Episode 8 Live and Let Die

Ok, this might be the best episode of the season so far. We seem to be back on pace for competition and elimination in each episode. After all, isn’t that why they extended the episodes to 90 minutes? Just think, they used to do all this in a half hour episode…..

We see the challengers returning to the house after Purgatory and everyone settling in. Kyle states the obvious point of throwing yourself in right now is an awfully big gamble because you never know what could happen. The Holy Trinity is celebrating Jenna being back in the house and Jenna knows taking out Tori is a BIG deal. Jenna seems to be 100% in the game.

Jenna Nany Kailah Holy Trinity aneesa mtv challenge

Jordan is working out and in his confessional states that he no longer must watch what he says because Tori isn’t there anymore to get the wrath of whatever may come out of his mouth. Jordan wants the next red skull and he seems to be gunning for it regardless of what it will entail. Johnny delivers a confessional and admits that Jordan is his biggest competition and that if he were gone, he would have a better chance of winning a final. This was almost a “bravo Johnny” if he wouldn’t have said “he’s good at damn near everything that I’m good at” Johnny, if you would have left that part out you would’ve sounded incredibly humble. There goes that. Wes and Dee are discussing that Jordan will be in a “cascading depression” even Wes knows that Jordan is a threat in the game, and he admits it, sometimes. Jordan seems to be in a bit of a slump until they show him doing a Cheshire cat grin right into the camera while he is rounding a corner.

Kailah is sitting on Bear on the couch and they are doing nothing to hide the affection that they are giving each other. Bear carries her off to the bedroom and tells her he loves her, Kailah laughs it off and says “no you don’t”. Nelson is hitting the punching bag, probably counting out all the promises that he’s made while he’s punching it. Speaking of that; Nelson talks about it in his confessional about making a lot of promises here and there but that he doesn’t really specify on his promises. But does know that his mouth gets him in trouble. Kailah walks by Nelson while he is stretching then in her confessional states that she is going to vote for Nelson, pan back to Nelson stretching and they end that scene with Nelson in a Nicki Minaj pose like he’s waiting for what he knows is coming for him.

nelson thomas mtv total madness childs pose

Onto the competition we go: Decontamination. TJ walks them through what they are supposed to do; memorize colors after running through some foam and then stack the colors in the correct order on the pole. Running in three heats selected randomly. This is a timed event, fastest guy and girl will be in the Tribunal and select the third person in there. TJ then drops the bomb that this is going to be a double guys elimination. As they are suiting up, we get a confessional from MATTIE, good grief I had forgotten for a hot minute that she was in the bunker somewhere. Mattie talks about needing to be in the Tribunal and making some moves, admitting that she has been flying under the radar.

Round one: Josh, Mattie, Swaggy, Kaycee, Wes, Jenny, and Cory. They slo mo by Wes, who looks like he belongs in Breaking Bad and my whole house laughed out loud. TJ blows the horn and they all go running in. Everyone clears a spot on the window to look at the colors and then come running out covered in suds, this looks like some serious fun. Mattie explains that her, Cory and Swaggy decided to team up and each try to remember colors, but they don’t seem to be doing this real successfully. They seem pretty confident in this, but my household is not as confident in them. Wes is riding this one solo and going in and out to get his colors. He is crushing it and Jordan admits to it, he also knows that Wes having any power is kinda scary. Wes calls for a check and he’s got it. Jenny calls for a check and its wrong, Mattie calls for a check and she has it. Mattie keeps looking at her hand though? What happened? Must not be serious, they did not address it even though you can see that she left off somewhere once she received the confirmation that she had successfully completed it.

Round two: Dee, Rogan, Jenna, Fessy, Melissa, Nelson, and Bayleigh. No one in my house could contain their laughter with Jenna as they show her walking around in the foam and she gives her confessional that she has no idea where she is going. Oh Jenna, you are as sweet as they come, aren’t you? Everyone emerges from the foam, except Nelson. He’s still in there coughing and choking on the bubbles, the rest of the bunker realizes he’s been in there for a while and Kyle yells “someone check on Nelson” Johnny cracks a few jokes about him being in there so long. Fade to commercial as they show Nelson still in the bubbles trying to look at the colors. Back from commercial, Nelson is still choking on the bubbles.

nelson thomas missing milk carton mtv challenge total madness

All the other competitors in his heat have been in and out at least once. Johnny asks someone to check on Nelson instead of checking on the colors. They show Rogan looking back, not sure if this is Rogan listening to Johnny or if it is just some clever editing? Nelson emerges and everyone cheers. They show Nelson in confessional saying he had this planned and wanted to just come out and copy someone’s pole. Ummmm, Nelson you know that only works if the others are correct right? Oh ya, and you are going for the fastest time. If they are done and you are copying it, that means they have beaten you. This is another example of how Nelson is not the brightest crayon in the box. Fessy calls for a check and his is correct. Jenny yells for the girls to copy Fessy’s. Rogan helps out Dee with getting the colors in the right order and she completes it.

Round three: Jordan, Kailah, Nany, Kyle, Aneesa, Johnny, Big T and Bear. They all enter the bubbles and clamber around the window. This is where Johnny tells us that he has essentially invented foam parties, insert eye roll here. Nany gets a confessional to explain to us that Aneesa, Bear, Kailah and herself are going to do everything they can to get Kailah into the Tribunal to protect Bear. Why aren’t they trying to get Bear into the Tribunal instead of Kailah? This made no sense to me what-so-freaking-ever. This strategy is not working for these ladies. I don’t get it, no one in my house did. Camera pans to Johnny just standing there and others wondering what he is doing.

johny bananas mtv total madness bubble challenge

Production gave us a VERY small glimpse of his GoPro, Johnny gives a confessional that “there are strategies that you can use to your advantage” and proceeds to place some of the color rings on the pole while we are delighted with yet another 90’s music track. (no shade at the music, I am loving it. Honest) At one point they show Bear just standing there, look of defeat. He knows that he isn’t winning this round, he has to know. Right? Johnny calls for a check after hammering out the colors, he’s got it. Other competitors are yelling colors to Big T, Kyle is over by her to either help or call out colors. Big T wins for the girls, and everyone is so excited for her. Kyle looks like a proud dad as he walks back with her.

Nany, Kailah and Aneesa can’t figure out what went wrong with their colors. While they show the girls talking about what went wrong you can see TJ over by Johnny, Jordan and Kyle in the background. Johnny then points out to Jordan that at the right angle you can see the colors flashing behind the foam. TJ does not look impressed. Wes chalks it up as “a very Bananas move” to find a way around breaking the rules without actually breaking them.

TJ announces the fast woman was Mattie. He announces that Wes and Johnny were the fastest before heading to commercial. Alright, commercial break, this is where my household discussed Johnny seeing the colors. My house agrees that this is a production error. Johnny had the first two rounds to pace the sidelines, just as anyone else did too. Johnny found an error and he used it to his advantage. We believe Johnny ran into the bubbles for show, to not be blatantly obvious that he knew what to do. With that said, Wes better have the fastest time because he LEGIT did the competition. Even though it looked like Johnny definitely beat him with time.

mtv total madness wes bananas alliance

Back from commercial. TJ announces that Wes was the fastest guy. I’m guessing Johnny actually did win but they awarded it to Wes because of Johnny’s “strategies” Mattie and Wes discuss who the third person will be and they announce “Bananas” some people actually look shocked by this. Is editing showing us the blatant signs that they are working together and are they hiding it really that well in that bunker? I am confused. Kyle’s commentary on this was a thing of beauty, I had a good giggle with him comparing them to parents getting back together. He really could be a staple in this show.

Jordan delivers a confessional that sums up what a lot of Challenge fans are thinking this season: you got two old OG’s working together. That’s scary. Yes Jordan, that can be scary because they know their way around the Challenge universe and what one lacks, the other has. So, if they play this right, one or both of them should see the final.

The house gets to nominate two guys for Purgatory and the Tribunal gets to select four guys to interrogate. Mattie knows that the guys are going to be on a power trip, and she is ready for the ride. Back to the house we go. Nelson is trying to save his ass with a half-hearted apology. No one in my house bought it for a moment, and it appears the girls aren’t buying it either.

Nominations start, and Jordan lays out a plan to nominate one then circle back and nominate the second guy. Fessy addresses everyone before they cast their votes and just puts it out there that if anyone has to say his name, know that he is most likely coming back. This is a fair assessment in my opinion given the physicality we have seen so far. Three guys get thrown in there for votes; Fessy, Nelson and Bear. Ultimately it is Fessy for the first guy. Fessy goes to hang his name up there and jokes with the bunker “now is where you guys clap right” everyone claps and he smiles, then heads back to sit down.

nelson fessy mtv challenge total madness nominations

Onto round two of voting. Bear kicks it off with voting for Nelson, Jordan votes for himself after saying that him and Nelson had a conversation which I think lights the fire under Kyle’s ass to throw Nelson under the bus that is careening toward him and lets the bunker know that he also had a conversation with him about keeping him safe. Then Swaggy says he also had the same conversation, then Josh. Nelson tries to defend himself, Jordan attempts to shut it down and Nelson talks over him. Jordan, rightfully calls him out and explains it rather simply to him about how if he has told everyone that he isn’t going to say their name, eventually he will have to say someone’s name and wants to know where he is at on his list. Nelson is visibly and audibly flustered being called out in front of everyone. Nelson, votes for Bear. Melissa tells everyone that Nelson has had the same conversation with her, Big T says the same. Jordan chimes in and says “that’s seven people now!” from what I can recall in this scene they have only shown five, so who did they edit out? Cory starts his speech with “I was made a promise” and everyone gets a good laugh while they are wondering where Cory’s vote is going to be cast before he votes for Bear. In the end Nelson gets nine votes, Bear gets two and Jordan has his one vote. So Fessy and Nelson into Purgatory. Seems Nelson is pulling a Wes and over promising and under delivering.

They open the bar scene with Kailah and Bear kissing and Kaycee holding onto Rogan backwards, which was weird but ok…

bear kailah mtv challenge total madness

Nelson is complaining to Melissa that Kyle’s a rat. Yes, Kyle did the full call out, but Jordan ignited that fire and I loved every minute of it. Nelson then tells Kyle to his face that he’s a piece of shit. I can respect that he went to his face, but I don’t think Kyle is a piece of shit. Nelson is clearly attempting to instigate a fight when he tells Kyle that he’s never met a guy who is six foot and the biggest pussy as he’s patting him on the shoulder. Kyle is smiling during this but we all know he is wanting something to happen right? Kyle pushes Nelson’s hand off his shoulder then aims his head down to get to Nelson’s height. Josh jumps in to separate them as Kyle is still going forehead first at Nelson, Kyle gives him one more shove and in swoops Melissa. I am honestly all for Melissa this season. She is right there for her friend telling Nelson that HE is the biggest pussy, making deals with everyone, how he has no respect for women and to go back on Dr. Phil. That last one about made me spit out my water while I was watching the show. Cory leads Nelson out of the bar.

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Back to the bunker and we get to experience a drunk Big T. She is talking about being a savage now and throwing her things down while Johnny and Jenny are trying to straighten up behind her little cyclone that she is creating. Kaycee, Melissa, and Josh are laughing looking on. Fessy is sitting on his bunk below T’s bed watching this unfold. Big T crawls into bed, cusses at Jenny then goes to lay down. Here is where there is an obvious editing gap. Big T says “oh is she” and jumps out of bed, throws the chair and there is Fessy with the towel wrapped around his head. There is a chunk of time we are missing here that led to this. What triggered T? Was there something that we are not seeing? Either way, she is sitting on the edge of her bed now while her toe is bleeding dripping onto the ground by Fessy’s bed. Kyle is in there now and grabs her down from the bed, Johnny is helping to get her situated and Fessy is looking confused.

Here is where we get Big T saying a line that made my whole house laugh “blood makes me feel a bit fainty” there are now more people in the room trying to tend to T’s toe. (that’s a lot of t’s) It is clear to everyone that she is going to need some stitches and that the fresh cotton pads and toilet paper are not going to be enough. T is not about the hospital life in her drunkard state. Producers tell her that she needs to go and so ensues Melissa trying to wrestle some pants or shorts onto her, T is worried her foot is going to fall off and she is providing some solid comic relief in this episode. Kyle and Jenny carry her out to the car waiting for her. T doesn’t want to go and Jenny tells her she has to or she can’t be on the Challenge, they toss her in like a sack of potatoes and off she goes. Big T returns on crutches with three stitches in her toe and manages to climb her way into her bed for the night.

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Into the Tribunal. Mattie starts with asking Wes and Johnny if they want to go in there before they start anything. Johnny is not, Wes might. They agree out the gate on Jordan being called in. Johnny wants to burn on Kyle, and Wes tells him that he is going to give Kyle a lot of shit. Mattie is just shaking her head, letting these two take the reins. Wes and Johnny decide on Bear and have a small disagreement on Cory, but he’s on the list. The list goes up and Josh seems surprised that his name isn’t on there because of Wes. Ummmm Josh, Wes has already told you that you two having a rivalry isn’t a thing. Stop trying to make it happen. Besides, the two guys are probably trying to wait for you to get voted in and throw themselves in there. There, I said it. Josh seems nice, but competitor wise? Ya, I would go for him if I were a guy.

Interrogations go pretty quickly according to editing. Before I start in on this, my husband pointed out that there could be another twist with the elim given that it was a double elim; what if the two nominated guys were paired up and going against whatever two guys the Tribunal throws in there? HOLY SHIT!! Wouldn’t that make for a great twist?? Challenge Gods pay attention to that tidbit. I just stared at him in awe when he said it, one I was happy that he has become as invested in the show as I have, and two because I didn’t even consider that.

Bear is up first, and he is immediately defeated. Bear tells them that he loves them all. Mattie brings up the Holy Trinity and how she’s not in it. Then in comes Kyle, and Wes goes in on him hard. Kyle is confused and I was waiting for someone to start laughing to tell him they were kidding, but we didn’t seem to get that. It fades out with Kyle saying, “Johnny protect me please”. Jordan is up next; he states how he doesn’t see too many opportunities to get a skull unless he’s in the Tribunal. Wes wants to know “to be clear, you are asking to go in” Jordan does not waiver, “just another day in the office” Cory is up next.

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Cory plays it smart in his interrogation. He addresses Mattie first and says how he is close with the Holy Trinity, but doesn’t think he is a high priority on their list so why have them as one on his list? Then addresses Johnny and refers to him as his favorite guy of them all. Johnny appears to soak this up, while Wes looks offended that he isn’t Cory’s favorite. Cory tells him that he thinks it shows a lot that him and Wes are working together this season, Wes looks worried that Cory put it out there and Mattie looks at Johnny with a semi-suspicious face, before continuing to tell Johnny that he wanted to work with him this season. Cory exits and Mattie tells Wes that she will let him “lead that one” at Purgatory.

Mattie, both these guys have led this since y’all entered the Tribunal. I don’t know if it is a strategy or if she just figured why fight it because they have the majority vote? Not sure? If it is strategy, it could be the “I didn’t do it” strategy and place the blame on the guys or what? Whatever may happen; it is out there plain as day that they are working together, and I think it is too early in the season to expose their alliance to everyone. This is going to bite them in the ass somehow or get them to the final. Literally one or the other.

To Purgatory we go! Entering Purgatory, we see the set up for pole wrestle. This will be good! Wonder if they get to pick who goes against who?? Sure enough, they get to pick who goes against Fessy first. Neither Johnny nor Wes want to go up against Fessy. Can’t blame either of them. Johnny votes for Jordan after getting the “go ahead” from Wes, I don’t think there was actually a go ahead given, I think they both knew this is the best chance to get Jordan out so take it. They show some cast reactions and the look on Bears face was either shock, disgust or relief. I can’t decide. Mattie and Wes follow suit and vote for Jordan. Jordan tells us that he has always wondered how he’d do in a pole wrestle and now we will find out. Fessy looks unfazed. 

wes bananas mattie total madness purgatory mtv

Now to find out who’s going against Nelson, neither Johnny nor Wes want to go against him. Wes votes for Bear claiming he’s paying back the blind side he got last season. Johnny says Cory, it’s going to be up to Mattie. Will she make a couple young bucks go head to head? Will she throw in Bear? Will she give us the first season’s tie and say Kyle? Whatcha gonna do Mattie? Let’s find out what happens when the Tribunal can’t agree c’mon say Kyle! Nope, she says Bear. Bear looks defeated before he even leaves the platform. Nany and Jenna offer Kailah some support as she looks so concerned. Kailah refers to her and Bear as “in a relationship” ummmm Kailah, you were in a relationship coming in darlin. Did the viewers miss something here?

TJ explains the game, which we are all familiar with. Fessy and Jordan are up first. Rogan gives a confessional and states that Jordan is one of the best competitors he’s seen and has some faith that Jordan could pull this off. Wes talks about the weight discrepancy and they show him and Johnny. Johnny actually looks sympathetic to Jordan while they are up there. They put a statement on the screen of Rogan talking about it being epic if Jordan takes out Fessy. Heck yes it would be epic if he took him out. There is a bigger size differential between Fessy and Jordan than there was between Rogan and Jay. Jordan has his work cut out for him and gives him a bit of a go in the first round. The rest of the cast is pretty quiet after the first round. They all know this is more than one sided.

Second round starts and Fessy is in complete control and Jordan is doing all he can. They land outside the ring and I was worried that it was Jordan’s head that took the brunt of his weight along with Fessy’s weight. Jordan pops up and runs back into the ring. As they are about to reset, Jordan turns away. TJ asks him if he’s ok and Johnny says “he f*cked his shoulder up” then gives a decent confessional stating that as much as he wants to see Jordan eliminated, this is not how he wanted it to go down. Yes, Jordan is a beast in the game and has shown very few weaknesses so I can see why he is intimidating to every competitor in the house. I am not 100% team Jordan, but I did not enjoy watching this elimination. I don’t want to see anyone hurt. This round should have been called when it was clear that he was injured, he should not have had a chance to restart and further injure himself. It is beyond clear that he is seriously injured when he can’t even raise his arm. Jordan finally gets his hand around the bar, and before TJ blows the horn it looks like he is looking at producers wondering if this is really ok? Fessy makes fast work of taking the bar from Jordan again. Red skull for Fessy.

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We get an emotional confessional from Jordan about just doing it and proving people wrong, regardless of disability, just do it. I got choked up listening to him and a thousand percent give him respect he deserves for all that he stands for and has fought against. He is looked over by paramedics, they are having to cut his shirt off. Jordan runs back into Purgatory to cheer on Bear and Nelson and still be a part of the group.

Nelson and Bear are up next, but before they can start let us have Swaggy insert his foot into his mouth really quick. Swaggy admits to Josh that Wes was telling “everyone” that he was going to put Bear in and that he didn’t blindside him with this elimination. For as smart as you say you are Swaggy; this was one dumb move that could potentially cost you a million dollars. Josh catches this immediately and rather than calling Swaggy out on the spot, Josh goes to Jenny, Jenna, Kaycee and Nany about how he’s rallying the house against Swaggy and that he’s sending both of them in next week. Then proceeds to tell them what Swaggy just slipped up in telling him. Josh again refers to Wes as his biggest rival.

Nelson and Bear enter the ring. When they get on the pole, I start bopping, probably because I am singing along to Korn’s Freak on a Leash. My daughter and I start to yell a little at the TV, as if Bear can actually hear us. Alligator roll him Bear, COMEON! Nelson takes the first one. They square up for the second round and my daughter right away says “why is he letting Nelson get lower than him?!” It might have aired on my kids 18th birthday, but she’s no newbie to these challenges, she was ticked. And she was right. Nelson immediately positioned himself with his head down so he could get down and have the advantage. Nelson takes that second round pretty fast. Red skull for Nelson. Kailah runs down to the ring and hugs Bear, tells him she will see him after.

Johnny and Wes give a confessional before we say bye to these two and say that they wanted Jordan to lose but only out of respect to how good he is. The cast gets to say bye to Bear and Jordan before Jordan runs back to the medics. Kailah talks about being sad that Bear is gone, and it was too fast. TJ congratulates the guys on their wins. Cory asks Nelson if he sweat, Nelson smiles smugly and says “no” time to go back to the house. Until next week challenge fans.