The Challenge Spies, Lies & Allies Episode 5 Recap & 10 Biggest Takeaways

Allan Aguirre
12 min readSep 9, 2021

Episode 5 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 5th episode. For those that listen to our podcast, we taking a week off, and will be back recording next week.

10 The Music Sucked. At this point, it is on-brand for a show on “MTV.”

What happened with the music and sound mixing this week? Part of why fans loved Challenge All-Stars was because the music rocked and elevated everything else around it. Tonight’s episode dragged on, and the soundtrack/editing did not even give it a chance of pretending it was a good episode.

9 Big Brother Still Sucks

Yeesh. Watching the Big Brother alliance implode is not as fun as I thought it would be. Josh is clueless that without Kaycee and Fessy that he has no stake in the game, and against them, he stands no chance either. If the Lavender Ladies had a civil war, and it became Shane & Amanda vs. Sylvia & Ashley, then that would be a fun fight to watch. Kaycee literally washing her hands and wiping away Josh from her life was a cold-blooded moment that was simultaneously not great for reality television. There is no side to root for in this Big Brother blow-up, except for maybe Amber. Rooting for Amber is like rooting for the Swiss Army.

8 The Season of Love and Lust

This week we saw Nelson and Berna continue to be an item, Jeremiah and Amber snuggled up with one another, and most importantly, we saw Big T and Logan advance from flirting to something physical. After a night at the club, to jump into his bed for a Top Bunk hook-up (which I have to note, whenever two people older than college-age have a top bunk hook-up, that’s good Reality TV). Big T notes that Logan is very good with his hands, and he says that Big T is like an octopus in bed, which I am not entirely sure what it means; I’m just glad that she is getting her Latin boy-toy.

On the other side of the coin, we saw Tori gladly take in the fact that Michele got eliminated, and now she can maybe make a move on the smooth and saucy Emanuel. Many people online commented that Emanuel looks like her ex-fiance Jordan before the season, and thus, her hooking up with him would raise some eyebrows. When production asked Tori what she wanted from him, all I could think was “a second on-air marriage proposal.”

7 Basic Math is Still The Biggest Obstacle To Most Challengers

What an incredible daily challenge this was. Talk about a barebones daily challenge that was intense physically and had mental aspects, so it was not one-dimensional, and it required both partners to step up. Some players shined, while others flopped. Before the daily challenge even started, the stand-out to me was Berna’s back. Most people were probably thirsting over CT for obvious reasons; however, look at how toned and muscular Berna’s backside is; she is mega-fit and has the broad shoulders/size to murder someone in a headbanger. Berna is a unit.

Onto the actual challenge, and the people that immediately stood out physically were the international Survivor players Berna and Emanuel. It is crucial to note that their version of Survivor consists of many obstacle course challenges similar to this, and they must have felt at home here. Still, the way they were outpacing the veterans of this game was super impressive. When it came down to the math aspect, someone who stood out was Priscilla, as it looked like Nelson was the first person to unlock his final puzzle piece because she got her math right. Unfortunately for Priscilla, you cannot rely on Nelson for math. I think Amanda ran into the same problem with Kyle, same for Ed when it came to Tori and Emy when it came down to Gabo.

I want to point out that Ashley killed the obstacle course physically but got the math wrong, which is shocking coming from her, as she told Josh the answer was either 2300 or 3200 when in reality it was 2250. Kaycee and Emanuel were one of the 2 duos to both solve their math equations, and they continue to be strong in every daily challenge. Even though they continue to kickass, they once again did not win because CT and Berna did, in large part due to CT’s puzzle-solving skills, as he put together a 3D puzzle as if he had instructions in front of him. CT has always been superb at puzzles; part of me believes that becoming a dad and building play-sets for his son is why he has become better with these 3D puzzles specifically. That’s part of my internal head-canon. I also think that CT solved Berna’s math once he realized that she went to Clown School instead of regular school, and what he did was have her race back and forth telling him what the equation was, as he knew she wasn’t going to become good at math magically, so play to her strength, her athleticism. A good win from a powerhouse duo.

6 We Need a Tribunal

I would have enjoyed this daily challenge even more than I did already if we had teams battling for 2nd and 3rd place to gain power and immunity. So many of these teams give up once they see a team running away with a daily challenge, and if there isn’t going to be a punishment for last place, why not reward more top teams? Having more chefs in the kitchen when it comes to power votes could lead to more drama as well.

5 Au Revoir, Aneesa

A dislocated shoulder takes Aneesa out this season. It happened while climbing the wall during the daily challenge, and I tried to pinpoint when it happened. It seems to me that she lost her footing, tried to keep herself up with one arm, and did not have the strength to keep her body weight up mixed with the gravity of the fast-fall. She is clutching her shoulder before the side of her body hits the ground. Aneesa is a somewhat injury-prone competitor; usually, the issues have been with her ankles or knees, and of course, she broke her leg on Champs vs. Stars 3. She would be the favorite if there were a prop bet on who would likely get hurt before the season.

Regardless, this is never the way you want to see someone go down; it means she is now officially at 15 seasons without ever winning, and she has not made it to a final since 2009. Fun Fact: This is Aneesa’s first official season without going into an elimination since her 3rd season, Gauntlet 2, in which she was supposed to face Beth before quit the game.

4 Rookie Inventory

Going to do a quick check-up on our rookies left in the game:

Bring Them Back
Ed: Hilarious and a good competitor.
Emanuel: Charismatic and a great athlete.
Hughie: A hilarious mess at all times.
Esther: Great energy, vibes, and a passion for competing.
Berna: Physically impressive and all over the place in a good Reality TV way.
Emy: I’m not too fond of Emy. She looks like someone who carries crumbled Ritz crackers in her pockets at all times. Yet, I cannot deny she is great Reality TV.

Up in the Air

Jeremiah: I like him; I am just not seeing him quite nearly enough.
Logan: Handsome and talented man who is missing an “It Factor.”
Priscilla: MTV likes to use her as a narrator; in terms of creating storylines and being in the heat of things, Priscilla needs to step up.

It Was Nice To Meet You

Bettina: Based on what we have seen on our TV screens, Bettina is a non-factor. She has had some hook-ups edited out. I love Bettina; there just isn’t enough there to say she could come back.
Gabo: Watching him put on cologne before his elimination got a chuckle out of me.

3 What The Fuck Is Going On With These Deliberations?

Each of these deliberations should be chalk, and instead, madness ensues every time. Even Devin, Kyle, and CT couldn’t contain themselves from laughing over the fact the rookies are lining up to go into elimination with a smile on their faces. Logan did get blindsided by the idea of being the house vote instead of the Agency Vote, which I get he didn’t want CT to pull a fast one and throw in Emanuel instead of Gabo against him (which if CT had done, it would have been low-key genius). Except making Logan the house vote essentially guarantees it will only be a male elimination versus a 2 on 2, and Logan wanted a 1 on 1 shot at Gabo. Hughie making a scene because Gabo wants his partner back was absurd. I like Hughie, and the moment did entertain me a bit; it was just wacky to see so much chaos over nothing.

Sidenote: Amber’s eyes going full Large Marge after Fessy talked about playing a straightforward game had my jaw dropped. I haven’t seen eyes that big since Brad Fiorenza on Vendettas.

2 We Got a Situation Up in Here (Logan vs. Gabo)

Players climbed a rope and memorized a 5 x 5 board with different shapes and patterns. They then drop to the floor and place the right shapes and symbols in their proper spot/positions, and the first to ask for a check with a 100% correct board wins. The elimination was a memorization game with more similarities to a Word Search than an actual Puzzle. There was no problem solving, just rogue memorization.

At first, it seemed like Logan was going to blow Gabo out of the water. Unfortunately, he had one of his pieces pointing in the wrong direction. He gassed out climbing after receiving multiple checks to no avail, not finding his mistake. Eventually, Gabo went for a check of his own and missed due to something in the bottom left-handed corner not being correct. Logan took one last climb, finally figured out what was wrong with his board, and barely squeaked out the win. Something I want to note is that I checked Gabo’s Answer Key and his actual board when Logan called for his final check, and if Gabo had called for a second check, he would have won the elimination.

Edit: Turns out I am also bad at this elimination, because Gabo’s puzzle board was not 100% correct as he had the X in Column 1 Row 3 Vertical instead of Horizontal.

Even though he won the elimination, Logan gassing out and almost losing to someone he thought was a lay-up is not a great look. Gabo performed decently in this elimination, and him praying to his lord and savior Mike the Situation got a laugh out of me, just not enough to make me want to see him again in the future.

1 Groundhog Day (Aftermath)

It is clockwork. Each week a Rookie wins an elimination, and instead of splitting up a Double Vet pair, they pick whoever they think will help them in the short term. Logan selects Nany as his new partner, leaving Emy and Hughie out to dry as they are the latest double rookie pair. He could have picked Ashley or Amanda, and then Emy would’ve gotten Josh or Kyle as a new partner, and there wouldn’t be any more Double Rookie teams. Emy and Hughie will be the house vote next week unless the daily challenge is who can yell the loudest, which was an actual immunity challenge on the VH1 show I Love Money.

I rate this Episode a 4.8 out of 10. The daily challenge had a lot of potential, but as a whole the episode felt like it was dragging on and on. My previous ratings:
Ep 1–9.7/10
Ep 2–9.4/10
Ep 3–6.3/10
Ep 4–8.8/10
Ep 5–4.8/10



Allan Aguirre

27 years old. I blog about MTV's the Challenge and will dabble into other subjects occasionally. Follow me on Twitter for the occasional bad joke.