The Challenge Spies, Lies & Allies Episode 18 Recap & 10 Biggest Takeaways
Episode 18 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 18th episode. Above is our YouTube Podcast Video recap, and for those that prefer Audio Only, Spotify and Apple Below.
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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 Final Elimination Twist
I saw most people online expecting the players to compete in a Purge. Instead, the teams got dissolved, and they abruptly nominated a female player to go into elimination. That player would then call out their opponent. It’s not the first time they’ve done this (Duel 2 is the precedent), and in all honesty, for maybe the first time this season, the game felt like it had actual stakes.
The first vote went to Emanuel as he had just won an elimination. Emanuel was not going to vote in his Romanian Sister Emy or his original Emerald Ladies (Tori, Kaycee, Nany), and thus, he said Amanda’s name. Amanda said Tori’s name in retaliation, and from there, it became a vote between the two, and unfortunately for Amanda, the ball was already rolling in her direction. Truthfully, Emanuel getting the first vote genuinely affected the entire voting process. If Kyle, Nelson, or Kaycee had the first vote, I think they would have put in Emy, and everyone would have jumped on that bandwagon. Instead, it was Amanda, and Amanda decided she was swinging big and brought Tori down with her.
Also, much respect goes out to Nelson for not saying Amanda’s name for elimination when it was a foregone conclusion she was going in. He said Tori’s name, knowing that there would still be a Male Elimination, and Tori could retaliate and potentially get some votes thrown on him.
9 Tori vs. Amanda
Amanda and Tori played the same elimination Georgia & Ashley faced off in on War of the Worlds 1, essentially an alteration of Balls In. A ball gets dropped from a drone, the players race off to retrieve it, and then try to put it in their goal to score a point/win. Amanda had close to not shot in this elimination, as Tori is simply bigger, stronger, and faster than her. No matter how hard Amanda tried, Tori was getting to that ball first. I think Amanda did an admirable job defending Tori in the first round; she took her down, got some excellent reversals in to hold her down, and as the audience watching said in the moment, she’s a scrapper.
The problem is, at best, Amanda was only playing defense. Eventually, though, Tori used her size and strength to her advantage, turning Amanda into a satchel, carrying her to the goal.
In Round Two, Amanda made a greater attempt to get the ball to avoid being in a perpetual defensive state; however, Tori beat her to it and then essentially had a free shot at the goal. Tori wins her first elimination since War of the Worlds 2 and now stands at a career 4–3 in eliminations. Even after their bad blood all season, the two players show a ton of sportsmanship after the match. Just don’t see how they interact/talk about one another on Social Media/Podcasts.
8 Thank You, Amanda
After taking a few seasons off and having a baby, Amanda Garcia came back to the Challenge universe throwing the same fastball she’s always had and also threw in an occasional change-up/curveball here and there. It’s hard to imagine this season without Amanda bringing the drama in both the Challenge House and Social Media realms. Amanda steered the ship through some of the season’s weaker episodes, ensuring they weren’t complete catastrophes. Thank you, Amanda, for coming back and bringing some life to the show. No matter how you feel about Amanda, she made an impact.
7 Male Vote-In
Tori had the first vote for the male elimination, and she threw it on Nelson. Nelson threw one back at Emanuel, and from there, Devin outwardly voiced that the Vets should throw in Emanuel as the rookie. I was a bit shocked by Devin’s willingness to say this aloud and protect Nelson when Nelson has thrown shady digs his way in recent weeks. Then again, maybe Devin did it because he’d rather face Emanuel in elimination if it’s a headbanger like the one Tori & Amanda just played rather than Nelson. One of the worst choices was Emanuel throwing a vote on Devin out of spite. Had Emanuel voted for Nelson, I think Kaycee & Nany might have been willing to protect him in favor of Nelson.
The result is 6 votes on Emanuel, 2 on Nelson (from Tori & Emy), and 1 on Devin. Emanuel calls out Devin, stating that he will beat Devin in anything as long as it’s not a puzzle. Which…sadly for Emanuel… it was a puzzle.
6 Dyslexics For The Win
Before the elimination, Devin notes that he’s dealt with severe dyslexia his entire life and that he would memorize stuff he was supposed to read in school the next day beforehand to compensate and not look dumb. As someone diagnosed with dyslexia myself, it was fantastic to see someone talk about it as both a gift and a curse. When you have dyslexia, the learning curve becomes steep to the point that your brain is constantly working to find ways for you to stay on the level of your peers, and if you want to be better than them, you got to work even harder and get even more creative. After hating on Devin for a few weeks, I bought back in for this elimination.
5 Devin vs. Emanuel (Surprise Bitch, It’s a Puzzle),
My immediate reaction to this elimination was, “Wow, after seven eliminations, Devin has still never seen a headbanger, and gets his preferred game, a puzzle with no physical aspect involved.” Once I got that out of the way, I loved that the elimination was three different types of puzzles: a Sudoku type-puzzle with Colors, a math/logic puzzle, and a shape/pattern-based puzzle. I think any player can get lucky in a single puzzle, but to beat someone 3 to 3 is a legit win with no flukiness involved.
Emanuel solved the first puzzle quickly and took a big early lead, looking like he might pull off a massive upset. Unfortunately, Emanuel’s math skills were not up to par, and his listening skills were not great either, where even with the crowd of ladies repeatedly telling him how to solve the puzzle, he struggled. Once Devin solved the first puzzle, he was rolling as he got the second one done with ease (he had practiced it before). Eventually, Emanuel got the second puzzle, and the two players tried their best at the final puzzle. In the end, Devin takes the win and moves to a career 5–2 in eliminations! Emanuel takes the loss and is the last rookie out of the game; going from not seeing an elimination all season to seeing two in one night, what a way to go out.
4 Typical Tori
Nelson and Tori went at it during the vote-ins and the Emanuel/Devin elimination. While I think it was absurd for Nelson to get upset at Tori for voting for him into elimination when he did the same to her, I was entirely on his side when Tori tried to help Emanuel during his elimination with Devin. Tori claimed Devin was her #1 guy, and then the first chance it looks like he might lose, she jumps on the Emanuel train. Nelson is someone who threw himself in for Cory on Total Madness and just went against the grain in the last female elimination vote for Amanda, knowing it was a lost cause, so his brain could not comprehend how Tori could call Devin her #1 and then help Emanuel.
He began calling her “Typical Tori,” one of the laziest and most accurate nicknames I’ve ever heard. Typical Tori always finds a way to be opportunistic in moments you never expect. Nelson knows damn well from the way he got blindsided into elimination with Fessy last season by Tori. Even CT was staggered by Tori’s actions and had Nelson’s back in defending Devin in the audience.
3 Finalist Historical Significance
CT qualifies for a record-breaking 10th Challenge Final, the most of any player all-time. A Championship would bring him to 5 Wins Total, putting him second all-time behind Johnny Bananas (7).
Kyle has made his 3rd Final in 7 Seasons. He’s been the 2nd Place Male on two seasons (Vendettas/Total Madness). A win would legitimize Kyle so much as right now you could look at him as slightly above average who only beats inferior players.
Devin makes his 2nd Final in 6 Seasons. His first Final was a lay-up team on Rivals 3 with Cheyenne. Devin is a much different player these days, and a win for him is crazy to consider.
Nelson makes his 2nd Final in 8 Seasons, and it is the first season Nelson has ever done without going into elimination. In his last final, Nelson came up 2 minutes short of winning against CT on Invasion. Considering Nelson has lost 51 straight daily challenges, winning a Final would be the funniest thing ever.
Kaycee makes her 3rd straight final in 3 Seasons. You compare Kaycee’s resume to Emily Schromm, who also made 3 consecutive finals to start her career. Kaycee has better daily challenge stats and is arguably a much more formidable political/social player than Emily. If Kaycee gets a win, then does she have the better resume?
Tori makes her 3rd Final in 6 seasons. The last time she was in a final, she got purged right before the final sprint on War of the Worlds 2. If Tori was ever going to win, it has to be now.
Nany makes her 3rd final in 11 seasons. It’s funny to think that Nany got her heart broken in so many seasons where she was a legitimate threat to win, and nowadays, when she’s just chilling with Kaycee, she’s coasting to Finals. As much as I’d love to see a Nany win, my brain cannot envision it anymore, weirdly.
Emy makes the Final as a rookie. If she wins, she will spend her earnings on the best damn Alien-themed birthday you could imagine.
2 FINAL PART ONE
I’m not going to go deep into breaking down the final because everything we saw was a set-up towards finding out the individuals will be competing in two teams of four next week. I did have some mini takeaways from it:
- Nelson probably has the best endurance, heart, and motor for this final.
- Devin is damn solid with puzzles, and I wish we had more cardio.
- CT is good at both, and the only chance Devin/Nelson have at beating him is by fusing together.
- Tori is killing this final.
- We found out on the Challenge aftershow that Kaycee has a broken toe, and it’s clearly affecting her as it looks like she is moving much slower than she usually does.
- Kaycee might have some PTSD from the final last season, where pushing the pace too much resulted in her slipping up and getting hurt; it could be a reason why she seems to be in a funk thus far.
Let’s move into the teams we will see competing next week.
The teams are:
(PURPLE) CT, Devin, Tori, Emy vs. (ORANGE) Kyle, Nelson, Kaycee, Nany.
My immediate reaction is that while Purple has more strengths, Devin’s cardio and Emy’s lack of experience could potentially hold them back. The Orange Team is pretty balanced across the board except for one glaring weakness in puzzles/mental competitions. These will not be the teams forever; they will play a significant factor in the end result.
1 What To Expect Next Week
TJ says in the teaser for next week that they will be going into one last elimination against one another. My prediction is that after a certain checkpoint, Purple or Orange will get declared the temporary winners, and the losing team will have its members face off in elimination. Meaning we could get CT vs. Devin or Kyle vs. Nelson, and Kaycee vs. Nany or Emy vs. Tori. From there, my guess is the final will transition back into individuals or potentially into pairs.
The only thing you can bank on from Challenge production at this point is total inconsistency. As a whole, I thought this was a pretty good episode, and I’m excited to see how this final plays out.
EDIT: MTV officially tweeted we will find out who wins next week, which, Thank God this is not a 3-part finale like I thought. I still think we will see an elimination between whoever loses the portion between the two teams as I wrote above, and then the players will have a final stretch they must complete.