Need proof The Challenge XXX is living up to its menacing name? Look no further than the premiere.
On tonight’s episode, host TJ Lavin immediately put the season’s 30 conniving players (minus Ashley, who quit) to the test immediately — they barely got a chance to party first, they lamented. As part of the first mission, deemed “The Purge,” TJ announced that the day’s weakest six competitors — three men and three women — would each be sent packing. The move stunned the cast, and even Amanda — a victim of the infamous “Underdog Bloodbath” on Invasion of the Champions — was caught off guard.
“I can’t go home the first day,” she said. “That’s so embarrassing.”
The game, TJ said, would play out in three installments. In the first heat, players would individually have to sprint to a series of barrels, each collect one and roll it to the top of a giant structure. The top four finishers from each sex moved on, and while players like Kailah and Johnny Bananas easily took spots, Darrell and Cara Maria — the most recent Champs vs. Pros winners — were left in the dust.
The remaining players were then divided into two teams — Team Blue and Team Pink — each of which had to carry two giant cannons to the same summit. After a grueling race and several shifts in standing, it was the blue team, which included Veronica, Cara Maria and Leroy, among others, that squeaked out the win. Heavy-hitters like Jenna, Cory and Darrell still hung in the balance, though.
In The Purge’s final test, the remaining 10 players had to sprint toward cannon balls, each pick one up and make the familiar trip back up to the cannons. The first-place man and woman would survive, TJ said, and would then each determine which man and woman moved on, and which three men and women would be eliminated.
Cory, who was determined to stay in the competition, took off like a bat out of hell and set off the first blast, while Jenna, who’d also improbably fallen to the bottom of the pack, left the rest of the girls in her dust and set off the second.
Jenna, who said she didn’t have any trouble deciding whom to eliminate (maybe she’s dirtier than we thought she was…), gave the axe to Simone, Amanda and LaToya, each of whom she said would have sent her home in an instant. Cory, on the other hand, chose to toss a legend to the wolves, and after eliminating Devin and Shane, spared Tony to send Darrell packin’. It was a gutsy move by Cory, who told the champ, “I don’t think I can beat you in a final.” But was it the right one?
What do you think: Did Jenna and Cory make the right choices with respect to their picks for elimination? Should Jenna have spared Simone, who said she felt friendly with her former Battle of the Exes II cast mate? Could Darrell have been an asset to Cory if he’d stayed in the game? Share your thoughts, and see what happens to the game’s first six castoffs next Tuesday at 9/8c!