Could Kam Be A Come-From-Behind Challenge Threat?

The only player to survive the Invasion of The Mercenaries didn’t waste any time making big moves

The reigning golden girl of The Challenge, Tori, might have to take a temporary backseat, because fellow Are You The One? export Kam has just given convincing evidence that she’s the true Rookie of the Year.

On tonight’s Vendettas episode, Kam found herself in an especially uncomfortable position: she and three other contestants learned they’d have to each square off against former players — Jordan, Derrick, Aneesa and Tori, who’d been dubbed “The Mercenaries” — in order to stay in the game. If any current player won two rounds of “Figure 8,” in which contestants had to snatch a relic out of their opponents’ hands, he or she would get to stay. If any given Mercenary won two matches, his or her “Vendettas” challenger would be eliminated on the spot.

Right away, The Mercenaries proved to be serious trouble. Jordan bounced Shane without breaking a sweat, and a battle between Aneesa and Veronica got so heated that Veronica broke her finger and was forced to withdraw to prevent further injury.

With hope for the Vendettas cast waning, it was Kam’s turn to step up to the plate, but Tori — who was yet to lose an elimination round (even Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson proved no match for her “Champs vs. Stars”) — wasn’t ready to sully her record.

“I’m sorry I’m gonna have to send you home so early,” Tori contended.

Tori won the first heat handily, putting Kam at an immediate deficit. But Kam was ready to exact a comeback.

“Killer Kam is out now,” she said. “Girl, you better give it, ‘cause I ain’t gonna give up.”

And she didn’t — after two more grueling heats, Kam came away from The Invasion of the Mercenaries as the only Vendettas winner (Joss would later lose to Derrick in one of the most insane eliminations in Challenge history), cementing her spot as a new threat.

“It feels so great to have won my first elimination,” Kam said. “I know a lot of people thought [Tori would] probably would beat me…but I definitely proved myself tonight…I came and I conquered.”

And Kam wasn’t gonna stop there — armed with three powerful grenades, she decided against tiptoeing around her competition, and at the top of “Car Crash,” Kam immediately blew up Cara Maria’s game.

Cara warned Kam that if the grenade caused her to lose the mission, which challenged players in teams of four or five to traverse a path of suspended cars, she’d request to see Kam in The Ring. But Kam was unfazed, and doubled down on her choice.

“Was I supposed to be scared?” Kam jeered. “Bring it, lil’ bitch. ‘Cause I been ready.”

Unfortunately for Kam, Cara’s team — which also included Bananas, Natalie and Nelson — wound up winning the game, rendering Kam’s power play pretty useless. Worse, it might have actually proven to work against her.

“It’s like my grenade got thrown right the hell back at me,” Kam lamented.

But when push comes to shove, will Kam be able to hang tough, and could she stand up to Cara?

What do you think — could Kam be a serious Challenge contender, and could she follow in Tori’s footsteps as a first-time finalist? Or, was her victory over T a fluke, and is there too much working against her now that she’s pissed off Cara Maria? Share your thoughts, and see how she progresses Tuesday at 9/8c!