The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons, Episode 5 recap

If anybody was doubting the power of The Challenge and thinking the franchise was on the decline, clearly they haven’t been watching this year’s season. Fireworks started off with another twist in the Arena, and another classic Camila outburst.

Here to profess their love again for the show are our resident experts Greg Kaplan and Mike Aurigemma.

To read previous recaps of the season, click here.

Greg Kaplan: This season is reaffirming my belief in the beauty of The Challenge. Before we get into the game itself, Knight’s closet genius backfiring, Zach not having to show his “genius” in the Challenge this week or any of that, we need to talk about the three things that would be on your business card Mikey.

Mike Aurigemma: Well after my experiences throughout life, I would probably have the three below on my business card:

1. Seeing eye-dog trainer – I may be guilty of losing vision at times while drinking.  So I would definitely be able to train these dogs and then test them out on many occassions.
2. Train Robber – This is based off of my incredibly gifted talent of sneaking on trains while abroad. 
3. Heartbreaker – I’m an asshole.
I cannot wait to hear your three now Greg.  This should be a treat is a complete understatement.

GK: Those three are very hard to compete with. Very hard. After much thought (it took me about 2 hours to respond to this e-mail):
1. Degenerate Gambler – Just read my pick ‘em posts and see the trainwreck that are my investments.
2. Boxer – I’m 53-2-1 against drywall and doors in my lifetime. The two is for the time I ruptured a knuckle on my right hand. It hurt enough for two losses.
3. Race car driver – I’m a maybe 1-time circuit champion on the new Mario Kart for Wii.

Can’t have a Challenge without a Camila-sized meltdown

Alright, on to the Challenge itself. Let’s work this bad boy chronologically. My prediction finally came true when Big Easy and Camila were, well I guess eliminated isn’t the word. E quit on the competition, gift-wrapping Devyn and JD a win in the elimination. Camila had one of her trademark blowups one E quit, and the teases for the show made us want to believe that it was unwarranted. But, it kind of was, wasn’t it?

MA: I love your business card.  I think we should both go ahead and make these.
Now onto the episode and yes I think the previews made it seem like Camila was yelling at Big E for no reason at all.  I thought he was having one of his moments where he just sucked at the competition, but tried and just could not do it.  First off she was being pretty supportive of him at the beginning of it all.  Then he just flat out quit and gave that bullshit reason that the team was never working together so it didn’t matter and how they weren’t teammates at all.  That is just a bunch of crap coming out of his mouth in my opinion and he deserved what was said to him especially since it was in the heat of the moment.
This episode did not have much else in it as far as drama goes because we saw a lot of that in last weeks.  One thing that was brought up was the idea of throwing Vegas into the elimination.  That has to be coming soon.  How do you think that will change the dynamics in the house?

Will Vegas rise to the top?

GK: Words are words, Mike. As for the debate to throw in Vegas to the Arena was not surprising, but is very interesting. The tides of the game are shifting, and people had to see this coming. With Austin and Fresh Meat gone, teams from the alliance will have to go against each other.

Vegas was already on the outs thanks to the Knight/Nany fight plus Alton’s relationship with Sarah. I actually think we are seeing the house split in new directions. Vegas seems to be with Brooklyn now, with San Diego, Cancun and the two-man team of New Orleans.

This brings me to my next question. St Thomas is in a real interesting position. They’re the newest of teams, but hold all the power. Trey has made it clear he is against the alliance. Neither Robb or Marie appreciated having to take their team off the chopping block a couple weeks ago. If they join up with Brooklyn and Vegas, do we see a huge shift in the power structure?

MA: I think this is definitely something that we may see coming in the next couple of episodes.  Although I am not sure how much it will really swing the power.  The teams have to get the power by winning the challenges and so far we have seen both Cancun and San Diego dominate in that facet of the game.  The tricky part is that New Orleans is going to be extremely weak now and could end up going into the next elimination.  That would mean at least one member of their alliance would be in and it might be two depending on who wins the challenge.
Do you see any chance Vegas, Brooklyn or St. Thomas will be able to grab a challenge win and turn the tide into their favor?

GK: I do, actually. Alton can match Zach’s power if the competition is a physical event. Sarah is probably the smartest player left in the game, Knight not included. The only reason San Diego won last week’s event was that Frank, against all odds, turned out to be quite smart in the trivia challenge, while others thought there were 21 continents and the the Suns played in Utah. However, just because there aren’t many able bodies left in the alliance, we won’t see teams stacking up to go against another as easily as we have in the past. To me, there is no way Vegas would help team up against Brooklyn while San Diego is around hunting them down. And Brooklyn will likely help them out in any way, shape or form. We’ve been seeing so many lackluster challenges, but all that is about to change once teams realize it’s time to play for their own sake.
Alright, I think we’re at the point where we make our predictions. I look like a rockstar after correctly predicting the end of the Fresh Meat era, though we erred on not picking another team to go home. I’m feeling an upset this time around. I think Trey is primed to head into an elimination round, and I think he’s going to fail. St. Thomas is going to be a two-man tandem weaker. What do you think?

MA: Well I hate to jump on your winning streak, but I see Trey and Laura going home next week as well.  I think they will lose and get thrown in and Trey will probably volunteer to go in where he will choke.  If any of these new kids are primed to take the role of a veteran, I think Trey is a mirror image of a young Danny.  So we agree this week so at least if you brag, I will be right there with ya.