This week, we saw Theo take an early flight home from The Challenge when he decided not to compete in the You’ve Got Balls elimination. Cory won by default, and TJ was disappointed in Theo for not jumping down the zipline.
Theo talked a big game going into elimination. He boasted that he was a real athlete and he wanted to establish a name for himself on The Challenge by eliminating Cory who has been a prominent figure on the past couple of seasons. Had he been successful, he would have certainly shut some people up. Cory has been successful on the past couple of seasons and he is one of the leaders this season. Given the fact that we have a such a fresh cast Cory is on of the top dogs right now.
Then, the cast was given an oddball elimination. Competitors can build strength, increase endurance, and solve puzzles prior to coming onto The Challenge. No one has a zipline over an Asian jungle at their disposal. Some competitors will find this an adrenaline rush, while height will be the biggest fear to others.
Here’s the thing: Theo didn’t decide he was done competing all together. He hesitated during a timed event and refused to jump. In a timed event, hesitation is not an option. Once you’ve hesitated, there’s really no point continuing. In past seasons people have opted not to complete daily missions because of their fears (Tori on Cutthroat or Katie on The Gauntlet 3 for example). Sure, TJ ragged on these people, but they really didn’t have any consequences beyond hurting their team. At least Theo only hurt his own game by not jumping.
Really, the challenge in this elimination was jumping into your fear. This reminds me of Dave quitting The Island because he missed cheeseburgers and his “girlfriend” of 6 hours. Sure, his excused for leaving seemed lame, but part of the challenge of The Island was enduring the conditions while avoiding the comforts of home. This elimination was disguised as a ball-holding competition but it was really designed to make you jump into your fears as quickly as possible. If you go even further back in Challenge history, participating in fear-inducing missions was the Challenge. On The Challenge 2000, the way to win the bungee jumping mission was to have more people participate in the event than the other team.
So go ahead and shit on Theo, I don’t think quitting is noble, but I also think we need to acknowledge that this elimination was designed to psych competitors out.