, except for maybe Fessy. Yeah, you could throw him in multiple times, but that also limits the number of red skulls available. Part of me thinks Nelson is acting this way out of desperation for storylines and rivalries after being left off the cast for two seasons, and then another part me doesn’t care at all and wants him off my TV if he’s going to act this way.
9 Kailah and Bear are the Romance of Social Quarantine
It was refreshing to see Bear defend Kailah and reprimand Nelson. Watching Bear have morales and not be an asshole is like watching a five-year-old kid pour himself a glass of milk without spilling. You’re so proud of him that you’ll give him a cookie to go with his milk, and Kailah was so pleased she gave him a snog and some more.
Kailah acknowledges she wasn’t ready to go to the next level with her ex-boyfriend, and it wasn’t ever most likely. Did she have to cheat on him? Of course not. Is it more entertaining for us? Hell yeah. Where they go from here is tough to envision because both Bear and Kailah are each on the bottom half of competitor ranking for their respective genders. They need to step up and win some daily challenges if they don’t want to get separated.
8 We are getting back on the right track
After back to back weeks where we didn’t have an elimination to end an episode, MTV got us back on the track this week. Yes, there was no daily challenge, but I am okay with that if it means we get back to the challenge-elimination format going forward. Not to mention, MTV is giving us a double elimination next week!
I also want to give kudos to MTV for giving us a well-designed female elimination after two piss poor ones to start the season.
7 Bayleigh and Jordan mend their relationship
Bayleigh blew up on Jordan last week under the belief that Jordan didn’t give his all during the daily challenge. This week, the two were able to talk about the incident and made up. One of the big takeaways I had from their reconciliation is Jordan mentions the fact that Swaggy and Bayleigh as an item are two votes. In a game with house votes, two votes you can have on your side is a huge deal.
Swaggy also played a great mediator and was super down to earth this episode. Shout-out to him.
6 Savvy Big T
When in the tribunal, Big T made a fantastic point. If Tori is the one going into elimination, shouldn’t Nany and Jenna keep Big T around for later in the game when they get forced to go into elimination, they can face her as an insurance policy. It’s simple logic that isn’t used a lot on the Challenge. I don’t think Big T considers herself to be a weak competitor, yet, she knows everyone else does, so why not use it to her advantage?
5 Expect Dee to make some moves
Dee was forthright with Jordan and the fact that Jenny was her #1. Jordan sees the action as treasonous and is putting a target on her. I think Dee is tired of being scrutinized for every choice she makes in the game, and I expect her to take a shot at the tribunal from this week’s episode in the coming weeks. Like Bananas mentioned a few weeks earlier, Dee is a more dangerous player than Ashley, because Dee learned to play from Wes. While her gameplay might not result in her winning at the end, she can shake up the house and take down some big names in the process.
With Wes becoming frustrated with Jordan as well, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the pair go into next week with an elaborate plan. Also, did you ever watch the Wacky Races? Wes and Dee are almost like Duke Dastardly and Muttley.
4 Nany and Kailah’s political prowess
Nany and Kailah threw around the concept of throwing in Dee or Jenny to face Tori to knock out one of the biggest threats in the house. While this alliance has sucked most of this season in the daily challenges, making that move would have validated their status in the house by maximizing the limited power to give them a much larger chance of winning the overall game. Kailah has always been an underrated political player and seemed like a move Nany wanted to make! Jenna’s situation put a wrench in their plans, and putting her up against Tori was a sub-optimal game move for the alliance despite the actual outcome. Regardless, they showed they are thinking about this game more than most would give credit. Not to mention, they now own 3 out of the 11 female votes in the game.
3 Kaycee, Nany, Aneesa, and a Cup of Noodles
Gosh, where do I even start with this one? For starters, Nany was trying to hookup with Kaycee when intoxicated. You could see her in confessional when sober that there was a substantial amount of attraction there, and considering Nany hooked up with Johnny Reilly while blacked out, going for Kaycee wouldn’t be shocking. Second, as much Kaycee likes Nany and welcomes the attention, she was staying loyal to her girlfriend. Third, Aneesa has a history of trying to defuse situations and only creating a bigger mess. I feel as though part of the reason she feels trapped in the motherly/aunt role is that she feeds into it. Aneesa needs to let these people either make the right or wrong choices through their own volition. Nany and Kaycee were getting very friendly. Nonetheless, it’s still an insult to both of them to insinuate that they should separate from one another because Kaycee wasn’t cheating, and Nany wouldn’t want to ruin a relationship.
The overall fight between Nany and Aneessa was highly engaging. Nany was blacked out and slurring words all over the place. She wanted to fight Aneesa. Not a fan of Nany making fun of Aneesa’s past as a stripper since it is a played out low blow. Also, Nany throwing a cup of noodles is a bit gross and dangerous, depending on how hot the broth was. Good thing the cup Nany threw missed Aneesa by a mile. What sucks about this whole situation is Aneesa has been yelled at in two consecutive episodes and gets socially more outcasted despite doing not doing much. Nany and Aneesa made up the next night, but it’s hard to imagine they are going to be aligned going forward.
As a whole, this was Kaycee’s biggest moment of the season, and the spotlight was not on her. She’s another Joss, beautiful, muscles, and boring.
2 Tori Gets Taken Down
Tori trucking Jenny in Hall Brawl was the highest of highs, and losing an elimination to someone people thought was going throw the elimination is the lowest of lows. Last season, Tori was fearless as she knew she’d have to win every elimination in the end-game to make the final. This time around, the uncertainty of the game and trying to plan everything adds a level of nervousness and anxiety that overcame her. Tori struggled with the strategy in this elimination, and continued to play it the wrong way, even with Jordan and others yelling at her.
The Challenge Total Madness Interview: Tori Deal
This past week, I was lucky enough to have MTV set up time for an interview with Tori Deal to talk about her experience…
What’s funny about this elimination is that it was similar to the sledgehammer eliminations that Jordan has dominated. You had to stand and throw the bricks from the right angle for it to break at the right angle and efficiently fill the wheelbarrow. Tori wasting time by struggling to put tiny wedges through the holes was an encapsulation of her season. She got caught up in the little things too much. The big positive about this is that it is a learning experience for Tori, and she’s still a strong competitor who has the potential to become a champion in the future.
1 Barbie Beast Reactivated
Jenna killed this elimination. She sucks in daily challenges, doesn’t have the killer instinct for physical games, and might not be a puzzle savant. However, when you put Jenna in these endurance or carnival game eliminations, she doesn’t overthink anything, she goes to work and gets the job done. Tori overthought this elimination while Jenna got it from the jump, used her cardio to her advantage, and listened to her friends’ insight from the crowd. Jenna hasn’t had a good win in a couple of years, and multiple seasons, so this is a big one. Her career elimination record is now 6–2 as well!
From an emotional side, I feel so bad for Jenna. Zach is toxic and emotionally abusive. I can’t stomach another call home for Jenna. She deserves so much better and needs to feel unconditional love. Zach only loves her based on if she meets his emotionally manipulative demands and so that she fits the idea of what he wants. I hope she watches the elimination this week and sees the strong person she can be and that she doesn’t need Zach.