A fan of all things 'challenge,' fantasy sports and pop culture.

Bye Bye Brad (and Kyle): Final Reckoning Power Rankings

Bye Bye Brad (and Kyle): Final Reckoning Power Rankings

Wow. What an episode, huh?? Getting to the meat and potatoes of it all, we see Bananas and Tony throw their double vote at Nelson and Shane, mainly being fed up with Shane’s shenanigans. After the votes fall and Nellie/Shane are allowed to choose any team to join them in Armageddon, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know they are going big. With Bananas and Tony off the table due to being safe this week, they decide to go after arguably the strongest and most feared team in the house, Brad and Kyle. First, the reaction. Listen, I get it. You’re in this game and a million bucks is huge, but do you really need to take it so personally? And all spoilers right up front, Nelson and Shane end up getting a game that takes more agility and teamwork than pure strength, and easily dispatch of the two brutes. This leads to Kyle throwing the stick used for the game in anger, and interviews of the two men seeing red and putting all the blame on the guys that just beat them - with Brad going on to say at the redemption house that Nelson isn’t even a good competitor (just good enough to beat you, I suppose?). I find it hard to see why teams can’t say, “Wow, didn’t expect them to pick us. Props for having the balls and following through to beat us. We are coming back and will be aiming for them.” It’s all a game and Nelson and Shane owe you guys squat. Take your beating like men and get back in the game.

On to the challenge, I can’t tell you how sweet it is to see Cara Maria struggle and have no one to blame but herself. Sure, at the end she can always say it was because Marie was her partner, but this is two straight weeks that CM has absolutely shit the bed. Team Cara Marie finish last, and have a “huge” disadvantage in the next challenge or whatever is coming up. Boo hoo, Marie I think I’ll actually miss you.

And Zach and Amanda, I’m sorry for moving you down. Why would I do such a thing? I have the same brain as Amanda, I would have memorized those writings on the wall, and she effectively won the challenge. Again, safety.

No fireworks yet in redemption, but I don’t see that big beautiful South African house having enough headspace for Paulie and Kyle. Insane how Kyle has gone from lovable goofball to the cockiest asshole in a house full of cocky assholes in less than one season. How long until blowup city?

Amanda and Zach 5/1

Zach is absolutely dominant physically. We’ve always known Amanda to be smart, and we are finally seeing it. The only downside to winning every week is, well, you can’t win them all. And even the next best team will realize very quickly how smart it is to take a shot when it’s there. If Amanda and Zach finish anywhere other than first, it could be enough of an opening for someone ready to come at the Final Reckoning top dogs.

Hunter and Ashley 7/1

I just wish Ashley wasn’t so off-the-handle. Put Sylvia’s calm demeanor on Ashley’s shoulders and we have a dominant duo. I’ve been very open with the fact that I’ve always thought Hunter was a force to be reckoned with, and that Ashley is a polarizing figure for me - I either love every minute or hate every minute. Still, Ashley has Lavender protection and Hunter’s best friend just took out one of the scariest teams in the game…so to say the power has shifted in their favor might be an understatement. If we see Cara or Bananas head to redemption anytime soon…this could be a Lavender sweep.

Bananas and Tony 8/1

Everyone wants so badly to come at Bananas. I am fresh off listening to his long-awaiting Challenge Mania debut, and while I certainly understand his point about everyone coming for him to make a name for themselves, he also has to understand that eliminating Bananas will get you talked about for longer than ignoring him. It’s just like LeBron, if you think the guy matched up against him on a lonely February night isn’t coming at him with all he’s got, you’re wrong. This is his Super Bowl, his shining moment. Just as we saw Brad and Kyle get the target this week, Bananas’ all-smiles attitude this week might quickly fade after teams start going for the biggies. You better believe if Nelson and Shane get another crack, they’re going for the Banana-man if he stands exposed. I’m dropping the price on them and easing up the odds due to the fact that, not only are they not safe, I think they are targets. That said, the talent and dominance is still there.

Sylvia and Joss 10/1

Rather quiet this week, and sometimes that’s okay. Sylvia still has her LL’s, and Joss doesn’t make waves. Stay tuned…

Nelson and Shane 10/1

Rather loud this week, and sometime’s that’s okay. Bananas and Tony made their statement, throwing two votes at NellieShane. NellieShane came back and decided to aim a little higher than Jozea and Da’Vonne, calling Brad and Kyle to Armageddon. And this, folks, is the game. You really don’t know week by week if an elim is going to be strength-based, puzzles, or something in-between. This week took coordination and teamwork, and NellieShane knocked it out of the park and, in turn, knocked a killer team to Redemption. And while Brad and Kyle have vowed vengeance, they’ve got to come back to the main house first…good luck with that whole thing. NellieShane have made the first massive move this season, who’s got next? Also: I’m not just upping their odds based on one night. I have consistently called for these guys to step up a bit and work as a team, and this just might be the point that puts it all together. I love Nelson (not a Shane fan) but I am all in on these guys right now.

Marie and Cara Maria 19/1

It’s no secret that I’m a Cara Maria detractor. Almost everything she does drives me crazy, except when she loses. So, needless to say, I’m happy this week. Cara Maria is not only under-performing, she is at times more lost than Marie, and that’s saying a lot. Is this post-win letdown? Has she lost a little drive? Maybe, I guess. I think it has something to do with her being overly distracting with some of the men in the house mixed with always trying to be right. That’s a little dig. Whatever the case may be, Cara can’t buy a bucket right now, and she’s been called out two weeks in a row by TJ for finishing at the very bottom. Even if things start to go very right for this team, I don’t see them making some epic comeback any time soon. They are a ticking time bomb. Tick. Tock.

Da’Vonne and Jozea 28/1

I still just don’t see them as a threat, and that falls mostly on Jozea. I’d be interested to see where Da’Vonne stands on her own, but Jozea seems to be lacking at most physical competitions. They very well may hang for a while, but win? No.

Brad and Kyle 14/1 REDEMPTION

Welcome to the surprise of the summer! Brad and Kyle get to hang out with Paulie in the Redemption House! Really, the minute their names fell from the lips of NellieShane, it felt a whole lot like this was going to happen. Brad and Kyle were not ready to see an elim, and just weren’t hungry enough. Sitting in the RH, they’re either going to destroy everyone to get back in the main house, or succumb to the pressure of being the favorites on the brink of going home early. I think this team is the most interesting part of this show at the moment.

Paulie and Natalie 25/1 REDEMPTION

Natalie has proven to be all but useless in this game. Paulie is quite frankly one of the more worthy physical competitors we’ve seen on this show, and he can’t get his own partner out of his way. I think Paulie is going to thrive on this show (unless he goes the way of Cory and pisses off too many people and gets thrown in weekly until eliminated), but just like CT, I think his partner has made this a bit impossible. Natalie has a bit more to give than Veronica, but not much. Paulie will grit it out long enough to be a part of this show, but not go far. And if only one team comes out of this RH, the addition of Brad and Kyle makes it much harder.

Kam and Kayleigh 28/1 REDEMPTION

Another case of a strong competitor with a lesser. But Kam is no CT or Paulie, and I see this team falling before ever sniffing the main house again. Queen Kam, maybe next year.

Angela and Faith 22/1 ELIMINATED

CT and Veronica 10/1 ELIMINATED

Tori and Derrick 14/1 ELIMINATED

Jemmye and Jenna 16/1 ELIMINATED

Britni and Chuck 18/1 ELIMINATED

Challenge Hall of Fame Inductee #5

Challenge Hall of Fame Inductee #5

Challenge Hall of Fame Inductee #4

Challenge Hall of Fame Inductee #4