Cory and Nelson's first Challenge experience together was on Rivals III: The Real World: Ex-Plosion alum was fresh off of his inaugural appearance (and second place finish) on Battle of the Bloodlines, while the Are You the One? export was a rookie. They have always remained close allies as members of Team Young Buck, but the true depth of their bond was on full display during tonight's Total Madness episode. And Nelson's big game decision -- to guarantee Cory a spot in the upcoming Season 35 final by opting to go into Purgatory in the last elimination of the season before the critical last leg of the competition instead of his dear friend -- is arguably the most selfless move the series has ever seen.
"Cory and I, we've grown so much through the years," Nelson stated as the pals readied themselves for the upcoming Daily Challenge. "I see him every day being the best father he can be to Ryder. And I'm so proud of him. I know how much this means to Cory and what this money can do for his family. All we have to do is keep focus, keep our mind right and keep our head in the game."
At the final mission (called Crash Course) Kaycee was the top female and Johnny Bananas took number one on the male side. The vet pulled "my guy" Kyle into the Tribunal and the newbie made a deal to not throw her fellow Big Brother buddy Fessy into an elimination. That left Rogan, Cory and Nelson as the eligible guys -- but Rogan quickly threw his name into the arena to go against one of the "f*cking beasts" (aka Cory and Nelson).
Nelson approached Kyle and Bananas post-interrogation and told them to put him in to face the defending War of the Worlds 2 champ. At first, the Vendettas finalist was surprised -- but Nelson had a heartfelt reason why this was his wish.
"Cory has a little girl at home and he has another kid on the way," he told the duo about this important sacrifice. "I would rather give him the better shot of winning this million dollars that me. I know he could really use this money."
He continued: "I think about my life and I think about his life and I would rather give him a better shot of winning the million dollars. I will go down there and do what I have to do. Hopefully I make it back."
Bananas and Kyle were floored -- and the six-time winner had nothing but praise for the Invasion of the Champions silver medalist.
"I just gained a lot of respect for you bro," Johnny told Nelson. "Not that I didn't already have a lot, but that's big dude."
And when it came time to select the guy facing Rogan, Bananas again praised Nelson -- but directed his nomination at Cory.
"Cory, that man standing next to you is an absolute rider," he stated. "I know why he's your best friend and he basically said that if it's between you and him, he wants to go down."
With that, Bananas -- as well as Kaycee and Kyle -- granted Nelson's request. But unfortunately for Nelson he couldn't "get the job done" against Rogan in "Hall Brawl" and was ousted at the last do or die showdown. Cory quickly ran down to tell his friend how much he appreciated the gesture -- and Nelson encouraged Cory to "go on and get it." They shared a big hug -- and their fellow competitors applauded the duo.
Nelson was gracious in defeat and admitted he had no regrets about his choice to volunteer for this high stakes setting.
"I would do it again and again and again," he added. "I hope and pray to God he wins this, it's his season," he concluded about Cory.
Nelson's loyalty to Cory goes well beyond this cutthroat environment -- and his actions and kind heart truly showed that. So was this gesture the most generous and altruistic on the show's legendary run? Sound off -- and do not miss the high stakes finale of Total Madness next Wednesday at 8/7c!