Welcome back to another week of “The Challenge: Vendettas.”

Episode five, titled “Guilty By Association,” is as about filling as an american ‘cheese’ sandwich. Not even grilled cheese worthy. Gone (or yet to be seen) are the episodes that start with a challenge and end with a completed elimination. We have yet to have a ‘full’ episode this season, and fans are feeling cheated because of it. This week we had a bit of deliberation, a bit of a tussle and a hell of an elimination.

Let’s start with the deliberation. As you should know from last week, the current Troika is composed of Tony, Marie and Zach. The most obvious choice for them (in their words) is to nominate Britni, along with the UK rookies, Melissa and Kayleigh, to face the inquisition. What made this announcement bearable was the look on the faces of Britni and Brad. Brad, in all his macho bravado, sought Tony out before their deliberation to ‘squash the beef’ in an effort to save Britni. Not many people can respect Brad at this point, between hooking up with Britni, fighting Marie over pizza, nominating Sylvia to go into elimination, and of course he also picked Tony, his vendetta, to face the inquisition. You get the point. Brad is a gigantic sleep ball that bounces between people of power to stay safe. Little does he know how many targets are resting on his back.

While Britni seems to be the front runner to face Sylvia in elimination, Melissa has…other plans. Kam and she have an argument about reputations and speaking to people face to face. With MTV’s editing, I am not quite sure of where this came from, and they seemed to be on good terms. However the angle MTV portrays is that Kam is sick of Melissa using Nicole to get ahead and for safety. Somewhere along the line, Melissa calls Kam “fat” so Jemmye and Kailah decided to get involved to defend her.

So a little about Jemmye: she was never much of a competitor. She came from “The Real World,” which is becoming less and less common. After her ex, Knight, a fellow “Real World”/”Challenge” alum died, she took a absence from reality T.V out of respect of his memory. That lasted… two years. Now Jemmye is back, and as messy as ever! Just like in the previous season of “The Challenge,” Jemmye only gets screentime when she’s running her mouth, scheming or getting in someone else’s business. She has become more of a character and less of a competitor, a layup to take to the final if she avoids elimination. So what gave her air time this week? Well during Kam and Melissa’s disagreement, herself and Kailah are avid instigators that most likely escalated the fight before others jumped in to separate the girls.

With an intense tussle, the Troika had a lot to work with. Should they vote for Britni to go in, and cut away at Brad’s alliances? Vote in Melissa for her controversial behaviors and upset their friend Nicole in the process? Or decide on Kayleigh, who has not actually done anything but also is not associated with anyone; except flirting with local single ranger, Nelson.

Well if you know “The Challenge,” you know the results. Much to Bananas’ disappointment, Melissa was selected to face Sylvia in an elimination. Whoever creates the biggest splash last typically goes in, something Tony knows all too well from previous seasons. And this elimination was one to see. Described as one of the most intense women’s eliminations ever, Sylvia and Melissa had a high stakes basketball game, but surrounded by oily water in a tarp and aiming for a barrel outside of it. It got dirty real fast, and I am not referring to the dirt that flew! Melissa, self-proclaimed MMA fighter, was pulling hair, kneeing Sylvia’s pelvis, and at one point ACTUALLY bit Sylvia! Sylvia came close to jabbing Melissa in the face, but stayed resilient and won the competition 3-1. She will have her choice of grenades at the next challenge, but that’s where this episode ends. Hopefully the next episode will reintroduce the original format.

Tune in to “MTV’s The Challenge: Vendettas” every Tuesday night at 9pm est, then read my take on the season here at the Niner Times!

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