HOT TAKE: The Challenge Vendettas recap – Czech Yourself

Half of $25K and a seat on a plane headed to the Czech Republic are up for grabs on tonight’s episode of the Challenge Vendettas. Last week we saw all the remaining contestants run a mini-final of sorts to determine who would be moving on and who would be sent home but we were left without the results. We know from last week that both the guy and the girl with the slowest times will immediately be sent home. No trip to the Czech Republic. No shot at $350K. First, TJ announces the winners and I am not at all surprised by who they are. For the guys, Zach is our champion. And for the ladies it’s none other than Staten Island Nicole Z. These two are probably the most physically dominant of the remaining challengers so again, no surprise here. They both can respectively dominate a physical challenge. Congrats you two, you each get some monies! Maybe Nicole can use some of that money to buy herself a new wardrobe – in her confessional she is wearing a shirt with her face on it. Ugghhh. I already instantly hear her accent the second I see her face so with this shirt out in the wild that just increases the chance my daily inner monologue gets a grating Staten Island accent…

As for our losers, the first one doesn’t surprise me either. For the girls it’s Jemmye. If I’m not mistaken this is yet another example of a time that Jemmye has managed to just kind of hang around right up until the end because no one really views her as a threat. Her game has largely been to team up with different coalitions of women to protect herself and just blend in as a seasoned vet. She doesn’t perform particularly well on any of the challenges but because she keeps her mouth shut no one really pays her any mind. Well that strategy works until you need to perform and when she needed to perform she didn’t quite deliver. Personally I am glad to see finally go. Ever since she joined the mean girl group that attacked and bullied Kayleigh I was ready for her to go. She never really got any flak for that either, which was surprising considering how easily she turned on Kayleigh. I sincerely hope this is the last challenge Jemmye does – does she even have a much of a fan base? Doubtful.

As for the guys, the two slowest finishers were only separated by 5 seconds. 5 SECONDS?! That is just brutal. Devin and Kyle finish at the bottom. With only a 5 second difference between the two I immediately wonder what could have been done just a teeny bit faster to finish faster. Lock into the zip line and tuck yourself in as you shoot the gap? Repel down the side of the bridge more quickly? Throw yourself across the finish line when it’s in sight? If Devin had just schemed to finish 5 seconds faster than I he would be going to the Czech Republic – but he didn’t. Despite Devin being incredibly annoying I think I’ll miss him. Someone on reddit pointed out that he was really the only challenger that kept things real and I agree. Dude was on the level. I’m positive we will see him again but for now we wave goodbye to the mastermind and congratulate Kyle on being just good enough to skirt by. We’re off to the Czech Republic!

devin
Goodbye Devin – till we meet again

In Prague the remaining challengers check in to their new digs and settle in. They have a challenge the very next day so there is no going out antics and the drinking is minimal – everyone has their eyes on the prize. We’re treated to a few segments on what each remaining challenger would do with the money if they won and the answers are somewhat predictable. Support my family, pay off debts, etc. However there were 2 notable answers among the group. The first belongs to Cara Maria who wants to use the money to finally build an obstacle course? Okay – I assume this is related to her fitness program du juor but still – is this really the best use? The other response I notice is Kam’s who said she would donate money to charity. That’s awesome and I think anyone who gets some sort of windfall should consider donating to a cause they support. Kam says she will donate to kids with cancer or kids that suffer from alopecia…hmmm…those two seem pretty different if you ask me. I’m not judging at all, both are worthy causes – I just don’t understand Kam’s thought process on this one. Maybe sleep on it?

When the challengers wake up they face their next challenge – Outside the Box. TJ tells the gang they will be dodging stacked boxes while being joined to truck traveling at 50 miles per hour. Damn! They just keep upping the ante on these challenges and this one seems like one of the more extreme challenges they’ve had in recent seasons (Survivor, looking at you here: Do better). Each challenger will be suspended mid-air on the side of a truck and have to move back and forth while the truck is at speed to avoid columns of boxes. Each column has a point value assigned to it and if you hit it, you get those points. The objective here is to have the lowest score possible to stay safe. Winning this challenge comes with a few perks, too. Each guy and girl with the best score will automatically be placed in the final and get a shot at the $350k. They will also split another $25k for the winning the event. I think their banks are safe at this point if they win so the money is theirs – its no longer a device that paints a target on your back.

Up first for the guys are Zach and Leroy. The two strap in and truck takes off accelerating to 50 miles an hour. Zach moves back and forth as best he can and makes it look so easy that Kyle remarks, “He looks like a proper action man!” Is this what they call action stars in the UK? Action Men? Because I love it. Leroy has a more difficult time and ends up getting stuck between the support beam and the truck. He becomes a hanging target and plows into several columns, earning him points and immediately dropping him into last place. Leroy just can’t catch a break. Next up is Nelson and Kyle. Kyle manages to duplicate Zach’s effort and knots a goose egg for himself. Nelson…is not as coordinated. He loses focus and hits a column very quickly into the competition, whoops. I think this column might be worth more than the 2 Leroy hit so maybe my boy Lee is safe now? I would love to swap Nelson for Leroy in the final. Last for the guys are Tony and Brad who each run through the course and avoid all the column. Impressive. Looks like Nelson will not be going to final, right?!?

Before we see the men’s results the women are up next. Killa Kam is up first along with Nicole. Kam is talking a good game about how she can’t make any more mistakes and she is more focused now than ever and then…hits some boxes and earns herself 4 points. Nicole on the other side of truck doesn’t come close to a box and earns the coveted zero. Cara Maria squares off against Kailah in round 2. Each avoids the boxes and each gets a zero. Now I’m worried Kam may not be going to the final and that’s a damn shame considering how much shit she had to go through to get here (3 eliminations in as many weeks and she still may not qualify for a final). I’m fully prepared for TJ to send Nelson and Kam home when he announces the competition is just getting started. That was just the first round? The announcement catches me and the challengers off guard but then I come to realize with so many perfect scores on the first round this makes sense. The winner is automatically in the final so they need to determine who that will be, duh. Round 2 means only one thing – more speed!

This time the girls are up first and right from the beginning I can tell this truck is now hauling ass. It is moving way faster than 50 mph (anyone get a speed check? I never heard what the second round speed was but if I had to guess I would think it’s like 70 or so…) and the challengers struggle to dodge all the boxes. It turns out that the human reaction time to move back and forth between a column and truck at speed is not great. Nicole and Kailah both hit boxes and Cara Maria fails to transfer (counts the same as hitting the boxes, minus the bruising) so it will come down to who got the least amount of points based on the column’s value. I think Cara Maria has it at this point but I’m not sure because the point system is confusing and I only saw it once.  Also at this speed it looks like it fucking hurts to collide with those boxes. I can’t imagine connecting with anything at 70 mph feels good. Full size body bruises anyone?

The boys are up next and they have the same results as the women – almost all of them hit a box. I say almost because somehow Tony has managed to miss all the boxes and looks to be our winner by default. Goddamit. I really don’t care for Tony at all. But here he is in his first final after today, sigh. For the girls, Cara Maria gets the win over the girls and I am okay with this. TJ tells Nelson to get lost since there are 6 guys – he won’t get a shot at redemption in the elimination event since he placed last – wahoo!!! I’m stoked to see Nelson go. He was the other guy I was actively rooting against outside of Terrible Tony. As for the girls, since there are only 4 girls left, they all get to go to the final! Killa Kam is safe!!! So now Tony and Kailah will form 2 parts of the last troika and be joined by…Cara Maria. Wow. Kailah somehow manages to come up big in the only challenge that really matters and wins a spot in her first final. Lots of new blood for this final it seems. You really gotta think if Joss had never ran into Derek he would be here, too. Poor Joss.

Competition
Our final group of scrappy challengers

This troika is the best troika to be a part of because there won’t be any revenge, game-wise, for the decision the group makes (mostly, more on this a bit later). TJ tells them that he need 1 dude’s name to save from the inquisition and he needs it now. The troika huddles and with Tony being the only guy he’s automatically the odd man out if the girls vote together. He won’t have a say in who the troika spares. Both Cara Maria and Kailah agree that out of all the guys remaining if they need to run the final with someone they want that someone to be Zach. Zach, by far the best player left standing in the game, will be spared from elimination and automatically placed in the final. Tony doesn’t like the move. You know why Tony doesn’t like the move? He can’t beat Zach in a final. Brad, Leroy and Kyle will be up for elimination and will have to plead their individual cases at the inquisition that night. The troika will need to select one more guy to save and have the two remaining challengers battle it out to earn the last spot in this season’s final.

At the inquisition Brad, Kyle and Leroy make their closing arguments. Brad has been placed in elimination a few times already this season so it’s a good bet that he will be going in again. Brad tells the group he’s going to use the money for his kids and that should deliver for Tony but because Tony is an asshole he doesn’t care and remains unmoved. Kyle is up next and he talks about how he’s changed from the beginning of this competition to now. This is all just a formality for Kyle though because he has been bonin’ Cara Maria for weeks now so because he has a dick he’s probably safe – forgone conclusion. This leaves my main man Leroy who basically tells the troika that he shouldn’t be going in. He’ had their backs, he’s played a fair game and he deserves to be in this final. This is easily the most assertive I have seen Leroy, ever. And honestly, it’s about damn time. Leroy knows how much he has been fucked over in the past and I like him telling each and every member of the troika that if he gets put in it’s a joke. He’s earned a spot in this final dammit. His reaction catches everyone at the table off guard but dude is right. If anyone is safe over him its bullshit.

Fast-forward to the elimination night and wouldn’t you know it – Tony fucks Leroy over. This dude is a real piece of shit. Oh, and Cara Maria is a piece of shit too. She also votes in Leroy. Kailah is apparently the only one with a conscious and votes Leroy safe and suddenly my opinion of Kailah is not as bad as it was just seconds ago. Now Cara Maria has my ire. As for Tony – Lee explodes on him. He calls him out in front of everyone for being a snake and coward. Leroy tells Tony that he would be good with Tony saying his name if he was honest about why he is saying it but Tony keeps avoiding the confrontation. Tony tells Leroy he didn’t like how aggressive Leroy was at the inquisition the night before and because of that he decided to put Leroy in the elimination. Come on Tony – that’s pretty damn weak. We all know you don’t want to go up against Leroy in a final – something Leroy calls him out for. Congratulations Tony, you just made yourself a new enemy. As for Brad, well we all knew he was going in all along so now Brad has to square up against a super-pissed Leroy in the final elimination. Sorry Brad.

Inquisition
Leroy’s eyes already calling Tony a bitch

Brad lost before TJ said the word “go”. Lee uses his anger to break through two walls, then bust up 2 additional balls to win the elimination and send Brad home right at the finish line. God that’s gotta suck.  As this is happening the camera pans over to Tony periodically who looks fairly uncomfortable with Lee’s domination. He’s just created a monster in Leroy and I have a feeling that all the bad karma Tony has built up to get himself here is going to catch up with him during the final. And every other challenge he participates in from now on because Tony made a fuck ton of enemies to get to this point. Hope it’s worth it Tony.

Now we have our cast for the final – Zach, Tony, Leroy, Kyle, Nicole, Kam, Cara Maria and Kailah. Who do you think has the edge going into the final that is not named Zach? I’m personally pulling for Leeroy and Kam on this one.

 

 

HOT TAKE: Summer House recap – Putting the Jack Back in the Box

On last week’s episode everything seemed to be falling apart. Kyle and Amanda were fighting again, Stephen was upstairs drinking away his feelings, and Danielle told a dude to shoo after he tried to get into a drinking contest with her (Really? I knew a dude in college whose go-to move was to insult a girl he liked. Aggressively. It never worked. Shocker!) And it turns out that Lindsay did not get laid even though I said she got laid because Bravo made me think that she got laid. Dammit. As you can tell there are a few threads that we need to wrap up before we get to next week’s season finale (I’m actually legit sad this show is ending for the season – it feels like it just came on – boo).  Let’s dig in.

Lauren and Lindsay are forcing Stephen to go to Travis’ party so they get him all cleaned up and out the door. They somehow make it look like he has not been drinking and crying for hours and I wonder how they worked this magic. He was an absolute disaster just minutes ago but now he doesn’t have the tell-tale signs of drinking all day. Did Bravo give him an IV off-screen? Is this actually the magic of editing that is tricking me into thinking two different nights are actually one night? HOW DID YOU DO THIS BRAVO? I too need to know how to make myself look like I have not been drinking when I have been drinking. HELP! The party must not have been too crazy or interesting since Bravo relied on self-footage from the peeps that went to the party – sorry Stephen. Bravo only gives you airtime when you are either sad or stirring the pot. Guess we know what to expect from Stephen for the rest of the episode. Nice meeting you, Travis.

Elsewhere in the house Amanda is super upset that Kyle basically told her that he doesn’t want to marry her because she is not fun. Okay, that makes sense given Kyle’s constant need for fun but he may want to sleep on this a bit. The house empties out but Amanda understandably stays behind – she’s in no mood to go out and drink more. Thankfully Kyle makes the right call and hangs back to talk to Amanda and try and fix things. This won’t be easy considering Kyle is stone-face drunk. He catches Amanda in the hot tub, trying to release some stress, and is able to form somewhat coherent sentences describing exactly what is taking place at that moment. “We are dating…” Smdh. Amanda tells Kyle that she doesn’t want to waste her time with someone who doesn’t want to marry her. Whoa! This is one of those key turning points in a relationship. You are going to be serious and pursue something long term (marriage, babies, mortgage, etc.) or you’re going to call it off and go your separate ways. Drunk Kyle, much like sober Kyle, wants to be with Amanda so I am hoping they can work this out in time.

dish-kyle-amanda
Please stop fighting guys. Please be fun again. 

During the night it seems like everyone has a hookup! How fun! The camera does one of those security cam 4-shots in one shot and we all become voyeurs to all the nocturnal activity with that weird green nature documentary filter that amplifies low-light. Cool!  But let’s be honest, we don’t really care about any of these couples so the camera highlights a room and we dutifully focus there. Which room are we privileged with an all access pass to? Carl and Lindsay (Not house Lindsay, this is new Lindsay that Carl met at a polo match earlier in the summer). And just what are these two lovebirds up to? Turns out not much because Carl ate some bad mussels and is now puking every half hour. Oh shit. That would just about be the worst situation I can envision. I’m sitting there trying to get my schwerve on with some rando and then I up and get food poisoning from bad seafood? Damn, Carl, damn. Lauren has to have a Carl voodoo doll or something.

In the morning, the sun long risen, our characters begin to drag their collective hungover asses out of bed. Everyone seems to be in okay spirits save Kyle and Amanda – their emotional hangover from last night’s fight appears to be trumping their physical ailments for now. The car ride home from Montauk is a long and quiet one. It seems like both Kyle and Amanda have a lot to discuss. Back in the City the two meet up at Kyle’s apartment and start to figure out next steps. Amanda levels with Kyle that she doesn’t feel like Kyle cares about her when he drinks. Oooof. I’ve had this conversation before. Basically you just need to sit there and take it. Acknowledge the points being made and start to understand how you can avoid coming off like a complete asshat when you drink. It’s not easy. To Kyle’s credit he tells her he’s sorry and that it’s not his intention to upset Amanda. Then he follows it up by saying he is just a party guy and Amanda needs to accept that. Double oooof. I’m genuinely shocked when Amanda says she knows that and is cool with that. Huh? She doesn’t mind him getting all silly off the giggle water but he just needs to pace himself better and be able to complete sentences at the end of the night. Is that really asking too much, Kyle?

While Kyle and Amanda patch things up Carl is attempting to do the same with Lindsay – he’s invited her to lunch and margs to apologize for being sick. He’s actually trying to date this chick – is this the same Carl we saw last season? Has his family situation really forced Carl to take a good long look at the path he was headed down and course correct before he turns into his father? Who knows, but Carl being the good guy for once is a nice change of pace. Food poisoning aside Lindsay is still felling Carl and they make plans to hang out again. Could Carl be wifed up by next summer or is he just getting a head start on cuffing season? I actually don’t know at this point.

While we are discussing Lindsay’s we need to talk about regular Lindsay – you know the Lindsay who is looking for love in Montauk in all the wrong places. She asks Everett (NOO!! Stop talking to him please. This whole thing between you two is a trash fire!) to meet her for coffee so they can chat. Has Everett’s flowers and love letters had some latent effect on Lindsay that made her realize she can’t go on without Everett? Not exactly. After Everett arrives she tells him that he needs to stop pursuing her. She’s over it. He smashed things and there’s no putting things back together again. I think this is a needed conversation that the two needed to have a long time ago. This is a conversation we needed them to have a long time ago. Please let this be the end of their relationship Bravo. At least on camera – they can do whatever they want in their actual lives but I don’t need to see any more of it, thanks.

Let’s get back to Montauk, where the action is. Carl let’s everyone know he isn’t having any guests over this weekend and I think people not named Stephen are starting to believe that Carl might be turning over a new leaf. Stephen has the real judgey eyes on and looks incredulous at Carl – honestly, what the fuck Stevie! Dude is trying to do right by everyone and you’ve been nothing but a little shit to him all summer. Stephen knows how to hold a grudge, good lord. Speaking of Stephen, as he’s throwing around daggers with his eyes he LIBERALLY pours himself a vodka. He quite literally empties a handle into a solo cup. This was like a 20-count drink. Remember the Sandra Lee 2 oz. vodka meme? Stephen’s pour is heavier than that. Stephen might want to take a look in the mirror before he goes around judging other’s behaviors – dude is looking to get fucked up fast.

SandraLee
Stephen making a cocktail (God what a great gif)

The house makes dinner and they all try and sit down to have a nice and civil meal but almost immediately things go off the rails because of course they do. Where to begin? Well it turns out that the rest of the group outside of Kyle and Amanda are talking shit about Kyle and Amanda and how they keep fighting and Kyle isn’t as much fun as he used to be. Blah blah blah. Amanda overhears this and is hurt that the people she trusts can talk so much shit about her and her relationship. Kyle tries to address it at the dinner table but it quickly blows up in his face when he says his relationship with Amanda is great without the summer house gang around – ouch. They all take offense to what Kyle just said except Carl, who once again steps up as the bigger person and tries to diffuse things, only to get called out himself. Jesus people – were you like this before Bravo started filming? Kyle wins the argument with the line of the night when he says “Jack in the box – go back in the box.” Classic. Surely there was a good reason for all this commotion right? Nah. The reason everyone was walking shit about Amanda and Kyle was because Kyle is trying to slow down on his drinking and going drink for drink with Amanda – which is not fun and not true to the send-it Kyle they all know and love. And that’s your highlight for night, folks!

Rose' Rehab at Topping Rose
In case you need pointer on what to wear for your next Rose Rehab session

The next day everyone seems to be chilled out a bit because of the day’s activity – Rosè Rehab. What could possibly go wrong with a rosè-fueled party? Surprisingly things actually do go really well considering last night’s arguments. Everyone is playing together well. Amanda and Kyle are off getting rosè wasted, Carl is having fun telling horrible dentistry puns to groups of women (You can’t handle the tooth kind of terrible puns), Stephen and Lauren are gossiping about god-only knows what and Lindsay is flirting with her personal trainer Nick. WHAT A DAY! There’s no way this ends poorly, right? RIGHT? Well…I don’t know for sure but I am going to say that maybe it does? Amanda gets too drunk and needs to lie down – which she does for several hours after getting back to the house. And we all know that the rosè during the day was just party phase 1 for the summer house gang. There’s still plenty of time in the evening to get more blotto. They are all going out for the night to continue party phase 2 but there is not a shot in hell that Amanda is coming back from the dead to rally and go out with them. Kyle should be staying home with her but the party animal inside Kyle is begging for him to go out and keep drinking. This is a bad decision. How do we know this a bad decision? We know this is a bad decision because it’s the end of the episode and Bravo is playing the impending drama music. Uh oh.

Is Kyle really going out? And more importantly, should he be going out?

PS as a side note I tried that drink they seem to have floating around the house from time to time – Truly. It’s actually disarmingly good. I could definitely see how it would be refreshing on a hot summer day – or in the middle of a prolonged winter like the one I am currently experiencing. Whatever. Seems like a good drink to cure a lingering hangover as well and get yourself right back on the horse. Just sayin’

HOT TAKE: Summer House recap, Mr. & Mrs. Send It

What’s the best way to kick off a brand new episode of Bravo’s Summer House? Start with Capitan Send It himself, Mr. Kyle Cooke. Last week’s episode ended right in the middle of another Kyle binge session. To make up for throwing a fit at Kyle’s birthday Lindsay coordinated a private chef and bartender to help celebrate her own birthday. She even organized a slick party bus to take them from the City to Montauk. It seemed like Lindsay’s efforts to make amends were working until Kyle got ahold of lady liquor and things began to slide. At some point during their road trip Amanda switches from having fun to being slightly annoyed with Kyle’s antics. Look, I get it Amanda. Kyle pushes it. He pushes it a little too far sometimes but it’s not coming from a place of malice. Kyle simply does not consider the effects of alcohol after imbibing too much. If she doesn’t know by now that Kyle will likely never “grow-up” into the man she wants then it might be time to start looking for the exit because I am thinking Kyle is going to keep being this way for the foreseeable future – at least during the summer, every summer.

So Kyle is in the middle of tying one on during Lindsay’s bday dinner when he remembers that he has a bouquet of flowers from Lindsay’s ex, Everett, which he promised he would deliver. Sober Kyle knows this idea is absolutely terrible. 2 bottles of rose, several shots of tequila and rum, and multiple cocktails deep Kyle thinks he’s being a good friend to Everett by delivering the flowers. He’s not. This stunt rather predictably blows up in his face. By delivering the flowers Kyle not only manages to enrage Lindsay and dig up old shit, but he also manages to super annoy Amanda who has just about had enough of Kyle’s shit for one evening. Amanda reaches peak-annoyance when Kyle starts dancing with a pineapple because booze. Amanda seems legitimately pissed at Kyle but he’s too drunk to notice and/or care. She storms off and Kyle continues to drink. Oh boy. When Kyle finally does decide to call it a night, put the bottle down and make amends with Amanda he ends up passing out mid-sentence, drunk as a skunk. “My name is Kyle and I’d really like to show you my…” and with that he passes out. BRA-FUCKING-VO SENOR COOKE!

passed out
Good night, sweet prince

The next morning Kyle tries to excuse his behavior but has difficulty doing so in front of Amanda – mostly because he doesn’t remember what he is apologizing for. Amanda gives him the play by play telling him that he was embarrassing last night. How does Kyle explain this away? Everyone was embarrassing last night babe, why are you singling me out like some kind of monster? It’s a good line. I should know. I use it all the time with my girlfriend. Why is it such a good line? Because instead of taking responsibility for being an idiot and starting to repair the damage you take the nuclear option. Want to piss off your significant other in a hurry? Blame your behavior on someone else. You know who is trying to take responsibility for their behavior and turn things around? Carl. Yep, it turns out the dude who was flirting with alcoholism (serious alcoholism, not the funny gets too drunk sometimes alcoholism) is actually cooling it down. Imagine, a thing like that.

Before we can even catch our collective breaths from last night’s antics our weekend is coming to an end and it’s time to get back to the City.  On the way back the gang all stops for a quick rosè brunch. Kyle, being Kyle, thinks it okay to order a gin cocktail in addition to the rosè and earns himself a “pace yourself” and a glare from Amanda. Kyle’s “Respect the Send” shirt doesn’t seem to be convincing Amanda. Shit. Fortunately brunch goes well and a few minutes later we are back in the city. That evening we shift to Stephen who is going on a date (ANOTHER DATE!!! WITH THE SAME PERSON!!!!) with Travis – the guy we met on last week’s episode. Stephen, back from his trip to Alabama, is actually seeing a guy more than once and might be interested in him long-term! They grow up so fast, don’t they? Their date takes place at this seedy looking bar called the Attic. This place looked so shitty that I just had to look it up to get the details on the joint and I think my initial take is correct – it’s a shithole. There are very few rooftop bars in Manhattan that are worth going to and the Attic seems like it fits the mold. The drinks are overpriced because of course they are (the view usually makes up for this but I’m reading reviews that say the views blow), they make you pay a mandatory coat and bag check fee, and apparently the management team there is horrible. Suspicion confirmed, don’t go to the Attic in Hell’s Kitchen. Shitty venue aside it seems like the date goes well and Stephen gets an invite to party with Travis next weekend. Let’s hope Stephen regularly getting some puts the dude in a better mood instead of being a constant rain cloud around everyone.

Everyone slogs through their work week and suddenly we are magically at the weekend and back in Montauk. Man I wish real life worked like that. Just hit fast forward because nothing noteworthy happened and hit play around 3:00PM Friday. Remind me to get independently wealthy soon, sigh. So we’re back at the house and it seems like Kyle and Amanda have patched things up – they are ready to be “Mr. and Mrs. Send it” once more. Half the group is going out to dinner while Lindsay, Amit and Lauren stay in to order sushi. That seems weird but I get that after spending all summer with someone you might to give yourself a breather. As you’ll recall Lindsay has rebuffed Everett (supposedly for the final time but…) and is ready for the summer of single Lindsay once more. To this end she casually throws out the idea of having a 3-way with Amit and Lauren and I am not entirely sure it is a joke. Upstairs Stephen has a bottle of fireball that he is carrying around with him – casually taking pulls from in between cans of twisted tea and texting Travis maybe? This won’t end well.

Stephen
Stephen the entire episode

The next day there’s another party at the house – go figure. They actually haven’t really spent too much time at the chateau this summer which seems crazy to me given the size and scale of their temporary dwelling, but then again I assume Bravo is paying for it all so the house might be taken for granted – just a bit. With the frozè and marg machines spinning the house quickly fills up. Carl has brought a potential love interest to the house – another Lindsay! She seems nice enough, but a bit ditzy. Without much prodding both Danielle and Lauren go into attack mode re: new Lindsay. I’m thinking this is just ex-gf jealousy that fuels their cruel intentions-esque treating of new-Lindsay but what do I know? Maybe she is just an awful person who shows up and is terrible…maybe?

While Carl is trying his best to be on good behavior Lindsay and Lauren, comfortable with imposing a double standard within the house regarding houseguests, have managed to invite an entire polo team to come play. Yep – an entire fucking polo team. From Argentina. That’s cool though because Lindsay is still pretty thirsty for some action. When her potential fling Marcos arrives she gives him the always-classic let me give you the tour line. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this coded language let me dial up the translation for you:

Let me give you the tour = I am going to say something to peel you away from the group and point out the kitchen before taking you to my room where we can bang.

lindsay
Lindsay recapping her decisions so far this summer

Annnnndd that’s exactly what Lindsay does. Shocker. Good for her though – if mama needs action to keep her from blowing up again then she should take care of bidness. As Lindsay is offering up a VIP tour to Marcos we see flashes of Kyle doing what Kyle does best – drinking so so much. I even wrote a little note that says “My god Kyle drinks so much”. Kyle’s path eventually leads him to his inevitable destination of pissing off Amanda. “You’re sending it, Kyle!” She protests to deaf ears. For the second weekend in a row Amanda and Kyle get into an argument about Kyle’s drinking when Kyle is completely shit-faced. Instead of arguing like a non-drunk-toddler-man Kyle simply tells Amanda that summer is supposed to be fun and Amanda is not being fun. “Amanda, not fun!” I’m the first one to giggle about Kyle sending it but it does seem to be wearing a bit thin for Amanda. On one hand she knows exactly who she is dating but on the other you would think that after a while Kyle might not get so drunk at every opportunity he gets. He’s like a light switch – he really on has an on and an off setting when it comes to sending it.

At the conclusion of the episode we see that Stephen is still upstairs, still drinking fireball. He’s been texting Travis non-stop to see when he should swing by Travis’ party but Travis is being squirrely. Stephen seems pretty hammered-up himself and so instead of thinking about the situation rationally Stephen determines that Travis is not interested in him and is a fuckboi. This is probably a result of drinking too much fireball. Actually this is definitely the result of drinking too much fireball. DON’T DRINK FIREBALL. Stephen is a mess when Lauren comes in to see where he is and finds him pacing back and forth between the bathroom and the bed – crying. She tells Stephen he’s overreacting. Spoiler – he is overreacting because fireball. DON’T DRINK FUCKING FIREBALL PEOPLE – THIS IS WHAT ALWAYS HAPPENS! She tells Stephen they’re getting him cleaned up and then they’re going to Travis’ party. This is not going to be good. Unfortunately that is where the episode ends. Tonight we get to see where things end up.

Will Stephen and Travis connect? Can Kyle curb his boorish behavior for one weekend? Is it actually over between Lindsay and Everett? God I have so many questions! I don’t know what I am going to do with myself when this show wraps for the season. Sure, I like Below Deck and Southern Charm just fine, but Summer House has rapidly become my go-to show.

HOT TAKE: Winter Break: Hunter Mountain Episode 2 Recap

Ugghhh. I’m really going to write about this show. I debated not writing about this show because this show, Winter Break: Hunter Mountain, is not good. It’s not even close to being good. Unfortunately the executives over at MTV know that if they put a bunch of strangers in a house and give them copious amounts of alcohol I will watch – and watch I did. MTV is still trying to figure out what to do with this show. Since Winter break first aired the second episode was delayed a few weeks and moved to a new night – this was the result of disappointing ratings.  Like 184,000 viewers disappointing ratings. Woof. This show was supposed to be a nice little bridge between winter dead zone programming and the new Jersey Shore content but MTV has already moved it into the Friday night @ 8:00 PM death-spot. Now Winter Break is taking up valuable Ridiculousness re-run real estate! This show is clearly doomed for 1, and only 1, season – so savor the flavor while it lasts.

As a result of this multi-week spacing between episodes I remember exactly 0% of the cast so it’s like watching a new series for the first time all over again! I remember all the faces but the details are lacking – this review can also serve as a preview for my eventual dementia. When we last saw our brave brand of rowdy misfits they were finally shreddin’ hunter mountain when tragedy occurs – Jill goes down with a high pitched squeal and we were left to wonder for 3 weeks what happened!!! Well it turns out that lil’ miz Jill has somehow managed to shatter her elbow on day 2. Bummer city, brah! Now what I can‘t understand about this whole situation is how scared Jill is about a broken arm – she acts like she is going to die over this. I’m not kidding – she is legit having a panic attack. She’s never broken a bone before but with the recent news she’s acting like she is going to die like Phineas in a Separate Peace. People don’t die from broken bones any more (not really, though I guess it technically could still happen, just not likely).

Back at the shredhouse JBrew, who is 29 years old (important to not because he is insanely immature for his age), is pranking Marc because JBrew is a dick. He replaces all of Marc’s lotion with ranch dressing which is 1) disgusting & 2) so impressively juvenile. At the same time that JBrew is busy being an anus Alessandra is on the phone with her dad checking in and letting him know that she’s all good. You should know this conversation isn’t her idea. Her parents are super overprotective despite her being 25 and have a bizarre need to check in on her multiple times a day to make sure she is still alive. While on the phone with her father he neglects to tell her that since she did not answer her phone for approximately 5 minutes he has called the local authorities to come and perform a welfare check. The fuzz already showed up in the first episode but here they are again for the same reason. The cops help themselves to the unlocked door and walk right in looking for Alessandra – who they find quickly. JBrew is up in arms about the cops being there and immediately starts to attack Alessandra. What the hell is this dude hiding? Methinks Punky Brewster definitely had some unfortunate run-ins with the po-po in his life.

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JBrew – A giant man-baby misogynistic dickhole

Jill misses the action with the cops but returns before the crew gets too deep into the booze to show off her new cast. TJ, a 20 year old army vet with some emotional repression issues consoles her and lets her know that a broken arm ain’t nothing to worry about. Why? Because TJ has broken just about every bone in his body. Seriously. He rattles off about 20 different locations that he has crushed, smashed or shattered and he doesn’t seem too broken…on the outside (foreshadowing!). After reuniting with Jill the crew gets ready to go snowtubing. Snowtubing, for the record, is awesome. It requires zero skill and is super fun. If you haven’t taken a tube for a spin in a while I recommend going. Obviously JBrewster isn’t going snowtubing because it’s for lames and the activity isn’t hard enough – JBrew is a hardo. He reminds me of how I was in middle school. I didn’t do anything fun because I was too concerned I wouldn’t look cool doing it. I definitely missed out – just like JBrew does here.

Let’s discuss our boy Marc for a second. Marc applies some of his new lotion and somehow doesn’t notice that it’s filled with ranch…WHAT? Is his sense of smell dead? Does he use so much ranch on food that he’s become nose-blind to the smell? HOW DOES HE NOT KNOW THAT HE REEKS OF RANCH DRESSING?! This is a guy who wants to be a doctor people. I’m not saying these two things are correlated, but it is cause for concern. Also Marc’s face. It has a massive hole in it. It looks like he spent the weekend as an extra on the Walking Dead and didn’t get all his makeup removed – it’s very unsettling.

Post-Snowtubing the gang returns to the house to commence binging. Just a few observations about this “party”:

  • Taylar is drinking vodka and tequila together – no thanks
  • Taylar has “never” done a body shot – meaning she has never served vodka out of her bellybutton. She fixes this.
  • Marc is first to drink vodka from Taylar’s bellybutton, no surprise (It was established in episode 1 that Marc has a boner for Taylar)
  • Marc says Taylar is playing hard to get and he doesn’t get her despite his game being “solid”. Marc – you’re game is not solid.
  • DJ TJ is making moves on Jill makes it to 2nd (?) base
  • Jill makes out with the TJ sober…
  • JBrew continues to attack Alessandra because she doesn’t snowboard and I am beginning to think he may just be a misogynist
  • The boys are hitting ping pong balls at each other as hard as they can because boys in their 20’s do this sort of thing after consuming large amounts of alcohol in an environment where they are trying to “impress” women
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I don’t know if I can tolerate all the will they won’t they tension

Who knows they do the next day – it’s glossed over and we are back to another house party in the evening. This time Marc lathers up and realizes he’s been had – he finally notices the days old rotten ranch that is in his lotion. He’s a pretty good sport about this and laughs it off as JBrew runs and hides in a closet – this is the last time we see BrewBrew smile during the episode. It actually might have been the first, too – he’s not a smiley guy. It’s at this party that we are introduced to what the smashing a ping pong ball at the opposite side of the table is called – sting pong? It’s just like it sounds. The team that scores a point gets to whip the ball at the other team. SIGH. Can’t you just drink 4lokos and slam beer bongs like my generation did? Play flip cup, dammit! The future is doomed. One nice thing about this scene is that we get to see Sheen’s really awesome tattoo that goes from the base of neck all the way down his spine. “LOOK AT ME NOW” in that drippy blood Kid Pix font. HOLY FUCK DUDE – that might actually win lamest tattoo I have ever seen. I mean all his tattoos are terrible, but this one is exceptional for its terribleness. Good job.

We end this week’s episode – and possibly the season – with two painful JBrew scenes. The first is his conversation with his girlfriend who lives in California with him. She’s telling him that living in Tahoe sucks when he’s not there and that she moved to Tahoe for him so now they should move to Hawaii because that’s where she wants to live. Wanna guess JBrew’s reaction? He don’t go where there’s no snow so he’s a no go to Hawaii – sorry babe. He then asks if she’s on her period because she is complaining and she somehow doesn’t hang up/breakup with him right there. Girl, you can do so much better than this man-child with anger issues (Yep, he’s probably a misogynist).

The very next day Alessandra has lapsed in her required hourly communication with her parents and the cops are back at the house. JBrew is now officially on the warpath – he’s John Bolton. He marches straight over to the phone and calls Alessandra’s parents. He’s sick of the cops showing up to his house (not his house) unannounced and he’s going to put a stop to it one way or another. As the credits rolls we see JBrew point-blank tell Alessandra’s parents that they need to either stop calling the cops and let their daughter be 25 or pick their daughter up and take her home. Now. Tonight we find out how Alessandra’s parents take this ultimatum from the Brewmaster. How do you think they’ll take this tough-talk from JBrew?

One more note – you know how I said TJ was busy nursing Jill back to health with some sweet talk and kisses? Turns out TJ may have a girlfriend back home. Uh oh!

PS somehow I wrote over 1500 words about this shit of a show – god that’s depressing.

HOT TAKE: Survivor Recap – A Diamond in the Rough

This week’s episode starts off with a demoralized Malolo tribe returning back to camp having just eliminated Brenden. In my last post I thought that Brenden’s dismissal was all part of Michael’s master plan but now I don’t think that was the case. Michael seems pretty broken up about the fact that he caused his buddy to go home and now he’s up a creek without a paddle. Bradley’s former Naviti posse has a significant numbers advantage over the remaining 3 Malolo tribesman and can pick them off one by one if they need to – and Michael knows this. His only gambit at this point is to try and convince Bradley that picking off some of the stronger players (really just making the case for himself here) wouldn’t be a great idea moving forward because they will continue to lose challenges and eventually all be eliminated. I’m sure Bradley has at least considered this if he is as smart as he claims to be, right?

REWARD TIME! The coveted winner of today’s reward challenge gets something more precious than gold – COFFEE. Now hear me out – two weeks without coffee would make me insane. I won’t go as far as to say it is the lifeblood that allows me to slog through my entire day, each day – that’s beer – but coffee is an extremely close second. If it was socially acceptable to have a beer in the morning I could quit coffee cold turkey but since it’s not – coffee it is! Oh! Mr. Probst is also offering some pastries to go along with the coffee but honestly who gives a fuck? A cheese Danish is fine but pales in comparison to a nice cup o’ Joe. To win the coffee the two tribes will compete by running over tables (really? Tables? Someone mailed it in) to get to an area filled with sandbags. Two tribesman from each team will then move all the sandbags to expose a lever that will release smaller sandbags (Come on guys, this is getting embarrassing). The smaller sandbags will then be moved to a staging area where the competing tribes will toss the sandbags at 3 suspended targets about 20 feet away. First team to close all 3 targets wins the coffee. Got it?

Jeffry Probst gives the go-ahead and our two tribes are off. Naviti jumps out in front early and doesn’t really look back to see how Malolo is doing. Naviti is first over the tables, first to move the sandbags, first to release smaller sandbags and first to close their targets. How are they able to do this in such a convincing fashion? Turns out it is pretty easy when you have a former college baseball player on your team. Chris absolutely crushes the target competition by consecutively closing all 3 targets without missing once – I think? Did anyone see him miss? It certainly didn’t look like he missed the targets. Also, dude has a cannon for an arm so he hit each target with force when he connected, which was 100% of the time. Poor Malolo. They never stood a chance. Also Jeff Probst is totally geeked about Chris’ performance. He’s so jazzed! He’s never seen anything like this before because he has somehow avoided the millions of trick shot videos that exist on the internet. That’s more impressive than what Chris did for us today, tbh. How do you filter out all those Dude Perfect wannabe videos?! Did anyone else want Chris to whip a pastry at Malolo? Just me? Cool.

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I know kung-fu

Tradition now demands that someone from the losing tribe be sent to Ghost Island. To keep things from getting political Naviti opts for the bag of rocks and Jeff dutifully hands them out to Malolo. The person who draws the white rock will be headed to the dreaded (?) GHOST ISLAND! Time for a question – why would anyone mind being sent there? I get that you can’t participate in the politics of the tribe but do you really want to? It seems like you get a nice break for a day and even have the opportunity to give yourself a huge advantage by finding an idol or completing a Ghost Island challenge successfully. The whole solitude aspect is also completely overblow since you’re probably surrounded by tons of a PAs and cameras. The whole idea just seems a little half-baked to me. AND IT’S NOT EVEN SPOOKY! MAKE IT SPOOKEY! THE ISLAND ISN’T EVEN SHAPED LIKE A SKULL, OR HAVE A SKULL LOOKING MOUNTAIN/CAVE!

After drawing the rocks it turns out none other than Miss “Hope” herself (Stephanie) will be headed to Ghost Island. If you recall from last episode, Stephers felt like she was up against the wall and her only strategy at that point was to channel positive vibes – and somehow it worked. Her voodoo mojo cast a spell over Michael who used his fake immunity ruse to “save” her in place of Brenden. This time it seems like her magic has worn off just when she needs it most. Upon arriving at Ghost Island Stephanie has to break a tile and reveal if she gets an opportunity for a challenge – she doesn’t. Well shit. Hope is dead. She doesn’t even get to the roll the dice to see if she can win immunity. Alright fine – well at least she has a whole day to tool around Ghost Island and look for an immunity idol, right? Nope. Now this could be clever editing but the way the scene is revealed to us makes it seem like Stephanie just sits in camp and eats rice the whole time – willing herself to survive. This doesn’t seem like a good strategy – especially for someone who thought they were going home last week…I would be moving every single damn rock and leaf I could get my grubby hands on. Not Stephanie though – she’s all about channeling those good good vibes. She talks about all this as she suns herself and I have to “hope” production offers up sunscreen because I can’t imagine being sunburned with no options for relief on a tropical island. That would be hell. Also, incredibly irresponsible of Mark Burnett and co.

Back with Naviti we see the tribe getting down with that java and shooting the shit over bear claws. It’s at this moment that I come to a profound realization – Chris has an extremely tiny head for his body. Remember the head hunter safari guy from Beetle Juice? There’s a definite resemblance there. We’re also treated to a quick scene where Donathan (I have major problems with the spelling and sound of this name. Did the J on his birth certificate just look like a D or something? Who else is named Donathan?) Anyway he starts to break down over being away from his grandmother, who he takes care of. I feel for the guy – it’s gotta be hard to be away from someone who has come to rely on you. Chris sees Donathan and makes his way over to tell Donny that he can relate to his situation. Chris is building allies any way he can to protect himself from being voted out.

Onto the immunity challenge! For this week’s challenge each tribe will…need to race from point A to point B and unlock a box. Honestly, the actual path to get from point A to point B is not worth explaining – it involves a body board, some planks and a rope…it’s dumb. I get that the competitions are limited based on location but can we please try and be a bit more creative? I’ve been watching the challenge for like 15 years and those challenges always seem different. Production doesn’t have the budget to spice things up a bit? Anyway the competition starts and Naviti is off to the races again. It looks like Naviti will be dominating this challenge as well but then there’s a brief moment where Desiree on Malolo seems to get ahead of Libby on Naviti and it looks like we could have a competition…but then Desiree falls into the water and whatever lead Malolo had quickly evaporates. Naviti is first to get to the end puzzle and, since they are so far ahead of Malolo when they start the puzzle, first to solve it and claim another victory. Malolo will be forced to cleave itself once again. Did anyone else see this coming? I sure as shit did. Did anyone else think that Jeff Probst was wearing a New York Jets cap? I sure as shit did. And while we’re on it – what’s not to like about the scrappy Jets this year? I watched some of their games last season and actually enjoyed myself. J-E-T-S! JETS! JETS! JETS!

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Jeff Probst watching a New York Jets game next season

Naviti takes their immunity idol and skedaddles leaving Malolo to figure out who to vote off the island. Back at camp the politics begin as the Bradley Tribe debates who to eliminate. It seems like Michael’s point about eliminating stronger players is starting to sink in given the two recent loses – they can’t keep losing competitions and survive – they need to switch strategies up. During this scene I also learn that Michael is 18 years old. Are you kidding me?! I am sure this was mentioned in an earlier episode but I must have glossed right over it. Dude is 18 years old?! The guy looks like he’s just under 30 – what the hell! Do you know what I looked like at 18? Not like that. I was maybe 135 lbs., had bleached tips for my spikey hair and wore pukka shell necklaces. NOT FAIR.

Before they switch up their strategy there is still Malolo fat to trim. Stephanie would make the most sense but they don’t know if Stephanie found an immunity idol or not (She didn’t). To confirm, Dez helps herself to Stephanie’s purse and digs through it – no idol. Really? Is nothing sacred on Survivor? Obviously the expectation of privacy is out the window but going through someone’s modest personal belongings seems like a real dickbag move. Still, Stephanie could be keeping the idol on her I suppose (Where exactly?) but that seems unlikely. After riffing through Stephanie’s stuff the group sets poor Stephanie in their crosshairs.

At tribal council it quickly becomes apparent that Stephanie is going to be up for elimination. Is it just me or does Bradley look like someone? He resembles someone famous but the only person I can picture is Matthew Lillard – and that’s not who I am thinking of – anyone else got a hot take on who Bradley looks like? He’s so snivelly-looking. This is going to drive me nuts. While chatting with Stephanie Jeff Probst makes the claim that Survivor is the most difficult relationship game ever conceived – insert corny marriage joke here. So we get to voting and Jeff asks Malolo if anyone has an immunity idol that he or she would like to play. All eyes go to Stephers and we wait for a minute…No idol from Stephanie. She’s still rocking the posi-vibes but it’s not enough. Stephanie gets the needed 5 votes and Jeff demands her torch – her fire is out.

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WHO DOES HE LOOK LIKE?!!!!!

What did you think of last night’s episode? Do you think Malolo made the right decision in axing Stephanie? Is Chris’ head proportionate to his body? Is Jeff Probst all in on the NY Jets? Give me your hot take or rip on me for mine.

HOT TAKE: The Challenge Recap – Help Me Rhonda

Kyle tell us he doesn’t remember what happened last week and I’ll be honest, I don’t either. After a quick recap we see Natalie who is just a mess. Mascara is running down her face as she during a tearful confessional with Nelson about how awful she feels that she betrayed him in last week’s votes. Come on girl. I know Nelson ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer but even he can sniff this one out. He tells her it’s cool after the apology but to the audience he says he’ll keep her thinking he’s her ally till he doesn’t need her. Has Natalie actually convinced herself that she’s mended the damage between her and Nelly? Is she really that dense or does she know the walls are closing in and she’s just treading water?

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Leroy sums up his swimming technique

Speaking of water – today’s challenge involves Leroy’s favorite obstacle – WATER! Poor Leroy. Any veteran who has watched enough of the Challenge knows that any challenge involving water is basically a death sentence for Leroy. Dude just can’t swim. I remember one season where Leroy came onto the challenge and proudly told everyone he practiced swimming in-between seasons and was now so much better at swimming. But he wasn’t. He graduated from a doggie paddle but that’s about it. Poor guy. TJ tells everyone that for today’s challenge they will have 2 teams that will need to swim across a stunning Spanish spring (seriously this place is gorgeous. I can only imagine how many #fitgirls have instagrammed themselves here) to an area where there are floating balls. They will then need to grab a ball and swim underwater with the ball and place the ball in a net. The nets are fastened to a treasure chest that will eventually rise off the bottom of the spring once enough balls have been secured. The chest will then rise allowing the team to swim with the chest back to the shore and declare victory. Seems easy enough unless you’re Leroy. Or Cara Maria. She also sucks at swimming stuff.

Brad and Killa Kam won last week’s elimination so each has a grenade that they need to toss. Kam is up first and she decides she is going to add time to Cara Maria – Cara Maria (and her team) will start with a minute penalty. Kam has made it abundantly clear that she is gunning for Cara Maria at this point and might just have cemented a new vendetta with this latest stunt. Brad’s and his grenade are next but before he pulls the pin he asks TJ a logistics question: If he chooses to add time to someone he could still potentially end up on the team with penalties, right? Clever girl, Brad. TJ tells him, yes, that is definitely a possibility since the troika will be picking this week’s teams. Brad essentially barters his way on to the troika’s (Tony, Zach and Natalie) team and chooses to penalize Kyle by not allowing him to compete. MY MAN! Such a power move! Brad may be a bit older than most of the competitors but my dude has not lost a step strategically. The whole time this is happening Kam’s face just sinks, as do her chances of winning this challenge. She knows that both Cara Maria and Kyle will be on her team so she’s essentially used the grenade on herself. Whoopsie Daisy!

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Some girls have all the luck

Sure enough Kam is placed on the all can’t with team with Cara Maria, Kyle, Leroy, Nelson, Kailah. This is not good. As for the troika? They’ve got Brad, Tony, Zach, Natalie, Nicole, Jemmye and Devin- all strong swimmers. Side note: I actually think swimming might be the only thing Jemmye is good at other than stirring the pot for other people and inflating arguments. With the teams decided we are off and team troika is up first. Practically before the competition has even started they finish with a commendable time of 15:03. Their effort and teamwork looked seamless. Watching this you just knew that there was not a chance in hell that the other team would be able to compete – no less do it in under 14:03 because of Cara’s penalty. They all can’t swim, save Kyle, who isn’t even allowed to compete. At least he gets to keep his gorgeous flow dry? Sorry bud, you fucked.
Cara jumps into the water and swims out to the balls where…she struggles, mightily. Apparently all that CrossFit doesn’t help when it comes to pushing a buoyant ball under water because Cara can’t manage to do more than break the surface of the spring. After a futile minute of trying to dive with the ball she gives up and swims back to the shore. Kam is up next and basically drowns. Maybe it was the adrenaline coursing through her veins that convinced her she knew how to swim but girl does not know how to swim. I’m not joking when I say she almost drowns – the standby rescue crew has to come over and grab her after watching her head slip below water, mid-flail. Ooof. And that about sums up team-can’t swim’s effort. Kailah jumps in and also fails and by then it’s too late, time has expired. I don’t think they got a single ball in the net. Ouch.

Victorious, Tony, Zach and Brad somehow convince the rest of their team that they need to be in the new troika because Tony and Zach picked the teams and Brad used his grenade. Okay, that seems fair-ish but the thing is that it’s a girl elimination and whoever is in the troika is safe from elimination. There’s 3 girls on the winning team and none of them really protest the guys forming the troika. SIGH. Come on ladies, don’t let Zach push you around! Did you not hear that Burger King is providing today’s troika with the royal treatment?! I bet it’s like a mayonnaise bath followed by chicken fry massage. Don’t sleep on BK, ladies! Natalie, Jemmye and Nicole are placated with assurances from the troika that none of them will be considered for elimination. Oh dear – this is not smart. Devin is openly giggling about this. He knows what is going to happen – stop trusting these men ladies! They leave their fate to the guys and also will dine on zero Burger King this evening save nothing for the royal treatment. Bad form, Peter!

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What the fuck is the royal treatment?

As for the losers, they need to nominate someone to go immediately into the elimination round by voting on the teammate they deem most deserving. Right away it seems like Cara will be the unlucky one but then Kailah’s name gets thrown into the mix and suddenly it’s a draw. Oh shit! TJ warns them that if all they vote and reach a stalemate once more that the troika will decide who goes into elimination. Another round of voting produces the same results and it’s now up to Tony, Zach and Brad to decide who will face elimination. What’s that expression? No good deed goes unpunished? Well Kam, for all her effort with the grenade and now battling her way out of elimination 2 times in 2 weeks, is going into elimination for a third consecutive time. Oh, the joys of being a rookie on the Challenge. Congratulations Kam – you just played yourself.

Back at the house the troika must now determine three potential opponents for Kam to face off against. It takes roughly 15 seconds before Tony and Zach suggest turning on Natalie and throwing her into the mix despite their promises to her that no such thing would happen. She’s a rookie, she is playing everyone by cozying up to the strongest players that will have her – girl got caught. Tony laments that this will be the second time he’s lied to someone’s face (RIP Bananas) about their status in the house, but I mean, this is also coming from a guy who has major infidelity issues. I think its par for the course for old Tony-Bologna and despite Tony trying to be a better guy – a leopard don’t change his spots, ya know? I think Tony is cool with this and probably won’t think twice about betraying Natalie unless he has to deal with an immediate personal consequence. He’s already been labeled a liar, a philanderer and a drunk. How much of a reputation does he have to protect at this point? The troika rightly decides to avoid any other conflicts and just throw Cara Maria and Kailah into contention since they each received votes to go in already.

Cut to the inquisition and we see tonight’s feast has been furnished by the king himself! You want a whopper? Done. BK Chicken club with a side of fries? BOOM, it’s there! I don’t know any other food items BK serves because BK is disgusting and I don’t eat there. Kudos to those that do but this meal would be instant diarrhea for me. Suspiciously I don’t anyone enjoying their sandwiches during this scene…but the fries are admittedly good so those are cool to snack on. As 6 people share a limited amount of fries Kailah and Natalie have a row about why the other girl should be going into the elimination. Kailah figures the troika may not realize Natalie is just sponging off the strongest competitor she can find and informs them of this fact. Dammit Kailah, they know this girl. It’s pretty fucking obvious. They only thing you’ve done with this little rant is paint a big old target on your back for next time. Nice work. All 3 of these girls are legitimately concerned that a match up against Kam will send them home. They’re right. Killa Kam is a beast, especially when she’s heated (and water isn’t involved), and she is super heated about going in again. Yikes.

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Natalie’s strategy doesn’t work on people not named Bananas

Tonight’s elimination, TJ says, is called Spanish torture. The contestants will walk across two wires that they are attached to from one end of the ring to the other and ring a bell. First one to ding the bell wins. Now that we know what we are doing we just need to know who will be doing it against Kam. Natalie clearly did not stop to purchase a bus ticket before tonight’s elimination because she is thrown right under it. Tony, Zach and Brad all turn on her and tell her that because she is a rookie it’s time for her to prove her worth. WHAMMY! Natalie, who has made a living hiding in other contestants’ shadows, is exposed and has to go up against Kam in order to prolong her stay in Spain. Not good. Natalie gives us a little speech about how she used to be a gymnast and this event is well-suited for her skillset but we know this is a classic Challenge misdirection. Anytime anyone on the show boasts of a skill before displaying that skill it usually foreshadows disaster. Sure enough – it spells disaster. Natalie gets off to a good start versus Kam but suddenly loses her footing and begins to panic. This gives the HMS Kam-Coming-for-Your-Ass enough time to gather steam and eventually pass Natalie. Kam rings the bell first and Natalie exits stage left. Overall did I like Natalie as fresh fodder for the Challenge? Mostly yes. I think she learned some valuable lessons for her first go-around and I think we’ll see her back with an improved game on future Challenges.

With Natalie vanquished Kam is riding high. She’s officially put the other girls in the house on notice that she, much like Laurel, is not to be fucked with. When you take a shot at the queen you best not miss because you won’t get another one. I went into this season pretty indifferent to Kam overall but now? I’m a super fan. TJ is too, and congratulates her for putting another opponent into the ground. But the celebration is short-lived because TJ has another twist up his sleeve – he needs to dump 2 more contestants, 1 guy and 1 girl, before they jet off to the Czech Republic for their next challenge. OH SHIT! No challenge, no troika, nothing. Put up or shut up time – TJ’s favorite part of every challenge.

So how will our beloved remaining contestants punch their ticket to the Czech Republic? Easy. All they need to do is run a mile uphill, zip line across a huge gap, repel down the side of a bridge and run some more. Think of it like a jr. final. Each guy and girl with the slowest time will set sail for America. Since this all happens towards the end of the episode we end not knowing who will be sent home. Each cast member gives us a semi-stirring speech about why they are there so we can validate our attachments to them as they run the course. I’m all in on Kam, Brad and Leroy at this point. Especially Leroy. Not because he can’t swim but because he wants to use the prize money to open a group home with his adopted parents for kids. OMG WHAT? Is Leroy actually real life Randall Pearson from This is Us??? I’m really hoping they all make it to the end.

What were your hot takes on tonight’s episode? Who do you want to make it to the Czech Republic? Should Natalie have been back-stabbed like that? Will Leroy ever learn to swim?

HOT TAKE: Teen Mom OG – Bye Farrah

We need to address the elephant in the room straight away – Farrah Abraham is no longer filming with MTV. Sigh. We will no longer have the privilege, and IT IS a goddamn privilege make no mistake, to witness the successes of Farrah – wonder woman of teen mom who made MTV what it is today. She has respectfully began a Trump-style lawsuit against Teen Mom/MTV claiming abuse and harassment. GOD SHE IS THE FUCKING WORST. I’m sure MTV would much prefer to just settle with her out of court and be done with her but honestly, I have to fault MTV here. They encouraged this monster to grow and blossom into the harpy that she is today. When you see a weed in your garden you pull it, you don’t water it. MTV, this is yours to own regardless of how awful Farrah is.

Farrah crying
Protip: Don’t google Farrah gifs at work. You’re guaranteeing an uncomfortable conversation with HR.

With that addressed we can dive into last night’s action. We start off with Maci because you need to start off a good story with a positive note. Maci and Taylor are seemingly the most stable of the Teen Mom relationships outside of Chelsea and Cole. Side note: I just looked up how to spell Cole because I am a miserable speller and accuracy is important and I just discovered that they (Chelsea & Cole) are having their third kiddo! They’re more like Maci and Taylor than I thought! Each with 3 kids! Let’s be fair to Maci and Taylor and refocus on them now after that brief tangent. Taylor and clan welcome Maci back from Nicaragua with one of those heartwarming airport welcome scenes – think love actually (RIP Alan Rickman – Always). Apparently their clothing line TTM Lifestyle has been growing so much that Maci and Taylor needed to open a distribution warehouse in Jacksonville, FL. Really? I mean good for them. I want their business to succeed because they both seem like decent people but how does a company that makes different colored pocket squares with a super lame-o name grow that fast? Who wears this stuff outside of Tennessee? I don’t get it. Maybe I don’t get today’s fashion but I mean really? Taylor and Bentley are going to have a boys’ trip to Jacksonville to see the new facility and give Maci some time alone with Maverick and Jade.

Every time we see the goings on with Maci we need to visit Ryan to see what he’s up to for comparison. Ryan and Mackenzie are in the kitchen talking about their future and suddenly Ryan starts asking ‘Kenz about the possibility of another kid. STOP IT. Seriously? Ryan is recently sober and needs to make up for lost time with Bentley and he’s already braying about another kid? Mackenzie has a kid of her own, too. That’s two kids he needs to be a better father to right now! I get the desire to have a kid with your partner but maybe they should think about timing? There’s no such thing as good timing but I mean…maybe there is a such a thing as better timing? You think Ryan has gray hair now, just wait. He’s gonna go full Henry Bowers post seeing IT if he has another kid. The best laid plans of mice and men…

Henry Bowers
Ryan, after having his 3rd kid (technically 2nd but also sorta 3rd)

Back in Michigan Tyler is trying to keep things together while Catelynn does another stint in therapy to deal with her anxiety and depression. In the last episode Catelynn reveals that she considered every way she could kill herself and that scared her so badly that she knew she needed additional treatment. I’m glad she can recognize when she needs help but I also sincerely feel for Tyler at this point. Dude is always left holding the bag and it seems like his feelings are rarely considered – and it might be coming to a head.

Shifting to Amber we learn that Gary gave Amber permission to take boo-boo (Leah) to Florida for winter break with her new beaux, Andrew. It’s crazy to see how responsible Gary has become over the years, right? This is the same guy that spent their last $400 on a PlayStation 2 because he felt like it. Never mind he had a small family to take care of – dude wanted to game! I can’t imagine being in that position and making that decision but it looks like Gary has figured out this whole parenting responsibility adult thing. Amber wants to introduce Andrew to her brother Shawn “Bubby” Portwood. When you write the name out like that it sounds like a worse version of Puffy. I have an important question before I continue: Does she refer to everyone by some little kid jargon b-word? If so I vote we she call Andrew Beaux-Beaux. But really I couldn’t handle that. I can barely handle that on the show. If my sister called me a pet name like that I would stop shit immediately. NO MORE! I digress, during this segment we are also treated to a Matt being a piece of shit flashback. He is the very definition of a masshole and MTV seems perfectly happy to remind us at every corner that dude was a loser. Seriously, fuck that pill-popper.

Meanwhile in the other corner of Florida we see Taylor and Bentley at the driving range. Let’s stop and acknowledge that Taylor is probably replacement father of the year – get that man a mug that says so. Honestly, he loves Bentley so much and it seems so genuine that you know Taylor sees Bentley as his own kid. I don’t watch this show to feel feels Taylor, thanks a lot. Back home in Tennessee Maci is taking Jade, their middle child, big-girl bed shopping. It’s a pretty routine kid-in-furniture store scene but one shot has me asking another important question – How are the bottom of Jade’s shoes so clean? Unless they are brand new, which is possible, how does a 2-3 year old girl have clean white soles on her shoes? I call BS production – where are the real shoes?!

Back to back to back Florida scenes reveal that Andrew is about to meet Bubby Ports. They sit down and have a nice little chat (interrogation) and Bubby does not hold back. He’s seen Amber burned in the past and also knows his little sister better than most suiters do. After a hilariously candid question about how much it must suck to move from Cali to Indiana Shawny-B gets down to brass tacks. Basically he asks what Andrew’s intentions are for his sister. He says he’s not judging Andrew but let’s be honest, he’s definitely judging Andrew. During their conversation Andrew offers up some really profound wisdom – he thinks everyone should write. Wow. I mean that right there would win me over but the jury is still out for Bubby.

Remember how we started this episode in an airport? We’re going back to the airport – but this time in scenic Michigan. Tyler and Nova are traveling to visit Catelynn at her therapy facility. FAMILY VACATION THAT IS NOT A VACATION, YESSS! There’s a brief phone call in the car where I scold Tyler for using a phone while driving without a hands-free device (MTV completely whiffs an opportunity for a PSA here. They’ll intervene with Ruthie trying to drive drunk but being a distracted driver with a child in the car is apparently cool?) and then we’re back to view Ryan and the ‘Kenz. With Farrah gone MTV needs to fill a that hole (pun intended) with new footage – enter Kenzie. Kenzie confides in her friend about the conversation she had with Ryan concerning their futures and the possibility of adding another child into the mix. This is all well and good until she says something that makes me nearly spit my frosty Coors light out – SHE THINKS RYAN IS GOING TO BE JUST THE BEST FATHER. Hold the fuck up. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING GIRL?! I know you’re married to the dude and should be his biggest fan but there is reality to deal with too. Unless you’ve somehow forgotten that Ryan is already a father to Bentley you should already know how capable of a father he is. Now I’ll give you that Ryan was addicted to painkillers (Not Xanax, MTV. I’m sure he was abusing Xanax, too, but let’s be real and confront what he was actually using. Be the educational program you set out to be) but that doesn’t excuse his recent absentee-dadism. Everyone should get a second chance but maybe time this second chance a bit better? SIGH.

Ryan

Sick of Florida? Good, because we’re back with Amber and bro again. Bubby is still grilling Andrew and decides it’s time to up the ante. He point blank asks Amber if she is going to do a prenup with Andrew to protect her assets. Cue awkwardness. She meekly says she would with the other men in her life but not with Andrew – he’s different. Amber…Thankfully we cut to commercial and return to Maci who is chatting with a friend at her home in Chattanooga. Maci is gushing about how wonderful of a dad Taylor is (we already gave him a mug!) and how lucky she is. WE GET IT! Taylor, outside of his fashion label, is perfect. Right before we check in on Catelynn’s therapy I notice Maci’s tongue is Tennessee Volunteer orange. What the fuck has she been eating/drinking? The answer shortly reveals itself…

I have another important question after watching this episode: Did anyone eat raw onions as a child? Because it seems raw onion may be Nova’s favorite food. Is this a Midwesterner thing? Do they serve raw onions with stuff in Michigan? I NEED TO KNOW WHY THIS IS HAPPENING. It happens twice – and she practically has a fit over not getting one the first time. While this is happening Catelynn’s mom is recapping some of the strategies she learned to help Catelynn deal with her depression and seems like she may not be buying the education theory behind them. Catelynn’s mom seems like she learned how to deal with life the old fashioned way – if you get out of line you get corrected via a nun’s ruler. She seems to be a proponent of tough love, and that’s fine for certain people, but for other’s maybe a softer touch is required? Perhaps maybe with Catelynn? I’m not totally sold that her mother thinks Catelynn’s therapy is worth it, but hey, she’s not paying for it so she’ll play along! As she discusses the lessons learned with Tyler it becomes apparent that Tyler may not be fully grasping the lessons either. He is thinking a bit more reactive – “When you do this then I am going to do this!” Not quite, Tyler.

Quick update on Ryan and Mackenzie – they made spaghetti for dinner and are continuing to discuss adding a child and going back to school. Ryan eats like a prisoner and thinks it’s appropriate to feed the dog a plate of leftover spaghetti. RYAN, NO!

Towards the conclusion of the episode we finally learn why Maci’s tongue has an orange hue – her beverage of choice would appear to be Henry’s Hard Soda…gross. I know Maci and Taylor used to be a Bud light family and I am all for keeping it simple with domesticos but switching over to such a sugary malt beverage is no bueno in my book. This actually might be one of the few decisions Maci has made that I disagree with – and I know this from experience. I have tried the Henry’s Hard Soda – it is not good. Ryan probably wouldn’t even give it to this dog – it’s honestly that bad. Maci, can I tempt you try Coors light? It’s at the same price point as both Bud light and Henry’s Hard Soda but it doesn’t have the sweetness that those other guys do. It basically replaces water in a balanced diet. TAP THE ROCKIES, MACI. Is Henry’s a sponsor of the show? That’s fine if that’s the case but be more transparent about it – labels need to face the audience. The case of the orange tongue has been solved and now Taylor is bugging Maci to have more kids. This dude is kid-crazy. I have a friend who couldn’t wait to be a dad and I thought it was just about the strangest thing I have seen. If you’re reading this you know who you are…

Taylor
and give me another kid

What do you guys think? Should Maci and Taylor have another kid? Is it okay to feed your dog spaghetti? Do you already miss Farrah? Let me know what your thoughts on last night’s episode are.