You guys, if The Challenge: Battle Of The Exes keeps up this pace of sending more than one couple home per episode, it’s going to be over in a month. Much like last week’s episode, this one featured a team getting sent home, though not for nearly as nefarious reasons this time. Of course, there was also the team that got sent home in the Dome and an injury requiring stitches. Heck this one even had Abe getting misty! Hit the jump to find out exactly what happened. The episode kicked off with a friendly water fight utilizing buckets and soaked towels. While all these shenanigans are going on, Cara Maria finds Abe out in another part of the house drawing devils on a white T-shirt. He doesn’t want to get into the nonsense with people who will wind up betraying him later. I had hoped he’d be more into the drama or the mind games, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Meanwhile–or the next day, it seems–Dustin has to go get stitches after running up some steps, slipping and getting a pretty nasty gash in his knee.
And, unlike the previous two episodes, that’s all of the pre-challenge stuff. Those other two episodes seemed dead set on showcasing a particular couple and showing how their relationship had changed or whatnot. This time? Forget all that, Abe’s weird, Dustin’s hurt, time to move on. And move we do, right to the Blue Lagoon and a challenge called Mental Connection. But before getting to the game itself, TJ has some bad news, Dustin’s knee means he can’t compete, so what does THAT mean? Time to go home, homes. Heather too. The only reason this bums me out is because I think the young kids could have done a much better job of allying themselves against the vets if they were still around, though alliances don’t seem to be playing much of a role this season, at least on camera.
So, with them gone, it’s on to Mental Connection, which is pretty straight forward. It’s your basic trivia game with the team getting the most points winning and the lowers team losing. The catch? Instead of standing behind a nice podium with your name written on it Jeopardy-style, you’re lying on a plank that will launch you into water that’s pretty far below. Since Leroy and Naomi got the Power Couple spot by winning the Dome after Vinny got himself and Sarah sent home last episode, they got to set the order which included Paula and Dunbar going first along with Abe and Cara Maria.
The questions range from spelling certain words and pop culture queries to ones about the show’s history, which was kind of interesting. Some of the questions were surprisingly hard while others were head smackingly easy, but I guess that’s just based on what you know. For Paula and Dunbar, it turned out that she knew a pretty good amount (or better yet, could remember it while poised for a front flip into uncharted waters) as she was the last lying and wound up pulling in 4 while Abe and Cara Maria got a big goose egg.
The rest went a little something like this. Ty and Emily went with who only got one Tyree & Jasmine while Ty and Emily scored 2. After that Johnny and Camilia scored a pair of points while CT and Diem pulled in three. After them Leroy and Naomi struck out while Rachel carried her into getting four points. Mark and Robin were last to go and neither scored zero points nor enough to challenge the top two teams. However, Aneesa fell in a pretty awkward way and wound up biting through part of her lip. She got stitched up, but that meant that she couldn’t compete again for the final spot right then. Instead of getting sent home, though, he gave Rachel the opportunity to go on her own against Paula and Dunbar, which she did.
Unfortunately for Rachel, she didn’t know that a doe was a female deer and got launched. Dunbar had already missed a question at this point, but Paula didn’t, so they wound up being the Power Couple. It was then down to Leroy and Naomi against Abe and Cara Maria for last place. Everyone but Naomi gets their first question right. Then Abe gets his second one right while Cara Maria and Leroy both get theirs wrong and therefore are heading for their second straight Dome.
Once again, the post-challenge, pre-Dome section seems to follow the Power Couple as they wander around the house talking to only a pair of couples about maybe possibly getting sent in. The first ones Paula and Dunbar approach are Ty and Emily. Emily tries to explain to Paula that keeping Naomi around is a good idea because she’s beatable. You want to keep someone around you can win against. Ty also tells her without telling her that, if they are sent in AND they win AND they win a later challenge that they have good memories. Next up, Paula and Dunbar visit Cara Maria and Abe under the auspices of them being the second worst team that day and not because Paula has no connections to them and doesn’t want to piss off anyone. Cara Maria suggests throwing Emily and Ty in as many times as possible just in the off chance that they wind up getting rid of Emily who is a powerhouse.
There’s a few brief interludes here with Diem telling the story of her and CT Abe who actually gets teary eyed. Then she drops the bomb that she actually broke up with him because she was so into him and assumed that things would work themselves out and they’d get back together in the future. Does that ever work? Anyway, Abe explains that Cara Maria doesn’t let him in even though he wants to love her. Bummer man. We also see Leroy giving CT a haircut and talking just like dudes in barber shops do (or so I’m told from movies and television).
With all the mushy stuff out of the way, it’s game time. Paula and Dunbar wound up choosing Emily and Ty for the Dome, so it’s on. Emily’s pissed, but she’s working out and trying to get Ty pumped up but he’s not doing anything. Like many viewers, she remembers seeing Ty cave while performing in whatever the heck the thing was called that sent people home back on Cutthroat.
The Dome challenge was called Banded Together and the idea is a little difficult to grasp, but I think I can explain. Basically, the pair is connected by a giant rubber band and have to get from one end of the Dome to the other, but there’s a stick in middle. You’ve got to both get to the stick and hold on for five minutes. It’s kind of like back in grade school when you take a rubber band and shoot paper at classmates. Each finger is one of the members of the couple and the paper ammo is the post. Does that make sense?
So, the whistle blew and they were off to the races. Leroy and Naomi’s strategy involved Leroy staying in about the middle of the Dome while Naomi tried digging her way towards the opposite post, the idea being that it would be less tension on her and put it all on him. Meanwhile, Ty and Emily seemed to pretty much go at the same pace, which worked out fine until Ty grabbed the post and Emily just couldn’t get to it. So, eventually, Ty let go so that Emily get grab it first and then he could use his strength to get to the pole which resulted in a victory.Then there’s some more dramatic tension between Cara Maria and Abe, blah blah blah.
I realized something while Paula and Dunbar were announcing who they were throwing in: the most useless women on the show are all teamed up with the biggest dudes. I don’t mean to say there aren’t any useless dudes, because there are, but I think this will make sense when I got to my actual point which is that most of these women who could coast normally might have to work a little harder in some of the challenges or Domes, which is what happened this time. Emily and Ty are very close in size, so this one was a cake walk for them. Meanwhile, big strong Leroy was saddled with Naomi who could barely do anything. For what it’s worth, I’d put Jasmine and Paula on the useless side, though I think Dunbar is equally useless, so there’s that.