Total Madness proved it was precisely that on the show’s latest episode when one of the male frontrunners — and a reigning champion — was unexpectedly sent home…even though he’d won the previous challenge, even though he had a history of winning similar games and even though he was technically safe from Purgatory and potential elimination.
Nuts? Totally. But CT’s ousting was also a critical reminder that even the game’s strongest and most enduring competitors have unexpectedly stumbled along the way.
After winning the game’s “Decode and Detonate” (a combination of memory, stamina and “blowing sh*t up,” as TJ so eloquently put it), CT earned his way into the Tribunal. One of the game’s most eager to earn a Red Skull and, consequently, eligibility to the final mission, he continued to toss around the idea of sacrificing his safety and volunteering for Purgatory.
And once the cast descended into the elimination-round arena and CT saw that the house had nominated Jay — the only man to have earned a Red Skull so far — into Purgatory, CT tore off his civilian clothes, forfeited his invulnerability and prepared himself to take out the Survivor standout.
For most of the house, it seemed like a sure thing. But unfortunately, “Take Shelter,” a game which challenged players to construct a tangled web of ropes and chains that his opponent would have to later unravel, paved the way, instead, for an extension of Jay’s underdog story. To a stunned reaction from the crowd, the smallest guy in the house bested its toughest.
“No way could I have ever imagined this,” Jay said, reconciling his own disbelief.
Still, it wasn’t the first time CT fell short in improbable fashion. Here are the few times when the Inferno-born competitor slipped up and proved even superheroes can have off days:
While CT took Brad for a ride in “Push Me,” CT made a fatal error in the game’s final stretch: Instead of unlocking a carabiner and setting a flag free to claim victory, he tore the flag from its anchor, effectively disqualifying himself from the game. And right before the finals!
CT and Adam took on Johnny and Tyler in “T-Bone,” the final men’s elimination game of Season 21, as the odds-on winners. The game challenged both teams to run up and down designated paths in an X-shaped obstacle course while transferring designated medicine balls from one side to another. Unfortunately, partway through the game, the group realized that Adam was moving balls in the wrong direction, and the mistake eventually amounted to a buzzer-beater defeat.
In a particularly distressing pattern for CT, the Real World: Paris alum found himself in the game’s final elimination round — for a third time — against Johnny Bananas in a battle for the lone remaining ticket to the finals. And while CT can usually get puzzles done in a snap, “Puzzle Pyramid,” a series of brain-teasers, unfolded more smoothly for Johnny, and eventual champion Bananas sent CT packing.
War of the Worlds
“Ring Tossed,” a game in which players had to tear hoops out of their opponents’ hands (this was a three-way elimination-round, people!) seemed right up CT’s alley. Sadly, somehow, CT just couldn’t get a grip — literally — and forfeited his spot in the game, alongside fellow loser JP, to Kyle. It was the earliest CT had ever been eliminated from a show before Total Madness.