Does Cory Still Have A Shot At Challenge Gold After His Rough Start?

The 'Ex-Plosion' export started the first two legs of the competition in last place

If The Challenge is eliciting underground gambling rings, it’s likely the odds aren’t favoring Underdog Cory to win. But can he turn his slow start around and secure first place?

The final mission officially kicked off on tonight’s Invasion episode, and the remaining six contestants learned they’d play most of the three-day event in pairs, cycling through three rounds of man/woman teams. The first leg challenged teams to swim seeming miles from a barge to an alcove where they’d solve a puzzle, grab a key and paddle back to the barge.

The game was no sweat for pairs CT/Camila and Ashley/Nelson, but Cory and Nicole froze when it came time to solve the puzzle, which included a mix of math and identifying hidden triangles. Consequently, they finished way behind the pack and carved out a pair of decisive third-place finishes.

“We got last,” Cory bemoaned. “This was probably gonna be my worst leg of the race — I’m upset with the performance, but what can you do?”

Sadly, Cory proved he wasn’t much of a soothsayer when the event’s second leg finally rolled around. Though he and Nicole won a between-heats mini-mission that allowed them to handicap their competitors, Cory and his second partner, Camila, found themselves struggling straight out of the gate.

The game’s subsequent leg tasked players to race a mile into the jungle, where they’d complete a series of checkpoints. And the first task wasn’t for the weak-stomached — each player had to chow down on a series of sickening dishes, from “horse urine-fermented eggs” to a plateful of pond snails. Nicole/Nelson and CT/Ashley ripped through the menu like they hadn’t eaten in days, and though Camila, too, devoured her meal, Cory struggled to keep up, and anchored the duo in a firm third place.

“It’s frustrating to see everyone pass me, as I’m done eating and I’m just waiting for Cory to finish,” Camila lamented. “Why couldn’t this just be an individual challenge?”

And Camila’s frustrations didn’t end there: Teams had to proceed to each additional checkpoint while dragging a rickshaw freighted by heavy puzzle pieces. Cory, who stopped more frequently than his fellow competitors, continued to draw Camila’s ire.

“Cory seems exhausted, he seems tired, and I’m just done being behind people,” Camila noted. “This is the final, man! This is when you push, you don’t walk. You run.”

And when it came time for the event’s third puzzle, Cory seemed to completely surrender to his team’s deficit, and left the onus on Camila.

“I just feel like Cory’s so frustrated, I can’t count on him…usually I would just scream and just be like: ‘No, we’re f---ing doing this, I don’t care what you say,’” Camila said. “But for some reason I’m looking at him and I feel like if I push him too hard, he’s just gonna completely break and completely give up.”

What do you think — can Cory get his act together, and does he still have a shot at beating CT and Nelson? Or, has he already implicitly given up, and has he already resigned himself to a third-place finish? Share your thoughts, and see which contestants emerge as “Invasion” winners next Tuesday at 9/8c!