After the Final Mercenaries; Updated Challenge Vendettas Rankings
*All odds are strictly for entertainment purposes only. This is NOT a betting site.
There comes a point, usually about this time, where the Challenge starts to become a little less muddy. We’ve shaved more than half the competitors, and see another handful that have little to no shot at winning the whole thing. This moment of clarity has seemingly come this week. And while we had a chance at seeing as many as four Challengers leave the house during this weeks “double elimination”, the second set of Mercenaries proved to be far less successful and, from the outset, far less intimidating.
For my money, it doesn’t get much scarier than facing Laurel and (to a slightly lesser extent) Darrell, but calling Ashley M and Frank stronger than half of the people still in the house is just lying to ourselves. We’ve already seen this trick, with Jordan and Derrick striking fear into the collective hearts of all the men still left fighting in the house while giving the women a bit of a week off against a good but not fiery Tori and complete layup Aneesa (yes, I know, Aneesa “won.” But by DQ against past-her-prime Veronica). I think secretly we were all pining for the Laurel/Kam matchup that never happened, and had a very odd and unsatisfying ending to the best matchup of the night in Darrell/Nelson (really, after Joss v Derrick, this elim was all of the sudden taking too long?).
Based on my odds for the Mercenaries, I have to say I was on the money across the board, this week being no different. Darrell was nearly a big upset as my odds had him as a solid -550 over everyone except Brad and Zach. He took on Nelson, who if you had guessed early would have probably been your best case scenario. Nellie T gets a lot of flack, but he has proven to be a strong competitor and has looked strong this season. After a batch of stalemates, TJ proclaimed this as a draw, leaving it unsettled.
Despite being a ‘Mercenary’, I was never fooled with Frank, as I had him valued as an underdog against the field and a larger underdog against Brad or Zach. The coin flip determined his opponent to indeed be Brad, who seemingly handled Frank with ease (Frank listed as a +500 underdog against him).
On the female side, feisty Ashley M never really had me fooled; listed as a very small favorite against the field but a heavy dog (+450) had she taken on one of the big three (Cara/Kam/Nicole). Kam, no stranger to eliminations at this point, easily dismissed the former champion and put the Mercenaries at 0-2-1 tonight headed to the final matchup.
We didn’t get the matchup we wanted to see: Queen Kam v Lady Laurel. On paper, Laurel looked to be dominant over Britni, and from MTV’s edit, that was indeed the case (thank you Laurel, who I had as an almost insane -1200 favorite). Cara has made a deal on Twitter that Britni hung in longer than shown, but all of that is moot as Laurel ultimately sent home the only competitor of the night.
Mercenaries 1-2-1 straight up on the night, ending an impressive 4-2-1 (thanks to Mercenary Group A).
As far as straight picking winners, I went 6-1-1 based on odds built before knowing who played who, results:
Darrell (-550) favorite over Field (PUSH)
Jordan (-300) favorite over Field (WIN)
Frank (+500) underdog v Brad (WIN)
Derrick (-300) favorite over Field (WIN)
Laurel (-1200) favorite over Field (WIN)
Ashley (+450) underdog v Kam (WIN)
Tori (+170) underdog v Kam (WIN)
Aneesa (+350) underdog v Veronica (LOSS)
So where does this leave us? We’ve now seen Zach dominate for two straight seasons (Champs v Pros saw Zach as MVP nearly every week; he was left home at the end based on Emily and Bananas pick). Cara continues to be odds-on female favorite. That said, with the departure of Bananas last week, Zach has officially become my front-runner to win Vendettas. He is a physical beast that matches up well against everyone, and I’m willing to look past his previous finale failures and assume, at this point, Zach is here to win.
Brad closes the gap a bit, as he has shown that he still has what it takes to win eliminations. We can only hope to see Zach v Brad at some point this season, preferably in the finals. He’s also lost Britni which I believe will only help him focus. Kam continues to see eliminations and continues to win - twice against ‘Mercenaries.’ I don’t think Queen Kam is afraid of one woman in the house, and conversely I think every single woman left is terrified to face her.
Nicole drops a hair, if for no reason other than Kam becoming female #2. We’ve finally seen Tony focused all season and prove he belongs, and more importantly that he is willing to make tough decisions and strong game moves. Nelson makes a jump on the board as he has continued to win when it counts, taking a very impressive draw with Darrell. Kyle continues to fly under the radar, while Natalie and Kailah continue to drop. Watching Kailah sit in the sand during the last challenge continues to show why, regardless of what she says, she is not a main threat to win this show.
Devin and Leroy stay as the bottom two men, Leroy now having no true ally in the game. Jemmye is the walking dead...just waiting for her to finally kick the bucket.
Zach 3/1 🔥
Cara Maria 7/2
Nicole Z 6/1
Kailah 15/1 ⬇️
Britni 15/1 ☠️☠️☠️ ELIMINATED
Bananas 7/2 ☠️☠️☠️ ELIMINATED
Kayleigh 60/1 LEFT SHOW
Marie 75/1 ☠️☠️☠️ ELIMINATED
Joss 16/1 ☠️☠️☠️ ELIMINATED
Victor 26/1 ☠️☠️☠️ ELIMINATED
Shane 28/1 ☠️☠️☠️ ELIMINATED
Cory 9/1 ☠️☠️☠️ ELIMINATED
Rogan 12/1 ☠️☠️☠️ ELIMINATED
Eddie 26/1 ☠️☠️☠️GONE
Veronica 28/1p ☠️☠️☠️ ELIMINATED
Sylvia 15/1 ☠️☠️☠️ LEFT SICK
Nicole R 30/1 ☠️☠️☠️ ELIMINATED
Melissa 28/1 ☠️☠️☠️ ELIMINATED
Alicia 12/1 ☠️☠️☠️ ELIMINATED