The newest installment of The Challenge: Rivals II picks up where last week’s left off. As a reminder, Cooke and Cara Maria won the challenge, so they’re going right to the final. Meanwhile, Diem and Aneesa lost which meant they’d be going up against either Jemmye and Camila or Paula and Emily. As you might expect, Diem and Aneesa wanted to go against Camila and Jemmye. Even though they wound up getting what they wanted, Diem was still peeved because CT and Wes voted for Emily and Paula to go in because they’ve had an alliance with the other team. Diem got in several different fights and acted like a crazy person, falling in my esteem a bit. Then again, I wasn’t super impressed with how CT handled their relationship either. We’l call that a draw, I guess.
We pick back up at the Jungle which is called Hanging By A Thread which, like the past five-or-so-Jungles we’ve already seen. Both teams hang upside down and have to cut through two big, thick ropes. Whoever gets done first actually drops the other team into a small pool of water. Much to my surprise, Jemmye and Camila actually come up with a pretty solid system to make up for the fact that Camila’s much shorter than her partner. Jemmye actually put her saw under the rope, grabbed both ends and pulled it up so Camila could saw through. Diem also couldn’t reach the rope with her saw, but started freaking out instead of coming up with a solution. The guys tried explaining this to them and finally she got it, but it wound up not being enough and the unlikely team of Jemmye and Camila earned their spot in the finale.
At the end, CT and Diem both say they still have feelings for each other and TJ says they have a few days to relax and also hints that it sure is getting hot in Thailand. Back at the house there’s plenty of talk about what that means and where they’ll be going. Emily told Paula she’s worried about failing. Cara Maria practiced swimming. Paula gave Jordan and Marlon a bit of advice. And then they got the almighty text telling them they’re heading off to Tokyo. As usual, they get super excited about all this which always strikes me as odd because it’s not like you get to really enjoy the place you’re going. At this point the talk turned to how a Final in the city could actually put everyone on equal footing, something that Wes doesn’t like because he and CT have been training for the Thai climate. That’s pretty dopey considering every Finale we’ve seen in the past several years has been in a different location than the thrust of the season.
The next day everyone’s all packed up, wondering about Tokyo and getting on the bus to head to the airport. At this point, I noticed that the music was getting pretty weird. Something was clearly up. Then another van pulled up and dudes in black masks busted out on the bus. Everyone’s understandably freaked out by this, but after they come back from a well-placed commercial, we discover that it’s actually TJ and they’re not going to Tokyo.
Instead, everyone’s taken to a dock and TJ breaks down the first half of the Final for them. First, you’ve got to swim a mile from a boat to a place called Dream Island. Once you’re there, you have one hour to solve a puzzle that’s like 3D Tetris, but you have to recreate one of three shapes. When you finish the puzzle or your time is up, you can unlock a kayak and paddle out to a super yacht (if you drank every time you heard those words together you probably still have fuzzy vision). The big twist of this part of the game is that only two teams of each sex can make it on the super yacht (drink!), the other two get $15K each, but have to go home.
As it happened there was one weak swimmer of each sex: Marlon and Cara Maria. The women hopped off the boat first. Paula and Emily took off pretty quickly with Camila and Jemmye too far behind. Cooke basically had to drag CM through the water, but they were only about two minutes behind the other two teams. The guys then came out and did their thing. They were in a clump until Marlon fell behind.
The puzzle itself wound up being tough for all the teams. CT and Wes got done with it first and made it out to the super yacht (drink!), impressive considering they had to be a few minutes behind the ladies. It seemed like no one else was actually going to get done with this thing until Cara Maria and Cooke nailed it and became the first female team on the super yacht (drink!).
With four teams left, things sped up because they were fighting for their place in the next part of the Final. It seemed like it was going to be a race once the time ran out and then Paula and Emily figured theirs out, leaving Camila and Jemmye behind to feel disappointed. Seeing the two angriest people left on the Challenge lose is kind of fun. Camila kicked the crap out of those boxes, you guys! The guys couldn’t figure out the puzzle, so Jordan and Marlon worked out a plan, knowing that Johnny and Frank would be leaving first. It wound up being about a 40 second head start and, of course, it ended in a To Be Continued. But, it looked like one of the teams — we couldn’t see which — actually tipped their kayak over, which will definitely change things up. I’m actually pretty excited to see what happens next week, you guys!