Does Joss Have What It Takes To Beat Challenge Legend Derrick?

The game’s most promising newbie has got a tough elimination ahead

The newest golden boy of The Challenge is putting his Midas touch to the test with his very first elimination round battle. But will the fight — a match against one of the game’s most feared veterans — reduce him to fool’s gold?

On tonight’s Vendettas episode — and after Victor’s elimination from the game — Kyle, Nicole and Tony found themselves wielding the power of The Troika. They’d been a part of the winning team in “Puppet Master” — a two-team race to build one of two giant puppets — and immediately set their sights on nominating Shane into The Ring. But Shane wouldn’t be alone, as the task’s losing team voted rookie Joss into the elimination round, as many, like Zach, didn’t want to continue to compete against him. Joss had already proven to be a huge physical threat to the game, and won the first mission by a mile.

And while Joss was distressed, he wasn’t discouraged.

“I’m gonna go balls’ deep in this elimination,” he said. “The name of the game is Vendettas, which I do have some now.”

Still, Joss had no idea what was coming, as TJ threw a massive curve ball to the group — for the first time, he invited four previous players, called “The Mercenaries,” to each compete against one of the four Ring nominees. If a Vendettas player beat a Mercenary, he or she would stay in the game. If not, he or she’d be out.

“This changes a whole heck of a lot,” Brad said. “We could now be losing all four competitors in one elimination.”

Immediately, Shane fell to Jordan — the franchise’s most recent winner — and it looks like Aneesa is primed to knock frenemy Veronica out, too (how can V recover from that broken-looking finger?). All the while, Kam will wait to battle it out with sparkplug Tori, and Joss and Derrick will have to square off.

And where the latter battle is concerned, the Vendettas cast seem sure they’re in for one hell of a fight, particularly since “Crazy 8” is a physical elimination round. The first player to grab hold of a ring and get it to his or her respective holding area twice wins.

But will Joss be able to pull it off? He seems to think so.

“Diesel Derrick, I think they call him,” Joss said. “He’s half my size…I’m pretty sure I can flatten this guy.”

But let’s not forget, Derrick is a bit of a machine — he’s been a finalist on five out of his 10 Challenge appearances and won three in a row with victories on Inferno III, The Island and The Ruins. And on his most recent appearance, Dirty 30, he just missed out on the first-place finish, winning three missions and a critical elimination round against Johnny Bananas en route to the finals.

What do you think — does Joss have what it takes to send Derrick packing, and is his first elimination round win in his future? Or, is Derrick too much to handle, and are Joss’ days numbered? Share your thoughts, and see how this one plays out Tuesday at 9/8c!