Forget the Challenge Underdogs for a second — the dark horse racing around the Invasion track might be groomed to pull off the game’s biggest upset.
Since the introduction of the Champions on Season 29, Laurel and Cara Maria have both been favorites to be the team’s last woman standing. Laurel has never lost an elimination round; Cara Maria is an astounding 12-4. But, on the show's most recent episode, Camila proved she might just have what it takes to survive.
In “Fallout,” which challenged players to hang on to a slippery, seesawing platform as it tipped back and forth, the ladies’ heat quickly found itself reduced to a dogfight between Camila and Cara Maria. Laurel, the Champions’ typical hero, fell into the water after a sneak attack executed by The Underdogs’ women.
And while Cara Maria — flaunting a G.I. Joe-worthy upper-body — seemed sure she had what it took to be last vet standing, Camila took a breath, analyzed the battle’s schematics and manipulated the game of apparent strength into one of intelligence and endurance. While Cara relied on her biceps and triceps to hang on to the rig, Camila meticulously fashioned one of the game’s ropes into a makeshift harness so that she didn’t exhaust herself.
With each of the plank’s bucks, Cara got increasingly winded, while Camila — sometimes literally — sat pretty. And the sitting didn’t sit well with Cara Maria, who eventually submitted to spent muscles and dropped into the water below, leaving Camila the winner.
“I’m kind of pissed off,” Cara lamented. “She can’t even do one pull-up, and I can climb a rope with no legs.”
Still, Camila insisted she wasn’t guilty of any wrongdoing and said her win — and resultant immunity — was, contrarily, proof that she was a superior competitor.
“Most people would look at this and just think it was all about the arm strength, but you do have a rope to work with,” Camila said. “This is a f---ing game, and if you, [Cara], had more brains, or if you used your brain, you would have thought to use the same strategy, and you just didn’t…just deal with it.”
“It takes more than just muscles to be a champ,” she added after TJ formally announced her the winner. “I did what I had to do. I used my brain, and I got myself out of the Fortress against two of the greatest competitors on The Challenge.”
Now, Laurel and Cara Maria will have to square off in the Fortress, and only one will make it out alive. And while the decision will bring Camila one step closer to the final mission, she’ll still have to plow through the winner to advance, and she’s yet to ever best either.
What do you think — can Camila pull of a huge Challenge upset and be the last female champ standing? Or was “Fallout” a fluke, and has history proven she simply can’t take out Cara or Laurel in an elimination? Share your thoughts, and see what happens during a new Challenge episode on Tuesday at 9/8c!