It’s double elimination week on ‘The Challenge: Total Madness’

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It’s getting real.

For those of you that have watched a significant number of the previous 34 seasons of MTV’s The Challenge in any way, shape or form, you’re used to the frequent game twists. Well, it’s a double elimination week! With only one (1) male competitor — Rogan — eligible for the final, host TJ Lavin changed things up by announcing that not one, but two challengers would get their Red Skulls (and two would go home).

One week after getting a super dramatic and intense elimination challenge, the two eliminations this week fell a little flat. While Pole Wrestle is one of the most iconic games in Challenge history, these ended quickly. Jordan was outmatched by Fessy’s sheer size and ended up losing the second (and decisive) battle after seemingly dislocating his shoulder. Although usually a real jerk in the house, Jordan is an incredible competitor, so it’s sad to see him go.

In the second matchup, it was loudmouth vs. loudmouth as Bear and Nelson squared off. Nelson clearly had the better strategy as he got low and made it impossible for Bear to get any sort of leverage.

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Wash, rinse, and repeat for the second heat. Nelson easily dispatches Bear, and we’re stuck with Nelson for another week.

Physical Challenge

The competitors had to don hazmat suits, enter a cordoned off room filled with toxic chemicals (foam, it’s filled with foam), and watch a giant wall of screens flash colors like a fancy game of Simon. The Challengers then have to run back to a stack of colored plates and organize them in the order of the light sequence.

There were three heats of both male and female competitors with fastest man and the fastest woman making up two-thirds of this week’s Tribunal. The final spot in the ever-important Tribunal would be chosen by the winning guy.

Wes easily wins the first heat — despite several folks teaming up to more easily remember the color sequence — with Mattie winning for the girls. Fessy and Dee take the second heat, and Bananas wins the third heat (more on that later) with Big T.

This was more hilarious than anything else, and I’m pretty sure Josh actually thought the foam was toxic.

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Winners: Wes and Mattie (with Johnny Bananas chosen to fill out the Tribunal)

Most ridiculous moment

One of the best things about this season is that Big T has gotten more screen time. She continues to come out of her shell, but she also got drunk and cut her toe (it needed stitches!) jumping out of her bunk bed. She isn’t the first, and she won’t be the last to get drunkenly hurt.

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Episode MVP

This is approximately the 86th season of The Challenge that Johnny Bananas has been on, and he’s still surprising me. First of all, he’s legitimately in an alliance with Wes. That’s a “when hell freezes over” type of scenario, and something that looked to be an ill-fated trick early in this season has shown to benefit both competitors.

But Johnny showed he’s still a savvy competitor this week with a trick that borders on against the rules. After running into the foam filled room once, Bananas spent the rest of the challenge standing at his plates and staring off into the distance.

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As the other competitors either ran in and out of the foam to check the lights, the onlookers began to outwardly question what he was doing. Bananas just kept stacking plates and eventually asked TJ for a check.

Bananas would finish with the second fastest time and join the Tribunal thanks to Wes, but how was he doing it? Turns out, you could barely make out a reflection of the colors on a piece of the bunker chic decor decorating the giant warehouse that housed the competition. Check it out:

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Oh you sneaky bastard. I love it.

Red Skulls

Jenny, Dee, Jenna, and Rogan were joined by Fessy and (unfortunately) Nelson as challengers qualified to run the final at this point.

Power Rankings

5. Fessy

4. Jenna

3. Wes

2. Jenny

1. Johnny

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