Tensions reach a breaking point
Credit: MTV
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Happy New Year from The Challenge, where disaster surely has struck. MTV aired back-to-back new episodes on Wednesday detailing two very different, very personal fights. First up, in “A House Divided,” Aneesa and KellyAnne break the house apart, and in “Dirty Little Secret,” Johnny betrays Nany in a brutal, unprecedented way. Let’s get right to it, starting with episode 5.

Last week ended on a cliffhanger as the red team beat the blue team yet again, this time in trivia. As the teams headed off into their deliberations, it became clear this week the vets would divide the male rookies so they could destroy each other from within.

Mike — Abram’s brother/bloodline — volunteers himself, and while Nany calls it a noble gesture, his own blue team dismisses his suggestion. After back-room negotiating, which includes convincing Aneesa to side with the vets instead of Mitch/Cory/Raphy/Dario, they decide to throw Raphy into the pit.

The move makes Aneesa a pariah to pseudo-lover Cory, and he’s basically like, “You’re dead to me.” The vets’ plan rolls on as the red team votes for Mitch. But the voting goes off the rails as the rookies get heated and Dario throws low blows toward Nany and Nicole. “Know your role,” Nany says over and over again as the Are You The One? alum slings disses her way. “The only role you know is on Johnny’s lap,” he says.

Not cool, bro.

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A fight breaks out between Bananas, Nany, Dario, and Raphy while Abram narrates with that insane twinkle in his eye: “Hit each other. Everyone get out of the way — just hit each other.” Terrifying.

Cory goes on a rant about how Aneesa betrayed him and she showed “her true colors,” but after he’s played her for multiple episodes, it’s basically impossible to get on his side. People throw each other in all the time, dude. What did she owe you when she’s clearly aligned with the vets? Nada.

The ep’s slow boil continues to the club, where all great decisions are made, and the ripple between KellyAnne and Aneesa becomes an all out brawl.

Let’s break it down: Dario and Raphy make fun of Nany, who’s dancing and hanging out with Aneesa. They’re shown talking smack about KellyAnne, who’s been in Dario and Raphy’s corner since Day 1. Aneesa gets mad at KellyAnne for…something…and throws a drink in her face. “KellyAnne irks my soul,” she says. They’re slurring and messy and get in each other’s faces. Then it gets awful:

Aneesa: “You’re 29, and you look at least seven years older than me.”

KellyAnne: “Oh honey, you look at least 45. Is that your black skin?”

Nope. Nope. Nope. The entire house breaks down after news of KellyAnne’s remark spreads. Rianna’s devastated on Aneesa’s behalf. Mitch takes care of KellyAnne, telling her she’s a “fan favorite.” (This is truly one of the most depressing scenes of the season since she’s also saying over and over “I’m not a racist” and calls Aneesa a “fatass…. It’s not petty; she’s huge.” Cruel.)

Everything unravels, and Aneesa just tells the camera, “I’m broken.”

The pit gets underway, and after Mitch loses his lead in the strength competition — the two play an elaborate game of tug-of-war with a giant chain attached to their chests — to Raphy, Dario thinks his brother’s won. He then pushes Raphy off the runway area where he’s competing, helping Mitch gain the momentum he needs to beat Raphy. Dario and Raphy are sent home.

The confessionals say it all: “Super stupid.” “So dumb.” “Such an idiot.” And the episode ends with the house divided at its lowest low.

NEXT: Johnny betrays Nany

Onto episode 6, “Dirty Little Secret,” where Bananas turns the whole premise of a reality show inside out.

Credit: MTV

Abram has become de facto narrator during his short run so far and — let’s be real — has gotten the best edit of his Challenge career. Here, he’s the dummy who hates Bananas and doesn’t know Cara has maybe been cheating on him, but he looks like the loving boyfriend who just wants Cara to win the final. We know that’ll change (thank you previews featuring a very Hulked-out Abram), but for now it’s oddly comforting. As the episode starts, he foreshadows that no one should trust Bananas. He’s right, of course.

Into this week’s challenge they go, where the teams are tasked with carrying balls from one side of the beach to the other using only boards attached to helmets on their heads. Red team wins again.

But when the teams deliberate, KellyAnne throws herself into the pit immediately. Easy peasy. Until the red team meets…

There are only three female contenders left: Jenna, Aneesa, and Nany, and considering Bananas, who claims to have had Aneesa and Nany’s backs since the beginning, is big man over there, let’s assume Jenna will go in for the third time. Or maybe Aneesa, to complete the KellyAnne vs. Aneesa story line.

But, nope. Right off the bat, Abram suggests Nany. Everyone follows suit, and Bananas doesn’t try to stand up for her even a little bit, right in front of her cousin Nicole. When it comes time to vote with T.J., he’s the first person called and sends Nany into the pit. Deuces, vet alliance.

In a swift move, Bananas, who we also learn in this episode straightens his hair, became the villain yet again, but what follows the voting sequence is a truly remarkable moment in reality TV history. Nicole tells Jamie that Bananas is trying to save face for his girlfriend back home, who may be jealous of his friendship with Nany. “He just doesn’t want his girlfriend to sit there at home and feel some type of way,” she says. Then, when he thinks he’s off camera, Bananas tries to have a real conversation with Nany about the situation:

Bananas: “This goes beyond this game. It does. When I go home and this episode comes out… Listen to me! And [my girlfriend] Hannah watches it…and I’m the only person that doesn’t say your f—ing name? Your feelings are hurt; I totally understand that, and I’m f—ing sorry. I don’t want this to become like a story line and a thing.”

Nany: “There’s no story line. Don’t worry, Johnny.”

Bananas: “Yes, there is!”

Nany: “You’re not gonna be staying at home with Hannah and her getting pissed off at you.”

At this point, the cameras enter, and Bananas runs away, leaving Nany to pack and head into the pit down one friendship. She’s dejected and seems to lack motivation, so when she goes up against KellyAnne in an endurance test — the two have to run between two mattresses, knocking them into bells 50 times — it’s no surprise that she loses.

Bananas talks a bit more crap, saying he’s glad Nany’s gone, and he can’t wait to smash up Abram, Cara, and Thomas’ weird alliance. But as we lose another actual fan favorite (sorry KellyAnne), the pickings are slim on who to root for: Camila and Leroy are gone, and the cast now features more newcomers than people we actually know.

That’s when the previews come in. Next up, MTV teases appearances from CT and Zach, which should get things back on Challenge track.

NEXT: Let’s get to the Bloodline Rankings

Now to the Bloodline Rankings, which covers both episodes 5 and 6. Oof.

1. Nany and Nicole

I’m all in on Nany standing up for herself this season. She, Nicole, and Nicole’s color contacts made a fiery crew, and I’m genuinely bummed to see her leave — especially considering who we’re left with. Ugh.

2. Abram and Mike

This week laid the groundwork for an Abram-Bananas/Abram-Thomas show down, and as that little pressure cooker builds, his sideline commentary is a welcome throwback for Challenge purists who still don’t really know the entire cast.

3. Aneesa and Rianna

No, Aneesa should not have thrown a drink in KellyAnne’s face. Sure, she was a bit sketchy when it came time for voting, but this is The Challenge, and she acted accordingly.

4. Cara Maria and Jamie

Producers are just letting this love-triangle grenade sit for a little while longer, though ep 6 got full-throttle depressing when the cameras showed Cara confiding in Jamie, telling him she was off her game and felt stilted now that Abram had arrived. Is she just feeling guilty?

5. Bananas and Vince

What a putz. Bananas may be twisted and ruthless, but, yes, this is excellent TV, and he knows it. The only real moment we’ve seen from him happened when he thought the cameras weren’t watching, and for that, we’re grateful.

6. Thomas and Stephen

Anybody else catch how red Thomas turned when Abram called him out in that group circle?

7. Jenna and Brianna

Eh. Let’s get to the good stuff when Zach shows up.

8. Cory and Mitch

Cory calls Aneesa the “schemer,” but he’s the one who’s been leading her on all season. His lame-ass comments plus Mitch’s sad, sad attempt to cheer up KellyAnne leave them at the bottom.

9. Dario and Raphy

The twins from AYTO? came out of the gates looking to kill some vets, but they just ended up looking like suckers as they got their cocky butts handed to them on a Challenge-sized platter. Based on the amount of solid story line they got, though, they’ll be back.

10. KellyAnne and Anthony

KellyAnne may want to take a good hard look at her life after these eps air. In ep 6, after her comments have already stung, she hashes it out with Aneesa. “I was complimenting people of color saying they age really nicely,” she says, to which Aneesa looks dumbstruck. KelllyAnne then looks at the camera and mimes shooting herself in the neck. The whole scene is awful.

What did you think of what went down this week?

Episode Recaps

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