Who was eliminated in episode 10, "Precious Stones?"

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After TJ cryptically didn't let Cory and Bettina choose new partners after they won last week's elimination on The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies, we all knew the game was about to get hit with a twist. But while the assumption was that it would become an individual game, I bet no one predicted TJ would change the format from pairs into three teams. It's been a while since we've seen three teams fight it out on The Challenge, so I'm pumped to see how this plays out!

But before the players learn the new twist, they arrive back at the house and Cory's got revenge on his mind while CT's not surprised that Amber was the first vet to go. And while Tori's freaking out about not having a partner, CT knows this just means the format of the game is changing moving forward and it's not that big of a deal. He's so calm about everything that he's literally trying to go to sleep while Tori keeps talking his ear off. Let the man sleep!

The Challenge
CT on 'The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies'
| Credit: MTV

The next day both Bettina and Priscilla cry as they talk about their motivations for being here, and getting the focus like this all of a sudden in your rookie season means one of them is probably going soon — maybe even in this episode. What makes an even bigger impact is watching Amanda video chat with her young son, because this is the most human we've ever seen the self-proclaimed "Spawn of Satan." It's amazing to see throughout this season how much she's matured since becoming a mother — she still knows how to pick fights and stir pots with the best of them, but she's definitely grown up too. This is one of the many reasons why I love The Challenge — we spend so many years watching the same people return as they grow and change for the better. It's heartwarming and rewarding in a way that other reality shows can't be.

And while Big T's idea of pillow talk with Logan is telling him the story of Oedipus marrying his mother, unfortunately it's not the way to Logan's heart because while Big T saying that she's found her soul mate, Logan is ready to call it quits. Maybe Big T should have left all the Oedipal talk for after the season ended.

The Challenge
'The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies'
| Credit: MTV

The Challenge: Diamond Dash

After quite a long, drawn out wait, we finally learn the big twist and it's pretty much what we expected — there are no more pairs this season! The fact that players don't have to rely on partners anymore excites some players like Cory and Ed, but it's the worst news for rookies like Priscilla and Bettina. There's no more vets to hide behind or be protected by, and it's every man and woman for themselves. At least, for now...

The first individual challenge begins with a long race down a trail to collect a sledgehammer and players must then pick one of three checkpoints to complete to get a code to unlock a safe. Once they retrieve the diamond inside the safe, they race to the next checkpoint where they will receive their next instructions. So we've got ourselves a mini-final! Time to see who can put up or shut up.

After the beginning run, it actually doesn't matter who gets to the rock pile first since it comes down to luck of whoever can find the hidden sledgehammers first. A bunch of guys like Emanuel, Nelson, Ed, and Logan get to the first checkpoint where they have to use binoculars to find their hidden codes posted on signs far off in the distance, while others like Cory, Nelson, CT, and Kyle go the checkpoint where they have to find a box that can fit through a wall before scaling the wall to get to the other side to get their codes. A lot of the women go to the third option, where they have to scratch paint off a board to reveal their codes. And to be honest, it's the scratching option that looks like the worst one.

The Challenge
'The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies'
| Credit: MTV

Nelson is the first to get his diamond and discovers the next stage comes with a choice of which one of three "cells" he'll join, between Sapphire, Emerald, or Ruby. He picks the Sapphire cell. Josh is the next to get his code right and despite trying to help Kaycee and Devin, they all realize they have different codes. There's no helping in this challenge! When Josh arrives at the three cells, he picks Emerald but agrees to still work with Nelson, and Ed decides to wait to pick to see who else shows up first. He may be a rookie but he's no idiot. Cory picks the Ruby cell, but he also agrees to work with Nelson despite being in different cells. I see the logic in the three of them picking different teams, but if they're all on different teams, one of them is going to have to come in last. They should have spread out between two cells and then worked together to demolish the third cell. But let's see how this works out for them.

Devin and Emanuel both pick Emerald, Priscilla and Emy pick Ruby, and Ed finally picks Sapphire. Then CT runs up and everyone practically begs as they attempt to recruit him to their team, but it's no real competition since Cory's got two rookie girls with him and Nelson and Ed are like "two shiny sports cars" and "work horses" so CT goes with them on Sapphire. Kyle eventually picks Ruby, and then Kaycee runs up and it's yet again another campaign since everyone wants her in their cell. But to no one's surprise (although CT's disappointed) she picks Emerald to be with Josh and her old partner Emanuel. Then Ashley picks Sapphire, Tori picks Emerald, and it becomes clear that no one wants to be on Ruby (sorry Cory!).

The Challenge
'The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies'
| Credit: MTV

Back at the checkpoint, Logan struggles with the binoculars and just starts punching in numbers at random — and it actually works! But during his run to the cells, he feels something crack in his leg. That's not a good sign, especially since he eventually picks the Ruby cell, which is already looking like the weakest team. Nany finally finishes and picks Emerald. And when Big T runs up, she listens to CT and picks Ruby because she believes he has her "best interests at heart," when in actuality he just doesn't want her on his team. Brutal. Amanda finally finishes and heads to Sapphire, and Bettina, in last place, takes her spot in Sapphire as well.

Now that everyone's chosen their cells, TJ announces these cells are going to be the teams moving forward. So it's actually not individual at all! And also, the challenge isn't over yet. Cells now have to race down a trail and use their sledgehammers to smash cinder blocks and make rubble that's small enough to fit through cages to fill their buckets but heavy enough to sink the cages to free their diamond. Whichever cell gets their diamond free first wins and will be safe from elimination.

The Challenge
'The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies'
| Credit: MTV

Sapphire starts crushing this challenge from the start, with the three big guys CT, Nelson, and Ed smashing the rubble and the three women, Ashley, Amanda, and Bettina, running the pieces back and forth. The Ruby cell has no idea what they're doing while Emerald (thanks to Devin) realizes they don't need to fit the pieces through the cage if they just weigh the bucket down on top of it anyways. That loophole works and Emerald quickly pulls out the win. The unofficial motto of The Challenge should just be "work smarter, not harder" because finding those loopholes always gets the win.

Then TJ reveals this is a women's elimination, so that night at the club, everyone starts hypothesizing what Emerald is going to do. Either they weaken the stronger Sapphire cell by taking out a stronger female or they take an easy shot at Ruby to figure out how this new game works without pissing off a strong player or team. The next morning, Emerald has their own deliberation before nominations, and Emanuel does his best to make sure Emy's name is off the chopping block. And it soon becomes clear a lot of these players want to target Ashley again but don't want to do the dirty work themselves. Ugh. Same story, different week.

The Challenge
Devin, Josh, Tori, Nany, Emanuel, and Kaycee on 'The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies'
| Credit: MTV

Nominations

Once all the teams arrive in the nominations chamber, Cory immediately calls out Kyle for not being a team player because he wore green and not red, unlike all the other teams who wore their matching colors. It's clear that Kyle wants nothing to do with the Ruby team, and he'll do whatever it takes to join Emerald.

But it's not a male elimination, so that drama gets put on the back burner while all the females fight for their lives. Priscilla makes three good points on why she shouldn't be called down into The Lair again while Ashley tries to shift the credit of all her wins to her better partners and teams, which absolutely no one buys. It was a nice try though! All the other women plead their cases, and after 20 minutes The Agency votes to compromise: Priscilla. They'd rather take a shot at a rookie who already has a target on her back than angering a vet when they haven't even heard all the rules of this new format yet. That's the smart move, and with Devin in power here I'm not surprised that this is the outcome.

Elimination

Voting in Priscilla wasn't just the smart move; it was also the right one. Because at The Lair, TJ has another bomb to drop — Priscilla gets to pick her own opponent! And she swings big, picking two-time champ Ashley, because if she loses to her at least she knows she lost to one of the best. You can't deny that Priscilla is one brave rookie — after destroying the vet alliance, she's still making big moves, risking her own game in the process. And Ashley takes it really well this time. Maybe she's learned to control her elimination anxiety after the past few losses. I guess we're about to find out!

The Challenge
Priscilla on 'The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies'
| Credit: MTV

Elimination challenge: Seek and Destroy. Players must dig up eight colored tires that are hidden deep in the sand and place each one on a pole. Then they must memorize a sequence of colored lights and re-stack their tires in the correct order. Whoever gets their tires in the right order first, wins. There's a lot of strength and endurance needed for this, and I think Ashley's experience is going to win out... if only she can control her emotions and not melt down. Which is asking a lot!

Both women attack the sand ferociously at the beginning, but Ashley gets an early lead while Priscilla gets tired almost immediately. Throughout the elimination, Ashley continues to prove why she's the only female champ left in the game as she extends her lead on Priscilla and gets all her tires while Priscilla is only halfway done. And when Ashley gets overwhelmed memorizing the right color sequence, thankfully all her vet friends help her out by calling out the right order. It's a sweet moment that's giving me flashbacks to when Cara Maria finally had all the vets rooting for her during an elimination after being the underdog for so long. And my heart really went out to Priscilla in this moment because she knew all the cards were stacked against her. Eventually Ashley gets all her tires in the right order and wins, sending Priscilla home. I'm bummed that Priscilla's gone because she's responsible for spicing up this season, but seeing how happy Ashley is after being supported by so many of the other players was heartwarming.

The Challenge
Ashley and Priscilla on 'The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies'
| Credit: MTV

But wait, there's more! TJ still has one more twist up his sleeve. Now that Ashley's won, she gets a choice. She can either stay with Sapphire, or she can infiltrate another cell — including Emerald. Not even The Agency is safe from infiltration now! But Ashley knows her best bet is to stay with Sapphire, so she does. Sorry, Ruby! Looks like Cory and Kyle's team is going to continue to be the sacrificial lamb.

Challenger of the week: Once again it's Priscilla. Even though she lost the elimination, she was never scared to compete against the best. Some vets would never have that kind of courage (looking at you, Tori "I want to go against the weakest player" Deal).

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The Challenge

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