At this point in the game, it was getting down to the wire. You could almost smell that $100,000 and tension in the house was higher than ever. Gary and Tessa as a team was a match up I never thought I’d see, and everyone was ready for challenge number eight.
I had no idea Tessa, Tank and Cody played a prank on Riley but I laughed my freaking butt off when I found out. Riley was sooooooo boring this season. Literally, all he did was sleep. He went from being “Hot Riley” last season to “Sir Sleeps A Lot.” The morning of the 8th challenge was gloomy and cold, and once again we were doing something in the water.
Steve was really taking this “Battle at the Lake” thing seriously. It was literally 45 degrees that day and I was not looking forward to riding on an inner tube. However, despite the weather, this challenge should have been the easiest one all season. The only thing we had to do was hang on through the figure-8 course.
Although it did not show on the episode, each team actually got two tries at the course, and Steve kept the faster of the two times. Tank and Katie were first and Katie ate sh*t the first time around, then Tank went super slow on their second try just so they could finish it. Cody and Jorden did pretty well both times and he kept relatively the same speed. Tessa and Gary killed it and did great both times they went as well. Riley and Becky were by far the fastest, but Riley went so fast that little Becky didn’t stand a chance to hang on. She went skipping across the water on both their attempts. Josh and I were freaking slow both times but his goal was just to finish. Looking back now I wish he had just gone balls to the wall, but either way we finished and knew we weren’t in last.
When Steve said Cody and Jorden won I really wanted to demand to see our times because I thought Gary and Tessa had it in the bag. With Riley and Becky in last, I knew Josh and I didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell to stay out of the pit.
After the challenge, reality hit me hard. I knew that this would probably be the last time I saw Josh if I went home and my emotions set in. I was so on the fence about everything in my life at that point in time. I had been seeing someone before I left to go on this season and knew he wouldn’t be pleased with my behavior. Even though I knew I wasn’t being fair to him, Josh or myself – I didn’t think about any of that at the time.
Battle at the Lake was my escape from the real world and instead of being mature and smart, I acted childish and lived in the moment. I made some very poor decisions and was VERY selfish. I don’t know why I let myself get so close to Josh and wish I would have been stronger. Being isolated for weeks in that crazy house is enough to make anyone go insane, and I definitely wore my emotions on my sleeve. I don’t really know how to explain what it’s like to go through being cut off from the world but I let myself get caught up in a fantasy and shouldn’t have.
Tank and Katie were a huge option for Jorden and Cody, especially after Tank and Becky had it out. I missed the whole argument between them, but I think alcohol had a lot to do with their fight. Becky and Riley made it clear they didn’t want me and Josh in the Pit and straight up said they preferred Tank and Katie.
But ol’ Cocky Cody didn’t care and I think Jorden used this as a little bit of revenge. They sent Josh and me without blinking an eye. I guess our friendship wasn’t as strong as I had hoped. So much for our bonding night at the Yacht Club, right?
When we got to the Pit I saw “Run and Tug” and thought – “You’ve GOT to be kidding me.” As everyone knows, it rained almost every day this season and this Pit was in about 3 feet of mud. I was dreading it and had a bad feeling before we even started.
When Steve said “GO” I hauled ASS and started grabbing buoys. In a matter of minutes, I had Becky beat five buoys to two. But she didn’t give up so easy. A LOT was cut from our Pit because it was so long. We were actually in battle for more than 45 minutes and production had to call an “all stop” twice because Becky and I were in so much pain. There was a point that I was buried in three feet of mud crying and she was in the exact same position on the other end. It was the most God awful thing I’ve ever been through – and I’ve given birth to a child. It came down to us having two buoys left each and we were neck and neck. I remember praying to God and asking for some kind of strength to finish but something told me it was really time for me to go. Becky won! And I couldn’t have lost to a worthier opponent.
As soon as I went riding off into the sunset, I knew Josh wouldn’t stay without me. Riley and Josh was a match everyone wanted to see but Josh’s heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t get to watch their battle, but it wasn’t nearly as long as mine and Becky’s. I know Josh gave a decent effort, but I personally think he let Riley have it because I lost to Becky. It was a crazy wild Pit, and Josh and I both ended up leaving Redneck Island.
I never in a million years could have guessed things would have played out the way they did, but I was so grateful for my experience. This season challenged me, changed me and made me realize a lot about myself. I may have lost, but I lost to the most sincere, honest person in the house and my hope was that it was for a good reason! I was now rooting for Riley and Becky and I hope they whoop ASS the rest of the season!
Come back every Friday morning for Margaret Wood’s blog!