In the 18th century, and as demonstrated by British Army officer John Andre, a soldier’s defection from his nation’s army to an enemy camp could get him tried for treason and hanged. But switching sides nearly 300 years later in the Challenge universe can, conversely, spare a turncoat in question from elimination.
So given the potential advantage afforded to a traitor, and the fact that Teams U.S. and U.K. both continue to sacrifice the same few players to the Proving Ground, the question lingers: Where War of the Worlds 2 is considered, why has nobody yet considered jumping ship?
The question seemed especially pertinent for Theo who — once again — found himself fighting for his life in Episode 8 after yet another loss for Team U.K. Theo, who’d already sent home Johnny Bananas in “Die for Me,” found himself with a waning alliance in the show’s latest installment, and although he successfully avoided being voted into the Proving Ground during his team’s nomination ceremony (that distinction went to one of his few remaining allies, Kyle), Theo was eventually thrown in, too, by Cara Maria, Paulie and Ashley, who made up the Tribunal.
In an instant, both Theo and Kyle saw their lives in the game flash before their eyes. With essentially only each other as allies, they both knew that whoever lost “Running Riot,” a mix of runner’s endurance, weightlifting and memory skill, would be at a massive deficit.
“Even if I do win today, it’s not going to make my position in the game any stronger,” Theo said despondently as he and Kyle squared off. “I might turn to the U.S. team because it’s a lose-lose situation for me either way. I better get used to coming down here.”
And, after a grueling battle — one that was much closer than the cast anticipated it would be — Theo emerged victorious and was left with the choice he was dreading: Would he stay with the Brits, who had all but done away with his intra-team alliance? Or, with nothing to lose, would he try his luck on the American side and become the first player to invoke the turncoat privilege?
Even Kyle, who’d already lost, encouraged Theo and Georgia, who’d won the women’s elimination game, from the sidelines to shift their allegiances and become honorary Americans.
“I am just praying to God that Theo and Georgia switch teams,” Kyle said. “You know that if you go back to the U.K. side, they’re just gonna keep voting you in. Chance your luck.”
But luck would remain un-chanced and, following Georgia’s lead, Theo said he would stay put.
“I’m in a bad situation either way,” Theo, the War of the Worlds runner-up admitted. “I like being on a winning team. It’s a hard one for me…[but] yeah, I’m gonna stick.”
And for most of the cast, the choice was an unexpected one.
“I am shocked that Georgia and Theo are staying with that stupid team,” Tori said. “We would have had the numbers. It would have been a great time to make a huge shift in the game. It was a missed opportunity.”
But was it really a missed opportunity, or is there a chance that Theo and Georgia are seeing something promising by looking at the game’s bigger picture?
What do you think — did Theo make a huge mistake by sticking by the Brits, and is it only a matter of time before he’s back on the Proving Ground? Or will his team finally recognize that he’s one of the game’s strongest players, and has his performance saved him from future elimination rounds? And why has no one on War of the Worlds changed sides thus far? Share your thoughts, and be sure to tune in to the next Challenge episode Wednesday at 9/8c!