The Challenge has always been a heavily edited show—the main thing that keeps it from feeling like an actual sport is the fact that every elimination challenge comes with about 600 camera cuts—but we can’t remember it ever being this boosted in post-production. Total Madness is flying through camera filters and low-grade graphics; it’s taking HUGE swings from the editing room. It’s, quite simply, astonishing. So, every week, we’ll collect the best moments of each episode in screenshots, sometimes adding context, sometimes letting the image itself speak a thousand words.
This is what we in the biz call foreshadowing.
In this week’s group challenge, the teams had to move around a bunch of black cars in order to release one red car:
If that looks familiar, it’s because it’s an exact copy of the classic PC game, Parking Panic:
Anyways, here’s how you were supposed to solve the puzzle:
Jenny’s team did win, to be fair.
I’m Sorry, What’s Happening Here?
The Main Event
As it turns out, Nany’s comment was a more general form of foreshadowing. She was part of the drama (natch), but was not one of the main players. Those main players would be Big Brother alumni Bayleigh and Kaycee. After the fall of Bayleigh’s husband Swaggy C and the dismantling of Baggy last week—they call themselves Swayleigh, but I prefer Baggy—you knew Bayleigh was going to be in trouble. She spent the entire season with her guy and away from everybody else, not really making any other alliances; with him gone, she was fully on her own.
But Bayleigh thought that Kaycee would be in her corner because … apparently they had an intimate relationship on Big Brother? This is the downside of culling competitors from other reality shows. To fully get this fight, you have to have watched Big Brother; I can only keep up with so many series, you know?! But anyway, the gist is that Bayleigh and Kaycee may or may not have shared a bed together one time on Big Brother before Bayleigh hooked up with Swaggy, and therefore Bayleigh assumed she and Kaycee were bonded for life. (Having seen these two only on this season of The Challenge, you’d be forgiven for assuming they had never even met.)
But Kaycee has been making new friends—in particular, Nany. They say they’re just innocently flirting, but they definitely kissed at least once. (Joining Kailah and Bear, Kaycee now becomes the third person this season to ruin a long-term relationship back home; this bunker works wonders.) And so when it comes time for Kaycee to choose to either send Bayleigh or Melissa into elimination, she picks the latter, because that’s what Nany wanted.
This is when things kick off, as the Brits would say. First, Kaycee tries to explain herself to Bayleigh, but Bayleigh just covers herself up with that creepy blanket that has her and Swaggy’s faces printed all over it.
This must’ve been a very strange experience for Kaycee.
Bayleigh has two states, she explains: tears and screaming. The above was tears, obviously. The screaming came later.
“I LOVED YOU!” Bayleigh screams. It’s at this point that I was very glad for Fessy—an impartial third party who’d also been on Big Brother—to swoop in and provide some clarity for us non-CBS fans. “It wasn’t a thing. It was a friendship,” he says. “But they did spend a lot of time together. I think that was just a good game move by Kaycee on Big Brother.” It’s so nice when someone on a reality show acknowledges that they’re on a reality show.
Bayleigh, though? Still very jacked up. “I feel like I’m being kicked when I’m down. It’s not enough that Swaggy just left. I don’t have a red skull, I don’t really have alliances in this game,” Bayleigh says. “I just feel like, how could this get any worse?” And then Bayleigh does this:
But don’t worry, this is not an off-hand comment. Bayleigh has apparently thought about it and can expand on the thought:
OK, cool. I understand now.
In the end, amazingly, this whole thing barely even matters—Nany loses to Melissa in elimination; the triangle that was forming gets immediately obliterated. Bayleigh and Kaycee still have to live together, but really, it’s on Bayleigh to nicen up. She’s the last woman in the house without a red skull, and if she wants people to give her the opportunity to go into elimination to earn one, she’s gonna have to politick and make some friendships.
She better stop calling people lying-ass hoes, even if they are ho-ish, for many reasons.