When it comes to great Challenge episodes they tend to have a few of the following: a drunken fight, random hookups, epic challenges and surprise wins or losses. Tonight’s episode continued directly from last week’s which, as you remember, featured Ty almost going home after a joke on his partner Emily’s part went awry. All that drama pushed the decision of who would get sent into the Dome with Emily and Ty to the beginning of this week cliffhanger-style. Wanna find out who got sent in, what trends the episode hit and who will definitely be going into the finale? You know the drill. We pick right up in the deliberation room with Ty and Emily anxiously waiting to see who Power Couple Diem and CT will be sending in against them. It could be Johnny and Camila, Robin and Mark or Paula and Dunbar. Cutting to the chase fairly quickly, they reveal that Paula and Dunbar will be joining Ty and Emily in the Dome. A lot of people think this is foolish, including TJ who says so at the Dome itself, because everyone thinks it would make more sense to throw a much stronger team in against Ty and Emily. That way, you’d definitely be down one strong couple.
The Dome was actually kind of boring. You’re set up in a straight hallway-like structure marked by hay. You’ve got five balls and you have to run them from one end to the other while the other person of your sex is doing the same. Knocking into one another is both accepted and sorta encouraged. The men went first and didn’t bother banging into each other too much. They were really close, but Ty slammed into Dunbar at the end and then finished with ease. Actually, Emily had a much easier taking out Paula. She actually lapped her at one point. Paula tried bumping into her, but it didn’t do much and Emily won. Easy peasy.
Back at the house, Johnny and Camila are worried about getting sent in. They know at this point that Ty and Emily and CT and Diem don’t have any alliance with them and who would put money on Mark an Robin at this point? Meanwhile, Ty, Emily and Diem are trying to get Robin to open up a bit and just talk about herself, but Robin says she’s not there to do that, she’s there to win money for her son. We get it. You’re a mother. One that goes on reality shows. Also, here’s a tip, if you’re not interesting or social, the producers won’t have you back. The only caveat to that rule is if you’re overly crazy, a criteria she just might fit.
With all that pesky talking out of the way, we get to the challenge, called Feel The Burn, which was a doozey. Here’s the deal. A small plane with jet engines was parked with it’s butt end pointing towards the contest area. There’s a certain amount of room you have to run back and forth, running perpendicular to the jetwash. On one side is a bunch of stuff for a picnic, chairs, inflatables and a few other things. You’ve got to run to that side, grab things and then run back across and put them in a designated area. After you get all that stuff across you then each have to carry a dummy across to that area. After THAT, you both have to run away from the jet, grab a parachute with your partner and then run towards the jet where a finish line is. You have 20 minutes.
Got all that? Since CT and Diem were the Power Couple, they made the order and decided to put Johnny and Camila first to put them at a disadvantage. And it totally worked. Johnny did alright, but Camila was flopping around all over the place. At one point she lost one of those blow-up pool mattresses and it went WAY far away into this marsh-looking thing. It was pretty hilarious. They got to the parachute part, but time ran out before they could cross the finish line. Mark and Robin went next and figured out that getting low and crawling a little would help. It did. They worked well together and got the first part done, but wound up not crossing the line. It wasn’t clear if they beat Johnny and Camila’s place.
Ty and Emily went next. They didn’t stay as low and got tossed around a bit, but they did get to the parachute part and even crossed the finish line making the whole thing look easy. So, they had the victory unless CT and Diem stepped up and snatched it. Which they did. CT and Diem played it much smarter, staying low, but also combining anything they could (like stacking the chairs) and stuffing the inflatables in their clothes for better control. Like I said, it worked and they won Power Couple for the second episode in a row!
Back at the house, it’s a lot of talking and worrying. Camila’s pissed because she thinks they played the game fairly with CT and Diem. Did they? In the after show, Johnny admits that they never threw Diem and CT in because he figured they’d win and didn’t want them coming back fuming mad. Meanwhile, Diem and Emily are talking in one of the bedrooms when Robin slouches in and starts bringing up her kid and telling her sob story. Please, Challenge producers, do not bring her back. She’s not the right kind of sad sack for this show. From seeing CT and Diem talk, it sounds like they’re going to send Ty and Emily in because, as Diem points out, it might be good to have Mark and Robin around in the finale and as CT notes, sending Ty and Emily in will guarantee that one of the best teams in the game definitely gets sent home.
After that, it’s the usual interview time. First it’s Ty and Emily and it gets a little weird. Ty tells Diem she’s super strong and a fighter, even beating cancer and that he and Emily are fighters too…because they won three Domes. Yeah, that’s the same, right? Mark and Robin are up next and we discover that in Mark’s 17 year history on MTV/Road Rules/Challenge shows he’s never gone into an elimination. That’s BONKERS. Mark does his best to do his political stuff, but CT straight up says that if they had won he and Diem would be going into the Dome, right? Mark doesn’t say yes, but of course it’s the answer. Robin started to cry or something and I tuned out. I did not tune out a few minutes later when everyone was in the deliberation room and Mark and Robin got sent in against Johnny and Camila. Diem reveals that she couldn’t in good conscience send Ty and Emily in again after performing so well. They got me! Good job with that editing.
That’s about it. Actually, in the “let’s show them get ready for the Dome” segment before the episode ended, Mark once again said this was his last Challenge. He also donned the bandana again which gave my wife all kinds of delight. I hope it’s not his last one. I don’t usually like anyone who allies themselves with Johnny, but Mark’s a good dude. Sure he’s got a silver tongue, but he’s also just a nice guy. And he’s older which I like. Then again, I wonder if I’m the target audience for this show. It’s got to skew older right? I would think so.