The Challenge: Bloodlines "Blood Versus Love" Review: The Elimination Nightmare

The Challenge S27E09: "Blood Versus Love"

This week's episode of The Challenge was a nightmare for anyone with a fear of the water—which turns out was the majority of this season's cast. The annual underwater challenge was a lot like the makeover episode of America's Next Top Model where you're watching just to see who cried the most. Does that make us terrible people? Maybe, but it's also the blessing of reality TV. However, no matter what fears they had of deep sea creatures, it was nothing compared to the nightmare scenario facing the two unlucky dudes that were forced into the pit. The elimination was a thing of dreams for fans at home, but first we have to sort through some more political drama. 


Diving for Air

Where are the real competitors this season? The challenge was for each competitor to swim a distance of 150 feet underwater, stopping in set-up air pockets along the way, and then swim back to the starting-line. Simple, right? In the golden age of The Challenge this would have been a slam dunk for anyone worth their salt. Apparently not. Even some of the toughest dudes (we're looking at you Vince and Cory) couldn't get under to the first air pocket. In the end only four competitors—Abe and Bananas for the Red Team and Mike and Jamie for the Blue Team—were able to complete the challenge. The Blue Team was still slower though, leaving them with another loss and forcing them to send two players into elimination. Fun fact: The Blue Team has lost every single challenge this season. That hasn't happened since the show was still called The Real World vs. Road Rules Challenge.


A House Divided

Now that the Rookie alliance was destroyed, the house split into two new groups: Team Bananas and Team Abe/Cara-Maria. Bananas' numbers were waning after he sold out Anthony and Kelly-Anne in last week's elimination, but he's still unstoppable in a physical challenge, which makes it hard to put him in the pit. The man has won five overall seasons of The Challenge but this house still underestimated him. Cara-Maria, who everyone should be rooting for because we love an underdog, shot herself in the foot because she also couldn't decide if she wanted to get rid of Bananas or her boyfriend Abe more. Indecision is as deadly in this game as playing with your emotions. It also didn't help that there's a lack of strong physical competitors in the house to help bolster her chances of throwing Bananas out. 

At the elimination vote, Mike was unable to convince Vince and Mitch they should be chivalrous and volunteer for the pit since they performed the worst in the challenge. Mike clearly never watched an episode of the show before coming on it with Abe because only crazy people volunteer for the pit. Someone send for a psych eval, because Mike sent himself in again. In a twisted turn of fate, Jenna and Brianna did not hold up their oath to get revenge on "Creepy Uncle Vince" and his bloodline Bananas. Instead, they sent Jaime into the pit. Thus either Cara-Maria or Abe will go home and Bananas made it one step closer to the final. One day, I hope he writes a book about Challenge politics because the guy is a master. 


The Nightmare Elimination


Last week, CT returned to bring all of the tears—but he made another cameo appearance to drop off a serving of blood and sweat as well. He brought a friend with him this time too—Real World: San Diego vet and fellow brick-house Zach. These two are freakin' giants and the last faces you want to see when you're heading into a pit. Oh, it was a strength and endurance test to boot! Please cue Jamie and Mike starting to pee their pants. 

The anti-climactic challenge was made up for by seeing CT and Zach in action in a competitive fashion once again. There was never a chance of Jamie or Mike defeating these Challenge icons, but Jamie was able to hold out against CT a bit longer than Mike could stave off Zach—sending the chivalrous Mike and his unpredictable cousin Abe back to Montana and allowing Cara-Maria to focus on the game with "no romance drama." 

Next week the 10 remaining players will reunite with their Bloodlines, simplifying the game and hopefully making the direction more clear cut. The convoluted nature of eliminations this season made it too hard to form real alliances, and thus minimized a lot of the potential drama that makes The Challenge so great. It's time to cut the B.S. and get to cutting people out to get to that final, which is now only a couple of weeks away. Bring it. 

The Challenge: Battle of the Bloodlines continues Wednesdays at 10pm on MTV. 

This article originally appears on TV Guide.com.

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Jan 26, 2016
Why isnt anyone noticing how dangerous they made this breathing challenge and why the second team had a harder time? We breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Those air pockets were filling up with carbon dioxide, thats why the people in the second team "didnt feel right."
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Jan 24, 2016
Boy... what that pit one-sided or what!?
I want Mike to come back to another Challenge - next time, he'll be better at the politic. Hopefully.

(BTW: Mike is Abe's brother, not cousin.)

Yeah, Bananas is definitely something else when it comes to the politic of the game... but you gotta wonder if bringing Vince was an overall smart move on his part, given the way his cousin performed so far. Johnny better brings his A-game at the final challenge, 'cause there's a fairly good chance he'll have to drag Creepy Uncle Vince to the finish line.
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Jan 21, 2016
Great, fun ep as usual - but wow what a horrible decision by Abe strategically not to throw the challenge so they could throw in Bananas. Just awful - this is why Bananas does so well - love him or hate him - he is the strategy master - proven as he still sits there having never faced The Pit - while Abe is now out of the game. Seeing CT and Zach again was cool - Zach and Jenna make a great couple. Can't wait for next week's. 7.5/10.
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