Man, I missed The Challenge! The latest installation of the hit show is back on MTV, and I'm recapping every step of the way!
This season is The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions...only the people in the house right now don't know that yet. In Krabi, Thailand, we see 18 underdogs — some who have competed before and some who haven't. There's a lot of new faces from these seasons of Real World and/or Are You The One (which I don't watch anymore so I wouldn't know who's who and where they're from) and some old. However, the common factor among them all is that none of them have actually won a challenge.
At the beginning of the two-hour premiere, the cast literally washes up on an island, and their "house" is an abandoned hut with broken crates and mats to sleep on. Nothing like the mansions that they're used to on these challenges! TJ shows up later and tells them that they're staying in The Shelter. He doesn't save them, which sucks for them, but he does let them know that their dusty digs are temporary. The mansion, known as The Oasis, will come into play later, but spots at the house have to be EARNED. Definitely a twist for this game!
The biggest twist of all is yet to come for these competitors though. Little do they know, that eight former champs including big wigs like Johnny Bananas, CT, and Camila, are back in America training. Later in the game, they're coming in to shake up the house, and I cannot wait to see the look on people's faces.
But, for now, since there's nothing but time and the beach, the competitors go swimming and hang out, talking about their crushes in the cast, their struggles back home, etc., etc. Everybody has their own reasons for wanting to win the challenge—most for the money obviously, but others just want the respect from winning one.
Even in this run down Shelter, MTV makes sure that the cast has liquor. Why? Liquor equals drunk people equals drama equals ratings. Very simple formula.However, Tony, who's popped off heavy during his previous challenges, is determined to be sober this time and keep his composure, especially now that he's a dad of two.
Later that night, the house get a clue. They won't be getting out of the Shelter just yet, but TJ tells them that "tomorrow, you'll be under pressure at the first challenge." The next day, T.J. introduces the first game, "The Over Under." The cast comes face to face with two giant walls. Competing as individuals, they're going to grab a bucket to make a dirt mound to get over the first wall, and then dig to get under the second wall. Then they have to unravel a rope holding a Thai idol and then hang their own individual idol up to complete the challenge. The first guy and girl to win will be safe from elimination and will secure a spot in The Oasis! The last place guy and girl will head straight to elimination.
Even though it's an individual competition, they have to all kind of work together to make this happen. Tony, Jenna, Kailah and a few others separate themselves from the pack at the first wall, which irritates others. Don't think it was intentional, but it came off to some that they were being selfish. Nicole and Dario end up being the first girl and guy to win. so now it's all about not coming in last! As each person struggles to get their idol off of these twisted ropes, it's clear that others have to move their ropes in order for people to have a shot at grabbing their idol. Some are more proactive in helping out while others leave the competition in the dust. Marie ends up coming in last for the girls, and Bruno flat out quits after not being able to move his idol at all. Turns out though, that after all that, nobody's actually headed to The Oasis until all of the spots are earned! We don't know how many spots there will be, especially with the champs resurfacing later, so The Shelter will be home for these folks for quite some time.
At nominations the next day, TJ makes the girls and guys separate. The guys will pick the girl going in and the girls will pick the guy. Each person votes out loud, so it puts everybody out there! In the end, Tony is voted in to face his former castmate Bruno (with Sylvia, scared to go against the house, stupidly voting against Tony too), while Kailah is chosen to face Marie. TJ reveals that the winners from the elimination will get a spot at The Oasis as well, making it so that you have to win somewhere to get to that luxury mansion — either in a challenge or in an elimination. Also, only these four will go to the elimination challenge, with the rest of the competitors seeing who won later.
At elimination, the four play physical game "In The Trenches." There is a little pit 5 sandbags on each end, totaling 10. The goal is to get all 10 sandbags to your side, while running into your competitor along the way. It could definitely get ugly since they'll meet somewhere in the middle. Little Kailah, who played women's football apparently, definitely has some bite with her bark and fights hard for these sandbags against Marie. She knocks it out the park and sends Marie home! Tony rams through Bruno, tiring him out and kills it, sending Bruno home. It's a bittersweet victory since Tony and Bruno are cool, but now, Kailah and Tony are headed to The Oasis!
When those two came back to The Shelter, the look on people's faces was astounding, especially Sylvia who was scared as hell. Tony lets her know straight up that, because of her betrayal, he's coming for her every time there's a vote...which is understandable. At the end of the day, she let the majority of the house get in her head, people she's just now meeting, and she chose to vote against an actual friend. She thinks that this will secure her spot for a while or something, but she'll find out soon that that's not the case. Rookies...they don't know anything.
This season is definitely going to be one for the record books. Watch The Challenge: Invasion of the Champions every Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET only on MTV!