‘The Challenge’ Season 37 Episode 5 Recap & Review: ‘Blood in the Water’

The Challenge Logan Sampedro

MTV/Instagram The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies

“The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies” is now five episodes in and this week we see the veteran alliance hold on a little bit longer, albeit tenuously, as the rookie bloodbath continues. As the episode description for “Good Vibes and Gladiator” indicates, “The muddy ‘Mindfield’ mission dirties up the game when players must use their brains and brawn in order to succeed. Two Rookie players debate making a very risky move in order to secure a strong partner.”

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the fifth episode of “The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies” which aired on September 8 at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times.

The fifth episode of the 37th season sees the aftermath of Fessy Shafaat’s big move the week before delayed just a little bit more but the fragile peace is not likely to last much longer. Aneesa Ferreira is eliminated from the game due to a shoulder injury which means her partner Logan Sampedro wants to go into elimination to choose his new teammate.

Thanks to Logan’s decision and the rookie team of Emy Alupei and Gabo Szabo, the veterans are able to avoid going after each other for one more week. Gabo ends up losing to Logan and gets sent home, leading to the creation of two new teams.

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There Is Even More Romance in the Air at the Start of the Episode & We See Hints of a Possible Tori & Emanuel Showmance

The episode starts with the cast members returning to the house after Michele Fitzgerald and Corey Lay are eliminated from the show and we see that Michele has left Emanuel Neagu a love letter. “You danced with the queen so you can do anything,” it reads, but it looks like Michele and Emanuel’s showmance won’t stop Tori Deal from possibly making a move. 

I honestly don’t believe that Michele and Emanuel were in love. I mean everyone needs a good cuddle every once in a while but no, that’s not gonna last,” Tori says in her confessional as we see Tori and Emanuel hugging. Although there have been indications on social media that something might be going on between these two “Challenge” stars, I don’t think anyone expected to see hints of a showmance developing so quickly after Michele’s departure.

We then see Gabo Szabo having a conversation with Nany Gonzalez that will both set the scene for the next hour-and-a-half and also give the episode its name, “Good Vibes and Gladiator,” which are Gabo’s two modes of operation. “To keep on the good vibes, sometimes I have to be gladiator,” he says to Nany, telling her he wants to leave Emy and return to his former partner. 


The Mission This Week Is a Physical One That Requires Both Team Members to Be Well-Rounded

After a quick look at some of the couples forming in the “Challenge” house — Kaycee Clark and Nany, Berna Canbeldek and Nelson Thomas, and Logan and Tula “Big T” Fazakerley — we cut to the mission this week, “Mindfield.” It’s a great challenge that showcases the physicality of the contestants and because both partners have to compete separately, we can see who is well-rounded and where everyone stands with their partners.

Before they start, we’re treated to a funny moment when Devin Walker calls out, “I was born in the mud!” TJ Lavin replies, deadpan, “That is true. He is a pig.” TJ’s really been serving us some of the funnier moments of this season, on the heels of his hilarious phone check during last week’s blowup.

Because the missions are designed to have only the winning team gain an advantage, we don’t really see who the worst teams are, but we learn that Berna “didn’t take math in school. She took circus,” courtesy of CT Tamburello. Emanuel and Kaycee have a strong performance once again but the win this week goes to Berna and CT, who’s been flying mostly under the radar so far this season. This was a great episode for him with some funny one-liners, a challenge win and even an inspiring speech to Emy after the end of the mission.


Aneesa Is Medically Disqualified From the Game & It Will Set the Stage for the Elimination Matchup

Back at the house, we learn that Aneesa’s dislocated shoulder has cost her the game and she has been medically disqualified. Her vulnerability and emotional apology to Tori and Logan was a really touching moment but we see right away that it puts Logan in a difficult spot. “Logan’s by himself,” CT says in his confessional. “There’s blood in the water. And I know the boys can smell it too.”

Aneesa’s departure causes a chain of events that ensures we’ll see another rookie-rookie showdown in the Lair as Logan doesn’t hide the fact that he wants to go into elimination and choose his new partner while Gabo also wants to compete and get out of his rookie pair. “Do they realize there’s no skull twist?” Devin, CT and Kyle Christie crack up at the club at how easy the veterans’ job is this week.

It eliminates a lot of the scheming and renders the nomination scene mostly useless, except to witness another Hughie Maughan blowup and a reminder that emotions are still running high over Fessy’s move last week as Amber Borzotra calls him out for saying they’re playing a “straightforward game.”


The Big Brother Alliance Isn’t a Major Talking Point This Episode But There Are Some Reminders That Tensions Are Still Running High

There aren’t a lot of discussions this episode about Fessy’s big move last week where he went against Josh Martinez’s wishes and threw in Amber but we’re reminded of it briefly at the beginning of the episode as Josh says in his confessional, “There is no Big Brother alliance anymore and I’m out. I’m checked out.” He tells Amber all he wants is Fessy to apologize but Fessy tells Kaycee he feels like he has nothing to apologize for. 

The other moment we see the fallout from Fessy’s decision addressed isn’t even between Fessy and Josh but between Josh and Kaycee who go at it in the kitchen. The two decide they’re done working together and from this moment forward they won’t even talk to each other. Kaycee has gone all out in her support of Fessy here and I’m not sure if it’s the edit but the consensus seems to be that Kaycee and Fessy are the ones looking like the villains in this situation.

While Josh has not exactly been a fan-favorite in the past, it appears as though many “Challenge” fans are taking his side on this one against Fessy and this episode makes it even more apparent that Josh is often discredited by his closest friends and frequently dismissed as overly emotional.


The Elimination Involves 2 Male Rookies Facing Off & We See the Creation of 2 New Teams

At the elimination Higher Assets, we learn that it will be a male-only elimination after a bit more trickery from TJ. It’s a mix of strength and memorization as Logan and Gabo have to climb up a rope to an answer key and then go back down to place all the puzzle pieces in the right place. While it seemed going into the elimination that Logan would be much better suited to it because Gabo frequently spoke about his difficulty with puzzles, the “Survivor Spain” star begins gassing out at the end after climbing up so many times and it’s a close race.

Despite Gabo’s hilarious prayer to “Jersey Shore’s” Mike The Situation, the Hungarian is unable to finish his puzzle in time and Logan pulls out the victory. There were so many rookies this season that we didn’t get to learn too much about each one but it looked like Gabo was well-loved by his cast members and he did have some funny and eccentric moments during his five episodes.

Logan decides to steal Nany from Hughie for the same reason she was initially chosen: she’s athletic, intelligent, very well-connected and not as likely to get stolen as Tori or Kaycee. It’s interesting that by being considered less likely to get stolen than Kaycee or Tori, Nany has herself become the newest hot commodity. That leaves Hughie and Emy as partners and the new all-rookie pair. It’ll be interesting how they do together as they are arguably the two most emotional people on the show.

“The Challenge: Spies, Lies and Allies” airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on MTV.

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