Throughout this surprisingly eventful episode, I thought Fessy made a really compelling case for why he should be invited back for future seasons, aside from being a very large man who has somehow duped the producers into thinking he’s CT’s successor simply because he’s very large. I honestly couldn’t care less whether Fessy backs up all of his shit-talking, and it will probably make for a better story if he never does. That’s what fans have to understand about Fessy even if you hate him: His lack of self-awareness and commitment to being a douchebag add tension and stakes where there are none. He’s like Kenya Moore on Real Housewives of Atlanta in that way! That being said, this man is giving us Jordan on Free Agents levels of arrogance and villainy that I know will only flourish as seasons go on, especially once he’s surrounded by a more combative group of personalities. Congrats, Fessy. You’ve officially won me over by being the worst!
I love that this episode starts with Fessy trying to hide the fact that he’s the worst. He returns from the Crater with his new teammate, Amber B., who, of course, is excited about their partnership and has no idea that Fessy hates her guts. All Fessy can manage to say is “Someone got an upgrade!” with the “upgrade” being himself, obviously. In another scene when the two of them are talking to Cory, he goes the extra step of making Amber B. think they’re going to run and win a final together, which you just know this poor woman believes. Meanwhile, Nany is the happiest I’ve seen her just to have Kyle back as her partner. Kyle does that thing where he pretends he doesn’t want to be paired with her again, but he’s mostly anxious about being sent into the Crater, which will inevitably happen unless he and Nany become the double agents at the next mission. Before the mission, though, we get a scene with Leroy and Kam discussing their fate in the hot tub. At this point, there’s no mystery to this nearly perfect and respectful union, so this scene feels a little unnecessary. I’m also in desperate need of a toxic couple on the show again after the amount of #relationshipgoals content we’ve been inundated with via KamRoy. If you couldn’t already tell, I want as much negativity on this show as possible.
Next, the thing that usually happens in a normal season of The Challenge when people get drunk and do stupid things and have to be told they’re going home happens: TJ shows up at the house! This time, it’s for a mission with a format we’ve seen before. The last time I remember seeing a challenge like this was during Rivals III when TJ took all the women to a location where they were buried underground, and their male partners had to answer trivia questions and race to dig them out. It rubbed me the wrong way when it aired, and I’m glad whoever arranges these challenges fixed it in the most clever way possible. TJ says that one teammate, male or female, from each team has to come with him. Of course, all the men volunteer to go with TJ under the assumption that they’ll be performing the crux of the mission. Fessy doesn’t even have a discussion with Amber B. about it because he doesn’t want to put his “fate in her hands.” But of course, the challenge puts all the fate in the women’s hands. The men are merely damsels in distress waiting inside a frozen volcano while their partners have to do long multiplication to rescue them.
Let’s just cut to the chase. This challenge was great because Amber B. is … not good at math, to put it politely. The “mental checkpoints” on the way to this volcano are long multiplication problems, as in multiplying a one-digit number by a three-digit number. The answer is the code for a lock to a briefcase, which made the math problems so much easier to complete because you can just put in each number right after you’ve solved it without having to memorize the entire answer. But Amber B. simply cannot figure out 928 times 7 no matter how many times she tries. I’m pretty sure she goes at this for at least an hour. She keeps groaning and saying that she hates math. No, Amber, the problem here is that you’re bad at math. You can hate math, like me, and still have a functioning mind to do it.
The rest of the women maintain the same order throughout the race, with Kam in first place, Nany in second, and Kaycee in third. Fessy is left alone in the volcano to whine like a petulant child. You just know the cameramen are having the time of their lives filming this. This is the kind of Schadenfreude we get to experience as viewers when people are brave enough to be assholes! Likewise, Fessy and Amber have to do a walk of shame to the rest of the cast after the mission is over. Fessy has a serial-killer calmness that makes me slightly worried for Amber B. on the bus ride home. Back at the house, Fessy is passive-aggressively telling Kaycee to vote Leroy into elimination over him. I’m not sure why Kaycee would want to run a final with Fessy at this point when she and Leroy have such a good thing going. I guess she assumes Fessy will be a good partner to her because he respects her as an athlete even though he’s been awful to every other woman he has worked with. It’s kind of like on Battle of Exes II when Jenna assumed Zach would be a good boyfriend to her even though he spent the entire season treating his ex Jonna like garbage. Stay away from this man, Kaycee!
Of course, Leroy can tell Kaycee is on the fence about sticking with their partnership because Kaycee is as easy to read as a stop sign. Ultimately, Kaycee does the thing that will keep the blood off her hands, which is try to convince Fessy to be the house vote and win the elimination so he can steal her from Leroy. Fessy isn’t down with this just yet, which is why, back at the house, Nany, Kam, and Leroy practically have to bully him into volunteering to be the house vote. Leroy, while giving CT a haircut, blurts out that Kyle and Fessy aren’t satisfied running the final with their partners. Amber B. is sulking in the kitchen as everyone’s openly discussing how unwanted she is. Nany doesn’t seem to care whether Kyle wants to work with her or not because she pretty much has her ticket to the final regardless, and it’s his ass on the line. Kam ends up having to console Amber B., who’s taking all of this to heart for reasons I don’t understand. Kam admits that, as much as she thinks the guys are dickheads when it comes to how they discuss the female competitors, she mostly just wants to make sure Amber B. won’t vote for Leroy.
Cory ends up being the one who emboldens Fessy to volunteer for the Crater, simply by telling him that “legends do legendary things.” Fessy’s love language is apparently things you would see on Nike T-shirts. Meanwhile, Leroy makes a plan — without Kam’s permission — to secure Fessy as the house vote by promising Kyle that, if he votes for Fessy, Kam will volunteer to go into the Crater, which means Cory will have to go against Fessy and not him. This plan is based on the assumption that if the double-agent vote is split, TJ will force them to come down to the Crater. This has happened on previous seasons, but this season is so wacky and spontaneous it feels stupid to take this sort of risk at the end of the game. Also we’re not 100 percent sure it’s a guy’s day, even though it’s the logical next step to even out the teams. But again, nothing on this show has made much sense!
Leroy explains this deal to Kam in front of Kyle and makes her shake on it. Why Leroy thinks he can make Kam go through with a plan she didn’t concoct herself, I’m not sure. But we can tell by the look on Kam’s face that this handshake means nothing to her.
Next, we have the best deliberation of the entire season. For some reason, Fessy felt compelled to write and read a note explaining that he is actually not arrogant and just wants to prove himself with a better partner, confirming my theory that this man is a robot. He definitely could have freestyled this if he had a beating heart. Amber B., who is still so out of the loop, is being way too sincere about this and tearfully telling Fessy that she respects his decision to dump her. This is followed by Fessy complaining in his confessional that Amber B. made his speech about her. LOL.
At the Chamber, we find out everyone votes for Fessy and Amber B. Kam feels guilty about the plan to throw in Cory when she finds out how much work he put in to get Fessy to volunteer as house vote and save Leroy. It’s amazing the ways Cory has been spared this season simply by not being trash. Like we all expected, Kam doesn’t go through with the plan and votes Kyle into the Crater. Can I just say how much I hated this elimination? Like, vehemently hated it? First of all, these producers clearly want Fessy to make it to the final because they give him a Hall Brawl, which seems to be the only thing he can do. I don’t even believe Cory would have beaten Fessy in a Hall Brawl if he had been voted down there because Fessy is literally the width of the hall. So the producers basically sacrifice Kyle’s finger so this man can get a redemption arc he hasn’t earned.
This may be the first time I’ve felt real sympathy for Kyle. The way he begs to continue even though his finger is hanging off him and he technically should also have a concussion considering how hard Fessy hit him made me say, awww. Fessy gets no props for his second time winning a Hall Brawl because he can’t seem to win these things without almost killing someone. I maintain that having a natural physical advantage over someone is not the same thing as being good. Anyway, Kyle goes home. Fessy picks Kaycee. Leroy picks Nany. I honestly get more emotional seeing these former Real World roommates working together than Kam and Leroy. And Amber B. goes to CT, which can’t possibly go well. See you at the final!