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Relationship drama rules the day on ‘The Challenge: Total Madness’

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Plus, did someone use good strategy this week?!

We picked up this week where we left off last week: wondering if Jay was alive or not. He was, in fact, alive, and had the wind knocked out of him when Rogan body slammed him into an alternate dimension. After medics finally tended to Jay, they determined that he should be fine to keep going. So, keep going he did. Jay amended his strategy on the next two attempts at getting the flaming ball into the bucket by shooting it basketball style, but is way off both times.

Then it was Rogan’s turn to try and score. Before TJ Lavin could even light the game ball on fire, however, Jay asked for some clarification on the rules from a producer.

Jay: Can you explain to me the rules again?

Producer: Your job is to knock the ball out of his hand.

Jay: Ok.

Producer: If the ball hits the ground, it’s a reset. Just like what you just did, it’s three resets. After the third — after it hits the ground...

Jay: What are the rules?

Producer: What are the rules?

It’s at this point we all realize that something is very, very wrong and Jay absolutely SHOULD NOT be competing anymore. He proceeds to ask the producer if he went three times, because he can only remember two of them. Yikes.

Jay once again (thankfully) meets with the medics who determine that yes, he should absolutely go to the hospital.

MTV

As you can probably guess, Jay was medically DQ’d and had to go home, which is a shame because I was really starting to like him. Rogan took over the spot of being the lone male competitor with a Red Skull, but his delight in the whole situation was unsettling.

The rest of the pre-competition episode was draining. Bananas and Wes decided to pour gasoline on the Kailah and Bear situation, resulting in the former duo decorating Bear’s bed with hearts, towel swans, and a basket of grapes. They, of course, take it way too far by taking Kailah’s pictures of her and her (now ex-)boyfriend and taping them to the ceiling above the bed.

Look, I get it. Pranks happen nonstop in the house, and if you’re going to be kissing Bear in the bathroom and think 1) he’s not going to tell anyone and 2) the house won’t tease you, you’re delusional. But woof, that was tough to watch. Kailah realizes that the bad decision she made by even entertaining Bear’s flirting was actually a horrible decision, and it’s tougher to watch knowing it legitimately ruins her relationship.

Then there’s Zach and Jenna. The couple has had a non-stop on-again, off-again relationship since they met six years ago on The Challenge. This season, Jenna and Zach are dating, but only she came on the show. He apparently found some old DMs between Jenna and someone she dated during one of their off-again spells in the relationship, and it doesn’t go well.

He wants her to come home, and it seems like an overreaction of epic proportions. Thanks to some internet sleuthing (read: unsubstantiated tweets), it seems that one of the reasons Zach could want Jenna to come home is that the DMs are between her and Corey, another member of the Challenge bunker.

Jenna decides to stay and becomes the third member of the Tribunal, but we’ll see if she either goes into the elimination or removes herself.

Physical challenge

It’s [checks notes] Fast and the Furious Week! Sure, why not. Competitors are split into teams of two — a guy and a girl — and have to collect 10 puzzle pieces while hanging off the side of a huge, moving truck. They’re tethered together, making it much more difficult to reach the pieces. Once they get all of the pieces, the duo has to put the puzzle together. There’s a time limit of seven minutes, and fastest time wins. Easy, right?

MTV

Wrong. Only three teams completed it: Nany and Jordan, Bananas and Melissa, and Bear and Kaycee. A handful of teams were disqualified for dropping pieces, and a bunch of the teams just couldn’t reach some of the pieces as they battled against the tension of the tether.

Winners: Jordan and Nany

Most ridiculous moment

For the challenge, super-vet Aneesa is paired with loud-mouthed Nelson. How do you feel about that partnership, Aneesa?

“That’s how I feel about being partnered with Nelson.” — Aneesa
MTV

Her feelings are validated very shortly after as he loses his mind when he thinks Aneesa throws the challenge.

Nelson, dude. What’s going on? During the competition, Aneesa dropped a puzzle piece, leading Nelson to believe that she threw the competition so she could ... go in against Jenna? His logic (loose term here) is that everyone thinks that Jenna is a layup because of her relationship woes back home, which, fair. It just doesn’t make any sense why she would throw the challenge. Does he think Nany and Jordan would put her in the Tribunal? That she was hoping she’d get picked by them to compete? That the house was automatically going to vote Jenna in, setting Aneesa up for a chance to go against her?

Ok, a lot of moving parts, but fine. Let’s say that all happens. Why does Nelson care? It’s a women’s week for elimination. Does he not want her to get a Red Skull? Is this just some stand over the integrity of the game?

His blow up does nothing but make the rest of the house annoyed because it’s so blown out of proportion, and no one but Nelson thinks she threw the challenge. Can’t wait for him to get voted in next week!

Episode MVP

Shout out to Jordan for actually seeming to use some good strategy this week. He had the benefit of being the one guy that had to complete the challenge twice as a result of the uneven numbers, and he and his first partner Nany crushed it (things weren’t as smooth on his second run with Bayleigh). They were in the first wave, completed the event, and finished with the fastest time. As mentioned above, Nany picked her BFF Jenna to be in the Tribunal with them.

At first, I thought it was super weird that he didn’t pick his fiancé, Tori, to be the third member. But after his explanation it makes a little bit of sense. If someone weak is voted in, the Tribunal could vote Tori in to get her Skull (if Nany or Jenna don’t want to risk it). If Tori is voted in by the house, Jordan has more say over who she faces as a member of the Tribunal. I ... don’t hate it?

Red Skulls

With his win over Jay, Rogan became the lone guy with a Red Skull. Dee and Jenny have Red Skulls for the women’s side.

Power Rankings

5. Nany

4. Kaycee

3. Johnny

2. Jordan

1. Jenny