After winning MTV’s The Challenge: Vendettas earlier this year, Cara Maria Sorbello is back in action for her 12th season, Final Reckoning. As she vies for the $1 million prize alongside rival and partner Marie Roda, she’s blogging about it exclusively on PEOPLE! Follow Cara Maria on Twitter at @CaraMariaMTV.
There’s so much ground to cover from this week’s episode, so let’s just dive right in, shall we?
Kyle & Paulie
The boys are still steaming from the way Paulie left things in Armageddon (who can forget him telling Brad that his girl Britni hooked up with her ex, Chuck, while in Redemption House?!), and Kyle makes it known he wants to fight Paulie when he sees him again. Insider’s Note: Paulie still wants this set up. MMA rules. Hands-on. Can someone make this happen? I would pay for tickets to that show. Italy vs Ireland. Who is your money on?
Da’Vonne & Jozea
Fresh off their win and now entering the main house, these two know they have information that the rest of the Challengers want. Playing a Big Brother strategy, Day and Jozea plan on using information (even the made-up or exaggerated kind) to help their political game as rookies among the sharks.
Angela & Bananas
These two are getting closer. Bananas has a soft spot for this bad girl. I know this because he always told me nice things about her in the house. As for Angela, it’s clear that being in the pants of a champion veteran player is in her game plan to get closer to that million-dollar prize money. No relationship is more important than that million dollars, so whatever Angela has going on with her boo at home be damned. Work what you got, I guess! #teamstoleyaman
CT & Veronica
Veronica’s nightmare was that she would be partners with CT and have to actually compete and try to win. Of course, her nightmare is every Challenger’s DREAM. CT is there for the million. He has a son he wants to provide for and not a lot of Challenges left in him. He knows what he is working with and is trying everything he can to get Veronica in the same mindset as him. She wants no part of it. The frustration and disconnect in this team is so thick you can cut it with a knife.
Nelson, Kayleigh & Faith
Nelson and Kayleigh are an eternal emotional roller coaster. They get after each other to the lowest points so they can get high off the make-up. Kayleigh shows she cares by being vocal that she is jealous or bothered by other women flirting with Nelly. Nelson gets a high off of seeing how Kayleigh is affected. Faith may look like she is being used as a pawn in the middle, but she has her own calculated plans. She gets a personal high flirting with men that other women have affection for as she settles into her familiar role of “the other woman.” Kayleigh already mentioned to me in the house that Nelson (along with Kyle) was on Faith’s radar as someone she wanted to cause a scene with for story line. Faith is extremely calculated. As angry and betrayed as Kayleigh feels by Nelson and by Faith, she is letting herself get played right into their hands. It’s clear this story has no shortage of twists and turns.
Shark Bait! (aka the Purge Challenge)
Players jump from hanging meats and ropes over shark-infested waters. Teams that make it the farthest the fastest win a special advantage in the next challenge. And the team with the slowest time gets sent straight to the redemption house. This Challenge seems tailor-made for people with long limbs and good upper body strength. But the first steak is a lot farther from the first platform than it looks on your TV screen!
Zach Tarzans across the first couple of obstacles but his heavy muscles get the best of him and down he drops. Meanwhile, Amanda, one of the tiniest girls in the house, musters all her willpower to make her way to the last platform to be with her man Joss. While Joss and Amanda celebrate, they both seem to have forgotten that it is a purge challenge. Joss left Sylvia hanging. Literally. She can’t make it across and subsequently joins Zach in the waters below.
Brad and Kyle, the tallest team of the bunch, swing across to the last platform in record time. It’s clear Kyle only does arm day in the gym so this is no challenge for him. This team is my worst nightmare to win. I can only hope somebody else pulls through.
Enter Tony and Johnny. Tony has been in Johnny’s shadow way too long; it’s a big reason why Tony went after Johnny on Vendettas. So Johnny lets Tony take the lead on this challenge to show that he has faith in him as a competitor and not just as a lapdog. They fly through but Tony has a little hiccup in the middle that may cost them the win. I am putting all of my money on this team. I need them to win. I don’t want my fate in Kyle‘s hands.
Now, CT and Veronica. In hindsight, CT should’ve used a different strategy. He should have pulled the steak to the platform and made sure Veronica got on it. He could’ve then pushed her steak to the next rope so she could have grabbed it and had a chance to move farther. Instead, CT goes first in hopes that Veronica with her tiny little limbs can do it herself. Veronica gives it the old college try but it isn’t good enough. CT clearly isn’t happy. It looks like these guys just bought themselves a ticket to Redemption House.
Marie and I are up, and Marie, with her long reach, pulls the steak to the platform so that I can jump on. This is good teamwork. Upper body climbing type challenges are my biggest strength. I swing over to the next one and try to help her the best I can but I am unable to throw the rope back at her just as she is unable to swing her steak to grab it. Marie seems to try her best but just can’t hold on. I finish the challenge and swing to the other platform because I sure as hell am not dropping into this water. On the other side of me, neither Kam nor Kayleigh are able to make it to the other platform despite their best efforts.
SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Tori & Derrick.
You guys have no idea what this was like to watch in real life. Derrick looks like the most athletic man in the house. But this guy moves like a drunken baby learning to walk on ice. He jumps from obstacle to obstacle with absolutely zero coordination. It’s like he’s not even looking where he’s going before he jumps. And before you know it, he’s in the water. Tori is not surprised and not happy. It’s evident this season that no matter what kind of a player you are, your partner can make or break you.
WINNERS: Brad & Kyle
PURGED: CT & Veronica
CT and Veronica join Natalie and Paulie in redemption, where CT makes it known how angry he is to be on Team Layup. I can really empathize with CT in this situation but stomping around the house and making your partner feel worse is not the way to get closer to $1 million. I’ve been lucky to be CT’s partner on various daily challenges in the past. I LOVE HIM. He is usually so supportive and so strong. Seeing him pout like this is unusual for me. You need to support your partner and work with what you have. Paulie still encourages Natalie and gave her hope even when she wasn’t able to pull through for him. Win as a team. Lose as a team. CT could have had a different tactic to help Veronica do her best, but like Joss, he seemed more focused on rolling solo.
Unfortunately, nothing seems real until you feel that million truly slipping from your reach. I understand CT’s frustration more than anything. It’s a tough situation. Veronica doesn’t want to be in it either. However, CT needs to swallow his pride and give his partner some sort of encouragement if he has any hopes of making it back into the main house.
We end with Brad and Brittni. Brad has been crazy over the lies Paulie planted in Brad’s head that Brit slept with Chuck in Redemption House. Most Challengers are feeding into the lies. Insider’s Note: I had a personal chat with Brad that doesn’t air. I told him that I know Brit and I know her true feelings for both him and Chuck and that I just do not believe she would do what she has been accused of. However, he is finally going to get some peace of mind when he speaks to her himself on video chat… next week.
Have fun with that my friends! The plot is always thickening on The Challenge, but I am here to help you cut it up. Make sure to check back next week for another recap and more juicy insider secrets from yours truly.
The Challenge: Final Reckoning airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on MTV.