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Team U.K. is dropping like flies on The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2, and last week’s purge may have brought some karma to players who needed a personal reckoning, but I have no idea how this is going to work for the final with so many players on Team U.S. outnumbering Team U.K. Unless we’ve got another purge coming this week? It is a shorter episode than what we’ve been getting all season so far, so let’s find out!

Tori starts off this week by appealing to CT’s intelligence, trying to point out how it’s now or never for him to start playing smart. Stop throwing in Jordan and Tori and keep them around for the final, because who else on Team U.K. is going to bring home the win? But he’s set in his ways, refusing to change his alliance after siding with Paulie and Cara Maria’s cult the entire season. It’s kept him safe this far, but it’s also weakened his team going into the final. So what good is it doing him now? I’ve lost a lot of respect for CT this season. Even Dee is still riding for CT and Rogan and the rest of the Team U.S. alliance — despite them trying to throw her in to the elimination and getting cold feet at the last second! How dumb is she to put her trust back in this alliance that did not have her back?! This is incredibly stupid!

Listening in on Jordan and Tori’s takedown of Team U.K.’s “strategy” to work with their opponents, all Paulie does is laugh and smile. He thinks he’s got his first Challenge win in the bag. Not only has he manipulated most of the players on his team to follow his lead, but he’s also manipulated most of the players on the other team to do exactly what he says, even if it weakens their team! It’s brilliant, but so frustrating to watch. Man, I really hope he loses the final.

The Challenge: Mine the Cart

Male and female pairs begin in a mining cart suspended above water, pulling themselves across the ropes and collecting medallions. Meanwhile, one person from each team is going to swim out to a raft and retrieve a handsaw to then saw a rope connected to their opponent’s cart. If they saw through the rope, it will dump their opponents into the water. The process is continued until everyone plays. Once everyone has gone, the team with the most medallions collected wins.

Degree of physical difficulty: Moderate. The onus here is on the swimmers to get out there fast and saw through the ropes, ending their opponent’s run time quickly. But since Team U.S. has more players, that means more bad swimmers have to swim — like Cara. LOL.

Degree of mental difficulty: None. This one’s all physical!

Potential for drama: High. Team U.K. needs to win this, otherwise Tori is going to see another elimination. Thankfully, Jordan is the only one swimming for Team U.K., which already puts Team U.S. at a disadvantage.

Winner: Team U.K.! And it’s all thanks to Jordan; ironic, considering they keep trying to get rid of him.

Jordan makes quick work of his first swim and saws through Paulie and Kam’s rope like butter. Ashley gasses out on her first swim, ends up doing some weird stroke on her back, and she can’t even saw through her ropes. In the second round, CT and Dee completely lap Leroy and and Nany in the carts, while Jordan makes Cara’s swimming look like a joke. Jordan dumps their cart quickly. Cara eventually saws through CT and Dee’s ropes but it doesn’t matter — Team U.K. has a huge lead at this point. Since Ashley couldn’t saw through her ropes at all, Team U.S. decides to put Cara in again as their swimmer, and Paulie is already preparing himself for the loss. In the final round, Team U.K. gets enough medallions to where Team U.S. literally cannot catch up, giving them the win. And in a shocking turn of events, CT finally sees the light. He saw the way his team performed strong together today and can imagine them all running and winning a final — together. “At some point, somebody has to be thinking about what’s best for the U.K. team,” he says. Will he finally stop voting with the “numbers” alliance and do what’s best for his team and not just Paulie and Cara’s game?! Please say yes!

Tribunal: Before Team U.K. can pick a speaker and Tribunal, TJ throws a curveball: Team U.S. has to vote in a female to elimination right now. While some of them think it’s going to be an easy vote against Nany since she’s the only female on Team U.S. not in the “the” alliance, Leroy kicks it off by voting for Ninja, knowing she’s the weakest player on their team. Zach follows suit and votes Ninja, along with Nany. But Paulie, Kam, Cara, Ashley, and Ninja vote Nany, putting her into elimination.

Team U.K. gives CT the speaker position, and he takes it to heart. He gives a speech about how it’s time they start acting like a team and protecting their team, and keeping people from Team U.K. out of today’s elimination. Cara is seeing red! CT picks Rogan and Tori for the Tribunal, and I have never been so relieved. This is the CT we all know and love. Dee’s upset because she thought she was going to be in the Tribunal, but CT just promised her that she’s not going into elimination, so calm down honey. Zach is ecstatic to see CT finally playing this game, and I couldn’t agree more! So much for that numbers game, eh?

And then TJ throws yet another curveball — the Tribunal needs to pick a female to go against Nany in elimination… right now. CT immediately votes for Ninja (which sets Dee off again). Tori votes for Ashley (which is the smarter call — it gets out a better final runner if Nany beats Ashley). It all comes down to Rogan’s vote — he votes in Ashley because he wants her on his team if she loses and becomes a turncoat. No shocker here but she throws an absolute tantrum. It’s crazy to see how differently she handles being thrown into her first elimination of the season versus Jordan and Tori, who have gone in so many times that I’ve lost count. It’s almost as if one of them is a sore loser with terrible sportsmanship while the others come to play this game? Am I right or am I right? Smashley’s back, y’all! She goes off about how she’ll punch Rogan in the face and go home because she’s doesn’t care — she’s rich already! It always comes back to her bragging about how she stole a million dollars and nothing she does on this show matters anymore. Every other champ who has won and come back still plays like there is a million dollars on the line, but she is just the worst.

TJ then announced that Nany and Ashley are coming with him… and everyone else is going to the final. It’s sad that it took this long for CT to finally start playing a team game, because like I’ve been saying from the start, this actually is a team final. It never became an individual game where the numbers alliance would help Team U.K. It just hurt them in the long run because they lost so many good players that could have been there running the final with them.

It’s amazing to see Jordan and Tori so happy back in the house, having scratched and clawed their way to the final. No one in the house deserves this more than they do after the season they’ve had. CT is riding cloud nine knowing he made the right call to protect his team now that they’re all in the final. Leroy is worried for Nany, hoping she comes back in the house for her shot at the final. And Paulie is spouting some BS about how “karma” is going to get CT for betraying his alliance — but again, dude, he is not on your team, so why should he be playing for your side? That never made sense for anyone on Team U.K.! Meanwhile Rogan’s facing heat because Paulie is convinced he was in on CT’s big plan.

The Proving Ground elimination

While the rest of the players relax back at the house, Nany and Ashley meet TJ in the middle of the forest for the first and only “super elimination.” Color me excited!

Elimination challenge: Run for Your Life. Appropriately named, because Nany and Ashley are both literally running for their lives to get into this final. Players each have one box containing four puzzle pieces. They begin by grabbing two puzzle pieces and running up a trail to the top of a hill and drop off the puzzle pieces. They then run back down and grab the other two pieces, and then run back up to the top and solve the puzzle, which only requires three of the four pieces, meaning they’ll have to decide which one doesn’t belong.

Degree of physical difficulty: High. This is a lot of uphill running, so endurance is key.

Degree of mental difficulty: High. This looks like a confusing puzzle and Nany is also known to crack under pressure. But Ashley is still riding her emotional drama roller coaster, so her head is not exactly in the game. This could go either way.

Potential for drama: High. Whoever comes back could upset this numbers alliance just in time for the final.

Winner: Ashley. She actually gets to the top first, but on her way down she freaks out and goes the wrong way, giving Nany time to catch up to her. Nany then reaches the top first with all of her pieces, and the puzzle building begins. This is anyone’s game! Ashley immediately figures out that it’s essentially a sudoku kind of puzzle where all the amounts of symbols in each line have to add up to 10, and she solves it in less than 30 seconds. I feel for Nany here — she is a great competitor but this season was never working in her favor. TJ then gives Ashley the choice to return to Team U.S. or become a Team U.K. member for the final — and I’m nervous she’ll become a turncoat just to ruin Rogan’s chances at winning. But in her own words: “I’d rather die than do that.” She’s sticking with Team U.S., thank god.

The episode ends with everyone celebrating with a night out, and Paulie is making me vomit by talking about how “I don’t think anyone’s done what I’ve done in three seasons” and how he just has to start “racking up those championships” and “solidify his legacy.” And then Cara starts talking about how this win is “his” — uh, what about everyone else on their team, including her? What has happened to Cara? She’s completely disappeared into this relationship and lost everything that made her a champion and someone to root for. I know I’ve been saying this all season but Cara really needs to take a break from competing on this show.

Challenger of the week: CT, for finally pulling his head out of his ass and playing for his team instead of against it! I only wish it had happened sooner in the season, but oh well. At least what Zach and Jordan are saying is true: it’s a pretty fair fight now between the two teams for the final. And Zach is right to be worried. This final is anyone’s to win or lose.

The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.

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