The Challenge: Double Agents recap: Battle of the rookies
Who was eliminated in episode 10, "Amber Alert?"
"Toxic T" Theresa got the boot last week on The Challenge: Double Agents, and it turns out that she took most of the excitement out of the house with her. How else do you explain this week's boring battle of the rookies? It's just so hard to care about players that you know aren't going to win. Just look at the decisions they're making and how they've been performing — these are not players with winning potential. CT's facial expression is how I feel about all the attention paid to the rookie drama this season. But let's recap it all anyways, shall we?
After seeing Kaycee's dominating performance in her elimination against Theresa, CT lounges in bed and makes his winner predictions: either Leroy and Kaycee are going to win the whole thing, or Kam and Kyle are taking it home. If TJ were to announce the final is happening right now and everyone without a skull is instantly DQed, I'd agree with him. But with CT and Darrell still in the running for their gold skulls — since the structure of the game still gives everyone a shot at getting one — I wouldn't bet on it. And with Devin promising to give CT a shot at getting his skull, the odds are very good he'll pull through. But CT saying that "Josh is just non-threat" is a straight-up fact. You can't argue with that!
Meanwhile, Fessy is trying to work his nonexistent game on Gabby, attempting to flirt and talk strategy at the same time. Fessy wants her to get a skull and then choose him as her partner because he wants to "mix business with pleasure" and spite Devin in one fell swoop. We all know how desperate Fessy is to drop Aneesa, but does he really think going with a rookie is his best option? He keeps proving it time and time again: this guy knows nothing about how to win this game. But he finally wears Gabby down in the romance department and they make out. Ew.
But things are not going as well for Lolo and Nam. They looked to be the rookie team to beat at the beginning of the season, but Lolo's stubbornness (and extreme lack of self-awareness, as evidenced by her telling Nam that he's too stubborn... LOL) is rendering their physical threat level moot. But while Lolo thinks they should probably switch partners, Nam is optimistic that they can still work together well as a team. I'm not so sure about that.
And Amber B. is crying about not having a gold skull, to which I say boo-freaking-hoo, girl. You literally just had your shot last week and you gave it away to Kaycee because you were too scared to go against Theresa yourself. Your fate was in your hands and your hands alone, so you can't complain about it now!
The Challenge: Mission Black Sand Ops
This week's daily is a combination of endurance and brains, as players have to dig up 10 puzzle pieces and assemble them in order vertically to create a totem pole. The twist is that teams will potentially dig up their opponent's pieces, and they can either leave them out or bury them again to sabotage their opponents. The first team to finish the puzzle wins.
After the initial chaos, CT and Big T are the first team to find a piece. A lot of teams are working together, which gives Nany and Josh their first piece. This is a challenge in which it pays to have friends! Someone who doesn't have many friends? Devin. And that's really hurting him in this daily, as multiple teams keep burying his pieces even deeper to sabotage him. Sorry, Gabby!
Josh and Nany are the first to get all 10 pieces and begin assembling their puzzle. Cory and Amber are next to start on the puzzle, with CT and Big T not far behind. Nany and Josh keep struggling on the totem, giving Devin and Gabby enough time to start theirs. Then Nam feels something wrong in his back, slowing him and Lolo down. CT and Big T call for a check but they didn't get it right, giving Devin and Gabby the time they need to secure the win. Turns out being sabotaged didn't hurt them at all!
Back at the house, Devin thinks he'll be able to control the other guys with skulls because they'll do anything to stay out of elimination themselves. And he promises CT the first choice and Nam the second, assuming it's a guy's elimination week. He's gunning to put Josh in against CT or Nam knowing that will guarantee Josh losing his skull and his spot in the game (while also hurting his overly inflated ego). Meanwhile, Fessy and Josh feel cocky thinking it's a girls' elimination week and they'll be safe with their Big Brother alliance numbers. And Gabby thinks she'll have power to put herself in, not realizing that Devin has no intention of risking his own skull. There's a lot of assuming going on here.
At Club COVID that night, Devin proves that he's once again the most self-aware player in this game, summing up his whole strategy and personality in one perfect sentence: "I'm pretty difficult to deal with when I don't have power; imagine how difficult to deal with I'm going to be when I do have power." This is why he's so entertaining to watch on this show! We stan someone who knows their place in this game. He also refuses to entertain Gabby's wishes to put herself into an elimination, even though she's sure it will be a girls' elimination due to two female gold skulls still being up for grabs.
Later that night, Devin makes the proclamation that any team that doesn't vote for Josh and Nany is on the chopping block in his eyes. But Josh tries to intimidate Devin (what a hilarious sentence that is, huh?) by saying that he won't be able to get the votes necessary to send Josh in. But wait, I thought Josh was confident that it'll be a female elimination this week? Shouldn't he be supporting his partner Nany, who wants to get her gold skull? Methinks Josh is still terrified of going into eliminations despite all his bravado after winning his first one! But watching literally the entire house beg Josh to stop talking with Devin (because they know how it always ends up for him) was maybe the funniest unintentional piece of comedy this show has ever given us. The house is as sick of Josh's dumb attempts at grabbing camera time as the rest of us. You love to see it.
The next day, Nam tries to campaign for him and Lolo to be the house vote but they can't agree on their best course of action. Lolo says she needs a coach to tell her what to do, and that honestly makes a lot of sense — she's an Olympic athlete so she's got the skill to do well in this game but her mental game is a total mess. She keeps putting words into Nam's mouth about how he supposedly feels about her, but he's never said anything about having an issue with her "intensity." Feels like she's maybe projecting some of her own stuff onto him. She keeps arguing in circles and it's got to be so frustrating for Nam.
Amber M. and Cory put on a great show of confidence and ask to be the house vote. But then Lolo says unlike most people, she doesn't care who she goes against and just wants to go into elimination no matter what for the chance at her gold skull. What she wants even more than that though is the chance to get a different teammate than Nam, and I just don't know which guy will want to work with her after seeing how she's treated him. And her turning on the waterworks and trying to appeal to everyone by asking for help in getting a new teammate isn't going to work, because the other teams want her feeling out of gas and frustrated with her current teammate. That only helps everyone else!
After the house votes, Devin and Gabby learn that Amber M. and Cory are indeed the compromised agents, voted in by Fessy, Aneesa, Big T, Kaycee, Leroy, Darrell, Amber B., Kam, Nany, Josh, Amber M., and Cory. Devin's disappointed to see his campaign against Josh and Nany didn't work, and he wants to send Kam into elimination for revenge. But Gabby won't go with his plans to rock the boat. They can't agree on anything.
Walking into The Crater, we see the setup for a Challenge classic: Hall Brawl. Nany's excited because she's never gotten the chance to compete in this elimination in all her past seasons, and for some reason, Amber M. still wants to be the compromised agent even knowing that it's Hall Brawl and she's tiny. She's about to get demolished no matter who Devin and Gabby throw in against her.
When TJ asks Devin and Gabby who Amber M. and Cory's opponents are, Gabby says she's not going in herself. Even TJ is stunned and tries to convince her to change her mind to no avail. What a stupid decision! Giving up the chance at going against tiny Amber M. in a Hall Brawl?! That's a guaranteed win. These rookies are idiots. Gabby and Devin vote for Amber B. and Darrell, and for some reason, Amber B. is upset about it?! Do they not understand this is what they should want?! Meanwhile, Josh and Nany are upset they weren't voted in. Nany is the only one who should be mad. Why is Josh yelling? Can someone please send him home?
TJ announces it's a female elimination, robbing us of a Cory vs. Darrell showdown in Hall Brawl. What an amazing full-circle moment that would have been for Darrell to get his revenge on Cory for Dirty XXX! Instead, we get the battle of the Ambers for some more rookie drama and Gabby is somehow mad at Devin for not being in the elimination herself even though she had multiple chances to vote herself in. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Elimination challenge: Hall Brawl. But instead of racing to the opposite end in multiple rounds, players run continuously until they make three trips back and forth, bringing three balls to their end.
On the first hit, Amber M. tries to take down Amber B. but she doesn't stand a chance. Amber B. plays rugby and is twice the size of Amber M. After two hits, Amber M. is done. There's no actual competition. This was the worst, most boring Hall Brawl in the history of this show. Amber B. gets the win even quicker than anyone expected — which is saying a lot. Gabby is kicking herself for making the dumbest decision of the season. And Amber M. is finally out of the game, making Cory a rogue agent once again. He should be used to that role by now! Amber B. chooses to stay with Darrell as her partner, so nothing really changes after this episode. What a boring turn of events.
Challenger of the week: Devin for somehow convincing his partner to make the dumbest move of the season when it comes to her own game, just on the off chance that it would benefit his own. His manipulation skills are off the charts.