Despite leaving War of the Worlds this week, Amanda has shown some progress among Challenge fans. Leaving Final Reckoning, she was getting a lot of hate. This season, she played most of the game without her Lavender Ladies and relying on new relationships to progress. She maintained old enemies, but some of them some redeeming qualities in Amanda. Maybe, just maybe, Amanda is becoming someone the fans can appreciate?
I’d also like to start with a disclaimer: this post is based on the public’s perceptions. I’m aware that I’m in the minority when I say this, but I’ve always liked Amanda. She’s strong-minded, actually confronts her enemies, and the Lavender Ladies have challenged the veterans in the game. Say what you will about her (and the Lavender Ladies), but she only gets this much hate and attention because she does pose a threat on some level.
I noticed the tides beginning to turn on episode 1 during the Impending Dune challenge. As Amanda is competing, Bananas is making jokes with her and goofing around. Bananas isn’t dumb, and this probably isn’t out of a genuine love for Amanda. He notices that she was placed on this small cast for a reason. Production sees her value in this franchise, and she’s going to be a presence in the game. He can’t just ignore he, so he might as well try to be cordial. Yes, Bananas may have been involved in the alleged wrapping incident, but by all accounts this started as a joke.
Perhaps the fun and games subsided for a moment during episode 2 when Amanda gets into a fight with most of the house. As a result she exposes Zach’s Bumble secret. People are quick to call Amanda a liar, where there’s smoke there’s fire. Amanda claims this wasn’t the “bomb” she was going to drop during the Final Reckoning reunion, but either way, she revealed some surprising information about Zach that shook his relationship with Jenna. Episode 2 should have ended her game, but it may have been the moment when she begins to gain favor in the public’s eye. Hunter gets sent into the Killing Floor, severing ties with the Young Bucks and her old AYTO3 buddy. Ashley gets sent home, ending the Lavender Lady reign on War of the Worlds. Amanda is forced to find new allies.
The next couple of weeks she falls further out of cahoots with Hunter. As a result, she is seen as less of a threat. She becomes closer with Da’Vonne due to her connection with Josh (and the two also just seem to get along). Then, the veterans start taking shots at each other. As Cara Maria and Zach have a falling out, Zach realizes Amanda is not a bad judge of character, at least when it comes to Cara Maria. Zach loses a friendship with Cara Maria, but choses to preserve Amanda’s stop in the game. When Zach was in elimination, calling out Amanda should have been the obvious choice but he let he stay.
This week we almost see Amanda and Jenna work together. As the U.K. alliance grows in power, Nany realizes Jenna and Amanda would be valuable numbers for the U.S. side. Ultimately, Jenna does send Amanda into the Killing Floor. I would have liked to see Amanda say, but I can’t fault Jenna. Amanda is her obvious nemesis and an obvious target. Despite this, their conversation showed some potential. When it’s a logical game choice, both Jenna and Amanda may be willing to put drama to the side.
Amanda & Josh lose their elimination. They show potential and move faster than Kam & Ashley, but ultimately lose. However, I think Amanda earned some favor with Challenge fans and some people in the cast. Of course, Cara Maria claims you’d have to be stupid to ever believe Amanda. I disagree, she seems to recognize problematic people two seasons before the rest of the cast. Just because Cara Maria doesn’t want her secrets exposed, doesn’t make Amanda a liar.
Has your perception of Amanda changes?