I gotta say, there were a few things this episode that surprised me, which was nice after last week’s kind of lackluster episode. Plus it was a generally tense episode even though it kicked off with a fun surprise party for Dunbar who celebrated his 26th while in Prague. After the party, folks are hanging out in the hot tub, Cara Maria gets in with a tank top on and underwear. Laurel–of course–gives her shit for it and then literally rips CM’s shirt off. Then some of the other cast members start a pillow fight. The fun continued inside where someone offered Laurel $100 to give Dunbar a naked hug, which she did. Then, somehow, Paula and her started wrestling and Laurel ripped HER shirt off. Everyone just kind of stared dumbfounded as two topless women wrestled for no apparent reason.
Of course, none of this has anything to do with the actual challenge, which was called Gimme A Hand. The contestants were attached to their partners at the hip and ankle side by side and then had to work their way across a tightrope assisted by several other ropes hanging down above them. The team to get the most people across in the shortest amount of time, wins. Gray set the order up as Blue, Red and then themselves. Since Blue had an odd number of people one person had to go twice.
In a surprising move (to me at least) Johnny offered to go twice. He and Theresa were first across and they took around 17 minutes because Johnny had to really keep her focused, but he did and they didn’t fall, so that was good for them. Jenn and Emily go next and then Johnny went again with Derrick. They had some near falls, but each successive team made better time than the previous, so they did well.
Red had Tyler and Camila go first, both of them were pretty wooden up there, but they made it across in under 7 minutes. Paula and Dunbar went next. As you might remember, Paula hates heights, so Dunbar has to calm her down and tries dragging her across the rope. Paula’s shaking like crazy which throws Dunbar’s balance off. It looks like he might be able to salvage it, but Paula yanks him right off the rope. Since Blue got everyone across, Tori says there’s no point in her and Brad going across. Her thinking is that, if they fall, it will give the team ammo to throw them into the Gulag. Brad said he’d do it, but didn’t because Tori didn’t want to. I can see where Tori’s coming from because there’s no actual point to doing it, but I can also see how it would look bad to the rest of the team.
Gray didn’t do a whole lot better and looked a lot sloppier doing it. Abe and CM went across with Abe trying to muscle his way through the challenge. Luckily for him, CM calmed down (she also hates heights) and basically acted as an anchor who literally kept Abe from falling off the rope. Of course, Laurel and some of the others were complaining that Abe did all the work and dragged her across. I think that was just cattiness because CM did a good job. Laurel and Sarah went next and this time Sarah basically dragged Laurel across, but they seemed to keep each other calm. Then it came down to Dan and Luke. As someone pointed out on the show, this wasn’t a great match-up because Dan hates height (what’s with these people?) and Luke doesn’t have much reach. They got about halfway through the course, then Dan seemed to stop moving which prevented Luke from grabbing the next rope. Dan kind of spaced out and dragged Luke right off the ropes and they just hung there awkwardly.
So, with Blue getting the W, they went back to eat their awesome dinner while the other teams talked about who to send in. While Camila was in the room, Tyler said he didn’t think she should go in because she did well, but Brad and Tori said they didn’t trust her and wanted her to go in. Camila just fumed. I really wish she would have called Tori and Brad out for not doing anything. There’s only two of them and if they continue to think with their hearts and not their heads, that could cast suspicion on them from other teammates. Wouldn’t take much to get them tossed in at that point. Gray also sat around talking. Dan said he’s go in, so it really came down to the girls. Laurel is absolutely flabbergasted that her name is even on anyone’s lips because she thinks of herself as this superwoman. I see her as an upstart rookie who doesn’t know her place and doesn’t seem capable of seeing Cara Maria’s value OR the value in keeping Abe happy. After voting time, TJ tells us that everyone got votes on Red except for, wait for it, PAULA. Seriously? PAULA, the weakest person on any team? Stop infighting and start cutting the fat, there’s only one more challenge before the finale. Anyway, the real shocker here was that Dunbar got voted in as did, no surprise here, Camilla. For Gray, Dan got all the votes for the guys and the ladies came down to CM and Laurel and, much to my utter delight, Laurel actually got voted in!
Post voting, Camila is understandably outraged, which is when Johnny finally decides to make the shady move we’ve all been waiting for him to make. He told Camila that she should go into the Gulag, win, come back and then throw the following challenge. Derrick happens to walk into the room and also tries to encourage her. Meanwhile, Dunbar’s talking to Brad and Paula and confused about how he got thrown in. Paula says she thought the votes would be split, which means she couldn’t bring herself to vote for her pal Tyler. Oh, and of course, Laurel’s still complaining about being sent in and not CM as if she’s God’s gift to challenges. Not the case. Do note that even though Sarah agrees with Laurel after the voting, she didn’t say a word (that we saw) when they were deliberating.
The Gulag was Die Hard, which didn’t seem very exciting at first because we’ve seen it before, but turned out to be kind of a nail-biter. Plus, the thing about Die Hard (which has the contestants on top of giant dice that they have to, for lack of a better word, roll the giant cube into a box and get the correct number facing upwards. The fellas went up first, with Dunbar getting off to a much better start than Dan. It gets a little closer towards the end, but Dunbar kind of handily defeats Dan. I liked Dan a lot so it was a bummer to see him leave. The ladies’ race was actually much closer with it literally coming down to the final roll of the dice and Laurel just barely sneaking away with the victory and going back to her team all pissed off.
At this point the teams are all even with five players each, but as Johnny mentioned to his team, Blue is the only one without any kind of turmoil. Laurel seems to be making being on Gray team a nightmare and, with everyone but Paula getting votes this time around, I’m sure Red are all watching their backs. I believe there’s only one challenge left before the finale and next week there won’t be a new episode because it’s Thanksgiving Eve. According to the next episode ad, it looks like CT and Tina will finally be showing up next week which brings a few things to mind. They might have a guy and girl from each team go into the Gulag next time with these two new players taking on the odd team. Or they might have CT and Tina competing against the other teams either in the challenge, Gulag or finale. It’ll be interesting to see how things play out next episode. Seems to me like Red is dead in the water and it will really be between Blue and Gray to take home all the money. I mean, Red routinely threw in quality players and let dead weight like Tori and Paula stick around without proving themselves in any way whatsoever.
Holy crap, I just had an even crazier thought, what if they make all the remaining players go up against CT and Tina just to get into the final challenge? That’d be pretty wild and out-of-nowhere and SUPERCRAZYAWESOME. Sorry, sometimes I get over-excited.