Hello, hello! Here we are, once again, recapping another week of challenges, battle rounds, and lunchtime fights! As we are starting to wrap up our journey with The Challenge, we are beginning to pick up speed on The Voice — and stay pretty much where we have always been with those Real Housewives. Except, wait, we aren’t exactly where we have always been! We are actually off travelling the world with them, and let me tell you, things get pretty interesting in the land of eternal sunshine.
You know the drill by now, right? Grab your wine, or tea if you insist, and settle in for a guilty pleasure-ridden read.
Where we’re at: We are inching closer to the end of a season that I doubted would ever actually end. We’re going to get through it, one achingly slow step at a time. This week started with Bananas and Britni arriving at the Redemption House, which shouldn’t have shocked CT and Jordan as much as it did. We all knew Bananas was headed there eventually, right?
This episode was Redemption focused. All remaining players headed to the Redemption challenge, where the players trying to get back into the game were put into a box with tiny holes. They had to peek their heads out of these holes to search a giant wall of numbers with instructions at the top so that they could figure out how to unlock another box with puzzle pieces inside. Confusing? Yeah, that’s how it was designed. There was one female winner (Cara Maria) and two male winners, because of the Nelson incident (Jordan and CT).
That night, the group went out for a nice dinner which was chock-full of tension between Cara Maria and Kailah first, then Kailah and Jordan second. Hunter went to the hospital to find out that his wrist was seriously injured; even so, he chose to stay in the competition and play the rest of the season out one-handed.
Spicing things up a bit, TJ let the house in on this season’s biggest dirty secret: that they have been playing for a cool $1 million the entire time. For the final purge, our ten players split up into boy-girl teams of their choice and had to work their way through four sections. 1) Each player was assigned a crate that they had to run to and push through a bridge. 2) Each player had to use a crowbar to open their crate, where there was rope that they had to run over to the next section. Poor one-handed Hunter. 3) They had to use the rope to connect different numbered poles together, the individual numbers on each pole creating the sum of a specific number each contestant had to find. 4) Finally, they had to dig around in the ground to find puzzle pieces for each individual to piece together on their own.
What’s next: CT, Cara Maria, Jordan and Tori have all made the final, leaving the remaining players to compete for their spot next week. Jenna and Hunter were both eliminated at this point last season; Derrick K has, historically, had a tough time getting past the final eliminations; and this is the furthest that either Kailah or Tony have ever come.
Odds of Derrick K breaking his streak and making it to the final: 2/5
Odds of Hunter getting eliminated next week: 1/2
Where we’re at: We are in Iceland, on an “impromptu” girls’ trip that, as a common serf, is incredibly hard to watch. We are in one of the most beautiful and unique places on this Earth, and we are arguing over text messages. We are ATVing on black-sand beaches, hiking glaciers, and eating fermented shark, and no one looks like they are having any fun at all. Could the fact that Meghan brought her baby on the trip be part of the reason why? I could see that being bit of a bummer for the others who want to “whoop it up” (read: Vicki). Could it also be the fact that these women don’t really like one another very much, and are just paid to interact on a semi-regular basis? Who’s to say, at this point?
What would a trip abroad with the Housewives be without a bit of drama, anyways? Aside from the general sense of “no one is happy here,” there were two events in particular that deserve our attention, if only for a moment. First: a meal turned sour (shocking, I know). Lydia feels like she gets left out of everything, and the fact that she was left out of a group text seals the deal for her. Never mind that Tamra explained that it was all a simple mistake; Lydia threw the lunch menu at her, and stormed off to the bathroom. As you do. On this show. Second: after hiking up and around a glacier, Vicki began to feel unwell. “I feel weak,” she mumbled, before vomiting everywhere. An ambulance was called, she was rushed to the hospital, and the episode ended.
What’s next: Next week will follow-up with Vicki’s health scare, and conclude our whirlwind time in Iceland.
Odds that Vicki and Tamra actually reconcile after this trip: 2/3
Odds of Lydia being left out of the next group text: 2/1
Where we’re at: The knockout rounds are almost upon us, you guys! This week was our second-to-last battle round, and with only a handful of contestants left to go, we are starting to get a pretty good idea of what our teams will look like going into the main competition.
Highlights from last week:
What’s next: The last set of battles is on the way, and this time contestants are really going to be singing for their lives. The last remaining steal was used by Blake this week, so next week, when they’re out, they’re out.
Odds that Shi’Ann wins the whole competition: 1/1
Odds of Anthony Alexander making it through the knockouts: 9/1
Where we’re at: Full disclosure: I really do try to keep these Survivor recaps as concise as possible, but what can I really do when we have people like Cole running around, licking everything in sight? What kind of behavior is that? How am I supposed to move past it? I’m certainly no germaphobe, but the sight of Cole making out with that poor spoon and putting it right back in the jar afterwards was simply too much. First strike: incessantly blabbing everyone’s secrets. Second strike: All the licking. Third strike: TBD, but my feeling is that it comes sooner rather than later.
This week can be summed up in three parts: 1) Ben’s emotional revelation, 2) the reward challenge, and 3) Ryan’s choice.
To put it plainly, hearing Ben speak so openly and honestly about his experience coming home from combat was powerful. In one of the most genuine moments of TV I have seen in a long time, he spoke of his experience coming home from war, of trying to reintegrate back into a “normal” life, of having things “upstairs that are there forever,” and of how his family saved him from his demons. This raw one-on-one had no air of pretence or cheese, which I will try to honor by adding none of my own. I will simply say that his honesty was a beautiful example to veterans and civilians alike that there is a life outside of “all [the] hell” that is war, depression and PTSD.
Now, because this is Survivor, we must move onto a group of people writhing around in the sand, pushing balls around with their heads — and also Ryan, who tried so very hard, but got absolutely nowhere. The writhing was actually a race and, at the end of the race, one person from each tribe had to shoot five balls into a basket, but this mattered much less than watching these poor souls slither around in the sand. What’s even worse than the amount of sand that inevitably found its way into some very delicate places is the fact that the reward for this challenge was coffee. Iced coffee, which I’m sure was refreshing, but still … coffee. That ain’t right.
Following the immunity challenge, which Yawa won, Soko headed to Tribal Council and sweet, little Ryan had a big choice to make. Either vote out Chrissy, at the request of Roark and Ali, or vote out Roark. Both decisions had the potential to shake things up dramatically, and in the end Ryan chose to use his power to eliminate Roark.
What’s next: Ryan may have ruined his social game with Ali by going against her oust-Chrissy plans, or he may have managed to keep himself in the game longer by keeping three big allies (Ali, Chrissy, Devon) around.
Odds of Cole being voted out next from his tribe: 2/7
Odds that Ali will remain allies with Ryan: 3/2
Feature Image: Adam Levine performs at the Neighborhood Ball in Washington, D.C. (Public domain [http://www.defenseimagery.mil/])
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