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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Caroline Darney

The Challengers are hitting their stride, but will the burn vote strategy become a problem?

This week on MTV’s The Challenge: Battle for a New Champion, we got a double episode of scheming, competing and plotting. After fumbling the bag in weeks one and two and only netting $6,000 of a possible $100k, the crew got their collective act together and crushed both challenges in episodes three and four.

The first forced some of the challengers to do math – gasp! – some to drive buggies with numbers on them and some to direct traffic. Michele ran the show nearly flawlessly, and Kyland, Ed and Jay chipped in solving the math problems.

MORE: The Challenge’s new format for Battle for a New Champion is weird but intriguing

Ravyn earned the house vote — although the women all burn voted, much to the anger of the guys — and called Jujuy into the sand for the elimination battle. Despite winning the first round, Jujuy was sent home.

For the second competition of the week, challengers had to swim out and retrieve puzzle pieces from underwater and complete five pentagons. The crew finished with three seconds left on the clock, but it was a success nonetheless.

Hughie was blindsided with the house vote, pulling Kyland into the elimination round to fight for a spot in the house. Although Hughie kept it close, Kyland came out with the victory.

Despite being upset at the burn vote strategy used by the ladies the round before, a few of the guys employed the same tactic when voting the next time out. Will the “cowardly” strategy that allows competitors to avoid saying a name come back to burn them?

Let’s get to Contenders and Pretenders and see who still has work to do.


Jay – I love Jay. He’s so scrappy. Plus, he saved the day on the third math problem.

Michele – There is little argument that Michele is one of, if not THE, strongest woman in the house. She showed initiative this week and is plugged in well when it comes to the house alliances.

Ed – Between the math and the swimming rescue, Ed had a big week. He is also a seemingly super-likable guy. That always helps in these challenges.

Work Left to Do

Melissa – She struggled in the swimming challenge, but got it together and retrieved her puzzle piece. A verbal altercation with Berna over alleged bullying may get her a spot in the elimination round if she’s not careful.

Kyland – Kyland was pulled into the elimination challenge by Hughie, coming out victorious. He also handled some of the math in the first challenge, showing he has levels to his game.


Nurys – She was the only one that was unable to collect her puzzle piece underwater and had to be rescued by Ed. Will the women remember this for the ladies’ elimination round next week?

Moriah and James – I don’t think Moriah has truly been unfaithful to Johnny Bananas for her cuddling and flirting with James, but bold choice by the duo to potentially anger the all-time winningest (and pettiest) of Challenge Champions.

Callum – Still cheating on his girlfriend, still in the Pretenders.


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