Post Redemption House Purge: Final Reckoning Power Rankings & More!
*All odds are strictly for entertainment purposes only. This is NOT a betting site.
Holy fucking shit. Not sure if that was directed at this episode or the preview for next week. First off, I can’t express how disappointed I am that the Redemption House is still in play. This should have been the final visit, the final chance...the final cut (shameless plug).
Before that, we get a less-than-crucial elimination between Shane/Nelson & Cara/Marie. Why is it not crucial? Redemption. Neither team is going home. That said, it plays out as it should and Nelson/Shane win, okay. No reason to waste time here.
At Redemption, we get Kam trying to be larger than life, as usual. Listen, Kam was an absolute favorite of mine last season —but much like Kyle, one season and a lot of reality TV fame in their heads has bred two Challenge Monsters that think they are far more important than they truly are. Kam orchestrated a fantastic coup early this season, but it led to a very vanilla Jozea and Da’Vonne nomination. Since then, Kam has shown the attitude that even in Redemption, she is planning on running everyone’s game. After pulling the double-cross (along with Kyle/Brad) and having the power to choose what team they face and, ultimately, give one more shot to, Kam is interested in running the picks of both teams. Instead of just choosing her friends for a battle to guarantee one duo will get back in, she tries to “trick” Kyle and Brad into choosing her friends, Team #CaraMarie, and when the guys don’t fall for it Kam and Kayleigh start running their mouths a little much. Brad certainly has a limit, and he lost his cool yelling at Kayleigh after he had enough girl power and lip service, putting maybe a bit of a target for later.
Digressing a bit: Nelson v Bananas is really irritating. I’m an old-school Bananas fan, but I’ve certainly not been a big fan of his this season. I’m also always a Nelson-backer, but his barrage of irritating comments toward Bananas really comes off as high-school jealousy. That said, Bananas doesn’t do much to up the level of dialogue, and we just get two men trying to passive-aggressively tell the other how good they are and how much the other doesn’t have control of their game. We get it, you both suck at life.
As for the Redemption of the Four Horsemen or whatever the fuck TJ said, we get some news: Zach’s broken face has deemed him ineligible to continue. A bit of a shocker, though Zach didn’t looked surprised. “I wouldn’t change anything,” or whatever he said. I think I’ve always been a Zach fan and even stronger as of late, but he literally cost himself a very very very good chance at a million dollars. Zach and Amanda were my front-runners to win Final Reckoning before heading to Redemption (I’m sure I don’t need to explain what happened), and their collective stubbornness put them in a spot that ultimately destroyed a season of near-dominance. The debate will go on forever, who was right and who was wrong - but the truth is both sides wouldn’t budge and he made a decision. A terrible, stupid, very costly decision, but at least he can say forever that he had Tony’s back. I mean, right?
On to the elimination. This challenge absolutely favors the team that may have the two larger competitors, as one member is in a cage looking for balls and the other is spinning their opponent. Bigger people are harder to spin and also spin the cage much easier. Duh.
And this first battle is harder for me to cheer for than I expect: I’m the token Cara-hater but not only do I like Marie, I’m so sick of Kam’s bullshit that I’m actually finding myself rooting for the girl that wears those stupid fur hats that have built-in hanging mittens that I’ve only ever seen 13-year-old girls wear, and I simultaneously hate myself. That said, Marie buckles the fuck down and gets shit done, depositing five balls before her opponent, overcoming a 4-to-1 ball deficit.
But the next battle: there’s no doubt who I’m cheering for. I’m sick of Kyle’s goofy shit—in particular his cocky attitude with Paulie and his middle-school relationship with Cara—although I don’t dislike him overall. What I would say is I’m looking for Paulie to get a small piece of Redemption (pun intended) against those that mocked him. It’s been real easy for powerhouse teams like Brad/Kyle and a Bananas/Tony to give Paulie shit —they’ve been watching from the sidelines and he’s had a partner that has quite literally been worse than a baked potato at Challenges, not to mention Paulie has already been the victim of the worst “equalizer” in Challenge history this season.
Let me say: it doesn’t look good y’all. Paulie and Natalie decide to put the diminutive girl inside the cage that Kyle will be spinning, while Paulie will attempt to spin the much heavier and much stronger Brad opposite them. When Teej blows his air horn, it’s hard to turn away from the spectacle that is the spinning ball of death that, somewhere, contains Natalie. And I’m not exaggerating when I say you do not see this poor girl —not her head, not an arm, nothin—for minutes. Kyle has a steady pace and may as well be rolling a small plastic ball with a mouse in it. I hadn’t really noticed how big Kyle is —especially compared to Paulie—until I see him crank this handle. On the other hand, despite Paulie being in great shape, he is very obviously struggling to not only keep Brad in motion, but also to find the right strategy to keep him off balance, which is his only hope.
We hear the jokes: “Is she alive?” and “Give her a chance!” And while watching this, the chuckles turn to nervous laughter. Surely TJ wouldn’t let this girl die, right? Cause this is turning savage. Brad has worked out a system and now has three balls to Natalie’s zero. Paulie even falls off the platform trying to spin Brad, inciting more laughter from the Bananas/Tony peanut gallery.
But then, as I had yelled moments before at my television like a madman, it appeared that Kyle had finally gassed out. He stopped spinning entirely —giving Natalie a couple of moment to get her bearings and make her move. A route suddenly got a bit closer, and ball after ball, Natalie tied it at four apiece —next ball wins. We see both spinners almost useless at this point, with Paulie yelling “Just find it, Natalie.” A proclamation that he was done. Only, he wasn’t. Paulie found a second wind and started spinning like mad, giving us a neatly-edited clip where we see the final ball drop, unknowing who it belonged to.
And then, jubilation. A bloodied Natalie —chin, elbows and knees all beat to hell through ripped Under Armor—repeatedly asking “Did I just win that!?” It was truly an underdog performance if we’ve seen one this season or, really, during seasons past. It’s not the first scrappy team to beat a better one, but based on the challenge, it was the most unlikely. Paulie and Natalie really had no shot, and if you don’t believe me, believe Paulie’s face. In the pregame interviews, he tried to give Natalie as much encouragement and pep-talk as possible, but was as lost and defeated as I’ve ever seen Paulie. He knew this elimination was tailor-made for Kyle/Brad and the opposite of was true for he and Natalie. Yet, they sent the two guys that laughed, teased and mocked him from afar time and again to Redemption. And, for the first time in forever, we will see the two Big Brother 18 alums mingle in the main house.
One last aside; next week and upcoming weeks. I’ve tried very hard to stay away from spoilers and who exactly is getting bodyslammed and doing the bodyslamming however —it sure looks like Tony wearing the black hat taking the brunt of that. I also tend to think it may be Cory doing the slamming. This could have HUGE implications for the end of this game. Assuming it’s Tony, could this cause for a medical DQ? Was it that bad? Assuming it’s Cory, this quite obviously is terms for a DQ (regardless of the offender they are going home —and it’s one of the men left in the game). That would potentially eliminate two of my top three teams looking for that money (unless, gasp! they would pair Bananas and Devin since that was the day one plan! Whoa. Mind. Blown. Who do you think it is? And what’s gonna happen??
***As always, if you’re not a big ‘odds’ person, this can also be looked at as a Power Rankings list. Teams are listed in order of best to worst, the number next to their name will give you an idea of separation between teams (ie teams 1 & 2 are 5/1 and 6/1, meaning they are considering to be ranked very close, while teams 6 and 7 are ranked 16/1 and 25/1, meaning the gap between them is a little more substantial).
1. Nelson and Shane 5/1
I still view them as the hottest team right now. There is, however, a big part of me that watches next weeks preview and can’t help but get nervous that drunk Nelson might do something very stupid. Nellie, stop fighting for Kayleigh.
Put that aside, you can notch another big W for team NellieShane, as they took out Cara and Marie. And regardless of what’s said, a win is a win is a win. These guys are growing closer and bonding with each strong performance, and in particular with each team they send to Redemption. So long as they stay level-headed, these guys are scary right now. Oh, and the cherry on top? These guys are protected everywhere. Nelson is TYB til he dies and Shane is one of the heads of the Lavender Ladies. Perhaps a few things got shaken up last night with Paulie/Nat and Cara/Marie coming back in, but this still feels like a TYB/LL game if they finish it correctly.
2. Cory and Devin 6/1
They’ve spent easily the least amount of time in the house and South Africa as a whole, and something should be said for them being fresh. They are also somewhat protected, seeing as how Cory is a TYB and Devin is friends with most everyone not named Bananas or his allies. Cory has had a bad habit of early exits in his most recent Challenges, a lot of that having to do with him being the bane of Johnny’s existence. This doesn’t change that Cory isn’t still a major threat in this game, both physically and socially. The same could easily be said for Devin —a generally well-liked and incredibly savvy player. Once again, he has a common enemy in Bananas, which could be a negative if Bananas wins and chooses to throw his vote at enemies; it could also play as a positive seeing as how they won’t disagree on who to vote for when the time comes.
3. Hunter and Ashley 6/1
We didn’t see too much from this duo this week, but they still only have themselves standing in their way. Honestly, if Hunter and Ashley could just drop the bullshit and get along, they’d likely be at 3/1 and heavy favorites. Until they squash the beef Nelson/Shane-style, they are going to keep themselves just out of reach. Interested to see how they do in the next challenge - they need a team-building moment more than anyone.
4. Bananas and Tony 9/1
Absolutely bizarre how the favorites turn into the underdogs, huh? Bananas has reached that weird level where he is so outnumbered and has been with his back against the wall nearly this entire game, that we almost start to feel for him. Gross, right!? The funny thing is as a Banana-backer, I almost feel the opposite. Watching him kiss the feet of rookies and get bullied a bit just isn’t a good look, but I’ll be honest, I think it is his newfound bestie in Cara that draws my ire. I mean, weren’t they on opposite ends of the spectrum not too long ago? Where did this friendship come from? It sort of feels contrived, especially when looking from a social media aspect. That said, things definitely did not get worse for Bananas & Tony this week, as they went from alone to getting Cara/Marie and Johnny’s ‘old friend’ Natalie (and Paulie) back from Redemption. If anyone can turn a couple extra votes into a million dollars, it’s Johnny Bananas.
5. Sylvia and Joss 12/1
These two just keep hanging there, sort of in the background of all the drama and madness (despite Sylvia being front and center with Marie two weeks ago, it’s almost hard to remember they are still in this game), and that is exactly where you want to be this late in the game. While NellieShane keep winning everything, Cara and Marie & Paulie and Nat keep bouncing between houses and Bananas stays locked into everyone’s thoughts, the best place to be is just kind of there. Sylvia almost broke this up with a headbutt, but they’ve seemingly gone right back into hiding —pretty much since they were called into elimination many episodes ago. They are the perfect team to just sort of be there toward the end, after the dust settles and Vendettas are played out, votes are thrown at teams that dislike one another, and we will head into a final and think “Wow Joss and Sylvia made it.” And let me say, if that happens, you have to love their chances to sneak and take this home. Joss is built to run a final, we saw that with the very first peek of him on the Gibraltar run. Sylvia seems to be coordinated enough to not be a massive liability, but I worry about her endurance —does she have enough heart to make up for her lack of physicality? We may find out soon.
6. Paulie and Natalie 16/1
I’m gonna go right ahead and rank Paulie and Nat higher than the other last team left in the house. We’ve seen them almost exclusively lose any elimination they’ve been apart of, but you also have to love the heart they showed against Brad and Kyle this past week. I don’t think Natalie is useless —she hasn’t shown us much reason to really get behind her—but I also think she has really shown worse than she is. On the other side of this team, I truly believe that if Paulie wasn’t hindered with such a disappointing partner, he would be a top candidate for Rookie of the Year for this season (spoiler: he may still be), but it certainly hasn’t looked good watching him head back time and again to Redemption —whether it has been on him or not. I think Paulie can somewhat save these guys, and they almost immediately come in as allies to Bananas. Should be an interesting final stretch for these two.
7. Cara Maria and Marie 25/1
Oh you guys. Coming through to win the last elimination to send Kam and Kayleigh to Redemption was clutch, and we got to see another bonding moment and hug from the new friends. That doesn’t change the fact that they can’t win a daily challenge, that Marie has easily been the MVP of this team and that they have little to no chance of getting to a final, no less winning it. For me, it would take a mini-miracle —however, if their newfound friendship somehow boosts their performances (it worked for Nelson and Shane), we could see them move up a bit. I don’t know for sure that they are the next team to head back to Redemption, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit.
Omg this is still a thing? We should have done away with Redemption after this weeks final purge but alas, it rears it’s ugly head yet again. The elims had such a lower-stakes vibe after TJ announced that the losers would head to the RH. So, I will not rank these teams right now because as of now both teams would technically still get in. It will be interesting to see who joins them and how stacked this Redemption House becomes. I also want to point out that this big Redemption House showdown basically eliminated ONE TEAM. DaVonne and Jozea were sent packing based on votes, Zach and Amanda had to go home because of his broken face, and everyone else is still in this fucking game. Oy vey.
Kyle and Brad
Right now heavy favorites to get back in the game, but losing two eliminations in a row? Brutal guys.
Kam and Kayleigh
Kam is wearing on me. She is trying way too hard to run her game and everyone else’s. Slow down Queenie.
ELIMINATED (Last odds to win in brackets):
Jozea and DaVonne
Zach and Amanda
Angela and Faith 22/1
CT and Veronica 10/1
Tori and Derrick 14/1
Jemmye and Jenna 16/1
Britni and Chuck 18/1