Episode 4 is in the books and I decided to focus on the 10 Biggest moments/takeaways from the fourth episode. Since you’re Challenge fans reading this, I figure you likely have watched the episode already. These will be integral storylines that the fourth episode focused on. I’ll breakdown why they matter for the season.
- Tori and Jordan potentially in a tough spot
- Cara and CT’s mini fight
- Kyle on the outside
- Kayleigh’s political game
- Where is Turbo?
And now to the 10 that made the cut:
10 The Paulie and Nany blow-up
Up until this week, Nany has been a wallpaper character. It is a bit of a surprise as she is often a featured player and gets a hefty paycheck to appear. Well, she showed up this week after the daily challenge. If you remember the end of the last season, Nany and Cara are no longer on good terms. Her frustration with Cara made it easy to pop off on Paulie.
Nany is defending her friends and her alliance, while Paulie makes a good point, the other side was throwing the daily challenge. Paulie and Nany have made amends based on social media; unfortunately, Cara and Nany have only become more antagonistic.
9 Josh gets treated poorly
I genuinely feel bad for Josh. People in the Challenge house do not respect him. Yes, Josh is an emotional guy, but it must suck for everyone to call you emotional and to treat you like this weak guy when you won 500k dollars playing a game as challenging as Big Brother. Even Georgia throws in his face that she hooked up with Bear. They treat Josh like a little brother, but he is a 25-year-old man who has won more money than most of the cast.
8 Bear is a fuckboi
I feel like calling Bear a fuckboi is almost a compliment since he might be even worse than that. Bear has hooked up with Laurel and Georgia this season through four episodes, has hooked up with Kayleigh in the past, and wants to snuggle up with Ashley. He is attempting to play the Challenge the same way bees pollinate flowers. Except these women are humans with emotions. Bear might be playing with fire. I have never called anyone a wanker because I am not sure how to use the term, but my brain tells me Bear is a wanker.
A fascinating thing about Bear is his total interest in impressing and flirting with a woman, while also paying no attention to them when they talk to him as his eyes wander off into space. He does not care about anyone other than Bear.
7 Dee has a killer social game!
Dee received votes to be the speaker from Rogan, Joss, Kayleigh, Esther, Idris, and CT. That is an eclectic group of voters and is a testament to her standing within the team. The most perplexing vote is Kayleigh. Kayleigh and Kyle are good friends, yet Kayleigh voted for someone she has never played with before a couple of weeks ago. Either Kayleigh and Dee have established a healthy relationship, or she was voting with Kam’s best interest in mind as there is an alliance of sorts between Kam and Cara.
Regardless, if Dee holds power from just existing, then she is in a fantastic spot. Wes is very proud of her, especially after she led the charge of voting Laurel in.
6 Kam is here to play
Historically, Challengers have bucked when Laurel comes at them heads on. Laurel has left players in tears and forced them to change their voting decisions via intimidation. It is clear Laurel enjoys intimidating people; she simply rejects the concept she does. When you’re a 6' dominant white athlete with a college education, it is effortless to get what you want, and it’s hard for Laurel to see that she is imposing herself at times. Kam does not step down from her, and honestly, I thought Laurel unraveled a bit. All she did was talk faster and louder. She spouted off about facts but was mostly running in circles.
I think Kam made a poor choice by negating her argument about whether she had a premade deal or not, but her ability to not back down from Laurel is respectable. Also, since Kam has a below-average daily challenge record, I know some people will be angry when she said she’s excellent at challenges. I didn’t mind it because it was a good confessional that poured fuel onto the fire. Remember, this is a TV show and narratives matter.
5 Ashley is in flip-flop heaven
We saw Ashley vote in Ninja to guarantee her safety for the week. She essentially flipped to the other side for one week of protection. Will this hurt her standing with her alliance? I think only a small bit. This season is still a numbers game, and while she displayed disloyalty to her alliance, they still need her vote. So while Ashley might be a floater, she can choose which she side she floats to week to week. It’s a great position to have in the game.
It’s also weird seeing her bond so well with Cara after the social media feud between the two, especially the attacks flung by fans. I guess that’s growth?
4 Johnny Bananas is/was playing a phenomenal game
The previous few weeks, I made fun of Johnny for being a curmudgeon who is playing a short-term game. This week he proved me wrong. With Wes out of the way, Bananas now has an actual gameplan of attacking the other side. The best part of it is he is attributing Wes’s name to all these players; and while Wes did have deals with them, it’s ironic to call them scurrying rats considering many of them have made finals, won eliminations, and are even multi-time champions.
Regardless, Bananas has done an incredible job of whispering into Laurel’s ear and getting her to do the leg-work he has no desire to accomplish. Laurel became Bananas best employee this episode as she did everything he would do, except without the target Laurel created for herself. His ability to misdirect the valid complaints of his teammates with personal attacks or red herrings is top-notch gameplay. He is a politician who when backed into the corner yells fakes news, yet the Challengers are dumb enough get distracted by it. Laurel losing the elimination hurts his stock a massive amount, but who saw that coming?
3 Should Ninja maybe tone down her intensity a bit?
I like Ninja Natalie. I think she brings a fun energy to the game and is a total competitor. The world always needs more confident and strong women; therefore, I support her being on this show because she is a kickass human. Social media thinks otherwise, and I understand why. Ninja is confident, but occasionally she borders on the side of cocky, which once fans think you’re cocky, they bury you for it. Her over-exuberance before the elimination began was almost setting her up for failure. If she won, people would think it was rigged for her based on her excitement; if she lost, people would make fun of her for losing at what she thought she’d win hands down.
It was a lose-lose situation, and fans probably want to see a more humble Ninja. Regardless, I’m glad she’s entered the Challenge world.
2 What the hell happened in that elimination and who is to blame
Let’s get this straight, Laurel put 20 pegs into 20 holes that were all the same, and then on the 21st peg, she put in a hole at the top which was completely different than all the others. I think at a certain point; your brain has to figure out, “well maybe this isn’t the right hole.” The fact she put the peg in the top of the trunk crippled her chance of winning.
Second, what the hell is TJ Lavin doing blowing the horn before knowing if Laurel won the elimination? I’m consistently disappointed by TJ as a host in comparison to Jeff Probst on Survivor. The fact he blew the horn as Laurel thought she won and then announced Ninja as the actual winner is pure amateur hour. They should have done a second elimination the following day as TJ fucked up big time.
1 Laurel is gone, but not without a bang.
Laurel dominated the episode and has dominated a healthy amount of the screen-time this season. It’s crazy to think we watched her politic and argue this entire episode, only for her to lose in elimination in the most insane way possible.
Laurel’s elimination loss sucks because TJ did blow the horn and once the horn gets blown, you’d think the elimination is over or replayed at the least. Mentally, she did lose it once she said “you work with ya got” in reference to the makeshift 21st hole she created in order “to win” the elimination. That is like when CT ripped the flag on the Duel 1 against Brad and then tried to pretend like he didn’t.
It’s clear that even after all these years that Laurel is still a top tier competitor who can go at it with the best. She almost eliminated the top female finisher from the previous season. Laurel annoyed me with her gameplay which was way too extra for this early in the game, but at the very least she tried to make an impact. I need more Laurel content going forward.