Player of the Week results — EPISODE 14

Well spring has SPRUNG y’all! And I’m elated because I feel like a lizard on a hot rock — so much more energy these days thanks to Mother Sun 🌞

We’re still down in number of responses, not sure why, but maybe people are dropping off because this season seems interminable. How many more months would it have gone if we didn’t have those, like, 18 non-traditional exits? Nicole Liv Natalie Lio Lolo Nam. All L and N names. You better watch out, RW LV2 castmates Leroy and Nany 👀 Nelly already succumbed to the same fate 😬

If there’s a cast of 30, they need to eliminate two people an episode, like on Cutthroat. This one person per 90 minute ep is making it drag, and I also feel less enthused as a result.

If production didn’t have such bad luck with injuries and mental health, I assume they would’ve changed the editing. Maybe 2 episodes a week?

But it’s the format that made this take so long, with 1 eliminated person after each mission, and they couldn’t’ve changed that ex post facto. So… Maybe this was always destined to be Final Reckoning length. Harrumph.

Anygay, here are the Rusults.

Player of the Week

  1. Cory — 79
  2. Kyle — 67
  3. Aneesa — 58
  4. Leroy — 10
  5. Kam — 6
  6. tie with Big T & CT — 5

8) Darrell — 4

9) tie with Amber & Nany — 2

11) Fessy — 1

which leaves no votes for Miss Kaycee “Chesterfield” Clark 🛋

Cory finally has his breakout episode. He essentially quadrupled his votes for PotW this week (from 29 to 108) by sending home a legend, getting his skull, and upgrading from Big T to Kam as a partner. He was finally eligible to go into elimination, since every other time he was voted down into the Crater, it was a women’s day — or he was Rogue. Kudos to you, Cory Two Kids, and I hope you can hold onto Kam until the final!

If Cory and Kam go into the final and win, I will be over the moon! Two new school players, built up to be faces of the franchise, finally getting their W after years of putting in the work to earn it. Not to mention that they will be the first Black champions since Gauntlet III, which was thirteen years ago. This is precisely what we need in 2021 ✊🏼 If it can’t be Kamroy, let it be Kamry. [No spoilers plz]

But back to the episode. Cory stomped the elimination, and his speed was impressive as hell. Haters beware.

Oh, and ALSO — when he traded Big T away, he was supremely respectful about it. That is how you do it and not make enemies. CT, take notes, because your social game needs some work. And yes, I’m aware how crazy that sounds! Who knew Cory would become such a mature young father? 🥰

Kyle & Aneesa won the mission and thereby protected themselves from going into the Crater. They both said before the daily that if they didn’t win, they were going in. Then they were put first and still managed to secure the W! This means Aneesa is the third person to win a third mission this season, along with Kaycee and Leroy. Love this for her! POC Power 😍

Why Kyle received more votes than Aneesa is probably because people prefer him. He continues to be great comic relief and surely has a better shot at winning than 14th Season Aneesa. I get it. I’m enjoying Kyle so much this szn.

Leroy & Kam got votes presumably because they controlled who went into elimination, haven’t been a bickering couple at all, and continue to look like strong contenders for the championship. Oh, and they both finished the mission too, which apparently wasn’t an easy task, so GG.

Lee got an astounding eighteen confessionals this episode, which I don’t understand at ALL. He didn’t win the mission OR go into elim OR really have any standout storylines. So why a whopping 18? Only because he gave Darrell the head’s up he was going into the Crater? I’m uncertain.

Then we got Big T & CT partnered up again, both of whom seem pleased about that. CT also performed great during the mission, despite his friction with his partner, so ups for you, dude.

And then Darrell got some pity votes. I’m gonna miss you, Kang, and I’ll see you on All Stars. Hope you aren’t back on 37, however, because you were as wallpaper as ever and didn’t even stand out competitively. I waited years to have you back, after the disappointing early exit on Dirty 30, and this is all you bring? Thanks but no thanks 💔

And then poor Nany, Amber, & Fessy all DQed in the mission but still got PotW votes. And Kaycee didn’t. K then.

Best Social/Political Game

  1. Leroy — 81
  2. Kam — 63
  3. Cory — 38
  4. Aneesa — 15
  5. Kyle — 11

Leroy pulled such a G move this ep, letting his ally Darrell know ahead of time that he’s going into elimination. Big respect for him. He and Kam controlled the votes, so getting first and second in best social-political game is copacetic.

Cory got his wish to go into the Crater and was respectful of Big T when he chucked her aside for Kam. He didn’t rock the boat or make enemies. Rock that soc/pol game, girl.

Then Aneesa & Kyle won the mission and got no blood on their hands when sending Cory into the Crater — because he wanted to go in.

Because this skull twist saps the game of any political drama or intrigue. Can’t wait for us to be past its existence. Just make last place go into elimination and bring back the Relic from War of the Worlds 1. Problem solved, and we’ll again see more cutthroat game moves. C’mon production, plz listen 🙏🏼

Anyway, I wouldn’t say Aneesa & Kyle’s political positioning is stellar, since they explained they’d be the target if they hadn’t won. But for what they managed this episode — gaining power and using it to protect themselves and do a friend a favour — that is a good political move. Do I think it’ll change the house dynamics? No, it’s too little too late, and Kamroy has it on lock. Still, some beneficial maneuvering for A & K this ep, so credit where it’s due!

Best Episode Edit

  1. Kyle — 62
  2. Cory — 51
  3. Aneesa — 43
  4. CT — 21
  5. Leroy — 20
  6. Darrell — 19

Really not sure of what to make of this. Why did Kyle get so many votes? He figured out the word was “decode” and thereby won Mission Undercover. And that’s… It? I must be forgetting something.

But a win’s a win, so points to Aneesa, Kyle, & Cory are deserved. Aneesa looked better yet because nobody expects anything from her, and Kyle was not excited to get her as a partner last episode.

I’m surprised Cory didn’t get the most votes here. He looked absolutely impeccable all episode. He got what he wanted — both the skull and the partner — and showed out in a footrace. And he broke the Cory Curse! Is he slated to get his fourth career final this season, after Bloodlines, Invasion, and Total Madness? I sure hope so!

CT got back with Big T and was much kinder towards her this ep compared to when he unceremoniously dumped her. He also completed the mission. I guess that’s good enough for 21 votes from the stans.

Leroy had a glowing edit and was presented as the star of the episode. 18 confessionals like I mentioned, despite not seemingly doing much besides a being a bro to Darrell. Oh, and he and Kaycee once again were shown to work well together — which is auspicious for the final.

And then Darrell… Didn’t receive a good edit? At all? The editors included the scenes of him being disappointed in his partner during the mission (which came across negative, not understanding) and getting knocked on his ass during the elimination. If they wanted to protect him, they would’ve edited to make it seem like it wasn’t quite a blowout, but… They didn’t.

People did talk about him being a 4-Time Champ this ep, which is positive, but all season long, Darrell had a quiet edit of a background character and not a Challenge Legend. Better luck next time, G.

Truly, for everything edit-wise you should just read Rake’s edgic write-up because he lays it out better than I ever could. That sh!t is primo. I can’t say enough positive about it, just like I raved about u/moejojobro’s edgic analysis for Total Madness. It’s like that Gordon Ramsay meme — “Finally, some good f*cking content.”

Biggest Misplay

  1. Aneesa — 54
  2. Darrell & Fessy — 46

4) Leroy — 42

5) Kyle — 24

And we are ALL OVER THE PLACE for misplay. Aneesa won the mission despite being underestimated and picked to go first. And then gave her close ally an opportunity to get a skull and upgrade his partner — which he accomplished. But still got 54 votes? Let’s explore 🕵🏼‍♂️

I believe it’s because she immediately turned down Kyle’s idea to send in CT against Darrell in the Crater. Two enormous threats to win the whole thing — 12 finals and 7 wins between them (or 15 and 10 respectively, if you count the spin-offs) — who will undoubtedly beat Aneesa in the final. And she said no instantaneously, without even considering the possibility.

Nees, this is your FOURTEENTH SEASON. You’ve said earlier that you’re finally going to play for yourself, yet you are passing up this golden opportunity to improve your positioning for the final, just to help out a friend? Who we didn’t even realize you were so close with Cory until this very episode?

Idiotic and fully deserving of misplay votes. It reminds me how CT/Diem flubbed both opportunities they had to put Johnny/Camila against Ty/Emily on Battle of the Exes. And how did that work out for them? Not well at all ⚰ Not that I expect Aneesa will make it to the finish line, let alone in second place… So maybe the comparison isn’t as apt as I thought. Regardless, when you have that shot, you take it, and let Cory find his way to a skull himself. It’s not your fault that he hasn’t won a mission yet!

Darrell lost the elimination to someone the fans don’t have much faith in, so his votes make sense. Same with Fessy, who kicked his partner in the face during the mission, causing her to need to surface for air and thereby DQing the team. And then he blamed her for it? After he was so hyped to have her as a partner last episode? Not a good look, boo.

Kyle also won the mission and Leroy was edited as the star of the episode. So what did they fuck up, exactly? Zero idea. Plz enlighten me.

Episode Rating & Fave Momentz

Y’all voted this episode to be a 7.39 — quite the step up from last week and a nice return to where we were earlier in the season. Hope we stay on this upswing, with 90 minute episodes with the tried and true formula. Except… Next week is only an hour long, so 🙃

Regardless, Let’s focus on the here and now. What did people love this ep?

  • Big CT 2: Electric Boogaloo
  • Kyle/Aneesa winning the mission — Kyle’s first puzzle success!
  • Darrell telling Cory to slow down in the elim & TJ laughing about it
  • Fessy kicking Nany in the face and then blaming her for DQing the mission
  • Kyle taunting Cory — “You can’t have this!”
  • the mission design

Oh and this reminds me! I want to know the fans’ opinion on if they want the eliminated contestant back on Season 37. So I added a new question and will come up with a snappy name for it soon. Any ideas? Shantay or Sashay isn’t up to snuff. Yay or Nay? Back Again or Buh-Bye? We’re workshopping it.

But the votes are in! 207 voted for yes and only 28 voted for no. I didn’t personally vote, but it’d be 29 if I had. I want some bigger personalities, please and thanks. So if I had my druthers, it’d be adios to Darrell, Nam, and Kaycee.

So after all those hot takes — check out the results spreadsheet.

Catch y’all next week 💋



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

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