I realized something while watching tonight’s episode of The Challenge: Battle Of The Exes: there are a lot of good teams left. If I had to pick a weak link it would be down to Paula and Dunbar and Aneesa and Rachel. I think they might do well in a few challenges here and there, but they should be pretty easy to either knock off or keep around for the finale so you can win over them. Aside from them, though, you’ve got Abe and Cara Maria, CT and Diem, Mark and Robin, Johnny and Camila and Ty and Emily who are all viable contenders in this thing. Any of them could make it and any of them would be smart people to send into the Dome if the Power Couple actually gets smart. Do they get smart this episode? You’ll just have to read on and see. Remember how at the end of the last episode, they showed Camila freaking out on people? Well, for once, that didn’t get buried in the episode. In fact, it went down in the first ten minutes or so of the episode. As you might expect from such a meltdown, the episode actually kicked off with a night at the club. You’ve got flirtation between Paula and Ty, though Paula says nothing will happen because she has a boyfriend back home. There’s also a conversation between Cara Maria and Abe where she invites him to move in with her and he says yes! That nice warm fuzzy feeling gets cut off pretty quickly as Camila has a few too many drinks and starts giving Johnny trouble. To “get back at him” she starts dancing up on random dudes at the club. Emily actually had to roll over, shoo the guy away and practically drag her onto the party bus to take them back to the house.
Back at the house, it looks like Camila made a good decision and hops into bed. The problem? It’s Johnny’s bed. He asks Paula to get her out of there, which she attempts, aided for no particular reason by Ty who just randomly shows up. Camila then rages out of his room down to the kitchen where she picks a chair up over her head and tries to throw it, hitting nothing. Paula does her best to calm the raging beast down, but doesn’t do much good. Mind you, throughout all this, her top is falling down and a black bar is pasted across her chest. So, what’s a reasonable person do? Walk right into the pool. Johnny tells Paula to go in after her and like a good lapdog, she does. Being the genius he is, Johnny calls down to Paula and tells her that talking to Camila will be like talking to a wall. With Camila right there. She takes this up like a mantra, saying it over and over like a psycho killer and going back into the house where she explodes, “You piece of shit! You cheater! You’re gonna die!” Cut to the next day and Camila’s talking to Emily outside. She says she only remembers throwing a chair and yelling at Johnny, but Emily informs her that she yelled at pretty much everyone. Both her and Johnny are worried how this will effect their standing in the house.
From there we jump to the challenge called Don’t Rock The Boat which isn’t actually on a boat or even over water! Instead, the conceit is that a boat is buried in the sand and you’ve got to jump from increasingly taller pedestals until you reach the middle one and ring a bell. This being a Challenge challenge, though, both teammates need to be on the tiny pedestal top in order for one to move on to the next one. Slowest team gets tossed in, top two compete for the Power Couple spot. Even though they’re having troubles, being the Power Couple from the previous episode, Johnny and Camila get to chose the order. As usual, two teams go at once, but they’re not really racing against each other.
Aneesa and Rachel are up first along with Abe and Cara Maria. The former were put in first because they’re on the outs with Johnny while the latter went early to show the rest how it’s done. As it turned out, Rachel and Aneesa finished at 4:25 which was ahead of Abe and Cara Maria’s unknown time. They went so slow because Abe had to basically talk her through every jump which slowed them way, way down. The next two teams up are CT and Diem as well as Ty and Emily. Emily and Ty go pretty quickly at 3:33, but Diem freaked out after the first few and they wound up doing less good. Mark and Robin and Johnny and Camila go next. Mark’s tactics involve jumping away from Robin as soon as she’s on the pedestal with him. At the very end, Robin almost falls off the pedestal, but Mark drags her back up for a time of 2:23. Johnny and Camila are also pretty fast, but we don’t know the exact time. Finally, Dunbar and Paula go last and look like a pair of cartoon characters. She shakes so bad that the entire pedestal looks like it’s vibrating.
After everyone’s done, TJ says he’s pretty impressed with them all. He also explains that the bottom two couples were CT and Diem and Abe and Cara Maria with the latter pulling in the worst time and going directly into The Dome. The top three couples were Ty and Emily, Mark and Robin and Johnny and Camila, but it came down to Mark and Robin going again with Johnny and Camila. I agree with Paula who said that Johnny has an amazing talent for this kind of useless crap. He must have his own random obstacle course set up in a warehouse somewhere that he just constantly puts himself through in preparation for these things. Well, he must not have practiced the “jumping from pole to pole with a partner” thing because Mark and Robin just barely beat them out to the bell. It was actually an impressive bit of Challenge nail biting, the kind of close match you don’t see a lot of.
With Mark and Robin in the Power Couple spot we return to a tradition set up in the first and second episode, but thankfully skipped in the third and fourth where the PC sit down with two teams and put the fear of the Challenge God into them. This time around it’s Aneesa and Rachel who apparently were trying to throw Robin and Mark under the bus to Johnny and Camila last episode. Oddly, none of that was caught on film. Anyway, the next pair were Ty and Emily who Mark said he’s eying because he doesn’t have a relationship with them. It’s funny because, in the middle of all this, Robin explains that she doesn’t have the relationships with these people that Mark does, in fact, most of them have screwed them over, but Emily and Ty haven’t. Robin might have competed okay this time and Mark is definitely the kind of partner who can literally drag someone through to the very end (he did it with Rachel a few years ago), but she’s starting to crack a bit. If I was partnered with Mark, I would shut my mouth and do whatever he says. Why? Because he’s a damn winner! I don’t need to voice my piece that much, I’m there to win.
After all this we move over to a conversation between Abe and Cara Maria that’s not going so well. Apparently she doesn’t want him to move in just yet, which crushes him. He actually says the he’s going to get up and walk away and he knows that she’s not going to stop him or chase after him. He does and she doesn’t. Wow. There’s also some talk between Johnny and Camila where Camila realizes that she’s way more into him than he’s into her. It’s an obvious statement to anyone watching, but sometimes those things are harder to learn than be told.
Jump to TJ coming to the house and Mark starts going on a thing about how there’s no more assholes or weak players left, so you’ve got to go back to old relationships to figure out who to send in. There’s a commercial break, but after that we find out that they’re sending in Ty and Emily. Wah, wah. My initial reaction was, “Tough luck Ty and Emily,” but the Dome challenge wound up being X Battle and I realized that Cara Maria would probably lose, it would be tough between Ty and Abe and then, if they tied and it went to a coin toss, that would easily decide who wins. But, I was a bit wrong. Not about Emily and Cara Maria, though. The first battle was a long struggle, but Emily got her body between Cara Maria and the X and got away with it. The second was fast and went to Emily. For Abe and Ty, the first one was also a big struggle, but Abe came away with the X. On the second one, Ty rips it away from him right away. Then, we’re down to the third which was another struggle, but wound up going to Ty. Abe’s pretty positive about everything, though he is bummed out at how tired Ty is and that he’s still got fuel in the tank. This really showed that Ty isn’t the punk he showed himself to be a few seasons back when he quit against Johnny. I’m still not convinced that some money wasn’t traded behind the scenes for that, just saying. I would not be surprised if some of these people paid off other contestants to take a dive.
Oh, I forgot to mention that there’s been a lot of flirting between Paula and Ty for unknown reasons. She had a boyfriend and says nothing will happen, but Ty wants to get that done. Again, no idea why. Paula’s a particular brand of crazy that should scare a man away, not attract him. But mind you, Ty is the kind of guy who got scarily violent towards Emily on their season of Real World. I would bet actual money that Paula hooks up with him before the end of the season.