The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies recap: Fessy takes a shot at a vet — and misses
After Tommy was sent home (naked) with a concussion and the one-on-one female elimination sent Tacha home in last week's episode, things were not looking good for the remaining rookies on The Challenge: Spies, Lies, and Allies. But Fessy decided he wanted to throw the veteran alliance in the trash for his own benefit this week by targeting someone in his own Big Brother crew. Too bad it didn't work out for him! All it did was solidify his legacy as "messy" Fessy... in case there were any doubts after last season.
At the top of this week's episode, the rookies are really feeling the heat from the veteran alliance and Corey and Priscilla want to do something about it. But it's way too late now that they've lost their numbers advantage. And while Big T and Logan have a meeting of the minds in the cabana about the game, it's really just an excuse to get closer since they're both crushing on each other. The real meeting of the minds is happening on the other side of the house, as Fessy tries to convince Josh that his partner Amber should go next because he's worried she'll come for him first. Josh frantically tries to squash that idea but we all know how Fessy gets when he wants something — to hell with logic and everyone else.
Meanwhile, I could watch an entire episode of CT coaching Hughie in the gym. This is comedy gold. But I also think it's telling that CT thinks Hughie could be an "underrated" rookie. His performance in last week's intense challenge was a big eye-opener after his freak out in the beginning. But you know what I never want to see again? That creepy deep fake combination of Kyle and Devin's faces smashed together. I get it, they're BFFs and each other's No. 1 allies but that was crossing a line!
And it's so tough watching anything involving the "Big Brother alliance" since Kaycee is telling Amber one thing and then immediately negating it the next second in her interviews. Amber should know she can't trust the other Big Brother alums after how they treated and talked about her last season, but they're all trying to get her to anyway. And it's starting to work if Amber talking about "seeing that growth" in Fessy is any indication. She says she thinks Fessy is being genuine to her right now, but he's literally going behind her back to get her own partner to turn on her. Amber, you in danger, girl.
The Challenge: Undercover Comms
One team member is suspended upside down on a giant rig 35 feet above the water, going back and forth to communicate three different Morse codes via walkie-talkies to their partner on land. The partner on the ground will then use those codes to find the right numbers on the answer key hidden among the rubble, and then use those numbers to unlock their cases. Inside each case is a detonator that can be used to deactivate any team of their choosing, dropping them into the water. The team that gets to the third detonator first drops all the remaining teams and wins the entire thing.
Before the challenge even starts, all the vets agree their first target is going to be Michele and Corey, ensuring the last remaining rookie-rookie team will be the house vote and sent into elimination. And Hughie is once again freaking out about the heights aspect of this challenge, while Ashley is once again yelling at him to just do it. Seeing Ashley as the level-headed person on her team is a hilarious turn of events. But why does she keep putting Hughie in the part of the challenge that has to do with heights?
In the first heat, Corey struggles even getting to the codes, which frustrates Michele on the ground since she knows they have to win to be safe. While Big T is the first person to start unlocking a case, Josh is the first to actually open one, and he drops Jeremiah, eliminating Big T as well. That's not what the vet alliance had agreed on and Big T is pissed. CT drops the next bomb and eliminates Corey/Michele as discussed, but his reward is Josh dropping Berna next, eliminating their team. Ashley gets her first bomb and she exacts her revenge on Nelson, dropping him because he broke her heart. With Amber's help, Josh gets his third case unlocked, dropping the rest of the teams and winning the first heat.
In the next heat, since there aren't any rookie-rookie teams to sabotage, the vets decide to work together (kind of) and agree that if there's a team that's doing well, they won't get dropped, so the winner is guaranteed to come from this heat. That only works if everyone plays ball though. Right off the bat, Amanda decides to say screw it to the walkie talkie and just screams down to Kyle, which puts him in first place, but he doesn't understand the vet agreement at all. Esther eventually gets the first case open, and she drops Tori/Ed while Devin drops Gabo/Nany. Logan drops Kacyee/Emanuel next, and then Kyle, confused, drops Devin/Emy, which Devin doesn't understand since they're supposed to be allies. Plus, Devin was in the lead so it goes against the deal they struck. And everyone else decides that this move means Kyle can't be trusted anymore. The veteran alliance is starting to show cracks! Esther then drops Aneesa/Logan, gets the third bomb first, and drops Kyle/Amanda, winning the heat for her and Fessy.
As soon as all the players reunite, Devin immediately calls out Kyle for betraying him. Kyle, meanwhile, says he just wanted to win and it didn't mean anything. As the vets argue, the rookies watch with big smiles on their faces. The castle is crumbling!
TJ reveals that the overall winners are Fessy and Esther, so you know there's going to be some drama later if/when Fessy takes a shot at Amber. I bet the Big Brother alliance doesn't survive this episode. But right now, the bigger issue is Devin vs. Kyle, because this betrayal isn't sitting right with Devin. And some of the vets (like Cory and Nelson) are considering taking out Kyle now before he can screw them over first, veteran alliance be damned.
With all this trouble brewing, why not pour some alcohol on it with a night out? Corey knows he's about to be the house vote with Michele, so he tries to make a deal with Fessy for who his opponents will be — he wants Hughie and Bettina. Meanwhile, Devin and Josh solidify their new alliance. They know their best shot at winning a final is against each other and not against the CT's of the world. And Josh actually gives Devin good advice about not acting out about Kyle's betrayal right now since it would likely ruin their current good spot in this game. I'm shocked at how well these two are working together this season. It shows a lot of maturity, intelligence, and growth. But how long can it last?
While Amber and Jeremiah make out in the corner, Fessy and Esther have a team meeting where Esther points out how she wants to play her game, not Fessy's, because it could be her name on the block next time while Fessy has his veteran alliance to save him. She makes a solid argument but of course, Fessy doesn't listen to her. Fessy isn't exactly known for treating his female partners with the respect they deserve.
The next day, Kyle apologizes to Devin for making a stupid decision "in the heat of the moment" to sabotage him, explaining that he just wanted to win for once. Devin gives him some grief for it but eventually accepts his apology since he knows he can't make an emotional play right now. Consider this beef settled for now.
Michele kicks off the deliberation because she knows it's "universally" been decided that she and Corey are going to be the house vote, and they're not trying to fight that. What she and Corey want is to be put against rookies who haven't had to fight for their spot in the game yet. It's the typical "earn your stripes" philosophy that the vets always fall back on. But Ashley doesn't want strong players to stick around for her to lose to later. And Hughie doesn't exactly speak up, so Michele and Corey go in on him, pointing out how he's had an easy ride so far. Then Hughie reveals he actually voted for himself last time instead of nominating another team, earning him a lot of shocked faces (including from his own partner Ashley who had no idea!). Hughie is not doing himself any favors here.
But of course, Michele and Corey end up as the house vote. The real decision is going to be who Fessy and Esther send in as their opponents. Ashley doesn't care anymore about Hughie's fate since he burned a vote on their own team, and Hughie tearfully tries to apologize to her but she's over it. And Fessy still wants to throw Amber in, despite Josh's continuous pleading to spare his partner. This is going to be Fessy's true test of loyalty.
The drama begins immediately when the players arrive at The Lair. Esther and Fessy throw in Hughie for the guy, but as for the girl? "Sheesh!" Fessy says, before beginning a stupid speech that sets off alarm bells for Josh. Both Amber and Josh start shouting at Fessy to change his vote because they know where this is headed. Josh gets the most pissed I've ever seen him on this show because his own "best friend" Fessy is deliberately trying to take out his partner. But Fessy is dead set on targeting Amber. The fighting goes on for so long that TJ takes out his phone and just tunes it out, which has to be a first.
Kaycee might be the biggest snake of them all, however, because she's trying to get Josh to give it up and stop trying to save Amber, even after she spent the beginning of this episode convincing Amber to trust in the "Big Brother alliance." Big Brother on The Challenge is such a joke at this point! There's no way they're going to be able to come back from this mess. Security eventually has to step in to separate Josh and Fessy while TJ(!) literally yells at Josh to shut up, and Fessy and Esther finally make it official, sending in Amber. RIP Big Brother alliance. RIP veteran alliance. RIP to whatever shred of decency Fessy had left in his reputation.
Elimination challenge: Down to the Wire. Each pair will be handcuffed together to a pole and must navigate an obstacle course to get the key that unlocks their cuffs. The first team to unlock from the pole, wins.
Before the elimination begins, it starts pouring rain, setting the mood. And while the teams start off neck-and-neck, Hughie taps into some adrenaline and he and Amber get a solid lead, which disappoints Fessy greatly. All of a sudden, Michele and Corey get stuck because something goes wrong with Corey's cuffs. Hughie starts yelling at them because he says that's just part of the elimination, but Michele and Corey are getting fed up. And Hughie won't stop yelling and gloating, but he's not focusing on the actual elimination. It's the biggest mess I've ever seen in an elimination. Eventually, Corey and Michele get their key, but they're so far behind... until Hughie drops his key, which Fessy and Esther notice but don't point out. Amber finally notices and Hughie is able to reach it with his foot. Amber literally does a flip over the pole at one point, and they eventually make it to the end and win.
Amber shouts, "F--- Big Brother!" while Hughie and Corey start fighting and security has to come in to separate them. Once things calm down, TJ points out how the women won and lost with grace but the men didn't. Corey tearfully admits he regrets going against Hughie because as the two gay men in the house, they shouldn't have worked against each other. They finally hug it out, and Emanuel runs down to hug and kiss Michele goodbye. This is such an elimination upset, and so much drama erupted before, during, and after it that I'm still processing it all.
But as for the winners, both Amber and Hughie immediately say they don't want to stay as partners. Ashley tells Hughie that while she loves him, it's a firm "no" on continuing to be partners, so he picks Nany instead! And Amber and Josh break up so Amber can partner up with "No. 1 draft pick" Devin, leaving Gabo and Emy as a new rookie-rookie pair for all the vets to target next. That also means Ashley and Josh are now partners. And everyone's mad at messy Fessy again. So while partners switch up constantly, some things just never change.
Challenger of the week: Devin and Josh for proving that their new truce is more solid than anyone could have imagined.