The Challenge Recap: Sacrificial Jam

Among all of the fiery explosions, both literal and dramatic, The Challenge: Total Madness isn’t letting up just yet. Now that everyone left in the game has
a red skull, anything can — and will — happen, including yet another double elimination. TJ never said it was going to be easy!

With the final challenge just around the corner, the cast worries there might be another challenge and elimination before they race for that $1 million prize. Johnny and Kyle talk about how it’s all going to come down to who gets into the next Tribunal, while Cory tells Nelson that he dreams about the moment when TJ announces him the winner. Will one of the Young Bucks finally secure a victory this season?

The siren goes off in the bunker, and the gang heads out to meet TJ, who turns their greatest fear into reality: Another challenge is going down, plus another double elimination! In Crash Course, players will drive a stunt car into stacks of barrels that have the other challengers standing on top. Whoever knocks over the most barrels, wins. With 25 and 18 barrels respectively, Johnny Bananas and Kaycee take the day. The Big Brother vet wants to choose BB ally Fessy to join them in the Tribunal, but Johnny convinces her to save Kyle, telling her Kyle would definitely be voted in if he remains in the house vote. Kaycee does what no rookie should ever do — trust Johnny Bananas — and Kyle snags the last safety spot.

The rest of them are scared, including Cory, who has never seen eye-to-eye with Johnny. Fessy is also freakin’, and since he’s friends with Kaycee, Bananas and Kyle promise not to throw him in, which again: Rookies should never trust Johnny Bananas. They’ll learn eventually… maybe even tonight.

With everyone scrambling for votes, Jenny politics against Rogan, which not only angers the fellow Brit but amuses Cory and Fessy, who love seeing Jenny get the heat they think she deserves. It’s not that Jenny is a villain; she’s trying to play the game as best and as honorably as she can. She’s just not very good at it.

Rogan, knowing he’s probably going in anyway, nominates himself for elimination. For the female pick, Jenny and Dee vote for each other, while Melissa throws Bayleigh’s name out, and Bay returns the favor. Fessy votes Dee, while Cory and Nelson gladly say Jenny’s name. Rogan asks Jenny, point-blank, if she had been planning on voting him in. She’s honest and ‘fesses up to it, and his vote is the last nail in her coffin. Jenny and Rogan are going in.

Jenny tells the Tribunal what went down, and she’s fired up. Kyle is peeved too, telling Melissa she went against her alliance by not voting with Jenny. Melissa gets emotional about her decision, but Johnny hammers it in: If you don’t vote with your alliance, you’ve turned your back on it. Ugh, I hate it when he’s right.

The Tribunal interrogates Dee, Bayleigh, Nelson and Cory. (Are you surprised Bananas kept his word to Kaycee? Me, too!) With one of the BFFs unfortunately bound for elimination, Nelson asks Johnny and Kyle to throw him in instead of his friend. Cory has a little girl at home and another on the way, so Nelson wants to give him the best shot possible at the money. Nelson has had some pretty whack moments on this show over the years (including this season), but him taking this sacrificial bullet for his friend is a classy move.

The group gets to Purgatory and finds a Challenge classic awaiting them: Hall Brawl. The Tribunal votes in Dee and Nelson, and once Cory finds out what Nelson did, he fights back the tears. Say what you want about the Young Bucks, but what just transpired is straight-up #FriendshipGoals. And on Hall Brawl week! Impressive, Nel.

Jenny and Dee are up first, and Jenny runs into her like a freight train, winning Round 1. Round 2 starts, and Dee once again slams into a British brick wall. Jenny takes the win, sending the very controversial Dee home.

Rogan and Nelson’s first round is a headbanger. Nelson almost takes Round 1 until he makes a critical error, misjudging how close he was to his bell. In Round 2, Nelson finally gets Rogan on the ground, but trips himself up while sprinting away, giving Rogan a chance to seal the deal. It was a hell of a fight, though, and you’ve gotta give it up for Nelson. Offering himself for the chopping block was a completely selfless move. It would’ve been great to see him pull this one out.

After saying goodbye to the losers, TJ tells the rest of the players to pack their bags: They’ve all made the final challenge! He then proceeds to call it the “most brutal final we’ve ever had.”

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