Since Cara Maria’s first Challenge bid on 2010’s Fresh Meat II, the Massachusetts native has emerged as one of the franchise’s toughest competitors. Yes, she was the first player eliminated from the game, but it couldn’t be ignored, either, that she was first-round draft pick. Further, she proceeded to silence doubters when she just missed winning her second game, Cutthroat, alongside eventual ally Laurel.
On tonight’s episode, the game’s remaining players learned the day’s winners would — for the second time — have the chance to send two losers straight to the Redemption House with no shot of sparing themselves in The Presidio. “Backstabber” was a tight race in both men’s and women’s heats, but Jenna and Hunter eventually emerged as the day’s winners, and with a pool of only four bottom-finishers from which to choose, they decided to banish Veronica and Jordan — at least temporarily — from the game.
And for Hunter, bouncing Jordan was a long time coming.
“It was well worth eating the swamp rat to get a little taste of that right there,” he said, giving a nod to his own disgusting Redemption House comeback mission.
Jordan, on the other hand, was forced to eat crow once he arrived at the Redemption House. Cara Maria, whose elimination Jordan had helped to engineer, gave Jordan the cold shoulder amid an otherwise warm reception. And when she began poking at Jordan for his vote, he put up his walls and fought back, defending his choice.
“No one wants to run a final with you,” Jordan said. “The final is all about being able to improvise. You have to be able to roll with the punches, and in any pressure situation, Cara Maria loses it. I don’t want that. I don’t need that.”
Jordan proceeded to claim that Jenna, Kailah and Tori were all stronger players than Cara. The conversation felt eerily similar to a previous Cutthroat argument, when Laurel accused Cara of being a “JV player” in spite of her routine successes, and the tension permeated the group of castoffs.
“’The Challenge’ is [Cara Maria’s] livelihood, and Jordan basically just told her, ‘You’re not good at it, I’d rather run with people that have no experience,’” Jemmye said.
Still, Cara proved she was no longer the type to let words hurt her, and bit back.
“Honestly, I’m a little offended,” she said, before grabbing Jordan’s bag of clothes, taking it to the foyer and tossing it into the pool a la Tonya on “Inferno 2.” “I’ve won a lot of challenges, and I don’t have anything to prove to anybody. I would just assume that there would be a respect as a competitor.”
What do you think — is Jordan exaggerating Cara Maria’s Challenge weaknesses, and has she proven to be a top-tier player? Or, are his cheap shots warranted, and are there more than a few chinks in CM’s armor? Share your thoughts, and see how these two proceed when The Challenge returns next Tuesday at 10/9c!