The Challenge Spies, Lies & Allies Episode 3 Recap & 10 Biggest Takeaways
Episode 3 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 3rd episode. These will be integral storylines that the 3rd episode focused on, and I’ll breakdown why they matter. Also, if you prefer a traditional Summary, the YouTube Podcast breakdown is above, and the Spotify/Apple Version 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 Nelly’s Boot Camp
MTV shilled out the money for Nikki Minaj’s Anaconda, and I am impressed, now if only MTV could show music again and maybe get some Challenge re-runs going. A classic Challenge cliché is them showing the duality of house life during the daytime. They show half the players sunbathing and relaxing by the pool, and then the other half training their asses off. Is this indicative of who the best players are? No. Ashley can outrun most women there in a final, and Amanda has some of the best daily challenge stats ever, and they were relaxing with all the pool people. Meanwhile, our good boy Nelson who is “running” the boot camp, has not won a daily challenge since Vendettas!
It is always good to see who is putting in work in the gym, though. Nelson is not the most coordinated or smartest person on the Challenge. Still, the work he puts into his body is impressive, and it is why he continually can go toe to toe with much bigger foes in elimination. We see Esther, Tacha, Jeremiah, and Emanuel training in Nelly’s Boot Camp. Most notably, Berna is both working out and admiring her piece of man candy, Nelson. In her confessional, she mentions her drama with Ashley & Amanda. The editors make sure to show those girls lounging by the pool in their bikini as Berna is doing her lunges to create a stark contrast. It also represents how the game’s current state is for the vets and rookies; one can relax, the other needs to be prepared to compete at any moment.
9 Talked Off Of The Cliff
The swimming challenge was a bit of a convoluted mess. Cliff-dive, then dive under to get a capsule, swim through a cave to get a second capsule, swim back, hang on to jet ski, then swim to the finish line. Personally, this daily challenge was a little too convoluted; it took a long time to get all the teams through (even with multiple getting fast-forwarded). What is missing in this swimming challenge is that we cannot gauge how fast the teams in each heat are going because even the crowd is not entirely sure because they cannot fully see what is going on. We only know relatively to each other. You think of swimming challenges on Rivals 2/Exes 2 where the faces and reactions the crowd make do an excellent job of telling you who is doing well/poorly. We don’t get that here. What we did get, though, were some hilarious moments from players being afraid to jump.
I am starting with Hughie and Ashley. Hughie was so freaked out about the jump and was so terrified that he began puking. Ashley couldn’t help laughing as she is used to being the one who gets talked off the ledge, yet, in this scenario, she is consoling him and also convincing Hughie to jump off a literal ledge. I think a lot of people at home’s jaws dropped when she kissed Hughie after he puked. Not me; I have seen Ashley party on the Challenge for over half a decade now; she has definitely made out with her fair share of people post-throw up at the club. When Hughie did jump in, he was jetting through the water, to which I must note, his Brazilian Butt lift gives him an unfair advantage as he has a natural floatation device. Hughie and Ashley are the funniest duo in the house.
Second place in that department goes to Kyle and Amanda, where once again, Kyle left Amanda out to dry. It took a severe TJ staredown and Amanda yelling at him from the water for him to finally make a move, still bizarre chicken behavior for someone in their 7th straight season. In Kyle’s defense, we saw multiple people get hurt in this challenge. It even looked as though Amanda’s nose got bloodied when she hit the water.
8 Tommy’s Concussion
The amount of time these multi-heat daily challenges take to film simply alter performances throughout the day. In last week’s car challenge, they filmed for 9 hours, and the teams that went in the middle of the day could not see due to the sun. This week, the waves and tides kept getting more intense, and it was most evident during the heat containing CT/Berna and Big T/Tommy. A combination of strong waves mixed with a fast jet ski led to both men’s shorts getting taken off during the challenge; we got full CT cheeks — meanwhile, Tommy completed the mission Porky Pigging it.
After the mission, Tommy got wiped out due to a concussion. My guess is it happened when he first hit the water on his initial jump, and it only got worse once on the jet ski. The adrenaline was enough to keep him going; once that was over, his body shut down. Tommy is a diehard Challenge fan. To watch him have his dream end this way after all these years is crushing, especially knowing now he does not plan to come back. Which I have to note, CT twerking his naked ass cheeks after the daily challenge 25 feet away from Tommy dying made for some hilarious television and will end up in a Top 10 list I write one day. I guess Tommy will have to settle for the million dollars he won on Survivor and his “third leg”, which has to be impressive as George Costanza is quick to point out that shrinkage happens in the water.
7 Tori Ed vs. Corey/Michele (Michele is a Badass)
From her time on Survivor, I was on the Michele bandwagon going into this season regardless. My only worry is that she was a little too kind and maybe did not have the cutthroat aspect needed to succeed physically on the Challenge. Throw that out the window because Michele busted up her face in this daily challenge, did not give a shit, and was immediately trucking her way through the water with her face covered in blood. Watching Michele chase down Ed with all that blood in a dark cave looked like something out of a Horror Film. It was so fucking cool. Michele is already one of the best Survivor players ever, yet we see different dimensions to her on the Challenge while still bringing her classic charm in confessionals. She and Corey were playing for their lives, and unfortunately, they came up short to Ed & Tori, the winners of the challenge.
Which I have to note, Ed in 2 episodes, has won America over with charm and a good attitude and, in terms of achievements, already owns a daily challenge and elimination win. He is not going to be an alternate next season, that is for sure. Huge kudos for him and Tori to come out on top of a field of 15 total pairs.
6 The Rookies Are Making It Too Easy For the Vets
At one point, we see Corey Lay pick Gabo’s mind about the game, and we see in a confessional that Gabo believes that he won’t be going into elimination this season since Nany is his partner. Gabo… Nany won’t be going into elimination anytime soon; with this format, though, your name might get called pretty soon. A majority of these rookies do not have their heads in the game. Even our sweet Ed Eason decided to let Tori do all the politicking, thinking it would create the least amount of waves for him. Ed did not make an accurate read of the game because even though everyone in the house loves him, the vets are, for the most part, not playing based on emotion. They are trying to pick apart the strongest rookies, and Ed is probably the best rookie guy in that house right now based on performance. He needed to make waves.
5 Big T got called out
I want to open this up by saying I love Big T, and if MTV sold Big T Funko Pops, I would buy the lot. Did some of the vets rightfully call out her political/social game this episode? Absolutely. Big T loves to play politics. She wants to yield power and make big moves, as she did last season on Double Agents, forcing an Aneesa vs. Tori elimination. Big T is someone who sees the rookies as friends and as assets, and for that reason, the Vets worry that maybe she has the power to corral some votes at some point. For a long time, Big T has been a competitive afterthought, and for that reason, she never got called out like she was this episode, so she and likely some of her loyal fans will take offense.
If anything, it is a massive compliment to Big T’s political prowess that the vets see her as a political threat in that way. How Big T will adapt to having a target on her will be fascinating to watch.
4 The Deliberation & Politicking
Before the deliberation happened, everyone knew Jeremiah & Tacha would be the house vote as they were one of only two rookie pairs and were the only team not to complete the daily challenge. From there, Devin worked as a consultant to Tori on what players to throw in to face them. He threw out Emanuel’s name, mentioning his strength and intelligence as a player. Sidenote: Emanuel is one of the sauciest human beings on the planet; he has a terrible haircut, mostly bad tattoos, and looks like he just drank onion juice, and even then, the guy is still hot as fuck. He has a gravitas to him. Then Devin mentioned Berna as both a physical threat and a weakness in their alliance due to her showmance with Nelson. For many years, Devin would punch up at people out of his league; it is surreal to see what he can do when in actual power. It feels as though I’m watching a 5 Star Army general. My only complaint about Devin this week is that he needs to wear shoes or socks at all times, because his feet were out and about and they looked gross. Devin’s feet gave me a better understanding of foot fetish people, because I’m not sure what good feet look like, I just know his were the opposite of good.
At the actual deliberation, Tacha and Jeremiah acknowledge they are most likely going in. Instead of having a regular boring deliberation, Devin prods Tacha to name another team if not them, eliciting a “Michele/Corey.” Which pisses off Corey as he felt thrown under the bus, forcing Michele to diffuse the conflict with a more polite response. They even get Big T to start talking, and in one swoop, Devin has gotten a room full of people distracted while not even earning a target for himself. From Devin to Nelson to Amanda, Are You The One Season 3 is thriving on Spies, Lies & Allies. In the end, Tacha/Jeremiah becomes the house vote as expected.
3 Tori Deal just making a mess for no reason at all
All Tori needed to do this week was to be straightforward, not play any games, or talk too much. Instead, she created conflict with Big T, putting the entire Vet Alliance/Truce on their toes. Then she made a handshake deal with Tacha that she will throw Michele into elimination to face her. Tori, don’t give out a handshake unless you know for damn sure that you will be keeping your part of the deal. If you wonder why people call you fake, this is why.
Even at the nomination ceremony, Tori started talking as if she was voting in Big T, then swerved us by tossing in Berna, which was wholly unnecessary. Just say “Berna” and move on. Don’t insult Big T and your vet alliance, and don’t insult the person you made the handshake deal with. Corey L also got voted into elimination. Due to Tommy’s injury, Corey and Jeremiah got a free pass from elimination, which leads us to Tacha vs. Berna.
2 Berna vs. Tacha
The elimination was a more extreme/strategic version of Wes & Chet and Tonya & Diem’s elimination on the Ruins. Players got harnessed to bungee cords and had to build a ladder with pipes. Each section had a specific pipe that needed to be in each rung, and all rungs had to get filled. In retrospect, the players should have tried to map out the pole sizes on the ground before building, but considering they were two rookies with not much challenge experience, they did not have that insight.
What we got was a fierce match-up. Tacha took a more reserved approach, whereas Berna relied on her acrobatics background, going up and down as much as possible, taking many falls in the process (and a pipe to the face leading to the third bloodied face of the episode). The crowd affected this elimination as well. A majority of the house was on Tacha’s side as Berna was seen as the stronger player. Ashley was the loudest voice on Tacha’s side as she is anti-Berna, Nelson was cheering hard for his girl, and the most prominent voice in the crowd was CT. At this moment, I realized how strong Berna was when CT put in such a concerted effort to help her win this elimination. CT sees Berna as someone he can win a final with.
It was an excellent battle, and just the climbing portion of the elimination looked difficult. I can’t imagine any men doing well in this elimination (maybe Emanuel) as the pipes were so unstable for these women who don’t weigh that much. If the elimination had just been to climb up the ladder pre-built, I don’t think Josh’s big clumsy ass could have done that. Big kudos to both women and for Berna getting the win. Tacha showed a ton of sportsmanship in the loss, was happy for Berna, thanked the crowd, and then made sure to curse out Tori before she left. She understood it was a game while acknowledging Tori’s fakeness; got to love it when someone can stir the pot on their way out the door without it being reaching for straws.
Berna picked to stay with CT, leaving Michele and Corey L in the same position as this week, except now there are no other double rookie teams. They need to win a daily challenge, or they are going into elimination next week as the house vote. Jeremiah gets Big T as his partner, which is not great for him as it is apparent from this episode that Big T is at the bottom of the vet alliance, meaning they are the most likely Vet-Rookie to become a house vote if Michele/Corey win next week.
This Tommy DQ affected the game massively. I think Corey & Berna would have been able to beat Jeremiah & Tacha, which would have allowed Corey to infiltrate. In that scenario, Corey could take Amanda as a partner, and then Michele gets Kyle. If both partners have to infiltrate, Berna will take Nelson, and then CT would get Priscilla. These are different scenarios that could have played out if not for the DQ. The butterfly effects of the Challenge can be weird.