Episode 9 brought us yet another double elimination. This time it was a surprise and a woman’s elimination. I will admit I was once again surprised to see a player who already had their red skull get thrown back in and now 3 red skulls have been sent home, unused. Hopefully the players are smarter moving forward and realize their is no upside to doing that.
At this point I assume most of you have been playing and/or following along, so feel free to skip pass the next few paragraphs and jump straight to the picks towards the bottom. For those new to this, go ahead and read the next few sections, which give you a basic rundown of the game itself!
As a reminder, the winners of the weekly challenge form the Tribunal and in a twist this year, they have the option to throw themselves in. This is huge because this years massive change is the fact that you can not make the finals unless you have won a purgatory elimination. So what this means is, the motivation to win the weekly challenges and make the Tribunal is HUGE. If you win, you can give yourself a chance to win a Purgatory against a potentially weaker opponent, or you can help a friend get their shot, which is what we saw week 2 when Dee made a massive mistake and gave Jenny the layup of the season.
Note: Before we dig in to this weeks episode, here is a look at the basics to the challenge.
For those new to The Challenge, first off, you are missing out! The Challenge is wildly entertaining. Featuring incredibly physical challenges, a house (amazing bunker this year!) full of pretty much crazy people, drama galore and just overall a great watch.
The Challenge concept is pretty simple. Each week contestants compete in a physical or mental challenge. Winner or winners (we saw a guy and girl winner weeks 1,3 & 6, a 3 player team in week 2, a 5 player team in week 4 & a 4 player team in week 5) are safe from elimination. Depending on the format of the challenge, additional members of the Tribunal are chosen. The Tribunal decides who will go to “Purgatory”. Purgatory is where an elimination contests takes place. Unlike Survivor, where you are voted out, on The Challenge you get a chance to compete head to head with someone with the winner staying and the loser going home.
The 2nd player who competes in Purgatory is decided on by a group vote. Historically we see rookies get voted in the first few and then alliances take form and dictate eliminations moving forward. But this season, you can’t make the finals without WINNING a Purgatory elimination. This is a HUGE change to the game that changes the core fundamentals of the game itself (in a good way IMO). Guys like Johnny Bananas and Wes have dominated seasons with their social game. Managing to avoid eliminations all season by the alliances they create. The days of skating to the finals are gone.
Now that we know the core concept, let’s take a look at some targets.
Week 1- Jenny & Rogan
week 2- Cory, Swagy C & Dee
Week 3- Bayleigh & CT
Week 4- Bear, Johnny Bananas, Big T, Aneesa, Kaycee
Week 5- Swaggy C, Josh, Jenny, Kaycee
Week 6- Jordan, Nany
Week 8- Wes, Mattie
Week 9- Wes, Corey, Dee, Nany, Bayleigh
Red Skull Winners (Purgatory wins)
Week 1- Jay
Week 2- Jenny
Week 3- Jay
Week 4- Dee
Week 5- Rogan
Week 6- Jenna
Week 8- Fessy, Nelson
Week 9- Anessa, Kaycee
Notes: Men’s elimination night. They are the more valuable plays due to upside of potential Purgatory win.
Top Tier: Johnny Bananas, Wes
It is hard to imagine these 2 not figuring out a way to get their red skull or at least a shot at it ASAP.
2nd Tier: Josh, Cory, Swaggy C, Kyle
These are the remaining players who do NOT have a red skull yet. I would think yet another Red Skull going home last week coupled with the fact that the men who already have their red skull are monsters, I would imagine any man without his skull is going to try to get a shot at getting theirs at this point in the game.
Good luck everyone!