Only on The Challenge can a life-sized arcade game lay the groundwork for brazen social warfare.
On tonight’s Champs vs. Stars episode, The Champions — who’d so far gone 4-0 in the competition — continued to steamroll over The Stars. They’d lost Camila, Jenna and Ashley to unforeseen circumstances and Cory to an elimination round, but still managed to dominate the game.
Still, morale began to sink.
Before “Jumbo Foosball,” Johnny explained that a rep named Matthew from his choice charity — The Special Olympics — would be on hand as a designated cheerleader for Team Blue. And Johnny said he hoped that if he did, indeed, perform successfully as one of the game’s forwards (Wes was The Champs’ other forward), the team would award him MVP, and make Matthew’s day.
“For me, it would be really awesome if we win today, to be able to make a donation to my charity with him here,” Johnny said. “He’s been telling me forever that he wants to be my partner on a Challenge.”
And while Johnny performed well, and racked up two goals before his team was declared victorious, some of his teammates thought he missed some easy shots, and made the game too close for comfort. The Stars had the lead for a bulk of the match before an eventual Champs’ comeback.
“I am frustrated,” Emily admitted while The Champs battled through sudden-death overtime, the closest they’d ever come to losing. “We keep getting balls to the upper-right corner where Johnny Bananas is, and he’s just not scoring. I know that Justina’s crushing it [as goalie], but there’s no way this game should be this close.”
So, when it came time to choose an MVP, The Champs — while Johnny was elsewhere having a conversation with Matthew — took it upon themselves to give the distinction to Wes, who they saw as a more consistent player. And Wes was thrilled to make a $5,000 donation to the American Cancer Society.
“When you put me on that soccer field, I score them goals,” Wes said.
But Johnny couldn’t help but see the move as a slight, particularly as the choice was made without him. In his eyes, there was no reason to nominate anyone else.
“I played, in my opinion, exceptionally well,” Johnny said. “A representative from my charity is here on a men’s [elimination] day…everything about this moment just blows my mind…I feel like everyone on my team is pissing on me on the same time.”
“If there’s one time that we can stop being cutthroat scumbags, it would be in a challenge like this,” he added. “I just assumed, silly me, that by having a representative from my charity come out on a day that we’d be able to honor them with a donation. I thought that was just an unspoken thing.”
For the first time, The Champs team erupted into intra-warfare, and The Stars couldn’t help but watch the No. 1 seed crumble.
“We’re watching The Champs just like devour one another,” Kim said as she mimed eating popcorn. “It felt so good that finally it wasn’t us with all the drama on our side.”
Ultimately, losing out on the MVP distinction also meant Johnny had a straight shot into the looming elimination round, as his years-long feud with Wes reared its ugly head. As MVP, Wes very easily tossed his nemesis to the wolves, but Johnny came out alive, easily besting Riff Raff in a game of glorified Connect Four.
Still, Wes was confident he maintained the upper-hand.
“My plan is working out so smoothly right now, it’s ridiculous,” Wes said.
But should it be?
What do you think — did Johnny Bananas deserve the MVP distinction, and should his performance paired with his pal’s visit meant it was his by default? Or, was Emily right, and was Johnny’s performance slacking? Share your thoughts, and see if The Champs can recover next Tuesday at 10/9c!