Posted on February 10, 2017 at 06:56 pm
The challenge is finally back, and this season looks like it's definitely going to be an upgrade from the past couple years! We finally have a great cast and a new format besides the recycled 2-person team format that they've been using in the past. This season will have 18 underdogs battling for 12 spots in the "Oasis," which is basically just a normal challenge house, but the twist is once they make it to the Oasis, they are greeted by 8 champions who are trying to spoil the game for them. But enough about the format and cast of the challenge... Let's get into the episode. At the end of the article I will be giving you my fantasy winners of the week, and early next week you will get my fantasy power rankings.
We are starting off the episode with the underdogs coming to the island that they will be staying on, and before the contestants even make it to camp we get Anika gracefully falling off of the boat and faceplanting into the water. From the looks of it, I'm not sure she's going to be making it very far, but I could be wrong. The contestants walk up on the beach to see a Survivor-like camp that is set up for them and they are confused as to why they aren't being bathed in luxury with a mansion. TJ comes up to let the contestants know that this camp is where they are going to be staying for a little while, but they can win their way into the Oasis during the game (i.e. winning a challenge or an elimination). What this means to me is that we are going to have to get through 3 eliminations before we even get to see the champions come into the game.
During the first night of partying, we see that Tony is not going to be drinking this season but still makes the Bananas toast to everyone to start the night off. There's not a whole lot that goes on besides two romances starting (Cory and Kailah; Marie and Anthony) and some small politicking and people trying to get ready for the first challenge.
As the contestants walk up to the first challenge, we see a big, open muddy area filled with obstacles. TJ explains the challenge and states that it will be an individual challenge, but contestants will also have to work with other people to help them get through. First, they have to stack mud up to get over a bamboo wall. Then, they have to dig under the next bamboo wall, and then finally untangle a heavy idol from a rope maze and then place it on a hook and run across the finish line. TJ states that the male and female winner will earn their way into the Oasis, while the last place male and female will automatically be thrown into the first elimination.
Right off the bat, we can see that there's a divide in the house. Coming up to the first wall we have Tony, Kailah, Cory, Jenna and Bruno vs. the rest of the cast. I have no idea why they did that and singled themselves out. They could've easily worked together with everyone else and made it over the wall faster and not pissed anybody else off, but I digress. After making it over the wall and under the next wall, we see the true area of the obstacle that will separate everyone in this challenge: the rope maze. In the end, the female winner was Nicole, and the male winner was Dario (that's right Dario). With this win, Nicole and Dario both earned their way into the Oasis first. The last place finishers, who both quit before it was even over, were Marie and Bruno.
After the challenge, there was a little scuffle between Nelson and Tony, because Nelson is trying to be "Mr. Nice Guy" and feels like he needs to help everyone during an INDIVIDUAL challenge and is blaming Tony for not helping out Bruno during the whole challenge. This ends up becoming the divide in the house. You're either "Team Nelson" or "Team Tony/Real World Skeletons."
Whenever everyone gets back from the challenge we see that the divide in the house starts to be drawn. It ends up being Real World Skeletons plus Kailah and Jenna vs. Team Nelson, which is basically the rest of the house (even though some people didn't explicitly state what side they were on). Before the nominations, Nelson decides that Sylvia is the weakest one of the Skeletons side and the easiest to "sway," so he tells her that they have the numbers and if she doesn't switch sides she's going to have a target on her back.
At nominations, TJ tells everyone that the girls are going to vote the guys in and the guys are going to vote the girls in. During the guys voting, it is split 50/50 between Tony and Theo and then we get down to Sylvia. In the end she decides to go against her alliance and vote in Tony. I really don't know if it would've mattered either way because we don't know what the tie breaker is, but I still think it's not the greatest decision. She's going to be the outcast on Team Nelson and now she doesn't have anybody behind her on Team Skeletons either. During the girls' voting, it was unanimous, minus Tony voting for Sylvia, and Kailah was sent in. After they both got nominated, TJ tells the contestants that the winners of elimination challenges get to punch their ticket into the Oasis.
TJ announces that the elimination challenges this year (well at least until they move into the Oasis) will only include the 4 contestents participating in the elimination and that there will be no spectators. Whenever they get to the elimation, it's just a pit and looks like there's going to be something physical. Finally, a physical elimination! That's another thing that the challenge has been lacking over the past couple years. First, it's Kailah vs. Marie. Honestly, halfway through this elimination, it looked like Marie was in a good spot, but then she got gassed and Kailah just sprinted around her to pull out the win. Second, it's Tony vs. Bruno. Their elimination went about the same way as Marie and Kailah's except a little more physical. It was all about endurance and who got gassed quicker, which in this case was Bruno, giving Tony the win.
Tony is the obvious choice this episode with him winning his first elimination, and also coming in 3rd during the regular challenge. Now, even though he is going to be sober this season, we will definitely see him in a lot of drama, like we saw in this first episode. Expect him to help out your team all around this year. The only question will be: How long can he last?
Nicole showed a lot this first episode. She ended up winning the first challenge and was the center of most of the drama happening around the house. Those are two things that will get you a lot of points in fantasy.