One of the biggest topics at the War of the Worlds reunion was Zach showing up. Apparently, he knew he’d leave and he didn’t want to make it far in the game. People knew this, and Bananas wanted to use it to their advantage. Specifically, Bananas wanted Zach to throw their elimination so he’d have an easy victory on the Killing Floor. Obviously, this did not happen. Zach beat Bananas and as a result, Bananas accused Zach of working with Wes.
Issue #1: Was Zach Working With Wes?
This is the less significant issue, as working with Wes could be a viable strategy. Zach insists he was not, but many people think he was. The most notable piece of evidence is Zach throwing the scoring ball to Wes during the Search and Destroy challenge. I do think this is suspicious. Not necessarily that Zach threw the ball when being tackled. More-so, it’s suspicious because Wes wasn’t trying to tackle Zach to get the ball. That was the final ball in the game, and the fact that Zach threw the ball AND Wes knew to be 20 feet away is highly suspicious.
Secondly, Zach called Wes into the Killing Floor. It’s highly possible that this was the point where Zach knew he’d have to leave, so he picked Wes to go into elimination, threw the elimination, and allowed Wes to leave with the Relic. I’m not saying this definitely happened, but this would explain why Zach eliminated Bananas and why Zach chose his ally Wes as an opponent as opposed to someone else. After all, Wes has a great elimination record and is generally good at puzzles. Choosing Wes is a not a smart move for self-preservation.
So, do I think Zach was working with Wes? Honestly, there’s a strong possibility and the evidence suggests he was. Perhaps we’ll never know, or it will be addressed on Season 34.
Issue #2: Why Was Zach There?
The bigger problem is Zach showing up in the first place. Many cast member want to compete again, and Zach took a spot on the show that someone else would have wanted.
But I can justify Zach’s decision in a single word: money. He was paid just to appear and production likely wanted a guaranteed Zach/ Jenna story line. As much as I would like a true competitor to come on the show rather than a quitter, I can’t blame Zach. For the right amount of money, I do this too. Despite this, the noble move would be to allow someone else to actually compete, and production shouldn’t entice Zach to be there when he doesn’t want to be.
However, Paula recently went on Challenge Mania and touched on this issue. She’s seen a lot happen on The Challenge, and she supported Zach’s decision to some degree. Essentially, Zach became a wild card in the game. He’s someone who will take risky moves because he doesn’t care if he loses. This is why he’d go against someone like Bananas, because he simply doesn’t care. He can set the framework to build alliances or learn from his mistake in future seasons. Essentially, he’s a poker player who will go all-in hoping his opponents will fold. Even if he loses, he wins.
And let’s best fair, someone like Zach is essentially using The Challenge as career. If he’s using this season to improve his game in the future, then this might not be a huge waste.
Did Zach Deserve to Be There?
No, but I’m trying to look on the positive side. Perhaps it wasn’t a huge waste. And if it’s any consolation, if he wasn’t on War of the Worlds we likely would have seen Joss or Nelson. Take that as you will.