Episode 8 of Challenge All Stars S2 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 8th episode
Since I did not have a recap last week as I was celebrating the Holidays with friends and family who were back in town. Thus, I am plugging in my two biggest takeaways from last week’s episode to kick off this week’s recap.
10 Holy Shit, We Had Another Pregnant Competitor
There has been a pregnant female competitor in four out of the last five seasons! How does that happen? You would think with all the testing and physicals players have to go through before a season that a simple pregnancy test would come up for female players. After the first time with Melissa on Total Madness, you’d think they make sure to check thoroughly? Or at least after the second/third time, it happens? Maybe they need the fourth strike, y’know, like in baseball.
I want to say; I’m proud of Casey for coming onto this season and giving her all. Casey made one of the most significant moves in taking out Derrick alongside Steve and absolutely made a mark on this season. I hope Casey is safe and that her family had an excellent holiday!
9 Cohutta got Robbed
Production fucked Cohutta. There’s no good explanation for why he got sent home other than production choosing to keep both King’s Palace members in the game to play up the divide in the game/house to create more drama. The worst part about his DQ is that they set a precedent the week prior by having a solo male elimination between Tyler and Laterrian, where the winner got Jasmine as a partner. They could have done the exact same thing this week, where Teck and Nehemiah battled out like they were supposed to do, and Cohutta would get the partner of the loser. Instead, they told Cohutta and us, the fans, to fuck off. The worst part is they have us on the hook because here we are a week later, me writing about the show and you reading about it.
8 House Divided
Jumping into this week’s recap. They make a clear point to show us with a graphic that the House is divided into the King’s Palace versus everyone else. As a Wrestling Fan, I love the King’s Palace because they feel like a Heel Wrestling Faction. They have a theme song, poses, hype each other up to obnoxious degrees, and will throw a fit together when things don’t go their way. It’s such a polarizing group where you’re either completely against them or with them, which is great to have.
7 Jonna and MJ are a Kick Ass Duo
The boisterousness of the King’s Palace makes you appreciate the simple pair of MJ & Jonna. They stay under the radar, perform well, and are likable whenever on-screen. I fucking love that MJ sees Jonna for the badass competitor she is. For the longest time, Jonna’s a player people have taken for granted, and it’s been lost amongst all the chaos that she’s done 2 All-Stars seasons now and has never seen elimination. Jonna saying in her confessional that she believes she can beat Jodi in a Final is badass as well. Seeing Jonna confident after all these years feels so good. MJ is the partner she’s needed as well, and together, they’re feeling like a vibe.
6 Mini Final
The daily challenge was a mini-final consisting of running, swimming, and memorization. I’m a sucker for a mini-final as it reshapes the house environment as people begin to look at their competition differently.
For starters, let’s talk about those who came out of the mini-final looking good. As a duo, Jonna and MJ had zero flaws; they communicated, kept a good pace, and didn’t have any struggles en-route to a strong victory. Similarly, Darrell and Janelle were a well-oiled machine and took second place, though Janelle mentions a potential injury during the episode and in the trailer for next week. Nehemiah and Melinda put up a solid 3rd Place Finis — in all honesty, I don’t think they are the most talented duo, but they have a hunger to win and excellent chemistry with one another. They continue to exceed expectations.
Now let’s look at the losers. Laterrian & Jasmine came in last as Jasmine got hurt, she wasn’t doing stellar when healthy either, and they didn’t communicate well at all. Teck & Ayanna were a mess in every department, and physically they don’t have what it takes to win a Final as it stands currently. Jodi and Brad were physically the fittest duo, but they had zero strategy, poor communication, and lacked a ton in the mental department. Before this episode, Jodi/Brad were the outright favorites to win, and now… I don’t even know what to say… They’re still a massive threat, though this Final is looking a bit more like a toss-up.
5 Jonna & MJ Play It Safe
As the alliance lines were already drawn in the sand, Jonna & MJ chose to nominate the King’s Palace duos (Nehemiah/Melinda and Teck/Ayanna) for elimination. Although, during their little deliberation, Jonna and MJ consider making a big move and throwing in Brad/Jodi. Jasmine being a person already in elimination, played a factor in their choice not to put Brad/Jodi in. For one, why would Jonna force her best friend to face the physical juggernaut in Jodi? Second, you don’t want Jodi/Brad swinging back at you the following week when they can put you into elimination against an actually strong duo. Third, you don’t want Brad/Jodi to get a lifeshield this late in the game.
Now… if Jonna and MJ win next week… I could see them making a move as there would be no repercussions to worry about.
4 JasMom vs. Cleaning Lady Ayanna
The Challenge House is consistently disgusting, and I’m always appalled how so many of these people live in filth. Yet, I did find it fucking wild that Ayanna actively chose to clean these people’s messes and then call them out on being privileged after. I feel like if Ayanna tried to corral people to help her clean, they probably would have. If Ayanna had done that and they rejected her by saying, “Nah, I’m not cleaning, I’m living in filth like the trash I am,” then maybe her calling them privileged would make sense. Things get even more kerfuffled when Jodi’s Greek Salad goes missing, and at point, Jasmine has had enough.
Jasmine calls Ayanna out on her BS. Sidenote: Jasmine and Ayanna clashing in a Challenge House sounds like Reality TV Fan Fiction that someone wrote on their Tumblr Blog in 2011.
3 I Ate Your Greek Salad
What a bizarre and hilarious voting ceremony.
I don’t know what was weirder, Ayanna trying to get in Jodi’s head at the nomination ceremony by telling her about how she ate her Greek Salad, or saying she wasn’t going to Tonya Harding her. Which, I never consider any human being is going to shatter my ankle unless they bring up Tonya Harding. Once they do, my ankle begins to tingle a little. I could not stop laughing through the entire voting ceremony.
Oh yeah, Melinda & Nehemiah were the ones voted into elimination because they’re the more significant threat in a final. Despite Ayanna’s antics, she gets off this week scot-free.
2 King’s Battle (Nehemiah & Melinda vs. Laterrian & Jasmine)
The elimination was a game about partner communication and how well you do under pressure. Laterrian & Jasmine did not pick each other as partners ever, their personalities and styles clash, and it came to a head during this elimination. Honestly, the only thing I thought Laterrian and Jasmine had in common was they are both kind of hotheads; even then, Laterrian is the silent type who boils over and eventually explodes, meanwhile Jasmine stays at a boiling water level and is ready to pop off whenever. Nehemiah & Melinda had way more chemistry, and thus they ran away with this elimination. It is Nehemiah’s 3rd elimination win in the All-Star Franchise, the most by any player in the OG universe, and Melinda’s 2nd this season (her first competitive elimination win ever).
With this elimination win, they get Lifeshield and a spot in the Final. Personally, I don’t think the Lifeshield should be applicable for the last elimination of a season the same way you can’t use an Immunity Idol for the last Survivor Tribal Council vote-out. Regardless, I’m happy for Nehemiah and Melinda. For Melinda, this will be her first-ever Challenge Final. It is Nehemiah’s second-ever Final and first since The Gauntlet 3, which means it’s his first real-final as the only other one he competed in was a bit of a cupcake Final made even easier by the fact Big Easy died and dragged down the Vets. Nehemiah’s goal has been to make the Final and win; he’s now written the check — can he cash it?
1 Next Week
Due to Nehemiah & Melinda getting the Lifeshield, one of the powerhouse teams (Jonna/MJ, Darrell/Janelle, Brad/Jodi) will go into the last elimination next week. One of those teams will most likely face Teck & Ayanna, as Teck & Ayanna’s track record shows they have a good chance of coming in last place in the daily challenge. However, if Teck & Ayanna can avoid being the team that automatically goes into elimination due to performance…things become a little interesting. A team trying to make a big move would keep them around as they aren’t threats in the final, which means we could be getting those three power teams listed above going against one another to make the final.