The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 recap: Inflated egos and wounded pride
The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 is dropping Team U.K. members like flies after last week’s double elimination sent both Kyle and Esther home. And so, after Georgia’s fed-up outburst following her Proving Ground win last week, she calls a team meeting for Team U.K. Theo tries to make this moment the turning point so they can start winning at the very beginning of this week’s episode. Their main plea is for their team to stop working with Team U.S. on the side (specifically Paulie and Cara Maria) and start focusing on winning together, or else they can all kiss their chance at a final goodbye. Kayleigh and Rogan are already saying in their talking head confessionals that it’s all BS and they’re going to continue working with their alliance on Team U.S. because that’s what is going to get them to the end. So this renewed Team U.K. unity (and that sad hands in cheer “for the queen”) is all fake. It was a really nice try, though!
Meanwhile, Team U.S. is literally wrestling one another to show off their skills (Tori holds her own against Cara in an impressive feat of strength while Paulie … break dances?). It’s a fun moment but both Cara and Jordan can’t stop themselves from talking about how much they both hate each other, and Paulie correctly remarks on how the smart move would be to put aside their personal feelings and have both Team U.S. power couples join up and work together. The four-person team of Jordan, Tori, Cara, and Paulie would definitely be unstoppable if they put all the drama aside. But Jordan and Cara’s egos will absolutely never let that happen.
In more constructive relationship news, CT is playing couples counselor for Leroy and Kam and succinctly sums up why their fling ended so horrifically and why they still keep gravitating towards each other. It’s a surprisingly insightful declaration that could maybe spell some more good things for these two moving forward. I’ve always thought they’d make a great couple but everything just went so wrong the first time around (off-camera, I might add!).
But then Dee pushes herself too hard working out in the blistering Thailand heat and gets a serious case of heatstroke. Producers and medics are forced to intervene when she passes out in the bathroom, and Nany and Ninja step up to help her. Nany even gets Rogan to come and help support Dee while she’s getting checked out, but eventually, she gets carted off to the hospital. It’s not looking good for her, but this is something that other players have come back from in the past. It’s Team U.K. discussing it afterward that’s more distressing, as Jenny thinks that it’s a weakness that Dee’s body shut down from being pushed too hard (seriously?!). Everyone also keeps pointing out that trying to keep up with Tori’s pace while running is a struggle. I hope Dee doesn’t get put into elimination just because she got heatstroke, because what a horrible way to go. She’s literally giving this competition her all to the point of hurting herself — if anything, her teammates should be helping her stay healthy and giving her support.
Rogan gets news later that day that Dee just has severe dehydration and will spend the night in the hospital, but he’s smiling when he delivers it so everything is going to be okay. Just a few banana bags and she’ll hopefully be ready to go for the challenge tomorrow.
The Challenge: Under Siege
Dee’s officially back and in her camo gear for the challenge, so all is well on that front! But Rogan’s right to worry about how everyone saw her pass out after “a few laps” outside, so that does not bode well for her reputation when it comes to making the final. But first, she has to survive this week’s challenge, and it’s a doozy.
There are two separate puzzles inside a giant shipping container filled with random debris, one for each team. Played in a guys heat and a girls’ heat, players get locked inside the container that’s then rocked by a giant crane. Whoever solves their puzzle the fastest out of both heats wins. Losers must pick a guy to send into elimination.
Degree of physical difficulty: High. People are going to get tossed around, and the less strength you have the more you’ll get thrown around and the faster you’ll gas out.
Degree of mental difficulty: Moderate. The puzzles don’t look too difficult. The physical aspect will make this challenge tough.
Potential for drama: High. With both teams going at the same time in the same container, expect things to get physical. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the shadier players decide to go on offense and try to mess up the other team’s puzzle.
Winner: I’m really getting tired of how predictable this is getting, but of course Team U.S. wins again.
In the guys’ heat, they get tossed around like actual rag dolls, and things devolve quickly as they keep ending up in giant piles. Zach even describes this as the most dangerous thing he’s ever done, and CT gets frustrated that once again his team isn’t trusting in him, the “puzzle master.” And when a flying ball from Joss hits Turbo, he takes it personally and decides to play “dirty” also. Joss just ignited a war that I don’t think he’s ready to fight! The 15-minute time limit hits, and Team U.S.’s board is a mess. Team U.K. came close to solving theirs, but when the guys file out of the container, the girls are horrified to see the looks on their faces and how they’re absolutely drenched in sweat. If they weren’t terrified of this challenge before, they certainly are now.
After some advice from the guys, it’s the girls heat next. I actually have higher hopes for the girls, but on the sidelines, Turbo is still complaining about Joss hitting him in the face with a ball. His fuse keeps getting shorter and shorter, and eventually, Team U.S. is going to decide that his temper liability outweighs his physical assets for his team. But the girls’ heat starts and the difference from the guys heat is astounding! The girls are constantly asking each other if they’re okay after they get tossed around and are way more quiet than the guys who were yelling at each other. If this isn’t the perfect example of gender dynamics in play, I don’t know what is! But tempers still run hot and when the 15 minutes end, both teams have nothing on the board.
Because neither team could complete the puzzle in each heat, it goes to sudden death. The guys get locked back in the crate and three puzzle pieces are placed on the board for them, giving them the boost they need to actually solve the puzzle. Team U.K. almost finishes their puzzle first but Team U.S. pulls off the win faster.
Tribunal: For some reason Josh gets to be speaker, because that went so well last time. He picks Ninja and Leroy to form the Tribunal with him. And Leroy continues the good feelings by finally making out with Kam later at the house! Yes! FI-NA-LLY.
The Proving Ground elimination
While a storm rages around them, Team U.K. files back in to nominations to once again throw one of their members under the bus and into elimination. Rogan kicks things off by naming Idris as their weakest guy and Joss backs him up. Georgia supports that too, pointing out that Idris not knowing how to swim could set back their team 20 minutes in a final. The vote is almost unanimous, making this the least dramatic nomination ceremony of the season. Idris thinks he can take on Theo, so he asks the Tribunal to send him down to the Proving Ground. But after Idris leaves, the Tribunal discusses how they want to keep Idris in the game because he’ll be such a liability during a final. They need to pick someone who Idris has a chance to beat in an elimination challenge. Is that Theo? Probably not. Josh throws out Joss and Rogan’s names instead. Leroy gets caught in the middle of Ninja and Josh, each wanting to throw in someone beneficial to their individual alliances, and Leroy once again wants to figure out who is best for Team U.S. as a whole.
Despite CT worrying about Idris murdering him in his sleep, it’s actually Theo’s big mouth that starts the real drama of the night (again). He provokes Paulie out of nowhere, things get really nasty, and somehow everything devolves into Paulie and Theo looking like they’re about to make out and lick each other’s noses?! What is with guys wanting to get up close in each other’s faces when they’re about to fight because it honestly just looks silly instead of intimidating. Paulie actually kisses Theo (we get confirmation in a close-up slow-mo replay) and it’s just… incredibly confusing, and I absolutely love it. The girls watching are losing their minds laughing — Georgia is shouting, “Kiss again!” while Ashley is cackling about how security shouldn’t be “breaking up true love.” Things are getting wild in the Challenge house, y’all!
And what should have just been a petty, drunken moment of drama ends up having the potential to change this game. Fed up with how Team U.S. is acting, Jordan gets the idea to send himself in against Idris (believing he’ll win without any doubts), become a turncoat, and then help Team U.K. win some challenges to be able to put Cara in an elimination against Ninja. In a talking head interview, Jordan reveals Tori wants to do the same and become a turncoat to Team U.K. This could either be the smartest or dumbest move for both of them (and Jordan’s done some pretty dumb, egotistical moves in the past that cut his game short).
The next morning, Leroy calls a team meeting to figure out who the Tribunal should send into elimination against Idris. But the lines in the sand have been drawn on both alliances within Team U.S., so it all will come down to Leroy in the moment. At the Proving Ground, Ninja votes for Theo, which instantly pisses off Josh, who calls out Paulie for “controlling” this week’s Tribunal and votes for Joss. Leroy knows he’s the deciding vote and ends up voting for Theo, sending him in against Idris. Josh immediately throws a temper tantrum, which Paulie, of course, provokes even further, calling him “such a little b—,” and when Josh fires back about how Paulie’s “bank account don’t line up with [his], b—,” even TJ starts chuckling. But enough squabbling, let’s get to it!
Elimination challenge: Break Free. Players start on opposite sides of a giant wall, on a pedestal, holding a rope. They then swing on the rope to try to break through that wall, as many times as it takes. Once they get through the wall, they must complete a puzzle.
Degree of physical difficulty: Moderate. Strength is needed to get through that wall fast, and endurance is important so you don’t gas out. Theo has the upper hand here.
Degree of mental difficulty: Moderate. We don’t get a close preview of the Tetris-looking puzzle, but after a strenuous activity like breaking through that wall, players’ mental capacity for a puzzle is going to be diminished. And Idris has yet to prove himself in a puzzle challenge.
Potential for drama: Low. Idris is probably going home, which won’t affect the game much. But if he pulls off an upset, that would be yet another asset for Team U.S.
Winner: No upset here — Theo remains undefeated in eliminations. He gets through his wall first, but Idris is not far behind, breaking through before Theo even places his first puzzle piece, equalizing the competition. It all comes down to who can solve their Tetris first. Team U.S. is clearly trying to help out Idris, shouting out tips about which puzzle pieces to place first, but he can barely figure any of it out. Theo makes quick work with his pieces, absolutely smoking Idris without any help from the peanut gallery. He once again chooses to remain with the Brits, keeping up the streak of no turncoats so far.
But weirdly enough, we still have about 11 more minutes left in this episode! You know what that means… DRAMA INCOMING. While getting ready for a workout, Jordan insults Cara’s dedication to running or something along those lines? It’s honestly pretty innocuous (especially given Cara’s dedication to working out). But everyone is so short-tempered in this house that it sets off Cara and everyone lines up outside the room to listen to them bicker. He’s still convinced Turbo is a weak link for the team, especially after he gassed out in the shipping container, and sneaky snake Ashley decides it’s time for Turbo to hear what Jordan is saying about him. She grabs Turbo from his room and pulls him into the fight just to see more sparks fly.
Things get intense because everyone knows that Turbo’s pride is possibly bigger than Jordan’s, and Turbo is ready to make an agreement that they’ll go against each other in the next elimination. Pretty soon Cara is screaming in Tori’s face about wanting to go in an elimination against her, and this is probably the most egotistical Challenge season we’ve ever seen! No one is playing as a team; it’s all about proving how every single player is the real champ and can send anyone home. But pride always goes before the fall — all these idiots who want to “prove” themselves against other strong players in elimination have a 50/50 shot of being sent home and losing out on the million-dollar prize. Why would you voluntarily risk your future in this game?! It is. So. Dumb.
After Nany tries to make Team U.S. do a team cheer to diffuse the situation, Cara and Ashely high-five each other in secret and giggle about instigating that whole thing (wow, how mature, ladies!). Nany continues to try to diffuse the situation with Turbo privately, pointing out how Ashley, Cara, and Paulie are just trying to use him to eliminate Jordan, but it doesn’t work. His pride is too inflated. Turbo still wants to go against Jordan and security has to come in again to hold him back. Jordan keeps provoking him too, and it’s just so childish on all fronts! What eventually causes Turbo to have a mental breakdown is… Jordan “copying [his] walk.” I mean… really? To be continued, I guess. Sigh.
Challenger of the week: CT for speaking some real truths and getting Leroy and Kam to finally see the light. We have CT to thank for that makeout!
The Challenge: War of the Worlds 2 airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET on MTV.