'The Challenge' Field Study, Entry 10: Alliances And Diem's Stronghold Crumble In The Underdogs' Wake

In addition to the cameras, this season of "The Challenge" was documented in print. Check out the latest behavioral analysis, straight from our anthropologist-at-large's Thailand field notes!


I've already begun planning my escape route from this place after this "Rivals II" nesting season comes to an end. I have no choice! Paranoia and volatility are at an all-time high within the herd; any prior loyalties have fizzled out like a lit torch in a sudden downpour.

Calling on the final female sacrifice, the Jungle forces imparted an ancient wisdom in spiritual leader TJ, to concoct the most complex and difficult challenge I have ever witnessed. A true blend of physical and intellectual grit, the four remaining female teams were chained as pairs and forced to run a tremendous distance down the beach. Once they reached a sacred grotto, they were privy to an almost supernatural light phenomenon inside of it: an intricate sequence of colors that each pair had to study and remember perfectly before running back to the starting point. To further appease the Jungle forces, the rivals had to recreate these color patterns using sacred wheels of the same color.


Not only did veterans Diem and Aneesa lag behind in the long run, the mental strain of memorizing the light phenomenon proved too much for normally strong pair, and resulted in a guaranteed trip to the Jungle. For the remaining teams, the light source was fading fast, and its flashing pattern became even more difficult to track. After only briefly memorizing, Cara Maria became filled with a divine enlightenment, urging Cooke to immediately follow. She was able to successfully recreate the final color sequence, edging out repeat winners, Paula and Emily, and secure their immunity from the Jungle's hunger.

Almost immediately following the challenge, Diem became riddled with angst, trying her best to maintain the control she had established -- through her mating ritual with CT -- as one of the nest elders, and she attempted to work over the alliances she had made with the veteran males. CT became insecure that Diem had been able to override his Alpha status in the past, and in order to overcompensate for this threat against his manhood, he refused to give in to her influence. Not surprising for you, CT! Johnny's earlier warnings that CT was fickle and manipulative proved to be sound.


After the males decided to send in the very aggressive Camila and Jemmye, Diem became aware that her once intact stronghold over the herd was obsolete at this point in the nesting season. She sparred with Jemmye and Camila, and later, Cooke, who Diem believed had subtly insulted her after winning earlier that day. Jemmye chose to attack Diem through her her relationship with the promiscuous CT, calling it pathetic, and mentioned how it had weakened Diem emotionally.

Aside from her rival Aneesa, it seemed the surviving herd members turned on their once revered elder -- perhaps something they always wanted to act on -- but were too fearful to do so until this breaking point. Emily attempted to console Diem, who succumbed to tears, overwhelmed by this sudden isolation in the nest. Will Diem's emotional tailspin cost her the last pre-final Jungle battle, or can it be converted to fuel for a comeback?

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