The Challenge Spies, Lies & Allies Episode 13 Recap & 10 Biggest Takeaways
Episode 13 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 13th episode. Above is our YouTube Podcast Video recap, and for those that prefer Audio Only, Spotify and Apple Below.
In my mini recap last week, I mentioned I’d been in a mental health slump, and I still am to an extent. The amount of kind messages I got in my DMs across multiple social media realms warmed my heart. They made all the words I wrote in this recap much easier, knowing I have an audience who cares not only about what I write about Reality-TV but also about me as a human.
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Editor’s Note: I think I’m way too positive on Amanda this episode looking back. She did act childish in the daily challenge, except, the men are on her team were kind of asking for that type of performance. Amanda added some needed chaos the episode.
10 Amanda’s Welcome Party
Amanda got welcomed to the Ruby Team by Kyle telling Logan that she’s essentially a terrible player and human. Then we got confessionals from Logan, Nelson, and Cory, all shitting on her abilities. Regardless of how you feel about Amanda, she’s not a lay-up competitor by any stretch of the imagination. Despite hating each other, she and Zach dominated Final Reckoning’s daily challenges; and Amanda has put up valiant fights against much bigger players (Jenna and Nicole Z) in physical eliminations/games in the past. Nelson saying Amanda does not take these challenges seriously is comical as he is the guy who is approaching 50 consecutive daily challenge losses.
The most egregious person to degrade Amanda’s skills as a teammate is Kyle. Seriously, let’s look back:
In the first daily challenge, Kyle makes 107 lb Amanda carry the giant safe where every other team had the man carrying it, or at least, both players holding it.
During the third daily challenge, he leaves Amanda out to dry by refusing to jump off the cliff in a swimming challenge until TJ strikes the fear of God in him with a death stare.
Kyle’s inability to memorize a 3-Digit codes lost them the fourth daily challenge, a challenge where Amanda showed ingenuity by deciding to use her big voice instead of the walkie-talkie. There are some other challenges where I feel Kyle let her down, it’s just at a certain a point, it becomes too nit-picky.
In the team setting, Amanda at least tried in the challenge where players had to hop from beam to beam when Ashley & Bettina simply quit. Likewise, last week, she put a tackle out on Nany and blocked Emy to allow Bettina to score in the rugby challenge. I don’t think Amanda is necessarily a top contender; it is just ridiculous that these men have labeled her weak. If anything, these numb-skulls need someone with a brain to make up for their shortcomings.
9 Food! Glorious Food!
Big T got shamed for her breakfast consisting of two donuts, watermelon, and some strawberries. Typically, I think the term bullying gets thrown around way too liberally, but watching Cory knock the donut out of Big T’s mouth made me sad inside. Big T comes into each season in much better shape, so let the girl eat as many donuts as she wants!
We also saw CT, Nelson, Devin, and Emanuel seasoning, cooking, and chopping up some meat for a house barbeque. Did anyone else notice that as CT gets in better shape, his glasses become comically larger? It reminds me of an old SNL skit, where a pretentious Jonah Hill’s glasses get smaller as his scarves get bigger.
The most vivid imagery we got was Emanuel spanking some meats, which seems to be his favorite hobby in the Challenge house, transitioning us into the next takeaway.
8 Tori & Emanuel’s Pipe Draining
Tori and Emanuel looked fucking hot as individuals and together. They snuck off to the bathroom during the House BBQ to bang, and hilariously, Big T walked in as one of their hands was pressed against the bathroom glass, as the two of them were going at it. I’m a simple man, I see two attractive people hooking up in a Challenge bathroom, and I nod my head in approval and move on from there.
7 The Spanish Connection
One of the cuter moments from the episode was a scene with Josh speaking to Logan in Spanish. Josh gives Logan a sense of comfort, as Logan does not have to translate everything he wants to say for once, and it gives each player a deeper connection that other people in the house cannot share with them. As someone who comes from a Spanish-Speaking house myself, I fucking loved watching this, because I often feel that Hispanic/Latin representation in Reality TV is not up to snuff. Now, Logan and Josh definitely weren’t my first, second, or thirteenth choice of people to have this type of moment on the Challenge, however, it is something I will personally cherish.
Some of the tidbits we got from their conversation was that Logan hates speaking English, and if he wins the season, he will buy a surfboard. Cowabunga, muchacho.
6 Daily Challenge
Emerald had solid swimmers and a numbers advantage going into this daily challenge. The only thing they had going against them is they were the first team to compete and could not learn from the other groups. Regardless, when your worst swimmers (Devin and Nany) are at the very least average in water, your team is going to do well in a primarily water-based daily challenge. They pick up their fourth straight win.
Sapphire had no shot in large part due to them only having four people. Emy can barely tie her shoes without instruction, so she wasn’t a great help, CT got frustrated by Emy’s lack of critical thinking skills, and Ashley kept yelling at Kyle for lollygagging as she shirked her responsibilities.
The team we need to talk about is Ruby; Logan told Amanda to stay off to the side and not get in their way. Amanda decided to have fun; she did poses for the audience, including her best Titanic rendition. It was pure comedy, especially as Logan took Amanda not liking water to mean she’d be a nuisance. In reality, I don’t think Amanda enjoys any daily challenge that isn’t a puzzle/sudoku, yet, she usually smiles through these challenges she hates. The Ruby Men could have used her brain for directions on how to untie the ropes; instead, they pushed her away and then blamed her. Ruby comes in a close second, refusing to get out of their own way. Shout-out to Big T, she simply went to work and avoided the clownery that is the men of her team.
5 Nelson & Cory vs. Amanda
At the club, Nelson & Cory continue to accuse Amanda of tanking their team. Amanda quickly chimes back that they were losing long before she joined their squad. A fun stat, if you date back to Final Reckoning, Amanda has had more Daily Challenge Wins (5) than Nelson & Cory combined (4). Amanda’s done that in 3 appearances (including SLA), whereas Cory & Nelson have had 8 appearances in that period. Also, Amanda won a Daily Challenge with the Goof in his rookie season, which should count for 12 Daily Challenge wins.
Cory & Nelson need to take a long look at the mirror before blaming someone who got told to stay off to the side and who they did not direct on what to do. At one point Cory & Nelson tried to get the upper-hand on Amanda by stating that all she is doing is getting loud, as a means to undermine her words, and deflect their own shortcomings. Nelson did at least apologize to the women of his team at the deliberation, and hey, this time, he did it without calling a woman a slut in the process. So, there’s that.
Sidenote: One of my favorite moments was when Amanda said look at them when referring to the Emerald Team, and MTV edited in Emerald as they are taking a team picture looking very unified.
4 The Emerald Women Need To Vote In CT
Kaycee, Tori, and Nany are a fierce female trio who have been vital towards Emerald’s success thus far. For them to win this season, I think they should have pushed to get CT thrown in this elimination. You throw CT in because there’s a chance he loses the elimination, and now you don’t have to face a 4x Champion in the Final. Or, CT wins the elimination, and he joins your team, meaning you likely replace Josh or Emanuel, two guys who have never seen a final with CT, and your team becomes even stronger. The worst-case scenario is CT wins and stays with Sapphire, which, your overall team’s mantra has been to remain intact with no infiltrations.
For these women, there is no reason not to vote CT into elimination. They should take the game into their own hands before it’s too late.
3 Deliberation & Vote-In
Josh sways his allies into making Cory the Agency Vote. Cory, incensed by getting voted into elimination in favor of the rookie, Logan, comes out of the deliberation swinging, saying after he wins his elimination, he is going to the Emerald Team. After joining the Emerald Team, Cory plans to sabotage them and then go into elimination again to take Josh or Devin down with him. Which sounds impulsive, except I’ve seen Cory declare hit lists, slam people into concrete, and hook up with Aneesa multiple times, so everything is in play for him if he’s feeling emotional.
Devin tries to talk with Cory after the vote-in and hits Cory with the same, “you’re just trying to be loud” rhetoric that Cory said to Amanda, which had me grinning ear to ear.
They tried to make it seem as though Kyle would be going into elimination due to his connection with Devin. Yet, it seemed obvious it would be Logan because of his inexperience and maybe his hamstring still being hurt (though there was no mention of it the entire episode, so I assume he is feeling better). When Cory calls Logan down, you get a much greater sense of how large a human Logan is, and it makes you wonder whether Cory made the right choice.
2 The Return of Mr. Popcorn Muscles: Logan vs. Cory
You would have thought Cory had the edge in this elimination after seeing many different versions of tug of wars on the show over the years, and he even said going in, his game-plan would be to tire out Logan. Then Cory goes in, and he immediately tries to rip the rope out of Logan’s hands with brute force. Logan gets the hang of the elimination and realizes he needs to strike in the off-moments where Cory’s grip loosens. I noticed that Logan smartly had a broader stance that made use of his legs, whereas Cory was relying way too much on his arms.
After a set amount of time, Cory gasses out and loses his footing, and Logan does not take his foot off the pedal. It goes the same way for both rounds. It is a dominant 2–0 win for Logan; he outsmarts and outworks the veteran. Cory was an All-Star level player on Total Madness/Double Agents; sadly, the guy we saw this season was the Popcorn Muscle guy from Dirty 30/Invasion who disappointed us season after season. Hysterically, after his loss, he tried to act as though as he was taking bullets for Nelson, when in reality, Cory simply got outplayed politically, socially, and physically. I like Cory, and he’s one of the best never to win a season, but we need a break from him for a bit.
Considering Cory was coming off a 5-elimination win streak and has a career 8–3 elimination record, this is a massive win for Logan and establishes him as a power player. I just can’t buy into Logan, though. Logan is the guy at the park playing basketball that makes these ridiculous shots and has some tricks up his sleeve, but when you have the ball, he does nothing to help you and won’t pass you the ball when you’re open. Incredibly talented, yet, a bit smug and painfully dull. This is rough to write because if someone comes on the Challenge speaking Spanish, then I biasedly give them a large leash, Logan’s simply rubbed me the wrong way.
Logan takes Kyle’s Sapphire spot, not choosing Emerald, in part due to the direction of Josh and Devin, I believe. Sapphire continues to look good on paper with CT, Emy, Ashley, and Logan, except they’ve come in last in three straight challenges, so I want to see some better results. The new Team Ruby is Kyle, Nelson, Big T, and Amanda. If you thought Team Ruby Version 1.0 stunk, this new version is just a meme squad. Emerald once again stays pact.
Looking forward to next week, Big T or Amanda will likely be the House Vote if Ruby loses. They will probably call one another out for elimination as they are each other’s best match-ups. Based on the trailer for next week, it seems as though Amanda is preparing to go in, and Josh is pitching that if Amanda chooses to infiltrate, she takes Tori’s spot instead of Nany’s, which is a juicy detail showing a potential hole in the Emerald Team’s unity.