The impressive 500th episode of “The Challenge” aired this week and it was the 12th episode of the 37th season, “Spies, Lies and Allies.” In honor of the important milestone, contestants participated in a physical, full-contact challenge and politicked their way in and out of elimination.
Titled “500,” the episode was described by MTV as, “Players commemorate the 500th episode of The Challenge with the physically demanding ‘Brush Contact’ mission. Two players get into a heated argument at the club. Players try to pressure one agent into volunteering for elimination in order to infiltrate cells.”
Warning: This article contains spoilers for the 12th episode of “The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies” which aired on October 27 at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times.
The episode’s physical challenge benefited the Emerald team with its additional player and the cell was able to pull out its third win in a row since the teams were created. The rest of the episode centered on debates about which rookie would go into elimination out of the two female rookies left.
Eventually, Emy Alupei was nominated to go in and she called out the other rookie, Bettina Buchanan, where she handily beat her and chose to infiltrate Sapphire in Amanda Garcia’s place, sending the vet to team Ruby.
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There Are a Lot of Conversations About the Teams as the Vets Try to Strengthen Their Cells
The episode begins with the immediate aftermath of Kyle Christie choosing to infiltrate Sapphire, which sent Nelson Thomas to Ruby. As soon as they’re back in the house, Nelson confronts Kyle, who channels his former partner Amanda as he tells Nelson, “I took your place, deal with it, b****!”
Nelson feels betrayed by the move but his reaction seems a bit extreme considering he’s now partners with his close ally Cory Wharton as the final approaches and neither has had to go into an elimination for that result. Also, the Ruby team has three men and two women while the Sapphire team has two men and three women so Ruby is arguably just as strong if not stronger than Emerald.
We then see CT Tamburello and Emy have some conversations about Emy switching from Ruby to Sapphire and CT says he really wants Emy on his team instead of Bettina or Amanda but he doesn’t want to manipulate her into going into a potentially risky elimination. Emy’s desire to rejoin her “Uncle” CT will be a major driving force in this episode.
Team Emerald’s plan going into this week is to keep their team intact and try to protect their allies. Tori Deal says they want to eliminate weak players so they can have a strong team going into a final but it’s strange that no one seems to be wanting to get some big threats out of the game. Josh Martinez says he’ll do what he can to protect Amanda and Ashley Mitchell despite telling Emerald a few episodes ago that he wanted to put Ashley into elimination.
The Challenge Was an Exciting Physical Contest But the Unfair Advantage to Team Emerald Caused Some Frustration
At this week’s mission, TJ Lavin announces that it’s the 500th episode of “The Challenge,” which is a huge and exciting milestone for the franchise. To celebrate, he says there will be a physical full-contact challenge called “Brush Contact” where the teams will take turns playing offense and defense and try to get as much money across the field as possible.
The challenge is a good one with a lot of potential and we see some big scuffles and tackles, but the unfortunate advantage given to team Emerald means that they’re easily able to dominate the competition and get yet another victory. The team is likely in charge of picking the order because they were the Agency last week and they also have an extra player compared to the two other teams.
In the earlier days of “The Challenge” during the three-team format of “Cutthroat,” teams with extra players often had to choose players to sit out the challenge if it created an unfair advantage and they haven’t done that on this season so far. There are some good moments overall, including a vicious kick by Emy in Bettina’s throat, but it’s clear that with the size of the field, the extra player has made it easier for Emerald to get their bags across.
There Is Minimal Politicking & It Seems Obvious the Rookies Will Continue to Go Into Elimination
The rest of the episode makes it quite clear that Emy and Bettina are likely the two heading into elimination but it comes down to which player is nominated by the Agency to go in. We see several scenes of Emerald celebrating their dominance, which is sure to annoy many “Challenge” fans.
There is some talk of going after strong players but Emerald’s focus is mainly on keeping their team intact. It seems as though the players are assuming that the final will be run as teams and they want to keep the strongest competitors around and on their team, but it’s surprising that Emerald isn’t targeting the strong, proven finalists on other teams.
So we get another week of rookies going into elimination and this week, Emy is nominated to go in and chooses the only other rookie female, Bettina. She has a very powerful performance and sweeps the “Bombs Away” elimination, taking Bettina out and following through on her wish to join CT on Sapphire.
That sends Amanda over to Ruby, and the Emerald team says they may have made a mistake and helped Sapphire get stronger as it now consists of CT, Kyle, Ashley and Emy. However, if the challenges continue to favor the teams with more players it won’t really matter.
We’re now down to only three rookies remaining and with a guys’ elimination week coming up, Logan Sampedro and Emanuel Neagu have to work hard to win the Agency with their respective teams or one of the two may find themselves in the Lair fighting for their place in the game.
“The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies” airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on MTV.