On the Jan. 16 episode of ‘The Challenge: Vendettas,’ one member of the Troika quickly learns how being in a position of power can put a huge target on your back. Here’s our recap!
This week’s episode of The Challenge: Vendettas kicks off with best friends, Cory and Nelson, going head-to-head in elimination. The guys have to kick a flaming soccer ball through a wall of fire and into their opponent’s net in a best of three match. The guys struggle a bit with the challenge, and after 12 attempts each, they go into sudden death: No goalkeeper, one goal wins. Nelson makes his shot and eliminates his best friend, as Cory misses. There’s a new twist, though: Winning eliminations no longer just means you’ll get back in the game — the victors also win a “Grenade” which give them an advantage at the next challenge while giving someone else (likely their vendetta) a disadvantage.
T.J. Lavin explains that, for this elimination, the Grenade can either be used for cash (the ability to take $5,000 from anyone who has money), time crunch (the ability to add time to someone else’s challenge) or put up or shut up (the ability to join the Troika or send someone else straight into the Inquisition). The Troika is exempt from being put at a disadvantage by the Grenade. At the challenge, the players have to race across beams suspended above the water and place ‘hashtag’ pieces on various posts. The fastest guy and fastest girl will split $25,000.
It’s a girls’ elimination day, and while normally that would mean the slowest girl automatically goes to elimination, this week, Melissa is automatically sent in because she injured her foot the night before and is unable to participate in the water challenge under doctor’s orders. As usual, her competitor will be chosen by the Troika, or whichever three players have the overall fastest times. Before the challenge, Nelson gets to choose his Grenade, and goes with cash. He steals $5,000 from Joss, because Joss has the most money in the house at the moment.
There’s a bit of drama in the middle of the challenge when Nicole blatantly pushes Alicia off the beam, but in the end, Devin and Natalie are the male and female winners. The three fastest competitors, and therefore the members of the Troika, are Devin, Natalie and Johnny Bananas. Johnny points out that being in the Troika is actually a double-edged sword, because while it gives you power, it also puts a target on your back for the future. Natalie will soon learn this, too.
Before making any decisions, Natalie pulls aside vets like Veronica and Kailah to gauge where they’re at in the game. However, instead of making new allies, she comes off more as threatening and cutthroat. On top of that, doing so good in the first few challenges has already defined Natalie as a good competitor, therefore putting a target on her.
At the Troika deliberation, vendettas Devin and Bananas quickly agree on Alicia as a nominee, and, despite being early friends with the fellow rookie, Natalie agrees. The trio comes to the conclusion that they’ll nominate all rookies, so along with Alicia, Kam and Kayleigh are up for the Inquisition. At the Inquisition, Kayleigh calmly pushes herself as a good team player, but Kam comes out guns blazing and asks who voted for her. Natalie admits to throwing her vote Kam’s way, and Kam makes it clear that she won’t forget who put her in if she beats Melissa.
Meanwhile, there’s major flirtation going on between Nicole and Melissa, and they even appear to hookup behind closed doors. However, Melissa also makes it known to the cameras that getting close to a strong competitor like Nicole is part of her strategy. Brad and Britni’s relationship is also heating up, and Natalie is admittedly crushing on Bananas, although she doesn’t want it to ruin her game. This is getting juicy!
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of tonight’s episode of The Challenge?