Six episodes of The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons are now in the books, and we have two teams in the house with only two players left to represent. St. Thomas suffered their first defeat in their first Arena, as Trey and Laura were no match for Dustin and Nany from Vegas in the Strategy game.
What do Greg Kaplan and Mike Aurigemma, our resident Challenge die-hards, think of all of this? Only one way to find out…
To read previous episode recaps, head over to our pop culture page.
Greg Kaplan: I’m just going to come straight out and say it. This is the best season of The Challenge in at least the last three. Everything about it is fantastic. Wednesdays are so much more enjoyable now knowing that a new episode is coming on every night.
Alright, let’s move forward. St. Thomas lost the “Insane Games” compeitition and were automatically sent into the Arena, where they met an embattled Las Vegas crew. Now, I think Vegas did the smart thing by not allowing Alton to compete, because nobody really knows where his head is and they didn’t want to take an automatic loss. Both of us predicted that St. Thomas was going home this week (we promise we don’t get spoilers ahead of time, we aren’t that important). But before we talk about them, we need to discuss Vegas moving forward.
Alton seems to be as unstable as possible. He has clear enemies with Zach, C.J. and Frank. He seems to have lost Sarah along the way. But, he is very adept at climbing six-foot tall garden walls. What do you make of Alton moving forward?
Will Alton survive in a game with ‘children’?
Mike Aurigemma: Well I have to say I was pretty biased towards Alton coming into this season. I thought he was one of the best competitors on the show and wasn’t one of those selfish people.I have been proven wrong so far although I still have hope. I think in the end he is going to want to be here, but it might be too late at this point. He has definitely put a target on his back and alienated himself from everyone including his own team. I understand why Vegas did not send him in as they need their whole team, but going forward this will be interesting to watch how it impacts the rest of the team. Now they will be singled out by Knight and Frank and Zach. I just do not know if someone like Dustin or Nany can handle that.One thing I want to touch in is the performance of CJ so far in these games. He has been dominant on a team that is not stacked by any means. And he does not really stir up trouble at all like Zach or Frank. Could he be one of the best all around competitors we have seen?
GK: It pains me to give any type of praise to C.J. because he comes off as so unlikeable. The whole eyeblack in every competition thing really rubs me the wrong way. However, he is yet to fail in any event and has routinely been one of the strongest players on his team. At the same time, he seems to be in the brain trust with Zach and Frank, and he got there by just being the guy that says ‘I agree’ to everything. Like him or not, he seems to be one of the smartest players in the house. He knew who to buddy up with and has mostly kept to himself. When he has lashed out, he’s done it at players that the power players hate in Chet and Alton.
I guess this as good a time as ever to talk about St. Thomas losing Trey and Laura. For starters, though Marie has a really bad way of saying it, she did have a point when she told Laura she shouldn’t go into the Loser’s Challenge. Trey and Laura believed there was no advantage in the “hit your opponent with a 15-pound fish” challenge, but Marie was right. She’s the stronger player, she should’ve done that for the sake of the team. How do you view Robb and Marie moving forward as a tandem?
MA: I do agree that Marie was correct and in a game like this no one really handles any situation with grace so she reacted like everyone else would.
Going forward St. Thomas is in some real trouble. I do not think they have any shot to get very far. The only thing that may keep them around a little longer is that no one really hates them now. That and the fact that some girls may be afraid to go in and face Marie in an elimination.
It still looks like San Diego and Cancun are the top dogs for sure, but they have to slip up eventually right? Right?
GK: They will, and it’ll be Cancun. They’re still saddled with Jasmine and Jonna. We’ve seem both of them crumble in the past, and Jasmine in particular is a ticking time bomb. Remember, Jonna is still saddled up with Zach, so she is under San Diego’s net of protection. Jasmine, however, is just on the right team at the right time. If Cancun ever gets put into an Arena, it’ll be a Jasmine meltdown on Camila’s level.
You mentioned that St. Thomas isn’t destined to hang around this game much longer. We have to talk about the other two-person squad still in this game: New Orleans. Knight is quickly emerging as the most entertaining figure on this show. It also helps that New Orleans proved they’re still very strong by winning the ‘Insane Games’, which is fitting for them. Can New Orleans ride this wave to the finals with only Knight and Jemmye in the house?
MA: Good lord I hope not. I don’t know what it is about Jemmye and Knight, but I just want then gone, mainly Jemmye. They are definitely under protection, but I see them losing and being sent home before the finals. I still do not think anyone really fears them going forward.
Now onto the predictions. Who do you see going home next week?
GK: Alton is going into next week’s Arena unless Vegas pulls off a victory in the challenge. That much is a given. The problem is, neither of us truly know what type of mood Alton is going to be in. He said last week that he came here not for the money, but for the vacation. That’s a damning statement.
Unfortunately, I think Vegas is going to suffer a loss and Alton and Trishelle are going to be state-ward bound. What do you think? We’re riding high after picking last week correctly, and I’m 2-for-2 son.
MA: I really really want to go ahead and pick Alton to go home as I think it may be his time. I just am really biased and cannot pick him to go home just yet. I will go with Brooklyn and I think Devyn and JD will go home.