The Challenge Spies, Lies & Allies Episode 10 Recap & 10 Biggest Takeaways
Episode 10 of Spies, Lies & Allies 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 10th episode. Above is our YouTube Podcast Video recap, and for those that prefer Audio Only, Spotify and Apple Below.
The Challenge Spies, Lies & Allies Episode 10 Recap: New Teams, New Format, New Colors
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A Podcast Covering Reality TV and Culture with a general focus on MTV's the Challenge A Podcast Covering Reality TV and…
10 The Challenge is Trying To Tear at Our Heart Strings
I have to commend MTV for the editing of this episode. While players always give confessionals as to why they are competing, how they incorporated Priscilla’s photos from home and Amanda’s video call with her son & best friend made me care more about each player. They also had Ashley talking honestly about the difficulties she has faced in recent seasons and Bettina explaining her upbringing as a small-town Swedish girl. Not only did they exhibit those going into elimination to build up to this episode’s climax, but they gave us decoys so that when the elimination votes went down, there was an element of suspense and surprise.
9 Fake Daily Challenge (New Teams)
Again, I have to give props to MTV for tricking us into thinking the players and the viewers somewhat that the game would become individual. The switch to a three-team format is a good twist as it tests players differently and adds more urgency to the daily challenges. Not only can more players earn safety now in one daily challenge, but the format itself allows for less floating as there are not as many options for who can go into elimination.
Complete Sidenote: I need MTV to stop doing challenges where the players have to scratch paint chips or whatever off using their fingernails. Fingernail infections are a real phobia of mine, and I don’t want anyone to make fun of me for being afraid of them because then you are a bully, and you don’t want to be that. Moving on.
One of the most heartbreaking moments of the episode was seeing Nelson finish his task and race over to the checkpoint with his comically large jewel, thinking he would win a daily challenge. Remember, Nelson is currently on a 43 Daily Challenge Loss Streak, which is mathematically staggering. So when he gets there and finds out they are only picking teams, it’s like when your mom tells you to race home because she’s taking you somewhere. Then she just takes you to the dentist. Being the first person to show up sucks because you don’t have any insight into how the teams will shake up, which you have to give props to Ed for actually waiting a bit to see where others landed. Nelson’s strategy to split up he and Cory made sense; sadly for Cory, he drew the short end of the stick when it came to his teammates. There are benefits to playing with your friends on the same team because if you lose, at least you won’t call each other into elimination unless you are Fessy on Double Agents.
8 Three New Teams (Cells)
Is it just me, or did the shade of Green they used way too similar to the Blue? Maybe I’m colorblind. Our new teams are:
Team Emerald: Josh, Devin, Emanuel, Kaycee, Tori, and Nany
Emerald has the strongest females from a physical perspective. They have three women who have no significant weaknesses, and size-wise, they complement their male counterparts in any challenge that requires cooperation. When they lose, though, their men will get targeted for elimination, Emanuel due to his size and being a rookie, Devin for his lack of raw athleticism, and Josh because he’s the Goof.
Team Sapphire: CT, Nelson, Ed, Amanda, Ashley, Bettina
While Emerald has the physically strong women, Sapphire has the brains of Ashley, Amanda, and Bettina. CT also saw Nelson and Ed as workhorses he can race a final with as long as he can be the person leading the team mentally. I think CT loves this bunch because even though their team isn’t perfect for every challenge, it is a team you could see thriving in a final.
Team Ruby: Cory, Kyle, Logan, Emy, Priscilla, Big T
Just a bunch of misfits. Cory is not a leader, Kyle is a shit teammate, Logan’s body is breaking down, Emy is erratic, Priscilla is public enemy #1, and Big T got tricked into joining them by CT, who didn’t want her on his team. Yeesh.
Sapphire vs. Emerald vs. Ruby picturized:
7 Devin carrying the weight of his team
The three teams competed in a daily challenge similar to the elimination played by Jenna and Tori on Total Madness. Sapphire worked like a well-oiled machine with CT, Nelson, and Ed crushing blocks and Amanda/Bettina transferring the rubble over to Ashley. Ruby was an absolute mess, and at one point, Emy tried to break a cinderblock by throwing it rather than using her sledgehammer. Talk about absolute madness.
Devin took the lead for the Emerald Team and focused on creating a strategy of weighing the box down to a point where all six players could start inserting the container with rubble as twelves hands are better than two. It was a clever move that even CT was mad he didn’t think of first. Devin has come into his own as a social, political, and mental player. At this point in the game, I might rank Devin the 2nd Best Male Vet because I know Kyle, Nelson, and Cory would never be able to outwit in CT in any fashion.
6 Picnic Politics
During the Emerald’s Team’s picnic to decide which female they should vote into elimination, Emanuel did an excellent job of highlighting Emy’s flaws as a competitor as means to save her. To this point, Emanuel has been able to rely on his abilities physically and his social charm; watching him flex some strategy and manipulation skills was very cool. The Emerald Team focuses on Ashley and Priscilla, noting that they are each the strongest female on their respective teams.
Nobody pushed the agenda of Ashley going out more than Nany. Before the season, they had a moment where she talked to Ashley and Amanda about them being on the same page, except Ashley & Nany have way too much baggage. Ashley and Nany are almost like high-schoolers who have the same friend but actively despise one another, yet try to hold back those feelings out of respect for everyone around them. Had Amanda not been there, I don’t think Nany would have given out the olive branch. Ashley has taken shots at vets who come in repeatedly without winning (Nany), and Nany put a lot of the blame on Turbo getting kicked off WOTW 2 on Ashley for instigating. Nany lost the final of WOTW 2 to Ashley as well. There is bad blood there, and it could very well come to a head later this season.
5 Logan Breaks Big T’s Heart as his Body Breaks
Big T telling Logan the story of Oedipus The King (or Oedipus Rex) might be my favorite moment of the season.
Logan and Big T have both been incredibly inconsequential to the main plot of this season. So when we get reminded of them as a pair, and Big T talks about falling in love with him, I assumed good things would happen. Instead, Logan ended their showmance, as he told Big T that he only liked her as a friend after they had hooked up and cuddled a bunch. Honestly, it feels like Big T was playing up her showmance for the cameras as she seemed much more affected by the heartbreak of CT leaving her last season than Logan ending things this season. Then again, CT did it obnoxiously, whereas Logan simply said adios in the middle of the night as he sashayed away.
They hinted at Logan getting an injury, which could lead to him getting targeted for elimination due to perceived weakness, or it is the same edit that Nam got on Double Agents before he got Medically DQ’d. Regardless, I’m out on Logan; he is a charisma vacuum. Logan is talented, athletic, skilled, and good-looking, but at the end of the day, he just fucking stinks. His vibe is whack. Also, while I love Big T, her charm is wearing off a bit, and I wouldn’t mind a 1 or 2 season break from her at this point.
4 Human Beings Amanda Garcia and Ashley Mitchell
Amanda and Ashley love to play up their characters as “Devils” and “Snakes.” This week we got a very humanizing episode of the two of them. Amanda might stir the pot a little too much with her social media drama; however, she is a fierce woman who works a demanding job as a single mom and found the time to do this show. Watching her take down her walls and be in tears seeing her son was such a cute moment. She talked honestly about working on the frontlines during the beginning of the pandemic, and it is surreal to see a real human being on the Challenge. Amanda might be too dramatic for some people; the thing is, she is genuinely one of the few people left who isn’t a career Reality TV personality.
Likewise, Ashley showed so much love and care for Amanda. You can tell Ashley feels alone and alienated, and Amanda is someone she feels lucky to have as a friend, especially because you don’t find people as loyal as Amanda every day. Ashley has had to deal with people saying over the years that she doesn’t care about Amanda as much Amanda does for her; you could see from this episode, no, Ashley truly cherishes Amanda, and the fact she had to do her last three shows without her was rough on her mental well-being. As much as I love the chaos that Amanda and Ashley bring, showing their vulnerable sides was wholesome.
3 Elimination Decisions
Each woman gave a little speech as to why they should not go into elimination. Amanda pulled the famous “I got a kid” line that men have used repeatedly, and because it came from a woman, it felt different and refreshing. Priscilla got voted into elimination, and she took it with grace.
When they got to the elimination arena, TJ revealed Priscilla could pick anyone as an opponent. Priscilla sticking to her strategy of swinging big and not targeting other rookies, picked Ashley as her opponent. Ashley respected the move as Priscilla has at least stayed consistent with what she has preached. Had Ashley been the House Vote, I wonder who she would have taken down. While Ashley and Big T are friends, I could see Ashley calling her out or Bettina due to perceived weakness. Unless it is a swimming elimination, it is hard to envision Big T beating Ashley in anything. I don’t mean that as an insult; their skill-sets line up similarly, except Ashley trains more, has more experience, and is taller/bigger.
2 Sandy Cheeks (Ashley vs. Priscilla)
The elimination was a blowout. Priscilla thought to push the sand using her because most humans’ legs are stronger than their arms. Ashley took it to another level; she went into a full yoga downward dog position, planting her feet into the sand to push her whole body through the surface when digging. The critical difference was Ashley turned her entire body into a shovel, so while Priscilla didn’t play dumb, Ashley simply played much smart. Add in Ashley’s excellent cardio levels, and it led to a big elimination win. The crowd helped Ashley memorize the pattern, mainly since they wanted to pretend they were on her side, knowing she was coming back into the house. The moment meant a lot for Ashley, as people often work against her from the crowd in eliminations. She blew up at Wes on Total Madness after he helped Dee.
Priscilla lost the elimination with grace, and while she might not be the perfect Reality TV cast member, she impresses me as a human. Ashley improves her poor elimination record and is now a career 4–5 in elimination, one win away from a 50% win rate.
1 Who Is In The Best Position Now?
Ashley chose to stay with the Blue Team rather than the Green Team, a move that makes sense to me as the Blue Team is a formidable bunch who worked well together in the challenge. Likewise, if Ashley wants to make a big move going forward, she and Amanda are just one additional vote away from taking at their shot at any player. On the other side of the coin, were they to lose the daily challenge, they know for sure, neither would call one another into an elimination.
The players who benefit the most from the new format are CT and Kaycee. Before when you could partner up any two random people in elimination, you could partner a powerhouse with a weaker player as a means to knock them out. Now that it is 1 on 1 eliminations, nobody will want to call out CT or Kaycee, and the chances of them being the house vote is slim. Nobody wants to make CT the House Vote if they know he can pick to face the weakest guy in the house. The players hurt most by the newest format are Big T and Josh, as they are the vets who will get targeted due to perceived and actual weaknesses in the elimination arena. Meanwhile, the Rookies have always been on the chopping block, so nothing is that different for them.