Player of the Week Results — EP 14

Hey.

LOL to what I wrote last week, because it rings even truer for this past episode! Thank gawd for Amanda and her chaos, because otherwise this ep would’ve been a total snooze… Or maybe MTV would’ve shown us the big Ashley-Josh blowout. Who knows!

But I’m grateful to have this lil whirling dervish on my TV again 😍

Player of the Week

  1. Amanda — 122
  2. CT — 10
  3. Emy — 4
  4. Ashley, Nany, & Tori — 2

I mean, obviously. Amanda was a star all episode. Hilarious in the mission, unafraid to confront people directly and stir the pot, spitfire in deliberation, killer in the elimination, AND she became the first person to infiltrate Emerald, which seems like the blatantly obvious choice. Good for you, Amanda, and for your sake — I do hope Emerald keeps winning. Because you are defo bottom of that team if they don’t 😂

CT, Ashley, and Emy won the mission despite having the fewest number of players, thanks to great communication, strategy, and teamwork. Great job, Sapphire!

Nany popped off at Amanda, finally showing us a glimmer of why she used to be a good cast member, and also avoided being called out for elimination despite being a middling competitor. Josh decided to “protect” her instead of Tori, when she seems to bring much less to the table.

And two votes for Tori? Not even gonna consider ‘em.

Best Political Game

  1. Amanda — 60
  2. CT — 41
  3. Nany — 12
  4. Logan — 9
  5. Devin — 6

Amanda whipped the house to get herself thrown into the Lair so she could control her fate and choose an opponent once she had some intel on what the game would be. And it worked out for her beautifully, as she won the elimination with ease.

CT decided not to rock the boat by voting in one of the stronger players (such as Kaycee or Tori), since they haven’t taken a shot at him despite being in power 4+ times. Good political decision, absolutely. He also tried his hand at convincing Big T not to join Sapphire if she won the elimination, and seemingly did a much better job at it than Logan. But she lost anyway (for the second time this season, if you know the behind-the-scenes info prior to Nam’s “deactivation”), so the point is rendered moot. And Logue did nothing else of note.

Nany just had good social game, not politics (at least, in this ep). And Devin has a better handle on politics than most, so he’ll always deserve votes here.

Best Social Game

  1. Nany — 51
  2. Amanda — 24
  3. CT — 18
  4. Kaycee — 16
  5. Emanuel & Big T — 8

Nany has somehow convinced Josh that she’ll be better to run with in a final than Tori, which I attribute to good social game, because he really likes her. Although, when you think about it, Nany has been in 2 finals and finished both of them — one only 9 minutes behind Laurel on Free Agents and the other last season, where she very nearly got second again but was beat by Kam in a run by ~1 minute. Whereas Tori got third on Dirty 30 (not close) and was purged out in a puzzle on War of the Worlds 2. So… The track record shows that Nany is better at finals than Tori OOP 🐸☕

Amanda has a close relationship with Josh as well, and her strong social game got him to spill the beans to her in terms of which woman on his team is actually expendable. Josh is a competent political player — he won Big Brother, after all — so him divulging this to Amanda shows he really trusts her. That’s good social game. She managed to get Sapphire to vote her into the Lair, as well, even though her bestie Ashley was no longer on that team. Sure, maybe they did it so they wouldn’t get blood on their hands, but it could be social prowess as well.

However, Amanda did piss off Devin, another friend, this episode, and her buddy Josh also embarrassed her during deliberation. Is this poor social game on her part, though? Nah, I think it’s the opposite.

CT’s social game was on display by how gracefully he was misting Big T into not joining his team and by him throwing Amanda a bone with his vote. He continues flying under the radar despite being a massive threat, which was addressed this episode by him recognizing that others have not voted him in when they had the power to. Good for him (and good for his millions of fans).

Likewise with Emanuel, who’s done a good job hobnobbing with the Veterans and avoiding elimination. Big T with good social game this episode? It literally was the opposite. Everyone was able to dispense with her.

And then Kaycee, who has Josh and Nany squarely in her corner via good social game and/or sex skill. Good on her too.

Best Edit

  1. Amanda — 103
  2. CT — 12
  3. Ashley — 8
  4. Emy — 6
  5. Logan & Tori — 5

This WAS Amanda’s episode, from start to finish. She was even featured in the “Last week on The Challenge” !! A great edit all-around, seeing multiple sides of Amanda. The confidence before elimination, doing it for her kid, crying after Devin and Josh betrayed her in deliberation, confronting Nany Kaycee and Tori face-to-face, and being hilarious in the mission. Love her.

CT, Emy, and Logan won the mission and didn’t get blood on their hands with the Agency vote. Is that enough for “best edit”? I don’t think so, but they weren’t even close to first place here, so no use quibbling about it.

Ashley for best edit? 🤣🤣 Now I know y’all trolling. It went from her winning the mission and getting funny confessionals as always, to just getting ethered/edited out. She didn’t even get a tearful goodbye confessional, and the viewer had to go like 20 minutes, from when she didn’t show up at deliberation to TJ explaining she’s been deactivated — but not giving a reason why. This is actually the WORST edit we’ve had for any Challenger since Dee on Total Madness… Except, at least then, there were disclaimers before the episode and articles written about it. Everything with Ash has been under wraps, which leads us to wild speculation. Literally the MOST unideal. Ugh. Idiotic.

And then there’s Tori, who actually did have a good edit. She got a massive amount of confessionals despite not winning the mission or taking part in the elimination. We saw how she reacted to Josh inferring that she’s disposable, and her talking heads seemed pissed. I do hope this kicks off a revenge arc for Tori, and tomorrow’s mission — similar to Dugout/Rampage/T-Bone on Free Agents/Rivals/Rivals II — will be the perfect setting to pop it off! So excited.

Biggest Misplay

  1. Ashley — 67
  2. Josh — 50
  3. Devi n— 16
  4. Tori & Big T — 8

Ashley is the biggest female star on The Challenge these days. Since her debut on Rivals III, she has appeared on LITERALLY EVERY SEASON, including all three Champs vs spin-offs. While she didn’t compete on Vendettas, she was brought on as a Mercenary. It is obvious that production loves her… And she really, colossally fucked up this episode. From what I’ve been able to find, she had a drunken argument with Josh in which she said/implied something about his sexuality, and all the sources say that it was bad and that she definitely crossed the line. And she got kicked off the show for it, when she was on a winning team and well set-up to make her fourth career final and fight for her third win.

A huge L to take, and it’s what she deserves. I love Ashley as a castmember, but homophobia is not something to play around with, on MTV in 2021. Am very interested to see if she’ll be given a time-out next season (same with Fessy), like Kailah, Melissa, and Cory after their DQs on Final Reckoning.

Josh confided in Amanda that he wants to run the final more with Kaycee and Nany than Tori, and then outright lied about saying that during deliberation, which got Tori’s hackles up, pissed Amanda off, and generally was just a misplay. He’s still on Emerald, however, with very loyal allies in the game — so we’ll see if this hurts him in the long run.

Similarly, Devin showed his ass during deliberation and upset a strong ally in Amanda. For NO REASON, as well. All the fans were saying that he was making no sense. Why is Amanda selfish for wanting to better her chances at winning money, while he has all the moral rectitude for doing the exact same thing? It’s the hypocrisy for meeeeeeeeeeee.

Big T lost the elimination, badly. [edit] Amanda beat her by 3 barrels out of 8. Yikes.

And then Tori got bumped from Emerald to Ruby, largely because she angered Amanda. So it is a misplay, but a minor one. And Red now has Tori, Nelson, Kyle, and Big T for a mission reminiscent of Hall Brawl. Not too shabby at all — all those people have experience with Hall Brawl and are not afraid to get scrappy. Can’t wait to see how it shakes out!

Back or Buh-Bye?

74 yes, 75 no! Pretty much Even Steven, which surprises me. Now y’all, I play volleyball on Wednesday nights, so I don’t actually watch the episodes until Thursday — after I put up the polls. So I had no idea what went down this ep, and so voters may have been confused as to who the “eliminated player was” — whether it was Ashley or Big T.

Hopefully y’all figured out it was the person who actually went home, Ashley, and voted accordingly. Not sure though!

Regardless, I am okay with a season off for both Big T and Ashley. I love a fresh cast, and these two have been on at least four consecutive seasons now. Take a break, allow us to miss you, and we’ll see you in the future!

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Hope you enjoy the good ol’ fashioned headbanger tomorrow! 😈 Catch you next week.

I write about MTV’s The Challenge, with a queer / social justice / critical analysis bent. #UnspoiledGang