After Ashley Mitchell’s elimination at the hands of Dee Nguyen last week on The Challenge: Total Madness, it’s a guys’ elimination week. The challenge is called “Bomb Squad” and the episode description teases that “teams of Challengers must work together to detonate an explosion.”
The description also teases a couple of conflicts within the house: “Rogan seeks vengeance on Jay. Jordan and Wes get into a heated argument involving deli meat.”
Yes, deli meat. Follow along here with our live recap but be warned of elimination spoilers. Don’t keep reading if you don’t want to be spoiled. All times Eastern.
8:05 — This episode kicks off with Stephen Bear being a goof with a make-shift ouija board and Kailah Casillas talking about how funny he is. Jenna Compono says that this is dangerous because Kailah has a boyfriend at home and she probably shouldn’t encourage Bear’s attention because he’s very persistent. He insists that he’s going to get what he wants and it’s like — dude, you have to stop before you cross the line to creepy, OK?
8:10 — Meanwhile, Jenna calls Zach Nichols, her boyfriend whom she met on The Challenge: Battle of the Exes II. Apparently, their relationship has been kind of tumultuous but they’re going to start a family soon, so he wanted her to go on the show again to try to win their family some money.
Meanwhile, Jordan Wiseley and Wes Bergmann get into it over the turf being messed up, and it devolves into Jordan waving a giant sausage in Wes’ face. It’s totally stupid. Even Johnny “Bananas” Devenanzio is like, “I want no part of this.”
But then! Wes says to Jordan, “You will not talk to me the way you talk to your wife.” Ooooh, that’s not cool, especially because Tori Deal is sitting right there and Wes isn’t really correct. It seems like Jordan treats Tori with a lot of respect. He’s a hot-head but not with her.
8:15 — Kailah insists to Jenna that she’s not into Bear and she’s made it clear to him that she has a boyfriend at home. She also appreciates her friend (Jenna) looking out for her. But it certainly seems like Kailah kind of likes the attention from Bear.
Meanwhile, Wes starts plotting with Dee Nguyen about getting Jordan into the elimination battle.
8:20 — Challenge time. T.J. Lavin arrives in a stunt car being driven on its two driver’s side wheels. The challenge, called “Bomb Squad,” involves them being put into teams of four. Their goal is to detonate a bomb. Each person will have a job — player 1 is riding in the car, reading numbers that are hidden on top of containers to form a math equation. They tell the math equation to player 2, who will solve the equation and run the solution to player 3. Player 3 will take the answer and decode a puzzle, then grab three colored rods. They run those rods to player 4 and player 4 runs them to the detonator and detonates the bomb. If their three colors are correct, their bomb will go off. The team with the fastest time wins and makes up the Tribunal.
And the person in the stunt car only has one shot at seeing the numbers. No do-overs, so if you miss it, you’re done. It also kind of looks like player 4 doesn’t have much of a job. Hmm. Anyway, the teams are:
Team 1: Jay Starrett, Nany Gonzalez, Wes, and Kailah.
Team 2: Tori, Bear, Dee, and Bananas.
Team 3: Mattie Breaux, Rogan O’Connor, Nelson Thomas, and Tula “Big T” Fazakerley.
Team 4: Kaycee Clark, Chris “Swaggy C” Williams, Jenny West, and Josh.
Team 5: Melissa Reeves, Bayleigh Dayton, Kyle Christie, and Cory Wharton.
Team 6: Faysal “Fessy” Shafaat, Aneesa Ferreri, Jordan, and Jenna.
8:30 — It definitely seems like the hardest part of the challenge is player 1 seeing the numbers and successfully relaying them to player 2. It also seems like the contestants didn’t get all the information, like how the person in the car gets one shot at the numbers and that’s it. Both the first two teams screw up this portion of the challenge and they’re done.
For the record, the equation is 85/5 x 10 + 56 – 7 = 219.
Team 3 fares better on communicating the numbers. Mattie tells Rogan the right ones and Rogan gets them on the board correctly, but he screws up the math (he gets 239) and they get the wrong colored rods, so their bomb doesn’t go off.
8:40 — However, teams 4, 5, and 6 get it right and their bombs go off as planned. Unfortunately, Cory on team 5 can’t figure out what to do with the rods and it adds to their time, so it’s down to teams 4 and 6 — and team 4 wins, by two seconds! Two seconds! So the Tribunal is Kaycee, Swaggy, Jenny, and Josh.
8:50 — Ahead of the deliberation, Wes is rallying votes against Jordan, but that is also putting a target on Wes’ back, so Bananas urges Wes to cool it. They think they’re being so slick with their secret alliance, but at least one person is on to them — Nany Gonzalez.
But after talking to Bananas, Wes decides he needs to throw his vote away on someone who isn’t going to go in, so he calls Kyle a “piece of sh*t” and votes for Kyle. Then Nelson votes for Bear because of the fire extinguisher stunt. Jay quickly jumps in to vote for Bear and so does Cory. Then Rogan, Bear, Bananas, and Kyle vote for Jay.
Then Jordan votes himself in, Josh votes for Bear, and everyone else votes Jay in again.
Interestingly, Jay made a really good point when the first vote was cast for him — if he keeps stealing red skulls, there will be less to go around for everyone else.
9:00 — They go out on the town and Rogan approaches Josh about putting him (Rogan) in the elimination battle. Then back at the bunker, Kailah and Bear continue their flirtation — then it becomes more than a flirtation. They go into the bathroom to brush their teeth and they start making out. Kailah says later in a talking-head interview that she didn’t think the cameras caught any of that. Um, did she really think the cameras weren’t in the bathrooms? Of course, they are. Probably the only place there aren’t cameras as in individual bathroom stalls and shower stalls.
9:15 — The Tribunal decides to interrogate Rogan, Wes, and Nelson. Rogan makes a strong case, he wants to go in. Nelson takes his time to assure them he’s not aligned with Wes; Cory is his boy. And Wes basically says that he and Josh don’t have a rivalry. He goes for people who can beat him in a final, so he doesn’t see Josh as a threat, which Josh doesn’t like hearing. He keeps trying to make it a thing and Wes calls him the “worst player here.” Heh. Stop trying to make “fetch” happen, Josh.
9:20 — In the arena, the battle is revealed to be, basically, the old American Gladiators game called “Powerball,” except The Challenge calls it “Fireball” because the ball they use is going to be on fire. The idea is to get the ball into the basket in the middle of the roped circle. They alternate offense/defense and they are wearing a lot of protective equipment.
Anyway, the Tribunal votes in Rogan, which is not a huge surprise. Jay even trash-talks Rogan, telling him to just get down there, and let’s do this. Some big talk. The only thing that might give Jay an advantage in this game is that he’s quick — he might be quick enough to get around Rogan and score.
9:25 — Jay is offense first and Rogan takes him out like he weighs nothing. Jay just lays there on the sand, wheezing and barely moving and roll credits. It’s really quite scary. Jay is not in the previews for next week and he tweeted that this is “only the beginning of [his] fire,” so maybe he’s not done? But that more sounds like he’s saying he’ll back on The Challenge in the future.
Next week: Does Jenna quit because of her boyfriend?
The Challenge: Total Madness airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on MTV.