The most virtuous Challenge competitors will stick their necks out in the name of nobility, but will the smarter competitors keep theirs covered up?
On tonight’s Champs vs. Pros episode, tension between the Pros’ Lolo Jones and Lindsey Jacobellis compounded. The ladies nearly threw down during a seemingly laid-back game of flag football only days earlier, and when snowboarder Lindsey stepped up to be team captain, Lolo got the sense that — if Lindsey won — her own head would be firmly planted on the chopping block.
“Lolo’s brought some real drama to our team, and it’s caused quite a bit of friction between the other girls,” track and field star Louise Hazel observed. “I’m trying to stay out of it but if she points any of that drama in my direction, it’s gonna be explosive.”
And explosive is exactly what the situation became (though Louise did mostly manage to avoid the crossfire). After the Pros pulled out a second win in “Out Of Bounds,” a series of man-to-man grudge matches in which competitors had to push each other out of a designated battleground, Lindsey quickly decided to toss Lolo into the elimination round to spare the team additional headaches.
“Misery loves company, and I can’t wait to watch this at nominations,” the Champs' Darrell said.
And the four-time champion definitely got his wish — as soon as Lindsey cast her vote, all hell broke loose.
“This is not a personal decision despite what she might think,” Lindsey said, claiming that Lolo’s request for a “day off” didn’t sit well with her. But Lolo didn’t buy the defense and flew off the handle.
“They’re trying to wear me out by doing these battles after battles,” Lolo lamented, barking “F-ck you” at Lindsey and adding to a producer: “Give me my phone so I can block these bitches.”
But when the Pros couldn’t decide on Lolo’s opponent and reached a stalemate between Louise and surfer Tia Blanco, Lolo wound up with the upper hand and got to choose her opponent. After mulling it over, she landed on Tia, whom she outweighed by a pretty significant margin.
When the teams arrived at the elimination round, it seemed Lolo made the right choice. “Basket Brawl,” a spin on “Balls In” from Free Agents, Inferno II and Invasion of the Champions, was a test of pure strength and challenged competitors to take turns trying to sink a medicine ball into a bucket while opponents tried to knock the ball out of bounds.
Immediately, Tia saw her life flash before her eyes, and Olympic hurdler Lolo’s advantage appeared overwhelming. And while winning team captain Lindsey had earned the right to avoid elimination, she felt sudden pressure to spare Tia and step up to Lolo in the surfer’s place.
“I see how timid Tia is looking, and she’s not really happy to be in this situation,” Lindsey said. “It’s so mismatched. I don’t think this is right…I want it to be a fair fight.”
Lindsey began to set her adrenaline free and paced around the spectators’ area. Finally, when host Victor Cruz was about to sound the horn and signal Lolo’s match against Tia, Lindsey stopped the game and insisted Victor let her take Tia’s place. Victor ultimately gave the choice to Lolo, who began to genuinely wonder whether to accept her nemesis’ proposition.
“I am absolutely considering Lindsey’s offer,” Lolo said. “The competitor in me wants to step up and battle her on the spot.”
What do you think: Should Lolo accept Lindsey’s invitation to go to war? Or is she better off as is, and does she have a better chance of surviving the elimination round if Tia remains her opponent? Share your thoughts, and see how this one goes down when The Challenge returns Tuesday night at 9/8c!