“The Challenge: Battle of the Seasons” recap (1.5): “N-A-R-C-I-S-S-I-S-T-I-C”

As the episode opens, Brooklyn’s Devyn says that while her heart is heavy that she is going against Big Easy, the guy she cares about, she has to remain loyal to her team. “I’m Ride or Die Team Brooklyn,” she tells us. JD volunteers as the guy from Brooklyn to go into the arena in a mental challenge.

The challenge is called “Water Torture,” where the guy has to lift the girl up a vertical game board to solve a game of memory. The catch? The guy will have to hang from his ankles and hold his breath as long as he can under water as the girl solves the puzzle.

JD thinks that he has it in the bag. He is a competitive swimmer and dolphin trainer, and he just wants to get the challenge over with, so Team Brooklyn can go back to the house and relax. But as the challenge starts, Fresh Meat’s Camila is assembling the puzzle pieces faster than Devyn, and JD is having trouble supporting Devyn’s weight. Then Fresh Meat suffers a communication breakdown, and then, in a surprise turn of events, Big Easy quits and walks out of the arena. Camila is furious and lobs a string of expletives at him as he exits. “You’re a disgrace to humankind and a loser!” she screams, amidst more insults that could not be aired without bleeps.

As the cast looks on the shock, Trishelle tells us, “Camila says the most horrible and degrading things to Big Easy. I don’t think anyone deserves that, no matter what happens. No one deserves to be spoken to that way.” But Brooklyn is relieved that Fresh Meat is disqualified, and they rejoin their team. Before Fresh Meat goes home, Devyn and Big Easy have a moment together and they agree to continue their relationship after the game. “We have a lifetime to enjoy our time together and make the most of it, and that’s what we plan on doing,” Big Easy tells us.

Back at the house New Orlean’s Knight comes in with a clue from TJ. “Knowledge is power, and tomorrow we find out who the real Power Team is. Tomorrow be ready at 10am. Wear your swimwear!”

The challenge is called “Chairman of the Board,” TJ tells the cast the next morning. It will be a pop quiz that will take place on yet another monstrous platform suspended above water. One team member will sit on a chair on the platform, and TJ will ask everyone questions. If a question is answered incorrectly, that person will be ejected from the chair into the water and a new team member will replace him or her. The first team eliminated will go to the arena, and the last team standing — er, sitting — will be the power team.

Trishelle from Las Vegas has to sit out the challenge due to dehydration, which gives her team a disadvantage. Brooklyn’s Sarah is looking forward to the challenge, because she considers herself a master of trivia. After the rest of Las Vegas is tossed into the water, Nany is the last woman remaining in a sports trivia challenge. She correctly answers that Boston is the home of the Red Sox, and Vegas lives to play another round. Next, Preston from New Orleans fails the sports challenge, and New Orleans is also sharing the anchorman position with Vegas. Nany correctly answers that George Washington is on the quarter in the currency challenge, and Jemmye is eliminated after she answers that she only uses debit cards and doesn’t know who is on the ten dollar bill. (It is Alexander Hamilton.)

New Orleans is going into the arena. As New Orleans is eliminated, San Diego is the team to beat, as Frank, the original contestant from San Diego, is still sitting pretty. Eventually, the mighty Frank falls, but he gives San Diego an advantage over the next highest team, Brooklyn. TJ asks Chet to spell “narcissistic,” which the house thinks is apropos, but he misspells it and is tossed into the water. Zach thinks it is amusing that the most self absorbed person in the house cannot spell the word “narcissistic.“ San Diego is the power team, and Knight is relieved, because he says that San Diego will put whoever New Orleans wants into the arena.

In deliberations, Frank tells us that at some point, the alliance will have to place their own members into the arena, which is an unfortunate part of playing the game. But which team? Cancun’s Jonna thinks Vegas should go in, because she thinks they are traitors. At the arena, Sam represents San Diego and the alliance plays it safe by sticking to the original strategy by throwing in Brooklyn into the arena in an endurance challenge.

McKenzie and Preston volunteer to go in for New Orleans. As they enter the arena, TJ notices that Preston is wearing glitter war paint. “I vomit glitter and stars!” exclaims Preston. Sarah and Chet volunteer for Brooklyn.

The challenge is three 90 second rounds of “Balls Out,” a game we saw earlier this season. Each team maneuvers metal balls over wires to the other team’s side, and the team with the most balls on its court at the end of 90 seconds loses. Preston and McKenzie think they have a shot because they are tall and have long arms. Plus, McKenzie is especially amped.

In a heated first round, Brooklyn wins by one ball but destroys New Orleans in the second round. Brooklyn’s Devyn tells us that now San Diego looks like a bunch of idiots. She tells us, “We are like the toe fungus that you had and you have to wait it out. You cannot get rid of us that fast.”

Until next time!